Published: July 28th, 2021
Publisher: Hera Books
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction, Noir Fiction, Urban Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
Today is my stop on the blog tour for this tense and twisty thriller. Thank you to Sarah at Books on the Bright Side for the invitation to take part and Hera Books for the gifted eBook ARC.
They’re in your house.
They want your life.
And now, they have your baby.
To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.
They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.
But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.
I just don’t know why.
But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.
Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.
A compelling thriller, packed with suspense – fans of K.L. Slater and Lisa Jewell won’t be able to put it down.
“A few nice photos of your house and they think they know you, that you must be living the perfect life. If only they knew.”
TW: Domestic abuse
Gemma and her husband Nick seem to have the ideal life: a happy marriage, picture-perfect home and a beautiful newborn baby. But behind the shiny image they portray to the outside world is something much darker. A life where Gemma lives in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing and Nick has all the control.
Scarlett and her lover Cole are soulmates. As soon as his divorce is finalised they are going to be together properly. Forever. At least that’s what he’s promised her. So when he suddenly ends their relationship Scarlett is shocked, and determined to win back her man. But as she starts to think that he has in fact lied to her, her thoughts instead turn to revenge. Leading her to take drastic and shocking action to make him pay for what he did.
This is one of those books that’s a bit like an iceberg: what you see at first is only a part of what is actually going on beneath the surface. Taut, tense and twisty, the author shifts seamlessly between timelines to slowly unveil the layers in the story, weaving them together to craft a complex and intricate thriller. And while there were some things that were easy to predict, there were so many unanswered questions, unexpected revelations and misdirection that it kept you on your toes and avoided feeling predictable.
Gemma and Scarlett felt like they could be any young woman you know. They are close in age but their lives couldn’t be more different, a contrast that is compelling. Gemma in particular was very likeable and reading her felt like I could have been reading about myself many years ago. I just wanted to help her break free of Nick’s grasp. Scarlett had her charms, but she also did a lot of messed up things in the name of revenge that disturbed me. But while the author doesn’t make excuses for her, she does show the reader her motivations, helping us to understand her behaviour. I found myself often empathising with her, even if I didn’t agree with what she was doing. Then there’s Nick; a vile, abusive man who made my stomach churn and blood boil. The author got the mix of charm and viciousness down to perfection so you could understand both how Gemma fell in love with him and why she was so scared.
The author explores the topic of domestic violence and coercive control in a multitude of ways throughout this book. She looks at how people find themselves in these kinds of relationships, what it is like to live in a relationship dominated by escalating abuse and control, and the aftermath of abuse and what that means for those who survived. As a domestic abuse survivor I appreciated the honesty and sensitivity with which she wrote. It is clear that she has done her research and was so realistic that it did bring back memories of my own experience. But it is also a book that educates and makes you think, helping those who don’t have any experience of these kinds of situations to understand how easily anyone can find themselves trapped in that kind of life. I also liked that she showed the many facets of abuse and control and appreciated her note at the end with places to go to for help for those who need it.
Unnerving, explosive and affecting, this was a gripping thriller that I’d recommend to fans of the genre.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Ruby Speechley is the author of four psychological thrillers published by Hera Books. She loves writing about domestic situations with plenty of twists and secrets.
She was born in Portugal but has lived in the UK since she was three months old. She now lives in Cheshire with her husband and two of her three children and two dogs. She has an older son and grandson.
BUY THE BOOK:
Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles😊 Emma xxx