Monday, 30 August 2021

Book Review: OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW by Beatriz Williams



Author:  Beatriz Williams

Read: August 2021

Expected publication: out now



Book Description:



In the autumn of 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children. The world is shocked by the family’s sensational disappearance. Were they eliminated by the Soviet intelligence service? Or have the Digbys defected to Moscow with a trove of the West’s most vital secrets?

Four years later, Ruth Macallister receives a postcard from the twin sister she hasn’t seen since their catastrophic parting in Rome in the summer of 1940, as war engulfed the continent and Iris fell desperately in love with an enigmatic United States Embassy official named Sasha Digby. Within days, Ruth is on her way to Moscow, posing as the wife of counterintelligence agent Sumner Fox in a precarious plot to extract the Digbys from behind the Iron Curtain.

But the complex truth behind Iris’s marriage defies Ruth’s understanding, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet KGB officer forces them to make a heartbreaking choice between two irreconcilable loyalties.


My musings:


I can count on one hand the number of spy novels I have read, even though I do find the topic intriguing. But I have always found them very heavy on political agenda and brimming with macho, indestructible characters that are difficult to relate to. All these fears were unfounded with OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW, which showed that spies can come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life.


Inspired by the real life story of Donald MacLean and the Cambridge Five, a spy ring who passed on large amounts of sensitive information to Russia during the cold war, Williams created a tale that was both intriguing as well as full of heart. There are no indestructible macho heroes here but real life humans with fears and flaws. In fact, it was interesting to read about the alcohol fuelled binges and extramarital affairs by the upper-class members who made up the spy ring, and their downward spiral that would ultimately be their undoing. It was equally fascinating to see what motivated these people to betray their own country for an ideal of communism that is so far removed from the stark realities of life in the Soviet Union.


OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW was a book totally out of my comfort zone. I admit that I was sceptical, and struggled with the slow start to the book, which took its time to build the type of character development that turned out to be crucial to the rest of the story. But once the pawns were all set in motion and the real story began, I was hooked!


Iris and Ruth’s sister relationship was a huge driving force for the story, grounding it firmly in a deeply human topic of family, love and a sense of belonging, and quiet, underrated courage. With two female leads, the story explored the topic of espionage from a completely different angle: not from the men, who are written into the history books, but the effects on their wives, their families, and the roles they played in it. I can see why Williams was fascinated with this angle, because is it not always the unspoken of heroes in history that are the most intriguing? My main gripe with history lessons was always that you rarely heard about them – the ordinary people, the ones that kept the heart of society beating, that lived and suffered thought he wars and the battles, who lost and grieved loved ones, who managed to survive against all odds.


Whilst OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW has two timelines, one set at the beginning of WW2 and one in the 1950’s, it primarily focuses on the time of the cold war, a period not often encountered in historical fiction. It also features some real life characters, such as Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, two infamous members of the Cambridge Five. And even though Ruth, Iris and Sasha are entirely fictional characters, they fitted very well into this intriguing chapter in history. Williams goes one step further to include the POV of a Soviet KGB agent, who added extra depth to the story and also featured heavily in a clever twist towards the end, which certainly took me by surprise.


All in all, even though I found the start of the book a tiny bit slow, I was ultimately rewarded with a rich, intriguing tale of espionage seen through the eyes of twin sisters inadvertently caught up in a British spy ring. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author in future.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Book Review: BAD APPLES by Will Dean (Tuva Moodyson #4)



Author:  Will Dean

Publisher:  Oneworld Publications

Read: August 2021

Expected publication: 7 October 2021




Book Description:


It only takes one...

A murder

A resident of small-town Visberg is found decapitated

A festival

A cultish hilltop community ‘celebrates’ Pan Night after the apple harvest

A race against time

As Visberg closes ranks to keep its deadly secrets, there could not be a worse time for Tuva Moodyson to arrive as deputy editor of the local newspaper. Powerful forces are at play and no one dares speak out. But Tuva senses the story of her career, unaware that perhaps she is the story…


My musings:


If you’re looking for a creepy thriller with a gloomy, atmospheric setting this Halloween, then look no further! Noone writes a creepy forest better than Will Dean.


