The Intruder by P.S. Hogan #BookReview

The Intruder def


William Heming is an estate agent. He’s kept a copy of every key to every house he’s ever sold. Sometimes he visits them. He lets himself in when the owners are out. But what will happen if he gets caught?

What will he do next?

amazon uk


star three and a half

William Heming seems like a righteous man at first but looks can be oh so deceiving and don’t I love it!  That hidden side of people is so fascinating to discover and what’s better than a voyeuristic side of one’s personality to explore? His voyeurism doesn’t apply to people though, there’s no funny business, but he likes to look at people’s lives and homes.. the things that really tell a story about them. Now if you’re following the voyeur around, do you become one yourself then too :-)? I must assume so. I didn’t really mind slipping inside and looking into the houses myself so hmm maybe everyone has a little bit of that side in him or her and that’s why this novel is so fascinating?

It’s actually quite funny how Heming thinks of himself as a ‘concerned citizen’ and a model for the community and succeeded so well in making me wonder if he’s really bad or just someone harmless with a few quirks. I wouldn’t find it okay either if people didn’t pick up their dog’s poo or would damage a car’s mirror and just leave without taking responsibility for it. He wants to do something about it and even though it is wrong in every way I couldn’t help but feel somehow relieved someone wanted to right a wrong.

That feeling diminished however the further I went into the story and I realised he really had a nasty side. It’s not that Heming became unhinged because his personality never really changes throughout the novel, he is who he is, but while he cleverly holds up the façade for his co-workers, I became more intimate with his true self and he’s so creepy in his ways of addressing the reader and stating what the obvious for him, defending his ways as if they are normal.

I am simply sharing an experience, a life as it happens. Think of me as an invisible brother or uncle or boyfriend. I’m no trouble. I may be there when you are, or when you’re gone, or more likely just before you arrive. I agree it is an idea that takes some getting used to.

The novel slowly reveals not only what an oddball he is but also how his actions of spying on people, of lurking in the shadows and tresspassing started in his childhood. The author goes back and forth and while he’s trying to convince me of his harmlessness his childhood is slowly starting to make me doubt him.

His actions and his focus of attention become highly worrying, both for him as for his mark, a girl he lays eyes on and he’s smitten with from the moment he sees her red cape, just like Little Red Ridinghood. What he doesn’t see though is that he would be the Big Bad Wolf :-). I can’t tell you how the plot evolves but it does get a bit out of hand and dangerous and he’ll have to try to jump through a lot of hoops to keep himself the unsuspicious guy he’s been for most of his life. The ending did feel a tad anticlimatic for me because I expected maybe an extra twist as a final topping on an ice sundae but it wasn’t a bad ending per se. It makes you think even more about what you don’t know that is going on under your own nose.

This was a great unsettling read, very character-driven, and Heming was fascinating to read about. He felt quite real and his way of talking to the reader directly didn’t miss its effect.

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


The blog turns 2!

The Belgian Reviewer is 2 !

Hi everyone,

My blog came to life exactly 2 years ago and I can’t believe so many people found this little piece of the web where I share my thoughts. This is my day but also yours as I want to thank all of my 1032 WordPress followers (and the 12 people who signed up and get their inbox spammed three times every week with new blogposts). I’m super grateful for all the likes I received in that time, the comments left under my posts, the shares from you lovely lot of bloggers, the friendship that I found when I wasn’t expecting it, and of course for the free books I received from so many wonderful publishers. I don’t get presents in real life so getting book post is super special and I feel like it’s my birthday every single time!

It wasn’t always easy to find time and deal with the pressure and I’ll make a confession here, I even thought a few months ago of stopping with the blog on this symbolic day when those 2 years came in sight, but you know what, I just can’t miss it. I’d miss the blogging community that I’m now a part of too much and I’d definitely miss telling you that you just have to read that one novel, so I guess I’ll continue for another year at least, even if I might take a blog break somewhere for the first time :-). You can’t get rid of me yet ha (but please don’t unfollow me)!

I had so much fun this year as well though and here’s my top 6 of most viewed posts (only 2 reviews however, how crazy is that):

  1. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  2. Book folding tutorial: a simple heart/home
  3. My first subscription box
  4. Do you have a Bookbuddle?
  5. A new hobby for a bookworm
  6. Final Girls by Riley Sager

So to celebrate I’m organising a Rafflecopter giveaway for a FREE PAPERBACK COPY OF YOUR CHOICE (max. 20 euro) (or a kindle ecopy if you really don’t like paperbacks). It’s open internationally (as long as Bookdepository ships to your country) until Sunday 4 March 2018 and you can enter by clicking the link below. Please note that you’ll have to provide me with your address for shipping purposes. Good luck!


One of the options is liking my book swap page on Facebook ;-). I love every single book I have received or bought but I really need to do something about the growing number of books so I’ve decided to try to swap books. It’s still going to be difficult to part with some of them but there’s only so much room to stack them and this way they can be enjoyed by someone else as well. So check it out 🙂

Have a great day everyone!


Kiss Me Kill Me by J.S. Carol #BlogTour #Guestpost

Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Kiss Me Kill Me by J.S. Carol. I have a super interesting guestpost for you today about the strong pull of domestic noir on you and me these days.



How far would you go to escape the one you love?

When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.
It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.
But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .


amazon uk amazon com


James CarolJ. S. Carol is the author of The Killing Game, which has been shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. As James Carol, he has also written the bestselling Jefferson Winter series. Broken Dolls, the first of these, was published in 2014 to rave reviews and reached #1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. Presumed Guilty is the first of these.

James lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children. When he’s not writing he can usually be found in a pair of headphones, recording and producing music.


Website | Twitter | Facebook


Old Monster, New Face

Over the last few years a new breed of monster has snuck out from the darkness and made its way onto the pages of our novels. This one doesn’t have supernatural powers or snarling teeth; it doesn’t sleep in a coffin and drink blood. These monsters look like normal people on the outside but inside the darkness runs deep. These are the monsters who share your lives and beds. These are the monsters you’re married to.

But how different are they from the creatures who inhabited the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker or Stephen King? Or to put it another way: is Domestic Noir just a way of repackaging the horror genre?

Back in the seventies an author could call himself a horror novelist and get away with it. However, at some point during the eighties, horror became a dirty word in publishing and that has carried on all the way through to today. Present an agent or publisher with a horror novel and you’re likely to get met with a polite but firm “thanks but no thanks”. Serve up a slice of Domestic Noir, though, and you might just find yourself getting a seat at the table.

That doesn’t mean those monsters have gone away. No, sir. Remember these monsters are masters of disguise; they’re shapeshifters. One of my all-time favourite writers is Thomas Harris. Dr Hannibal Lecter is without a doubt one of the scariest horror monsters ever created. This is a character who can be mentioned in the same breath as Dracula or Dr Frankenstein. And for anyone still not convinced that he’s a horror monster, take a look at where he lives. A dungeon. That’s right – he lives right down there in the dark amongst the crazed and the insane.

So how did Harris get away with writing a horror novel when the genre was as fashionable as flares and platform boots? Simple. He called his monster a serial killer and sold the book as a psychological thriller. Next thing you know his dark little horror tale has shifted a gazillion copies and landed an armful of Oscars. And who would have thought that? A horror film winning an Oscar! Do you see how sneaky these monsters can be?

Fast forward to the present day and the monsters have got tired of living in the dark; they want to live in the light. What better than a nice suburban house in a nice suburban neighbourhood? I mean, what self-respecting monster doesn’t crave a little bit of comfort every once in a while? Even Dr Lecter managed to escape his cell and swap it for a luxury palazzo in Florence.

Like modern-day vampires they need to be invited into our lives, though. Authors do this by enticing us to open up their books. In the brilliantly creepy Behind Closed Doors, BA Paris invited us into Jack and Grace’s lives, then scared the living daylights out of us. And isn’t that what a good horror novel is supposed to do? Lull you into a sense of security then rip the rug out from under your feet?

At some point our interest in Domestic Noir will fade. That’s as inevitable as the sun setting at night and rising the next day. Tastes change; fashion moves on; people decide that flare and platform boots do look kind of ridiculous. That doesn’t mean the monsters will just disappear, though. That’s not how it works. They’ll just morph into something else. I for one can’t wait to see what face they’ll choose to wear next.

Check out the other blog tour stops as well. Coming up tomorrow: Favourite Novels


Hangman (Detective William Fawkes #2) by Daniel Cole #BookReview

Hangman def


Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.

DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.

As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.

As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.

amazon uk amazon com



Hangman is the second novel of Daniel Cole’s trilogy about the Ragdoll murders. His first novel, the original ‘Ragdoll’, left me with a lot of anticipation in the end and I was quite eager to see how the story would continue but I’m afraid the plotline didn’t pick up where it left off and the focus in this novel is really on Baxter who teams up with detective Rouche and Curtis in this novel while she also still manages to get assistance from Edmunds on the side (poor Edmunds helps out in his own private time). Baxter has been promoted to Chief Inspector and thrown into an international inquiry to assist the FBI and CIA when they are facing their own Ragdoll murders, which takes her from London to New York. Meanwhile new murders commence in London once again as well.

Hangman is everything Ragdoll was but more. It was more gruesome, it was more (way more) spectacular, it was bigger, it was bolder, it was more complex and with a much higher body count.

I really liked the new team surrounding Baxter and I even think I liked the team’s interactions more than the murder inquiry here for most of the story. Ragdoll was perhaps a bit easier to follow than Hangman as well. Rouche (pronounced like whoosh) was very likeable and the brilliant opening scene where Baxter is being interviewed had me fearing the worst already for what was about to happen. The hunt for the killer wasn’t as much about finding out who was responsible but more their efforts for capturing him without going under themselves. In the final and third part of the novel I was almost breaking a sweat as the situation became increasingly dangerous when they try to infiltrate and get closer to the killer. Mr. Cole doesn’t hold back at all and it already felt like a movie. Seven will get some competition soon ;-).

This was a good follow-up for Ragdoll – even though that remains my favorite for reasons I can’t really point out other than that this one is perhaps just a little bit more chaotic to read with everything that is happening in both countries – and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next one in the series!

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

Same book, different cover #2

Battle of the books

Have you seen my cover battle #1?

Here are 5 new book covers for you to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just fun!

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Dog books 03    faithful

I choose the first cover. I really like the details, and the second one feels so empty and rather nondescript, it’s not really doing anything for me.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

The Both Die In The End 01    The Both Die At The End 02

Definitely the first one because of the beautiful colour tone. The second one doesn’t feel sad or ominous at all.

Rattle by Fiona Cummins

Rattle 01    Rattle 02

Definitely the X-ray one on the right, book nr 2. I really love that tagline and this alone made me want to read the novel.

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

The Fourth Monkey 01   The Fourth Monkey 02

Without a doubt, the second one again. The first doesn’t tell you anything about the novel and the second one is just more creative and alluring to find out more. I also like seeing what is mentioned on a cover too. I wouldn’t love a book cover that is called The Key and then there’s just a person on a cover instead of you know, an actual key.

You, Me, Everything by Catherine Isaac

You, Me, Everything 01    You, Me, Everything 02

Can you read my mind? It’s numberrrr 1. The second one looks like it’s a book from the ’80s (sorry). I just don’t like that style, but hey, I understand if that’s your preference!

So what are your thoughts on the covers (and/or books)? I haven’t read the first and last one yet but I’m interested to read them. 

Goodreads Monday (February 2018)

goodreads monday

I saw this meme on Books, Vertigo and Tea and I thought this one seemed fun to join and feature on my blog from time to time as well! The original post of Goodreads Monday was posted by Lauren’s Page Turners. Thank you Lauren for this great idea. This really is a great way to help me take another look at all the books added to the wishlist so long ago and at the same time I can share some interesting titles.

There’s only one rule: Simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page turners and add your own links!


Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Mr. Monster (John Cleaver #2) has a 4.1 Goodreads rating and has been on my wishlist since July 2015, together with I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) and I Don’t Want To Kill You (John Cleaver #3). The series continues with two more books that each get a rating higher than 4.0 so that’s what I consider a solid writer.

Mr. Monster

I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

In this sequel to his brilliant debut, Dan Wells ups the ante with a thriller that is just as gripping and even more intense. He apologizes in advance for the nightmares.

So what do you think, yay or nay?

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin #BlogTour #BookReview

Only Child def


Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community.

While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art.

Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

amazon uk amazon com


Only Child offered me a fresh and novel perspective on what is quite a topical matter which is occuring, unfortunately, with increasing amplitude. When I hear about such an horrific event in the news, I often find myself thinking about the motive of the shooter, why he committed this senseless act, and I think about the people they killed and who don’t get to live their lives, being taken away so young. Not nearly often enough do I think about the aftermath, about the families and how they need to keep on living, about the brothers and sisters and how their world has irrevocably changed. How do they deal with this?

It was an excellent idea to tell this story through the eyes of 7 year old Zach, because he was affected as well and while adults would be able to rationalize everything and explain their feelings away, his innocence and honesty are very disarming, his naive perspective, trying to make sense of it all, utterly endearing. I couldn’t help but develop a love for him and the connection with him made it all the more touching. I felt sad for the parents as well but my heart broke the way they are occupied with either seeking revenge or escaping from the harsh reality into their work, ignoring a little boy’s feelings and needs.

Zach’s confusion felt real (he describes the gathering after the funeral as a ‘party’), he doesn’t understand what is happening to his family and why his parents react the way they do, why he suddenly wets the bed again or why he gets angry very suddenly. Unfortunately for little Zach, his parents each grieve in their own way and he’s sort of left on his own devices. I saw him struggle with his emotions because they are all mixed up but he works through it on his own, he’s his own little therapist and finds a clever way to seperate his emotions in a clear way. To make it easier for himself he links colours to his emotions, like the green colour is for anger because it makes him think of the Hulk.

All he really wants is for everyone to be happy again and he finds the answers in his Magic Treehouse books where each book of the series reveals a secret to happiness. All they have to do is do exactly what the book says but when his parents don’t even listen to him he has to take drastic measures. He’s courageous and brave and is sure to tug at your heartstrings.

This was a heartfelt and powerful debut about grief and the pursuit of happiness. I hope people will take more notice and it’ll deepen the understanding of how grief affects both adults and children.

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

Check out the other stops of the blog tour as well. Coming up tomorrow: The Bibliophile Chronicles