Tuesday 29 November 2022

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten #GIVEAWAY #6RipleyAvenue @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ #Win #Prize #Competition





Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten was published by One More Chapter in ebook on 27 September 2022, the paperback was released on13 October 2022.

I haven't read this one yet, but my husband has and he really enjoyed it. He keeps telling me that the final line is a killer!  It's high on my list and I'm eager to get to it. I've read and really enjoyed this author's Maggie Jamieson series so I have high hopes for this one. 

I'm delighted to offer one paperback as a prize here on Random Things today. Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget in the blog post. UK entries only please. 


One copy of 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten

What readers are saying:


‘This is hands down one of the best books I have read this year so far’ 
Claire, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘This book was FANTASTIC! Like seriously, it kept me glued to the edge of my seat the entire time’ 
Tiffiny, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘I read this book in a couple of hours. It’s a mystery that absolutely left me astounded’ 
Lynn, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘OMG this is going to be a tough mystery thriller to beat this year!’ 
Alyssa, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘Another absolute belter of a read… Holten has definitely left her mark in the crime thriller genre with this book and her DC Maggie Jamieson series, and she is right up there with the best of the best!’ 
Marnie, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘A gripping story line that had me so hooked I found it hard to put down… Definitely one to be read again’ 
Sandra, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘Had me hooked from the first page. I'm looking forward to reading more by Noelle’ 
Hayley, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘A cracking read and one that I would definitely recommend’ 
Yvonne, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘If you’re a fan of her writing, you will love this one, and if you haven’t read her work yet, then you definitely need to’ 
Jacob, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘One of the best books I’ve read this year’ 
Nigel, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘This is a cracking good read. It’s both a brilliant whodunnit and a very interesting look at the workings of the probation service’ 
Ann, 5* NetGalley reader review


‘A masterpiece’ 
Surjit, 5* NetGalley reader review


Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA's - Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice - and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside - her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 6 Ripley Avenue is her first stand-alone crime thriller.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten

Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk  

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

Monday 28 November 2022

Dashboard Elvis is Dead by David F Ross #DashboardElvisIsDead @drf10 @OrendaBooks #BookReview


Renowned photo-journalist Jude Montgomery arrives in Glasgow in 2014, in the wake of the failed Scottish independence referendum, and it’s clear that she’s searching for someone.

Is it Anna Mason, who will go on to lead the country as First Minister? Jamie Hewitt, guitarist from eighties one-hit wonders The Hyptones? Or is it Rabbit – Jude’s estranged foster sister, now a world-famous artist?

Three apparently unconnected people, who share a devastating secret, whose lives were forever changed by one traumatic night in Phoenix, forty years earlier.

Taking us back to a school shooting in her Texas hometown, and a 1980s road trip across the American West – to San Francisco and on to New York – Jude’s search ends in Glasgow, and a final, shocking event that only one person can fully explain…

 An extraordinary, gritty and tender novel about fate and destiny, regret and absolution – and a road trip that changes everything…

Dashboard Elvis is Dead by David F Ross is published in paperback on 8 December 2022 by Orenda Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

Two years ago, I read and reviewed David F Ross's previous novel; There's Only One Danny Garvey. That book has become one of my all-time favourites, I think about it often, I recommend it all of the time. For me, it is the perfect novel.

Here we are, two years on and I approached Dashboard Elvis is Dead with a mixture of feelings; anticipation and a little bit of trepidation. Could he do it again? Could anything touch me as much as Danny Garvey's story? I should have known better than to worry, for here is one of Scotland's greatest living authors and another magnificent story filled with complex and often infuriating characters, set against the most deprived of backgrounds and taking the reader on a road trip that spans years and continents. It is a joy, another masterpiece, another book to add to my all-time favourites.

Dashboard Elvis is Dead is the story of three people, loosely connected, yet their lives are entwined together for ever. 

The book opens as Jude Montgomery, known worldwide for her amazing photography, sits in a backstreet Glasgow cafe. This is Jude's first visit to Scotland and she's there for multiple reasons; she wants to discover more about the Scottish man who was her father, and she's desperate to speak with her foster-sister Rabbit. She wants to make amends. 