I’ve been a fan of the Tuva Moodyson series since the start and snapped up the book as soon as I could press “request” on Netgalley (thank you so much for granting me my wish!). Tuva, a journalist in a small remote Swedish town, stumbles once again into disaster when she comes across a decapitated corpse in the creepy forest surrounding the town. Even though it’s hard to believe, things go even further downhill from here. I love the way Dean’s mind works, and how he manages to create sinister scenes out of seemingly harmless everyday situations. For example, the image of the child biting into a rotten apple (mind the book’s title) was so creepy I am still thinking about it, and this was nothing compared to Dean’s other creations: the sinister trolls carved by the two creepy sisters, the balloons made out of animal intestines, the stuffed animals with dental work, a forest teeming with slugs and poisonous mushrooms etc etc. Dean writes in a way that brings all these nightmarish images to life like a dark creepy movie, and I loved every minute of it!


Dean has run with the Halloween topic and made it firmly his own. Though Halloween is celebrated by the children in Gavrik, the small neighbouring hilltown of Visberg has their own dark tradition: Pan Night. It makes Halloween a candyland paradise in comparison, because the happenings on Pan Night, to which only locals are invited, are very sinister indeed. And of course Tuva, who can never resist putting herself in danger, manages a sneak peak that will almost be her undoing.


Tuva is one of my favourite characters in crime fiction. Even though she is one tough cookie, Dean also manages to paint her vulnerable side: the grief for her deceased parents, her addictions, her deafness, her struggles with her sexuality. I was happy to see that she has not only made some great friends in Gavrik, but has also found love with Noora, grounding her somewhat. Being a journalist rather than a detective, Tuva leads us into the murder investigation from a completely different angle, which makes this series extra special to me.




All in all, BAD APPLES is another deliciously dark instalment in Will Dean’s Tuva Moodyson series, and maybe his creepiest yet? And even though he ending was wayyyyy out there, I loved the reel of dark and spooky images the book created in my mind. Coming out just in time for Halloween it’s the perfect spooky read to get into the spirit of the season – if you haven’t discovered this series yet, what are you waiting for?




Thank you to Netgalley and Oneworld Publications for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Book Review: FALSE WITNESS by Karin Slaughter



Author:  Karin Slaughter

Read: August 2021

Expected publication: out now

My Rating: 


Book Description:



Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised - her life is just as unremarkable as she'd always hoped it would be.


But Leigh's ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average... a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.


Then a case lands on her desk - defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It's the highest profile case she's ever been given - a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it's no coincidence that he's chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.


If she can't get him acquitted, she'll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice...

My musings:


Let me introduce my latest book hangover! Once I have gathered up the thousand pieces of my broken heart I may be able to read another book, but this gut wrenching story will stay in my mind for a long time to come. It was intense!


I have always looked for Slaughter’s books when I was in the mood for a dark, gritty thriller, but in FALSE WITNESS she also managed to sneak past all my defences as sisters Leigh and Callie fight a demon from their past. Not only was there murder, grit and mystery, but the sister relationship was so astutely and tenderly portrayed that it made me choke back tears many times. I also had to fight back an intense loathing for some of the other characters, putting me firmly into the sisters’ corner, no matter the dark secret that has shaped their lives. This roller coaster of emotions defined my reading journey, because every time I thought we were in safe waters I found that a raging waterfall was just around the corner. Talk about an adrenaline fuelled ride!


Anyone who has read Slaughter’s other books will know that she never shies away from the brutalities of life. She doesn’t beat around the bush. If you are triggered by anything ugly then this book is definitely not for you. Child abuse, paedophilia, drug addiction, murder, blackmail, guilt, trauma – it’s all there, and more. At times, it’s so violent and disturbing that you want to take a shower and just smell some flowers to get the darkness out of your head. Set in the present time also meant that Slaughter had to tackle the c-word, life in a covid world. It takes a skilled writer to bring the pandemic into her story without making it a main feature of the book, but here we just see people who are living with the reality of the virus, just as we are doing on a daily basis.


I can’t really say much more without giving anything away, except that the plot is so cleverly constructed that I fell for each and every red herring. I made my first assumption in the opening chapter and was promptly proven wrong, a theme that continued throughout the whole book. Having been emotionally totally sucked into the story, these moments winded me!




All in all, FALSE WITNESS is the type of dark, gritty story you have come to expect from Karin Slaughter, but it is also full of heart. Her portrayal of the sister relationship between Leigh and Callie is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. As the sisters battle a dark demon from their past, only their love and loyalty may give them a chance to get out of this alive. It was gut wrenching, graphic and emotionally exhausting but also one of the best thrillers I have read this year.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Book Review: STRANDED by Sarah Goodwin



Author:  Sarah Goodwin

Publisher:  Avon Books UK

Read: August 2021

Expected publication: 14 September 2021

My Rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ1/2


Book Description:


Eight strangers.
One island.
A secret you'd kill to keep.

