The Warning by Kathryn Croft

Kathryn Croft

Please note the cover leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:My little boy’s room was empty, his bed neatly made. Alarm bells should have rung immediately. Then the knock on the door came. All I remember is a thick fog wrapping itself tightly around me. This couldn’t be happening to us.

Three years ago, nurse Zoe’s son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email:

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help?
And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

The Review: When people ask for recs for psychological thrillers, quoting that they liked ‘Gone Girl’ or the like, I always turn their heads towards Kathryn Croft (pretty much all of them are on this blog if you want to do a quick search-apologies internet is not good enough today to reference them all!). To me her books are excellent examples of edge of your seat stuff, with leads you’re gunning for, and a race to a finish that generally surprises.

So we join a number of characters, most notably Zoe, who has been trundling through the days with her husband, Jake, and son. I warmed to each of the characters straight away, really feeling for them as they tried not to let the death of the character of the house ruin them. Added to the tragic circumstances of Ethan’s death were two things: first that they didn’t know he was out of the house that night,  and second, that his friend drowned too. Enter his friend’s mother, a woman who’s living with a secret but who is first and foremost, the mother of the teenager killed that night at the river. I felt for her throughout, wanting her to find some sort of life in an  existence where she had to put up with a despicable husband who she no longer loved, and who very obviously had no warmth for her.

So the two come face to face again when Zoe begins to get messages telling her that her son’s death was no accident. At the start we are trying to figure out if these messages are meant as a help or if they serve as warnings to her and her family, and we soon find out! This book is about the hunt to find out what happened that night, why it happened and who was involved and it most definitely kept me reading.

I had a fair few niggles, which was disappointing, the end of so many chapters were cliffhangers and there were so many characters’ viewpoints that it took away the shock factor after a while as you had to be put back to the surprise after a few chapters of different people talking. I’m afraid I did a lot of page flipping to remember who the smaller (and sometimes very important) characters were (yes this is ironic the post after another post where I said I am always ready for books with multiple povs!). Saying that I never wanted to put the book down and looked forward to finding out who the menacing character who told their own story was and I was lead up down and back around the garden path a number of times and couldn’t leave it down. Do make sure to check out all of her books though, you honestly will not be disappointed (I recommend starting with The Girl With No Past- review here and moving on from there!). Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5



#Blogtour Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany


Length: 303 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Six years ago Isla was the only victim to walk free from Carl Jeffery’s vicious murder spree. Now, Isla vows to live her life to the fullest and from the outside it appears perfect.

Determined to finish her book Isla plans her final trip to Sweden, but after returning from Canada and meeting a man she never thought she would, her life begins to derail.

Suddenly Isla is plagued by memories of the man who tried to murder her, and the threat that he could be back causes her to question everything, and everyone around her.

This debut psychological thriller will have you closing down social media accounts, looking over your shoulder, and hooked until the very last line.

Perfect for fans of Sweet Little Lies, Friend Request and Louise Jensen.

 The Review: Ahhh. That’s the sound when you finish a very satisfying, rewarding thriller that had you on tenterhooks fairly early on and kept you there until the end. I really really enjoyed this. It’s the story of Isla, a travel writer who barely escaped with her life after the attempt on her life by serial killer Carl Jeffrey. From early on in the book there was goings on, with Isla wondering if the person who seems to be stalking her is in fact the Carl Jeffrey, who was imprisoned for three life sentences.

We had a number of suspects from the get go, although what you’re suspecting them of you’re not quite sure, as you also have to take into account that she’s been through a lot and is in a fragile state of mind. This is a book that takes you in and holds you, although it is not of the headachy variety, there’s always enough people about and everyday happenings/ drama to keep you looking about, plus the descriptions of places and her surroundings contained some gems that actually made me want to head off to Sweden! The relationships and friendships were done well and I had some people I seriously hearted. Also serious kudos on the tension and notching up of suspects.

The book moves between the past and the present, the past showing around about the time of the attack. You obviously never know how tough a book is until you’ve everything has come to a head and I was a little nervous as to what had happened all those years ago but I was able to handle it (phew!) Actually this did lead me to a slight issue I had with the book, and that was all that was unsaid, I can’t really say more but I always rather being able to tick suspects and happenings off as being case closed. I loved the ending both in the change in point of view (adored this point of view) and the race to the finish, the pick up in pacing being a definite high point for me and then the realisation of who was involved.

