Book Review for THE HEATWAVE by Kate Riordan

the heatwave kate riordon

SYNOPSIS

Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was troubled. Elodie is dead.

Sylvie hasn’t been back to her crumbling French family home in years. Not since the death of her eldest daughter Elodie.

Every corner of the old house feels haunted by memories of her – memories she has tried to forget.

But as temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, a long-buried family secret is about to come to light.

Because there’s something Sylvie’s been hiding about what really happened to Elodie that summer.

And it could change everything.

MY THOUGHTS

Oh how I loved this book!

It had all the ingredients I like in a novel. A tense psychological thriller, a buried past, sun, heat and the South Of France.  What a great book to loose yourself in at the moment.

I was whisked off to the building heat and tensions of a heatwave gripping The South of France as we follow Sylvie, as she heads back to France, to her old family home after receiving a letter to say there has been some damage to the empty property after a small fire.  Born and raised in France, Sylvie has been living in London for over 10 years, seemingly leaving home after traumatic events.  Needing to take her daughter with her she reluctantly heads off with a view to sort things out and finally put the house on the market, where it can be sold and finally gotten rid of once and for all.

As we enter the house and dust off its cobwebs so too do we learn, via flashbacks, of the mysteries that surround Sylvie’s first daughter Elodie, a brilliantly created character. The fear, pain and love that Sylvie experienced back then is wonderfully written along with the day to day happenings, some compellingly mysterious, that take place as we stay at La Reverie.  Evocative and captivating, tiny details in the narrative superbly evoke time and place with wonderful characters and the gradual build of tension throughout the book.

We slowly learn of the story that surrounds Elodie and read the reactions of both family and locals as the truths begin to surface.  Like the summer fires that surround the village, enclosing in on the house, so does the past and bringing with it it’s present danger.

Wonderful smaller characters add even more to the novel, bringing with then their own perspectives and past actions.

I don’t want to give any more of the story line away and spoil it for another reader but I was utterly absorbed in this book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  A sultry thriller that also had a wonderful dose of the french sun and way of life.  This has definitely gone into my top five reads of the year so far.  Loved it!!!

Available from BookShop.org https://uk.bookshop.org/a/1882/9781405922623

Amazon EBook https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heatwave-southern-gripping-psychological-suspense-ebook/dp/B08111P5CS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HEX5TP2I81CO&dchild=1&keywords=the+heatwave+kate+riordan&qid=1604425610&s=books&sprefix=the+heatwave%2Cstripbooks%2C173&sr=1-1

#blogtour #bookreview for THE COMING DARKNESS by GREG MOSSE @GregMosse published November 10th 2022 by @moonflowerbooks Blog Tour arranged by @midaspr #TheComingDarkness

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Coming Darkness. The debut thriller by Greg Mosse. Huge thanks to Sofia at Midas PR for my proof copy and spot on the blog tour.

SYNOPSIS

Paris, 2037. Alexandre Lamarque of the French external security service is hunting for eco-terrorists. Experience has taught him there is no one he can trust – not his secretive lover Mariam, not even his old mentor, Professor Fayard, the man at the centre of the web. He is ready to give up. But he can’t.

In search of the truth, Alex must follow the trail through an ominous spiral of events, from a string of brutal child murders to a chaotic coup in North Africa. He rapidly finds himself in a heart-thumping race against chaos and destruction. He could be the world’s only hope of preventing THE COMING DARKNESS . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Coming Darkness is a near-future espionage thriller written as a classic spy story. We’re introduced to Alex Lamarque, an operative in the French external security service. He clearly believes in right and wrong, but he is no longer sure if the ends justify the means. Alex also has a reputation for reliable intuition and he has a growing sense of foreboding that something big and bad is developing. He is a comfortable and human hero and feels familiar from the off; he is easy to spend time with. Those around him are also well drawn with a believable history reinforcing the idea that these characters have had a life together before this story.