Ross takes us back to Jude's early life, as she left home, in her teens and travelled for days across Texas, and wider America. We learn how the camera that she bought with money stolen from a guy on a bus becomes her most cherished possession, and how the plastic dashboard figurine of Elvis also becomes so very important in her life. 

Meanwhile, Jamie Hewitt and his band the Hyptones arrive in the US. A bunch of guys from Glasgow who've had one hit and are determined to break through in the States. Travelling with them is AnnafuckenBelle Mason; girlfriend of Jamie, and whose dodgy businessman father is bankrolling the band. 

This is an epic story, it's very difficult to believe just how much is packed into the 340 pages, when I turned the final page, I felt as though I'd read a book of 1000 pages at least, there's so much in there, so much to digest, to contemplate, and to discuss. 

I think it's fair to say that I could talk about this book for hours, and it's a novel that I will be thrusting in people's hands, so that I can talk about it with them afterwards. 

Expect Scotland and America, but don't expect 'shortbread biscuit tin' scenes, with bagpipes and tartan. Don't expect the glamour and glitz of the US that we are sold by the media. Be prepared for the gritty realism of deprivation, drugs, violence, poor parenting and lots of swearing. Be prepared to have your heart shattered by events, and be prepared for a book that will shake you to the core. 

Magnificent, glorious and often emotionally challenging. With a rawness and sensitivity that is so visceral. This is another extraordinary novel from David F Ross.

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. 

He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social-media commentator, author and enabler by night. 
His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and optioned for the stage by the Scottish National Theatre. 
All five of his novels have achieved notable critical acclaim and There’s Only One Danny Garvey, published in 2021 by Orenda Books, was shortlisted for the prestigious Saltire Society Prize for Scottish Fiction Book of the Year. 
David lives in Ayrshire.

Love My Read - Book Subscription Box @lovemyread @FMcMAssociates #BookSubscriptionBox #LoveMyRead


Today I'm chatting about a really wonderful book subscription service called LoveMyRead.

The lovely people at FMcM Associates were kind enough to gift a one-month subscription to me, and my first box arrived last week.

Bringing the best books directly to your doorstep, LoveMyRead is a curated book subscription service for adults and children. 

Getting the insider scoop from publishers across the UK, our LoveMyRead experts and special guest curators, choose a selection of the most anticipated books each month for you to pick from. 

The LoveMyRead guest curators including Taylor Jenkins Reid, award-winning author, screenwriter and journalist, Dolly Alderton, beloved British actor and writer, and Paterson Joseph. 

Curators of the children’s boxes have also included Rebel Girls and independent publisher, Knights Of.


As well as your beautifully wrapped book, you will receive a selection of sustainable, ethically sourced goodies and treats, exclusive book content, and free access to Fane online events and the LoveMyRead library.


The box was delivered to my door via Courier and is carefully packed. The exterior box packaging is really love and this would make such a great gift.

Here's what I received in my box 

There was a choice of books for November, and I choose Taste ; My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci, it's a book that I've been eager to read for a while, and it's a signed copy too! 

The rest of the contents were a surprise, picked by the Love My Read team and it's such a fabulous selection, I'm really happy with what I received:

A paperback signed copy of Taste by Stanley Tucci
A packet of Roasted Fava Bean Snack from The Honest Bean Co
A bar of Salted Caramel Oat Milk Chocolate from HiP
Two bars of Orange Happi Orange Chocolate
A Love My Read bookmark
A scented candle from Irusu Candles
Four packets of Wellness Tea from Tea & Tonic

Subscribing is so easy and you can treat yourself, or choose a lovely gift for a bookish friend.

Sign Up HERE 

Friday 25 November 2022

You Don't Know What War Is by Yeva Skalietsksa BLOG TOUR #YouDontKnowWhatWarIs @BloomsburyBooks @ChristianLLewis @RandomTTours #BookReview


Everyone knows the word 'war'. But very few understand what it truly means. When you find you have to face it, you feel totally lost, walled in by fright and despair. Until you've been there, you don't know what war is.

