Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“A lifetime holding it together. One party will bring it crashing down.”

Set to be released on 27th May, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is set in Malibu, August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; Jay, a championship surfer; Hud, a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. The only people not looking forward to the party are the Rivas themselves, who all need to get something off their chests. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames.

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BLOG TOUR: Setsuko and the Song of the Sea by Fiona Barker and Howard Gray

Released in April 2021, Setsuko and the Song of the Sea by Fiona Barker (Author) and Howard Gray (Illustrator) tells the story of Setsuko who loves the sea. She swims its shallows and dives its depths, but she worries that her friends have chosen to abandon her way of life. Then she meets a whale who also fears he is the last of his kind. In return for giving him hope, he gifts her a song. They play together from the first crisp light of morning until the setting of the evening sun, and everyone who hears Setsuko’s song is filled with the wonder of the sea. They remembered the beauty and mystery of the ocean.

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Book Review: The Pact by Sharon Bolton

“Let the games begin…”

Set to be released on 27th May, The Pact by Sharon Bolton follows six talented friends who are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed. Eighteen-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison. Twenty years later, Megan is free.

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Book Review: The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter

“They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.”

Set to be released on 27th May, The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter follows Beth and Tom Hardcastle, the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family. When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now. What if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst. But the worst is beyond imagining.

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Book Review: The Killing Kind by Jane Casey

“He tells you you’re special. He tells you he wants to protect you. But can you believe him?”

Set to be released on 27th May, The Killing Kind by Jane Casey follows barrister Ingrid Lewis who is used to dealing with tricky clients. But no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home. Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

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BLOG TOUR: The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

“He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder…”

Released today (13th May), The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain follows Erin Kennedy who moved to New York following a family tragedy and now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. It’s the start of an ordinary day when Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death. Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder.

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Book Review: The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

Set to be released on 27th May, The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan follows mother and wife Liza who is drowning under the daily stress of family life. When her eighty-year-old mother, Kathleen, has a run-in with an intruder, Liza wants her to move into a residential home. But Kathleen isn’t having any of it. What she craves is adventure. The last thing Liza needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza dream of a solo break of her own. But it’s time for these women to embark on the journey of a lifetime, as they all discover it’s never too late for adventure…

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Book Review: Legacy by Nora Roberts

Set to be released on 25th May, Legacy by Nora Roberts follows Adrian Rizzo who was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her–before her mother, Lina, stepped in. A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of fitness videos, following in her mother’s ambitious footsteps but intent on making her own way in life. But when Adrian starts receiving death threats, she can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush. Sometimes it even seems like nothing will come of the terrifying messages. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…

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BOOK TOUR: Things To Do Before The End Of The World by Emily Barr

“I walked home. I kept hearing footsteps behind me, but every time I turned around, no one was there.”

Set to be released on 13th May, Things To Do Before The End Of The World by Emily Barr follows teenager Olivia who is struggling to live her life as fully as she wants to. So when the news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth that there are only nine months of safe air left, everybody makes a bucket list to start living their best lives. Everyone, that is, but Olivia, who is still struggling to figure out who she wants to be. Then, out of the blue, comes contact from a long-lost cousin who Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for their last summer on earth, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her. But what if Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be?

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Book Review: A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

“Suspicion is an insidious thing; doubts have started creeping in, things that he’d previously been able to ignore.”

Published in 2018, A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena follows married couple Karen and Tom who, by all appearances, have a nice and comfortable life together. But one day, Karen wakes up in hospital with no idea how she got there. The police tell her that she was in an accident and that she lost control of her car, close to where a body has also been found. The police suspect that Karen was up to no good, yet her husband refuses to believe it. But even Karen doesn’t know what to believe…

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READALONG: The End Of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

“Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.”

Released in April 2021, The End Of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird is set in the year 2025 in a world where a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland, a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic, and the victims are all men.

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Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

“No one could be expected to give up wine and books at the same time.”

Published in 2019, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty follows nine strangers on a ten-day retreat at Tranquillum House, a health-and-wellness resort that promises total transformation. Keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages, these strangers are miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, and they have no way to reach the outside world. Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined. For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda. These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them…

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Book Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

“We can’t change the past…We can only change the way we feel about it, and the way it affects our future.”

Published in 2018, Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh follows Anna Johnson who is struggling to come to terms with her mother’s suicide one year ago. Not only was her suicide a surprise, but she planned it to match her husband’s just months before, and Anna can’t figure out why her parents would both leave her in that way. Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

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READALONG: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me… every day.”

Nicholas Sparks‘ first novel, originally published in 1996, The Notebook tells a story in an old notebook, which is read to an elderly woman by a sad stranger. It is the story of Noah and Allie, who fell in love but were kept apart for many years. When Allie shows up on his doorstep, exactly as he has held her in his memory for all these years, Noah has one last chance to win her back. Only this time, it’s not just her parents in the way – Allie is engaged and she’s not a woman to go back on her promises. But she cannot stop thinking about the boy who stole her heart years ago. And so begins an extraordinary tale of a love so strong it turns tragedy into strength and endures everything . . .

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Book Review: The Cottage On Sunshine Beach (Sandcastle Bay #2) by Holly Martin

“Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…”

The Cottage On Sunshine Beach is the 2018 book by Holly Martin which is set in the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay. Melody Rosewood loves her new home here, a beautiful little cottage on the edge of the beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea. She loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham, and to the gorgeous Jamie Jackson with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy.

From the moment he and Melody met, sparks flew. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back. As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit community, she realises that Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends? Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

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Book Review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

“To them, the past was a sickness which my siblings still carried; you could catch it from a conversation.”

Originally published in January 2021, Girl A by Abigail Dean follows Lex Gracie who doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors with her six siblings. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. But when her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Now a successful lawyer living in New York, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first, she must come to terms with the childhood she shared there.

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Book Review: Fifty Fifty (Eddie Flynn #5) by Steve Cavanagh

“Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other. Who do YOU believe?”

The fifth book in Steve Cavanagh‘s Eddie Flynn series, Fifty Fifty follows lawyer Eddie Flynn’s latest case. Two sisters – Alexandra and Sofia Avellino – have just found their father’s mutilated body, but each believes the other is to blame for his murder. Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury. But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial with her sister for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be. You’d be wrong.

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Book Review: Nighthawking (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #2) by Russ Thomas

“He can’t bear to think of her that way, all cold and dead and wasting away in her grave beneath the rose bushes. He’d always pictured her whole, whenever he thought about her. All peaceful and sleeping. The way she’d looked when he buried her.”

The second book in the Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler series, Nighthawking by Russ Thomas sees Tyler investigate the murder of a foreign student whose body is found in the city’s Botanical Garden by a nighthawker on the hunt for antiquities. Alongside Detective Constable Amina Rabbani, and struggling against shrinking budgets and manpower in their department, both are shunted onto the investigation. But when the victim is identified as a Chinese national from a wealthy family, the case takes on a new urgency to prevent an international incident. As Tyler and Rabbani dig further into the victim’s life, it becomes clear that there’s more to her studies and relationships than meets the eye. Meanwhile, someone else is watching these events. Someone who knew the victim, and might hold the key to what happened the night she vanished.

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Book Review: Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan

“Whether in fact or fiction, murder can be all things to all people. At a basic level, it is a tale of good versus evil, where the roles of victim and villain are clearly laid out before us. More often than not, there is an element of mystery at its heart, a puzzle to be solved.”

Set to be released on 29th April, Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan is a non-fiction book that follows the stories and the people involved in the history of murder. From a cannibalized cabin boy whose death at the hands of his hungry crewmates led the Victorian courts to outlaw a defence of necessity to murder, an incompetent GP whose violent disregard for his patient changed the law on manslaughter, to the last woman hanged in England in the 1950s who played a crucial role in changes to the law around provocation in murder cases, and a deranged Scottish aristocrat whose fratricidal frenzy paved the way for the defence of diminished responsibility. These, and many more, are the people – victims, killers, lawyers and judges, who unwittingly shaped the history of that most grisly and storied of laws.

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Book Review: A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County #3) by Karin Slaughter

“An autopsy was an act of violence itself, the ultimate invasion. Everybody tells a story. A person’s life and death can be exposed in all their glory and shame simply by looking beneath the skin.”

A Faint Cold Fear is the third book in Karin Slaughter‘s Grant County series that sees medical examiner Sara Linton investigate a suicide at the local college campus. But while it looks straightforward, it just doesn’t add up to Sara. When two more suspicious deaths follow and a young woman is brutally attacked, it becomes clear that she’s looking for a murderer. The college authorities are reluctant to cooperate and Sara isn’t any closer to finding the answers she needs. With the violence triggering memories of a past she’d rather forget and the clues pointing ever closer to home, can she uncover the truth in time to save the next victim?

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