As with all good spy thrillers there are multiple strands, initially seemingly disparate but becoming intertwined as Alex’s assignments and intuition draw them together. Those around him, from his mother to his childhood friend and lover, are pulled into the multi-layered plots increasing the sense of jeopardy and raising Alex’s anxiety.

The near-future setting allows some liberties with political geography to be taken that set up a key plot, and believable changes in communication and transport are showcased with ongoing pandemics and climate change providing the dystopian backdrop with the displaced and migrants having no identity, living in ghettos outside of society. The haves still have, the have-nots don’t even have an identity.

While the start of the book is complicated as the plots are drawn the pace is always fast as Alex moves from one assignment to the next and the pressure builds as the story and his sense of foreboding grows.

An enjoyable, fast-paced , well constructed thriller.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About Greg Mosse 

A theatre director, playwright and actor Greg Mosse is the founder and director of the Criterion New Writing programme at the Criterion Theatre in London, running workshops in script development to a diverse community of writers, actors and directors. In addition, since 2015, Greg has written, produced and stage 25 plays and musicals.

Greg set up both the Southbank Centre Creative Writing School – an open access program of evening classes delivering MA level workshops – and the University of Sussex MA in Creative Writing at West Dean College which he taught for 4 years. 

The husband of the bestselling novelist Kate Mosse, Kate’s hit novel Labyrinth was inspired by a house that Greg and his mother bought together in the French medieval city of Carcassonne, where the couple and their children spent many happy summers. Following the success of Labyrinth, Greg created the innovative readers-and-writers website mosselabyrinth.co.uk MosseLabyrinth. The first of its kind MosseLabrynth was the world’s first online accessible 3D world.

A multilinguist, Greg has lived and worked in Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Madrid and has worked as both an interpreter at a variety of international institutions and a teacher in the UK.

Greg and Kate live in Chichester, where Kate’s parents founded the Chichester Festival Theatre, they have two grown up children.

The Coming Darkness was written during lockdown and is Greg’s debut novel. 

#bookreview #blogtour DISCIPLINE IS DESTINY by @RyanHoliday Published September 27th by @ProfileBooks @midaspr #DisciplineisDestiny

Many thanks to Bei Guo at Midas PR for my hardback copy of this book and my invite onto the blog tour.

hardback copy

SYNOPSIS

The inscription on the Oracle of Delphi says: ‘Nothing in excess.’ C.S. Lewis described temperance as going to the ‘right length but no further.’ Easy to say, hard to practice – and if it was tough in 300 BC, or in the 1940s, it feels all but impossible today. Yet it’s the most empowering and important virtue any of us can learn.

Without self-discipline, all our plans fall apart. Here, Ryan Holiday shows how to cultivate willpower, moderation and self-control in our lives. From Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius, to Toni Morrison and Queen Elizabeth II, he illuminates the great exemplars of its practice and what we can learn from them. Moderation is not about abstinence: it is about self-respect, focus and balance. Without it, even the most positive traits become vices. But with it, happiness and success are assured: the key is not more but finding the right amount.

MY THOUGHTS

The second book in the author’s Stoic Virtues Series, Discipline is Destiny looks at Temperance, which along with Courage, Justice and Wisdom formed the four virtues of Stoicism a school of philosophy that hails from ancient Greece and Rome in the early parts of the 3rd century, BC

Now this makes it all sound like a serious philosophical text book, but it really isn’t. Holiday a young man, who has sold over 5 million books and has a huge digital following with among other things, his daily Stoic podcast, has done a really good job in breaking it down, sharing his thoughts and findings in a very informative, engaging and readable way. He explains how we could all use this ancient philosophy in today’s times. Short punchy chapters and the use of famous people throughout history make dipping in and out of this book very easy but engaging and useful.

Essentially a self-help book the author writes as if he is having a conversation with you and in learning of the lives of the people he uses to explain his theory you also learn about their lives and success stories.

There are some great quotes which really simplify what he is trying to get across and many hit the mark and made me think.

