My reading plan for 2018 #amreading #fantasy #ya #thriller

This year has been busy in various ways and I have not read as much as I would’ve liked. My Goodreads challenge was 35 books and so far I have only read 29. I thought making a list for the rest of the year would help me get back on track.

So here goes.

Currently reading – Magic Study by Maria V Snyder. As with the first book I find the writing totally addictive and if I read nothing else but these books this year I would be happy.

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ARC – Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh. This is a YA thriller I’ve been interested in since following Jenn’s blog and I am going to read this before 2018 ends.

 

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Self Published Fantasy Blog Off books – I bought lots of SPFBO books in the last SPFBO sale which I have yet to read. Here’s my post about the bargains I picked up. Now there is another sale 15th to 19th November so I will be getting even more books to add to my TBR list which already has 400 books! I really hope to read at least another one off this list and perhaps I may even share a surprise review from my husband who is currently reading one of SPFBO books – surprise because he has no idea I’ve mentioned this!

My Xmas Read – For the last three years I have read the latest Great Library book by Rachel Caine. This year I will be reading Smoke and Iron – book 4. My son started the series a few weeks ago and has already started the 4th book. I had planned to give it to myself as a Christmas present, but he begged to read it first!

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Audio book – Still listening to Gilded Cage by Vic James which has been enjoyable so far. I like the voice of the narrator and she has brought the story to life for me. It does seem a bit slow, but I’m happy to stick at it.

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Book Group Read – Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan

This one sounds intriguing!

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Books I’ve Won – I have been lucky enough to win two books recently and I can’t wait to read them.  City of Lies by Sam Hawke and Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I would love to read and review these before the end of 2018.

So these books will take me to my Goodreads target of 35 books, but life and writing does have a habit of getting in the way. Fingers crossed I find some uninterrupted reading time!

 

WWW Wednesday 12th Sept #amreading #fantasy #thriller

I haven’t posted anything for a while as I’m trying to finish the draft of my latest book. I have however been reading and am joining in the weekly meme WWW Wednesday to share some of those reads with you. Anyone can take part, just answer the questions below and link back to Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

www wednesdays

What are you currently reading?

The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire. I am about 80% through this book and am really enjoying it. It feels like there is a much bigger story to tell, so I’m really looking forward to the sequel already.

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I’m also reading The Copper Gauntlet – book 2 in the Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. It’s a mid-grade fantasy that can hook any reader of any age. I am enjoying the second instalment almost as much as I did the first book.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Over the summer I reading Poison Study for  my book group and wow, I loved it. A totally gripping YA fantasy that I wish I’d read when I was a teen. I can’t wait for my children to read the book and I can’t wait to continue with this brilliant series. A full review of the book will follow soon.

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I’ve also finally treated myself to reading Rhyming Rings. It is the second to last of David Gemmell’s books that I haven’t read before, so I was excited and nervous to start it. Thankfully I loved it! A review of this will also follow soon.

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I am still listening to My Husband’s Wife. It is very slow going. I do want to find out what happens, but I am not compelled to finish it. I think I heard somewhere there will be a TV adaptation of it, so I will finish it to find out why it has been picked more than anything.

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What do you think you will read next?

It is Self Published Fantasy Month so I want to continue reading some indie fantasy books. I have a good selection to choose from – see my post here explaining the books I picked up during the SPFBO 2018 book sale in August and why I chose them.

One I have fancy because of the excellent cover is The Game Bird by Aidan R Walsh, so I think this will be my first pick.

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I also want to read the How to book – Writing Young Adult Fiction, written by a very successful agent Juliet Mushens. I’m hoping this will give me an insight into the differences of writing YA and Adult fantasy.

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I’ve also been lucky enough to win two books over the last two months, so these will be going up high on my TBR list.

Thanks to Dan on Dan’s Book Blog (the site seems to be down at the moment so I can’t add a link) for my copy of Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft – a former SPFBO entrant.

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And thank you to Liz at Liz Loves Books for this wonderful signed first edition hardback book of the debut fantasy City of Lies by Sam Hawke. The book looks and sounds amazing! I think this will be a treasured book to take my time over.

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That’s about it from me today. Happy reading everyone and don’t forget to visit others taking part today.

