Book Reviews January 2021

Wow, what can I say, January was full of good books! My last post featured a psychological thriller by Nikki Smith, All In Her Head, and I just enjoyed it so much. What made it even better was Nikki showed up at my book clubs zoom event and answered our questions! Thank you Nikki! It was amazing to hear about what authors go through to write and publish a book. I’m really looking forward to her book launch of ‘Look What You Made Me do’ in March, tickets are on sale now and her book is out April 2021.

Thrillers are so different from my usual chic lit/romance books. I can definitely say I’m converted! It opened up a whole new genre of books for me and they really do make for good reading. Though now and again I need to remember to breath! I have been known to shout out, ‘oh wow did not see that coming’ from time to time.

Most of the thriller books were bought for me at Christmas, they weren’t something I would normally buy and I was apprehensive when I received them but I absolutely love them!

January was a busy month for me so I set myself a goal of a book a week, and here’s what I thought of them:

My Reviews:

The Silent Patient- Alex Michaelides– Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. When she shot her husband in the head five times. Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word. It’s time to find out why.

My Review

This book will stay with me for a long time, it gave me an insight into an unknown world. The story was told from the perspective of the main character, Alicia. I got so engrossed that I started to feel the feelings that Alicia would have gone through during the story. The book had me wanting to keep reading into the night and it was so intense with some brilliant twists and turns. I absolutely didn’t see that ending coming and it blew me away. With film rights snapped up by an Oscar winning Hollywood production company, this is guaranteed to make an award winning film. Mainly within a secure psychiatric ward and with a young psychotherapist who is determined to make Alicia talk again. I love the mysterious cover design and the message it gives.

The Author: Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother. He read English at Cambridge University and received a MA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. He wrote the film Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Con is On, starring Uma Thurman and Tim Roth. The Silent Patient, his first novel, is a Sunday Times, New York Times, Australian and Irish bestseller.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Keeper Of Secrets- Lynda Stacey– (Gifted by Author) For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below their feet, in the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House. When excavation work begins on the site shocking secrets are uncovered and danger is never far away, both above and below ground …

My Review

The amount of time I have spent in Doncaster and I’ve never known what was under the ground! A real life history setting brought to life by fiction is something brilliantly captured by Lynda. I fell in love with the characters and with my own construction background including archaeological digs I was immediately drawn to the storyline. I love the cover design and the story of the Sand House, with local landmarks being mentioned, along with the Italian side of the story. The twists and turns had me hooked from the beginning, I needed to know what happened and if Cassie would help her Aunt get her dying wish. An absolutely stunning page turner. I would love to play Cassie if this ever got film rights!

The Author: Lynda, is a wife, step-mother and grandmother, she grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire. Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blood Orange- Harriet Tyce– Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems… Just one more night. Then I’ll end it. Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up. Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself. I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing. But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

My Review

This was a tense psychological thriller with a chilling ending. It had me gripped but I never saw the ending coming, what a strange feeling it left me with. If you are easily disturbed, this isn’t the book for you. I was intrigued by the cover design and it was very fitting to the story. Alison is a high functioning alcoholic whose marriage is failing faster than she can drink wine. As someone who is cheating on her husband and not being the best mother for her child she is an easy character to dislike, though towards the end I really wanted her to get through it all. Cleverly written and I just cant wait for Harriet’s next novel, The Lies You Told, out in April 2021.

The Author: Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before gaining legal qualifications. She worked as a criminal barrister for ten years, leaving after the birth of her first child. She completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at UEA where she wrote Blood Orange, which is her first novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fog Island- Mariette Lindstein (Book One of Three)- Sofia has just finished university and ended a troubled relationship when she attends a lecture about a New Age movement, Via Terra. Its leader is Franz Oswald, young, good-looking, urbane and mesmerizing. When Sofia meets Franz Oswald, the handsome, charming leader of a mysterious New Age movement, she’s dazzled and intrigued. Visiting his headquarters on Fog Island, Sofia’s struck by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the gardens, the sense of peace and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for Franz. So she agrees to stay, just for a while. But as summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island draws its name sets in, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. Contact with the mainland is severed. Electric fences surround the grounds. And Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island…

My Review

The book made me imagine what it could be like to get caught up in a cult and how easy it can happen. With promises of a better life and being taken care of by a mesmerising leader to start, then as the nightmare unfolds and Sofia begins to see it for what it is, a tense chilling storyline unfolds. The creepy atmosphere of Fog Island leads to a world of control and manipulation. I was pleased to find out this book is book one of a trilogy, I’m currently reading the second book and will review that in next months reviews.

The Author: For 25 years, Mariette Lindstein was a member of the Church of Scientology and worked at their international headquarters two hours east of Los Angeles near Hemet, California. After planning for quite some time, she managed to escape under dramatic circumstances and recreate a normal life, first in the US and then in her childhood city Halmstad in Sweden. Then came the nightmares and anxiety. To overcome it, she began to write about a fictitious sect and attained great success with her Fog Island trilogy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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