Blog Tour Review: ‘The Woman Upstairs’ by Ruth Heald ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for Ruth Heald’s new thriller and it’s a good one! This was my first read by this author but I can’t wait to read more after this. 

Thank you to Bookoture for my invitation to take part in the blog tour and to NetGalley, Bookoture and Ruth Heald for my eBook ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

SYNOPSIS:

You’d be lost without her..

She’s the shoulder you cry on when the father of your children disappears.

She’s the person you turn to when he comes back, begging for forgiveness.

She’s by your side when you discover his guilty secrets.

She helps you rock your babies to sleep when they cry.

She’s your friend when you have no one else.

She’s the woman upstairs, whose feet you hear treading around as you drift off at night, thankful you aren’t alone.

But what if you’re about to lose everything because of her?

One of the most twisted, heart-stopping psychological thrillers you’ll ever read! Fans of K.L. Slater, The Wife Between Us and The Girl on the Train, prepared to be kept up past your bedtime as you race through this addictive page-turner.

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MY REVIEW:

I devoured this unputdownable novel in under a day. The author had me hooked and I was quickly invested in the lives of Katie and her twins. I was up until the early hours of the morning, unable to stop reading until I knew how things worked out for them.

This is a book full of twists and it seemed every time I caught my breath from one twist another was revealed. There was an undercurrent of danger and foreboding that had me on tenterhooks the whole time, and the unreliable characters meant I couldn’t trust anything I thought I knew. 

Katie is vulnerable, isolated, and her whole world is turning upside down. The upheaval and confusion of new motherhood, sleep deprivation and an unreliable partner mean it’s hard for her to know if she’s really seeing what is happening clearly, therefore making it easy to gaslight or manipulate her. At times I liked her but her dimwittedness did begin to grate after a while. I did find it hard to accept she could be so trusting of someone she didn’t really know even though her past gave clues as to how that could happen. To  me it was so obvious how unstable and shady Paula was that I wanted to scream at her for handing over her defenseless children to her. I would also feel frustrated at how she let everyone walk all over her and I was internally begging her to stand up for herself many times. She needed to find her mama bear and fight.

Paula was a great character. Though she seems kind and like she just wants to help, there is something a bit off about her from the start. She was clearly troubled and I Katie could someone like her so blindly, however desperate she is. It isn’t long before we see the extent of her calculated, controlling, manipulative and nefarious character. I feared for Katie and her children. 

The story is told in dual timelines and the flashbacks to a frightened, unknown child, were heartbreaking and chilling. My ideas about who this child was changed many times over the course of the book but it was written so well that I was always second guessing myself right up until the last moment.  

The Woman Upstairs is a crazy, disturbing and gripping psychological thriller. I was never sure who we could trust and completely unprepared for the shocking finale. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.

Available now.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ruth Heald is a psychological thriller writer from a suburban Buckinghamshire town. She studied Economics at Oxford and then worked in an eclectic mics of sections from nuclear decommissioning to management consulting. 

Seeking a more creative environment, she found a role at the BBC and worked there for nine years before leaving to write full time. Ruth is fascinated by psychology and finding out what drives people to violence, destruction and revenge. She’s married with one daughter and her novels explore our greatest fears in otherwise ordinary, domestic lives.

Social Media Links: 

Website:  www.rjheald.com

Twitter:  @RJ_Heald.   https://twitter.com/RJ_Heald

The Woman Upstairs - Blog Tour

Review: ‘The Bad Place’ by M.K. Hill ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Five of them got out alive.

That was twenty years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no-one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes.

DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl.

Is history repeating itself? Is one of the five responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message? 

MY REVIEW :

Anyone who’s been following my reviews for a while knows that I love a good crime series. Well, my friends, it seems I have found another to add to the growing list. This was the first time I’d read a book by this author but the premise gave me chills, and the endorsement from Mark Edwards made me sure I could trust that this would be a great read. I wasn’t wrong.

