#BookReview The Perfect Life by Valerie Keogh @ValerieKeogh1

Title: The Perfect Life by Valerie Keogh 

Date Published: 24th June 2020

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

How far would you go to maintain the illusion of The Perfect Life?

Appearances can be deceptive…

Molly Chatwell has a beautiful house, a handsome husband, two children and a job she likes. It all seems so perfect but when her two children leave for university, she realises her life has become dull and empty. When her husband refuses to go away with her, Molly decides to go alone.

But what should have been a relaxing break turns into a nightmare.

Back at home in London, Molly tries to put it all behind her but when the police arrive at her door and tell her that a body has been found with connections to her, Molly realises that her perfect life is under threat…

Review:

I want to thank Valerie Keogh for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoy Valerie Keogh’s psychological thrillers so I was looking forward to this one.

The Perfect Life is a domestic noir story focussing on Molly Chatwell whose life seems perfect. She has a nice house and job. A great husband and two kids off at university. It’s only when she starts to really look at her life that she begins to see the cracks. A chance meeting with a stranger leaves her perfect life under threat.

I always love the way that Valerie Keogh creates such realistic and flawed characters. I really felt for Molly, suffering from empty nest syndrome and her husband is less than sympathetic about it.  

There’s plenty of peril for poor Molly along the way but I have to be honest I wasn’t entirely shocked by the ending.

The Perfect Life is a fast paced story with plenty of tension and intrigue, perfect for domestic noir fans.  

About The Author:

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels.

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, was published in Nov 2018 and the second, The Housewife, in Feb 2019.

In June 2019, Valerie signed a three book contract with Bloodhound books. The first psychological thriller, The Three Women, was published in Feb 2020, the second is due in June 2020 and the third in Sept 2020. Bloodhound are also publishing Valerie’s Irish Crime series, the first of which, No Simple Death was published in Dec 2019, the second, No Obvious Cause in Jan 2020, the third, No Past Forgiven in March.

Valerie also writes a series based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer. The Hudson and Connolly series: Deadly Sleep, Twisted Power, Bitter Business, and Wicked Secret.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

Like Valerie Keogh’s facebook page: facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels

#BookReview The Three Women by Valerie Keogh @ValerieKeogh1 @Bloodhoundbook

Title: The Three Women by Valerie Keogh

Date Published: 17th February 2020

Publisher: Bloodhound Books 

Genre:  Psychological Thriller

Description:

How well do you know your friends?

When Beth, Megan and Joanne meet at university, they become inseparable friends who’d do anything for one another — even agreeing to keep what happens one shocking night a secret.

Now in their forties and outwardly successful, each of the three has dealt with what happened in their own way. But secrets and lies leave their mark.

When Megan decides to tell her fiancée the truth about that night, it threatens to ruin the lives of everyone around her.

And someone is prepared to do anything to stop that happening…

Valerie Keogh is also the author of The Dublin Murder Mysteries. The Three Women is an utterly compelling psychological thriller which fans of authors like Louise Jensen, B A Paris and K.L. Slater are sure to love. 

Review:

I want to thank Valerie Keogh for providing me with a copy of The Three Women in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read quite a few of Valerie’s Keogh’s novels but I think this has to be my favourite of all of them!

The Three Women is an utterly absorbing psychological drama that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.

The story was, for me, all about how one incident can affect those involved in different ways and of course friendship.  

We follow Beth, Joanne and Megan from their chance meeting at university to an incident that changes their worlds to who they have become now. Each one of the characters was unique, flawed and realistic. I got surprisingly emotionally involved with all of them. 

I did find the ending a little predictable but there were few good shocks and surprises to keep me on my toes.

The Three Women is enthralling, emotional and engaging, I’d highly recommend it!

About The Author:

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemedBetter photo natural to write crime novels.

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, was published in Nov 2018 and the second, The Housewife, in Feb 2019.

In June 2019, Valerie signed a three book contract with Bloodhound books. The first psychological thriller, The Three Women, was published in Feb 2020, the second is due in June 2020 and the third in Sept 2020. Bloodhound are also publishing Valerie’s Irish Crime series, the first of which, No Simple Death was published in Dec 2019, the second, No Obvious Cause in Jan 2020, the third, No Past Forgiven in March.

Valerie also writes a series based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer. The Hudson and Connolly series: Deadly Sleep, Twisted Power, Bitter Business, and Wicked Secret.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

#BookReview No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh @ValerieKeogh1 @Bloodhoundbook

Title: No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh

Date Published: 4th December 2019

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

How can you find someone who doesn’t want to be found?

When Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West is called to investigate a murder in a Dublin graveyard, suspicion immediately falls on a local woman, Edel Johnson, whose husband disappeared some months before. But then she disappears.

Evidence leads West to a small village in Cornwall, but when he checks in to an Inn, he finds Edel has arrived before him. Her explanation seems to make sense but as West begins to think his suspicions of her are unfounded, she disappears again.

Is she guilty? West, fighting an unsuitable attraction, doesn’t want to believe it. But the case against her is growing. Back in Dublin, his team uncover evidence of blackmail and illegal drugs involving Edel’s missing husband. When another man is murdered, she, once again, comes under suspicion.

Finally, the case is untangled, but is it the outcome West really wants?

No Simple Death is a murder mystery with a touch of romance, set in the Dublin suburbs. It will appeal to fans of authors such as Peter James, LJ Ross and Ruth Rendall.

**** This book was previously published under the title That One May Smile ****

Review:

I want to thank Valerie Keogh for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

No Simple Death is the first in the Garda Mike West series and a very intriguing start it was!

Edel Johnson finds a body in the cemetery behind her house, three months after her husband Simon disappeared. Detective Mike West is called out to the scene to investigate. 

Then Edel goes missing.  

Where has she gone? Is she guilty of murder? Why do they find evidence pointing to a small village in Cornwall?

No Simple Death is a mix of police procedural, psychological thriller and a hint of romance. 

It’s told mostly from Mike and Edel’s points of view giving the story that extra depth. Both characters were strong, with their own unique voices so you’d never get the two confused!

Another thing I liked about it was the fact it was set in Ireland. I was wracking my brains before writing this review and I can honestly say I haven’t read a police procedural set in Ireland and it was nice to see how their police structure differed from the UK and the US.

The writing is quite vivid and realistic, which personally I don’t mind, but there were a few scenes that were a little gruesome, so just a little warning there.

Also I felt, to me anyway, the story lost a bit of steam around the middle before building to a great ending, I just think it could have maybe been a little shorter. 

No Simple Death is a complex story full of twists and turns and memorable characters that is a must for mystery/thriller fans!

About The Author:

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemedBetter photo natural to write crime novels.

She writes a gritty series based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer. The Hudson and Connolly series: DEADLY SLEEP, TWISTED POWER, BITTER BUSINESS, and WICKED SECRET.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross.

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, was published in Nov 2018 and the second, The Housewife, in Feb 2019.

In June 2019, Valerie signed a three book contract with Bloodhound books. The first psychological thriller is due out in Feb 2020 and the second in June 2020. Bloodhound are also publishing Valerie’s Irish Crime series, the first of which is due on Dec 4th.

Like Valerie Keogh’s facebook page: facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels

#Review Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh @ValerieKeogh1

I hope you’re still enjoying your Christmas holidays, maybe tucking into a few leftovers and hopefully don’t have a hangover! Today I’m bringing you a review of Secrets Between Us which was kindly giftedto me by Valerie herself in exchange for an honest review.

Title:Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh

Publisher:Bookouture

DatePublished: 14th November 2018

Genre:Psychological Thriller

Description:

How safe are your secrets?

One letter a week for fifteen years. Identical white envelopes brimming with my sister’s darkest secrets. All the intimate details of a life as different to mine as could possibly be.

I read each letter slowly: Ellie’s friends and enemies, her career in the city and dreams of a family, the terrible secret she’s hiding from her husband, the devastating lies she’s telling herself…

So I still feel close to Ellie. Even though we haven’t seen each other her since we were children; since our parents died.

But now I need help, and I know Ellie won’t fail me. My twin sister will take me in and we will never speak of why, at the end of each letter, she always scrawls:

Don’t forget to burn this letter.

A jaw-dropping psychological thriller that you will read in one sitting. If you loved dark, twisty thrillers like The Girl on The Train, The Couple Next Door and Friend Request, this unputdownable novel will have your heart racing long after you’ve finished reading.


Review:

Tia hasn’t seen her twin sister for fifteen years, after their parents died but Ellie sends her a letter every week telling her all abouther life. Now Tia’s sheltered accommodation is closing down and Ellie and her husband Will are forced to take her into her home.

At first everything seems fine but Ellie starts to notice Tia looking strangely at her. Will tells her it’s all in her mind but Ellieisn’t so sure. Is she as sweet and naive as everyone thinks?

This is another really difficult book to review because I don’t want togive away any spoilers but I’ll try my best!

Now I know this is a psychological thriller but it’s actually, for me anyway, more domestic noir which tends to be a little more slow burn and has a lot more family drama in it.

There is that sense throughout the book that you know something bad is going to happen but you don’t know what or when, keeping you on tenterhooks.

I did feel sorry for Ellie, I don’t know how she handled so much with both parents dead by the time she was a teenager. She always feeling in her sisters shadow as Tia needed extra attention and love because she was ‘special’. I don’t personally know what it’s like to be a twin but it must be hard to stand out from someone who looks thespitting image of you.

As for the other characters, I did find Will hard to like and especially selfish but of course that is just my opinion. Also Tia was a bit of an enigma for most of the book, sort of lurking in the backgroundbeing a little creepy.

I have to be honest I kind of guessed the way the story was heading quite early on and the middle lacked a little bit of tension but again that is just my opinion.

I would recommend Secrets Between Us for anyone who loves a good family drama or domestic noir.

About The Author:

My name is Valerie Dickenson – I write under the name Valerie Keogh. I qualified as a nurse many years ago, and I also have a BA in Englishand an MA in American Literature. I worked as a nurse until last month when I decided to give it up to write full-time.

I grew up reading Agatha Christie so when I started writing, ten years ago, it seemed natural to write crime novels. I self-published two different series, one based in Ireland featuring Garda Sergeant Mike West, and a grittier one based in the UK, the Hudson and Connolly series featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer.

GardaWest Novels: That One May Smile; Close Ranks; Murder on Clare Island;Death in Foxrock Hudson and Connolly: Deadly Sleep; Bitter Business;Twisted Power; Wicked Secret

I’ve also written a stand-alone psychological novel, Exit Five from Charing Cross.

In March, 2018, I signed a two-book contract with Bookouture, the firstof which, Secrets Between Us, was published in November. The second,The Housewife, is due out the end of February.

I love to hear from readers, and can be contacted here:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ValerieKeogh1