The Silence Between Breaths – Cath Staincliffe

Like any other morning at a busy city centre train station. Passengers wait to board a train at Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. They are starting holidays, new employment and escaping from the past as well as the future.

Imagine taking off the top of the train and picking on a few random people to find out about. Who are they and why are they on that train and what are they bound for on their journey

Holly has landed a job in the capital and she wants to make the most of it and her life, she is excited about going.

Jeff has never had a proper job and is going for his first interview. Understandably nervous he wants to make sure he doesn’t fail.

Naz is dreaming of when he owns and runs his own restaurant. In the meantime, he will continue to clean the carriage of its detritus left behind by the passengers and carry on dreaming.

Nick and Lisa, with their children Eddie and baby Evie are often to a family wedding. Nick doesn’t want to be on the train, in fact I don’t think Nick even wants to be with his family.

Meg is going on holiday with her partner, Diana but they are both keeping secrets from each other.

Rhona really does not want to be on the train with her work colleagues when she has left her daughter poorly at home, but still making her go to school.

Caroline, is constantly answering her phone from her mother, whose dementia seems to be getting worse with every call.

Saheel is sat on the train with a rucksack…….

Kulsooom is not on the train but she goes to use her brother’s computer and she discovers something which is going to change her life forever.

If you can imagine the rhythm and motion of a train on the tracks as you go on a journey, no matter how long or short, you can pick up the flow of this story. You have prior knowledge early on you know what is going to happen and you cannot do anything to stop the momentum. All of this builds for the climax of the story but perhaps it is not as you think it all will be.

This is very much a story of today, of the news items we watch day in day out, of the threats that have been carried out and the ones that have been adverted. What it does differently which made it stand out for me was that you saw the other side of the story, you saw how it affected those left behind. You saw the choices some people made so they could live or save others. You also saw with heartbreaking reality the choices made when they were going to die.

You don’t enjoy this book as there seems something wrong in saying you enjoy a book which is very much like reading a news report in the paper or watching the equivalent on the television. You have to know what happens, which is one I had to keep reading, it took me no time to read it. It pulled me right in and more and I started to ask questions, to stop and pause and look around as I read it.

You just do not know what is going on in anyones life and Cath Staincliffe has glimpsed a moment, a moment that will change everyone.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me an opportunity to read this book. 

The Silence Between Breaths is out now. 


Blog Tour – Cath Staincliffe


I am the last stop on the Cath Staincliffe tour of The Silence Between Breaths. My review of the book will be up then, but feel free to stop by some of the other blogs before then if you want to find out all about the book.

If you have been following the blog for a while you will know that I have read a few Cath Staincliffe, so perhaps have a read of some of these reviews as well so you can get a feel for the vast variety of work that this author seems to have cascading from her pen.

Dead to Me – Cath Staincliffe

Bleed Like Me – Cath Staincliffe

Split Second – Cath Staincliffe

Half the World Away – Cath Staincliffe

My review will be here on Friday 7th October.


Behind Closed Doors – B A Paris

Define the expression ‘Behind Closed Doors’, think of this before you even turn the cover and start reading this debut novel from B A Paris.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors you walk past in your life? Even the ones that you are allowed a glimpse through for a while, they close behind you and you have no idea then what happens, do you?

Do you really want to know what happens……..

Grace and Jack, a newly married couple. A perfect couple, a perfect house, a perfect host and hostess. A perfect life?

Everyone seems to envy them, they all want a life that resembles Grace and Jack.

But everyone does not know what goes on between Grace and Jack behind those closed doors.

Now we have the opportunity to find out.

Behind that door is a prison, a prisoner, an inmate, an addict, a fighter, a carer, a survivor.

I felt claustrophobic as I read on, I wanted to throw the doors open and shout for help, but I couldn’t because I had to know what happens.

This novel captured me so quickly and cleverly by the author that if I had had the ability to get into the pages of this book, I would have not seen it right through to the end. I know I would have intervened.

Breathtaking and thrilling, I had to keep reading and work through the twists and turns until the bitter end for Grace and Jack. It was not what I expected.

