#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘Lips’ #FlashFiction

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Follow the link on the banner for more information

This weeks prompt is“lip” I’m going to write a 100 word flash fiction story, because as soon as I saw the word, an idea flashed into my mind. I’ve been thinking about it and now I’m going to write it. I won’t edit, but I will weed out words to reduce it to 100 max. Sounds like fun, but let’s see how it works out!

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Her Lips

She pursed her lips. Those soft, luscious lips that had caressed every inch of my skin. Only mine.

They sank into a hard, angry line.  Lips that had told me they loved only me.

I willed her lips to move, to show me there was still hope, but they remained rigid, while blood, as red as her lips dripped onto the floor.

I love you, I told her, and at last, those lips that made me lose my mind, twitched slightly, one last time.

She pressed her lips to mine and dug the knife further into the wound. It’s over, she whispered.

****

Sorry it was a bit dark, but that’s where her lips took me!

A psychological, tense thriller in 100 words. Does it work?

#AtoZChallenge 2019 #Audiobooks ‘D’ is for J. P. Delaney @Audible #Thriller

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with another of my favourite writers, J. P. Delaney, who I have just discovered is not a woman! I don’t know why, probably due to the use of initials, I assumed the writer was a woman, but I’ve just discovered on his Facebook page, that J. P. Delaney is a pseudonym and that he is in fact this man:

He has published two brilliant psychological thrillers, The Girl Before and Believe Me, and I’ve listened to them both on Audible. His third novel as J P Delaney (I’m not sure if he has other novels with another pseudonym), The Perfect Wife, which will be out in August 2019, is in my wish list.

The Girl Before: A Novel

When I reviewed The Girl Before, in July 2017, a few months after it was released on Audible, I called it a masterpiece.

It’s superb from the first word to the last. No one is who they appear to be and nothing is what it seems. Suspense is guaranteed from the first page to the last.

The Girl Before is the story of a very special house and its successive occupants. The author gradually builds an intense plot which is claustrophobic in its obsession to tell the story of the house at number 1 Folger Street, which will soon become a fictional landmark, like Satis House or Manderlay, and I don’t say that lightly, both Dickens and du Maurier are two of my most respected authors. In fact, I think ‘One Folger Street’ would have been a perfect name for the book!

I’m glad I chose to spend my monthly credit to listen to the audio version, which was fabulously read by three different readers.

Believe Me: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

Believe Me is another 5-star read or rather, listen.

Again, nothing is what it seems and nobody is who they appear to be, and yet finally everything is exactly as expected, falling into place, with a nerve-wracking, yet satisfactory ending.

There was so much to enjoy in this novel, especially the constant references to Baudelaire and his work, Les Fleurs du Mal, as well as references to acting techniques, and personality disorders.

I highly recommend the audiobook version because of the excellent, multiple (5) audio narrators, and because there are some scenes in the novel, which are written as a screenplay, so the narrators vividly bring it to life.

Believe Me is undoubtedly the best audiobook production I’ve ever listened to, and I’ve heard plenty in the last two years.

****

J P Delaney’s novels are especially for readers who enjoy intense, twisted, tightly plotted and brilliantly written, psychological thrillers.

J P Delaney’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#AtoZChallenge2019 #Audiobooks ‘B’ is for Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @Audible #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with another of my favourite contemporary suspense writers, Shalini Boland author of six psychological thrillers.

Shalini Boland

I’ve read The Secret Mother and The Silent Sister on my kindle, but today I’m going to tell you about the two audiobooks I’ve listened to recently, The Child Next Door and The Girl From The Sea.

The Girl From The Sea: A gripping psychological thriller with a heart-pounding twist by [Boland, Shalini]

Mia is found on the beach, disoriented and not knowing who she is or why she’s there. She’s finally discharged from hospital and allowed to go home when her boyfriend recognises her.

But, who is Mia? She doesn’t even recognise her reflection in the mirror. Although there are some disjointed flashbacks, her memory doesn’t improve until the last few chapters, so throughout most of the novel, Mia is forced to gradually decipher her life with the help of her boyfriend, friends and family, but can she trust them? Why are they lying to her?

The novel is narrated in the first person by Mia. The audio version is brilliant, because as most of the novel is written in the present tense, it is like watching a suspense film. All the events are vividly portrayed, making it a thrilling read, with plenty of twists and turns, right to the last page.

The Child Next Door: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist by [Boland, Shalini]

The Child Next Door is gripping from the first line to the final chapter. It’s fast-paced and very well written domestic thriller about a group of neighbours with plenty of secrets.

Kristie is a teacher who is on maternity leave and is overly worried about her infant’s safety after hearing a strange voice on her baby monitor who wants to ‘take the child and go.’

The novel is narrated in the present tense in the first person from Kristie’s point of view. The events happen over a short period of time, so once more the suspenseful narration leads to an intense listening experience.

****

Especially for lovers of fast paced, psychological thrillers set in the UK.

Shalini Boland’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Thinnest Air’ by Minka Kent #Amreading #Bookreviews

Today I’m reviewing The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent.

Blurb

Meredith Price is the luckiest woman alive. Her husband, Andrew, is a charming and successful financial broker. She has two lovely stepchildren and is living in affluence in a mountain resort town. After three years of marriage, Meredith’s life has become predictable. Until the day she disappears.
Her car has been discovered in a grocery store parking lot—purse and phone undisturbed on the passenger seat, keys in the ignition, no sign of struggle, and no evidence of foul play. It’s as if she vanished into thin air.
It’s not like Meredith to simply abandon her loved ones. And no one in this town would have reason to harm her. When her desperate sister, Greer, arrives, she must face a disturbing question: What if no one really knows Meredith at all? For Greer, finding her sister isn’t going to be easy…because where she’s looking is going to get very, very dark.

****

My Review

I enjoyed Minka Kent’s debut novel, The Memory Watcher, so I was happy to read The Thinnest Air, which has been published earlier this month.

The Thinnest Air is a well written and tightly plotted psychological suspense.

There are plenty of things to praise and enjoy about this novel and one aspect which disappointed me.

In the first place, I loved the dual narrators and the two time-lines in their narration. Meredith Price starts telling the story backwards, in chapter one, starting from her honeymoon, three years earlier, and her sister Greer, starts telling the story the day her sister, Meredith, goes missing and moves forward for ten days until the mystery is finally solved, starting at chapter two. Both narratives merge in the final chapters.

The plot was cleverly contrived and unravelled by both sisters’ alternating narratives.

The second aspect which stands out positively is the characterisation, especially of the narrators. Both sisters have a very close bond, in spite of their completely different characters and lifestyles. Greer is too forthright and lacks social skills, while Meredith is too easy-going and pleasure-loving. Neither is completely likeable, although Greer’s, no-nonsense approach to life and strong work ethic appealed to me more than Meredith’s laid back approach and excessive love of luxury and short-term satisfaction.

The secondary characters were mostly well-rounded, although a few did seem to be clichés, for example the bitchy ex-wife.

Thirdly, the suspense was cleverly built up from chapter two and never slowed down. Most of the twists and turns were believable and added to the suspense, but not all of them, one or two, especially towards the end, did seem to have been placed just to add another red herring.

Although I’d recommend this novel and overall I enjoyed it and couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out what had happened to Meredith, the one thing that irked me was the ending.

I wasn’t personally satisfied with the final outcome, although it was mostly rational and, more or less, believable.

I fully understand the need for the psychological suspense genre to surprise and/or shock the reader with the resolution, but there were plenty of unlikable characters, who had the motivation and opportunity to harm Meredith, and finally I was more disappointed than surprised by the identity and motivations of the actual culprit, and the way this person was caught, but that’s only my personal response to the final outcome. We all have our triggers and preferences, so I’m sure other readers might enjoy the ending.

