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Monday 20 January 2020

Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen @MsTamarCohen @TransworldBooks #StopAtNothing @alisonbarrow #BookReview

Tess has always tried to be a good mother. Of course, there are things she wishes she’d done differently, but doesn’t everyone feel that way?

Then Emma, her youngest, is attacked on her way home from a party, plunging them into a living nightmare which only gets worse when the man responsible is set free.

So when Tess sees the attacker in the street near their home, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. But blinded by her need to protect her daughter at any cost, might she end up putting her family in even greater danger?

There’s nothing she wouldn’t do to make it right . . . but what if she makes it all worse?

An unputdownable thriller, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Heidi Perks and C L Taylor.

Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen was published in hardback by Bantam Press / Transworld Books on 26 December 2019, the paperback will be released in May this year. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I think Tammy Cohen is my most reviewed author on Random Things.  I've read and reviewed all of her books written as Tamar Cohen and every one of her psychological thrillers, add to that my review of her Quick Reads novel and I think this is review number ten for her on my blog.

I guess that makes me a fan!  I do like to consider myself her number one fan, she's an author who has never let me down, not once.
I've been longing to read Stop At Nothing for ages and finally took some time out over the past few days to totally lose myself in it. What a fabulous, breath taking read this is. I think this is my favourite of her books so far.

Lead character Tess is so recognisable. She's in her fifties, in the midst of the horrors that the menopause bring; as Tess herself says; 'the menopause, the gift that keeps on giving'. Not only does Tess have to contend with sweats, brain fog, lack of concentration and heightened emotions, she's also still hurting badly after her husband dumped her for another woman, just after her boss dumped her from her magazine editorial job. Her parents are a constant worry; she watches them from her London home on a Granny-cam. Her mother usually blissfully unaware of where she is due to dementia and her long-suffering, ever patient diabetic father. Trying his best to hide his exhaustion and also grieving for the wife who is no longer the woman he married.

Tess has two daughters. Emma is still at school; a studious pupil who has good friends, whilst her sister Rosie is estranged from Tess. We don't know why, but it's another wound that Tess has to bear.

The story begins when Emma is brought home from a night out. Distressed and bleeding, she was attacked by a man as she got off the night bus. Frances, the woman who brought her home, saw the attack and stopped to help.
Tess already knows that she hasn't been the best mother lately. She loves her girls dearly but every other problem has felt so huge and so unmanageable that she's kept her eye off the ball somewhat.
However, she's determined that the attacker will be brought to justice and when both Emma and Frances fail to pick anyone out from the ID parade, Tess is distraught, and angry and her desperation for revenge is the only thing that keeps her sane.

Sane.  That's a word that can only be used loosely when talking about the course of action Tess begins. She becomes blinded by her quest and all of her sense seems to fly out of the window.
Only Frances supports her; suggesting how to go about things, planting seeds in her mind about just how they can bring this man down.

What a total and utter twisty tale this is! There were times when I actually held my breath for almost a whole chapter. Some of Tess's actions are jaw dropping.

There are things about this case that the reader realises long before Tess has any idea at all. They are glaringly obvious, but the cleverest thing is that even though we suspect, we have absolutely no idea why, and I didn't guess .... not even close!

One of the cleverest parts of this novel are the snippets from a diary, kept by an unknown person. These are intriguing, and there are not that many of them.  However, when another one pops up, out of the blue, the doubts begin to set in, once again. A really accomplished touch that will certainly keep you on your toes!

The author's ability to depict the unique love that a mother has for her child, and also that of an adult child toward their parent is outstanding. Add to that the sweats, the feeling of being too old, unwanted and useless and you have the perfect character to lead this tense, dramatic and totally gripping thriller.
Obsession and revenge play their parts here, and I have to admit that I found myself questioning every character in the story. Who do we trust? Is Tess reliable? What about her friends and does potential new love interest Nick have a part to play in this?

Tammy Cohen is one of the finest authors of psychological thrillers, ever. Stop At Nothing is really quite brilliant.

Stop At Nothing was inspired by the author's own real-life experience. You can read about it at this link

Tammy Cohen (who previously wrote under her formal name Tamar Cohen) has written three domestic noir novels and five psychological thrillers, including: The Broken and When She Was Bad. 

She lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one badly behaved dog. 

Chat with her on Twitter @MsTamarCohen
Facebook @MsTamarCohen 
and on her website

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