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

Wednesday, March 16, 2022



Colleen Hoover

Reviewed by Helen

This is the first Colleen Hoover book that I have read and I have heard that it is different from what she normally writes but with the reviews coming through this one interested me and can I say I am so glad I read it, a physiological thriller that had me turning the pages I didn’t want to put it down I had to get to the end and find out what happened and when I did, I was re-thinking my thoughts all over again.

Lowen Ashleigh is an author although not one that makes a lot of money and she is struggling at the moment when she is offered the chance of a lifetime to write three books in the series by bestselling author Verity Crawford, Verity’s husband Jeremy wants her to do this as his wife is badly injured after a car accident.

Lowen agrees to stay at the Crawford house for a few days to sort through all of Verity’s notes so as she gets a feeling for the series, Verity’s office is a bit of a mess but what she finds will change her life, an autobiography that is mind boggling and the more Lowen reads the more she feels that Verity is one very disturbed woman. Lowen is also getting closer to Jeremy and she has a hard decision to make should she hand over the autobiography or keep it hidden?

Jeremy is already grieving the loss of his daughters and is caring for his injured wife this could destroy him and pull them apart, but when Lowen is starting to feel threatened in this terrible house everything comes to a head in an explosion of confessions maybe, secrets so much happens the ending was heart stopping and food for thought.

I did really enjoy this story and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who likes a mind boggling psychological thriller that is compelling reading.

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

5 stars
Published Hachette AU

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Darkest Place

 Darkest Place

Jaye Ford

Reviewed by Helen

Wow this is a physiological thriller that will keep readers turning the pages, twists and turns had me wondering right till the end, the very suspenseful end, I really felt for Carly she has been through so much and then to have this happen it is enough to send anyone around the twist, I do hope you pick this one up it is a great read.

Carly Townsend has spent the last thirteen years thinking about all that has happened to her but now it is time to start fresh a new Carly, move where no one knows her and start over again. She has bought a beautiful apartment in and old renovated warehouse building, started a course at Tafe and is feeling good, that is until three days after moving in she wakes to find a man standing over her bed.

Carly calls the police and after a search they find that there is no way anyone has come in but when it happens a week later and this time he is touching her, when the police arrive and again find nothing after a third time the police tell Carly that she will be charged with mischief if she calls them again. What is happening to her is she going mad after talking to a physiologist he suggests a sleeping disorder and to try sleeping pills.

Carly is making friends with her new neighbours but still she is waking with such terror with a man in her apartment, she has changed the locks put chains on, can it really be a terrible nightmare, Carly decides that she is strong and is going to get to the bottom of this even if it is the last thing she does and with help from her neighbour Nate who she is forming a relationship with she unravels the mystery in a suspense filled story that had me on the edge of my seat and gasping for breath.

This is a fabulous story one that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes a lot of suspense and lots of twists and turns and a fabulous strong heroine, Carly was so good she showed courage beyond courage to do what she did and I really loved Nate as well such a supportive hero.

My thanks to the author for my copy to read and review.

4 stars
Published October 20th 2021 (first published February 1st 2016)

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Apples Never Fall

 Apples Never Fall

Liane Moriarty

Reviewed by Helen

This was my first Liane Moriarty book and I was really looking forward to it, I thought the story line was a great one a family saga that takes in a family of six who are all very different which is the way it normally is, families have their ups and downs but it seems that the Delaney family had a lot that was one day going to cause a lot of problems, especially when a stranger knocks on the door of retired tennis coaches Stan and Joy.

The Delaney’s have been married nearly fifty years and have retired from running their Tennis School, they are very popular amongst the community people are envious of the love they shared, top notch on a tennis court even at seventy and sixty nine years of age and retirement should be thoroughly enjoyable years but somehow it is not what Joy thought it would be.

There are four Delaney children Amy, Logan, Troy and Brooke all were very good at tennis growing up as you would expect with the parents they had but all have chosen different paths in life and they also have lots of ups and downs but Joy is hopefully going to get grandchildren.

One cool night a strange young woman knocks on their door, it is late and she is injured and Joy and Stan are more than happy to help and soon Savannah has wormed her way into the family, but does she have a secret agenda or is she really as needy as she claims.

All four Delaney children are not at all happy with the Savannah living with their parents even though she is doing a lot for them and their relationship with their parents becomes a little strained and when Joy goes missing, Savannah is gone as well and things are not looking good for Stan, and his kids are divided on their thoughts as to what happened.

This story takes in a lot about families, their different personalities, their happiness and sadness, all the emotions that make a family and the way they all cope together and the pressure to do the best you can in life when the push to do that can come close to child abuse. I sadly found it very slow especially in the beginning of the story, there are so many characters to get to know, but it is also a story that compelled me to keep reading because I needed to know what happened.

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

3 stars
Published September 14th 2021 by Macmillan Australia

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Liar Next Door

 The Liar Next Door

Nicola Marsh

Reviewed by Helen

This book had me thinking, re-thinking and re-thinking again, it is a compelling read that I found hard to put down three woman, neighbours drawn together through lies and secrets that ends in a shocking twist that had me on the edge of my seat, a must read, one to get the mind moving in this domestic thriller suspense.

Frankie Forbes, married to Andre they have one daughter five year old Luna, Frankie is a popular lifestyle vlogger always looks great everything seems to be perfect in their family, or is it? They love living in this close knit community surrounding the garden.

Saylor, married to Lloyd for nine months and five months pregnant with their first child, they have just moved there and seem eager to meet the neighbours and this starts with a gender revel party in the garden, but is all as it seems for this couple?

Celeste newly arrived in the neighbourhood, single mother with a five year old daughter Violette she is very keen to become friends with Frankie and for their daughters to become the best of friends, she seems very helpful and maybe over-friendly are there other motives involved?

These three woman have a lot going on in their lives, minds, are they linked in some sort of way or has fate bought them together? You really need to pick this one up there are so many twists and turns I truly had no idea what was going on but the pull to keep reading and find out was something that was hard to ignore, even when I had to put it down my mind was thinking about Frankie, Saylor and Celeste.

This is a fabulous book that I highly recommend, Nicola Marsh has pulled this story together so well, I loved how everything slowly pulled together bit by bit, lie by lie and the secrets, thank you MS Marsh for another unputdownable read.

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

5 stars
Expected publication: August 23rd 2021 by Bookouture

Friday, June 25, 2021

My Sister's Husband

 My Sister's Husband

Nicola Marsh

Reviewed by Helen

WOW what a story, sisters, secrets, lies and suspense, this one had me turning the pages and even when I had to put it down it wouldn’t go away my thoughts were still with the characters in this story, getting to know Alice, Diana, Brooke and Freya was a compelling journey.

Brooke and Freya have been bought up by their Aunt Alice along with their cousin Lizzie since they were very young since their parents Diana and Cam are killed in a car accident. Alice is always there for them all equally and she shows lots of love, but it has not always easy for Alice she has become a mum to three children under three years old at twenty three but she does the best she can with the secrets she keeps.

In their teenage years tragedy strikes and Brooke leaves their home town determined to never return, she moves a lot but always feels lost somehow, but when she gets an invitation to her sister’s wedding and an email from her cousin to say that her aunt is not well Brooke decides it is time to return. What she returns to will have her thinking hard and doing her best to open up secrets from the past.

This is a page turner, one that was hard to put down, one that I would highly recommend, I don’t want to say too much more just that there are lots of twists and turns in this psychological thriller about families sisters more so, a must read I do enjoy Nicola Marsh’s stories and this one is fabulous I loved it.

5 stars

Published October 27th 2020 by Bookouture