I listened to the audio version of this book and enjoyed the reading by two narrators very much.

****

The Thinnest Air on 1st July and is already has almost 1,400 reviews on amazon.com and 104 on amazon UK.

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#TuesdayBookBlog ‘Then She Ran’ by Charlie Gallagher #Amreading #Bookreviews #Heist #Thriller

Today I’m reviewing Then She Ran by Charlie Gallagher.

THEN SHE RAN an absolutely gripping crime thriller with a massive twist by [GALLAGHER, CHARLIE]

Blurb

On a lazy Sunday morning, Jenny Harris is shaken awake by her panic-stricken boyfriend, Joseph. Their baby daughter lies asleep on her chest. ‘We’ve got to go!’ Joseph screams.

In their hotel room, Jenny hurriedly wraps her tiny baby up. All their belongings are left behind. There’s no time. Joseph’s panic is contagious.

Jenny sprints with her family from the hotel. And it’s clear that they are being chased. Their pursuers are indiscriminate and they are deadly.

Her boyfriend falls, caught up in the carnage, but he manages to give her one last message: ‘RUN!’

****

My Review

I came across this novel by chance on Amazon. I looked inside because of the blurb and downloaded it after the first paragraph. In fact, it gripped me from the very first line: ‘Jenny, honey, we’ve got to go now!’

From then on Jenny, Joseph and their baby are on the run first from ruthless killers and then from the police. They are forced to split up and there follow four acion-packed days on the run for Jenny, Joseph and their four-month old baby.

Jenny has no idea who wants to kill her or why. Her several escapes and near death experiences are realistic and thrilling.

On the other hand we will be following the police investigation, which in spite of some important blunders, is meticulously and realistically carried out.

I enjoyed the insight to police procedure and to the points where it crossed personal boundaries, and the people involved in the crimes became of real personal interest to the investigators, especially PI George Elms, a complex, clever man, who makes up for his errors (he’s only human) with dedication and resourcefulness.

The characters were fully fleshed to the point that I could see them, understand how they felt and sympathise with their actions.

The plot was perfect. Two separate crimes, both seemingly unrelated and inexplicable, gradually merge and everything starts making sense.

I enjoy reading realistic, cleverly plotted crime stories, like Then She Ran, where all the threads are plausibly and cleverly tied up at the end.

It’s a bit like a happy ever after romance, although there is no romance in this novel, and yet there is a great deal of love, real, unrequited, misdirected and tragic.

I would definitely recommend Charlie Gallagher’s books to lovers of thrilling, procedural, crime fiction.

He knows what he’s writing about, because he’s been working with UK police force, and his first hand knowledge and understanding of police procedure and human nature come across in this novel.

Especially for readers who love well-plotted and exciting and realistic police procedural fiction.

 I will definitely be reading more novels by this author.

THE LANGTHORNE SERIES box set of three gripping crime thrillers by [GALLAGHER, CHARLIE]

More books in the series I look forward to reading.

****

Then She Ran was published in April 2018 and it already has almost 100 reviews 4.3 average on Amazon UK and it’s currently Number 1 Bestseller on Amazon.com for Heist Thrillers. Great detective fiction. Hours of excitement and entertainment guaranteed, and you can buy it for well under the price of a coffee!

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****

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#TuesdayBookBlog ‘White Lies’ by Lucy Dawson #Amreading #Bookreviews #PsychologicalThriller

Today I’m reviewing White Lies by Lucy Dawson.

Blurb

Alexandra Inglis is a respected family doctor, trusted by her patients to keep their most intimate secrets. And if sometimes the boundaries between duty and desire blur… well, she’s only human.

But when Alex oversteps a line with Jonathan, one of her patients, she knows she’s gone too far. Jonathan is obsessive, and to get what he wants he will tear Alex’s world apart – threatening not only her career but her marriage and family too.

Soon Alex finds she’s capable of doing almost anything to keep hold of her perfect life, as it begins to spin dangerously out of her control…

****

My Review

I picked up this novel for the reasons I always do, the blurb intrigued me and then the first few ‘look inside’ pages gripped me immediately.

 A ‘girls’ weekend in Ibiza and a one-night stand threaten to ruin Alex’s career as a doctor, her happy marriage and her two daughters’ stability.

But was it a one-night stand? Did she have a happy marriage? Who is telling the truth? Who is lying and why?

The story is narrated from several first-person viewpoints, which I love, although it’s not an easy feat for an author, but Lucy Dawson does it brilliantly.

The reader is able to piece the story together from the various first person narrations by the main players; the wife, the husband, the wife’s colleague, the young lover and the lover’s girlfriend. The problem is, some of them lie, or simply jump to the wrong conclusions, or only tell partial truths…

The role of social media and media coverage as instigators of gossip, exaggeration, half-truths and lies, in order to sell more, become famous, or simple get more views on their profiles is frighteningly realistic.

The plot is well constructed and gradually unravelled to the shocking and unexpected ending in which everything in Alex’s professional and domestic life seems to return to normal, but can anything ever be the same again?

There were many twists along the way, but the most surprising were the two last twists on the final pages. Terrifying, but brilliantly contrived!

White Lies is Especially for lovers of domestic thrillers with twisted and shocking endings.

I will definitely be looking out for more psychological thrillers by Lucy Dawson. I’ve just downloaded The Daughter, published in January.

****

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#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Last Girl’ by Nick Twist #Amreading #Bookreviews

Today I’m reviewing The Last Girl by Nick Twist.

The Last Girl: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist by [Twist, Nick]

Blurb

After surviving a plane crash, June West surrenders to a shallow existence of a life without memories–without purpose. She is stuck in a hospital where she is taken care of and told what to do with the rest of her life. But how come she has no relatives? No family, children or friends? Hell, she isn’t even sure her name is June West.

Slowly, her grasp on the world starts slipping. She hears baby cries every night. She eavesdrops the nurses talk about the last girl. Then she receives a note from under the door: you have twenty four hours to save your daughter or they will kill her.

****

My Review

I picked up this novel because of the blurb, and although I’ve included it here, believe me, nothing is what it seems in this novel. The blurb is intriguing enough to attract the reader, but if you think it’s about a woman who has been in a plane crash and is trying to save her daughter from ruthless kidnappers, you are wrong, or maybe not…

The Last Girl is a completely different type of psychological thriller, mainly because it really is a psychological thriller in which the author plays with the readers and the characters’ minds at every twist and turn.

I felt enticed, manipulated, lied to, confused and enthralled, all at the same time!

The Last Girl is, at times, like a rollercoaster, which seems to have derailed, yet continues on its imaginary rails without a destination, but nothing appears by chance, every single scene and character leads to the final culmination, when it all makes sense. What a ride of a novel!

The Last Girl is an innovative, daring and creative novel. It’s like no other psychological thriller I have read. It’s exciting, surprising, ingenious, cleverly plotted, and well written. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I read it over two days, because I have other things to do, such as a job and a family!

However, like the main character, The Last Girl isn’t perfect, neither is it an easy read. It is confusing, infuriating and distressing at times, but It’s good points by far outweigh these aspects.

It pushes the boundaries of fact, fiction and fantasy in literature and raises interesting theories as some of the characters discuss  the role of literature in our lives and our need to write, rewrite and share our stories.

Especially for readers who love psychological thrillers and don’t mind being confused, surprised, shocked, and mesmerised.

I will definitely be looking out for more thrillers by Nick Twist because he has a unique and compelling way of telling stories.

I can’t wait for his next novel to be published.

Nick Twist

****

The Last Girl was published in March and is already an Amazon.com Bestseller and you can buy it for well under the price of coffee.

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