Tag Archive | noir

Hide and Seek by Richard Parker @Bookwalter @Bookouture

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Length:  324 pages

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

What they say:The sun is out. Your little boy is smiling. The next time you look… he’s gone.

Lana Cross would do anything to protect her perfect family but on a trip to an adventure park, they slip out of her sight. When she finds her husband, he’s out cold on the forest floor. Then the truth sinks in: Cooper, her four-year-old son, is missing.

No one stopped the man carrying the sleeping boy. The park cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana receives an anonymous message, telling her to visit a local school with a horrifying history…

This is no random attack. Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate.

How could there be a link between the school and her missing son? And can Lana find her little boy before it’s too late?

The Review: First off I have to tell you that due to some issues with my Kindle I have no notes for this book and so this will not be the Pulitzer winning blog post I had hoped for, in fact, it may not even come close (I know, what?!) but, yes, you can already guess from the glib way I’m speaking that this will be another rave review that I’m quite hyper and excited about, and that if oyu don’t want this type of review you may need to just shut your eyes tight and avoid. (If not let’s go!)

So, at this stage you’re thinking ‘yeah, yeah’ another excellent book from Bookouture, right?’ YES! And wow, what a book! From the start this book was different in that it had a kick ass mother who SAVED her child from being abducted. They never do that in books, do they? The first few pages are that the mother looks out to the eerie sight of a swing moving in the wind, or a toy left on it’s own in the garden. Not here! Here, Lana (who I loved the whole way through-yay!) runs out when she sees a man land over her garden fence.  Lana does her epic ass kicking stuff, but in a way you yourself could, making your heart pound as you egg her on, and rescues her son. But the kidnapper leaves her with a message that he will be back. Yeeks!

Of course Lana and her husband are not going to let their little boy get taken and so they both try to keep him safe. Lana decides the best way is to find the kidnapper and this leads her into a dark and twisted online world where she doesn’t know who to trust, and also to various crime scenes, as she retraces and revisits old crimes, some in quite vivid, gory detail (I found it to be, anyhoo, people who like their tougher crimes probably wouldn’t flinch!) I thought it was excellent the way this was done, what better way to get characters into morbid, dark settings, than to have them want to venture there of their own free will? This added to your slowly bubbling sense of nervousness, you never knew if someone was waiting for Lana.

The suspense, the settings, both dark and light, were excellent, the characterisation perfection. In particular I adored her little man, Cooper, and her husband (whose name escapes me which is driving me nuts and apologies on this one, his story is as good as Lana’s) and a special mention has to go to a taxi driver who we meet later in the book (I won’t attempt to name him, as I don’t  don’t want to spell his name wrong, he deserves more than that!) I loved, as I always do, that actually, when it came down to it, Lana was rarely alone, she generally had a helping hand of some sort, which was excellent, as I’ve said before I don’t think a lead needs to be isolated to keep us worrying. The pacing was amazing, the settings so vividly drawn for us and so full of character that I was right there every step of the way, up until the outstanding climax that had every synapse firing. I adored this book so much and will be recommending it to anyone I know that even remotely likes thrillers. I’d love to say it should be made into a film but I don’t know that my nerves would take it. Excellent stuff and so, so, so (so!) recommended (go get!) Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5 (and very likely my thriller of the year!)

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All Fall Down by Tom Bale

 

allfalldown

Length: 359 pages

Note: The cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link

What they say:

It’s the perfect Sunday. Summer sunshine, a barbecue with the kids.
But a knock on the garden gate and two words, ‘HELP ME’, changes everything.

When loving parents Rob and Wendy Turner let a dying man into their home, and do their best to help him, they think pure chance led him to their house. But soon their lives are threatened in ways they could never have imagined … and then the first anonymous letter arrives, forcing them to question all they know.

Someone is watching.
Someone is waiting.
They will stop at nothing.

Rob and Wendy will do anything to keep their family safe, but their children Georgia, Josh and Evan are teenagers now, with their own hidden lives.

Everyone has secrets, but how can you save your family, if you don’t really know them?

The Review: I had seen this book on so many blogs and was chomping at the bit to get to it. From the start I was excited. There’s so many thrillers out there where whatever happens takes place when the lead is alone, and it was nice for it to take place at a family barbecue, when everyone was together and so there were witnesses. The ‘it’ is the stumbling of a homeless man who has been tortured into the garden. This more than set the scene and I was ready for a rough ride. I enjoyed Mr Bale’s storytelling, after worrying at the start that the writing wasn’t my cup of tea, as Rob, the lead, was too paranoid and wondered a bit too much about the homeless man, leading me to think that the ‘was there a message to all of this’ line of thinking was trying too hard to lead us. This flew in the face of times where we weren’t told things about the past that could have been alluded to earlier.  My other issue was that I found the story to be a bit disjointed at times, and I had to make notes on the many minor characters, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Saying that, this all quickly faded to grey as we followed Rob and his family away and came face to face with a group of nut jobs (well, they were!), who felt they had the right to do as they pleased to get all the power they felt they deserved. I had that muzzy feeling and tension headache that comes from being so deep into a book that you are walking alongside the characters absolutely terrified of what is going to happen next. This group of people wanted to push boundaries by seeing how they can physically hurt people and I knew the author was over a line that most of the thriller and crime writers that I read would toe, and it had me nervous of what I could actually read. I had some relief when some things DIDN’T happen but it was still a tough one. Saying that it was excellent, the story, the characters, the tension, and I read it in just two sittings (would have read in one but, you know, kid stuff;)) and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Highly recommend if you like the grit of a tough hostage situation where anything can go. Special mention for Tom Bale’s letter to the reader at the end-it will most definitely drive me on to his next book. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for this book in return for an honest review.
Rating:5/5