WWW Wednesday 8 August 2018 #amreading #thriller #fantasy

This is a weekly meme now hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To take part simply answer the three W questions;

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Post a link to your answers on the above site, and don’t forget to visit other blogs taking part and share the book love!

www wednesdays

What are you currently reading?

Poison Study – Maria V Snyder

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80 pages in and I’m loving this book. I don’t want it to end! Which reminds me, I must look up the rest of the series.

 

I’m currently listening to – My Husband’s Wife – Jane Corry

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I’m still plodding along with this one. I have found it to be a slow paced book, but it is still interesting and keeping my attention, I’m just not compelled to listen to it all the time as I have been with audiobooks in the past.

What have you recently finished reading?

Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

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This was an unplanned read, one I’ve heard good things about and just picked up to pass a few minutes before bedtime. I won’t be reviewing this as a separate post on my blog, so here’s what I thought of it – A little slow to start with and I was a bit unsure if I would get into it. However the mystery and intrigue soon kicked in and I was literally taking the book everywhere with me because I couldn’t stop reading. Paul Morris is not the nicest of characters and he really acts in horrible ways at times, but by the end of the book you sort of feel for him… a little! Great book. 5 stars.

 

Anthony Ryan’s Collected Non-fiction

I follow Anthony Ryan’s newsletter and this was offered as a free download. I haven’t seen it on Goodreads or Amazon. It’s a collection of essays or blog posts to do with his writing and editing, his ‘overnight’ success, fantasy and David Gemmell amongst other things. Very interesting reading.

What do you think you’ll read next?

David Gemmell – Rhyming Rings.

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I have been saving this book for over a year – I hope I enjoy it!

Then perhaps I’ll pick an indie book from my TBR pile. See my post here on some of the great books I’ve picked up recently during the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off promo.

 

I look forward to sharing my reviews of the above over the next few months, especially David Gemmell’s book (please let me love it!).

My summer reading plan #amreading #fantasy #thriller #romance

My reading has really been slow these last few months, what with publishing my own book and all that goes with it. I’m hoping to step up the reading through the rest of the summer and what better way to achieve this than to tell the world my plan!

I’m using the format of WWW Wednesday, as I didn’t get this post finished in time to share it yesterday.

What I’m currently reading.

Jo Thomas The Olive Branch.

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I only picked this book up quickly last night to get a taste of the story. 50 pages later, I know I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve read one of Jo Thomas’s books before and loved it. Here’s the review of Late Summer in the Vineyard.

What I’m currently listening to

My Husband’s Wife

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It’s ok. Seems a bit slow, but there are intriguing titbits to keep me interested so far.

What I recently finished reading

Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

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I’m not sure what to say about this book. I didn’t love it and felt it was slow in places. I found the tower concept very hard to picture and it was hard to really connect with Senlin. However, towards the end I did find myself not wanting to stop reading, so I’ll be interested to see what happens in book 2. I’ve heard the pace picks up, fingers crossed.

What I plan to read next

Anthony Ryan’s Collected Non-fiction

I think this is a newsletter subscriber offer and I can’t wait to read his non-fiction articles.

David Gemmell – Rhyming Rings

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I have been saving this book since my birthday last year as it’s one of the only books I haven’t read by my all time favourite author.

Poison Study

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This is my book group choice for August and a book I have been interested in reading for a while.

 

Knowing from experience how hard it is to get reviews, I want to read a couple of Indie books and support my fellow authors. So I intend to read;

The Exercise of Vital Powers – Ian Gregoire

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Not Like Anyone Else – Jennifer Leigh

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I still have a couple of trilogies I want to finish by the end of this year

Queen of Fire – Anthony Ryan

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Magic Borne – Crown of Stones – C. L Schneider

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There are 350+ on my goodreads TBR shelf so I have plenty of other great books to choose from. Plus my kids are always recommending books and I know I should get stuck into Robin Hobb’s latest trilogy. If I do, I won’t be doing anything else for a while!

I hope to do another post in Autumn, I wonder how many books I’ll have read by then and how many of the above will be finished!

Do you have any reading plans for the summer?

#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.

#TheBrokenLifeblogtour @jaydawes2 #excerpt #thriller #mystery

I’m really pleased to take a break from my own blog tour to introduce Jaye Marie and her book The Broken Life. Both Jaye and Anita have been very supportive taking part in both my blog tours, so it’s a real pleasure to return the favour by being their host on the blog tour today.