The book opens on the thirteenth day of an abduction. This is also the day that five of the children held captive escape and there’s a showdown between the police and the kidnapper as they try and prevent a disastrous end. They aren’t successful. We then jump forward to twenty-six years later when the survivors are holding their annual get together to commemorate their lost friend. But when the final member of their party arrives shaken claiming to have witnessed a young girl being snatched on the street, the group are descended into a nightmare that they have tried to put behind them and secrets that have been kept for almost three decades threaten to finally be revealed.

This was a captivating and thrilling read. Like the police investigating, I was met with question upon question, and I was over half way through the book before I could begin to conceive who might have taken the children or what might happen next. The story is told in dual timelines with the flashbacks to The Bad Place all those years ago providing insights. It was clear from early on that one of them hasn’t told the whole story about her time at The Bad Place and would rather try to forget the unspeakable things that happened. All the same, I didn’t initially consider any of the survivors of being involved in the latest abductions, though as the evidence was uncovered there were times I did wonder if one or more of them were involved in some way.

All of the survivors are featured in the story but Karin is the one focused on most, and the one who narrates the flashbacks. It was her best friend Bex who was killed that fateful night and she’s haunted by it to this day. She’s the one who hosts their yearly vigils and seems to have a maternal role towards some of the others. I thought they were all well written and the author found different ways to show the lasting damage they’d all suffered after their abduction, some of which are very subtle. Their bond seems to be kind of toxic but comforting at the same time and as much as they talk about never meeting again none of them seem able to stay away from each other completely.

This introduction to DI Sasha Dawson had me hooked. She is a flawed character who is committed to her job and dealing with a home life that is falling apart. She desperately wants to put her marriage back together and find her closeness with her children again, but that isn’t easy when you have a job that demands so much of your time and energy. All through the book she’s battling this problem and I was rooting for her to find a way to put her family back together as much as I was for her to save the missing kids. Her team members were made up of some interesting characters that I also enjoyed reading and I’m looking forward to reading more about Sasha and her team in future installments of this series.

As I said, I found it very hard to figure out this book and that made me love it all the more. I love when I feel like I’m in the same boat as the police and the pieces very slowly come together. As we got closer to the end of the book it was impossible to stop reading as everything reached a crescendo. When the identity of the kidnapper was revealed I was blindsided. I had the wrong person in my sights and the author did a fantastic job of misdirecting me so I didn’t see it coming at all.

If you’re a fan of brilliantly written, twisty, edge-of-your-seat thrillers, then you will love The Bad Place. I know this author has a new fan and I am eagerly anticipating book two.

Thank you to NetGalley, Head of Zeus and M.K. Hill for my copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Out now from your favourite bookseller.

Blog Tour Review: ‘Degrees of Guilt’ by HS Chandler ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for this electrifying thriller. Thank you to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Reads Blog Tours for the invitation to take part, and Trapeze Books, NetGalley and HS Chandler for the eBook ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS:

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.

A gripping, sexy and twisty novel for readers who devoured ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, APPLETREE YARD and HE SAID/SHE SAID.

MY REVIEW:

Murder. Sex. Betrayal.  This compelling courtroom drama has these things and more. Reading it was like eating a bag of maltesers – once I started I couldn’t stop until it was finished. 

The book opens with Edward Bloxhom dead from a head wound. His wife, Maria, is calmly drying a mug and thinking about how she’ll get the blood out of the grouting. After a short time she calls the police and goes outside to wait for their arrival, thankful to be free of the man who controlled her life for almost twenty years. We then jump forward to the first day of Maria’s trial which we follow as the evidence is presented – shocking claims of abuse from the defense, and of a violent, cold-blooded murderess from the prosecution. 

I loved that this story was narrated by both the defendant and a member of the jury charged with deciding her fate. We don’t often get an insight into the jury room and their perspective so it was interesting to follow that side of things in detail. Initially it appears that Maria and Lottie, the juror, couldn’t be more different but we come to understand there are many similarities between them. Both women were interesting characters that I enjoyed reading and I felt like they would probably have been able to be great friends in another situation. Lottie wonders on the first day how Maria must be feeling about entrusting her future to twelve strangers and has a willingness to see Maria as a person with feelings, something the other jurors don’t seem to do. I was glad she had at least one person on the jury seeing her as a human being and not being quick to judge. 

Domestic abuse and controlling partners is a topic at the heart of this book. Maria is initially reluctant to explain to anyone why she bludgeoned her husband. After all, how can she explain to strangers what she struggles to believe herself?  But in court she finally reveals the appalling details of almost two decades of coercive control and abuse. There were many times I would feel sick to my stomach at the details, especially the parts relating to physical harm, but this was a vital part of the story so we could understand what life was like for Maria, what her mental state was. Without it she appears to be a crazy disgruntled wife who savagely bludgeoned her defensive husband. Once we’ve heard her story it seems obvious that she is a desperate woman who didn’t think there was any other way out. 

But Maria isn’t the only one who’s lived a life walking that fine tightrope trying to please an abusive man. There are others in this story too, including juror Lottie, who’s husband Zain controls their home. Everything must be done to his specifications and he even orders her to get herself excused from jury duty as doesn’t want the “disruption” to his picture-perfect existence. Lottie longs for more than being a housewife and mother but Zain won’t entertain her doing anything else so the chance to escape to the excitement of  jury duty is a welcome one, even if it causes arguments with Zain. The author perfectly portrays the reality of life with an abuser and how by the time you see what’s going on you’re often in so deep that you either don’t think about leaving or are too scared of what will happen if you do.

An important aspect that the author addresses briefly is the disparity between how domestic abuse victims killing their abusers and abusers killing their victims is viewed. Maria ponders that her story would not be sensational or have garnered such interest if it had been Edward who killed her. Obviously murder isn’t how anyone would encourage a victim to leave an abuser, but I think the fact that the death of a woman (and it is most commonly women) at the hands of an abusive partner is so heartbreakingly common now that it often barely warrents a second glance. But when it’s the other way around there’s an outcry and a lack of understanding of the sheer desperation someone feels to commit such an act.

I am a sucker for a good courtroom drama and a huge fan of this author’s DI Callanach series, under her real name of Helen Fields, so I couldn’t wait to read this standalone novel. One of the things I love about her writing style is the little details she gives us that really get us inside the mind and connect us to her characters. As with all her other books this one is expertly written, fast paced and full of twists and turns. I did guess “the twist” early on, but the author has such a talent that I’d talked myself out of it and was taken aback when it proved right later on. 

Any books by this author are a must read for me and this one did not disappoint. Degrees of Guilt is a fantastic courtroom drama and domestic thriller that I highly recommend. 

Available now from your favourite bookseller.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

HS Chandler is the pen name of Helen Fields. As HS Chandler she writes psychological thrillers and legal thrillers. With a background as a criminal and family law barrister, she now runs a media company and writes the Callanach crime series. 

Blog Tour Review: The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the book that Hutchinson Books is calling their “Major break-out debut of the year”. Thank  you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the blog tour, and to Hutchinson for my ARC copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

TWO FEMALE SPIES. A BANNED MASTERPIECE. A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY.

1956. A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it. 

But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation.

In Washington DC, the CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour.

Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.

It will not be easy. There are people prepared to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.

Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott’s dazzling first novel is a sweeping page turner and the most hotly anticipated debut of the year.

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MY REVIEW:

An exciting read from the first few pages, I couldn’t put this book down. I’m a big history lover but didn’t know much about the Cold War. I relished the chance to learn and found that as well as a sensational book, this was also a fascinating history lesson. The evocative imagery drew me in and I was fully immersed in the world on the pages as I savoured every expertly written word. 

