The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

My Rating: 5 Stars



Date finished: 18/06/2020



Date published: 05/02/2019




Synopsis from Goodreads:




Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...


My Review: 

Why oh why did I wait so long to read this one?! I kept looking at it, and thinking, I will buy and read this book eventually! I have such a huge collection of books I try not to buy too many at the moment! This is my favourite read of 2020 so far. I read this book in two evenings, so overall it took me about 5.5 hours to read. It was absolutely brilliant. 

If you are looking for a book that you really cannot put down and something a little different from all the other average thriller type books out there, then this is the book for you. This had the most brilliant twist that I haven't seen coming for such a long time. It is so well written and the pages flow so effortlessly. You just cannot put it down. It was all I could think about until I finished it. And once I had finished it, I wanted to tell everyone about the book and the twist. 

Overall, my best book of 2020. I don't have much else to say other than please read it! You won't be disappointed. 

Happy reading :)


The Deep by Alma Katsu

My Rating: 4 Stars



Date Finished: 06/06/2020



Date Published: 10/03/2020




Goodreads Synopsis: 




Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner's illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers - including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher - are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not - could not - have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . 


My Review: 

I kept reading reviews for this book on some Facebook groups I follow surrounding horror novels so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. I kept checking the price for it on Amazon on a weekly basis and as soon as it dropped to just under £10, I snatched it. I began reading it as soon as it arrived in the post. 

The book is quite a hefty size, around 400+ pages, however, the writing is quite a big font so it works out quite easy to read in that sense and probably isn't quite as long as you first think. I really enjoyed reading all the ins and outs of the Titanic throughout the novel. I am not a historian of any kind and I actually reading historical fiction however, things surrounding the Titanic always catch my eye. I think the Titanic and it's story catches alot of peoples eyes. 

The novel isn't particularly fast paced, I would say I read this at a pretty average pace. The characters were very interesting and I loved reading about each one of them. Although some may see Annie Hebbley as the main character, there was a large chunk of the book that wasn't surrounding her. 

I really had no idea which direction this book was going to go in and how it related to the Titanic. There was some strange goings on throughout but I felt that they were never amounting to anything. I would have given this book 5 stars however I felt that the eventual ending and what really happened in the end fell short of this. It wasn't what I was expecting in the end and really fell short of what this book could have been. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different in the world of the Titanic. I wouldn't class this as an all out horror novel at all. Maybe a bit mysterious but that's all. 

Happy reading :) 

The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure by Carolyn Arnold

My Rating: 4 Stars



Date finished: 21/06/2020




Date Published: 22/06/2020






Synopsis from Goodreads: 


The beam of his flashlight bounces off the walls but does little to brighten the hidden room he just found. In the corner is a centuries-old desk. His heart hammering, he walks over to it and opens the top drawer. What he finds inside will change his future—and the world’s—forever.
 
For centuries, the existence of Spanish pirate José Gaspar has been relegated to legend, but archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor and his two best friends may have just found reason to believe the buccaneer truly existed. They’re in Washington, DC, to mark the opening of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History when a mysterious stranger turns up claiming he may hold the key to the mythical pirate’s treasure and invites them to join in his quest to find it.
 
Rumored to have sailed and plundered the Gulf of Mexico and the Spanish Main during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Gaspar would have amassed a vast fortune. But with only the stranger’s word and a token of proof, Matthew is intrigued but not sold—until it becomes personal. There’s an interested third party, and they’re willing to kill for the pirate’s bounty.
 
What ensues is a globe-trotting adventure that will take Matthew and his friends across the world and back again. Danger lurks around every corner as does betrayal, suspicion, and murder. Can anyone be trusted, and will they survive long enough to find out?


My review: 

Before I start my review, I would like to say thank you for the publisher, Hibbert and Stiles for sending me an advanced copy of this book. 

This is the third book in the Matthew Connor series; an action packed novel following the myth of Spanish pirate Jose Gaspar, or is it? I have read all three books in the Connor series and each one has kept my expectations high. Arnold is a fantastic writer and I have read a large quantity of her crime novels. The Conner series just goes to show that Arnold can put her hand at another type of genre and still keep the same level of writing, action and suspense. 

The novel picks up where we left off and follows archaeologist Matthew Connor attending an exhibition to promote his book series which catalogues his adventures. Following the adventure, Connor meets Professor Mel Wolf and eventually agrees to a new adventure; the search for Gasparilla's treasure. Following on from this, the book follows the view points of several characters including those from the previous book and some new characters such as Daniel. We get some back story of the characters whilst also following the adventure. I enjoy reading a bit of back story of characters as I feel this really creates some extra atmosphere to the novel. 

What I also really enjoy about Arnold's writing is that she really does her research. There was lots of twists and turns throughout and the overall book really kept me hooked. It was another great, fast paced page turner of a book. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series and I hope that Arnold really keeps up the level of action and expectation. I would also recommend that you read the other books in this series and not just pick this one up straight off. The novel does have flashbacks between the other novels. But it is definitely worth the wait and time to read all books in the series; you won't be disappointed! 

Happy reading :) 


Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold

My Rating: 4 Stars





Date finished: 15/02/2020




Date published: 18/02/2020




Synopsis from Goodreads: 


Some consequences can’t be predicted…

A sniping takes place in Arlington, Virginia, less than fifteen minutes from Washington, D.C., and nets several minor injuries but only one casualty. FBI Agent Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit are called in to determine if the threat is still active and whether they’re looking at an act of terrorism, an isolated incident, or the first in a planned series of shootings. All that seems clear from the ground is they’re looking for a skilled sniper who is former military.

As the FBI investigates, one possible motive has Brandon battling his own demons as the consequences of past choices resurface with a vengeance. He will come to discover how one decision can not only haunt us for the rest of our lives, but spread out and have long- and far-reaching repercussions we couldn’t even begin to imagine.

Past Deeds will have you joining the FBI in following clues and unraveling the psyche of a killer. This book will make you think and reflect—and you just might wonder if any past decisions you’ve made are stalking you, ready to strike.


My Review: 

This is the eighth book in the FBI Brandon Fisher series and one of many of the books in the series I have read. I always enjoy any book that Arnold releases and this one was no exception. Arnold's writing is very fast paced and I always like the characters/plot that she writes about. What Arnold does do very well is that she can write about male and female characters just as well as the other. Some authors tend to pick just one sex to write about as that's their strength, but Arnold does both so well. 

The plot follows the sniping of a federal prosecutor and Jack Harper's team are called in to investigate following a special request. The plot then follows the motivation behind the snipers killing; is it a terrorist attack? Were they hired? The story develops each character very well and also around the relationship between Brandon and Paige as Jack yet again forces them together. Brandon is such a well written character within the pages and the whole plot itself makes you get through those pages so fast. The book is well written overall and although this is the eighth book in the series, there is no worry that they are getting boring or are going to drop down a notch in the action. 

I think the only thing for me when reading the Brandon Fisher series by Arnold, and the reason for my 4 stars and not 5 stars, is that I whole heartedly prefer the Maddison Knight series. This is just a complete preference by myself and does not mean that one book is better than the other. I really do look forward to each time the next book in both series comes out and this will be no different.

Overall, Arnold writes with great detail and texture in her books. They always start off fast paced and they always keep you gripped throughout. This was no different. I will always recommend Arnold to anyone who loves a good fast paced crime thriller. 

Happy reading. 

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

My Rating: 3 Stars




Date Finished: 20/09/19




Date Published:18/06/19




Goodreads Synopsis:



It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods...


My Review: 

I have read the Alice series by Henry and really enjoyed that but haven't yet been sparked to read the other books she has released such as the little mermaid take or Peter Pan take. This one however, I did really fancy reading. The Alice series has a lot going for it and I feel as though the other books may never live up to how good that was. The Girl in Red was a good read but as I thought, didn't live up to Alice. 

This felt like a mixture of Henry's usual idea of fairytale turned horror mixed in with some post-apocalyptic take on the genre. So while the world is dying, Red makes the decision that she must get to her Grandmothers house so as to be safe from the outside world and the Crisis. Red also has an artificial leg which I quite liked the idea of and was a bit fresh. The story developed at a timely pace and I really liked the characters. I think my only downfall was that it wasn't as exciting as I wanted it to bed and not enough happened for me. 

Overall, it was a decent read. I will carry on picking up anymore books that Henry rolls out as long as I like the synopsis. I do hope she writes more Alice ones though. 

Happy reading. 

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

My Rating: 1 Star




Date Finished: 10/01/20




Date Published: 09/07/19





Goodreads Synopsis:


You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain. 

My Review: 

I was really looking forward to this one but I was so disappointed. It was so boring. Nothing happened. The story basically just follows one families experience of being in the chain and then what happens at the end (without spoiling anything). This is by far the worse book I have read in a long time. I actually couldn't wait to finish it so I mostly just rushed through it and skipped the odd bits here and there. 

The characters were uninteresting. The writing was nothing interesting either. I also hated how the author changed the perspective every few pages and the time stamp was around half an hour later. I really hated that. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend anyone to read this book. I was so looking forward to it but there was just no excitement or twists at all. 

Happy reading. 

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

My Rating: 5 Stars




Date finished: 22/10/19




Date Published: 30/01/18





Goodreads Synopsis: 


The serial killer isn't on trial.

He's on the jury...


They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert's guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie's mind.

What if there's more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn't on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?


My Review: 

When I first picked this one up, I had no idea it was part of a series. So to start with, this book can definitely be read as a standalone and I loved it. I don't know why I haven't picked up any of Cavanagh's books before now. 

So the book switches between the case and the main characters such as the lawyer Eddie Flynn. But we also get to see things from the perspective of the actual killer and the lengths he has gone through to make sure he is on the jury. And damn, are they some lengths! We know who they are and the whole time you are reading, you feel like shouting at the characters to say 'it's him!'.

This was a completely different read to 'Anatomy of a Scandal'. This was fast paced and exciting in a completely different way. There was a lot to take in with this book and there was just so much going on at all times, which I really loved. You won't be disappointed if you pick it up. 

I love a good courtroom drama and this was certainly a good one. I have now purchased another of Cavanaghs books just because it was that good. I hope the next one is as much a page turner as this one was!

Happy reading.