I passed the book onto my son, who is currently studying Philosophy at University and he said he is finding it an engaging and enjoyable read and one that he would recommend. He has also started following the author on social media too.

Blog Tour

#bookreview The Ambrosia Project by Abi Silver @abisilver16 Published Today! by @EyeandLightning #newrelease

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SYNOPSIS

In the sixth of Abi Silver’s nail-biting games of court-room cat-and-mouse, Judith Barton and Constance Lamb defend a caterer accused of killing a food magnate by negligence. Is something darker afoot?

When food magnate Brett Ingram collapses and dies at a public event, his seafood allergy is blamed and the caterer, Nick Demetriou, charged with manslaughter.

Nick hires legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb to defend him. They scrutinise the colourful panellists at the event – a food blogger, a beef farmer, a food scientist, a TV chef and a radio host – who all seem to be holding something back.

There’s something fishy about the allergy story. Did one of the speakers have a hand in the businessman’s death? And what of the nasty incidents that keep befalling them? Should the net be cast wider to include opponents of Brett’s mysterious Ambrosia initiative?

In another of Abi Silver’s nail-biting games of courtroom cat-and-mouse, Judith and Constance must find the truth among a smorgasbord of lies and deception.

MY THOUGHTS

This is the sixth book in the author’s Burton and Lamb series. Each book deals with a topical and interesting subject, involving the 2 main characters, solicitor Constance Lamb and lawyer Judith Burton, but can all be read as standalone stories.

The Ambrosia Project looks into the death of a large food company owner called Brett Ingram, after he collapses and dies suddenly at a small public event. With the knowledge of a food allergy, eyes soon turn to the caterer Nick Demetriou, who is charged with manslaughter and becomes the next new client for our legal duo.

A fast moving story, again with Silver’s trademark well explained and well researched background knowledge and information on the topic at hand. I found this new novel enjoyable and quick to read. The different POVs from the main suspects keeps the story fresh and moving forwards with secrets and red herrings in each new section of the novel.

You don’t need to read all the previous books to understand each new novel, but I will definitely go back and read book 5, which is one I’ve missed, as there seemed to be a change in dynamics between out two main character’s and I feel book 5 may tell me more.

Publication Day #bookreview of FOLLY DITCH by Anna Sayburn Lane @BloomsburyBlue The fourth book in the Helen Oddfellow Literary Mystery Series OUT TODAY!

Many thanks to the author for allowing me to read an ARC of this book. The fourth in the series and a great new addition to this wonderful series.

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SYNOPSIS

A Dickensian murder mystery. A brutal modern-day gang. Can Helen Oddfellow outwit an old enemy – or will she be his next victim?
When literary researcher Helen Oddfellow finds an old newspaper clipping in an antiquarian bookshop in Rochester, she uncovers a Dickensian murder mystery. The 200-year-old report of a woman’s murder on the steps of London Bridge provides clues to the real-life inspiration for Nancy, one of Charles Dickens best-loved characters.
But her quest takes a dangerous turn. She discovers that the eerie marshes of north Kent are home to a criminal gang more brutal than anything Charles Dickens dreamed of. On the bleak shore of the Thames estuary, she comes face to face with an old enemy. Can she keep Nancy’s secret from him, without sharing her fate?

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and enjoyed the previous three books in this very readable, historical/present day literary mystery series, I was looking forward to see where and who the author introduced us to in this new novel.

I raced through this and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The story follows Helens as she stumbles across an old newspaper clipping, hidden between the pages of an old book whilst browsing in antiquarian bookshop in Rochester. As before, with her background in historical literature, she soon recognises it’s possible significance and starts out trying to discover more about the article. However, Helen has inadvertently walked into a dark and dangerous world of criminals and people trafficking and is about to get tangled up in their dangerous world. Has she finally taken a step too far????!

Although it is totally possible to reads these books as standalone novels, it was also great to meet back up with some old familiar faces from the previous books as Anna writes such believable and true to life characters. I love how the historical story and real life people are intertwined within another great modern day and often gritty thriller/mystery. The two stories run parallel to each other and it was very engaging to watch as they finally converge together.

