Anne Bonny #BookReview Dead To Her by Sarah Pinborough 5* GENIUS #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @SarahPinborough @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam

 

dthDead To Her by Sarah Pinborough ~ (US cover)
Review Copy ~ Negalley ~ Ebook
Synopsis ~

From the No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

There’s nothing like a woman scorned

Something old…

Marcie’s affair with Jason Maddox catapulted her into the world of the elite. Old money, old ties, old secrets. Marcie may have married into this world –
but she’ll never be part of it.

Something new…

Then Jason’s boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London. Young, attractive, reckless – nobody can take their eyes off Keisha. Including Marcie’s husband.

Something you can never, ever undo…

Some people would kill for the life Marcie has – what will she do to keep it?

My Review ~

Whoop Whoop Queen Pinborough has a new book out!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!
Nothing cheers up this little bookworm, quite like seeing Sarah Pinborough has a new book out! Sarah is a talented writer who has NEVER let me down, with her books which cover various genre’s. Before I read Dead To Her, my favourite novel of hers would probably have been a close tie between Behind Her Eyes (obviously) and 13 Minutes. With 13 Minutes probably stealing the thunder!
HOWEVER, that was all set to change with the raunchy, steamy and addictive new release that is Dead To Her. This is Sarah Pinborough as we have never see her before….

The novel begins with a bunch of wealthy wives known amongst themselves as ‘the second wives club’. The woman aren’t necessarily likeable (but I think that is kind ofthe point). But if you’re anything like me and love a good super bitch or femme fatale then you will LOVE this title.

‘What else was there to do but bitch. judge and gossip about one another between charity events’

Marcie Maddox is a main protagonist and the second wife of Jason. They live in Savannah, Georgia and for all intents and purposes, live a life of high class, wealth and luxury. But nothing is as it seems….

‘A wife to be kept in the attic not out on display’

Introducing new ‘second’ wife to the group Keisha Radford. Keisha is the second wife of William Radford IV, who coincidentally is Jason’s boss. Which means despite how she feels internally Marcie must play nice. She must rub shoulders with the elite, shower affection and admiration upon Keisha.

‘She’s not one of us’

Keisha herself is an unusual addiction to the club. Keisha is black, British and feisty, Keisha doesn’t suffer fools (other than William) and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. There is no overt racism, but there are subtle and passive aggressive acts thrown towards Keisha within the club. But Keisha must learn to hold her own against the gaggle of white privilege. Not only must she hold her own, but she has every intention of coming out on top. Metaphorically and figuratively speaking…

‘Keisha had a lot to learn about their set’

Amongst the club are wives Iris and Virginia. The addition of Keisha to the club sends Marcie wild with jealousy.
But has the other women also keeping a very close eye on her too.
‘It seemed Keisha was upsetting the apple cart’

It’s impossible to compare this novel to others in the genre. But it has shades of Penny Vincenzi, with layers of sex and psychological warfare. There may even be an added extra of what we have come to know and love the authors writing for. But that would be revealing far too much.

There will be feelings of inadequacy, worries that fake friends… fake friendship, secrets and jealousy galore.
‘She’d never seen him look at another woman that way. Never’

It also asks the age old question…
‘Why didn’t men fade like women?’
It also explores the dynamics of dating/remarriage in older adulthood. The emotional baggage of the women and potential fragile ego’s of the men.
‘She wondered if terrible people were drawn to terrible people’

Toxic marriages, pasts that haunt the characters and constant scheming comes to a head with an ultimate showdown. But will Keisha remain unscathed or will everyone get what they deserve. In the words of the author….
‘Thrill seekers seek thrills’

The novel deserves HUGE praise for its inclusivity and diversity. Too often psychologically thrillers or domestic noir novels ONLY portray white heterosexual females with perfect lives. The genre is saturated in perfect women, with perfect husbands, perfect children and one day something drastic shakes their lives. THIS IS NOT THAT CLICHE! 

The Queen of the genre is back! Buy it, read it and LOVE it!
5* GENIUS

SP
Sarah Pinborough
Twitter
website
Pre-order link to Amazon (non-affiliate) ~ 6th August 2020 release date
Pre-order link to Amazon.com (non -affiliate) ~ 11th February 2020 release date

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Anne Bonny #BookReview Good Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham 5* #Thriller #CrimeFiction #Psychological @michaelrobotham

 

coverGood Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
Review Copy ~ Netgally Ebook
Synopsis ~

The girl with no past.

Six years ago, Evie Cormac was discovered, filthy and half-starved, hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a shocking crime. Now approaching adulthood, Evie is damaged, self-destructive and has never revealed her true identity.

The boy who survived.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, a man haunted by his own past, is investigating the death of champion figure-skater Jodie Sheehan. When Cyrus is called upon to assess Evie, she threatens to disrupt the case and destroy his ordered life. Because Evie has a unique and dangerous gift – she knows when someone is lying. And nobody is telling the truth.

