Blood Moon by John David Bethel #BookReview

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What’s it about?

On a hot, steamy afternoon in Miami, Cuban-American businessman Recidio Suarez is brutally beaten and abducted. Handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded, he has no idea why he has been targeted. What he discovers is heart-stopping. What he endures during almost a month of captivity compares only to the most horrendous stories of prisoners of war. He is tortured, and under the threat of death, and worse – the rape of his wife and torture of his children – Suarez is forced to hand over his multi-million dollar holdings to his captors.

Suarez survives and then spends the next few months staying one step ahead of the murderous pack. During this time, he and his lawyer, Nolan Stevens – a former Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Office of the FBI – are having difficulties convincing the Miami-Dade Police Department that a crime has been committed. Their efforts are complicated by Steven’s difficult history with the head of the MDPD Special Investigations Division, who is not interested in pursuing the case.

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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I’ve had this novel Blood Moon for quite some time already and I have no idea why I haven’t read it sooner really because when the author contacted me I was immediately interested when I heard it was based on true events. Nothing prepared me for the horrendous ordeal the main character, Redicio Suarez, had to go through while abducted though. The preface is written by the true victim of these crimes and I thought at first that it’d be easier to read, maybe I was even a bit disappointed I already knew how the story was going to end, but I had to revise this opinion quite soon! I was nothing but relieved to know that this man would survive ultimately. Reading about the time he was held captive was in some ways worse than many thrillers I’ve read and you wouldn’t even be able to come up with this if it was fiction. These abductors were crossing the line of human dignity in every way possible, they were monsters. If I hadn’t read the preface I wouldn’t have expected him to have survived really, it was that brutal. I had no idea where the line was drawn between fact and fiction and it felt so outlandish that even part of it was true, it left me wondering and occupied my thoughts largely throughout this story.

The first thing I did when I finished this was look up what I could find about Marc Schilling in an attempt to recount some of the facts and it turns out that plenty of what he went through wasn’t made up. Blood Moon was really intense to read and the accounts of duct tape around his face, being in the dark all the time and having to sign documents without seeing a thing actually turned out to be real. I got chills while reading this but knowing afterwards that these parts weren’t fiction and did actually happen made my blood run cold. The way his abduction ended was quite spectacular although the true version of events would have suited just as well. The first part was largely a description of every single thing he was subjected to, along with the backstory in how they started to get the idea to plan all of this. I can’t believe someone would do all this and go to these lengths to get everything, not wanting to leave a single penny.

His escape from the money grabbing vultures who abducted him didn’t go how I’d anticipated at all and you might think it would put an end to his nightmare but even then it continues. While he should be protected by the police, the bad people put away behind bars, that apparently is a storyline that only occurs in fiction stories. It was sad and frustrating to read that he had to go through all of this and then wasn’t believed, even ridiculed and yes in another way but a victim once again. This time personal grudges were dragged into it as well and unfortunately he’s right in the middle of it.

I shook my head quite a few times while reading. At times it’s just so unbelievable, or maybe I almost didn’t want to believe this could be so close to the truth. I felt it was a bit of a stretch that his lawyer would do the legwork the police should have been doing. I wanted to shout as well that it was dangerous what he was doing but then I also wanted to get some justice, some closure for him so that he didn’t have to be afraid anymore. I just can’t imagine what that does to a person.

Blood Moon was a tense and quite violent read at times so I wouldn’t recommend this one for the faint at heart. There’s no gussying up and I can assure you that the writing isn’t suggestive so it is all due to the facts and his account without embelishments that it was so heart-breaking to read at times.

If you want to know more about what Marc Schiller, the true victim, went through, then you should definitely read this book. For your info: there was also a movie made based on the story that many have probably seen (I know I did) but doesn’t do justice to him at all. I can’t believe either they actually made a comedy out of this, there’s really nothing to laugh after reading this. You can check out an article with more info here.

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

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WWW Wednesday (18-10-2017)

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

WWW

 

Three W’s:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

What I recently finished :

Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

This novel requires a little bit of suspended belief (ok an awful lot, it’s fantasy really) so it shouldn’t be my kind of book at all but the secrets and lies and psychological manipulation had me completely hooked and I ended up liking it anyway. I’m quite surprised myself! And now I really can say so as well #WTFthatending!

Behind Her Eyes

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What I’m reading now:

Blood Moon by John David Bethel

Blood Moon is based on a true story and there’s even a movie based on the story with Mark Wahlberg in the lead. Note: the real victim is sueing him and others involved for how he is portrayed in this movie. You can read an article about it here.

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I haven’t read The Teacher (novel 1 in the DS Imogen Grey series) but The Secret ended up on my ereader and I think it’s time to tackle one of my own reads again, especially now that I’ve seen there’s a third novel pulished soon, called The Angel. I do really like all the covers in this series too!

The Secret by Katerina Diamond

The SecretCan you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…

When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?

As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.

And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most…

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

I don’t like cooking unless…

I don't like cooking

I’m not a great cook, I admit it, and I wouldn’t be very happy when I’d get a cookbook as a present, unless my dear friends, it is one of the cookbooks I listed here. A whole new world has opened up because I had NO IDEA there were so many book-related cookbooks out there. Really, if you’re a writer, it looks like you just have to publish a cookbook as well!

Here are some cookery books that might spike your enthusiasm for cooking from now on:

1. If you love celebrated works of literature… 

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These recipes are featured in or inspired by the novels listed below:

Jo’s Best Omelette . . . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
No Dieter’s Delight Chicken Neapolitan . . . Thinner by Stephen King
Bev’s No-Fuss Crab Cakes . . . Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
Macaroni and Cheese . . . The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Veteran Split Pea Soup . . . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Summer’s Day Cucumber-Tomato Sandwiches . . . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
Dump Punch . . . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Not Violet, But Blueberry Pie. . . Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Innocent Sweet Bread . . . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Daddy’s Rich Chocolate Cake . . . Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

2. If you love A Game of Thrones…

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A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer – and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself – A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.

3. If you love mysteries…

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Mystery-themed recipes and other baffling questions about cooking are answered by the Nancy Drew Cookbook for young readers. This series-specific cookbook mixed in a dash of mystery with a pinch of thematic recipes. Nearly 50% of these special recipes incorporate part of the titles from the first 50 volumes of the classic Nancy Drew mystery series. Examples include “Double Jinx Salad,” “Ski Jump Hot Chocolate” and “Haunted Showboat Pralines.”

4. If you love Harry Potter…

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With this cookbook, dining a la Hogwarts is as easy as Banoffi Pie! With more than 150 easy-to-make recipes, tips, and techniques, you can indulge in spellbindingly delicious meals drawn straight from the pages of your favorite Potter stories, such as:

Treacle Tart–Harry’s favorite dessert, Molly’s Meat Pies–Mrs. Weasley’s classic dish, Kreacher’s French Onion Soup, Pumpkin Pasties–a staple on the Hogwarts Express cart.

5. If you love.. euhm.. something different…

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Who but Roald Dahl could think up such mouthwatering and deliciously disgusting foods as Lickable Wallpaper, Stink Bugs Eggs, and Eatable Pillows?Now theres a practical guide to making these and other delicacies featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Dahl’s other books, with easy, step-by-step recipes that range from the delectable to the truly revolting. Quentin Blake’s illustrations combine with full-color photographs of the luscious results to perfectly capture Roald Dahls wicked sense of fun.

6. If you love The Hunger Games…

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The Unofficial Recipes of the Hunger Games savor the post-apocalyptic world of Panem one dish at a time with The Unofficial Recipes of The Hunger Games. Offering 187 recipes, this cookbook serves fans an authentic taste of the Hunger Games trilogy, whether foraged for in the impoverished District 12 or devoured at the lavish banquets of the Capitol. Satisfy your appetite with the recipes savored by the tributes: Peeta’s Burnt Raisin Nut Bread, Orange Chicken in Cream Sauce.

7. If you love Narnia…

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From the White Witch’s spellbinding Turkish Delight to the centaurs’ mouthwatering oatcakes and the Dryads’ favorite gooseberry fools, each recipe in The OFFICIAL Narnia Cookbook is a culinary tribute to the overwhelming influence The Chronicles of Narnia has had on generations of readers.

8. If you love nostalgic reads…

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Pooh is often satisfied with marmalade on a honeycomb but here are recipes for more substantial breakfast foods such as poohanpiglet Pancakes, Apricot Honey Bread, Muffins, and Popovers for Piglet.

9. If you love a good cocktail with a literary twist…

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Tequila Mockingbird is the ultimate cocktail book for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes — paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels — the book also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout.

Drinks include:

The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose
The Last of the Mojitos
Love in the Time of Kahlua
Romeo and Julep
A Rum of One’s Own
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita
Vermouth the Bell Tolls

10. If you love to try some more…

 

So tell me, would you enjoy any of these? In case you’re wondering, yes I just shared a picture of my own failed baking. I tried to do these kattentongen/langues de chat but didn’t have the patience to wait a long time after baking so I dipped them into chocolate and invented my own air-drying system until I could do the other side but they broke. No harm done, nobody’s seen them (but you) and I baked three cakes and banana pralines instead ;-).

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson #BookReview

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What’s it about?

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true-crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light. Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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Let me start with a moment of truth: I was on the fence at first when I heard this was a contemporary crime novel with historical facts of WW2 weaved into the story. I feel very protective about that time in history and I like reading novels about that era but they are usually survival stories, biographies and such. To incorporate these atrocious events into a fiction novel, I just didn’t know if I’d feel good about it, so I didn’t want to read it at first. Then I started reading all the reviews and saw the ratings for this novel and I had to admit my fears might have been unfounded. I became more than curious and I was very happy when I finally got my hands on a copy of Block 46.

Of course Johana Gustawsson handled everything with great care and yes it was still horrifying to read about and even when I’d read similar stories and I recognized many references, it was undoubtedly very hard-hitting and painful to read at times. I was already wondering if these chapters would continue for a long time. I was drawn to them yet also relieved when the lighter chapters of the investigation followed. It helped to relieve the tension and heaviness and this way I was able to continue reading and I didn’t need to stop to catch a breath, or a moment. On the contrary, I flew through the pages because Erich’s account was so harrowing that I wanted to know what would happen to him as quick as possible. With the title of the novel in mind I had a feeling where he would go but what happens in Block 46 exactly? People who go in never come out but it is very mysterious what happens in there.

When his faith became clear about one third in, the atmosphere of the novel did change somewhat and it wasn’t as oppressive as before. The mystery gained interest and was complete with two totally different threads.. what could Erich’s story have to do with the recent murders and in two countries no less? I was calculating years in my head fairly soon but things just didn’t add up.

The storylines blend perfectly and I admire her audacity to take this on. She could easily have written two books, one historical and one a detective story and done a great job but she really excelled by fusing them together. I was utterly captivated and confused about who was behind all this and how it all fit together. I didn’t see the ending coming – at all! High fives around for an amazing plot twist in this marvellous story!

Block 46 was written by a very talented author that we certainly haven’t heard the last of!  The best news is that the follow-up, the yet to be translated Mör, promises an equally exciting investigation with bodies in Sweden and London and a suspect who’s been locked up in a psychiatric facility for the past 10 years. She’s making dual timelines and hard and gritty scenes (think amputated limbs in her second novel) her signature and she’s got a new fan here!

I received a free paperback copy of this novel from my blog friend Emma and this is my honest opinion.

The Note by Zoe Folbigg #BlogTour #Guestpost

 

What’s it about?

As featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’…

Based on Zoë Folbigg’s true story comes an unforgettable romance about how a little note can change everything… One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One. But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen? And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

Available on NetGalley

Buy links

Amazon | Kobo |iBooks |Google Play

About Zoë Folbigg

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Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. This is her debut novel.

Follow Zoe

Website: http://www.zoefolbigg.com/
Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

Guestpost

What inspired me? Me! 

They say everyone has a book in them, and for me I didn’t have to look far for inspiration, because people kept telling me that the story of how I met my husband sounded like a novel.

It all started on a dreary and drizzly July morning, at my local train station. I was waiting for the 8.21am train to King’s Cross when a handsome stranger walked past me, heading up the platform. He wasn’t looking around, he wasn’t looking to fall in love: he was fixated on getting the train, nervous about starting a new job. I looked up and saw he was unlike any of the other commuters I was used to seeing every day. He was beautiful with wide, lovely eyes, and he looked like he had a good soul. I’m not sure how you can tell something like that about a person in a quick glance, but I knew. Suddenly everything in the world seemed right, and I gently edged up the platform towards this glorious new Train Person.

Train Person turned into Train Man. At work, I’d talk about him to my colleagues; they’d ask me if I’d spoken to him yet. But I could never engage in conversation with him in the grumpy gridlock of a morning commuter carriage. This went on for almost a year, until a friend looked at me in exasperation and asked: “What’s the worst that can happen?”

And so I wrote a note – the note – three sentences and a friendly sign-off, asking Train Man if he’d like to go for a drink. After a few days with the note burning a hole in my pocket I eventually plucked up the courage to give it to Train Man, and he emailed me later that day to say thank you, but unfortunately he had a girlfriend.

I was gutted – but carried on commuting as normal. He always lost in a book; me with my face buried in a book or magazine out of embarrassment.

Eight months later Train Man – Mark – emailed me on a Friday afternoon to say his circumstances had changed, and would I still fancy that drink? We met at a local pub that Saturday night, and from the Monday we started commuting together. We’re now married with two boys.

A few years ago, I wrote about my experience in a magazine, and the response I had was amazing. I received emails from people all over the world saying my little act of bravery had touched them, and made them want to do something brave too. That galvanized me to sit down and turn my story into a novel.

In my book, Maya sees James on a humid July morning and feels those same feelings I did, and so ensues a story of sliding doors and missed opportunities. Although the path to true love doesn’t run quite smoothly for Maya.

It was strange fictionalising my story. It needed to be juicier: my job on a teen magazine was great fun but Maya’s working world had to be even funnier; the characters more extreme, and writing her colourful colleagues was great. But sometimes I’d feel self-conscious: if wrote that Maya was beautiful, would people think I was saying it about myself? It was easy to describe James though. All those feelings I first felt were easy to put down for my leading man.

So here it is. A work of fiction based on something very real. I’m obviously glad I plucked up the courage to give Mark the note, and I’m so glad I took the plunge to ride the rollercoaster of writing, editing, and knocking on doors to get The Note published.

Self-limiting beliefs almost stopped me from doing both things, but like Velma, the sage septuagenarian friend to Maya’s more cautious twentysomething, says: “What’s the worst that can happen?” And I couldn’t shake them from my head.

I hope you enjoy The Note and find it as heartwarming and authentic as I intended.

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Check out the other tour stops too! Next up tomorrow: A Sky Filled With Sparkling Stars

The Good Mother by Karen Osman #BlogTour #Extract

I am delighted to be a host on the blog tour for The Good Mother by Karen Osman! I honestly really like the sound of this novel and I hope you do to, read on for an extract that is sure to pique your interest!

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What’s it about?

How far would you go to protect your children?

A gripping psychological suspense, with a shocking twist that will leave you reeling…

Catherine is a good mother and a good wife. The family home is immaculate, her husband’s supper is cooked on time, but when she starts writing to Michael, a prisoner convicted of murder, she finds herself obsessing about his crime and whether he can ever truly be forgiven…

Kate has no time for herself. Caught in the maelstrom of bringing up two young children with no money, and an out of work husband, she longs to escape the drudgery of being a wife and a mother. And she soon starts taking dangerous risks to feel alive…

Alison has flown the nest. But university life is not what she had hoped for, and she finds herself alone and unhappy. Until the day her professor takes a sudden interest in her. Then everything changes…

Three women – all with secrets. And as the days tick down to Michael’s release, those secrets can no longer be ignored.

Extract

Preface

He lunged at her and, whether it was the amount of wine he’d drunk making him clumsy or he had simply tripped over a chair leg, he came crashing down on the floor. Seeing the knife still in his hand, she didn’t hesitate. She turned and ran for her life. Out through the kitchen and into the hallway. She could see it now – the front door was just a few seconds away. She had to get out into the street where there were other people. Her hand reached for the door handle and she yanked it hard. But it wouldn’t open – it was either stuck or locked. She tried again, praying the door was just jammed by the carpet, but it didn’t budge. She could see the keychain hanging on its hook to the side and made a grab for it. Shaking, she tried to find the right key from the bunch to open the door. She could hear him stumbling around in the kitchen and knew she only had seconds to spare. Hearing him coming out of the kitchen, she turned to look back. He looked deranged. There was blood where he had banged his head on the floor and as he came rushing towards her, the last thing she saw was the cruel glint of the blade of the knife, and she knew everything was over.

Chapter 1

Catherine

15 August 2010

Dear Michael,

My name is Catherine and I am a volunteer with the charity Friends of Inmate Rehabilitation. I hope things are as well as they can be.

When I was asked to correspond with you as part of the charity’s efforts to help prisoners, I was initially apprehensive. However, I reminded myself that we have a duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and I hope that through these letters I can give you a little insight into the outside world. The only information I have about you is your name and offence and I’m aware that you have spent over ten years in prison already. The charity informed me that you will soon be up for parole, which I’m sure you’re looking forward to. As a result, they assign people like me to help you prepare for life outside through letters.

So, where shall I start? My husband, Richard, our daughter, Helen and I live about two hours away from Durham. Richard works in finance, and I volunteer for various charities as well as work at the local library.

Are you from Durham? I used to know the city fairly well and I always thought it was such a lovely place, especially the cathedral. In fact, I have a lot of memories of strolling through the cobbled streets, and I have walked for miles along the river. We moved to the Lake District just under ten years ago, and we really enjoy life here. When the weather’s fine, we spend a lot of time outdoors, walking and hiking, and my daughter loves nature and wildlife, so for her it’s ideal.

Do you get to go outside a little each day? I do hope my questions aren’t too personal. Perhaps in the next letter, you can tell me a little bit more about yourself? If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me. This is the first time I have done anything like this and I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure what I’m doing! I’m hoping you can help and guide me through it.

Catherine looked at the letter in front of her. Then, before she could change her mind, she carefully wrote her signature at the bottom of the page. Leaving the letter to one side, she headed for the kitchen to make tea. Returning, she sat in her favourite chair by the window looking out over the beautiful views. A rugged mountainous backdrop gave way to gentle green slopes. But the rolling hills were not enough to capture her attention; the letter taunted her from its place on the desk. Was she really going to write to a murderer? Her family would be horrified if they found out. She had taken up various volunteer positions in her time but nothing like this. Once she had contacted the rehabilitation centre it had all happened remarkably quickly and, in hindsight, Catherine had been surprised at how easy the process had been. She had thought they would do intensive background checks, but they had simply sent her a list of prisoners for her to review, interviewed her over the phone, and asked her if she had a preference. When she saw Michael’s profile, she instantly felt a connection. She couldn’t explain it – not yet, anyway – but instinctively she knew it had to be him.

Do you want to read more? Good news, The Good Mother is available on NetGalley

Buy links

Amazon |Kobo | iBooks|Google Play

About Karen Osman

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Originally from the UK, Karen won the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016 with her crime-thriller novel and now has a three-book deal with Head of Zeus. When she’s not writing novels, Karen is busy bringing up her two young children and running her communication business Travel Ink.

Follow Karen

Website: https://www.karenosman.com/
Twitter: @KarenAuthor

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Don’t forget to check out the other tour stops as well. Tomorrow’s stop will be Emma the Little Book Worm!

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough #BookReview

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What’s it about?

Don’t Trust This Book

Don’t Trust These People

Don’t Trust Yourself

And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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I’m finally a member of the inner circle yay! I’ve deciphered what the fuss is all about and that’s making me smile so much!

This is such a hyped book, it’s treated with so much secrecy that I felt compelled to read it. I’ve had it on my wishlist for such a long time but I couldn’t get my hands on a copy so I’ve finally caved and bought it. I wanted to read it in English but they didn’t have it at the book store, so I purchased the Dutch version instead. It is number 1 in the Dutch charts here at the moment so when I saw the big stock I simply couldn’t resist and I’m very happy that I finally read it!

I don’t often agree but this time I wholeheartedly (hand on my heart) agree that I totally get the hype and it is well and truly deserved. The story and where it led took me quite by surprise. There’s really nothing ordinary about this novel even if you get that impression at first. Now I do have to say, I am a very (very) down-to-earth kind of person and yes I did have to suspend some beliefs here in order to get along with the story. For one thing, I don’t believe that you can steer your dreams or can even be aware that you’re dreaming while you’re doing it but the writing was so engrossing that I let it slip and just went with it. It makes it an all the more enjoyable read. If you would have told me some of it in advance I’d have said this novel wasn’t my genre and something I like to read but Sarah Pinborough is such a brilliant writer she effortlessly took me on a crazy, dark and engrossing ride all through this novel.

The story is told by two women, Louise and Adele. Louise is having an affair with her boss, and he happens to be married to Adele. When Louise and Adele meet they become best friends. I could feel there was something very wrong about Adele and David’s marriage even though I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s clear that David isn’t happily married but he still doesn’t want to leave his wife. When Louise catches glimpses of him controlling his wife (calling her a few times a day on set times) she doesn’t know what to think anymore, this doesn’t seem like the guy she knows… The whole love triangle was just toxic and mesmerising to read about. It was all so mysterious I couldn’t help but race through this novel. Never did I expect this evolution of this novel though, it was quite simply impossible to anticipate. Sarah Pinborough wrote an insanely (I can’t stress the word enough) intricate plotline. The plottwists in the end left me speechless and I just have to say it #WTFthatending !

This was an exquisite tale about lies, deceit and obsession. It’s a psychological thriller at its core but also more than that. Highly recommended!