It kept my interest all the way through.  Wonderfully paced, with great twists and turns, keeping me turning the pages, wanting to know what would happen next. Once again the enjoyable and informative links back to a historical literary figure with wonderfully effective description of place and setting make me really look forward to seeing who the author chooses next!

THE AUTHOR

Anna Sayburn Lane is the author of page-turning mystery thriller books, featuring literary sleuth Helen Oddfellow. The books draw on Anna’s love of history, mystery and exciting stories, weaving together dark secrets from the past with contemporary thriller action.

Anna has published award-winning short stories and worked as a journalist.

She recently swapped her home in south London for a flat with a view of the English Channel in Kent.

#bookreview VOYEUR by Francesca Reece Published by @TinderPress OUT NOW!

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Hugh thanks to the team at Tinder Press / Headline Books for sending me this great finished copy of Francesca Reece’s Voyeur. An evocative and sultry summer time read.

SYNOPSIS

Summer in Paris. Leah, bored of tedious dead-end jobs, is intrigued to spot a job advert posted by the famous author Michael Young: ‘Writer Seeks Assistant’.

After an unconventional interview, Michael invites Leah to spend summer in the south of France with his family. But as she begins her work transcribing his diaries of his debauched youth in 1960s Soho, the lines of past and present, truth and deceit, begin to blur, and Leah has to question what it is that Michael really sees in her.

A novel that challenges us to both question what we see, and what others see in us.

MY THOUGHTS

Wonderfully written and evocatively described I felt like I was looking in on these characters as they played out their story.

Leah, a young woman who seems to have found herself somewhat ‘adrift’ in Paris is looking for a job. She spots an advert for a writer looking for an assistant and after a chance meeting with no other than the writer himself, he offers her the job. But something is a miss and at first Leah doesn’t know quiet what to make of her new employer. When they all decamp to a friends house in the South of France the story takes off.

I’m probably not the targeted age group this novel is directed at, therefore I did find all the drug taking, drinking and general mindset of the characters fairly annoying. Having said that I’m not sure the characters were meant to be that likeable anyway, so by saying I found them all unpleasant , except for two, might not be so far off the mark.

The feel of the book however I found mesmerising, almost hypnotic. Even with the unlikable characters and for me a slightly slow start I still couldn’t put it down. I found the whole tale very evocative with some fantastically described settings. About half way through the story things shift and get even more interesting. The book became a really compelling read which builds in plot and storyline with a fantastic ending which I really didn’t see coming.

#bookreview The Mortification of Grace Wheeler by Colette Dartford Published August 18th by Whitefox @ColetteDartford @Bookish_Becky @Gabriellamay24 @midaspr @wearewhitefox

Hugh thanks to the team at Midas for my proof copy of this fantastic novel of a woman in crisis.

proof copy

SYNOPSIS

A stale marriage, an illicit affair. Who pays the price?

Faced with an empty nest when her only child goes to university, the flaws in Grace’s marriage are sharply exposed. Finding excuses to escape the taut atmosphere at home, she is drawn into an affair that ignites a mid-life sexual awakening.

But when her secret is discovered there is a terrible price to pay, and Grace is not the only one who pays it.

A compelling and emotional read, The Mortification of Grace Wheeler shines a spotlight on a marriage in crisis, the challenges of being a middle-aged woman, and the fear that your best years are behind you.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been lucky enough to read some really good novels featuring women in their 40’s and 50’s this year and this is another great read to add to that list.

Being in my early 50’s myself, and, having had children, now getting used to them living elsewhere, it really does feel like starting another chapter of life, and it’s great seeing this portrayed in modern day fiction. I’m finding it harder to relate to female protagonists in say their 20’s and 30’s in novels these days, so I have been enjoying reading more books featuring older, but not old, women. Whatever the story line.

In The Mortification of Grace Wheeler the synopsis quickly lets us know that the character is set for troubled times, but I wasn’t expecting the story to go as it did and was surprised by the twists the author placed within the story line making it something a little different.

With Grace’s only child moving out to start University, she finds she can no longer ignore the cracks and faults in her marriage. Whilst learning how to fly fish, (a surprise for her son so they can spend time together when he comes home in the holidays) and a reason to spend less time at home, she meets her instructor and soon begins an affair. This may sound fairly cliché but the author does a fabulous job at explaining what Grace is thinking when she decides to act on this decision and makes the reader fully aware that our main character knows exactly what this could mean for her family. I also loved how the author doesn’t write the affair as all physical passion and self assurance and highlights real, believable moments and incidences that would be far more likely to happen and Grace’s thoughts and reaction to them.

We soon learn of the background to her marriage and the real reasons it has become what it has. The author writes wonderfully of our main character and uses friends and step children to great effect in allowing the reader to really get a feel for Grace and her current state and life at this present time. The story also highlights some important social issues, which I really wasn’t expecting, but what again makes this such a realistic and believable read.

A novel which had me drawn in from the very start and kept me fully invested throughout.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colette Dartford writes contemporary fiction with compelling emotional themes. Her debut novel, Learning to Speak American, was shortlisted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and published by Bonnier Zaffre. Her second novel, An Unsuitable Marriage, was a Kindle bestseller for over 18 months. In addition to her novels, Colette has had award-winning Flash fiction, short stories and poetry, published in popular magazines and anthologies. The Mortification of Grace Wheeler is her third novel. Colette lives in Bath with her husband and a very demanding labradoodle.

#bookreview The Lost Diary Of Samuel Pepys by @jackjewers Published August 4th by @moonflowerbooks @midaspr #TheLostDiaryOfSamuelPepys

proof copy

SYNOPSIS

The treasury’s coffers are bare and tensions with the powerful Dutch Republic are boiling over. And now, an investigator sent by the King to look into corruption at the Royal Navy has been brutally murdered. Loathe to leave the pleasures of London, Samuel Pepys is sent dragging his feet to Portsmouth to find the truth about what happened.

Aided by his faithful assistant, Will Hewer, he soon exposes the killer. But has he got the right person? The truth may be much more sinister. And if the mystery isn’t solved in time, then England could be thrown into a war that would have devastating consequences . . .

The diaries of Samuel Pepys have enthralled readers for centuries with their audacious wit, gripping detail, and racy assignations. Pepys stopped writing at the age of 36. Or did he? This action-packed historical thriller, described as “Bridgerton meets Sherlock” imagines what might have happened next.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys by Jack Jewers picks up a week after Pepys’ last diary entry, and follows Pepys on a mission to investigate the death of a Crown agent in Portsmouth – the home of the Royal Navy. Events spiral out of control, embroiling Pepys in a deadly plot that reaches higher than he ever could have imagined. And along the way he is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about who he is and what he really believes…..

Jack Jewers reimagines one of Britain’s greatest historical figures through a 21st century lens. Readers will love how Pepys not only turns detective but must confront his own prejudices along the way. What better allies for one of history’s most infamous womanizers than a secret society of dangerous outlaws, made up entirely of women.

The modern diary as we know it owes its popularity to the 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys. Quite simply without Pepys’ secret diary, discovered 150 years after his death, there may have been no Bridget Jones, no Dracula, no Adrian Mole, and no Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  

But this is no dry, lifeless old document. Pepys’ diaries have enthralled generations of readers with their exciting, often crude and frequently hilarious confessions about day-to-day life during the Restoration. From slating Shakespeare’s plays to detailing his secret love affairs, Pepys’ diary reads like a 17th century Hello! Magazine.

Pepys witnessed some of the most dramatic events in English history, from the return of Charles II to the horrors of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, but put his pen down for the last time in the early summer of 1669. Jack Jewers’ inventive crime caper, The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys imagines what happened next.

