And the girls who are last

Final Girls Book Cover Final Girls
Riley Sager
psychological, mystery, suspense, contemporary
Ebury Press
2018
342

TO SURVIVE A KILLER, YOU NEED A KILLER'S INSTINCT An unbelievably gripping psychological thriller to keep you awake at night full of twists you'll NEVER see coming. 'If you liked GONE GIRL, you'll like this' Stephen King Three girls. Three tragedies. One unthinkable secret. The media calls them the Final Girls - Quincy, Sam, Lisa - the infamous group that no one wants to be part of. The sole survivors of three separate killing sprees, they are linked by their shared trauma. But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances and Sam shows up unannounced on her doorstep, Quincy must admit that she doesn't really know anything about the other Final Girls. Can she trust them? Or can there only ever be one? All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next. An addictive thriller to keep you turning the pages late at night. Fans of In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, The Girl Before by JP Delaney and Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear will love Final Girls. ********** Why readers are loving thrilling psychological suspense novel FINAL GIRLS 'I was drawn into this intense story from the very first page until the tremendously gripping end - unputdownable and addictive' Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars 'This is an atmospheric thriller I couldn't stop reading. A brilliant and gripping read' Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars 'I devoured this one in two sittings. Could not put it down and the author dropped in some fantastic twists I never saw coming' Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

At first I thought this was chick lit (baking et al) and then I realised it was much darker than that. The story unfolds from the viewpoint of a girl left alive after the horrific slaughter of her friends at a holiday cabin in the woods, and how many years later she is trying to live a ‘normal’ life. A normal life facilitated by Xanax, wine and nightmares.

There are 3 Final Girls in this story who were supposed to be linked up as Survivors and each tries to live on in a different way  – and as the story unfolds tragedy begins to stalk each of them. And it is this part of the story that hooked me and made think deeply about their methods of living and how would I cope? What would I do, if I were them?

The suspense builds slowly but inevitably towards a conclusion that I never suspected and yet once it happens you realise that it was inevitable. And that people in these type of novels, are never who you think they are!

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When the ghosts are tangible?

Paper Ghosts Book Cover Paper Ghosts
Julia Heaberlin
women sleuths, crime, mystery, psychological
Michael Joseph
2018-04
400

Having lived his life suspected of being a serial killer, Carl Louis Feldman begins his journey into old age at a nursing home in Texas. Though he was never charged with any crimes, the staff aren't sorry to see him go when his estranged daughter arrives to take her father on what could be his last road trip. When Carl protests that this is not his daughter at all, the nurses are all too ready to excuse it as a product of his deteriorating mind. Were those suspicions about him true? Does he know where the missing women are buried? And if he is an honest man, who has just driven him away from safety?

A disturbing but strangely compelling story.

I kept not wanting to read further, but yet I did, because I could not stop myself.

The narrator is seriously flawed/damaged from the disappearance of her older sister and her journey with the man she believed killed her sister is such a strange thing to do. she is truly paranoid – but who does she think is following her?

Yes, we do find out the truth – but which truth? And as for Carl, well he has a lot of truths doesn’t he?

 

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Don’t run in the sun!

See Her Run Book Cover See Her Run
Aloa Snow #1
Peggy Townsend
Fiction, crime, female sleuth
Thomas & Mercer
2018-06
268

Running for her life could leave her breathless. A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Aloa Snow knows what it means to be down and out. Once highly respected, she's now blackballed, in debt, and dealing with the echoes of an eating disorder. Until she gets one more shot to prove that she has what it takes--with a story some would die for... After the body of a promising young athlete, Hayley Poole, is recovered in the Nevada desert, authorities rule it a suicide. But when Aloa discovers that the girl's boyfriend died in a similar accident only months before, her investigative instincts are on high alert. It turns out the girl was on the run from secrets that could kill. This case is murder for Aloa, and Hayley won't be the last one to suffer. Someone very powerful forced Hayley to run for her life. Now Aloa must do the same.

