#BlogTour #Book Review The Other You by J.S. Monroe @JSThrillers @HoZ_Books


Today I’m taking a break from my customary diet of historical fiction to bring you my review of the latest  thriller by J. S. Monroe, The Other You, which was published in the UK on 9th January 2020. Thanks to Vicky at Head of Zeus for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for my review copy via NetGalley.

The Other YouAbout the Book

Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror.

At least she has Rob. Young, rich, handsome and successful, Rob runs a tech company on the idyllic Cornish coast. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health. When she’s with him, in his luxury modernist house, the nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved.

Until, one day, she looks at Rob anew. And knows, with absolute certainty, that the man before her has been replaced by an impostor.

Is Rob who he says he is? Or is it all in Kate’s damaged mind?

Format: Hardcover, ebook (496 pages)              Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 9th January 2020                    Genre: Thriller

Find The Other You on Goodreads

Purchase links*
Amazon.co.uk | Hive (supporting UK bookshops)
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

My Review

Rossetti  They Met ThemselvesIn my Q&Awith J.S. Monroe to mark publication of his previous book, Forget My Name, he revealed “My next thriller is a modern, high-tech take on an old trope: the doppelgänger.” Well, he was as good as his word because The Other You is an incredibly clever blend of the bang up-to-date – drones, facial recognition software, wearable and smart technology – and older superstitions about doppelgängers, doubles and changelings.

Despite being just under five hundred pages long, The Other You zips along at a breathless pace thanks to the short chapters and the fact that events unfold over the course of only a few days. The author is also the master of the punchy final sentence of a chapter or cliff-hanger ending.

The story is told from three points of view, the first of which is Kate herself so the reader witnesses her doubts and uncertainties first hand. I think it’s fair to say the reader may have their suspicions awakened about certain individuals a little earlier than Kate does.

Then there’s Kate’s ex-boyfriend, Jake, a former crime reporter and now not entirely successful author – although he can lay claim to being ‘big in Finland’. I loved the self-deprecating humour as Jake encounters someone who’s read one of his books only to find out they picked it up for 10p in a charity shop. Jake’s never forgotten the happy times he and Kate had together and how one reckless action ended their relationship.

Finally, there’s DI Silas Hart, Kate’s former boss when she worked as a super-recogniser who still feels guilty that his desire to make the unit a success may have pushed Kate beyond her limits and contributed to her accident.

Events unfold in a seemingly never-ending stream of twists and turns including some distinctly dystopian elements before the book reaches its heart-thumping, nail-biting climax.

The Other You is an expertly crafted page-turner that kept this reader guessing right to the end. Touching on issues such as the impact of AI, concerns about infringement of civil liberties and current criminal activity such as county lines gangs and modern slavery, The Other You is a thriller for the modern world. Oh, and by the way, it also proves humankind definitely has no need for a refrigerator that can spontaneously switch itself to ‘diet’ mode.

In three words: Chilling, intense, gripping

Try something similar: The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier

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JS MonroeAbout the Author

J.S. Monroe read English at Cambridge, worked as a foreign correspondent in Delhi, and was Weekend editor of the Daily Telegraph in London before becoming a full-time writer.

Monroe is the author of eight novels, including the international bestsellers, Find Me and Forget My Name.

He also writes under the name Jon Stock.

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#BlogTour #BookReview Payback by R. C. Bridgestock @DomePress


Payback Blog Tour PosterWelcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Payback by R. C. Bridgestock, the first in a new series featuring Yorkshire cop, DI Charley Mann. Payback was published as an ebook on 5th December 2019 and in paperback on 9th January 2020. Thanks to Emily at The Dome Press for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my proof copy.

Payback bcAbout the Book

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back, she’s in charge and the area’s first young, female DI.

Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.

When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex – reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.

Format: Paperback, ebook (320 pages) Publisher: The Dome Press
Publication date: 9th January 2020      Genre: Crime

Purchase links*
Publisher | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find Payback (DI Charley Mann #1) on Goodreads

My Review

No sooner has Charley Mann, newly promoted to Inspector, arrived back on her home turf in Yorkshire than she finds herself taking on the lead role in the investigation of a murder. The investigation becomes more complicated as her personal and professional life collide and the murder attracts unwelcome press attention. An unsupportive boss doesn’t help either.

Charley is no angel. She didn’t get the nickname ‘Champagne Charley’ for nothing, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, is intolerant of intolerance and can definitely look after herself when it comes to a spot of fisticuffs. (You certainly wouldn’t want to be in the culprit’s shoes when Charley catches up with them.) However, all of this makes her a very believable, well-rounded character with flaws as well as more admirable qualities, such as her passion for justice. As she says at one point, “I’m not here to be liked; I’m here to do a job. And no matter what it takes, I’m going to do it.” The authors have given Charley an interesting backstory, more details of which I’m sure will be revealed in future books.

As you’d expect from two authors with so many combined years of experience in the Police force, the detail of police procedure is meticulously described. From the handling of evidence, to the securing of a crime scene, working with forensics and search teams and preparing for interviews and operations, it all seems completely realistic. Being squeamish, the post-mortem scene was a bit too realistic for me. (By the way, you can read Bob’s guest postabout examining crime scenes here.)

To prevent the book becoming too much like a police training manual, the authors cleverly introduce rookie detective, Annie, as a way for Charley to impart information about police processes. The book is also good at reflecting the realities currently facing the Police force such as funding constraints, the burden of paperwork, the need to juggle resources and achieve targets whilst at the same time adhering to health and safety rules and upholding the rights and welfare of those charged with offences.

Tension builds as Charley and her team get closer to finding the culprit and work together to diligently build a case that will be sufficient for prosecution and conviction. Although the investigation is neatly wrapped up by the end of the book there are strands of subplot left tantalizingly unresolved to be explored in a future book. At least, I hope so.

Payback will appeal to readers who like their crime fiction packed with realistic detail of police procedure, to fans of the authors’ DI Dylan books or simply those looking for a new crime series to follow that features a strong female protagonist.

In three words: Authentic, suspenseful, assured

Try something similar: Poetic Justice by R. C. Bridgestock (read my review here)

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RC Bridgestock Author PhotoAbout the Author

R. C. Bridgestock is the pen name of writing duo Carol and Bob Bridgestock. Between them they have nearly 50 years of high level experience in West Yorkshire Police. The couple are storyline consultants on Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey and appear regularly on TV, radio and in the press.

Connect with the authors

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads