We Know You Know (previously Stone Mothers) by Erin Kelly #BookReview

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‘I heard the swish of falling paper. I grazed my knuckles retrieving a beige folder, its grubby white ribbon loose. Looping doctor’s handwriting. Addresses. Dates. Names. Photographs! I had found the patients whose notes would bring the past back to life.’

A lifetime ago, a patient escaped Nazareth mental asylum. They covered their tracks carefully. Or so they thought.

Thirty years ago, Marianne Smy committed a crime then fled from her home to leave the past behind. Or so she thought.

Now, Marianne has been forced to return. Nazareth asylum has been converted to luxury flats, but its terrible hold on her is still strong. A successful academic, a loving mother and a loyal wife, she fears her secret being revealed and her world shattering.

She is right to be scared.

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It’s a good year in psychological thriller-land! Believe it or not but this is my first read by Erin Kelly. I do have a Kindle ecopy of He Said She Said but I (still) haven’t read that one yet, probably because of all the hype surrounding it at the time. After reading We Know You Know however I am pretty confident that I will enjoy it very much indeed.

I had no idea that this novel was published before under the title Stone Mothers (it actually refers to this early on in the novel, explaining that the Victorians had such faith in their architecture that they actually thought the design of the building could nurse sick patients back to health) so be aware of that. I don’t really have a preference either way, but I do wonder why they decided to change such a unique book title for something more generic. Maybe it sounded too cold and negative?

Anyway, We Know You Know was a very enjoyable read and a well-written novel that kept the mystery very much in the air. It all starts with Marianne who is not at all pleased when she sees the country getaway her husband bought as a surprise so she could be closer to her sister and her mother who’s suffering dementia. There was a reason for her visceral reaction which is slowly revealed in the part of the story told from the perspective of Helen Greenlaw.

Up until the start of her narrative all I knew was that Marianne and Jesse and MP Helen Greenlaw have a history, that Helen’s the enemy and that they share a secret among the three of them. Unfortunately their bond is compromised and their secret is threatening to come out. I was so ready to hate Helen but the funny thing is, I never did. I was completely on board and felt for her. It’s impossible not to with everything she had to fight for and against. There’s a whole part of the novel about Helen’s history and it sucked me even deeper into the story, showing a different angle in the end of the unfolding events that has bound the three of them for decades. I had an idea what bound them together but even if I had this inkling I really enjoyed how the story gave so much background and was set up leading to it. The last part was told by Marianne’s daughter Honor, which was a surprise on its own since she’s more of a side character, but it gave the story an ending I hadn’t seen coming.

We Know You Know is a solid page turner that I enjoyed reading and had a few interesting and strong female characters.

I bought a paperback copy of this novel online (when it was only 2£ on ‘the ‘zon’). This is my honest opinion.

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The Trophy Child by Paula Daly #BookReview

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A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?

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This was my first Paula Daly novel and it won’t be my last. The Trophy Child is a domestic mystery novel about the blended family of Karen Bloom, her husband Noel and their three children. I was surprised when the first chapter of the novel introduced Verity – Noel’s daughter – as the first of the family, taking a drug test at school. She was a model student and daughter but then they found drugs on her and she attacked Karen! I wanted to know all there was to know about the how and why of it all but the author had a few other puzzling events in store first.

Anyway since the attack ‘poor’ Karen put her focus solely on her youngest, her daughter Bronte. The girl has a million and one after school activities and she has to be the best at all of them. Then one day the family’s perfectly organized world shatters and there’s a detective knocking at their door investigating a missing child and an unrelated crime that also involved the family soon after. At first I was expecting only family drama but this was way better than I hoped for!

Karen was also SUCH a character, I loooved to hate her and she was the perfect villain of the novel. I didn’t feel sorry for her one bit. There were other characters who didn’t really like her either but maybe they kept it better hidden than me, well at least one of them did and I wanted to know who. There are a few suspects but I was completely dumbfounded at the end when the different puzzle pieces came together. Not as fast-paced in the beginning as I’m used to perhaps but if you want unpredictable you have it here in spades.

The Trophy Child is a cleverly written novel with fabulous twists and turns. For the life of me I couldn’t figure this one out so for that alone it deserves to be recommended highly.

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

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney #BookReview

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Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.

Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

Alice Feeney outsmarted me once again. It’s clever, very clever indeed how the author twisted the story in Rock Paper Scissors.

Amelia and Adam are having some marriage problems and the weekend away at Blackwater Chapel – the most remote place you can imagine – is their last hope to salvage their marriage. From the beginning I was wondering if either of them really wanted to though if the thoughts they’re having about each other in the car ride to their destination were anything to go by. Even before they set foot at their retreat I learned that Amelia lied to her husband claiming he forgot to pack his phone so I wondered what else she would lie about with just as much ease?

While following the couple around in this strange, creepy place and witnessing how their marriage is barely holding up, it did make me wonder how they reached this lowpoint. Inspired by Adam’s manuscript Rock Paper Scissors where a man writes letters to his wife, even after her death, Adam’s wife decides to do the same for each year of their marriage. I think I enjoyed these letters most of all in this novel – they are titled with the traditional wedding gift for that year and a not so commonly known ‘Word of the Year’ so I took away quite a few things from this book – because the letters were a means to let me have a peek into their marriage and all the trials and tribulations that they faced. Adam’s focus on writing a screenplay for the famous author Henry Winter made him forget to spend time with his wife and she in return struggled with the fact that they didn’t have children yet… Even though I was suspicious of Amelia’s intentions towards her husband during their stay, the letters indicated she was sincere and someone to root for.

But then another voice enters into the story, someone who’s watching that couple and I had no idea who it was or if this person meant to do them harm (before they harmed each other really). The author gives the story a big spin from there and this mysterious person was tied into the story in unexpected ways. Henry Winter, the author Adam had put on a pedestal plays a bigger part in all of this too but I’ll let you discover the rest of his personal story.

I have enjoyed all of Feeney’s novel and she has written another winner for me with a great twist that even I didn’t see coming. Clever, very clever indeed.

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

The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas #BookReview

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When Saffron Cutler and boyfriend Tom move into 9 Skelton Place, they didn’t expect to find this.

Two bodies, buried under the patio over thirty years ago.

When the police launch a murder investigation, they ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose, whose Alzheimer’s clouds her memory.

But it is clear she remembers something . . .

What happened thirty years ago?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger? . . .

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I’m so sorry I didn’t pick this one up sooner, what a great read!

The Couple at No.9 tells an intriguing story of three generations of women of the same family, Saffy (24 years old), Lorna (her mother and grandmother to be at 41) and Rose (Saffy’s grandmother, aged 78). When Rose settled into a retirement home Saffy and her partner Tom (and Rose’s little doggie Snowy) moved into the little cottage she owned in Beggar’s Nook. And what’s in a name, it’s as if it is meant to be, at Skelton Place they actually find 2 skeletons in the back garden. Who are they and who killed them? It’s clear that they’ve been there for a while so did anything happen in the ’80s when Rose was living there?

They try asking Rose about it but her answers are making no sense at all. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the things she shared. She’s talking about Sheila and Jean and a Victor… but who are these people? Even with the alternating chapters in the past recounting the days of Rose and a 2 year old Lorna there are no such characters involved in their lives. The only thing I did feel strongly was that Rose was very protective of her daughter and that she had run away from someone. When she meets this woman called Daphne she feels a kinship and she can’t help it, she lets her in her life. Does that mean the start of their undoing? 

I had no idea who the two bodies were, my super sleuthing skills were failing me terribly, Claire Douglas is just so good at not giving anything away before the right moment comes. I can’t say anything else then that you don’t know anything when reading this novel and I’m convinced there’s no fortune teller who will be able to predict the truth of the matter at heart. This is not a simple whodunnit but there’s a whole history about these women’s past peeled back as layers of an onion. So many questions were raised and so many of these answers gave the story an unexpected twist.  

Claire Douglas is an auto-buy author for me and she doesn’t have to fear that will change in the future. I have enjoyed every single book that I have read of hers so far and with The Couple at No.9 she delivered a smart, sharp and compelling novel once again.

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

Of dog walkers and yoga retreats: Sleeping Dogs Lie by Samantha Downing | The Getaway by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen #AudioBookReviews

AudioBookReviews

I chose two short novellas (around 2 hours of listening time each) because I love reading books written by these authors and I wanted to see if their audiobooks would be equally brilliant.

SleepingDogsLie

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Shelby works as a dog walker in northern California, and she’s just finished up her bi-weekly trip to the park with a husky named Pluto. When she brings him back to his house, she finds his owner – Todd Burke, a well-known local businessman and founder of an organic supplements company – lying on the bathroom floor, dead. A detective arrives on the scene. As she interviews Shelby, the body is inspected by a medical examiner, and more cops search Todd’s home, it becomes clear that the victim’s life was less picture-perfect than his clean-cut persona might lead you to believe.

