The Whish List

Book Reviews: "Be awesome! Be a book nut!" – Dr Seuss

What Alice Knew by T.A. Cotterell. Reviewed for Lovereading

This is a psychological thriller about Alice an artist living a successful, happy life with her obstetrician husband and two children in Bristol. Her husband goes out one night and becomes involved in something that threatens all they hold dear. As Alice tries to get to the truth, her assumptions about her life and marriage are shaken to the core.
I loved the setting and certainly found myself putting myself in Alice’s shoes and wondering how I would react in her circumstances.
This is definitely one for fans of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’


What would you do if you knew what Alice knew? A clever, psychological thriller about a night out that has far reaching implications for a marriage and family.

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong reviewed for Lovereading


I enjoyed the themes and premise of this novel but found it took a while to really come to fruition. Lily is the archetypal unreliable narrator and this is cleverly realised.
The setting was great and reminded me of John Lancaster’s Capital in tone and social commentary but I did find the story a bit confusing and disjointed.
This debut can certainly join the ranks of recent successful psychological thrillers but a little more pace and menace wouldn’t have gone amiss.


An interesting and unsettling debut novel for fans of the masters of suspense; Du Maurier and Hitchcock.


Himself by Jess Kidd – Reviewed for Mumsnetbooks


The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden. Reviewed for Mumsnetbooks


At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. Reviewed for Mumsnet Books


Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas reviewed for mumsnetboooks


mad girl by Bryony Gordon reviewed for mumsnetbooks


The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland reviewed for

Full review:

This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. I loved the Westcountry setting of Porlock Weir and felt the dramatic landscape was superbly realised and juxtaposed with the impressive surroundings of Porlock Manor.
This is the story of a small coastal community with most inhabitants having memories of the time that the village was visited by a Great Pestilence so when the threat of something similar gets swept in by the tide, their sense of horror and impending doom is instantly heightened.
As is usual with Karen Maitland’s books, there are a long and strange cast of characters. It is easy to get lost in the world Karen creates and the line between superstition and reality is deftly drawn.
I liked the inclusion of the historical notes in the book which explained the differences between the two major plague periods and the fact that the type of victim differed between times. I also found the author’s note interesting in that the idea for the novel came partly from contemporary reports of the Ebola virus so the moral dilemmas at the heart of the book, take on a new modern significance.
Light the candles, lock the doors and settle down to be ‘charmed’ by this book!


Short review:

This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. Light the candles, lock the doors and prepare to be ‘charmed!’


Baby doll by Hollie Overton reviewed on the discussion thread for Mumsnetbooks


The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent reviewed for lovereading

Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will love this psychological thriller that has plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked.

It’s the story of Fran and Nathan who move to the country with their two young children and something happens one night that turns Fran’s world on its head.

Christobel Kent is adept at cranking up the tension as we wonder with Fran, what the hell has happened and who can she trust now? It’s difficult to say too much about the plot without giving too many secrets away but just when you think you’ve worked it all out, along comes another twist that you didn’t see coming.

I think the sense of place helps to build a brooding atmosphere of tension and unease at the heart of the book and the descriptions of the bleak Fenland landscape add another dimension to the pace of the book and the main character’s quiet unravelling.

There were a few moments where I had to suspend belief at some of the things that happened to Fran and wondered if certain things really rang true but the author is clever enough to keep us rooting for the ‘heroine in peril’ and believing in her search for the truth.


This book is a psychological thriller that doesn’t let up and will make you question everything and everyone until it’s dramatic and startling conclusion.