Review: ‘Here To Stay’ by Mark Edwards⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

A beautiful home. A loving wife. And in-laws to die for.

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle down into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for. 

The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are scars on his wife’s body she won’t talk about.

As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in their new home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

From the two million copy bestselling author comes a tale about the chilling consequences of  welcoming strangers into your home.

REVIEW:

Another nail-biting, chilling tale of domestic noir from the man that Jennifer Hillier has rightly crowned “The King of domestic horror”.

Elliot Foster and Gemma Robinson meet one summer afternoon. She saves his life after a near-fatal bee sting and they fall hard and fast, marrying just two months later in Vegas. Elliot couldn’t be happier.

A few weeks after their wedding Gemma tells Elliot that her parents are moving back to the UK and asks if they can stay with them for a few weeks?  Wanting to make his new wife happy, and to meet his new in-laws, Elliot agrees. It will be the biggest mistake he ever makes.

This book is AMAZING! It started off slowly and while I was enjoying it, I didn’t foresee just how horrifying, mind-blowing and simply incredible it would become. Though this being Mark Edwards I am also not surprised. Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of this author. Ever since I first read The Retreat last summer , which I loved the nod to in this novel, I haven’t been able to get enough of his books. The Magpies trilogy is considered his greatest work, and it’s antagonist, Lucy Newton, is one of the greatest villains I’ve read. But this story and it’s villains give them both a run for their money.

Do you think you’ve got the in-laws from hell? Well Elliot’s are probably worse. I know I’d happily take my awful ex-mother-in-law over them any day! Jeff and Lizzy Robinson are two of the most despicable, repulsive, noxious, contemptible, foul and vile people I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading about. They turn Elliot’s world upside down and inside out. They seem determined to not only take his home but destroy his entire life. It got me so angry reading how they behaved. 

Elliot is the all-round nice guy. He’s worked hard and made a good life for himself, runs a non-profit working with underprivileged kids, thinks of others, is kind-hearted, and has finally met the woman of his dreams. Then the Robinsons threaten to take it all away. He gives them the benefit of the doubt over again, tell himself his suspicions are crazy and finds rational explanations for things. And every time they then do something even worse. I didn’t judge Elliot for some of his fantasies about what he’d like to do to them. I understood. How could you not loathe such toxic people.

The Robinson siblings are the mysterious characters, especially Chloe who is deathly ill and locks herself away when they first move in. They all seem frightened of their parents are secretive about their childhood and what exactly has happened to make them all so scared. Though Gemma and Elliot are married it was all so fast he barely knows her, or her past, and as the story unfolds he realises just how little he knew before making such a big commitment and inviting her family to stay with them.

I don’t want to give any details away as the shocks add to the escalating horror and brilliance of this book. I highly recommend this edge-of-your-seat thriller; just be warned that it’s a turbulent ride. And another thing…be careful who you invite to stay in your house. They just might never leave…

Thank you to Mark Edwards, Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: September 1st

 

 

Publication Day Review: ‘The Whisper Man’ by Alex North ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Happy Publication Day to Alex North and his chilling thriller.

SYNOPSIS:

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy, and his young son Jake, move to the sleepy village of Featherbank looking for a fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new house. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears whispering at his window…

MY REVIEW:

“If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…If you’re lonely, sad and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you”

A boy who hears whispers from people no one else can see echoes the spine-chilling moment in The Sixth Sense when Haley Joel Osment’s character utters the immortal words “I see dead people” in this eerie, menacing, unsettling and sinister novel. This is a book you do not want to read at night!

Six-year-old Neil Spencer disappears when walking home one summer evening. An extensive search yields no clues until Neil’s mother remembers him mentioning whispering outside his window one night. This revelation terrifies Featherbank detectives as the town is still haunted by Frank Carter, a local man who abducted and killed five young boys in 20 years ago. He is also known as the Whisper Man. His final victim’s body was never recovered and there were rumours of an accomplice. Could that be who abducted Neil?

Tom Kennedy and his son, Jake, are looking for a fresh start after the death of Tom’s wife the year before. Tom feels he is failing as a father and that he and Jake are drifting further apart. He’s hoping moving will change that. But it seems their problems have followed them, and the gulf between them only widens and the worrying incidents only increase after they move into the strange new house in Featherbank. With Jake hearing whispers and talking about things he shouldn’t know there’s undertones of something  malevolent lurking in the shadows of the Kennedy home.

