How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt (Blog Tour)

How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt

 

37806850Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 28th June 2018

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

Number of pages: 4384

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 20.09.2018)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of bestselling phenomenon Daughter comes a thrilling exploration of a marriage consumed by ambition and revenge . . .

The perfect couple

Meeting Albie gave Beth a fresh start – a chance to leave her past behind. Now she has her new husband; an ambitious, talented young neurosurgeon.

The perfect marriage

Their marriage gives Beth the safe haven she’s always wanted – with just one catch. Albie has no idea of the secrets she’s keeping. He doesn’t know that years ago, Beth had an affair with Ted, the boss helping Albie’s star ascend. Nor that the affair’s devastating ending will have consequences for their own future.

The perfect storm

So when Ted’s generous patronage begins to sour, Beth senses everything she’s built could crumble. And she sees an opportunity. To satisfy Albie’s ambitions, and her own obsessive desire for revenge . . .

She’ll keep her marriage and her secret safe.

But how far will the fall take them?

 

My Review

 

Albie and Beth are married. Unknown to Albie, Beth has had a relationship with Albie’s boss, Ted, that ended rather dramatically. Between Albie and Ted, they have potentially found a cure for a fatal children brainstem tumour, however Albie doesn’t know what to think when Ted starts to take credits for his development, discoveries and hard work – Ted is more than a boss to Albie, he’s his mentor and friend, so he’s really hurt. This is where Beth senses her chance for a revenge – but is this going to change her and Albie’s lives for ever? How far will they fall?

The characters in this book were not the most likeable ones. They were all full of flaws, keeping secrets and telling lies and in fact not a single one of them would hesitate to bring the others down in the name of their career or revenge. But I think that Ted was the most obstinate of them all, being at the top of his game and being able to do anything to remain there. The story is mostly told from Beth and Albie’s points of view. Right from the beginning we know that something happened to Beth and she’s seeking revenge. We can also have a guess what it was that happened and with whom, and all my suspicions were confirmed. Beth was dreaming of a career as a surgeon but she’s a theatre nurse, however right now she’s enjoying her life, spending most of her time in her garden. Albie is a surgeon, working hard on finding a cure for cancer. Meeting him was like a fresh start for her – however here, guys, I am still not sure if Beth truly loved Albie from the beginning, or was it only the awareness that he was Ted’s best friend that made Albie interesting for her? Nevertheless, their characters were not too straightforward and it was so very well described how they affect each other. However, she brilliantly showed how human her main characters are – how lost they are, how helpless in the world and angry, but also how calculating they can be. Shemilt captured in an incredibly great way the conflicts of the characters, how tangled they felt, how important loyalty was to them and how far would they go to not inflict problems.
However, I think I’ve never warmed to any of them. They might have been in relationships and had feeling to each other but somehow they came across as clinical and without emotions, without conscience. I just didn’t get them fully – as well as the end, that didn’t sit with me at all.

But I don’t know guys, I can’t put my finger on what it was but I just felt confused by this story. However, it was a read with a difference and I can certainly say that never before have I read a story like this. It was confusing for me, yes, but it also was intense and interesting. It was dark and mysterious, and there were many moments that it was too medical for my liking, with many, many very detailed descriptions of procedures. There was also the case of the rats, like in animal testing, and while it felt really uncomfortable, hats off to the author for pulling it off like this, giving all the options and presenting both points of view, those of the researchers and those of the petitioners, without judging them. But back to this medical stuff – it was very literal and especially some of the descriptions of operations were really realistic. and I mean, really.

“How Far We Fall” was a thought – provoking story about ethics, morals and how far we – yes – fall to get our revenge. About power and revenge and ambition. It wasn’t predictable, oh no, on the contrary, I had no idea how it will proceed and in which direction it’s going to take us. The author has incredible way with words, the story is written in simple, short sentences but they’re exceptionally eloquent and she easily brings to life all the things she writes about. You’re going to feel hate, uncertainty, repulsion, anger and compassion. It was slow – burning but multi – layered. Tense and taut, and full of provocative questions about ethics and the author has created a claustrophobic, dark and heavy atmosphere and complex, multi – layered story. 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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Mad by Chloé Esposito (Blog Tour)

Mad by Chloé Esposito

 

35533573Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 31st May 2018

Series: Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know Trilogy #1

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adults)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Seven days of sin. Seven days of secrets. Seven days to steal her sister’s life.