This is a book that’s for those who like the likes of Kathryn Croft or Louise Jensen (above you’ll see others liken the book to Louise Jensen, Sweet Little Lies and Friend Request but I still have to get to the last two books-I know, I know!) , and I’ve just seen that the royalties of downloads of this book go to Cancer Research so really, just go get!

I have to say that one of the quotes says that Amanda Brittany  is an exciting new voice and I’ll totally agree, I will definitely be looking out for her new releases. Thanks so much to HQ digital for allowing me to be part of this blog tour and for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

Check out the rest of the blog tour

Her Last Lie Blog_Tour[2]

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft


Length:   321 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Five years rebuilding your life. Five words will destroy it again.

Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students vanished. 

Five years later, just when Mia is beginning to heal, stranger Alison walks into her life, saying her husband didn’t kill himself. 

Fragile, slight Alison leads Mia on a path into Zach’s past, and Mia begins to think she never really knew her own husband. As the secrets revealed get darker, Alison becomes harder to read, and Mia starts to wonder – why is Alison so keen to help?

And then a piece of the puzzle appears in an impossible place, and Mia has to ask, is she losing her mind, or should she be afraid for her life?

The Review:  We start five years ago, with Mia at the funeral of her husband Zach. The graveyard is empty, except for a small number of people there who tell Mia (and us of course) that her husband is a monster. We don’t know why, or what he’s done, and we are off. The start totally sucked me in and I was thrilled to be back to a Kathryn Croft book, an author who has never disappointed me, and who at this stage has to be my favourite thriller writer of all time.

Fast forward five years, and Mia is settled with her partner, Will (although we are told they live quite separate lives) and Mia is still on edge, having endured years of abuse at the hands of an unforgiving public, who won’t forget what Zach did. Mia has her own counselling business, which ingeniously leads us to a character, Alison, who seems to have answers to Zach’s demise. As always I loved the way the everyday was done so well, in particular Mia’s time with her daughter and Will brightened things up, but with dark undercurrants always trickling through.

Of course we are constantly wondering what Zach has done and to give us our answers are sent back in time to the beginning of the end for him as he tries to help a girl named Josie. I was rooting for Zach the whole time and wondered how things could turn so bad for him. The story jumps between both timelines, looking at Josie’s story, someone who has been led to believe she will never make anything of herself but is out to defy all the odds, that of Alison, and of course Mia. I loved that the way the timelines were interspersed, it made you suddenly be distracted from an explosion about to happen and then, boom! You were hit with it. Saying that there were some occasions the time spent in the past moved a little slow for me, but not enough to budge my opinion on the book in any way!

The characters were likable where they needed to be (a special mention to Josie’s lovely little brother Kieran, who I adored!) and unlikable when that was required of them too (a lot of boo, hisses for the REALLY unlikable ones!). Josie, who was on the run from something, gave us some real nervy moments, and then when some of the stories started intertwining I was ridiculously excited! Ms. Croft has got to be the queen at trying to make you guess who to trust and here was no exception, with an exceptionally intricate web of mistrust and paranoia! To the very end of this book I had no idea whodunnit, and then the ending … well, all I can say is that I would ADORE to have read on, I really really wanted the aftermath in full glorious technicolour! An excellent mix of great characters, unsettling goings on amidst normal settings, and twisty events that always had me sitting up straight in my seat. Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Note: You may want to check out my other reviews of Ms. Croft’s excellent books: The Girl With No Past here , While You Were Sleeping here and The Girl You Lost here (all very much recommended!)




While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft


Length: 326 pages

Please note that the image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:
Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 

But her happiness is shattered when she wakes up one morning in her neighbour’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee and scared of losing everything she cares about, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her life knows what really happened that night. When the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out.

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?

The Review: Okay. So anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows of my love for all books by Kathryn Croft. (The Girl You Lost’s review is here while The Girl With No Past’s review is  here

This was another book designed to keep you guessing as to who (if not Tara herself) was involved in the murder, this read featuring the demise of her neighbour Lee. From the off I was pulled straight in, as always the characters are everyday people next door types, with varying personality traits that have you wondering what they themselves know, and as a result I was basically suspecting everyone. Throw into the mix her issues with her husband Noah, a very difficult daughter, Rosie, who was the one person I hoped hadn’t been involved in the crime, and the addition of characters as you went on and you were pretty sure it could have been anyone! Central to the story was that Tara couldn’t remember what had happened and had no idea how she woke up next to a dead body and so you didn’t know if she was involved or not.

