Book Review: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

“Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems…”

Published in 2017 and the first book in a trilogy, Caraval by Stephanie Garber follows sisters Scarlett and Tella who have never left the tiny isle of Trisda. Scarlett pines from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. To Scarlett and Tella, it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father. So when their long-awaited invitation to Caraval finally arrives, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

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Book Review: A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.”

Published in 2015, A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig tells the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

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Book Review: Strangers by CL Taylor

“Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.”

Published in 2020, Strangers by CL Taylor follows three strangers: Ursula, Gareth and Alice. Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life. Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards. And Alice is being stalked. None of them are used to relying on others. But when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

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Book Review: The Rumour by Lesley Kara

“Rumours are like seeds, scattered on the wind. There’s no telling where they’ll land, but land they will. Settling in cracks and crevices, the roots take hold. The seeds sprout. It doesn’t matter if they’re true or false. The more times they’re spoken, the faster and stronger they grow. Like beanstalks, waving in the air.”

Published in 2018, The Rumour by Lesley Kara follows single mum Joanna who hears a rumour at the school gates. She never intended to pass it on, but one casual comment leads to another, and now there’s no going back. Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become?

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Book Review: After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

“How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?”

Originally published in 2015, and the follow-up to Me Before You, After You by Jojo Moyes sees Louisa Clark struggling to move on from her life with Will Traynor. She is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

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Book Review: Silent Night (Paige Northwood #2) by Nell Pattison

“What happened while they were sleeping?”

The second book in the Paige Northwood series, Silent Night by Nell Pattison was published in 2020 and sees interpreter Paige Northwood help with the police with a new case when one person is murdered and a child goes missing after a school for the deaf take an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi. As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…

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Book Review: One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

“Sometimes in life it was important to stop thinking about what might have been, and think about what could be.”

The 2020 release from Sarah Morgan, One More For Christmas follows Gayle, a highly successful and motivated businesswoman. But her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.

And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…

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Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“God bless us, every one!”

Originally published in 1843, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean, miserable, bitter old man with no friends. One cold Christmas Eve, three ghosts take him on a scary journey to show him the error of his nasty ways. By visiting his past, present and future, Scrooge learns to love Christmas and the people all around him.

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Book Review: The Silent House (Paige Northwood #1) by Nell Pattison

“If someone was in your house, you’d know… Wouldn’t you?”

Published in 2020 and the first book in the Paige Northwood series, The Silent House by Nell Pattison sees the murder of a young girl in the middle of the night. Her family were home, but they are deaf and didn’t hear a thing when the shocking crime took place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter. The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something. One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl? Was it an intruder? Or was the murderer closer to home?

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Book Review: Survive The Night by Riley Sager

“In order to win, Charlie must do only one thing… survive the night.”

Set to be released on 23rd December, Survive The Night by Riley Sager follows Charlie Jordan as she is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe. Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college rideshare board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news – the Campus Killer, who’s tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again.

Travelling the lengthy journey between university and their final destination, Charlie begins to notice discrepancies in Josh’s story. As she begins to plan her escape from the man she is becoming certain is the killer, she starts to suspect that she could very well end up as his next victim. A game of cat and mouse is about to play out. In order to win, Charlie must do only one thing… survive the night.

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Book Review: The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan

“Can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?”

Published earlier this year, The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan follows Christy Sullivan who is excited to go on the perfect Christmas getaway — a trip to Lapland – with her husband, daughter, and best friend Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past.

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Audiobook Review: The Murder of Graham Catton by Katie Lowe

“It’s the sound of my husband’s blood on the floorboards that wakes me.”

Published in February 2021, The Murder of Graham Catton by Katie Lowe follows bereaved wife and doting mother Hannah Catton who remembers nothing of the night her husband was killed. A suspect has been imprisoned for the murder for over 10 years, but he still protests his innocence. So when Anna Byers, host of the famous Conviction podcast that has seen numerous prison sentences overturned, begins to investigate the murder, Hannah begins to feel nervous about what they might find out.

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Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

“We can’t choose the strangers we meet.”

Originally published in 2018, An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena is set at the beautiful and remote Mitchell’s Inn where guests arrive for a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found, and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

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Book Review: The Ask And The Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness

“We are the choices we make.”

The second book in Patrick NessChaos Walking trilogy and originally published in 2009, The Ask And The Answer sees Todd and Viola separated after the events of the first book, as a wounded Viola finds herself in the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…

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Book Review: Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham

“Loneliness came over him, like an avalanche of snow. He was alone. Where he had always wanted to be. You can only trust yourself. There’s a rat buried deep in everybody and they’ll rat on you if they get pushed far enough.”

With the film tie-in paperback due to be released on 9th December, Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham was first published in 1946 and follows a young and ambitious carny, Stan Carlisle, who plays a mentalist on stage alongside his harried wife. Soon enough, he graduates to a full-blown spiritualist, catering to the needs of the rich and gullible in their well-upholstered homes. It looks like the world is Stan’s for the taking.

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BOOK TOUR: The Girl In The Ground (Nikki Hunt #4) by Stacy Green

“She was beautiful: shiny blond hair, crystal blue eyes and the widest smile Nikki had ever seen. She thought back to what she had seen in the ground, the dirt that caked the white bones. All that remained of her now was the silver locket that was still around her neck…”

The fourth book in the Nikki Hunt series and set to be released on 1st December, The Girl In The Ground by Stacy Green sees Special Agent Nikki Hunt called to the scene of a body found buried in the ground. Nikki knows instantly that the girl was murdered, but she is shocked when her boyfriend, Rory immediately recognizes her from the locket that remains. The victim was his childhood sweetheart, Becky, and he was the last person to see her before she went missing twenty-four years ago. When another girl goes missing, can Nikki unearth the truth and protect the man she loves? And will she find the missing girl in time to save her life?

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Book Review: Hide by Nell Pattison

“Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…”

Set to be published on 9th December, Hide by Nell Pattison follows a group of seven on a nature hike – Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back. Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind. Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren. Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession. Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group. Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife. And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets. As the sun sets, a gunshot rings out on the nature reserve. One of the seven is dead. And one of their number killed them.

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BLOG TOUR: Big Splash Circus by Karina Choudhrie

Big Splash Circus by Karina Choudhrie is set at the greatest show under the sea, The Big Splash Circus, where Lantern Fish is yet to discover his part in the show. Still searching for his special talent, his friends are keen to help as they don’t like to see him sad. Can you help to find his special talent? Get ready for the underwater adventure to begin.

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Book Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”

Published in 2016, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover follows 24-year-old Lily who hasn’t always had it easy. But that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. But his complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

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