blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Chateau by Catherine Cooper

Happy Monday bookish people! Today is my spot on the book tour for The Chateau by Catherine Cooper, an intriguing murder mystery set in a castle (Chateau). Thank you to Anne Cater, Random T Tours and Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Chateau Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I found this plot to be very intriguing, the first chapter throws you straight into the scene of the party and the finding of the body but it doesn’t tell you who the body is and then the first chapter goes back to before the party, sets the scene and introduces the characters. I love a murder mystery where it is set in a party, hotel or castle type place and then you have a limited amount of suspects so this was an enjoyable element of this story for me. This story got dark pretty quickly and that’s when I found myself enjoying it a little less because it was feeling like a thriller instead of a mystery that it started out like. It is described as being a thriller but the beginning felt a lot lighter and that was better for me than the end.

The Chateau Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The only character that I particularly liked throughout this novel was Aura with her down to earth, seemingly sweet nature she was just trying to turn her Chateau into a lovely hotel but as I went through the book my opinion on her changed a little. I wasn’t drawn to any of the other characters, I found they were very well-written but none of them captured my attention.

The Chateau Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In the first few chapters the writing was a little clunky but it soon found it’s feet and got smoother to read.

The Chateau Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars because I enjoyed the mystery for the most part, other than how dark it quickly got but I just wasn’t feeling the characters the way I like to when I’m reading books.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The twisty new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalet

They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

The Sunday Times bestseller is back with a rollercoaster read, perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

That’s it for this review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Woman In The Wood by M K Hill

Happy Saturday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a great start to your weekend. Today is my stop on the book tour for The Woman In The Wood by M K Hill. Thank you to Anne cater and Head of Zeus for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Woman in the Wood Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I will start by saying I did enjoy the mystery element of this story. There were many tiny clues subtly mentioned throughout the novel that thinking back would have helped me identify the killer much quicker and I liked that there were sort of two different mysteries happening alongside each other. However, I did not really enjoy the reality TV show side of it, I felt that it took away from the tense atmosphere of the novel. I also didn’t like that I figured out who the killer was as early on as I did.

The Woman in the Wood Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In this novel we follow the Detective Sasha Dawson and I did like her character and how she was represented throughout, she was a very grounded character who had struggles in her public and professional lives. What I didn’t like about most of the characters was that there were a lot of things they did that never had any consequences. They kept saying they would talk about it later and similar phrases but it left me feeling quite annoyed. The situations didn’t feel real enough.

The Woman in the Wood Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I liked that throughout this novel we got to see different character perspectives because it added details to the story that as a reader we needed and we wouldn’t have gotten any other way. I did find M K Hill’s writing to be well-written and clear throughout which made it a nice read for me.

The Woman in the Wood Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because although I enjoyed parts of it, there were other parts I enjoyed a lot less.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Three years ago, Danny ‘Abs’ Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream – but on the night of the party, everything changed. It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering, just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing – and never seen again. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.

No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs’s career. So now, three years later, the celebrity who once captured the heart of millions is opening Basildon’s new branch of Quidstore.

But then one of Abs’s mates is murdered.

Does someone know what really happened that night in Wales? DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again – but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished.

Will the truth set Abs free? Or bury him?

A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, exciting and moving new thriller from the brilliant new star of crime-writing M.K. Hill.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

Happy Friday bookish people! Today is my spot on the book tour for Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain. This book is a very dark mystery/thriller story that I was extremely excited to start reading. Thank you to TBRandBeyond Tours, Ginny Myers Sain, Netgalley and Razorbill for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Here is a link to the tour schedule: https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/07/24/tour-schedule-dark-and-shallow-lies-by-ginny-myers-sain/

Dark and Shallow Lies Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are a lot of elements to this novel that I loved. First, the eerie sense that people aren’t telling the truth hangs over the story as you’re reading it and creates an intense situation for the characters which I liked. I also really liked how so many characters seemed to have these psychic gifts yet nobody could tell you what happened to the missing girl, again that’s causing a lovely piece of tension right from the first chapter. As well as causing tension it is also a very unique concept, I’ve read some books, mostly fantasy, that have one or two characters that have spiritual gifts but not everyone in the town.

Dark and Shallow Lies Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In this book, although each of the characters were different and had their own personalities that came through, I didn’t feel connected to any of them. It might be that there were too many characters introduced for me to focus on them enough but I wasn’t recruited to their motivations and this meant that I didn’t care what happened to them as much as I should have.

Dark and Shallow Lies Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I liked about the writing style in this novel is how well it suited the plot. It matched the tone of the story as it changed and I really enjoyed how effortless the writing seemed to be.

Dark and Shallow Lies Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I can only give this book three stars because although I enjoyed the plot and the writing the characters weren’t enough for me and personally, I did find it a bit too dark for my tastes.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.

La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.

This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World–and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.

Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychicsknows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something –her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.

When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou –a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history –Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent–and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.


Title:
 Dark and Shallow Lies

Author: Ginny Myers Sain

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

Page Length: 432 Pages

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

Age Range: YA

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indigo | Indiebound

About The Author

Ginny Myers Sainis the author of DARK AND SHALLOW LIES, her debut YA novel available 8-31-21 from Razorbill/Penguin. Although she comes from a long line of writers, her first love has always been the theatre. She has a degree in theatre and has spent most of her career teaching acting and directing plays and musicals. Ginny currently live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her teenage son and a very cowardly doberman named Shipley. When she is not working in the theatre or writing, you’re likely to find her listening to true crime podcasts, taking pictures of alligators, eating tacos, or planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Appeal by Janice Hallett

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s Monday again which means it’s time for more book reviews. This weekend I was taking part in the 1000 doors readathon where I intended to read nine books, I did not manage this I actually only managed five before I got too tired.

The first of these books was The Appeal by Janice Hallett.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Appeal Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved how unique this plot was, you as the reader get to see the case exactly how the detectives are seeing it as they try to solve the murder. I was shocked by the end of this book because although part of it was exactly what I thought it would be but I didn’t predict it all which I loved. Discovering the story through the ‘evidence’ found after the murder made this a very unique mystery and I enjoyed trying to figure it out.

The Appeal Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Because of how this book was laid out each of the characters felt like they had their own personal voice and I liked that because it felt more intimate than some mystery books do, I felt like I got a lot more background into the characters for me to base my opinion on.

The Appeal Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved the uniqueness of the writing in this book. It was laid out in emails and text messages and not only did this make it easier for me to understand the characters and their motivations but also splitting it up into chunks made the complex plot manageable.

The Appeal Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall. I liked the uniqueness of the writing and the complex details of the plot but I do think some of the aspects could have been slightly less predictable.

Blurb/SYnopsis:

IN A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS
SOMEONE WAS MURDERED.
SOMEONE WENT TO PRISON.
AND EVERYONE’S A SUSPECT.
CAN YOU UNCOVER THE TRUTH?

Dear Reader,

Enclosed are documents relating to the events surrounding the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons, and the tragic death of one of its members. Another member is currently in prison for the crime. We have reason to suspect that they are innocent, and that there were far darker secrets that have yet to be revealed.

We believe that the killer has given themselves away. It’s there in writing, hidden in the emails, texts, and letters. In the events surrounding the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick, and the question of whether that money was truly being used to fund her life-saving cancer treatment. Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth? Do you dare?

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel. 

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

Happy Thursday bookish people! I am very excited that today is my spot on the book tour for Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke. Thank you to Pushkin Vertigo for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Girl, 11 Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novel is full of tension and mystery. The further into it I got the deeper into the world I fell. I was feeling the anticipation, the terror, I felt the moment that the mystery was taking a turn. I couldn’t read this book at night because – one, I was completely gripped by the story and two, because it would have scared me too much for me to be able to sleep – that’s how good the mystery is. I also love the use of podcasts that are in crime fiction novels at the moment.

Girl, 11 Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The main character in this book is Elle, I loved her as a character. She has the determination to keep going with the podcast to get justice and the strength her character needed throughout was something that made this book feel incredibly real. Also, there’s a big twist about her character that I did not see coming but I loved it.

