Sunday, 28 June 2020

Review: Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of Invisible Girl.

Teenager Saffyre Maddox has been self-harming since a childhood trauma. Unable to confide in her therapist, Roan Fours, she becomes obsessed with him instead. She follows him around, learning where he lives and all about his life with his family, and he doesn't suspect a thing. She's become 'invisible'. Owen Pick lives in the house opposite Roan but feels as though no one ever really 'sees' him. He's drifting through life, feeling more out of step with the world every day, until he wakes up to find his face is splashed all over the newspapers and wishes he really was invisible.

Lisa Jewell is one of those authors you can always rely on to dish up a cracking good story. She even manages to make one of London's swishest places seem sinister with a fright around every dark corner. Her particular skill is to make us really care about her characters, from her most unlikely heroes to the villains (The Family Upstairs). I particularly loved hapless Owen, bumbling from crises to crises, mostly of his own making. I also felt for the middle-aged, middle-class Cate, who discovers her new life in Hampstead is not turning out to be as perfect as she assumed it would be. This is a theme running through the story: appearances are deceptive, be careful who you judge - and trust! Because, like the fox living in the wasteland opposite Cate's house, there are predators walking amongst us, always ready to strike.

Invisible Girl is one of my favourite reads this year. Lisa Jewell's fans will definitely not be disappointed!

Invisible Girl will be published on 6th August 2020.

Thanks to Lisa Jewell and Cornerstone/Century/Random House UK for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

Related posts:

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Review: The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

I'm a huge fan of Karen Swan's wonderful novels with their exotic settings, family mysteries and fabulous characters, so I was thrilled to receive an early copy of The Hidden Beach (such a gorgeous cover!) and could not wait to read it.

The story is set in Sweden in an area that I had never heard of: The Stockholm Archipelago: a scattering of tiny islands, where many Swedes have holiday homes. Bel Everhurst is working as a nanny for the glamorous Mogert family: Max and Hanna, and their children Linus, Ellinor and Tilde. Out of the blue, Bel receives a phone call meant for Hanna, explaining that her husband has woken up. Bel is confused (She's just seen Max on his bicycle!) but when she passes on the message, Hanna collapses in shock. Hanna's first husband (Linus's father) fell into a coma seven years ago after a terrible accident. Now he's awake - and he wants his family back.

I loved this story. It was so refreshing to read a summer holiday story set somewhere I'd never heard of. The tiny islands with rustic cabins (no electricity, no Internet!) sounded idyllic. The way the mystery about Hanna's husband and his accident unfolded kept me gripped. I thought I knew the way the story was going to end but I was wrong - I love it when that happens! I think I fell in love with Emil. Again, it was refreshing to have a character who had issues, and whose health problems meant that he didn't always come across as nice or sympathetic. The way Bel interacted with the children was also lovely. She was such a sweet person - and her friends sounded like a lot of fun!

The Hidden Beach is an absolutely gorgeous read, one of my favourites this year. I found myself thinking about the story long after I'd finished it because the characters were so brilliantly drawn. Thoroughly recommended: The Hidden Beach is the perfect holiday (or staycation!) read.

The Hidden Beach will be published on the 9th of July 2020.

Thank you to Karen Swan and Pan Macmillan for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

Related Post:

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Review: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

I downloaded this book because I am a huge fan of Megan Miranda's twisty thrillers.

As a six-year-old, Arden was washed down a storm drain after sleepwalking out of her house. There was a massive search, involving the entire town and the nation's press, before she was found safe and well. As she grew older and unable to cope with her notoriety, Arden changed her name to Olivia and moved away. Twenty years later, Olivia is sleepwalking again and wakes to find the corpse of a man at her feet...

The Girl from Widow Hills is one of those books where you think you've worked out the end from the start but the author delights in proving you wrong! It starts out as a slow burn before picking up speed and racing towards a clever, nail-biting finish. The events from twenty years ago were included within the story in the form of old interviews and it was fun to see where the two timelines began to contradict each other. I particularly loved the character of Olivia, who is prickly and mistrustful even to those who want to help. And that the one person she does trust is the one person everyone else is telling her to be wary of!

The Girl from Widow Hills is a psychological suspense that will tie you up in knots trying to work out the answer. Would appeal to fans of authors such as Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell. This is one of my favourite reads of this year. I couldn't put it down! 

Thank you to Megan Miranda and Corvus (Atlantic Books) for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

Related Posts: