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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Retreat

 The Retreat

Nicola Marsh



Reviewed by Helen


Nicola Marsh has written a gothic tale set in a very gothic house on the water, there are lots of tales of missing people over the years and links to Vikings and Nordic curses, who are the family who started and continue to run it in all of its different stages, come along and find out.

Lucy Phillips is a librarian in New York, there is just her and her mother, Ava and they pretty much keep to themselves, but when Lucy’s mother dies after a road accident and Lucy discovers a strange Viking tattoo on the heal of her foot she is determined to get to the bottom of it, her mother was so quiet and loving, what has happened in her past?

Lucy discovers a link to a well –being digital retreat called Arcania she books a week to see what she can find out, the owner Cora Medville welcomes her with open arms but the house instantly puts Lucy on edge there is a creepiness about it like someone is watching you, should she stay or should she run?

Cora has been here for years after arriving in town with nowhere to go she is taken in by the good looking son of the owners of Arcania, Harlan and given a job, where she soon discovers that she needs some stability for her future and marries Harlan and has a family but is it the right family, what is happening to workers?

A twisty, haunting tale of long held secrets and a quest to find a Viking artifact that will make everything right, but will it? This one had me thinking and re-thinking throughout and the ending had me on the edge of my seat. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good haunting tale, well written with fabulous characters.

4 stars
January 13, 2023 by Parlance Press

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Quiet in Her Bones

 Quiet in Her Bones

Nalini Singh



Reviewed by Helen


This was a compelling story for me, it really had my mind jumping from one thought to another, it is set in New Zealand and tells the story of Nina Rai and her son Aarav, Nina went missing ten years ago without a trace and there is 250 million dollars missing, did she run from her toxic marriage and leave her sixteen year old son or was there foul play?

Aarav is now twenty six and a best- selling author living in Auckland but after a car accident he is back in his old home with his father, step-mother and half-sister while he recuperates, then out of the blue a green jaguar with bones is found in the forest five minutes from their home, his mother has been found, now he is determined to find out who killed her.

Aarav is having issues after the car accident and there are many people who could have done this to his mother who live in this wealthy community the cul-de-sac is gated and the occupants are privileged and all have secrets but Aarav is having trouble with his memory but is determined to get the answers to his questions.

Aarav thinks of himself as a psychopath and there seems to be a lot of missing memory from the time he last heard his mother scream that fateful night, his story turns in many directions and leads me and himself on different paths but finally the truth comes out and I was shocked, This is a really good story one that had me turning the pages, I do highly recommend this one, Nalini Singh is a fabulous story teller.

4 stars

February 23, 2021 by Berkley

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Wrong Woman

 The Wrong Woman

J P Pomare



Reviewed by Helen


I thoroughly enjoyed this one, the first I have read from this author but it won’t be the last, it is has many twists and told from two points of view the past and now and had me guessing till the end and it was not what I expected, a good book to curl up with especially if you love a good crime, thriller, mystery.

Vince Reid is now a PI he left the police department in the town he had grown up in under dark circumstances ten years ago and was told by his boss never to return but when he is asked to investigate a car accident in his home town the money offered is too good to pass up.

The car accident involves a husband Oliver Styles and wife Eshana, who was driving, Oliver ends up dead and Eshana in a coma, how did this happen on a pretty safe stretch of road was it an accident or a deliberate act? The more Reid investigates the more he uncovers, add to that the disappearance of two local young girls in the last six months and Reid is convinced there is a link.

This investigation digs deep and a lot from the past is coming out and Reid finds himself in grave danger but he is who he is and he must get the truth out no matter what. This one had me turning the pages it is very well written with fabulous characters some with secrets they do not want to come out, I do highly recommend this one, there is lots of tension and suspense in this one.

My thanks to Hachette AU for my copy to read and review

4 stars
July 27, 2022 by Hachette Australia

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Bay

 The Bay

Allie Reynolds



Reviewed by Helen


This book had my mind going in so many different directions while reading it so many twists and turns so many maybes it was really hard to put down, come along and meet the tribe.

Kenna and Mikky met at school in Cornwall and had been best friends since then, their love of surfing keep them close until Kenna loses her boyfriend in the surf and they drift apart when Kenna moves to London and works hard as a sports therapist, Mikky decides to get a working visa and visits Australia to enjoy the surf, here she meets Jack and gets engaged and Kenna decides a trip to Australia to meet Jack and be there for the wedding is the right thing to do.

Mikky is stunned when Kenna arrives, her and Jack are just about to leave for a trip up the coast to a place called Sorrow Bay that has the best surf and is isolated and quiet and Kenna is invited to join them, but what she finds is nothing like she expected, yes the beach is beautiful the waves look fabulous but Kenna hasn’t surfed for quite a while, but it is the other people who are there that make her think things are strange, these form a tribe who want Sorrow Bay to themselves.

Meeting Sky, Clemente, Ryan and Victor will change Kenna’s life in so many ways she discovers that they all have secrets, that there are challenges to get through and that they will go to any lengths to keep Sorrow Bay to themselves, is Kenna in danger, is Mikky in danger, will Kenna succeed in her plan to get Mikky to return to England with her, what is going on in Sorrow Bay?

