The Other Woman by Jane Isaac #BookReview #TheOtherWoman #CrimeThriller #Series #NetGalley @JaneIsaacAuthor @Aria_Fiction #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing The Other Woman by Jane Isaac. This was released on the 9th of January, published by Aria Fiction.

Book Blurb

The grieving widow. The other woman. Which one is which?

When Cameron Swift is shot and killed outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer. Her role is to support the family – and investigate them.

Monika, Cameron\’s partner and mother of two sons, had to be prised off his lifeless body after she discovered him. She has no idea why anyone would target Cameron.

Beth can understand Monika\’s confusion. To everyone in their affluent community, Monika and her family seemed just like any other. But then Beth gets a call.

Sara is on holiday with her daughters when she sees the news. She calls the police in the UK, outraged that no one has contacted her to let her know or offer support. After all, she and Cameron had been together for the last seven years.

Until Cameron died, Monika and Sara had no idea each other existed.

As the case unfolds, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Especially the dead…

Previously published as After He\’s Gone.

What a great start to a new series! Full of lies and deceit, mixed with police procedural, The Other Woman packs a hell of a punch that had me glued to the pages right from the get go. It is a fast paced read that is enthralling and thrilling, with an opening that chilled me to the bone. Told through great writing with a mixed bag of likeable and unlikable characters, all well developed and brought to life perfectly, The Other Woman has it all and you should add it to your 2020 reading list right now!

The grieving widow. The other woman. But which one is which? Jane has crafted a solid and intriguing plot that see’s main protagonist DC Beth Chamberlain called in to investigate and be the family liaison officer after the murder of Cameron Swift, he has been gunned down in the driveway of the home he shares with his partner Monika and their two children. However, things get strange when the police receive a call from Sara, who has just returned from holidays after finding out the horrifying news that her partner has been murdered. Sara wants to know how the police could not have told her that Cameron was dead, Cameron Swift. Well that’s awkward isn’t it? Turns out that Cameron has been a very naughty boy and has a whole other family with Sara, and their two daughters! It then soon becomes apparent as we get more insight into who Cameron is, that one of his lies may now have caught up with him and it just may have cost him his life.

I really loved the character of Beth and can’t wait to read more of her in future books. She is smart, stands up for what is right and is like a dog with a bone in ensuring justice is served. She is brought to life beautifully, however I get the feeling there could be a bit more to her that Jane is holding back and I can’t wait to learn more about her. While my heart went out to Monika and Sara, I did like how I was kept second guessing them. Both suffering the ultimate betrayal, they have the perfect motive for murder and I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to unfold once Jane brought them together. I think it is fair to say that Cameron is a giant dirt bag to do what he did to those two women and children. I must say, he has been written extremely well as the perfect villain. How he was able to keep up the pretence demonstrated that he was a very gifted sociopathic, self serving, master manipulator!

I really enjoyed the ease of Jane’s writing, I found it to be very engaging and my attention never wavered when reading this book. Jane is a new author to me and one who’s work I am so glad to have been introduced to. I instantly connected with Beth and I am now looking forward to catching up with her again in the next instalment and to see what Jane has in store for her! It was an absolute pleasure to be able to read and review The Other Woman, I highly recommend it! I can’t believe it is still only January and I feel like I have another serious contender for my top books of 2020!

Thank-you to NetGalley, Aria Fiction and Jane Isaac for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Other Woman which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.

I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler #BookReview #ICouldBeYou #Thriller #NewSeries #NetGalley @sheilab10 @CaneloCrime #onceuponatimebookreviews

Today I am reviewing on its publication day I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler, published by Canelo Crime.

Continue reading I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler #BookReview #ICouldBeYou #Thriller #NewSeries #NetGalley @sheilab10 @CaneloCrime #onceuponatimebookreviews

I Could Be You by Sheila Buglar #BookReview #ICouldBeYou #SuspenseThriller #NewSeries #NetGalley @sheilab10 @canelo_co #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing on its publication day Before I Was You by Sheila Buglar, published by Canelo.

