Review: I Know You by Annabel Kantaria

I Know YouYou trust her.

You shouldn’t.

That picture you just posted on Instagram? I’ve seen it.
The location you tagged? I’ve been there.

You haven’t been careful enough, have you?
Because I know all about you.

But when I meet you, I won’t tell you that.
I’ll pretend. Just like you do.

You’ll like me though. You’ll trust me enough to let me into your life.

And then I’ll destroy it.


The social media angle in I know you by Annabel Kantaria is what first grabbed my attention. I have read a number of thrillers that show the dark side of social media but I am still intrigued by the subject.

In this story, Taylor moves to a new country with her husband, Jake. She is desperate to make friends and this is one of the reasons why she joins a walking group and a book club. She meets a few new people including Anna and Simon. Anna is pregnant like Taylor so it seems like the perfect match. Simon is a bit hard to describe. He seems like a good man though he is kinda awkward too.

The story mainly revolves around Taylor’s marriage and her friendships. It had a nice flow to it that was easy to follow but I still feel like some tension was missing. There were hints that something sinister was to come and chapters narrated by a stalker helped keep things interesting.

In the end, this was an interesting read that held my interest to the end. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery. I do wish there was a little more tension or surprises. Things picked up towards the end but with the build up, I guess I was expecting something more intense. The social media angle didn’t disappoint though. Again, it reminded me of the need to keep some things offline. You never know who is reading or rather, watching you online.

Review: Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

dont ever tell

Never make a promise you can’t afford to keep…

This is a story about Charlotte – a mother and a wife with the perfect job, the perfect life… at least, that’s how it looks from the outside.

But behind closed doors, the marriage is breaking, and Charlotte’s husband Tris doesn’t even know how much. He has no idea what Charlotte has planned for him, who she has found, why she has hired someone to pretend to be her. But he doesn’t have long to wait to find out…




“I wonder where this is going”

“Okay, so what about those people? Why is she in the story?”

“That is not a good idea!”

“OMG I didn’t see that coming!”

“Oh yeah, it’s a train wreck and it is happening now!”


The above basically sums up my experience with this book. At first, I just couldn’t see the whole picture. There is Charlotte with her seemingly perfect life. She is married to Tris and they have two kids. Then we are introduced to Mia, a young struggling actress with a shitty love life. I really had no idea how the stories would connect but when it finally happened, I had to pick my jaw from the floor. One bad idea spiraled out of control and it became messy.

This was a slow-build story. It took time to slowly suck me in and before I knew it, I was anxiously turning pages just waiting for the mayhem. The character development was stellar. Charlotte is relatable and I could understand her thinking even though I didn’t agree with her crazy ideas. The support characters were all well crafted. The story line was so gripping. It felt like I had gotten on a bus whose destination I didn’t know. It was one hell of a crazy ride.

I have enjoyed Lucy’s previous titles and Don’t Ever Tell was no different. I thought it was twisty, brilliantly narrated and quite captivating. What started as a slow-paced domestic thriller ended up being a riveting revenge thriller.

Review: Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen

LYING NEXT TO MENo matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.

Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.

But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.


The story begins on the day that Sophie went missing. It was like something right out of a horror movie. You see, Adam witnessed his wife being kidnapped. He was out on the water with his daughter, Aubrey and Sophie was on the beach. Suddenly, Adam sees Sophie getting hit and being carried off by a stranger. He tried hard to reach her but all he could do was paddle like his life depended on it. He couldn’t leave his little girl on the boat so he had to take her to the shore first and by then, Sophie was gone. What a nightmare, right?

This is a brilliant, masterfully narrated whodunit. Who would be brave enough to kidnap a woman in broad daylight? My mind started racing right from the start as I tried to solve the mystery.  I had no idea where the story was going until the halfway mark. Through the chapters, we get to follow the investigation but we also get to keep up with Adam in the aftermath of his wife’s death.

There are a lot of unlikable characters in this book; good thing is that they were quite entertaining to read about. I enjoyed Lee’s (the lead investigator) narrative through the investigation and I was also captivated by her back story. Other characters had me scratching my head as I tried to decide whether they were good or bad.

Lying Next to Me is twisty, suspenseful, well-written and quite captivating. I can’t wait to discover the author’s other books. His writing is brilliant!