Girl, 11 Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved the writing of this novel, the way that the chapters were interspersed with the transcripts for the podcasts was a very clever way of explaining what happened with the murders in the past without putting in too much exposition.

Girl, 11 Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it hooked me completely and the ending was very satisfactory for me.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Once a social worker specializing in kids who were the victims of violent crime, Elle Castillo is now the host of a popular true crime podcast that tackles cold cases of missing children in her hometown of the Twin Cities. After two seasons of successfully solving cases, Elle decides to tackle her white whale—The Countdown Killer. Twenty years ago, TCK abruptly stopped after establishing a pattern of taking and ritualistically murdering three girls over seven days, each a year younger than the last. No one’s ever known why—why he stopped with his eleventh victim, a girl of eleven years old, or why he followed the ritual at all.

When a listener phones in with a tip, Elle sets out to interview him, only to discover his dead body. And within days, a child is abducted following the original TCK MO. Unlike the experts in the media and law enforcement who have always spun theories of a guilty suicide, Elle never believed TCK had died, and her investigation was meant to lay that suspicion to rest. But instead, her podcast seems to be kicking up new victims.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: No Number Nine by F J Campbell

Happy Friday bookish people! I’m so happy that today is my spot on the book tour for No Number Nine by F J Campbell. Thank you to Literally PR for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

No Number Nine Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was very different to books that I usually read, I loved how the backstory of Pip gets revealed throughout the story. It kept the tension throughout the story about what would happen next and what secrets are people hiding. This book had intriguing character relationships and a plot that both flowed and constantly changed. I thought it was the perfect timing to read this book, especially with it’s links to Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics about to start. Although there was a dramatic undertone to this book I liked that the romance subplot was well developed and fit into the plot seamlessly. It also gave the book points for tension, which I think it is quite obvious I like in books.

No Number Nine Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really felt for Pip throughout this book, there were things she could have done differently but still it seemed like nothing could go right for her. When the book begins we know she has lost her sister and this gives Pip an interesting character dynamic because it is the catalyst for some of the events throughout the book. I’m not going to talk about any of the other characters in particular because I don’t feel I can without giving some spoilers but I will say that they each added layers to the story.

No Number Nine Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For the most part the writing style of this book was something I enjoyed, it was clear and well written. The part I didn’t enjoy was that some sections are written in the style of a drama script. This confused me as I didn’t feel there was any need for it to be written in this way and it disconnected me from the characters in the scene.

No Number Nine Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I enjoyed the reading of it and I would be interested in reading other books by this author.

Blurb/Synopsis:

What do you do when your amazing, beloved sister dies?

Hide in your room for two years.

Sleep with a very, very wrong man.

Leave home and start a new life, lying to everyone you meet including your kind employer, your curious friends and the man you love?

Pip Mitchell’s an expert at making seriously bad decisions. But when her past, present and future collide at the Sydney Olympic Games, she’s going to have to decide whose side she’s on – or she’ll lose everyone she loves.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Unknown Vengeance by Pat O’Brien

Happy Tuesday bookish people! Today is my spot on the book tour for Unknown Vengeance by Pat O’Brien. Due to a lot of things that have happened recently, I wasn’t able to finish this book in time to write a proper review so I will be sharing with you the book and the blurb instead.

Thank you to Kelly Lacey and Love Books Tours for sending me an ecopy of this book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A serial killer is terrorizing members of the medical community in Buffalo, NY. Veteran
Detective, Rhody Richardson, is leading the investigation with his partner, Detective Wayne.
Victims have been disfigured and tortured – faces sliced, numbers carved into their chests. The brilliant, but young, forensic intern, Connor Patrick, tries desperately to make sense of the numbers but cannot find a pattern.

The killer has promised ten victims, but Richardson, and psychiatric consultant Dr. Kaileen
Taylor believe it will continue well past that number. At each of the gruesome crime scenes, the
killer has left cryptic poems with different names. Richardson ventures down a dangerous path, deciphering what the killer is trying to tell them before they escape justice into the eternal void of the unknown.

And if you’re interested in this book you can check out some reviews from other people on this book tour.

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes – 100-91

Happy Friday bookish people! This post is going up later than I would have liked it to, this week has been super busy for me with my job, University, hospital etc.. and this morning I got my second Covid jab so hopefully I’ll get this written before any side effects kick in.

I’m starting a little series (in case you didn’t notice by the title of this post…) where I show and maybe talk about, depending on my mood, my 100 favourite quotes from books. But doing ALL 100 in one post might have been a bit much so I’m splitting it down into sections of ten. Also it will give it a bit of mystery, you’ll be thinking ooh I wonder what’s going to be on the next set of ten and I wonder what quote will take the top spot – no? Just me? Okay…

Well, with all that said lets go to the first set of ten.

In last place at 100 we have a classic from….

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

100. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” – I really dislike Wuthering Heights but this quote just managed to squeeze into my top 100.

Coming in at 99 we have a quote from….

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

99. “Fate […] is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast” – I mean yes, it certainly is. I don’t usually eat breakfast so if you want to talk to me about fate you’re going to have to wait until after I’ve eaten something for lunch.

Speaking of food we have number 98…

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

98. “It was a well known fact that there were no calories in homemade cakes” – if only that was true.

Quote 97 is one that came from a series of books I read in my early years at Secondary school….

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

97. “Dreams, dreams. I walk them; I live them. I delude myself with them” – I can definitely relate to the deluding yourself with dreams part, I’m well known for daydreaming.

A much more serious quote at 96…

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

96. “The only way to learn is to live”

At the halfway point for this first installment of favourite quotes is one from a favourite series of mine…

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

95. “There were shipwrecks more graceful than Tella” – I am more graceful than Tella and I need more than ten fingers to count the amount of times I fall and trip each day.

At 94 is a quote that reminds me of a few people who I know….

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

94. “It’s not exciting if nothing can go wrong” – I completely disagree with this statement and that’s not at all because I’m scared of everything, including people. Some particular people.

Moving on quickly. 93 is a quote that I wrote down on a sticky note while I was reading the book because of how much it caught my attention….

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

93. “Seize the wind, don’t become the kite that never flies” – as illogical as trying to catch hold of actual wind is, this is still a beautiful quote.

Up next is a quote from a book that has vampires in…

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

92. “She was no lamb, she was a lion” – I won’t tell you the character name who says this but this quote sums up her character arc very well.

and the final quote of this first installment is…..

How The King Of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories by Holly Black

91. “A heart of stone can still be broken” – simple and a little sad this quote tells you a lot about two characters – the one who says it and the one they are saying it to.

That’s it for this blog post, I hope you all enjoyed the first installment – have you seen any of your favourite quotes yet? Are there any quotes you are hoping might show up further up my list? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back soon with quotes 90-81!

Book Reviews

Book Review: You Had It Coming by B M Carroll

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today is my stop on the book tour for You Had It Coming by B M Carroll, and I will say that this book actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to Viper Books and Anne Cater for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

You Had It Coming Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book is multi-layered and complex, fast paced and suspenseful. Carroll artfully drops clues into the story without the reader always noticing that they are significant. This book strikes the perfect balance between the present investigation and the mystery surrounding what happened in the past.

Throughout this book there is the evidence of trauma in the characters and it explores ideas surrounding sexual assault victims and how they are presented in Court. It also touches generally on how overly sexualised women can be presented by others and the topic of women being able to do whatever, and wear whatever they want without being judged. All of this is what actually made me emotional reading this book, especially because of society at the moment, I think a lot of women have experienced judgement, fear, and many other things. I thought it was a very important topic to be included in this book.

The mystery/thriller element of this book was executed brilliantly. There was a point where my brain was so muddled and that is a sign of a good book for me. I like to be confused by them.. that’s probably a little strange but nevermind.

You Had It Coming Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed that this book was written from multiple perspectives. It not only allowed the reader to experience every story surrounding the investigation but also the characters in the background of the stories that may have had a bigger part to play than would be shown with the limited perspective of one character.

There are many characters in this book but the main ones are Megan – the paramedic who knew the victim, Jess – someone who knew the victim and Bridget – the detective investigating the case. Their stories are interwoven with very dramatic impacts at points. I thought every character was explored thoroughly and had intriguing personalities. I definitely felt throughout that I couldn’t trust the characters – as is common in good thrillers.

