What a whirl wind the last year has been, this time in 2017, O’Sullivan was gearing up for publication of his first novel – Our Little Secret, in eBook format. And now look where he is – Darren’s first novel is now available in paperback and his second, Close Your Eyes will be hitting your eBook device by the end of this week!
With that in mind, I was unbelievably excited to be a part of the blog tour for Close Your Eyes, and I am even more honoured to be kicking off the tour alongside the incredible Anne Bonny Book Reviews
Onto the review…
Daniel suffers from retrograde amnesia; he is unable to remember anything before the car crash he was in.
Over the years, snippets of events start to come back but Daniel’s mother never divulges anything further to spark a full memory.
In present day, Daniel still has no complete recollection of his past.
Accept someone out there knows what he did, and they want what was stolen from them back.
They give Daniel a major clue to his past, his name hasn’t always been Daniel, before the crash, it was Michael.
Oh, and until Michael returns the stolen object; Rachel – his ex wife and Tom – his son are being held captive as collateral.
You’re probably already picking up from this review, that this book is lining up to be a fast paced, nail biting and tense read – you’d be right.
Whilst Daniel has less than a week to retrieve the item he stole; which since he hasn’t a clue what it is, sees him race down memory lane to connect the dots of his past. And what he finds is not good. His mother has been lying for years. He was much closer to his father than he was told. Oh, and he has a criminal record.
Meanwhile, Rachel is trying her best to keep calm and not allow Tom to realise what situation they are in, after all he’s only young, he doesn’t need to be mentally scarred for life. Rachel decides it’s best to treat the whole situation as a story, Tom goes along with this but as the hours stretch into days, Tom begins to get bored of the story and wants to go home. Rachel now needs a different plan, one that involves escaping.
This has to be my favourite psychological thriller I’ve read so far this year. Having the two story lines of Rachel trying to escape and Daniel trying to remember, created such a race against the clock momentum, I was utterly absorbed from start to finish.
O’Sullivan was born to do this. His writing style slots him up alongside some of the greats in the psycho-thriller land. The twist at the end was exceptional – bravo to O’Sullivan, I just didn’t see it coming.
For fans of Lisa Jewell, Claire Mackintosh, C. L. Taylor, Nuala Ellwood, Peter Swanson, this will be right up your street.
If you want to hear other perspectives on the book, be sure to check out the rest of the tour:
Until next time, Chloé x
Well this was an interesting read!
Sadie’s father has been the town hero for years, everyone loves him and their family are well liked.
Now her father; George, has been arrested for sexual misconduct with some of the girls that Sadie goes to school with.
Instantly Sadie’s world is turned upside down. Her mother; Joan, is left shocked to the core. Her brother; Andrew, isn’t quite sure what to believe.
Did he do it? Is the man the town adored actually evil inside?
The book follows the family, as they come to terms with what has happened between the arrest and the trial.
Whittall manages to build so many core personalities into her fictional town. There are the people that go OTT in defending George; the ones that stop talking when you walk in and give you evil stares; the ones that pull childish pranks; the fake ones that pretend to care but actually don’t; the ones that aren’t quite sure how to act,and even one that took full advantage of the situation and ended up making it very profitable for them! And due to this, the plot feels uncannily true.
The book runs in real time, so the pace isn’t very fast, instead Whittall chooses to extract the raw thoughts from each family member and really home in on these. Although each member is deeply affected by the event, Sadie is the one that really begins to show her emotions through her actions, and because of this, I felt my strongest connection with her. She’s at that terrifying age, where too much unbalance can have a catastrophic effect, and Sadie begins to go off the rails. Losing her father to prison and her friends to the allegations, Sadie begins to make friendships that are unhealthy, will her boyfriend and mum be able to help her before it’s too late?
But did George actually do it? At first, Whittall allows you to trust George, then she begins to create doubt in your mind, until you are at the point where you don’t know if to believe George or to not, but with half the town supporting him, which half is right?
Perfectly capturing the collapse of a well liked all-American family, this book is perfect for readers that really like to connect with the characters.
The Best Kind of People is out in paperback right now.
*Thank you Eleni over at Hodder & Stoughton for sending me over a copy – truly grateful*
Until next time, Chloé x
I feel like I say this every time I write an O’Flanagan review – how does she do it?! How does she continue to create the most incredible women’s fiction – full of female role models, unique plots and settings that I immediately feel at home in.
Juno has been dealt a double blow – death and lies, all from one event.
Not surprisingly, Juno is struggling to cope with normal day life when her emotions are all over the place. With her boss suggesting that she take three months unpaid leave and a colleague offers her use of a family villa in Spain, suddenly Juno finds herself able to work through her emotions in a relaxing and beautiful location.
The story flicks back and forth to catch the reader up to speed with the events that led up to the day when everything changed. Before long, I was fully immersed in Juno’s life and cheerleading alongside her, I watched as time healed her emotional wounds and Juno came out of her shell.
