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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

I sat up high, oak branch ‘tween my knees, and watched the tattooed man stride about in the snow. – Opening sentence I received an absolutely beautiful proof copy of The Wolf Road from HarperFiction back in April, and spent the last two months staring at it wistfully before I finally caught up with my TBR pile and got the chance to read it. I’d been seeing great reviews in my Twitter feed, so my expectations were pretty high. And wow. I mean seriously, WOW. Set in a future ravaged by a forgotten war, The Wolf Road follows the journey of Elka, a wild girl in a wild world who is on a mission to find her parents (and escape her dark past). The way is long, and fraught with difficulties and challenges. But Elka is not like other girls her age, she was raised in the forest and knows how to survive. But survival isn’t the problem.…

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

A huge thank you to Francesca Russell, who sent me a beautiful hardback copy of The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish. I waited until my recent holiday to Menorca before tucking into The Swimming Pool, and spent the majority of my time either on the beach or at the hotel swimming pool, devouring each chapter. The main character, Natalie Steele, is an instantly likeable and relatable character. A teacher, wife and mother of a teen daughter, Natalie Steele understands the hardships faced by a middle-class family living in London. Her daughter, Molly, suffers from aquaphobia – an abnormal fear of water – which is so bad that she tenses at even the mention of “lido”. Natalie, ridden with guilt from an incident that happened when Molly was a baby, suffers equally, if not more, with her daughter. Continuing with their autonomous – but not unhappy – way of life, the Steeles’…

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

Jeffery Stone looked over the sea of despondent young faces as he gave assembly, occasionally glancing up at the steel frame of the atrium. – Opening sentence The Teacher begins with the mysterious and sinister death of the headmaster of a private boys’ school; a truly gripping opening that sets the tone for the rest of the book. A psychological crime thriller, The Teacher describes itself as “most definitely not for the faint-hearted” – an enticing statement! After reading American Psycho, I felt like nothing would be able to shock me anymore – and I started The Teacher with similar expectations. And I was right – The Teacher didn’t shock me in the sense that I was expecting.  Despite having its fair share of gruesome murders (and an appallingly sinister story), there wasn’t enough detail described to make my toes curl and stomach churn in horror or disgust. Perhaps that’s just because I’ve become desensitised to gore generally, but…

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