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I  have a very exciting excerpt to share, but first here’s a little about the book.

Book Description of The Broken Life

DI David Snow has a serial killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and is now coming after him.

The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him. His efforts are hampered by the arrival of a new sergeant, ‘ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not what she seems. Alarm bells start to ring when Snow realises she is after more than just his job.

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Excerpt from The Broken Life

David Snow knew he was in trouble. No one had come when he used the trigger word, and Ruth Winton had shot him twice. She must be using specialised bolts for they had both penetrated the protective vest he was wearing as if they were made of paper. Luckily, there didn’t seem to be much bleeding, but it hurt like hell.

The other pain in his chest, the one that had chosen this particular day to reappear seemed to be ebbing, leaving him breathless and weaker than he needed to be. He realised he was on his own. Something had gone wrong; the back up he was relying on wouldn’t appear to save the day. He wondered what if anything he could do about it.

Hardly in a position to contemplate doing anything, he thought, smiling on the inside.

He opened his eyes a little, just enough to see where Ruth Winton was and found her standing a few feet away from him. The crossbow was lying on the floor, and she was staring at him, but she didn’t look angry. If anything, she looked sad. So when she started to walk towards him, he wasn’t worried. She knelt down beside him and held his hand. With the other hand, she touched his face. ‘Are you all right, daddy?’ she said, her voice small and childlike.

Realising something else was going on, he said nothing, not wanting to stir the hornet’s nest. It was imperative that Ruth stay where she was now, but even as he thought it, he could sense her mood begin to change. The grip on his hand became tighter, and he could feel the tension vibrating her body. She stood up and walked away from him, picking up the crossbow as she made her way up the stairs.

Snow struggled to sit up, needing to check his phone. It was switched on, but there was no indication it was working. He stabbed at the buttons, unable to believe the trouble a small malfunctioning machine could cause. How long would his back up team wait? Round about now would be good, people, he thought.

Not convinced that help would arrive anytime soon, he wondered what he could do. He wasn’t even sure if he could do anything, skewered front and back as he was. But if he wanted to survive this, he would have to try. He soon discovered that any movement, no matter how slight, caused the pain radiating from both wounds to intensify. This didn’t make him want to stop or give in, just made him more determined than ever to leave this house on his own two feet.

He edged his way up the wall until he was standing upright. Now what? Could he walk? He looked around for something to use as a weapon and took a step towards the kitchen. A quick look in the drawers revealed they were empty. He had to think of something and quick. She would be coming back down to finish him off at any minute. A thought occurred to him. Could he pull out the bolt in his chest somehow? Was it even possible?

He touched the end of the bolt, only to discover it was smooth and slippery, no obvious means of removal. There were small ridges, but not enough to help him. A pair of bright yellow rubber gloves lay on the draining board. Not something that belonged in his kitchen, but a welcome sight. He grabbed one and wrapped it around the bolt, gritted his teeth and pulled. The pain level sharply increased, but he kept on pulling. It didn’t seem to be working. It was beginning to look as though he would die in his own kitchen after all.

Noise from upstairs made him try harder, and this time he thought he felt movement. His head was screaming with the pain, but this only served to increase his determination. Somewhere behind all the pain, he knew it could be a waste of time anyway; he wasn’t likely to get close enough to use it, not with the crossbow in her hand.

He heard footsteps on the landing. She was coming!

With one last effort, the bolt left his chest with a small squelch, and he looked at it in his hand. No more than eight inches long, so small and yet so deadly. He thought of all the people she had killed, of Jim Harris, his best friend and his anger finally flared. He was experiencing all kinds of pain now, and the wound in his chest was bleeding. He didn’t understand how he was still standing. Maybe that would work, he thought. Would she still fire if he were lying down, maybe dying?

The Broken Life is only 99p during the blog tour, so don’t miss out on picking up your copy today.

