The Accident – S D Monaghan

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One mistake could change your life forever.

Tara has it all. Married and about to move into her dream home, she can’t explain why she is tempted by one last fling with her ex before she settles down.

David would do anything for Tara. So when he finds her with another man, his world starts to crumble around him.

Ryan isn’t prepared for the punch David throws at him. Stumbling, he slips over the balcony and falls three storeys to the patio below.

In one split second a man will be killed. In one split second David and Tara’s life will change forever.

How far would you go to save everything you have?

These one sitting reads are getting to be a bit of a habit for me of late, I just can’t seem to stop picking them up, and this was just another fabulous example,  I absolutely adored this book.  It’s a great read, you name it, it’s got it all, lies & deceit, blackmail, murder, and even some neighbour from hell moments that lighten the mood.

With layers of plots to unravel, it will trip you up with another twist every time you think you might have a handle on what it actually going on.

I also particularly enjoyed the characters in this book, well written and believable I totally bought into each of them from the naive Tara, to her hardworking husband, even to the point of taking a distinct dislike to the slimy architect Gordon.

Now we’re heading towards the cooler months, if you are looking for an enjoyable rainy day read, this one comes recommended by me.

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#Blogtour The Secrets You Keep – Kate White

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You’ve lost your memory. A woman has been murdered. Your husband is keeping secrets. How do you know who to trust?

Months after a being involved in a terrible car crash, Bryn Harper is physically healed but her emotional scars remain raw. She has no memory of the accident and is plagued with bad dreams.

When Bryn and her husband, Guy, host a dinner party Bryn swears money has been stolen while Guy seems unfazed. Bryn confronts the caterer that night and is horrified to discover the woman’s brutally slain body the next day.
As the case is investigated, Bryn is dragged into a fresh nightmare and learns that Guy is keeping things from her. Another murder occurs and Bryn realises the danger is getting ever closer to home. How well does Bryn really know the man she loves?

Another page turner of a read I’ve picked up in the last week or so.  I’m often confounded by female characters who have whirlwind romances and end up married to someone they don’t truly know, but then their stories often make for compelling reading.

The Secrets You Keep was no exception to this rule. The difference being that in this tale Bryn has not just the mystery of her own husband to unravel, but also the mystery of her missing memory.  Fighting nightmares, trying to make new friendships in her summer home town,  all while discovering the brutally murdered body of her caterer, and trying to get to the bottom of the inconsistencies and concerns she faces in her life.

It’s got a delicious twist on the killer and it was someone I didn’t see coming from a mile away, I had it pegged as a whole different character for most of the book, and if you can get one past me you’re on a major winner. 🙂

Highly recommended.

A Justifiable Madness – A B Morgan

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Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity?

Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?

When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.

Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life is about to go from bad to worse.

Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it seems…

Flippin’ eck! What a rush! Another one of those books that is both good and not so good for insomniacs…. Picked it up to read one night when I couldn’t sleep, and then couldn’t go back to sleep because I just could not put it down.

What is really creepy about this book is that whilst it is something that should never happen in modern society, it is equally something the could happen. Cleverly written with all sides misreading the words and actions of others, simply due to their differing points of view of the same subjects, and the belief that the intentions of others are honourable.

A Justifiable Madness contains moments of subtle humour, that shine a light on a dark and troubling situation, a story that has some roots in truth, and shows how easily power can be abused, and people can come to believe that what they’re being told is the truth, even when it’s not.

 

The Thrillers That Inspired ‘Lies’ by T M Logan #blogtour

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tm-loganThrillers that inspired LIES

Who can say where stories come from? For me, they start with a tiny core, a single idea. Maybe a character or a single situation, a point of crisis or a relationship I want to know more about. Wrap a few more ideas around the core, then a few more, check its pulse to make sure it’s starting to live and breathe. Then sit down and start writing.

The core idea of LIES came to me while we were driving to Brittany for our summer holiday. I was supposed to be navigating but got so caught up with the idea – and scribbling it down in my notebook before it disappeared – that we got lost. We had to go on a bit of a magical mystery tour to pick up our route again, but the story of LIES was already starting to live and breathe (in my head, at least).

Like everyone else, though, I’ve been inspired and influenced over the years by thrillers that I’ve loved and the people who have written them. My favourite authors include Michael Connolly, Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Tana French, Lee Child, Sophie Hannah, Bernard Cornwell, Peter Swanson, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and Ken Follett. I’ve missed lots out, but that might give you an idea of the kind of stories that I love to read – and write.

In no particular order, here are a few of the stories that inspired LIES:

I remember being bowled over by Harlan Coben’s Tell No One. It was the first time that I’d read one of his thrillers and it featured his trademark combination of a cracking story, great dialogue, compelling bad guys and a protagonist you’re rooting for from page one. Coben is also adept at bringing in technology and making it a turning point in his story, as when the hero sees an image of his wife – supposedly dead for eight years – on his computer screen.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was one of many great recommendations from my wife, Sally. I loved this book. The slow unravelling of the truth about Amy Dunne takes the story in ways you can’t predict. Is she alive or dead? Is her husband involved in her disappearance? Is the truth simply what we believe it to be? The blurring of fact and fiction, the creation of different versions of the truth, feature strongly in LIES.

I have lots of favourites by Stephen King but Misery is at the top. It’s so simple, basically two characters in a house for 95 per cent of the story, and yet he manages to make it utterly gripping and terrifying. Stephen King is the master at that sense of ‘creeping doom’, at building the tension slowly, as Paul Sheldon comes to realise that there is something very, very wrong with the situation in which he finds himself.

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith grabbed hold of me in such a way that it became like an addiction. A real high concept premise – three guys find a bag full of money in the woods – but so many twists and turns that it was impossible to put down. At its heart it’s about the terrible things people will do in pursuit of what they think is right, and the crimes they will justify on the way.

Last but definitely not least (and not a book, either), I tip my hat to Les Diaboliques, a French film about betrayal, obsession, and murder. Check it out if you ever get the chance. It has a killer twist – when it was shown in cinemas, a title screen appeared at the end of the movie asking the audience not to reveal it to others, so they wouldn’t spoil the surprise. I hope the twist at the end of LIES has a similar impact!

What are your favourite thrillers? Let me know @TMLoganAuthor

lies

 

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES? 

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .

The Step-Mother – Claire Seeber

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Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending… doesn’t it?

 

As an unofficial (but officially as of next year) step mother I’m always keen to read novels about blended families, as whilst my own situation has been an easy one to accept due to the age of my fiancé’s son when we met, it’s still a subject close to my heart. So when I was offered an advance copy of The Step-Mother, the latest novel by an author of whom I have long been an admirer, I accepted it with glee.

As I said I’ve been an admirer of Claire Seeber’s novels for a long time, but have to say that The Step-Mother is a fantastic step up in her skills, and deserving of all the advance praise I have been seeing on GoodReads, and from other reviewers.  I was hooked from the very beginning, and immediately all I wanted for Jeanie was the happy ending she was desperate for.

Told alternately between the narratives of Jeanie and her sister Marlena, it is an ingenious web of intrigue, so cleverly and intricately plotted that you’ll constantly change your mind as you who is up to no good, go through just about every possible culprit and still be left guessing by the end of it all.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was the profound emotional response I felt towards the characters as I was reading.  I wanted to scream at Matthew for being a useless dick, shout at her sister for being to wrapped up in her own problems, and felt every moment of shock, fear and helplessness of Jeanie as her happy ever after unraveled before her.

It’s a gem of a book that I read in just two sittings, and that was only because I had to go to bed.  It’s highly recommended by me.

 

The Lie – C.L. Taylor

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imageI know your name’s not really Jane Hughes….

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary, and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been, but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier, Jane and her then best friends went on holiday, but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

Frightening, tragic, uncomfortable & addictive…

Opening with Jane in her quiet new life, settled and trying to put the past behind her, the narrative splits in two once we discover, along with Jane, that somebody knows her secret. The first remains with Jane, as she tries to uncover who sent her the message that has threatened her fragile new existence. The second set five years before detailing the frightening and tragic tale of their trip together, the adventure of a lifetime that became the holiday from hell.

One of the things I like to see with authors I have read before is progression, and after already enjoying Taylor’s previous novel The Accident (Published as Before I Wake in the US) it was a delight to me to uncover a distinct step up in storytelling and style with The Lie. It has a far more addictive story line, and although I found it quite uncomfortable reading at times, I raced through it in just a single sitting.

I say uncomfortable, because of the excellence with which the friendships of the girlfriends are portrayed. I found that the fractures, faults, and issues in their relationships were so well written that I couldn’t help but reflect on my own friendships as I read. Particularly those that, whether missed or not, I have lost over the years, and to me that reaction alone marks The Lie as an outstanding read and one that will linger with me for some time.

How I Lost You – Jenny Blackhurst

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imageThey told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor, and the police tell you, don’t you?

My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago it was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve week old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric institute for my crime and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my shattered life.

This morning I received and envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I believe he’s truly dead?

If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?

Last week feeling under the weather, more than a little sorry for myself, and wrapped up in bed having a duvet day, I picked up Jenny Blackhurst’s debut novel How I Lost You and finished it in one sitting.  It was ideal, a perfect lazing by the pool / rainy day read, it is intriguing, engrossing and will have you flipping the pages quickly.

There are two main threads in How I Lost You, the first is the story of Susan, what happened to her when her son was murdered, her suspicions and beliefs surrounding the mystery of what really happened, and her re-evaluation of her previous life and the relationships within it.  The second is set twenty years earlier, and tells the story of the lives and misdemeanours of a group of privileged boys as they grow up and go to university together.

It takes a little while to reconcile these two strands, trying to work out where the characters from one fit within the other, but once the pieces slot into place the story moves on apace.  Susan teams up with journalist Nick, as they attempt to discover the reality of what happened to baby Dylan, and what, if anything, it has to do with the past life of her ex-husband Mark.

My only niggle with the book is that for a convicted killer released on parole, Susan appears to be incredibly naive and far too trusting of others, but if you can suspend that little bit of disbelief for a while then How I Lost you is a thoroughly enjoyable read, with a culprit that few will see coming.