My Review ~

The novel opens in Longford secure children’s home in Nottingham. We are introduced to Guthrie the resident social worker as he leads a group session with residents Alana, Evie, Holly, Nathan, Cordelia, Rebekah and Serena. When a disagreement develops between Serena and Evia, Serena attacks!
‘Someone tried to strangle me’ ~ Evie
Evie has a bruised neck and states that she hopes to escape the facility.

The novel then jumps to Evie’s point of view and we learn there is much more depth to Evie than just a regular violent resident. Evie is consumed by self loathing and we learn of previous abuse. But who abused Evie and why has she remained silent about her abuser?
I have spent 10yrs of my career working mainly in secure setting with residents with mental health conditions and I can honestly say Evie’s character and background is incredibly accurate.

‘Nobody can hate like I can’

The novel then move to DS Alan Edgar and his investigation into the murder of a teenage girl Jodie Sheehan. Jodie has suffered a blow to the head, has DNA evidence on her body and is a case of intense public interest due to her professional figure skating. Eventually we learn about Jodie’s family background, strange brother,  career/coach and on/off lover. It would seem Jodie’s life isn’t the perfect life the family would have people believe it is? So who would kill the local popular figure skater and why?

Via a series of files, ward notes, offences, assessments and escapes we finally learn the complexity of Evie’s character. As stated above the characterisation is intense and brilliant. Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven in an attempt to understand Evie further speaks to the special constable (Sacha Hopewell) who found Evie.

The investigation into Jodie’s murder reaches a new turn when £5/6K is found in her school locker. Where and how does a teenage girl acquire such cash and what did the need it for? Chief Superintendent Timothy Heller-Smith and PC Harry Plover suspect Craig Farley a previous hospital worker in the vicinity if the crime scene. But are they merely clutching at straws in an attempt to solve the case.

Evie’s anger and rage begins to unravel and in a bizarre and unethical attempt to help Evie, Cyrus agrees to foster her. But Cyrus has his own past, his own dark secrets he is trying desperately to contain. Will fostering Evie, unravel Cyrus’s coping mechanisms. Is he fully prepared for Evie…
‘She’ll find your weakness’

‘Victims of childhood abuse don’t associate kindness with trust’

DNA profile comes back and it is a match to Craig Farley…
‘People keep saying that Jodie was a normal teenager, who loved dancing and music and ice-skating, but there’s more to her than that’ ~ Cyrus

Overall this is a phenomenal novel! I sincerely hope this is a cracking new series to follow, devour and LOVE! 5*

MR
Michael Robotham
Twitter
Website

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Anne Bonny #bookReview Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke #AmericanNoir #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Literary #NewRelease @SerpentsTail @atticalocke

cover
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
Review Copy ~ Ebook ~ Netgalley
Synopsis ~

Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; instead he found himself all alone, adrift on the vastness of Caddo Lake. A sudden noise –
and all goes dark.

Ranger Darren Matthews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who’s never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she’s not above a little blackmail to press her advantage.

An unlikely possibility of rescue arrives in the form of a case down Highway 59, in a small lakeside town. With Texas already suffering a new wave of racial violence in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, a black man is a suspect in the possible murder of a missing white boy: the son of an Aryan Brotherhood captain.

In deep country where the rule of law only goes so far, Darren has to battle centuries-old prejudices as he races to save not only Levi King, but himself.

My Review ~

I am a HUGE fan of Attica Locke (check out my review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A). I think she brings something so unique to the genre. Her novel are diverse, they are intelligent and she is certainly NOT afraid to tackle any form of prejudice (I salute you). I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second novel in the Highway 59 series. So here are my thoughts on Heaven, My Home…

The novel opens in Texas 2016 in Marion County. We are introduced to Levi King’s family. Mother Marnie, sister Dana, her boyf Rory Pitkin and his mother’s lover Gil. I took an instant dislike to this white trash family, but taking a moment to step back, it is not the children’s fault who raises them and therefore, I was intrigued to see how the story/family would develop. The novel will revolve around the disappearance of 9yur old Levi King. But who would take him and why?

The novel is ruthless is its tackling of the tensions caused by the 2016 election of he whom shall not be named. I applaud Attica Locke for saying what we are all thinking.
‘After Obama, it was forgiveness betrayed’

The King family dynamics hit further complexity as Levi’s father Bill ‘big kill’ King is an active member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). He is currently 6yrs into a 20yr sentence for drug offences. In an unlikely twist of events, it is Bill that reaches out for help from Darren…

‘I’m begging you, sir. Find my boy’

The location and setting of the novel is fully explored. This really helps UK readers or NON-America readers such as myself. You get a feel for the town everyone and everywhere forgot….
‘It was a town that time had passed by’

There is also brutally honest descriptions of the family of the missing child…
‘Everything In Hopetown looked as mean and underfed as Marnie King’

The characterisation of the novel is outstanding and the author’s creation of ranger Darren Matthews is one she should be exceptionally proud of. He is just so perfect to carry a series. Almost like a diverse ranger version of Harry Bosch!
WE NEED MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!
The family and namely Bill’s mother through in their two cents of theories into how the boy went missing. Almost no one apart from his incarcerated father seems to care where he is or if he is even alive. Darren does not give up that easily. Not even on a family who despise him…

‘Darren wasn’t sure Gil Thompson knew who Hitler was, let alone could explain the significant of the seminal text of Mein Kampf that was in his trailer’ 

This is a deeply layered exploration of racial hatred, the need for collaboration as citzens of the same county and politics when divides us all. 4.5*
I cannot wait to read what Attica Locke writes next!