When eight people arrive on the beautiful but remote Buidseach Island, they are ready for the challenge of a lifetime: to live alone for one year.

Eighteen months later, a woman is found in an isolated fishing village. She’s desperate to explain what happened to her: how the group fractured and friends became enemies; how they did what they must to survive until the boat came to collect them; how things turned deadly when the boat didn’t come…

But first Maddy must come to terms with the devastating secret that left them stranded, and her own role in the events that saw eight arrive and only three leave.

My musings:


For a long time, I was fascinated with the premise of reality TV shows like Survivor, until I found that they were more about bitching, backstabbing and forming alliances than actual survival skills and team work. Apparently this is what viewers like to see – go figure! If you are like me, and those things bring back all the bad memories about high school and some workplaces, then you may find this book super stressful to read. If you were one of the popular group who ruled the courtyard and inspired fear in the lesser mortals, you may also find it stressful – eventually.


I love how Sarah Goodwin has run with the theme and explored it all in depth. And be assured, bitching, backstabbing and forming alliances aside, there is plenty of survival to be had in STRANDED. It’s all that reality TV promised but never delivered (perhaps because no ethics committee would ever approve it), and despite biting my nails to the quick I appreciated the mounting tension and breath-holding levels of anxiety some of the scenes induced.


In a nutshell, STRANDED explores what happens when you put eight strangers together on a secluded island and let them sort out their own pecking order. If it’s one thing that the TV version of Survivor has shown us, it may not necessarily be the cleverest who win points, but the ones who can get the majority votes, even if they rule with bullying and threats. Maddy, with her history of a sheltered childhood, overprotective parents and home schooling, was never going to be well equipped for this type of power game, so as soon as she calls out the head bully, her fate is sealed. And if you think that someone in the group would stick up for the underdog, then think again – because suddenly Maddy finds herself out in the cold, fighting for survival. And the wilderness is the least of her problems ...


STRANDED was one of those books that totally took me by surprise. I was lured by the wilderness setting and found myself with a gripping, adrenalin-fuelled and tense read that was hard to put down. At times, it was also immensely frustrating as the voice of reason was overruled, time and time again. Even though Maddy was perhaps ill equipped for negotiation and getting her point across, it was easy to see how anyone could easily end up in her position. And once the die was cast, there was no going back. “Wow, that escalated fast”, I kept thinking, not realising that much worse was yet to come.





STRANDED is a book that speaks to both our inner survival instinct as well as addressing the question: “If the world as we knew it ended tomorrow, how well equipped would you be to survive?” It also confronts the theme of herd mentality and how easily we fall for power rather than reason. It’s a LORD OF THE FLIES, adult version, and just as brutal. For those easily triggered, some scenes may turn your stomach and give you nightmares, but then the end-of-the-world scenario isn’t ever going to be pretty either, is it? I loved the background information about all those skills necessary for survival our ancestors knew but most of us have long un-learned: foraging, how to grow a crop in the wilderness, how to build a basic shelter and most of all, how to be part of the natural environment and work with it. It’s a clever, original and heart-pounding story that will keep me mulling over some of its themes for a long time to come.





Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Book Review: APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty



Author:  Liane Moriarty

Publisher:  Pan Macmillan Australia

Read: August 2021

Expected publication: 14 September 2021

My Rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ all the stars!


Book Description:


From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now that they've sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to 'relax'. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud.

But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents' marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?


My musings:


Noone writes family dynamics quite like Liane Moriarty! In APPLES NEVER FALL, she takes us right into the heart of the Delaney family, whose life has always revolved around tennis. When the mother, Joy, disappears and her husband Stan falls under suspicion of having harmed her, her four adult children look back on their childhood and their parents’ marriage to see what they could have missed.


I loved the way Moriarty slowly uncovers the family’s inner workings, their secrets, their regrets, their loyalties and rivalries.  Whilst we mostly hear from the family members themselves, we also get snapshots of the siblings’ conversations and other moments observed by strangers and neighbours, which was an unusual and clever way of telling the story and deepening the mystery of Joy’s disappearance whilst also adding a unique angle. And who was the mysterious guest who had been staying with the Delaney’s? I was like the donkey following the carrot – always a step behind but so eager to get the answers!


