Yes, I know, I should stop mixing all the titles together but… I enjoy it too much! Bear with me!
Why choose the short way? For a million reasons! I still haven’t recovered from the awesomeness of the book. The author burnt my brain. The book didn’t have a big impact on me. I could go on and on. The length of each review doesn’t reflect my appreciation of the book. Sometimes, fewer words are enough to convey what you felt and thought.
In a nutshell: I write Regular Reviews, Lazy Saturday reviews which are shorter than the regular ones and focus on my feelings instead of analysing the novel, and Quickies to unload feelings and keep track of what worked and what didn’t!
Title: The Evidence Against You
Author: Gillian McAllister
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Date of publication: 18 April 2019
Format: paperback proof
Number of pages: 422
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?
I have been trying to write a review for this one forever! I read it, or rather I devoured it, and then my mind went blank! Gillian McAllister broke me!!!!
Izzy is a brilliant character. What she knows as the truth about her past and what happened to her parents is in fact bits and pieces she received from different sources. She based her beliefs and view on the little information and her own understanding of the situation when she was a young girl. So how is she supposed to react when her father gets out of jail after serving his sentence for having killed Izzy’s mother? Worst, what can she do when he asks her to listen to him, to his version of the moments that changed their lives forever? Reading The Evidence Against You is really cathartic on many levels. It reminds us to take a step back from what other think, say, and do, to build our own opinion. Then it deals with trust, second chances, and fate gone wrong. Like Izzy, I was torn. I was tortured by the idea of keeping the events in the past, we all know that digging up there always brings surprises. Yet I could feel the dissociation between the father she had known and the stranger who had killed her mother. Could there be another explanation? What if the police had jumped to conclusions? What if… there was another truth, a truer truth than the one spilled by neighbours, angry family members, the media? Tension must be Gillian McAllister’s second name!!! From beginning to end, I felt I was walking on a cord above an abyss. I wanted to believe, but a small voice in my head kept repeating that some people tell you what they think you want to hear just to hurt you even more. What an intense and emotionally draining read! The title sounds so cold, so legal, yet the book is filled with warmth despite the loneliness, and a flicker of hope… I loved it!
Title: Our Kind of Cruelty
Author: Araminta Hall
Date of publication: 2 May 2019
Format: NetGalley copy
Number of pages: 368
Things were difficult with Mike by the end. He was too much, too controlling – sometimes, I was afraid of him. But I’ve moved on now. I’m getting married to the man of my dreams – he looks after me, but he doesn’t stifle me. Mike and the games we used to play – that’s all in the past now.
It’s time to move on.
Mike and I are finished.
It was just a matter of time until she came back to me. After what I did, maybe she’s right to make me wait. But Verity knows how sorry I am. And the messages she sends me, the way she calls me, the way she acted last time I saw her – no-one acts like that if they’ve stopped caring.
She’ll be mine again.
No matter who stands in my way.
What a twisted read!!!
I was hypnotized by the blurb! A game, a murder, a couple… I could smell the blood! However, when I began reading, I found myself at a loss. Was I reading the right book?! Yes, the game was there, yes, a couple was at its center, but the rest… Our Kind of Cruelty is a good book, I don’t deny it. I finished it and I am glad I did! But I felt wronged by a misleading synopsis. I think this is why I waited this long before deciding to review it. Now that this has been said, let’s talk about what the story holds!
Mike is a complex and intriguing character. I surprised myself agreeing with his point of view as he dug his grave lying about a relationship that is not what we expect. Am I vague enough? :p The more I read, the better I understood just how far gone Mike was, and how toxic the book itself was! That very toxicity is what makes Our Kind of Cruelty so addictive. Mike sees the world through a wish mirror, and the cracks on it don’t let him see things as they truly are. No matter his actions, I couldn’t help but feel for Mike, acting out of love… and something more!
If you are looking for a different kind of love story. The ‘things are going down’ kind, then please, grab a copy! You’ll be surprised, you’ll be appalled, you’ll feel pity, you’ll want to shake your head and say ‘no!’ In a nutshell, you’ll live Mike’s life and learn from it!
Title: Only Ever You
Author: Rebecca Drake
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Date of publication: 2016
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ and a half
Three-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears at the playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes– but her mother Jill’s relief is short lived. Jill is convinced the tiny dots on her daughter’s arm are puncture marks. When doctors find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she won’t ever know what happened during her daughter’s absence and is simply grateful to have her home safely.
Except Sophia isn’t safe. Three months later, she disappears again. This time from her bed at home, in the night. Working with the police and the community, Jill and her husband David are desperate to bring their little girl home. They remain hopeful—until information turns up suggesting their daughter was murdered, causing the police to turn their suspicions on the parents. Facing ugly family secrets and heart-rending evidence, Jill is still convinced her daughter is alive. But when the dragnet begins to close around them, Jill realizes the worst: if the police believe she has killed her daughter, that means they aren’t out there looking for the real perpetrator. They aren’t hunting for Sophie or the person who still has her.
When I listen to audiobooks, I need to be careful, or I end up forgetting to take the right turn and only realize it when I’ve done another kilometer in the wrong direction!! It happened with Only Ever You. The narrator nailed the tone of the narration, making every parent’s nightmare true, throwing me into a shattered world in which a little girl is taken from her parents in the dead of night. The novel doesn’t begin with the abduction, no. Nope. You get the ‘before’ The times a mother is too tired to deal with her daughter’s tantrum, the moments when a dad is needed, the juggling of work and home, the tiredness. You get used to a family. And all along, a voice in different chapters is spying, staring, learning, until a hand grabs an innocent child.
If the plot isn’t utterly original, I enjoyed witnessing, or rather listening to the Lassiter’s world falling apart. The book contains all the elements you need for a good thriller: a mother convinced her daughter isn’t safe, a suspicious husband (you know I love them!) and a threat hanging over their heads. Things aren’t complicated, all you have to do is enjoy and hope for the best! The tension dances with the feelings of fear, love, sadness and danger. My feet followed the rhythm, and I had a great time with this book!