#ThrowbackThursday ~ Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis Evocative & Dark 1970s #AmericanFiction

Throwback Thursday this week features an audiobook I enjoyed very much. Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis was released on Audible in 2018 and published by HarperCollins

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My Thoughts

Set in Larson, a small town in the middle of America’s corn belt, full of seemingly good people and where everything seems perfect on the surface. But secrets and lies abound and the underlying darkness is about to emerge. The story is character driven and told from the perspective of John (Johnny) Royal, a thirteen year old living with his mother and younger sister, Jenny, on a small farm a mile outside of town.

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Where There’s Doubt by Terry Tyler #ContemporaryFiction #PsycologicalDrama @TerryTyler4 #TuesdayBookBlog

60693093._SY475_Author: Terry Tyler

Kindle Edition

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Drama

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Café owner Kate is mentally drained after a tough two years; all she wants from her online chess partner is entertainment on lonely evenings, and maybe a little virtual flirtation.

She is unaware that Nico Lewis is a highly intelligent con artist who, with an intricately spun web of lies about their emotional connection, will soon convince her that he is The One.

Neither does Kate know that his schemes involve women who seek love on dating sites, as well as his small publishing business. A host of excited authors believe Nico is about to make their dreams come true.

Where There’s Doubt is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of internet dating. Nico Lewis is a master in the art of seduction and, along with his girlfriend and others, is working an intricate scam targeting likely women on dating apps. Befriending them first in order to suss out their weaknesses and playing to their emotions, he convinces them he could be what their lives are lacking.

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#BookReview for #RBRT ~ Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin #LiteraryFiction @Annecdotist #FridayReads

25865437._SY475_Author: Anne Goodwin

Published: July 2015 by Inspired Quill

Category: Literary Fiction, Identity, Psychology

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At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

Diana Dodsworth is a psychology professor at Newcastle University. After a confused, unhappy childhood and making a decision in her mid teens that impacted on her in ways she didn’t expect, leaving her with a host of insecurities, she chooses now to live alone with her cat and tends generally not to get too involved with people. Privacy is very important to Diana and her past is something she keeps very much to herself. 

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Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford @AnnalisaCrawf #LiteraryFiction #Psychological #RBRT

51GqMLrFRxSAuthor: Annalisa Crawford

Due to be published: 31st August by Vine Leaves Press

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological, Literary Fiction, Book Review

four-half-stars

Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?

Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams—and increasingly, her waking hours—Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.

Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.

Small Forgotten Moments tells the story of Jo McKye, in her own words, a talented and tortured artist living in London and about to have her first exhibition. Her paintings all feature a mysterious woman she’s named Zenna who invades her thoughts whether she is awake or asleep. Jo has no idea who the woman is, but feels compelled beyond any reason she can fathom to recreate her on each canvas, one after the other.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter ~ #Psychological #Thriller How Well do You Know Those Closest to You.

Pieces of Her is a dual timeline psychological thriller, set in the present day and the mid 80s. Each chapter’s heading is clear so the reader knows the exact sequence as the narrative weaves from one period to the other, exploring the mother/daughter relationship along the way.

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My Thoughts

Three years ago thirty-one year old Andrea (Andy) left New York and returned home to help nurse her mother Laura, after a breast cancer diagnosis. Andy has no drive or ambition and no meaningful personal relationships to speak of. Her mother has made her life so agreeable that Andy doesn’t know how to begin to take control herself. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden ~ Every Parent’s Nightmare #Psychological #Thriller

Birthday Girl was published in 2018 by Thomas & Mercer. 

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My Thoughts

Since his daughter’s abduction and murder eight years ago, Elliott Nash has lived under a crushing cloud of guilt. His marriage failed, his brilliant career as a criminal psychologist is nothing but a memory, he’s homeless and lives on the streets. The only constants in his life are nightmares and pain. His natural drive to help people has diminished. That is, until he meets former addict Amy Scowcroft. Amy’s daughter, Lacey, has been missing for almost a year but Amy refuses to believe her daughter is dead. Getting nowhere with the investigation into Amy’s disappearance, the police have closed the case. Detective Dave Cargill, who works for the D.C. Metropolitan Child and Family Services, refers Amy to his old friend and former colleague, Elliott Nash. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay #PsychologicalThriller

Paul Davis is on his way home late one night when he sees the car in front has a cracked tail light and is being driven erratically.

Realising it’s his colleague, Kenneth Hoffman, Paul decides to try to get Kenneth to stop, not sure if he’s drunk or looking for somewhere particular. Then Kenneth’s car pulls off onto the pavement. Paul pulls up behind him, ready to offer assistance, but instead makes a shocking discovery which earns him a blow to the head that nearly kills him.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ My Grandfather’s Eyes by B.A. Spicer #Psychological #Drama

The kindle edition of My Grandfather’s Eyes, a dark psychological drama, was published in 2013.

My Thoughts

Alex’s story is told, in the first person and present tense and draws the reader into her world of extremely well drawn and distinct, albeit not always likeable, characters that surround her. The narrative begins with the death of Alex’s grandfather, his funeral and the first signs that maybe something about this family is slightly skewed. The heated words Alex overhears exchanged between her mother and father later that night unnerve her although she’s not sure why. 

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The Shadow Man by @Helen_Fields #CrimeFiction #NetGalley #TheShadowMan #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Helen Fields

Due to be published (Kindle, Audio and Paperback) February 2021

Category: Police Procedural, Crime Fiction, Psychological, Book Review

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

The Shadow Man is a collector of people, an abductor, watching his victims and planning while learning their routines, until it’s time to make his move. In the opening sequence his plan goes fatally wrong causing him to be careless with his next victim.

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Grace & Serenity by @AnnalisaCrawf #ContemporaryFiction #Manipulation #Psychological #RBRT

I reviewed Grace & Serenity back in July for the blog tour run by Rachel’s Random Resources and am reposting for Rosie Amber’s book review team. 

My Thoughts

This was quite a dark, although sensitively addressed story, and one that emphasises how easily someone can get sucked in to situations they feel unable to control. Grace was just sixteen when she met Neil, and not much older when she became pregnant. Neil had charmed Grace from the beginning but she saw another side of him when she told him she was expecting their child. He didn’t want to know and made his feelings plain. This was the first sign of his true character and a precursor of what was to come.

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