Beth has always been the golden girl, leaving her identical twin, Alvie, in her shadow. She has everything Alvie ever wanted – the money, the hot husband, the cute baby, the fast car.

So when she invites Alvie for seven sun-drenched days at her luxury villa in Sicily, Alvie accepts. Just because Alvie can’t stand Beth doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy a slice of her decadent lifestyle.

But her usually goody-two-shoes twin has a hidden agenda. And when the sisters swap identities for a day, it ends badly for Beth. Very badly.

It’s Alvie’s chance to steal the life that she deserves . . .

If she can get away with it.

Rating: five-stars

 

Alvina finds herself jobless and homeless, so even though she’s not so into seeing her twin sister Beth after all this time, the invitation to visit her and her family living in Sicily couldn’t come in a better time. Yes, Alvie has always refused but on this occasion she just finds herself at a loss, so she decides to go. Well, Beth pays for the tickets, right.
Without giving away too much and spoiling the reading to you, Alvina doesn’t expect this what she comes upon in Sicily, and this involves murder, betrayal, handsome men and mafia. So there.

I’ll be honest with you. I tried to read this book last year when it was published in hardcover and I put it down thinking, what a complete craziness it is. However, this time, I was probably in a mood for such story, and full of expectations and anticipation I started reading it again. This book is totally bonkers. Crazyville. It’s so annoying that I eventually completely fell in love with it and couldn’t put it down. The title sums it up perfectly. What is even better is the fact that “Mad” is the first book in the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know Trilogy, so there is more from Alvina to come. It somehow reminded me of “Pulp Fiction”, with so much blood and killing, and Alvina herself I imagined as Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie.

The characters were abso – bloody – brilliant! So sharp and clear and with distinctive voices. Beth was always the favourite twin and Alvina always lived in her sister’s shadow – she was never good enough, she was always the spare one. It’s not a wonder that the sisters didn’t get on. Altogether you could say that Alvina was awful .But I also could understand her, especially as we get to know about her childhood through the many flashbacks in the book. She was almost the outcast of the family, she has never felt loved and really, my heart went to her when I read about her and Beth’s birthdays or other events. So it’s no wonder that she wanted nothing to do with her family and actually it was understandable why she was the way she was, however I haven’t expected her to open and “relax” so much during her holidays, hmmm… She’s not the most likeable character, our Alvina, you can’t stop thinking that she exaggerates but also I was somehow rooting for her. And call me a softie, but I think there is a second face to Alvina – it’s just my gut feeling telling me that maybe, deep deep inside she’s a softie as well? I don’t know, and I can’t wait to see if I’m right or not. Yes, she was over the top abrasive, arrogant, vulgar and I suppose we’re not meant to like her but I just couldn’t help falling in love with her and actually, loving to hate her as well.

Each chapter is titled with one of the 7 deadly sins, so we have Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony, Greed and Pride, and they’re really jam – packed with those attributes, and Alvina, well, she is full of those deadly sins. It is also set over the period of one week only, and lots of things happens during this week. We travel to Sicily, and when you think that mafia times are over, please think it over once again. The pace of this novel is incredible, it’s a real roller – coaster ride full of events, and all kinds of events, so be prepared for murder, hit men, romances, designer stores, mafia… Whatever takes your fancy is probably in this book, and it works perfectly together. It is addictive, compulsive read that would make a brilliant movie. Usually I would probably roll my eyes and say that it was too unbelievable but really, guys, this book was just incredible, it stretched the imagination and I couldn’t wait to see what there is more in store for us.

“Mad” is full to brims of huge eyes “WOW” moments, moments full of empty laughter, and the more crazy and unbelievable the better. It is gripping, it is thrilling, it is sexy, filthy and full of blood, dangerous, exciting and crazy, over – stepping the boundaries and I simply loved it. There are many twists and the book took me by surprise more than a few times, and it’s really hard to take me by surprise these days, when everything is so predictable. It is such a breath of fresh air, guys, something completely different and even when you think it might not be your cup of tea, just go with an open mind into this book and let it surprise you as much as it surprised me. Recommended!

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Mine by Susi Fox / Blog Tour

Mine by Susi Fox

 

37543191Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 14th June 2018

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

Number of pages: 464

Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The baby in the cot is not your baby. You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. But when you are shown the small infant, a terrible thought seizes you: this baby is not mine.

They say you’re delusional.

No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you’re confused. Dangerous.

But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. Or even deliberate ones.

Everyone is against you; do you trust your instincts? Or is your traumatic past clouding your judgement? You know only one thing.

You must find your baby.

Rating: four-stars

Sasha Moloney has to undergo an emergency c- section under general anaesthesia. She has longed for her own child for a long time and after a couple of miscarriages she has finally got pregnant and now this c – section at 35 weeks pregnant after being involved in an accident. As soon as she lays eyes on her newborn, she knows it – she is sure that he’s not her baby! However, when she raises this concern, nobody believes her: not her father, not her husband, not the medical staff and soon she’s labelled as mentally unstable. But Sasha, a doctor herself, a pathologist, knows how easy it is to make a mistake and then refuse to own up to it, so she’s desperate to prove that she’s not mistaken. But is it really a mistake? Or is Sasha really losing her mind?

 

The characters in this book were not the most likeable ones and I think it comes from the fact that I couldn’t trust any of them, no matter if it was Sasha’s family or friends or the personal working in the hospital. They all felt so hostile and unfriendly, as if they themselves didn’t trust each other. They lied and kept secrets, no matter if they were wife and husband or best friends. However, they were well developed and the way the story was told, in alternating perspectives of Mark and Sasha, however focusing mostly on Sasha’s point of view, gave a great insight into their minds, we got to know them and what made them tick. Although I must admit that I was expecting something very unexpected from Mark –  those flashbacks to his past were irregular – it just made me think there is something really bigger coming from him. I also found him very weak and couldn’t find any empathy for him to be honest.

Somehow, at the beginning, it was hard to get into the story, although I can’t tell you exactly why. Maybe because it felt very clinical and dry, and also I am not sure how things in the hospitals work, especially with admitting to closed wards but I had a feeling that we are back to times when you have no rights as a patient and the doctors could decide about you being admitted or released without a particular reason. Also, I had a feeling that Sasha was being very poorly informed about her condition, that the doctors and nurses didn’t want to give her any information, and really, it was no wonder she was feeling the way she felt because I was starting to feel exactly the same – desperate, disbelief and I started to doubt my own mental health as well. However, there came a moment that the book started to be impossible to put away, and I raced through the second half in a few hours.

The author, Susi Fox, has a medical background, so the story is really well researched and very convincing – except for the feel as if took place in an asylum and not a normal, everyday hospital, there were so many understatements and secrets, I’d go crazy if I were to be a patient in this place – and she really knew how to tackle this very controversial topics that she’s decided to write about, such as miscarriages, mental health, infertility, rape. Yes, some very heavy issues, I agree, but overall, even though it is a rather dark read, it’s not overwhelming and while it’s going to leave you thinking, it’s not going to leave you feel depressed.

“Mine” felt claustrophobic and I had a feeling that there is one huge conspiracy somewhere between the walls of the hospital. It is this kind of read where you stop to trust the characters and start to suspect them all, and I’ve also started to doubt in Sasha as well. At the end I think I Osuspected every single character that appeared on the pages of this book and really wasn’t sure whom I shall trust. The author has really well known how to play with my mind – one moment I was absolutely on Sasha’s side, and the second I was wondering if there is something wrong with her. Those mind plays were a great thing, it’s such a refreshing thing to read a book when you really can’t guess the outcome.

As much as I am for happy endings and happily – ever – afters, I think that this time the ending was a little too anti – climax. It was too rushed in comparison to the whole story. The journey to this end was full of tension and guessing games and probably this is why I was expecting something totally different – what, I’m not sure but it somehow just didn’t hit me and didn’t fit the whole story. However, it didn’t spoil the book, and I really enjoyed this psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat.