As with Moriarty’s other books, APPLES NEVER FALL is a slow burning, character driven mystery that focuses more on interpersonal dynamics and relationships than the actual mystery itself. The thing I love most about Moriarty’s books is the way she lets us see deep inside her characters’ heads and explore the deepest darkest corners of their psyche. This gives each character a depth often missed in other novels - noone is black and white here but complex personalities with a history that has shaped them. I particularly loved the way all four siblings remember the same events slightly differently, and the way those occasions affected each and every one of them and directed their future lives to some degree. Families are complex, and Moriarty has nailed it! As the story progressed, I felt that I knew each of the characters intimately, with the exception of Stan, who remained an enigma to the very end – with good reason. This was a long, thick book and yet I mourned the loss of each character as I closed that last page.


If I had any gripes, I thought that the last chapters could have been cut out to leave it at the solution to the central mystery without that final “twist” and the inclusion of covid, both of which added little to the story for me and somehow didn’t quite fit the rest of the tale (just made the book longer). However, the rest of the book was still a solid 5 star read, one I enjoyed immensely and which touched my heart.





In summary, APPLES NEVER FALL was the type of unputdownable character driven story I have come to expect from Liane Moriarty, and I enjoyed every stolen moment I could spare between work and chores to escape into it. Focusing on family dynamics, it contained everything I love in her books: strong enigmatic characters, a quintessentially Australian setting, a compelling mystery and that subtle tongue-in-cheek Aussie humour that always gets lost when someone decides to turn her books into a TV series. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it kept me glued to its almost 500 pages right until the end.




Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Book Review: YOU by Caroline Kepnes


Title: YOU

Author:  Caroline Kepnes

Read: July 2021



Book Description:


When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

My musings:


Why did I wait so long to read this book? Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down!


Writing snarky, twisted and yet believable characters is an art form mastered by very few. I am generally not fond of getting the POV of a sociopathic killer, because very often they are either stereotypes, or utterly despicable, or both. But not Joe. Joe is something else entirely. I admit that I haven’t had this much enjoyment out of getting into the head of a twisted sociopath since Jane in JANE DOE, or Lily in THE KIND WORTH KILLING. Is it safe to admit that I even cheered Joe on at times, or does that make me an accomplice in his crimes?


Not only has Kepnes nailed the portrayal of an obsessive stalker, but she also does so in a format that has never worked well for me in any other book. Because the whole story is narrated through Joe’s POV, as if he is talking to the object of his affection / obsession, the almost equally dysfunctional but beautiful Beck. In effect, we, the readers, not only get a deep insight into Joe’s disturbed psyche, but almost feel as if Joe is talking about us, or to us, making it an emotionally much deeper and more personal experience. Also, Joe is funny! His cynical, sarcastic but honest thought processes, especially those concerning the nasty people standing between him and Beck, were often laugh-loud-loud hilarious. As were the many obstacles that popped up every time he almost got what he wanted – to get Beck into bed with him. Joe is not holding back in using obscenities or explicit sexual content to tell his tale, and whilst this is usually a complete turn-off for me, it strangely worked here. Caroline Kepnes, what kind of magic spell have you cast over me?


Through Joe’s eyes, the other characters soon took on a life of their own. Beck, certainly. But also her manipulative friend Peach, or Benji, the object of her affection, or Nicky, who should have known better. Perhaps it was easy to overlook Joe’s homicidal tendencies because each and every one of his adversaries was so flawed and unlikeable. I admit I didn’t want him to be caught. Even though I knew he would be one creepy dude in real life. But somehow Joe wormed his way into my psyche and his flawed logic made – not sense, exactly – but at least for a compelling argument.





In summary, I was as obsessed with reading this book almost in a single sitting as Joe was with trying to get Beck into bed. Joe really was one of a kind! It’s difficult to say why all the things that are usually a turn-off for me in a book (the POV of the sociopathic killer, the unusual story telling format, the swearing, the sex) strangely worked well here. It’s a credit to Caroline Kepnes to have come up with one of the most enigmatic and funny sociopath in modern crime fiction. I immensely enjoyed this book and will definitely read the next in the series – soon.





Monday, 2 August 2021

Book Review: HOSTAGE by Clare Mackintosh



Author:  Clare Mackintosh

Read: July 2021

Expected publication: out now

My Rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ


Book Description:


Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina's assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

My musings:


Clare Mackintosh is one of my auto-buy authors and I would line up to read one of her shopping lists, so I was doing a little happy dance when I first heard that her new book would be released mid-year. Despite this, the book and I were off to a rocky start. Firstly, I got a “computer says no” message from Netgalley and – oh horror – I had to wait a few agonising months for the publishing date. Then I thought – hey, audio would be great, it would make my commute so much more fun! Only to find that the narrator was about as exciting as listening to a lecture on the life of a garden snail. Heads up, there are about 100 characters in the book and the monotone voice of the narrator made them all blend into bland same-ness, totally confusing me. Not to be easily deterred, I then went out and bought the book to settle in for a great read. And I must say that Mackintosh knows how to start her novels with a bang – quite literally. I was going to be in for a treat!


I can see you looking at my three star universe and anticipating the “however”. It’s one of those books that left me feel torn. I wanted to love it, escape into it. And I did love some aspects of the story and the way the author initially built tension and included the POV of several passengers on the doomed plane. As a locked-door, claustrophobic setting the 20-hour non-stop flight was just perfect and held so much potential to be truly terrifying. I also really appreciated getting an insight into the life of an airhostess, especially trying to balance such a demanding job with motherhood and marriage. I found Mina to be an enigmatic and interesting character for most of the book. Mackintosh is a great writer and she knows how to slowly hook her readers and make her characters come to life. So why did I feel underwhelmed?


Despite (or maybe because of) the multitude of current affairs issues the author packs into her story, it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. You will hear about the pitfalls of adoption, addiction, marriage problems, parenthood, mummy-guilt, climate change, extremism, childhood trauma, grooming, infertility and probably others I missed. The plot, which in itself could have been thrilling, is practically being drowned in not-so-subtle messages about things we see every day on the news. All that was missing was the pandemic. And to be honest, I would have found it more believable if a bunch of anti-vaxxers had threatened to blow up the plane. Adam’s narrative added very little to the plot for me and fitted too many stereotypes to make him believable. The scenes on the plane were just bit too much over the top dramatic and some of the other passengers’ stories just hung there without context. And the final “killer twist” that hallmarks most of the author’s books was so far-fetched that it merely induced an eye roll from me.




In summary, I felt that the book needed some serious editing. Pick three issues and concentrate on them rather than just about every first-world problem we have right now. That way, Mina’s decision under pressure could have included a bit more soul searching before she went with Option B in the famous trolley dilemma. Adam could have been a normal bloke and father, and it would have made zero difference to the plot and been more believable than the stereotype he had to live up to. I could go on, but that would give spoilers and I would hate to take away any reading pleasure from others who can enjoy the story without analysing it too much.


Ah well. *Shrug* Not every book can be winner for everyone and this one just missed the mark for me. But will I line up to read Mackintosh’ next book? Most definitely! 

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Book Review: WHEN YOU ARE MINE by Michael Robotham



Author:  Michael Robotham

Read: July 2021

Expected publication: out now

My Rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ all the stars!


Book Description:


Philomena 'Phil' McCarthy is a promising young officer in the London Metropolitan police.

But everything changes when she is called to the scene of a domestic assault. Unbeknownst to her, the abuser is a decorated detective and Phil's efforts to protect his girlfriend - Tempe Brown - from violence result in Phil being unjustly struck from the force.

In the fallout, Phil begins to teach Tempe self-defence and they strike up a tentative friendship. Tempe is thoughtful and sweet, and within a matter of weeks the two women are inseparable - talking, socialising and confiding their deepest secrets in one another. But something isn't right...


My musings:


Give me some paracetamol and a berocca, I’ve got a serious book hangover!

There aren’t many authors who can make me read all through the night and stumble to work bleary eyed and in a fog, still mulling over the characters and the story – but Michael Robotham is definitely one of them! The description of “heart pounding psychological thriller about friendship and obsession” on the blurb sums it up pretty well. But it’s also about justice, revenge, family loyalty and trying to do “the right thing” in the face of adversity. With Robotham’s uncanny eye for detail and the secret machinations of the human psyche, he lets his enigmatic young protagonist Philomena (“Phil”) take us by the hand and pull us into a story that is simply unputdownable. I always know when a book is excellent when the boundaries between fiction and reality blur and I have to re-orientate myself to my own room, in my own house, the characters still drifting like smoke in the corners, unwilling to leave.


I’m not going to tell you anything about the plot – read the blurb if you must, but the less you know the better. Robotham is an author I lay my trust in to lead me on a wondrous journey no matter what, and I like to take the surprises as I find them, no expectations, no preconceptions. Phil is one of those characters who will stay with me like a hint of my own lost idealistic youth. I cheered her on, I grieved for her, I felt as if I was in her head. Robotham’s books are all about their characters, the way they interact, their decision-making, the friendships and relationships that feature prominently, be it between lovers, friends, family or enemies. And woven into these dynamics is a clever, multi-layered plot that kept me guessing right to the end.


Lovers of clever, psychological thrillers, do yourself a favour and read this book. Robotham never fails to impress. Highly recommended.