Review: Her Closest Friend by Clare Boyd

closest friendNaomi and I are best friends.
School runs, dog walks, a shoulder to cry on over a glass of wine, we’re inseparable.
But now my husband has walked out, I need her more than ever.
I know she will help me pick up the pieces.
Because she knows about the lie I told to protect her.
She knows how much I’ve sacrificed for this friendship.
And she’d never let anyone hurt me.
Would she?


I like books about friendships whether good or bad because I have experienced both. This book takes toxic friendships to a darker level. Through Naomi and Sophie, we experience co-dependence turn to obsession.

Naomi and Sophie have been besties since their days in Uni. Now they are in their 40s, they are wives and moms but their lives are far from being the same. One is full of contentment and the other is falling apart. When your life is falling apart, one of the people you need most is your bestie, right? But what if your bestie is busy with her career and family and doesn’t give you much attention?

This was one hell of a twisty ride. It took time to get into the story and the first chapters had me wondering if I’d enjoy the book. I felt like not much was happening and then boom! The cracks in the friendship became apparent and the darkness started seeping out. I was hooked from then on. I wanted to know how far the characters would go. I was also curious about secrets from the past.

There are moments when both women frustrated me and I wanted to shake them but I still couldn’t look away from the mess they called friendship. I also feel like Sophie and Naomi were the only developed characters but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying this book.

With unlikable characters, a dark plot and some secrets along the way, this book ended up being more entertaining than I thought it would be. It made me question the friendships that I have and also think back to ones that I have lost. I also like that one of the women in the story was a blogger. Her blogging predicament was so relatable, I can’t imagine what I would have done if that ever happened to me especially knowing just how attached I am to my blog.

Her Closest Friend by Clare Boyd is a book with such varied reviews. I am glad that my experience was positive.

Review: Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine (Stillhouse Lake #3)

wolfhunterShe can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

 Gwen Proctor escaped her serial-killer husband and saved her family. What she can’t seem to outrun is his notoriety. Or the sick internet vigilantes still seeking to avenge his crimes. For Gwen, hiding isn’t an option. Not when her only mission is to create a normal life for her kids.

But now, a threatened woman has reached out. Marlene Crockett, from the remote town of Wolfhunter, is panicked for herself and her daughter. When Gwen arrives in the small, isolated rural community, Marlene is already dead- her own daughter blamed for the murder. Except that’s nor the person Marlene feared at all. And Gwen isn’t leaving until she finds out who that was.

But it may be already too late. A trap has been set. And its poised to snap shut on everyone Gwen loved. Her stalkers are closing in. And in a town as dark as Wolfhunter, it’s so easy for them to hide.


I have never lived in a small town and having read so many thrillers set in small towns, I think I will just stick to the cities. Traffic jams, pollution and muggers sounds way better than some of these small town characters in thrillers.

Gwen Proctor is back! I remember seeing this book on NetGalley’s, Read Now section and totally freaking out as I clicked download. I thought it was a glitch in the system and didn’t want to delay getting the book. Can you already tell just how much I like this series?

In this story, Gwen moves to Wolfhunter to respond to a distress call. However, she soon realizes that the small, remote town is a place of nightmares. The legal system is corrupted and twisted, vigilantes are running wild and they have guns. Most of the characters are dark and frankly, bat shit crazy. What is worse, they have some weird relations. Crazy cousins and siblings abound.

This book is more like the second one in terms of action. I loved the first book since it was more of psychological than action thriller. However, this one leans towards actions/suspense thrillers. This isn’t really a major issue but I’m not a huge fan of action whether it is movies or books, the bullets need to take a break. The strength of this story though lies in the character development. Gwen, Sam, Connor and Lanny are all well developed and I enjoy reading about them. Gwen’s background troubles her but it sure is entertaining to read about and definitely adds to the tension in the story.

Wolfhunter River is a great addition to the Stillhouse Lake series. I wasn’t too crazy about the amount of action but can’t deny that it was entertaining. I also found the first chapters a bit slow but once Gwen got to Wolfhunter, I was completely hooked. I don’t know if this is the end of the series, I hope not because I would still like to read more about the Proctors.

Review: The Dare (Detective Natalie Ward # 3) by Carol Wyer

DareJane’s daughter is a good girl. What is she hiding?

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school, as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm.

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward whose daughter Leigh is the same age as Savannah. Soon Natalie’s worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as the net is closing around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing.

As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours.

But Natalie isn’t quick enough for this killer, and she is devastated to find Harriet’s body on a fly tip a day later. The clock is ticking for Natalie. Can she catch this killer before her little girl becomes the next victim?


