10 most anticipated reads of 2020

Can't Wait

Happy New Year to all my readers!!! I wish you all the very best and a great year to come!

I don’t know what 2020 will bring for the most part, but one thing I do know for sure: there will be plenty of amazing books to read! I have listed 10 novels that are already on my wishlist. I have read and loved previous novels from 9 of these authors and there’s one author I haven’t read yet but her debut novel has a 3.91 average on Goodreads so I have a good feeling I’ll love her writing, and her next novel sounds like one I don’t want to miss either.

Here are 10 of my most anticipated books:

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.

But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?

And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.

For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns–as her mother did years earlier–that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendrickx and Sarah Pekkanen

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 so isolated.

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

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

Beast by Matt Wesolowski

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire’…

Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.

Anna Andrews finally has what she wants. Almost. She’s worked hard to become the main TV presenter of the BBC’s lunchtime news, putting work before friends, family, and her now ex-husband. So, when someone threatens to take her dream job away, she’ll do almost anything to keep it.

When asked to cover a murder in Blackdown–the sleepy countryside village where she grew up–Anna is reluctant to go. But when the victim turns out to be one of her childhood friends, she can’t leave. It soon becomes clear that Anna isn’t just covering the story, she’s at the heart of it.

DCI Jack Harper left London for a reason, but never thought he’d end up working in a place like Blackdown. When the body of a young woman is discovered, Jack decides not to tell anyone that he knew the victim, until he begins to realise he is a suspect in his own murder investigation.

One of them knows more than they are letting on. Someone isn’t telling the truth. Alternating between Anna’s and Jack’s points of view, His & Hers is a fast-paced, complex, and dark puzzle that will keep listeners guessing until the very end.

The Keepers by John Marrs

Everyone has secrets. They know yours…

In the 21st century information is king. But computers can be hacked, files can be broken into. So a unique government initiative has been borne. Five ordinary people have been selected to become the latest weapon in thwarting cyber terrorism. A revolutionary medical procedure has turned them into the ultimate secret keepers – the country’s most secretive 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. Only somebody has discovered who the secret keepers are. And one by one, they are being hunted down…

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

From the author of Jar of Hearts, a mother driven to the edge by the disappearance of her son learns her husband is having an affair with the woman who might have kidnapped him.
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.

Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.

Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

In this new thriller from the author of The Escape Room, a podcast host covering a controversial trial in a small town becomes obsessed with a brutal crime that took place there years before.

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

He Started It by Samantha Downing

From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family—not unlike your own—just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in….

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

So are any of these on your list too? Any other novels that I should know about? Do let me know!

The Belgian Reviewer’s top 10 of 2019

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I’m finally ready to share my top 10 of the year. It was so difficult to choose only 10 and I made changes to this list twice but I’m happy with every book that’s on it and I’m trying not to feel too bad for the ones that should be on it too. I opted for books that were unique, orginal, with great twists and endings that really stay with me, even months after reading, so this is what you get then :-).

Of these 10 novels there are new authors for me (Søren Sveistrup, Heidi Perks, Louise Beech..), there are debut novels that really deserve to be on everyone’s readlist (The Doll Factory, The Escape Room) and there are a few authors who you can find (again and again) on previous lists of the past years (Matt Wesolowski, John Marrs).

 

 

Out of these 10 novels I read 7 in paperback and 3 in e-copy, and it’s all thanks to the wonderful publishers that I had a chance to read these amazing novels, so I’m eternally grateful for that, thank you loads if you’re reading this! I’m also extremely thankful for the e-copy that I won in a giveaway and turned out to be an unexpected revelation and an author I want to follow from now on. Last but not least, I find it really telling that I read 4 Orenda Books titles this year and 3 of them made it on the list. They have such great authors I shouldn’t be surprised really.

So what do you think, did I choose well? Any titles that are on your list as well? Let me know in the comments! 

WWW Wednesday (09-10-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

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

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

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What I finished reading:

I received this novel orginally in a book subscription box. It was an ok read but not outstanding in my opinion as it was pretty predictable. I have no idea yet how to review this one so it’s still very much a work in progress.

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

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What I’m reading now:

I have C.J. Tudor’s third novel ‘The Other People’ to read now (yay!) but I also have the first one thanks to a blogfriend who sent me her proof copy, so I’m happy to do things in the right order. I started this novel on vacation actually but the holiday was over sooner than the book was finished :-). It’s an easy read and has a very enjoyable writing style so I know it’s an author I want to read more books from and I’m thrilled that I can now.

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

A difficult choice and I still haven’t read the novel I mentioned in my post last month but I’m thinking it’s cold and wintry already so it might be a perfect timing for nordic noir. Red Snow is the second novel in the Tuva Moodyson series, the follow-up of Dark Pines and I can’t wait to see where it’ll take Tuva this time.

Red Snow by Will Dean 

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TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

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

WWW Wednesday (04-09-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

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

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

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What I finished reading:

Amazon just told me that I purchased an ecopy of this novel on 30 July 2017. The author, Alice Feeney, recently published a second book so that meant it was definitely time to read the first one. Of course I enjoyed this read, I didn’t expect it any other way with such a great book title :-).

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

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What I’m reading now:

I don’t know if you’ll remember this from Twitter but I won a signed paperback copy of this novel in a UK giveaway last year. The only problem is that I don’t live in the UK. One of my lovely blogfriends was so kind to have it delivered to her address so that I only had to pay shipping from the UK. It’s definitely different from what I’m used to reading but I need some peptalk to face my own fears right now so I thought this book would be perfect at this time. And it turns out I quite like it!

A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I’m finally having my vacation next week and this one’s on my readlist. Why did I choose this one? First of all, I received the proof copy from one of my loveliest blog friends a while ago and second of all, I saw the title and blurb of her next book and that interests me as well, so I better start with this one now if I want to read  Six Wicked Reasons later this year (I might even have a chance to listen to it as my first audiobook).

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

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Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

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

Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin #BlogTour #GuestPost

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Welcome to my stop for Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin. Thanks so much to Vicky at Aria Fiction for the invitation to join this blog tour! I have a great guestpost to share with you today on the author’s POV about negative reviews, but first check out how wonderful the blurb already sounds.

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Have you ever wanted to kill your best friend?

Anna was the perfect wife. Perfect mother. Perfect woman. And now she’s dead. Leaving behind her husband, David, and two young children their lives will never be the same. But Vicky will make sure life goes on…

These two women have been best friends forever, a lifetime of secrets lies between them and now Vicky is ready to step up into Anna’s perfect shoes. But not everything is as it seems and as David begins to question Vicky’s motives for walking into his life things might just get a little murderous.

The question on everyone’s lips is, who killed Anna? And what actually happened on the night she died?

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Buy from other webshops here : Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

Author

Dawn Goodwin

Dawn’s career has spanned PR, advertising and publishing. Now, she loves to write about the personalities hiding behind the masks, whether beautiful or ugly. Married, she lives in London with her two daughters and a British bulldog called Geoffrey.

Connect

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Guestpost

How to Grow Your Own Rhino Skin

My third novel, “Best Friends Forever”, has just hit the shelves. All my hard work will hopefully have paid off and I will be revelling in 5-star Goodreads and Amazon reviews as my book flies up the charts. It is a story I loved writing, taking me back to the 1980s and memories of friends made and lost over the years, and I really hope readers will enjoy it just as much.

But let’s be realistic. There are always going to be those who don’t like your work, whether it’s the characters or the plot or just the way you write. Many of the characters I create are certainly not likeable people and that doesn’t always sit well with some readers, those that want to fall in love with the hero or heroine and root for them against all odds.

This isn’t my first rodeo. When my debut novel, “The Accident”, was published, I naively thought everyone would love it as much as I still do. I had spent years in the heads of the characters. They were a part of me, like one large, dysfunctional family, complete with the relative you would never invite to Christmas. But that wasn’t the case. While the majority of reviews were (and still are) incredibly positive and leave me warmed with pride, there have also been some savage ones and I have come to realise that if I want to continue as a writer, I will have to develop the skin of a rhinoceros.

Even now, a few years after “The Accident” was published, I feel wounded by a negative review. I read one recently that alluded to the fact that I had obviously written it quickly and that “perhaps putting more effort into the story, character and plot would boost author credibility”. Wow, tell me what you really think…. The truth of the matter is that I spent several years developing the plot and characters, agonising over the details and reworking it. As my finger hovered over the “Comments” button, I wanted to reply and tell the reader how much her review had stung, detail how much work had gone into writing the book and point out that her review may well have put future readers off.

Then I took a breath… and logged out.

How many times had I read a book I didn’t like? Sure, as a writer, I am conscious that there is a person behind the book that has worked really hard and therefore I am more inclined to write that it just wasn’t for me rather than cutting it to shreds. But what I have come to realise was that this wasn’t a personal attack on me. Reviews are very important to writers. It means we are being read. I’d like to think this woman will mention the book to a friend, tell them how awful she thought it was, and that friend will look it up, see the many 5-star reviews it has achieved and decide to read it for themselves. The negative reviews legitimise the positive ones, sparking debate and piquing interest, and I am always thankful to readers who take the time to post a review, whether good or not – and obviously enormously grateful that they have bought the book in the first place.

Writing for an audience will always be a brutally humbling career. From the moment you send out your first manuscript and ask an agent to read it, you are opening yourself up to judgement, laying yourself bare and asking a complete stranger, “So what did you think?” If you’re lucky, you will be snapped up fairly quickly, but realistically it could take months and months (if not years) of rejections; some gentle, others less so. So you have to be persistent, thick-skinned – and possibly a little bit crazy – to keep going.

But would I have it any other way? Certainly not. The fact that I feel every bad review like the prick of a needle means I care. And if I care, then whatever I write on the page has been done with sweat, tears and love for my job.

It is my hope that the majority of readers will love “Best Friends Forever” and will come away from reading it feeling moved in some way and thinking that the money they spent was worthwhile in that I provided them with a few hours of escapism and entertainment. And if you feel moved enough to write a review, please treat it like you would when appraising your child’s dodgy attempt at painting. Remember that there is a person behind that book who has spent years working on it, perfecting it, creating a world from their own imagination and investing a lot of emotion in it. But if it’s not your cup of tea, I’ve still done you a service by making you spend your £3 on a book that exercised your brain rather than on a muffin that you may regret later.

You can thank me by leaving a good review….

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*** Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour ***

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WWW Wednesday (03-07-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

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

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

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What I finished reading:

I’m on the blog tour for this novel in August But. I. Could. Not. Wait. Any. Longer! And I’m so happy I didn’t wait because I absolutely loved this novel. The corporate setting was brilliant and fascinating and the time the characters spent in the elevator was quite entertaining. I highly recommend this one if you love a psychological, character-driven thriller 😉

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin 

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What I’m reading now:

I know I’m late to this party :-). I heard this novel is rather dark and hard-hitting, so this seems like a great read that I really don’t want to miss 😉

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven 

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I read this author’s first two novels and loved them both so much that I vowed to read everything he writes. His previous books (Final Girls and Last Time I Lied) were very atmospheric and intriguing and I expect this one will be very creepy as well.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents.
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.

Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.
And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…

Welcome to the Bartholomew…You may never leave.

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

WWW Wednesday (05-06-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

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

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

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What I finished reading:

The Whisper Man turned out to be a great debut novel. It was creepy alright although perhaps not the creepiest I have read (The Changeling by Matt Wesolowski is still on top of my list) but it has enough scary elements to give you the chills nonetheless.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

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What I’m reading now:

I looooved Chris McGeorge’s first novel so much (Guess Who) and nobody’s happier than me for the chance to read his second novel via Netgalley. I like it so far but the mystery is still very much a mystery even if I’m halfway through so if it doesn’t give me a hint soon I’m going to get frustrated ;-). It’s a good read but I think it’s not going to top his first one.

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge 

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

When I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it! There’s lying involved! Who’s lying? Oh I love this kind of trope. This is the last book I signed up for to review on a blog tour and I normally don’t do many reviews for book tours, so that’s how much I wanted to read it.

Forget My Name by J.S. Monroe

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You are outside your front door. There are strangers in your house. Then you realise… You can’t remember your name.

She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.

Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.

One of them is lying.

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