#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

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#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

#Tuesdaybookblog Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott #Thriller #audio #bookreview

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

Narrated by Lisa Coleman

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When your life is a lie, who can you trust?

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.

My Review

Well first off I didn’t even realise this was book 5 in the DCI Tom Douglas series until I went to review it on Goodreads. There is no hint of this fact on Amazon UK, but it really didn’t matter to the reading experience, which was excellent. It shows great skill on the writers part that you can pick up her books and read them as standalones, although I do prefer to read books in order.

The premise of Kill Me Again had me intrigued, the story was engaging, the twists were unexpected and I really couldn’t stop listening to it.

There were one or two moments when I found it hard to agree with Maggie’s actions and I would’ve gone to the police sooner rather than risk my children, but overall the story worked.

The ending took me by surprise and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. I’m looking forward to reading the previous books in the series, starting in order this time.

My rating 5 stars.

My favourite reads of 2016 #amreading #greatreads

I’ve read more in 2016 than I have in years thanks to taking up the Goodreads reading challenge and joining Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Here are some of the books that have stayed with me long after I finished reading them.

Favourite Children’s book – Fire Bed and Bone by Henrietta Bradford

My review & My Family Review

Featured Image -- 3569  I loved this book and shared it with my family. It was an interesting experiment to get the different opinions from a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old and my husband (whose age I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to mention!).

Favourite YA book – The Sapphire Legend by E.L. Tenenbaum

My Review

26248087 This fantasy book took me by surprise and I have been longing to read the sequel. I definitely will in 2017.

Favourite Indie and fantasy – The Crown of Stones by C.L. Schneider

My Review

20319844 I was drawn to the cover of this book from the start and the book didn’t disappoint. A great fantasy, and another trilogy I hope to finish in 2017.

Favourite Thriller – Distress Signals by Catherin Ryan Howard

My review

distress signals cover image This book led to some very late nights! A compelling thriller and I bet you won’t see the twist coming!

Favourite Romance – Late Summer in the Vineyards by Jo Thomas

My Review

51qenardljl I loved this book for the atmosphere and the wonderful feel good factor it had.

Favourite Audio book – Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

My Review

51fbBPM9h9L._SY346_  This was a thriller I just couldn’t stop listening to. It had that all important mystery element, and like the main character I didn’t know who to trust. It reminded me of ‘Before I go to Sleep’. Both truly great reads.

In all I read 33 books during 2016. Now I can’t wait to see what books 2017 has in store.

Have you read any of these books, and if not have I inspired you to add them to your TBR lists?

 

#Audiobook #bookreview See How They Run by Tom Bale #Tuesdaybookblog #thriller

See How They Run (Audio version)

By Tom Bale

Narrated by Kris Dyer

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Blurb
In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time to breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only one choice:

STAY ALIVE. OR DON’T.

Terrifying, unputdownable and full of twists and turns, this stunning thriller will have you on the edge of your seat right to the very last page.

My Review

I bought this book on a whim having seen the audio book on sale with audible. The premise sounded engaging and I was certainly gripped by the beginning sample. The book starts with a bang, putting you straight into the action as a couple are threatened in their own home along with their 2-month-old baby.

There were quite a few viewpoint characters in the book, which is necessary to drive the story along. It was well narrated with all the different voices depicted with skill.

It was an absorbing listen. I enjoyed the mounting tension as the story rattled along at a pace, dragging the main characters, Alice and Harry, into ever increasing danger.

I loved that some of the action happened in Glocestershire, Ross-on-Wye and Symmons Yat, favourite holiday spots for our family.

In all this was a gripping thriller, however after the main action had taken place the end did drag on a bit.

A recommended read or listen for thriller and mystery fans.

My rating 4 stars

 

#Audio #bookreview The Teacher by Katerina Diamond #thriller #tuedaybookblog

The Teacher

Katerina Diamond

Narrator Stevie Lacey

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Blurb

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

SMART. GRIPPING. GRUESOME.

This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

WARNING: Most definitely not for the faint-hearted!

 

My review

I found this book slow to start. There were quite a few characters introduced in the first few chapters and I was a little underwhelmed and lost.

But several chapters in, I really started to get taken in by the unfolding story. I enjoyed the flashbacks and the slow revealing of each characters’ story. It’s unusual for a detective story to have so many other characters VP’s rather than just the detective and the murderer. I found this refreshing and it helped keep my interest through the book.

The horrific murders really made me cringe, but I wouldn’t say it wasn’t for the faint-hearted as the blurb suggests.

In all, it was a good listen and an enjoyable story. I recommend to those who enjoy thrillers and detective stories.

Rating – 3.5 stars