I was hooked from the foreboding prologue right until the very last page of this book. The two main characters were well written: Tom is the grieving widower who is struggling to connect with his son in his own grief and also trying to evade the pain of his own childhood. He wishes his son was more “normal” and worries about him being too sensitive. Jake is a lonely child who is scrambling to make sense of the grief,emptiness and fear he feels after his mother’s death. He feels his dad doesn’t like him and takes solace in imaginary friends and his special things. For a lot of the book it isn’t clear how Tom and Jake are connected to the Whisper Man storyline and Neil’s disappearance, and I loved trying to find clues to figure out where the story would go next. I was usually wrong.

The Whisper Man is an exquisite, multi-layered, chilling and emotional novel. There were many twists and turns, some so jarring and unexpected I could only sit there in shock. Spectacularly written, this is a tense and haunting thriller that you don’t want to miss.

Out today.

Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin UK, Michael Joseph and Alex North for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

April Wrap Up

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It’s the end of another month and time for another wrap up. This month I read 13 books and got half way through another. Most of the books I’ve read this month have been thrillers and NetGalley e-ARCs but I enjoyed some variety with the two true crime books and Dear Mrs Bird, the latter of which was a welcome lighthearted read. So here’s what I read in April:

  1. ‘The Stranger Beside Me’ by Ann Rule ⭐⭐⭐⭐5 – This absorbing book tells the story of Ted Bundy, his crimes and how he was brought to justice. The author has a unique insight into the serial killer as the two worked together and were friends. Like many she at first didn’t believe her kind, charming friend could have committed such vile acts, but as the evidence mounted she had to resign herself to the truth of his guilt. I’ve read many true crime books in my life but reading this from the perspective of someone who is not only a friend of the killer but a crime reporter made this a unique book. It is a raw, chilling and interesting book that I would recommend to any fans of this genre. 
  2.  ‘A Good Enough Mother’ by Bev Thomas ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I devoured this cryptic story of love, loss, family and secrets in just over 24 hours. Ruth is the director of a trauma therapy unit and is good at her job, appearing calm and collected to those around her. But unbeknownst to them she’s traumatised by the disappearance of her son, Tom, 18 months ago and is distracted by thoughts of him when she meets a new patient who reminds her of her son. Seeing a chance to redeem herself she goes against her instincts and treats him, setting into motion a chain of events with far reaching and devastating consequences.
  3. ‘The Island’ by Ragnar Jonasson ⭐⭐ – Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. Though I found the synopsis gripping and sinister and it got off to a good start before quickly falling apart. The plotting felt disjointed, chapters were confusing and rushed, there was a lack of suspense and too may characters that had no real depth. I am in the minority with this book though, most readers have loved it, so I’d recommend checking out the synopsis and deciding for yourself.
  4. ‘Dear Mrs Bird’ by A. J. Pearce ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I loved this book. Despite being set in wartime and having some somber moments it isn’t a heavy read. A story of a young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist, this was a joyous, witty and well-written book.
  5. ‘I Know Who You Are’ by Alice Feeney ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Wow! This was my first read by this author and she absolutely blew me away. Mesmerising from the first page, I loved the way this book was written and devoured it within a day. I’ve read some fantastic thrillers and this definitely ranks as one of the best. 
  6. ‘The Whisper Man’ by Alex North ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – A boy who hears whispers from people no one else can see echoes the spine-chilling moment in The Sixth Sense when Haley Joel Osment’s character utters the immortal words “I see dead people” in this eerie, menacing, unsettling and sinister novel.  This book was full of twists and turns, some so jarring and unexpected I could only sit there in shock. Spectacularly written and one you don’t want to miss. Published June 13th
  7. ‘Dead Inside’ by Noelle Holten ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Everyone has a motive and you can’t help but think the victims got what they deserve in this dark, gruesome and hard hitting debut novel. The unsettling subject matter made it a hard read in places and led me to actually be glad someone was taking out the trash in their own version of justice. Though predictable at times this was a compelling and provocative novel and a good start to a new crime series. Published May 31st
  8. ‘Last of the Magpies’ by Mark Edwards ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The final installment in the Magpies trilogy ends things on a high note. The author has created a villain who, if she were real, would be up there with the best known psychopathic killers of our age. Reading reading the unfiltered inner-workings of her mind in this book was truly chilling. I couldn’t tear myself away and was in shock at the jaw-dropping revelations. Mark Edwards is fantastic at writing gripping psychological thrillers and I highly recommend this, the series, and any of his books.
  9. ‘Crushed’ by Kate Hamer ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This unusual story is narrated by three different friends, from three very different backgrounds, as events unfold that will change each of their lives forever. Phoebe thinks murder and murder happened. She must not let her thoughts unravel as she doesn’t know who will end up hurt if she does. A beautifully written and fascinating story of friendship, love and murder. Published May 2nd 
  10. ‘Columbine’ by Dave Cullen ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 – This book has been called the definitive account of the Columbine massacre, and it’s easy to see why. Ten years in the making this book is overall a well researched account of the events surrounding the murders, what motivated the killers, what was missed and the cover ups and myths that many still believe to this day. It is a captivating, hard-hitting book that I would recommend to anyone who loves true crime.
  11. ‘The Dangerous Kind’ by Deborah O’Connor ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The 1 in 100. The “dangerous kind” of people. We have all met them: those who unnerve you as something just doesn’t sit right, the charmers who are another person behind closed doors, the ones who manipulate and control. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s all too easy after crimes are committed to see the warning signs. But do we really pay attention to them before they go too far? Could we stop them? This was a riveting read that had me gripped from start to finish. The multifaceted story is one where you are never quite sure how the pieces fit together until the jarring revelations that come together in a gut-wrenching crescendo. Published May 16th
  12. ‘The Night Before’ by Wendy Walker ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Twelve hours earlier she was…Hopeful. Excited. Safe. Now she’s gone.. This was an easy read but also a compulsive roller-coaster ride with a jaw-dropping finale and shocking twists. I loved that it was written in chapters that alternated from Laura being on the date to the search for her and that I had no idea what would happen next right until the last moment. A spectacular thriller by a talented author. Published May 14th
  13. ‘Little Girls Sleeping’ by Jennifer Chase – Kate Scott comes across a cold case involving a missing eight year-old-girl and decides to investigate. When she finds a row of makeshift graves containing young girls she is sure there’s a serial killer on the loose and is determined to stop them before it’s too late. Review and rating coming soon. Published May 31st 