Parenting seems so hard. It is harder for the parents in this book because their teenage girls are vanishing then being found dead. Who would want to kill such young girls and why? These are the questions that Detective Natalie and her team have to figure out as they take on one of their most complex cases yet.

I enjoy multifaceted cases even if they do give me headaches at times. In this case, I would never have guessed the perp even if I had read the book upside down. I had to work the case with Natalie, follow the clues and the interviews leading to the culprit. I had many suspects along the way but I totally missed the right one. This person wasn’t even on my radar. That is how complex the case was and yes, despite the sensitivity of the case, I enjoyed working on this one with Natalie.

I love how Carol’s books are realistically portrayed. There are no convenient, easy conclusions. The twists are realistic and logic, you get to understand how the unsub committed the crimes and how Natalie put together the pieces. The investigation is systematic as the author takes readers through each day of the investigation. This made the case stand out for me.

The Dare is book 3 in the Detective Natalie series and I definitely recommend reading the series in order. I am finally warming up to Natalie. Now, I can also keep the names of her team straight and I am curious to know what will happen in their personal lives in the next installment. It is for that reason that I believe that this series is better enjoyed if read in order. Definitely recommended.

Review: The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth

mother in lawFrom the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’s been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something.




This book makes me feel like I stumbled into the greatest party of my life. My neighbors were holding a party, I wanted to make a brief appearance and get out. However, once the door was opened, I couldn’t leave until the party was done. In the end, it ended up being an experience that would have an impact on my mind and life. That is how I felt when I read this book. I was just expecting a quick, fun psychological thriller. However, I was engrossed from the first page. I met characters that I was drawn to and encountered themes that struck a chord with me. I ended up with a way different experience than expected.

I mean, I thought I’d like the book but in the end, I loved it. And no, it wasn’t really a party. This was as heart wrenching as it was entertaining.

Diana really gives a completely new meaning to tough love. Imagine being broke yet your parents are loaded. She wanted her kids to learn how to be independent and work hard for everything they had. Some of her lessons were excessively tough and balanced on the thin line between love and hate. She seemed too stingy. However, the author still managed to show us a softer side of this matriarch. I disliked her at first but liked her in the end although I still don’t agree with all that she did.

The strength of this narrative lies in the masterful character development. Diana is that mother in law whose character leaped from the pages of the book right to my mind and heart, I won’t easily forget her. Her daughter in law, Lucy, was also quite relatable. I was nervous for her when she met Diana. I could relate with her fears and pains. Lucy was such a likeable character who aptly portrayed the nerves of joining a new family. Each character had a story, some I liked and empathized with but others repulsed me.

Apart from the characterization, the themes were also well portrayed. I love how the author tackled different themes such as family, fertility, mental health. She did this without losing focus on the main story-line. If anything, the themes helped in the character development and enriched the story.

This ended up being an enjoyable, twisty yet heart wrenching story about family, love and loss.

Review: The Secret Child (DI Amy Winter *2) by Caroline Mitchell

secret child wintersFour-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of the night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew that this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years….

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter if a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?


I read this book in one sitting, it was an uncomfortable sitting but the book made it endurable. We were at the airport coming back from our honeymoon and our flight was delayed for six whole hours. Yes, six. My husband, fell asleep, almost started a riot at some point while I was completely lost in the book. Interestingly, I only just read the blurb as I was writing this review.

DI Amy Winters is back again and this time she has to investigate a twisted case and try to hold her life together. Amy is different kind of detective, you see, her birth parents were notorious serial killers. This is something that she recently found out and has been trying to keep a secret. However, it is not so easy especially since her mom is trying to ruin her life from behind prison walls.

The current case is presented through two timelines. One timeline takes us back twenty years ago and the second follows the events after Ellen’s disappearance. The two timelines made this different from most cases because they added a ‘humane’ angle to the villain. My heart was broken by the past narration while the present timeline had me curious about the case. How far will the villain go? Will the kids survive? How will Amy solve the case?

This was a fast-paced, entertaining read. Amy is great lead detective and I love her back-story. Her personal life actually adds to the tension in the narrative without taking focus away from the main story-line.

For lovers of crime thrillers, this is definitely a series that you can’t afford to miss.

Intense, captivating, twisty and surprisingly poignant, The Secret Child is a great addition to the DI Amy Winters series. I can’t wait to read the next book already.

Review: I want you gone by Miranda Rijks

i want you goneThe only obituary you never want to read – is your own.

