She And I – Hannah King

Two girls, best friends since they were young.  One from a “normal” family, mum, dad and little brother, a safe respectable family.  The other from a dysfunctional upbringing.  A drug addict mother, a drug dealing brother, no safety and security.

But what if these seemingly polar opposite lives aren’t what they seem?  What if the picture-perfect life hides pain and suffering?  What if the dysfunctional family shows more strength and togetherness?

Keely and Jude become inseparable from the moment they meet, almost morphing into one person, their lives so blended together if would seem they can’t ever be separated.

It’s NYE 2020 and when the now 17- & 18-year-olds wake to find Kelly’s boyfriend dead in the corner of the room after a heavy night of drinking and drugs, the girls know they have to stick together to save themselves.  What if one of them is the killer?  What if one them knows more than the other?

A strong psychological thriller that touches on bullying, social class divides, trying to fit-in, and the almost dangerous consequences of obsession and where it can take you.

With a murder investigation woven into the story this is where I got a little lost.  It kind of felt like the story was trying to be both a psychological thriller and a detective/police procedural story at the same time, but together neither was quite strong enough and diluted the enjoyment a little.

Overall though, as a debut novel this was still a really strong read and I’ll definitely read future books by this author.

Tell Me Lies – J.P. Pomare

This one was psychological suspense at its best,  You know the way the story is heading isn’t going to be where it ends.  You know the likely suspect you are being steered towards didn’t do it, but I loved the fact that even though I knew all that, I still didn’t know where it was heading.

Margot is a psychologist with a successful practice in Melbourne.  A loving husband, teenage children and a beautiful home.  She seemingly has it all.

So why would she suddenly push one of her patients into the path of a train on a busy platform in front of hundreds of witnesses?

The suspense in this one is palpable, You can almost reach out and touch it.  I’m going to be deliberately vague regarding the storyline and not going to divulge anymore , trust me, the less you know, the wilder the ride.

The pages keep turning, hours are lost and before you know it you have finished the book thinking wow, what just happened?  And that ending!!!!

A huge thank you to Hachette Australia for the opportunity to read this one.  A 5 star read for me, I loved it and will definitely be adding the authors previous books to my tbrlist.

The Girl Before – JP Delaney

This is my third JP Delaney read and I think it’s my favourite so far.  It’s a few years old now but I’m trying to read his entire backlist because seriously, this guy is insanely good, and this book was insanely good, with emphasis on the word insane – lol.

The master of psychological thrillers, JP Delaney has written one messed up crazy story here.  I think what freaked me out the most was just how easily something as frightening as this could happen.  He is a master at developing characters, you understand them so fully and feel so completely what they feel that it’s as if everything is happening right in front of you, you don’t have to imagine it, you are literally immersed in the story.

Enter the world of One Folgate Street.  An award winning home designed by the mysterious architect Edward Monkford.  After losing his wife and child, he believes in simplicity, in a minimalistic lifestyle.  Everything he owns can fit into one small bag.  This lifestyle carries over into the house he has built, and anyone who wishes to take on the lease and live is this beautifully sleek dwelling with its clean lines, and stone surroundings must be willing to follow the rules, no exceptions made.  For all its beauty though, the house has a deadly past and choosing to live there is not for the faint hearted.

The book alternates superbly between the two main characters, Emma, the girl before, and Jane, the girl now.  We move between the past as we witness the unravelling of Emma, and the present day as we follow Jane trying to piece together the house’s history.  What were the circumstances of Emma’s death, was it really an accident?  What secrets was this house holding?

Oh there is so much more I want to say, so many things about this story I want to talk about, but going into this one blind is was made it sooooo good.  The twists and turns kept me riveted.  I never knew which way the story would bend and what fresh secrets the house would spill.

This is an absolute must read for any psychological thriller fans out there, you won’t be disappointed.