The Girl on the BeachThe Girl on the Beach by Morton S. Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title, The Girl on the Beach, and the gorgeous cover promise a certain amount of intrigue. I was surprised and thrilled by just how much intrigue Harry Dixon held for me. Harry stayed with me after the last page and does still. Proof of an immensely satisfying read. We have suspense, drama, a burgeoning romance that you are desperate to see flower but with so many obstacles in its path you wonder, how? Harry Dixon isn’t who he seems to be. Forced to change his identity after an undercover drugs operation that saw him a marked man, Harry can never reveal he was once Ben Rivers, the carefree surfer found beaten and supposedly drowned on a beach with no memory of how he got there; no recollection of the heated sex with the girl on the beach preceding his assault.

Single mother to teenager Tom, Ellie Golden remembers Ben, though, the man who touched her to the core. And Harry Dixon is too much like Ben Rivers for her heart or mind to ignore. After an abusive marriage that left her physically and emotionally scarred, her son traumatised, Ellie doesn’t trust easily. She certainly can’t trust a man, now headmaster at her son’s school, who isn’t who he claims to be. Nor can Harry trust Ellie with his secret even though her suspicions threaten to expose him. They both need to forget their former lives and move on, but the arrival of Ellie’s abusive ex-husband, a stark reminder of their shared past, isn’t going to allow that. There is another superb twist here, but … I think that would be a massive spoiler. I suspect you might have gathered that I was definitely intrigued and enmeshed in Harry and Ellie’s story hook, line and sinker. If you like your romance with a bit of bite, this is a book for you. Highly recommended.

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Life is frenetic nowadays. We know we should slow down occasionally and just breathe, but do we? Sometimes we need a wake up call. And so it was with me. I hadn’t realised whilst pushing myself on, blinking tiredly at my screen, why I was blinking so tiredly. Scarily, I had a sudden onset eye disease, which meant I couldn’t really see the screen. Emergency surgery fixed me, and it can be controlled, but … I am aware that if I’d left it … I’m sharing this because I’m also very aware of how many people kept right on supporting me even though I’d apparently fallen off the face of the earth. This is just to say a HUGE thank you. I’m back! Working hard, but pausing along the way. Those flowers keep calling.

So, enough with the troubles. We all have those, don’t we? The fabulous news is that my latest book is coming soon! DEADLY INTENT, Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams thriller series, due to be published on September 5th, is currently on pre-order at just 99p! Sneaking a cheeky link in here: http://viewbook.at/Deadly-Intent

Can you indulge me while I show off the video? The voiceover is awesome! Gritty, gravelly and scary (I’d have been hard-pushed to do that myself), it totally makes it. Definitely worth a listen.

Massive thanks to Alan Bainbridge at voxjunction.co.uk for your excellent, professional service – and also again to all those people who read and reviewed Books 1 & 2 in the DI Matthew Adams series (those reviews are pretty awesome too). I really do mean it when I say I could not have done this without you.

Please do feel free to browse my books on my ‘Books’ page or to contact me anytime! I’d love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, keep safe all!

Lots of love,

Cut To The Bone (Riley and Harris, #1)Cut To The Bone by Alex Caan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a fan. Can you tell? Alex Caan I have to congratulate you on a book that had me glued to the pages. The plot, focussing on SNS (Social Networking Sites) and a world that’s a mystery to the uninitiated, that of the vlogger, is fresh and original. Simplicity itself in its conception, ‘One missing Girl – Ruby, our vlogger. Two million suspects – her viewers’, yet as perfectly complex as a thriller should be. The characterisation is excellent – there are many points of view, but I identified with every character and their various flaws and worried throughout about Zain Harris, our damaged DS and his hidden agenda. The police procedural and technical information is pitched perfectly (you don’t have to be a techie to understand it!), pushing the plot along at a rapid, have-to-read-more pace.

The narrative and dialogue is superb. More than once, I reread a sentence and was just mesmerised by the quality of the writing. In fact, I even read one or two sentences out loud, asking my partner, ‘Wow! How powerful is that?’ In short, I loved Cut to the Bone and cannot wait for the sequel. Thank you for a massively impressive, enthralling thriller. Fast paced and fabulously written. Highly recommended.

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The GiftThe Gift by Louise Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Gift is a sensitively written, enthralling thriller which looks at organ donation and cellular memory. Louise Jensen has obviously undertaken extensive research and as a result brings us a totally absorbing story which leaves us wondering about the possibility of inheriting memory through organ transplant. Told in first person from the point of view of the recipient of a new heart, we are given flashbacks into the donor’s past (also cleverly told in first person) through Jenna’s dreams and apparent memories, which don’t belong to her. Her world grown smaller as, through self-isolation while she recovers and deals with the aftermath of a traumatic operation and the medication she has to take to prevent her body rejecting her new heart, Jenna becomes obsessed with the donor, believing that Callie is somehow reaching out to her. The question is, why? Was Callie’s death an accident, as believed? The question for the author is whether Jenna is really experiencing these memories, or can they be explained away by understandable paranoia due to all she has been through and the cocktail of drugs and their side effects? I must say, the explanations given by her therapist are medically plausible. You go into the session convinced, as Jenna is from her experience and research, that cellular memory exists, that Callie ‘exists’ still, through Jenna, and you leave wondering, is it paranoia at play? Could it be survivor’s guilt that is driving Jenna’s obsession? There is a definite point in the plot where we come to realise that Jenna has to go forward, that her paranoia is founded in some way, but I won’t include a spoiler here. The Gift is a beautiful story (I love the Letter from Louise at the end where she is completely honest about her own views). It’s a book I read after a little hospital saga of my own and it truly was a gift, an original story that I was utterly immersed in. Highly recommended. Thanks, Louise.

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