Review: Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

dirty little secretsDeath stalked the Vale.
In every corner, every whisper.
They just didn’t know it yet.

Six neighbors, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight. The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbors, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.


This was such an entertaining read. It is one of those books that make you smile right from the first chapter. From the start, I knew that I had found something special and I wasn’t disappointed.

Olive Collins has been found dead in her house. The police establish that she had been dead for three months before being discovered. She lived in the secluded, gated community of Withered Vale. Nobody remembers seeing any strangers near Olive’s house on the day of her death. However, almost all of her 6 neighbors were seen around her house. Did one of them kill Olive? If so, why? Why did it take 3 months for someone to notice that something was wrong?

“Whenever I meet someone who told me that they didn’t read, I used to smile and nod and deduct 30 points or so from their IQ’. Jo Spain in Dirty Little Secrets.

The story was narrated by the 6 neighbors, 2 investigators and also Olive. Through the chapters, I kept trying to guess the true circumstances surrounding Olive’s death. Of course, I suspected foul play and all neighbors were suspects. Withered Vale is the kind of cut-off community where people who have secrets live. There were shady characters in the small community. Everyone had a secret and Olive is just the kind of nosy neighbor who sees and hears things.

This was quite a crazy roller-coaster ride. I was captivated by the narrative and found myself getting lost in each of the character’s lives. I loved the quirky, dark humor that made its way into the pages. The shocking ending made my jaw drop. It was so crazy and brilliant that it made me laugh out loud (not a common reaction when reading twists thrillers) but this one was so just special. Too darn good! If you enjoy well-paced, enthralling, suspenseful thrillers then yes, you do need to read Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain.

Review: Not My Daughter by Kate Hewitt

NOT MY DAUGHTERAnna’s hands tense on Alice and she hesitates. In that endless pause, I see all I need to know. She doesn’t want to give Alice to me – not now, and not ever. And part of me doesn’t even blame her…

Milly always dreamed of being a mother. Adopted herself, she has always imagined a powerful intimate connection with a child of her own. So when she and her husband Matt are told they can’t have children, her dreams are shattered.

But then their loved ones offer the ultimate gift – Milly’s best friend Anna and Matt’s brother Jack will be donors so that Milly can carry a child and finally have a chance to be a mother. And with everyone accepting and open, Milly believes that nothing could could go wrong.

Except none of the four people involved are prepared for the feelings that will threaten their most important relationships as their precious, longed-for daughter Alice grows up and receives a heartbreaking diagnosis.

Then those who love her best will have to decide what it means to be a parent, and to make decisions with far-reaching and devastating consequences… for Alice, and for themselves.


I know motherhood is described as an amazing life- changing, experience.Watching other mothers makes it seem so natural, kinda easy. Like there is special gift that all women are born with which makes motherhood sort of natural. Nothing about it is easy. In the past few years, I have come to realize that it’s not easy to conceive, it’s not easy to carry a pregnancy to full term, safe delivery is never guaranteed and motherhood doesn’t simply occur. This book reminded me of all these issues. Through Milly and Anna’s story, I got to see the different aspects of motherhood. At the end, I was left emotionally wrung-out. However, this book also firmed my respect and appreciation for all mothers.

The key theme in the story is motherhood. Other themes that came up include adoption, infertility, IVF, post-partum depression, loss and friendship. The story is narrated through the perspectives of Anna and Lucy. Through the chapters, we get to follow the two women’s journey towards motherhood. We get to learn about their joys and struggles but also about their friendship.

Not My Daughter by Kate Hewitt is the kind of book that may cause you to examine your own life. I had to think about my friendships especially in light of everything that has happened in my life this year. I am afraid I might have turned into a ‘forever bride’. You know when you are a bride, all attention is on you. Your friends and family are always checking up on you because you have this big thing happening in your life. This continues after the wedding and I guess months later, you realize that you have been talking so much about yourself and might have forgotten to really listen to your friends. This book made me reflect on such issues and re-examine my life.

I ‘enjoyed’ reading this story. It broke my heart, caused me to critically look at my own life and I loved every moment that I spent reading it. I enjoyed Kate’s writing, she writes beautiful, giving words to feelings and thoughts that you didn’t even know you had. I love how well she portrayed the different themes concerning motherhood. The characters were so well crafted that I want to meet them and find out how their lives turned out. This is a hauntingly beautiful, poignant, well crafted story. I can’t recommend it enough.

Review: A Face in the Crowd by Kerry Wilkinson

A FACE IN THE CROWDLucy gets the same bus every day. This Friday, her journey home will change her life.

She can barely afford her bus ride, tries to avoid eye contact, and, if she’s really lucky, she gets a seat and reads a chapter of her book.

But it’s a Friday – and the bus is always crammed at the end of the week. Personal space doesn’t exist. She keeps her elbows close and clings to a pole at every juddering stop.

When she gets off, something feels different. An envelope stuffed with thousands of pounds is in her bag. Is it the answer to her prayers, or the beginning of a nightmare?

Because, in the end, everything has a price.


A Face in the Crowd has an interesting premise. Lucy is obviously struggling to get by. She found herself in a precarious situation where each day is a struggle to get by. She doesn’t even know when or if she will get her next meal. However, an incident in a crowded train now offers her some sort of hope. Someone has stashed an envelope full of money in her bag. She doesn’t know who it is. She does need the money obviously but can she really keep it? Who put the envelope in her bag?

This story took a much different direction from what I was expecting. I thought it would mainly be about the mystery surrounding the money. However, this ended up being more of a character study. We get to follow Lucy after she received the money and witness her battle between spending the money and giving it to the cops or waiting for someone to claim it. Along the way, she also tries to solve the mystery of who put the envelope in her bag. I had a few suspects at first but only figured it all out after the halfway mark.

The crafting of different characters was done really well. Lucy was easy to sympathize with and I was rooting for her all the way. Her entire situation especially with finances was just heartbreaking. I loved her dog, Billy. The author didn’t such a wonderful job in bringing his character to life. I feel like I know that dog and can even tell you what he would and wouldn’t do. I loved his relationship with Lucy.

Most of the story is set at Lucy’s flat, the Hamilton House. This was an interesting setting; the flat had such an atmosphere to it. I could picture it as old, falling apart but still a haven for the tenants who needed a nice, low-rent place. Through the chapters, we got to meet some of the tenants, some were nice, others were mean and there was a mysterious one who nobody really saw.

I don’t know how well to describe my experience with this story. I enjoyed reading about the characters and I understand that this is the kind of story where the pace moves slowly because the focus is more on the people. However, towards the end, I found myself wondering when things would move along a bit faster. I was ready for the reveal, a twist, anything … That said, I loved the character development, setting and absolutely adored the dog, Billy. If you enjoy mysteries that are more character-driven, you will love this one!

Review: Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Forget MeIt’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.
Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.
When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.
But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?



I have not been feeling very well this week but I didn’t want to delay writing this review since I might forget the details. I apologize in advance for the short rumbling, review.

Forget Me Not by Claire Allan is the second book that I have read by this author.

What a chilling first chapter!The story begins with the discovery of Clare’s just minutes before she died.  Elizabeth was walking her dog when she stumbled upon a badly injured Clare. With her last breath, Clare left a chilling message for Elizabeth. This is where the search for answers begins. Who killed Clare? Are there others also in danger? What did her message mean and how is her death connected to Elizabeth?

The story is narrated through two main POVs. I sympathized with Elizabeth; she was an old, sweet lady who had gone through terrible nightmares and unimaginable loss. The second narrator was Rachel.  I didn’t quite like her or agree with some of her decisions. Still, she was a fascinating character.

This was an intense read with suspense right from the first scene. I was curious about Clare’s death and her chilling message.  The story is filled with secrets and lies that made it hard to correctly guess the identity of the culprit. I honestly thought I had figured it all out but then again, the author threw the story in a totally different direction.

The ending was just as good as the rest of the narrative. It’s the kind of ending that will make you gasp as you wonder whether everything is truly settled or if something else is still going on.

If you enjoy fast-paced, captivating, suspenseful reads then Forget Me Not is one book that you should have on your TBR. With a warning from a dying woman, cryptic notes and flowers, characters hiding secrets, a killer on the loose, what more do you need from a thriller? What an entertaining read!