So that’s what I read this month.  I think this month it’s hard to pick a book of the month as I enjoyed so many of them. My favourites have been ‘The Stranger Beside Me’, ‘Columbine’ and ‘I Know Who You Are’ but I think the one that stands out is Columbine, because it’s a case that’s always fascinated me and reading it over the 20th anniversary of the shootings felt particularly poignant.

Have you read any of these books or are they in your TBR lists? Comment below.

Before I finish this I want to talk about reviews. I am behind on reviews by about seven books as I’m finding that the energy to type them and eloquently convey what I want to say is proving difficult at the moment. Because of that I’ve been concentrating on the NetGalley reviews but I do hope to catch up this month as there’s some books I’ve loved that I haven’t had chance to post reviews for yet, including a few I read this month.

Thank you to NetGalley, HQ, Thomas & Mercer, St Martin’s Press, Bonnier Zaffre, Bookoture, Faber & Faber, Penguin UK, Michael Joseph, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads, for the chance to read and review these novels.

‘The Dangerous Kind’ by Deborah O’Connor ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

One in 100 of us is what the police call a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing persons case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre and Deborah O’Connor for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The 1 in 100. The “dangerous kind” of people. We have all met them: those who unnerve you as something just doesn’t sit right, the charmers who are another person behind closed doors, the ones who manipulate and control. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s all too easy after crimes are committed to see the warning signs. But do we really pay attention to them before they go too far? Could we stop them?

This dark, atmospheric thriller captivated me from the first page and didn’t let me go. The subject matter is sinister, chilling, deplorable, and all too familiar. Filled with an array of characters that will resonate, anger, disgust and devastate you this is a book that takes you to the depths of human tragedy and depravity. Expertly written, the references to fairly recent events in modern history make you feel like you’re reading a true crime novel rather than a work of fiction.

With multiple narrators in dual timelines this is a multifaceted story where you aren’t quite sure how the many characters and storylines fit together. Even so it never feels confusing which is another testament to the talent of this author. A riveting read that was brimming with tension from start to finish, I was unprepared for the jarring revelations as it all came together in a gut-wrenching crescendo.  

Out May 16th.

‘Crushed’ by Kate Hamer ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. ‘Thoughts are just thoughts’, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point towards her mother’s room. She’s exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.

Thank you to NetGalley, Faber and Faber and Kate Hamer for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This unusual story is narrated by three very different friends, from very different backgrounds, as events unfold that will change each of their lives forever.

Phoebe is a strange, mysterious girl. She has no self confidence thanks to her narcissistic mother who controls and demeans her at every opportunity. This has led to Phoebe trying to find confidence and strength through things such as her secret eating disorder, rituals and the power of her mind; she believes that she can make things happen just by imagining them, including murder. Orla is the rich girl with the mother who gives her everything. But she is also worried about her mother discovering the truth: she is in love with Phoebe. Phoebe knows and uses it to her advantage causing Orla to veer between love and hate for her beautiful friend. Then there is Grace. Grace lives in the town’s only tower block where she is the carer for her single mother who has MS. She is weighed down by the responsibility but  also dreads the thought of anyone taking over and separating them, leading her to make decisions that are questionable as she desperately tries to hold her crumbling family together.

Although all three characters were well written, Phoebe was the one who stood out most of all. She is complex and someone who my heart broke for one minute and I hated the next. She could be unspeakably cruel but when you read how her mother treated her you understand why she did these things and that this was the way she’d learned to feel powerful and in control. She had no example of healthy love and affection and only knew toxic love. Grace’s chapters were the hardest for me to read as I’m also a mother with chronic, debilitating illnesses and for a long time I was a single parent with a child who was my main carer. Reading her hurt and anger at their situation was like a knife in my heart and I feel so thankful that my son no longer has that pressure and that he never got to the stage of feeling such anger and like his life choices were taken away from him because of my illness. I think Grace’s feelings were understandable yet are also what any parent who’s ill dreads their children feeling. I thought the author did a fantastic job of realistically portraying their situation.

This was my first read by this author and I found myself mesmerised by the lyrical, hypnotic and lurid style of writing. Phoebe’s parts are particularly stylistic and intoxicating and were my favourite to read despite their dark content. Throughout the story there is the constant theme of Macbeth, which is the book the girls are studying in English. Phoebe is unnerved by the story and feels it is bewitching her life through the book. Crushed itself is a kind of retelling of the tale with the three friends who dabble with witchcraft being the modern version of the three sisters.

This tragic story of friendship, love, heartbreak and murder is an unusual but fascinating book.It is well plotted and keeps up the pace throughout building to a sinister and shocking finale.

Out May 2nd.

‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Introducing the next generation of domestic thriller.

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin UK and Samantha Downing for the chance to read and review this book.

What can I say about this book? Well the first words that come to mind are: consuming, riveting, astounding, mesmerising, dark, twisted and unforgettable It lives up to the claim that it is “the next generation of domestic thriller” and is a fresh take on the genre that sets it apart from other thrillers and serial killer books.

“Life goes along like it’s supposed to, an occasional bump in the road but otherwise a fairly smooth ride.”

The story is narrated by Tobias, he’s married to Millicent and they live with their two children, Rory, 14, and 13-year-old Jenna. To everyone they appear to be just another affluent family: they have a happy marriage, a nice house, their children are well behaved and doing well at their private school and they socialise at the Country Club. But underneath this shiny veneer lurks a dark and disturbing secret.

From the beginning we know he keeps things from his wife he knows he should share, and it isn’t long before we find out she’s been keeping an even bigger secret from him. He immediately starts to wonder if she’s hiding anything more, a question that troubles him throughout the book, but ultimately he decides he trusts her.

“You didn’t think we were going to stop did you?”

This book is unusual  as it is told solely from the perpetrator’s perspective. I loved this choice as instead of trying to figure out the culprit the reader is instead left to ponder other questions about the crimes, the motive and if the carefully stacked house of cards will come toppling down around him. The first sign that this might happen is when what seems to have been the perfect smoke screen results in their daughter living in fear of her life, becoming obsessed with the news, resorting to violence and even carrying a weapon for protection. The realisation that they’ve damaged their child while protecting themselves horrifies Tobias and results in a shift of his priorities. Suddenly their hidden life isn’t so alluring and all that matters is helping his daughter become herself again. A decision that leads to his whole world unravelling and puts them all at risk.

“I always wanted to be more than above average”

A key aspect of this story is the relationship between the couple. Tobias grew up with wealthy parents who were uninterested in him and felt rejected. He started playing tennis to try and win their affection and attention without success and left home as soon as possible. From the moment he met Millicent he was captivated by her and she has always made him feel more than average. It is this that explains why he allows her to control many aspects of their family and their lives, and why he will do anything to make her happy, something Millicent clearly takes advantage of and uses to manipulate him. Their relationship also revolves around their secrets. They have their own version of date nights and secret code. Another reason Tobias enjoys their clandestine activities and brushes aside his concerns is because of how it affects their sex life. Even a simple discussion about it results in them becoming sexually charged and have wild, passionate sex, which increases the allure for him.

