~Blog Tour Q&A~ The Other Twin by L V Hay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the final stops (along with Tony over at Mumbling About…) on the mammoth blog tour for The Other Twin by L V Hay and I get to share a Q&A I did with Lucy recently, First though, the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

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When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth …

Published by Orenda Books, The Other Twin is available NOW, and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

Lucy Hay author photo

Lucy is an author and script editor, living in Devon with her husband, three children and six cats. Lucy is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015) both starring Danny Dyer. See Lucy’s IMDB page HERE and other movies and short films she’s been involved in, HERE.

In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the writing process, screenwriting, genre, careers and movitivation and much more at her blog Bang2write, one of the most-hit writing sites in the UK. Sign up for updates from B2W and receive a free, 28 page ebook (PDF) on how NOT to write female characters, HERE or click the pic on the left.

For more scriptchat, leads and links, join Lucy’s online writing group, Bang2writers. See you there!


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Hi! My name is Lucy V Hay (sometimes LV Hay!) and I’m an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I’m owner of the writing tips and networking blog www.bang2write.com, which was shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards this year, as well as named Feedspot’s number 1 screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world).

 

As a script editor, I’ve been privileged to work on a number of fab and award-winning British projects, both feature and short film. I’ve written books about screenwriting, plus I’m also a novelist – my crime debut is out now with Orenda Books and is called The Other Twin.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first ‘book’ in the middle of my Maths homework book when I was about eight. It was called DUSTCART GEORGE and it was about a girl who ran away from home and had her own dustcart sweeping up the streets in London. I did my own illustrations too! Needless to say, my Maths teacher was not very happy though she did say she enjoyed the story, so job done.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

Everywhere, both in real life and online. There’s always new perspectives and ideas and thought patterns … This is why I love social media so much. There’s always someone sharing their POV, or a snippet from their lives, or a character from history … Whilst it’s true social media can be an extended whingefest and full of people’s pictures of their dinner, I make sure I follow the ‘right’ people … By ‘right’ I mean anyone who might challenge my little bubble and make me think of something differently, rather than abject trolls!

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

 

I would call it ‘dark and lyrical’. Dark, because I am obsessed with the reasons people do and say terrible things to each other; no one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I will be as evil/careless/selfish etc as possible”. I’m also interested in notions of redemption and whether it’ possible to be ‘good’ after being ‘bad’ – and whether society will let you!

 

Lyrical, because I am also obsessed with the craft of writing, right down to what words are chosen. I want my work to be literary, but also accessible. I want to bring forth visual tales like my hero, Doris Lessing who was so skilled at ‘word pictures’. That’s the dream.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

 

Absolutely. Blog tours, tweets, author spotlights, Instagram features, Facebook Q&As, guest posts … they all work in getting a book out there to the readers. The important thing to remember is they are cumulative. In marketing, it’s said the average consumer is exposed to a product like a book four times before they buy it. Also, referrals are so important – people buy your book if they see people they like/follow endorsing it, whether that’s another author or a book blogger (preferably both). This notion you tweet a few times and get an Amazon bestseller simply doesn’t add up!  

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

 

Writing. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love as my actual job.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

 

Writing. I hate it so much! (haha). As you might guess, I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on here.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 

I would love to have had a number of bestselling books and hopefully, a movie or TV adaptation of at least one of them. I’ve also always wanted to write a dystopian series for teenagers. But really, more of what I’m doing now: writing, workshops, blogging, etc!

 

What’s next for you?

 

Book 2 for Orenda. No title yet and still working on the rewrites. Also, my latest writing book this September, WRITING DIVERSE CHARACTERS FOR FICTION, TV AND FILM, which will be published by Oldcastle Books as part of its Creative Essentials range. This will be my third in the series, but my first where I include novel writing too rather than just screenwriting.  

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I adore reading; I try to read at least one book a week. I think it’s really important writers read – I would even wager real money that the best writers (in a craft sense) are the most well-read (whatever that means). I also think the best writers are the most open-minded and challenge themselves the most in terms of what they read. It can be tough to read outside of your comfort zone, but very rewarding. For this reason, I try to set myself pledges on what to read.

