Book Review: Thieves by Steven Max Russo @DownAndOutBooks #Thieves #booksonthebookshelf #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger

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PUBLISHER: Down & Out Books

PUBLICATION DATE: November 12th, 2018

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Thank you to the author, Steven Max Russo, for contacting me and gifting me a free e-copy of Thieves to read and review.

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SYNOPSIS: 

Esmeralda works for a housecleaning service during the day and as a restaurant hostess at night. Just out of high school, she is the sole support for her mother and two young siblings.

She has drive and ambition. What she doesn’t have is money.

She knows of a home in the upscale town of Mendham, NJ, that will be empty for more than a month. The rich people who live there go away the same time every year to spend time at their vacation home. Having cleaned the house, she also knows it contains a fair amount of cash and valuables.

Sitting with Ray, one of her co-workers one night, she casually mentions a “what if” scenario; Ray tells Skooley, a white trash drifter who recently moved to New Jersey from south Florida, and a plan is hatched.

It isn’t long before Esmeralda finds herself trapped by both circumstance and greed, forced to try and defend herself against one of her partners in crime, who she quickly discovers is far more dangerous than she ever thought possible.

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MY REVIEW:

First of I love the cover of the book. So creepy, and fits so very well with the story. I love it!

This book is addicting from the very beginning. At the beginning of the book we read about a man who has been captured and is being tortured for information. Once his captors are convinced they have received all of the information they can get from this man, he is killed.

The story continues with two men – Skooley and Ray – who work together to commit a crime – they hatch a plan to break into a home they suspect will have a lot of money and various valuables. Only, greed and suspicion comes into play, pitting one man against the other.

Unable to trust one another to work together and claim their share together in the robbery, they turn on one another. This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, as you turn the pages to unravel the story.

This book is full of a lot of action, suspense, and bone-chilling revelations. I enjoyed reading this book, and it was very fast-paced and chilling!

Thank you for reading my review, and I hope you enjoy this book!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

 

 

 

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Book Review: Closer by K.L. Slater @bookouture @KimLSlater @NetGalley #Closer #booksonthebookshelf #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger

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PUBLISHER: Bookouture

PUBLICATION DATE: October 24th, 2018

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Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for the free eARC copy of this book to read and review. I am a fan of K.L. Slater and was thrilled to have received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

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SYNOPSIS:

I know my daughter better than I know myself and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment: it’s that Maisie is not ok. 

My ex-husband Shaun and I are still friends. 
We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie
But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne and suddenly, Maisie has a brand new family. 
And there’s something not quite right about it…I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen. 
I need to discover what she’s hiding. 
Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger. 

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MY REVIEW:

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It was written in such a way to grab your attention and demand it the whole way through to the end.

Emma is concerned that there is something upsetting her daughter Maisie but she is not quite sure what it is. She has tried talking to her ex-husband Shaun about her concerns, but he simply will not listen. She has even confided in her boss, Joanne, only to later find out that he boss Joanne is her ex-husband’s new girlfriend! As if that wasn’t awkward enough, things get worse!  Emma suspects that Joanne and her daughter Piper are to blame for her own daughter Maisie’s change in attitude and behaviour. But what could possibly be going on?

Emma suspects that Joanne’s daughter Piper is bullying Maisie and making her feel the way she does, but Joanne is adamant that her “perfect” daughter wouldn’t do such a thing. So what is truly happening? Who can Emma believe?

I did not see the ending coming! Wow what a great twist!

If you like a book that will keep you turning the pages and guessing to the very end, then look no further! This is the book for you to read.

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

 

 

Book Review: While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins @HarperCollinsUK @NetGalley @AtkinsDani #booksonthebookshelf #WhileIWasSleeping #bookreview #bookblog #bookreviewer #bookblogger #NetGalley

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PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster UK

PUBLICATION DATE: August 23rd, 2018

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Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with a free eARC copy of this book to read and review and share with my social media followers.

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SYNOPSIS: 

I don’t remember what happened or what has changed.

I can still hear your voices but you can’t seem to hear me.

I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

Now I have to find a way back – to you, to our family, to us.

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MY REVIEW:

Three words to describe this book – emotional, heart-breaking, powerful!

This book! Wow! I literally had to put this book down on several occasions to gather my thoughts and to digest what I was reading before being able to carry on with the book! I felt so many different emotions while reading this book – there were moments when I was upset, sad, angry, mad, frustrated, happy, you name it…I felt it… This book had me feeling all the feelings.

There were times I wanted to yell at the different characters, cry along with them and feel their sorrow and their pain. Give them a hug in their time of need, empathise and sympathise with them…. Oh so many emotions!

This book is written in two different timelines, past and present, and from different points of view.

The first section is written from the main character Maddie’s point of view. She is pregnant, in love, and due to be married. Due to a tragic car accident she enters into a coma and when she suddenly and unexpectedly wakes up thinks thinks can resume as they were – with her happily in love with the man of her dreams, Ryan.  Only to find out that while she was ‘sleeping’, time waited for no one.

The second section is written from Chloe’s point of view. A helper in the hospital who gives her time to the various patients in the hospital, reading to them, brushing their hair, chatting with them, etc. Chloe and Maddie’s paths cross while Maddie is ‘sleeping’ in her coma and their lives become intertwined.

The final section is a combination of Maddie and Chloe’s points of view.

You cannot help feeling so many different emotions while reading this book, and without giving too much away and giving away spoilers, you’ll have to read this highly emotional book for yourself. But trust me, it is definitely worth the read. But be warned – this book is amazingly emotional, powerful, and full of heartbreak!

Definitely one of my favourite books I have read this year! This was the first book I have read by this author and it definitely will not be my last!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: Abandoned (Max Revere #5) by Allison Brennan @MinotaurBooks @Allison_Brennan#Abandoned #booksonthebookshelf #partner #bookreview #bookblogger #bookreviewer #bookblog

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PUBLISHER: Minotaur Books

PUBLICATION DATE: August 14th, 2018

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Thank you to Minotaur Books for gifting me with a beautiful hardcover copy of this book to read and share my review with my followers.

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SYNOPSIS:

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she’s never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother’s story unfolds, she realises that Martha teamed up with a con man. They travelled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important–and most dangerous–mystery of her career.

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MY REVIEW:

Riveting, suspenseful, addicting! This book grabs your attention and keeps you hooked from the very beginning. This was the first book I have read by Allison Brennan and I was very impressed. She has a fabulous style of writing that keeps the reader engaged and hooked in the storyline.

Although this is book #5 in the Max Revere series it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the previous 4 books and it was no problem to follow the storyline. However, after reading this novel I definitely am interested in reading the previous 4 books following Max Revere’s character. She is one bad ass woman and I loved that! We need more books with a dominant female character as the main character in the book and this book was definitely one of those!

It was interesting to read about Max’s past with her mother Martha and get an understanding of what life with her mother Martha was like. At a very young age she was left with her grandparents, whom she never knew or met before, with her mother promising to be back at a later time.

Fast forward to the present and Max is determined to uncover the truth of what truly happened to her mother all those years ago. Why did she disappear. Did something happen to her? Did she purposely go into hiding so no one could find her? Had she done something awful that she was afraid someone would find her?

In her search to uncover the truth, Max meets a man named Gabriel. She is convinced he is hiding something and Max believes her knows more about her mother than he is letting on. But what could he possibly be hiding? Max is determined to uncover the truth. Max gets the feeling that this man Gabriel is nervous and spooked by the fact that Max is in town asking questions about her mother, but why?

This book is written in different timelines – the past and the present. Parts are written from Max’s point of view, parts are written by her mother Martha’s point of view, parts are written by Gabriel’s point of view, parts are written from a few more characters’ points of view. The various POV’s in the book give us a clearer understanding of what is going on and it wasn’t difficult to follow along at all.

Overall, without giving too much away about the book, I absolutely loved this book! It was addictive from the very beginning and I found myself unable to put it down. There were so many things going on in the book I kept wanting to read more and more to see what would happen next.

A complex set of characters in the book add to the greatness of this story. Max was a very fun character to read about, she was a badass woman with determination, drive, wit and charm.

If you love a good crime novel, then definitely read this book. I am sure you will not be disappointed!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Party by Lisa Hall @HQstories @LisaHallAuthor @HarperCollinsCa #TheParty #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: HQ

PUBLICATION DATE: July 12th, 2018

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Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me a beautiful ARC paperback copy of The Party by Lisa Hall to read and review.

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SYNOPSIS:

It was just a party. But it turned into a nightmare.

When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?

Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.

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MY REVIEW: 

The Party was the first book I have read by Lisa Hall and I was excited to read this one when I received a copy from Harper Collins Canada. The synopsis sounded like a kind of book I would love, and I was not wrong! This book guys! I love a good who-done-it kind of book, and what better than one where the main character has no memory of the night in question.

Rachel, the main character, attends a New Years Eve party at her friends house with her husband Gareth and some of their friends. Rachel wakes up the morning after the party in one of the bedrooms at her friends house who held the party. But where is her husband Gareth? And why is she only half dressed? Convinced that someone bad, really bad, has happened she begins to panic when she realises she has no memory of anything that happened.

The book continues with alternating timelines, some parts are the night of the party, some parts are after the party. We learn that during the New Years Eve party, conversations are flowing, fun is being had, and alcoholic drinks are being consumed. But why can’t Rachel remember what exactly happened that night?

She is determined to get her memory back and remember what exactly happened that night, and she tries to ask her husband and various friends to tell her exactly what they remember in an attempt to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Will Rachel be able to find the person who can give her the answers she seeks? Did something truly terrible happen that night? And if so, what was it? Who is responsible?

A great book where the main character is unreliable at best, as she was drinking and her memory is patchy. I had a few theories on what happened and who was responsible, and I enjoyed the fact that I was wrong a few times, as it kept me on the edge of my seat and second guessing everything.

A great read! Make sure to add this to your to be read list.

Happy reading!

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Blog Blitz & Book Review: The Doll Collector by Joanna Stephen-Ward @OperaLover12 @Bloodhoundbook #TheDollCollector #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #blogblitz

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PUBLISHER: Bloodhound Books

PUBLICATION DATE: November 20th, 2018

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Thank you to Emma Welton from Bloodhound Books and the author for inviting me to take part in the exciting Blog Blitz for The Doll Collector by Joanna Stephen-Ward.

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SYNOPSIS:

Murders that look like accidents. An accident that looks like murder.

A couple and their young son burn to death in a house fire.

A girl dies from a nut allergy.

A woman falls under a train during the rush hour.

An accountant falls down the steps to his basement.

Their deaths appear to be accidents but Gloria knows they were murdered because she murdered them. And every time Gloria kills she buys a doll.

But how many dolls will she need to keep her satisfied?

When Gloria takes a room as a lodger her behaviour starts to spin out of control. Gloria wants love and happiness and friendship and she will do anything she can to get what she wants…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joanna Stephen-Ward

Joanna Stephen-Ward was born in the Australian outback, and grew up in Melbourne. Her school days were spent dreaming about being an opera singer or a writer. To the exasperation of her parents and teachers she spent her final year sitting at the back of the classroom writing a novel set in WW2.

When she left school she went to an opera school where she was taught drama, movement and language pronunciation and had small roles in the workshop productions. She was not good enough to become a professional opera singer, but the seeds of her novel Vissi d’arte were sown.

She left Australia and spent a year travelling around Europe and the UK. While working in outpatients for the NHS she met Peter and they married in 1985. They lived in Richmond Surrey and she worked at The National Archives, an enthralling place for anyone interested in history or crime.

Having been brought up as a lonely only child, she was astonished to discover in 2010 that she was one of eight children. She and her sister had last been together on a verandah in the outback when they were babies. They had a joyous reunion in Cornwall in 2012.

Joanna has written seven novels and is working on her eighth.

