#tuesdaybookblog Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek #audio #bookreview #thriller

Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek is an addictive read / listen that grips you right from the start. Before my brief review; here’s what the book is all about…

Blurb (Goodreads)

No witnesses, no evidence, no body: Star psychologist Viktor Larenz’s twelve-year-old daughter, Josy, who had suffered from an inexplicable illness, has vanished under mysterious circumstances during a visit to her doctor, and the investigation into her disappearance has brought no results. Four years later, Viktor remains a man shattered by this tragedy. He has retreated to a remote vacation cottage on a North Sea island, where a beautiful stranger named Anna Glass pays him a visit. She claims to be a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real. While writing her most recent novel, Anna has been tortured by visions of a little girl with an unknown illness who has vanished without a trace, and she asks Dr. Larenz to treat her. Viktor reluctantly begins therapy sessions with the stranger, but very soon these sessions take a dramatic turn as the past is dragged back into the light. What really happened to Josy? Do Anna’s delusions describe Josy’s last days? And is Larenz a danger to himself and others?

Therapy is an absolutely gripping psychological thriller, an intelligent, fast and furious read that will stay with you for a long time after you have followed Viktor into the depths of his own psyche, and have figured out who Anna Glass really is.

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My Review

I was totally addicted to this book and found myself listening to it every spare minute I could find.

The premise of a daughter disappearing without trace and a schizophrenic novelist having the answers had me desperate to find out more. With this story you’re never sure what is reality and what is delusion, and it was all very cleverly handled.

I love stories that keep you guessing and I would love to see this one made into a film.

The only possible disappointment for me was the very end. But I’m not giving away any details, so you’ll have to read it and let me know if you were satisfied with the outcome.

This is my first read of a Sebastian Fitzek book and it was so good, I’m almost nervous about picking up another one.

Overall, I rate this book 4.5 stars (only deducted 1/2 for the over use of unnecessary description of characters towards the beginning of the book.)

Why don’t you check the book out on Goodreads and if you have read it, let me know what you thought in the comments.

#Film #Review The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins #thriller

I jumped at the chance of watching The Girl on the Train on my way to New York last week. Not only did I enjoy the audiobook of it last year (see my review here) but I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get excited about my arrival in NYC.

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Initially I was surprised to hear they were changing the location from London to New York, but in the end I don’t think the setting played much part in the film – it could have been set anywhere. This turned out to be a disappointment during my flight to NYC, but the film was entertaining enough to take my mind off all the turbulence we experienced.

As far as I can remember, the script stuck mostly to the book. The scenes jumped around quite a lot, as they do in the book, but for some reason it’s easier to follow in the book. Even for someone who knows the story, I did find myself getting confused a couple of times.  I think this maybe because some of the story threads were not fully shown in the film, which is understandable in an adaptation.

I think Emily Blunt is a talented actress and she played a drunken Rachel Watson very well. All the acting in the film was good, although I don’t recall the detective in the book being as annoying as the one in the film.

The worse thing for me were the sex scenes. Although not explicit, it was terribly embarrassing to watch whilst sitting next to a complete stranger on the plane. Mind you, he was watching the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which also has plenty of sex scenes to blush over.

As far as entertainment goes, I enjoyed this film a lot and I recommend to those who love a mystery thriller.

I rate it 3.5 stars – the audio book got 4 stars.

Have you read the book, or listened to the audiobook? What do you think is best, book or film?

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If anyone is interested, here’s my pictures of a snowy Central Park last week. I also hope to post some more pictures of my weekend in NYC tomorrow.

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Getting Book Reviews by @RayneHall #indieauthors

Getting Book Reviews by Rayne Hall

Part of the Writer’s Craft Series

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Blurb

Reviews help sell books.
When browsing online for their next read, most readers are drawn to the books with many reviews. More and more readers glance at what other readers have to say about a book before they hit the ‘buy now’ button. The more people have read and liked the book, the more they want to experience it for themselves. This is a known psychological factor called ‘social evidence’, and it plays a big role in purchasing decisions.
The more reviews your book has, the better, especially if they are genuine, personal, thoughtful and positive. Reviews can multiply your sales and catapult your book to the top of bestseller lists – but how do you get them?
Perhaps you’re a new author and can’t get those crucial early reviews to start the train rolling. Maybe you’re a seasoned author and your books have garnered reviews, but not as many as you need to break out. Or perhaps you’ve gone the corporate publishing route, and find that your publisher’s publicist isn’t getting your book the attention it needs.
This book shows you many proven strategies to get the reviews your book deserves. Instead of urging you to labour through tedious, spirit-draining procedures, I’ll reveal quick, fun, empowering tricks.
All my suggestions are legitimate and ethical. In this book you won’t find methods for manipulating, faking and cheating. Strengthen your readers’ bond with you, don’t sabotage it.
Most of the methods I suggest are free, although some incur expenses. You will definitely need to spend time. You can apply them all these techniques, or cherry-pick the ones you like now and keep the rest for another time or a different book.
At the end of most chapters, I’m sharing mistakes I made and learnt from. They all seemed a good idea at the time.
Rayne

My Review

First thoughts

Since I self-published for the first time in 2015, I’ve been trying to increase my book’s profile on Amazon by getting more reviews. This book sounded perfect to help me do that.

Summary

Each chapter in the book covers your options when trying to gain reviews. They state the method, along with pros and cons for each and lessons learnt by the author. There were chapters on things like beta readers, approaching amazon reviewers, review circles and general product review agencies.

Writing Style

The book has a friendly, easy to read style just as the previous book of Rayne Hall’s I read and reviewed recently. Why does my book not sell? 20 Simple Fixes

Issues

My only real issue was that I’d already learnt alot of this by myself the long and hard way! It would’ve been great to have a manual like this to work through, to save time and effort.

Final thoughts

I have stumbled my way throughout the process of self-publishing and the same can be said for the way I’ve tried to get reviews. I have made connections with some brilliant book bloggers and gained some wonderful reviews, but I wish I’d known about this book long before I hit publish; things like putting a personal letter at the back of the book would have been easier if addressed beforehand.

This is a quick read, and one you can go back to again and again for sound advice.

Recommend to

I think this book is most helpful to authors who are soon to publish. Of course if you have already self-published, there are still plenty of helpful tips in here for you.

Rating  4 stars

#Audiobook #bookreview – Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge #thriller

Look Behind You – Sibel Hodge

Narrated by – Susan Duerden

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Blurb

Chloe Benson wakes up kidnapped and bound in an underground tomb with no memory of how she got there.

She manages to escape but no one believes her story—not the police, not the doctors, and especially not her husband, Liam.

When she suspects Liam is lying to her, Chloe is forced to retrace her past, following in her own footsteps to find the truth and stay alive. But who is following Chloe?

Look behind you. You never know who’s out there.

***

My Audio Review

I really loved this book. It reminded me of Before I go to sleep by S J Watson, which I also loved. Chloe is in a similar situation, she can’t remember the last 7 weeks of her life and doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

The story gripped me and I couldn’t stop listening. I loved the mystery surrounding the memory loss and how Chloe had to retrace her steps leading up to what happened.

The only problem I found was the narrator. In the beginning I found her style too much. It was all very desperate sounding, but it did fit the situation perfectly. I would be desperate if I woke, tied up in a pitch black room with no memory! Her male voices all sounded samey, but I got used to that and it didn’t detract from the story.

There was one issue that bugged me from the start. Chloe was tied up and broke free, there would surely have been rope marks around her wrists and ankles to prove her story, but everyone insisted on thinking she made it up.

Overall, I loved it and give it 5 stars.

#Audiobook #bookreview – No Longer Safe by A. J. Haines #thriller

No Longer Safe by A.J.Haines

Narrated by Emma Powell

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Blurb

She was your best friend. Now she’s your deadliest enemy – and there’s nowhere to run…

When Alice receives an invitation from Karen, her charismatic University friend, to stay in a remote cottage in Scotland, she can’t wait to rekindle their lost friendship. But two more former students arrive – never friends of Alice’s – and as the atmosphere chills, Karen isn’t the warm-hearted soulmate Alice remembers. Barely is the reunion underway before someone is dead and the fragile gathering is pushed to breaking point.

As the snow cuts them off from civilisation and accusations fly, Alice finds herself a pawn, sinking deeper into a deadly game she can’t escape.

NO LONGER SAFE is a chilling Psychological Thriller that delivers a delicious sting in the

My review

The book moves along at a slow pace, but I wasn’t bored at any point. The backstory is slowly revealed and as you get to know the four reunited friends, you start to understand that no one is quite as they seem. The story becomes more dramatic and events drag Alice along a path that she will have trouble coming back from.

Your suspicions are raised more during the short chapters from Karen’s perspective.  You’re left in no doubt that Alice is being deceived. But it takes a good part of the book to understand just what Karen has planned.

Did I guess the ending? Definitely not. What a shocker!

I’ve already pre-ordered the authors next book which is due out in October.

A recommended read for those who enjoy thrillers at a slightly slower pace, but it still has a dramatic end.

4 star read / listen!

#Audiobook #bookreview – Try not to breathe by Holly Seddon #thriller #suspense

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Audio book

Blurb

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…

My review

I really enjoyed this thriller of a book. The format reminded me very much of Girl on a Train, which I have also recently listened to. Each chapter switches between Alex, Jacob/Jake and Amy’s view-point. There are occasional chapters from other VP’s (Jacob’s mum) but it’s these three that are the main focus.

I quickly became sucked in by the story and found myself snatching every moment I could to listen to another chapter. I found the characters believable and really wanted Alex to get justice for Amy.

The narration was great.

This book lives up to the hype around it and left me guessing (wrongly) at Amy’s attacker most of the way through. I certainly wasn’t expecting the big reveal at the end, and I’m usually good at working out the clues before that point.

I recommend Try not to Breathe to those who enjoy a great thriller / suspense novel. I can’t wait to read more of Holly Seddon’s work.

My rating 4 stars.

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August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!). You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time. The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book. No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used. Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions. Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use? Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly). If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then! A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word. The shortest one I have is just two 🙂

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review? If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you! I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 🙂

#Bookreview The Blue Ridge Project – Neil Rochford #RBRT #crime #tuesdaybookblog

The Blue Ridge Project by Neil Rochford

Genre – Crime thriller with a dash of Sci-fi

Pages – 262

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewing as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team #RBRT.

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Blurb

Detective Andrea Nox is investigating a bizarre and violent murder-suicide with far-reaching consequences, both for Beacon City and the people who run it. But all she has to show for her efforts so far are nonsensical clues and dead ends.

Then, there’s another murder.

Journalist Robert Duncan is visiting home after a personal crisis when the unthinkable happens and he unearths long-kept secrets about his family and his place within it. Before long, he is going back over an old story that implicates powerful people in horrible crimes, drawing him deeper into a dangerous and widespread conspiracy he wishes he had no part in.

Frank Mortimer, disturbed son of a wealthy and influential family, has no interest in conspiracies. He only wants to take part in an experimental program that promises to make him ‘better.’ However, with the shadowy and powerful group known only as The Project pulling the strings behind the program, what he is getting better at could prove disastrous for everyone else, as a dangerous power is being unlocked inside him…

Their paths will converge in murder, intrigue and a clandestine experiment that threatens to change the world itself. Discover the secrets behind The Blue Ridge Project

My review

First thoughts – I was intrigued by the blurb and as I started reading the book immediately felt different to the usual detective stories.

Characters – In the beginning there are too many characters to keep track of. It keeps you on your toes because you never know which character will play a part or is the next victim. That kept things interesting, but also made it hard to form an attachment to any of the characters.

Style – Part one is present day and then part two switches back to events that happened in the past. This second part is where the story came together for me and where I got a better understanding for the characters.

Final thoughts – Towards the end a lot of things that I had been wondering about were explained (I won’t say too much in case of spoilers). I thought it was cleverly written and I am definitely intrigued enough to continue with the series.

Recommend to – Those who like crime thrillers with a touch of something different.

Rating – 4 / 5 stars

Check out the book for yourself on Amazon UK   Amazon US  or   Goodreads

#Review Bill Bailey – #Limboland #Comedy show at #GLive

I’m a long time fan of Bill Bailey. My husband and I used to roll in from the pub and watch his late night comedy show on TV. I’ve always loved his mix of music and comedy, so when I saw the tickets go on sale for the brilliant venue at GLive – Guildford, I couldn’t resist.

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Bill was on top form.

He started with some Brexit jokes to warm us up. His style of comedy is so clever, I love the fact he doesn’t swear (even though I like a bit of swearing in comic standup). He gets the message across without the need of bad language, my mum would definitely approve. Plus the kids can enjoy it (we have all his DVD’s), even if a lot of the jokes go over their heads.

His observations on life are spot on in a weird, nuts way.

His musical ability is amazing. Guitar, keyboards, drums, whistle, bells – I think this guy can play anything. I love his songs and bought his CD as a memento of the evening.

My favourite track is this beautiful piece – Pot Plant Elegy. It’s instrumental and I could imagine writing a dramatic, emotional scene whilst listening to it. The only problem is that its too short!

Highlights – the audience made a song with him and there were some very funny heckles.

Final thoughts – Great show, great music. All round fun entertainment. I could have stayed all night!

If your looking for a great night out, I whole-heartedly recommend Bill Bailey.

 

Visions of Zarua #review on YouTube

I’m really pleased to share Visions of Zarua’s first YouTube appearance. Thanks to Rosie Amber for sharing her review here. Please head over to YouTube and like the video review. She has reviewed lots of other books on YouTube, maybe you’ll find your next read among them.