Book Review: The Anniversary by Laura Marshall

“Some are dying to remember. Some would kill to forget.”

Set to be published on 5th August, The Anniversary by Laura Marshall is set in the small town of Hartstead where, 25 years ago, a local man raged through the town, shooting eleven people dead at random. Cassie Colman was only four when Travis Green killed his last victim: the father she never knew. Cassie has spent her life trying to escape her past, but she is forced to return home when her mother starts forgetting even the basic details of hers. Then a strange discovery amongst her mother’s possessions calls into question everything Cassie thought she knew about the murders all those years ago. And on her quest for answers, Cassie realizes the past is a complicated thing. Some can’t remember it, some don’t want to. And some will do anything to ensure it stays buried…

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Book Review: The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood

“HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?”

Set to be published on 5th August, The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood follows Vanessa who has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape. That’s how it started: looking around houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t. Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead, and everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

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Book Review: The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean

“He is her husband. She is his captive. Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.”

Published in January 2021, The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean follows a woman called Jane who lives in a small farm cottage with her husband, Lenn. But her name is not Jane, and she is his captive. Surrounded by vast, open fields, there is space everywhere she looks. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm and, if they do, she is never seen. Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished. For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him and waiting…

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Book Review: The Boy In The Well by Dan Clark

“A time to mourn. A gruesome find. A race for the truth.”

Published earlier this year, The Boy In The Well by Dan Clark follows grieving Carolyn who goes to stay with her mother in a quiet, rural town after her husband and son are killed in a tragic car accident. Hoping the break will help her cope with her loss, she soon discovers that the small town holds unforgivable secrets. One she stumbles upon when she discovers the body of a young boy down a well – only to find he has disappeared when she returns with the police. The local residents doubt her discovery and blame it on her current state of mind. But with somebody determined to stop Carolyn from uncovering the truth, she knows that she needs to prove what she saw. Not just for the boy and his family, but also for herself.

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Audiobook Review: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

Published in 2018, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara follows the true-crime journalist’s efforts to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Committing at least 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California between 1973 and 1986, the GSK, also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, terrorised California for over a decade and eluding capture by some of the best detectives in the area. Determined to uncover the truth, Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

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Book Review: The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

“This house, this place, knows all my secrets.”

Published in July 2021, The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller follows fifty-year-old happily married mother of three Elle, who awakens one perfect July morning at “The Paper Palace” – the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her husband Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love Jonas, if a tragic event hadn’t forever changed the course of their lives.

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Book Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“I want to do something splendid… something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”

The 1868 classic by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters — talented tomboy and writer Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic but spoiled Amy — and details their passage from childhood to womanhood. United in their devotion to each other, the story details their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War and explores the timeless themes of love and death, war and peace, and the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities.

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Book Review: The Heralding by Ashley McCarthy

The Heralding by Ashley McCarthy is set in the midst of The Great Famine of the 14th Century, when something is awakened in the nearby woods… As hunger and fever grip Matilda’s village, theft madness and starvation follow quickly. People are attacked by something powerful and frightening. Then a new enemy emerges; fear. As accusations are hurled, will a newly arrived stranger be Matilda’s salvation or downfall?

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READALONG: People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

“She has an easy life – but makes a living from pretending otherwise. She has a husband who hates the spotlight – but can’t step away. She has a million followers who adore her – but one who wants her to suffer. She hasn’t realised her family is in danger yet – but she will.”

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd follows Instagram sensation, Emmy Jackson, known by her fans as Mamabare. People have always liked Emmy, especially online where she is famous for always telling the unvarnished truth about modern parenthood. But Emmy isn’t as honest as she’d like the fans to believe. She may think she has her followers fooled, but someone out there knows the truth and plans to make her pay. Because people like her have no idea what pain careless words can cause. Because people like her need to learn what it feels like to lose everything…

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Book Review: The Anatomy Of Desire by LR Dorne

“AMBITION. DESIRE. BETRAYAL. MURDER?”

Set to be published on 22nd July, The Anatomy Of Desire by LR Dorne follows the trial of fitness influencer Cleo Ray for murder. With followers numbering in the hundreds of thousands, a glamorous circle of friends, and a famous boyfriend, the life that Cleo has always wanted is within her grasp. But when Cleo sets off in a canoe on a deserted lake with her friend and the girl is later found dead in the water, Cleo goes viral, but for all the wrong reasons. Who was the girl in the canoe? And did Cleo have anything to do with her death? If Cleo is innocent, why did she try to run?

