#BookReview: The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @bookouture #ThePerfectFriend

the perfect friend.jpg

“She’ll do anything for you…

My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.

My husband has left me.

My children won’t speak to me.

My friend Carrie is the only person I have.

She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.

She’d never do anything to let me down.

Would she?

I am a huge fan of Barbara Copperthwaite’s books. I have read nearly all of them (except one, Invisible) and every single book I have read has been a five-star read. Here are the reviews to prove it; Flowers for the Dead, The Darkest Lies and Her Last Secret. The other notable thing this author tends to do, more often than not, is to make this tough, ‘ard as nails crime reader bawl like a baby (she also made me fall in love with a serial killer but we won’t mention that 😉)! In essence, when Barbara Copperthwaite writes a book, I jump through hoops to read it.

So did The Perfect Friend live up to my very high expectations? Of course it did. It’s a Barbara Copperthwaite novel, duh! We meet Alex who immediately confesses to the reader that she is a liar. I don’t know about you but as an avid reader of crime and psychological thrillers, I’m always on the lookout for lies and half-truths from the characters I share my time with. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m overly suspicious and trust no-one who lives their life between the covers of a book. So knowing full well that Alex is a self-confessed liar I was immediately on my guard. But, with this at the forefront of my mind, I couldn’t help but like her. She is hiding some absolutely massive porkies and I did gasp when I discovered what they were, crikey! Amongst the inner turmoil, the secrets and the deceit, Alex is trying to make amends for something terrible she did; another secret she needs to keep at all costs! This particular secret involves her new best friend, Carrie who is terminally ill and who she met at the local support group. When anonymous threatening parcels start to arrive at Carrie’s house, Alex steps in and does everything she can to protect her best friend. But instead of helping, Alex starts to become suspicious. Something just don’t add up….

Copperthwaite has created a wonderful sense of unease in The Perfect Friend. It’s difficult to put your finger on why you feel so uncomfortable whilst reading but it’s there, peering over your shoulder making you feel twitchy. This is another brilliant, twisty read and I just knew something big was going to happen but couldn’t for the life of me work out where the author was going to take the story. I have to confess that I found some parts of the book a little difficult to believe but I was enjoying it so much that I just shrugged and threw myself straight back into the story. After all, it IS fiction. And yes, you may be wondering if the author managed to make me cry this time. She did, but only a little. I managed to keep the big ugly sobbing inside cos I’m ‘ard. 😬

Would I recommend this book? I would, but I would recommend all of Copperthwaite’s books because you can easily get lost in her stories. The Perfect Friend is a highly entertaining read which kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out what was going to happen to these two women. Full of twists, you never really know what to believe and Copperthwaite has surpassed herself in keeping her readers firmly on their toes. Highly recommended.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Perfect Friend. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite was published in the UK by Bookouture on 5th July and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | BookDepository | Goodreads |

about the author3

barbara copperthwaite

Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET. Her latest book is THE PERFECT FRIEND.

More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).

Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

Author Links: | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website |

#BlogBlitz | #BookReview: Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @Bookouture

Her-Last-Secret-Kindle.jpg“There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse. 

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant. 

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.”

A very warm welcome to the first day of the Her Last Secret blog blitz which I share with, well, some pretty awesome bloggers.  If you haven’t checked out any of the following then I heartily recommend you do so as they are all absolutely brilliant at this blogging lark; Compulsive ReadersChelle’s Book ReviewsBibliophile Book ClubMy Chestnut Reading Tree and CrimeBookJunkie.  The rest of the blitz also looks to be shaping up nicely with some of my very favourite book blogs taking part, so make sure you catch as many stops as possible!

I was thrilled to hear Barbara Copperthwaite was on the verge of releasing her second book with the mighty Bookouture.  I’m not shy in admitting that I am a huge fan of Copperthwaite’s work; check out my review of Flowers for the Dead and The Darkest Lies if proof is needed!  The bar was set, the standard required was pretty darn high and, Copperthwaite smashed it.

I’m not an overly emotional reader.  I don’t cry at books.  In fact, the last book to make me cry was….let’s see…..oh yes!  The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite.  What I didn’t expect was for the same thing to happen again.  I like my books full of blood, guts and as much gore as you can cram in.  People die in the books I read, bad things happen to good people and it rarely (read: never) sets me off in floods of tears.  But Copperthwaite’s writing somehow manages to do something to me that others fail to do.  Once again, I was reduced to a pile of mush as I turned the final page, blubbering my eyes out for one character in particular (OK, maybe two).  Which is strange, seeing as the reader starts at the end of the story.  What Copperthwaite manages to do through the pages of her book is make you fall in love with her characters just a little bit.  I felt completely invested in the Thomas family.  Then the ending happened and WOW!  Just…..WOW!

As a fan of the character-driven novel, I was in my element reading Her Last Secret.  I felt disgust and loathing for husband Benjamin who needs to remove his head from his own bottom and start focussing on his family.  My heart ached for teenager Ruby who was crying (nay, screaming!) for attention from her parents but was sinking further and further away from them.  Young Amber (or Mouse as she’s nicknamed) was beautiful from start to finish and really shone from the pages.  It takes real talent to write a convincing eight-year-old voice but the author has excelled.  And then there’s Dominque; totally flawed, damaged by her past and failing her teenage daughter but oh my gosh, I loved her.

The opening chapter throws the reader straight into the action.  The police are called to a residential street in the early hours of Christmas morning.  Chief Inspector Ogundele doesn’t know what awaits him inside the house, all he knows is that gunshots have been fired.  From there the chapters countdown to Christmas day, giving the reader an insight into the ‘not so perfect’ Thomas family and how they have arrived at such a horrific predicament on what should be one of the happiest days of the year.  Brilliantly executed by the author.  In my view, Copperthwaite’s best novel yet!

Would I recommend this book?  Of course, without a shadow of a doubt!  You’d be a fool to miss out on this one.  Thrilling and heartbreaking in equal measure.  Superb storytelling, compulsive and impossible to put down.  I was hooked and you will be too!

(A very easy) Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Her Last Secret.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite was published in the UK by Bookouture on 13th October 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

Her Last Secret - Blog Tour.jpg

about the author3

barbara copperthwaiteWhat people say about Barbara’s books:
“Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,” Sunday Mirror
“Enthralling, tense and moving,” Real People magazine
“Totally gripping, and scarily believable,” Bella magazine

Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. She is also the author of THE DARKEST LIES, and her latest book HER LAST SECRET is out on 13 October.

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

Author Links: | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website |

#CoverReveal: Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @bookouture

I am stupidly excited to share the completely gorgeous cover of the new Barbara Copperthwaite novel with you this evening.  This latest beauty is called Her Last Secret and will be published by the mighty Bookouture on 13th October 2017.  I am such a fan of Barbara’s writing and I cannot wait to get my mitts on a copy of her latest work.  If you don’t believe me, click here for my review of Flowers for the Dead, or here for my review of The Darkest Lies.  Both fabulous five star reads!

So without further ado, here’s the Her Last Secret blurb…

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out. 

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed DoorsSometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

Flipping heck!  How good does that sound?  And now for the cover…

her last secret.jpg

What a stunner 😍!  I absolutely love that blurb and cover and cannot wait to get Her Last Secret read and reviewed.  I’m counting down the days until publication. Make sure you pre-order your copy so you don’t miss out:

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2eOtJtF
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2jhcE0G

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite will be published in the UK and US by Bookouture on 13th October 2017 and will be available in eBook format.

about the author3

barbara copperthwaiteThe people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.

She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @bookouture

darkest lies cover.jpg“A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk? 

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.”

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the The Darkest Lies blog tour which I share with the fabulous Kate over at Bibliophile Book Club.  The Darkest Lies is written by all-round lovely person and talented author, Barbara Copperthwaite.  I read Barbara’s self published Flowers for the Dead last year and fell in love with her writing (along with her incredibly likeable serial killer, Adam).  If you missed that review or would like a recap then please click here.  So I was very excited to hear that not only had Barbara been snapped up by brilliant publishers Bookouture, she was also about to publish a brand new crime thriller.

And what a thriller!  Flowers for the Dead left such a lasting impression on me that I was maybe a little harsh in my ‘bar-setting’ for The Darkest Lies.  It had to be good, and I mean really, really, unequivocally, stupendously good to merit a five star rating from me (sorry Barbara Copperthwaite, us readers have pretty high, almost unachievable standards sometimes.  It’s not just me, is it…?).  This book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  The lies, the deceit, the secrets and the fear.  It was all beautifully done.  But what I loved the most, and what hasn’t happened to me while reading for a LONG time is that I bawled my eyes out.  It was one of those big, ugly cries that is uncontrollable and very snotty.  Now I only tend to read crime and psychological thriller novels so I’m pretty used to bad things happening to good people. And I’ve read some pretty difficult and heartbreaking stuff over the years, but this book…..this book!!! This book was the one to convey the characters pain and turn this badass tough-nut reader into a smushy pile of tears.  Amazing stuff!

Thirteen year old Beth Oak plans to spend the night at her friend’s house.  Mani/pedi’s are on the agenda, lots of giggly girlie talk about boys and a sickening sweet midnight feast.  Well, that’s what Beth is telling her mum anyway.  Beth has other, much more mature things planned for her evening.  But first she needs to escape her mother and make it to the cricket pavilion in time for her date.

Melanie Oak, Beth’s mum is completely oblivious to her daughter’s hidden agenda.  She leaves her outside her friend’s house and heads home to husband, Jacob and her warm bed.  Only in the morning, when she starts to question what time Beth will be home does she realise something is terribly wrong.  Beth is missing.  Beth’s BFF doesn’t know where she is and no one from the village has seen her (despite someone, somewhere always seeing something).  Melanie begins to fall apart, drinking herself into oblivion and pushing friends and life-long neighbours away.  A chance encounter one evening in the local pub gives her the idea to start her own investigation.  After all the police, headed by DS Devonport, aren’t doing anything constructive so what harm could it do?  Will Melanie be able to discover what dark secrets her daughter was keeping and exactly what happened to Beth that fateful evening?

One of the first things which struck me about this book was the use of the second person narrative.  I’ve been pondering on this for a while now, trying to remember the last book I read which took this approach and I can’t think of a single one.  It’s unusual and made the book feel immediately different to other missing child stories.

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  There I was watching this once happy and content woman unravel before my eyes.  The anguish, the fear, the fading hope all eating away at what was once a strong family-centred woman.  Oh, and the suspicion.  I loved how suspicious Melanie became of everyone around her.  The turning away of neighbours when they saw her coming down the street.  The strange flickering looks on their faces when they couldn’t escape Melanie’s interrogation.  The guarded sympathy, all wonderfully written to cast suspicion and doubt on most of the villagers.

Despite trying hard to work out what had happened to Beth, I didn’t succeed.  I was surprised (in the best way possible) by the reveal as I certainly didn’t see that one coming.  That however, is not the end of the story.  I had certain suspicions about one aspect of the book so when those suspicions were confirmed it made up for my sleuth powers letting me down in the first instance.

Would I recommend this book?  I loved The Darkest Lies and will heartily recommend it to anyone who will listen.  I adored the closing chapters which made me give a little cheer despite something quite horrific happening.  Although good doesn’t come out of this book completely unscathed, it does eventually win in the end…..just with a little rust and mud taking the shine off of its halo.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Darkest Lies.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite was published in the UK by Bookouture on 12th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

darkest lies blog tour.jpg
about the author2
barbara copperthwaite.jpgThe people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.

She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |