Anne Bonny #BookReview Only In Whispers by @GrimaJgrima #Thriller #Suspense #Mystery @BooksManatee ‘It is a story of secrets and lies. The secrets we all keep to protect one another.’

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Only In Whispers by Jacqueline Grima
Review Copy
Synopsis:

A forgotten past
An uncertain future
A family hiding from the truth
When their mother is hospitalised with depression, Annie and her brother Matthew are fostered by their beloved Aunt Helen. Their family eventually reunited, the siblings begin a new life in Derbyshire with their mother and new stepfather.
Now in her thirties and separated from her husband, Annie is struggling to escape the past and move forward with her son. Haunted by memories of her childhood, she begins to realise that there may have been more to her time in foster care than her mother claims. Why did social services take her and Matthew away? Who can she trust to tell her what really happened?
As Annie finds out more, things take a sinister turn…has the life she’s lived so far been a lie?

My Review:

Only In Whispers tells the story of Annie as she attempts to rediscover what happened in her past. After finally separating from her ex-husband David, 18 months ago. Annie has a new lease on life, taking care of her son Spencer 6yrs and reconnecting with her mother in a way she has never tried before.

‘It has felt like my husband still controls every aspect of my life’ – Annie

Annie reflects upon her own upbringing with brother Matthew, mum and stepdad John. Annie was very lucky considering the era, that when John took on the kids he fully enjoyed his role as ‘father’. He treated them as his own.

‘No-one was ever left out in our family, the two of us cherished each other’ – Annie

Annie lives in a big house in Buxton, she has a close friend Mags and her son is her entire life. But she can’t help but dig away at her own past and what occurred when social services became involved and her and Matthew were sent to live with their Aunt Helen and uncle Frank. She reflects on how her mother’s post-natal depression impacted her own life and mothering skills.
‘After Spencer was born, I had immersed myself into being the best mother that I could’ – Annie

Annie attempts to quiz her mother who is evasive and defensive. Her Aunt Helen is now suffering what appears to be early-onset dementia and confusion. Annie is struggling to find clues to help her unlock her past in her mind.
Eventually she finds help from an unlikely source, her brothers best friend Adam. He challenges Annie in ways she has never been before, and their bond is beautiful to watch grow.

‘You may not have any control over the way other people behave, Annie. But you do have a say in your own life and how you live it’ – Adam

The novel is slow-burning, and the tension slowly builds. Buxton makes for a perfect location and I could easily imagine taking walks along the pavilion gardens (Google Buxton pavilion gardens- image search)  with my own personal secrets on my mind.
It is a story of secrets and lies.
The secrets we all keep to protect one another. 4*

JG
Jacqueline Grima
Twitter
Website

Only In Whispers is released today and is available for just £1.99 (UK) and is listed under Kindle Unlimited. Happy release day to Jacqueline Grima 🙂 

Anne Bonny #BookReview Take Me In by @SabineDurrant #Psychological #Thriller #CrimeFiction #NewRelease @MulhollandUK ‘Loathsome characters, but yet, insanely gripping’

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Take Me In by Sabine Durrant
Review Copy
Synopsis:

The sensational new thriller from the author of the Richard & Judy bestseller Lie With Me.

A hot beach. A young family on holiday. A fatal moment of inattention…

And now Dave Jepsom is in their lives.

Dave Jepsom, with his muscles, his pale eyes, his expressionless face.

He saved their child. How can they ever repay him? Especially as what he seems to want in return is everything.

He’s in the streets they walk down. He’s at the office where they work. He’s at their front door, leaning on the bell…

If only they could go back. Back to when the lies were still hidden. Before the holiday, before the beach, before the moment that changed everything.

Before Dave.

But it’s never how it starts that matters. It’s always how it ends.

My Review:

I know I really shouldn’t but every so often, I love a creepy stalker type novel. I know they’ll freak me out, yet I can’t resist.
I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis of this novel.

The novel opens on the beach of a Greek Island. Parents Tessa and Marcus are on holiday with their 3yr old son Josh. As Tessa nips to the changing area and Marcus loses focus for a moment, Josh is in danger!

‘I stood there, redundant, helpless, a father without skin, as another man saved his child’ – Marcus

Due to the quick actions of holiday hero Dave Jepsom, Josh is saved. The families then lunch together; and the usual mundane questions are asked. What do you do for a living? Where do you live? Answers given without any real thought of consequences.

Tessa remains angry at Marcus for his failings with Josh and it suddenly becomes very clear, there is a few cracks in this marriage. Upon returning from holiday, those cracks are blown wide open and who Tessa and Marcus really are laid bare for us to read. The mistakes, ugly secrets and inner thoughts, we known it all.
Then Dave starts to appear EVERYWHERE!