Secrets. Love, Betrayal, Espionage. War. Oppression. Darkness. Hope. Freedom. History. The author has woven all of these things into this beautiful, moving and spectacular debut novel. We learn the truth behind Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago; how the banned novel came to be smuggled out of, and then back into the Soviet Union as part of a propaganda war by the US. We follow the network of courageous people charged with tasks than enabled its completion and publication, and moved between their varying perspectives and timelines in locations of East and West. 

One thing that struck me about this book is the multitude of strong women. It was an era where the world was still seen to be very much run by men. Where women with degrees were destined for the typing pool whilst their sometimes lesser educated male counterparts were the boss and where the knowledge and power these women had often wasn’t seen. From the ladies in the typing pool, to Boris Pasternak’s lover, each has their own unique strengths. 

A favourite character of mine was Irina. I enjoyed watching her grow quietly in confidence as she’s taken from a meek immigrant’s daughter to a brave US spy aware of, and delighting in, her own power. Once she is being trained by veteran spy Sally, her self-assurance blossoms and she wants to be more like her mentor, a woman who seems to exude it in her every move. Another woman who’s strength stood out for me was Olga, Boris’ mistress and muse. I did feel like her strength came from a very different place and was more self-serving, such as how she went to any length to help Boris no matter the risk to her children, who should have come first. While I didn’t agree with her putting her lover before her children, I did admire how she wouldn’t crumble even in the most desperate of circumstances. She was pivotal in Boris’ life and the story of Doctor Zhivago in a myriad of ways. The chapter in which she writes a letter to her interrogator about her experiences in the gulag, was emotional, devastating and yet hopeful. It was a stand-out chapter in the book and the one that I will probably remember most of all long after reading. 

Like Doctor Zhivago, this is a story about love and war. And while it initially may seem that the story of the Cold War is most prominent, it was soon apparent that at the heart of this book is more than one love story. It is also a story about ordinary people doing remarkable things and trying to do their part to help change history. It’s easy to see why the film rights for this book have already been snapped up as it has all the ingredients needed to make a great movie.

The Secrets We Kept is a compelling, electrifying book that reads like a combination of literary fiction, historical fiction and thriller.  If you know nothing about the Cold War or Doctor Zhivago then don’t let that deter you picking this up as I was the same before reading this. Not only have I learned a lot, but I’m eager to find out more and to read the book at its centre. 

Out now to buy from your favourite bookseller. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lara Prescott was named after the heroine of Doctor Zhivago and first discovered the true story behind the novel after the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to its role in the book’s publication and covert dissemination. 

She travelled the world – from Moscow and Washington, to London and Paris – in the course of her research, becoming particularly interested in political repression in both the Soviet Union and United States and how, during the Cold War, both countries used literature as a weapon. 

Lara earned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.

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Blog Tour Review: A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for this debut novel. Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the invitation to take part and to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for my ARC copies of this book.

SYNOPSIS:

The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me. He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed on his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder.

Someone had been watching us.

1904 . Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland – her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worst still, the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs,  a face hovering around the body of the dead girl – the face of Betsan Tilny.

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MY REVIEW:

“He never left, he still remains. The demon of this village.”

Murder mystery meets supernatural thriller and gothic fiction in this chilling tale. Thomas Bexley is writing his story a decade after the events take place, using his diary entries for reference and we see extracts at various points in the book. He begins with a note addressing the reader directly and I loved the promises of the chilling, dark and sinister things to come. This is the first time he’s really spoken about what happened during that strange case and he admits to feeling concerned about how he will be viewed once he reveals the truth of all that transpired. 

