Cover Image: The Stepson

The Stepson

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Member Reviews

So tense and fast paced, the atmosphere sets the stage. I was gasping and utterly horrified. The plot is definitely not straight forward because of so many lies that are impossible to unravel.

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Tense from the street, it ramps up as each chapter passes. It’s a real gut punch of a read, I loved it!

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I really enjoyed this story I'm finding I like Diane Saxon's writing style & am on the hunt to read her next book!!!

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A really great read with thrilling twists and turns. I never knew what to expect and it kept me Interested until the very end.

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Diane Saxon has done it once again.
What a brilliant book!
I love the timelines. There are two in this book, one which is present day and the other which starts many years before the present day and slowly but surely runs closer to present day so that they run together.
The characters are introduced with a bang and the story just continues to get better.
The book made me question my thoughts on where it was going multiple times throughout. It starts with the mum (Sandra) of the lead character (Lorraine) calling frantic in the middle of the night then seemingly disappearing.
WHERE IS SANDRA!? Screams through your head multiple times.
Highly recommend reading this book.
Blog tour review

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The book felt kind of predictable to me and I didn’t like any of the characters. The story centers mostly on Lorraine, who gets a creepy call from her mom in the middle of the night, then her mom goes missing the next day. There are also alternating chapters told from the POV of Trevor, Lorraine’s half-brother who has been estranged from the family.

Even though the story felt like a slow, read, it that was predictable. Also, the climactic scene seemed too quick and easy. There were reasons to feel sorry for Trevor but I couldn’t really bring myself to do so because of the things he did.

Overall, decent read but not really my favorite. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I have loved every book I have read so far from Ms Saxon and I had a hunch that this one would be just as good, and boy did she not disappoint!

This was a very gripping and thrilling read from the get go, when Lorraine receives a phone call from her mother in the middle of the night she regrets not acting on it sooner when she discovers her mother is missing the next day. The police don't take her seriously but Lorraine knows that something sinister has happened as her mother wouldn't just take off out the blue like that, so she decides to do some digging to see what has really happened. her mothers neighbour sheds some light and gives Lorraine a bunch of letters that were written to her father.

From the letters Lorraine discovers some family secrets that were best left alone but ultimately left her reeling at discovering she has a half-brother!

This was a great read once again from Ms Saxon.

5 stars

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This book grabbed me from the very first page. It was full of suspense and tension. This book kept me guessing . Its my first book by this author and I will definately be checking out more of her books.

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I enjoyed the beginning narrative of THE STEPSON, which had a lot of intrigue and mystery - but the multiple timelines and excess of characters was confusing and disjointed. This was a difficult plot to follow and lacked sufficient development to accelerate the story. Ultimately, this wasn’t my favorite and probably would not seek out another one from this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for the opportunity to read and review THE STEPSON.

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Diane Saxon is at her terrifying best with her chilling new thriller, The Stepson.

When Lorraine hears the phone ring at 3 am, she knows that it’s not good news and her suspicions are immediately proved right. Her mother seems to have vanished without a trace and while the police tell her that she probably needed some time to herself after the tragic death of her husband, Lorraine is not so sure. Her dad’s death had hit both her and her mum hard. But Lorraine knows her mum and she wouldn’t do something like this…or would she?

As Lorraine begins to look into her family’s secrets what she discovers shocks her to the core. The parents she loved and adored had lied to her her entire life and she is sure that it is these secrets and lies that are responsible for her mother’s disappearance. Why did her parents lie to her? What were they scared of? And just what had they got mixed up in?

The more she digs, the more Lorraine wonders whether her mother might be protecting her. But did she go on her own free will? Did someone take her? And will they come for Lorraine next?

A dark and twisted thriller from a writer at the top of her game, Diane Saxon’s The Stepson is an intricately plotted and superbly crafted tale full of menace, intrigue, tension and suspense. Diane Saxon knows what terrifies her readers and she has penned a top-notch page-turner guaranteed to keep thriller aficionados on the edge of their seat and reading all through the night.

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I thought this was a pretty good thriller! This bookfollows Lorraine, who got a strange phone call from her mother in the middle of the night saying that Lorraine’s brother is coming for her… but Lorraine doesn’t have a brother. The next day when Lorraine goes to find her mother, she finds she’s missing. As Lorraine searches for her mum, she uncovers secrets about her family that she had no idea about.

This was a really well written book that kept my interest the whole way through. We follow two different timelines in this book and it goes back and forth but it was pretty easy to follow. I really enjoy dual timelines in books so I really liked that aspect. We mainly follow Lorraine’s perspective and while Lorraine wasn’t a bad character, she did annoy me at times.
Overall this was a pretty fast paced mystery that was very well written and I really enjoyed it!

Thank you for much to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This book dragged me in very quickly. Excellent read, very fast paced. The characters were great, I figured it out rather early on but, reading how it played our was great. Highly recommend for a easy, fast read
Thanks to netgalley, the publisher and author for the chance to read this advanced copy. .

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Thoroughly enjoyed the way this was written. How it went from present to past and just kept you trying to piece it all together

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The tension in this thriller simmers just below the surface, ready to boil over with each carefully placed revelation and unexpected turn, a must read for 2023

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I really enjoyed this one by Diane Saxon! The characters were interesting, the plot was intriguing and the different points of view and timelines made it difficult to know where the twist was going and who was lying to who! Overall it was enjoyable, I think it was a 4 for me purely because of the notable lack of police assistance in it and it just makes me sad working for the organisation myself when this perception is put into books! But overall a fab read

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This is the third book I’ve read from this author, having previously reviewed My Little Brother and My Sisters Secret.

