The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Synopsis

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
 
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
 
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
 
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

Review

I’ve been in quite the thriller mood recently and thought I would check this one out, as someone I met recently was in the middle of reading this and was enjoying it, so I though why not? I don’t regret it for a second.
 
The book wasn’t slow paced, intact I was surprised to learn it was only 352 pages once I had finished and looked. The writing style was different. Not in a bad way, how could it be bad if I had finished it in less than 24 hours, but there was something distinctive about it that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was a bit cooler, while the emotion was there and felt (particularly Anne’s) the writing seemed more matter of fact. As I said this wasn’t a bad thing, and it certainly left an impression on me.
 
In thrillers like this you often find yourself doubting the characters, often the lead character. With this book though, I pretty much trusted everyone, apart from maybe the neighbours. The detective obviously had their suspicions but I wasn’t such a sceptic. I especially trusted Anne, even though there was potential of her being responsible, there was something about her that made me trust that she didn’t do it.
 
I also liked Marco, he clearly adored Anne and seemed really supportive while she was suffering from post natal depression. I can also imagine how he felt with his in-laws. The rich-poor divide can be tough, especially when the rich male likes to shove their wealth and success in someone’s face as much as Anne’s stepfather did.
 
Obviously both parents are distraught and I wondered how I would sympathise with them if I were the general public, as in hindsight leaving a baby alone, however close they are was not a great idea (understatement of the century). However my heart did break for them.
 
Detective Rasbach was also a great character, while his questions were quite direct, it was clear he genuinely wanted to get to the bottom of what happened, and sometimes hard questions are needed.
 
Overall this book was as good as I’d heard, it lived up to the tenseness you expect from a thriller and constantly kept me guessing.
 
 
Published by: Transworld
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 

The Escape by C. L. Taylor

theescapeSynopsis

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”
 
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.
 
The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.
 
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.
 
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

Review

I’ve read all of C. L. Taylor’s books and have adored them all so naturally I was excited to read this one. I was met with an exciting and puzzling read, that surprisingly even had sort of a sense of cosiness at times. This moved at a fast pace at the start, but at the middle it settled to a nice steady rhythm, which is not a bad thing, it relaxed me and was the calm before the storm, before the naturally emotional and highly charged conclusion to the story.
 
As I have come to expect, the writing is easy to read and once started you have the conflicting feelings of never wanting the book to end, but also the desperation to know what exactly is going on. The first half of the book is set in Bristol where Jo meets Paula for the first time and the chain of events starts. While I understand why Jo was scared, there was something in the back of my mind if she was just being paranoid and mis-understood or mis-construed what Paula was saying. I wanted to trust her, and the other strange goings on certainly pointed towards her being truthful, but at the same time, there were other signs that even before the Paula meeting that she was a bit over protective of her daughter. As soon as I did doubt her though, there was a chapter from Paula’s point of view that put a damper on my doubts, only for them to be re-ignited again on the next Jo chapter.
 
Overall though I did like Jo, She clearly adored Elise and it was her motherly love that did keep me on her side. After she escapes with Elise, we are treated to the calmer portion of the book. The setting in a small village in Ireland seems peaceful and idillic. It lulled you into a sense of security, that you know isn’t going to last. Mary, the Irish B&B owner is such a lovely character, hurting from a past tragedy, but along with Ben** is the source of warmth and cosiness you get from the book. This is stark contrast to Bristol where Jo lied with her husband, who was nice, but a bit too nice at times, almost patronising.
 
This book is another great read from the author. There was a great contrast in settings and atmosphere which of course added to the sense of foreboding that you knew was bound to come in the end.
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
Published by: Avon
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Last Sunday I found out that the author of this book had an event at my local Waterstone’s branch on Tuesday evening, I had it on Kindle, so set myself the challenge of reading and reviewing it before the event. Sadly, I was much busier with work than planned, so I managed to read the book prior to attending the event but had no time to write my review. Anyway, I now have a shiny signed copy in my bookcase, and have finished the review 🙂

sometimesilieSynopsis 

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
 
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Review

The synopsis for this book is short, to the point and incredibly mysterious. It begs you to read it and when I did, I could barely put the book down, and when I had to for work or sleep, I did so grudgingly.
 
It has 3 different time periods so to speak. “Before” from Amber’s childhood, “Then” which is the days leading up to Amber’s accident and “Now” where you are with Amber’s mind as she lays in a coma, able to hear and see things, but unable to speak or move.
 
What is clear throughout the book, regardless of time, was that Amber is as unreliable as she promises when she tells us that Sometimes she lies. Within 2 pages you can find yourself not trusting, and being wary of her, but on the next page you can like and empathise with her.
Slowly though my barrier broke down and I found myself trusting her more and more, it was other people I was doubting. Claire, her sister and Paul, her husband are acting strange throughout the whole book, so there is definite doubt in pretty much every character. It seemed that Amber wasn’t the only one that lied, or at least acting very suspiciously.
 
The childhood diaries were a part I wasn’t expecting, it was great to see Amber’s childhood, and it explained a lot. Her parents were very distant at the best of times, and while she wasn’t the best behaved child in the world, even before a paticularly bad incident, she seemed very lonely and her parents could have done so much more.
 
This is ending up much shorter than most of my reviews, but I don’t want to say too much. Anything more that I want to say could be classed as a spoiler. The only thing you really need to take away from the review is that you should read this book. It’s deliciously dark, I didn’t see the end coming at all. 
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
Published by: HQ
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Mini Review Collection

 
This book was really funny, it had emotion and a great story, but the humour really stood out. The main character is loveable but also annoying at times as she becomes a bit self centred during her pregnancy, as one disaster after another kept happening to her. Her ex boyfriend Ned was infuriatingly annoying. Overall it was a really cute read, and definitely one to pick up when you need a good old rom-com book in your life.
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
4Butterflies_white-01 
 
mynotsoperfectlifeMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
 
This book was amazing! I always love Sophie Kinsella books, and the fact that half the book was set really close to me made it all the better. I really liked Kate’s narrative, and I also loved how annoying Demeter was to work for. I loved the scene with Demeter practicing a yoga type of exercise in the mud. It completely didn’t end up how I thought it would, I thought the ending would be much more straight forward, so the surprise made it all the more great.
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
The_Rosie_ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
 
I listened to it on audiobook, and the narrator did a fantastic job. The book itself was as good as I had heard. I adored Don, his outlook was certainly unique, somehow he reminded me of my partner, Simon. His habits could be infuriating at times, but I know that Rosie definitely bought the best out in him, though was far from perfect, showing she also had to learn something too.
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
wishyouwerehereWish You Were Here by Catherine Alliot
 
Oh this book. On one hand I enjoyed it, though the middle dragged a bit for me and the main character really annoyed me for a lot of the book. It seemed that she thought everything was about her. Not liking a character doesn’t usually break a book for me, but Flora did put a downer on the whole book for me. 
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
3Butterflies_white-01
 
thegirlbeforeThe Girl Before by J P Delaney
 
I got completely absorbed into this book. I read it in pretty much one day, I couldn’t put it down. It seemed dark and disturbing. The house sounded fantastic aesthetically, but I don’t think I could live by the rules. No books for starters, could I have a kindle? Both characters surprised me, my opinions on them changed several times, and I loved it.
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
5Butterflys_white-01