ARC REVIEW: The Camera Lies – by AB Morgan @Bloodhoundbook

Title: The Camera Lies
Author: AB Morgan
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: February 3rd 2018
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Finished reading: January 26th 2018
Pages: 301

“Whoever said ‘the camera never lies’  was wrong.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bloodhound Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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!! Happy publication day !!

I was immediately drawn to this psychological thriller and not just because of the cover. The whole TV angle sounded fascinated and made me want to add it to my wishlist straight away… And I have been looking forward to The Camera Lies ever since. There is no doubt that this thriller delivers. The fact that the main character is a TV presenter making documentaries investigating miscarriages of justice is refreshing and definitely makes The Camera Lies stand out from your typical psychological thrillers. This story goes full speed and never slows down… There is a lot of action involved in the plot and it will have some surprises in store for you. BUT. And here comes the reason I had to take away a star from what is otherwise a booming thriller: I was able to see a huge plot twist/revelation coming REALLY early on… And this kind of put a damper on the whole reading experience. I kept hoping I was wrong, and it might just be I read too many psychological thrillers in the first place, but I like being surprised and I was disappointed when I realized that my suspicions were right. Still, there were other elements that did manage to surprise me and the whole case is without doubt both intriguing, twisted and disturbing. Trigger warnings for adult content and graphic scenes! All in all I can definitely recommend The Camera Lies to those who like their psychological thrillers fast, action-packed and twisted.

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Konrad Neale is a TV presenter who is trying to have his comeback a series of documentaries that investigate miscarriages of justice. He and his team are currently working on the case of Matthew Hawley, a man who has been convicted of the brutal murder of his wife Helena. He remembers nothing of that evening and keeps insisting he would never have killed her willingly… Is he lying or is something more complicated at hand? And what about the threatening texts Konrad receives as they are investigating the case?

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There is no doubt that both the TV documentary angle and the murder case itself make The Camera Lies a very refreshing, intense and action-packed read. Even though I did see a mayor plot twist coming, there were other things I never would have guessed. There are some disturbing things going on for sure! The story reads superfast and you will be wondering what will happen next and how things will end until the very last page. Entertaining and thrilling for sure!


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ARC REVIEW: Best Friends – by Carys Jones @Aria_Fiction

Title: Best Friends
Author: Carys Jones

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: February 1st 2018
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Finished reading: January 24th 2018
Pages: 330

“Sometimes the reality doesn’t live up to the dream.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Aria Fiction in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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!! Happy publication day !!

Sometimes a book just speaks to you, and that was exactly the case when I first saw Best Friends mentioned. I was immediately intrigued by the blurb and decided to give this psychological thriller a go. Four friends, a big secret and only one week to find their way out of trouble? Sounds like a perfect recipe for an entertaining and suspenseful ride to me. Best Friends starts out fast-paced and strong and has without doubt a very interesting premise. The main characters and four friends all have their own personalities and the dynamics between them works quite well. Both the situation they suddenly find themselves in and the mystery around Grace’s past adds a whole lot of suspense to the mix… Although the main focus is on the ‘problem’ they will have to deal with. While there is quite some action involved, there is a lot of focus on the characters as well, so fans of character-driven psychological thrillers will enjoy this element of Best Friends. As far as the plot goes… To be honest, I’m not sure everything is all that believable. Especially as things start to escalate, I started wondering about the credibility of it all; both the situation they are in and the ‘solutions’ they are trying to find. I also felt the ending wrapped things up a little too nicely… But all in all this is without doubt still a fast-paced and entertaining psychological thriller read.

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Grace and her three best friends Jasper, Franklin and Aaron are flatmates living in London, trying desperately to make a living while also following their dreams. Things are not going as planned and they are quickly running out of money and hope… But then one night they find a suitcase in a skip with some very interesting content inside. They think their prayers have been answered, but things soon turned sour when someone ends up on their doorstep, claiming back what is, according to him, his. They have one week, or else they will have to pay with their lives…

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If you are looking for a fast-paced and entertaining psychological thriller that focuses on both the characters and the action, you have found a good balance in Best Friends. This thriller has an interesting premise and a lot of action, but the story isn’t solely about the ‘problem’ they have to deal with. The story also focuses on their friendship and how the complicated situation they are in might affect this relationship. Especially in the second half of the story might not be all that believable, but it is still a solid read if you don’t focus that much on the credibility of it all.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #14: Hide And Seek (ARC) & The New Hunger


