Platform Seven by Louise Doughty

Faber & Faber

Firstly, this is not the type of book I would class as one of my ‘usual’ reads but I saw it at Edinburgh LitFest and many of you recommended it so I went with it. Boy, I’m glad I did!

The story centres around Lisa Evans and the events of her life that culminated in her death on Platform Seven at Peterborough Station. As a ghost, Lisa is trapped within the confines of the station, that is until a man commits suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming goods train in the early hours of the morning. The way Doughty describes this scene is exceptional, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Following the death of the man, Lisa soon discovers that she can in fact leave the station precincts so she sets about re-learning about her former life and how she met her grisly end. We meet various people from her past including her parents, friends and more importantly her boyfriend Matty. Matty Goodison is a hardworking well respected A&E doctor and on the face of it they have a perfect relationship, but, as we all know, you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. He is a complex person and we really get to see his various character traits laid bare. I don’t want to give to much away but needless to say the relationship turns sour with devastating consequences for Lisa.

I loved this book far more than I thought I would. The story is written so well and I liked Lisa, despite being already dead I found myself wanting a happy ending for her, which we know is not going to happen. The scene which describes her death is heart wrenching, it comes up on you when you’re least expecting it, it is brutal in the sense that’s it’s quick and final. The story is well structured, it didn’t feel laboured and sufficient time was given to tell the stories. The characters are likeable and relatable (except Matty for reasons you will discover) and you truly become absorbed in Lisa’s life.

There are many twists and turns, sad moments, shocking incidents and times when you can’t put the book down. Throughout all of this the thread of the story remains clear and concise. I could say so much more about this book but I want you discover this amazing story for yourself and experience the emotional ups and downs first hand. It is one of those books that you think about a long time after you’ve read the last page, you’ll never go to a train station again without this book being in the back of your mind.

The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Published by HQ (HarperCollins) on 17th October 2019.

Set in Maine in 1846 the town of Pale Harbour is gripped by fear as a series of unsettling Poe inspired events begin to happen.  Gabriel Stone has just arrived in Pale Harbour in an attempt to escape his past in the role as the town’s new Minister. The mysterious Sophronia Carver, a woman accused of murder and witchcraft must be responsible for these acts and as much as the townspeople try to persuade Gabriel to stay clear of Mrs Carver, he finds himself at the door of the haunting Castle Carver very soon.

Living with her domineering house servant Helen, Sophronia is a recluse who is not welcome in the town given that she remains suspect number one for the murder of her wealthy philanthropic husband Nathaniel Carver. The relationship between Gabriel and Sophronia develops quite quickly and soon they are fighting to stop the Poe inspired madman from striking again and certainly before he can claim his first victim.

I found this book gripping; the characters are believable and well developed and the structure of the story well thought out. It keeps a good pace and leaves you guessing until the very end. It’s creepy, gothic and full of suspense and as the story builds, we start to learn of the deep hidden secrets of the residents. The raw passion between Gabriel and Sophronia is strong and soon they’re sharing their secrets with each other.

There is murder, jealousy, blackmail and fierce intense relationships that unfold along with the story. I fully recommend this book, the link to Poe is inspired and had me hooked from the first to the last page. I liked the characters and became invested in their stories. With a mad man on the loose in the town, no one is safe in Pale Harbour.

Many thanks to HarperCollins UK for the gifted copy and check out the below for other tour dates.

Last Request by Liz Mistry

Published by HarperCollins

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest thriller from Liz Mistry. This is the first in a brand-new series based in Bradford and it introduces us to D.S. Nikki Parekh who is sent to investigate after a body is discovered under a derelict car park. The only problem for D.S. Parekh is that there are forensic links between herself and the victim, naturally this sends her into a frenzy and panic with a desperation to solve the crime urgently. What I really enjoyed about this book was the determination of the main character to succeed in solving the case despite this shocking discovery and I have to admit, I didn’t figure out who the killer was until very late in the story.

All the supporting characters are well written and well-rounded and provide a great back drop for D.S. Parekh to work with. The book does a great job of laying the foundations for any future stories in the series.

I found that the story was slow to start and it  definitely took time to build, but once it did, I found myself gripped, the suspense was palpable which meant this book is a page turner right to the very end.

Thank you to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews, check out the blog tour dates below.