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Blog Tour: Don’t Come Looking by AJ Campbell

Published: April 17th, 2021
Publisher: Code Grey Publishing
Genre: Mystery, Thriller. Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback, Kindle

SYNOPSIS:

A missing man. A desperate friend. A circle of deceit.

Would you refuse your friend’s desperate plea for help?

It’s eight years on from the dramatic events of Leave Well Alone, and Eva is now a detective constable on the brink of promotion. When her close friend Marc disappears, his wife Sasha is distraught, and Eva is baffled. Sasha and Marc were happy, the perfect couple, or so everybody thought.

Sasha begs Eva to help her find Marc. But he has appeared at the police station where Eva works and has made a statement. It’s on record – when his family report him missing, Marc doesn’t want to be found.

Eva is torn. She has a professional duty not to get involved, but Sasha and Marc have gone above and beyond over the years to help Eva and her husband Jim through their own troubled times.

Ultimately, friendship and loyalty override Eva’s professional integrity, and she is compelled to use her skills to delve into Marc’s life, even if it means going against Jim’s advice and breaking the police code of conduct. As each day passes, the drama unfolds, and the mystery deepens. What was Marc up to? What made him do the things he did in the months leading up to his disappearance? Things so out of character, Eva struggles to tell Sasha about them….

And then a disturbing discovery changes everything.

For lovers of domestic and psychological thrillers, and stories with a strong female lead, this one will keep you turning the pages.

Perfect for readers of Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena, Clare Mackintosh, Rachel Abbotts and Adele Parks.

MY REVIEW:

“Oh, how people weave webs of lies. Each one threaded so tightly around the next until the mess they’ve created becomes impossible to unravel.”

Don’t Come Looking is the second book in the Eva Barnes Series. I enjoyed book one, so when the author approached me to take part in the blog tour of her follow up I didn’t hesitate. 

This time Eva is trying to unravel an intricate and tangled web of secrets when her best friend’s husband walks out on his family. Before disappearing Marc goes to the local police station to tell them he’s leaving of his own volition and he doesn’t want to be found, so the police can’t investigate, and neither should Eva. But she can’t just stand by and watch her best friend crumble, so she quietly looks into Marc’s life, trying to get to the bottom of why a seemingly happy family man would one day walk out without a word to anyone. It soon becomes clear that Marc wasn’t the man they all thought he was and the deeper Eva delves into his life, the more messy and puzzling things get…

Gripping, mysterious, twisty and full of foreboding, AJ Campbell has crafted a psychological thriller even better than her first. Once again, her vivid and evocative writing had me hooked from the first page and I sped through the book quickly. Her characters are compelling and relatable; normal people put in extraordinary situations they can’t quite fathom. 

“That’s what depression does to you. You can’t think clearly… You’re confused all the time. Helpless… you feel powerless, and you can’t see anything positive. It’s painful – mentally, as well as physically, harrowing… You lose sight of what it feels like to be happy. “

What I’ve come to like most of all about Campbell’s books, is how she writes mental health. Her writing is a skillful amalgamation of education, sensitivity and entertainment as she highlights depression in middle aged men, something that isn’t talked about enough despite the fact that they have the highest rate of suicide in the UK and three quarters of adults who go missing are men. They are scary statistics. As is the fact that men are less likely to reach out for help and accept physiological therapies than women. I know men that age who’ve battled their mental health and sought help, but I have no doubt that this book will help those who haven’t or who need to reach out for help themselves. 

For me personally, I also appreciated her portrait of someone living with chronic pain and disability. Too often these characters are written as pill-popping drug addicts and two-dimensional characters, but Jim is a well rounded character full of nuance who just happens to also have pain and mobility issues. With accuracy she portrays the daily struggle of living with pain and the guilt and frustration it brings. It was the little details like him gritting his teeth as he silently dealt with the agonising pain and pushing through to still go out with the family because he didn’t want to let his kids down that resonated with me most of all. I felt truly seen. Thank you Amanda. 

I would highly recommend this, and the previous book, to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers, particularly if you’re looking for well written ones without any gore. Ms. Campbell is now one of my auto-buy authors and I’m looking forward to reading book three.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

MEET THE AUTHOR:

AJ Campbell is the debut author of the bestselling novel Leave Well Alone, which readers describe as ‘a gripping story with a killer twist’. An alumna of the Faber Academy, AJ writes in the psychological suspense, thriller and mystery genres. Her latest novel Don’t Come Looking, although a standalone story, is a sequel to her debut and is due for release in April 2021.

The human mind and how different people react to each other and interact in society fascinates AJ. She draws inspiration for her novels from many facets of everyday life. Asking, ‘How can that have possibly happened?’ AJ loves to immerse herself in developing threads, plotting and letting her creative energy help her characters evolve.

Until the birth of her twins in 2005, which radically changed her life, AJ worked as an accountant in London. One of her twins was born with severe disabilities, as a result of which she had to give up work to care for him.  During this incredibly challenging (and rewarding) time, AJ began to draw on her love of the written word, partly for daily inspiration and partly for her own mental health. 

Reading or writing, AJ loves nothing more than settling down with a good book. She enjoys reading most genres, especially thought-provoking novels that beg the question – what would I have done in that situation?

AJ lives on the Essex / Hertfordshire border with her husband, two of her three sons, and her cocker spaniel, Max. She is a firm believer in daily exercise for mental health and enjoys walking Max in the local fields. AJ also loves cooking oriental food while sipping a good glass of white wine.

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Amazon*

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Thank you to A. J. Campbell for the invitation to take part in this blog tour and the ARC of the book. Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles, Emma xxx