Looking After Number One by Kay Carswell

LookingafternumberoneSynopsis

Anna Boyd is jobless, again, but thanks to her best friend Suzanne she lands the position of house sitter for a wealthy but mysterious couple; the Carltons.
Charles Carlton has taken a lifetime to build up his empire. He and his wife now live in luxury and own the opulent ‘Number One’, a beautiful house where nothing is quite what it seems.
But why have they chosen Anna, who bears a remarkable resemblance to their errant daughter, Marianne, to look after their precious possessions?
On Anna’s journey to find the truth she meets the lovable and bumbling Mabel, the irascible Huw and gorgeous Harry.
While Anna is trying to solve her problems Suzanne has some of her own.
Will Anna find the life she wants to lead, with the man of her dreams or will this house sitting job be her last?

Review

This book intrigued me from the synopsis, sounding slightly sinister and very mysterious, but with a hint of light-hearted fun with all the new people Anna meets in her new job.
I wouldn’t say the mystery and suspense isn’t prominent until a fair way through the book. There are certainly strange happenings and coincidence, all giving you clues that something’s amiss, but it is interwoven with a storyline that is fun (especially when Anna retells her interview for another house sitting job) and at times takes a more serious tone with Anna’s best friend, Suzanne’s story. The writing flows easily keeping your interest, the characterisation is fantastic.
Anna being our lead obviously we get to know her the best. She is a house sitter as her main source of income, which is quite unusual, and she is a little bit sick of the instability, but she doesn’t seem to know what she wants to do. Luckily in the nick of time she scores a job at a posh house not too far away. She is quite a shy person but one people seem to gravitate towards and get on with. Hence during her stay she meets quite the crew.
Mabel is lovable but a bit hapless in the kitchen, and provided a lot of the funny moments, especially with her bumbling vocabulary and discovery of computers! Huw is outgoing to say the least, absolutely charming and a great deal of fun. Harry, the handsome gardener is as perfect as you’d want in a male lead.
Overall this is a charming book that also delivers in the suspense later on as the mystery gets even more mysterious.
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Published by: Mirador Publishing
For full disclosure, I know the author in real life, however my opinions are honest and my own.
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Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

The Missing by C. L. Taylor

themissingSynopsis

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Review

Having loved C L Taylor’s previous 2 psychological thrillers, this one was one of my most anticipated releases this year, so it was the obvious thing to start it the instant it had finished downloading onto my kindle and pretty much couldn’t stop from there on in.
The writing is as fantastic as ever, it lures you in and keeps you captivated, eager to find out more and confirm if your suspicions were correct. It was a compulsion to know not just for Claire and her family’s sake, but for my own sanity. I couldn’t finish this book fast enough, though at the same time, I was sad when it was over.
The premise of the book is obviously terrifying to any parent, and you really get inside of Claire’s head. Feeling frustration, anguish and at times helplessness as she continues to try to keep her family together, while at the same time dealing with her own problems that are occurring.
Claire was actually pretty perfect. Sometimes with psychological thrillers I find it hard to relate to the main character and couldn’t connect with them, but that is far from the case here. She is so nice, there aren’t many parents that would allow Kira, their son’s girlfriend to move in with them at just 18-19 years of age, and while there were difficult circumstances, it was still really understanding of her and Mark to invite her in, and she really seems to care for her and welcome her in, mindful of Kira’s personal space too. I guess my only criticism about Claire, is that she seemed a bit clueless about what was going on around her in the time leading up to Billy’s disappearance, but at the same time, I imagine anyone would be any better, so I can’t say that it was her fault that she was that way.
What is interesting is that Billy himself comes across quite badly, he’s in trouble for graffitiing and just comes across as someone who is cocky and arrogant, just for the sake of being that way, so while it was hard to like him, obviously Claire still loves him, as any mother would. My dislike for him was a surprise, I thought it would be a case of caring for him, and it was more my feelings about Claire (and his brother Jake who I liked immensely) that made me want to find out what happened.
Claire’s friend, Liz is just great, a real support for her and equally as caring as Claire is, but also seems to be one of the larger than life characters and she was a joy to read. Infact, all the characters were well written, you understood them, even if you weren’t that keen on them, and I thought this was really good as it was only told through one person’s viewpoint.
The ending was something else, every few chapters we are shown a conversation that is using Whatsapp, using usernames as opposed to real names, and through this things slowly begin to reveal themselves, not fall into place exactly, but they give you some clues as to what happens on the lead up to Billy’s disappearance. This culminates in and ending that took my breath away. It was tense and surprising, and I was left thinking about everything that transpired, long after I had finished the book. I love that there was a definitive ending, unlike some books which leave me with more questions than answers.
C L Taylor’s books keep getting better and better, each one more deep and thought-provoking than the last.
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Published by: Avon
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
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Available 7th April

Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria

cominghomeSynopsis

The darker the secrets, the closer they lie. 
An ordinary family. 
A devastating betrayal.

Evie has been away from home long enough to bury the pain that shaped her childhood.Now, with the sudden death of her father, she must return. Back to the same house. Back to the memories. Back to her mother.At first, coming home feels unexpectedly comforting. But, as she goes through her father’s files, Evie uncovers a secret that opens old wounds and changes her life forever.That’s only the beginning.As Evie’s world starts to shatter around her, she realises that those she loves most are also those capable of the deepest betrayal.

His Other Life by Beth Thomas

WeekofDeceit

HIsoptherlifeSynopsis

The story of a couple with seemingly perfect lives…and the secrets they hide behind closed doors.

He was hiding a terrible secret…
Grace’s new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming – almost too good to be true…
So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace’s life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions.
As she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora’s Box of secrets and lies – and starts to learn that Adam wasn’t so perfect after all.
What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be . . .