Book Review · Books

Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict [BOOK REVIEW]

Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict [BOOK REVIEW]

All aboard a cozy murder mystery on the Christmas Express. Think Agatha Christie meets anagrams, hidden word searches, a recipe and a pub quiz. It’s the perfect mysterious festive read. 

Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 341

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Format I read it in: Hardcover

Rating: ★★★★


Eighteen passengers. Seven stops. One killer.

In the early hours of Christmas Eve, the sleeper train to the Highlands is derailed, along with the festive plans of its travellers. With the train stuck in snow in the middle of nowhere, a killer stalks its carriages, picking off passengers one by one. Those who sleep on the sleeper train may never wake again.

Can former Met detective Roz Parker find the killer before they kill again?

My Thoughts:

“That was the magic of trains. The world seemed to pass you by while you were still, yet somehow you got to where you wanted to go. If only life were like that.”

I enjoyed this book so much, and reading it made me feel the Christmas spirit this year. It’s my first read in December and I couldn’t be happier to start my festive year with this title. The synopsis promises a similar plot to the famous “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, it was probably inspired by the title, and someone dies on a train so everyone is a suspect, but this is where the similarities end. The plot continues to thicken and no one can be trusted. Even Roz, the former detective, starts to make people question her integrity. I quite liked the open interrogation and the many twists that happened at the very end.

“Make lots of mistakes, Rosalind. Make them frequently. And do not give up who you are to be someone else, or someone you think you should be. It never works. Find your strengths and use them. You have many. No one can figure things out like you can. No one stands up for victims like you do.”

My favourite part was how interactive Murder on the Christmas Express is. I tried so hard to find all the anagrams, but I didn’t have too much luck, without knowing what page or chapter to look for. However, I thoroughly enjoyed finding all of Kate Bush’s songs that were hiding in plain sight. I also enjoyed the Christmas pub quiz and I will definitely be borrowing some questions this year. 

When it came to the ending of the book and the killer, I wasn’t surprised.

I had my suspicions on a group of people, and it tied in nicely. A lot of signs and clues were already around, so it didn’t feel like too much of a surprise. I would have loved to get to know some of the characters more, and add a few of their secrets to thicken the plot a bit more. Some of the insight information that Roz received could have added to the suspense. As a cozy murder mystery, Murder on the Christmas Express made me feel exactly how I wanted it to; excited for Christmas, entertained and engrossed in solving a lot of mysteries. If you know a reader, this will be their perfect Christmas gift for them.

“Memories are like a tray full of water. They might seem clear to you, but they’re coloured by your own ink, your schema, made up of your past experiences, the way you view the world, your own sense of time, cultural identity and values, and so many other factors. If you lay a sheet of paper on top of the tray, then it will be one colour, one set of memories. But everyone else’s memories are shaded with their own ink, and if two or more of your memories mix, then they marble together and cannot be separated. If you lay a piece of paper on top, a very different image will emerge from the first. Bartlett’s theory of reconstructive memory. No one will give quite the same version of the same event.”

About The Author:

Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict [BOOK REVIEW]

A K Benedict read English at Cambridge and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. She writes in a room filled with mannequins, clowns and teapots. She is currently writing scripts, short stories, a standalone psychological thriller and the sequel to The Beauty of Murder. She lives in St Leonards-on-Sea with her dog, Dame Margaret Rutherford. 

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Book Review · Books

You by Caroline Kepnes [BOOK REVIEW]

You by Caroline Kepnes [BOOK REVIEW]

About You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 422

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format I read it in: Paperback

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

You… How do I start writing a review about you? You had all the potential to be something special… A thriller with a psychologically unstable character, a person that becomes so obsessive about another person. We were almost there, me and you, You. But you ruined it with the cliche ending and unsurprising reveals. At the end I even started resenting the way you are written in second person. 

I’m not going to lie, I have had this book on my TBR since forever and I always found the synopsis so gripping. It’s not every day that you can enter the mind of a stalker who falls in love with “the girl next door”. I’ve always been captivated by twisted characters and this time was no different. But Joe kind of disappointed me. It wasn’t anything special, just a guy who goes really over the top about people he loves. Badshit crazy over the top, but predictable. 

I expected him to do everything he went on to do.

In fact, I was surprised by Beck. She was a real bitch actually. Obviously, she never deserved what happened to her, but she was brutal with her lying and cheating. If I was Joe, I’d be a bit upset too. Not as upset, I mean, the guy is bonkers… 

“The only thing cruller than a cage so small that a bird can’t fly is a cage so large that a bird thinks it can fly. Only a monster would lock a bird in here and call himself an animal lover.”

I am not sure what exactly I was expecting, but the book didn’t have it. That wow factor maybe. Or I was maybe missing the tension about someone figuring out who / what Joe is. Maybe it was Beck’s perspective I was missing, to understand her better. I never knew if I could trust the girl. And this is where the masterpiece comes – this is where we realise how genius the author is. The writing made me root for Joe. Made me root for the crazy guy without a single doubt in my mind. This book is so twisted and clever that I liked Joe as a character, despite him being a proper psychopath. I knew he was the bad guy, and yet his excuses made sense – which prompted me to double question myself after numerous chapters. 

I was lacking some tension and action. The book kept me gripped with its twistiness in characters, but it didn’t impress me. I was waiting for the big finale that never happened and the ending was underwhelming to me. However, I’m still planning to read the rest of the series because I’m curious to find out what is next for Joe.

