The Haunting of Highdown Hall Psychic surveys series Book 1 by Shani Struthers

@shanistruthers #TheHauntingofHighdownHall #PsychicSurveys #paranormal

 

So here we are and welcome to my first blog post on Beyond the Veil. I had to start with this series by the truly awesome Shani Struthers. I say had to because i read the first one, this one, and was hooked! So then spent the next month or so having a total #Shanifest as i devoured every one of the books. Including all of the novellas. They really are a must read for lovers of the paranormal genre.

Psychic surveys was set up originally by Ruby Davies. A young woman who just wants to use her gift for good. To help restless spirits and troubled homeowners alike so they can all get their problems sorted and move on, each on their own path.

In the Haunting of Highdown hall, we meet Ruby and her team, Ness, Theo & Corinna. They are called in by the new owner of the hall who is getting annoyed, irritated & fed up of not being able to live in it properly. The whole of the first floor appears to have been taken over by the spirit of a previous owner, Cynthia Hart. An actress who had her heyday in the 1950’s and made this hall her home. Cynthia is angry, extremely angry and the team are employed to find out why and help her deal with the issue and move into the light.

As the story progresses, Ruby has a chance meeting with Cash. Cash soon becomes a permanent  fixture in the life of Ruby and her team.

This story has a bit of everything, the paranormal, an investigative element, a touch of romance and intrigue. The author has written a brilliant, well paced novel that draws you in from page 1. I kid you not, it really does! It is written with such a flowing style that it doesn’t take any effort to get sucked in and drawn into the whole, fabulous saga of The Psychic Surveys investigations. The main thread is the one of Cynthia Hart, but this is not just a one trick pony, oh no! This has so many other little stories going on, that are perfectly blended together, that it provides a depth to the book that can often be missing in other examples of the genre.

I love the fact that as the series progresses we find out more and more about each member of the team, each novella is focussed on a particular member and gives you, the reader, an insight into their backgrounds and personalities. A chance to find out what shaped them, whats happened in their past to make them as they are and how they have all ended up together. But more of that in future posts as like i said, i’ve read the whole lot!

If you pick this up, i guarantee you wont be disappointed. And i’l tell you something else, each book gets better and better, i don’t know how Shani manages it as when i finished each one i thought “That’s it. That’s the best”….and you get where i’m going with this.

 

 

 

 

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Captor by Anita Waller

 

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#Captor  @anitamayw @Bloodhoundbook #blog #blitz #thriller #suspense #book #review #psychological #crime

Captor by Anita Waller

The synopsis:

Are you looking for an unputdownable psychological thriller? If so, you’ll love Captor by number 1 best-selling author Anita Waller.

Liz Chambers is a devoted mother who works for a successful law firm. She has two children, a husband and a blossoming career. But behind closed doors, Liz is harbouring a secret that could destroy her life.

Then the unthinkable happens, and in a frenzied attack, her young son is snatched from the home of the childminder charged with looking after him.

As Liz’s life unfolds, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge.

Desperate to get her baby boy back, Liz must work out who is responsible for his kidnap, and why.

But as the body count begins to mount, Liz’s concern grows for the safety of her child.

Who has taken her baby?

The thoughts of VeilysReviews:

Captor comes to you from the best selling author of 34Days and the sequel, Strategy.

Anita never fails to give the reader an emotional rollercoaster of a ride, this one is no different. She gives with one hand and takes away with the other, leaving the reader saying noooooo, why?!? Which you will understand entirely upon reading the book.

Liz Chambers returns to work after maternity leave, to Banton & Hardwick, where she works as a successful lawyer. Also helping Tom Banton and Oliver Hardwick, the owners, with some of their overflow. She loves her work and has the best employers.

Everything seems to be going along ok, until the fateful day when a blast from the past shocks her to the core and threatens to destroy her world. Not only her world but destroy the lives of the ones she holds most dear to her. What she cannot predict are the horrific events that follow after she is given that innocuous white envelope.

Coming home from work one afternoon, Liz calls in at the childminders as usual, to collect Jake, her baby. What she isn’t prepared for is the gruesome scene in front of her. Not only that, but Jake has gone. Missing without a trace.

The police have no leads, nothing to go on. But as Liz’s secrets slowly come to the surface, it becomes clear, this is not a random attack. THIS is personal! But who would want to hurt her? Liz. A wife, a respected lawyer & employee, mother of 2 children. Your normal, everyday person. How could this nightmare be happening to her and who hates her enough to make her suffer through this?!?

This is an excellent storyline, executed with the authors usual aplomb and attention to detail. It’s gritty and fast paced, a story that doesn’t really give you time to take a breath. I felt as if I was only allowed a deep exhale at the end.(Along with a silent tear or two)

The characters were well thought out, well written and above all, believeable. There is tension aplenty virtually from the opening page. Especially notable is the dislike Liz shows towards the Detective , DI Brent, who is in charge of the case. As the story progressed we found out more and more about them. Like them or not, they’re all strong personalities which shine through in the writing.

In all of this though, the relationship that got to me the most is the one between Liz & Jake. I have 5 children of my own, and the thought of someone taking any of them at any age, let alone such a young one, is incomprehensible to me. It made my chest tighten, throat ache & my stomach clench. I felt drawn into the situation and was rooting for a good outcome.

So again, what we have here is another jam-packed emotional rollercoaster of a thriller from a truly talented and established author.

Goodreads rating: 4/5

 

 


Author Bio


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Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation.

As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August, 2017.

So where next? Her new book, launching February 2018 and titled Captor, is a psychological thriller.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

To read more of Anita’s previous work and to keep up to date with future releases, just click on the links below.

Links:

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anita+waller

Facebook page: @anitawaller2015

Website: http://www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Twitter: @anitamayw

Beautiful:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B014RCH5WM/

Angel:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01DR4USZC/

34 Days:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/34-Days-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01IP6YE0M/

Winterscroft:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Winterscroft-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B06XMY3JD3/

Strategy:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strategy-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B0748MRBT2/

Check out Father of Lies by S.E. England

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26820748
So you all know by now, if you don’t you soon will 😉 That I am a huge fan of the author, Sarah England. I was first introduced to this truly awesome writer about 18 months ago and have been following her work ever since. I am now only just getting around to listening to this, one of my favourite series ever, on audible. Cannot wait…..seriously! So excited 😆! See you on the other side my #Veilys 💜

Little Liar by Clare Boyd

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#LittleLiar @ClareBoyd @Bookouture #blog #tour #book #review @ClareBoydClark  #psychological #thriller

The Description:

The perfect family… or the perfect lie?

To the outside world, Gemma Bradley has it all – a doting husband, high-flying career and two delightful kids – but inside the four walls of her tastefully renovated home, she is a mother at her wits’ end who has given too many last warnings and counted to ten too many times.

When a child’s scream pierces the night, Gemma’s neighbour does what anyone would do: she calls the police. She wants to make sure that Rosie, the little girl next door, is safe.

Gemma knows she hasn’t done anything wrong, but the more she fights to defend the family she loves, the more her flawless life begins to crumble around her. Is the carefully guarded secret she’s been keeping suddenly in danger of breaking free?

When Rosie disappears, Gemma thinks she only has herself to blame. That is, until she discovers that Rosie has been keeping dark secrets of her own in a pink plastic diary.

Distraught and terrified, Gemma doesn’t know where to turn. The only thing she knows is that her daughter’s life is in danger…

The thoughts of VeilysReviews:

This has actually been quite a difficult review for me to write. For many different reasons. I shall do my utmost to explain.

Within the first couple of chapters we are introduced to Gemma, Rosie & Mira. The Mother, the daughter & the neighbour respectively. These three make up the central cast around which the rest of the characters and the story revolves.

Gemma is a mother of two, soon to be three. Her whole life appears to be made up of contrasting parts.A career woman with a demanding job and a high figure salary to boot. It’s clear almost instantly that this is of her own volition and choreography. She loves her job, thrives on work, is comfortable in that environment. However, It’s equally clear that she struggles at home, doesn’t have the same confidence. Gemma has a clearly loving and tender relationship with her son. Where as she has a volatile and fractious one with her daughter Rosie.

It’s obvious to the reader that Rosie is a somewhat difficult child. Prone to tantrums and screaming fits. A contrary child who seems to bring out the worst in her mother and herself when they spend any sort of time together. It’s clearly a strained relationship and one where the mood can change on the flip of a coin.

Mira, the neighbour. The archetypal nosey neighbour. She hears the screams of the child. Night after night, on a regular basis. Can she in good conscience ignore these? Is she genuinely concerned for the welfare of the child? Or is there something deeper, more personal pushing forwards and manifesting in the shape of neighbourly concern?

Now, this is where I find it difficult to write. The premise sounds good, yes? I thought so too. I started reading this and I did struggle a bit. I perservered but seemed to find it hard going. However, the further into it I got, no matter how much I struggled, I found I couldn’t leave it. I wanted, needed to know what happens in the end. It’s an extremely hard read regarding the subject matter alone, of that there is no doubt. In terms of Gemma as a person, and her personality. Personally, I liked her. The authors portrayal of her is honest, deep and flawed. She faces and acknowledges her own personal demons, even if she’s not ready to admit these in her public persona. At times throughout this novel, she feels distraught, despair, desperate & alone. I have to say that I was quite invested in Gemma by this point and I truly did feel for her and her situation. Dealing with the authorities involved in the real world, can inflict these emotions and her frustration and anger is all too real. What’s harder for her is that the cause, or the catalyst, in this whole scenario, is her 10 year old daughter, Rosie.

Rosie comes across as a bit of a diva. On the face of it, before we are told any  in depth information or get to know her,  this is how she seems. I can totally relate to this as I have a 10 yr old myself. Rosie is a disruptive child, her attitude towards her mother causing friction in the wider family unit. It’s only towards the end of the story that any of it becomes clearer as to why she acts like she does. I struggled to find any likeability in this little girl at all i’m sorry to say. Even when I knew the full story. I had some sympathy but still didn’t like her. Rosie’s narrative is told through the medium of a diary. All her thoughts and feelings are expressed in it. My only issue here is that I found the language used to be a bit immature at times for the age Rosie was supposed to be. As I said, having a 10 year old daughter myself it was difficult not to make the comparison.

Mira, the next door neighbour who just cannot help but stick her nose in where it’s neither needed nor wanted. This character, above all others, I found the most difficult to stomach. Right from the initial introduction to her, I could feel my hackles rising. The initial dislike turned to deep loathing by the time the story ended. Her actions in the present, were all influenced by her own experiences in the past. Letting this cloud her judgement in the rationality of dealing with the situation she feels is happening in front of her. People like this, in real life, are the most dangerous as what they do can literally tear families apart, destroy lives and facilitate this ongoing behaviour in future generations.

The story on the whole is a slow burner. It’s a steady pace the whole way through. The author is adept at portraying the tension that builds up and does an excellent job at character progression. The storyline, whilst a good one and tackled well is a difficult subject. On the whole, the plotline develops well and is believeable. My only issue with this, is the actions of all involved in the last few chapters. I felt somewhere along the way here it really did stray from could-be-real-life to definite fiction. On the whole though a good, solid read.

LLBP

About the author:

Clare lives with her husband and their two daughters in Surrey, where her little green shed at the bottom of the garden provides a haven for her writing life. Before becoming a writer, she enjoyed a career in television, as a researcher in documentaries and then as a script editor in drama at the BBC and Channel Four, where her love of storytelling took hold.

ClareBoyd

The Daughter by Lucy Dawson

The daughter

#TheDaughter @Bookouture @lucydawsonbooks #psychological #suspense #book #review #OMFreakingGOD #VeilysReviewsTopRead #2018

The Description:

You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. Now someone’s determined to make you pay… Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.

To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.

The thoughts of Veilys Reviews:

Well, where do start with a book like this one?
What a freaking-fan-dabby-dozy of a read!!!
My goodness was this good? No..Great!
I’m used to having shocking endings, I mean, that’s pretty much a given for a psychological thriller, but to have a shocking start? Now THAT is genius.
This one had me crying (yes, crying!) in the first couple of chapters. I had a 5 year old daughter whom I leave at school everyday, those who read the book will understand where I’m going with this.
The author had me gripped from the first page and that continued to the end. That alone tells you how good the writing is, all kudos here to Lucy Dawson, superb storytelling.
It was fast paced and exciting. Lots of surprises in store for the reader that will have you fidgeting in your seat whilst being totally immersed in what’s going on.
As I was reading I couldn’t sit still, couldn’t put it down and always at the back of mind was the opening couple of chapters. Even as I write this, my heart is beating fast and my throat is closing up. I can honestly say I don’t remember reading anything recently that had the power to invoke such strong emotional responses in me and have the story stay with me long after I read it.
Such a unique storyline, good characters, excellent plot development and attention to detail. The ending coupled with the beginning is a double whammy and makes for an all round awesome book! I will be, without a doubt, recommending this to everyone!
A full 5 🌟 And I’d give it more if possible.

In recognition of JUST how good this book is, I’ve decided to introduce a #VeilysTopRead #2018. And THIS book is awarded the very first one of the year. Well done Lucy, a truly magnificent read!

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