About the Author

My name is Jaye Marie, the ‘oily rag’ of the partnership http://jenanita01.com/ and usually, I prefer to stay in the background. Since we decided to publish our books ourselves, most of my other interests have had to take a back seat, and as I am not half as clever as I want to be, they may well have to leave the country for a while. Well, some of them can but not all. I am an avid Bonsai fan and have a collection that demands my attention in the growing season, or they will die. (It is a bit like having children) I love books and have read my way through stacks of them, so when my sister needed someone to edit and type up her manuscripts, I was happy to help. Somewhere along the way, I discovered my vocation and my love-hate relationship with the world of computers. But I did learn how to edit and proofread, taking over the job of getting Anita’s books ready for publication. I even had some wonderful compliments from one of the best literary agents in London for my editing of Anita’s first book, Bad Moon, and for the last twenty years since my retirement, that‘s what my life has been like.

Then everyone started talking about ‘Indie’ or self-publishing. I already knew how hard it was to be published in the traditional way, so became very excited at the prospect of being able to do it ourselves. I started our own website and found that I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world and posting our thoughts online. Then I concentrated on publishing Anita’s books. It wasn’t quite as easy as they made it sound, but with my usual stubbornness, I kept at it, learning more and more as I went along.

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking about a story that had been nibbling away in the corner of my mind for months, and before too long, it demanded to be written and then there were two writers in the family!

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Links

Website:     http://jenanita01.com

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jaydawes2/media

Facebook: http://facebook.com/anita.dawes.37

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Universal Amazon Link for The Broken Life: myBook.to/BrokenLife

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/JayeLink

Blog Tour Banner

#Tuesdaybookblog #Audio #bookreview The Widow by Fiona Barton #thriller

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Narrated by Clare Corbett

The Blurb

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK

‘If you liked GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, you might want to pick up THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful’ Stephen King

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

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My Review

Even though terrible subject matter is touched upon in this book, it was a very enjoyable read / listen. The story switches between the present day and back into the past when the little girl Bella is abducted. It’s easy to follow the storyline, and this technique helped to drag you into the story.

It’s soon clear the widow is an unreliable narrator. It’s hard to like most of the characters involved, however Sparks seems like a dedicated and likable detective as he risks his career trying to find the missing toddler.

The story moves along at a compelling pace and you have to pay attention to the little details that might turn up later. You’ll wonder if there are any big revelations or twists as the story unravels, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what’s really going on.

I would recommend to thriller lovers.

4 stars

Audio extra – I loved the end of the audio book where the author, Fiona Barton and the narrator, Clare Corbett chat about writing and audio books. Brilliant added extra.

#TuesdayBookBlog #Audio #bookreview Sisters and Lies – Bernice Barrington #thriller

An audio review of Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington.

Narrated by Caroline Lennon and Marcella Riordan.

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Blurb

One hot August night, Rachel Power gets the call everyone fears. It’s the police. Her younger sister Evie’s had a car crash, she’s in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away? With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister’s life. But it’s hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn’t like what she sees. Why was Evie driving when she doesn’t even own a licence? Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend? How come she has never heard of him? The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is. Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she’s got an urgent message for Rachel – a warning which could just save both their lives . . .

My Review

The story starts with a seemingly simple situation – Rachel’s sister Evie is in a coma after a car crash.

It’s soon clear that Evie’s life is not as simple as Rachel’s believes and the mysteries soon begin to add up, some of them linked to their past. It’s a real page-turner, or avid listen in my case.

I really enjoyed the audio version of this book. The two narrators voices are so distinctive, I can still hear them in my head now. I really miss their accents and the story itself was one I could have listened to for much longer.

The plot built up steadily and I enjoyed switching between Rachel in the now of the story as she investigates her sister’s accident, and Evie in her coma and how she re-lives the events building up to the moment she remembers how she got into the car accident.

I highly recommend Sisters and Lies to thriller addicts like me.

4 stars

#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.

#Audio #bookreview Behind Closed Doors – B A Paris #thriller

Audio book review of Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

Narrated by Georgia Maguire

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Blurb

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

My Review

I don’t have much to say about this book except your HAVE to read it!

It was a totally addictive read / listen. I loved the story and the author achieved something that doesn’t normally happen when I read thrillers – I cared for the characters. I couldn’t help but feel for Grace in her impossible situation and hoped desperately that she would find a way out of the horror her life had become.

Switching between past and present, the story that unfolds is mesmerising and shows true evil at work. It would make a fantastic film.

The narration was perfect. And I can’t fault the plot. This book is a must for all thriller readers.

5 Big Fat Scary Stars