Title: Dear Amy

Author: Helen Callaghan

Pages: 348 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

A local schoolgirl has been missing for weeks when Margot Lewis, agony aunt of the ‘Dear Amy’ advice column, receives a letter:

Dear Amy,

I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. 

I don’t know where I am.

Please help me,

Bethan Avery

This must be a hoax. Because Bethan Avery is another young girl, who went missing twenty years ago.

As more letters arrive, Margot becomes consumed by finding the sender and – unlike the police – convinced that the girls’ disappearances are connected.

Solving this puzzle could save someone’s life – but could it also cost Margot her own?

The Review

Dear Amy is the story of teacher/advice columnist Margot Lewis. Margot receives a letter from a girl who went missing many years ago. This re-opens the crime files and corresponded to a case of a missing girl – one of Margot’s students – that is currently being investigated. It is a race against time to solve both crimes.

I can honestly say that Dear Amy had me absolutely hooked. The two crimes corresponded so well with each other and the perspective – which is mainly told from Margot’s point of view – cleverly shifts to the victims story which heightens the tension. The drama is also driven by making our protagonist unreliable. Her past influences whether we believe her or not. 

Dear Amy is a page turner. You will fight tiredness, chores, work just so you can finish it because it really is that gripping. I am very impressed. 

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Callaghan (@hecallaghan) please visit www.helencallaghan.co.uk.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Rewind

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime from the bestselling author of Distress Signals and The Liar’s Girl

PLAY Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

The Review

Rewind is a bloomin’ creepy crime thriller that had me on the edge of my seat and jumping at the slightest noise.

The story starts with the disappearance of Instagram influencer Natalie. We know she has been murdered (this is not a spoiler) and now we have to figure out not just who killed her but why.

Rewind is a multi-persective story and you genuinely spend the whole novel going “he’s the killer, she’s the killer, they’re in it together.” Catherine Ryan Howard really does have you guessing until the very last page…or maybe it is just me because I never see these things coming. Either way Rewind was a damn good read. I loved it.

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard is available now.

For more information regarding Ryan Howard (@cathryanhoward) please visit www.catherineryanhoward.com/rewind.

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AtlanticBooks) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk.

MaestraThe Blurb


Fatal Attraction meets The Talented Mr Ripley, soon to be a major Hollywood film – prepare for this year’s The Girl on the Train

“Riveting…One of the most memorable females in recent fiction” Amy Pascal, Columbia Pictures Producer

By day, Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistat at a London auction house.

By night she’s a hostess in one of the capital’s unsavoury bars.

Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She’s learned t be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart.

So she turns to a long-neglected friend.

A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight.

A friend that a good girl like her shouldn’t have: Rage.

The Talented Mr Ripley meets Gone Girl in this darkly decadent and compelling new thriller that asks:

Where do you go when you’ve gone too far?

The Review

Where do I start with Maestra?

Let’s start with the hype. I will admit that it was the hype (along with a funny and intriguing interview with the author on This Morning with the naughty Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby) that made me want to pick up this book. This method of choosing books to read has work well for me in the past; that was how I came to read Harry Potter. It has also left me with some poorly written books too – Fifty Shades, anyone?

Maestra falls somewhere in the middle.

It is a really accomplished book in that it is written very well. No one can argue with Hilton’s ability to write. However, I failed to take the story seriously as a thriller; I think I found the main character Judith to be just a bit ridiculous. She is reminiscent of a Bond villain but with a lack of credibility. She seems to slip into the role of sociopath far too seamlessly. What I did find refreshing is that Hilton does not try to justify Judith’s lifestyle by using a childhood trauma as reasoning for her actions. Well done Hilton for not taking the easy option.

I did really enjoy the art history featured in Maestra and it shows how skilled Hilton is as a writer. She seamlessly weaves her knowledge into the story.

Overall, Maestra is a good read. It is a holiday read but I don’t think it will be topping the list of my favourite books of the year.

Maestra by LS Hilton is available now.

3 Stars

The Blurb

What if you realized the book you were reading was all about you?

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew…

The Review

As a reader it takes a g-darn lot to impress me. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of books that I read but when a book comes along that blows my mind I have to give extra appreciation. For me, Disclaimer is such a book.

The story focuses around Catherine, an award winning investigative journalist. Her life is seemingly perfect. She is living with her husband Robert; her son Nick is living close by and she is respected in her field of work. However, when she starts reading a book that has mysteriously turned up at her house her perfect little life starts to crumble away.

The book tells her story. She knows she is the female lead and with each turn of the page more and more of her secret past is revealed.

What is truly great about this book (and for this we need to applaud the skill and mastery of writer Renee Knight) is that not only does she keep you guessing, not only does she throw in some major twists and turns but she also has that great ability to make you empathise with each character; even when you disagree with the way that they are acting or the decisions that they have made. To me, that takes real skill and shows the calibre of work the writer is capable of.

Disclaimer is not for the faint hearted. It is a story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page and it is the sort of book that you will be itching for your friends to read just so you can have someone share in your shock and awe.

Disclaimer by Renee Knight is available now.