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CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads|Blog

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FOLLOW US ON THE BLOG BLITZ:

The Doll Collector banner

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MY REVIEW: 

Twisted, dark, and sociopathic. Three words to describe Gloria, the main character in the book.

She clearly has issues that she needs to get addressed…. Like, yesterday! She kills people when she feels they have wronged her in some way or another, when they simply find her boring, call her names like fat or ugly, or simply just because she feels like it. And then, once she kills them, she purchases a doll and gives the doll the name of the person she has killed, and then keeps the dolls as part of a collection similar to how one would collect a “trophy” of sorts, to commemorate how she murdered that person. Creepy right?

Gloria was a very unlikable character who is disturbed. You never know what she is going to do next or even when or if she will turn on someone. She was a bitter, mean person but it was interesting to read about the way she thinks. She was truly despicable. But that made the story all that more interesting to read.

I enjoyed the book and its dark and twisty turns throughout. You never knew when Gloria would turn on the next person, or what crazy thing she would do next.

If you enjoy thrillers and characters with a dark side to them, definitely add this book to your list of books to read.

Thank you for reading my review and for checking out my stop on this blog blitz. I hope you enjoy the book!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: The Sacrifice – Short Stories: Volume 1 by Indrajit Garai

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PUBLICATION DATE: August 25th, 2016

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SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads):

In this collection, meet: 
Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child; young Matthew, who stakes his life to save his home; and François, who makes the biggest sacrifice to rescue his grandson.

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MY REVIEW:

The Sacrifice is a collection of three short stories – The Move, The Listener, The Sacrifice. All of these stories have a common theme to them. They all center around giving up something for someone or something else, and making sacrifices.

All three stories are heartwarming and make you think as you are reading along. We are introduced to several characters in the stories, and each of the main characters have a story to tell. Whether they are making a sacrifice for someone else, or for something they care about, all the stories relate to a sacrifice of some sort.

The stories will not only make you think as you read along, but will make you feel many different emotions as well. A unique collection of stories, that was quite interesting to read.

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MY RATING: 3/5 stars

 

 

 

Book Review: The Taming of Lions by Danie Jaye #TheTamingofLions #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger

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PUBLISHER: Three L’s Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE: March 20th, 2018

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Thank you to the author Danie Jaye for gifting me a beautiful paperback copy of this book. All opinions are my own and are no way influenced.

SYNOPSIS:

“I was once a lion tamer…Or was it that I herded sheep?”-is the burning question etched in Charlie Gates’ mind. For a man who forgets things so easily, he seems to have an even easier time recalling memories of a life that wasn’t exactly his-or was it? Struggling to piece together the uncertainty of his past, he stumbles across a young man named Edward who is struggling with an uncertainty of his own-his future. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Charlie soon discovers that the life he always wanted was in some way the life he always had; and that sometimes the fictional parts of who we are, have a tendency of bringing out the truth in ourselves.

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MY REVIEW: 

Beautiful, endearing, captivating story! Three words to describe this book.

This book was wonderfully written and tells a beautiful story of a man named Charlie Gates. Every morning Charlie finds himself sitting on the same bench in a park, as he contemplates life and recalls memories of his life experiences. Often getting confused with his past, as his memory isn’t what it used to be, it makes Charlie’s character quite an unreliable character, as you determine which of Charlie’s memories are truth and which are actually fiction.

One day while sitting on this park bench contemplating life, Charlie meets a young man named Edward who is uncertain of his future. They get to talking, and quickly grow a friendship of sorts, often debating life together and giving one another advice.

Why does Charlie sit on this same park bench day in and day out? Charlie says he is waiting for someone, who knows to meet him here at this exact park bench, but says she never shows.

There were several emotional points in this book that brought tears to my eyes. I really enjoyed Charlie’s character, and found myself liking him greatly as a person. He has been through a lot in his life, and he was a wonderful character in the book. The Taming of Lions is such a beautifully written story about life, one’s life experiences and how they make us the person that we grow to be.

I highly recommend this book! A fabulous must-read that everyone should add to their to-be-read list. I am highly anticipating the second novel in this series.

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston @disneybooks #TheLyingWoods #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookbog #bookblogger

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PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion 

PUBLICATION DATE: November 13th, 2018

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Thank you to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley for providing me with a free digital copy of this book to read. The book cover is so beautiful, let’s take a moment to appreciate it! 🙂

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SYNOPSIS:

 

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees’ retirement accounts, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.

Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father’s crimes. It’s bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac–and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.

Owen’s only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets–and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past–and write a better future.

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MY REVIEW:

 

Forced to leave the elite boarding school he has attended for the past several years, Owen has no choice but to withdraw from the school and return to the family home with his mother. Owen and his mother are shunned from the members of their community as a result of the crimes his father has committed.

I enjoyed the story overall in the book. The story is told from Owen’s point of view in the present but also from Noah’s point of view in the past, who is Owen’s Dad, which made it interesting to read from the two different timelines and from their different perspectives. Another character I quite enjoyed reading about was Gus whom Noah and Owen worked for.

It was interesting reading Owen’s point of view as it is refreshing to see things from a child’s perspective. I enjoyed his personality and his determination to uncover the truth about what really happened.

Reading from the views of the past as told by Noah was interesting as well, and we get glimpses into his life and when he first met Owen’s mother. We read about their love story which was nice to get a glimpse into.

Overall, I found that the two different timelines of Owen and his father Noah tied together nicely to tell the story of what truly happened.

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MY RATING: 3/5 stars

 

Book Review: Gone Astray (DC Maggie Neville #1) by Michelle Davies @M_Davieswrites @PGCbooks @panmacmillan #GoneAstray #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #partner

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PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan

PUBLICATION DATE: October 20th, 2016

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Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a beautiful paperback copy of this book! I love a good police procedural, detective type book and was thrilled to have received a copy of this one.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

What if someone thinks they deserve their life more than you?

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . . 

Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million EuroMillions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives – and friends – as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams. 

But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone. 

DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life – a secret from the past that could shatter everything she’s worked so hard to build.

As Lesley and Maggie desperately try to find Rosie, their fates hurtle together on a collision course that threatens to end in tragedy . . . 

Money can’t buy you happiness.
The truth could hurt more than a lie.
One moment really can change your life forever.

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MY REVIEW: 

 

Gripping, thrilling and powerfully captivating!

Gone Astray was written in alternating chapters from three different point of views – Lesley, the distraught mother whose teenage daughter is missing, Maggie, the Family Liason Officer assigned to support the family, and an unknown person who is disturbed and upset that somehow he has been wronged by the Kinnock family and is hell bent on making them pay!

I enjoyed how the three alternating point of views in the story all tied together and came together nicely in a way to tell the complete story. It was interesting to read from each character’s point of view and to get a glimpse into their personalities, and the way that they think and view things. All characters in this novel are complex and flawed at best, which made for quite the interesting read.

Can you imagine winning so much money from the lottery and having all sorts of people calling you, mailing you, messaging you, etc? It must have been the Kinnock’s worst nightmare to realize their daughter is missing because someone felt wronger by them, and decided to make them suffer as a result, all due to the fact that the Kinnock family won this money. Their new found financial freedom and happiness is short lived as their biggest fears and nightmares come true. All they want is their daughter back, safe where she belongs.

I found myself immersed in this storyline as I was curious to find out what happened to the Kinnock’s daughter and if she would be found safe and unharmed. I had my theories on who was responsible, only to be proven over and over that my initial suspicions were wrong. I love books that make you think and this book certainly did just that! I was hooked to find out who the responsible person was.

We are introduced to a lot of different characters in this book, and in my eyes everyone was a suspect. Who could the Kinnock family trust? Could they trust their friends? Could they trust their daughter’s friends? Their neighbours? Who could you turn to when you are not sure who you could trust?

Will they be able to find out exactly what happened before it is too late? Be sure to read this novel to find out! A must read!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars