Cover Image: Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers

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Member Reviews

Good psychological thriller with a great twist
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
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‘I took you, Becca. You’re not my daughter.’

That one sentence can ruin your whole world, a world you believe to be true…. for your whole life…. but is it true? Or is the illness that Becca’s Mother is suffering from affecting her momory, playing tricks on her mind? Or is she speaking the truth?!

Poor Becca, as if she hasn’t got enough on her plat without her Mother saying those 8 tiny words, 8 tiny words that throw her life into chaos. I really felt for Becca, a mother in a care home, a Dad that doesn’t seem to be able to cope with the whole situation and a brother that I took an instant dislike to.

So much is going on and then everything collides, Im surprised she held it all together as long as she did!

I enjoyed how the author integrated all the characters into the story, and how she slowly pulled all the threads together. I was turning those pages deep into the night, the chapters are short so one chapter ended up leading to 7 before I put it down.

Its edgy, dark in places and has you thinking the whole way through. I had everyone down as a suspect and I so didn’t see the end coming!

I look forward to seeing what this author brings us next.
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This debut novel was a gripping read with interesting characters and a suspenseful storyline. Kept me guessing what was going to happen right up to the very end when everything came together. Would recommend this book and will look out for future books by this same author. Solid 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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For a debut novel. I thought this was a brilliant read.   A well written story full of suspense. Great page turner that I highly recommend. Can’t wait to read more from this author.
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This book catch me right away.  I was very glad I got a chance to read this book!  I did not guess the ending.  I loved all the suspense and I loved the ending I did not see coming.  This was a great book!  "This book was given to me for free at my request NetGalley and I provided this voluntary review."
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This is an excellent debut novel, gripping from the start and it wasn't until the end of the book that all the ends were tied up. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone
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WOW!  This is a GOOD book!  Jackie Walsh brought the characters to life and gave them a fascinating back story.  She kept the story moving quickly while still giving us enough mystery that we had to keep reading to see what happens next.  This is what a great...mystery is all about.
Becca's mother drops a bombshell on her.  But her mother has Alzheimer, so was she just rambling or was she confessing?  Becca can't ask her family questions, after all if she is not who she thinks she is, wouldn't they have been keeping the secret too?  Who is this woman that the police are looking for?  So much mystery so well written, you just have to keep reading to see where the story goes.
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Familiar Strangers
By Jackie Walsh

4 stars

Wonderfully written mystery that leaves the reader wanting more. 

The story line flows well and engages the reader as clues are slowly leaked out.  With twists and turns that do not reveal the killer until the last pages.  

Nancy Wall confesses that Becca is not her child, Becca's world falls apart. Becca tells herself that the words are just a cruel symptom of Nancy’s illness; after all, she has her birth certificate, and pictures of herself as a newborn along with her Mom, Dad and older brother, Danny. 

Becca tries to forget, to get on with on her life – until the day the police question her about the whereabouts of a missing woman, Katie Collins. Katie has disappeared without a trace, telling her husband that she is leaving to find Rebecca Wall. But Becca doesn’t know Katie, so it’s a case of mistaken identity – isn’t it? 

A great read that will keep you guessing.

This title has been reviewed by  This title was provided by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an open and honest review.

#FamiliarStrangers #NetGalley
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Well first of all  the storyline grabbed me hook , line and sinker. So many twists and turns . This book also has you thinking emotionally. I was totally connected to the characters and it had me wanting more. Look forward to reading more of Jackies books.
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This was a strangely familiar book. I feel like it reads like others I have read at the beginning but then it becomes something different. I called part of this story early on but I still ended up guessing the wrong person in the end though so that alone made me enjoy it even more. Easily 3.5 to 4 stars
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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A good read with an intriguing storyline. The plot was well thought out with lots of red herrings to mislead you along the way. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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Wow fabulous debut thriller from Jackie Walsh had me gripped from the start. 
Great characters and a storyline full of exciting twists and turns, tension, mystery and a shocking twist at the end that I never saw coming. 
Highly recommended and look forward to next book.
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'I took you, Becca. You’re not my daughter.' 

Becca's mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimers and every day Becca loses another part of her loving and caring mother who would always go out of her way for her one and only daughter. But one day, Nancy Wall speaks those shocking words which chill Becca to her very core. Suddenly, the world she thought she knew begins to fall apart.

Ah this book was fantastic. I thought I knew exactly where it was going but then it threw yet more at me. I love fast paced books and I've found myself reading slow burns recently so this was a brilliant and refreshing change - a well needed mix up! 

Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and T.M Logan will be LOVE this book. I whole hardheartedly recommend it. Do it. Read it.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.
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Overall, this was a pretty good quick read. 

Becca, the narrator, is a bit lost in life. She is not making ends meet which is not surprising since work seems to be an option for her. She doesn’t seem to have any friends other than Jeff, who lives in the same building. Romance? None to speak of other than a really poor choice for a hookup.  Still she grew on me...

The premise is a good one and it was executed pretty well. There aren’t too many key players so the mystery seems pretty cut and dry. It’s not really though, and the reveal keeps you waiting to the bitter end. Satisfying? Not bad, but I was hoping for a bit more crazy and dark (reflection on me🙄).