For those unfamiliar with the Restoration period, this was when Charles II returned to the throne after Oliver Cromwell. It was a time of hedonism and excitement, which saw the theatres reopen and women take to the stage for the first time. Brothels and ale-houses could once more operate freely. But it was also an era rocked by disaster, from the Great Fire of London in 1666, to devastating wars with the Dutch – that England lost. It was the best of times, and the worst of times.

MY THOUGHTS

Full of political intrigue, suspense and historical detail, we ‘catch up’ with Pepys at a very turbulent time in history when war with the Dutch is very much at the fore of peoples lives.

From London to Portsmouth, from the grimy streets and alleyways to the ships in the docks, I found this debut novel from director, producer and screenwriter Jack Jewers a thoroughly great adventure.

I found the story very imaginative with great atmosphere and use of the current historical and political climate at that time. With some wonderful action pieces the authors screenwriting skills shine through.

With Pepys turned investigator, conspiracies upon conspiracies, tensions, twists and turn this is a really vivid and imaginative historical crime romp.

Hugh thanks to Funmi Lijadu at Midas PR for sending me my proof copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Jewers is a filmmaker and writer, passionate about history. His career has been spent telling stories in all media, and his body of work includes film, TV, and digital media. His films have been shown at dozens of international film festivals, including Cannes, New York, Marseille, Dublin, and London’s FrightFest, garnering multiple accolades, including an award from the Royal Television Society and a nomination for Best Short Film by BAFTA Wales. The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys is his first novel.

#bookreview THE HIDDEN TRUTH by Hilary Boyd Published August 4th by @MichaelJBooks @HilaryBoyd #newrelease

Many thanks to the publishers Michael J Books for sending me a proof copy of this book back in May. A new author for me and a story I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Here’s my review.

proof copy

SYNOPSIS

Sara Tempest has been alone since her husband died and daughters left home.

But over the course of one summer she falls in love with the charming Bernard – years of heartache and loneliness finally behind her – and moves into his beautiful home on the wind-battered cliffs of Hastings.

But soon she begins to wonder if Bernard is all he seems . . .

He’s barely in touch with his children. Stifling reminders of his wife appear everywhere Sara looks.

And then comes Bernard’s confession.

All too quickly, Sara’s newfound happiness starts to crumble around her . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Sarah is 58 years old and lives in Lewes near Brighton. A widow of 6 years, she lives alone and works as a nutritionist. Sarah hadn’t felt ready to start dating before but gentle persuaded by her two daughters to give it a try, she’s joined a dating service and is on her way to her first date. Colin. Not a success. Encouraged not to give up, on arriving at a café to meet a Randall, she instead meets Bernard, also waiting to meet someone but whom hasn’t shown up. There is an immediate connection. He seems nice. Sarah likes him, almost shocked at how much she likes him, so after a short ‘stumble’ they arrange to meet up again.

Told in their alternate perspectives, we learn of their past and present lives. Family and friends, but as things move faster than expected and Sarah moves into Bernard’s wonderful house on the cliffs, Sarah senses a darkness, an edge to the house which is unsettling. Bernard’s moods start to change and Sarah is sure he is hiding something from her.

This is the first book by this author that I have read and I really enjoyed it. The was a real authenticness to her writing and I enjoyed reading about a slightly older generation of characters. Sarah and Bernard’s characters are developed well as you read along allowing the reader to get a better sense of their story. As the mystery and tensions mount, a wonderfully thought out back story emerges, bit by bit, which kept me fully intrigued and caught out with a surprising twist in the tale. I loved her relationship with her mother-in-law and the way Sarah and Bernard’s narrative explain the story to us with their emotions and feeling still very raw. This is not a romance read, although a romantic relationship is at it heart, but a really well thought out mystery and human story. I will definitely try her other novels.

#bookreview TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin. Out now and published by @vintagebooks @NetGalley #Tomorrowx3

Many thanks to the publishers for my digital copy via NetGalley of this brilliant new novel from Gabrielle Zevin. Not having read anything from this author before, not even The Storied Life of A J Fikry, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I have to say I loved it!!

