If you like a ‘locked-in’ thriller then this is the book for you. Set in a luxurious retreat in Botswana this group of friends think they’re in for a fantastic few days of reconnecting with one another and relaxing in the sun.
Someone has other ideas.
Soon after their arrival, strange notes appear and one friend is missing. It isn’t long before things turn sinister but with no way of getting help, they’re on their own.
From page one, I knew I’d like this book. It had mystery and kept me guessing. I loved the setting and the number of characters was spot on – it’s the sort of book you can’t wait to get back to.
I’d seen some quite mixed reviews for this book and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Being a Colleen Hoover fan, I went with my gut and I’m glad I did.
Whilst Layla is a departure from her usual genre, it’s still a love story at heart, albeit with a paranormal twist that adds to the suspense. There were parts that kept me guessing and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going at times but this kept me racing through the pages.
Overall, I can see why some people didn’t like it, it was a little odd in parts and the female lead is hard to connect with (but this is part of the story) but it is a gripping read that is fast paced with plenty of intrigue.
Genre: paranormal romance (I’m not sure if this is YA but it would suit a YA audience). Rating: 4.5/5⭐️
The opening of this book really set the scene for snowy seclusion. With Overlook hotel vibes, Le Sommet is an eerie setting with a sinister past and the atmosphere the author sets is chilling.
Ex-police officer and heroine Elin, is attending her brother’s engagement party at the newly opened hotel when his fiancée goes missing. When things take a horrifying turn and a body turns up, an avalanche prevents the police from accessing the crime scene so Elin steps in. Without jurisdiction, she works under the instruction on local police. With no hope of help, it’s a race against time to stop the killer as they pick off guests one-by-one.
I loved the setting of this book and the pace mostly kept me turning the pages, especially in the latter parts of the book. There was plenty to digest and overall it was an engaging read and an excellent debut.
I do like Georgia Toffolo and as such, was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of the audiobook via NetGalley. There’s a festive, winter feel to the book and I loved the descriptions of the settings. The story itself followed the ‘fake date / fake relationship’ trope which whilst offers few surprises, is a rewarding read. The book was brimming with warmth and there are a few laughs to be had along the way. It was also well – written and I enjoyed the narration by the author herself. All in all it was a very sweet read.
This book came highly recommended by a friend. With a strong female lead, a chilling case to crack and a witchy theme I couldn’t resist bumping it up my TBR.
The opening scene grabbed my attention straight away. Sharon Bolton is a fantastic writer and her plot, characters and descriptions are very well crafted. The richness to her writing invoked a creepy atmosphere and set the tone for the book from the outset and was maintained right through.
The ‘mystery’ element kept me on my toes. Whilst I did twig ‘who’ was going to be a perpetrator before the halfway point I didn’t know the ‘how’ or ‘why’ so there was plenty to get my teeth into and I really enjoyed the twisty ride.
The ending did feel a little rushed, especially in comparison to the rest of the book but it was all wrapped up nicely with a little teaser for a next-in-series which I’ll be sure to read. Having said that, this was a spine-tingling, atmospheric book that was well developed and gripped me from page one.
Genre: crime / thriller with a supernatural element.
I hadn’t read the first book in the Gaby Darin series but that in no way hampered my understanding of Jenny O’Brien’s latest instalment, Darkest Night. The opening grabs you straight away with a hook that’s puzzling to say the least, What should be a cut and dry case transpires to be something more when Detective Darin gets involved. She’s a great heroine, flawed yet driven in her field and no stone is left unturned. The story is told in multiple POV and I really loved this extra dimension that added to the pace.
There is some wonderful camaraderie between characters and there’s a highly satisfying ending. I raced through this book – it kept me on the edge of my seat trying to work out what the heck had happened.
Blood Orange is a domestic thriller with all the intrigue, build-up and twists you’d expect from this type of book. The novel is well written and plausible with plenty to get your teeth stuck into and have you turning the pages, especially towards the end where the pace picks up. There is a fair amount of legal detail in the book (which I assume is accurate given the writer’s background) and at times it did feel a little sluggish reading through these parts but they did give the storyline credibility. I imagine this could be a huge draw to many readers.
The stickers on the cover compare the book to The Girl on The Train and Apple Tree Yard which are fair except I didn’t find it quite as pacy as THOTT but it does have you flying through the pages towards the end.
Parts of the novel were quite uncomfortable and the characters not very likeable as you would expect. This along with the nuanced detail created a subtle yet dark atmosphere.
Blood Orange is a neat book that ties up the loose ends perfectly. Whilst you might see the twists coming, it is a good read that’s bound to have you turning the pages.
The Lie tells the story of ‘Jane’ five years after a horrific, life-changing event. Secrets from the past start to unfurl and Jane is unsure how. As she tries to determine what is going on, her past seems to be gaining on her at a much quicker rate in what becomes a battle between past and present.
The story is structured in past and present with the chapters flitting between the two. Both have wildly different settings; a commune in Nepal and an animal sanctuary in Bude. This helps pacing as you’re often left on a cliffhanger but have to read a chapter or two before you discover the outcome. I found the Nepal chapters a little harder to get into, but that’s the part of the story where most of the drama and tension occurs so this part of the story does pick up and is worth sticking with.
Overall, it’s an easy, enjoyable read that grips you tighter towards the end. Recommend.