Review of Clean Break by Tammy Cohen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Crime – Relationships – Psychological thriller

📖 Kate wants a divorce. Her husband Jack doesn’t want a divorce. Their marriage has been on the rocks for years, Kate isolating herself from friends and family over the years to appease her controlling husband Jack. When she finally plucks up the nerve to ask for a divorce she begins to feel free but life is never that simple and Jack’s controlling nature surfaces again in unsuspecting ways.

Cover – The Clean Break

✍️ Wow, this book pulled me in quickly and didn’t let go, with an ending that had a hell of a twist in its tale. This book is dark, it’s all about keeping secrets. Yet also, so much of it is entirely relatable.

👓 The story alternates from Kate’s viewpoint to Jack’s, each time revealing just a little more about their past (or their present) with a few surprises along the way.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

For the first hour or so after the policeman left, all she could think of was Tom, and the look in his green eyes when he told her he was falling in love with her.
But now her thoughts have moved to Jack. How his mouth had twisted up when he’d said, ‘I can smell him on you.’ The hatred coming off him in waves.

🗺 This book is part of the “quick reads” collection which I like to intersperse between larger novels. The idea of this collection is exactly as it says on the tin (or should that be cover), a shorter than a normal book by world-leading authors (less than 100 pages). One of the things I quite like about these books is that they force the authors to cut out a lot of the waffle that sometimes goes on in books. This keeps the stories quite fast-paced with a lot happening in less time. This author certainly uses that fast pace to full advantage.

👫 I have never read Tammy Cohen’s work before but based on this novella I certainly will look out for future works from her.

💭 Overall View: A clever story, with a dark plot and the dual narrator method really pulls you in.

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Review of Hide and Seek by P.S. Brown – 4 stars

Hide and SeekHide and Seek by P.S. Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is about a reunion gone wrong, when Peter goes back to town to a funeral he attends an after party with the “old gang”. Soon he finds himself in trouble that just seems to escalate further and further as Peter is pulled into Celo’s twisted game. Peter not only has to find each of his friends as quickly as he can before something bad happens to them, avoid the police (as he is suspected of being the killer) but he also has the twisted journey through his childhood memories trying to figure out who the real killer is and why they have picked him to torture.
For those that like psychological stories this is a great read and the pace is set almost instantly. The ending was very well written too and for those that really enjoy a clever twist will appreciate it. The whole book is laid out like a distorted puzzle with the reader and Peter trying to put all the pieces together. Reminiscent of the Saw movies that were out a few years ago.
I stumbled across this author by accident looking for something a bit different to read and at the time purchased the e-book was less than a pound, however I have to say it is worth much more than that. P.S.Brown’s writing is easily as good as the big name thriller writers. The descriptions were great (although a little graphic occasionally – I don’t mind that at all in this type of book), the characters were complex and the twists just kept coming. Everything you want from a good
My only tiny (and it is tiny criticism) was the endless chase scenes along with the descriptions of running up this alley and that street, over a fence, etc, although I can understand why the author included them for dramatic effect I actually found myself skimming over those parts to get to the next proper storyline as they seemed to slow the story down a little.
It is extraordinary that this is a debut novel from this author and I definitely look forward to reading more of his work. More exciting is he is a local so I may even get a chance to see him at a local library or something :p

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