Title: The Paris Apartment

Author: Lucy Foley

Pages: 360 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Welcome to No.12 Rue des Amants

A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine.

Where nothing goes unseen.

And everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge

The scorned lover

The prying journalist

The naïve student

The unwanted guest 

Something terrible happened here last night.

A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three.

Only you – and the killer – hold the key . . .

The Review

You know, I have always loved Paris and would really love to live there…just not in No.12 Rue des Amants. Definitely anywhere but that apartment because bad things happen there. It also happens to be the setting of Lucy Foley’s impressive new thriller The Paris Aparment (or appartement if you live in France).

The story centres around Jess – herself a bit of a waif and stray – who turns up in Paris to stay with her brother in his apartment. However, when she gets there brother Ben is nowhere to be seen and thus starts Jess’s desperate attempt to find her brother.

With a wonderful cast of characters you are constantly kept o your toes trying to figure out who is the bad guy whilst dealing with the uneasy feeling that something worse is going to happen.

Overall, The Paris Apartment is a good story, one that ticks all the boxes for a mystery thriller. Two hearty thumbs up.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley is available now.

For more information regarding Lucy Foley (@lucyfoleytweets) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Wahala

Author: Nikki May

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK

The Blurb

Sex and the City‘ with a killer edge for fans of QUEENIE, EXPECTATION and MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

See me, see trouble

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though they don’t all choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her ‘urban vibe’ yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on love, race and family, Wahala will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Boldly political about class, colorism and cooking, here is a truly inclusive tale that will speak to anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.

The Review

Okay. Wahala is a hard one for me to review because I liked it but there were some things that I didn’t like about it. Yeah.

I really liked the premise of the story: a new girl infiltrates a group of friends and chaos ensues. I am all for stories like this. The character development was great. Each character had clearly defined roles – you knew the voices of the three protagonists. Again another plus.

The thread of the protagonists wanted what the others had – really clever and relatable. Again another positive.

For me though the problem lay with the pacing. There was too much exposition and character development to the detriment of the plot. The action took place in the last 100 pages. Before I knew it the story was over and I kind of felt cheated.

What is good that you can the kind of writer that Nikki May is going to be and that is quite exciting. I am really intrigued to see what more Nikki May has to offer.

Wahala by Nikki May is available now.

For more information regarding Nikki May (@NikkiOMay) please visit www.nikki-may.com.

For more information regarding Random House (@randomhouse) please visit www.randomhousebooks.com.

Title: The Hawthorne Legacy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK

The Blurb

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary. 

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

The Review

When I read The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes I knew I had read something special. So much so that I was willing to forgo my avoidance of book series and fully invest in Avery Grambs story. As soon as I had finished The Inheritance Games I pre-ordered the sequel – The Hawthorne Legacy. I hoped that I would enjoy it just as much as the first in the series. I was not disappointed.

The story follows on from The Inheritance Games. We follow Avery and the four Hawthorne brothers as they try to solve the puzzle as to why they had been disinherited and Avery – a stranger – was left it all.

With more danger and drama than The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has cleverly begun to slowly peel away at the clues from the original and woven them seamlessly into The Hawthorne Legacy. There are jaw-dropping moments when you realise this. Your brain starts to hurt with just how clever Jennifer Lynn Barnes is at creating mystery and thriller.

Needless to say I loved The Hawthorne Legacy and hope beyond hope that there is a third in the series.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Lynn Barnes (@jenlynnbarnes) please visit www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House Children’s UK (@penguinrandom) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

Title: Dead Head

Author: CJ Skuse

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Victim. Murderer. Serial Killer. What next?

The third darkly comic thriller in the highly addictive Sweetpea series featuring serial killer Rhiannon Lewis.

‘Think Bridget Jones meets Killing Eve – only with better jokes’ Daily Mail

Can a serial killer ever lose their taste for murder?

Since confessing to her bloody murder spree Rhiannon Lewis, the now-notorious Sweetpea killer, has been feeling out-of-sorts.

Having fled the UK on a cruise ship to start her new life, Rhiannon should be feeling happy. But it’s hard to turn over a new leaf when she’s stuck in an oversized floating tin can with the Gammonati and screaming kids. Especially when they remind her of Ivy – the baby she gave up for a life carrying on killing.

Rhiannon is all at sea. She’s lost her taste for blood but is it really gone for good? Maybe Rhiannon is realising that there’s more to life than death…

The third book in the critically-acclaimed series following Sweetpea and In Bloom featuring everyone’s favourite truly original girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon Lewis.

The Review

I’m not one for reading book series. I find that they can be too much of a commitment however the Sweetpea series by CJ Skuse is one exception to this rule.

In Dead Head, the third installment, we find our psycho-protagonist Rhiannon Lewis on the lam. Running away from her old life and the chaos that she has caused whilst also dealing with the yearning ache for her child Ivy. We see her travel across the world to escape the storm of drama she has left and the debris of her crimes in the UK but we also know that Rhiannon cannot truly leave herself – her true self – behind. Will she kill again? Probably.

The third installment in this series is different from the first two in that we see a more introspective Rhiannon. This could be that it is told in the past/present tense. So looking back but told in the present tense. It is as though this gives us chance – and indeed Rhiannon – to consider her actions and gives us time to process them alongside her rather than seeing the red mist descend and then the chaos. This doesn’t make them any less bat crap crazy but it does give us time to think.

Rhiannon Lewis will probably be one of my most remembered protagonists in fiction. Her actions and her unshakable belief in vigilante justice has left a lasting impression and I am hoping that there will be more in this series.

Dead Head by CJ Skuse is available now.

For more information regarding CJ Skuse (@CJSkuse) please visit www.cjskuse.com.

For more information regarding (@HQStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Author: Ian Fleming

Pages: 326 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

The eleventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

In the aftermath of Operation Thunderball, Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s trail has gone cold-and so has 007’s love for his job. The only thing that can rekindle his passion is Contessa Teresa ‘Tracy’ di Vicenzo, a troubled young woman who shares his taste for fast cars and danger.

She’s the daughter of a powerful crime boss, and he thinks Bond’s hand in marriage may be the solution to all her problems. Bond’s not ready to settle down-yet-but if Tracy’s father can lead him to Blofeld, he’ll consider it.

After tracking the SPECTRE chief to a stronghold in the Swiss Alps, Bond uncovers the details of Blofeld’s latest plot: a biological warfare scheme more audacious than anything the fiend has tried before. Now Bond must save the world once again-and survive Blofeld’s last, very personal, act of vengeance. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

I’m not a fan of the James Bond movies. Actually, if I am really honest, I have never watched one in its entirety but I get the feeling that they are not for me. However, I decided to give one of the books a try because I didn’t want to be too judgemental without cause to back it up. Maybe I just prefer books to movies.

What I found was this: the books haven’t aged aged well. They are quite mysogenistic and I really don’t think glib conversations about rape really endear a reader to the characters.

However, taken as an action thriller and removing sexual abuse I can see why the books (and I guess the movies) have such a following. They are fast paced, have clear discernible villains and heroes and as a reader you have the clear knowledge that you know the hero will win.  It is is the knowledge that you know that the story will end well that makes readers (and viewers) enjoy the stories. The knowledge that they good guy will win that makes it quite satisfying.

I have surprised myself by acknowledging that I would be willing to read more of the Bond, James Bond series.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming is available now.

For more information regarding Ian Fleming (@TheIanFleming) please visit www.ianfleming.com.

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