Post Script: Dying For Christmas – Tammy (Tamar) Cohen

Book a physio before you start reading – the tension in this book lodged in my shoulders…what a read!

Dying For Christmas

Tammy Cohen

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Black Swan

ISBN: 9781784160173

 

 

Description:

I am missing. Held captive by a blue-eyed stranger. To mark the twelve days of Christmas, he gives me a gift every day, each more horrible than the last. The twelfth day is getting closer. After that, there’ll be no more Christmas cheer for me. No mince pies, no carols. No way out …

 

But I have a secret. No-one has guessed it. Will you?

 

About The Author:

Tammy Cohen (who was previously published under her formal name Tamar Cohen) is a freelance journalist. A late starter to fiction – and to other things besides – she has now written four novels: The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, Someone Else’s Wedding, and The Broken. Now embarking on psychological suspense, Dying for Christmas is her first Yuletide chiller to be published October 2014. She is a Writer in Residence at Kingston University and lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one very badly behaved dog. Follow her on Twitter @MsTamarCohen

 

 

My View:

Tammy (Tamar) Cohen creates an atmosphere and tension that is palpable. She foretells the potential crime in those beginning lines “Chances are, by the time you finish reading this, I’ll be dead.” And the tension just ratchets from there on. The first half of the narrative kept me reading and reading into the night. Just before midnight I went to bed only to get up a few hours later (I couldn’t sleep with this unfinished). Three in the morning I stumbled back to bed…very satisfied with this read.

 

The cover image belies the secrets and lies within the covers; this is not some cutesy Christmas read with all things happy and bright. In fact is it dark, it is twisted and there are so many truths later revealed as fiction that you will not believe where this leads to. Admittedly about midway I had to park my disbelief at the door, such were the number of twists and turns and misdirection’s this narrative took me on but it was worth the parking ticket. Tension, tension and tension abide in this remarkable read. Merry Christmas.

 

 

Post Script: We Were Liars – E Lockhart

A perfect YA book suitable for all to read and enjoy.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars

E Lockhart

Hot Key Books

ISBN: 9781471403989

 

Description:

A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

 

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

 

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

 

My View:

 

Slowly, slowly this book reels you in. There is so much pain. Mystery shrouds the protagonist. There is so much to be revealed. So many secrets. As the pages turn you catch glimpses of life that is both privileged and yet so dysfunctional and still the secret has not been revealed. You keep reading. There is more pain, and there is love and friendships that have such strong bonds you will smile.

 

I love the use of folklore/fairy tales to prick your conscience and shake up the reality that is carefully constructed and presented to you.

 

In order to establish the truth the past must be unpicked one stitch at a time. Lockhart is a great storyteller, her unreliable narrator shares her truth, and her memories and you follow along unaware of the tragic twist that will soon be revealed. You won’t see this ending coming.

 

A quick read that will prick your moral compass. What would you do with this truth?

Post Script: Keep Your Friends Close – Paula Daly

Keep Your Friends Close

Paula Daly

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593071991

 

Description:

Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty’s oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears – just as their daughter collapses on a school trip in France – Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home.

 

Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve. He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.

 

With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.

 

And then she receives the note.

 

Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences…

 

 

My View:

This is a remarkable compulsive read – so good in fact I got half way through this and had to  stop – the tension created was enormous and my expectations of what was about to happen meant I could not face reading another word…for a few days…brilliant work Paula Daly, to make mere words so powerful and emotional. I loved every minute of this read.

 

This narrative is a brilliantly written psychological suspense/mystery that will have you chewing at your nails, begging the protagonist Natty to watch out, to look out- but of course she doesn’t! The tension builds, the drama grows and the flames devour and then …it ends. I would have liked to have had more pages in this book, a few more chapters to unravel all the past crimes and histories and to discover what exactly the future held, but Daly lets the reader make up their own conclusion, the imagination is a powerful tool.

 

Post Script: Under Your Skin – Sabine Durrant

Many twists and turns and surprises!

Under Your Skin, Sabine Durrant

Under Your Skin

A Novel

Sabine Durrant

Atria Books

Atria/Emily Bestler Books

ISBN: 9781476716237

 

Description:

In this page-turning debut from talented crime writer Sabine Durrant, a woman makes a chilling discovery in the woods that changes her life forever.