This is such a great story so well written and the surfing is awesome you can feel them riding the waves and dangers lurks around every corner and the more Kenna learns the more she worries, I do highly recommend this one, it is suspenseful, heart stopping and will have you thinking and the ending, not that I expected, but wow a must read.

My thanks to Hachette AU for my copy to read and review

5 stars

June 15, 2022 by Hachette Australia

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Ex Between Us

 The Ex Between Us

Nicola Marsh



Reviewed by Helen


This is a page turner of a story a real physiological thriller, my mind was twisting and turning with everything that happened, two friends since high school Abi and Jo they wanted the best for each other and kept no secrets, or did they?

Abi stepped up and supported Jo on the first day they met and a friendship grew and grew strong they were there for each other, then at a party in their last year of high school Abi did something that would change things, Abi became a teenage mum and although it took some time Jo could not ignore her son Robbie and became Robbie’s godmother and again they were there for each other and life was good.

Although Robbie’s father Cal has been around he is not there all the time and now Robbie has left for college Abi is alone expect for Jo and it is time for her to start moving on, meeting a guy at a bar starts things changing Noah is attentive and soon Abi is feeling good about life, that is until things are starting to go wrong for Abi and Jo is getting threats as well, who is doing this?

This one kept me re-thinking over and over again, there are twists and turns from the start, who is behind the threats and problems? But more to the point why is this happening to these two friends? And the ending wow, really this is a fabulous story and I don’t want to give too much away, but I do highly recommend it, Nicola Marsh knows how to keep her readers on the edge of their seats, don’t miss this one.

My thanks to Netgalley for my copy to read a review.

5 stars
First published August 12, 2022 Bookouture

Monday, June 27, 2022

Out of Breath

 Out of Breath

Anna Snoekstra



Reviewed by Helen


I did like this story although I thought it was a little slow at the start, I am not sure that I would call it a thriller, it started to move as I got closer to the end, the main character Jo Ainsley has come to Australia to escape England and her past, will she finally find peace and herself?

Jo is escaping to a new life, but things aren’t going as she would have hoped but she is not ready to return to England yet so to extend her stay in Australia she must work on a farm for eighty eight days, leaving Sydney she arrives in Broome Western Australia to work on a mango farm, the work is hard and her boss is different, but here she meets an American Gabe and hears about a different life, a life off the grid when a terrible accident has her running again, Jo finds herself at Rossack with a group of people who seem to be living a carefree life, but is it that.

At first life for Jo seems great, Ally who is the leader helps her with her past and Gabe is there and her feelings for him grow but then she discovers something that will change her life again and put her at risk as well as a couple of other people living here, she needs to run again, will she be safe and will she ever find happiness and put the past behind her?

The ending in this book is really good and fitting, I loved the setting in Broome and the old pearler’s camp and the free diving they all did in the beautiful ocean, staying here sees Jo come to terms with her past and now maybe she can move onto a better future. I did find it different with some great characters and I am sure that lots of people will love this one, it was a book that I needed to get to the end to find out what happened.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

3.5 stars
Expected publication: July 6th 2022 by HQ Fiction AU



Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Mother

 The Mother

Jane Caro



Reviewed by Helen


This is an awesome debut, it was compelling reading for me as a mother and grandmother myself I wonder what lengths I would go to keep my family safe. This book is confronting at times and so very emotional as the author delves into domestic violence.

Miriam Duffy runs a successful real estate on Sydney’s North Shore she is happily married to Pete and they have two grown up daughters and one granddaughter, her youngest daughter Ally has just married the love of her life, Vet Nick Carruthers and Miriam and Pete think the world of him. Miriam is soon rocked by the death of Pete her true rock, Miriam’s life is turned upside down but at least her two daughters are happy in their marriages and Miriam is learning to cope alone, or are both Fiona and Ally happy?

Nick and Ally move to the country and she is soon pregnant and when Ally is not responding to phone calls and keeping in touch, although they have had an up and down relationship as mother and daughter Ally is worried, when she visits and they spend a weekend together she settles a bit but there is something that Miriam feels is not quite right even though Nick is such an easy going guy.

Things escalate when Ally falls pregnant again soon after the birth of her son Teddy, and when Isla is born it is not long before Ally and the children arrive at Miriam’s home having left Nick and now Miriam sees what has been happening, how far will she go to protect the people she loves most?
This is heart-breaking at times it had me yelling with frustration and crying to see how things work with the family courts and the law, every emotion came out while reading this one, Jane Caro has taken on issues that are so relevant in this day and age and done it with feeling and honesty, she has dug deep into the emotions of these characters from start to finish, I loved this story so much yes it is emotional and probably not for everyone, but it showed courage and strength in these woman and I cheered them one. This is one that I do recommend.

My thanks to Allen & Unwin for my copy to read and review.


5 stars
Published March 1st 2022 by Allen & Unwin