Historical fiction · mystery

The Lamplighters – Emma Stonex ★★★★

Blurb; Inspired by a haunting true story, a gorgeous and atmospheric novel about the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from a remote tower miles from the Cornish coast–and about the wives who were left behind.

What strange fate befell these doomed men? The heavy sea whispers their names. Black rocks roll beneath the surface, drowning ghosts. And out of the swell like a finger of light, the salt-scratched tower stands lonely and magnificent.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1972, when a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets them. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45.

Two decades later, the wives who were left behind are visited by a writer who is determined to find the truth about the men’s disappearance. Moving between the women’s stories and the men’s last weeks together in the lighthouse, long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we piece together what happened, why, and who to believe.

In her riveting and suspenseful novel, Emma Stonex writes a story of isolation and obsession, of reality and illusion, and of what it takes to keep the light burning when all else is swallowed by dark.

My Review; I absolutely loved this book. Devoured the first half then had a baby so it took me a while to finish it but it was always on my mind trying to figure out what happened to these men who seem to have disappeared into thin air from a remote lighthouse. Based off a true story makes it even more real for me. The story is told through each of the different characters. The men aboard the lighthouse and their significance others on land. There was never a concrete answer as to where these men went or being found. A gripping mystery. Lots of tension throughout. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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crime · Ghost story · mystery · paranormal · suspense · thriller

The Sun Down Motel – Simone St. James ★★★★

Blurb; The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

My Review; This one took me a while to read through the borrow box library app but well worth every page. It’s a mystery/paranormal/Thriller/crime all in one. It’s told between two characters aunty Viv back in the past who vanished into nowhere with no answers to where she went or if she is even alive. Then in the present day through her niece seeking answers about what happened to her aunt Viv and what really happened all those years before. She finds herself following her aunties footsteps but everything is not as it seems. Ghosts. Hauntings. Deaths. A travelling sales man. Can she figure it out all these years later? Can she reveal all the hidden secrets. Is her aunt still alive? A brilliant outcome, unexpected and jaw dropping. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me. Brilliantly written. Gripping.

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crime · mystery · Short Stories · suspense · thriller

Blind Spot – Paula Hawkins ★★★★

Blurb; ‘How can you say things like this? How can you be so blind?’

Since they were kids, Edie, Jake and Ryan have been the closest of friends. It’s been the three of them against the world. Edie thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. So when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of the crime, her world is shattered.

Edie is alone for the first time in years, living in the remote house that she and Jake shared. She is grief-stricken and afraid – with good reason. Because someone is watching. Someone has been waiting for this moment. Now that Edie is alone, the past she tried so hard to leave behind is about to catch up with her…

My Review; From the bestselling author of The Girl on the Train comes a brilliant, short quickread at 120 pages. Perfect for me right now with a 9 day old newborn. I really enjoyed this was gripped from the first line. Kept me guessing and doubting the characters throughout. The story focuses on three main characters Edie, Jake and Ryan who has been long term friends for ages. But from the start Jake is dead. Why? How? Who? An unexpected outcome that relates to their teenage years and a brilliant epilogue. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. My first book read since having baby #3.

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