The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

5 Stars from me!

Poor Tess, the grief just oozes from these pages as she struggles even to exist following the aftermath of the plane crash which kills her husband. Day to day tasks seem impossible and Tess soon recognises that she isn’t being a good enough mum to their son, Jamie, who seems to mirror her feelings and emotions as he struggles to process his own.

Fortunately for Tess salvation arrives in the shape of grief counsellor Shelley who fast becomes her number one confidante and best friend as well as someone who steps in to help with Jamie – playing his favourite playstation games, cooking with him and generally being a stand-in mum while Tess flounders. But is she too good to be true?

As if the poor woman hasn’t been through enough, her brother-in-law starts demanding money – saying he’d lent it to her husband – someone is following her, someone is making menacing calls and before long she has no idea who she can trust.

I have to confess, I got to about 89% before I sussed what was going on… well I say I sussed it, I’m pretty sure it was spelt out! Such clever and well engineered plotting from Lauren North.

I also, having lived in Colchester for over 10 years, completely loved the locations noted!

Avoid any reviews containing spoilers and enjoy this book – it’s a fast paced read that will keep you guessing and defy you to work out who she can trust.

Huge thanks to Emma from Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for allowing me to take part.

Synopsis: After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.
When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is understanding and kind, and promises she can help Tess through the hardest time of her life.

But when a string of unsettling events happens and questions arise over her husband’s death, Tess starts to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but she’s at her most vulnerable, and that’s a dangerous place to be.

About Lauren North:
Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

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The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer

5 Stars from me!

Shock of the Fall

The Shock Of The Fall is a gentle yet deeply moving story told through the eyes of MatthewHomes as he grows up and battles a mental illness alongside grief and guilt following the death of his brother, Simon.

I really enjoyed this completely different narrative style; the places where the typeface is different all add to the atmosphere of the book. Things like that can often be twee and unnecessary but I felt it added to the overall enjoyment of the book in this case. STOP READING OVER MY SHOULDER for example gave me a wry smile.

This is a mostly sad book which has touches of humour and small uplifting sections. I thought the glimpse into the life of an adult living with a serious mental disorder was fascinating, a real caution not to judge the person next to you on the bus or in front of you in a queue – you never know what someone is living with inside.

I can see why The Shock Of The Fall has been so highly rated and has won so many reviews, it’s literary style and bravery of subject are refreshing, clever, interesting to read and make for a great story.

I can’t help wondering whether the illness the size and sound of a snake would always have reared it’s ugly head or whether it was entirely caused by Simon’s death, or even coaxed into life by his mum’s ill-timed attentions?