#BlogTour | #BookReview: Make Me Clean by Tina Baker @ViperBooks #MakeMeClean #MakeMeCleanBlogTour #damppebbles

She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…

Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who’s losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.

She didn’t set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously – not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can’t be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely…

Darkly funny and completely gripping from the first page to the last, Make Me Clean is one thriller you won’t be able to scrub from your mind. Perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce, Fiona Cummins and My Sister the Serial Killer.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be kicking off the Make Me Clean blog tour. Make Me Clean by Tina Baker will be published by Viper Books on 16th February 2023 and will be available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow. I chose to read a free ARC of Make Me Clean but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Rosie at Viper Books for sending me a proof copy and to Angie for inviting me to join the tour.

Tina Baker has quickly become one of my favourite authors, with her second book, Nasty Little Cuts, riding high on my top books of the year list in 2022. Baker really knows how to write a truly fascinating character and her books often have me reading late into the night, unable to tear myself away from whatever terrible situation those beautifully written characters find themselves in. Her writing is highly compulsive and thoroughly addictive, which is why I leapt at the chance of an early read of Make Me Clean. And what a superb addition to Baker’s body of work it is. Dark, tense but also laugh out loud funny with so much heart. It was everything I hoped it would be and so, so much more.

Maria is a cleaner who goes the extra mile and does the best job she can, particularly for her favourite clients. She’s dealt with her fair share of muck and grime over the years. Perhaps in more ways than anyone will ever know, providing she’s done her job properly, of course. Because although Maria is a good woman, trouble just seems to follow her wherever she goes. Elsie, her favourite client, was having issues with her husband. But Maria put a stop to all that. She cleans for Brian who is terribly intimidated by his loud mouth, insensitive boss. Until Maria stepped in. And her latest assignment, the mysterious Balogan, he may have an offer she can’t refuse. Because Maria is a cleaner who goes way beyond the call of duty. And, keep it to yourself, but removing blood stains from your shag pile is her specialty…

Make Me Clean is an immersive, addictive read which I savoured every word of. Baker excels at creating believable characters who stand tall from the page and it’s a delight (in this case a somewhat morbid, yet highly intriguing delight) to watch their stories unfold. Maria is a character who, all things considered, you probably shouldn’t warm to. Yet I found it impossible to not like the woman! Maria is a very believable character but what I really loved about her was her fondness for client, Elsie, and their relationship. It made her all the more human. Elsie is elderly, infirm and suffers from dementia. Her husband is an uncaring, womanising younger man who doesn’t give a jot about his wife and is only after his share of the house. A house he has contributed little towards. Maria not only cleans for Elsie but also cares for her, often staying over when Elsie’s only blood relative, her unsympathetic, money-grabbing nephew can’t be around, or bothered. The relationship between Maria and Elsie was a beautiful, heartfelt thing that added so much warmth and love to the novel. Elsie is a glorious character who lights the room up. She’s sweary, obsessed with her cats and generally naughty throughout the book, and she frequently made me smile. In my head she had the same voice as Catherine Tate’s ‘Nan’ character. I think it was the terms of endearment she would plonk at the end of her sentences ‘darlin’, along with the cackling!

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Make Me Clean is an extremely readable, highly intriguing story which I very much enjoyed. Maria clearly has a troubled past which is drip fed to the reader bit by bit. Having made some poor decisions as a teenager, things really do take a terrible turn for her. But I found these flashback sections fascinating. Learning about a different lifestyle and getting a peek behind the net curtains. Maria really isn’t a bad person, she has a heart of gold and is doing her best at blending in and laying low. But she is bloody unlucky! A superb third novel from a must read author of psychological thrillers and suspense. Again, Baker has created a memorable cast of characters and they were (mostly) a joy to spend my time with. I cannot wait to see what the author has for us next. I’ll certainly be first in the queue for a copy! Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free ARC of Make Me Clean. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Make Me Clean by Tina Baker was published in the UK by Viper Books on 16th February 2023 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depositorybookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shopdamppebbles amazon.co.uk shopdamppebbles amazon.com shop |

Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.

Call Me Mummy is Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.

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