Compelling thriller to read in one sitting: Ask No Questions by Claire Allan #Thriller #BookLovers #BookBloggers @AvonBooksUK

Ask No Questions by Claire Allan book cover UK edition 2021

GIFTED / Today I want to talk about a book I read in 5 days when I was extremly busy, and I honestly think that, if I had more free time, I would finish it in a day. It was just that compelling and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Ask No Questions was published on January 21st 2021 and it has 336 pages. I want to thank Ellie Pilcher from Avon for sending me an invitation to read and review this book via Netgalley.


About the book:


The new crime thriller from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose

Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends.
Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates.
It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?

A twisty psychological thriller from bestselling author Claire Allan.



I just finished this novel, and I still need to comprehend everything that’s been going on in the story, but I couldn’t resist and I had to write my review right away, while the story is still fresh in my mind.

Last year I read (and enjoyed) Allan’s novel The Liar’s Daughter. What I liked the most in that book was the small town atmosphere the author created.

This time, it was the characters.
I applause the writer for creating so interesting and believable characters that made me feel like I do know them, do see them and pay attention to everyone.
Often in books, especially in thrillers/crimes, there are often characters that just show themselves few times and we don’t pay attention to them, but in this story everyone was under spotlight for at least some time.
It was similar like watching a tv show, where you do get to see characters and remember them, connect with them on a different level.

As for the story itself, it had a good plot.
It was hard for me to predict where the story would go, and who’d be the bad guy, as I really didn’t have anyone to suspect more than others.

The writing style is good. The book is written in first person following Ingrid’s POV (who is a reporter, investing the story) and in third person following twins that are side characters of the story.

As a readers who’s English is not the first language, I thought that the book is written in Scottish English, but I guess the author is Irish.
Anyway, there were words that were new to me and I was so happy to expanse my vocabulary thanks to this book.

The end was pretty satisfying and I think I would read this book in only 2 days if I had more time to read, bc I finished it in only three sittings (keep in mind that I am a slow reader).

If you’re looking for a quick thriller to read, look no further!

rating 4,5 hearts

An amazing crime novel: The Whisper Man by Alex North #BookReview #BlogTour #Crime #TheWhisperMan

The Whisper Man book cover proof copy with headphones

GIFTED / Today I am proud to be the host for The Whisper Man blog tour.
I want to say thank you to Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph for inviting me.


About the book:

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…


My Review:

When it comes to thrillers, I have to admit I was very lucky this year. I didn’t read a lot of them, but I liked almost all of those I read.

The Whisper Man is a thriller that stands out, and I dare to say that there’s a big probability that it will end up on my “favorite books of 2019” list. My guts tell me I won’t forget this story any time soon.

The story is set in a small town and it has that small town vibe that I love so much, with few but very impressive characters and a plot that make you read long after you had to turn the lights out.
At least, that’s what happened in my case.

I was surprised how fast I flew trough the story, and how easy to read it actually was.
I ascribe it to the fabulous writing style that pulled me in and kept my attention until the very end.
I liked the way the writer led me through the story without many philosophicall thoughts about life, but he still made me think about life and people anyway.

This novel also played with my mind (just a little bit) because at some point I wasn’t sure whether there will be a paranormal aspect to it or was it all just the twist of words to make me think that way.

I can proudly say that I am satisfied with every part of The Whisper Man. It was intense and thrilling until the very end I  recommend it to lovers of good stories.
If you like crime fiction, make sure to read The Whisper Man. I hope you will love it as much as I did!

5 hearts rating

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Solid crime: The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister (Blog Tour) #BlogTour #Crime #BookReview

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAlister book cover UK edition

GIFTED / Today I am proud to be the host for The Evidence Against You blog tour.
I want to say thank you to Olivia Thomas from Michael Joseph for inviting me.


About the book:

It’s the day her father will be released from jail. Izzy English has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?


My Review:

Gillian McAllister is one author I look up to. I pretty much followed her career from the very beginning and it was really satisfying to see all of her books being bestsellers. Her novel Anything You Do Say is one of the best books I had an opportunity to read and it was in my favorites of 2017, so when I had a chance to read The Evidence Against You my excitement was unmeasurable.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that the McAllister’s newest book lived up to my expectations. It was a solid book, and it was a good book, but I don’t think I will be thinking about it after some times passes (like I STILL think about Anything You Do Say) nor do I think that I’ll remember it too much after few months.

The writing style was pretty good and I like how Gillian McAllister shaped her sentences, but overall the story itself wasn’t too interesting to me.
I liked the premise, that is the reason why I picked it up in the first place (plus, the author I like), but if I’m being honest, I was bored most of the time while reading.
Maybe I just wasn’t the right audience for this one!

On the plus side, this book made me emotional, because I couldn’t help but imagine my own dad in the same position as Gabe, and how it would be heartbreaking to see him in Gabe’s shoes. That heartbreaking factor was the best part of the story.

On the minus side, I feel like every side character was one dimensional, and that is where my main criticism goes. All of them were forgettable and I felt like most of them were there just for sake of being.

There wouldn’t be a crime story without the mystery, and even though I had my suspicions, I couldn’t solve it. I was wrong, which, in a weird way, makes me happy.

The end was one of the most unsatisfying endings I had an opportunity to read. I don’t think the justice was served with this one, and because of that it made me angry at characters, and hurt for them at the same time.

Overall, I would recommend this one, it was a solid book, but if Gillian McAllister is new to you author, I would suggest you to start with one of her other books instead.

rating 3,5 hearts

Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge (Blog Tour) #BlogTour #BookReview #SheLiesInWait

I am happy to be today’s host in She Lies in Wait blog tour.
I want to thank Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph, Penguin for inviting me.

About the book:

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?

On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

My Review:

She Lies in Wait is a pure crime story, so don’t let the quote on the cover fool you. It is not dark, deep thriller, but it is a good crime novel.

Reading this book was kind of interesting experience for me. My copy arrived really late (it was so late I actually lost the hope that it would arrive at all) so I had only 3 days to read it.
Since I am a slow reader it was questionable if I would make it, but since the book was pretty interesting and it read pretty fast, I was worrying for nothing.

The story follows two time lines: one that happened 30 years ago when a group of friends went to party into the woods, and one of them ended up missing, and today’s time when the body of a missing girl was found.
Through the story, we follow lives of people who were in the woods 30 years ago, and two main characters, inspectors Jonah and Hanson who work on the case.

The story was good, and the writing style was also fine.
My favorite part when it comes to writing style were dialogues. Characters talked like real everyday people and their conversations were easy to follow.
The story is written in third person.

One downside of this story is that main characters seemed too one dimensional to me.
We did get little pieces of their past and that each of them had something that happened to them in the past, that made a huge impact on their lives, but we didn’t find out what it was nor did we get to see more of their personalities.
I assume, since this is the first book in the series, that they will be more explored in the future books, but in all honesty, I would like to know them more to even have a desire to hang out with them on their next adventure.

When it comes to the case itself it was a solid, entertaining tale, and it even though it occurred to me that the person who turned out to be the killer could be guilty, when we came closer to the end, I didn’t know who committed the crime.
I have to mention that crime novels are not usually what I read, so I am not as critical to this type of stories as crime fans are.

Overall, She Lies in Wait is a good novel that I would recommend to people who like to read crime stories every now and then.

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A gripping crime that will make you hold your breath: The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup – Book Review (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BookTour #TheChestnutMan @MichaelJBooks

I am so honoured to be today’s host in The Chestnut Man blog tour.
I want to thank Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph, Penguin for inviting me.
I just loved this gripping novel so it is my honour to tell you everything about it.

About the book:


Rosa Hartung is returning to her job as Minister for Social Affairs, a year since the disappearance of her twelve year-old daughter. Linus Berger, a mentally ill young man, confessed to her killing, but can’t remember where he buried her dismembered corpse.

That day a young single mother is found murdered at her home in the suburbs of Copenhagen – she’s been tortured, and one hand has been cut off. Thulin and Hess, sent to investigate the crime, arrive to find a chestnut figure hanging from a playhouse nearby.

When yet another woman is murdered, and another chestnut figure is found, Thulin and Hess begin to suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women.

Thulin and Hess are drawn into a race against time, as the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

My Review:

It seems to me that everyone already knows about Soren Sveistrup because of The Killing, but since I’ve never watched it, this was my first time encountering his work.
It will definitely not be the last, because my Soren Sveinstrup journey just began!

In case you didn’t have a chance to see The Chestnut Man in person, let me tell you: it is a massive book. It has more than 500 pages and bigger format than usual novels. You could easily use it as a weapon!

But despite this novel looking intimidating at first, it reads really easily because of the short chapters, intense story and great translation.

The story follows two main characters, detective Naia Thulin and investigator Mark Hess who work on the case together. The murders they have to deal with are not easy on the stomach because the killer likes to do amputations while the victims are still alive. On the crime scenes, there is always one little chestnut man, as a mark of a killer.

There is so much more to the story, because we follow so many characters who’s stories intertwine.

At first it was bit hard for me to follow and connect everything and everyone, because of so many different characters with to me unusual names, but after some time (around 80 pages into the story), it became pretty easy to follow.

This crime novel is the first one that reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even if their stories are totally different, I recognized the similar dark atmosphere.
If you like Stieg Larsson, don’t miss out on this one!

This book really pulled me in. I was so invested in this gripping story, wanted to know everything and solve the crime myself, but also it made me want to know why characters acted the way they did, and what is under everyone’s surface.

The Chestnut Man is a brutal, chilling story that made me question are psychopaths really born that way, or do they become what they are because of others?
I think it’s both, and I think the second plays the main part what will become of a person.

Overall, I recommend The Chestnut Man to every single crime novels fan.
This book is the one that should be on everyone’s tbr-s and I predict that by the end of 2019 it will be on many people’s favorites lists.


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Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena @PHRGlobal #partner

Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books, Penguin
Date: August 7th, 2018
Pages: 290
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.


If you’re a fan of “Who done it” books, games or movies, you will probably love An Unwanted Guest.
I’d say it’s a typical “Who done it” story, but in reality, I wouldn’t know, because I rarely read that type of books.
Why? Honesty, the only reason that comes to my mind is that those books are just not popular enough, and therefore, it doesn’t even cross my mind to pick up one.

Thanks to Shari Lapena, I can proudly say I read one “Who done it” novel this year.
If you follow my reviews for a while now, maybe you know how much I enjoyed Lapena’s first novel The Couple Next Door. 
So… when I had a chance to read An Unwanted Guest, I grabbed it.

The story follows several characters (honestly, I can’t even tell you how many of them there were) who end up snowed in in a hotel for the weekend.
Early in the morning, they find a dead body of a woman who stayed in the hotel with them, and since no one can get out from the hotel, and no one can come in, it is obvious that one of them killed the victim.
Or was it someone else all along with them in a hotel, an unwanted guest?

First of all, this story reads fast as lightning. Trust me, I’m a slow reader, but I sped through the book. If an inspiration to write some reviews for my blog didn’t hit me, I’d probably finish it in one sitting.
However it took me 2 days to finish it (actually, 6 hours to be precise).

At first I was afraid I wouldn’t keep up with all the characters, since there was so many of them, but it was easy to tell them apart.
Not once did I mix them up.

The story itself is not as intense as I thought it would be, but it was interesting all the time.
I was really invested and wanted to know what will happen’ next chapter after chapter.
Short chapters also helped to hold my attention.

The end was not shocking, but it was unpredictable.
I didn’t guess the killer.
As for the very end, I can say I predicted it. However, I think most readers will be satisfied with it.

Book Review: Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

winner's crime

Title: The Winner’s Crime
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.



This book should have come with the warning.
It contains violence on such a strong level that it left me uneasy.
I wondered how the book, that you can find in a children’s books section in a bookstore, can have so many well-described scenes with violence in it.

It starts with the bang, and it surely continues in the same tone trough the whole novel.

There’s a huge story development and even bigger character development.

Kestrel became stronger, smarter and she learned how to play the war game.
She still likes to play piano and her dream about becoming someone’s wife is so close to become the truth because she is engaged to emperor’s son.
Even though she is not a warrior in a literal sense, she has a mind of one.

Arin is a leader now. He is smart but still, his feelings do lead his actions more then they should be.
He still wants Kestrel but he also wants for his people to have the power they once had.

There are some new characters that were introduced to us in this, second book in the series.
Some of them were very likeable and some of them were just cruel, but very important for the story.

There is another tribe that came to the picture and I welcomed them with pleasure.
I have a feeling they will have a big part in the next, the last book of The Winner’s Triology.

In my opinion, The Winner’s Crime was better The Winner’s Kiss.
It took the story in a whole another level and it reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones.

I have a feeling The Winner’s Kiss will be an epic read and I can’t wait to read it and see where the story is going to go.


Waiting on Wendesday (#10): Arrowood by Laura McHugh


Waiting on Wendesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

This week I am eagerly anticipating:


Arrowood by Laura McHugh

Publisher: Penguin Random House Cornerstone

Publication Date: August 11th, 2016


Arrowood is the most ornate and beautiful of the grand historical houses that line the Mississippi river in southern Iowa where the days are long and humid and communities are small and closed. It has its own secrets and ghostly presence: it’s where two small twin girls were abducted ten years previously – never to be seen again. Now, Arden has inherited Arrowood, and she returns to her childhood home determined to establish what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close – and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined. Family lies, buried secrets and a terrifying truth lie at the heart of this brilliant and haunting crime novel.

Why am I waiting?

Ever since I found out about this novel, I can’t get it out of my head.
There’s something about this book that is screaming at me that it is a book for me. I can’t even describe it.

The synopsis are really interesting and intense, plus the cover gives me creeps, in a good way.

All in all, I have a strong feeling this book will be everything I want from it and more, and I can’t wait to read it and see if my feeling is right.

Author Website * Amazon UK * Amazon US * Goodreads * The Book Depository