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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

My favourite reads of the month @VvSavage @LittleBrownUK @BAParisAuthor @HarperCollinsUK @Helen_Fiel

The year has got off to a brilliant start, with some incredible books being published in January. It’s been tough choosing my stand-outs, but here are my personal favourite reads of the month.

THE WOODS, Vanessa Savage


There’s a lot from Tess’s childhood that she would rather forget. The family who moved next door and brought chaos to their quiet lives. The two local girls who were murdered, their killer never found. In fact, the only thing she can’t remember is the one thing she wishes she could.

Ten years ago, Tess’s older sister died. Ruled a tragic accident, the only witness was Tess herself, but she has never been able to remember what happened that night in the woods.

Now living in London, Tess has resolved to put the trauma behind her. But when an emergency call from her father forces her back to the family home, Tess discovers that, sometimes, the past cannot be laid to rest . . .


From the setting beside the mysterious woods to the dream-like quality that often pervades the writing, this book taps into deep-seated fears in the same way that the original fairy tales did. A psychological thriller that haunted my thoughts. Brooding and full of suspense.



It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.

The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?


I couldn’t wait to get hold of this book, knowing that B.A. Paris consistently produces great psychological thrillers. What I hadn’t expected was the emotional depth of it. It won’t just pluck at readers’ heartstrings, it will break their heart in two. All the way through I was willing the characters to make different choices while totally understanding why they were doing what they did. What would you do if faced with the same dilemma as them? Be prepared for a thought-provoking and emotionally-charged read – and have tissues nearby to catch your tears!

PERFECT KILL, Helen Fields


He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.

Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.

Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland.

With so many lives at stake, they face an impossible task – but there’s no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead…


Some books hook you in from the very first line – and this is one of them. A clever premise, a twisted plot (and I mean that. The plot covers some truly disturbing subjects and puts them together in a totally unique way. In a genre that is so packed, that is a rare quality. Absolutely wonderful!), and some wonderful character-building made this a book I absolutely flew through. 

This is the first of the series I’ve read, but it worked perfectly as a standalone without it ever feeling as though I’d been spoon-fed background information. The only problem with it being this far into a series? The fact that I loved it so much I’m now going to have to go back and read the entire series from the start! 

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