AL
Attica Locke
Twitter
Website
My review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A with the author

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Guardians by John Grisham 4.5* #Legal #Thriller #NewRelease @JohnGrisham @HodderBooks @HodderFiction @HodderPublicity

cover
The Guardians by John Grisham
My Own Copy ~ Hardback book
Synopsis ~

He was framed for murder.
Now he needs a miracle.

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.
Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.

My Review ~

I absolutely adore legal thrillers. I also find the American justice system so much more fascinating than here in the UK. Any novel which has the theme of ‘miscarriage of justice’ or ‘death row’ instantly grab my interest. I immediately purchased this from the local supermarket and devoured it in one weekend.

A potential miscarriage of justice, a life sentence without parole, racial injustice and building tension. GET IN MY SHOPPING TROLLEY!

The novel does surround the case of Quincy Miller in a crime that took place 22yrs ago. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of divorce lawyer Keith Russo. He was convicted in a largely all white town, the jury was tainted from the get go and evidence was lost/misplaced. Quincy Miller never stood a chance!

‘It’s fairly easy to convict an innocent man and virtually impossible to exonerate one’ 

However, before the novel gets into Quincy’s case, we learn about Cullen Post an innocence lawyer and former preacher. We learn of the work he does at the innocence project. Who he will and won’t appeal cases for and the type of man he is. Cullen is a intriguing character and one I hope to read more of in the future.

There are backstories in the form of Cullen’s other cases. This is where you will meet other prisoners and some of them accused of heinous crimes. Are they innocent? That is for Cullen to prove. When we first meet Cullen he is consulting on a violent rape and murder conviction. The convict Duke Russell already has his execution scheduled. Can Cullen save his life and prove him innocent? Or is this simply too much to ask for one man?

‘Clemency for Mr Russell is therefore denied’

As we follow Cullen in his investigations into Quincy’s case (and various other sub-characters). We learn it is not only the fight for innocence that drives Cullen but the desire to see justice for the real predators out there enjoying their freedom while someone else does their prison time.

Quincy Miller’s case is complex. It involves a messy divorce, kids that don’t know he exits and jailhouse snitches. Even if Quincy Miller is innocent, he is going to need god on his side to get free. In walks Cullen Post a former preacher and unique man with a personal quest for justice and balance in the world.

‘For twenty-two years he has maintained his innocence, but no one is listening’

Whilst Quincy has a theory on who and why someone set him up. It is going to take heaven and earth to get the people from his past to admit they lied under oath, if they so did lie. But Cullen Post has a plan…

‘Very few women are criminals. Their mistakes are picking bad boyfriends’

Along the way we meet other convicts such as Shasta Briley and Gerald Cook. They bring added depth to the legal novel and that is what make John Grisham the king of the genre. There are multiple thought-provoking scenes and moments to pause and reflect. I will leave you with this quote, which is my personal favourite within the novel…

‘Prison is a nightmare for those who deserve it. For those who don’t it is a daily struggle to maintain some level of sanity’ ~ 4.5* 

JG
John Grisham
Twitter
Website

Anne Bonny #BookReview This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch @andrewshatch 4* #Thriller #Psychological #Mystery @SerpentsTail

cover
This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch
Review Copy – Hardback
Synopsis ~

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

My Review ~

This novel has such a brilliant and appealing synopsis. We immediately know it will be a psychological thriller riddled with suspense and we are NOT let down.
The novel revolves around the characters of Daniel, Victoria and pen-pal Ruby. We are aware that Daniel is enrolled in a pen-pal programme, but the messages end up going so much deeper than a mere friendship…

‘Two damaged souls, reaching out for a connection’

It isn’t long before Daniel is divulging far too many details of his personal life and relationships. When Ruby reciprocates this response, we the reader immediately know it isn’t going to end well for either of them…

‘I didn’t intend to write back to her but of course I did’

Daniel is at times, an unreliable narrator and I never knew if he was telling the truth or playing games. You just simply can’t trust him and neither should Victoria or Ruby.
The novel is fast paced, edgy and modern. A cracking debut might I add. I raced through the pages and couldn’t wait to get to the end.

Daniel is most definitely a weirdo, but that doesn’t make him a criminal or does it? 4*

ASH
A.S. Hatch
Twitter
Website

*apologies for delayed review*