Blog Tour~ The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda today, and I get to share her fab review with you all!

About the book:

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What happens when your best friend becomes your worst nightmare…

Having reached a dead end in Boston, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs a change. When she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who is moving to rural Pennsylvania, Leah decides to join her. But their fresh start is quickly threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah helps Detective Kyle Donovan to investigate her friend’s life for clues. But with no friends, family or digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Forced to question her version of reality and to save herself, Leah must uncover the truth – no matter how dark or terrible it may be…

Published by Corvus, you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

About the author:

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Megan Miranda is the author of the bestseller ALL THE MISSING GIRLS. She has also written several books for young adults. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. THE PERFECT STRANGER is her second novel of psychological suspense. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter and Instagram, or @AuthorMeganMiranda on Facebook.

www.meganmiranda.com

Ellen’s review:

This is the first book by Megan Miranda that I have read and I am excited to see that I have so many others to catch up on as I really enjoyed The Perfect Stranger.

Leah Stevens is a journalist from Boston; she has run away from a scandal of her own creation and started a new life as a teacher in rural Pennsylvania with old friend Emmy Grey. Both of them go to Pennsylvania looking for a fresh start and are both hiding secrets but Leah’s life starts to unravel as she is the victim of a stalker, a woman who looks like her is assaulted and Emmy goes missing. From then on events take a chilling turn as it becomes apparent that there is no evidence that Emmy Grey ever existed, everything is in Leah’s name and there is nothing but Leah’s word to say they shared a house together. On further questioning it seems that Leah didn’t really know Emmy at all….in fact there is the feeling that Emmy is a figment of her imagination.

There are subtle clues dropped throughout out the story that click into place as you go along. Why was Leah under threat of a restraining order and lawsuit in Boston? Why is she so intent on keeping under the radar in her new role as a teacher? I was a massive fan of Gone Girl and there was a similar vibe in The Perfect Stranger.

Five stars from me.

Check out the blog tour:

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Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

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About the book:

Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins. They weren't even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another.

Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she's just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can't be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…

Published by Corvus, Don't Close Your Eyes is out now and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

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Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller.

My thoughts:

Having read and loved Try Not To Breathe, I was super excited to be given a copy of Holly's latest book, Don't Close Your Eyes, to read and review. I went in blind, as I do lately, so that I have no preconceptions or echoes of the blurb running around in my head when I start reading.

Don't Close Your Eyes introduces the reader to twins Robin and Sarah, who seem to be estranged when we meet them. They lead very different lives, so I was intrigued to see how the author was going to bring them together. I was thoroughly unprepared for how it came about though, which I loved as it really added to the story.

Robin, who is extremely agoraphobic, doesn't leave her house at all. She ends up witnessing an event from her home that leaves her reeling. This in turn brings up emotions from her past that she clearly hasn't dealt with. Alongside this, Sarah is also struggling as she has been made to leave the family home after a terrible allegation is levelled against her.

These events conspire to throw the two women back into each others lives, but neither is prepared for the consequences. The past has a way of catching up on people, and in order for Robin and Sarah to move forward, they must deal with their own demons before they can go any further.

Complex, winding and completely gripping, Don't Close Your Eyes is an excellent addition to the psychological thriller genre. Taut with suspense and fraught with tension, I defy you not to love it.

Highly recommended.

Previous reviews:

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard 

First off, massive thanks to the author and those lovely folks at Corvus for my ARC of Distress Signals! 🙂

I have a fab guest post from the author today too! I’m going to pop that here at the start and you can read on for my review after!

