Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan #BlogTour #Guestpost

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Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan. Sincere thanks also to Kirsty Doole of Corvus Books for the opportunity to be part of the tour. I have already read and reviewed both of the novels Jack Jordan wrote this year so I’m sharing an amazing guestpost with you all today that is very touching but first and foremost let’s start with the book itself:

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She can’t see the killer But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in a small, claustrophobic town, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But then she stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and more victims are discovered, Naomi is forced to answer the question on which her fate hangs: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

Click the links below for my book reviews on all of his books so far :

A Woman Scorned and Before Her Eyes, My Girl and Anything For Her.

Purchase

Before Her Eyes is available in paperback and ebook (audio coming soon) from Waterstones, WHSmith Travel, Waitrose, and all good bookshops and online outlets, including all major e-retailers

amazon uk  and links to Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned.

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Guestpost

Agoraphobia kept me prisoner, but ultimately set me free 

Most authors will tell you that they have wanted to be writers ever since they can remember, and have always imagined they would have their own stories on the shelves one day. My start, however, was a little different.

            I loved reading and writing as a child. English was one of my favourite subjects in school. I beamed whenever I had the opportunity to exercise creative writing in class and I’ve always loved reading, even if a little out of my age range (I was once told a book was too mature to bring to school… I can’t even remember what it was. All I knew was: it was a book and I was going to read it). But I never remember thinking that my love of reading and writing meant that I could have a book on the shelf too. I never thought that someone like me, a working class kid, could achieve something so monumental. I had put limitations upon myself from the very beginning: I wouldn’t even allow the idea of writing a book, let alone getting it published, to enter my mind, which stayed that way until one day, many years later, my dream finally clicked… but not without struggles along the way.

            Cut to me, aged seventeen. After moving four hours away from home in a wild, rebellious rush, I returned home utterly broken from a traumatic experience. I came home to feel safe, with no idea that the very same home I craved would become my prison for over a year.

            Anxiety is a powerful, intelligent thing. I’ve had it my entire life. Separation anxiety plagued every goodbye. Sunday nights were hell in my house, as my anxiety exploded from having to face another week of school. But even a lifetime of anxiety could not have prepared me for the debilitating power of agoraphobia and PTSD.

            Overnight, I became a recluse. I existed entirely behind closed doors. I gave windows a wide berth to avoid being seen, flinching whenever someone walked by. I shut myself away if there were visitors in the house, and lost all sense of night and day, sleeping in the day and living at night, which made me feel like I was the only person awake in the entire world, a unique breed of loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My anxiety was triggered by everything and anything, however irrational they seemed. And then it got so bad that I couldn’t even leave my bedroom.

            I remember when this happened: I had walked down the stairs at the exact same moment the postman delivered our mail, and the shock of it brought on a horrendous panic attack. I collapsed on the stairs and stayed there, hyperventilating with my eyes on the glass in the door, too terrified to move. I stayed there for an hour. Just like that, I was confined to my bedroom, too scared to even look out of my own window.

            One morning, after another sleepless night, I lay in bed filled with unspent energy. Hiding away day and night takes very little physical exertion, and deprives a person of mental stimulation. The energy builds and builds and builds like traffic, and with nowhere to go, it ends up fuelling the anxiety, the very thing that was keeping me hidden in the first place – a never-ending cycle that I felt helpless to stop. So as the sun rose, I wrote a short story to pass the time. It was only a thousand words or so, written in the notes app on my Blackberry. I didn’t think anything of it, it was just something I did for fun, just another idea that had presented itself inside my mind that I had no idea what to do with or felt I had the right to act on. It was just to help me fall asleep.

            Except… when I woke up, I wrote another chapter. And another. And another. I had no idea that I was writing a book, only that I was creating characters who could exist outside of my prison. I was getting the stimulation I craved and a way out of my hell, even if my escape was only imaginary.

            For six months, I lived vicariously through my characters, escaping the confines of my home using my mind, my characters, the power of words, until one day I looked down and realised I had written a novel of one hundred thousand words. Without realising, I had fulfilled the dream I had never allowed myself to fathom. The second I wrote ‘The End’, I knew I was a writer, and that deep down, I had known all along.

            Writing ‘The End’ was only the beginning, but it unlocked a truth from within me, a realisation that might never have occurred, had it not been for my anxiety: I’m a writer. I always have been. All of those ideas that had plagued my mind for years not only had a way of being released, but they had a purpose.

