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Book Review: All for You by Louise Jensen

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Louise Jensen is by now a fairly well-known author in the psychological thriller/domestic noir thriller genre but I think this was her first book I read. It is about a family of four, Ellen the mother an orthopaedic surgeon who is currently not working, Aidan the father a vet and the two boys Connor and Kieron. Kieron has some rare possibly terminal disease while Connor is a sensitive 17 years old. In the picture, there are also two of Connor’s good friends: Ryan and Tyler. We know that something happened to Connor’s girlfriend Hailey’s but we don’t know what. First Tyler then Ryan disappear and everyone fears that Connor might be the next as the three were always together and they were together the night something happened to Hailey.

Connor disappears as well but it is not what it seems. It’s a complex thriller with several punchy twists, I couldn’t work out who could be the kidnapper and the ending was genuinely surprising although a bit far fetched and very dark. You can tell that Jensen is a bit more accomplished in writing thrilling plots than other authors. Overall it took me a while to get into this book but then I was engrossed in it and read it late at night. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery with lots of family secrets. I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This book will be out in October but you can pre-order it now. 

All For You: don’t miss the next thrilling and shocking psychological thriller from best selling author of The Date and The Sister in 2021!
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Jensen, Louise (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 10/28/2021 (Publication Date) - HQ (Publisher)

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Books

Keeping Up Appearances; from Hyacinth Bucket to Eleanor Rigby

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Keeping Up Appearances was a British sitcom that ran on BBC television from 1990 – 1995. It featured a woman called Hyacinth Bucket, which she insisted was pronounced Bouquet. The humour lay in watching her attempts at social climbing. She lived to impress her unfortunate neighbours, who tried to avoid her! 
Coincidentally, at that time, I was in contact with relatives, who erroneously insisted on a French pronunciation of their surname, and were oblivious to their ridiculous behaviour.
 
While the programme was enjoyed for its comedic effect, some people in real life struggle to keep up appearances and it is no laughing matter. People who have social status, such as by being a home owner, but lack actual income, are said to be in genteel poverty. This leads to reduced  spending and failing to replace things that are broken. By keeping up appearances, others are not aware of the true state of affairs.
 
 
The March family in the novel Little Women, by Louisa M Alcott, are an example of genteel poverty. They gave up their Christmas dinner to take to a family, who were in absolute poverty. Today, people who have very little themselves, may leave an item to be collected for the food bank, on their way out of the supermarket.
 
Another sort of keeping up appearances, is the disguising of emotions. This may extend to hiding actual physical or mental abuse. Victims of controlling behaviour may show no sign to the outside world, suffering at home in silence. 
 
In “Eleanor Rigby”, the song by Paul McCartney, the woman disguises her loneliness by appearing cheerful, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door, as the song says. She is an example of all the lonely people,  who keep up appearances.
 
 Footnote : As a tribute to the Beatles, Tommy Steele commissioned a statue of Eleanor Rigby, (a fictitious person, although the name is found in a Liverpool graveyard) It is placed not far from the site of the club, the Cavern, where the Beatles first performed.
Bestseller No. 1
Little Women
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh (Actors)
  • Greta Gerwig (Director) - Amy Pascal (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
Bestseller No. 2
Movin' On Up
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kinetic Content, LLC. (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

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Books

Book Review: All Her Fault by Andrea Mara

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I have read many psychological thrillers but this was something else. Many books say they have unpredictable twists but very few deliver on that promise. This one does. It all starts when Marissa Irvine goes to collect her kid Milo from a playdate. But at that address, no one knows the kid or the family that was supposed to live there. What follows is 7 days of police search for the four-year-old boy, quite quickly it becomes obvious that he was taken by the nanny of the kid he was meant to play with. But the question is why? Why would a young woman kidnap a little boy?

 

The plot was quite watertight and when the twist arrived, it made sense. The characters were interesting and everyone was a bit suspicious, But to understand this crime, we need to know the motive and I can’t say much more without spoiling the book. If you like psychological thrillers, not scary ones but well thought out, this book is for you. I was given a copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Books

Book Review: The Good Liar by Amanda Brooke

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I have read quite a few of Amanda Brooke’s books, they are often in between a family drama and a psychological thriller. The one before this The Widows Club was not set in a family but in a larger circle of people. A Good Liar is the same, here we find several people living in the same town in the aftermath of a major tragedy. The local theatre had been restored by a group of well-meaning wealthy women headed by Philippa. Unfortunately on the opening night, the theatre is destroyed by a fire and several people lost their lives.


There are many questions as it always happens in cases like this and many fingers point at Philippa and her electrician who also perished in the fire but one year after the tragedy the inquest finds that everything was done by the book and the company that supplies some material is too blame. One of the main characters is a reporter for the local newspaper, her best friend died in the fire and she is determined to find the truth. But it takes time and she is not always right about who could be guilty and who could be a hero.


Overall, it is a good story, I found it a bit slow at the beginning but then it grew on me. It’s different from many psychological thrillers as there are many layers of culpability and not just one perpetrator. There are some twists but quite predictable, especially given the title of the book, you know someone is lying. But overall a good book which I recommend to anyone who likes a story of village intrigue more than a domestic noir. I was given a free copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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