#Review #TheDry #JaneHarper

The Dry by Jane Harper



I just can’t understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.

My review:

A debut novel that promises secrets, childhood memories and murder! What’s not to like? Set during a severe drought, in the outback Australia this novel has at atmospheric feel to it. There are running parallels between city life and country existence.

The protagonist Aaron Falk is summoned to his small hometown of Kiewarra by his childhood best friend’s father via way of a note stating
“Luke lied, you lide, be at the funeral”.
Falk’s childhood best friends Luke Hadler is the main suspect in his family annihilation case, leaving dead his young wife Karen and son Billy. But is the case what it seems? Did Luke really kill his family and turn the shotgun on himself?

There is a wealth of characters from the past and the present, that fully add to the plot. But this is a small town with not only it’s secrets, but a small town mentality and some would rather no questions were asked. When Falk teams up with Sgt Raco to investigate further ‘off the books’. We begin to understand why some in the town hate Falk so much and his family were run out of town years ago.

There is an elusive character from the past, who’s death caused tense emotions and mistrust in the town. How did Ellie Deacon die and what does Falk have to hide? With no outside forensics found at the sight and the lone survivor the infant daughter Charlotte, this is a complex mystery. We learn of the family members and their various roles in the community. The failing farm and the economics that led to a financial struggle etc. There is confusing suspects and conflicting evidence throughout.

The investigation continues at a rather slow pace and I found this to be not in fitting with the opening of the novel. But the ending did not disappoint, it is moving and emotionally charged. 3.5*

#BlogTour #Review #TheOtherTwin by @LucyVHayAuthor @OrendaBooks

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The Other Twin by LV Hay


When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth …

My review:

The story focuses on the relationship between two sisters, after one’s untimely death at just 24 years old. There are distinct themes, of the ripples of resentments and accusations. Social media and personal identity also play a key part in the plots development. So I could see the huge appeal to readers in the crime fiction/mystery genre.

The novel opens with Poppy, who lives a chaotic lifestyle away from her hometown of Brighton. Upon receiving a phone call from her mother she is made aware her sister has died and she must return home as soon as possible. Her journey home is riddled with so many questions. How did India die and why?

There is an unnamed male character who’s point of view comes across rather narcissistic at times. But I felt this added to an unknown element in the plot and couldn’t wait to discover what it actually meant and who it was.

When Poppy returns to the family home she is disturbed and dumbfounded to discover that her sister allegedly leapt from a railway bridge to her death and the police are ruling it initially as a suicide. This sends Poppy on the course of her own investigation. She discovers that the police found a suicide note, a letter written to Jenny and yet she can discover no close friends of India’s named Jenny. Who is Jenny? Does she hold the key to India’s suicide?

Poppy hacks into India’s various social media accounts and phone attempting to discover who this mysterious Jenny is. She eventually discovers a message sent from Jenny on the day of India’s suicide that states “you shouldn’t have waited for me”. Which only leads to more questions. India’s suicide is proving to be a complex mystery!

Overall, there are themes where I think the author has taken huge risks. Yet it’s modern, edgy and unique. I can see the huge appeal to the younger generation of readers and those who long to see a wide-ranging demographic in the characterisation. I congratulate the author on being daring to take those risks with her debut novel. She has created a methodically, fresh and inclusive mystery! 4*

Lucy Hay author photo
LV Hay
Author bio:

Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. She lives in Devon with her husband, three children, six cats and five African Land Snails.

Twitter: @LucyVHayAuthor

#BlogTour 4* #Review #TheArtOfFear by #PamelaCrane @TAsTPublicity

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The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane


A dead father, a sex-trafficked daughter, and a cunning killer hiding deadly talents in apparent suicide.

From award-winning author Pamela Crane comes a terrifying tale of small-town secrets and murder.

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago—the day she let her little sister die in a tragic accident. Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, Ari stumbles through life…and into an unlikely clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental.

A psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-enslaved escapee who suspects foul play in her father’s death. In a pursuit of justice, Tina drags Ari into playing a dangerous game with the killer.

Faced with a murderous wake-up call, and desperate to salve her conscience, Ari’s investigation fuels the killer’s desire to see her dead.

Will Ari find closure and stop a killer, or make those she loves suffer?

My review:

This novel opens up and you are instantly thrown right into the pace, this novel is set at. It is dark, violent and at times, depraved! There are multitude of characters, to get your head around, so make sure you pay attention. You have been warned!

The first character we fully get to know is Ari, she is wallowing in grief, due to the death of her sister Carli. Ari is awash with self-blame and I felt this was mainly due to her mother’s complete and utter rejection of her. Her mother so desperate for justice appears to have made Ari the target of her anger! I found this very emotive to read, you instantly feel sympathy for her situation and empathy for her own self-blame.

Ari set up the Triad Suicide support group, doe to battling her own demons within. This group is a mixture of awkward young people, battling their issues with little in the way of support and guidance from outside the group. At the group, a new member arrives in the form of Tina Alvarez, who has recently been bereaved herself. Her father having committed suicide, leaving her to find the body. But Tina doesn’t believe it was suicide and Tina wants answers…….

The unlikely pair form a ‘soul sister’ bond, on the basis of their shared pain and experiences and set out to investigate Tina’s fathers suicide. With some minor assistance from Detective Moody. But this will not prove easy, because the Alvarez family harbour, some deep dark, dark secrets………..

I felt this novel had a Thelma and Louise feel to it and would also appeal to the older YA market. Recommended! 4*

Pamela Crane author pic
Pamela Crane
Author bio:

Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him!) and she writes on the edge. Her characters and plots are her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and the masochist in her thrives off of hurting her characters to create an entertaining tale.

She is the author of several best-selling and award-winning thrillers. To pick up a copy of a FREE book and other prizes, or to find out more about her chaotic existence, visit her website at www.pamelacrane.com.