Tag Archive | kathryn croft

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft

silentlies

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!)

 

 

 

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While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

whileyou

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:)

thevalentinefreezonethegirlyoulostvalentinesdayatthestarandsixpencethe astonishingreturnofNorahWellssomewhereonlyweknowthetheseushowtogethitchedSmartgirlfriendslikethese

 

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

thegirlwithnopast

 

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.