Oh yes, it’s time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! And I’m happy to say that with today’s edition I will be finishing my last pending 2017 review; Hide And Seek by M.J. Arlidge is the (un)lucky book to win that title. No more backlog, woohoo!! It was an interesting enough thriller that can be read as a stand-alone as well. The New Hunger by Isaac Marion I finished earlier this month, a zombie novella that will hopefully make me get a copy of book number two some time this year (although I saw there is going to be a third book, so I might wait until there is more news about that one).


Title: Hide And Seek
(Helen Grace #6)
Author: M.J. Arlidge

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: September 8th 2016
Publisher: Berkley Books
Finished reading: October 14th 2017
Pages: 416

“In prison it is the hope that kills you, not despair.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Berkley Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


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I kind of messed up when I requested a copy of this one, because I totally didn’t realise Hide And Seek was actually book number six of a series. Oops? Thankfully (at least for me), Hide And Seek can also be read as a stand-alone without missing too much of the background information. What I liked in this thriller is the fact that the main character is actually a cop trapped inside a prison… Call that original! Helen Grace is framed for a murder she didn’t commit and now has to survive in a prison full of enemies; more than one inside thanks to her and they are not happy. This setting and plot makes for some very interesting reading and the writing only makes it easier to emerge yourself fully in the problems Helen Grace has to face while trying to survive. And it’s not just the daily life that is challenging, because on top of that there is a killer on the loose on the inside. Hide And Seek definitely ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to a thrilling read.


Title: The New Hunger
(Warm Bodies #1.5)
Author: Isaac Marion

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Horror
First published: January 28th 2013
Publisher: Atria
Finished reading: January 17th 2018 
Pages: 170

“Nothing is permanent. Not even the end of the world.”


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I read the first book Warm Bodies ages ago (read: 2015) and wasn’t aware a sequel came out last year until recently… So I thought it was about time I picked up the novella while I wait until there is more news on book three so I can read both sequels together. The New Hunger is a prequel novella and I think I actually enjoyed it better than the first book. It might have been because of the lack of romance in this one, but The New Hunger turned out to be quite an interesting read despite the fact I’m not really into zombie stories. The writing and pace make it into a superfast read and I enjoyed reading about the background of the Warm Bodies characters and how it is to survive in this dystopian world in the first place. Get ready for a bunch of zombie attacks, dystopian scenes and characters in survival-mode when you pick up this one! Short, but sweet with a healthy dose of fresh brains.


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BOOK REVIEW: Deep Blue Trouble – by Steph Broadribb @Orendabooks

Title: Deep Blue Trouble
(Lori Anderson #2)
Author: Steph Broadribb

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: October 28th 2017
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: January 14th 2018
Pages: 320

“All of us have the potential to kill. We just don’t know if we’ll do it until we find ourselves in that situation.”

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I was sold as soon as I first saw that gorgeous cover, and found myself having no other option than diving straight into Deep Blue Trouble to see just how deep the trouble is the main character finds herself in. And WOW. What a firecracker of a thriller! Between the writing style, premise and characters this book had me under its spell shortly after starting it and I had a blast reading this action-packed and fast-paced thriller. I loved the fact that the main character Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter and the fact that bounty hunting plays such a big role in the plot. Refreshing, original and it definitely adds a little something special. Lori has to go through a lot during Deep Blue Trouble, and it has been interesting to see her react to the different situations and her never weavering or giving up. The characters in general are well developed and all add something to the plot as well as creating a few plot twists of their own. The hunt for Fletcher is without doubt intense! And Deep Blue Trouble definitely will have some surprises in store for you. Highly recommended for fans of the genre!

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Bounty hunter Lori Anderson doesn’t have an easy life… Not only is she a single-mother, but she also has to worry about her daughter Dakota’s cancer threatening to come back and Dakota’s dad JT being in prison with a price on his head. Desperate situations call for desperate moves, and when shady FBI agent Alex Monroe offers her an off-the-books job in exchange for JT’s freedom, she takes the job even though she isn’t sure about Monroe’s real motive. Her job is to catch Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher once again and bring him back to Monroe before the authorities get him. If she does that, JT walks free… But can Lori trust Monroe? And will she be able to catch Fletcher in time?

