Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Killer Reads ~ After Anna and Killing Kate by Alex Lake

There's something rather special about these books and this author.

I am delighted to share my reviews  in a double dose of book excitement !


The blurb...

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

My thoughts...

Every parents worst nightmare is arriving at the school gates half an hour late only to find that their child has gone. For Julia Crowne and her husband Brian , the nightmare has only just started. With no clues as to the whereabouts of their five year old daughter Anna they can only trust that the investigative team will do everything they can to find her before it's too late,

What then follows is a tight, emotional roller-coaster of a ride which examines that very modern phenomenon of a modern parenthood, that of , who is going to be around to wait at the school gates. Understandably, the press and social media have a field day with Julia who is branded a heartless and cruel mother for daring to be late. The inner anguish of a mother coping with tremendous sorrow and devastating guilt really comes across and you can't help but be sympathetic towards her plight.

What worked so successfully for me in this novel was the very clever intertwining of two stories. We get the family turmoil and utter heartbreak of a missing child but we also get an insight onto the chilling and anonymous mind of the perpetrator both of which, I think, was handled very well.

There's a subtle obviousness about the story, so if you are a canny reader, as I most probably am, there are very clever clues as to the identity of the perpetrator which I rather enjoyed. At times I think you maybe have to suspend belief a little but taken as a whole the book is a very cleverly controlled 'whodunit' by an exciting talent in crime suspense.

Best Read with...A glass of ice cold vodka, sharp and crisp..


The blurb..

A serial killer is stalking your home town. He has a type: all his victims look the same. And they all look like you.

Kate returns from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town – and his victims all look like her. It could, of course, be a simple coincidence.

Or maybe not.

She becomes convinced she is being watched, followed even. Is she next? And could her mild-mannered ex-boyfriend really be a deranged murderer?
Or is the truth something far more sinister?

My Thoughts..

Kate Armstrong is hoping to put her broken relationship behind her, but her ex-boyfriend Phil refuses to accept that Kate is trying to move on with her life. A holiday to Turkey with her friends allows Kate the opportunity to relax but her return home is fraught with danger and suspicion as she begins to suspect that someone is watching her. A spate of killings in  Kate's home town does nothing to dispel her feelings of disquiet, particularly as all the victims look very similar to Kate.

What then follows is a very clever psychological thriller which gets decidedly more creepy as the story progresses. I really enjoyed becoming involved in the action and felt much sympathy for the characters at the heart of the story, particularly Kate's ex boyfriend, Phil who I felt had a raw deal. There is a deliciously sinister edge to the story which kept me turning the pages almost as fast as the story which is pacy and exciting and which kept me on the edge of my seat.

I did guess the perpetrator quite early on but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of a fast and furious story especially the last few chapters where the tension really starts to bite deep and where the outcome is never always going to be guaranteed.

Best Read with...a glass or two of house red, gently warmed by an open fire..

About the Author

Alex Lake is a British novelist who was born in the North West of England. After Anna was the first book to be written under the author's pseudonym, and was a best selling ebook sensation. Killing Kate is Alex's second novel, published by Harper in 2016. The author now lives in the North East of the US.

Follow the author on Twitter @Alexlakeauthor

Follow Killer Reads on Twitter @KillerReads

My thanks to the publishers Harper and the amazing team at Killer Reads for my review copies of After Anna and Killing Kate.


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