This is the gripping and moving diary of young Ukrainian refugee Yeva Skalietska. It follows twelve days in Ukraine that changed 12-year-old Yeva's life forever. She was woken in the early hours to the terrifying sounds of shelling. Russia had invaded Ukraine, and her beloved Kharkiv home was no longer the safe haven it should have been. It was while she was forced to seek shelter in a damp, cramped basement that Yeva decided to write down her story. And it is a story the world needs to hear.

Yeva captured the nation's heart when she was featured on Channel 4 News with her granny as they fled Ukraine for Dublin. In You Don't Know What War Is, Yeva records what is happening hour-by-hour as she seeks safety and travels from Kharkiv to Dublin. Each eye-opening diary entry is supplemented by personal photographs, excerpts of messages between Yeva and her friends and daily headlines from around the world, while three beautifully detailed maps (by Kharkiv-native Olga Shtonda) help the reader track Yeva and her granny's journey. You Don't Know What War Is is a powerful insight into what conflict is like through the eyes of a child and an essential read for adults and older children alike.

Published in association with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with a foreword by Michael Morpurgo.

You Don't Know What War Is by Yeva Skalietska was published in paperback on 25 October 2022 by Bloomsbury Children's Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 

This is probably one of the most important and moving books that I've read in years. With a wonderful forward written by Michael Morpurgo, it's often bleak, it's unrelenting, but it ever hopeful. I think this book could become as important as Anne Frank's Diary and that Yeva Skalietska is not only a brave young girl, but she's also an incredibly talented writer. 

Yeva was an ordinary young girl, living an ordinary life. She lived with her Grandmother in a vibrant, bustling city. She loved to paint and to play the piano, she enjoyed school and had many friends. She had just had a birthday party at a bowling alley, with flowers and cake and was happy. 

And then, the explosions began and Yeva's life altered beyond recognition. She and her Grandmother joined neighbours to shelter from the explosions in a nearby basement. Day in and day out, the bombs and mines rained down on their beloved city. Their own home was bombed, they heard about local schools and shopping malls, historical monuments and residential buildings, all destroyed. 

Yeva kept a diary throughout, and this book is the result. It's not only her own feelings, but transcripts from text messages sent to and from her school friends.

Whilst this is a relatively short book, and is aimed at children, it's a book that I would highly recommend. We have all seen the TV footage of Ukraine, we all know what is happening, but the words of this young girl, who lived it will affect you far more than any news report. 

We really don't know what war is. Yeva does and lived it. Her journey across Europe to safety is wonderfully documented, but she will always miss her home. 

Highly recommended.

Yeva Skalietska is a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl who grew up living with her granny in Kharkiv, near the Russian border. 

She loves learning languages, bowling, playing the piano and painting. 

Yeva wrote a diary of her experiences of fleeing war in Ukraine. 

She now lives in Dublin, Ireland where she has made new friends and had a go at Irish dancing, but is always missing home.

Thursday 24 November 2022

The Judas Tree by Amanda Jennings #TheJudasTree @MandaJJennings @HQstories #TheJudasTree #BookReview


At a bleak boys’ boarding school in Cornwall in the eighties when bullying is rife, Will and his best friend, Luke, are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of a painful childhood come flooding back to haunt them both.

Will’s wife, Harmony, is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, and wishes Will would open up about what happened. But as Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband’s past, Luke, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt and desire . . .

From Amanda Jennings, author of The Cliff House, comes a haunting thriller about betrayal and revenge.

The Judas Tree by Amanda Jennings is published in paperback today, 24 November 2022 by HQ.

The Judas Tree was originally published in 2014 by Cutting Edge Press and was titled The Judas Scar. I read it and reviewed it back then and it remains one of my all time favourite books. 

I'm happy to re-share my review today, to celebrate the re-packaged publication of The Judas Tree. 

Things are never quite as they seem on the outside. That's certainly true of Will and Harmony's marriage. They appear to be rock solid. Married for twenty years and so in love, both have careers that they enjoy, they love their quirky flat, they have many friends. But this is a story about scars and their marriage bears a huge scar. Harmony lost their unborn child a few months ago, and she is hurting. Will has always been clear that he doesn't want to be a father, and when Harmony decides that she'd like to try for another baby, the old wounds beneath Will's scars open up and he discloses a secret that could potentially rip their world apart.

As Harmony deals with Will's disclosure she finds herself drawn towards Luke; an old friend from Will's schooldays. Will and Luke have matching, visible scars - across the palm of their hands and created when they decided that they were blood brothers and would never let each other down. It is clear though, as the story progresses, that Luke has invisible scars too. He and Will are not comfortable in each other's company, there are secrets in their past that have never been discussed, and Luke intends to make someone pay for the way that his life turned out.

Amanda Jennings's writing is broody and dark, there is an underlying tension throughout this novel that is just waiting to explode. Will and Harmony are well-formed characters, they both have issues; Will can't bear to talk about his schooldays or his late Father, Harmony struggles to cope with the loss of those that she has loved; her Father, her Mother and her unborn child.

Luke is obsessive. He sets his sights on Harmony and is not prepared to give up until he has got what he wants. Obsessions, tormentors, bullying and scars; both hidden and visible - these are the themes that run through The Judas Scar, and as the story twists and turns to the shocking conclusion, the reader is swept along by the wonderfully descriptive writing.

The Judas Tree is one of those novels that you need to keep reading ..... just one more page ..... because the instant that you put it down, you'll be thinking of it, and when you finish it, you'll be wondering about it for quite a while.

Tense, tightly plotted with characters that are by no means perfect, and in some cases just twisted. I was totally transfixed by the story - an excellent read from a talented author.

Amanda Jennings was born in London in 1973, and her family moved to a village in rural Berkshire
when she was young. She accepted a place to read architecture at Cambridge University, but it soon became clear it wasn’t for her and after a year she changed course to History of Art. After she finished university she set up a company with a friend writing copy for a variety of small businesses and then a year or so later was offered a job as a researcher at the BBC. But when she had her first child she found it hard to juggle home life with working, and could no longer ignore her yearning to write. When she became pregnant with her second child, and encouraged by the success of a shortlisted sitcom script in a BBC writing competition, she took the opportunity to be at home with her children, and grabbed every spare moment she could find to write.  

Sworn Secret, her first novel, was published in the UK in August 2012. On kindle it was #4 bestseller in the UK, a Top 100 bestseller in the US, and reached the #1 spot in Italy in translation. It was also published in Taiwan in translation. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was published in May 2014, and shortly after was optioned by a film and television production company. In Her Wake, her third, was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and will be published in Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Italy. The Cliff House is published by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, in hardback, audio, ebook, and paperback, as well as internationally. HQ published The Storm in July 2020 and The Haven in March 2022.   

Amanda enjoys appearing at events, is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club, and is a judge for the annual Henley Youth Festival writing competition. She has been involved in the WoMentoring Project, which offers mentoring support for talented female writers with women who work in the literary world, and run writers' workshops.   

Amanda lives just outside Henley-on-Thames and has three daughters and a varied menagerie. She is currently writing her sixth book, which will be set on Bodmin Moor. When she isn't writing she can generally be found walking the dog or dreaming of mountains or the sea. She loves connecting with readers and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Don't Talk by Ian Ridley BLOG TOUR #DontTalk @IanRidley1 @VBooks10 #JanMason @RandomTTours #BookExtract


WHEN investigative reporter Jan Mason discovers that a young woman found strangled to death in her Chelsea flat is the daughter of a prominent politician, she knows she has a big story on her hands.

What she doesn't know yet is that a mystery man has just told a stunned Alcoholics Anonymous meeting nearby that he might have killed his partner in a drunken blackout. And that Jan's old flame, Jim Phillips, the Metropolitan Police's deputy head of counter terrorism and a recovering alcoholic himself, was in that meeting - bound by its confidentiality. Soon, a member of the AA meeting will also be found dead, strangled with the same scarf.

Resourceful, well-connected, and always one step ahead of the police, Jan is willing to put herself in harm's way if it means catching a killer. And landing a front page exclusive. 

Don't Talk by Ian Ridley was published in paperback on 8 November 2022 by V Books and is a Jan Mason story.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Extract from Don't Talk by Ian Ridley

THE DOCUMENT was staring at her, daring her to sign. And it was so tempting. Especially at this time of night. And with the bottle of red in its drained state. She lifted it from the coffee table and raised it to her eye level, closing one and focussing with the other to gauge whether she might just squeeze one more glass out of it. Hard to tell with its dregs slooshing from side to side. Maybe. She shouldn’t make a decision just now. Not like this. But she’d been putting it off for a month and had to decide by Friday. After a day off walking in Hyde Park she’d reasoned that perhaps a few drinks would help speed up the process. If a clear head hadn’t worked, maybe in vino veritas would be a better strategy. 

Let’s weigh up those pros and cons again, Jan thought. First and foremost, the money they were offering. A year’s salary. Not bad. Particularly as she was now the highest paid news reporter on the paper. Or, get her, Chief Reporter at Large. She’d be able to pay off what was left of the mortgage on this flat with half of it. Then she’d quite literally have something concrete to show for her career. A two-bedroomed flat in Maida Vale. Not bad. She’d bought when the area was still relatively cheap and could make a good profit if she fell on hard times. 

It would also allow her to take some time to rethink her life and what she was going to do with it now. People did that when they got to their fifties, right? She could travel to all those places she’d fantasised about for years: Machu Picchu, the Iguazu Falls, Ayer’s Rock. And Wakefield. Yes, she could see more of her mother. Suddenly the mellowness of her mood was punctured. Seeing more of her mother. Should that be a pro or a con, she wondered, and smiled. 

Maybe after a month or two’s jet-setting, she could set herself up as freelance. She still had a good name in the business. A big name, even. Reporter of the Year in the British Newspaper Awards when she’d been one step ahead of the police in catching the man who had burned five people to death with a flamethrower at the Central London Mosque just after the London Olympics. 

The London Olympics. My God. A whole decade ago, she thought. Really? A melancholy came over her to which only Who Knows Where the Time Goes by Sandy Denny would do justice and she called it up on her Spotify. It had been a while, she had to admit as the haunting song came through her Sonos speaker, since the words BY JAN MASON had had all the other media scrambling to follow up what was written beneath it. The game had changed even more, too. Much more being tied down to a desk, rewriting. More ‘churnalism’, fewer staff. She’d continued to be professional, turning a few decent tales, about a philandering politician or a human interest special on a missing child, but nothing that had made quite the same impact as that inspired and painstaking work to track down the ex-squaddie now serving life for murdering those innocent Muslims. Nothing where she’d been the one breaking the news, setting the agenda.

IAN RIDLEY is the author of 12 sports books, including the No.1 best selling Addicted, with the
former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. 
The follow-up book Sober was published in 2017, 20 years on. 
Three of his other books have also been nominated in the British Sports Book Awards. 

His latest is The Breath of Sadness: On love, grief and cricket, which is a poignant account of coping with the death of his wife Vikki Orvice, a trailblazing sports journalist.

Over a 40-year career, Ian has been a sports writer for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and the Mail on Sunday, for whom he was Chief Football Writer. 
He was named Sports Journalist of the Year in the 2007 British Press Awards and nominated on two other occasions.

Ian has also written for television, including more than 20 episodes of the Sky One drama series Dream Team, and currently has a film script optioned on the life story of the world champion boxer Darren Barker, based on the autobiography on which the two collaborated, A Dazzling Darkness.

His first novel, The Outer Circle, was published in 2018 and reissued in 2022 as Outer Circle, the first in the series of Jan Mason investigative journalist books.

Twitter @IanRidley1

People Pie by John Ling BLOG TOUR #PeoplePie #JuicyPortraitsInPoetry @RandomTTours #TenThingsAboutTheAuthor


These are poems about real people, with laughter, sadness and drama, and only the slightest amount of exaggeration! 

