Review: The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

Perfect FriendShe’ll do anything for you…

My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.

My husband has left me.

My children won’t speak to me.

My friend Carrie is the only person I have, She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets, She’d never do anything to let me down. Would she?


The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite is a brilliant, twisty, well-written psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first to the last page. I love how the story began. At first, readers are introduced to Alex and Carrie, two women who meet in a support group. I kept wondering where the story was going. Having read Barbara’s previous title, I knew that a storm was brewing but I couldn’t guess what was going to happen.

Two close friends supporting each other, what could possibly go wrong?

The story is narrated through two main POVs and timelines. Through the chapters, readers get to know the two women and their secrets. There are chapters that cover past events, making it easier to understand the present occurrences and the MCs. Some of the chapters were  dark and hard to read. Others were quite emotional.

This is a story about friendship, lies and secrets. The perfect concoction for an addictive, psychological thriller. I loved how the story unfolded, layer by layer. The twists were coming in faster that I could say, OMG! They were sprinkled in throughout the narrative, subtly thrown in, each one more surprising than the last one.What I enjoyed the most was the fact that the two women had so many secrets and were unreliable narrators. I had fun trying to guess where the story was going and who the baddie was.

This was certainly an enjoyable read. Definitely recommended for fans of this genre.

Review: Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite@bookouture

Her Last SecretThere are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?


 Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite is the second book that I have read by this author. The first one was The Darkest Lies which I absolutely loved. Her Last Secret proved to be even better than the previous title.

The story has a chilling opening. It begins with police responding to reports of shots fired in the Thomas’ house on Christmas morning and thereafter, making a shocking discovery. This opening and the blurb set the stage for what turned out to be a nerve-wrecking, fast-paced thriller.

The plot revolves around the members of the Thomas family. After the opening,it goes back to the days before Christmas. Through the chapters, secrets and lies are revealed. What I loved most about this book is how each revelation introduced a new suspect and motive. I had reasons to suspect all the characters including the youngest member of the family. I spotted motives everywhere. However, each time that I made up my mind, the author threw the suspicion on someone else hence making me come up with new theories. Interestingly, I was wrong with each guess.

The tension escalates through the pages. I couldn’t wait to get to Christmas day to find out what had happened. At the same time, I was nervous about the discovery. Who fired the shot? Who died? Who survived? Why? My thoughts were racing and so was my heart. In addition, the author heightens the suspense by counting down to Christmas. By the time we got to one day to Christmas, I was practically on the edge of my seat. Needless to say, the final twist was unpredictable. It wasn’t simple or straight forward which made it even more memorable. It is the kind of ending that you read and think about long after you have turned the last page. I want everyone to read this book so that we can discuss how crazy and brilliant the final twist is.

This book has everything that makes a thriller addictive. Themes of lies and secrets heightened the tension with each new chapter. I also enjoyed the character development. I disliked some of the characters and but also had some favorites. They all made this an engrossing read. There were also themes of family and relationships which made this more of a domestic noir than a psychological thriller (or perhaps a combination of both). In addition, there were also aspects of bullying. All in all, the author brought together different themes and characters to create the masterpiece that this book is. I cannot recommend Her Last Secret enough to fans of these genres. If you haven’t read any books by Barbara Copperthwaite, you need to rectify that soon because you are missing out on a great reading experience.

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite was published on 13th October 2017. You can buy a copy from Amazon.


The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

Darkest LiesA mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…


Melanie, Jacob and Beth Oak were a perfect, happy, little family who seemed to be living a regular but blissful life. However, their lives were shattered on the night that Beth went missing. A search party later found her beaten and left for the dead. Beth’s parents were obviously devastated by the news. They were even more distraught when it became apparent that there was a lot of deception surrounding the night that Beth disappeared.

The story is narrated mainly from Melanie’s perspective. Her pain was so raw that I found myself at the brink of tears a couple of times. Melanie and Beth were close and Beth was everything to Melanie. The narrative styles sounds like Melanie is narrating the events to her daughter. In her mind, Melanie explains her actions, describes her anguish and search for answers. There were a few chapters narrated by Beth. Her PoV was fascinating. It gave a background to events before the tragic night until finally; we get Beth’s version about the attack. There were two other narrators that added to the intrigue of the book. One was creepy while the other tragic.

I liked Mel’s characterization. She was likeable and sympathetic. I liked how determined she was to find her daughter’s attacker. She knocked on doors and asked questions that made a lot of people mad/uncomfortable. She even upset the police. Mel is what I envision when I think of a mother’s love. Her character was very well portrayed hence believable.

With lies and deceit being major themes in the book, there were a lot of sneaky, unlikable but yet addictive characters. You won’t believe the kind of deception that went on. The characters lived in a small village where everyone seemed to be lying about something. This meant that there were many suspects. The town was crazy. They all knew each other and people were in each other’s business. However, nobody would even admit to seeing Beth on the night that she disappeared.

Although quite emotional, this was an entertaining book. I was able to detect one of the lies from the get-go. I had my suspicions about a character but I was so wrong about what they were lying about. The other lies and twists caught me off guard. The book had unpredictable turns that kept me totally glued to the story up to the final page. Besides the great characterization, this was another reason why I enjoyed reading the book so much.

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite is not your regular kind of thriller. Of course it has all the things that make a good psychological thriller such as unpredictable twists, sneaky characters (and psychopaths), lies and secrets. Nevertheless, the book goes beyond thrills and tackles a number of heavy themes. One of them is grief which was dominant throughout. The characters being so realistic made this theme come alive in the story and hence the emotional aspect of the book. My heart broke especially for the Oaks.

The writing is flawless. I fell in love with Copperthwaite’s writing. She has a way of taking readers through different emotions, making one feel like part of the story. The imagery had me visualizing different scenes and the characters felt like people I knew. All in all, this was a brilliant read and I highly recommend it.