2016 · fiction · Little, Brown Book Group · new reads · October · psychological thrillers · Sphere · Uncategorized

I See You by Clare Mackintosh | Review


My heart was beating in my mouth the whole time when devouring I See You.

Protagonist Zoe Walker, a forty-something mother of two teenage kids, makes her way home from a job she hates. She takes the same route every day. When she eventually finds a seat in a pack carriage, she flicks through the evening paper to find a picture of herself in the classified ads section, with just a website address – findtheone.com. Seeing her own photo published without her knowledge throws Zoe off, as it would any other person.

Once returned home, her family all try to persuade her it is nothing but a freaky look alike. But she knows, and we know and some mysterious, sinister third party who speaks in italics knows, that is it indeed Zoe’s picture.

Shortly after, Zoe sees a similar ad, only this time with a picture of another woman. When that woman is found strangled in Muswell Hill, days later, Zoe is on the phone to the police.

Kelly Swift, a disgraced detective who has been sent to the gulag of transport policing for some misconduct (she attacked a child molester during an interview) and who badly needs her a chance to redeem herself. With Zoe’s lead about the classified ads, Kelly gets it and elbows her way back on to the murder investigation.

Findtheone.com is a bizarre dating tool that is a tormented way for men to try and date women. The unseen orchestrator of the website, who is often voices in italics is relentlessly creepy and heightens the build up of tension within the plot.


Mackintosh builds a convincing and complex emotional backstory for both Zoe and Kelly throwing enough teasing red herrings to leave us vaguely suspicious of everyone in their lives. In Zoe’s case, her boyfriend isn’t all he says he is, her kids are roving to be a handful, her ex is devoted to her but is odd and her boss is a living nightmare.

I See You is a clever and plausible thriller, which has all the right ingredients to make it a gripping read. Mackintosh takes a subject, which everyone can relate to: commuting, and makes us see the mundane act of getting into work in a completely different light. Your fellow commuters might be just that, or then again, they might not be. The daily commute to and from work will never be the same again.

A cleverly thought out book that will give you the chills. I’d recommended to anyone that wants to be hooked from the very first chapter.

I See You, Mackintosh’s second novel, was published in 2016 by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. Her debut novel, I Let You Go is a Sunday Times bestseller.

2016 · commercial fiction · fiction · new reads · October · Penguin Random House UK · psychological thrillers · Sphere · Uncategorized

October’s 2016 reading list: Thrillers

https://allthingsbooksweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/october-reading-thrillers-theprimrose-path-i-see-you-dear-amy-all-things-books-blog-img_1402.jpg?w=663There are lots of great new books out this month, which I will get around to reading at some point. But for now, I’m catching up on some previous 2016 psychological thriller releases that I’ve been dying to get my hands on. There’s nothing like being completely consumed by a good read and I desire nothing more. A big amazon parcel was delivered this morning and nothing makes my heart skip a beat than hearing the postman ring the doorbell. Knowing my books have arrived, it’s a race with myself (without tripping) to the front door.

This month, I’ll be reading Helen Callaghan’s psychological thriller, Dear Amy. This is Callaghan’s debut novel, which was published Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House. A very to-the-point-blurb, which attracted me to reading this title.


Dear Amy,

Please help me.


I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man.

He says I can never go home.

I don’t know where I am.

I don’t even know how long I’ve been gone.

I’m afraid people will stop looking for me.

I’m afraid that he’ll kill me.

There isn’t must time left.

Please find me.

Up next is Clare Mackintosh’s psychological thriller, I SEE YOU, which was published by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group that belongs to Hachette. Due to the many five star ratings, I wanted to experience reading the story for myself. Blurb below.

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.


When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation; just a grainy image, a website and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .


Up third, I’ve got my copy of suspense thriller, The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths, which is also published by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group.


Haunted by her past. In danger from her present.

Isolated, alone, vulnerable.

Sometimes the danger is closer than you think.

As a teenager, Sarah D’Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for eleven days. The case became notorious, with Sarah’s face splashed across the front of every newspaper in the country.

Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. Fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she’s gone.

Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her . . .

Ohhh, can’t wait to get reading. Reviews coming soon!


2014 · fiction · Hachette · Sphere

The Kabul Beauty School Review

https://allthingsbooksweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/kabul-beauty-school-book-review-all-things-books-blog-front-page-img_1424.jpg?w=663I’ve always been a little intrigued by Afghan women, especially during the time of the Taliban. The Kabul Beauty School took me into a whole new culture and world where women have very different roles and almost every aspect of their lives dramatically changed when the Taliban took over the nation. The triumphs of Afghan women under the strict Taliban regime fascinates me and reminds me that anything in this world is possible, even for women.

Deborah Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan went to Afghanistan to offer humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. When she arrived, she was surrounded y men and women whose skills as doctors, nurses and therapists – seemed more practical than her own, and so she felt of little use, though eager to help make a difference. Having been acquainted with some of the locals, she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known, she was sought out by Westerners and by Afghan women for a good haircut. Afghan women have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons, thus the idea of opening up a beauty school was born.

https://allthingsbooksweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/the-kabul-beauty-school-book-review-pics-all-things-books-blog-img_1426.jpg?w=663 Rodriquez yearned to make a difference despite struggling with the language barrier, overstepping cultural customs and constantly juggling the challenged of a postwar nation, she began to empower Afghan women by teaching them fundamental beauty techniques that would allow them to become their families’ breadwinners.

It was lovely to see that the Afghan women that Rodriguez started teaching, took a profound liking to her and would share their stories, and their hearts: the newlyweds who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay for her families debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant physical abuse.

The Kabul Beauty School is a tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together to learn the arts of beauty, friendship and freedom. It touched my heart and was a pleasant read.


The Kabul Beauty School was published by Sphere, which is an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group.

Deborah Rodriguez also wrote The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.