Chilling cover!!!

Publication Date: Out now!!!

Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Price: Pb £9.99/ Ebook £0.99

Publisher: Independent

I would like to say a huge thank you to the lovely A J McDine for sending a gifted digital copy for me to read and review, sorry if it has taken a bit of time for me to get round to it, but here it is. All I am going to say right now is… well what a story… let’s head to the blurb and find out why I am quite excited about this novel. (Just a warning there are some sensitive silubjects discussed in this story but it is handled extremely well).

It was an invite to die for……

When the anonymous invite arrived, we knew exactly who it was from.

Elle Romero, the beautiful, charismatic Texan who burst into our lives when we were teenagers.

We’d gone our separate ways and lost touch. Until now.

Elle, the legendary prankster is back.

She’s invited us all – me, Claire, Lizzie and Megan – to a swanky country house for a reunion.

We arrive excited for a weekend of reminiscing and reconnecting. A chance to step out of our uneventful lives for awhile.

But when Elle fails to show up at her own party, we begin to wonder if she is up to her own tricks.

And when a body turns up in the cellar, it seems this time the joke might just be on us…..

Wow, this book had me gripped from the first page. The story is a slow burner, but once the tension and the unease comes in you really start to sense that all is not well within this little trip to a lovely country house, with long lost friends, good food and most especially drinks. But each friend thinks they have been invited by their friend Elle, who hasn’t been back since they were all at school together. Each friend has made a life for themselves, as wives, mothers or just working to survive. They all hold each other dear and occasionally are jealous of each others lives seeing only the gloss compared to what they think is their dross.

When they all meet up and realise something isn’t right certain fears and paranoias start to rise to the surface and secrets in which they have held from each other seem to find their way out. I loved each character and how we see each of them view their life and their friends lives differently, we have Tara who was a young teen mum but was luckily to find that her boyfriend was loyal and true and wanted to start a family, but she’s wanting more from her life than just being a stay at home mum and as she feels drawn to the nursing profession yearns to re-educate herself to achieve her dreams… but is that all wishful thinking? We also have Lizzie who on the outside looks to be the sort of mum that’s organised, on top and can do everything as long as there’s lists or plans, she works as deputy head teacher but also finds that the balance of being a mum and doing everything without occasional or rather lacklustre help from said husband can be a bit much.

Then there’s Megan, who’s a hard working barrister is well paid and has a husband who can work from home with a child who may or may not have a disability also finds herself thinking is this what she wanted? And then there’s Claire, the single one from the group, who’s finding work life and personal life tough and with the invitation to spend a few days in a luxurious country house, and what with a scandal brewing now might be a good time to chill and relax. And Elle well… she was the ultimate joker, pranker and yes could be incredibly cruel, do they know her and what has she been upto?

Watching all these little side plots and stories come together you see a group of women who have known each other for ever and though at times each of them have moans or concerns or even feel envious at times, they will stick together like glue and will protect each of them from anyone. There were moments where some views from these women I felt nearly made me wince, and how some choices these women went through , could have turned out differently if they went another way. This isn’t just about a reckoning from the past it’s how a group of childhood friends realise how much they do and can support each other even when they have held back from one another there is still a bond that will not be broken no matter what tries to tear them apart.

I won’t spoil any more about this gripping book, only to say this really made me think about my own choices and twists from certain paths that could have had a similar result… (well I hope not to experience a psychotic ex pupil try and murder me and my friends 😂) and that being given an invitation by a courier on a bike well… am not sure I would take that. I seriously urge you to read this fantastic suspenseful book.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ (or 🍷 for them) and a large 🍰 (you will be left with cold coffee, an empty glass and crumbs by the time you finish this book it’s very compelling)

Author’s Blurb:

A J McDine lives in Kent with her husband and fellow thriller writer A J Wills and their two teenage sons. She worked as a journalist and police press officer before becoming a full-time author in 2019. Endlessly fascinated by people and their fears and foibles, she loves to discover what makes them tick. She writes dark, domestic thrillers about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. When she’s not writing, playing tennis or attempting to run a 5k, she can usually be found people-watching in her favourite café.

I hope you have enjoyed this thrilling, gripping and suspenseful journey into friendships and how reunions can be fun until they turn deadly. If you are wanting to get hold of a copy you can find this on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!


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