#BookReview: Perfect Bones by A. J. Waines @AJWaines @BloodhoundBook

A.J. Waines - Perfect Bones_cover

About the Book

Is the killer on the loose…or standing right beside you?

When art student, Aiden Blake, witnesses a gruesome attack on a London towpath, the police need him to identify the assailant without delay. But there’s a problem: refusing to leave his canal boat and traumatised by the shock, Aiden is rendered mute by the horror of the event and can’t speak to anyone.

In a desperate bid to gain vital information before Aiden’s memories fade, The Met call in Clinical Psychologist and trauma expert, Dr Samantha Willerby, giving her only seven days to get a result. When Aiden finally starts to communicate through his art, however, the images he produces are not what anyone expects and before Sam can make sense of them, another murder takes place.

With her professional skills stretched to the limit and the clock ticking, Sam strives to track down a killer who is as clever as she is – someone who always manages to stay one step ahead.

The third book in the Samantha Willerby series, Perfect Bones is a tense and creepy psychological thriller that will send your pulse racing. It can easily be read as a stand-alone novel and will appeal to fans of authors like Nicci French, Mark Edwards and Lisa Gardner.

 

My Thoughts

Firstly, I want to wish AJ Waines a very happy publication day! Perfect Bones is out today and I’m delighted to be sharing my review.

Perfect Bones is the third book in the Samantha Willerby series but it can be read as a standalone. This time Samantha is called in to help art student Aiden who is so traumatised by a crime he has seen that he’s now mute. The police need his eye witness testimony so Samantha is desperately trying to help Aiden communicate before the killer strikes again.

Perfect Bones is told in the present as Samantha works with Aiden to try and recover what memories he has of the attack, but it is interspersed with seemingly unconnected chapters of women going to mysterious meetings. It’s initially unclear how these might be connected to the main story but it keeps you hooked to find out.

I know what PTSD is like but I was fascinated to see how a psychologist works with a patient who is rendered mute from the trauma. It was so interesting to see the various ways people can be encouraged to communicate what they’ve been through. AJ Waines clearly knows this area very well and it comes through so authentically. The police aren’t so sympathetic to Aiden, in part because they are desperate to catch the killer before anyone else is harmed but it felt like there was a lack of understanding that it wasn’t Aiden being difficult when he doesn’t communicate. This all felt very believable and realistic and gave a rounded picture of how mental illness is viewed.

Samantha is such a strong character but she’s also very human. She’s sometimes a bit rash, and she occasionally goes beyond what she’s required to do for a patient and I love this about her. She’s so believable and feels like a real person to me. I loved catching up with her and I already can’t wait for the next book to see what she’s up to next!

The tension in this novel is there from the start and it ramps up as the book goes along. It was a book I didn’t want to put down once I started reading, and I kept thinking about it when I wasn’t reading. So much so that I even had a dream relating to the gruesome assault after reading this right before bed and that’s never, ever happened to me before! My brain was whirring away as I tried to work out whodunnit but I didn’t manage to figure it out so AJ Waines I salute you in keeping me guessing right to the end – it doesn’t happen very often in a book but this had me stumped!

Perfect Bones is one of my favourite crime/psychological thrillers of the year; it’s a fast-paced, engrossing novel that will keep you hooked from start to finish. I definitely recommend picking up novel (and indeed the whole series)!

Many thanks to Emma at Bloodhound Books for my copy of Perfect Bones. All thoughts are my own.

Perfect Bones is out now and available here.

I’ve previously reviewed Lost in the Lake by AJ Waines, which you can read here if you’d like to.

 

About the Author

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AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with Girl on a Train.

Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author now writes psychological thrillers and murder mysteries full-time, with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books). In December 2017, she signed a UK two-book deal with Bloodhound Books.

AJ Waines has has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and been ranked a Top 10 UK Author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

The author lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband.

 

 

 

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#BookReview: Lost in the Lake by A.J. Waines @AJWaines ‏

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for A.J. Waines new novel, Lost in the Lake!

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About the Book

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends members of a string quartet plunging into a lake. Convinced the ‘accident’ was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

But Rosie is hiding something…

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola? And what happened to the violin lost in the crash, worth over £2m?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally creeps up on Sam – but by now, she’s seriously out of her depth…

A stand alone novel (and the second book in the Dr Samantha Willerby series), Lost in the Lake is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat Psychological Thriller that will leave you glancing over your shoulder.

My Thoughts

I was drawn to Lost in the Lake from the moment I saw the atmospheric cover and I’m happy to say the novel itself more than lives up to it!

Lost in the Lake is the second in the Dr Samantha Willerby series but can be read as a standalone, which is how I read it. Sam is a fascinating character – she clearly cares about her work and her patients but struggles to balance this with keeping the right distance. Rosie is a woman who had a very traumatic childhood and has recently been in an accident and has come to Sam wanting help to recover lost memories of the crash. What builds from here is an edge of your seat, very fast-paced novel!

Sam is still coming to terms with the loss of one of her previous patients in difficult circumstances and is also trying hard to build a relationship with her sister, who is recovering from mental health issues. I felt for Sam throughout this book – she’s clearly a a bit lost in her personal life and seemed very lonely. She has good friends but they all seem to be moving on with their lives while she’s stil trying to figure out what she even wants. She feels for Rosie and wants to help her but it’s quickly clear to the reader that all might not be as it seems with Rosie.

I loved the way that as this novel builds there is a sense of Sam becoming undone as Rosie’s manipulative side begins to show itself. I found it fascinating how Sam starts to worry about her own state of mind and you really get a sense of how fine a line it can be between good mental health and mental illness. It made me feel really on edge and yet compelled to keep reading as I wasn’t sure how this was all going to end for Sam.