Forensic photography is still in its infancy and Bexley, known in the field for his eye for detail and his gift for putting the evidence together, is a specialised investigator who is sent to assist with serious crime cases across the country. When Betsan Tilny is brutally murdered in the isolated Welsh village of Dinas Powys, Bexley is called to help solve the crime. But on his arrival he’s dismayed to find that those in charge seem to resent his presence. They’ve made up their mind who committed the crime and see Thomas as an unnecessary complication stirring up trouble and not understanding how they do things. 

Soon after his arrival Bexley has a sense of being watched, which only increases over time. He also comes down with a fever that inhibits his ability to work and forces him to take to his bed. And is it this fever that is making him imagine seeing the ghost of Betsan Tilny? He’s a man of science and doesn’t believe in such nonsense and decides that it is a manifestation of his fever.  But he can’t shake the fear that what he’s seeing is all too real and the victim trying to tell him something. Impeding his investigation is the unwillingness of the villagers to assist in the investigation. They’re hiding something, maybe even harbouring a killer, and Bexley is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Bexley is a serious, focused man who has no time to make friends or laze about. He’s there to do an important job in a thorough manner and will not let anything get in his way, not even being so sick he can barely stand. He was a great protagonist and I liked that unlike most others he saw no correlation between Betsan’s rumoured promiscuity and her death, reminding people repeatedly that nothing gives anyone the right to rape or kill another and nothing someone does mean they deserve such things happening to them. I was glad she had Thomas in her corner, fighting to find the truth and bring her killer to justice when others were glad of an easy way out and eager to brush the whole thing under the carpet. 

Councilman Robert Cummings is a loathsome character. He is the polar opposite of Thomas and seems completely uninterested in solving the crime. He makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t want Thomas there, his repulsion of the victim, or that he’s made up his mind about who killed Betsan no matter what the evidence shows. He goes out of his way to prevent a real investigation and Thomas wonders if Cummings is the reason everyone is reluctant to talk to him. Like Thomas I was suspicious of what he really knew and what he didn’t want him to unearth. 

As truths were slowly revealed and the secrets of the village begin to be brought to light, the book became increasingly hard to put down. I was gripped and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. A brilliant debut that is a superb mix of some of my favourite genres and one I would recommend. The atmospheric prose made me feel fully immersed in the story and there was an eeriness throughout. This is one of those books you need to read with the lights on. 

Publication Date: September 5th.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sam Hurcom was born in Dinas Powys, South Wales in 1991. He studied Philosophy at Cardiff University, attaining both an undergraduate and master’s degree. He has since had several short stories published and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Sam currently lives in the village he was raised in, close to the woodlands that have always inspired his writing.

A Shadow on the Lens is Sam’s debut novel.

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Review: ‘Nobody’s Wife’ by Laura Pearson ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

‘Of the four of them, only three remained. And there was no going back wards from there.’

Emily and Josephine have always shared everything. They’re sisters, flatmates, and best friends . It’s the two of them against the world.

When Emily has the perfect wedding, and Josephine finds the perfect man, they know things will change forever. But nothing can prepare them for what, or who, one of them is prepared to give up for love.

Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgivable betrayal.

From the best-selling author of Missing Pieces comes a heart-wrenching story about family, loyalty and obsession that will have you racing to the finish.

MY REVIEW:

A well written story that explores the bonds of sisterhood and how far we would go for love. 

I enjoyed this book but I did find it difficult to read at times because I didn’t ever get on board with the love story at its heart. I found that instead of being carried along with the passion between the two who have an affair and understanding why they risk everything, I just felt angry with them and sad for the others involved. But I think the author meant it to be that way. She doesn’t  try to circumvent the harsh, painful consequences of the characters’ decisions and I see this as more of a cautionary tale of the cost that comes from following our desires no matter the cost.

The relationship between the clandestine lovers was written with a fierce passion that borders on obsession. They just can’t help themselves and the undeniable magnetic force of the love between them was overwhelming. I understood how it started.The guilt that ate away radiated from the page but the actions they chose to continue taking made me angry. I couldn’t fathom how and why one of them in particular would be so selfish and heartless. 