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Book Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“I might seem like the ideal student: homework always in early, every extra credit and extracurricular I can get my hands on, the good girl and the high achiever. But I realized something just now: it’s not ambition, not entirely. It’s fear. Because I don’t know who I am when I’m not working, when I’m not focused on or totally consumed by a task. Who am I between the projects and the assignments, when there’s nothing to do? I haven’t found her yet and it scares me. Maybe that’s why, for my senior capstone project this year, I decided to solve a murder.”

Published in 2019, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi who chooses to investigate a closed case in her small town for her final year project, focusing on the disappearance of schoolgirl Andie Bell, who was supposedly murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But Pippa isn’t so sure. As Pippa starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, how far will the real killer go to keep her from the truth?

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Book Review: All Her Fault By Andrea Mara

“One missing boy. Four guilty women. In a community full of secrets, who is really at fault?”

Already available on Kindle, All Her Fault By Andrea Mara will be available to buy in hardback on 22nd July. The story follows Marissa Irvine who arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare. As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed…

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BLOG TOUR: Her Sister’s Secret by SE Lynes

“Why would you pretend your life is a dream when you’re living a nightmare?”

Her Sister’s Secret by SE Lynes follows Scottish-born sisters, Annie and Isla. Isla thought that her sister was happy, that Annie led a perfect life with her husband, Dom, in a lovely cottage in a quiet village by the sea. But Isla didn’t see the nights when Annie would sit waiting for Dom to come home. She didn’t see Annie smiling through her tears. She didn’t know what the perfect couple were hiding. So when sirens break the silence of the night and flames rise against the dark sky, and Isla gets the call she never expected, she’s left with a simple burning question: who was to blame?

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Book Review: Inspired Inner Genius Series

Inspired Inner Genius has created a series of biographical books to introduce historical figures to young readers, designed to inspire the inner genius of your kids.

They are the perfect start for any child to begin reading non-fiction and biographies. Each illustrated biography also includes a profile page, gallery, and glossary, reinforcing your child’s learning with simplified explanations of advanced vocabulary and helping to deepen your child’s knowledge about these real-life icons.

Geared to boys and girls aged from 5 to 10 years old (although they are suitable for younger readers too, with some guidance), if you’re child is interested in reading, they’re sure to love this series.

There’s something for everybody too, featuring the names and faces of a whole host of icons including historical figures, modern innovators, and modern-day sports stars.

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READALONG: The Forevers by Chris Whitaker

“What would you do if you knew the world was going to be destroyed by a huge asteroid in one month?”

The Forevers by Chris Whitaker follows Mae and her friends who know that the end is coming. They saw it ten years back, when it was far enough away in space and time and meaning. The changes were gradual, and then sudden. Now, they must navigate a life where action and consequence are no longer related. Where the popular are both trophies and targets. And where petty grudges turn deadlier with each passing day. With teachers losing control of their students and themselves, and the end rushing toward all of them, it leaves everyone facing the answer to one, simple question: What would you do if you could get away with anything?

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Book Review: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Set to be published on 22nd July, The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell follows Grandmother Kim who is babysitting her teenage daughter Tallulah’s one-year-old son, Noah, so that she can go out on a date. But as the night turns into early morning, Kim is still waiting for her return. The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place. But she never returns. A year later, Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree which says “DIG HERE”. Is a clue to Tallulah’s disappearance finally about to be unearthed?

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Book Review: The Runaway Pea Left Behind by Kjartan Poskitt

“We’re on the way back from a big shopping trip, but the bag’s caught a nail and it’s started to rip. Dropetty PLOP! Now what could that be? All on his own it’s a left-behind pea.”

Set to be published on 22nd July, The Runaway Pea Left Behind by Kjartan Poskitt sees disaster strike when Pea falls out of the shopping bag. Is this the end? Is it ALL OVER FOR PEA?! Of course it’s not! Follow Pea as he journeys across the city on a skateboard, and bus, and even on the wings of a passing-by bird – and has the adventure OF A LIFETIME! Sometimes it pays to be small.

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Book Review: The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

“Being an adult is only an illusion. When it comes down to it I’m not sure any of us ever really grow up.”

Published in 2018, The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor tells the story of Eddie and his friends who, in 1986, are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank–until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

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Book Review: Delightfully Different Dilly by Elizabeth Dale

Delightfully Different Dilly by Elizabeth Dale follows Dilly the penguin who is born different. But her parents think that she is perfect, from the top of her head to the bottom of her foot. The other babies notice that Dilly is different but soon accept her and love her different ways of doing things. The adults aren’t so sure, though. Can the younger generation convince their parents that there’s space for Dilly? And maybe that positive change can be a good thing?

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