“Piece by piece my life is destroyed, like it was never real at all.”

As Tobias finally realises the depth of Millicent’s betrayal he struggles to comprehend how she could be so callous and cold. She isn’t the woman he thought she was. You can almost hear his heart and soul shatter  as he realises everything he thought he knew, everything he holds dear, is a facade. The book is expertly plotted and that pivotal moment when the truth dawns on Tobias occurred just minutes after it dawned on me and you are never quite sure where the story is going. At least not until the author wants you to and delivers a breathtaking twist that leaves you reeling. As the walls cave in around Tobias and time is running out the book speeds towards a spectacular, shocking and catastrophic conclusion.

It’s strange to say this about a killer but I loved Millicent’s character. She’s intelligent, manipulative, beguiling, calculating and at times a contradiction. She is unapologetic of her plans and actions while Tobias sometimes wavers. It was interesting to have a dynamic where the woman is the one pulling the strings and the man afraid of displeasing her instead of her being the victim cowering in the corner.

This jaw-dropping thriller is a book you don’t want to miss. It had me transfixed within the first two chapters and didn’t let go. The final line sent shivers down my spine and still haunts me. A debut that reads like the work of a veteran writer makes this author a talent to watch. I for one can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Out May 2nd

‘Last of the Magpies’ by Mark Edwards ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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The chilling conclusion to the #1 bestseller The Magpies.

Twelve months ago, Jamie Knight walked straight into Lucy Newton’s trap. Both Jamie and his ex-wife Kirsty barely survived. Now, with the police investigation into Lucy’s disappearance going nowhere, Jamie teams up with a true crime podcaster to track down his nemesis.

But can Jamie persuade Kirsty to help? Can Kirsty forgive him for his past mistakes? And who, if anyone, will survive the final showdown? Featuring extracts from Lucy’s secret memoir, Last of the Magpies brings the trilogy to a shocking conclusion.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Mark Edwards for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Mark Edwards has fast become one of my favourite writers with his chilling psychological thrillers now being a must read for me. So, I was filled with an eager, yet nervous, anticipation before reading this conclusion to his sinister Magpies trilogy.

The gang are all back one last time. Lucy Newton is still missing after her dramatic escape following the terrifying events in Shropshire a year ago. Her victims, Jamie Knight and his ex-wife Kirsty, are still tormented by their experiences and struggling to move on knowing she could strike again at any time. Frustrated that the police appear to be idly sitting by waiting for Lucy to make a mistake, Jamie decides he has to take action. So when his friend suggests talking to true crime podcaster Emma Fox, he agrees in the hope that she’ll be able to do what the police haven’t and Lucy will soon be safely behind bars. Kirsty is taking a different approach. Having seen multiple therapists and tried various ways to try and exorcise herself of the demon of Lucy Newton, she is still haunted by her and decides to sever the small amount of contact she still has with Jamie in the hope that it will help. But the pair are thrown back together into a final showdown with Lucy that they will all be lucky to survive…

Wow! This was a spectacular end to a series I’ve enjoyed. Written from multiple points of view this book spends a lot of time focusing on how Lucy’s nefarious games have affected Jamie and Kirsty, and their struggle to live their lives in the knowledge their tormentor is still out there, biding her time. Lucy’s point of view is for the most part given in the form of the unedited version of her memoir, which is far more damning than what was published. Reading the unfiltered inner-workings of this psychopath’s mind was truly chilling. In Lucy this author has created a villain who if she were real would be up there with the best known psychopathic killers of our age. Those chapters terrified me.

Now let’s discuss the twists (no spoilers I promise). I thought I’d got it sussed but boy was I wrong. The final quarter of the book had me unable to tear myself away as the tension reached its pique and all bets were off on the fates of our main characters. Most of all I loved that as we spent most of the story only knowing about Jamie and Kirsty in the present so that when Lucy’s whereabouts were revealed I had the same jaw-dropping sense of shock that the characters did.

Last of the Magpies ended this trilogy on the high note it deserved. You need to read the previous two books before reading this one for sure as even though it does a great job of catching you up, you’ll be lost without being able to have your memory simply jogged about past events. A quick but brilliant read I would recommend this, and the series, to anyone who loves a well written psychological thriller.

Out April 30th.