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#ARC #BookReview: No Place Like Home by Lynda Stacey

My dear bookish friends!

Today I have something very special to share with you, namely my ARC review of the brand new thriller coming from one of my absolute favourite authors, Lynda Stacey! I was over the moon and felt so honoured that I was given the chance to read this book in advance of its publication, and I enjoyed every gripping line, every single page in this captivating thriller! You better mark the 5th of July in your calendars, because that’s when this gem hits the shelves!

Now, let’s find out what this book is about, shall we?

The Synopsis

He knows where you are…

Sisters Molly and Beth Winters thought the remote clifftop house would be the perfect place to hide away after their mother’s brutal murder. They were wrong….

He wants revenge…

Because someone from the girls’ past has already found their safe house and he is watching and waiting in the shadows ready to make them pay.

He won’t stop until you’re dead…

Their new home should have been the place the sisters were safe.

But no place is safe forever.

A gripping new thriller from Lynda Stacey guaranteed to keep you up all night!

My Review

WOW. Just wow. I had read one book by Lynda before, House of Secrets, and that changed my reading tastes completely. While I was avoiding thrillers before, her book changed my mind immediately. For me, it was the mixture of bad things happening, awful situations her heroines found themselves in, and the way they are then fighting their way back out. And, back when I was reading House of Secrets, it was also the happy ending that did it for me. It was the perfect balance between two very far ends of the line included in one story, something that needs to be expertly done or should be avoided at all costs. Lynda Stacey delivered – back then as much as she did now.

In No Place Like Home, we meet sisters Molly and Beth on their way to their new house. Only, the move isn’t a happy decision they have made for themselves. Their mother was brutally murdered, and it’s the only place they are really safe now. Or are they?

I loved the way we are thrown right into the story. We meet Molly – a young woman taking care of her teenage sister during a time in which she herself could use a helping hand. Both are still mourning their mother’s death, and Beth is going through puberty – hating on everything and everyone, especially anything Molly is offering her to help her cope. It was hard to like Beth in the beginning. Well, I’ll be honest – her rude, sometimes childish, sometimes aggressive behaviour made it almost impossible to like her throughout most of the book. But then again, her situation was hard, harder than hard. She lost her mother, but not only that, her father is also in prison. And her older sister Molly – even though she was forced to by the circumstances – suddenly plays mummy.

Molly, on the other hand, is a wonderful, immediately likeable character. She is loving, caring, very careful when it comes to her little sister’s safety – something I totally loved. But even she was not without her flaws – something that made this book and its characters feel even more realistic. A new job, having to live in a new house (where people have died under terrible circumstances, no less), taking care of her little sister, all while mourning her mother’s death and fearing the return and revenge of her sister’s father, Molly was bound to make mistakes at some points. How crucial they are… well, I’ll let you find out for yourselves.

I loved the way Molly tried to juggle everything at once. How she tried to be there for Beth at all times, figure out her own life, and make sense of the weird things happening around them. The moved picture frames, the disappeared photograph, the lone flower on her doorstep, is it her sister taking revenge for having to move and leaving her friends behind? Is it Molly’s exhausted mind playing tricks? Or is someone out there, lurking in the shadows?

I absolutely loved the setting here. A house on top of the cliffs, the last one in a dark, muddy, empty lane, far away from the next town, a place where not even the internet or cell phone signal reaches properly. Right next to the beach, it could be a dream house. Could be, if the previous owner hadn’t jumped to his death from the roof. Could be, if the darkness, the remote setting, the loneliness wouldn’t offer the perfect hiding place for someone bad trying to hide in the shadows.

It is not just Molly and Beth making the cast of characters so unique and outstanding. There is Dan, Molly’s ex-boyfriend, the one Beth is such a big fan of. I loved the way he looked after Beth, easing into the big-brother-role so perfectly. Then there is Niall, the mysterious but handsome neighbour nobody knows anything about. The one employing criminals… I was positively surprised to find room in the plot for some romance. This is what makes Stacey’s writing so unique – the plot felt never overladen, never cluttered, despite the many aspects of it. It felt more like many strings of a story weaved into a beautiful braid.

The pacing in this novel is absolutely incredible. I was feeling like sitting on the edge of my seat in a rollercoaster ride, about to fall off. I HAD to finish the book at night, sleep or no sleep. There are so many secrets, expertly revealed one at a time, suspects at every corner – there came a point in the book where I almost didn’t trust the main character anymore. But then, all of sudden, she is thrust into a long string of revelations – and you with her. I was as desperate to get answers as she was, and when they came, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes…

If you are a fan of thrillers filled with mysteries, family drama, more secrets than you can count on two hands, and are ready for one hell of a ride, read this book! Lynda Stacey knows how to make characters come to life, how to weave a plot the right way, how to scatter enough hints to make you think you know what’s going on, but then she surprises you. Unpredictable, fast-paced, full of life – even surrounded by the numerous deaths in the story – this thriller will swallow you whole.

5 stars from me.

Thank you all so much for reading!



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