Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney #BookReview

DaisyDarker def


Isolated on their private island in Cornwall, the Darker family have come together for the first time in over a decade. When the tide comes in, they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing – because one of the family is a killer . . .

As the leaves of autumn fall, Daisy Darker arrives at her grandmother’s house for eightieth birthday celebrations. Seaglass, the Darker’s ancestral home, is a crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island.

Every member of the family has their secrets. Nana, alone for so long. Daisy’s absent father, Frank. Her cold-hearted mother, Nancy. Her siblings, Rose and Lily, and her niece, Trixie, full of questions and without a father of her own. Daisy has never had an easy relationship with her family, but some secrets are much darker than others. This will be a gathering that some of them won’t remember.

amazon uk amazon com


5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2  / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

Alice Feeney is one of the best writers that I know and she delivers another spectacular story in Daisy Darker. I want to say that she keeps getting better and better but all of her stories are next level and I always recommend her if someone asks for suggestions for novels with great twists.

There are six characters next to Daisy who come together at Seaglass house to celebrate her grandmother’s 80th birthday. The sea separates the house from the main land and they can only cross it when the tide is low so basically they are trapped for the night in an isolated location with no escape from each other. As if that’s not bad enough, there is a killer among them! The characters were all very well fleshed out and the flashbacks to the past really made me get to know each of them: Nana (the grandmother), Frank and Nancy (the parents), Rose, Lilly and Daisy (the daughters), Trixie (Lilly’s daughter), Connor (childhood friend until he stopped speaking to Daisy), and Poppy (Nana’s dog). The first pages with everyone arriving at the house made me wonder if I would have trouble knowing who’s who but the characters are very distinct from each other. One by one they also get finished off. Who will be left, who is the killer and why? What is the secret that is being kept? The answers are nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Daisy was a great character and I felt a bit sad for her because she’s always been a bit of the black sheep in the family. She defied death multiple times but that didn’t earn her more love from her parents or sisters, except from her grandmother who always adored her. Daisy was born in one big dysfunctional family and as the story progressed the true colours of all of them came out. Still, with some of them gone I found it difficult to find answers to the pressing questions. For a brief, silly moment I even wondered if Daisy was the killer herself, even though everything was told from her POV with the necessary panic…

Well I certainly got value for money because this novel was very very clever, the pacing of mounting tension was perfect and the story that led up to all the murders was nothing I expected. I didn’t see that one special plot twist coming that I’m normally not fond of but was actually quite appropriate in this story… Ok I didn’t really see the rest of the twists coming either except for this one fundamental one and that’s only thanks to my ever-present paranoia (and not because it’s obvious when you read what it’s compared to in almost all of the reviews therefore I will not mention it). Let’s just say it’s best to go into this novel blind. Let it just surprise and hook you as it did to me!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.


Five Survive by Holly Jackson #AudioBookReview



Eight hours.
Six friends.
One sniper . . .

Eighteen year old Red and her friends are on a road trip in an RV, heading to the beach for Spring Break. It’s a long drive but spirits are high. Until the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There’s no mobile phone reception and nobody around to help. And as the wheels are shot out, one by one, the friends realise that this is no accident. There’s a sniper out there in the dark watching them and he knows exactly who they are. One of the group has a secret that the sniper is willing to kill for.

A game of cat-and-mouse plays out as the group desperately tries to get help and to work out which member of the group is the target. Buried secrets are forced to light in the cramped, claustrophobic setting of the RV, and tensions within the group will reach deadly levels. Not everyone will survive the night.

amazon uk amazon com



Six teenagers are stranded in the middle of nowhere, there’s a sniper outside and one of them has a secret, that’s about the gist of the story. Sounds great right? Five Survive was very promising but unfortunately the focus on the secret came rather late into the story. Red is the main character, the one who doesn’t really fit in, the one whose mother was killed in the line of duty and the one who’s always strapped for money. Is any of this relevant to what’s happening? You’ll just have to read/listen to the story yourself.

Whilst I very much enjoyed the denouement at the end, the rest of the story didn’t blow me away like her previous novels. A lot of time in the story is taken up by their attempts to escape. At a certain point there was also an elaborate mirror trick put in place to determine the position of the sniper but despite the very detailed account I still couldn’t see how it worked without any of them actually going outside. Other than that there was definitely some added shock value that I wasn’t really prepared for so I liked some of it very much and some of it was a bit tedious.

The tension could also been a little more present as I found they were relatively in a safe place as long as they stayed inside. It was only when they finally might receive some help that I became quite anxious. The title reveals that one of them dies and I was constantly wondering who wouldn’t make it, and why. I had no idea who the victim would be although I did want to put one of them up as the story progressed because there’s one selfish, egoistic character in that RV and if not given a choice I would know who to sacrifice.

I loved the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy so much so my expectations were quite high and while I’m impressed with the who and why of it all, I just didn’t feel it reached the same awesomeness level as her previous work.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the narration at all. The narrator (Emma Galvin) had a hard voice and apart from the shouting going on  she talked with a raised voice so much even though it wasn’t mentioned explicitly in the text that it got on my nerves and probably influenced my opinion of the novel as well, even though I don’t want it to have an impact.

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

The Courier by Holly Down #BookReview

TheCourier def


Five years ago, Laurel Lovejoy had it all. The high-powered city job, the loving husband, the perfect daughter. Now, she is forty and alone, and working for a courier service. But she has discovered that being a delivery driver comes with a superpower: it makes her invisible. People accept her presence without question. They go about their lives, unaware of just how much she sees – how much she knows.

Laurel is particularly fascinated by the residents of Paradise Found, an exclusive gated cul-de-sac. She sometimes even finds her way there when she’s not working, using her days off to soak up as much information about the inhabitants and their lives as she can. Everyone needs a hobby.

Then one day Laurel sees something in one of the houses – something that blows her whole world apart, and will have devastating consequences for everyone involved . . .

amazon uk amazon com


star three and a half

First of all, this is the first novel that I read where corona and social distancing is part of the plotline. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to read about the lockdown in a novel but it actually felt more than okay. It certainly triggered memories to the days we were all confined in our homes and somehow I quite enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It was so recognizable for me but even in the future I actually think it’s great for next generations to read about too and to see how life was at that time. I wonder if they’ll think this part of the story was completely made up too. With the shops closed we ordered more than ever online and so I think it was quite clever of the author to introduce Laurel as a courier for a delivery company. As it was back then she had to keep her distance, but that is something she really doesn’t do!

Laurel wasn’t the most likeable character for a number of reasons but her unhealthy interest in the lives of the residents of the six houses of Paradise Found totally gets out of hand. How far can you go to get to know someone? She wants to know everything about her customers, who they are, what they buy, and one day she even goes through someone’s trash! That’s not the end of the line but only the start of everything. Laurel has major issues and with her drinking she’s a very unreliable narrator so I couldn’t be one hundred percent sure if what she thought she had found out was true or not, although I had my own ideas.

Laurel had it all, the husband, the child, the nice house and a great job but in the present it’s all gone. Laurel is all alone, trying to hold on to her job and the rest of her time is spent either at Missing Mums meetings or drinking at her apartment. I really didn’t like her drinking but to cut her some slack her grief over the loss of her daughter was in her every thought. It seemed Laurel lost her little girl Sophie at a young age and she feels guilty but it was unclear what had really happened until the end because she doesn’t want to share her story at Missing Mums but does remark on her feelings and her daughter on a regular basis.

There was a big twist in each of the two storylines and my enjoyment of these twists are essentially on opposite sides. I give big points for this one surprising twist where the author created some specific expectations about the disappearance of her daughter where I thought myself quite clever but it still turned out different from what I had expected. A good different, with a lot of emotions. The other twist came entirely out of left field and left the story open ended. Shock value guaranteed!

I didn’t like Laurel all that much for the majority of the novel, first because she doesn’t seem the best mother, also because of her indiscretions, her lying and crossing the line with her work. I even symphathised with some residents when she tries to engage them unwillingly in sharing information about themselves, but in the end I recognised she wasn’t a bad person, I understood her better and when she finally won me over I didn’t get the satisfaction of knowing everything would be all right so when I finally got to that place I also wanted a different ending, a more happy ending and I feel like I was cheated out of it. In theory the author left room for a sequel but I wasn’t a fan of this twist nor how it was wrapped up, so instead of 4 or 4.5 stars I’ve ultimately decided to give 3.5 stars.

I received a paperback copy of this novel in my Capital Crime subscription box. This is my honest opinion.

Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante #BookReview

JudasHorse def


‘Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he’s ready, you release him and he’ll bring his team back into the corral – like Judas betraying them…’

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands…

amazon uk amazon com



This is the first Lynda La Plante novel that I read and I certainly understand why she’s such a successful author. Judas Horse is the second novel in a series about DC Jack Warr but I only came upon this information afterwards. It surprised me to learn this so it didn’t hinder my reading experience and the novel can definitely be read as a standalone. 

I had a good feel of Jack’s character, he’s not without flaws but he’s a natural born leader, a bit of a lone wolf I might add and he struggles a bit with that, but he’s damn good at his job. I also enjoyed the glimpse into his personal life where his new status as a father will be the biggest change of late. But Maggie and Jack also have friends who are expecting, then there’s also his mother who lives with them and he often refers to his late father and his biological father. Overall the character development was great and made me care for them.

At the beginning of the novel there are two children who find an abandoned horse carriage and then the story takes quite a jump towards Jack, where I saw him in action and immediately knew he was good at his job. The horse carriage was not spoken of any more and I had almost forgotten all about it when it suddenly became quite relevant. It was exciting to finally understand the meaning of the horse carriage and I enjoyed how it came into play again later on. The story itself is mainly about some burglars who quite drastically rob people of their belongings and it becomes terrifying when they don’t even care if people are home or not. Jack tries to find out who they are and where they’re going to strike next and I was fully invested in the investigation myself which isn’t simple to solve and takes a route I hadn’t anticipated.

I enjoyed the dynamics between the different police officers, and there was a good build up, only the ending was a little too action packed for me. It would definitely work for me on screen with all the high tension chasing but book-wise I prefer the investigation itself. Judas Horse (the title is explained in the novel, I had never heard of this before but it is a perfect title relating to both the plot and the setting) pulled me in right from the start and was a wonderful introduction to this author so it probably won’t be my last one either. 

I received a hardcopy of this novel in my Capital Crime Subscription box. This is my honest opinion.

The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish #BookReview

TheOnlySuspect def


There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.

Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most extrovert guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.

That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .

As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.

And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.

It still isn’t.

amazon uk amazon com


5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

Yes oh yes! Lemme tell you this one’s not to be missed! I was introduced to author Louise Candlish only last year (first I received a copy of her Quickreads short story The Skylight and then I read The Heights) but this one firmly cements it that she’s one to stay on my readlist going forward

The Only Suspect is told in a dual timeline. The present day handles Alex’s struggle with Zara, the woman who’s temporarily staying with him and his wife Beth. She’s nosy, outstaying her welcome and she basically turns his wife against him. The only upside of it is that Alex is also nervous about the work on the eco trail and Zara helps to keep his wife’s focus off himself. Then the story jumps to the ’90s with Rick meeting a young woman named Marina and there’s a bit of a romance that develops between them. He then discovers that Marina has a secret but Rick wouldn’t be the man he is to just let her go

I loved how the author invited me to constantly examine my loyalty towards the characters. Is Rick a good guy or not? If ‘Alex’ did kill someone, could it be somehow understood? Did he let an innocent person go to prison? I seriously thought I had made all the right connections between Alex and Rick and the situation that was coming back to haunt them but I was SO WRONG. The twist in the story was jawdropping. I flipped the page a few times back and fro to see if I had not imagined this turn in the story. 

I loved the intricateness of the story, the deceipt and the lies and the final twist that made just perfect sense looking back to everything that happened to Alex. The present was maybe a bit slower going in terms of giving up its secrets so I was initially more engrossed in the past with the difficult situation for Marina and Rick, but it definitely catches up in the final part of the novel and it was well worth the wait. I want more of this!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Simon and Schuster via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.


Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg #BookReview

NobodyButUs def


When Ellie and her boyfriend Steven take their first trip together, what starts as an idyllic weekend soon takes a darker turn, as it quickly becomes apparent that each of them harbors secrets—and that one of those secrets is deadly.

Ellie is an NYU grad student, timid but fiercely intelligent, and eager for the perfect weekend away with her boyfriend. Steven is a wealthy and privileged teacher at an elite Manhattan school. His and Ellie’s relationship has stirred up envy among the teachers in his academic circle.

When they head out for their romantic break, they’re both excited to get to know each other better away from prying eyes. But when a snowstorm strands them in the house, they begin to realize that neither of them is quite who they say they are—and that one of them won’t escape the weekend alive.

amazon uk amazon com


star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Revenge is a dish best served cold. If there’s one book in the whole world it applies to it must certainly be this one. Ellie and Steven are staying at this remote mansion for a romantic getaway in celebration of their 6 month anniversary as a couple but let me tell you, a lot can happen in three days

At first I was unsettled the most by the house itself, its isolated setting, the weather conditions and the descriptions inside the house were eerie but slowly the characters started to make themselves more conspicuous and I was constantly mulling over who the bad character of the story would be. One of them gets the label as the villain but I think it’s up for debate and personally they’re both kind of evenly matched, neither of them had my sympathy until the end and then I kind of felt guilty for feeling sorry for the wrong person.

The tension really builds up during their cat and mouse games and the threat of harming each other but I still didn’t know how the ending was going to play out and who was going to ‘win’ or should I say survive 🙂 because oh boy they do go for each other! I wasn’t expecting what this novel was actually about and I had no idea who the third POV was, sharing dated diary entrees. Was one of them having an affair? A disgruntled ex? I was quite off the mark and not entirely.

I loved the atmospheric setting and the unpredictability right up till the last pages. I didn’t quite agree with the actions that started all of this and it seemed a little farfetched to go about it this way (it takes a psycho to know one perhaps) but it did make for some compelling reading. These characters are certainly ones to remember for a long time.

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager #BookReview

TheHouseAcrossTheLake def


Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher has escaped to her family’s lake house for peace and quiet. She’s been happily losing herself in her thoughts and several bottles of bourbon, until the glamorous couple across the lake catch her attention. They look so perfect – just like Casey and her husband used to be.
But is anyone what they seem?

Casey has a detective sat at her kitchen table.

She has a man bound and gagged upstairs.

Casey will uncover dark truths so life-changing that nothing will ever be the same again.

amazon uk amazon com



What did I just read? I can’t believe those twists! The House Across The Lake was solidly out of my comfort zone and while I knew in advance there was some magical realism involved I completely forgot about it while I was reading. It seemed a very straightforward story for a really long stretch but then suddenly bam, there’s one big twist to this story that literally changed everything and explained so many things that had happened!

The story is set around a lake with only 5 houses surrounding it. Casey is there to get her drinking under control which started after her husband died. I cringed a little when I thought this would be another alcoholic with memory loss and she didn’t get a lot of sympathy from me at first, especially when she has no intention at all to stop drinking. Alternating with her drinking and fraternising with the neighbours she’s also sort of spying on them. Well the house across the lake is one big glass dome and when the lights are on in the evening you get to see everything, and even better when you have binoculars :-). When her neighbour suddenly disappears she doesn’t believe she simply went back to the city and she’s intent to find out if her husband did something to her.

It’s so funny because I was looking for the ‘if he (the husband) didn’t do it, then who did’ answer and although I’m pretty good at this sort of thing, I still didn’t guess it right. It is completely unpredictable! Even though it’s not my usual type of novel and usually a mixed bag of success for me, it worked out amazingly this time and I was really hooked. Casey had turned me around completely and I became a fan of hers, rooting for her and feeling the compassion that I lacked at the beginning, her drinking finally given the place and understanding it was meant to have.

This was quite the rollercoaster read and the ending was like getting to this final looping where you can feel the excitement in your stomach (well I’m really just guessing here, I don’t actually do rollercoasters).

I expected such a simple story of a missing wife but I got so much more than I paid for (99p actually), it was definitely worth every penny! The House Across The Lake was creepy and suspenseful and the paranormal addition so well done that he even got me on his side. The year has started on a great note!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The Botanist (Washington Poe #5) by M.W. Craven #BookReview


Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. Insanely brilliant, she’s a bit of a social hand grenade. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there’s Estelle Doyle. Dark and dangerous and sexy as hell. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but has she gone too far this time? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints. Since her arrest she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner called the Botanist is sending the nation’s most reviled people poems and pressed flowers. Twisted and ingenious, he seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice given to his victims, and regardless of the security measures taken, he is able to kill with impunity.

Poe hates locked room mysteries and now he has two to solve. To unravel them he’s going to have to draw on every resource he has: Tilly Bradshaw, an organised crime boss, even an alcoholic ex-journalist. Because if he doesn’t, the bodies are going to keep piling up . . .

amazon uk amazon com


5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

Right when you think it doesn’t get any better Craven delivers one heck of a story that is even better than the last. He’s so good even that I have to admit I enjoyed reading the Acknowledgements more than usual :-). I’m not sure how he does it every time but  once again it was a read to devour.

You don’t have to take my word alone for it but look at the 236 reviews that resulted in a 4.67 out of 5 rating on Goodreads; The Botanist was a brilliant read with not one but two ‘impossible’ murder mysteries in a locked-room style. Estelle Doyle, the pathologist from earlier novels in the series, was arrested for murdering her father. Poe believes she’s innocent but if she didn’t do it then who? The evidence is overwhelming and so clear cut that it seems impossible that he was killed by anyone else. On the other hand there are people getting killed – the killer alerts them beforehand – and even with a tighter than tight security detail the murderer gets to his victims! How does he do it?

As hard as it is I can’t share anything more about their findings and the progress in the cases but Poe and Bradshaw are at their best, both in the use of their deduction skills and the socially awkward banter between the two of them. I think it was the funniest out of all the novels so far because there were quite a few awkward remarks and I was happy not be in Poe’s shoes :-). I had no idea about the motive for either of the cases but I did come up with an idea for Estelle’s case which turned out to be the right guess. I guess my Miss Marple / Hercule Poirot switch was on and some logical thinking certainly helped. Even then it was too hard to figure out the rest and I was on pins and needles to be enlightened by Poe.

It’s hard to believe I read all 5 novels in this series which just goes to show how amazing each one of these stories is. The previous one had a plotline that I was maybe a little less attracted to (a military setting) but this one was so clever and absorbing that I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Poe and Bradshaw! My only hope is that the author can keep this up, I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The Vacation (aka Welcome to Wherever You Are) by John Marrs #BookReview

TheVacationWecomeToWherever def


How far would you run to escape your past?

Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth.

Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood.

But for eight strangers at a beach front hostel, there is far more on their mind than an extended vacation.

All of them are running from something. And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep . . .

Originally published as Welcome to Wherever You Are, this is a re-edited release perfect for fans of T. M. Logan.

amazon uk amazon com


5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

A classic John Marrs, do I need to say more? It doesn’t matter if you read his debut first or last, it’s as brilliant as the rest of them. It is set up in the same way as The One and The Passengers with multiple characters so if you enjoyed those you’ll enjoy The Vacation too.

Welcome to Wherever You Are was the only novel of his that I hadn’t read yet. It is his very first novel, published in 2015 if I’m not mistaken and re-published in 2021, and I kept it for a special day where I absolutely needed an absorbing read, but suddenly the wait for Keep It In The Family became too long. It’s been published on October 18, 2022 meanwhile so I’ll probably postpone reading this at least a few months. I know, women readers, don’t try to understand :-).

So this story follows a number of lodgers at the Venice Beach Hotel: Tommy who went backpacking with his friend Sean, Savannah who fled her home and is now looking over her shoulder all the time, Declan and Matty who had their reasons to go on a world tour from Ireland, Nicole and her friend Eric on a special mission and Jake who tries very hard to just blend in.

They all have their own personal stories and secrets I hadn’t expected and with the short alternating chapters I wanted to keep on reading. I was genuinely flabbergasted so many times! I loved and felt for Tommy because of his family history. He’s sort of the string between all of the characters since he’s the receptionist at the backpacker’s hostel but he also builds friendships (and perhaps a little more) with the other occupants. There were a few other heartbreaking moments too though with one that nearly brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t applaud this author enough, he’s able to draw me in and have me hooked in a matter of a few chapters, which is quite an accomplishment when you have so many characters, and he finds the perfect balance in all of his novels. I wish I could say more about the twists and turns but you’d want to find these out on your own, so all I can say is that they’re very very good.

This book was awesome, so if you’re also wanting to be surprised, this one’s definitely for the list.

I bought a copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The Cruise by Catherine Cooper #BookReview

TheCruise def


A glamorous ship
During a New Year’s Eve party on a large, luxurious cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, goes missing.

Everyone on board has something to hide
Two weeks later, the ship is out of service, laid up far from land with no more than a skeleton crew on board. And then more people start disappearing…

No one is safe
Why are the crew being harmed? Who is responsible? And who will be next?

amazon uk amazon com



This is the second novel I read by this author and after having been impressed with her debut novel The Chalet I couldn’t resist this new mystery set in another secluded location. I’ve not been on a cruise ship yet but the author seemed to know the ins and outs of life on a cruise ship so well and described it so vividly that I almost feel as if I’ve been on one after reading this novel.

The Cruise didn’t let me down, just like last time I was completely engrossed in the chapters set in the past, while the present was puzzling and addictive.

There’s the story of a 15 year old girl named Laura raised by her father. She’s not held captive literally but she has no contact at all with the outside world. This already heartwrenching background of this teenage girl pulled on my heartstrings even more when the consequences of such a life manifest themselves.

Then on New Year’s Eve on the ship there’s one of the staff members missing but reported seen falling overboard, and when the ship is docked for two months before going on their next tour in the Carribean with only a skeleton crew aboard, there’s a murder. The ship’s doctor Stuart, chef Alice and one of the cleaners slash the other part of the trapeze dancer duo, Antonio provide the necessary intrigue in alternating chapters and it seems they all have some secrets they keep close to their hearts. There’s plenty of mystery and secrets which are ultimately unearthed in the last part of the novel so that kept me well on my toes.

The two plotlines were so far removed from each other but it is exactly that contrast that I love, especially when the pieces start to fall into place. There is a connection between the stories and I really enjoyed getting so much background into one of the characters. It wasn’t the biggest surprise though, the biggest twists were ones that made my loyalties change quite a bit in the end and the fact that an author can change my feelings towards characters is another thing that scores high on my reader satisfaction list :-). I can’t say more but there’s quite a few things happening in the last part and someone is being quite devious!

Overall a very enjoyable murder mystery that kept me well entertained and definitely ticked my boxes. If you enjoyed her previous novels you’re guaranteed to enjoy this one too.

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher to read and review. This is still my honest opinion.