Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Title: A Gingerbread House

Author: Catriona McPherson

Publisher: Severn House

Genre: Psychological thriller

Release Date: 1st July 2021

Purchase Links

US Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0727850016

UK Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-House-Catriona-McPherson/dp/0727850016/

Severn House: http://severnhouse.com/book/A+Gingerbread+House/9193

Blurb

An invitation you can’t refuse. You should . . .

When shy, lonely Ivy meets a woman who claims to be her long-lost sister, she knows it’s too good to be true. She decides to trust Kate anyway. She wants a family. She wants someone to love.

She’s making a mistake.

Ivy enters Kate’s fairytale cottage, deep in the heart of Scotland . . . and she doesn’t come out.

She’s the first to go missing.

She won’t be the last.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Tash’s journey is just beginning . . .

My Thoughts

This novel is split into two distinct threads; one following Tash who discovers a disturbing family secret and the other is the disappearance of three women. Tash’s story has a gangster-type feel as she conspires to expose her findings but in her own way while the other women’s tales are disturbing, eerie and give the story a darker fairytale-like quality which made me keep turning the pages until the end. The characters were distinct from each other but were all inflicted with the feeling of something missing in their lives allowing them to be manipulated in meticulous ways.  I wasn’t sure how the threads would collide but when they did the midway, the story picked up speed towards the thrilling and satisfactory conclusion.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a new author for me but I enjoyed the story they weaved to produce this unique, thrilling psychological thriller set in a Scottish landscape. I’m excited to add Catriona McPherson back catalogue.

Author Biography

Catriona McPherson

Born in West Lothian and educated at Edinburgh University, Catriona McPherson has been a full-time fiction writer since 2001. She is the multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver historical mysteries, the Last Ditch mysteries and a number of standalone psychological thrillers. She lives in northern California.

Social Media Links –

http://catrionamcpherson.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Catriona-McPherson/171725286218342

https://twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Other blogs on the tour

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Book Review: Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Invite Me In by Emma Curtis. It’s been a while since I’ve jumped into a psychological thriller so I was excited to be asked to be part of this tour. Scroll down to see whether it was as creepy as the simple but effective cover dictates.

Book Review: Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Title: Invite Me In

Author: Emma Curtis

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Genre: Psychological thriller

Release Date: 22nd July for ebook and 2nd September 2021 paperback

Blurb

‘Emma Curtis is the queen of the unputdownable thriller’ – Nuala Ellwood

The heart-pounding new domestic thriller from Emma Curtis, the acclaimed author of ebook bestsellers One Little Mistake, The Night You Left and Keep Her Quiet.

To those who think they know her, Eliza Curran has it all: two healthy children, a stunning home and a wealthy, adoring husband. No one would guess the reality of her life: trapped in an unhappy marriage to a controlling man, she longs for a way out. When she takes on a new tenant, her life changes unexpectedly. Dan Jones is charming and perceptive, and quickly becomes a close friend to the whole family. But Dan’s arrival threatens to tip Eliza’s fragile world out of balance. And when someone has as many secrets as Eliza does, the smallest slip could destroy everything . . .

Readers are loving INVITE ME IN:

‘An absolutely captivating read, this is a superbly plotted thriller that will keep you guessing right until the end…highly recommended’

‘A rollercoaster ride to the very end. I can’t imagine how the author plotted it all out, there is so much brilliance in the final chapters’

‘Invite Me In is sensational, gripping with plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading long into the night’ ‘A cut above other thrillers’

My Thoughts

This novel jumped in with a strong start where Eliza met the good looking, empathetic and likeable Dan and it promised to be a thrilling read when tension and questions instantly built along with her nerves of arriving home late. Her husband, Martin, is controlling and a classic villain to hate but with Eliza’s own secrets and unreliable narration, and other manipulative characters this book kept me on edge with the insecurity of not knowing who to trust and where the story was leading.

I connected with Eliza and was emotionally invested in her happiness and longed to rescue her from the grips of her unhappy and abusive marriage to give her the happy ending she deserved. I guessed part of the conclusion early on but there were enough unpredictable twists and turns for this not to interfere much with my enjoyment of the book.

It has many threads and themes, including alcohol and emotional abuse which are dealt with effectively and with accuracy.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this well written psychological thriller with intriguing characters would be enjoyed by fans of Sophie Hannah. I’m thrilled to have Emma Curtis’ back catalogue to explore and add to my to-be-read list.

Author Biography

Author Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and now lives in London with her husband. After raising two children and working various jobs, her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write her acclaimed psychological suspense thrillers One Little Mistake, When I Find You, The Night You Left and Keep Her Quiet.

