Synopsis: The best things in life . . . can be just around the corner
Rachel and Becca aren't real sisters, or so they say. They are stepsisters, living far apart, with little in common. Rachel is the successful one: happily married with three children and a big house, plus an impressive career. Artistic Becca, meanwhile, lurches from one dead-end job to another, shares a titchy flat, and has given up on love.
The two of them have lost touch, but when Rachel doesn't come home one night, Becca is called in to help. Once there, she quickly realizes that her stepsister's life is not so perfect after all: Rachel's handsome husband has moved out, her children are rebelling, and her glamorous career has taken a nosedive. Worst of all, nobody seems to have a clue where she might be.
As Becca begins to untangle Rachel's secrets, she is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about her own life, and the future seems uncertain.
But sometimes happiness can be found in the most unexpected places . . .
Synopsis: Dealing with everyday crime in London, DI Denis Hamilton is urgently called into a briefing in the early hours of his weekend off. Torn away from his family life, he must unravel an investigation he thought had long closed.
Putting his personal worries to one side, Hamilton and his Murder Investigation Team come up against a patient with a mental disorder hell-bent on revenge.
Comparing the present day with memories of his tragic past, can Hamilton open his mind to the difficulties of mental illness in order to catch a murderer?
And when a colleague's life is threatened, can Hamilton unlock the truth of the stranger within before it's too late?
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: I have read all the other books in this series and have really enjoyed them, but this one is absolutely Tara's best book to date! DI Hamilton is an absolutely cracking character and in this book we see him and his team DS Lewis Clarke, DC O'Connor known as Rocky and DS Yasmine Dixon all pull together. Enter Grace Murphy, a patient locked up in an institution as she has a mental disorder and she somehow manages to not only kill a security guard but escape the institution.
Synopsis: The past comes back to haunt her. Will it destroy her family?
Only two people know what’s happened to the gold stolen in an underworld bullion heist. That’s East End gangster’s widow Babs Miller and her best friend Pearl. So when the gold vanishes from its hiding place that means there can only be two suspects.
Neither can believe they’ve been betrayed by the other. Neither wants a war. But honour, pride and tit for tat revenge drag them and their families towards a cliff edge of brutal gangland violence.
And as they try and stay alive, what other dirty secrets are going to be dug up while these two women duel to the death?
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: First off, if you haven't read the previous books you really do need to. I mean technically you don't but...well...why wouldn't you? I read the first three which was originally though of as a trilogy however by the end of book 3 it was imperitive that a book 4 was produced and thank goodness it was.
For those that want a general overview, these books feature an absolutely blinding family called the Millers. Babs Miller is the Mum and overall 'Head Honcho' of the family. As expected the family are a bunch of loveable crazy's with Tiff, Jen and Dee being the most mixed up bunch I have read about in a long while. If you do plan on reading the books in order maybe go away now and read no more because inevitably this review will contain spoliers.
So when we left the Millers in book 3 Babs was hiding a rather large stash of gold. The only other person who knows about the gold is Bab's friend Pearl. When the gold goes missing it seems both women blame the other as they were the only two people who knew where it was stashed. As you can imagine what follows is a nightmare for all concerned. We get to see appearances from all the girls, as well as Flo, and of course Kieran Scott. This element of the storyline was another part I loved as I had so many questions about this part of the story!
I absolutely loved everything about this book and it answered so many questions I had at the end of book 3. It is of course littered with violence, family feuds and shenanigans a'plenty...just what you want in a book like this. It was an absolute pleasure to read and took me just two sittings to finish it off. If you haven't read these books, or in fact this author I really think you need to get yourselves over to Amazon pronto...I promise you will NOT be disappointed. I for one will be eagerly waiting to see what Dreda comes out with next and I will definitely be first in the queue to read it. An absolutely first class read!
Synopsis: When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall - some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.
But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it's a sign: she'll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: My reading has taken a huge hit lately and I was struggling to get into any sort of Crime or Thriller book so eased myself back in with a lighthearted read by Mandy Baggot. Following on from that I struggled until I discovered I had missed this little gem, which was was Ali McNamara's release last month. The cover alone was enough to draw me in to start reading and I am so glad I chose this as it was absolutely perfect!
Synopsis: When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation.
The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit.
Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: Wow! I have read the others in this series and don't get me wrong I really enjoyed them but this book...I LOVED! For those that have no prior knowledge, Harry Evans is newly retired. He was the DI and has managed to grab himself a 'consultancy' role meaning he is still in the thick of it when it comes to the teams latest case.
The book starts out with a gruesome crime scene when a car is dragged out of the water and they find the bodies of a male and a decapitated female. Harry soon realises that although he is still a part of is old team one particular ex-colleague Lauren is acting strangely. Lauren is an odd character but strangely enough she is also one of my favourites. In this latest book she plays a pretty big part and we get to see more of Lauren and what is going on in her life.
In addition to Harry being very much his usual brusque and abrupt self, we also see him going through a change himself. Newly retired, and still going through the grief process after the loss of his wife it feels like we get to see those changes first hand. This book absolutely raced along and although there were a number of threads running through it, the book kept me engaged from literally the very first page to the very last. I think what made this book even better was that I didn't expect it to be so engaging! That is absolutely not means as a disrespect as I am a Graham Smith fan and have always enjoyed all his books. However, this little beauty had that extra something special. An absolutely cracking book and I loved it. I think to get the full picture, if you haven't read the other books it would help, not a necessity...but why not?
Synopsis: Faye Dobson is in crisis. You wouldn’t know it, because of the big fat smile on her face, but inside, she’s one step away from nuclear meltdown. And she shouldn’t be. Dan ?? is the man of her dreams. Her really quite energetic dreams, that frequently come true. Sometimes twice in one night. And he’s just asked her to marry him.
But Faye’s been down the marriage road before and it ended up with her having Ryan Gosling fantasies while her ex-husband obsessed about the plumbing. The actual plumbing. Faye and Dan have been living their lives to the fullest, travelling around the world, having sex under the stars... They haven’t argued about unrolling socks before putting them in the laundry.
Besides, even if she wanted to say yes, how could she move to the other side of the world? Because marrying Dan would mean living in Australia. Beautiful, warm and a gazillion miles from Faye’s daughter, Emma, a single mum with her own crazy little girl who both need Faye every single day. Leaving them – even for someone who makes her laugh as much as Dan – simply isn’t an option.
Dan is offering Faye everything she ever wanted. So why does she feel like she’s about to lose it all?
Kat's Rating: 5/5 (I'd give it 10 out of 5 if humanly possible)
This is a sequel to one of my ALL TIME favourite books, and my suggestion is to read that book first as it's brilliant. Check out my review for that here
Synopsis: They came for her family. Now she's coming for them. This nail-biting thriller introduces Glasgow's newest gangland mistress, Kerry Casey - a gripping read perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.
Kerry Casey thought she'd made a life away from the dirty dealings of her gangster family. Her father wanted to make them legit - her brother Mickey had other ideas, and now it's got him killed. When Mickey's funeral turns into a bloodbath at the hands of a group of anonymous shooters and Kerry's mother is killed in the crossfire, Kerry finds herself at the head of the Casey family, and desperate for revenge.
Running a crime empire is not a job she ever asked for, and not one she wants, but Kerry is determined to fulfil her father's wishes and make the Caseys go straight. First, though, she will find the men who murdered her mother, and she will take them down, no matter what it takes.
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: I admit when I relaised that Anna Smith had let go of Rosie Gilmour I was devastated. I knew that a new book was looming but who on earth would match up to Rosie Gilmour? Well I can assure you that the Kerry Casey certainly matches up and add to that the fact that the author has just created an absolutely outstanding book and I think we may well have a contender for the book of the year so far! Kerry Casey seems to be the start of a new sweries and what a hell of a book to start it off with.
Kerry Casey is nothing like her Gangster family, she is a hot shot lawyer who has spent many years living in Spain. However when her brother Mickey is taken out as Kerry attends the funeral she has no idea she is in the middle of what he left behind. When her mother gets killed in the crossfire, Kerry has no choice but to take the reigns for the business. What she didn't realise is just how good at it she would be.
The other character I loved in this book was Sharon and it made a real change for the women to be the head honcos and to see them building an empire. The additional characters we see are all part of this amazing book and they all made a lasting impression on me. I got a real feel for this etended family and literally am chomping at the bit wondering how long until the next book. I have always been a huge fan of Anna Smith especially her last series, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this series may well be even better!
I read this in two sittings in just a day and a half and cannot WAIT to see the next book in the series. For those juts as impatient as me I would guess sometime early in 2019 but we can always hope for something sooner. Thanks for an absolute cracker of a read Anna, a truly wonderful book and for me the best this year so far!
On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...
And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with...
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jill Mansell and always have done. The fact that she is still churning out amazing books after 25 years as an Author amazes me, but just shows how truly talented she is. This book has an absolute corker of an opening. Essie is finally settled and living with her boyfriend Paul, when one evening her friend Scarlett visits and they both have a few too many wines. The next morning she is horrified to realise that she has unwittingly sent a round robin email to everybody in her contacts including Paul's mother. Before she knows it, Essie is homeless, jobless and in desperate need of a place to stay...enter Zillah, quite possibly one of my favourite characters Jill Mansell has ever created.
Zillah is an elderly yet glamorous woman living in the very upmarket Percival Square in Bath. One thing leads to another and before long Essie lands firmly on her feet when Zillah offers her a room to rent in her own home. Zillah is a gregarious and very lovable character, she is fiercely independent and has that twinkle in her eye meaning she is incredibly popular. Also living with Zillah is Conor who has his own story for ending up in Percival Square. When Essie gets a job working at the bar over the road she is thrilled, that is until she meets the owner of the bar Lucas...he is the root of all her problems.
I devoured this book and absolutely loved it. The characters, storyline, absolutely everything worked perfectly and delivered a heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable book. I would recommend all of Jill Mansell's books as they never fail to disappoint, but this one...well it seems a little bit extra special and one that you really should read!