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Latest Book Review, Playing Nice by JP Delaney

This is a review of my latest listen from Audible, Playing Nice by JP Delaney.

Playing Nice book cover
By: JP Delaney
Narrated by: Ben Elliot, Amelia Cormack, Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 28-07-20
Language: English
Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

Pete Riley is a stay-at-home dad; his partner, Maddie, works in advertising. After Pete drops two-year-old Theo off at nursery one morning, he’s politely accosted by a man who looks just like Theo. 

The man, Miles Lambert, breaks the devastating news that Theo is in fact not Pete’s son, but his – the two babies got mixed up at hospital and Miles and his wife, Lucy, now have the Rileys’ son at home. They’ve already carried out DNA testing to prove it.

The two couples agree that, rather than swap the children back, they’ll try to involve each other in the children’s lives. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about just how the babies got mixed up. 

And when Theo is thrown out of nursery for hitting other children, Pete and Maddie have to ask themselves: how far do they want this arrangement to go? What are the secrets hidden behind the Lamberts’ smart front door? And how much can they trust the real parents of their child – or even each other?

My Review of Playing Nice

This is the first JP Delaney book that I’ve read, and from reading the reviews on Amazon it seems that it was not so well received as some of his other books. Without anything to judge it by I actually enjoyed Playing Nice.

As a parent it would be my worst nightmare to find that my baby was swapped at birth. This story follows what happens when these two families find out that they were bringing up the wrong children. It starts off quite amicable, the shock of the discovery of the swap doesn’t seem to throw anyone off completely. Then it takes a more sinister turn and you are bombarded with one bad thing after another.

The characters are not really likeable, except for the one Dad Pete. This makes it hard to relate to their pain as the story unfolds. But it doesn’t retract from the horror and the action. The ending was way over the top and utterly enjoyable. It was a definite page turner, I couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to work out.

The book touches on a fair bit of mental health issues which may be a difficult read for some.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click and go on to buy you may earn me a little money at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.

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Trust Me, Sheryl Browne – Book Review

Trust Me, Sheryl Browne

This post contains affiliate links to both the audible version of Trust Me and an Amazon link. These will earn me a little money if you click through and purchase but will cost you no extra. Thank you for your support.

book cover, Trust Me, Sheryl Brown. A Woman in a purple dress hiding behind a curtain.
By: Sheryl Browne
Narrated by: Katie Villa
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 20-11-20
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette UK – Bookouture

The Blurb

Emily and Jake are the perfect couple. Or so everyone says. But Emily just read a letter that has shattered her perfect world. Now she only has one thing on her mind. Which one of her friends is sleeping with her husband?

Emily watches Jake as he makes small talk with their children, still the perfect man she married years ago. But when the phone rings and he answers before quickly putting it down again, she sees the look on her husband’s face – guilt. She knows the signs. After all, she’s lying to him for years. 

Working with Jake at the local doctor’s surgery, Emily starts to listen at closed doors and read things she shouldn’t, hoping to find the truth about her husband. Soon she learns that hers isn’t the only family telling lies to each other. Is there anyone Emily can trust? And who is behind the letter to Jake? 

When a second letter, revealing a wife’s hidden pregnancy, is sent to the woman’s husband, it has disastrous consequences. And as more angry letters revealing people’s biggest secrets begin to appear, fingers point at Emily. After all, she’s the one with access to everyone’s private history, and she’s the one with a score to settle. Emily says she didn’t do it. But this isn’t the first time Emily has lied.

What happens next will have you questioning everything…. You might have already decided that Emily is guilty, but as each twist is revealed, you’ll begin to doubt everyone in this quiet little town. This is a psychological thriller that will keep you up all night! 

My Review

I’ve always been a big fan of Sheryl Browne, I loved her romance novels and I thought she made the transition into thrillers really well. She has a wonderful way of bringing characters to life and making you feel as though you know them.

This story had plenty of twists and turns that kept you thinking. It was quite obvious what was going on but it was still interesting to read how it would all pan out and culminate. I do feel as though there was not so much darkness or tension as Sheryl has provided in previous thrillers. This book was more of a ‘who is creating trouble,’ rather than who the murderer is, or indeed what the greatest threat is. I did feel this was more like her former writing before she turned to the ‘dark side.’ I’d almost forgotten the story began with a murder.

There were some things I didn’t work out, and some things I did but it was a complicated jigsaw with lots of pieces to fill in. All in all a satisfying read and another great book from Sheryl.

If you want to find out about some more fabulous audio books then pop along to Lovely Audio books for recommendations and a link up party.

20 Books for Christmas Reading Challenge.

I’m not doing as well as I’d hoped for this challenge. I did say I’d probably only manage ten books but I’m afraid it’s only seven. I might get another one in before next week, I’m currently reading Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club.

You can read my other book reviews here.

Pop over to Jo at Tea and Cake for the Soul for more book reviews.

Tea and cake for the soul 20 books for Christmas reading challenge
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The Child by Fiona Barton – book review

The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child is Fiona Barton’s second book featuring newspaper reporter Kate Waters. I recently read the first book, The Widow and was instantly drawn in by Fiona Barton’s fabulous story telling.

Front cover of The Child by Fiona Barton.
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd 
ISBN: 9780552172455 
Number of pages: 448 
Weight: 314 g 
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 28 mm
Waterstones paperback £8.99

Before I begin my review I need to tell you that I will be using affiliate links throughout my post. This means that if you click through and make a purchase from them I may earn a little money. This will be at no extra cost to yourself, so thank you in advance for your support.

The Blurb

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance.

But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

My Review on The Child.

I really enjoyed The Widow, I love the way Fiona Barton weaves you into her characters world. Even if you work out the answers, you still want to go on reading to see how it all unravels.

The child was slightly different I was kept guessing for much longer, but when the penny dropped it made me feel very emotional.

I listen to my books on Audible when possible. I love to be able to plug in and block out the world. It also means I can continue with my crochet, or even do the washing up or go to the toilet without having to stop listening. I’m a member of Audible so I can get a book a month for my £7.99 subscription. I already have Fiona Barton’s third book in this season in my basket waiting for my next credit. You can get the book on Audible here.

The audible book has a different voice actor for each of the characters which helps you keep track of what is happening. I did find the jumping of timelines a little more difficult in the previous book with the same actor reading all the parts. Some stories work better when there is more than one voice, it does make it more like listening to a drama than reading a book though.

As for the story, I found it really gripping. I found it hard to stop listening. I connected with the characters for who they were. It’s hard not to like Kate even knowing she’s a journalist and poking around in other’s lives, she is good at coming up with answers that even the police don’t see. She has no shame about the way she worms herself into lives, but she never causes harm.

The main character in this story appears to be Emma, who is the only one who has her part in first in first person. This is her story, what happened to her. The other characters seem to be the main focus, but we know it’s all about Emma really and that it’s only Kate who can bring the truth to light.

I have to admit it brought a lump to my throat a couple of times.

There are some touchy subjects involved including child abuse and baby death, so it won’t be a good read for some. But for those who love a good page turning ‘who dunnit’ type book, then you’ll love this.

I’m adding my review to The Monthly Book Blogger Linky over on Lovely Audio Books here.

If you like reviewing books then please feel free to join in my monthly linky which starts on the first of the month and runs to the end and you can link up as much as you like so long as it’s book related. You can find the linky by clicking here or the image below.

bookworms monthly
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What I’ve been Reading lately

The title of this post should really be what I’ve been listening to lately, but I do love my audio books. In this post I’ll include links to both Audio and Book versions.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

The Blurb

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light …

Audible version

Amazon version

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book and didn’t want to put it down. The characters are beautifully described and the story gently told. There are twists and turns, some of them easy to work out, but the end still leaves you guessing a little. Can you work out what the third thing about Elsie is?

I love that even old people can have adventures, as well as skeletons in the closet. The story moved at a good pace despite the over use of flowery descriptions. There were so many things I read that I would love to quote…probably too many as I can’t remember any! But it didn’t distract from the story which had everything you need for a good read.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

The Blurb

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

Another story about an old person with secrets, I guess if anything it makes me feel younger 🙂

This is another great story if a little weird. The main character obviously has some sort of psychic gift, or she’s just a little bonkers. No matter, I found her guardians entertaining.

The story has some great twists and secrets to discover, and it’s another page turner. The old man has a certain charm despite him hiding it well. There were parts that made me laugh, some that made me tense and others that even made a lump in my throat.

Great read if you like something a little different from the normal thriller.

The Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder

The Blurb

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?


Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

This is a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s side you’re on. Then a certain character reveals their true colours which makes you wonder why any of the other characters have survived at all.

I really enjoyed the way the characters developed and the story line was strong. There was a couple of twists I really didn’t expect. The story flips from Now to Then and for a while you are not really sure of the relationship between the characters in the different time scales.

There were one or two things which I felt were a little far fetched but they added to the suspense and gave explanations as to why the characters acted the way they did.