 

Can you tell me your all-time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

Argh, I have so many favourites … and so many fave 5s! I suppose the book that changed my life was probably Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

So many. But I wish I had written GONE GIRL, if only to get a naked Ben Affleck in the shower.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

Spending time with the kids. Reading. Baking. Going for drive, watching movies, hanging out. Nothing earth shattering but it’ the little things I think.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

 

I like to take pictures, especially of nature and my 5 cats.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

 

I love Harlyn Bay, in Padstow. The beach is gorgeous and I love standing out on the headland there and watching the tide come in.

 

Favourite food?

 

Depends on the day! But overall, probably chocolate. All of it. Give it to me!

 

Favourite drink?

 

Booze! At the moment, gin. Though it goes through phases … Ale is a favourite, being a Devon gal.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

 

Well I was a teacher for a bit. I’ve also worked in other places like telemarketing, supermarkets,  cafes, waitressing, even marketing via sandwich boards and in a giant bear costume! Writing wins hands down over all of these.


Many thanks to Lucy V Hay, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for having me on the blog tour for The Other Twin!

Catch up on the blog tour with all of these wonderful blogs:

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~Blog Tour Q&A~ Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Hi all,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill and I get to share a Q&A with the author today!

About the book:

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An American Gothic thriller of deception and obsession, slicked in sweat and set in the swamps of Louisiana.

It’s a psychological mystery where the female protagonist stumbles into a deserted shack with no memory but a gun in her hand. There she meets an apparent stranger, Red, and the two find themselves isolated and under attack from unseen assailants.

Barricaded inside for a sweltering night, cabin fever sets in and brings her flashes of insight which might be memory or vision as the swamp sighs and moans around her.

Exploring in the dark she finds hidden keys that seem to reveal her identity and that of her mysterious host, but which are the more dangerous – the lies he’s told her, or the ones she’s told herself?

Published by Urbane Publications, Nemesister is out now and you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

About the author (Bio from Urbane’s website):

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I’ve always written and told stories, for as long as I can remember. My first self published work at the age of seven, fully illustrated in felt pen and crayon. I continued with a series of insightful ‘When I grow up I want to be an author’, essays, and an attempt at a ‘Bonk-buster’ series of supernatural thrillers written from a position of utter ignorance on all topics, until I was distracted by Art college. A never ending, or never finished, fantasy epic kept me going through my twenties, but it was motherhood in my thirties which concentrated my mind enough to actually finish a novel. It’s amazing what a bit of life experience and the sudden curtailing of your free time can do to concentrate the mind.

After that I began giving myself permission to take my writing seriously enough to spend time on it and actually listen to critiques. The writing festival in York proved invaluable, and time and disappointment got me to the point of producing something readable, which I was lucky enough to have read by Urbane publications.

If you make or write anything, the number one question you get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ In answer to that question, it’s an easy process which combines working on your craft every hour you can for as long as possible – hard graft – reading as much as you can of everyone else’s work – stealing – and inspiration, which is just one of those things that just happens. The inspiration for ‘Nemesister’ comes from a dark episode of family history, and a moment from a dream; an image of a man standing in the doorway of what I knew was an abandoned shack, which was gone as soon as it came and yet lingered, the way some dreams do.


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Ok, I’m an artist/crafts person most of the time, and lead workshops with Kent Adult Education, when I’m not looking after my lovely family. of all the things I’ve done, writing, burlesque,blacksmithing, dressmaking and corsetry, the one thing that impresses the most people is that I was once awarded hand knitter of the year – go figure!

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

Oh yes, I was writing books when I was five or six, admittedly quite small ones, but books never the less. I was torn between art and English at University, but my annoying ability to draw got in the way of writing and so I did the Art thing, but it was 50-50.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

I rip off all the good ideas everyone else has, which is both true and and not true – all good artists beg, borrow and steal, but in doing so they change what they started off with into something new and exciting. After all, Jean Rhys (whom I would never compare myself too by the way) would never have written the amazing ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ without ‘Jane Eyre,’ which is what I mean. Of course, most of this stealing happens without malice of forethought – you just find an idea someone else once had playing on your mind until you’ve made it yours, have a weird dream about it and then start wondering what if, and before you know it, there’s an idea for a book.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