A story that draws you into a complex web of connections and proves conspiracy theorists are right! Some capitalists don’t care. Except for money.

The story also explores what character trait makes people undertake extreme sports whether it is walking, running or climbing. i  wish I knew the answer to that definitively as our son is determined to run the Marathon des Sables, one of the top ultra marathons in the world – across the desert in searing heat! Heb has already run the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall in one day… So I do get some of this desire to compete with yourself not just with others and to go faster and further than before. he seems such a normal person our son, until you mention marathons!

In this intriguing novel we meet a large number of the world’s misfits – of all types and varieties, and yet it is these very misfits, who because of their very belief in conspiracy theories, uncover a real one…

I am giving it a 5 for the story line, but the writing style was somewhat confusing at times and the story was perhaps over complicated? So 4 for the style. Although this is the start of a series i shall not follow up the remainder as Aloa didn’t ‘attract’ me enough.

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What Katie Did

Cross Her Heart Book Cover Cross Her Heart
Sarah Pinborough
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
HarperCollins UK
May 14, 2018
384

The explosive follow-up from Sarah Pinborough, author of the NUMBER ONE Sunday Times bestseller Behind Her Eyes.

‘Cross my heart and hope to die…’

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?

A secret no one could ever guess.

Someone is living a lie.

Is it Lisa?

Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.

Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

This book kept me hooked.

You think you know the story but you don’t – the twists and turns and slow reveal of the real truth behind, was very well done.

You have tears in your eyes when you find out Charlotte’s childhood story and then Daniel’s is revealed and oh how you hope that their parents are in prison. And never coming out.

But you never suspect what Katie did. Not until her history is revealed too and her mother’s action causing such a reaction.

An excellent, cleverly crafted story, well told with empathy and understanding of how childhood trauma can affect future behaviours.

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How do you know if he is the Right Man? Kate White explains

The Wrong Man Book Cover The Wrong Man
Kate White
Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
9th October 2017

A moment of pleasure leads to a deadly game of cat and mouse in this slick and suspenseful thriller.

Kit Finn meets handsome sculptor Matt Healy on a business trip and the two share a night of passion. They arrange a second date, but when Kit arrives at Matt’s apartment she is greeted by a stranger claiming he is the real Matt and that his identity was stolen.

Realising she has been duped Kit decides to put the encounter behind her. Shortly after, the police ask her to identify a man killed in a hit and run, carrying only her business card, and she is shocked to find the dead man is the person she knows as the genuine Matt Healy.

Kit fears she has become unintentionally embroiled in a sinister web of deceit. With no real evidence to take to police, Kit resolves to unravel the mystery herself. But can she do so before more lives, including her own, are put in danger?

For fans of psychological suspense and compulsive mysteries, don’t miss this tense and page-turning novel.

Kate White answers some questions
  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? The Wrong Man opens with a woman going, by invitation, to the apartment of a man she slept with on vacation, and the person who opens the door is not the man she expects to find there. Life is filled with unexpected twists and discoveries, some very unsettling, and I love thinking and writing about them.

     Though the twists in my book tend to be bigger than ones I’ve faced in life, I’ve had my share of rude awakenings. I dated a guy in my twenties who turned out to be a huge liar and it was unsettling to eventually find that what I assumed to be reality wasn’t at all. Those experiences ideally teach you to be better at reading situations and trusting your gut. And writing about them helps, too

How is my book different than others? I’ve never actually read a plot exactly like this, though many thrillers have details in common. For instance, I love the new thriller The Flight Attendant by Chris Bojalian. It opens with a woman waking to discover that the man she spent the night with his lying stabbed to death next to her. That happened in my psychological thriller Hush. It was really fun for me to see what another author did with the same basic idea.

 

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? I start with a germ of an idea and then I think about it over several months. (I often have to do this while I’m finishing up another book). I like to know the ending of a book before I start and also have a rough idea of all the major plot points.

     Funny you should ask about a notebook because I do keep one for each book. In the beginning I use it to jot down all sorts of questions about the plot, and somehow my subconscious gives me the answers, sometimes even as I’m making notes. I read this technique somewhere and it works fantastically (even for life in general).

Eventually I use the same notebook to do a rough outline of each chapter before I write it.  And to be honest, I love feeling a little like a schoolgirl again–but without the angst!

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book? I research when I’m developing the idea and then research other details as I write. I’m often still researching when I write the final chapter.  So in a sense it’s always a year.
  2. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I use the Internet constantly for research, but I also like to actually go to a setting I’m writing about. The Wrong Man opens in the Florida Keys and though I researched the area thoroughly online, I ended up going down there for a few days (you should have heard me explaining the need for my trip to my husband!) When I started up the writing again after the trip, I didn’t change the opening chapter much (though the trip gave me the idea to have a gecko dart up a tree), but I felt more confident about what I’d written. While in Florida, I also visited the Miami morgue for a later scene in the book and that was a very gripping experience.
  3. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience? I’ve found that police and forensic experts are more than happy to help. You just have to get up your nerve to ask and make sure your questions are smart. And thank them in the acknowledgements!
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted? My first mystery was accepted with only four chapters written and the publisher gave me a two-year contract. But I was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan then and had written several non-fiction books, so they had confidence I wouldn’t flake out on them. It was a bit of a fluke situation.
  5. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? From what I’ve picked up, self-publishing can be fruitful and some authors have done really well with it. But many people in the business say that it still pays to be published, if possible, by a major house. I love to write so much that if a publisher stopped wanting to publish me, I definitely try self-publishing.
  6. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened? For me being an author has been a real financial success, but that’s in part because for many years I combined it with having a day job. My day job provided me with a pension and health insurance and the like. I wrote my first eight mysteries while still at Cosmo. Yes, it can feel like burning the candle at both ends, but I do believe it’s best to try to really establish yourself as an author before you quit that day job. I didn’t leave until I had all my ducks in a row financially and knew I could afford to live even if my books stopped selling.

           And though it may not sound very creative, I think it’s important to approach the situation like a business.  Get a sense of what genres are selling and where there may be room for you.  I’ve heard great writers recommend that write the book you’re dying to write, and there’s truth in that, but I think if you’re writing a thriller or mystery, it can be smart to know the marketplace. As an entrepreneur once said to me, “It’s not enough to think about what you want from the world. You have to think about what the world wants from you.”

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour? I did a major event with several other authors and the event planners had a set designer create a scene from each of our books. They were all terrific, except I don’t think the designer realized that with the scene he created for my book, he was giving away the killer and the ending. Oops! I just had to laugh to myself and hope no one realized it.
  2. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I love mysteries and thrillers at all times but I find they’re particularly good as “comfort” reading.
  3. What is your favourite genre? I love literary fiction, books that stay with you forever, like Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending or James Joyce’s The Dead. I love to go back and read those books again and again and think about them endlessly.
  4. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author? Someone who comes to mind right away is American writer Anita Shreve, who just passed away at 71. Her novel The Last Time They Met is one of my favorites.
  5. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? I can’t name just one. I have so many favorites. In terms of mysteries, I am a total sucker for Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. It helped me learn to be better at creating red herrings and legitimate clues and not being unfair to the reader by having a killer no one would have ever expected.
  6. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing? I don’t read a lot of humor though I’m enjoying the new memoir Just the Funny Parts by screenwriter Nell Scovell. If Hollywood intrigues you, you’ll like it.
  7. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why? No, not at all. My favorites are so talented I couldn’t come close.
  8. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school? I saved everything for years and when moving left them in my then-boyfriend’s parents’ basement, in a suitcase. They threw everything out my mistake. It made me ill, and it took a long time for me to just let it go and accept. I know a lot of it was silly, but I’d love to get a peek at the girl I once was.

Author Bio:
Kate White
is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve works of fiction: seven Bailey Weggins mysteries and five stand-alone psychological thrillers, including most recently, The Secrets You Keep. For fourteen years she was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate on being a full-time author and speaker.

Twitter: @katemwhite

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