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The House Swap
The House Swap
Rebecca Fleet | 2018 | Thriller
8
6.5 (4 Ratings)
Book Rating
Tension, tension, so much tension!
From start to finish The House Swap is a taut and edgy examination of the rocky marriage between a young English couple, Caroline and Francis. When the opportunity arises for them to swap their city flat in Leeds with someone else’s suburban home in Chiswick they eagerly plan a week-long getaway for two so they can focus on repairing their relationship. Caroline soon starts finding signs that the owner of the suburban home she and Francis are currently occupying may very well be the person she’s tried so desperately to put behind her: her ex-lover, Carl. Francis, who knows about Caroline’s past affair, begins to notice that his wife is acting strange and inattentive; it’s putting him on edge, which is no place for a former pill-popper like himself to be. With both of their past obsessions threatening to burst back into their lives, Caroline and Francis brace themselves for the ultimate test in their marriage.

This psychological thriller definitely delivers on nail-biting suspense, calculated misdirection, and hair-raising shocks. There were more than a couple of well-placed red herrings which made the plot twists all the more juicy and exciting. Some of the content was a bit difficult to stomach, but it added to the domestic noir feel of the novel. Overall, The House Swap is a solid option for anyone looking for a fast-paced and multilayered novel that goes behind closed doors.
  
The Life She Wants
The Life She Wants
Mel Sherratt | 2021 | Crime, Thriller
7
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
I am a fan of Mel Sherratt's work and always look forward to reading her books but, I have to say, never have I been so confused as I was with this one.

Now, whilst at first this might seem to be a negative, let me reassure you that if you stick with it, everything falls into place very nicely and the confusion was well worth it in the end.

Told from different perspectives over different timelines, this is a complex storyline which deals with various unsavoury but important and contemporary themes; coercive control, domestic abuse and loss. These are hard-hitting subjects but Mel deals with them with respect.

There are a number of characters and all have a part to play but I found I didn't really focus on them that much as I was more interested in the story and how it was going to play out. That's not to say they weren't great characters, far from it, it's just that the story was so engrossing that they felt secondary to me somehow.

Full of secrets, lies and manipulation, this is a book that makes you angry and sympathetic all at the same time. It's definitely one that kept me totally engrossed and I couldn't read fast enough.

With atmosphere, suspense and tension aplenty, this is a book that I would definitely recommend to lovers of psychological thrillers and I have to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest, unbiased and unedited review.
  
The Other Woman
The Other Woman
Sandie Jones | 2018 | Thriller
8
8.3 (15 Ratings)
Book Rating
#BewareOfPammie #TheOtherWoman
#BewareOfPammie #TheOtherWoman
Domestic Suspense Thriller you won't want to put down. The cover alone is captivating then opening the book and reading the Prologue, holy wow can we say it makes you want to read it right away!!!!!
PROLOGUE
"She looks beautiful in her wedding dress. It fits her perfectly and is exactly what I'd imagined she'd go for: elegant, understated, and unique --- just like her. My heart breaks that her day will never come, but she doesn't need to know that yet.
I think about the guests who won't attend, the picture frames with no photographs, the first dance that will be silent, the cake that won't get eaten, and I feel my resolve weakening. I pull myself up. This is not a time for doubt.
There is still so much work to do, so much more pain to inflict, but I will not be deterred. I failed once before, but this time, I'll get it right. There's too much at stake to get it wrong."
Just wow!!! And which character is this coming from? Adam the fiancé? Pammie (Adam's mom and future mother-in-law)? James? (the jealous at times brother of Adam) Someone else in Emily's circle????

This book is about a romance that happened very quickly between Adam and Emily, a devious mother named Pammie, a brother who seems to want Emily for himself … Do you really know the family you will become in-laws with and will Emily find out too late who they really are? What secrets will be revealed? Get ready for an entertaining, twisted thriller you will not want to put down until the very end with lots of manipulation, guesses, and questions.. oh scratching your head moments like WTF …
  
Lion (2017)
Lion (2017)
2017 |
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Upon discovering this short film, I was impressed with how well it had performed. During its first year of distribution, it has won 126 awards at a variety of film festivals which is quite the selling point. Walking in to the film, I didn’t know much about it but the air of mystery made my viewing experience even better. The film is set in an isolated cabin, on a snowy night, which creates the perfect backdrop for a horror tale…

From the very first scene you can tell this cabin is not a happy place to be. Straight away we’re created with sounds of domestic violence, making the viewer feel instantly uncomfortable. The father in the film is repulsive and lives in a squalor, with cigarette butts, leftover pizza and empty cans of beer dotted everywhere. Michael Segal really brought this character to life, showing us that not all villains are supernatural or machete wielding psychopaths. Some evil can be found in the average home, behind closed doors, where violence takes over. Sometimes humans can be more terrifying than anything else.

The way Lion deals with domestic violence, particularly against children, was done incredibly well. It’s not an easy topic to cover but this short makes an impact without going too far and making it gratuitous. Part of what makes this film so good is what you don’t see on screen, and how your imagination runs wild. It has a slow burning narrative that builds up the suspense and finally unleashes the climactic moment with only a few minutes to spare, providing closure and satisfaction for the spectator.

I really liked the use of special effects throughout the film, because they blended in nicely with the rest of the scene and weren’t overdone at any point. Cinematically it hits all the right notes for a horror film through it’s use of low-lighting, tense creeping moments, and an excellent use of music. Jump scares and gore weren’t needed in Lion, because it manages to deliver real horror in a much more subtler, but effective way. The presence of the lion throughout was a good motif to use as well, as they’re synonymous with courage and being a fighter. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.

Lion is an incredibly important short film that I believe is a must watch, even for those who don’t tend to reach for horrors. The final card at the end reiterates the important message that is present throughout the film, and it really resonated with me. It’s a film with fantasy elements, yet still deep rooted within reality that it makes you want to stand up and take action in any way you can.

https://jumpcutonline.co.uk/lion-short/