Digital cover

SYNOPSIS

This is not a romance, but it is about love

Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over.

When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.

This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.

MY THOUGHTS

I really don’t know where to start in reviewing this new novel from author Gabrielle Zevin. It’s such an imaginative and interesting read about friendship, love, loss, work, trauma. So many things are packed into this novel. The first thing I will say though is that I fell in love with Sam and Sadie by the end of the first chapter. In fact such wonderful characters throughout like Marx and all the others made this a joy of a book to read.

The story is about two kids who meet in a children’s hospital and form a short friendship over their love of video games and play together, one to kill time while waiting for her sister to receive treatment, the other to numb pain as he recovers and receive treatment to repair damage to his foot from a car accident. Their friendship, however, is cut short by an unfortunate ‘misunderstanding’ of sorts, and they no longer continue to see each other.

However, 8 years later Sam spots Sadie at a train station and their love of gaming once again brings them back together. The story follows them, back and forth in time, as they start a career together along with the wonderful Marx and we follow their lives over about 30 years, watching how their experiences mould them into the adults they become. How both success and failure impact their lives and how they deal with that. It had me love, laugh and cry in equal measure.

You don’t need to know a lot about gaming or current gaming trends to read this novel as those mentioned are rather retro, or made up (I think) and make up part of the story themselves rather than determine your understanding of the story. In fact the way gaming is used in the book is wonderfully imaginative and made great reading. I don’t want to mention anymore of the story line as to read this knowing as little as possible make the read even more enjoyable. There is so much that happens, so much I didn’t expect, and told in such varied ways that I wouldn’t want to ruin it’s enjoyment for others.

What I will say though is that this novel is packed full of emotion, love, friendship. I laughed and cried. A really wonderful read and one that I would highly recommend.

#blogtour #bookreview How To Kill Your Best Friend by @elliott_lexie Published by @CorvusBooks #newrelease @midaspr

It’s my stop on the blog tour today so I’m pleased to share with you my review for How To Kill Your Best Friend.

Many thanks to Becky at Midas PR for my invite and copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS

I’d do anything for my friends – even murder…

Georgie, Lissa and Bronwyn have been best friends since they met on their college swimming team. Now Lissa is dead – drowned off the coast of the remote island where her second husband owns a luxury resort. But could a star open-water swimmer really have drowned? Or is something more sinister going on?

Brought together for Lissa’s memorial, Georgie, Bron, Lissa’s grieving husband and their friends find themselves questioning the circumstances around Lissa’s death – and each other. As the weather turns ominous, trapping the guests on the island, it slowly dawns on them that Lissa’s death was only the beginning. Nobody knows who they can trust. Or if they’ll make it off the island alive…

MY THOUGHTS

This new novel from Lexie Elliot, author of The French Girl, is a slow burn of a summer thriller, set on a remote island. Told from the perspectives of two friends, Bronwyn and Georgie, we meet these two and other friends and partners at the memorial of a third friend Lissa, who went missing some 3 months before, during a late night swim. All of them are accomplished swimmers, so the two best friends can’t make out how this could have happened.

As they all gather in this gorgeous setting, surrounded by luxury, they can’t ignore the ever increasing sense of danger, and as mysterious and threatening messages start to arrive, they all start to question, who can they trust?

As the weather takes a turn for the worst, trapping all onto the island, this novel really begins it’s fabulous tale of buried secrets, past mysteries and gripping twists and turns. Even a sea serpent who takes those who ‘want taken’! As new revelations, past and present, come to the fore and dangerous accident start to occur, this novel really picks up the tension with a fantastic finish.

A wonderful suspenseful summer page turner!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lexie Elliott grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the Highlands. She graduated from Oxford University where she obtained a doctorate in theoretical physics. A keen sportswoman, she works in fund management in London, where she lives with her husband and two sons. The rest of her time is spent writing, or thinking about writing, and juggling family life and sport.

MY THOUGHTS