Meet the courteous bottom surgeon, the philosophical street cleaner, the fat clown in prison, the lord of disrepair, the girl of a thousand lives, Cedric with the wild whiskers, the Ukmuds and the Snoobs, the omphalaphobic, Mr Gadget, the man of few words, the dirty old man, the teenage flirt, the poser, and many many more. 

All real people. You might be in here too!

People Pie : juicy portraits in poetry by John Ling was published on 24 October 2022 by The Conrad Press. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share Ten Things about the author with you today. 

Ten Things About Me - John Ling

1. Humanist. I believe this is the only life we have, so best make the most of it!

2. Mediator. I help people resolve conflicts, Neighbour to neighbour, and children with special needs 

3. Author of six books 

4. Love cats

5. I Make my own bread and grow fruit.

6. Former teacher , mainly hearing impaired and autistic kids

7. Grandad of four kids

8. Non-religious pastoral carer (ie chaplain) in hospitals and prisons.

9. Next book out soon "Mrs Loud and Mrs Quiet" - short stories, many about mediation.

10. Partner a former asylum seeker from Iran.

John Ling is a humanist, and a mediator, spends his life helping people to resolve conflicts. 

A former teacher of children with special needs, he is a great people watcher, fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of ordinary people. 

He tries hard to keep that anarchic sense of humour under control (but not always, thank goodness).

Tuesday 22 November 2022

All You Ever Wanted by Susan Elliot Wright #AllYouEverWanted @sewelliot @simonschusterUK @simonschusterPR #BookReview


You are inside.

With your husband and baby. Your life warm and calm and untroubled.


I am outside.

Alone. Looking in. Watching you.


You have all I ever wanted. 

Now it's time for you to share.

All You Ever Wanted by Susan Elliot Wright was published in paperback on 27 October 2022 by Simon & Schuster. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I have been a fan of this author for many. years and have read every book that she's written. It's always a joy to delve into the latest offering from her and this one really doesn't disappoint. It feels a little different from her previous novels, darker and tenser, but oh so so good. 

Emily is a new mother, she's struggling with feelings of low self-worth, questioning herself. She often feels paranoid, as though someone is watching her. Whilst her marriage does appear strong and loving, she's never really forgiven herself, or her husband Simon about how their relationship began. Emily doesn't have the greatest relationship with her own mother, and determined that her daughter Bonnie will not feel the same way about her. 

As Simon seems to carry on with normal life, working late, going for drinks, meeting friends. Emily tries to cram her working life into three days, whilst also doing most of the child care. 

Anna arrives on Emily's doorstep to return their missing cat, she's seen the posters and phoned to arrange to bring Oscar home. There's an immediate bond between the two women, especially as Emily's old friends have drifted off since Bonnie was born, and it's not long before they are meeting for coffee and lunch, and Anna becomes something of a confidante to Emily. 

However, Anna may not be all that she appears to be and as the story progresses, the reader certainly becomes aware of darker motives on Anna's part. Whilst Emily happily embraces a new female friendship and help with Bonnie. 

The novel is split into two parts. The reader learns Emily's side of the story in part one, and then Anna narrates part two. It's a great structure and it's so very tense.

Whilst there is no doubt that this is psychological thriller, there's also such insight into domestic and family life. It's often very dark, and creepy, with a sinister edge that pulls the reader in and one can't help but turn the pages quickly as the explosive and shocking ending approaches. 

An excellent story, told with empathy and understanding about issues that are often not talked about. Beautifully written with characters that are compelling and so well created. Highly recommended. 

Susan Elliot Wright grew up in Lewisham in south-east London. 

Before becoming a full-time writer, she did a number of different jobs, including civil servant, cleaner, dishwasher, journalist, and chef.  

She has an MA in writing from Sheffield Hallam University, where she is now an associate lecturer, and she lives in Sheffield with her husband. 

She is the author of The Things We Never Said and the Secrets We Left Behind. 

To find out more, visit her website: http:/www.susanelliotwright.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @sewelliot.