Book Blurb

A life has been taken. But whose life is it?

On a stifling hot day, former journalist Dee Doran finds the crumpled body of her friend at the roadside. Katie and her little boy, Jake, have been a light in Dee’s otherwise desolate life – now a woman is dead and a child is missing.

Katie has been keeping secrets for a long time. Years earlier, she fell for the wrong person. But he was in love with someone else; who he couldn’t have but couldn’t keep away from. When jealousy and desire spilled over into murder Katie hid the truth, and has been pretending ever since.

As Dee assists the police with their enquiries she’s compelled to investigate too. She realises Katie wasn’t who she claimed to be. Lies are catching up. Stories are unravelling. Revenge is demanded and someone must pay the price. The question is: who?

Don’t miss this explosive crime thriller perfect for fans for Alex Marwood and Fiona Barton.

WOW WOW WOW! I absolutely loved this book and can not believe that I have not read anything by Sheila before. A mistake that I am so glad I have now rectified. I Could Be You is a brilliant read that took my breath away and I was unable to tear myself away from it, which resulted in me devouring it in one sitting.

I was immediately drawn to this book by its stunning cover and after reading the blurb, I knew that this was one book that I just had to read and clearly I was not disappointed. Sheila has definitely delivered with this story and I Could Be You is the perfect example of what I love out of the suspense thriller genre.

Sheila has crafted a thrilling plot that is both haunting and mysterious. Set against the backdrop of a small seaside town, adds to its eerie vibe and is the perfect accompaniment to the story. The characters are strong and hold their own throughout and are very believable. I also enjoyed the structure of the book and how Sheila uses the past and present tense to convey Katie’s background and what ultimately lead to her death.

I really love Sheila’s style and how she was able to trap me in the pages where I could not pull myself out from until the end. It moves at a fast pace and I was so caught up in this story as the tension and suspense was built throughout, that when I came to the end, I was disappointed it was over. I had one hell of a book hangover after finishing this one and I can’t wait to see what Sheila has in store for her readers next.

I Could Be You is a highly addictive read that will pull you into its web of lies and deceit as you work with Dee as she tries to uncover the truth from Katie’s past. With a strong and intriguing plot, great characterisation, a perfect setting that is all told through writing that is so vivid that you feel like you are part of the story, I Could Be You is a first-class suspense thriller which I cannot recommend highly enough.

Thank you to NetGalley, Canelo and Sheila Buglar for allowing me to read an advanced copy of I Could Be You which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.

No Obvious Cause by Valerie Keogh #BookReview #NoObviousCause #CrimeThriller #Series @ValerieKeogh1 @Bloodhoundbook #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing on its publication day No Obvious Cause by Valerie Keogh, published by Bloodhound Books.

Book Blurb

Could you solve the mystery?

A murder followed by a series of random, motiveless crimes leave Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West and his team puzzled.

When Edel Johnson arrives at the scene of a crime Mike is taken aback, more so when he discovers she is now working with a victim support group. He has feelings for her, but he is the garda who investigated her husband\’s murder, and their relationship is complicated.

With crime in Dublin’s suburbs at an all-time high, and his superiors breathing down his neck, West doesn\’t need the distraction. But someone wants Edel out of the way, and it\’s up to West to find out who…

No Obvious Cause is a murder mystery with a touch of romance, set in the Dublin suburbs. It\’s the second book in the Dublin Murder mystery series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. It will appeal to fans of authors such as Peter James, LJ Ross and Ruth Rendall.