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If you love animals you’ll enjoy listening to this audiobook. I normally give novellas a miss but I fell for the mention of the author and the dog in Sleeping Dogs Lie. The author managed to create an entertaining mystery about the murder of a husky’s owner. Pluto seemed like a goofy and affectionate dog, especially with his interest in neighbouring little doggie Daisy. I didn’t expect the dog and his dog walker to be so front and center of the story but I loved that it revolves around them. Pluto’s owners had joined custody, his neighbour wanted him to leave his dog alone and threatened to kill Pluto…  So who killed Todd? Detective Grady tries to make sense of it all. There are a few suspects but I totally didn’t expect this outcome. Great twist and motive!

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TheGetaway

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Prepare yourself for a transformative experience. Sometimes, life’s setbacks contain hidden gifts. Here at Lakewood, you’ll find the space to unwrap them.

A weekend at the Lakewood Retreat is exactly what Chloe Powell needs. Freshly unemployed after her boss loses a reelection campaign, the former press secretary desperately wants a break from the bustle of Washington, DC. A flier posted at her yoga studio leads her to the getaway, which looks amazing: Organic meals, celebrity testimonials, and a serene private property within driving distance of the city.

It’s so perfect, in fact, that Chloe’s barely bothered by the intensely personal questions she’s asked in her application, or the unnerving social experiments her enigmatic host, Sebastian, imposes on her once she arrives at his remote cabin. But when a mysterious new guest shows up, Chloe can no longer suppress her rising panic: This place is not at all what it seems.

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star three and a half

Another duo that knows how to deliver unexpected twists. Unfortunately, for some reason and especially knowing what this author duo is capable of, I expected more from it. It started off really good, I was hooked at the start and alarm bells went off as soon as Chloé arrived at the retreat. There was that unsettling feeling where you can’t put your finger on what is wrong exactly hanging in the air and possible scenarios were trying to take form in my head. When another guest finally arrives it became clear what was going on but I didn’t feel as excited with this twist as I should have been. The tension was ramped up in the end and I did cheer Chloé along. This was ok but you’re not missing out if you haven’t listened to this.

I downloaded these audiobooks from Audible for free, as part of my membership. Do let me know what your thoughts were if you have listened to these audiobooks in the past!

He Started It by Samantha Downing #BookReview

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No one knows you better than your family. They know your hopes and dreams. And your darkest secrets.

This is a story about three siblings. It’s about a secret they’ve all kept since they were children. It’s a story about lying. A story about murder. A story where only one can win…

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Thank you to my blog friend Jonetta for making me pick up one of Samantha Downing’s novels! Well the year has certainly ended on a high note with this novel! He Started It is a novel about a road trip. Scratch that, it’s a novel about a power trip, both in the present and past storyline.

After their grandpa died Beth, along with her siblings Eddie and Portia stand to inherit his estate, car and liquid funds. All they have to do to receive their inheritance is go on a road trip. Well not just any road trip but THE road trip, following the exact same route as the only other road trip they went on when they were children and their grandpa took them on to give their parents time alone to sort their differences.

He Started It is filled to the brim with secrets and lies, the characters are generally untrustworthy and greedy. Her older brother Eddie is a charming asshole, her younger sister Portia stole from her even when she was 6 years old so she might be up to her old tricks in the present. As for Beth herself, she doesn’t call herself a good person, she makes it clear from the start that she’s not hero, and she really isn’t a good person either but in the end I did still feel for her! Mission accomplished you amazing author!

This was literally the road trip from hell, it all starts going haywire fairly soon when they feel they are being followed by another car, but who and why? Are they even being followed or is it also a lie, Beth doesn’t know for sure. Strange things do start to happen when they’re not looking, things go missing, but is it an outsider or an insider… you just don’t know! On top of that the author drops plenty of twists and turns in the past roadtrip as well with great shock value. It only added to the suspense and it had me question every few pages what went wrong on that first roadtrip and what secret they’re not talking about.

This was unlike any other roadtrip I ever read about and I loved every second of this crazy trip. Maybe I would have liked it more if Beth was the one good person but in this family, how could she? I had no idea how this would end and this novel managed to surprise me right up to when I read the very last lines.

I can’t believe it’s only the first novel I read by Samantha Downing, but it will certainly not be my last! If you enjoy unpredictable stories, then you really need to add this one to your list!

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

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier #BookReview

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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—until their world falls apart the day their son 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. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery 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.

Permanently.

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I loved reading Jar of Hearts, the first title by this author that I read back in 2018. Little Secrets was published in 2020 and I recently found out that Jennifer Hillier has a new novel on the way in 2022 called Things We Do In The Dark which sounds pretty amazing so I wanted to get up to speed before this new title arrives. This is mainly why I decided to read this as my next book pick.

I really enjoyed Little Secrets even if it has a very different feel and style compared to Jar of Hearts. After I finished reading it I can attest she’s still this brilliant writer who very well knows what she’s doing, luring everyone in like she did in Little Secrets and then captivating you with the small cast, only to circle back in the end to show how it all fits together.

Even if I was expecting something a little differently, with perhaps more high tension throughout the story, it did pull me in right away with the brutal abduction of Marin and Derek’s little boy Sebastian in the first pages. The adrenaline dies down quite abruptly then though with Marin attending a group counseling session where the author seemed to want to have the reader hear from missing children’s parents how they feel and struggle. The focus of the story shifts further towards Derek’s affair. The whole mystery and search for Sebastian seemed to be put on the backburner suddenly and isn’t talked about much anymore which felt a little strange as I expected it to be the main focus of the novel and what I really wanted to find out about, but soon enough I did get caught up in Marin’s knowledge about the affair of Derek and Kenzie Li and especially in what she was going to do about it. There was a moment that I felt I had read Marin’s resort of action before in another novel this year, but I was happy to find out that it only became more surprising and exciting from hereon. The author also gives Kenzie Li a voice in the story which I appreciated because she has her own story to tell and while I sometimes hated her, my sympathy for her grew as well at other times.

Hillier delivered a great psychological thriller with lots of drama and emotions. With not many pages left in the novel I suspected how it would all finally unravel but the anticipation was very high. Was Marin going to find her son and the person who took him? The author kept me well in suspense! I’m definitely putting her next novel on my wishlist!

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

The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley #BookReview @TrapezeBooks @rmorganbentley

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One fatal crash. Two colliding worlds. Three wrecked lives.

School teacher Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to work.

A day like any other…

Except for one man who, in a final despairing act, jumps in front of Ben’s car, turning the teacher’s world upside down in a single horrifying instant…

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, he develops a friendship with Alice, the dead man’s wife, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could he go too far in trying to make amends?

How would you cope, knowing you’d caused someone’s death?

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

The Wreckage is a solid psychological thriller and a brilliant debut novel. In fact, The Wreckage didn’t feel like a debut novel at all and I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up sooner. Well actually I do know a little, see when I have read an author already I know in advance how much I’ll probably like it but with a new author the fear of the unknown sometimes works against me. I’m happy to confirm that it worked out really really well this time.

The writing was addictive and very easy to read. The novel opens with a horrific event for Ben when someone jumps in front of his car. It was raining so he certainly wasn’t driving fast and yet it happened in a few seconds. He feels very guilty and he visits the comatose man in the hospital where he meets his wife Alice and their son Max. It all feels genuinely nice and Ben is just concerned but then it starts to feel somewhat stalkerish. There are limits in wanting to make amends right? Well Ben didn’t seem to get the memo! I started to feel quite uncomfortable about the whole situation (which I mean in the bestest of ways) although Ben never actually does anything wrong. So he remembered Max’ birthday and he wants to buy him presents and he happens to be in the shop at the same time and find Max wandering around. He’s concerned that Alice doesn’t take care of him like she should then, it’s a normal reaction, right? Right? Hmm I don’t know but I wanted him far away from Alice and Max, yet he seems unstoppable to want to help them, to want to be in their lives.

The author includes a whopper of a twist in the final part of the novel. I did not expect this at all so I had to mull it over in my own head how believable it felt and if this made a difference and could make me change my opinion of Ben. The idea is indeed a little out there, yet I still embraced it because it worked so well in the story and honestly, I read this book about two weeks ago and it still plays on my mind now so the fact that it dumbfounded me is exactly why it is one of those memorable plotlines that will last in my mind for all eternity. I loved that the author misled me and did it so perfectly. I honestly also do love it when an author can make you see someone in another light all of a sudden. This happened here slightly but it’s not as if Ben suddenly turned into my favorite character either as too much water had passed under the bridge already. In the end I felt there were no winners at all. 

I love novels about obsession and the lengths people would go for the love of their lives. I thought I knew where this story was going too but I was wrong, which I loved! I can’t wait to read another of his novels and see what else he has in store.

The Wreckage is perfect for fans of His&Hers by Alice Feeney, or The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton.

I received a free (and signed!) paperback copy from the author as a winner of a giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

📱The Strangers We Know 📱by Pip Drysdale #BookReview

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When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband Oliver on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends laughingly swiped through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t let it go. Because she took that photo. On their honeymoon.

Suddenly other signs of betrayal start to add up and so Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend her position – she signs up to the app to catch Oliver in the act.

But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are …

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The Strangers We Know turns out to be one of the most surprising novels this year. It starts off with a friend flicking through profiles on tinder in Charlie’s presence and it only takes a split second for Charlie to recognize her husband. What then you might think? Well, like any sane woman losing her mind probably, confirmation and confrontation are high up on Charlie’s agenda but from thereon the story only takes on very twisty developments

‘Who the hell did I marry?’ is a question Charlie Carter asks herself in the middle of the novel and I was also completely caught up in Charlie’s search for answers. What was Oliver playing at? Before she even has a chance to find out all the answers something happens that upped the mystery tenfold. 

I really liked Charlie, even with this lousy situation she’s in she made me smile, her reactions were precious, they were sometimes funny, sometimes logical or fierce but they always felt completely natural. I also loved how she would sometimes address the reader directly. We were on the in, her confidente, her friend.. this technique made me feel very close to her. She’s not some naïve woman, she’s a strong woman and a smart sleuth, and she gained a whole lot of knowledge from the movies (like us, right) and I loved all the small references she made of how it would go in a movie. I didn’t always agree with Charlie’s actions but she’s only human too, right, and without some stupid mistakes we’d never get such a page-turning book.

I had no idea how this story was going to play out, there were a lot of questions and no idea where to go to find the answers so I had no idea exactly how or who the bad guy/woman was. All I can say is that this novel is not at all a cliché story, it is refreshing and intriguing and quite unpredictable (and hearing this from me you know you can count on it being true!). When you finish reading and see where the story started and where it ended and what the motivation of it all turned out to be (it was definitely more than her husband simply looking for a booty call), well I can only admire the clever mind and resourcefulness of the author for incorporating such a deep-running backstory as this one in a seemingly everyday domestic scene of a man caught cheating red-handed.

I didn’t have Pip Drysdale on my radar before so this novel (this is her second book following debut novel The Sunday Girl) is the first one I read and she has definitely left me wanting to read more. I really love her style and her plot design and I’m very interested in finding out what else she has in store.

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

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood #BookReview

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Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

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star three and a half

The Perfect Life is told in a Now and Then narrative and the author keeps up the suspense as the difference in Vanessa Adams’s life is shockingly big between both narratives. Her life in the current state is rather depressing with her staying at her sister’s house, no sign of Connor anywhere near or of doing anything useful throughout the day, and it gets even worse when she’s brought in for questioning for murder after she was found out visiting a house for sale under a different name. The house in question was that of a renowned children books author and she always adored his books so from that very first moment it seemed rather odd to kill your favorite author ;-). Then there are flashback moments where we see Vanessa at her happiest when she falls madly in love with Connor and is thriving in her job. The contrast couldn’t have been bigger so this left a lot of questions to be answered.

The perfect life… who’s life are they talking about in this novel? This is an excellent question for bookclubs. Is it Nessa and Connor’s, her sister Georgie, the life Nessa envions to have if she were living in the houses she visits, someone else? Does anyone really have a perfect life? Nessa and Connor’s life certainly looks perfect at first but looks can be deceiving and relationships can change. As a result of things not going perfect she’s a bit weird and visits all sorts of dreamhouses she can’t afford, adopting new personas every time, with a completely new background story for each new name. Maybe it’s just me but I find my escape in reading a good book but apparently Nessa had other ideas ;-). I had a feeling how one plotline was going to go but I still couldn’t see the murder fitting in. Is Nessa really losing her marbles, her actions are not really ‘normal’ after all? Is Connor the one who tried to set her up? Nuala Ellwood is a great writer whose forte lies both in her writing of psychological aspects in a story and in creating super-surprising twists and she does that again in The Perfect Life. I felt first mad, then furious and at one point so ultimately enraged when bad things happened to Nessa and they culminated in one moment of utter betrayal and ugly deception. While she isn’t a character I felt closely connected to, I wouldn’t wish this for anyone and I was happy knowing that she would rise above it and it would all be fine in the end.

It is up for debate if the supernova of a twist in the end is really believable this time as it really came out of nowhere. I don’t really know how to judge the ending. I agree that it was indeed a bit farfetched but also an original angle and it just goes to show that nobody’s life is perfect and everyone can pretend to be someone they are not.

I have read all four books of this author now and I enjoyed all of them, this one certainly isn’t bad at all and very close to four stars, but I have to admit I liked the plotlines in the other novels a little better and before you ask (because I know you will) The House on the Lake, her previous novel, is personally my favorite one.

You can read my other reviews here: My Sister’s BonesDay of the AccidentThe House on the Lake

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