Category Archives: Psychological

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.

Here’s the blurb

PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF ALMOST ANYTHING.

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Review

The Couple Next Door is a physiological thriller.. a little girl has been kidnapped while her parents were next door.. who did it and why them?

The tale is quite intense as the author delves into the lives of the parents in detail and also the neighbours. Suspicion falls on the parents at first as you’d expect.. something is just not adding up but the author throws in a few twists along the way to throw you off the scent.

I loved the build-up but must admit the ending didn’t give the bang I was expecting.. the author had painted such a vivid series of events that the ending just felt a bit flat.. almost too easy.

The characters themselves were very good, each developed well and has their time to grow. It seems everyone in this book has some skeleton in the closet so it was really fun watching the pieces come together.

The plot was intriguing… from the off I was 99% sure who was involved but had no idea why.. or how they even managed to do it.. this little nugget of info is what makes this book so good.. the author digs her claws into you quickly and you just can’t help but read more…I just had to find out why the kidnap happened in the first place..it certainly had me sucked in.

My wife really enjoyed this one too.. she likes her books but is easily distracted by tv or home improvements (hope she doesn’t read this J ). To know she’s read it was a sure sign to me it was worth reading and I couldn’t agree more.

4 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Expired by B. P. Smythe – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Expired by B. P. Smythe.

Here’s the blurb

‘The Expired’ is a psychological thriller masterpiece showing how vulnerable people can be brainwashed to become sleepers (Manchurian Candidates) and used by corrupt politicians to further their own ends. ‘The Expired’ shadows true accounts of government sleeper programmes set up during the Korean War and the East West Cold War.

Commander Gregory Potting is a former head of MI6 Intelligence and the governments most trusted Senior Adviser for Internal Affairs.

His position is put to the test in 1973 when a bizarre psychological plot unfolds that isinextricably linked to a London terrorist attack, a cocaine drug scam, a homosexual called Francis Hodder who suffers from schizophrenia and changes from time to time to Roxanne – a transvestite prostitute who robs and murders his clients.

Francis Hodder is a transsexual who preys on gay men. As a child he is abused by his father who is head of government security. Francis becomes an embarrassment to MI6 because of his gender leaning. He is brainwashed to become a Sleeper assassin triggered by code words to kill personnel who threaten government security. Francis becomes a manipulated pawn, who by mistake during a sexual encounter with a Black September terrorist, uncovers plans for a deadly attack on a densely crowded popular sports event to kill thousands of people to further the cause of EL Fatah and Black September.

 

Review

After reading the blurb about the book I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.. There’s so much going on… I couldn’t quite see how it would work..Well Mr. Smythe sure showed me, I was sucked in from the first page.

The story mainly focuses on Francis Hodder, a transsexual who abused as a child has grown up to have a long list of issues.. first and foremost he’s got a split personality going on. We have Francis but also Roxanne..

A powerful player in the government sees a way to make use of Francis and he’s brainwashed to kill on command.

What happens next is a rather expertly woven series of events where we learn of other individuals that have been brainwashed.. it’s seems this powerful player is setting up a chessboard of pieces so to speak, ready to do whatever they are told to.

As the game goes on players are eliminated while others emerge and a terrorist plot becomes clear..

I’ve not read anything from the author before but from this I felt he must have one hell of an imagination to put this together. We have Francis and his double life but also a terrorist plot which felt like it could have been a separate tale.

It works enough for me to enjoy the tale but the plot line explored towards the end of the book with Francis’s past and present colliding was the best bit and the terrorist plot was overshadowed by Francis.

The author manages to wrap the tale up nicely..It didn’t feel like any loose ends were there and to be honest I quite enjoyed the book even though it’s quite an unusual read for me.

Overall the pace of the tale is good and the chapter length is easy to swallow, add in a strangely unique plot and you’ve earned a 3* on this one.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Blog Tour – Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen.

Even better it’s part of a blog tour.. I do love taking part..a shared chat about books…what’s not to like.

Join in with the tour!

Out of the Silence Blog Blitz.jpg

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Psychological Thriller

My Rating 5/5 Stars!!!!!

Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowng tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Seven years later in the city of Lahore, members of a prominent family are being brutally murdered, one by one. The only clue is a hand-carved wooden bangle left at the scene of each crime.

As the list of suspects grows and the tension mounts, Ralph realises the answers might be closer to home than he ever thought possible.

Solving the mystery will put him back on top but at what cost?

Only when the smoke clears will the killing stop and honour be satisfied…

Review

Owen Mullen fast became a favourite author of mine over the last couple of years..his crime thrillers always have me hooked so of course I’d want to read his latest work.. so much so I didn’t even read the blurb.. I knew I’d love it.. I just didn’t know how much ..or that it would move me as much as it did.

Under an amazingly written story we truly get a heart wrenching tale of abuse and injustice..so much so I really felt for all of those involved..it was impossible not to get invested in this story and I promise it will stay with you.

Doctor Simone Jasnin finds a woman in need.. she has a story to tell.. her tale isn’t for the fate hearted but needs to be shared. This is where Ralph Buchanan comes in..he’s flawed like all the best characters, but slowly he earns his chance at redemption.

The tale Simone recounts is a tale of young blossoming love, Afra and Jameel, would be lovers but kept apart simply due to perception of worth. Jameel has nothing to offer therefore is no good.. They end up going along very different paths… and Afra’s is one of immense pain.

While Afra’s tale is retold we also learn what becomes of Jameel..a man who proves he’s worth tenfold..

Jameel and Ralph’s journeys collide as we delve deeper into the life of Afra..no matter her pain she never gives ups.

Out of the Silence is a gut churning tale of abuse and revenge.. a tale that needs to be told.. and Afra’s tale will be heard.

I can’t say I’ve ever been moved by written words before..yes I enjoy lots of books.. I love quite a few..but to be moved by the written word.. that to me is saved for notes from those nearest and dearest to you.. not just any old written word…but..I felt Afra’s pain..it hurt and it made me feel like no book ever has.

This is a tough tale.. not for the faint hearted.. a well written tale that deserves to be shared. A thought-provoking tale that really gets you thinking.. just because we don’t see abuse doesn’t mean it’s not going on.. it’s out there and we need to do what we can to stop it.. hopefully Afra’s tale will help.

Owen is no one trick pony.. he’s pure talent..I dare you to read this and try and tell me you didnt feel something.. it would be impossible.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Daddy Dearest by Paul Southern – Review

Title – Daddy Dearest
Author – Paul Southern
Genre – Thriller/Suspense
Length –   245 Pages
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

An estranged father’s weekend with his beloved five-year-old daughter turns into a nightmare when she gets into the lift of a city centre tower block and goes down without him. She vanishes without a trace. It sets off a race against time, and a nationwide manhunt, to find her. As the police investigation closes in, suspicion falls on those closest to her – with devastating consequences. Daddy Dearest is a terrifying story of love, obsession and psychological meltdown.

‘My daughter has always had a thing about lifts. There’s something about the thrill of pressing a button and seeing the lift doors close which excites her imagination. It terrifies me. Every time she walks in, I imagine it’s the last time I’ll see her. What if she hits the button before I get there? What if the lift doors close and I can’t get her out? It drives me nuts. There are eight floors in the Sears building, nine if you count the basement, and the lift is fast: more like a fairground ride, really. It does top to bottom in twelve seconds. I’ve timed it. Taking the stairs, I’ve done it in forty-two. That leaves a gap of thirty seconds. You’d be surprised what can happen in that time. I was.’ 

Review

This is a very psychological tale told from the viewpoint of the dad when his daughter goes missing after getting in a lift

I never give away spoilers but I can say for certain this is has a very clever plotline with some very interesting developments that happen throughout the course of the book

There is a underlying tone of love to the tale and I think the author did a great job in making the reader understand the motives behind certain actions.

Emotion played a big part in the tale and the emotion made the tale real for me

For me the best thing about the book had to be the storyline itself. After reading one chapter Paul Southern hooked me in enough that I had to keep reading to see how the story would finish

Overall I felt this was a very well planned and written, raw and real. The storyline is so smart I could easily envisage this one being made into a TV programme.

I very much enjoyed the book and I’ll be looking out for the author’s next release

I really do wish I could give you more to go on but if I say anything else it would give the whole plot away.

My advice is that if you enjoy psychological thrillers or mysteries then you’ll enjoy this one

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review his work

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Symbiosis by Guy Portman – Review

Title – Symbiosis
Author – Guy Portman
Genre – Psychological
Length – 245 Pages
Publication – Jan 2016
My Rating – 3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…

Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?

Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.

A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…

Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.

Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…

Review

This story follows the life of identical twins Talulah and Taliah. I must admit I was interested straight away since I myself have twins and always wonder if they will have a “special” connection. After reading the book I certainly still hope they do.. just not to the degree these twins do.

I’ve never read a story like this before and it was very interesting to read about the kind of symbiotic dependency the girls had with each other… at first you just felt the girls were misunderstood but as the story developed I found myself wondering about the mental health of Talulah in particular who seems to have a more parasitic effect on her sister.

The story flows well but I did find myself skim reading when the girls talked in their own language since I had absolutely no idea what they were saying.

I also found as I read the book I just didn’t like the twins but I think this was mainly due to the symbiotic relationship that developed throughout the story..I just wanted to separate the girls myself since as a reader we know what the girls are thinking..i just found Talulah’s dependency frustrating but this does make you think.. these connections people have.. their needs..it would be nice to have this type of connection with someone but as the book draws on you realise it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

One thing the book did really well from my point of view was bringing up the subject of individuality.I know from experience that a lot of people refer to my two girls as “The Girls” or “The Twins”.. buy them the same clothes etc even though they are individuals. Don’t get me wrong.. at times it’s nice but at other times you really do like to see them as separate people. People don’t always get this and add in the fact Taliah & Talulah have major communication issues it’s easy to see how this strong of a connection could be made between them.

The whole tale is very psychological for me..in-depth and it does make you think what would happen if you were in this type of relationship where you didn’t feel you had your free will…

Very interesting indeed, and thank you to the author for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’d very much like to hear your views if you’ve read this yourself

To find out more information head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.