Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale - My review and Blog Tour

The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

My Review

The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale is a great Domestic Noir debut for this new author who has shown she is wickedly capable of the cunningly warped and twisted thoughts fans of psychological thrillers love.

The eponymous Sunday Girl of the title is one Taylor Bishop, a modern girl many readers will find it easy to relate to. She has a successful career and lives in a great area of London, albeit in a minuscule flat. She’s bright, sexy and sassy, she is also ragingly, seriously angry and hurt and about to prove that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as the old adage goes.

She has just split up with her long term boyfriend Angus, who she hoped was THE one, her forever man, but turned out to be the boyfriend you really don’t want to be involved with and he’s about to prove he’s an even worse louse than he at first appeared to be.

This book is heart-racingly fast-paced, pulls no punches and reminded me of the original twisty tome Gone Girl. Although this thriller has plenty of twists it is really quite straightforward in that it is a tale of a woman on a mission of revenge who will stop at nothing to get her own back on her nasty ex-boyfriend.

Angus, with whom she has just broken up, really hurt her he treated her very badly, he even took his ex-girlfriend on the holiday which was booked for him and Taylor! The shit! She is still reeling from the break up when she discovers he is even more of a cad than she already thinks when she finds some very private moments between the two of them, splattered all over the internet. These explicit sex tapes can only have been put there by Angus and she sees red. Vowing revenge and setting out to achieve it any way she can with her very own plan of war. Spitting venom and screaming hate she wants him ruined.

As their past together is revealed it becomes obvious that he is a controlling, domineering, excuse for a man and the only reason she stayed with him, despite her best instincts is that she was in love with the swine.

Taylor vows to get her own back and intent on getting back at the guy who’s revealed himself as bad and dangerous to know, she tries to fight fire with a burning flame of her own. 

She sets in motion a series of vengeful events which soon spiral out of control. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold but she dishes it up straight from the oven. She is hurt and on the rebound and totally focussed on revenge and as she begins a series of retaliatory acts to get back at Angus she dives into a night or two of passion of her own, with an ex friend with benefits and a new flame who is set to burn brightly in her future but creates even more problems to pile on her already overloaded plate. 

Her behaviour is excusable and understandable, she has almost lost her reason over this guy but manages to keep her cool, considering how wrong things go! But just how far will she go and will she get away with it? As events gather momentum we are swept along as vengeance is served but it seems as though it might come back and bite the hand that is feeding it.

That’s what kept me turning the pages and I fair rattled through this stunning debut novel.

Contemporary, sexy and all about retribution it’s a well plotted, unpredictable thriller which I devoured.

The Blurb

The Girl on the Train meets Before I Go to
Sleep in this chilling tale of love gone horribly
wrong …

“Some love affairs change you forever. Someone comes into your orbit
and swivels you on your axis, like the wind working on a rooftop
weather vane. And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are
different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.”
Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad
man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to
be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge.
Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus
Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: ‘Insidiously.
Irreparably. Like a puzzle he’d slowly dissembled … stolen
a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that
nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever

So Taylor consults The Art of War and makes a plan. Then
she takes the next irrevocable step – one that will change
her life forever.

Things start to spiral out of her control – and The Sunday Girl becomes impossible to put down.

Pip Drysdale is a writer, actor and musician who grew up in Africa and Australia. At 20 she moved to
New York to study acting, worked in indie films and off-off Broadway theatre, started writing songs
and made four records. After graduating with a BA in English, Pip moved to London where she dated
some interesting men and played shows across Europe. The Sunday Girl is her first novel and she is
working on a second. She currently lives in Australia.

You can find the book on Amazon or look for it in your favourite bookshop

I'd like to thank @simonschusterUK and Random Things Tours for inviting me along for this roller coaster ride. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Take Five - My Top Five anticipated reads from my TBR

Five Books from my current TBR

I'm not nearly as fast a reader as I'd like to be so often days or weeks go by before I have a new review to blog about. So I'm starting a take five post about some of the lovely books which sit on my to be read pile mountain.

Today I share five of my waiting in the wings books I'm finding really tempting right now but that I still haven't got around to reading yet. I hope you find something to tempt your literary tastebuds amongst them.

Ask Again Yes - Mary Beth Keane
Published by Micheal Joseph and out in August find out more here 

The cover drew me to this one and it sounds like an absorbing story.


A gripping and compassionate family drama set between neighbours in suburban New York

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope - cold, elegant, unstable - wants to be left alone.

It's left to their children - Lena's youngest, Kate, and Anne's only child, Peter - to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .

A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood - villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. It's a story of how, if we're lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love. 

The Neighbour - Fiona Cummings

I'm really looking forward to this book I loved this authors chilling Bone Collector books Rattle and The Collector, read my review of Rattle here.

The Neighbour sounds thrilling and twisty and if her previous work is anything to go by I'm in for a treat.

Out in hardback now discover more about it from Pan MacMillan


The gripping crime thriller of the year with a twist you’ll never see coming . . .

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune.

The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

Becoming Belle - Nuala O'Connor

Another book where the gorgeous cover drew me in like a moth to a flame. Historical fiction based on a real-life woman.

Find out more at the publishers website, Hachette an imprint of Little Brown


The true story of a woman ahead of her time . . .

In 1887, Isabel Bilton is the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, growing up in a small garrison town. By 1891 she is the Countess of Clancarty, dubbed "the peasant countess" by the press, and a member of the Irish aristocracy. Becoming Belle is the story of the four years in between, of Belle's rapid ascent and the people that tried to tear her down.

Reimagined by a novelist at the height of her powers, Belle is an unforgettable woman. Set against an absorbing portrait of Victorian London, hers is a timeless rags-to-riches story a la Becky Sharpe.

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow - Olivia Hawker

I'm itching to get stuck into this historical novel set in the Wild West of USA, I love books about Frontier life.

This can be pre-ordered on Amazon


Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.

Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

The Liverpool Nightingales by Kate Eastham

I'm a firm fan of Call the Midwife and I've read a previous nursing saga by Kate Eastham which was lovely, this sounds just as good.

Get your copy from Penguin Random House


In Victorian Liverpool the first Nurses' Home opens its doors to a desperate city. Liverpool, 1870.

One act of kindness will change a young woman's life forever . . .

On the dirty backstreets of Liverpool, housemaid Maud Linklater witnesses an appalling accident. Rushing young chimney-sweep Alfie to hospital, she helps nurse the boy on the overcrowded ward - and finds herself with a new job.

Maud cannot believe her luck at joining trainees Alice and Eddy at the new Nurses' Training School and they form the closest of bonds.

Then one day Alfie is abducted. Maud and the girls know the alleyways and slums of Liverpool are no place for a lost little boy.

Can these determined women find Alfie before it's too late?

Monday, 3 June 2019

Those Who Are Loved - Victoria Hislop - My Review and Blog Tour

Those Who Are Loved - Victoria Hislop - My Review and Blog Tour

What a pleasure it is to be invited along on the Blog Tour for the latest book by Victoria Hislop which I have read and loved and am delighted to share my thoughts and hope you go on to read and enjoy this lovely new summer title.

My Review

Renowned author Victoria Hislop returns to early to mid 20th century Greece to introduce us to the life of heroine Themis, who begins the story as a young woman and as her life story opens up we follow her into her future as Greece struggles with the occupation of her country by Germans. 

Greece is split in two by politics and war and I wondered if the historic political details may make this book a touch a little heavy going for a summer read as often political details can be complex and confusing. 

However, I found it superbly easy to engage with such a likeable and believable protagonist as Themis and I slid into her life like slipping into a bath of warm olive oil. I was quickly drawn into her world, redolent with the aromas and arguments of Greek family life and swept along by the barrage of events occurring in what begins as a simple life and builds into one of remarkable heroism, determination and selfless compassion.

At the start of Themis' story, she lives in a crumbling old mansion owned by her somewhat flaky Mothers family, but tragedy forces the family to decamp and live in her paternal grandmothers' apartment on the outskirts of Athens. Sibling rivalry is strong in this family and her older sister never misses the chance to tease and taunt her little sister and her two older brothers can never see eye to eye, Themis’ family are divided, by beliefs and politics and there is bickering and sniping at every family meal which eventually turns into bitterness and recrimination. But Themis is a young woman able to make her own mind up and as she decides her path she makes a few brave and one or two rash decisions (Don’t we all at some point?) Her life choices are set to have repercussions which reverberate across the decades. 

When this intelligent but rather lonely schoolgirl finds a new school friend Fotini, the 2 girls become inseparable, despite different backgrounds until again tragedy intervenes and fate begins to show its hand to Themis. 

It’s a story of friendship and atonement, of war and politics and abiding love which transcends class barriers. For anyone who, like me, enjoys holidays in the warmth and conviviality of Greece today it comes as a bit of a shock to read in detail, about the dreadful events in the near distant past, which although I was aware of, hadn’t considered the impact on everyday families trying to get on with their lives.

The Author does a sterling job of combining a gripping beach read with a deeply political statement and historical facts. I mean no disrespect when I say this is the thinking-womans chick-lit.

A wonderfully engaging summer read drenched in Meditteranean sunshone, redolent of Greek coffee, in an era blighted by dreadful deeds, war and dire poverty.

The Blurb

Those Who Are Loved is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of
Greece in World War II, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of
which left deep scars.

Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between
Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade. Fifteen-year-old Themis comes
from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens
the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She
watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.
In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist
army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes
presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then
Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own
in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her
desire to escape and live. As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly
the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others

This powerful new novel from Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop sheds light
on the complexity and trauma of Greece’s past and weaves it into the epic tale of an
ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life.

The Author

Victoria Hislop

Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. The Island has sold over 1.2million copies in the UK and more than 5 million worldwide.

Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book Award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set short story collection, The Last Dance and Other Stories. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One
bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014. Victoria’s most recent book, Cartes Postales from Greece was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and one of the Top Ten biggest selling paperbacks of 2017. Her novels have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

Connect with the author
Twitter: @VicHislop •

My thanks go to the publishers Headline for including me on the Blog Tour and Randomthingstours for organising it. 

Book link

Blog tour The Museum of Lost Love by Gary Barker a #Randomthings #BlogTour

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