 Find her on Twitter: @emmacurtisbooks

Other blogs on this tour

Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Book Review: Murder It’s All in Your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Today I am pleased to share my review for Murder It’s All in Your Head by Cynthia Hilston. I was attracted to this because of unusual premise in the blurb and I needed to know more. Scroll down to see what I thought of this supernatural thriller.

Book Review: Murder It’s All in your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Murder It’s All in your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Title: Murder It’s All in your Head

Author: Cynthia Hilston

Genre: Psychological thriller, horror

Release date: 5th December 2020

Blurb

Someone has been getting away with murder for over 100 years in the small town of Hurston, Ohio. But the wrong person has been convicted of those murders every time. In 2018, Cassie Meadows is on her way to school when a bright flash comes out of nowhere, and she wakes in millionaire Randy Davis’s body with blood on her hands…the blood of Randy’s wife, who lies in a pool of crimson in the bathtub with her throat slit. Meanwhile, an old man everyone calls Jimmy Williams raves that he’s the real Randy Davis as he lives out his days in a ward for the criminally insane. In 1914, young Helen Hawkins is unloved and repetitively abused by her father, who is also the town’s pastor. Her only escape is in her dreams, where she wakes in others’ bodies, living other lives, but when her dreams turn out to be reality, the tables are turned on her father. In a story where no one is who they seem, how can Cassie, the latest victim accused of a murder she didn’t commit, end the cycle?

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2/

My Thoughts

I’m attracted to books with a supernatural twists, and the blurb promised this and more. This book definitely offered something more than I was expecting; it is unique, creepy and at times disturbing, but the premise kept me captivated. I needed to discover how the plight of Cassie and Randy could be resolved.

Helen is an abused teenager who discovers she has an unique ability to hop into other people’s bodies, and what started off as useful way to cope with abuse takes a deadly turn and 100 year killing spree. There were times I was confused with who was who because of the body/soul swopping, but I soon began to instinctively recognise the distinct personalities of the characters. The horror of being in a mental institution and fighting against a system which believes you are insane when you are telling the truth were well written and believable in a surreal way.

Helen is a complex character and there were times I sympathised with her and others her cold, cruel nature scared me. It was an interesting take on mental illness and what circumstances can lead to someone become set on revenge.

The storyline touches several topics that could be a trigger for some including abuse, rape and miscarriage. It is gruesome in places so not for the faint-hearted.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it was a different, high tension read that made my mind think with little room to relax. It stayed with me for a long time and is not a novel I will forget. If you enjoy surreal thrillers that are on the edge of horror, it is worth exploring. I am looking forward to reading more of Cynthia Hilston’s work and see where her imagination takes me next.  

Author Biography

Cynthia Hilston

Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website at http://www.cynthiahilston.com for more information.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

Social Media Links – http://www.cynthiahilston.com

https://www.facebook.com/cynthiahilstonauthor

https://www.instagram.com/authorcynthiahilston/

http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiahilstonauthor

Thank you, Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy to read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Take care, stay safe and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: Sleepless by Louise Mumford

I am happy to share with you my review for Sleepless by Louise Mumford. As an insomniac( thanks to my meds) and my failure to find something to help I connected to the protagonist from just the blurb; I needed to find out what happened next so thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour.

Book Review: Sleepless by Louise Mumford

Book Review: Sleepless by Louise Mumford

Title: Sleepless

Author: Louise Mumford

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Psychological thriller, suspense

Release date: 10th December 2020

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08JB2XVVM/ 

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JB2XVVM/

Blurb

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…

An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller for fans of The One, Behind Her Eyes and Girl A!

My Thoughts

I was invested in Thea from just reading the blurb but discovering more about her situation I sympathised more and this drove me to continue reading. The premise intrigued me and I wasn’t disappointed. Sleepless is an entertaining thriller that made me question what I would do in those circumstances.

It is clever and disturbing because it feels only one step away from reality despite the overall sci-fi feel to the novel. The plot delves into the importance of sleep and the consequences of interfering with the mind. With increased tension throughout the book with many twists and turns I did find the ending abrupt and had to double check I had not missed something.

Would I recommned?

Sleepless is enjoyable, fast paced sci fi thriller that I still find myself thinking about days after finishing it. With the multitude of conspiracy theories flying around social media, this novel is apt and taps into the mistrust of big businesses and pharmaceutical companies. It will not help you sleep, plays with your own psyche but worth reading on a chilly winter’s night.

Author biograpghy

Louise Mumford

Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Social Media Links –  Twitter @louise_mumford

                                       Instagram @louisemumfordauthor

                                          Facebook Louise Mumford Author         

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and HQ Digital for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy so I could read and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

Love

                                                                                                                                                     

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

With Halloween and the spookiness of October just passed, and discovering the next book in the trilogy is out at the end of the next year, I decided to revisit The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton.

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

The Craftsman

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Title: The Craftsman

Author: Sharon Bolton

Publisher: Trapeze

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: 3rd May 2018

Blurb

He makes his living from death. But is he capable of murder? Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares, the victims were buried, but while they were still alive. Larry confessed the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?

My Thoughts

Since I first read The Craftsman last year, I have visited Lancaster and seeing the  its stunning mountains and dramatic landscape of the Lancashire countryside in reality added to the creepy atmosphere of this novel. Set in the footholds of the hills of Pendle, famous for the Pendle witch trials, there is an air of menace throughout made worse by the horrific murders. Being buried alive is a fear I have after reading Peter James’ Twilight.* The death of  serial killer, The Craftsman, draws Detective Florence Lovelady back to Lancashire where she began her career and the discovery of an effigy makes her question whether he was really guilty or a victim of miscarriage of justice. With a blend of murder investigations and supernatural it drew me in and kept me turning the page even though this was a reread. I have discovered she is one crime writer you can read over and over because even if you know the truth, you always learn something new and the tension of the chase still remains. Watching the George Gently TV series helped me visualise Flossie and her working environment in the 1960’s where she faces not only the danger of a killer on the loose, but the patriarchy attitude and discrimination at that time. She is independent, brave and has self-belief I wish I had at her age.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Sharon Bolton has a talent for sending chills down your spine with her creepy psychological thrillers and this is no exception. It’s dark, disturbing and makes you leave the light on.  It is the beginning of a series, though there is a prequel short story on Kindle, Alive. It is perfect for the dark evenings and curling up in front of the fire when you want the thrill of being spooked and discovering who did it.  I can’t wait for the next book.

What are you reading this weekend?

Happy reading!

Love

*An excellent horror book which I may have to read again.

Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

Book Review: Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

I am pleased to be involved in Rachel Gibley’s blog tour for Forget Her Name by Jane Holland. I received an advanced copy of an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity.

 

Forget Her Name book cover

Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

Blurb

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? She doesn’t have the answers – and in one final question lies her greatest fear.

Is Rachel still alive?

My Thoughts

This complex psychological thriller kept me on my toes with its twists and turns throughout with suspense building as this disturbing story progressed. I felt on edge and in a state of confusion just like Catharine/Cat as she unraveled the mystery surrounding her sister’s Rachel death.  Jane Holland has created a group of characters that all have depth and back stories which made it hard to know who to trust, and who was a friend or foe.  There were so many directions the plot could go to I found it impossible to second guess what was going to happen next nor the conclusion. This made it a joy to read.

Would I recommend?

I would recommend for those who love a good psychological thriller.

Available at:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forget-Her-Name-Jane-Holland-ebook/dp/B073TTLYQV
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Forget-Her-Name-Jane-Holland-ebook/dp/B073TTLYQV

About the Author

 

Forget Her Name - Author Pic
Jane Holland

 

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and novelist who also writes commercial fiction under the pseudonyms Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good and Hannah Coates. Her debut thriller, Girl Number One, hit #1 in the UK Kindle Store in December 2015. Jane lives with her husband and young family near the North Cornwall/Devon border. A homeschooler, her hobbies include photography and growing her own vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links –
https://twitter.com/janeholland1
https://www.facebook.com/jane.holland.1253
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneHollandAuthor/

 

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts below.

Happy reading!

Book review: The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Surrogate

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

Genre: psychological thriller

I had heard wonderful things about this book and after reading The Gift , I eagerly waited for its arrival.

The Surrogate did not disappoint. From the start I was lured in to the story of Kat, who is desperate to have a child and Lisa, who offers to act as a surrogate when they meet by chance. The two women share an old but troubled friendship though it is clear from the start, secrets are also shared and hidden. There are loops and turns throughout the book that lead you to question everything but unlike many psychological thrillers I have read recently, the ending is a complete surprise.

After reading The Gift and The Surrogate I have concluded Louise Jensen creates books which are designed for days or evenings when you can escape reality and indulge in reading a book in one sitting. They are page turners and you do not want to do anything but read.

I loved this book and have already bought a copy of The Sister to add to the top of my TBR pile. The only downside is once I have read it, there will be no more books of hers for me to read until she writes her next one.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookoutre for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