Book Review: Exiles (Aaron Falk #3) by Jane Harper

“Not everyone leaves by choice…”

The third book in Jane Harper‘s Aaron Falk series, Exiles follows a mother who disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night. Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.

A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family. Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.

As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears. Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…

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Book Review: The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell

“Be careful what you wish for… it may just come true.”

Set to be published on 2nd February, The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell is set at The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, where rumours are circulating of a curse. It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and, desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.

What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in her nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders whether the rumours are true and fears that when the muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.

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Book Review: All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

“Today is day 364. 364 days since my last night of sleep. 364 days since my son, Mason, was taken from his bed.”

Set to be published on 2nd February, All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham follows Isabelle Drake whose life changed forever one year ago when her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her — literally. She hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.

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Book Review: How To Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

“Every childhood home is haunted, and each of us are possessed by our parents.”

Set to be published on 17th January, How To Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix follows estranged siblings Louise and Mark who are brought together after the death of their parents. Louise dreads going home. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls.

Mostly, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. But she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

Some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

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Book Review: The Marriage Act by John Marrs

“What if marriage was the law? Dare you disobey?”

Set to be released on 19th January, The Marriage Act by John Marrs is set in the near future where a right-wing government believes it has the answer to society’s ills – the Sanctity of Marriage Act, which actively encourages marriage as the norm, punishing those who choose to remain single.

But four couples are about to discover just how impossible relationships can be when the government is monitoring every aspect of our personal lives, monitoring every word, every minor disagreement, and will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure everyone will love, honour and obey.

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Book Review: The Drift by CJ Tudor

“Survival can be murder…”

Set to be published on 19th January, The Drift by CJ Tudor follows three ordinary people who risk everything for a chance at redemption.

Hannah awakens to carnage when, during a hasty escape from a secluded boarding school, her schoolbus careened over a hillside road during one of the year’s heaviest snowstorms, trapping her inside with a handful of survivors, a brewing virus and no way to call for help.

A former detective, Meg awakens to the gentle rocking of her cable car which is suspended far above a snowstorm and surrounded by strangers in the same uniform as her, with no memory of how they got there. They were heading to a mysterious place known only to them as The Retreat, but when they discover a dead man among their ranks, Meg soon realises that there’s something far more insidious going on.

Carter is gazing out the window of the abandoned ski chalet that he and his ragtag compatriots call home. Together, they manage what they can to survive. But as their generator begins to waver, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger, and their fragile bonds will be tested when the power finally fails -for good.

The imminent dangers faced by Hannah, Meg and Carter are each one part of the puzzle. Lurking in their shadows is an even greater threat–one that threatens to consume all of humanity.

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Book Review: Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah

“You can choose your house. Not your neighbours.”

Set to be published on 19th January, Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah follows the new residents of Blenheim, Salma Khatun and her family, who are extremely hopeful about moving to a safe suburban development. Their family is in desperate need of a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like the place to make that happen.

Not long after they move in, Salma spots her neighbour, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner she put in her front garden. She chooses not to confront Tom because she wants to fit in. It’s a small thing, really. No need to make a fuss. So Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window instead.

But the next morning she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint. This time she does confront Tom, and the battle lines between the two families are drawn. As things begin to escalate and the stakes become higher and higher, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming… And someone is going to get hurt.

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Book Review: The Other Guest by Heidi Perks

“She thinks she knows the truth. But what if she’s wrong?”

Set to be published on 19th January, The Other Guest by Heidi Perks follows Laila and her husband who arrive for a week’s holiday in Greece in desperate need of a reset. As Laila sits by the pool she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the other family staying in their resort. Em has no idea who Laila is, or that she has been watching her and her teenage sons and husband so intently.

Five days later their worlds will be blown apart by a horrifying event. Laila thinks she knows the truth of what happened. But in telling Em what she’s seen, she stands to lose everything she holds dear. And what if she’s got it wrong?

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Book Review: The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath

“A perfect family. A devastating secret.”

Published on 5th January 2023, The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath is set in the tranquil town of Queen’s Point in southern Australia and told over two timelines. In the summer of 2000, the Whitlam family mark the end of the season with a lavish party in their clifftop mansion. Here, clutching her first glass of real champagne, the summer breeze intoxicating on her skin, sixteen-year-old Lucy Ross is kissed for the very first time. And then, in the shadows of the rose garden, she sees something she shouldn’t.

In Winter 2019, after two decades of silence, Lucy is back in Queen’s Point. She hasn’t planned on staying long. But when human remains wash up on the freezing beach, the police close the town. Unable to leave, Lucy is forced to rekindle old friendships – and examine old truths – she has long ago tried to forget. As long-buried secrets start to surface, Lucy must decide. Will she confront the past and tell the truth? Or will she still do anything to protect the people she loves?

