Category Archives: Betsy Reavley

**Top Five Friday** with the book review café #TheWOWFactor


Today on top five Friday I’m going to share with you the top five books that in my opinion have the WOW factor and left me speechless (no easy feat I can tell you). These are books that I’ve read this year and despite only being three months in to the new year there were plenty of books I could have choosen for this category, but for me these books are extra special and left me stunned by their sheer brilliance.


The One by John Marrs

I just loved The One by John Marrs, he’s already gone on my list of “must read authors” after reading this awesome novel. With a highly original theme and one which intrigued me from the very first page, a cliche I know but I really struggled to put this book down.


The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long to read it as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.


Frailty by Betsy Reavley

Frailty by Betsy Reavley not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.


Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, for me Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and certainly one to watch out for. You can read my review for this awesome book on Saturday 18th March as I’m part of the blog tour.


The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls is well worth a read, despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexity of love and relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity. Although it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it was a hard one to put down and I read it in one sitting.

You can read my reviews here


**My Book Of The Month** November 2016


Eeeeek I can’t believe it’s the 1st December but it is! which can only mean one thing, it’s time to choose my Book Of The Month. The Gold Star Award is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. This very prestigious award (well I think so!), will be presented (reality wise anyway) to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review. I have read some good books in November  but there is one clear winner this month.  This book stood our for me because I still thought about it long after I finished it and when I was reading this book I was so engrossed in the story, time just flew by. This fantastic book had all the elements I look for in a crime thriller, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense, so without further ado the book I have given the Gold Star Award is …….


You can check out my review here:

My thanks to Betsy Reavley for writing such a gripping book 

Frailty by Betsy Reavley #Review @BetsyReavley @BloodhoundBook


Book description

How far would you go to protect your family?

Danny and Libby are about to face every parent’s worst nightmare.

When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the idyllic village where she lives, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child’s shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.

Will they ever find Hope?

Frailty is a haunting, gritty, psychological page-turner about the choices we make.


Ever since I read The Opticians Wife by Betsy Reavley which I throughly enjoyed, I’ve been waiting eagerly to see what the author would come up with next, and OMG she’s surpassed all my expectations. Frailty is an absolute cracker and its definitely going to be on my list of top ten reads this year without doubt. Frailty by Betsy Reavley has not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.

Eight year old Hope Bird disappears without trace, and what follows is every parents worst nightmare, Betsy Reavley takes the reader on a painful journey alongside the devastated parents Libby and Darren. The author paints such a detailed picture of Libby and Darren’s life before and after Hope disappearance. I found myself drawn to both characters, their pain, fear, grief and desperation were palatable and I found myself becoming emotionally involved in their story. We see first hand the devastation a child going missing causes, the toll it takes on relationships and the lengths people will go to when they feel so helpless. Unfortunately Frailty is very much a story of the times, how often do we read about children going missing? the family’s left behind? Far too often in my opinion.

The story is told mostly from Libby’s point of view, but there are also small snippets from Hope which are told in the first person, and it’s these chapters that make for a spine chilling and deeply upsetting read. I should point out there are no terribly graphic scenes, Betsy Reavley deals with a difficult subject with empathy and sensitivity, it’s a book that is definitely not written just to shock. As the weeks of Hope’s disappearance turn in to months the author describes the relationship of the parents with such clarity that their desperation and frustration is tangible. As events spiral out of control and Darren decides to take desperate measures to find his little girl I couldn’t help but empathise with him, this is a man drowning in grief and struggling to keep his family together, and I could understand why he chose to take matters into his own hands, wether he was right or wrong, who’s to say.

Frailty is a taut and gritty psychological thriller, I read this book with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and it didn’t disappear until I reached the very last page. There were some “OMG” moments that I never saw coming until they hit me in the face, the author manages to maintain the suspense until she decides to reveal all, so much so I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This could have been a very depressing read, yes it did make me cry, it’s a story that will pull at even the most hardened heartstrings, but Betsy Reavley has created such a damn good read that when I finished, my first thought was OH WOW. With compelling characters and a well excuted plot there is no way to avoid the cliché: I could not put this novel down! Disturbing and compelling, this is definitely a psychologically astute, edge-of-the-seat story.


