Categories
Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – July 2020

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Welcome to another wrap up. I read nineteen books this month, which is my best month yet. I read some great books and took part in two great readalongs with Tandem Collective UK and other bookstagrammers. The first was for All My Lies Are True, the sequel to The Ice Cream Girls. This took a different format and I particularly enjoyed having it start with the author reading the beginning of the book. The second was for A Court of Mist and Fury, the second book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I am now totally hooked on this series and am counting down to August’s readalong of book three. 

So here is what I read in July:

  1. Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
  2. All Fall Down (DI Helen Grace 9) by M. J. Arlidge
  3. The Bad Mother’s Virus by Suzy K. Quinn
  4. The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English
  5. The Unwinding: and other dreamings by Jackie Morris
  6. Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer (Natalie Ward Book 7)
  7. All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson (Ice Cream Girls 2)
  8. Lost by Leona Deakin (Dr Bloom 2)
  9. Fleishman Is In Trouble
  10. If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin
  11. Spirited by Julie Cohen
  12. The Resident by David Jackson
  13. Playdate by Alex Dahl
  14. Precious You by Helen Monks Takar
  15. The Storm by Amanda Jennings
  16. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass
  17. Eleven Lines To Somewhere by Alyson Rudd
  18. Shed No Tears by Caz Frear (DC Cat Kinsella Book 3)
  19. The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele

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I had been trying to decide if my favourite book this month was All My Lies Are True or The Resident when The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon swooped in at the final hour and claimed the title. I highly recommend all three books, particularly Nancy Moon.

Thank you to the tagged publishers for my gifted copies of the books.

What did you read in July? Did we read any of the same books?

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews

Lost by Leona Deakin (Dr Bloom 2)

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Published: July 9th, 2020
Publisher: Transworld Publishing
Format: Kindle
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Crime Series

Today is my stop on the blog for for the second book in the gripping Dr Bloom series. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and Transworld Publishing and Netgalley for the eBook ARC.

SYNOPSIS:

HOW CAN YOU SOLVE A CRIME IF YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THE CLUES?

There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.

His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom to support the investigation. But no one can work out if there is a connection between the bomb and the disappearance.

When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions. But he can’t remember a single thing.

Without any clues, will Dr Bloom find herself lost in this puzzle too?

MY REVIEW:

“As he walked up the stone stairway, Captain Harry Peterson had no idea that time was running out. In less than an hour, a bomb would rip this building apart.”

The follow up to Leona Deakin’s sensational debut literally starts with a bang when a bomb explodes at a military ball. Captain Harry Peterson is injured and taken away in an ambulance only to disappear. His girlfriend calls her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom asking her to help her find him and investigate if there is a link between the bomb and his disappearance. When Harry turns up 72 hours later he is unable to answer their questions and can’t remember anything from the last four years. Can Dr Bloom solve the mystery of the bomb and Harry’s missing memory with no real clues? 

From that first line that had me on the edge of my seat, I was sure I was in for a riveting read. Gone was one of my favourite books last year so I was thrilled to finally have my hands on the follow up. If you haven’t read the first book don’t worry, the author succinctly catches you up on events in the first few pages. However I recommend reading it because it’s so good.

Once again Deakin has crafted a layered and intricate plot that keeps you guessing right until the end. She expertly lulls you into thinking you’ve got it all figured out before pulling the rug from under you with surprising revelations that change everything you thought you knew. Just like her debut, it is clear that Deakin knows her stuff when writing about matters of psychology and the brain. I found learning more about how memory works and can be affected fascinating and have come away feeling like I’ve been both educated and entertained. The pace did slow down a little about quarter of the way through but after a while it picked up again and I was on tenterhooks as we raced towards the finale.

Augusta and her colleague, Marcus Jameson, have a different dynamic in this installment after the events of book one but I still enjoyed both of them and it was interesting to see how they worked together under different circumstances. And as much as I enjoyed them both, for me the best character was Karene, Harry’s girlfriend. The love, passion and commitment she had for Harry radiated from the pages and their love story had me smiling from ear to ear. She is also fiercely intelligent and I would have liked to have seen more of her expertise shown. Maybe I’ll be lucky and she’ll return in another book. 

Lost is clever, exciting and addictive. The perfect read for those who like a thriller without the gore. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✫

Leona Deakin Author Pic

MEET THE AUTHOR:

Leona Deakin started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.

 Twitter

BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon |Hive |Google Books |Kobo

Lost BT Poster

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews

Gone by Leona Deakin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this astonishing psychological thriller. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and to Transworld Publishing for my gifted copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME. 

DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.

But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?

Gone PB Cover

MY REVIEW:

Wow! This phenomenal novel puts the psycho into psychological thriller. It was one of those books where you just know you’re going to love it instantly. From the spine-chilling first chapter I was hooked and I devoured this book in just two sittings, staying up until daft o’clock as I needed to know what happened. Exhilarating, fast-paced, jaw-dropping and addictive, it knocked me out like ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

Dr Augusta Bloom and her partner Marcus Jameson are called in to investigate the disappearance of his sister’s friend Lana, leaving her sixteen-year-old daughter Jane behind with no money for food or bills. The police don’t think there’s a case to look into, despite the anonymous birthday card left behind daring her to play a game. As they investigate, they learn that three other people have disappeared in similar circumstances. But they can’t find any commonalities between the victims other than they disappeared on their birthdays and left behind the same card. Who is the card from? And what is so enticing about this game they’d willingly walk away from their life and loved ones?

After speaking to those closest to them Augusta has a theory beginning to take shape. But when she reveals it to Jameson he’s skeptical. As the number of players rises the police finally get involved in the search and Augusta is increasingly sure of her hypothesis. But they still don’t know who’s behind the game or what they want and Augusta begins to think the team are being watched and someone is trying to derail the investigation. Can they find the architect and the players before it’s too late? 

I really liked the characters in this book. This new series focuses on Dr Augusta Bloom, a criminal psychologist and private detective, and her partner Marcus Jameson, a former spy, who have been solving mysteries together for five years. I loved this easy-to-like duo. Augusta is elusive and Marcus, her only real friend, doesn’t even know a lot about her. She keeps to herself and her job is her life. Marcus also lives for his job but is more open that Augusta. We meet his sister in the book and it’s clear how important his family is to him which is why I think the choice to have him be personally connected to their case was a good one. It added an extra layer of emotion and urgency and the odds felt higher. My favourite character was Seraphine. At just fourteen years old she knows she’s a psychopath and seems to relish it. She passes for normal by watching those around her and mimicking their behaviour. Her parts were always fun but sinister and eerie. 

This was my first time reading a book by this author and it won’t be my last. It is intelligent, sharp and expertly written, and you can tell she knows her stuff as she delves into the darkness that is camouflaged amongst us and offers a fascinating insight into their minds. I loved how the antagonist was written and while I won’t go into specifics to avoid spoilers, I will say they were revealed to be truly twisted and calculated. Another aspect of her writing I enjoyed was the small clues she hid for us to find that you don’t really recognise until much later. For instance, I couldn’t shake a feeling of discomfort about two of the characters. It felt like there was something underlying and hidden. But it wasn’t until towards the end that I pieced it together from the subtle trail of breadcrumbs the author had left behind. She knows how to keep her readers hostage and captivated me from the start right until the last page.

Gone is an immersive, arresting, heat-stopping and clever thriller that is fraught with tension from the first page. Unputdownable can be overused by book bloggers but I can’t think of a more appropriate time to use it than for this book. Insanely twisty, there were shocking and unexpected revelations that left me speechless. 2019 has been a great year for thrillers and Gone has snook in at the last minute to be one of my top books this year. I can’t wait for the second installment and could see this becoming a contender for my favourite crime series. Anyone who loves psychological thrillers needs to read this now!

Out now.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational therapist and lives with her family in Leeds. This is her debut thriller.

Gone PB BT Poster