Posted in *** rating 3/5

Manipulated Lives by Helene Leuschel

MoMo’s Book Diary recommends Helene Leuschel’s Manipulated Lives as a provocative 3 star read.

Helene Leuschel has created a thought-provoking collection of well-rounded and believable characters in each of the five stories.

It is clear from the beginning this is an emotional read.

Five stories of the devastatingly long-lasting affect manipulators have on their victims.

Thanks to the author, Helene Leuschel, for inviting me to read and review this book.

I was taken with the synopsis and although I don’t read many short stories I was drawn into each story. I found the theme to be a difficult read but very focused and interesting.

Synopsis

Five stories – Five Lives.

Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure?

Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere.

At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private.

Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual.

First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret.

All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

AUTHOR Helene Leuschel
BOOK TITLE Manipulated Lives
PUBLISHER Self-published with CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
DATE OF PUBLICATION 8 June 2016
PRINT LENGTH 274 pages
ISBN 978-1534708976
OBTAINED: Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

GoodReads and Amazon

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

leuschel-helene

Helene Andrea Leuschel was born and raised in Belgium to German parents. She gained a Licentiate in Journalism, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh.

Helene moved to the Algarve in 2009 with her husband and two children, working as a freelance TV producer and teaching yoga. She recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind.

Manipulated Lives is Helene’s first work of fiction.

Helene is on TwitterFacebookGoodReads and Amazon

 

Posted in **** rating 4/5

The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher

MoMo’s Book Diary recommends The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher as a 4* read.

Kerry Fisher’s latest novel ‘The Silent Wife’ is packed full of family secrets and earth shattering betrayals that will leave your mouth open in disbelief again and again.  The characters are brought to life in such a way you can easily relate to their individual personalities. The Farinelli family certainly has high expectations! The author expertly looks at the complicated relationships with step-children, in-laws, and the constant reminders of the first wives and mothers.

Told in alternating views of Lara (married to Massimo) and Maggie (married to Nico) this is a poignant story the lengths women are prepared to go for the sake of their families. I was gripped from the start and enjoyed page after page until the last chapter.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review The Silent Wife (also known as ‘The Secrets of Second Wives’ as it was formerly called) by Kerry Fisher.

Synopsis

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?

A heart wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.’ Write Escape

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage.

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves?

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.

A heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain.

AUTHOR Kerry Fisher
BOOK TITLE The Silent Wife
PUBLISHER Bookouture
DATE OF PUBLICATION 24/02/17
PRINT LENGTH 374 pages
ISBN 9781786811264
OBTAINED: NetGalley – Bookouture

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

NetGalley

GoodReads

Amazon.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

fisher-kerry

Kerry Fisher website

Kerry Fisher on Twitter and Facebook and GoodReads and Amazon

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Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Sins of the Father by Sheryl Browne

Another fantastic 5 star release from the amazingly talented author Sheryl Browne.

Sins of the Father is the second instalment featuring DI Matthew Adams. I would recommend reading “After She’s Gone” first but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Sheryl once again has given us a tense nail-biting thriller that will have you reading page after page, chapter after chapter.  The characters are believable, and mostly likeable. After getting to know DI Matthew Adams and his family in the first novel I was rooting for them this time around and became so caught up in what was going on that I was in tears by the end of the book. The tension is unbelievable – NEVER before have I cried whilst reading a thriller.  Sheryl Browne has a way of telling a story that really pulls you in and twists your heart with each scene.

This is a fast paced, gripping action thriller.  As with all of Sheryl’s books I would suggest finding yourself a comfy chair, switch off your phones and get yourself a large glass of wine and some chocolate… you will need it!

Synopsis

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.

 But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

AUTHOR Sheryl Browne
BOOK TITLE Sins of the Father
SERIES DI Matthew Adams
PUBLISHER Choclit
DATE OF PUBLICATION 28 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH
ISBN 9781781893425
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

NetGalley

GoodReads

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sheryl Browne on Choc-Lit website

Sheryl Browne website and Twitter and Facebook

Sheryl Browne on Amazon and GoodReads

sheryl-browne03-small-file

Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

After She’s Gone by Sheryl Browne

A fantastic 5 star release from the amazingly talented author Sheryl Browne.

In “After She’s Gone” Sheryl has given us a gripping thriller that had me eagerly turning page after page.  The characters are brought to life in a way that only Sheryl can do. I felt true empathy for each and every character, even Patrick Sullivan at times. DI Matthew Adams and his family have been through so much but he still has so much more to give – and does!

The book is a fantastically fast paced action thriller.  As with all of Sheryl’s books I advise to read in a comfy chair, mobile switched off, glass of wine in hand and a large chocolate bar close at hand!

Synopsis

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

AUTHOR Sheryl Browne
BOOK TITLE After She’s Gone
SERIES DI Matthew Adams
PUBLISHER Choclit – Death by Choclit
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH
ASIN B01N9UTTBE
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

NetGalley

GoodReads

Kobo

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sheryl Browne on Choc-Lit website

Sheryl Browne website and Twitter and Facebook

Sheryl Browne on Amazon and GoodReads

sheryl-browne03-small-file

Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen

I enjoyed Old Friends and New Enemies, the second PI Charlie Cameron novel and give it a thrilling 5 star recommendation.

The book is mainly set in Glasgow, as was the first novel – Games People Play.  This should be read after the first book but can also be read as a stand alone novel. The author knows his way around Glasgow and brings the city alive in his descriptive writing.

This gripping instalment had me hooked beginning to end. Private Investigator, Charlie Cameron is shocked when he realises the body in the mortuary is not the man he was expecting, instead its an old friend…

Thank you Owen Mullen for the opportunity to read and review the second Charlie Cameron novel.  It was gripping and I look forward to the next!

Synopsis

An explosive new crime thriller

The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.

But it wasn’t a stranger.

Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.

Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.

Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.

There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

AUTHOR Owen Mullen
BOOK TITLE Old Friends and New Enemies
SERIES PI Charlie Cameron
PUBLISHER Bloodhound Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH 336 pages
ASIN B01N9UTTBE
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

GoodReads

Amazon.co.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bloodhound Books website and on Twitter

Owen Mullen on Twitter and Facebook and GoodReads

When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, andhad a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands.

Posted in *** rating 3/5

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

I found this novel to be very disturbing – but isn’t that the point of psychological thrillers?

The author has told a very interesting, yet chilling, tale which I found difficult to read at times but was so hooked that I had to keep reading – and read it in a day.

I did struggle with the author’s style of writing at the beginning. It seemed more young adult fiction than psychological but once I got over the tone I did enjoy the book, although did find it predictable.

Thanks to Ali Land, Penguin UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this new and exciting novel for 2017.

Synopsis

SET TO BE ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017 – for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction: once you read this book you’ll want to talk about it .

‘NEW N A M E . NEW F A M I LY. S H I N Y. NEW. ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.

AUTHOR Ali Land
BOOK TITLE Good Me Bad Me
PUBLISHER Penguin UK – Michael Joseph
DATE OF PUBLICATION 12 January 2017
PRINT LENGTH 324 pages
ASIN B01HOCLK14
OBTAINED NetGalley

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

NetGalley

GoodReads

Amazon.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ali Land on Twitter and GoodReads

 

Ali Land on Penguin website