It’s not long before Juno feels a connection to the locals, a young boy is injured and Juno’s first aid skills results in infinite adoration from all those surrounding her – chats at the cafe, dinner invitations and afternoons out keep Juno busy. Plus a ridiculously gorgeous neighbour pops by to clean the pool… shirtless, it’s not surprising that Juno’s heart begins to race!
I’ve always thought that after a traumatic event, I would want to surround myself with family. But Juno did the opposite and yet, even though she was in a place where she knew no one and, no one had a clue what had brought her there, she manages to create friendships and a support network that pulled her through to acceptance. I really admired her strength. And it made me think, I still believe human interaction is key for grieving but it doesn’t have to be with people you know, it can be anyone! In fact, being around strangers that are not aware of your history, seemed to work to Juno’s advantage, as she wasn’t treated any differently.
Whilst alone in the villa, Juno keeps herself busy by doing some home renovations that transform the place, and she’s kept company by the most adorable stray cat called Banquo – who has a surprise of his own!
Juno is surrounded by love, but will she ever be in love again? Will a local steal her heart or can someone connected to her past capture her heart?
If you love women’s fiction, trust me, hand on heart, you’ll love this. I can always rely on O’Flanagan to write a book that I’ll divulge in two days flat and thoroughly enjoy.
This book doesn’t hit the shelves until late June but it’s worth a pre-order right now, and then it’ll be a fantastic accompaniment to your summer holiday.
Fellow bookworms, who else loves to relax with an O’Flanagan?
*I can NOT thank Becky over at Headline ENOUGH, she sends me over the most amazing books – I am so grateful!!!*
Until next time, Chloé x
When I first started this book, I thought “I see what Haywood is doing”, she’s going for the kind of character that we can all relate to, except the character possess those traits in extreme. A similar kind of vibe as Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.
You can’t not relate to Susan. Her outer voice is like our inner voice, take for example, when a neighbour asks you to look after their kid in the middle of the night with no confirmed return time, we all think “well no, this isn’t how I wanted to spend my night” and “when the hell are you coming back?!”; whilst those are our thoughts that we keep hidden inside us, Susan just speaks her mind.
So I think you can already tell that I’ve mightily warmed to the main character, on to the plot.
Susan has just found out that she’s pregnant, and also that her mother has died. The circle of life is hard enough to rack your head around, but Susan has an added complication – her brother. Edward is the complete opposite to Susan – unreliable and reckless, and yet still he was the apple of his mother’s eye.
Being independent and decisive, Susan deems her baby’s father as unimportant and is determined to bring her child up on her own.
Her mother’s will could be the perfect blessing in disguise – a helping hand through the first few years, when money will be tight.
Except Susan’s mother hasn’t split things equally, the will is in favour of Edward.
Susan is outraged. Surely her mother wouldn’t be this stupid? How could this have happened? When did her mother write this will? Was she ill? Did Edward have something to do with it? Resolute on finding the truth, Susan puts on her detective hat and begins to build her case. Interviewing family and friends, and delving back into her childhood leads her closer to the truth, but will things work out before Susan gives birth?
I loved being alongside Susan as she interviewed her family, Haywood has created some absolute cracking background characters that will have your eyebrows rising and your head nodding along, without you even realising.
Along the way, Susan discovers something she has rarely relied upon – friendship. Kate and Rob stand by her side and watch as Susan blooms both physically and emotionally.
When I read the final few pages, I was quite tearful. Susan has come a long way. Oh how I miss her already!
I could go on and on about how much I loved this book and make this review even longer than it currently is! In summary, give it a go and thank me later!
I haven’t even expanded on the quirky relationship with the baby’s father – this book really packs a punch; it’s witty, clever and full of moments that will make you smile.
For bookworms who loved: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, Trying, and/or The Cows, you will absolutely adore this. In fact I’m loving this genre so much, that I really would love some similar recommendations – tweet me or comment down below if you can think of any! There is nothing more powerful than a woman taking control of her life and walking around fearless, it really speaks to my inner self – I just wish I was as confident as these women!
*Thank you so much Two Roads for providing me with the most gorgeous hardback through bookbridgr – not only am I grateful for you sharing this amazing story with me, I am absolutely in love with the cover – GORGEOUS!*
Until next time, Chloé x
You know when you first start a book and you spend the first few pages going “this is good”, “this has potential”, “I like the way this has started”, etc. With The Fear, my mind had no time to process my original reactions as it was so focused on the plot – you really are thrown straight in and sucked in by Taylor’s incredible writing
Lou is stuck in the past, her traumatic abduction as a child has left her fearful to trust men. When her father leaves her the farmhouse, she must return to th the place that haunts her dreams and confront the very man that destroyed her. If it wasn’t hard enough to actually find and visit this man, imagine the pain that hits her when she finds Mike grooming a young girl; Chloe. Lou is determined to stop Mike once and for all, she’s not a scared little girl anymore.
Already this plot is an utter page-turner, but Taylor adds another dimension into the mix. Wendy is stalking Lou. Why? Why oh why? I’ll be honest with you, it clicked for me pretty early on who Wendy was but I think Taylor did this on purpose as this plot twist was revealed halfway through. Whilst I was lulled into false pretences that I had sussed this plot out, Taylor was carefully building up the momentum of the main plot line and what a TREAT it was.
I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed this book. This book has the right balance of twists that you can’t guess the ending, whilst also managing to be believable and realistic.
*Thank you Sabah over at Avon for my copy – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!*
Check out the other posts on this amazing blog tour:
Until next time, Chloé x
Another heart-warming tale from Mansell. I love how her books make me feel, they are the perfect escape from our busy, every day lives. This Could Change Everything definitely had a Cinderella/fairy tale vibe. When Essie finds herself jobless, homeless and dumped; it’s not long before Zillah comes along and helps her life take a much happier route. Like a fairy godmother, Zillah offers Essie a small flat within her gorgeous house, in the most perfect location within Bath; Zillah also points her in the direction of the Red House for a job, where Essie finds Lucas.
Seeing Lucas is a shock, he’s linked to how her life changed in a second, and she’s not sure if she wants to work for him. But with the pub being less than a five minute walk from her new digs, Essie knows she needs to make it work. Surely it can only get better?
And better it does! Essie thrives in her new work environment and loves her new home life. Her life is even further fulfilled when she joins Zillah and fellow lodger; Conor, in their bid to make people’s final moments more special.
Now that Essie has her life back on track has her heart got room for someone new or will someone from her past take her fancy? Mansell always creates the perfect build up with her new relationships leading the reader guessing “will they?” or “won’t they” – so juicy!! Essie isn’t the only one to get caught blushing, Conor’s romance life is hotting up!
Another classic from Mansell – perfect to switch off and unwind with. I love the ‘bubble’ Mansell creates, when I opened this book I was quickly absorbed into this fictional world and the outside world was put on mute!
Fellow bookworms, what were your thoughts on This Could Change Everything? Or if you haven’t got around to it (why ever not?!) what’s the last Mansell book you’ve read?
This Could Change Everything is out now in hardback and eBook, or if you are craving a paperback it’s hitting the shelves on July 12th.
*Thank you Headline for sending me a copy through bookbridgr – super chuffed!!*
Until next time, Chloé x
Hamad, Freya and Paul have been friends since university. Years later, Freya and Paul’s marriage is on the rocks and Hamad is desperate to help them both. When Hamad buys his girlfriend; Racine, three riads in Marrakech – it’s the perfect opportunity to bring his two friends over to make a new life.
Culture runs through this book like a river with its multiple estuaries and the Jinns are the spirits of the past. When events displease the Jinns, bad things begin to happen, and when the balance is restored allowing the spirits to settle, the people and their lives are able to flourish like beautiful flowers with a plentiful supply of natural water.
Whilst cultural ways root the way in which things should be done, the older generation are the ones that are able to provide perspective and wisdom to the younger characters. Edith; Hamad’s grandmother, brings such guidance to this tale – I LOVED her – not only is she full of ‘sass’, she’s also incredibly canny and her input on the events in this tale have a momentous impact on the ending.
This is a story centred around the dynamics of friendships. How long can a person hide the truth from their friends? How long will it take for the friends to sense something is going on? And when the lie comes out into the open, how many others will surface?
Thorpe sets the scene with an unusual prologue and loops back to this around two thirds of the way through the book, I loved that moment when the familiar text repeated itself and my brain went “of course!!! I already knew this”. It always seeks to amaze me how you can be so focussed in the first 50 pages of a book trying to find out what the prologue meant, but then you get sucked into the intricacies of the plot and forget that important ‘first message’, right up until the moment it’s under your nose again! This is just one small example of Thorpe’s fantastic writing technique – this is a well structured and well thought out plot that centres around the truth coming out. As the reader, you are aware of many of the lies that are being hidden, and you’re itching to find out when the others will find out – such a page turner!
My only slight bit of advice to bookworms wanting to read this: don’t get sucked in by the book bio/description on Amazon – I noticed the word ‘psychological’ thrown about – and noticed some people seemed to have gone down the route, that this book MUST be a psychological thriller, it’s NOT! It DOES look at the psychology surrounding long friendships and the effect that lies bring to the table, which I agree – does bring a dark nature to the overall plot, but if you’re thinking this is going to be a psychological thriller similar to The Last Mrs Parrish, The Confession, Obsession, etc – it’s not. I would hate people to be disappointed in this book because it’s not their favourite genre, because this book deserves to be celebrated for what it is – in my view it falls into the dark women’s fiction category, and in this category it shines!
*Thank you Olivia over at Quercus for providing me with a proof copy, this honest review is my way of saying thanks!!*
What Lies Within is available now in paperback.
Check out the other posts on this tour:
Until next time, Chloé x