While You Were Sleeping kept me gripped, and waiting for the ending, but I think a problem was that there were a few too many unlikable characters. Saying that, I kept reading on, being thrown from one conclusion to the next with my head all jumbled, waiting to see what happened. A really enjoyable read, although I have to admit it didn’t quite grab me in the same way as the two books I’ve named above.

Rating: 4/5

My February Bookish Wrap Up!

Please note: if you don’t have the time to read through the post, the pics link to the reviews! Enjoy:)

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So it’s been a good February, reading wise, maybe better writing-wise, as I finally put aside something I’ve been working on for a long time, that has been giving me no joy, and have started on a new story instead. I felt better the second I made the decision, as it was like pulling teeth, and although I’ve been set back a few months I’m really excited to see where the new story takes me:)

In terms of books, Valentines was very much in the air, with me finding myself very happy on reading the next of The Star and Sixpence series by Holly Hepburn, Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence, which was really good, although it didn’t quite beat Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence, one of my top Christmas reads, and continuing with me finding a short gem from Fiona Gibson, author of As Good as it Gets called The Valentine-Free Zone. I was honoured to be part of Samantha Tonge’s ‘How to Get Hitched in 10 days’ blog tour. How to Get Hitched in 10 days was the perfect short story for those who are fans of their rom coms that have multiple characters and many misunderstandings and was beyond enjoyable, although in a different way to Game of Scones, which I had read last year.


As you can see from above it was a month where I mostly back to a few fave authors, with The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft being almost as enjoyable as The Girl With No Past, which was a five out of five read for me. I also rediscovered Virginia Macgregor, whose second book ‘The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells‘ was as unputdownable as ‘What Milo Saw.

I was very taken with the bewitching Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis, although I decided it might be for a different age-group to myself. I became a fan for life of Erin Lawless, as I wrote my review for ‘Somewhere only we know,’ a rom com that visits the emigration office to see if the vibrant Nadia will be deported, got to meet a group of zany friends that made me laugh out loud in ‘Friends Like These,’ jumped out of my comfort zone to investigate the 7/7 bombings in The Theseus paradox by David Videcette(I also posted an excerpt), and finally, but perhaps most excitingly, I had a blogger interview with the beyond lovely Sharon, from the brilliant Shaz’s Book blog. Not a bad month, actually!;)

Turning down the lights, just a little – The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft



What they say:

Twenty years running from your past. Today it catches up.

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the twentieth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.


The review: To start let me just remind you that I predominantly read romantic comedies and so if you are looking for an assessment from someone who has experience with this genre you might want to look elsewhere! That being said, everyone wants to diversify what they read, and if, like me, you want to delve into the odd thriller without going too hardcore then this is one for you! Note: I will be reading ‘Girl on a Train’ soon but I loved Gone Girl (book only, not the film) so that might give you an indication whether this suits.

I had heard many great things about this book and I was not disappointed. We meet Leah Mills as she goes about her daily routine, a routine that is the same daily, that NEEDS to have absolutely no variation. Leah works in a library, which obviously sealed the deal for me straight off, it being my dream job, but tries her best not to get close to those around her. I was very quickly walking in Leah’s shoes,and in a similar way to ‘The Year I Met You’ by Cecilia Ahern (similar in the way I empathised with the lead), daily life, the brightness of it, became that little bit more of an irritation, as I hankered to get back to see what was happening and experience the darkness that surrounded Leah. We were not told what the anniversary that Leah’s existance led to was of, this being one of the many twists that were in the book. There were a few twists that kept the pacing flowing, but none of them, in my opinion, unnecessary. The big secret, what Leah felt herself to be so guilty of that she didn’t deserve to be recognised as a human being, was justifiable, so not one of those books where a build up led to nothing. I found it quite shocking, but again I’m not sure if it’s just the difference in genre. The characters served their purpose and the story was told through flashbacks that were well spaced out and very well done. The way the book dealt with the effect of events on family and friends was exemplery and by the end, my mind was well and truly taken over. I experienced my first book hangover as a result and it took a few days to find my next read. Loved it. Highly recommended.