            You’re not reading the words of a university graduate. I never even went to college. I dropped out of school at fourteen because of depression and anxiety (growing up attracted to the same sex is VERY fun, by the way). You’re reading the words of an author whose lifeline was the written word. As my peers moved around the country to study, I taught myself grammar, spelling, punctuation, how to format a novel, how to structure a story, how the whole publishing thing worked, all from the confines of my bedroom. I spent day and night making my dream a reality, and slowly put myself back together again through years of therapy and exposure. Five years later, I went on to publish my debut novel Anything for Her, followed by my second, My Girl, the year after. The two titles sold over one hundred thousand copies.

            So now, at twenty-five, as I prepare myself for the release of my traditional debut, Before Her Eyes, I look back with complete admiration for who I was at seventeen, and for all the strength it took to face and trust the world again, not only as a person, but as a writer, with my past and pain strewn over the pages of my books and dozens of rejections to my name.

Eight years have passed, but I will never forget how I started, and will always feel the same pride, the same overwhelming confirmation that being a writer is who I am, every time I write ‘The End’.

*** Don’t forget to check out the other blog tour stops ***

Before Her Eyes (Blog Tour)

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Entrapped by Claire Ayres #BlogTour #Extract

BlogTour Entrapped

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to the first stop on the blog tour for Entrapped by Claire Ayres! My thanks to Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for the invitation to join and for providing the excerpt I’ll be sharing with you today. A very special thank you as well for all your patience, dedication and in short, being such a wonderful tour organiser, it was great to sign up for tours with you. Now let’s kick off this last book tour!

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Cellist Luka has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes. Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why. Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

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Purchase

amazon uk

Author

Claire Ayres

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point. Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

Connect

Website | Twitter

Extract

“I went to the doctor.” He squeezes her hand, kisses the corner of my mouth. Jess continues: “She says it’s depression, why I’ve been so off my game, not myself.”

His fingers tense across Jess’ lap and arm where they were previously casually placed, they get so tight she whines and pulls away, feeling the ache of a bruise that has yet to come out. His jaw is clenched, his eyes are tightened to slits. It’s OK though, Jess thinks, she knew this would be a difficult conversation for him, they will work through it together though. She rushes on, needing to reassure him, show him they will be fine.

“I have tablets, they will take a little while to work but then I will be back to myself, it will all be OK.”

Jess squeezes out a smile and runs her hand across his cheek, trying to show him the proof of her words. After a long pause he finally speaks: “What do you mean a little while to work?”

“The doctor said 4-6 weeks,” she responds, stroking his hair.

“Are you having a laugh?” He’s laughing, this is not a funny laugh though, there is absolutely nothing funny about Ade right now from the look on his face to his body language or the way he is touching her. “Jessica, you know what I went through growing up, that I can’t put myself through that again.” He sighs. “I thought this was a passing phase.”

Jess looks at him, holding the tears back in her eyes, determined not to cry. What is he getting at?

“Ade, I’m not your Mum, I’m going to be OK, things will go back to normal,” she pleads.

Ade grew up in an unhappy and abusive home, at the centre of that his Mum had depression. She was also an alcoholic, as a result he doesn’t separate everything very well which is understandable.

“Things won’t be normal, will they? I’ll have another month of all this bullshit? Do you know what it’s been like living with you detached from me for months now?” Jess shrinks back, shaking her head, afraid to speak. “It’s awful and it’s miserable. And sex, well I can swing from the chandelier for that, can’t I?”

Jess gapes, she doesn’t know what to say, he’s getting angrier with every word he says. He violently shoves her back onto the couch and away from him, no longer wanting her on his lap and she knows she is collecting more than bruises today. Bouncing on the leather seat as she lands, she automatically grabs for the cushion she has come to use as a protective blanket and clutches it desperately. Something is seriously wrong here and she can’t hold back the big, ugly, tears because she doesn’t know what else to do.

“I’ve loved you since day one, Jess, and you couldn’t stay well for me? That’s all I wanted from you – for you to love me back and to stay well and happy. Why was that too hard?”

Jess stares in stunned silence and tries to respond, as he storms around pacing the floor in front of her.

“Ade? Please. Stop. Why do you think I did this on purpose, Ade? Do you think I want to feel like this? I miss you so much and I hate that I’m hurting you, it’s killing me. I would do anything to not be hurting you.” She wishes he could see that. She wishes he could see how much she loves him, how hard this is. He stops pacing, stands right in front of her, his hands clenched into fists, tears in his eyes.

“I can’t be around someone with such negative energy. We’re over, Jessica.”

An unnatural wail comes is pulled from Jess as she doubles over, struggling to breathe, her heart shattering as his words sink in. He goes to the bedroom and she listens to him opening and closing the cupboards as he packs his belongings. She doesn’t know what to do except sit there and watch as what little remains of her heart walks out the door with the man she loves.

Hands up who also dislikes Ade :-). You’ll have to read the novel to see Jess find the happiness and love she deserves !

Mid-year top 10 favorite reads

My mid-yearTop 10 Favorits

It’s only mid-year (actually a bit later but between deciding to jump in and actually making the list, we’re already a month further along) and I can already make a top 10 of reads that were pretty amazing so far. Here’s my top 10 of favorite reads till the end of July. Choosing my top 10 wasn’t so hard as I thought but I already don’t want to think about the end of the year because I already have one that I just read and absolutely has to be on the list so sad but true, this list is still going to change at the end of the year.

 

 

In order of reading this year, here are the books with the links to my reviews:

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

The Fear by C.L. Taylor

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

Guess Who by Chris McGeorge

A Scorned Woman by Jack Jordan

Never Go There by Rebecca Tinnelly

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

So what do you think of my selection? Did any of these make it on your list too? 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton #BookReview

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‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

amazon uk amazon com

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Stuart Turton. Man! I don’t know how he managed to write such a maze-of-a-novel. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything like this before!

I knew this novel was being hugely praised and it made me even more determined and ready to solve this whodunnit on my own. If you already read this novel you’ll know how ridiculous my assumption was because there is no way that you can anticipate and solve this on your own, as I figured out quite soon as well ;-). There’s so much cause and effect in this novel, so much detail that went into this grand scheme of things that it just wasn’t possible to get a clear picture of the whole puzzle. It didn’t spoil any of the fun though, there was so much to be discovered in this novel, there were new insights and revelations with every character change.

Although I loved the start of the novel I was a bit worried how the story was going to develop and if I’d be able to keep up. I felt quite confused with what was going at first… was it just me I wondered? Should I start making notes of timelines and characters? Bell seemed awfully focused on someone called Anna but I thought it was all about a woman called Evelyn Hardcastle.. and then there was quite a large cast of characters in the novel that were kept an eye on. As the story progressed everything became clear though so not to worry, if you keep going it’ll all make sense eventually, you just have to go with the flow and let the main character lead you on, it’ll all become clear as water.

I had a hunch that the present mystery and a past event were in some way connected but I didn’t know how. I also had no clue who was chasing him, trying to get him killed or who this masked man is called The Plague Doctor. He’s the one who doesn’t let him leave unless he solves the murder but also provides him with info. Is he to be trusted and who is he? Lots and lots of intriguing questions *big smiles*. The main character (Aiden) will have to use each character’s strong points to his advantage and learn as much as he can about the others in order to solve this one. I was satisfied with all the answers in the end though and it exceeded my expectations entirely.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is not an easy relaxed read, one where you’re able to have one eye on your cooking, child or husband, but you will want to keep with it when reading anyway, in the end it’s really insanely twisted!

This novel takes you on a mind-boggling trip with many many twists, secrets, and even a little sprinkle of futuristic sci-fi in it. The details of that last part were not developed but it’s not something I wished for either, the idea was enough to make it work. Even the sci-fi part was great for me, go figure!

I’m going to stop here because I could keep going on forever. I think you’ll have realised by now that this is a must-read! Don’t give up in the beginning, it’s totally worth it. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the most complex novel I’ve probably ever read. It’s incredibly clever and utterly addictive. I don’t say this often but I most definitely would love to reread this in the future even when I know – and won’t forget any time soon – how it ends and who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. It’s that good!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

New BFF: Books of Magic

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Happy humpday!

I want to present Marina as my new BFF today on the blog. Even though she only started blogging this year over at Books of Magic she’s like a pro already, she just has a gorgeous blog and obviously knows very well what she’s doing. If you don’t know her yet, show her some support and go and say hi for me will you, she really is such a nice girl. I love the fact that she chooses villains over heros any time. You’ll have to go see who her favorite villain is yourself though ;-). Other fun facts are: she was able to read at a very very young age (thanks to her grandma, wonderful anecdote) and she associates colors with numbers, but there’s really so many more interesting things she tells about herself in the awards and tags that she participated in. Very entertaining reading people!

Okay, time to get serious… here’s what you’re all coming for:

QandA

Name: Marina Savić

Age: 27

Birthday: November 14th

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?

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*Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result.

I have a B.A. in graphic design and that’s what I’ve been doing since college, along with illustration, mainly of children’s books. I’m a freelancer, but at the moment I’m working full time for a Texan SEO company. Here is one of my older illustrations:

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Do you have any other hobbies?