If you like thrillers, then you will like this debut novel.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. Behind Closed Doors is published on 11 February 2016.

And now something from the author herself – 


We’re always told that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. That every couple has their ups and downs… yet we never seem to really believe it. Mainly because there are all those annoying couples out there who really do seem to live in wedded bliss 24/7 365 days a year – or, at least, strive to convey the image that they do, like Jack and Grace in Behind Closed Doors. Last year I went to a 25th Wedding Anniversary party and during his speech, the couple’s son said that in all their years of marriage, his parents had never once argued. I waited for the couple in question to deny it, to laugh, to say that their son had exaggerated – to come to our rescue, for God’s sake, because I’m sure I wasn’t the only one hoping it was a joke!  But they didn’t, and after, as we looked uncomfortably around at each other, I know I wasn’t the only one feeling guilty that our children would never be able to say the same thing about us. We knocked back our wine; we were sure that the couple, at some point during their twenty-five year marriage, must have argued about something – which programme to watch, or whose turn it was to walk the dog. It was fact that they had managed to do so without their children hearing which was so gallingly admirable.  It made us feel less than good about ourselves – until someone said that maybe, for their son, an argument constituted a massive slanging match, complete with broken crockery and slammed doors, followed by a week-long silence. At which point we all gave a huge sigh of relief and poured ourselves another glass of wine!

The thing is, we are all guilty of looking over the garden fence and eyeing up the grass on the other side, wondering if it is in a healthier state than ours. Sometimes, if we think that it is, rather than making us up our game and cherish what we have, we give up, and neglect ours even more, as if there’s no point making an effort when, whatever we do, ours will never be as good as theirs. On the other hand, if we see that it’s not, that we have the healthier relationship, we realise how lucky we are and nurture it even more. But the truth is, we never really know what happens on the other side of the fence, behind those closed doors. Instead of looking over the fence, we should really be keeping our eyes fixed firmly on our side and cherishing the grass that we have – bald patches and all! – just a little bit more.


Blog Tour – Behind Closed Doors

Blog tour banner

Now I mentioned about this book back in January here and as you can see the buzz around this book is gaining momentum and it is with great pleasure to be part of the blog tour.

behind closed doors

So what is coming up from me on the 9th – Well of course a review of the book, but also a piece written by the author, B.A. Paris.

Do spread the word, do come back and visit my blog and read about the book and what the author has to say.

I honestly think this is going to be a book that everyone is talking about in 2016!


A False Silence

I rarely give up on books if I am being honest. The author has invested time in writing it and there must have been something which captured my attention for me to have invested money in it.

Sold to me on the back of how good Gone Girl was, I purchased this book below.

It sat around on my kindle for a while and when it got chosen as one of my 2016 challenge reads, I thought it was a good opportunity to read it.

After having been captured by the thrilling read that is B.A.Paris – Behind Closed Doors (more of that coming soon) I wanted another thriller in a similar vein to many I have read before. I turned to The Silent Wife.

I wish I had not.

The book was a slow start, but that is okay because sometimes these things need to be.

But it did not pick up pace for me.

I disliked the main characters, Jodi and Todd. Todd thinks nothing of cheating on his wife. Jodi seems to put up with it all. There was still nothing that captured me, even when everything started to fall apart.

I got to the point, just about 50% of the way through the book where I felt I simply did not care enough to carry on. I did not care what happened to them and I did not want to witness anymore.

I put the book down. I filed it on my kindle under ‘unread’. I marked it as abandoned on my challenges page.

And I felt such a relief.






The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly

I have a confession to make. I made a mistake with this book when I saw it on netgalley, not really paying attention I thought this was the new book from Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) and requested it. Of course I realised my mistake later on and more to the point, how would Paula Hawkins have had time to write another book in such a short space of time? Anyway, I thought as it was on my kindle, I would give it a go…………..

The book blew me away. It was a fantastic read, a page turner which I devoured in less than 24 hours. I had to know. I had to get an answer. And if you pick this book up, then I implore you to have nothing to do for the next day or so (depending on how quick you read) and devour it too. 

This is a book mistake I am so glad I made. 

Roz is holding on to everything she has got, but it is slowly slipping away from her. She had a successful physiotherapy practice, but that went, she had a marriage, but that went, she had a lifestyle, but that went.

All she has now is her son who seems to be unsettled at school. Debts which are becoming unmanageable and….. an eviction notice.

Roz is desperate and has to consider doing anything to put everything right.

She meets Scott and it seems he can make it all right for Roz…. for a price.

It could solve a number of Roz’s problems. But can she morally justify to herself this type of behaviour. Does she have a choice?

Roz has got in too deep and the consequences reach far and wide.

As the book goes on, you question many of Roz’s actions that have led her to the place she is in. I also questioned whether I should like Roz or not? Yes or No? It is very conflicting, you can see how she got into the mess, you can also see how she could have gotten out of it, but chose not to take those options, you understand the basic need to survive at all costs. Then suddenly with a complete twist which the author brings out of nowhere, I had the utmost sympathy for her. Perhaps I do like her?

Although in books like this, character dominates greatly, here the author has kept it authentic and grounded by Roz’s occupation as a physiotherapist. You learn much about how the body works, which for me as an interesting concept. Roz knows how the body works, but can she possibly begin to understand how you can detach a working body from the emotion and feelings that are generated in the situation she finds herself.

Then there is the location of the book, the Lake District. Beautiful scenery is described as we see actions unfold, that it almost taints the surroundings.

Somehow, Paula Daly brings everything together and writes a cracking good page turner. This is a book which had me open-mouthed at various points, is a thriller which you simply cannot put down.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me to read this book. 

The Mistake I Made is out now in hardback and on kindle.

Sometimes making a mistake with a book, pays off – it did here. Let me know of any mistakes you have made in terms of your reading choices. 


Disclaimer – Renee Knight

You find a book by your bed that you have no recollection of acquiring. How has it got into your house?

Curiosity gets the better of you and you pick the book up and start to read.

The story sounds familiar, of course it does. This is your story.

And so this debut novel begins. The disclaimer about the coincidence of the characters resembling actual persons living or dead is simply a lie.

This novel reveals the readers secret which she has kept for over twenty years.

Catherine is a successful documentary maker, her husband a lawyer, they have one son and have moved to a new property which is where this book turns up.

Upon the surface, the marriage seems a strong one. Cracks seem to be appearing and it seems that the secret that Catherine has been keeping is in fact eating away at her husband, her son and someone else. But who?

“The act of keeping the secret a secret has almost become bigger than the secret itself”.

Running concurrently is the story of Stephen, widowed, a teacher who left under a cloud. Stephen is grieving for a life lost, a past life, a life that never existed. There is something ominous about him. From the moment his chapters start and he starts talking directly to us the reader, I felt uncomfortable. He seemed desperate and no one could reach him or help him. I had to keep  reading to get past these points as I knew they were relevant to the plot but I did not like what I was getting from this character.

The question as a reader you are going to ask yourself – what is in the book that is supposed to be Catherine’s story? And what is the ending going to be. In fact the author tells us the ending. So we know what is going to happen.

Don’t we?

Slowly Renee Knight reveals all, there are some twists and turns in this thriller as you would expect there to be but it made me stop and think. I made a judgement based on one persons story – then when you know the truth you feel that you have been so blind-sided you were never open to hearing everyone’s story.

To say any more would be foolish. Try the book, challenge yourself.

Disclaimer is out now in e-book and hardback. 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review. 

Writing reviews for thrillers are so hard. To say too much about the plot is futile as there would be no point in buying the book. Even too much about the characters can give the ‘game away’. This book was strong on both plot and characters. The setting was perhaps intentionally very much in the background, until “wallop” it suddenly becomes very important in the story. All of this did not occur to me when I was reading the book, but now as I sit down and construct a review from some little notes I had made it comes back to haunt me. A book that will stay with me I think.

I recommend if you like thrillers. However, perhaps space your thriller reading out, especially as I recommend The Girl on the Train and Second Life, too much will do your pulse no good!