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If you like refreshing, fast-paced, suspenseful and action-packed thrillers with a strong female lead, you are in for a real treat with Deep Blue Trouble. Bounty hunter Lori Anderson seriously kicks ass and isn’t afraid to step on a few toes to get the results she is after. The writing is strong, filled with plot twists and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page… Trust me, you will want to know what happens to Lori and you will enjoy every single step along the way. Thriller fans will love this one!


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YVO’S SHORTIES #9: Life In Outer Space & The Bunker Diary

Time for more Yvo’s Shorties! This time shorties of books I’ve actually read in 2018. 😉 These two books were my very first Beat The Backlist titles and here’s to many more to follow this year. Number one is Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil, a book I picked up on a whim. The second, The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks, I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages and turned out to be a very shocking and thought-provoking read.


Title: Life In Outer Space
Author: Melissa Keil

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: February 1st 2013
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Finished reading: January 4th 2018
Pages: 305

“I guess some people enter your orbit and get stuck, and there’s nothing either of you can do about it.”


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Ever picked a book up on a whim? Well, that was what happened when I started reading Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil. I love my geeky/nerdy reads and I was so sure I was going to enjoy this one… But I guess it just wasn’t ment to be. First of all, I feel this book is trying too hard. Why? The geeky/nerdy element feels forced unnatural and basically didn’t manage to convince me. This is strange, because it’s normally my favorite part of this kind of YA contemporaries… The movie geek theme did at least play a significant role throughout the story, which I could appreciate since it clearly wasn’t just another box to be ticked and time and effort was put into finding all those references and quotes. I do feel Life In Outer Space has an aweful lot of high school cliches though, including the infamous ‘geek falls for popular girl’ trope. And another thing that made me struggle to love this story were the main characters. Unfortunately I never managed to connect to them, although I’m having the feeling the unnatural feel of the geeky elements were probably part of the problem. It does read superfast and fans of cute YA contemporary romance reads who don’t mind high school cliches will most likely have a better reading experience than me.


Title: The Bunker Diary
Author: Kevin Brooks

Genre: YA, Thriller, Horror
First published: March 7th 2013
Publisher: Penguin
Finished reading: January 6th 2018
Pages: 268

“Fear serves a purpose. It’s not just for watching spooky films or riding rollercoasters. It’s there for a reason. It keeps us alive.”


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I’ve been meaning to read this one for a long time, and when I saw mentioned in the first line of the description this was going to be ‘Room meets Lord Of The Flies’, I was sold. These comparisons to popular books can go both ways, but I think in the case of The Bunker Diary it is actually pretty accurate. Because WOW. I was intrigued as soon as I started reading The Bunker Diary and this is both an addictive, shocking, thought-provoking and emotional read. I sure wish I would have picked it up sooner! The writing is interesting and we learn about what is happening through the diary of the main character. Not only tells us about the events in the bunker, but it also shows the mental state of the character as well as how the things that happen have their effect. It’s hard to talk properly about this story without giving away too much, but The Bunker Diary will crush your heart, make you stare at the final page and at loss for words. A trigger warning for some graphic descriptions, but all in all I can really recommend reading this story. It definitely blew me away.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #8: The Secret Mother (ARC) & The Lost Child (ARC) @bookouture

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around it’s all about two Bookouture thrillers I basically read waaay too long ago and still had the review pending. Both were great reads and without doubt recommended… The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland and The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney.


Title: The Secret Mother
Author: Shalini Boland

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: November 9th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: November 4th 2017
Pages: 244

“Why is all this crap happening to me? I know why. This is trial by media: I’m guilty until proven innocent.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


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I’m a big fan of Shalini Boland’s psychological thrillers and I have literally devoured each and single one (The Girl From The SeaThe Best Friend and The Millionaire’s Wife) so far. It’s easy to say I had very high expectations for The Secret Mother, and those expectations were more than met. This newest psychological thriller is without doubt another winner. I was hooked from page one and the plot was intriguing. The suspense building and introduction of plot twists are both well handled and I found myself flying through the story. I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, but I also have to say this didn’t affect my reading experience all that much as I was too busy wondering about the what, who and why. If you like well written and suspenseful psychological thrillers, definitely give The Secret Mother a go!


Title: The Lost Child
(DI Lottie Parker #3)
Author: Patricia Gibney

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 27th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: October 24th 2017
Pages: 483

“Sometimes knowing is worse than not knowing.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


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I have been enjoying my time with detective Lottie Parker so far, and this third book The Lost Child has been one of my most anticipated releases last year. Why? Lottie Parker somehow never fails to deliver another suspenseful and thrilling adventure, and both the writing and plot development have always been excellent. The Lost Child is no exception. Book number three is without doubt another great read and provides us with yet another exciting story and more mystery around what really happened to the main character’s father. And while I do think I enjoyed it a tiny bit less than the first two books for reasons I can’t exactly put my fingers on, I had a great time reading The Lost Child and any fan of the genre will probably feel the same. I’m looking forward to the fourth book, which is scheduled to be published in March!


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ARC REVIEW: Her Last Lie – by Amanda Brittany

Title: Her Last Lie
Author: Amanda Brittany

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
First published: January 9th 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Finished reading: January 5th 2018
Pages: 288

“When someone you love lets you down, loves someone else, the world turns on its axis. Nothing looks the same anymore, and a distorted image of life appears before you like a scene from a horror movie.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HQ Digital in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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!! Happy publication day !!

It was the cover that first attracted me to Her Last Lie, but the promise of a story about a serial killer victim survivor just sounded too good to be true. I’ve been looking forward to pick up this psychological thriller debut ever since… But unfortunately I have to say I ended up having mixed thoughts instead. The writing style itself is engaging and flows, and I liked the incorporation of the little blog bits into the story. That said, I did have a problem with the plot and the focus on the main character and her relationships to men instead of the actual suspense around what happened in Australia and what is happening now. The whole love triangle/cheating was a mayor turn off if you ask me, and the mayority of Her Last Lie felt more like a contemporary romance read with a dash of suspense rather than the psychological thriller I was expecting. I couldn’t stand the main character Isla either, and not just because of her cheating… And I was also disappointed there wasn’t more focus on what happened in Australia. I did love the travel bits and descriptions, especially those set in Sweden. This was also the part where the story finally came alive for me, which is a shame since it’s basically the last 25% or so of Her Last Lie and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it to that point in a normal read. As soon as the scene with the Northern Lights (don’t want to reveal more to avoid spoilers) kicks in, the real suspense finally kicks in and the story manages to grab my attention completely. There are some interesting final reveals and plot twists, although I do admit I saw some of it coming… But still it was a remarkably strong finish to what was for me a quite disappointing, weak and too romance-focused psychological thriller. Like I said, the final part of Her Last Lie definitely shows a lot of potential! But I kind of wish the rest of the story would have followed the same tone.

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Six years ago, Isla was lucky enough to escape the claws of serial killer Carl Jeffery in Australia, and she has been trying to deal with these events ever since. On the outside, she seems to have moved on, working as a freelance travel photographer and writer and having a steady relationship with Jack. But then she receives the letter with the news of a pending appeal for Carl Jeffery… And the past comes straight back to haunt her. Isla needs to escape her life and decided to go through with her solo trip to Canada. Escape is not the only thing she will find there though…

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I had high hopes for Her Last Lie, but unfortunately I can say that only the last part of this story actually lived up to expectations. The writing is good, the premise is promising and the ending is surprisingly strong. There were a few plot twists I didn’t see coming either, and I loved the travel elements. That said, I found there was too much focus on the romantic relationships of the main character, I found the cheating/love triangle highly annoying and the main character itself very unlikeable. My feelings for this book are basically all over the place, because while I felt a strong dislike for the story during most of Her Last Lie, I absolutely loved the final part (starting with the Northern Lights scene). It’s hard to wrap my head around these feelings, but I do admit these positive feelings sure took their time making an appearance. Fans of slower paced psychological thrillers with a romantic focus might enjoy this one a lot better though. Just don’t expect a lot of suspense and excitement until the very end.


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