ARC Book Review: While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt

Book publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 2018


It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.

For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched.

The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides’ dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all-too-real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?


My Review:

First of all, before I say anything about the book, I have to say a massive shoutout to Harper Fiction for giving me the chance to win an ARC copy of While You Sleep via a Goodreads giveaway. If you’re reading this – thank you so much! ^_^

This book seemed to have a mixture of everything. It’s a mystery-suspense thriller, combined with gothic-horror and elements of paranormal activity, with added romance and references towards mental health. Phew.

At the start, you think you know what’s going to happen. You’re just going to read a horror story, featuring the cliched young woman living in a haunted house on her own, and she’s going to run away, or get brutally killed by someone – or something, like an evil spirit or a dead woman.

Yeah, no. That didn’t happen.

I can’t spoil the plot… but what I can tell you was that While You Sleep was a completely suspenseful read. It’s rather slow-paced, but as you read through chapter-by-chapter, you’re constantly on edge, when you realise something’s about to happen. But you don’t know when.

Or more importantly, what’s going to happen, because there are so many twists and turns in the book – plus unexpected moments where you have to put your hand over your mouth and mutter “Jesus Christ, what did I just read?” – that it’s almost impossible to guess what happens. Especially the ending!

Seriously, if you’re into horror, suspense, thrillers and/or romance, then you will have no problem reading this. This was a great read.

Overall rating: 4/5



Book Review: Congation by Teri Terry

Hey guys! Today I’m going to be sharing a quick review of Contagion – a YA novel (by @TeriTerryWrites) that I was lucky enough to receive from entering (and winning :D) a recent Goodreads giveaway! So first of all, I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to the author and anyone else who was involved in the giveaway.

Callie, an eleven-year-old girl, went missing just over a year ago. In the midst of being chased by bullies, Shay catches glimpse of a flyer, triggering a memory of the missing girl seeing Callie getting into a car on the date of her disappearance. Realising that she could have been the last person to see her alive, she calls Callie’s brother Kai, who they both find out the mystery behind Callie’s disappearance, whilst trying to survive a deadly epidemic that is rapidly spreading across the UK.

That’s the basic plot… and I mean basic because I don’t feel like I can give you any more information than this.

I will say this, though; this book is bloody intense! This was such a fast-paced and gripping book, with constant plot twists and unexpected turns. And with the constant change in POV between Shay and Callie, it just adds to the suspense and makes me want to read more and more.

Overall, Contagion was a combination of multiple genres: YA, science-fiction, mystery… even a bit of romance (which is cute and all, but not really my cup of tea).

However, I was seriously hooked by the cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment of the Dark Matter trilogy.


*Finally, just one more thing. While I was reading this book – about halfway through – I felt ill (both physically and mentally), which, I don’t know about you, seems like a massive coincidence… just sayin’… 🤔😂


Book Review: Crime Song by David Swinson

*I won Crime Song in a recent Goodreads giveaway, so before I start my review, I’d like to quickly say a massive thank you to Hodder Books for running it and allowing me the chance to read this book 👍*


Frank Marr was a former cop in the D.C. police after he was forced into early retirement due to his drug addiction. Now a private investigator, he takes on a case close to home – to spy on his cousin Jeffrey as a favour for his aunt, who suspects that he was dealing drugs. After a long night of surveillance in a nightclub, he returns home to find that his house has been burgled, and his possessions have been stolen – his laptop, his flat-screen TV, his turntable, his vinyl and CD collection and his .38 revolver. At the crime scene, a body has been left on the kitchen floor, and it doesn’t take Marr long to recognise who it is. It’s Jeffrey. In Crime Song, Frank Marr unravels the mystery towards what happened to his stuff (and Jeffrey), taking him deeper into a network of thieves, crooked cops and drug addicts, in a mission which could get him killed.


Crime Song is different to most crime thriller novels that I’ve read recently. It’s more of a “let’s cut the bullshit out, and get down to BUSINESS”, one man solving a case with virtually zero fucks given. Like some nitty-gritty crime series that the BBC would show (just without 99% of the swearing)

The pacing of this story was really good – everything didn’t happen at once, nor did it become so slow that it became unbearable to read. It was right in the middle and was consistent throughout the entire story.

The main character, Frank Marr, was also easily likeable, despite his flaws, such as his drug addiction and saying ‘fuck’ every other sentence, which was annoying to read at first, but you get used to it eventually.

The side characters were pretty interesting too – even if they have their flaws like Marr, I noticed that I started to feel empathy and anger towards them at the end. I suppose that being an ex-cop himself, Swinson knows about this stuff well, and how good people can get themselves involved in bad situations, and his previous knowledge as a cop really showed in Crime Song.

I think that’s why this book stood out for me – it’s not just a simple case of finding out “who dunnit?”, it actually goes much deeper, and if it wasn’t for exams, I could have easily finished it in a day or two. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and now I need to read The Second Girl in the near future too.

Overall rating: 4.5/5