The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #BookReview @HarperCollinsUK @catherinecooper

Blank bookcover with clipping path

whats-it-about-2

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

The Chalet is a wonderful wintry novel set at the foot of the ski slopes in the French alps. The plotline jumps between two time periods following different sets of people in each storyline. In 1998 two brothers came to the Alps with their girlfriends Louise and Nell and they went skiing in very bad weather. There was an accident and only one of them made it from the mountain.

In the present two couples are spending a week at La Madière (Ria and Hugo who invited Simon and Cass with their little baby and the nanny in the hope of reigning in Simon as a new investor for Hugo’s travel agency) and Millie and Cameron (the ‘cabin girl’ who cooks and cleans and the owner of the luxurious chalet). Someone among this (not always very lovely) bunch of people is putting on a show and it becomes clear that there are some invisible ties to the past and someone has to pay for what this person believes is not an accident but murder.

The Chalet intrigued me from the word go! I was looking for someone with a hidden agenda and at least one of them seemed to fit the bill a little too perfectly but could it be that easy? It took me a long time to make up my mind but in the end I settled on a suspect, even though my conclusion didn’t even sound very logical to my own ears, there was just this thing that didn’t add up, but in the end I was still right on the money! It is only with the big reveal that everything falls in place though and it finally makes so more sense. I loved how the background story of the past bleeds so well into the present happenings and I didn’t even mind that I had a hunch who was masquerading in The Chalet because I was so engrossed in untangling the secrets in the lives of all these people. I did feel Ria and Louise were the most developed and deep of the whole cast and I liked to read about these women most of all. It felt to me that the bad guy was in this case actually a bad woman so I didn’t mind that the men’s contributions to the story were smaller or at least didn’t leave the same impression as the women’s, I was interested most of all in the women anyway. Revenge is a dish best served cold and The Chalet hits the spot.

The Chalet is a great debut with interesting characters and a decent revenge plot, and it didn’t disappoint at all. Mystifying, addictive and surprising!

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

Lost You by Haylen Beck #BookReview

LostYou def

whats-it-about-2

Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after all they’ve been through, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.

Just days into their holiday, when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.

Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him.

Who will find him first?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Oh this one’s a sneaky surprise!

I was eating the cake right away in this novel because my lord, the opening chapter couldn’t have been a more harrowing scene. A woman is standing on a hotel’s rooftop ledge with a little boy in her arms, claiming he’s her son and threatening to jump. All I can say is that the chapter ended what a real cliffhanger and a lot of screaming. It immediately begged for answers. Who is she? Did she really do it and what on earth got into her?

With this in mind I dove into the next chapters where I was introduced to the three and half year old boy’s ‘real’ mother Libby where she is preparing herself and toddler Ethan for their first holiday together. I followed Libby and Ethan enjoying their first days at a splendid hotel and the lead-up to that heart-pounding moment. There was not a doubt in my mind that she wasn’t his mother until

… the story backpedals to 4 years earlier. I’m not saying I was disappointed because I love the writing style but as the story unfolded I could clearly see how this one was going to unfold… Libby wants a baby so much but it looks like nature is not on her side in this, while Anna is having financial problems. Surrogacy isn’t far from anyone’s mind right? Well it certainly comes into play but the story really isn’t so simple, and while it might seem very easy whose side to take, it really wasn’t, my loyalties and beliefs about who should raise this boy went in the tumbler while reading.

Libby and Anna were both well-developed characters that you can’t help sympathise with at different moments. Love is beautiful and ugly at the same time and I certainly felt a few stabs in my heart. But what is right and what is wrong and how far can they go for what they want? Who to root for? I found this a tough decision! There were some not so smart decisions on both sides and it made me totally invested in their stories but then the author made it even better by adding a thunderbolt of a twist so the story didn’t end up where I thought it would at all. I think I even cried out at one specific moment when I saw what was happening! I was maybe not entirely convinced at first about the novel’s originality but I seriously had to reconsider that opinion. I’m not really a fan of novels about surrogacy but if it’s like this… more please!

Final verdict: emotional, thought-provoking and twisty! I promise I won’t underestimate Haylen Beck (aka Stuart Neville) again ;-).

I received a free paperback copy of this novel from the publisher for review. This is still my honest opinion.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa #BookReview

The Travelling Cat Chronicles def

whats-it-about-2

It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.

Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru’s old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break.

Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I was a little bit afraid to pick this one up because I believed and had heard that there would be tears involved when reading this (I couldn’t resist buying a copy at the airport last year though) so I left it sitting on my shelf. It has a wonderful cover so I looked at it regularly since then and suddenly I felt I could handle whatever was laying ahead and I went through all my nine boxes to find it again :-).

The story is about a cat called Nana (and he is the narrator of the story)  and his owner Saturo. the story of how they found each other and what happens when they visit Saturo’s old friends. There’s a great deal of friendship, of selflessness and of kindness to be found in the novel and of course it is a perfect novel for cat owners. I don’t know if everyone gets how much you can love an animal but I do, I understood Saturo’s affection to Hachi (his first cat) and to Nana fully.

In the end the author sums up a few of the things the duo came across on their travels and it filled my heart because then I fully felt how wonderful their friendship and journey was together. Of course there was the expected heartbreak as well, it wasn’t really a surprise what was coming and in what form it was going to present itself. In fact I knew as soon as they started their roadtrip. The ending was indeed very touching. There were no traumatizing Marley and Me moments though, it’s nothing of the sort. No it’s the sheer beauty of love and loyalty to ones owner, an owner who’s like a cat whisperer. Saturo knew Nana’s thoughts and Nana was a well-behaved cat who absolutely loved her owner. I can only hope my cat feels the same about me, I’d like to think she does anyway and this heart-warming novel makes me want to give her extra cuddles!

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

The Chain by Adrian McKinty #BookReview

The Chain def

whats-it-about-2

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I’m late to the party as ever because I had this book for a while but then I suddenly had a really good reason to bump this novel to the top of my reading list. See just last month I found out that The Chain is the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year. The author leaves Lee Child, Jane Casey, Will Carver and Chris Brookmyre behind him by winning this award. You can imagine that I just had to see for myself what made this novel so special.

And yes The Chain is special, the concept of the novel most of all. It’s a living nightmare when your child is kidnapped and when you are driven to do things that are immoral and criminal even. But wouldn’t you do anything for your child? How far would you go? Is there a limit? Would you harm another child in order to save yours? The whole system is quite a clever set up from the kidnappers and it looks flawless as well. Is there any way to stop this insane thing from happening over and over again? It would seem not and so I kept on reading, hoping that there was going to be a twist, something to change the odds and let the people behind all of it become the ones hunted.

The first half of the novel was gripping and frightening, the tension was hanging in the air and I had my eyes glued to the pages, but when the worst of the worst was over and I relaxed in the second part of the story, it also kind of lost its momentum a little bit. It picked back up again in the very end but it never really reached that same riveting level again as at first.

I did enjoy the characters of Rachel and Pete and they certainly made me wonder how a cancer patient and a heroin addict were going to lead to a twist to the story. Why do Americans always go looking for trouble? I didn’t see this ending well! Rachel and Pete are clever but so are the people behind The Chain so the game is on! I really enjoyed the way the author also wove the past of one of the characters into the present events. I believe that both parties surprised each other, and me in the process as well.

The whole novel is so movie-worthy, I could easily see it vividly in my head so I’m very happy it is already snapped up by Universal and is going to be turned into a movie. I’ll be at the front row to see this one!

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

PS. The new WordPress editor didn’t save most of my review the first time I wrote it (which I was much happier with) but it is what it is now ;-). Also I hate that I can’t justify text anymore (at work I have to so it feels wrong) but what can you do huh?

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware #BookReview @vintagebooks

Blank bookcover with clipping path

whats-it-about-2

Four friends. One promise. But someone isn’t telling the truth. The twisting new mystery from bestselling phenomenon Ruth Ware.

The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It’s just three words: I need you. Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her.

At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten.

Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, not after what they did. It’s time for the women to get their story straight…

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

This was the first novel I read by Ruth Ware and in case you missed it on Instagram, I brought a copy of this novel back with me from my holiday in Turkey last year where I swapped it with one of mine (I can’t remember which one) at the hotel. Whatever it was I’m pretty sure it wasn’t nearly as good as this novel though! I chose The Lying Game because I heard only positive echos about the author and her books and also the mere mention of ‘lying’ made me want to be in on whatever secret was being kept. Oh and what a secret it was. Even when you undoubtedly think you’re the only one in the know, you’ll soon find out that you knew just as much as the person sitting next to you.

I liked the present narrative, where Isa, Kate, Thea and Fatima – once 15-year old best friends – are brought back together as adults because something from their past is causing a stir, something is going to come out and it is clear that the bond they had is still in place because they all come running at a moment’s notice after years with barely or no contact at all. What is it that binds them and nobody talks about? Are they going to get their stories straight, are they going to lie some more? 

I loved the other chapters in which Isa revisits her past possibly even more. There was such friendship and loyalty in the chapters and it was very enjoyable to follow them and see the story unfold. The author fed me an idea about what happened through some of the conversations in the present but I couldn’t entertain the idea that what was in my mind could be true. Present and past just didn’t seem compatible and I had no explanation for it at all, it was impossible to see beforehand how and why things would take a bad turn and I just had to sit tight and let all unfold in its own time.

Oh the truth, that horrible, wonderful truth. It startled and surprised me after all. I’d be lying if I said it was anything but amazing. The author really came through in the end and delivered quite a grand apotheosis after such careful world building. It was a slow-burn towards the truth but that last quarter of the book was impossible to put down.

I’m definitely a satisfied and happy reader and I can see why so many others love this author so much. I’m totally joining the club. This novel isn’t going anywhere anymore but is going to have a prominent place in my library!

I received a free copy of this novel from another (unknown) reader. This is my honest opinion.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton #BookReview

Blank bookcover with clipping path

whats-it-about-2

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Well I was pulled into this as soon as I read that Alex and Rosie’s carefully planned accommodation in Thailand fell into the water when they arrived and everything was coming down on Alex to find them a place to sleep. I sort of recognized this terrible situation from my own experience and so the start of the story was in this way pretty much a matter of same thing, different country! You see, I was the same age, 18 or 19 years old when I went for a few days to Rome with a school friend and the hostel we didn’t or couldn’t book in advance was not able to put us up when we arrived. My friend wanted to go home right away and although I felt the same, someone had to actually find a solution instead of sulking about it. Looking back now that I finished reading The Suspect, I see it could have turned out very differently when you don’t end up where you’re supposed to be, and I was still quite lucky my friend didn’t turn out to be such a poser like Rosie. Yep there was no love lost for her and if it would have been only her who went missing I wouldn’t have nearly felt as bad about it as I felt with both girls gone missing but as it was I did feel much concern for Alex and I (secretly) hoped she’d ditch Rosie in time.

This is the second novel I read by Fiona Barton and I enjoyed this novel more than my first one, The Widow. It’s still a bit of a slow burner too with lots of vagueness and mystery but I was more invested in the story, and I especially liked the multiple POV’s and timelines. The story is partly told by Alex – one of the girls – through e-mails to her friend Mags at home about her time in Thailand, and she gives the unfiltered truth about her time with Rosie who forgets about their planning as soon as she sets foot there and is only interested in guys and partying. The author builds up the suspense with every new and worrying email from Alex and it didn’t take long at all to feel that nothing good could come out of this.

The rest of the story of the missing girls is covered by 3 more perspectives, namely by The Reporter (Kate), The Detective (DI Bob Sparkes) and The Mother (Lesley O’Connor). The author mixes things up nicely by changing Kate’s perspective drastically because yes she might be a journalist always looking for that next scoop but she is also a mother and as it happens she’s not a stranger to the situation Lesley and Jenny, the girls’ mothers find themselves in with her own son Jake travelling in Thailand for 2 years without giving a peep himself the last few months. Suddenly the media, fellow colleagues, are chasing her too for an interview and how much is she supposed to say?

Of course I knew the mention of Jake meant something and that he must be involved in some way. The girls were maybe a little too straightforward good girl/bad girl characters but the author put a lot of effort into creating this ambiguity about Jake, she kept me guessing if he was a good guy or a bad guy. The ending was satisfying although I found the biggest twist to be one that came well before the end of the story and from a corner I totally hadn’t anticipated.

All in all a good story you might want to let your children read before going on holiday on their own for the first time. If they ask one more time what could possibly go wrong you should simply put this novel into their hands.

I received a copy of this novel from a blogfriend. This is my honest opinion.

The Minders by John Marrs #BookReview

TheMinders def

whats-it-about-2

Five strangers guard our secrets.
Only four can be trusted…

In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.

But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect…

The Minders is published in e-format on 23 July 2020 and will follow in paperback on 17 September. US paperback publication will follow in February 2021.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

When has this author ever let you down? The answer is NEVER!

I recommend you read The One and Passengers first because the author gives little nods to these books, combining finding your match through DNA with driving autonomous cars and introducing a new trend in the future: storing information in our heads. We are still in danger of The Hacking Collective though, the same hackers who were able to create chaos and mayhem when driving autonomous became the new normal. So the government came up with a brilliant idea (well at least they think so) and that’s storing sensitive information in people’s minds. Sounds simple and it is but have you ever thought about the consequences? The pressure of knowing things and not being allowed to share them with people you care for, even if it would give them peace? Marrs always makes the impossible still look authentic and apart from making it seem so real he also gives so much room for thought every time.

The Minders follows 5 people who – for very different reasons – start over somewhere else, get a new chance at a new life, a better life. But will they get it? Can they leave their old life behind, can they change who they are as much as is needed? They get strict instructions not to contact people from their past or the other minders but it’s clear that every one of them is struggling with their new identity and each one of them reacts differently. As always the backstories of every character were very distinctive and made them all such interesting characters to follow. I found Flick and Sinead the characters who pulled most on my heartstrings though, as opposed to the men Bruno and Charlie, but all of them made for addictive chapters. There was also another character Emilia in the picture but we don’t know a lot about her, she doesn’t remember anything. Someone’s after her but it’s a mystery who. Who should she trust? The mystery woman who warns her or her husband who she doesn’t remember either? The truth and her role in the whole picture left me speechless. Gripping chapters, ruthless (gasp worthy) murders (the first one left me particularly stunned), cliffhanger-endings, you get it all in this novel.

If you enjoyed The One and Passengers you already know the fantastic reading experience that awaits you when you pick this one up. If not, you really don’t know what you’re missing! I have to say that I still loved the previous two novels a teensy bit more but I can’t really explain what did it and in the end it doesn’t really matter as his three books are brilliant, more brilliant and most brilliant.

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

Survive by Tom Bale #BookReview

Survive def

whats-it-about-2

Paradise is about to become hell…

On a remote island in the Adriatic, an enigmatic billionaire hosts a twisted form of entertainment to satisfy the jaded appetites of his exclusive guests. And for one unsuspecting family, the holiday of a lifetime is about to become a desperate battle for survival.

As young parents, Sam and Jody have managed to defy the odds once before. But years of struggle have taken their toll, and Sam’s demons return to haunt him at the worst possible time.

Caught up in a sick game of cat and mouse, can they put their differences aside and work under intolerable pressure to save themselves and their children?

Live or die. It’s the only choice they have.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

With the current corona lockdown reading about a couple going on a holiday with their two children of 5 and 8 gave me a nostalgic ping, thinking back to the good times when I was in their shoes. Their story was quite mouth watering and I was almost looking in my atlas to see where Sikliw (pronounced Sikley) was located to book the next flight over myself… but that moment passed soon enough as I continued in the story and it wasn’t long that I found myself quite happy still sitting in my own comfy chair at home.

Survive is the ultimate holiday horror story. The plotline was an interesting mixture of The Hunger Games meets Robinson Crusoe, but with the added tension that two small children were involved. It’s totally different when you place a family instead of one individual in the position they find themselves in, there’s just a lot more to lose.

The novel got off on a bit of a slow start because I felt very strongly that something was bound to happen but the author left it simmering for a while and I was obliged to read about the wonderful holiday they were having (oh horror 😉), safe for a couple of snobs the family ran into now and again.

I was getting very excited though when I figured out what the turning point would be even if I had no idea what was going to happen other than that they probably wouldn’t like it. Well it was much worse than not liking it, I think it’s safe to say. The rest of the story really picked up the pace and was full of challenges and tension for the family and their predicament made me wonder several times what I would do in their position. I couldn’t see a way out of their situation either, their peril kept me extremely busy. Thankfully they were resourceful and never stranded in fatalism. I love people who stand up and fight and that’s what they did. Of course it helped that they did get some help from an unexpected ally.

Survive was not my typical novel to read but it also gave me thrills. There were several scary moments but one of them definitely got me sitting on the edge of my seat. It was as chilling as Antartica to watch the scenes unfold and I’m surprised I didn’t dream about it at night because I saw it playing out so vividly before my eyes, it was like I was watching a movie.

Sam and Jody were an interesting couple. I found it quite unconventional that Jody was in fact the one in charge most of the time, leading the way – literally and figuratively – and the one who comes up with the best ideas. I didn’t take to Sam for the opposite reason and he irritated me sometimes even though I know that men are just as entitled to feel fear and don’t have to be automatically charged with solving everything. Still, I like a real hero when it comes to these kind of adventures, I can’t help it and I found him  a bit useless sometimes. I have to credit the author though for making them realistic characters without getting stuck in any clichés.

The end of the novel held plenty of action and until the very last moment I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out. I enjoyed the ending, it was very fitting even if I felt a little sad when I was reading one of the final twists. I forgive the author for messing with my heart at the last moment though and I’m thankful the author made me read a novel a little bit out of my comfort zone. I needed to put my mind off things and thanks to Surive I was able to escape everything that was going on for a few hours.

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

The Curator by M.W. Craven #BookReview

Blank bookcover with clipping path

whats-it-about-2

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

This is such a great series and Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back again as the wonderful complimentary duo in the author’s third book. The start of the novel gave me an immediate jolt with a crime that was happening before my own eyes, giving me an utter feeling of powerlessness. But what is it exactly that is being performed? In the next chapters there are different sets of the same body parts found at different places accompanied with a cryptic message (ah I think you’ll get the gist now) and it gets even more mysterious when it turns out these belong to more than one person and also, the colorful pathologist Estelle Doyle finds them to be extracted with different tools and post as well as ante-mortem. Intrigued yet?

If you think the previous novel (Black Summer) was baffling (it had an opening chapter that stays fresh in my mind btw) then you’ll be happy to hear The Curator is just as brain spindling this time with absolutely no discernable pattern to connect the crimes in the current investigation. And yet, there is, of course. It was a thrill to follow Poe, Bradshaw and their boss Flynn and see them take the meandering path towards The Curator.

I wish I could talk to you about all the new, nifty things I learned about in this book that can give away someone’s involvement in a case but sadly, I can’t. I’ll give you one thing though, I’ll tell you the bottom line of it all… it’s actually thanks to Edgar (Poe’s dog) that the case is cracked open, you’ll see when you read it, it made me smile that he was the unintentional instigator. It’s all in the details and Poe is always paying attention to the details, I love him for it!

All the books in the series have plotlines that you can sink your teeth in and that pose such great mysteries. They let you forget about the world completely. They take you to places and cover subjects you never imagined reading about and, ah before I forget, I even managed to finally have an answer to the eternal Chicken or the Egg conundrum. The question was answered in two seconds flat by the ever so brilliant Tilly of course.

Overall I can say that the whole of the series is wonderfully intoxicating, I love the complexity of the cases and the plot is always clever and air-tight. I can’t believe we have to wait another year for the next novel but it’ll be well worth the wait I’m sure.

Why didn’t I give 5 stars then you ask? I have no idea, I might as well. I’m rounding it up anyway on all platforms that don’t allow half points. Truthfully, I don’t think anything can top my appreciation for the previous novel’s promise of someone being dead AND alive. I also had an inkling about The Curator believe it or not (I had two people in mind) so I wasn’t entirely surprised. I was astonished however by how it all ended, I certainly didn’t see that coming!

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

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen #BookReview

YouAreNotAlone def

whats-it-about-2

You probably know someone like Shay Miller. She wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is becoming increasingly isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters. They have an unbreakable circle of friends. They live a life of glamour and perfection. They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.

But what they really want is hers.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I was over the moon when I could get my hands on this book for a very reasonable price. Since I read their first novel The Wife Between Us I’ve been such a fan, and I also loved their second one, An Anonymous Girl. Both books were noticed by the movie business and will be on screen somewhere in the future. They really deserve to reach as many people as possible and it’s clear that these authors know how to write a novel that you can easily imagine playing out on tv. I’m no psychic but I bet there’s a big chance their novel You Are Not Alone will be added to this list as well.

The chapters in the novel alternate between girl-nextdoor Shay Miller and the fashionable sisters Cassandra and Jane Moore. Shay is very shaken after she witnessed the suicide of a woman in the metro and when she is questioned by the police about it, this gives her enough information to go and find out more about the victim. Cassandra and Jane were her friends and even though Shay’s a stranger to them, there’s always some reason to meet again and soon enough she’s taken under their wing. I could see why Shay would be taken in by them, but – even though Shay is a lovely girl who I really liked – I wondered about the Moore sisters. They were very keen to be friends with Shay but why?

Similar to their previous novel, there’s a major amount of manipulations and lies involved. Cassandra and Jane have gathered a tightly knit group of friends around them with Beth (a lawyer), Daphne (shop owner), Valerie (wannabe actress), Stacy (computer whizz) and Amanda (nurse). They each have their own story woven into the plot and I enjoyed seeing where they were all coming from.

You can see clearly that something isn’t quite right but I could not put rhyme nor reason to why they were putting in so much effort. It is so clear that Shay doesn’t know anything (about what exactly?) so why are they so intent on being friends? The authors give clues where the story must be headed and what in the margin of the story must be of some importance, but they keep the best for last. The backstory fit right into place and I finally had that aha-moment I was craving. This duo was able to surprise me again with their brilliant plot and writing.

I really enjoyed a lot about this novel but I still don’t fully understand the reasons for dragging Shay into everything and doing what they did. All I can say is that you grow even fonder of Shay and you’ll hate the sisters a little more until the author gives it another twist that makes you see them in another light.

Greer and Pekkanen are a magic author duo and I hope they write many, many more books because I want to read them all. This one’s perhaps not my new favourite one but it’s still one of the highlights of the past months. I can’t wait to see how they surprise me next time!

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