One of my favourite things about Diane Saxon’s writing is her ability to suck readers into the storyline from the outset. The opening chapter of this one is chilling and full of suspense and had me gripped immediately.

As the narrative unfolds through multiple timelines, we begin to discover more about the events that have led up to the present day and the numerous secrets that have remained hidden along the way.

There are a number of quite dark themes within the plot but these all serve to add to the tension as we wait to discover what has happened to Lorraine’s mum.

A thoroughly gripping psychological thriller and highly recommended!

With thanks to the author, Rachel at Random Resources and Boldwood Books for the opportunity to participate in the tour.

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I thought this book was just ok- it felt kind of predictable to me and I didn’t like any of the characters. The story centers mostly on Lorraine, who gets a creepy call from her mom in the middle of the night, then her mom goes missing the next day. There are also alternating chapters told from the POV of Trevor, Lorraine’s half-brother who has been estranged from the family.

While the story held my interest, it felt like a slow read that was predictable. Also, the climactic scene seemed too quick and easy. There were reasons to feel sorry for Trevor but I couldn’t really bring myself to do so because of the things he did.

Overall, decent read but not really my favorite. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This was such a thrilling plot. I was gripped from the start. I was a little confused with the jumping between past and present but it started making sense around chapter 17. Really loved it.

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★★★★ 4.5 stars

Who do you believe...and who do you trust...?

It's 3.25am when Lorraine receives a phone call from her frantic mum. The words she utters at first she thinks the result of a few drinks to drown her depression after the tragic loss off her dad, Henry. But long after she's hung up, those words continue to circle her mind until she has worked herself up into a worry. But she can't just drop everything to go see if her mum's alright as there is no one to look after the children. So she will have to wait till morning. But as soon as she's dropped Sophia off, she'll be round at her mum's to check that she's ok...that all is well.

Only when she gets there five hours later, there is no sign of her mum. The house is in silence, the curtains still drawn, the bed has not been slept in. Her mother's handbag complete with her purse and her keys are still beside the lounge. Only her phone is missing. As is her mum. And as a cold dread fills her, Lorraine recalls those chilling words her mum uttered in the wee hours in a frightened whisper...

"Your dad was first. Now it's me. I'm so scared, but mostly for you and the children. Because once I'm gone, you'll be next."

After searching her mother's house, Lorraine goes to the police station to report her as missing. Only she's and adult and has only been gone for a few hours. She could be anywhere and be home at any moment. But Lorraine tries to impress on the man at the desk the importance of the situation. Her mother has no one. She wouldn't just disappear without telling her. Nor did she have anywhere to go. All Sandra had was Lorraine and the children. But there was nothing they could do unless her mother was deemed vulnerable. Was she vulnerable? She wasn't sure. The kindly man assured her that her mother will probably be back in no time and wonder what all the fuss was about, but if not, to return after seventy two hours...or was it forty eight hours? Lorraine can't remember. All she knows is that her mum is missing and some garbled message in the middle of the night that barely made any sense.

A return to her mum's house has her searching for answers and it comes in the form of her mum's kindly neighbour Mrs Tindall. Lorraine didn't really have time to stop and chat but Mrs Tindall was a lonely old woman and it wouldn't hurt. But little did she know that Mrs Tindall held the key to a Pandora's box and, while not a wealth of information, it was a start. She had in her possession letters written to her father over the years which he had hidden on their property, away from her mother who would go spare if got wind of it. The letters were from her father's son, Trevor. Which means he was Lorraine's half brother. A half brother she knew nothing about. Thanking Mrs Tindall, she took the letters home and poured over their contents, her eyes brimming with tears at the pleading tone. This poor boy. All he had been through. Why did her parents not give him a home?

It seems that's not all they didn't tell her as her quest for answers sends her on a three hour round trip to Liverpool and an aunt she barely remembers from her childhood, her dad's younger sister. Aunt Caroline fills in the blanks that have evaded Lorraine for thirty years...a whole life she knew nothing about.

But the question remains, where is her mother? And how much of the past has to do with her disappearance?

THE STEPSON is an entertaining, though at times heartbreaking, domestic suspense that had me turning the pages to find out what happened to Sandra. The story cleverly unfolds in the past and present narratives giving the reader a clear picture of events and how each of the threads entwined. There were so many secrets and plenty of deception which were slowly stripped away to reveal the truth. And what an ugly truth it was.

Quite honestly, I didn't like Sandra. Yes, she probably suffered from post natal pychosis as she was clearly delusional and irrational but that continued throughout the years and she was utterly horrible to poor old hen-pecked Henry. Whether she had good cause or not to make such demands, they were not her decisions to make and those she made were amidst the irrational fog of delusion. As for Trevor, I actually felt sorry for him. I wanted him to make it good, to turn his life around and never look back. No child should have had to endure what he had to. Nor should any child be used as a pawn in their parent's disputes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story far more than the author's previous one and so glad I requested it. It was addictive, compelling and thoroughly entertaining. A good solid read.

I would like to thank #DianeSaxon, #Netgalley and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #TheStepson in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.

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The Stepson was a great read. It was full of twists and turns, secrets and lies and I was totally hooked from start to finish.

Thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for my ARC.

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