I don’t think we can count reading, since it became a full-time thing long ago, so perhaps gaming? I like to play video games, a lot. 🙂 And blogging is my hobby too, since March this year. Here’s a trailer for my absolutely favorite video game, Ori and the Blind Forest:

Your favourite color? Purple! I also like turquoise and various shades of blue and green.

Purple Rain

HINT: it’s a song 😉

Do you collect anything (besides books)? Yep, I collect various souvenirs from each country I visit, and I get a lot of stuff from friends. I can’t seem to decide between magnets and snow globes, though I own significantly more magnets. Here is one small part of my collection:

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What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it? I have various collections of fairy tales and fables, bought to me by my grandma, and I’ve read them multiple times, still have them in good condition.

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it? Maybe The Muse, by Jessie Burton. I quit halfways but I’m willing to give it another chance one day. That’s the only book I ever DNFed.

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*Under The Covers – Designing the Jessie Burton’s The Muse

*Jessie Burton’s The Muse chosen as London’s 2018 Cityread. Cityread is a city-wide book group which each May aims to help Londoners explore and celebrate their city through its stories.

Do you listen to audio books? Yes, sometimes. I work from home so I can listen to whatever I want, but I can’t concentrate enough, so it has to be a light book.

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Do you have a favorite genre? Fantasy and anything with magic in it! I also love historical fiction and mystery.

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now? Oooh only one? 🙂 Well perhaps Suitors and Sabotage, by Cindy Anstey, which is actually a historical romance, so not my genre, but I loved her previous novel so I’m excited to get this one!

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How is your library organized? Haha oh no. 😀 Well my Terry Pratchett shelf is sorted chronologically, with a couple of random books there to fill the space, but my other shelf is a mess because of the way it’s built, take a look yourselves:

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Do you read more ebooks or physical books? Lately I’m reading more on my kindle, because of the many ARCs I got, and the nifty Amazon deals, but I prefer paperback whenever I can because the feel of it is…wonderful.

Do you have a favorite book? Oooh cruel. 😀 I can’t possibly choose one sooo: Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, Alice in Wonderland, and Tender Morsels and The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. And two very recent additions – My Lady Jane, and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I can list more, but…I have to stop here. 🙂

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? Well it has to be this one, even though it’s not the one with the most beautiful illustration, but it’s real leather and it has gold sprayed edges. 🙂

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Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …? Around 150 physical ones and around 200 ebooks. I need more!

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? I’ve just bought five books on a semi-annual book event we have here in Serbia, with great discounts. The books are: The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

What was your favorite author when you were a child? That would be Louisa May Alcott! I devoured her novels, and read them multiple times when I was a kid.

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From which author do you have most books? Terry Pratchett. 24 and counting. 🙂

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Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times? Of course, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, etc. Some of these I’ve read 10+ times. 🙂

About Tell The Wolves I’m Home: There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confident, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of a mysterious illness that June’s mother can barely bring herself to discuss, June’s world is turned upside down.

At the funeral, she notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd, and a few days later, June receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet.

A the two begin to spend time together, June realises she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he might just be the one she needs the most.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already? At the moment it’s 28/60. Some of these are graphic novels, so I hope to catch up with some good fiction soon!

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case?

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Thank you so much Marina for sharing your awesome bookshelf and great answers!!

In case you missed it, here are some of the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Martina – The Mystery Corner
Liis – Cover to Cover
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Tina – Reading Between the Pages
Savanah – Off-Color Lit
Delphine – Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads
Lisa – Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews
Alex – Coffeeloving Bookoholic
Kathy – Books and Munches
Diana – A Haven for Book Lovers
Norrie – Reading Under The Blankie
Lynne – Fictionophile
Lorna – On The Shelf Reviews
Vera – Unfiltered Tales

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to join for a post at the end of this year! It’d be very appreciated!

Come back next month to read all about my new BFF Kelly!

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas #BookReview

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COULD YOUR DREAM HOME BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE?

After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family.
And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic.

But then their first guest arrives.
Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see.
It’s seventeen years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life?
Is Selena running from something too?
Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

amazon uk amazon com

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star three and a half

I had very high expectations of this novel after reading Last Seen Alive, which was one of my favorite reads last year. It’s always difficult to live up to that expection so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that I was feeling it just wasn’t as twisty compared to last time. I remember feeling actually shocked by the revelations in Last Seen Alive but that shock-effect with everything being turned upside down didn’t really make it into this one for me since I was able to foresee at least some of it. Am I getting just too good at this thing, it could also be a possibility :-).

Kirsty’s family of four moved to Wales to get a new start and they’re starting a b&b with her mother. As if that’s not enough eggshells to walk on, her mother invites Selena to stay, the niece she has cut out of her life for 17 years because she’s such a liar. They are adults now though and when Kirsty sees her with her daughter Ruby, her heart softens and she has to wonder if it’s time to put the past in the past. Do Not Disturb brings this estranged family back together, adding also her brother and his wife into the mix, and it was great seeing all the underlying tensions and secrets they kept from one another. Finding out why Kirsty and Selena fell out of love and out of touch kept me very busy, it was all very mysterious and things remained unspoken for quite a while. The author then adds an extra dash of creepiness by letting a few strange things occur in the house which make you wonder what exactly is going on and where the threat is coming from.

Do Not Disturb was a compelling read that is more than just a thriller or murder mystery. It’s about life as a family and I really appreciated how all the secrets and the façade of their splendid lives was slowly peeled away to its core. I found many ugly truths and tragedy in the end. But as I said, I did anticipate some of it and my instincts also told me to read certain scenes with a good dose of suspicion and it proved I was right on at least one major issue. I also kind of felt how it was going to end and I would have liked to have seen another culprit really. There were plenty of secrets and lots to discover and it’s definitely a good thriller that kept me well entertained but it’s not the novel that I would recommend most if you haven’t read any of her novels yet. I do look forward to reading her next one though because I’ve already seen what she can pull off!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker #BookReview

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In the midst of one of the worst winters Chicago has seen in years, the body of missing teenager Ella Reynolds is discovered under the surface of a frozen lake.

She’s been missing for three weeks… the lake froze over three months ago.

Detective Sam Porter and his team are brought in to investigate but it’s not long before another girl goes missing. The press believes the serial killer, Anson Bishop, has struck again but Porter knows differently. The deaths are too different, there’s a new killer on the loose.

Porter however is distracted. He’s still haunted by Bishop and his victims, even after the FBI have removed him from the case. His only leads: a picture of a female prisoner and a note from Bishop: ‘Help me find my mother. I think it’s time she and I talked.’

As more girls go missing and Porter’s team race to stop the body count rising, Porter disappears to track down Bishop’s mother and discover that the only place scarier than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

amazon uk amazon com

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I’m reading some incredible novels this year and this rollercoaster of a read is definitely one of them. This is such an amazing series, you’re missing out if you’ve not sprung on the wagon!

There are not one, not two but three very different angles of investigation in The Fifth to Die that made this an extremely tense and high-speed read, where new things were constantly discovered and really keep the ball on rolling. Sam, the lead detective of the first novel, is on his own fairly soon when someone sets him up and they pull him off the case. He doesn’t start twiddling his thumbs though but continues on his own and follows a small lead that makes him team up with an unexpected but very welcome new sidekick who isn’t a detective. It really brakes the mould of so many clichés and I enjoyed their interactions very much. Then there’s FBI man Poole looking into the information about the Fourth Monkey Killer again and everything Sam left behind and finally the third team consists of Nash, Clair and IT guy Klotz who have technology and resources on their side.

Even with all this manpower splashed about, catching this guy who’s abducting girls is not evident at all. They believe they know the identity of the guy but where he is or determining why he’s doing it is unclear. The scenes of the girls held captive were soooo scary and disturbing. I looooved reading them and witnessing the different reactions but was equally horrified when reading about what they had to endure (nothing sexual thankfully although I wouldn’t boast about the alternative either).

I’m going to stop right here because it’s impossible to describe how wonderfully complex and cleverly plotted this novel was. It was very puzzling but so engaging to read that I did not want to end my reading sessions. So the only reason I didn’t give it five stars is because I was left with so many unanswered questions at the end of this novel and I mean big, important, fundamental questions that were there the whole time. I really don’t have a choice but to read the third (and final?) part of this series and I’m all too willing to do so but I wish it had given me some answers at least. You see things unfold in this novel but I can’t wait to hear the explanation of the why’s and how’s to so many questions I have.

If you’re interested in reading this novel then you definitely have to read The Fifth Monkey first. This is a trilogy where you have to start with the first novel, you simply can’t drop in mid-story, there’s too much backstory and character development that is detrimental to understanding and enjoying the sequel to the fullest. The diary entries of the first novel for example play an important role in The Fifth to Die as well and some of it suddenly seems different than before. You also can’t – I repeat – can’t walk away from this story after you finished this one. This was a crazily addictive read to me and J.D. Barker has so earned his stripes for me as a horror/thriller writer. I wish I could  read book 3 already!

I received a free copy of this novel from Booklover Catlady Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion.