I've now read all four books in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten and have to say that this series is getting better and more intriguing with each new installation. Dead Secret is full of twists and turns and kept me hooked from start toI've now read all four books in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten and have to say that this series is getting better and more intriguing with each new installation. Dead Secret is full of twists and turns and kept me hooked from start to finish.
This book starts exactly where book three had left us but it can be read as a standalone just the same. An injured young woman in distress with her face all bruised and bloody arrives at Lucy Sherwood's new shelter for domestic abuse victims. This woman won't say a word and seems terrified of someone. It's evident that she's on the run from somewhere. Who is this woman? Where did she come from? What happened to her? Who did this to her?
DC Maggie Jamieson is faced with more than one baffling case in this book. First the body of a teenage boy is found in the woods. He's been bludgeoned to death. Who was this boy? Who has done this to him? Why did the killer leave their weapon behind? And what do the strange markings found on the body mean?
Then DCI Hastings and his family disappear without a trace. No one knows what happened to them, until a gruesome discovery is made at the DCI's home. With the clock ticking and fearing the DCI's and his family's well-being, Maggie, Nathan and the rest of the team, with the input of Dr Kate Moloney from Ireland, are drawn into a frenetic search for clues and evidence. But these two cases will prove a tough nut to crack and by the end no one will be the same.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout as we have so much going on: the murder, the disappearance of an entire family, the mysterious woman at the shelter. Plus we have Maggie finally and seriously thinking about her personal life, trying to decide what she really wants. The tension never stops and the plot's momentum is pacy. The characters are all life-like and the dialogues realistic. Though the plot is complex it is not confusing and with skill the author kept me guessing till the end where I came across a couple of mind-blowing surprises I wasn't expecting. Once again, this book ends with a massive cliffhanger and now I can only plead with the author to hurry up and publish her next 'Dead' book asap.
'Dead Secret' is yet another engrossing addition to the series and I highly recommend it. An intriguing plot, great characterisation, more than one baffling mystery, all in all an entertaining read. What more could a reader wish for?
With thanks to One More Chapter for approving my request to read an ARC of this book through Netgalley....more
Whenever I start reading a book by Mark Tilbury I know that very soon I'll be plunged into a nightmare, a dark, dizzying and terrifying psychological abyss. This author's books are all brilliant and even though I know that they verge on horror (not mWhenever I start reading a book by Mark Tilbury I know that very soon I'll be plunged into a nightmare, a dark, dizzying and terrifying psychological abyss. This author's books are all brilliant and even though I know that they verge on horror (not my favourite genre), I find myself somehow attracted to them like a moth to a flame, yearning to take a little peep inside his twisted mind. 'Song of the Psychopath' made me bite my nails to the quick and I'm sure it will stay with me forever.
After a whole year missing, Tommy is found seriously injured in an alley. Waking up at the hospital after a week in a coma, he has no recollection of what happened to him. It's as though his memory has been wiped clean. He doesn't even recognise his parents and sister. Where has he been all this time? What happened to him? The police come and ask questions but if he can't give them any clues they can do nothing to find the persons responsible. It's evident that Tommy has been held somewhere, beaten and abused. But where? And who could do that to a teenager?
Soon Tommy starts having terrifying flashbacks that don't make any sense to him. Plied with painkillers, he becomes withdrawn and depressed. He starts having nightmares and hallucinations, episodes where he becomes aggressive towards his family. All he wants to do is die and put an end to his pain and misery.
In the meantime the sick bas***ds that had used and abused of Tommy and kept him prisoner know that they will be in deep trouble if he regained his memory. They have much to lose if that were to happen and so are desperate to get to him. But how can they do that when Tommy spends most days at home? One thing is for sure, they will stop at nothing to finish the job. How can Tommy in his confused state escape from their grasp a second time?
Well, this book must be one of the darkest books I've ever read. I'm sure it's not everyone's cup of tea as it treats a very delicate subject - child abuse. The story made me go through all sorts of emotions. I found myself flying through the pages, wanting to know if Tommy will remember what happened to him or not. If the villains will succeed in grabbing him once more. I felt terrible and sorry for Tommy, for what those people made him go through. I wanted to throttle the sick monsters with my own hands. The villains in this book must be the worst I've ever come across in all the years I've been reading. Yes, this author's mind must be seriously twisted to come up with such terrifying scenes and plots.
This book is very well-written with realistic dialogue and vivid (sometimes too much so) descriptions. Some scenes require a strong stomach to digest them. Some of the characters are demons disguised as humans. I liked Tommy's sister the most and her determination to help her brother.
To say I 'enjoyed' this book wouldn't be the right term to use this time due to the central theme of the story. I rather enjoyed the thrill of the ride, the feelings, the stimuli, the sensations provoked by this book, the goosebumps erupting on my skin. It was like watching a horror movie from behind the safety of a cushion with your feet tucked well away in case there's a monster under the bed.
'Song of the Psychopath' is an addictive, shocking page turner that will test your sanity. I can't remember how many times I uttered loudly OMG and WTF, gaining weird looks from my family members. One word of caution to the ladies: don't spend money on your nails before reading this book as you'll end up eating them.
Well done to the author and roll on the next one!!...more
I had really enjoyed reading 'Shadow Falls', the first book in the Detective Madison Harper series by Wendy Dranfield, so as soon as I finished that I immediately started 'Cry for Help'. The second book kicks off exactly where book one ends and so I I had really enjoyed reading 'Shadow Falls', the first book in the Detective Madison Harper series by Wendy Dranfield, so as soon as I finished that I immediately started 'Cry for Help'. The second book kicks off exactly where book one ends and so I recommend reading the books in order.
Madison has arrived back at her hometown after a long absence which she spent in prison for a crime she didn't commit. But she's not given an exactly warm welcome back, neither by her ex colleagues nor by the people in town. Everyone believes her to be a cold-blooded killer.
She's back with Nate, her boss and private investigator, who's helping her find out the identity of the person who had framed her. But she's also back to find her son and to investigate the murder of her ex-girlfriend, Stephanie. However, Madison is no longer a detective, she has to leave the work to the local police, her ex-colleagues whom she doesn't trust. So she embarks on her own investigation. But how can she and Nate prove her innocence?
As soon as Madison arrives back in town, a teenage girl is found dead at the local amusement park. Everything points to an open-and-shut suicide case, but certain facts indicate possible suspicious circumstances. Someone was with the girl when she died or soon after. Someone knows what happened to her. But who? And what? Was it an assisted suicide perhaps? Or murder?
Well, there's a lot going on in this book and I found myself fully absorbed in the plot and entertained for hours. A myriad questions invaded my mind. I wanted to know who had framed Madison. Who killed Stephanie. And why. What happened to Madison's son? Was the girl at the amusement park murdered or had she had enough of her short sad life?
The plot is fast paced and suspenseful from start to finish. The author's writing crisp and full of vivid descriptions. Even though we have a number of different sub-plots and investigations going on: Stephanie's murder, the girl's death, the whereabouts of Madison's son and the search for the identity of the person who had framed Madison, the plot is not confusing at all. And that shows this author's skill in seamlessly taking the reader on a complex, intriguing, breath-taking journey full of twists and turns, surprises and red herrings and keep them entertained throughout. The ending made me wince and gasp... literally!
I thought book one in the series was great, but I enjoyed this one even more. It is a fabulous thriller and I highly recommend it! Well done to the author and huge thanks to Bookouture for an ARC of this book....more
It's been a long time since I read a book set in the US, but the blurb of this book and the beautiful cover enticed me enough to give it a go. I'm now glad I did so as I really enjoyed this book.
Madison Harper is an ex-detective just released from prIt's been a long time since I read a book set in the US, but the blurb of this book and the beautiful cover enticed me enough to give it a go. I'm now glad I did so as I really enjoyed this book.
Madison Harper is an ex-detective just released from prison. She had been framed by someone for a murder she didn't commit. Now that she's out with no place to live and no money she wants to find out who did this to her and she wants to clear her name. Someone stole six years of her life and has taken her son away from her. In order to do this she approaches a private investigator, Nate Monroe, to help her in her quest. Like Madison, Nate is a damaged soul, an ex-convict who has spent seventeen years on death-row for the murder of his fiancee. But Nate is innocent, he was framed too for this murder but was eventually released after new evidence proved his innocence. He knows who's behind this and is determined to find the person responsible for destroying his once-happy life. So both Madison and Nate are on a mission.
At first Nate is reluctant to help Madison. He doesn't like bent-cops. But then hearing and believing her story, he agrees to take her on as his employee. She will help him with his investigations and at the same time he would look into her case.
Their first case together is that of a missing nine-year-old girl who has disappeared while on Summer camp in a remote area of Northern California. There are a couple of suspicious individuals at the camp, but with no evidence and no body it will be very difficult for Nate and Madison to find any clues. The local police does not appreciate their interference and is reluctant to help. It's as though they too have something to hide. One thing is sure, something fishy is going on at the mysterious camp. What happened to Jenny? Is she lost? Did she drown in the lake? Or has she been kidnapped? Is she still alive or buried in the surrounding woods? Will Nate and Madison find the truth?
Well this book brought together two very interesting characters, each dragging a heavy baggage behind. Both Nate and Madison have suffered enormously at the hands of unscrupulous individuals who have ruined their lives. I loved these characters and their determination to seek the truth. In this book we don't have just one main character as we usually have in crime stories but two. Even though Madison is mentioned on the cover, Nate carries equal weight in the plot.
It felt as though this was not just one book, but three in one. We have the main missing person story, and then both Nate's and Madison's back stories. The author sometimes switches from the main plot to either Nate's past in prison or Madison's earlier life. We also have some chapters from the pov of a psychologist. I couldn't understand this character's significance, but then towards the end everything made sense.
The plot is well-written, entertaining, fast-paced and at times tense. We have a number of unexpected twists and turns and red herrings that keep the reader on their toes. I found myself desperately wanting to find out what happened to Jenny. The author leaves us clueless till the unexpected ending. The book ends with a massive cliffhanger, making the reader want to go straight to book 2 - Cry for Help, which is exactly what I've done.
I enjoyed reading this book and have no qualms in recommending it. With thanks to Bookouture for an ARC copy of 'Shadow Falls' through Netgalley....more
I started my reading year with a BOOM!! The new masterpiece by Ken Follett, 'The Evening and the Morning'. Over 800 pages long and I have enjoyed every single word in it. This is the prequel to the famous Kingsbridge series which I've been wishing toI started my reading year with a BOOM!! The new masterpiece by Ken Follett, 'The Evening and the Morning'. Over 800 pages long and I have enjoyed every single word in it. This is the prequel to the famous Kingsbridge series which I've been wishing to read for many years but always held back due to the sheer length of the books, but now having read this beautiful book and it being the prequel to The Pillars of the Earth, I intend to read the whole series.
WOW what a fantastic master story-teller Follett is!! This was my first book penned by this famous author. Spanning a decade during the Dark Ages, the story follows three main characters: Edgar the builder, a strong, courageous, poor, kind-hearted man; Aldred, a clever monk who loves books and whose dream is to establish a scriptorium, a library and a teaching centre; and Ragna, a beautiful Norman nobelwoman who travels to England to marry the wealthy ealderman of Shiring. The lives of these key characters will cross each other and intertwine within the pages of the book. Another key character is the bishop of Shiring, Wynstan, but he's evil and his dark mind knows no limits. I hated him with all my heart. Using other evil individuals as pawns, he goes out of his way to make the lives of the other characters I mentioned as miserable as possible. The good and the evil lock horns in this book.
The book contains love, hatred, jealousy, betrayals, marriages, births, rapes and murders, making the reader experience all sorts of emotions. Once I started reading it I was immediately hooked and I couldn't stop. The author's brilliant descriptions take the reader a thousand years back in time to when England was regularly ravaged by the Vikings, depicting the hardship of those days in high definition. I could very clearly imagine what the author had in mind. I felt as if I was there in the midst of what was happening at Dreng's Ferry, or Shiring, or Combe or Outhenham or the other places mentioned in this book.
This is a great masterpiece which I will always keep close to my heart. Yes, I LOVED IT very much!! 10 out of 5 stars from me. And I highly recommend it!...more
After reading and utterly enjoying 'The Catch' by T.M. Logan, I decided to download 'The Holiday' as I'd read so many positive reviews about this book. Once again the author did not disappoint me.
Four women, who have been friends since their universiAfter reading and utterly enjoying 'The Catch' by T.M. Logan, I decided to download 'The Holiday' as I'd read so many positive reviews about this book. Once again the author did not disappoint me.
Four women, who have been friends since their university days, book a relaxing holiday in a luxurious villa in the countryside of south France, together with their husbands and children. Kate is the main character and the majority of the book is written from her point of view. The book begins in Kate and her husband Sean's rental car as they're heading towards the villa to start the holiday with their two children.
"If I'd known what was coming, what we were driving towards, I would have made Sean stop the car and take us straight back to the airport."
This sentence opened my eyes wide open and filled my mind with a thousand questions. What was going to happen on this holiday? We soon understand that there is tension in this couple's marriage. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair and she hopes this holiday, away from their lives back in England, will help them come closer together. However, once at the villa, Kate finds out that the person with whom her husband is having an affair is one of her three best friends on holiday with them. But which one is responsible for putting her marriage in jeopardy? How could she do this to Kate?
The holiday soon turns into a nightmare for Kate. She becomes paranoid and tension between her and Sean increases. Their friends sense that something is not right, but they all have problems and secrets of their own. Kate thought she knew her friends, but it turns out she didn't know them at all. She knows one thing though, that in one way or another, over the years, she has wronged them all. Was this some kind of revenge by one of them? Kate spends the entire stay there analysing her husband and her three friends, one by one, trying to find some clue as to which one of her friends was doing this. She had a week to find out the truth and she was determined to find it. But will she succeed in her quest? Will she uncover the identity of her husband's secret lover?
Well, this book gripped me from the terrifying prologue and kept me hooked till the end. The suspense builds up throughout, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Like Kate, I wanted to find the truth, but I knew that something terrible was going to happen before the identity of the mysterious person is revealed. We have a good mix of characters, men, women and children, all life-like and realistic. I liked the general setting of the story, the author's vivid descriptions put the reader right there, in this huge, isolated villa with its own expansive grounds, including vineyards and woods. Four families who are supposedly friends brought together under the same roof for a whole week, instead of enjoying themselves, doing their best to hide secrets and suspecting each other.
An intriguing, fast-paced plot, short chapters and a number of twists and turns kept me interested in the story. Towards the end, the plot took a surprising turn I wasn't really expecting, however, in my opinion, the author tried to hurriedly tie up all loose ends in one final chapter and that to me felt a bit far-fetched.
However, having said that, this is a great book and I really enjoyed reading it. I like this author's writing style and I have already downloaded his other books. Recommended! ...more
I had been meaning to read 'The Magpies' by Mark Edwards for many years. Now, looking through my kindle's library for something to read, I stumbled upon its cover and decided to take the plunge and finally discover why the title 'The Magpies' was choI had been meaning to read 'The Magpies' by Mark Edwards for many years. Now, looking through my kindle's library for something to read, I stumbled upon its cover and decided to take the plunge and finally discover why the title 'The Magpies' was chosen for a book about neighbours. I was really curious about this.
Jamie and Kirsty are in love and have finally found their dream home, a beautiful ground-floor flat in which they can build their nest and a family. The flat is just ideal for them. In the building there are only another three flats occupied by just five neighbours in all, two couples and a woman living on her own. Jamie and Kirsty organise a party on their first day at the flat and they invite all their friends, and to break the ice, their new neighbours, too. These all welcome the new happy couple with open arms. Then something strange happens bringing the party to an abrupt end and leaving Jamie and Kirsty baffled. Without revealing anything, I'll say that this won't be the only strange thing that occurs. It would be just the first. From then on, practically every day, Jamie and Kirsty are faced with something peculiar, something stranger than the one before, something else that makes them doubt whether they're losing touch with reality. Are these things really happening to them? Or are they going insane, imagining everything? Who could be doing these things to them and why, for what reason? And the gravity of these occurrences gets worse and worse.
Well, this is an exciting, thrilling read and I really enjoyed it, even though I spent the whole time biting my nails with trepidation. Now, having read this book, and knowing that the author has written it based on his own sour experience, I feel really grateful for my immediate neighbours. I also live in an apartment complex with another three families with whom thankfully we get on very well. I couldn't imagine for one second having to endure all the bad things happening to Jamie and Kirsty in their own home at the hands of someone who clearly wants them out of there. But who is doing this to them? And why? Which of the neighbours is responsible? I had a feeling who it might be, but was I correct or not? Or was the author leading me on a wild-goose chase? Hmm but I couldn't be sure of any of the other neighbours either. Each and every one of them could have some hidden agenda and be the one responsible. The author left me wondering till the very unexpected ending. OMG I really wasn't expecting things to turn the way they did.
All in all, I think this is a very thrilling read that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, and I finally understood why this book was titled 'The Magpies'. It actually makes a lot of sense. Well done to Mark Edwards and I'll surely be reading more of his books....more