Anne Bonny #BookReview Yesterday by @FeliciaMYap #CrimeFiction #Psychological #Thriller @Wildfirebks ‘With themes of politics, mental health, obsession and memory, this novel is a brave debut.’

coverYesterday by Felicia Yap
Review copy
Synopsis:

Today, the police are at your door.

They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.

You can’t recall what he did that day, because you only remember yesterday.

You rely on your diary to tell you where you’ve been, who you love and what you’ve done.

So, can you trust the police?
Can you trust your husband?
Can you trust yourself?

My Review:

This is a cracking novel with a unique edge, which is not revealed in the synopsis. The world of mono/duo’s is revealed much later in the novel. However, as a psychological thriller this novel definitely delivers. It has various themes within and I think the author was very brave to tackle such a multitude of themes in a debut novel. What I would personally refer to as ‘the author came out swinging’. The book market and in-particular the psychological/thriller genre is massively competitive. I can read this genre for an entire month of new releases alone and they will all be fantastic. But I suppose what you need as a debut author in this genre, is a niche that makes your book stand out against the rest.
Yesterday, has that niche.

The novel opens 2yr before the murder of Sophia Alyssa Ayling. With a female patient in a mental health institution talking directly to the reader. She talks of revenge and of past pain, it doesn’t make much sense at the time. Yet the words are incredibly powerful.
All will be revealed much later, as they say…

‘It’s the sum total of remembered grievances that makes hatred potent’ – Sophia

‘The cat of revenge will be easy’ – Sophia

The novel then introduces Claire Evans. Claire is a mono which means her memory is much shorter than the superior duo’s. She has been married to her husband, successful author and wannabe MP Mark for 20yrs. Part of his political campaign is built upon their successful mixed marriage.
Except the marriage is far from perfect, as we read on and discover. . .

‘This is why he think he’s superior’ – Claire

The marriage seems as though it is one of appearances and carefully constructed by the pair to give the illusion that their life together is perfect. They live in a mansion, have exotic holidays and appear to want for nothing. Yet something, just does not add up.

‘My life is idyllic – but only on the surface’ – Claire

In the mono/duo world, everyone keeps a diary. Apple have amassed a small fortune from providing the idiary with fingerprint recognition. However, it is what is locked inside these diaries that is so much more revealing. . .

‘Unlike my husband, I have done very little to be proud of in my lifetime’ – Claire

When the body of a woman is discovered in the river Cam. The police are quick to investigate those listed in the victim’s diary. Leading them straight to the door of Mark Evans. DCI Hans Richardson is the investigating officer, he has secrets of his own, which he must shield from discovery.

There are several chapters from Sophia’s diary, of her brief encounters with various men. I quite liked Sophia, she is feisty and not afraid to use sexual temptation to get what she wants. It becomes clear that what she really seeks is revenge. As revenge themes go, stealing 17yrs of someone’s life is strong enough but then having them incarcerated in a mental hospital, is far more enraging. No wonder Sophia wants revenge! But she has also learnt and adapted due to her experiences in various institutions. Sophia knows to be patient, bide her time and strike only with absolute certainty.

‘They stole seventeen years of my life’ – Sophia

As the police scrutinise Mark and Claire’s life. Mark becomes aware his political career is also at risk. But what links him to the body in the Cam?

‘No one elects a man who can’t keep his own household in order. No one’ – Rowan

Claire doesn’t know who or what to believe. But she is adamant Mark has been unfaithful and for this he must pay. Also driven by revenge, she begins to create a nightmare scenario under the media spotlight. But has Mark been unfaithful? Is Claire, right? Or is the ‘other woman’ merely an attempt to obliterate his political message?
‘Someone out there is trying to bring you down’

The novel also has various articles scattered throughout that explain and expand upon the mono/duo world, better than I ever could. They give you an insight into a world where your memory length, designates your place in the class system.
The diary entries are brilliant, I am rarely hooked on this kind of element and find letters/diaries a distraction from the story. But these are just so well written and key to the plot. I was absolutely gripped. Yet again Sophia, struck gold for me with the diary entries. She had read every person involved perfectly and her character was determined by their actions against her. but why was she so obsessed with Claire, I had no idea?

‘Looking ill in a hospital isn’t a good idea. It’s as bad as looking guilty in a court of law’ – Sophia

With themes of politics, mental health, obsession and memory, this novel is a brave debut. The relationships people hold with one another and a marriage that is not all it seems, which ends with a twist in the tale, impressive and I look forward to the next release by the author. 4*

FY
Felicia Yap
Twitter
Website

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Sticks And Stones by @JoJakemanWrites #Psychological #Thriller #NewRelease @HarvillSecker ‘I detest the man, he really is evil personified!’

cover
Sticks And Stones by Jo Jakeman
Review copy
Synopsis:

Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?

My Review:

‘It is a time for lies and cover-ups, not truthful observations’

This novel is a psychologically thriller, which features one of the possibly, most psychologically damaged human beings, I have ever read about all year!

‘I knew the devil lived in his soul’

The novel opens on the day of Phillip Rochester’s funeral. It is clear there was marital abuse and divorce loomed. The opening is a loaded scene, packed with tension and secrets. Phillip Rochester was not just a bad man, he was an evil man.

‘Phillip Rochester got the death he deserved’

The novel then jumps back in time, to the events in the build-up to the demise of Phillip. Imogen is Phillip’s wife, Naomi his new girlfriend, Ruby is his first wife and Little Alistair (6yrs) the son between Phillip and Imogen.
The relationships between the women are fraught and simmering with tension and unease at every turn. But it is not of their making. . .

Phillip has a dominant personality, he is a bully and used to getting his own way. I cannot fully get across my feelings about Phillip because WordPress and Amazon both have community standards. Just know this, I detest the man, he really is evil personified!

The marriage between Phillip and Imogen has been over 18 months. Imogen is slowly over-coming the emotional difficulties, with the help of her quirky best friend Rachel. They have an unusual friendship, but Imogen has support nevertheless. Imogen does start to obsess over Phillip’s new relationship with Naomi. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to this than petty jealousy and emotional envy.

‘I was too scared of him to disagree; Phillip was my darkness’

The novel also details the past history of Imogen and Phillip’s marriage. We learn it was one of little happiness or support. Phillip declares he wants Imogen out of the property and it is this that is the catalyst for the entire plot. This is when it all gets REAL!

‘I was sick of being Imogen Rochester: the victim’

When Phillip threatens Imogen for sole custody of their son, he has no idea how much he will push Imogen over the edge.
Or if Imogen can ever truly bring herself back from that edge.

The chapters from the individual women’s backgrounds details what makes them vulnerable. Phillip didn’t just target these women, he preyed upon them.
Now he is the prey. . .

This novel is a complex psychological thriller, it deals with some very strong emotional themes. The power of psychological holds, the intensity of victimhood and the bond that can exist between women. It is an absolute corker of a read and I raced through the pages in one afternoon. 4*

JJ
Jo Jakeman
Twitter
Website

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