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Book Review: The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton

“Very few people get to stay here. And some don’t get to leave …”

Set to be published on 24th November, The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton follows Zoey who doesn’t remember anything about last night. But she knows something went badly wrong. For she is no longer in New York. She’s woken up in the desert, in a white building she doesn’t recognise, and she’s alone.

When she discovers she’s been admitted to The Sanctuary, a discreet, mysterious, isolated refuge from normal life, to avoid jail, she is stunned. She knows she has secrets, troubles, but she thought she had everything under control. But as she spends more time with other residents, she begins to open up about what she’s running from. Until she realises that not everyone in The Sanctuary has her best interests at heart, and someone might even be a killer . . .

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Book Review: The Locked Attic by BP Walter

“There’s something in my neighbour’s attic.”

Set to be released on 24th November, The Locked Attic by BP Walter follows recently widowed Stephanie who lost both her husband and son in a car accident. Now, she knows there’s more to the story, as her neighbour stands by window, watching her. Her son is dead, by her neighbour is not, and Stephanie is determined to find out the truth.

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Audiobook Review: The Couple In The Cabin by Daniel Hurst

“They’ll do anything to get out. She’ll do anything to keep them in.”

Published earlier this month, The Couple In The Cabin by Daniel Hurst follows happily married Grace who comes home early one night and catches her husband, Dominic, with another woman in the cabin at the bottom of their garden. She is shocked, angry, and most of all, hell-bent on revenge. That’s why she acts quickly, locking the pair in the cabin while she decides what she wants to do to them.

While Dominic and his mistress desperately try to get free, Grace makes a plan on the outside, but it’s a plan that is formed based on her previous experiences. That’s because this might not be the first time Grace has done something like this…

Who is the real villain? The cheating husband? Or the vengeful wife?

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Book Review: The Prisoner by BA Paris

“Secrets. Suspicion. Survival.”

Set to be published on 3rd November, The Prisoner by BA Paris follows Amelie who has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne. Now, Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is or why has she been taken. But what she does know is that she feels safer here, imprisoned, than she ever felt with her husband, Ned.

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Book Review: The Ghost Woods by C.J. Cooke

Set to be published on 13th October, The Ghost Woods by C.J. Cooke is set in the midst of the woods where a house called Lichen Hall stands. This place is shrouded in folklore – old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who was not quite a child. Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something. Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds – and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew – and risk what she holds most dear.

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Book Review: The Winter Killer (DI James Walker #3) by Alex Pine

“New Year. New Bride. New Murder.”

The third book in Alex Pines’ DI James Walker series and set to be published on 13th October, The Winter Killer is set on New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight, when DI James Walker receives a phone call that puts paid to his Christmas break. During the wedding of the year at a lakeside hotel, the bride’s sister has vanished.

When Rachel left the wedding breakfast before her speech, newly-wed Libby was furious. But as the night went on with no sign of her maid-of-honour, Libby started to realise something was wrong. Before the wedding night is out, the lake is being searched for a body. Something old, something new. One guest is a killer. The question is: who?

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Book Review: The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman

“There’s no life liek youth, no love like first love, no friends like teammates.”

The third book in Fredrik Backman‘s Beartown series and set to be released on 5th October, The Winners is set two years after the events that no one wants to think about. As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home? Everything.

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Book Review: The Night Watch (DS Max Craigie #3) by Neil Lancaster

“He’ll watch you. He’ll hunt you. He’ll leave you to die.”

Set to be released on 8th September and the third book in the DS Max Craigie series, The Night Watch by Neil Lancaster follows DS Max Craigie and his team investigate the murders of Scotland’s most notorious criminal, who had just walked free, and his lawyer, who was supposed to be on his honeymoon after the end of the trial.

As the case begins to show links to several other mysterious deaths, Max knows this can only mean one thing: they have a vigilante serial killer on their hands. But this time the killer isn’t on the run – he’s on the investigation team. And the rules are different when the murderer is this close to home. He knows their weaknesses, knows how to stay hidden, and he thinks he’s above the law…

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Book Review: Keep It In The Family by John Marrs

“I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC”

Set to be released on 18th October, Keep It In The Family by John Marrs follows married couple Mia and Finn who are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a chilling message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their dream home was once a house of horrors.

In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Haunted by the terrible things she saw and desperate to find answers, her obsession pulls her ever further from her husband. Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family — but is it already too late?

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Book Review: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.”

Set to be published on 30th August, Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows retired tennis player Carrie Soto who is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan. At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record.

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