Book Review: Based On A True Story by Delphine de Vigan

What’s it about?

Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L.

L. embodies everything Delphine has always secretly admired; she is a glittering image of feminine sophistication and spontaneity and she has an uncanny knack of always saying the right thing. Unusually intuitive, L. senses Delphine’s vulnerability and slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer’s life. However, as L. makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. As their lives become more and more entwined, L. threatens Delphine’s identity, both as a writer and as an individual.

My thoughts

I’ve got to admit this book did take some getting into as I wasn’t and still am not entirely sure what is was that I was reading.  Was it a memoir, pure fiction, or a mixture of both?  I also felt confused about the books the characters were talking about and the realisation that the book that pushed Delphine into the limelight isn’t this one I’m reading.  Having got passed my own confusion, this book is so unnerving with the inference of a deadly sense of foreboding that you’re just waiting for something awful to happen, which of course, makes you read faster to find out.

The author has this way of depicting how easy it is for a person to manipulate and embed themselves in another’s life, it’s very cleverly plotted and crafted but underneath all of it, it’s still at the back of my mind – is this real, did this happen to her? I still don’t know!

If you like plots that are full of drip-fed suspense and are reminiscent of the movies Single White Female and Stephen King’s Misery this is for you.  I was excited to discover that is has been adapted into a French movie so you never know it may be translated and released at a later date.

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Goodreads

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 384
Publisher:  Bloomsbury

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Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

What’s it about?

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . .

My thoughts

This is going to be a real mini mini review as I read it on holiday which was in July! I know I’m such a bad book blogger and I’m so behind with reviews.  I suppose I could have just left it and not bothered (which I have done with others) but because I loved Clare’s first book I Let You Go and therefore had high hopes for this one I wanted to share that it didn’t disappoint at all.

The thing that I took away most from this book and bearing in mind I read it 2 months ago, is how realistic I felt it was.  The social media culture allows us to put our whole lives online if we so wish so when you get scenarios in books like these it’s easy to think, shit yeah that could happen!  The characters are down to earth regular people and feel like people we all know which makes it all the more creepy.  From the outset it gave me the chills and didn’t really let me go till the end so I was able to read in a couple of days.

It would seem that Clare Mackintosh is going to be among the queens of twists and I will impatiently await book 3.

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 384
Publisher: Sphere

#BookReview: The House by Simon Lelic

It’s my stop today on The House blog tour and I’m very happy to share with you my review.

What’s it about?

What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them…

My thoughts

I’ve got to admit a fab bit of marketing got me interested in this book; when you get a black envelope in the post with a key inside who isn’t going to be intrigued.

The first few chapters really did it for me in terms of the very unsettling feeling that it gave me – very cleverly crafted!  It was one of those books where I wanted it to scare and thrill me but when it did I didn’t like it..like a roller coaster, you know you’ll scream your head off but you will go back for more!

As I always do I thought I’d worked out what was going on quite early but then ended up being led down the garden path completely.  In all honesty, I think that’s why I didn’t rate the book higher; I was somewhat miffed.  To be fair to the author that’s more about my issue than his, but it did impact on my overall feeling and enjoyment of the book.  I had hoped it was going to more about The House rather than its inhabitants and all the orchestrations with the family and their history.

Abuse is at the heart of this novel and it doesn’t make for pleasant reading and quite often made me feel really uncomfortable which is a testament to the author’s writing in being able to convey that but the subject matter may not suit all readers.

Overall I loved the beginning, enjoyed the ending but hoped for something a little more in the middle.

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 400
Publisher: Penguin

Do look out for other reviews and content on The House tour!

#BookReview: Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver

What’s it about?

It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner’s cooking, the TV’s on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.
When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It’s clear someone doesn’t want the family found.
But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find Emily’s missing family, he might just have made himself the next target . . .

My thoughts

I’ve had this book on my book shelf for quite some time and was kind of bullied encouraged to read it by daughter as she bought it for me.  This is the second of the David Raker series that I’ve read, having read Fall From Grace which is book five in the series with this one being book four – ooops a little out of order.

This book reminded me of Linwood Barclay’s No Time for Goodbye, another novel in which a family just disappear without trace from their lives

I found it to be dark and gritty from the outset with pretty much everything you need for a dramatic detective story:  likeable main character, good plot, high body count (though not to everyone’s taste) and so many twists and turns you don’t whether you’re coming or going.  I also loved that it’s mostly set in Devon as I recognised a lot of the places.

I’ll definitely read more and although it can be read as a standalone I usually find these types of books are better read in order; if not just to find out what’s going on between Raker and Healy (one of his copper mates).  I think fans of Linwood Barclay would enjoy this series too.

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 544
Publisher: Penguin

#BookReview: The One by John Marrs

What it’s about?

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

 

My thoughts

The One will change the way you think about dating and as a 40+ singleton this book’s blurb was incredibly fascinating…I mean, never having to stick your toe in the scary world of dating is somewhat, no not somewhat, massively appealing.

Told in turn by 5 characters (mostly) each with different stories to offer about their experiences of finding The One and what happens when do or don’t.  It certainly helps that the majority of the characters are all pretty ‘normal’ people and certainly relatable in terms of their relationships.  Even the less ‘normal’ ones have this air of appeal about that makes you want to know what makes them tick.

Each chapter ending on its own mini cliffhanger certainly makes for a gripping read and had me wanting to skip to their next chapter to find out what happens so I managed to read this in just a couple of days.  I mean, there’s murder, a bit of romance, kidnap…the whole premise is so enticing but reality always has a way of playing its hand so it can’t all be happy ever after – can it?

I did have the ending for one of the male characters (Nick) pegged differently and would love to have been right about that as I it would have been so much more dramatic given the rest of the book’s content but hey ho, that’ll be one for discussion with other bookish peeps.

I think the author’s stand out performance here is the original plotline and I think it would make an excellent thriller of a movie.  Start picking who you want to see playing these characters guys – that’s my prediction for a forthcoming book to movie adaptation!

Is this a taste of futuristic dating? Would you do it? Would you take the test?

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Goodreads

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 416
Publisher: Ebury