Laura Swallow is dead.
A life cut tragically short, says the newspaper obituary.
But that’s a lie.
Estate agent Laura did not die in a car accident. She is alive and well.
At first, Laura thinks it’s a sick joke.
But multiple announcements of her death are followed by increasingly sinister real-life events. Already fragile, struggling to recover from a recent divorce, Laura is plunged into a living nightmare.
Who can she trust? Her new lover? Her clients and work colleagues? What about her ex-husband and his smug fiancée? Can Laura even rely on her best friends? And why is it that Laura’s present troubles are so tied up with her sister’s sudden death all those years ago?
But one thing Laura is sure of – someone out there wants her to suffer. Wants her gone.


Undeniably, this is one of the creepiest premises ever. I think it’s because its easy to picture oneself in Laura’s situation. Imagine waking up to find RIP messages on your facebook timeline. I’d be spooked! Then a death notice in the obituaries followed by more such messages. Honestly, how scary is that.

I enjoyed this novel from the first chapter. The premise laid out a plot-line full of suspense and intrigue. Who was sending out the death notices and why? I had three suspects, narrowed down to one who turned to be the right culprit in the end. I think the author did this intentionally. There was just something off about the suspect, the words they said and their actions. However, the hints were so subtle and hence easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. On the other hand, the motive was impossible to guess. I mean, why would anyone go to such lengths to make Laura’s life miserable. Laura who seems so harmless.

Towards the end, some suspension of disbelief is required. There were certain incidents that were a little  too convenient and one scene had me confused. Nevertheless, this is fiction so I decided to go with the flow and enjoy the book.

This was certainly an entertaining read. I also found it to be quite captivating. I even woke up at 4am to finish reading it before work. This is major for me because I always struggle to get up in the morning ! Definitely recommended for fans of this genre.

Blog Tour: The Girl in the Painting by Renita D’Silva @bookouture,@RenitaDSilva


Discover the secret of the girl in the painting today.

India, 1926: English Margaret arrives with her new husband Suraj at his family home, set amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Margaret is unwelcome, homesick and lonely, but her maid Archana, a young woman from an impoverished family, reminds her of her long-lost sister, a tiny glimpse of home in a faraway place.

As Margaret and Archana spend more time together, an unexpected friendship blooms. But in British India the divide between rich and poor, English and Indian, is wide, and the clash between Margaret’s modern views and the weight of tradition on Archana will lead to devastating results…

England, 2000: When Emma’s grandmother gives her a mysterious painting, and asks her to take a message of forgiveness to an old friend in India, Emma is relieved to have some time and space to make a decision about her future. But as she fulfils her grandmother’s wish, a secret kept for over seventy years is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream full of water lilies, where a betrayal tore three lives apart forever…

Perfect for fans of Kathryn Hughes, Lucinda Riley and The Storyteller’s Secret, Renita D’Silva’s exquisite novel explores the strength it takes to do what is right, no matter the cost.


I love Renita’s books. She is an auto-buy author for me. One thing that makes me enjoy her books is her wonderful, lyrical writing. Renita masterfully brings scenes to life through her words. In this book, India once again comes alive. I not only could visualize the country and its people but could also catch the spicy scents, feel the heat or rain falling and experience the unique cultures of the country. I felt like I taken a trip to India with Renita as my tour guide.

In addition to the descriptiveness of the setting, I loved learning new things especially about the cultural practices. For instance, I learned about Sati from this book. Although now obsolete, Sati was once practiced in parts of India.  The author portrays the practice in a way that makes it easy for readers to understand why anyone would have embraced such a barbaric, horrific practice. We got to see why Sati was revered by some of the families. I also had an ‘Aha’ moment when I learned about Bindi. I have always seen Hindu women with the red dot on their foreheads but assumed it’s just decorative. Renita covers different cultural aspects in her story telling without shifting the focus from the main themes.

The themes in this book are quite relatable.  The women might have been in India but they represent thoughts, yearnings and experiences that I am certain many women can identify with. Some of the themes that stood out for me include loss, betrayal, motherhood, infertility and female friendships.  I also liked the theme of family though some of the families didn’t have the best relationships.

As always with Renita’s books, the character development was perfectly done. I can still  visualize the MCs especially Margaret and Archana. I think of Archana with her limp and the white saris that she had to wear. The descriptiveness of their personalities, physical appearances and mannerisms makes me feel like I know these women.

I loved The Girl in the Painting by Renita D’Silva. It’s the kind of book that you want to read slowly to make it last longer but at the same time, struggle to put it down. It made me smile, cry and yes, want to travel to India. I can still hear the children laughing and see their innocent faces as they brought strange gifts to Memsahib. I still think of the women dressed in colorful clothing and see the girls trying to balance between girlhood and rushed womanhood. My heart still breaks for all the women who had their dreams shattered and rejoices for those who found the right way home. I miss all the characters already especially the lovely Archana.

This is another book by Renita that I won’t forget anytime soon. Recommended.

Please check out the rest of the stops for this blog tour:

The Girl in the Painting - Blog Tour


Author Bio:


Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,’The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’, ‘Beneath An Indian Sky’.

The Girl in the Painting by Renita D’Silva was published on April 11th 2019. You buy your copy using the links below:

WWW Wednesday #April 10th

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What I Finished Reading:



I read two different but very interesting books,  The Girl in the Painting by Renita D’ Silva and My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. I really loved The Girl in the Painting. It’s a poignant story about three women set in two time periods, in the 1920s and the 2000s. My review will be up on Saturday as part of the blog tour. My Lovely Wife is so dark but also so so entertaining. I almost feel guilty for enjoying it so much. Almost!


What I’m reading now:

i want you gone

I just started reading I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijsk and I am captivated so far. The premise is kinda spooky. Imagine waking up to find R.I.P messages on your facebook page and a notice of your death in the dailies. That is the nightmare that our MC finds herself in. Can’t wait to see how this one unfolds.


What I’ll probably read next/soon:

I am not very certain about what I’ll read next but it will probably be one of these three titles:


If you’ve read any of these, help me pick. Which one should I start with?

So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look!

Happy Reading!

Review: In a Dark Dark wood by Ruth Ware

dark dark woodNora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives, is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room.

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Something can’t stay secret forever.


I read The Woman in Cabin 10 awhile back and I remember hearing about this one even then. I think what caught my eye was the hen-do. I was imagining strippers, accidental deaths et al and it all sounded quite thrilling haha. Well, the bridal shower in this case didn’t have any strippers but it did have an ex, an obsessive friend, a huge house in the dark woods, games and even an Ouija board.

What I really liked about this book was the setting. The house was huge, secluded and surrounded by dark woods. If I remember correctly, there were no curtains. Characters even remarked that being in the house felt like being on stage performing to an audience in the woods. Creepy! In addition, there was no network and so phones were useless. I also liked the mix of friends. They were an odd group. A hen do should have close girlfriends but Clare’s had a guy and some friends she hadn’t spoken to in a decade. It was also some last minute thing so only 5-6 friends made it in the end.

There was something foreboding that kept me glued to the pages. At the same time, I can’t really explain it but I wasn’t really gripped by the narrative. I liked the story but didn’t love it. I think the twists and secrets were underwhelming. Probably because I spotted them a bit too early or I was expecting something bigger. Well I’m in the minority though, this is quite a popular title going by other reviews.

Have you read this book? Did you like it?

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

evelyn hugoAging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


Next time my friends recommend a book, I won’t think twice about it! I’ll run to the nearest bookstore and just get it. This is what I should have done with Evelyn. Instead, I was secretly judging y’all, wondering why you were so excited about a woman who had a ridiculous amount of husbands. I thought that’s all the book is about. A woman and her husbands. I was wrong!

Evelyn Hugo is a star! She knew she wanted to make it to Hollywood and did everything possible to get there. Once in Hollywood, she did everything possible to get to the mountain top. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tells of her highs, lows and along the way, it also spill a number of scandalous Hollywood secrets. I know this is fiction but I will never look at Hollywood stars the same way again.

The story is narrated in two main perspectives. Monique is the journalist who receives the deal of a lifetime, an interview with Evelyn Hugo. It’s the first time that Evelyn has accepted to be covered by media in years. In addition, she is ready to tell it all. Through Monique’s narrative, we get to find out about Evelyn. We also get to find out about Monique’s life and the reason why Evelyn wants to tell her story.

I was captivated by it all. The glamour, secrets and lies. I even thought of Evelyn as a real person. At some point, I wanted to Google her and see her photos. However, the author gave the perfect vivid description of her. I will always think of her in her green gowns and those legendary tits (this isn’t me being weird but her tits were something else in the book). Another thing that had me turning pages almost impulsively is Taylor’s writing. She has a way with words. I wanted to write down her quotes or just save them in my heart. She said words that I wish I had thought of. The kinds of words that you’d expect to find on bookmarks, wall hangings. The quotes that you speak to other people and they think you are the smartest, most interesting person alive. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes beautifully!

I loved this book. It was my turn to pick a book for my book-club and I am glad I chose this one. However, I have a feeling that I will be staring daggers at anyone who says a bad word about it. The book-club meets on April 13th. I hope everyone loves this one as much as I do. Anyone who doesn’t will…. Ok, no threats. I highly recommend this one to you all!