My Side of the DiamondTitle: My Side of the Diamond

Author: Sally Gardner

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre Books

The Blurb

An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.

Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared.

But Becky didn’t just disappear – she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air.

Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance?

Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .

The Review

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is a very curious tale that had me reading way outside of my comfort zone. It is part YA which I love, part thriller and mystery which I am lukewarm to and part science fiction which is so not my genre.

However, Sally Gardner has created a really compelling story and full bodied cast that I found myself unable to put the damn book down! The story is told from multi-perspective which lends the book an air of displacement and discomfort. I did not feel comfortable or settled reading it. I constantly questioned my characters – on their morals and what they said.

I do feel more settled now that I have finished My Side of the Diamond but it has left me irked in the best possible way.

I would love to know if the Lazarus theme is a link to David Bowie? There are too many shout outs. If anyone knows if this was a choice by Sally Gardner – or if indeed Sally Gardner you would like to answer this question for me – then I would be really grateful.

My Side of the Diamond is a strange little book that begs to be read.

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Sally Gardner (@TheSallyGardner) please visit

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (HotKeyBooks) please visit

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

3 Stars

The Hanging GirlTitle: The Hanging Girl

Author: Eileen Cook

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group

The Blurb

Two girls, one fatal reading . . . because the truth always lies in the cards

Skye’s mother believes she has ‘the gift’ – the opportunity to see the future. Skye however can only see the opportunity to make money – and happily fleeces her gullible classmates into handing over their cash to hear their futures through Skye’s wellworn tarot cards.

But it’s all in a good cause, right? Skye needs to save her hardearned cash to go to New York with her best mate Drew. Then the local mayor’s daughter Paige disappears – and Skye has a tip off about her whereabouts.

Skye is uncomfortable about the source and masks the tipoff as a vision she has received. But then events get wildly out of control – Paige is found murdered and Skye is a prime suspect . . .

The Review

Oh I do love it when a book is good.

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook has been, for me, the surprise triumph of the year. I’ve never read anything by Eileen Cook before and I can admit that I was drawn to the book because of the cover which I found very intriguing. What I wasn’t expecting was to be sucked into this vortex of mystery and thrills which left me desperate to turn the page.

Skye is a con artist. She isn’t a petty criminal but she charges her fellow classmates for tarot readings all the while knowing that she has no psychic abilities. She swindles their money and she doesn’t feel bad about it.

However, Skye’s lying is about to catch up with her when a fellow student goes missing and the police begin to rely on her ‘visions’ to help solve the case. How far will Skye let the lie go?

The Hanging Girl is a thrill ride of a book. You are constantly questioning the things around you. I was constantly on the edge of my seat whilst reading it. It is definitely a book that you can immerse yourself in that has a central theme but also deals with other issues such as social poverty and privilege.

The Hanging Girl is a book worthy of the phrase ‘page turner.’

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook is available now.

For more information regarding Eileen Cook (@EileenWriter) please visit

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group (@HMHco) please visit

4 Stars

Paris SecretTitle: The Paris Secret

Author: Karen Swan

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Down a cobbled street in Paris, there is an apartment full of priceless artworks.

No one has stepped inside it for more than 60 years.

But you’re about to…

With stunning locations an page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades. High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long. Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding?

The Review

One of the most fascinating real life stories I have ever heard (or read) was of the apartment found in Paris that had been perfectly preserved since World War II; the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of the apartment owner baffles my brain with how magical, romantic and tragic it is.

It is this very same apartment that is the basis for the fantastic novel by Karen Swan. The Paris Apartment sees art agent Flora lead the charge in getting the pieces of art catalogued and sold in auction. However, when war time Nazi art theft threatens the investigation and subsequent selling, Flora discovers more than she bargained for.

I have read other books based on this same subject and each has fascinated me in different ways. Karen Swan has created the perfect balance between historical mystery and romance in this epic family saga. This is the first book that I have read by Karen Swan and I will definitely be reading more.

The Paris Secret by Karen Swan is available now.

For more information regarding Karen Swan please visit her Twitter page (@KarenSwan1).

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit


All the Missing girlsTitle: All the Missing Girls

Author: Megan Miranda

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books/Corvus

The Blurb

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared without a trace. Then a letter from her father arrives – ‘I need to talk to you. That girl. I saw that girl.’ Has her father’s dementia worsened, or has he really seen Corinne? Returning home, Nicolette must finally face what happened on that terrible night all those years ago.

Then, another young woman goes missing, almost to the day of the anniversary of when Corinne vanished. And like ten years ago, the whole town is a suspect.

Told backwards – Day 15 to Day 1 – Nicolette works to unravel the truth, revealing shocking secrets about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls is a brilliantly plotted debut thriller that will leave you breathless.

The Review

I’m not one for mystery books because quite frankly I am awful at solving them. I would make the world’s worst gumshoe. However, recently I have been reading more and more of the genre and I have been enjoying the books I have read a lot…still with the poor detective skills.

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda was another one that foiled me. It is told retrospectively which besides being insanely clever was really quirky and interesting. It is also the sign of a great writer who can write backwards without revealing anything. My mind was officially blown.

The characters all held an elusive quality about them; author Megan Miranda did not let you get too close to them making everyone a suspect.  I swear that every character had the finger of blame pointed at them by me on more than one occasion.

All the Missing Girls is a really good mystery thriller and is perfect for those, like me, that are reading out of their comfort zone.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is available now.

For more information regarding Megan Miranda (@MeganLMiranda) please visit

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AtlanticBooks) please visit

For more information regarding Corvus Books (@CorvusBooks) please visit


The Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars – or so she thought.

Now, decades later the black-eyed susans planted outside Tessa’s bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison.

Haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter’s safety, can Tessa uncover the truth about the killer before it’s too late?

The Review

I’ve never been a huge fan of the thriller genre. In fact, I would say that up until this year I have only ever read a small handful of thriller books. However, after reading books such as Disclaimer I have found myself dipping not only a toe but a whole foot into the genre…and liking it.

Black Eyed Susans is no exception.

Creepy and sinister from the get go, you are invited into Tessa’s story. She is the lone survivor of a vicious killing spree that has left one man fighting for his life on death row. Tessa, and what she said in court, put him there. But now she has doubts.

Black Eyed Susans is a story of fighting for justice all the while knowing that if she is right and the man currently on death row didn’t commit the heinous murder then the man who tried to kill her is still out there.

And is he the person that keeps planting Black Eyed Susans in her back garden?

Overall, this is a well written, well paced thriller. I was hooked from the get go and frequently had my heart pounding in my chest. If you are like me, you won’t guess the outcome. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I would be the world’s worst detective.

If I am honest, I am not sure if I like how things turned out in the end. Obviously, I don’t want to ruin things for you so when you read it please do come and tell me what you think. However, this is a book that I would recommend to fans of crime thrillers. Gripping to the very last page.

Massive thanks to Francesca Russell who sent me a review copy.

Black Eyes Susans by Julia Hea Berlin is available now.

Follow Julia Hea Berlin (@juliathrillers) on Twitter.

Black Eyed Susans