The work Sam does with Rosie to try and help recover her memories was really interesting. I’m always intrigued by books that cover topics like this, having suffered with PTSD myself, and Lost in the Lake was particularly fascinating in the way it makes you think about memory and the way we remember things – Rosie had a traumatic childhood and she feels abandoned but you get the sense that perhaps she wasn’t left behind in the way she thought she was, yet it has already become enmeshed in her and made her the person she is now. It leaves you wondering about whether there was a possibility that if Rosie had had the right support when she was younger if she might have turned out differently as an adult.

I also loved the central mystery in the book about what caused the crash and what the past might have to do with it. Knowing about Rosie’s past, and seeing her manipulative side from the very beginning of the book, I was immediately distrustful of her story of what she claims to remember about the accident but I couldn’t foresee how it was all going to turn out. It had me racing through the book keen to find out, and I wasn’t disappointed!

Lost in the Lake was my first A.J. Waines read but it absolutely won’t be my last! I’ve already bought her previous novels and will be reading them very soon. I highly recommend this one!

Lost in the Lake is out now!

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

About the Author

WainesAJ6

AJ Waines has sold over 400,000 books worldwide and topped the UK and Australian Kindle Charts with her number one bestseller, Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, she is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and USA (audiobooks).

Her fourth psychological thriller, No Longer Safe, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. Visit her website, blog, on Twitter, Facebook or sign up for her Newsletter.

 

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Stacking the Shelves (30 April)

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(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)

This week I’ve bought a few new books:

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

I’ve heard so much about this book in recent weeks that I just knew I had to read it so I pre-ordered it. It arrived on my kindle this week and I hope to read it soon.

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris

I’ve read reviews of this book on some of my favourite blogs this week and so I knew it was a book I simply had to read. I bought a copy and it arrived a couple of days ago, I don’t think this will be on my TBR for very long as I’m very keen to read it.

Sunset City by Melissa Ginsburg

This is another book I’ve seen around a lot lately and like the sound of, hopefully it will be as good as it sounds.

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

I’ve been wanting to read this book since it was first published but I could only see it in print format and I really wanted it on kindle so I’ve been waiting and hoping. This week I happened to notice it in an Amazon email so I rushed to buy it, I’m sure I won’t be long getting to this one.

After She Fell by Mary-Jane Riley

This book was only released this week but I’ve had it on pre-order for a while. It sounds like such an interesting premise and I hope to read it soon. It’s currently £1.99 on kindle in the UK if you want to grab a copy!

After the Lie by Kerry Fisher

I nearly downloaded this one from NetGalley to read before it was released but I knew I wouldn’t have time so I decided to pre-order it so I can read it in my own time. It arrived on my kindle this morning and I really want to read it very soon. It’s currently only 99p on Kindle!

Night blind by Ragnar Jonasson

This book was a kindle daily deal earlier this week so I snapped it up. I’ve heard such great things about this and I hope to read it soon as I feel I’m missing out by not having read it yet!

Breaking Dead by Corrie Jackson

This is a fairly new release too (I think), I spotted it in the recent Kindle sale for 99p so grabbed a copy.

The Dark Inside by Rod Reynolds

I have heard nothing but good things about this book since it was released but I put off buying it as I wasn’t sure it was for me. I saw it in the kindle sale this week and decided to take a punt, I’m sure I won’t regret it.

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

This is another book that I’ve wanted to read for ages but if I’m honest I was worried it would be too scary for me as I’m a complete and utter wimp, and this book sounds super creepy. Anyway, it was another one in the recent kindle sale so I thought I’d give it a go – I’m so glad I did as I start reading it a couple of days ago and am really enjoying it. It’s keeping me hooked!

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

This is one of those books that I’ve always meant to read but have never got around to. When I saw that Helen Simonson had a new book out recently it spurred me on to buy this one. I love the cover of the edition I bought, it’s gorgeous!

No Kiss Goodbye by Janelle Harris

I’d not heard of this book before I spotted it on my Amazon recommendations page and it sounded like a good read so I snapped it up. I’m hoping it will be as gripping as it sounds!

Books I got as part of my Kindle Unlimited Subscription:

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

I hadn’t realised this book was even out yet so I was surprised to see it on the Kindle Unlimited subscription, I didn’t hesitate to download it though and I can’t wait tor had it.

No Longer Safe by A. J. Waines

I’ve heard so much great stuff about this author’s books so when I saw this one in Kindle Unlimited I immediately downloaded it. I hope to read it soon.

The Insignificance of You by Tammy Robinson

This is another book that I’d seen in print form but was waiting to see if it came out in a kindle version, I was very happy to discover that it was not only out as an ebook but also in the Unlimited section. I don’t think this will be on my TBR for too long.

Judith Wants to Be Your Friend by Annie Weir

I downloaded this one purely based on the title, it sounds kind of creepy to me and I’m very intrigued to read this book!


Books I received for review:

The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Farrell (Net Galley)

I was contacted by the author of this book asking if I’d like to review the book as part of the blog tour soon. I jumped at the chance as I’d recently seen a couple of great reviews of this book and had already added it to my wishlist. I’ll definitely be reading this book in the next week as I’m on the blog tour on 7th May.

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi (LoveReading panel)

I was thrilled to be selected to receive a copy of this book to review as it’s one I’ve been so keen to read. My review needs to be written before the end of May so I’ll be reading it in the next couple of weeks.


I was also very lucky to win a book this week, and it’s a signed copy!

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The Two of Us by Andy Jones

This is a book that I’ve been really wanting to read so I was super happy to win a signed copy this week, I can’t wait to read it!


So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too.:)

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.