I am a big fan of C.L.Taylor’s books so I was very pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, Strangers.
Ursula, Gareth and Alice are the strangers in question. Ursula is a delivery driver who has lost the love of her life and blames herself, Gareth works as a security guard and spends his evenings looking after his mother, Alice is recently divorced and believes that she is being stalked by an unknown person. They are all strangers to start with but their path’s eventually cross in a dramatic ending.
Strangers was a superb novel. Set in Bristol, the story is told from the viewpoints of the three main characters. Each of them have their own lives and worries and carry on oblivious of each other. Strangers, for the most part, is three separate stories. They only come together towards the very end. However, once they do collide you can look back and realise that there were clues all the way through, as characters appeared and disappeared throughout the chapters. Often when reading books like this told from multiple points with differing stories I find myself skipping over one to get back to whichever I find more interesting. However that wasn’t the case here at all, all three of the characters kept me gripped by their lives.
The story is very much character driven. We all know that actions have consequences and that those consequences will change how a person acts. This is apparent as the stories unfold. The ways that people act become more understandable when you know the why. Ursula for example is a shoplifter, to start with you think she doesn’t deserve sympathy, yet the more you learn about her the more sympathy you start to feel.
I felt this was a cleverly written book, that managed to take three pretty mundane lives and throw them into a situation where they become utterly compelling. They all had secrets that are gradually revealed and I found that every time a new piece of information appeared it changed my thoughts as to what was going to happen.
Strangers by C.L. Taylor was a fantastic, superbly plotted read and absolutely the best way to spend a weekend during lockdown.
Strangers is available here
Perfect Kill is actually the 6th in the Callanach series. Normally I try not to review books that are so far into a series if I haven’t read the majority of the previous ones. However this novel sounded like it would be too good to miss, so I broke my self imposed rule and signed up for the blog tour.
Perfect Kill is set across both Edinburgh and Calais. Bart Campbell has been kidnapped and finds himself miles away from his hometown of Edinburgh. DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases, however it soon becomes clear that there is a link between the two and they must work together before more lives are lost.
This novel was a great read that I found enjoyable yet utterly disturbing at the same time. This is a story with numerous strands it seems. It covers human trafficking, organ donation, kidnapping, cancer, broken relationships and all manner of the most hideous aspects of human life. Yet it isn’t all doom and gloom, without wanting to give anything away there are lighter moments amongst all the misery.
I liked the main characters. Yes it would have been better to know more of the back story of them and their relationships, however the book still worked as a standalone. Clearly the main two have been playing games with each other for a long time, and that doesn’t change within this story. It’s obvious they are meant to be together and fingers crossed they work out next time.
When you read as many crime novels as I do it is hard to find something truly terrifying but this managed to do just that. There were parts of this story that were really quite scary, all the more so because you can imagine it happening.
I would highly recommend this novel and would definitely like to start at the beginning of the series (if only there were more hours in the day!) Thanks to Harper Collins and Helen Fields for my copy of this. Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour to find out what other bloggers thought of the book:
Get your copy here
I was really pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for The Liar’s Daughter by Claire Allen as I thought the whole premise sounded intriguing. Joe McKee, Pillar of the Irish Community, is dying. He is being cared for by his step-daughter Heidi and as they realise that he has little time left the rest of his family come to his side including his daughter Ciara and his sister Kathleen. However his death comes quicker than expected, and so when the mourners start arriving, so do the police.
The Liar’s Daughter is a novel about family lies and terrible secrets that I found incredibly compelling. I read it on a recent trip to Manchester and really couldn’t put it down. I really don’t want to give anything away but the big issue was relatively easy to guess from the beginning, however the twists and turns kept the suspense high. The characters in this story are all very different and each have their own motive for wanting Joe dead. This gives the story an almost Agatha Christie feel to it, with a closed cast of characters in the middle of the ‘whodunnit’
The story is told mainly from the viewpoints of Ciara and Heidi, both in the present day and when growing up. We also hear from Joe at the beginning which gives an additional element to the story. This is quite a dark and emotional story and deals with some hard issues, the murder of Joe is almost a secondary story. Therefore using the term enjoyable in a review doesn’t feel quite right, but I would recommend it. The issues are dealt with sensitively and the quality of the writing means that the story flows easily.
The Liar’s Daughter is an excellent read that will stay with you long after you finish it.
Order your copy here.
This had been on my pile to read for a while, and after my latest read, which was a police procedural, I fancied something a bit lighter (Obviously still within the crime realm) so this jumped out at me.
The Ex-Girlfriend introduces us to Georgia. When she is stood up on a date by Brett, she meets Luke instead. He seems a charming bloke with loads in common with her and they soon fall in love. It is just what Georgia needs after the hard time she has been through in her past so the relationship moves quickly. There is one slight problem, he has a maniac of an ex-girlfriend called Cadance who refuses to let him go. When he moves in with Georgia to try and put his ex behind him, things get worse as Cadance steps up her campaign of hatred. Yet are things all what they seem?
I really enjoyed this and found it completely compelling. You know that there is something off about Luke, yet I couldn’t put my finger on it and have to say I didn’t see the twists coming.
The story is told from the viewpoints of mainly Georgia but also the Ex Cadance. It is her viewpoint that really shifts things on their head and gets you doubting what you already know. The writing style is quick and flows well with short chapters which were easy to read and made it really zip along.
The clever bit about this story for me was how plausible it seemed. Yes from the outside you go through thinking ‘how do you not realise that’s odd’. There were parts where I wanted to rip Georgia from the pages of the book and give her a real shake. However then when you think about it from her point of view, you can appreciate how it is easy to hide things in plain sight and how we really do only see what we want to see.
The Ex Girlfriend is quite difficult to review without giving away key plot points but suffice to say it is a good read that I would highly recommend.
Grab your copy here The Ex Girlfriend