‘I wanted suddenly to run away, away from this party, and this man, and his unwanted intrusion into our lives’ – Tessa

Words alone cannot describe how much I truly despised this couple. That being said, it made it even more insanely gripping!
This is not one for readers, who like their characters to have ‘redeeming qualities’. I couldn’t name one thing about Tessa or Marcus I liked. Yet I couldn’t take my eyes from the page and watching their lives unravel.

This novel is really hard to explain, because I truly mean to take nothing away from how GOOD it is and as said above insanely gripping! I actually read this book in 3hrs straight!
But I was internally enjoying their lives falling apart.
I don’t even feel the slightest guilt at this, I know that I perhaps should. But there is something smugly satisfying about watching the lives of ‘perfect people’ implode.
At least they are fictional!

Loathsome characters, but yet, insanely gripping. 4*

SD
Sabine Durrant
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Extract Perfect Dead by @JackieMBaldwin1 #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #DIFrankFarrell #Series @KillerReads Sometimes perfection is worth killing for. . .

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Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin – DI Frank Farrell #2
Synopsis

Sometimes perfection is worth killing for…

The second gripping crime novel in an exciting new series. Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell finds himself on the trail of a vicious killer in rural Scotland. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

Extract:

7th January 2013

DI Frank Farrell glanced across at Mhairi as the police car slid and bumped its way along an icy farm track towards a small stonewashed cottage. It was 10.10 a.m. and the sky was bright with a pale wintery sun. A young police officer who worked out of Kirkcudbright stood in front of the blue and white tape and walked towards them as they parked alongside the SOCO van.

Farrell exited the car with a feeling of dread in his stomach. In his time as a practising Catholic priest, suicides, in particular, always had a profound effect on him. The thought that someone might be driven to die at their own hand was unfathomable.

‘SOCO nearly done in there, PC McGhie?’
‘Yes, sir, they reckon it’s fairly cut and dried. The police surgeon is in there too. Didn’t exactly have to look for a pulse. Blood and brains everywhere.’
Farrell quelled him with a look.
‘Do we know the name of the deceased yet?’
‘Monro Stevenson, according to the opened mail, sir.’

Silently, Mhairi and Farrell suited up in their protective plastic coveralls and overshoes. Even if it was suicide, care had to be taken not to contaminate the scene, just in case.
‘Right, let’s get this over with,’ said Farrell.
He opened the door and entered with Mhairi.
A middle-aged man in a tweed jacket and cords was packing away his stethoscope in a brown leather satchel in the hall. He straightened up as they approached. Farrell noticed that he had an unhealthy greyish tinge to his face and that his hands were shaking.

‘Morning, Doctor. DI Farrell and DC McLeod.’
‘Dr Allison. Cause appears to be suicide. A terrible business,’ he said. ‘A patient of mine, as it turns out. He was only twenty-seven.’
‘It must be difficult when you know the deceased,’ said Mhairi.
‘Yes, if only he had come to me. I could have got him some help. Anything to avoid this,’ he said, gesturing towards the other room.
‘Any chance you can give us an indication of the time of death?’ asked Farrell.
‘Well, as you know, my role here is restricted to pronouncing life extinct. However, given that rigor is at its peak, I would hazard a guess, strictly off the record, that he died somewhere around fifteen hours ago. However, you’ll need to wait for the preliminary findings from the pathologist for any degree of certainty.’
‘Thanks, Doctor,’ said Farrell. ‘I appreciate the heads-up.’

The doctor turned to leave. Farrell approached the two experienced Scene of Crime officers, Janet White and Phil Tait, who were gathering their stuff together at the rear of the hall.
‘Janet, what have you got for us?’
‘It looks like a suicide,’ she said. ‘Gun placed in the mouth and trigger pulled. We lifted prints from the gun. Gunshot residue on the right hand of the deceased matches that scenario.’
‘There’s a note,’ Phil said. ‘It’s in a sealed envelope. We’ll get you a copy once we’ve done the necessary checks back at the station. We’ve also removed the gun for ballistics analysis.’
‘What was it?’
‘A PPK 380 mm. We recovered the bullet from the wall behind the chair.’
‘How on earth did he get hold of one of those in this neck of the woods?’
‘Your guess is as good as mine,’ shrugged Phil.
‘A suicide note,’ said Mhairi. ‘That means it’s unlikely to be a murder?’
‘Unless he was coerced, or it was staged,’ said Farrell.

JB
Jackie Baldwin
Twitter
Website

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