*** This book was previously published under the title Close Ranks ***

For Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West’s second case, we see him completely stumped when trying to solve the murder of Foxrock resident Gerard Roberts. By all accounts Gerard is a model citizen with no skeletons in his closet, so why would someone want to murder him? If this is not complicated enough, when Mike turns up at the residence to investigate, he is reunited with Edel Johnson who is now a volunteer with a victim support group. Things then get even stranger for Mike and his team after Gerard’s Murder, when a string of senseless crimes where no one is hurt, take place for no apparent reason. Trying to solve the crimes as well as getting a grip on his feelings for Edel, things take a turn for Mike when Edel gets caught up in the investigation and it appears she could be the next target.

Even though this is only the second book I have read in the series, I can honestly say it has fast become one of my favourites series, with Valerie being one of my favourite authors. Every time I read a book from her, it is like catching up with an old friend and over a cup of tea, she transports me into the world of her characters and their stories. This is exactly what happened with No Obvious Cause. Right from the beginning I was taken captive and was caught up in the thick of it with Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West trying to solve this latest case. The story, which is told through brilliant writing that is so visual, also made me feel like I was right there by his side the whole time.

What I do love most about this series apart from its quirky characters, is along with the crime element there also a touch of romance and humour to balance the crime out. Another bonus, is witty writing that includes lines like “Not that there was anything pressing about a dead body; It wasn’t going to get any more dead”!, gave me many a chuckle and these little gems are scattered throughout which makes this an even more enjoyable and entertaining read. Also an unfortunate incident with Mike and a feminine hygiene product at the supermarket when he runs into Edel, also provides a good laugh and just reinforces how much I love his character. Poor bugger, I really did feel for him in this part! Although not without flaws, he is a great guy and does try to do his best at all times and is like a dog with a bone in ensuring each case is solved and that justice is served for the victims families.

With a well researched and solid plot, well developed characters and writing that is flawless, engaging and witty, you really can’t go wrong with this book. You also get quite an education into the unique murder weapon used that killed Gerald Roberts. Not knowing what this was, I am now very well versed in it thanks to Valerie! Although No Obvious Cause is the second instalment in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I do recommend though to read the first in the series No Simple Death, to fully immerse yourself in the setting and it’s characters and just because it is another fantastic read. I am so happy to have been introduced to this series and I can’t wait to see what Valerie has in store for my favourite detective in the next instalment. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review No Obvious Cause which I highly recommend.

Thank-you to Heather Fitt from Bloodhound Books for inviting me to the publication day party and for providing me with a copy of the ebook of No Obvious Cause which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.

The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell #BookReview #ThePerfectMother #Thriller #NetGalley @Caroline_writes @AmazonPub #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell. This was released on the 14th of January, published by Amazon Publishing.

Book Blurb

She thought they wanted her baby. But they won’t stop there.

Roz is young, penniless and pregnant. All she wants is to be the perfect mother to her child, but the more she thinks about her own chaotic upbringing, the more certain she is that the best life for her baby is as far away as possible from her hometown in Ireland.

Determined to do the right thing, Roz joins an elite adoption service and can’t believe her luck. Within days she is jetting to New York to meet a celebrity power couple desperate for a child of their own. Sheridan and Daniel are wealthy and glamorous—everything Roz isn’t. Her baby will never go hungry, and will have every opportunity for the perfect life. But soon after Roz moves into their plush basement suite, she starts to suspect that something darker lurks beneath the glossy surface of their home.

When Roz discovers she isn’t the first person to move in with the couple, and that the previous woman has never been seen since, alarm bells start ringing. As the clock ticks down to her due date, Roz realises her unborn baby may be the only thing keeping her alive, and that despite her best intentions, she has walked them both into the perfect nightmare…

Caroline you have done it again and you are one of the reasons I love reading so much. Every book you release out does the other and The Perfect Mother is no exception. It is riveting, intense, compelling and I could not get enough! It is a real page turner in every sense of the word and one that will keep you in its clutches until the final page. It would actually make for a great made for TV movie with all its twists and turns, shocking revelations and thrilling conclusion. Also make sure that you allow yourself time when reading this, as you will not be able to tear yourself away from it. You have been warned….

