The Corset by Laura Purcell #BookReview

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Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

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I think I can count the number of historical novels I read so far on one single hand but after reading The Corset I have absolutely no idea why that is anymore. I enjoyed this novel so much! I was truly fascinated by the setting and Ruby’s job as seamstress. Laura Purcell was able to transport me to another era with her detailed and atmospheric writing and although life then was indeed bleak and dreary for many, as I imagined it would be in that Jack The Ripper time-period, the writing and the characters were anything but that. I was hooked right from the start and the whole reading experience was positively amazing!

At first sight the two women in this novel couldn’t be more different from each other as they both had a vastly different upbringing and while one has a sad and tragic life and it resulted for 16-year old Ruby in awaiting trial, 25-year old Dora (Dorothea) is used to a much different lifestyle with a servant following her every move and at her beck and call. Dora doesn’t really ‘work’ but spends her time visiting women at the Oakgate prison so she can subject them to her phrenology hypotheses. She believes that if they change inside then the shape of their head, the areas responsible for their crimes, change too and this can be measured physically. It’s how she meets Ruby and she’s eager to subject her to her theories.

The title of the novel is so enormously apt for this book because it goes far and beyond the sewing of a corset in the novel… it is also a most fitting metaphor for the position of both women in society, whether rich or poor they both don’t have a lot of room to be free and live their life at their heart’s content. The corset itself is an important object though and Ruth’s talent for sewing takes a very unsettling and mysterious turn when she claims she can kill people through her stitches.

The Corset kept me addicted and although I liked how Dora’s entries were a welcome salvation from all the tragedy happening, I have to admit that I was slightly more drawn to Ruby’s account of events, it was quite an emotional and detailed story with one tragedy happening upon another, which made it virtually impossible not to grow fond of her. Why did she do it and most of all is she really responsible for murdering someone? As the story progressed and it moved in a certain direction I had a sense of a possible motive but the question still remained if she really had the power to inflict pain and death with her stitches or not. It was wondrous to find out if her vengeance on the people who weren’t kind to her was inflicted by herself or not. I’m really not a fan of anything supernatural or impossible happening but this uncertainty was very well-developed and it most definitely will keep every reader busy to find an answer to its true nature. I was soon hoping for some divine intervention so that Ruby could be free and finally live a good life because she really wasn’t a murderer to me.

The novel didn’t lose its grip on me till the end with so many unforeseen events. It surprised me countless times with plenty of twists and turns and the ending was brilliant!

I was able to read a free copy of this novel through The Pigeonhole website and this is my honest opinion.

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My holiday reads reviewed

I took 3 reads with me so you’re getting 3 reviews in one go. I compared them to each other too and that’s why you get a 3, 4 and 4.5 star review ;-). I’m showing them in the order I read them btw 😉

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She has a loving marriage.

But she has no friends.

Everyone knows her name.

But no one will speak it.

Why?

Cornelia Blackwood is about to do something very wrong, for reasons she believes to be right.

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The Flight of Cordelia Blackwood was a poignant novel with a tragic tale at the heart of it. The genre of novel was different from what I expected it to be but it was a gripping read and I really enjoyed reading it. Even without the experience of being a mother myself, I was drawn into the story right away and I could feel Leah’s agony and longing for a child.

The story is told via alternating chapters and shows Leah meeting Adrian in the past, going through some of life’s tragedies together and a new storyline that runs from the present onwards and hints at something bad happening in the past that made her lose all credit, all of her friends too. The author deftly steers the story in a certain direction and it’s impossible to miss where the answer lies. I couldn’t help conjuring so many worrisome thoughts and I held my heart at least a few times when I read about some of Leah’s life changes, but the author made me squirm in my seat with all the twists and turns in the story before getting to the exact heart of it.

I just couldn’t compute Leah’s treatment with the image that I was building of her in my head… surely she wasn’t capable of doing anything evil? Her story reads as one tragedy happening upon another and made me feel sad for her. But how did she end up so injured and broken, walking around with a cane, and why is she getting these looks? I was trying to get an idea how things added up but it was a well-kept mystery until the end and given her deteriorating state of mind I knew something was coming but I never expected that.

The Flight of Cordelia Blackwood was a story of grief and love and that feeling when it just all seems to be too much. It’s sad and heart-breaking at times and that ending, it left me reeling.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I had the intention before I left to leave one good read behind so I left my copy in Kos for another reader to enjoy :-).

TFOCB

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After sixteen years apart sisters Jessica and Emily are reunited. With the past now behind them, the warmth they once shared quickly returns and before long Jess has moved into Emily’s comfortable island home. Life couldn’t be better. But when baby Daisy disappears while in Jess’s care, the perfect life Emily has so carefully built starts to fall apart.

Was Emily right to trust her sister after everything that happened before?

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I expected a mystery but I had no idea the story would hold SO SO many secrets and lies. EVERYBODY here is hiding something or other and I absolutely loved all these surprises that follow up at warp speed. And then there is the lie of all lies.. I had no idea who’d turn out to be the biggest liar of them all so around midway the most stunning twist just happened that put everything into a new perspective. I had absolutely no idea and didn’t expect the direction this story was going in. It’s just the things you take for a truth and don’t question that can surprise you the most if they turn out to be a lie, isn’t it. I guess that’s also why we are surprised when someone tells us they don’t love us anymore, right?

The story kicks off right away with Daisy’s abduction and when the police question Jess, who was babysitting, and her parents, Emily and James, there’s already some little white lies here and there about their whereabouts and the circumstances. It starts small but after a while I couldn’t help wonder why they would lie about anything at all and then before you’re even very well aware of it one stone after another is thrown at each other and my paranoia was all over the place. I do love big happy families who come apart like that :-). You can really trust nobody here and I was keen to keep it that way too. Someone did earn my sympathy and trust little by little, and I also started to loathe another character quite vehemently at the same time when my feelings turned out to be viable in the light of some actions.

Little Sister turned out to be not only a story about abduction, the opening storyline even takes a backseat for a while when another timeline is followed taking place during the teenage years of Jess and Emily, but about what happened between the two sisters so many years ago as well. The picture becomes clearer with every flashback about the nature of their sibling relationship and the reasons why Jess left home at the age of 17.  This plotline was just as riveting to read and had its own shock-factor too.

If you’re talking about authors who can deliver an amazing twist then I have to count Isabel Ashdown among them. It took me by surprise how much I enjoyed this one and I already look forward picking up another book from this author. If you have any of her books you want to swap for something I have, you let me know!

I received a free copy of this novel from another blogger in a book swap. This is my honest opinion.

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Dr. Irini Harringford was given away by her parents just before her fourth birthday. Although she has spent her whole life trying to convince herself she doesn’t need them, deep down Irini longs to understand why she was abandoned, while her parents kept her older sister, Elle.

So when Elle gets in touch with news that their mother has died, Irini reluctantly agrees to return to the family home. But she is ill at ease. She and Elle are not close. Irini knows only too well what Elle is capable of. Inexplicably drawn to her enigmatic sister, yet terrified of the sway she holds, Irini tries to protect herself even as she is sucked back into her family’s toxic web of secrets…and soon realizes that the past is more complicated than she imagined, and that her very future rests upon discovering the truth about why she was really given away.

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Irini’s haunted by her past and this has serious repercussions for her love life as it makes her doubt the person currently in her life. Just thinking about what her parents did, giving her up at the age of 3 and keeping her sister, Elle, made me instantly sympathetic and cautious of her parents. Was it because she had a handicap, was it because she was unlovable, she never knew the reasons. What she does know is that she doesn’t want to have children of her own, that’s how big the toll is because of their decision in the past. Truth be told, there was one member of the family who wanted her in her life, her sister has tried to find her again and again and she also succeeded. Isn’t it ever so strange though that she ran from her sister so many times then, going so far as moving and changing her phone number? I was wondering what happened right away. Now that Elle finally caught up with her again Irini decides to take the opportunity and find out the answers she’s always been craving.

This need to know her parent’s motives and the reason why Irini would run from her sister are at the core of the novel and there’s a lot of darting around the answers throughout the story. It was a bit transparent for me though why her mother and father sent her off and the biggest mystery was discovering why she and her sister have such a dysfunctional relationship and what happened in the past between them to cut all contact.

Sister relationships are always interesting to read about and the push and pull between the two sisters was no different. Their interactions make great waves and especially the domineering personality of Elle over Irini. Even though I sympathised with Irini at first and how she was hurt like that, the feeling waned and I can’t say I liked either of the sisters in the end, but Elle really is the worst character I’ve come across lately. Elle’s issues make her very manipulative and controlling and Irini is of course the perfect victim. It was impressive what Elle was capable of and fascinating to watch their interactions.

However, I didn’t always understand why Irini just went along with everything and not once stood up against her or told her off. I knew quite soon that there was something off about Elle so why she got so much credit from Irini I never fully understood. I also found it slightly unbelievable that nobody told her anything throughout her life about the reasons why her parents made the decision and in hindsight also why they didn’t even follow up on her from a distance, they could have at least sent a birthday card each year, right?

There were quite a lot of events unfolding in the last part of the novel and that’s the part that I really enjoyed best, the more you read the better it gets. I’m still not entirely sure about Elle in the end though, is she evil or disturbed, I’m still doubtful. Maybe a bit both.. you’ll have to make up your own mind.

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

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Resin by Ane Riel #BookReview

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Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.

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This novel was emotionally devastating! Yep I’m dropping that d-bomb right away. I feel it’s my duty to warn you right now that it’s totally going to creep up on you and shake you up by the end of it. Seriously, I didn’t know what I was diving into but this is quite a sensational story.

The very first sentence of the novel was instantly debilitating and I knew there was a captivating but harsh story between these pages to be discovered. The novel was very atmospheric, the remoteness, the isolation from the town and the mainland tangible between the pages. I mistakenly thought this novel was perhaps reminiscent of The Marsh King’s Daughter, a story involving an abhorrent dominant father but I couldn’t be further from the truth. Liv’s father didn’t punish her or used any kind of force and came across as a gentle soul and I forgave him for the lifestyle that he pushes upon his wife and child for quite a while. The author showed me his background, the seed that was planted for his actions in the present and that earned him some understanding. I also knew that even if Jens was doing wrong by keeping his daughter away from other children and by telling her things that weren’t necessarily true just to make it better, his actions were made out of a warped sense of love that made I couldn’t really hate him.

The blurb gave me the illusion that Liv was sort of held captive but she isn’t, at least not literally – she can move around – yet in a way she is because her world is confined and terribly limited, her view on the outside world small and distorted. She tells chapters in her own voice and I came to know her as a brave and resilient girl. My heart went out to her although I never heard her feel sorry for herself or cry. It’s only her brother who cries and the two of them acting together pulled on my heartstrings so hard.. it actually shredded my heart to pieces more than once!

Her father’s ideas and his mental health spiral out of control as the story progresses and there was one particular scene that will play in my mind many times over when thinking of this novel. You’ll certainly know what I’m talking about when you read this novel, it’s a completely non-violent scene but it made my heart thud quite loud. Even though it was quite reverant and written beautifully, it was also disturbing to read at the same time, especially because Liv is a witness to it as well and I felt how emotionally damaging that must have been for the child.

I was aware that the situation Liv was living in wasn’t normal but I felt like I was actually opening my eyes for real when it was presented by another person’s POV in the end. The tragedy really creeps on you and then suddenly it hit me real hard. I felt it in my gut.

You’ll do crazy things out of love and some might seem like the kindest thing to do but sometimes you just have to let people go. The horror of it all is that Jens, Liv’s father, just wants to keep, keep, keep..  A tragic and disturbing novel that you won’t possibly forget!

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

Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon #BookReview

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‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’

It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.

Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.

But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .

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I was drawn to this novel because of the beautiful cover at first. When the sunlight catches these golden butterflies and that little dachshund on the cover, it’s just so gorgeous, I can’t seem to stop playing with the light and the cover :-). It’s definitely one of the prettiest covers I have in my library now and if you want to buy this novel, you really should think about getting the hardback as it has adorable little dachshund images all over the front and back book flaps.

The dog – I can even say dogs because there are two of them – in this novel were the second thing that made me want to read this. It is no wonder really that I loved Rudy – a small over-anxious dachshund – and Bernard – a very energetic border terrier – to pieces but it became much more than loving the dogs. I quicky became quite attached to this little group of people, where each new character was introduced and added with the right amount of timing and delicate writing. It was heart-warming to see how they all came together. It started with Tiffany, Lorna’s friend that she didn’t see for so long, then a niece and her sister and even Joyce who was so reluctant to let anyone in at first (literally and figuratively). In the end though they become a tightly knitted group (ha! they happen to really knit and this is in fact the most celebrated artform in the novel even though Lorna opens an art gallery with paintings, jewellery, pottery and such).

The only thing I wasn’t totally convinced about was the romantic angle in this novel. I didn’t feel IT for either of the two gentlemen in the novel that came into Lorna’s orbit. The focus wasn’t very much on the development of a romance though so it wasn’t really a problem but maybe they could have been more loveable or something. As it was presented, I wouldn’t really give them a moment’s thought :-).

Overall I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed Where The Light Gets and how it filled my heart reading it. The novel was both heart-breaking and uplifting with multiple lovely friendships. In the end I really wished I didn’t have to say goodbye to these characters, I actually missed them when I closed the book and they seem to live on outside of this novel, that’s how real it felt. It has a beautiful ending that made me a bit emotional as well. I never thought I would be so touched but it made me smile through my tears. I did read one other novel by Lucy Dillon before which was a good read but it definitely doesn’t compare to this one. I can highly recommend if you like a heartwarming read!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Bantam Press an imprimt of Transworld Publishers, in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton #BookReview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier #Bookreview

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When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

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I’m so happy other readers put this book on my radar and told me it would be a read for me. I’m usually careful with choosing to read a hyped book, which I definitely think is the case here, but I have to agree that yes, it really is an outstanding novel. I was a bit surprised too that it was an ’emotionally chilling’ psychological thriller and that it turned out to be such a page-turner that I read it in two days.

We meet Geo – short for Georgina – in the present, while she’s standing trial, testifying against Angela’s murderer. The harsh truth is that Geo kept her mouth shut for fourteen years about what she knew had happened to her friend. Of course I felt like she got everything she deserves, the crime is obvious, she lied to her friend’s parents, she let them hope for news about their daughter, and let everyone search for Angela for fourteen long years and yet… it’s not that simple. Through snippets in the present and the past I really got to know Geo and both in present and past she seems like a good person. Her friendship with her best friend Angela was sincere and in the present she honestly cares for her friend Cat, so where did this go wrong, how could she do this?

The story and Geo’s character really grabbed me from the get go. The revelations and events leading up to her murder were dark and gritty and it also calls for trigger warnings. That sense of foreboding keeps growing stronger and while you know Angela’s body was found, I simply couldn’t imagine it would actually be happening or why as Angela was such a bubbly person.

Calvin James is bad news, that’s pretty obvious, he’s someone that I would take a big detour for so why is she still protecting him now by not telling the police he’s been trying to contact her? Dead bodies are piling up again and still she doesn’t say anything. I couldn’t fathom a logical explanation for this at all. No matter how hard I sympathised with her, I felt she was so wrong here and couldn’t redeem her choice.

Hillier made Geo a very likeable character with quite a tragic backstory, one that forgives her for some stupid choices she made, but is it enough to keep forgiving her for what she’s doing in the present? I was wondering how far she was going to push it.

I really liked the entire novel but my favorite part was close to the end where there was a fantastic twist and even when I figured it out right the moment before the lid was blown off, Jennifer Hillier kept the twists coming and wrong-footed me completely with how this would end. It became even more thought-provoking when looking at the choices she made and deciding for myself if Geo’s a good or a bad person. Obviously she’s a bit of both but maybe everybody will lean more toward one side or another. 4.5 well-deserved stars that I’m rounding up for Goodreads and Amazon.

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