I See You by Clare Mackintosh. Read July 2016.

Prepare to sit on the edge of your seat while reading this, and if reading on your commute, well…

“When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .”

So, how do you follow up a debut crime novel that was one of the most talked about books of recent years? One that has just won the Crime Novel of the Year award at the Theakstons Crime Festival. Clare Mackintosh has answered the question with another great thrilling read. Her writing style pulls you into the world of her characters and they won’t let you go until the last full stop on the last page.

The situation Zoe Walker finds herself in is frighteningly plausible – one of those “it could be you” scenarios that add an extra layer of tension. The police officer who takes her under her wing has her own issues that make her a sympathetic character.

What I enjoyed most was the family dynamic with Zoe and her household and how involved I became in their everyday lives, regardless of the creepy plots going on around them. I’ll miss them now I’ve finished the book – surely a sign that the author has created realistic, three-dimensional characters.

I recommend this follow-up to I Let You Go to all fans of psychological thrillers. There’s a fair amount of police procedural in there too.

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

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent. Read July 2016.

One of the best books I’ve read in years.

“Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants …”

The story is told from the viewpoints of three of the main characters. I enjoyed this structure that allows the reader to be in the know while some of the characters are in the dark. The book is fast-paced and yet the character development is exquisite.

A tangled web of deceit follows the characters through the years in a cleverly plotted story. Dark secrets lurk in every chapter making the book impossible to put down. I never wanted it to end.

I sometimes try to suggest other books or authors similar to the one I’m reviewing. Although very different in style the one I was reminded of most was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (possibly because of the grand house at the centre of everything). I say that as a great compliment as it’s my favourite book.

I recommend Lying In Wait very highly and I’m off to put the author’s previous book, Unravelling Oliver, on my wish list.

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