The writing is good, the characters are well layered and the pace was decent. I looked at the author profile and it supplies nothing but I’m guessing she’s from the UK? At the 3/4 mark in this book some of the slang and phrasing definitely read like it. It didn’t detract and if you don’t read much from English authors you might not even notice it... Pretty entertaining, I would read more by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Hera Books for a copy in exchange for a review.
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My nerves were really shredded to pieces and while it broke my heart it also kept me awake and wanting to find out what  happens next. The writting was as amazing
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This book whips along at a cracking pace as Becca finds herself at the middle of a murder mystery. I thought the premise was so intriguing - her mum telling her that she took her. Hmmm, tell me more! I found Becca a difficult person to relate to, although given her personal situation, with her mum suffering from early onset Alzheimer's, I can see why she was all over the place, but it all got a little frantic in parts and her decision-making was inconsistent to say the least!. Putting that aside, it's a great read as all the elements of this clever plot come together.
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Packed with suspense, Familiar Strangers was hard to put down. It was so twisty, it was kind of difficult to believe this was a debut novel. Becca adores her mom, is heartbroken at her early-onset Alzheimers, and then her mother, in a moment of lucidity, tells Becca, "I took you. You're not my daughter." Now, how was I supposed to stop reading after that announcement? There were enough twists and turns in the book that kept me turning page after page to get to the truth. Every time I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to it. 

I really don't think you'll be disappointed with this thriller.
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Alzheimers is a absolutely horrible condition that not only robs people of their memories and identities but also forces their loved ones to witness the slow,cruel deterioration of the person that they love. As I get older,it is a condition that terrifies me especially when I have moments when I struggle to remember the names of objects or how to spell a word. Alzheimers and identity crisis are themes that run parallel throughout this fast paced,heart string pulling,gripping thriller.

Rebecca Wall's mother Nancy is in a care home,slowly deteriorating due to Alzheimers. Nancy does still have some lucid moments and it is during one of these rare moments when she informs Rebecca that she is not actually Nancy's daughter,that Nancy had taken her. Rebecca is convinced that Nancy is confused because of the Alzheimers and vows to just ignore what her mother said and get on with her life. Only fate has more shocks planned for Rebecca Wall and she soon finds herself coming to the attention of the police. A young women Katie Collins has been reported missing by her husband after apparently telling him that she was going to find Rebecca Wall and despite Rebecca insisting that she has no idea who Katie was, the police are convinced that Rebecca knows more than she is admitting.

The story follows Rebecca as she somewhat reluctantly at first tries to uncover the truth about her parentage whilst struggling with her doubts,the constant questioning by the police and the mental deterioration of both her mother and her father. Neither Rebecca nor the reader has any idea who she can trust as she encounters untrustworthy characters,betrayals and uncovers shocking secrets and lies. Rebecca was a flawed,complex character who I had mixed feelings about as the story unfolded. Sometimes I felt sympathy for her whilst at other times,her behaviour and indecisiveness were frustrating and I just wanted to reach into my kindle,grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shaking.

Familiar Strangers is packed full of twists and turns,red herrings, keeps the reader guessing and frantically turning the pages. The author has written about how Alzheimers affects the lives of sufferers and their loved ones with sensitivity, compassion and with heart breaking realism. I couldn't put this enthralling thriller down and look forward to reading more books by this author in the future. Very very highly recommended.
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5☆ Enthralling, Twisty, Gripping, yet so very Poignant! 

Wow this was a gripping psychological thriller with a very poignant storyline.

Rebecca's Mother has Alzheimer's and it's in the advanced stages.
At some point we all have encounters with this heart breaking and cruel condition.
My Auntie passed away 17months ago and she too had Alzheimer's so this was a particularly tough story to read.
But despite it being a tough read, it was so enthralling I was drawn in from the start!

Back to the story!

What what you do if your mother told you that she had taken you and you're not her daughter?? 
Bearing in mind Rebecca's Mother has Alzheimer's!
Well that's what happened to Rebecca.

Then things start to take a sinister turn.
Someone has been in Rebecca's flat.
The police are looking for Rebecca in question, of the disappearance of Katie Collins.
But who is Katie?
Why is she looking for Rebecca? 
And why when she turns up dead is Rebecca the prime suspect?
Is there any connection to her Mother's mystery outburst?

So many juicy questions, so many thrilling twists!
Who to trust and who to believe.

The opening prologue was eerie and I loved it! I left me completely intrigued.

Familiar Strangers is cleverly written, and the twists and turns plotted perfectly!
It's gripping, pacy, enthralling, kept me on my toes, exciting, yet very emotional and had me tearing up. 
I've not read a psychological thriller before that has evoked such strong emotional reactions, which is a big credit to Jackie Walsh.
The Characters are deeply flawed yet perfect for the storyline. 

If you are looking for a psychological thriller with a poignant twist, that will keep you on your toes, yet will tug at your heart strings, and provides enthralling twists and turns then you will adore Familiar Strangers! 

I can't wait to discover more from Jackie Walsh, she is definitely going on my to watch out for list!

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Tours and Hers Books for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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