When clever, pretty, successful Gaby Mortimer discovers the dead body of a young woman near her house, she has no idea that her apparently happy, secure, charmed life is about to go into sickening freefall—and that soon she will be living by the mantra of the police detective investigating the murder case: ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No One, Check Everything…

My View:

This was an absorbing read with an astounding ending! This truth sneaks up on you and hits you on the head – BAM! You will feel totally confused, shocked and at odds with the world; this is not how you saw the story unravel, this ending will blow you away. I was totally surprised. I was totally enthralled in this story, in this mega deception, in this callous and well thought out plan. Sabine Durrant is a talented and gifted story teller. This is a stunning debut novel full of twists and turns and surprises. Enjoy.

Post Script: My Dearest Jonah – Matthew Crow

In words hide secrets…

My Dearest Jonah

Matthew Crow

Legend Press

ISBN: 9781908248251

 

Description:

Like you I’ve been feeling forlorn of late. I don’t know how long you have to be somewhere before it begins to feel normal, before you start to feel as though you belong… And so all I have is you. Your letters and the thought that somewhere, something good exists in my life. For now that seems enough to get by on.’

Introduced via a pen-pal scheme, Verity and Jonah write their lives, hopes and dreams to one another without ever having met.

Verity is a fragile beauty. When a dangerous sequence of events is set in motion, she tries to explain to Jonah what led her to unravel so spectacularly. Jonah has been released after years of imprisonment and embarks upon the quiet life he’s always wanted. But then a dark reminder shatters his world, one that’s keen to make history repeat itself.

Offering the sole strand of stability in two progressively elaborate lives, Verity and Jonah develop a deep and delicate love, a love that becomes clouded and threatened by increasingly dark forces.

My View:

This is superbly crafted and elegantly written narrative that uses the device of letter writing to explore the lives and perspectives of the two main characters – Verity and Jonah. Verity and Jonah have never physically met yet share a camaraderie and friendship based on loneliness and their individual strange circumstances; a supportive alliance is formed, perhaps even love?

I loved that the letter writing device maintained and disclosed the details two very different lives. The reader dangles on the hook, lusting for more details of the main characters lives as the tension is built. And what interesting characters they both are – I felt a sense of admiration for Jonah and the apparent efforts he was making to live a good life – silly me! How I was conned. (But no spoilers here) Verity was not quite as endearing, perhaps a little distant and not quite so engaging but as a character she allowed me a glimpse of a life that was strong, passionate, independent and courageous. She dared to live! She dared to dream, she was honest about herself, her life and her lifestyle. This character was quite a remarkable woman.

I found the writing itself almost lyrical, elegant and often caught myself almost reading the letters out loud – I think this would really be a wonderful experience – a stage /radio show perhaps? The language itself was interesting – often contradicting the academic and socio economic levels of the characters – again I found this deliberate playing with language attractive and entertaining.

Throughout this narrative Matthew Crow displays an uncanny power of observation and understanding of the world and how it revolves. The writing is powerful and sensitive; the almost formal style of letter writing is particular engaging; the reader is often caught unawares when an expletive or action emerges that shocks as it does not fit this formal, genteel approach which is the style of the bulk of the letters. Perhaps this is Crow hinting that all is perhaps not quite as it seems on paper, hinting that we should be more observant and less reliant of the written word?  I admire Crow’s use of language and the spectacular way the story unravels and turns the narrative on its head. This was a delight to read.

Post Script: In The Blood – Lisa Unger

An incredible psychological drama!

In the Blood

A Novel

Lisa Unger

Touchstone

ISBN: 9781451691177

 

Description:

SOMEONE KNOWS LANA’S SECRET—AND HE’S DYING TO TELL.

LANA GRANGER LIVES A LIFE OF LIES. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to control­ling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her where­abouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

Lisa Unger’s writing has been hailed as “sensa­tional” (Publishers Weekly) and “sophisticated” (New York Daily News), with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press). Masterfully suspenseful, finely crafted, and written with a no-holds-barred raw power, In the Blood is Unger at her best.

My View:

Mysterious, full of plot twists and turns, lies, secrets and more lies…don’t believe that anything is as it first appears.

WOW! That pretty much sums up how I feel about this book and this author, WOW! This was an incredible read – I am giddy with anticipation and apprehension from the journey I have just taken on this twisty winding road that travels through a countryside littered with broken people, broken lives, lies and deceit. This was one rollercoaster of suspense and intrigue; in the end I could not trust anything that I had read…so much of my understanding of this narrative was turned on its head so many times…just incredibly well written and thought out. Love , Love Love this book and will definitely add this author to my must read list