About The Author:

You by Caroline Kepnes [BOOK REVIEW]

Caroline Kepnes is the New York Times bestselling author of You, Hidden Bodies, Providence and…

You Love Me. Publishing in the US on April 6, 2021

Her work has been translated into a multitude of languages and inspired a television series adaptation of You, currently on Netflix. Kepnes graduated from Brown University and then worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer for 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She grew up on Cape Cod, and now lives in Los Angeles.

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Book Review · Books

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so happy I had the chance to celebrate the publication of Do No Harm by Jack Jordan and be part of a huge readalong that included patient charts and heart rate monitors. Huge thank you to Tandem Collective, Simon & Schuster and Jack Jordan himself!

About The Book:

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 432

Genre: Medical Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format I read it in: Paperback, Uncorrected Proof

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

Anna is a surgeon and quite good at her job. She is also a mother to 4-year-old Zack and is going through a divorce. She’s scheduled to do a surgery on a VIP patient, but when she gets home, her world is about to change – for the worse! Her son has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is to kill her patient on the operating table.

And in Do No Harm, this seems to be only the beginning. While we are following Anna’s point of view and her impossible options to choose from, we also get to meet Margot and Rachel. Margot works as a nurse, together with Anna, and has some financial hardships that make her do things she wouldn’t usually do. And Rachel works in the police and has her own tragedy that unable her to move forward with her life. When a lot of things start to happen, the lives of these three women will intertwine and bring out sides of them they didn’t know existed.

Through the stories of these three women, a lot of intense moments happen. This book had me glued to my seat, flipping pages and unable to stop until I finished it.

What would you do? Would you Save or Kill the Patient?

When we started the readalong for this book, we were asked to choose whether we would kill or save the patient. I’ll be honest, for me it was a straightforward and also an unpopular decision. I chose to save the patient. My thoughts at the time were that if the people that took my child had the power to blackmail me, I probably can’t save him anyways, so I might as well not lose my medical licence. However, throughout the book, I changed my decision too many times. As I read the initial circumstances of Anna’s situation, and also reading the plot twists throughout the story, my initial choice went back and forth like a ball on a tennis court.

Reading Do No Harm was such a thrill! Every chapter is suspenseful and you never know in which direction the plot is about to go next. I definitely didn’t expect the ending and even now, days after finishing the book, I am still trying to figure everything out. That’s how shocked this book made me feel.

Do No Harm is the book version of the most intense Grey’s Anatomy episode. That’s the only way I can explain this book in one sentence. It has the hospital setting, the chilling suspenseful moments and never-ending action. And on top of it all, it has a character that’s been given an impossible choice. Do No Harm is a must-read. It will get your heart rate up for sure!

About The Author:

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

Author of Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned, Before Her Eyes, and Night by Night. My next thriller, Do No Harm, is published 26th May 2022.

Instagram: (@JackJordan_author)

Twitter: (@JackJordanBooks)

Facebook: (@jackjordanofficial)

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek [BLOG TOUR]

the high moments sara-ella ozbek blog tour fashion simon  & schuster blog diary of difference


I am very excited to be part of the Instagram Tour for The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek. Thank you to Kaleidoscopic Book Tours for this amazing opportunity, and for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The High Moments is a book about Scarlett.

She’s not perfect and she has a very tricky relationship with her mother. All she wants is to be successful and for people to like her. 

She is one of those people that make goals on New Year’s Eve, and then reflect back one year later, just to realise that nothing has changed. But one day, she does decide it’s time for a change. So she moves to London. She doesn’t have a particular plan, but she does want to be a designer. 

She ends up getting a job at a modeling agency with a very low salary. But the fashion industry is the worst place you can go to, if you are willing to change yourself, just to appeal to others. 

Which is something Scarlett, obviously, does. 

She makes friends that aren’t that real. She hands out with the wrong crowd. And she sleeps with men she shouldn’t. She takes drugs. She consumes alcohol. Way more than she is supposed to. But at least people start to recognise her. They invite her to parties she could only have dreamed of. Surely that can’t be all that bad? Well – it is. 

And she doesn’t really learn from it, until it’s way too late. 

This book was compared to The Devil Wears Prada, and I don’t agree with that comparison. The Devil Wears Prada is a gem, and the first of its kind, so it shouldn’t be a very easy story to compare. Just because this book follows a woman that works in a very fast paced fashion industry it doesn’t mean comparisons should be thrown left right and center. 

Additionally, Scarlett is a very insecure person. And despite her goal in design, she doesn’t show a lot of determination. She seemed to care way more about her parties, than to be good at her job and get promoted in her career. But I think that her immaturity comes with her age, and the story was captured in a time when she still needed to experience everything and grow. Which she does, at the very end of the book, even though it’s a slow start. 

Aside from this, I really enjoyed the book, and it only took me one day to finish it. I was very invested and entertained, and I have only praise for that. The scenes were very realistic and the characters were very real. The plot was predictable, but I expected that. Every time Scarlett would make a bad decision, I knew it would come back to bite her. And I also knew she would learn to grow from all the mistakes she made – which she does. And that pleases me. 

“Everyone always wonders how good people can do terrible things, but bad behaviour is the easiest thing in the world, really. You just don’t think about it.”

If you love fast-paced books, filled with humour and fashion, I promise you will enjoy The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek. It will lift your spirits and make you giggle. And on top of that, it will make you discuss Scarlett’s choices in life with your best friend. What more do you want in a book? 🙂

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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