There’s always a mystery, something which is impacting the present, and someone both trying to unpick it and cover it up at the same time. They’re like puzzle boxes with a sense of humour.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Yes, of course, getting the word out person to person is the only way for an Indie author to get out there, and social media gives us the chance to get round the big publishing houses with all their money – it’s empowering for the little guys like us, and it’s a way real book lovers can find something which goes against the publishing grain.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

Can I say writing? That’s too trite – I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the best thing – for good or for ill, just the idea that someone might be enjoying my words and getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, is what it’s all about.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

 

I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the worst thing – just the idea that someone might not be enjoying my words and not getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, that’s the fear which keeps me up at night.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

I hope to just be writing and publishing and getting more readers. If I ever make it to a radio four program about books, either in person or printed form, then I will have reached my own personal zenith!

 

What’s next for you?

 

I’ll be working on the sequel to Nemesister, which is written but will no doubt need a good polish and rewrite, and I’ve three or four others on the go too. That and a workshop on how to up-cycle desk drawers.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I do read, but as I have a baby and work with my hands all the time, I am addicted to audio books. I don’t drive, so everyday I walk round the town to do my job, search for materials in charity shops, walk the dog and get buses and trains to work, so I always have my head phones on and a book playing.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

I never remember them all, but just in my last years worth of read I loved The Power by Naomi Alderman, and Leon by Kit De Waal, and I enjoyed Dark Place by Gillian Flynn, which I preferred to Gone Girl.   

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

Totally Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, the most stunning book and an incredible Grand Guignol main character, who you love but would not like to be in a lift with.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I make stuff all the time, it’s almost a compulsion – needle felting, pom-pom crafts, embroidery, painting, decoupage and collecting weird stuff to put in bottles. I bake and cook a lot, and I love my garden, and very, very occasionally still go clubbing with my friends!

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

I suppose all of them are, as books are my sort of job, but I guess see the question above!

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I dream of one day going to Japan in the spring to see the gardens in full blossom, and then all the street fashions in Tokyo, as I love clothes and creating outfits.

 

Favourite food?

Asparagus, cheese, olives and bread and butter.

 

Favourite drink?

Tea, tea and especially Chai Tea!

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

Luck, both good and bad.


Huge thanks to Sophie for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Abby for having me on the blog tour!

Make sure to check out the tour:

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~ Mini Review~ Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

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*Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy!*
About the book:
WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW
In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.

 

WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW
In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT
Connection?

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?

My thoughts:
I had heard good things about Sweet Little Lies so of course I had to check it out to see what it was like.
Sweet Little Lies is the winner of the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and I can see how it won. Packed with unreliable narrators, twisty and with plenty of diffferent themes and avenues explored it definitely follows the psych thriller rules in that sense!
Caz Frear has a great writing style, and a knack for creating characters that the reader will love to hate I think. One thing that made me smile was reading about my hometown and a nightclub from the 1990’s. I love feeling a connection like that when I’m reading, and its not often that Galway gets a mention!
Sweet Little Lies is an interesting tale. It has good plot and divisive characters and it deals well in showing how relationships and secrets can destroy lives.
Recommended!
Check out Caz Frear’s guest post from the recent blog tour:

~Blog Tour Review~ Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson and I get to share my review with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

Kerry

They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

‘Z’ is all it read.

Z for Zac.

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, The Girl on the Train and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the author:

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Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.

He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read anything by Kerry Wilkinson (apart from a short story or two) so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Two Sisters. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have it read so quickly, but his writing is so pacy and addictive. Two Sisters follows Megan and Chloe in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. Ten years ago their brother went missing and his body was never recovered, so they have experienced a double tragedy in their lives.
When they return to Whitecliff, where their brother disappeared, they are there to tidy up their parents affairs. However, trouble follows them almost immediately and the story goes in a direction I didn’t anticipate. I found myself engaged in the story and I just had to keep reading to see what was going to happen.
Two Sisters is billed as a psychological thriller, but to be honest, there is a more YA-themed story going on there too. I think because the two main characters are relatively young that it felt more juvenile in terms of reactions and so on. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, it just didn’t have the adult-y feel to it!
I thoroughly enjoyed Two Sisters. It was an engrossing and twisty read.
Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour~ Liar by K. L. Slater Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Liar by K. L. Slater, published by Bookouture and available now. Ellen is sharing her review with you all, but first, here’s all the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

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How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. And then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t so sure…

There’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up. Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the author:

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Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink’ and ‘Liar.’