I really liked the relationship between the sisters at the start and thought the author did a fantastic job of portraying how it slowly breaks down amid a haze of confusion and heartbreak. Their relationship with each other is the most important one in their lives, even more so since they became estranged from their mother, and it was painful to watch that fall apart. 

A heartbreaking story without any real winners, this was an emotional read. I would find myself angry one minute then feeling sick to my stomach the next. I loved how honest and raw this book was and am looking forward to reading more of her work. 

Out now.

Blog Tour Review: ‘Roam’ by Erik Therme ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Roam’. Thank you to Sarah Hardy at BOTBS Publicity for the invitation to be part of the blog tour.

SYNOPSIS:

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly.

Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.

MY REVIEW:

Sarah’s 21st birthday isn’t going the way she imagined. Instead of the perfect romantic evening with her boyfriend Matt, she’s stuck in the middle of nowhere after their car breaks down. Matt becomes increasingly angry and Sarah is scared of what he might do, so she finds an excuse to leave to get help; his threats ringing in her ears as she walks away. 

She’s soon spotted by Kevin who immediately offers her a ride. Though she fears the repercussions if Matt sees them, she decides to accept. We follow them over the course of the evening as a simple act of goodwill puts them both in danger and changes their lives in ways they didn’t expect. 

Roam is a character driven story that is a mix of the coming-of-age, thriller and romance genres. The author delves deep into the characteristics and back stories of our main characters, making them people you cared about and were rooting for. All of the characters are lost and damaged souls, people fighting battles and scars both past and present. They were interesting and very raw. This is the first time I’ve read one of this author’s books but I already get the impression he has a knack of writing these kinds of people

Sarah is naive, spontaneous, lacks confidence and, frankly, is a bit annoying at times. Despite her lack of confidence she’s stronger than she thinks. Despite being terrified and being conditioned to accept abusive relationships, she walks away from Matt and is determined to end things. She is tired of walking on eggshells and knows she deserves better than his violence and verbal abuse. Kevin was my favourite character. He’s an old soul, wise, mature and kind. He is a character that is trying to overcome his bad childhood and rebellious years. He wants to do good, pay it forward and make something of his life. Kevin is a budding writer, this part of his character inspired me. The reminders about having to go after what you want couldn’t have been more timely. 

There were a number of secondary characters but Scotty, one of Sarah’s oldest friends, ends up becoming another main character even though we don’t meet him until about a third of the way through the book. I didn’t like Scotty. I tried to. I understood his problems and that he’d been through a lot, but I just couldn’t take to him. He was an angry and bitter person, and even Sarah is fearful of him when she sees him that night. I didn’t initially see how Scotty would fit into the story but the author slowly reveals more until all is clear and we learn what a vital role he will play. 

Kevin is instantly attracted to Sarah, but it takes her a little longer to realise she likes him. While this got a little cliched at times I was rooting for them to get together and enjoyed how they slowly connected more deeply as the night went on. 

But alongside this sweet love story is the rising tension.The night becomes increasingly perilous and I couldn’t read fast enough, needing to find out if everyone would survive. I loved how the author brought it all together and ended the book. It was dramatic, surprising, and perfect. 

Thank you to Thecker Books, BOTBS Publicity and Erik Therme for my ebook copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Out now. 

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GIVEAWAY:

Erik is running two giveaways. The first is an International giveaway to win a digital copy of Roam.The second is open to UK & US readers and is to win an audio copy of Roam. Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/791a8c8f5/

Erik Therme Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErikTherme.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErikTherme

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7831573.Erik_Therme

Blog: NAWebsite: https://eriktherme.com

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Roam-Erik-Therme-ebook/dp/B01MSAA345

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roam-Erik-Therme-ebook/dp/B01MSAA345

Audible US: https://www.amazon.com/Roam/dp/B0722RN6WD/

Audible UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roam/dp/B071DXVC73/