#BlogTour #Review ~ Behind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott @MichaelJBooks #BehindClosedDoors

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Behind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott.

Behind Closed Doors was published on 4th March 2021 by Michael Joseph.

 

From the outside, anyone would think that Lucy Palmer has it all: loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home.

But when her marriage to Michael comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, her life is turned upside down in a flash.

As the truth of her marriage threatens to surface, Lucy seizes the opportunity to swap her house in London – and the stories it hides – for a rural escape to her parents’ farmhouse in the Chilterns.

But Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she moves back to her childhood home, especially when it throws her into the path of an old flame.

Coming face-to-face with her mistakes, Lucy is forced to confront the secrets she’s been keeping from herself and those she loves.

Is she ready to let someone in? Or will she leave the door to her past firmly closed . . .

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A big thank you to Sriya Varadharajan and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting to participate on the blog tour.

Behind Closed Doors is the latest book by Catherine Alliott and for me, a change to her usual style of book. It was a lot darker than usual and I enjoyed immensely.

Lucy Palmer lives in a lovely house in London with her husband Michael and appears on the outside to live a charmed life. She is a cosy mystery writer of moderate success with two adult children who have since flown the nest. Looks can be deceiving though…

On the inside, her husband is a controlling bully who manipulates and belittles Lucy and her career whilst flaunting his many affairs in front of her with little respect for everyone concerned.  Lucy has been made to feel worthless and almost as though she deserves the way her husband treats her.  When her marriage ends suddenly, she has the chance to start afresh and find the Lucy that has been buried for too long along with some much needed happiness and joy.

She rents out the house in London and moves back to her parents house with the intention of keeping an eye on them. Despite their advancing years, they show no sign of slowing down and seem to think that ignorance is bless where their health and drinking parties are concerned!

I really enjoyed how the author lets you dip into Lucy’s life in London with Michael before bringing you back to the present day. You learn a lot from these chapters about how she lived with the constant cloud of Michael looming over her and follow her as her confidence and happiness ebbs away. She is a character that you grow to become fond of along with her parents who despite their almost happy go lucky life, come to realise that they can all help each other.

I think I went into this book almost expecting to know how things would end so I was pleasantly surprised that I was actually wrong with a lot of my assumptions!

A really enjoyable story from Catherine Alliott with some added surprises that really kept me turning the pages.

  

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

About the Author

Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott has written sixteen bestselling novels and is translated into eighteen languages.  She has sold over 3 million books worldwide.

She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, UK.

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#BlogTour #Review ~ The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood @JJAHarwood @HarperVoyagerUK @RandomTTours

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Shadow in the Glass by J J A Harwood.

The Shadow in the Glass was published on 18th March 2021 by Harper Voyager.

A deliciously gothic story of wishes and curses – a new dark fairy tale set against a Victorian backdrop full of lace and smoke.

Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.

Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.

One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay…

* * * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting to participate on the blog tour.

I went into reading The Shadow in the Glass not knowing too much about it and I think sometimes that is the best way to enjoy a book – no ideas or preconceptions to hinder your enjoyment.

Enjoy I did! I couldn’t put it down as I was completely hooked watching this tale of greed unfold. We follow Ella who was once the adopted daughter of Mrs Pembroke, the owner of the house that Ella lives in. When she dies, Ella finds herself ousted from her privileged and comfortable life to that of a lowly housemaid, with no comforts and constantly avoiding the unwanted attention of the drunken widowed Mr Pembroke.

Most nights, Ella finds comfort in the house library where she can dream and imagine a different life to the one she is now living and it is during a visit that she encounters a mysterious woman who says she can help Ella. She will grant her seven wishes in exchange for her soul.

At first Ella is reluctant to believe what she has heard and even thinks she has dreamt the whole thing until her first wish comes true. With each wish comes a horrible price and Ella struggles to keep a lid on her determination to have a better life.

I couldn’t stop reading as I was so eager to find out how things would turn out for Ella and whether she would ever really be content with her life of if the yearnings for more would come back to haunt her.

The author has written an amazing twist on the Cinderella fairytale and although the main character becomes more and more greedy and you can sense her ultimate downfall, you do feel sympathy for her as she tries to gain the lifestyle that she feels she was supposed to live.

Really enjoyable and highly recommended from me.

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

About the Author

JJA Harwood is an author, editor and blogger. She grew up in Norfolk, read History at the University of Warwick and eventually found her way to London, which is still something of a shock for somebody used to so many fields.

When not writing, she can be found learning languages, cooking with more enthusiasm than skill, wandering off into clearly haunted houses and making friends with stray cats. THE SHADOW IN THE GLASS is her debut novel.

#BlogTour #Review ~ Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner.

Before She Disappeared was published on 26th January 2021 by Century.

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman with more regrets than belongings who spends her life doing what no one else will: searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings Frankie to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier.

Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own. And she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered.

But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing will be her …

* * * * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Rachel Kennedy and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

Before She Disappeared is the first in a new series featuring Frankie Elkin. Frankie is a recovering alcoholic and due to her past, which we slowly find out about, has refused to put down any roots and travels from town to town determined to help find missing people.

Her latest case takes her to Mattapan, a Haitian Boston neighbourhood where she learns about a young girl, Angelique who has seemingly gone missing. Angelique is a smart girl with dreams of becoming a doctor so her unexplained disappearance nearly a year before has puzzled the police who appear to have come up with nothing of any interest and have her labelled as just another teen who has disappeared.

Although not an investigator, Frankie is good at reading people and she is determined to find Angel and bring some closure to her family.

Frankie is great new character to have as your eyes and ears in the book. She is tough and despite facing no help from anyone in Mattapan who want to run her out of town, she doesn’t give up and will definitely not be told what to do. She takes a job and room in the local bar which gives her access to the small town gossip that gives her a sense of the neighbourhood.

Lisa Gardner has created a fantastic and tough new character who has many flaws but you get the sense that her trying to find missing people is some kind of redemption for the one person she was unable to save. She pushes herself to the limit in a way of trying to make up for past mistakes.

A well written and fast paced thriller that I really enjoyed. Frankie is someone who I would to read more about!

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

About the Author

Lisa Gardner

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels. Her 2010 novel, THE NEIGHBOR, won Best Thriller from the International Thriller Writers. Most recently, she was honored with the Silver Bullet Award for her work with at-risk children and homeless animals. Lisa loves to hike, travel the world, and yes, read, read, read!

Readers are invited to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate” Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. Readers have nominated themselves, spouses, bosses. It’s cheaper than therapy and twice as much fun! For more details, visit Lisa’s website, http://www.LisaGardner.com.

Her latest, BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED, is available January 19, 2021. Meet Frankie Elkin, an everyday average person who specializes in finding missing minority children. When the locals have given up, when the media has never bothered to care, Frankie takes on the challenge. Her latest mission has brought her to Mattapan, Boston to find a missing Haitian teen. Eleven months later, Angelique Badeau’s disappearance remains a mystery. What happened to the quiet, studious teen? Frankie learns quickly the dangers of asking too many questions, but that won’t stop her from discovering the truth behind what happened BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED.