*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: We all keep secrets, don’t we?
Sophie used to be fearful, with a troubled past. Now, she’s a confident young woman helping others turn their lives around – or is she?
A nasty surprise awaits her after the funeral of a friend and she soon finds out that nothing is as it seems.
Caught up in the dark world of gangsters and villains in the heart of Manchester she attempts to find Cassie’s killer. Following a trail of lies, she gets so wrapped up delving into the lives of others she doesn’t notice her own life falling apart, back into the grips of addiction.
Can romance blossom for Sophie after all the mistakes she has made in the past, or will her only comfort be drink? Things never end up the way she intends.
Here we go again for another round of Wheel of Misfortune with our queen of bad-decision-making, Sophie Brown!
As Sick As Our Secrets is the second book in this series, but I think that both stand alone, dealing with completely different aspects of the main character’s life and personality. There are links to the previous plot via Cassie and Charlie, but no background knowledge is needed to pick this up right from the first page.
Whilst I Know Your Every Move focused for the most part on Sophie’s history with abusive relationships, with the stalker plot forming a framework against which to explore the deeper issues, this time around the focal point is Sophie’s struggle with substance abuse and addiction, with the murder investigation plot merely providing one among many triggers for her condition.
Sophie is clearly a hot mess. Not just because of her terrible choice in men and readiness to turn to substance props for support, but because she just makes generally very poor decisions. She sees suspicious characters lurking menacingly, her senses go on red alert and she consciously notes her fear reaction as a warning sign, then goes ahead and strolls past them, lets them in and gives them a big wet kiss! Run, Sophie! Or at least lock your doors!
This facility for taking the wrong path at every opportunity is what sets her on her investigatory track in this story, as a suspected murderer violently kidnaps her to assure her he is innocent, and she believes him (and his lovely long eyelashes) and flings herself into the path of pimps and gangsters on his behalf.
The investigative mystery really takes a back seat here, save for nudging the plot forward, because front and centre is Sophie’s journey of self-improvement through some very dark times and experiences.
If you like your mysteries character-based and intimate then this is the series for you.
I put my hand in my pocket to feel for my keys. Taking out my fob, I pressed my thumb on the remote and the car door made the familiar clunking noise. I took my handbag off my shoulder, ready to throw it over to the passenger side as I opened the driver door.
Suddenly, I felt an arm grab hold of my body. I jerked forward. A hand went over my mouth. What was going on? I thrashed out, trying to swivel round, but I was held in a tight grip. Confusion followed by shock as fear enveloped me. What the…? A thud, a pain shot through my head and I began to feel a strange sensation inside. My eyes felt heavy as I struggled to focus. My knees sagged. My body crumpled. I sank into unconsciousness.
– Diane Ezzard, As Sick As Our Secrets
As Sick As Our Secrets is available on Amazon right now, and don’t forget that you can check out the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below) for more great reviews and content! Don’t forget to check out my review of the first Sophie Brown book, I Know Your Every Move!