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected a stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Author website: http://www.KLSlaterAuthor.com
Twitter: @KimLSlater
Facebook: KL Slater Author

Ellen’s review:

Where to begin with this book as the end is the beginning is the end, and yes I’ve gone all Smashing Pumpkins on you! Anyway, enough of my random song choices and on with the review. Liar really does hook you in from page one as we have a murderer and a victim but no names and are then slowly introduced to the main players Amber and Judi. I was pretty sure I’d got each character sussed early days; one was obviously out for revenge for some reason and the other was a fiercely protective (some would say overbearing) mother and grandmother. How wrong I was. While Amber was bitter, twisted, manipulative and out to emotionally ruin those around her, Judi had her own vindictive and paranoid streak and was difficult to warm to.
The relationship with a mother-in-law can be an interesting one and Judi is the perfect example of a nightmare edition. Her son Ben and his dead wife Louise are obviously put on a pedestal and she absolutely dotes on her grandchildren Noah and Josh. None of them can do any wrong in her eyes so when Amber comes along and “takes over” it obviously goes down like a lead balloon. The fact that Judi is experiencing the whole gamut of side effects of the menopause adds a whole new level to the hell she is experiencing. To those around her it appears as if she is being irrationally anxious and short-tempered. I have to admit I didn’t particularly like either Amber or Judi as a person; I was only sure of what I wanted the outcome at the end to be.
 
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down, it’s one of those where you NEED to know what’s going to happen and what all the secrets are – and there are a lot of secrets as well as lies! What happened to Ben’s brother? Where does Judi’s husband disappear to on his overnight trips? Can we believe anything that Amber says? This story is full of surprises and I was taken aback on several occasions when I thought I had guessed where particular plot lines were heading.
A cracking five stars from me.

Follow the blog tour:

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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*Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy*

About the book:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

My thoughts:

Laurel’s daughter Ellie goes missing at fifteen, but Laurel has never given up hoping that she will find her. Laurel meets Floyd in a cafe, who ends up asking her out. Floyd has a 9 year old daughter called Poppy. Upon meeting Poppy, Laurel is surprised to see she is very similar to Ellie when she was young. This becomes a constant reminder to Laurel that her daughter is gone.

Then She Was Gone is told mainly from Laurel’s point of view, but we also get glimpses into Ellie’s life before she disappeared. We also see the impact her disappearance has on the rest of the family and how they dealt with the aftermath.

Then She Was Gone is quite a fast-paced and gripping read It hooks the reader early on and steadily builds a level of tension and discomfort throughout. In the interest of honesty, I have to say I figured out some stuff early on, which meant I wasn’t shocked or surprised with the way the book went.

It is definitely a good story and there is real emotion in the characters. If you like psychological thrillers with hints of domestic noir, then this is definitely a book to add to your list.

Recommended.

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

 

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*Many thanks to Orenda Books for my review copy!*

About the book:

Bo Luxton has it all – a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops … Or does it?

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

My thoughts:

Exquisite is a long-awaited domestic noir thriller published by Orenda Books. In it, we meet Bo Luxton and Alice Dark, both of whom share a common interest in writing. Bo is a bestselling author, and Alice has aspirations to write a book. Meeting eachother at a writers retreat ends up with some interesting consequences. 

I had been really looking forward to reading Exquisite. It ticks all the boxes in terms of the kinds of things I enjoy in books. Dark, unreliable narrator, secrets and lies, so I was eager to get stuck into it when I picked it up last month. 

It’s very hard to discuss Exquisite without giving away anything in terms of the plot. There is no denying Sarah Stovell is a superb writer. The prose and cadence in Exquisite is beautiful. Even the mundane is made exceptional, and that’s all down to how well the author writes. 

If you enjoy clever domestic noir, then Exquisite is the book for you. Compelling, menacing and fraught with tension, definitely one to add to your list!

Recommended!