In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. Read July 2015.

The hen do from hell sees a fascinating cast of characters meet up at a remote woodland house in Northumberland. 
“Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back. 

And then, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance to reconnect with her best friend? To put the past behind her?

But out in the dark, dark woods, something goes wrong. Very wrong.”

The author skilfully builds up the psychological tension between the characters, drip-feeding us details from ten years earlier and from the aftermath of the drama when Nora, our narrator, wakes up in hospital.

What I enjoyed most about the book was that I was never sure, until the very end, whether my suspicions and guesses about the plot were correct.

The only sight criticism I have is that at some points the plot became so intricate that the author seemed to be re-explaining things that I thought could have been left to the reader to realise. However that is a very slight complaint and overall I would recommend this book to all psychological thriller fans.

Thank you to the publisher for the proof copy to review. 

 

BritCrime Giveaway

  
To celebrate the launch of BritCrime’s first free online crime fiction festival, 11-13 July, I have teamed up with BritCrime authors to give away one fabulous prize.

You could win a gift bundle of ten print books, including new releases by Colette McBeth and Sarah Hilary, and MJ McGrath’s Gold Dagger longlisted White Heat. This giveaway is open internationally. One lucky winner will win all ten books.

Please complete the entries in the Rafflecopter before midnight 10th July for a chance to win.

To learn more about the BritCrime festival, please visit the website here and sign up to the newsletter. There will be giveaways and live Q&As with bestselling British crime fiction authors hosted on BritCrime’s Facebook page 11 & 12 July.

The Magpies + What You Wish For by Mark Edwards

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

The Life I Left Behind + Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

White Heat by M J McGrath

Beyond the Rage by Michael J Malone

Follow the Leader + Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt

The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey

Good luck!

Click the link below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward. Read June 2015.

A dark, atmospheric story that will stay with me a long time.”You can’t bury the truth forever…1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’ mother commits suicide…This is a story of family secrets and how often the very darkest secrets are those closest to you.”

There is a large cast of characters in this book which the author skilfully draws, giving even the deceased characters an important role. The central mystery, the kidnapping of Rachel and Sophie, is the starting point for a cleverly plotted puzzle that kept me guessing throughout. 

It is a beautifully written novel that was a pleasure to read despite the sometimes shocking subject matter. The plot twists and red herrings kept me interested and the police characters are believable with enough, but not too much, of the procedural side of their job.

Highly recommended to crime fiction fans who appreciate a well written and thought provoking read.

Thank you to the publisher, via Netgalley, for the advance copy e-book to review.