Published: June 26th, 2022
Publisher: Code Grey Publishers
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Fiction
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Today is also my stop on the tour for The Phone Call. Thank you to A. J. Campbell for the invitation to take part and the gifted eBook ARC.
Sometimes the guilty are innocent
Joey Clarke was just fifteen when his dad died, leaving him to raise his much younger siblings as his mum dealt with the trauma of bereavement and her failing health. Ten years on, Joey’s only pleasure is spending time with his friend Becca, the love of his life. It’s the one escape from his dead-end job, his ever-increasing debts, and the fear that enforcement agents will knock on his front door any day.
So when a phone call brings Joey the chance to ease the burdens of his life, he grabs the opportunity, even though he knows things are not entirely as they should be. He justifies it to himself as a way to get back on his feet. But when he finds himself party to a crime involving Becca, he panics.
As Joey tries to find a way out, he becomes further embroiled in a web of secrets, lies, and deceit. At risk of losing everything and everyone he holds dear, Joey must consider the unthinkable.
A psychological suspense thriller, full of twists and turns, perfect for readers of Lisa Jewell, Frieda McFadden, Shari Lapena, Adele Parks, Miranda Rijks, Jackie Kabler, Lucy Foley, Sally Hepworth, and Daniel Hurst.
Joey Clarke receives a phone call from a friend that offers the chance to make some easy money. With the bills piling up and debt collectors about to knock on his door he feels he has little other option but to take the opportunity.
All he has to do is deliver two packages. The first delivery goes fine, but when he goes to deliver the second package things go wrong and he finds himself an accessory to a shocking crime. Even worse, the crime is linked to people he knows. Should he confess or keep quiet and hope his secret is never discovered?
A tangled web of secrets, lies and desperation that simmers with suspense, The Phone Call is a tense and twisty psychological thriller. I’ve read all of A. J. Campbell’s books and this one had the most intense atmosphere yet as Joey’s desperation and despair leap from the page. He is drowning in hopelessness with no life raft to save him, though I wished I could throw him one. It was painful to read as he struggles to bear the part he played in what happens and wrestles with his conscience while trying to decide what he should do. It feels like an impossible dilemma, particularly when combined with the threats of what would happen to him and his family if he dared to go to the police hanging over him. Campbell has a skill for writing characters who are relatable and real, something that shines in this book as they pull you in and make you feel for them. The combination of this with familiar life struggles, drama and sinister secrets, raise the tension and make this a book that will have you on the edge of your seat.
On the subject of characters, I want to take this opportunity to thank the author. Joey’s mum has Fibromyalgia, a condition I also live with. To see someone with this condition written in a realistic way that doesn’t contain the usual cliches about painkiller addiction, hypochondria or laziness was refreshing. This is the kind of representation of chronic illness we need in literature and it was wonderful to see.
Fast-paced, suspenseful and twisty, this intense thriller is a quick and compelling read that I’d recommend.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
AJ CAMPBELL is the author of the Amazon bestselling debut novel Leave Well Alone. She writes in the psychological suspense genre and promises stories full of twists, turns and torment. Her fourth book The Phone Call was released in July 2022. AJ draws inspiration for her novels from seemingly unbelievable situations in which ordinary people find themselves. She creates compelling characters that resonate with her readers. AJ lives in the UK on the Essex / Hertfordshire border with her husband, sons, and cocker spaniel, Max. A dog lover, Netflix junkie, wine and Asian food enthusiast, either reading or writing, AJ enjoys nothing more than getting stuck into a twisty book!
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊 Emma xxxx
Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
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