The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is the fourth Lisa Jewell book I’ve read and by far the best for me. She has never captivated me like this before. This is definitely a complex gothic tale. There are many characters all interwoven with murder, mystery and the most wonderful tension. The time line jumps between the past and the present. The past where three dead adults are found in a mansion in Chelsea. The corpses appear to be part grisly suicide pact, but what about the very alive baby found upstairs? The present where Libby Jones, a charismatic if slightly neurotic 25 year old, inherits a house in Chelsea from her birth family. I really enjoyed this mystery, the characters are well developed and the plot is intricate and really clever. I read so much thriller/mysteries that most don’t surprise me or keep me guessing but this one did!

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I wouldn’t call this a thriller but rather a slow burn gothic mystery. The story revolves around Jo (Jocelyn), who returns home to England after her husband is killed tragically. She is forced financially to move back into her family’s grand home and live with her estranged mother. Memories of her beloved Nanny Hannah surround her and one day a skull is found in the Estate’s lake. This book could have been half its length. It’s heavily character driven and I simply got extremely bored in the middle.

Mine by Courtney Cole

⭐️⭐️ Second 2 star book in a row. I’ll put this caveat up now – I’m a Psychologist and Psychotherapist so sadly if you venture down those paths in psychological suspense I cannot put aside my clinical mind. This is a story of one single night when a wife discovers her husband is cheating and lures the girlfriend over. She is angry…. enraged and they are stranded together as a hurricane hits. This had the makings of a fantastic story but sadly didn’t convince me. If people reacted like in this book I wouldn’t have a job. #mine #bookreview

Her Pretty Face By Robin Harding

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Second three star read in a row! This maybe the book or the fact that I have a low threshold right now. This character driven thriller has definite ‘Big Little Lies’ vibes but without the suspense and reveals. Maybe reveals were intended but I guessed who was who pretty quickly. Essentially the plot is a mum with low self esteem who befriends a stylish mother of her son’s friend. We are lead to believe one of them must be a cold hearted accomplice to a gruesome murder, which the book alludes to in back stories.

The Holiday by TM Logan

I’m back to reviewing after 11 days off… what was I doing? I was reading… and hand raising a baby squirrel. As you do! So back back to Reviews now that my baby is sleeping better!

First one up is ‘The Holiday’ By TM Logan which scored a mediocre ⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me.

This is a slow burn thriller about four friends going abroad for a summer holiday and things get tense. I got bored and ended up sadly not really concentrating when things started to move in the last half of the book. I ended up so bored I simply didn’t care about the mystery.

The Book Of Essie

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I am definitely in the minority here. I was so looking forward to being wowed by this book that I’m left feeling disappointed. The story is focused on Essie a 17 year old reality star. She is pregnant and her ‘mom-Ager’ insists she finds a suitable husband. Think the Kardashians meet evangelist TV with a hint of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.

The writing is beautiful but I found the plot a bit simplistic. A bit slow and predictable.

‘All That Remains’ Sue Black

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I read this while in bed with stomach flu, which I don’t recommend at all! However I did find this memoir compulsive reading. I really enjoyed reading about Dr Black’s childhood, career and her musings around death. As a therapist I’m fascinated by people’s thoughts and beliefs around death and although this book focussed on the physical she did touch on society’s perception around death which she thoughtfully gave the pronoun ‘she’.

‘Snap’ Belinda Bauer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a fantastic find for me. This wasn’t a mere thriller but stepped into literary character driven fiction too. So atmospheric and moving. A pregnant mum of three is forced to leave her children in their broken down car to find help and never returns. After she is found murdered her family cannot pick up the pieces and it falls onto her oldest son Jack to resort to what he can to feed his little sisters. But is it also his job to solve her murder?