Not suitable for children 4.5🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

  

This is another cracker from Angela Marsons. Whilst Kim Stone’s background is undoubtedly not the happiest, it isn’t a patch on some of the characters in the latest instalment of her life fighting crime. 🕵🚔
Although it’s the 4th DI Kim Stone book, it’s fair to say that this is be a standalone book.

It rattled along at a fair old pace, and there were a few question marks in my head until ⚡️POW⚡️I wasn’t expecting it to unfold in that way…
A rattling good read.  

MetLineReader Rating 4.5* 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
About this book

The dead don’t tell secrets … unless you listen. 

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess. 

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime. 

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next? 

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …? 

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons. 

Acknowledgements 

Play Dead is published on 20th May by Bookouture and is available for preorder and purchase on Amazon

My thanks to Bookouture who provided me with an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Friendships and secrets…

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***Update*** so excited to discover that my quote has been used in the publicity materials:  “I LOVE Marcie Steele’s writing”

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Marcie Steele has a fabulous way with words and the ability to craft her story with pace, depth and emotional attachment. There’s something rather special about this story of secrets and friendship that goes beyond the usual “chick-lit”…

This book is a feel-good tale of friendships and relationships – following your heart and not taking others for granted.

I can’t wait for her next book to come out (hurry up and write it, please Marcie!!

MetLineReader rating 4 star (Piccadilly)

About this book

Best friends tell each other everything… right?
Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated…

On the outside, thirty-something Sam seems to have it all; the gorgeous husband, the beautiful home and the flourishing business. But things are not quite as rosy as they seem. So when handsome stranger, Dan, walks into her life, Sam finds his attentions hard to resist.

Louise might seem like life and soul of the party, but her outgoing exterior hides her sadness about the heartbreak in her past. She just wants someone to love – but all Louise gets left with is a quick fumble with an ex at the end of the night.

When a glamorous face from the past returns to shake things up, things get even more complicated for Sam and Louise. And just when they need each other the most, they’ve reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all.

An emotional and uplifting tale of love, secrets and the importance of having a best friend.

Acknowledgements

That’s What Friends Are For is published by @Bookouture TODAY (11th December). I received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

A Christmassy tale of two bakers

Sue Watson weaves a tale of Christmassy cheer, intertwined with old secrets, lost friendships and family histories.

Bella and Amy were friends as children and lost touch. Their friendship ended suddenly around the time that Amy’s mum died.

Fast forward to today and Amy has just been left by her husband, works as a Maths Teacher and is frugal in her spending. She volunteers at the local homeless shelter too.

Bella is a celebrity chef – think Nigella, Delia and Mary Berry rolled into one!! Bella has a lovely lifestyle, a handsome hunk of a husband, a beautiful home and her own TV show. She is unapologetically drawn to the finer things in life.

Trouble is, most of Bella’s life is fake — and Amy wants to expose this, particularly the theft of her mum’s recipes.

By some miraculous luck, Amy is “chosen” to win the Christmas prize  on Bella’s cookery show – and this is where the fun begins. The behind-the-scenes look at TV is obvious yet funny and on the money. The caricatures are extreme yet realistic. And the friction and banter between Bella and Amy is fun and adds to the story.

Long story short, the story comes together well with bittersweet reveals about their history and heartwarming rekindling of a friendship whilst helping others less fortunate.

An uplifting tale, about friendship and being authentic. Worth a read – will get you into the Christmas spirit.

MetLineReader rating: 4* Piccadilly

Acknowledgements

I received an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Bella’s Christmas Bake-off is published by Bookouture on 22nd October. It is available from Amazon

A Hidden Past

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The Girl with No Past was an easy read and had shadows of “gaslighting”, a form of abuse where the victim is drawn to question their own judgement, memory and sanity.

The characters were well-drawn and the story flowed well. The use of alternate chapters, a device often employed, helped to reveal the modern story whilst letting the past unfold. There were many twists and turns and was surprised by the ultimate tormentor.

Sadly, I wasn’t as excited by the book as I’d hoped. Given the thrillers I have read over the past year, I was expecting something much darker.   Leah’s past really wasn’t sufficiently bad for all the trauma that she had put herself through. I must have read too many dark thrillers, thanks to my friends at THE Book Club…
MetlineReader Rating: 3 (Victoria)

About this book
Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the twentieth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Acknowledgments

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft is published by Bookouture on 15th October.  It is available to purchase from Amazon.  
I received an advance copy from netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Sister’s Promise

A Sister’s Promise by Renita D’Silva

A Sister’s Promise is predominantly set in a claustrophobic village in rural India (not a criticism, those are the author’s words).  Sharda and her little sister Puja have been estranged for many years.  Puja is living in London and struggling with her teenage son, Raj; whilst Sharda worries about her daughter Kushi’s desire to change the world from her small village.

Kushi has been pushing for more rights for people in the villages when she is hit by a car and ends up in hospital.  How Sharda and Puja became estranged unfolds through a series of letters written by Sharda to her mother. Given the claustrophobic nature of the villages portrayed in this book, the outcomes are not surprising but gently and considerately told.
Renita D’Silva writes beautifully and the story unfolds like a flower.  I find her storytelling very moving and was in tears on a couple of occasions whilst reading this book.
Highly recommended, particularly for lovers of India and family sagas.  Not one for the thriller readers!
Metline Reader rating: It’s a Jubilee line read from me 4.5* stars
More about this book

Two sisters. Bound by blood. Torn apart by love.

 My sister – the glue that held our family together and the gatekeeper to the memories of our shared childhood. 
The girl I made a pact with – to protect each other for life. 
The woman who destroyed my family, my future. 
And the only one who can save my daughter.
 Set against the dramatic backdrop of India, A Sister’s Promise is a powerful, emotional tale of family secrets, love and the ties that bind sisters together.

Acknowledgments

My thanks to Renita D’Silva, @Bookoutre and @Netgalley for the opportunity to read an Advance Readers’ Copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Sister’s Promise is available from Amazon