I won’t be giving Frailty 5 stars NO SIREE, but I will be giving it the very prestigious GOLD STAR AWARD, I give this award to a book I feel covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grip until I reached the very last page.

Paperback: 220 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (15 Nov. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US  🇺🇸

**Weekly Wrap Up**

The last couple of weeks I’ve struggled to read anything, my dad hasn’t been well so my mind has been else where, but this week I have managed to read two books and start a third

Blood Sister by Dreda Say Mitchell


I loved Blood Sister a really gripping read, unfortunately you won’t be able to read my review until the 19th August when it’s my stop on the blog tour

Nina Is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi


Not my usual type of read but this book blew me away I absolutely loved it,despite the subject matter, my review will be live on my blog next week

All Fall Down by Tom Bale


Really excited about reading All Fall Down by Tom Bale, I’m hoping it will be as good or if not better than his previous book See How They Run, I just love the cover I think publishers Bookouture have the most fantastic covers they just shout out “read me”

Book post I received this week

I won a copy of My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry along with a lovely notebook and some chocolate over at Kate’s blog

They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

Turning Blue by Benjamin Myers

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

Arc’s I’ve received this week

Oh dear the NetGalley ban has truly gone out the window as you can see 🙈🙈

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington

Nina Is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi

Surviving The Angel Of Death by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

What Remains of Me by A L Gaylin

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Lie In Wait by GJ Minett

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

All Fall Down by Tom Bale

Books I’ve bought

I have been really good this week and not bought any books, there are a few I’m desperate to read, but I’m trying not to buy them just yet! I have borrowed two from my sister instead

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

I had the ARC but my copy was shocking it kept missing out letters so I literally had to guess the words, it got so annoying it was ruining a very good book, so I gave up on it!


Last week on The Book Review Café

The Optician’s Wife by Betsy Reavley #Review | The Book Review Café

*Blog Tour** S5 Uncovered by James Durose-Rayner & #GuestPost | The Book Review Café

Next week on The Book Review Café

**Blog Tour** They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan, Q & A with the author

Review for Nina Is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi

Review for The Forgotten Woman by Angela Marsons


 Blogging news from The Book Review Café

After nearly a year of blogging I’ve finally got around to joining Goodreads, I did have an account but completely forgot my log in details as I never used it! So I’ve rejoined as The Book Review Café (surprise, surprise).

I finally got myself a copy of Between You And Me by Lisa Hall, yes I’ve read it and loved it, but it’s not everyday you get a quote from your review in a book alongside some other fab bloggers.


And I also got a quote from another review featured in my Bloq by Alan Jones, which I’m thrilled to bits about as I loved this book (note the fabulous bloggers I’m sharing the page with, and congratulations to all😘😘)



The Optician’s Wife by Betsy Reavley #Review


Book Description

Can you ever really know someone?

When Deborah, an unpopular seventeen-year-old, meets the charming and handsome Larry, he sweeps her off her feet. The trouble is Larry has a secret.

Then a series of grisly murders cast a shadow over everything.

As Deborah’s world starts to fall apart she begins to suspect the man she loves of a terrible betrayal. And to keep their marriage alive, sacrifices must be made.

A compelling, psychological thriller that unpicks what goes on behind closed doors and reminds us that sometimes the worst crimes can take place closer to home than you think


Don’t you just love it when you pick up a book and it blows you away, well Betsy Reavley has managed to do just that with a book that’s absolutely filled with suspense and intrigue. Deborah a gauche and naive seventeen year old meets debonair and charismatic Larry, a trainee Optometrist. Deborah soon falls for Larry’s charm, and so begins a relationship that is both obsessive and dangerous. I have to say that I really didn’t like either of the characters, in fact I found them despicable and disturbing, but that’s not a criticism by any means, I always think an author has done their job well if I have strong feelings either way about a character. As the plot progressed so did my dislike for the characters. The author has created multi dimensional characters with very complex personalities, but despite my intense dislike for the characters, I also found them strangely compelling.

I could say so much about this fabulous book, but in doing so I would give away spoilers, and I strongly feel this is one of those books the less you know the more you will enjoy it. Suffice to say the author portrays a chilling and disturbing picture of the relationship between two people, and the lengths people will go to in the name of love, jealousy, lust and betrayal. This novel has so many twist and turns I found myself turning the pages with trepidation, as I wasn’t really sure where the plot was leading. I have read lots of psychological thrillers this year and what made this book stand out for me was that I never expected the story to pan out the way it did, which certainly added an air of unease and foreboding to this superbly crafted story.

I found myself so engrossed in The Optician’s Wife I read it in one sitting, yes it really was that damn good! Betsy Reavley has written a deliciously dark and shocking psychological thriller. I can wholeheartedly recommend it for someone looking for an original psychological thriller, but with all the hallmarks of a truly gripping tale.

Print Length: 225 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (18 Jun. 2016)


***Weekly Wrap Up***


One of my less impressive weeks for reading this week, I’ve managed to read 2 books

He’s Gone by Alex Clare


This is a book I’ve read for the He’s Gone blog tour and you can read my review on Monday 1st August

The Forgotten Woman by Angela Marsons

This book is so different to Angela Marson’s crime books, but I did enjoy it and my review will be on my blog soon.

Book post I received this week

I received a signed copy of Silent Scream from the lovely Angela Marsons

I also won a signed copy of Cruel Justice by M.A Comley

I also received a signed copy of He’s Gone by Alex Clare, which I think maybe a Giveaway for the blog tour (as there was just the book, no note with it, so watch this space)

Arc’s I’ve received this week

Well the NetGalley ban has gone out the window thanks to one of my favourite publisher Bookouture, they have just re-released two of my favourite authors (Angela Marsons) books, they sound very different to her usual books, so naturally I just had to get them!

The Forgotten Woman by Angela Marsons

Dear Mother by Angela Marsons

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Last week on The Book Review Café

Next week on The Book Review Café

Guest Post from Netta NewBound author of Prima Facie

#TopFiveThursday with the fabulous Sharon Bairden of

Watching Edie by Camellia Way Review

The Opticians Wife by Betsy Reavley Review

Blogging news from The Book Review Café

I’m really excited to share some HUGE news with you……..I’m finally the owner of book case! up until now my books have been all over the house, so now thanks to my other half Andy (who put my bookcase before he started his late shift, and Andy if you are reading this you’re one in a million😘) I have all my signed and TBR books in one place. It’s still a work in progress as I keep finding books left, right and centre, but I’m getting there. I also donated a huge bag of books to a local charity, it was hard letting them go, but on the upside more room for NEW books 😀😀😀😀


My new weekly feature #TopFiveThursday has taken off really well and I have had lots of positive comments about it. There are loads of bloggers lined up for this feature, but I’m always happy to add more. So if you are interested drop me a line (my email address can be found on my contact page), or leave a comment and I will get back to you.

When I get part of my quote featured on a book banner, I still get really excited (and I mean literally jumping around, and showing everyone a screen shot of my quote), when I started blogging I never dreamt my reviews would be read by anyone, let alone used in the promotion of a book. In case you are slightly interested it’s for The Stepmother by Claire Seeber, which I found to be an absolute gripping read.


**Weekly Wrap Up**


Panic over after struggling to read one book last week I have redeemed myself and read FOUR books this week, and I’m giving myself the biggest pat on the back because I exactly managed to read three of the books that were off my TBR pile

The Opticians Wife By Betsy Reavley


Watching Edie By Camilla Way


Unravelled Anna Scallon


Dead To Me by Lesley Pearce


Book post I received this week


The Moment She Left by Susan Lewis.

After Isabella by Rosie Fiore

Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre

Arc’s I’ve received this week

I know I put myself on a NetGalley ban and I did managed a WHOLE WEEK, before I requested any more books!

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva


The book description reminded me of The Hunger Games, which I loved, and thought it would make a change from my usual reads.