Caroline has crafted an enticingly wicked tale, that chilled me to the bone and one that takes the reader in a completely different direction to what you would normally get from her work. Although not new to the psychological thriller genre, what Caroline does with The Perfect Mother is step it up a notch and we see a more darker side of her mind come through as she expertly builds up the tension and suspense through the chapters. Right from the beginning she sets up an ominous vibe, which is carried all the way through till the end and there were many times where she had my heart racing as it all unfolded.

The story centres on Roz as she makes the hard decision to have her unborn baby put up for adoption, believing that they would have a better life than with her. Joining an elite adoption service, she quickly is drawn to a “diamond couple” who’s identites are kept secret, but who are able to provide her baby with a life that she could only dream of. Whisked to New York from her home in Dublin, Roz can’t believe her luck when she learns that the couple are high profile movie stars. Caught up in the excitement of it all, it isn’t long before cracks start to appear and Roz soon realises that she may have just put herself and her baby’s life in danger.

What makes Caroline such a great author is her versatility and how she can so seamlessly move between genres. Having mastered the crime thriller, I do enjoy when she steps out of this and moves to the psychological thriller one. What doesn’t change though is her writing, which is second to none and she has a real gift of being able to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. What I also love about Caroline’s work is the diverse range of characters she conjures up. She has done a great job with them all in this book and each one has been written and portrayed extremely well.

With a thrilling plot and great characterisation that is all told through short snappy chapters and flawless writing, The Perfect Mother is an outstanding read and just reinforces Carolines status as a #1 bestselling author. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to read and review The Perfect Mother which I can’t recommend highly enough and it is definitely a contender for my top books of 2020.

Thank-you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Caroline Mitchell for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Perfect Mother which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.

The Other You by J.S. Monroe #BookReview #TheOtherYou #Thriller #NetGalley @JSThrillers @HoZ_Books #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing The Other You by J.S. Monroe. This was released on the 9th of January, published by Head of Zeus.

Book Blurb

Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror.

At least she has Rob. Young, rich, handsome and successful, Rob runs a tech company on the idyllic Cornish coast. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health. When she\’s with him, in his luxury modernist house, the nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved.

Until, one day, she looks at Rob anew. And knows, with absolute certainty, that the man before her has been replaced by an impostor.

Is Rob who he says he is? Or is it all in Kate\’s damaged mind?

The Other You is a book that really got under my skin and scared the hell out of me! It’s subject matter of dopplegangers and super recognisers are things that I have always been fascinated with, so when I heard that the great J.S Monroe was writing a book with these as the core of the story, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and read it. It is everything I hoped for and more and is one book that will mess with your head!J.S has crafted a tightly woven plot straight out of the twilight zone. It is original, intriguing, unique and engrossing all rolled into one. It is definitely one of those books that I like to refer to as “less is more” when describing the plot and it is best read going in with no more than the blurb.

The story is told through alternating narrators from its three main characters. Kate, Jake and Silas and J.S. does not waste any time in getting things going, There is no beating around the bush with this story which was a big plus for me. It is to the point and gives enough background to know what is going on and where it is going without it being too focused on the back story and getting to bogged down in the details.

I throughly enjoy the writing style of J.S and I really couldn’t think of a better author than him to delve into these topics. He is the master and definitely takes it up a notch in this book with the tension and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat flipping through the pages at break neck speed completely captivated and through his writing that is also so visual, he made me feel like I was also a part of the story living it through Kate, who I really connected with.

The Other You is one hell of a read and once you start it is very hard to stop. It is like a magnet that pulls you in and does not let you go until the final page. It is fresh, gripping, intense, well researched, has strong characters and with twists and turns aplenty, makes for such an enjoyable read. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to read and review The Other You which I highly recommend,

Thank-you to NetGalley, Head of Zeus and J.S. Monroe for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Other You which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.

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