The Greek Escape by Karen Swan

The Greek Escape by Karen Swan

 

38657977Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Publishing Date: 12th July 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A scorching summer novel, set on a lush Greek island, The Greek Escape by bestselling author Karen Swan, is the perfect getaway for fans of Victoria Hislop and Santa Montefiore.

Before every new beginning, there must be an ending .

Running from heartbreak, Chloe Marston leaves her old life in London for a fresh start in New York. Working at a luxury concierge company, she makes other people’s lives run perfectly, even if her own has ground to a halt. But a terrible accident forces her to step into a new role, up close and personal with the company’s most esteemed and powerful clients. Charismatic Joe Lincoln is one of them and his every wish is her command, so when he asks her to find him a secluded holiday home in the Greek Islands, she sets about sourcing the perfect retreat. But when Tom, her ex, unexpectedly shows up in Manhattan and the stability of her new life is thrown off-balance again, she jumps at the chance to help Joe inspect the holiday house; escaping to Greece will give her the time and space to decide where her future truly lies. Tom is the man she has loved for so long but he has hurt her before—can she give him another chance? And as she draws closer to Joe, does she even want to? As magnetic as he is mysterious, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them that she can’t resist. But whatever her heart is telling her, she’s in over her head—another client’s wife has mysteriously disappeared and seriously allegations about Joe threaten more than just her happiness. Who can she trust? And will Chloe uncover the truth in time?

Rating: five-stars

“The Greek Escape” is another glamorous, provocative and captivating novel by Karen Swan. It introduces us to Chloe Marston – who after a painful heart – break relocates from London to New York. She works for a luxury concierge company, granting wishes and every whim of their clients. After an accident that happened to one of her colleagues, Chloe must step up and take over Poppy’s clients. One of them is Joe Lincoln, whose wish is for Chloe to find him a hideaway holiday cottage in Greece.
In the meantime, Chloe’s ex, Tom, appears again on the scenes, messing with her and her life again. She’s torn and absolutely doesn’t know what to do – try her luck again with Tom and ignore this increasing chemistry between her and Joe? Joe, who also brings some complications?

Karen Swan’s writing style is engaging, rich in descriptions and eloquent, and there is always a word or two that I’ve never heard before, well, we learn the whole life, right. The setting she’s chosen for “The Greek Escape” is maybe not as exotic and unusual as in some of her previous books, but the way she describes New York and Greece is absolutely refreshing and simply gorgeous and she easily brings the places to life. She also adds a gem or two of a place that you’ll never read about in other books and it’s like discovering them together with the characters.

Who, by the way, are brilliant. They’re ambitious but not in a negative way – well, some of them are – quirky, clever and inquisitive. Chloe was immediately likeable – she was normal and she knew where her priorities should be, although she made me feel really desperate when it came to her love life. However, this hesitation and uncertainty only made her feel much more realistic and closer to life, and really, I truly cared about her and there were moments that I was really scared about her.
Chloe is our main character and narrator, however every now and then we get chapters told from another character’s point of view – Elodie. Yes, I did wonder how she’s connected with Chloe, if they’re connected at all and how those subplots align, however it didn’t take long to guess and to put the puzzles together. There was one missing piece still but it was all neatly and clearly wrapped up at the end, which is simply great, as I really like to know why, who, when and what.

The plot of “The Greek Escape” is so unique! Already the idea of the company Chloe works for was so refreshing, different and intriguing and I felt myself sucked into the descriptions of the things and events they organize for their clients, in their worlds where the word “no” didn’t exist. This story was evocative and packed with everything I’ve expected from the author and more: humour and drama, action, murder, scandals, corruption and of course extraordinary romances.

What I so adore in Karen Swan’s books is the way she so effortlessly mixes glamour, the world of prominent and exotic places with the brilliant, immediately likeable and down – to – earth characters. Her stories, and “The Greek Escape” as well, are multi – layered and complex and full of twists and turns and there is always an element of mystery in them, which I honestly love. It was refreshing and sophisticated and I didn’t want to put it down. And I also didn’t want it to end! Highly recommended!

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The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson (Blog Tour)

The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

 

35886922Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 14th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

Rating: four-stars

Other than usually, when it is woman thinking that her marriage is working perfectly well and then felling off their high horse, this time it is Nate that is perfectly happy with his life, his wife, son and job as a driving examiner. However, one day he gets up and instead of a cup of hot coffee he finds the kitchen empty but a note listing all his faults, left by his wife Sinead. Who, as it seems, has just left him. Nate absolutely doesn’t know what to do – with the note, with his life, with their son Flynn who stayed with him – basically, he can’t believe, and won’t believe, that his marriage is over. Is he going to win Sinead back? Is it really so simple, to change and fix all the faults, or is it something bigger, deeper?

The author has a great way with words and she writes about serious things also with a pinch of salt – the balance between seriousness and humour works pretty well in this book. Thanks to Ms Gibson’s light and welcoming writing style you will immediately feel a part of this story and you’ll be quickly drawn into it. What I also liked in this novel is that it wasn’t over – done, too sugary, that it was realistic and down – to – earth and it showed also the darkest sides of life, in a very accessible and not disheartening way.

What I missed was Sinead’s perspective. Yes, she has written the list where she listed the problems but so truly, deeply I really had no idea what her problem was. The book was told mostly from Nate’s point of view and honestly, so as he told this, they led a normal partnership, a marriage. If she wanted something different – well, it just wasn’t made clear enough in this story, or maybe it was, but it was not motivated, explained. Sinead really came across as bored and as one who didn’t know what she really wants. She sounded so unhappy and honestly guys, instead of having this overwhelming feeling that I’d love to hug her and console her, I just couldn’t completely warm to her. She’s just left her husband, leaving only a list of his faults – where did it come from??? Yes, she was taken for granted, I admit, she’s always put her husband and their son before herself and I totally get it that she’s had enough, who of us doesn’t have such feelings as well, but I think she should have approached the matter differently – I think this is this list thing that is just bugging me. She’s finally realised it’s time to put herself first, and I’m the first to give her the standing ovation, it’s just the way she has chosen to do so that simply doesn’t work for me. I really get the poor Nate and his confusion when out of the blue his wife leaves him. He lived in obliviousness for so long and I am not defending him, oh no, but how could he realise that something is wrong when Sinead didn’t talk with him? We all know that women are from Venus and men are from Mars and they need simple words to explain what we feel. I just couldn’t help the feeling that Sinead’s part in the collapse of her marriage was as significant as Nate’s.
Tanzie’s perspective has added so much freshness and humour and sunshine.

I’m giving 3 stars to the plot that was not developed enough for my liking – I mean, the idea was there, the potential was there but it was not delivered – and 5 stars for the characters of Nate and Tanzie and the brilliant writing style and the very few best in the world one – liners. Altogether, “The Mum Who’d Had Enough” was a heart – warming and “ringing the bell” story of a broken marriage, about relationships, family dynamics, second chances and friendship. It also has one of the most gorgeous covers ever, this bright and shiny yellow is simply beautiful and it has this brilliant summery vibe to it. Fans of Fiona Gibson are going to adore this book, that’s for sure, and the new readers will certainly fall in love with this author and her writing. Recommended!

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Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara

 

37796255Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 14th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via netGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 368

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to the gorgeous Cornish town of St Felix, where there’s magic in the air…

When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall – some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.

But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it’s a sign: she’ll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.

Rating: four-stars

Ana’s best friend Daisy died of cancer and in her will she left her a camper van and some money to restore it. To collect it Ana must leave London and travel to St Felix in Cornwall. Hoping it’s going to be only a quick trip, Ana sets off on her journey. However, upon arriving at the garage, she finds that fate had other ideas. Firstly, the owner of the garage is absent and has left a young man in charge. secondly, the van turns out to be very, very out of order and is in a need of a huge restoration. No quick trip for Ana, then, she’s for a longer stay in gorgeous St Felix.
While restoring the van, Malachi discovers a collection of postcards written by Lou to Frankie. They’re dating back to 1945, until the early 2000’s. What’s very suspicious, they’ve never been sent. After some more cards reveals themselves, Ana decides to find the owner and, hopefully, the recipient of the cards. With the help of Malachi and the local antique dealer Noah Ana starts an emotional, sentimental and magic journey.

I absolutely loved the romance aspect in this story, with two potential and promising suitors. They were both so lovely, actually, that I wasn’t sure who would be better for our Ana – who, actually, hasn’t been looking for love, to be honest. But it’s usually like this, when you’re not looking for something than you can be sure that you’re going to find it. There is the cheeky, spontaneous, charming and funny Malachi and his opposite, Noah, the local antique dealer, calm and quiet. It looks like they both really like Ana… The will they/won’t they was there, however there were a few moments that it felt too over – done and also too clichéd and predictable but on the whole it was well done – and it was a slow burner, there was no rush and so it didn’t felt too forced, even if Ana wasn’t looking for love.

The thing with the cards… mmmm… I am not so sure if it worked for me completely or not. It was a brilliant idea but for me it could be differently, better developed. We need a very long introduction before we get to the cards themselves but we get a brilliant story in return, so no bother here. It was also nice to see how Ana is trying to track down the recipient and sender of the cards but still, there was something missing for me, the finishing touch was not there.

I’ve missed on Ali McNamara’s last book but in some of her previous reads there was always something magical, something that could either work or not, and in this book it was the same. And yes, it could have make the whole read unbelievable but this author really knows how to add this pinch of magic to make the story work, and so I really enjoyed “Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van”. Maybe it felt a little too flat at the end, yes, and towards the end it also felt a little too rushed, and while there were some hints in the plot through the whole novel I think that this magic element was left too unattended and was revealed a little bit too late to truly work its magic (pun intended). But on the whole, it was incredibly warm, funny and at the same time poignant story that had me glued to the pages. This, what on the surface might have seen as a straightforward chick lit novel has in fact many layers and hidden depth.
So altogether, it was really one of the most adorable, loveliest stories ever. It was uplifting and the descriptions were gorgeous. Colourfully, richly written and with great characters – yes, sometimes some of them were behaving too childish for my liking, but oh well, we all have our moments, right – and you just want to know what’s going to happen. The setting is gorgeous as well, I think I can’t have enough of the beautiful Cornwall. The author also touches upon much deeper and heavier issues, such as illness, death and grieving process and she blends them in a perfect way. Highly recommended!

The Sister Swap by Fiona Collins

The Sister Swap by Fiona Collins

 

38611933Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 1st June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via netGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two sisters. Two very different lives…

Meg simply doesn’t have time for men in her life. Instead, she has a strictly one-date rule, survives on caffeine and runs one of the biggest model agencies from her smart office in London. That is, until she collapses one day at work and the doctor orders her to take some R&R in the country…

Sarah is used to being stuck behind tractors and the slow pace of her cosy village life. But now her children are all grown-up (and her ex-husband long forgotten) she’s ready to change things up a bit – starting with taking back her old job in the city!

After a devastating falling out, the sisters haven’t spoken in years. Swapping houses, cars, everything is the only option – surely they’ll be able to avoid bumping into each other?

Rating: four-stars

Sarah lives in the country with her nineteen – year – old twins. They’re adult enough – or at least Sarah thinks so – and don’t need her anymore so much, so she decides to apply for her old job as an event planer. And she gets it! The only downside – it’s in London.
Sarah’s sister Meg lives in London. She’s the owner of a very successful model agency however her job is stressful and Meg is advised to slow down a little, what with her high blood pressure, and take holidays in the country.
It is obvious – the sisters should swap, right? However, there is one problem – the sisters haven’t spoken for years, following a falling out when 18 – year – old Meg left. But there is no other option, so they really end up swapping their houses. Are they going to survive this 8 weeks swap? Will they realise what is important in their lives now? Will they sort out their differences or are they going to get back to their old lives?

The two sisters couldn’t be more different, which only made the reading more thrilling. They were both strong personalities, both stubborn, so reaching out to one another was not the easiest thing for both of them. At the beginning I had some problems to warm to Meg, to be honest. I didn’t like her attitude so much, she was full of herself and was, speaking honest, quite off – putting, while Sarah was immediately likeable and felt so normal and down – to – earth. It is only when Meg gets few good ticking – offs that she starts to be a little bit apologetic and I also started to grew to like her. But they were both, as well as the background characters, really well written and developed. They also haven’t expected that the swap will made them face some truths about themselves and their lives, their pasts and respective futures, so in all honesty, next to the funnier side there is also a hidden depth in this story. They have to make decisions and answer many questions, sometimes uncomfortable ones, they have to deal with their past, they have to ask themselves what they want and come to terms with what they’ve lost. And we all know it – making up and eating humble pie is probably the most difficult thing.

What I liked in this book was the fact that it mostly really focused on the relationship between the sisters and not so much on the romance aspect – even though there were some will they/won’t they on the way, and especially Meg’s budding romance was the one that drew me in – it was fun and full of hiccups and awkward situations, just what I like. It was more about the sisters finding each other again, discovering each other’s lives and starting to appreciate each other, and it was lovely to accompany them on this way, to see them grow and wiser. Whatever they say, no matter how cliché it sounds, family is important.

It was so funny to see how the sisters adapt to their new places. Especially Meg at the country, where – let’s be honest – there is not much to do, and when there was something she wasn’t so interested, but after initial reservations she’s decided to invest her time in the village’s life. The outcome was mostly unexpected and embarrassing. And while seeing Sarah taking her old job as an event planer back in London and having to adapt to instagram, pinterest and other things was also hooking, the country parts were for me more colourful.
It was a really feel – good read introducing us to a city girl ending up in a cowpat and a country girl trying to adapt to the fast lanes of city life, and the differences between the places and the lives were clearly marked but the author didn’t judge any of them, she only showed us ups and downs of both options, and I think she pulled it off really well.

“The Sister Swap” was a feel – good story about family dynamics, with enough drama, funny moments and happy – ever – after. It was a predictable yet pleasant read and I was intrigued by it, and I wanted to know what has happened that the sisters were estranged for so long. There were not many twists nor turns, to be honest, and you could be sure that they’re going to find themselves again but it was written in a way that had me truly hooked. I think the end was a little too rushed, but it’s my opinion and of course you can have a different view. Altogether I really enjoyed it. Recommended!

 

 

Best Practice by Penny Parkes

Best Practice by Penny Parkes

 

39110499Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 22nd February 2018 (Hardcover), 28th June 2018 (Paperback)

Series: The Larkford Series #3 (read my review of “Practice Makes Perfect” here  )

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

THE BRAND NEW BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF OUT OF PRACTICE
Love and laughter with the residents of Larkford is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Dr Alice Walker has become accomplished at presenting a façade to the world – to anyone watching, she is the epitome of style, composure and professionalism. But perhaps it was to be expected that the cracks might begin to show at some point. Thankfully Grace is on hand to offer both friendship and support when it’s needed most.

Meanwhile, Dr Holly Graham has her hands full both professionally and personally. Planning a wedding with Taffy Jones is challenging enough, even before some surprising news changes everything. At least beloved Larkford resident, Elsie, still has a few tricks left up her sleeve!

Dr Dan Carter, on the other hand, has decided to throw himself into his career – the best antidote he’s found to unrequited love. When tragedy strikes in the heart of Larkford, Dan makes it his mission to help the community.

Rating: four-stars

From the first page of “Best Practice” I had a feeling that I’m back with my old friends – it was as if there was nothing between me reading this third instalment in The Larkford series and the two previous books. We are actually immediately thrown into the medical action and it really never stops. Theoretically this book can be read as a stand – alone but I personally think there is too much background to be missed if you jump straight and direct into “Best Practice” without reading the two previous stories.

It was really a great feeling to be able to follow the characters and to see how they moved forwards after the story finished in “Practice Makes Perfect”. There is a large number of characters in this novel but the old ones that we’ve already got to know and like are also there. The brilliant couple Holly and Taffy who are so tender and so brilliant around each other, and I really, really love their relationship. Is the big wedding really what they need? Dr Dan Carter, Taffy’s companion in so many silly games is distracted and has to face up a new challenge – the practice manager Grace. The big enigma Dr. Alice Walker, who joined the practice in the previous book is also there, and her plot was probably the one that I’ve read the most enthusiastically. She has to deal with her own health issues and there is this big question about her assistance dog, Coco. And let’s not forget Elsie, who this time showed the most gentle and tender side to her. All those stories were weaving seamlessly and effortlessly into one another.

I must be in a minority here but what bothered me so much was that there run so many parallel stories that I couldn’t find the main one. There were so many, many characters in this book, coming to the practice with their health problems, and while they were interesting I just couldn’t shake off the feeling that they’re drawing us away from the main plot. I think I get where the author was coming from here, emphasize the significance and importance of health service but on the other hand I was never sure if, and which, of those could be a turning point for the plot. Don’t get me wrong here, pretty please, I guess thanks to all the accidents and incidents the pace of the book was truly well paced but it is probably why I didn’t feel as much a part of the characters” lives and I just wanted more of the main plot – this about the rural medicinal facilities being shut down and the campaign going to keep them open.

It is truly a book that introduces us to many, many medical conditions and accidents and while it is obvious that the author truly knows what she’s writing about, it is all written in such an accessible way. This novelk links many issues and topics together. It touches upon love, friendship, patchwork families and heath. It is full of depth and this lovely, overwhelming feeling of kindness and support. Even though it is also about really serious stuff, there is this feel – good vibe to it and tons of heart.
“Best Practice” is a story that ticks many boxes for being a perfect summer read. There is humour and a lot of funny moments, there are plenty of poignant moments that will make you go weak at your knees and go “awwww”, it looks much, much deeper under the surface of politics, money, men in black suits to show what’s really important when it comes to deal with ill people. This, as well as this lovely, brilliantly captured sense of community and really well developed characters, must be ones of the strongest points of this novel. The author has also in a great way weaved the romance aspect and romantic sparkles that added lightness and were like a breath of fresh air. Truly recommended!

 

 

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin (Blog Tour)

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin

 

39719642Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 22nd June 2018

Series: Sandcastle Bay #1 (read my review of Book 1 here  )

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 234

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham.

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends?

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

A perfect, feel-good summer read that will make you want to escape to the beach for a romantic day in the sun. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

Rating: four-stars

“The Cottage on Sunshine Beach” is a second book in the Sandcastle Bay series. It can be read as a stand – alone, of course it can, because it’s following the adventures (and there are plenty of them! PLENTY!) of Melody and James but you would just miss out too much on a colourful, hilarious, sexy and quirky story – telling in “The Holiday Cottage by the Sea”. You don’t have to read them in the right order, I think, just read them both. Just saying.

So we return to Sandcastle Bay and are immediately thrown into the lives of Melody and her jewellery shop, and Jamie, an incredibly talented and sexy as hell sculptor. There is amazing chemistry between those two and Melody has the hots for Jamie but Jamie, sadly, has been badly hurt in the past and he’s holding back. However, Melody doesn’t give up and slowly it seems that Jamie starts to lose his reservations. But can one disaster date, when Melody poisons him, after other disaster date bring them together? Or is it too much for Jamie?

So guys. It is really hard to write this review as I truly am not sure what more should I say about Holly Martin’s writing and this book. I adore this author and her style but it seems that Holly has fallen for a pattern that is very successful and perfectly works for her, and it’s absolutely okay because when something works why should you change it? Sure, I can hear you saying, then don’t read Holly’s books – well, that’s not the point. As I’ve mentioned, I love her stories, they always made me laugh out loud and feel better, I just wish she’d surprise me with something different next time.

Nevertheless, I’ll try to explain what’s so special about this book. Because it is special 🙂

1) the setting – it’s gorgeous. Simply. Holly Martin is the champion of creating the most beautiful, desired places to live and I would move to any of the places she writes about in a couple of shakes.

2) the characters – are brilliant. As usually. They are full of humour and there is this lovely overwhelming community spirit and they all know everything about each other, there are no secrets in Sandcastle Bay.

The characters are so full of understanding and they’re so understanding and lenient that sometimes it’s too much. The guys always know what to say and what to do and sometimes it’s just  too good to be true. Don’t get me wrong here, pretty please, it’s lovely to see real gentlemen and how great they treat their women, how honest they are, there are no secrets between them, they do not lie, and sometimes, just sometimes, I missed a cold shoulder and a serious misunderstanding. To complicate the things a little.

3) the writing style. It’s full of humour and the best one – liners ever, and some of the scenes had made me laugh out loud. Really loud. The descriptions are so vivid and colourful and clear, you will have no problems to imagine them. Holly Martin has talent to effortlessly transport you into the heart of the story with her writing, to live the lives of the characters together with them.

It’s, as always, a little gem of a book that I wouldn’t like to miss out. There is everything you could ask for in a perfect rom – com: enough drama, a sizzling romance, incredible chemistry that only Holly can write in such way about, three – dimensional characters and hidden depths in a hilarious storyline. Truly recommended!

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The Dead Ex by Jane Corry (Blog Tour)

The Dead Ex by Jane Corry

 

51o-x2uybflPublisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 28th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction (Adults)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘I wish he’d just DIE.’ >
He said in sickness and in health. But after Vicki was attacked at work and left suffering with epilepsy, her husband Daniel left her for his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s gone missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that Daniel is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What really happened on the night of Daniel’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?

Rating: four-stars

 

“The Dead Ex”, third novel by Jane Corry, introduces us to an aroma therapist Vicki Goudman, who’s also diagnosed with epilepsy. She’s living alone, after her marriage has broken and her husband had left her for another woman. Fast forward a few years and Vicki becomes a visit from the police, telling her that her ex – husband is missing, presumably dead. In the wake of some events and circumstances, Vicki turns out to be the prime suspect, so she’s forced to try and to prove that she has nothing to do with his disappearance. Or – has she? The drugs she’s prescribed appear to cause memory losses. And Vicki’s previous life is the one that she’d rather keep as a secret…

The characters in this story are not the most likeable ones, this must to be said. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re not really well developed because they are. I think that in such kind of books you don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the novel. It is told in the first person perspective from a number of characters, which is already Jane Corry’s hallmark and she proves again that this is a very good and effective way to present us the story. We also travel back and forward in time, and I really liked this way of telling the story, as it only made it more complex and complicated and challenging to find answers to my questions – and it was a very multi – layered tale and it was a great joy to unpeel all of the layers till the very end.

There were many twists and turns on the way and while I guessed some of them almost immediately, some of the others took me by surprise, but the final score is very satisfying. It was a page turner and I really wanted to see what’s going to happen. Also, initially the story introduces us to two different main characters, an aroma therapist Vicky and an 8 – year – old Scarlet who may, or may not, have something in common with each other. It could be a tad confusing because it reads like two different stories and you may wondering how they are connected, especially when then comes part 2 that welcomes totally different character. This was a moment when I guessed the first twist but the story still kept me hooked, especially as there were many more shocks to come.

It is Jane Corry’s third book, and third that is closely centred around prison and social workers. As much as I love the descriptions and the way the author brings the atmosphere to life – no wonders here, she has experience – I would love to see something different in the book number 4. There just seems too much of a common theme in the books. Also, personally I think that the book started in a brilliant way but then it somehow lost its impact a little. It was like building a tension in reverse, as I really think that the beginning was much better than the end that felt rushed and not as well developed as the rest of the story – but it’s me and my opinion only. What also bothered me was the approach to epilepsy. It was very well researched, no doubt here, but it all sounded very medically and dry. It was informative, yes, and there were some facts that I had no idea about, the author explored the many effects and dangers of the state, but the way they were brought to us could be more casual.

While it was not my favourite Jane Corry’s book, I still think that it was a great, tense and compelling read, a book with a difference.  I didn’t find the multiple points of view confusing as I was guessing the different characters must have come together in the end – they made the read much more complex and demanding but at the same time attractive and hooking. The author touches upon many heavy and sad issues, and so ultimately it was a multi – layered, cleverly plotted novel. Highly recommended!

 

 

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