I also got sent a widget from author Mark Edwards for his new book, which I can’t wait to read

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards



Books I bought this week

I bought three books this week

The Paradise Trees by Linda Huber

For The Last Time by Janet Kelly, I bought this book after reading Anne’s review over on the book description and Anne’s review intrigued me

The Game You Played by Anni Taylor

Last week on The Book Review Café

**Blog Tour** Outside Looking In by Michael Wood You can see my review here

**Guest Post** by Dane Cobain author of The Rise And Fall Of A Social Network

You can read Dane’s Guest Post here

**Blog Tour** Made To Be Broken by Rebecca Bradley You can read my review here

Next week on the book review café

It’s going to be a really busy week with plenty going on

Blog Tour All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Blog Tour The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Tracy Shephard

The Opticians Wife by Betsy Reavley, review

Unravelled by Anne Scanlon, review

Guest Post from Linda Huber author of Chosen Child

Blogging news from The Book Review Café

I’ve been trying think of a new feature I could run on my blog, and eventually I came up with #TopFiveThursday featuring bloggers (everyone loves to know more about blogger’s right? Well I do anyway) basically I ask the following questions & bloggers give me their answers simple eh? I’m not sure how often it will run, I’m hoping it will be a weekly post, and run for as long as I have bloggers to feature, so If you would like to take part please answer the following questions and send your answers to……

Top 5 books this year (so far)?

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Top 5 books you want to read before the end of 2016?

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Top 5 book blogs you follow? (not that you are likely to….. but don’t include me in your 5 top blogs 😂😂, as I want to help promote as many bloggers as possible)

It would be great if you could send a small bio about yourself and a photo, and also a link to your blog and any other social media links you would like me to include.


**Weekly Wrap Up**

Oh dear, oh dear I have only Managed to read ONE book this week, I hang my head in shame! A book blogger whose only read one book in a week (oh the shame!)

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker


This was a fantastic and gripping read, but I’m saving my review for the blog tour, you can read my review on Friday 15th July . Now I’ve read my last blog tour book, I’m hoping to read a couple from my own very dusty TBR shelf…….well that was my plan but after reading such great reviews for The Opticians Wife by Betsy Reavley I’ve pushed this one to the very top! I will let you know my thoughts once I’ve read it


Books I’ve received this week

I haven’t received any book post this week which is very unusual, I’ve missed the satisfying bang when a book comes through the letter box, but on the plus side my TBR pile of physical books hasn’t grown!

Arc’s I’ve received this week

I am still being really good with my NetGalley books and only requested one, I spotted The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, the book description reminded me of The Hunger Games, which I loved, and thought it would make a change from my usual reads.


Books I’ve bought

I really am having a bad week, I haven’t bought ONE book this week, yes you read that right! It hasn’t been the best of weeks for me and I’ve been really stressed, which I think has had a knock on effect with my reading/buying books, hopefully normal service will resume soon


Last week on The Book Review Café

**My Book Of The Month** June 2016 | The Book Review Café

With Deadly Intent by KA Richardson | The Book Review Café

Consequences by RC Bridgestock | The Book Review Café

Next week on the book review café

Blog Tour for Outside Looking In by Michael Wood review

Blog Tour for Made To Be Broken by Rebecca Bradley Guest post & review

And hopefully a review for The Opticians Wife if I get my reading mojo back


Blogging news from The Book Review Café

I now have a brand new address…….The Book Review Café.Com  I dropped the WordPress bit, a few bloggers have asked me if it was easy, and yes it was simple as both Kate over at
and Sarah at had promised it would be, it literally gives you a step by step guide to changing, and no I never lost any followers, and it appears any links to my old WordPress address will still direct them to my site. It costs £15.00 a year if anyone’s interested

As to the benefits I wanted my address to appear more professional and I think by adding the it does that, I’m not sure there are many other benefits like being able to personalise your blog in the way you want to, I think that is a different upgrade altogether.


Sorry I haven’t got much to share this week, but hopefully I can catch up with some reading this week, as I have a few days holiday.