The Tryst By Monique Roffey – A Review

Now I’m no prude and I’m not averse to a little filth every now and again so when I saw The Tryst on booktube I thought ‘oh go on then!’

I’ve done the Fifty Shades palaver in my naive youth (I watched 5 minutes of the film and had to bail out, utter tripe). After a while, books which are heavily sex based can get a bit……samey for want of a better word. When you find yourself rolling your eyes and thinking ‘again? Really?’…..it may be time to move on to a different book. When you skim read whole chunks of a racy book to get back to trying to find an ACTUAL storyline then you know for sure it’s time to haul ass (so to speak).

So……The Tryst is utterly bonkers brilliance. I knew going into it that it was about a married couple who are bored with their relationship and sex life and so bring in a woman they meet in a bar to pep it up.

If I’d have known the full details of the true nature of this woman before I’d started I know for a fact I wouldn’t have picked it up.

Bill and Jane are the couple and Lilah is the mysterious third wheel. Jane doesn’t have much of a sex life with Bill, she lives vicariously through the fantasies of faceless men in her head. When they meet Lilah in a bar one night and she sees how alive and flirtatious Bill has become around her she sees Lilah as either a potential catalyst for their love life or a reason for them to end their relationship. Jane engineers a liaison between Bill and Lilah and what ensues leaves her regretting her decision massively.

This book is of course extremely sexually explicit. The sex is detailed and plentiful. However (believe it or not) I was more interested in the evolution of the characters and their individual back story’s.

I really don’t want to say too much about who (or what) Lilah is, and that’s probably saying too much already, but she really is a fascinating character. As I said earlier this book is bonkers. At times it left me like ‘whaaaaattt?!?!?’ But I devoured it in less than 24 hours so that speaks volumes. It’s one of those books that makes you question what the hell you are actually reading. Do I love it? Do I hate it? Is it brilliant? Is it bad?……

I didn’t don’t intend on writing a review for this but I’ve had a few minutes spare and didn’t want to just bypass it.

If freaky filth floats your metaphorical boat then grab a copy of this even if it’s just for the titilation aspect.

I’d love to know if anyone else has read this. Let me know your thoughts.

See you soon.

Bookish Chat xxx

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Everything Is Lies by Helen Callaghan – A Review

Publisher: Michael Joseph/Penguin (with thanks for the advanced review copy)

Publication Date: 22nd February 2018

Wowsers! Authors of psychological thrillers are really upping their game! I’d grown a little tired of the whole missing child/domestic violence tropes and had veered away slightly from the whole thriller genre for a while there but Everything Is Lies has really pepped me right back up!

The blurb of this one intrigued me from the off. I skim read it through one eye as I didn’t want to go into the story knowing too much. What I did know was this;

A young woman returns to her parents home to find her mother hanging dead from a tree in the garden and her father lying in a pool of his own blood near deaths door.

I mean come on!…that’s enough to draw you in, right?

The first line ‘No one is who they say they are’ is another instant hook. In fact I posted a picture of the first paragraph of this book on IG and instantly had people asking ‘what book is this?! I need to carry on reading!’

Sophia is the young woman who receives a strange phone call from her mother one night asking her to come home to talk, which she dismisses and passes off as non-urgent as she’s out with her work friends having far too good a time to concern herself with her parents.

When she does guiltily return to her parents house she makes the grim discovery. Now, I don’t know if this makes me strange but I really enjoyed the description of the discovery. The anticipation and suspense was palpable. I knew what she was going to stumble across (it’s right there in the blurb!) BUT my heart was well and truly in my mouth.

The police assume a murder suicide. Nina (Sophia’s mother) having stabbed her husband Jared and then hung herself. Sophia is utterly against this theory, feeling that her quiet, unassuming mother would never harm her father let alone commit suicide.

Sophia takes it upon herself to investigate what has happened at the house. Who was responsible for a recent spate of break-ins at the house and why did her parents decide not to tell her?

During her investigations Sophia discovers that her mother had been in the process of writing a book, which had been picked up by a publisher. The discovery of her mother’s notebooks takes Sophia back in time to her mothers late teens and her life at Morningstar.

But just where and what was ‘Morningstar’? And what events had happened to her in her past which had now impacted the future?

I really enjoyed the chapters told in Nina’s voice through her manuscript. More so than Sophia’s present day story (even though this was immensely readable too).

This book kept me guessing all the way through. It was a real rollercoaster ride! The pacing was just perfect. I raced through it in two days, not really wanting to put it down at all.

This book deals with secrets, hidden pasts, cults, peer pressure, fitting in and trying to find your own identity.

I think it’s the best thriller I’ve read in a long time. I have to confess I hadn’t read the authors other book Dear Amy which also received great acclaim but after reading Everything Is Lies I am definitely getting myself a copy.

See you soon.

Bookish Chat. Xxx

Home By Amanda Berriman – A Review

Published by: Transworld

Publication Date: 8th February 2018

What first drew me to requesting this book on Netgalley was this:

The fact that this book was told from the perspective of a 4 and a half year old girl, written in her voice, down to the incorrect spelling and pronunciation of words intrigued me.

I knew from the blurb and a handful of reviews I’d read that this wasn’t going to be an easy breezy read.  Jesika is (as mentioned) a four and a half year old girl, living in a run down flat with her Mum and baby brother Toby.  They live under the constant threat of eviction by their landlord or the ‘Money Man’ as Jesika dubs him.  They have very little money and countless problems with the flat, broken windows, mould on the walls making them ill and discarded needles in the stairwell etc etc.

Life through Jesika’s eyes is taken childishly at face value. She’s navigating the complicated world of grown-ups, finding her feet at pre-school and trying to cement her friendship with new girl Paige.

But Paige has a secret that Jesika knows she should tell her Mum about, but is too frightened to.

This book was very reminiscent to me of Emma Donoghue’s Room and also has a slight My Name Is Leon vibe. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes can be both illuminating and heartbreaking. This book is definitely heartbreaking.

As soon as I knew which direction this story was taking I had to stop and take a breather. It was like a sickness creeping over me that I was trying to keep at bay. My stomach turned. (Very dramatic there Mand!). I’ve seen other reviews where the reader said they almost stopped reading but felt they owed it to Jesika to carry on and see her story through.

I find it hard to say that I ‘enjoyed’ a book which addresses such a hard hitting subject matter but I did enjoy this book. If I’m honest there were times I had to break away due to the writing style. Reading the voice of a child was a little draining at times and I had to get a fix of an adult voice by reading something else for a while.

This book is gut wrenching but ultimately hopeful. You find yourself rooting for little Jesika and equally her downtrodden Mum Tina. This family clearly needs a break in life and you’re willing them on to find happiness. If Jesika were real you’d want to scoop her up in your arms and take care of her. She’s such a strong character who remains with you long after you’ve finished the book.

As I’ve said, it’s not an easy read but I thoroughly recommend that you do

See you soon.

Bookish Chat xxx

The Intruder by P.S Hogan – A Review

Publisher: Transworld Books

Publication date: ebook 1st February 2018 and paperback 31st May 2018

I saw this one doing the rounds on Twitter and jumped aboard the ‘can I have a proof copy of that pleeease?’ bandwagon (which incidentally, as a fairly new book blogger I still find strange and cheeky!). But I was lucky enough to bag myself a copy (with a cute little tiny key stuck to the front, it’s the small things that please me folks! Also it smelt amazing!!!! You bookish people get me?….I know you do).

I wasted very little time and got stuck right in. So what’s it all about?

Well, we meet William Heming, a successful estate agent with his own estate agency. He’s charming and amenable and helps many families in their quest for new homes…..however, he also helps himself to a spare copy of their keys and lets himself into their homes when they’re not around. And therein lies the problem…..well not the ‘problem’ but the basis of this story, and what a story it is!

We learn about William’s childhood where after his mother dies he is left with his father and Aunt who are in a relationship with each other. He finds solace and comfort in hiding in confined spaces and eavesdropping on the adults. He also enjoys moving things, taking things and creeping around when they don’t know he is there. This manifests itself at his boarding school too where he gains pleasure from sneaking into the other boys dorm rooms and taking small items of their belongings, little mementoes if you will.

However there is an incident at the boarding school which ultimately results in his Aunt removing him from the school and sending him off to work an apprenticeship at a family friends estate agency.

William soon discovers that he has landed on his feet in this particular job which literally hands him the keys to other people’s lives. He enjoys letting himself into their homes when they aren’t there, rummaging through their paperwork, ‘researching’ their lives. From time to time he takes a snooze on their beds, eats meals in their kitchens and always lets himself out quietly before they get home (maybe with a souvenir or two in his pocket).

When William becomes a little too closely involved with one particular family, his voyeuristic nature becomes his potential downfall.

I raced through this book as I was desperate to see what kinds of scrapes Heming would get into next and whether he was clever enough to get out of them. At times I was almost reading through my fingers! Imagine being in somebody else’s house where you absolutely shouldn’t be and hearing their key in the lock…..

At the start of the book I did think that maybe Heming was the product of a difficult, somewhat lonely childhood and actually felt a little sorry for him…..however as the book progressed I swiftly changed my mind. We slowly discover piece by piece that there were incidents in his childhood where the blame rests firmly on his shoulders. His behaviour is appalling but he’s also quite a standoffish, guarded narrator which I love. I also love the fact that he is the kind of unassuming man who can fly under the radar. But the question is just how long can he keep flying?

This is the perfect twisty turny little thriller that will have your heart in your mouth. It’s a quick, gripping read that you will want to race through.

Grab yourself a copy when you can!

See you soon

Bookish Chat xx

The Wicked Cometh By Laura Carlin – A Review

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication Date: 1st February 2018

I saw so many people posting beautiful pictures of stunning velvety proofs of this book and immediately got book envy. Like real desperation level envy. So I was absolutely thrilled to be approved to review this via Netgalley. Alright, alright I would’ve luh-huvved an actual proof but I’ll take a great book in whatever form I can. And this book is great. Like super great.

For a kick off it’s Georgian, it’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s grim. Tick, tick, tick and massive tick.

We meet our protagonist Hester White who having been previously fairly well off and well educated finds herself falling on extremely hard time after the deaths of her parents. She is forced to live with their gardener Jacob and his wife Meg (whom Hester calls ‘Auntie’ and ‘Uncle’.

Desperate to make a better life for herself she heads out one day to meet her cousin who she believes is the key to a better life. On the way she is run over by the horse and cart of a doctor and injured quite badly. The doctor Calder Brock takes Hester in and treats her wounds and nurses her back to health. He takes Hester to his family home in the country and tasks his austere sister Rebekah with educating Hester as kind of a social experiment of sorts to determine whether the downtrodden and destitute can indeed be educated.

The two women form a strong and unique bond after a slightly rocky start and are bonded further by the fact that people have started to go missing with no warning and leaving very few clues. The victims are of all age groups and both sexes and all appear to be from poor backgrounds.

Rebekah having lost two of her maids this way has a vested interest in finding out what on earth is happening to these people. Hester’s cousin seems likely to have disappeared in this way too, having failed to show up and meet her on the day of the accident.

The two women find themselves embroiled in a murky underworld on the streets of London, trying to fathom out the mystery and keep their wits about them.

I found this a little hard to get into at first but this was not the books fault, it was mine. I was so eager to read it that I started it at a point when I was really too busy to become absorbed and promptly put it back down again. A definite case of right book wrong time. However, once I put aside some time I flew through it.

It put me in mind of Sarah Waters writing and had a definite Fingersmith vibe going on. It was very atmospheric and the author transports you back in time to that era in history and you almost feel as if you’re there, experiencing the sights and sounds (most of them unpleasant!).

I must admit that I didn’t see the ending coming and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was happening to all those people who had gone missing. Columbo I ain’t! I love that I was kept guessing. And the reveal when it came was fascinating.

If you love a good mystery, and are a fan of the historical then you need to get your grubby mitts on this ASAP! (Well not grubby, you might ruin the velvet)……

See you soon.

Bookish Chat xxxx