 

My Top 5 Thrillers – Catherine Ryan Howard

 

Thank you so much for letting me share my Top 5 Thrillers with your readers today! So, in no particular order…

 

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

 

Boy oh boy. If ever anyone asks, ‘What exactly is a psychological thriller?’ just hand them this book, turn on all the lights in their house and leave them to it. It is, for me, the definition of the term. The story is told in two timelines, following the main character Catherine as, first, she meets and falls in love with Lee and, second, battles through her days with OCD after finally escaping what turned out to be a horrifically abusive, manipulative man – she hopes. This book is genuinely frightening, with a couple of reverse-Sleeping With the Enemy moments (you know, when Julia Roberts opens the kitchen cabinets and finds all the tins facing out the right way?) that will make you physically shudder. I read it at home alone, and it had me double-checking that my doors were locked. It’s a master-class in psychological suspense.

 

Darkside by Belinda Bauer

 

Big twists are my thing, and this book has a mind-melting whopper of one. I have read in some reviews that people felt it was unbelievable and/or figured it out mid-way through, but I have to politely disagree. Although I had my suspicions, the moment when the killer is revealed just floored me. I can still remember where I was: half-sitting, half-lying on my bed, and I had to put the book down with the shock. Then I went and found the first person I could – my unsuspecting brother, downstairs in the kitchen – and told him the whole plot of it just so I could explain to him how amazing its twist was.

 

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

 

The book Rolling Stone called ‘a snapshot from hell.’ A golden oldie, yes, but surely the daddy of them all. I feel a bit sorry for Silence these days, because so many of its pioneering features – the FBI’s behavioural science unit, genuinely scary serial killers, crime writing that was both terrifyingly violent and stunningly literary – are everywhere now. But if you haven’t read Silence or not read it in a while, when you do, think about what the crime fiction landscape was like back in 1988 and how ground-breaking this book was. Also, for Eighties crime fiction written by a man about a man who kills women, it’s got a surprising amount of girl power in it – after all, it’s about one woman battling to save another woman while (perhaps with the exception of Lecter) all the men around them are really no help at all…

 

You by Caroline Kepnes

 

Things I love: American pop culture, bookstores, dark humour in my crime, new authors to love. You by Caroline Kepnes comes with all of these. The story is told from the perspective of Joe, our… Well, obsessive, potentially psychopathic stalker. (Don’t worry, you’ll be on his side in no time.) Everything about this book – the voice, the perspective, the story – feels fresh and original in a sea of poor Gone Girl impersonations and unlikeable narrators. Joe is the loveable narrator you really shouldn’t even like. I absolutely loved him—I mean, ahem, this book. He also appears in Kepnes’ follow-up, Hidden Bodies.

 

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

 

In the twisty thrillers landscape, this surely is the original and best. Coben has pulled off more than a few earth-shattering twists since, but now we expect nothing less from him. Back in 2001, this came as a massive shock and total surprise. I’ve read interviews with Coben where he says he figures out his plots as he goes along and if that’s true, we need to start studying his brain or sequencing his genome or something, because he can’t be one of us. Can he? How is he doing this?! I don’t know, but I know I don’t want him to stop. A master of the genre.  


 

About the book (via Goodreads):

Did she leave or was she taken?

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ‘I’m sorry – S’ sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate – and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.

To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…

My thoughts:

I started Distress Signals last week, and within the first 13 pages I was grabbed hook, line and sinker (see what I did there 😉  ).

This book was just brilliant! Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop!!! I loved everything about it to be honest. The writing style makes the book easy to read, and the story flows well.

Distress Signals is about Adam and Sarah, who are living happily together, with Sarah working while Adam is working on his script for his agent. Sarah is to go to Barcelona for a conference and doesn’t return, and when Adam gets her passport in the post with a note attached he thinks something has happened.

What ensues is a chaotic search for Sarah. This in turn raises more questions about what was really going on in their relationship. It leads Adam far from home and into danger.

I’m useless at describing what happens in books, this is why I let the blurb do the talking usually!!! 🙂

I loved this book as it switched between present and past, but the reader didn’t know where the past was going to figure in the book. I have to be honest, the glimpses into the past made me feel really uncomfortable reading them. The subject matter is rather sensitive at times I think! However, once everything was pieced together, i almost felt like banging my head for not realising!!!!

Catherine Ryan Howard has written a great novel in Distress Signals. It is a tense, fast read with a really great story. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads! It’s published TODAY and you can order a copy by clicking on the link below!

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

Happy reading! 🙂

You Sent Me A Letter by Lucy Dawson

I have to start this review by saying well done to Corvus! I received this invitation in the post, not knowing who it was from so I went on a fact-finding mission which revealed it to be promo for Lucy Dawson’s new book, You Sent Me A Letter.

 

I RSVP’d and got a very non specific email from “Marc Turner” so my interest was suitably piqued.

 


Not long after, my copy of You Sent Me A Letter arrived, and I finally had the time to start it on Wendesday night!

 




About the book (via Goodreads):

What if your worst enemy found out your darkest secret?

At 2 a.m. on the morning of her 40th birthday, Sophie wakes to find an intruder in her bedroom. The intruder hands Sophie a letter and issues a threat: open the letter at her party that evening, in front of family and friends, at exactly 8 p.m., or those she loves will be in grave danger.

What can the letter possibly contain?

This will be no ordinary party; Sophie is not the only person keeping a secret about the evening ahead. When the clock strikes eight, the course of several people’s lives will be altered forever.

 

My thoughts:

You Sent Me A Letter has such an intriguing premise. I was dying to read it and couldn’t wait any longer! 😂

It begins with Sophie waking up to an intruder who subsequently hands her a letter telling her she must read it at her 40th birthday party that night. If she doesn’t, there will be major repercussions for her love ones.

Needless to say, I had to keep reading to find out what was going on!!!

The story unfolds over the day of her party, with Sophie full of fear and turmoil over what could possibly be in the sealed letter and what will happen when she opens it in front of her family and friends that night!

As usual, no plot giveaways but I will say there are plenty of unexpected turns in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed You Sent Me A Letter. It is tense, disquieting and well paced! It pulls you in and won’t let you go until you read “The End”.

I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. It’s available March 3rd and you can preorder a copy HERE

Happy reading 😊 📖


Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

My thanks to Corvus and Holly Seddon for my ARC of Try Not To Breathe. I’d seen this book and lots of reviews popping up on my Twitter feed so I was thrilled to get a review copy. I tried not to read the reviews so that I didn’t know much of the plot, as it makes it easier for me to make up my mind about the book.

 

About the book (via Goodreads):

 

Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

 

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.
Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.
The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.
In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.
Told in the present by an increasingly fragile Alex and in dream-like flashbacks by Amy as she floats in a fog of memories, dreams, and music from 1995, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer to a breathtaking conclusion.

 

My thoughts:

 

Lack of organisation on my part meant I started Try Not To Breathe within two days of publication, I hadn’t checked my book diary so I read another book that’s not out until next week first! #bookwormproblems 😄

 

Try Not To Breathe, for me, started slowly. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m used to books opening with gruesome murders or crimes. The change of pace was welcome though. It pulls you in and makes you wonder how Amy ended up where she did, and what happened to Alex to make her the way she is.

 

Lately, it seems like all the books I’m reading involve children in horrendous situations, death, abuse, kidnapping and so on.

 

However, books like Try Not To Breathe take you on a journey. They make you feel for the characters, and their circumstances. It is effortlessly written, blending Amy’s past,with Alex’s present and weaves the perfect take around the true events of Amy’s attack and subsequent hospitalisation.

 

I really enjoyed (never sounds right to say that about books with such awful subject matter!) Try Not To Breathe. I flew through most of it yesterday and last night as I wanted to be able to post my review for publication day today! Myself and Celeste over on Celeste Loves Books were saying we’d have to speed read to get it read on time! 😂

 

I gave Try Not To Breathe 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads. The only reason I dropped a star was that I figured out early on who had put Amy in the hospital. It was still a great book regardless of knowing early!

 

You can buy your copy here:
Try Not to Breathe

 

Happy Reading 😊📖