#TerrorTomes | #BookReview | SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King & Owen King @StephenKing (September 26th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton @HodderBooks) #BeatTheBacklist

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King & Owen King
26th September 2017, Hodder & Stoughton

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent…

In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women’s prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep – and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain?

The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling’s Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake.

And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether…

Okie doke. Where do I even start with writing a review for this book?! 

SLEEPING BEAUTIES always intimidated from the moment I held it in my hands – mainly due to its sheer size (I have the UK hardback at 713 pages) and I knew it would take me longer than most books to get through! I don’t mind that too much. Sometimes it’s nice to take your time with a book to really get yourself invested in it. Rewind five years and it took me THREE WEEKS to finish IT!! 

I’ve not read a lot of Stephen King (I have a fair amount on my TBR for this year though!) or even Owen King for that matter. Let’s not forget that this book is a collaboration with father and son! From what I have read of Stephen’s work, SLEEPING BEAUTIES is so far one of my favourites. 

If you are looking for a fast paced fantasy/horror novel, then I would look elsewhere. This is not one of those books. What this book does VERY well is embrace the slow burn. We spend a fair amount of the book learning the background of many of the ensemble characters, which a smidge of the ‘action’ (the action being the sleeping sickness). This continues to build until the balance shifts and the female characters are faced with a new world in which to learn how to live again. 

What I loved so much about this story was how you can take some of the themes from the ‘real world’ and with certain scenes and writing can be turned into horror. The treatment of women plays a large part in this story and their survival. Each female character has their own unique back story and how they react. From a feminist point of view, it makes for an outstanding read!!

I would encourage EVERYONE to read this book!

You can buy SLEEPING BEAUTIES from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.

#ThrillerReads | #BookReview| BEFORE I FIND YOU by Ali Knight @aliknightauthor (November 1st 2018, Hodder @HodderBooks)

BEFORE I FIND YOU by Ali Knight
Published; November 1st 2018, Hodder Books

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Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a destroyer of dreams, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out in those who cheat. And she is bloody good at it.

Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting step-mother, a perfect home maker and a dazzling presence at parties. She has landed herself with one of the most eligible bachelors in town – handsome property developer Gabe Moreau.

Alice is just a teenager. A perfect daughter to Gabe, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic girl to a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life, until she finds that handwritten note ‘You owe me. I’m not going away.’

All three women suspect Gabe Moreau of keeping secrets and telling lies. But not one of them suspects that these lies could end in cold-blooded murder . . .

This book has a very intriguing start. Starting off from Maggie’s point of view we know she has been injured badly in some way but with a woman hanging over her we don’t know the reasons or the detail as to what has happened so you have to keep reading. A good way to get a reader hooked from the start.

Written from the point of view of three women, Maggie who is a private detective, Helene who hires her and Alice the step daughter of Helene and Daughter of the man Maggie is hired to investigate. The first thing I noticed is that some chapters written from the point of view of 2 different people will tell the same situation but they never quite matched so you know some or both people were lying. This was very clever of Ali because you knew you were never quite getting the whole truth. Also it added to the story knowing what each woman was thinking.

Each character comes across as a little bit crazy and nothing is quite what it seems. Alice especially seems very troubled and if she was my daughter I would be a little bit worried about how she reacts to people and situations. I definitely would not class her as normal.

There are lots of twists and turns in this book and you cannot predict what happens. Nothing or nobody are as they seems, even the person I thought was supposed to be out heroine turns out to be harbouring a whole heap of secrets. I did not have a clue how Ali was going to cross the i’s and dot the t’s but boy does she bring it all together for one fantastic ending.

If you like thrillers and books that are so unpredictable they make your head hurt, then this book is for you!!
You can buy BEFORE I FIND YOU from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

*L*

 

 

#BookReview | THE ROANOKE GIRLS by Amy Engel @aengelwrites (March 9th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton @HodderBooks)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

THE ROANOKE GIRLS by Amy Engel (March 9th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton)

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A gripping, provocative thriller about the twisted secrets families keep, perfect for fans of The Girls. Beautiful. Rich. Mysterious. Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl. But you won’t when you know the truth.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But what she doesn’t know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die.

For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice…


So what did I think?

There’s not too much I can say about this book without giving away huge plot spoilers – but what I can talk about is how uncomfortable this book made me feel. There aren’t many books that make me cringe, nervous and uncomfortable all at the same time – especially while I’m loving it at the same time! It was EXCELLENT!!

I went into this book blind, not even really reading the blurb! I had seen the buzz on Goodreads, but the only thing I knew about Roanoke is that American Horror Story featured it in a series!! Sometimes I love going into a book without knowing too much about it.

This book was exactly what I needed after recently finishing a fast paced crime thriller. I needed to take it down a notch or two. THE ROANOKE GIRLS gave me exactly that change of pace. This book can be described as more of a slow burning mystery. There are a couple of ‘oh wow’ moments that break the flow of the story, but they are more then justified and give to the story. There is nothing in this book that I would say are ‘space fillers’. Every word is needed.

Engel’s writing kept me engaged throughout. A great balance of the ‘Then & Now’ aspect, allowing the reader to really get into the characters and develop an empathy with them. Especially Lane. I found myself really routing for her and hoping for the ‘right’ ending for her.

I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open to see how long it takes for THE ROANOKE GIRLS to be optioned for TV/Movie. It has every potential to be as creepy on screen as it is on paper!

 

You can buy THE ROANOKE GIRLS from the following booksellers

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

#BookReview | GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX by Stephen King @StephenKing & Richard Chizmar @RichardChizmar (June 27th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton @HodderBooks)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
(June 27th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton)

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The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

 

So what did I think?

Well, this is a short, sweet and pretty creepy story from a perfect collaboration between King and Chizmar.

At only 171 pages, GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX is one of those books that you can devour in one sitting – but the story will stay with you forever. I do feel that amongst Constant Readers, I am missing out as I’ve seen lots of references to ‘The Man in Black’ which links back to the Dark Tower series… Is this coincidence? Or a glimpse into this character from another series?

For such a short story, you get all the character development with Gwendy you need. We as readers are taken on a journey through her school life, as she is met with situations where she could call on the box at anytime, knowing that there can be catastrophic repercussions. Gwendy surprises me as where you think you know how she will react, she side steps the reader and does the opposite.

If presented with the button box by the mysterious Mr.Farris, the only question to ask is; “If you had the button box….what button would YOU press?”

You can buy GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX from the following booksellers

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.