You Had It Coming Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I think is already obvious I thought the writing of this book was excellent – clear, good pacing, intriguing. There’s not much more I can say about it. The dialogue is used well to further the mystery and the general plot.

You Had It Coming Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars overall because I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being dragged along as the mystery progressed and discovering exactly what happened both in the past and in the present.

Blurb/Synopsis:

‘B.M. Carroll is a wonderful writer’ – LIANE MORIARTY

‘A true page-turner, relentlessly fast-paced’ – KATIE LOWE

‘Well written and very, very clever’ – A.J. PARK

‘I absolutely loved it. Gripping and twisty’ – SOPHIE FLYNN
________________________________________

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Lucy Foley and Lisa Hall, You Had It Coming is a thrilling tale of suspense and dark secrets.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Peter Swanson’s Rules For Perfect Murders

I have recently finished reading Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson and I really enjoyed it, in this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you all enjoy reading my book review!

This is a cleverly plotted, fast paced, whodunnit full of twists and secrets. It focuses on a man called Malcolm Kershaw who works at a bookstore that specializes in selling mystery/thriller books. Then he becomes involved in a murder investigation. This novel contains elements of the great Golden Age era of crime fiction like Agatha Christie yet still manages to make itself unique in both it’s premise and structure. The reader follows the POV of Malcolm, following both the present and the secrets of his past that slowly emerge throughout the novel.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novel is an entertaining plot that kept me guessing from the very beginning. It was well thought out and from the technical point of view every scene led into the next in a brilliant and clever way. The secrets were hinted at and clues were sprinkled throughout leading to a (in my opinion) satisfying ending. I am usually pretty good at managing to guess the ending before it happens but with this novel I had no chance, the story swept me up and so many theories were spinning around my head. That is one of the reasons I gave this novel 4 stars for plot.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As for characters there are a lot of them, but the main ones are Malcolm Kershaw, his two bookstore employees, FBI Agent Gwen Mulvoy, his old friend Marty Kingship and married couple Brian and Tess Murray. Although each of the characters had very defined personalities from each other for me it felt like they were lacking in some way. Malcolm, was not a very likeable character I didn’t particularly have strong feelings for or against him but I was still engaged in his story. The two bookstore employees I feel could have been developed further, they are distinct and personally I felt they were likeable – the only two characters who I felt were likeable in this novel – but they weren’t that interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of Agent Gwen Mulvey, she features more in the first half than the second half and I felt her character could have been explored better. The other three characters I didn’t find to be all that likeable either but again they were well thought out and had an impact on the story.

Dialogue and writing:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I became invested in the novel because of the dialogue in the very first scene. It helped to heighten tension when it was needed and it helped lighten the tone when the novel needed balance as well. The dialogue, or lack of from some characters, provided personality and created an image of the characters for me. The writing style was easy to navigate, it flowed well in my opinion and it didn’t feel forced in any way. That was one of the main reasons I enjoyed the novel, usually I am a fan of character driven novels rather than plot driven novels but because of Swanson’s writing style and the engaging dialogue I found myself enjoying the read.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So, overall I rated this novel four stars because even though I wasn’t invested in the characters I truly couldn’t put the book down, I had to know how it ended. If you enjoy novels where you aren’t sure who you can trust then I would recommend Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. (One note I will make is that if you want to read The Red House Mystery by A A Milne, Malice Aforethought by Anthony Berkeley Cox, The A B C Murders by Agatha Christie, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith, The Drowner by John D MacDonald, Deathtrap by Ira Levin or The Secret History by Donna Tartt I would recommend reading them first because Malcolm is fond of giving spoilers to these books).

Synopsis/Blurb:
Years ago Malcolm Kershaw wrote a list of his ‘Eight Favourite Murders’ for his Old Devils mystery bookshop blog. Among others it included those from Agatha Christie’s The A.B.C Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.
Now just before Christmas, Malcolm finds himself at the heart of an investigation – as an FBI Agent believes someone may be re-enacting each of the murders on his list.