“Mine” was a totally unpredictable read, with twists and turns that I haven’t seen coming. Very emotional and this kind of book that makes you think and put yourself in the characters’ shoes, wondering what you would do. It was a read with a difference, unique and daring and controversial, exploring emotional and fraught territories and crossing the boundaries. I am already looking forward to next Susi Fox’s read. In the meantime, I highly recommend this debut novel of hers.

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Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by

Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

 

38885462Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 3rd May 2018

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

Number of pages: 368

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘There aren’t enough words for how much I love it’ Marian Keyes

Everyone knows an Aisling:

Loves going Out Out, but secretly scared of liquid eyeliner.
Happy to drink the bar dry, but will bring her own coaster if necessary.
Would rather die than miss a cooked hotel breakfast, but can calculate the Points in a Snickers at fifty paces.

Aisling’s the girl with a heart of gold, but a boyfriend who still hasn’t made a peep about their Big Day even after seven years.

But then a disastrous romantic getaway shows Aisling that it’s time to stop waiting around and leave John behind for the bright lights of Dublin. After she’s wailed her way through Adele’s Greatest Hits, that is.

Between glamorous new flatmates, a scandal at work and finding herself in a weird love square, Aisling is ready to take on the big city. So long as she has her umbrella with her.

Rating: five-stars

Apparently there exists a Facebook book called Oh My God What a Complete Aisling and it is so popular that the creators of this group, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen have decided to write a book about Aisling – and I salute them for doing this, because this novel was one of the warmest, funniest and poignant stories ever – thanks girls for bringing Aisling to my life. I’m not Irish, and have never been to Ireland (yet! I promise!) and the closest I’ve ever been to an Irishman were probably Marian Keyes’s books, and it is thanks to her novels that I truly fell in love with Irish style of life and humour, and yes guys, Aisling was the best that could happen to me right now – I completely adored this book and the characters.

For all the uninitiated, Aisling is apparently a typical Irish country girl who never skips hotel breakfasts (well, she paid for them!), loves her Daddy, going Out and Out Out, and her boyfriend of seven years, John. As far as Aisling is concerned, they will get married soon, build a big house and have children. However, it turns out, John has other ideas. Ouch.
Aisling soon finds herself moving in with her glamorous colleague from work, Sadhbh in Dublin city centre and is being introduced to a very different life – glamorous and hedonistic. With the help of her new – and old – friends Aisling starts to realise what she really wants from her life.

Aisling, and also all of the background characters, were so very well developed and there was so much depth to them that I really did care about them and what happened to them. I kept my fingers crossed for them, I had fun with them at the pubs and bars and I cried with them, and believe me guys, it doesn’t happen often that I feel so much invested in characters’ lives, so it’s a sign of truly brilliant characters. Aisling’s personality and life approach was brilliantly captured and the authors brought her so easily to life!
I really liked the friendship between Aisling and Sadhbh and Elaine. I must admit that I was all the time worrying the girls want to make fun out of her, that there is something very bad going to happen but it turned out I was wrong and it was a real friendship, no matter what, through thick and thin. They were always there for the fragile Aisling, they helped her to face family dramas and crises, they wiped away the tears as she struggled to get over John. I can’t, to be totally honest, understand some of the reviews saying the characters in this book were under – developed because in my opinion they were brilliantly drawn and Aisling, even though not changing, was still broadening her horizons. And well, I never wanted her to change – she was just my kind of a girl and well, some of her antics were very familiar to me. Oh yes! What I absolutely adored was her family and her relationship with her parents – it made me laugh out loud and it made me cry crocodile tears, it was beautifully written and I simply loved it. She was so open and friendly and I loved the way she embraced her new friendships and how – maybe not exactly voluntarily and with some scepticism – she danced to techno music and went on a Berlin city break.

The only thing that bothered me a little was the various number of Irish words, phrases and references but it was only a minor blip and oh well, if I was so bothered than I could look it up, right.

“Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling” was completely my kind of read, blending humour with poignant moments, light and fluffy but also with some hidden messages, with this brilliant, clever Irish humour. I absolutely loved that there was no meanness in this story and that people took Aisling as she was – because why shouldn’t they? It was affectionate and with a grain of salt, kind, funny, genuine and honest, and with character that I think we can all relate to on some level. Under the cover – up of light – heartedness there was much, much more to this story, it was full of depth and emotions and be prepared to drop a tear or two as well. Sharply observed, tackling so many topics that are close to our own hearts – I simply loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough!

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Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty / #BlogTour

Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty

 

35552879Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 3rd May 2018

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

Number of pages: 448

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of The Fifth Letter comes a controversial and darkly comic story about the frustrations of being a childless woman in the modern baby-obsessed world . . .

Poppy’s world has been tipped sideways: the husband who never wanted children has betrayed her with her broody best friend.

At least Annalise is on her side. Her new friend is determined to celebrate their freedom from kids, so together they create a Facebook group to meet up with like-minded women, and perhaps vent just a little about smug mummies’ privileges at work.

Meanwhile their colleague Frankie would love a night out, away from her darlings – she’s not had one this decade and she’s heartily sick of being judged by women at the office as well as stay-at-home mums.

Then Poppy and Annalise’s group takes on a life of its own and frustrated members start confronting mums like Frankie in the real world. Cafés become battlegrounds, playgrounds become warzones and offices have never been so divided.

A rivalry that was once harmless fun is spiralling out of control.

Because one of their members is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And she has an agenda of her own . . .

Rating: four-stars

“Those Other Women” by Nicola Moriarty introduces us to two different groups of women – one of them is a mother’s online group, so – called MOP, and the other one is NOP, the non – mothers’ one. The second group has been established by one of our main characters, Poppy, who’s tired with – as she thinks – mothers being favoured everywhere and, basically, having it all easier – like getting holidays, finishing their work earlier and so on. Also, Poppy’s husband has betrayed her with her best friend and they’re now expecting a baby – A BABY! It’s like double back – stabbing, as they’ve decided they never want babies, right? Poppy befriends a work colleague Annalise and they both set up this other online group, NOP – this group embraces those women who doesn’t want children. Not those, who can’t have children because… but those who just don’t want to have them.
The groups end up working against each other, with disastrous and dangerous results, which Poppy and Annalise haven’t seen coming – they wanted a positive place where you can meet same minded women from the neighbourhood, and not this… war?

The characters were very realistic. They weren’t perfect, they were full of flaws but it made them much more multi dimensional. Poppy was much more likeable character than Annalise in my opinion. While we get Poppy’s story immediately, it takes time to learn more about Annalise and her background but I think it’s not the reason that it took me so long to warm to her, and actually I’ve never warmed to her completely. It was not the fact she was keeping secrets, it was not the fact she was so abrupt, she was just like hedgehog, keeping everyone at bay. Sure, she had her reasons, I really did get them, and I felt sorry for her in the end but I just had a feeling that she’s pushing everyone off, me included.

I’m only happy that I’m not a member of such group – though, of course, you can’t avoid being a member in any group those times. Reading the posts, I really often wonder if those grown people don’t have other problems, or maybe that they’re just too bored, and I’m happy that I have my own real life, with real problems and the times when I was worrying what people there think about me are long, long gone.

It is a multi – layered story, told from different points of view, and I really liked this way of narration, as we got an insight into the groups and the way the characters were ticking and what was happening in their lives. It sometimes read like three different stories, but in the end they all came smoothly together. It also showed me that life isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be, that nothing is white or black, that there are the shades of grey and there are always two sides of the story. It’s easy to take sides but the truth is always somewhere in between. I’m not sure what to think about the end and about the “mole”, to be honest. Yes, I was wondering who it might be, I was suspecting almost all of the characters and I didn’t guess it, however the moment of reveal didn’t knock the life out of me and was not as much a wow – moment as oh, ok – moment.

Personally I think that “Those Other Women” was a better story than Nicola Moriarty’s debut novel. It is thought – provoking and it made me think really hard. It also touches upon this still controversial topic of women who are not mothers, for whatever reason. My opinion is: live and let live. I hate judging women on the fact of them having children or not. There are thousand reasons why they’re childless and all other people should respect it, period. It’s actually unbelievable that so many still think that being a mother defines a woman, it’s so wrong on so many levels and it is cruel and unfair to label and stereotype.
It is a bold and brave book about friendship and motherhood, all sides of motherhood, but also giving insight into what life is being childless and I liked the fact that the author didn’t judge her characters – well, the readers can do that on their own, and I think it’s a fact that not matter what and who you are, you’re going to be judged.

It examines and asks if women really need to be mothers to be considered “complete” women, it asks question why the women do not support each other, no matter what their family status is, and why it is actually expected from women to be mothers, no matter what. It was complex, sometimes funny, sometimes sad read, also about consequences of social – media interactions, about empathy and coming together. Recommended!

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Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

 

34198503Publisher: Penguin Ireland

Publishing Date: 5th April 2018

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

Number of pages: 368

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The sinister new novel from the No 1 bestselling author of Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait.

‘Once I had cleared the bottles away and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out of the flat.’

Delphine Hamilton is a fake. She has been living on the Côte d’Azur for ten years, posing as an English heiress. However, her alimony is running out, her looks are fading, and her wealthy lovers are fewer and further between.

Down to her last euros, and desperate to get out of her apartment, Delphine decides to spend the day at the Negresco where she is caught stealing another guest’s meal. He takes pity on her and invites her to a party.

The guests are young and beautiful and Delphine feels her age, and is achingly conscious of her worn out dress. But after a few lines of cocaine and multiple cocktails, she is oblivious to everything.

Hours later, as dawn is breaking, she wakes up on the floor of a deserted hotel penthouse. She makes her way home through the back streets.

Even before she opens the door she can hear the flies buzzing and she realizes that the corpse in her bedroom has already begun to decompose …

Liz Nugent’s new novel is the dark, twisted and shocking story of what takes Delphine from an island childhood in Ireland to ruination in a grotty flat in Nice.

Rating: three-stars

I’ve never read anything by Liz Nugent before and the premise to “Skin Deep” was brilliantly dark and intriguing, and I didn’t hesitate long before hitting “request” button. And this book started marvellously. It had me glued to the pages and the more I was reading the more I couldn’t believe what I’m seeing and with what a manipulative character we’re dealing with. Then the second part came and it was as if I’ve just started reading a different novel. Totally different in tone, felt too flat, somehow weird and I wasn’t sure what about.

It started with a murder, which is really not a spoiler, as it literally happens on the first pages. Then it quickly takes us back in the past and we get to know Delia’s background and history, and so I was guessing it’s taking us slowly to the act of the murder itself. But guys, it was mentioned again only on the last few pages. So the whole drama just simply disappeared, it didn’t feel in any way important and significant, it was something that happened and so what? It didn’t make me sad, or teary, it was then immediately explained who the victim is (though I’ve almost immediately guessed it) – as it wasn’t ever mentioned through the whole story, which is understandable, you just haven’t thought about it, so there was no tension and no questioning yourself who and why. It was really confusing and I’m still not sure what to do with it.

Liz Nugent has, of course, excelled here in the character’s portrayal and its development. She has created a manipulative and self – absorbed Delia that you just can’t warm to throughout the whole story, but I guess it was intended. I’ve never felt sympathy nor empathy to Delia and yes, I do understand where she was coming from, what with her dotting father all the time telling her she’s “The Queen” and that she’s gorgeous, and I mean when you hear it all the time as a child you’re prone to believe it, but then you grow up and heck, you start to think for yourself, right? And Delia O’Flaherty didn’t. Using and abusing people only because of the fact that you’re beautiful? Delia was like a reverse Midas – whatever she’s touched turned not into gold but into tragedy and drama. She was destructive and her actions were awful.
Delia was of course not the only character in the book but she has dominated the whole story. The other characters were more or less likeable but almost all of them fell quickly under her spell.

Altogether, “Skin Deep” was a bleak, disturbing read but I’m really glad I’ve read it. It was a read with a difference, and Liz Nugent’s writing style is vivid and addictive. This powerful read pushing the boundaries, evoked many dark emotions in me, as it itself was a dark, sinister tale.