Cover Image: The Stepson

The Stepson

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Member Reviews

This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher and the author. A missing mother and an unknown brother worry the main character, a single mom. The police tell her that her own mom is ok. No one really knows. This book is fiction but reads like nonfiction. It is intriguing and moves quickly. The characters are realistic. This is a talented author. The red herrings kept me from guessing the ending too early.

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I liked this book. It seemed a little longer than necessary and at times dragged outC but I still enjoyed it. It was easy to keep track of the different timelines and point of views. Great writing.

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Wow! The Stepson is an amazing book! Told in present and past timelines and multiple POV you get to see a lot in this book! Is Trevor, the stepson, a good character or is he evil? You don’t really know as the author has you leaning one way then the other. I love the fast paced story. I’ve read other of Diane Saxon’s books and love her writing style. It gets you lost in the book so much that you feel as if you are in the story. Once I picked up this book I didn’t want to put it down!

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Sandra Leivesley is a frightened woman. In the early hours of the morning she spies a strange car on her drive and knows he has come for her, just as he did for her late husband Henry. She makes a frenzied call to her daughter Lorraine but no help comes. This is just the start of the nightmare for Lorraine, dumped by her cheating skunk of a husband and left struggling for money with two small children to raise, as she later finds her mother absent from home in suspicious circumstances. The police refuse to consider Sandra a missing person at first and it’s left to Lorraine to seek her own answers from her mother’s neighbour and her own estranged Aunt Caroline. At the same time the reader receives glimpses of the past thirty-one years, following the downwardly spiralling life of Trevor, Henry’s son from his first marriage, a boy who caused a split in the family and a half-brother Lorraine knows nothing about – yet.
This is such a sad story in places, teeming with bad decisions, secrets, lies, deceit, jealously and pure hatred. I’m afraid I took an instant dislike to Lorraine as she preferred to let her children sleep rather than rush to her grieving and obviously distraught mother, regardless of whether her mother’s fear was real or imagined, although I did have huge sympathy for her situation later on as she realised how much she had been kept in the dark all her life. I also found myself not liking Sandra too much as the story unfolded and felt desperately sorry for Henry and the impossibly unfair ultimatum he was given. As the narrative twisted back and forth, I kept changing my mind about Trevor – was he a cold-blooded killer or a misunderstood innocent victim? It’s a great well written and thoroughly engrossing story, full of tension and suspense, and with a very satisfying ending which I can highly recommend.

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This was one of those books that grabbed me really quickly. Told from dual POV’s and in dual timeline it was a tense and well paced read, the story in the past is heartbreaking. Well written and well plotted, full of twists and turns, it was a great read.

Briefly, Lorraine receives a telephone call from her mother in the middle of the night. It is very disturbing as she tells Lorraine that her brother is outside and that after her Lorraine is next. When Lorraine calls around the next morning there is no sign of her mother. The police are not interested so Lorraine starts digging into the family history as she wasn’t aware she had a brother!

Prepare to be astonished by how little Lorraine knows as one shock revelation follows another. A deeply dark physiological thriller where the truth remains unclear for a long time but once the secrets are revealed expect a shocking climax. An exciting story full of suspense it was a very entertaining read.

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A few weeks before giving birth Lorraine‘s husband left her for his mistress who was also pregnant then her dad died in a car accident that cost her to go into labor but when she gets a call from her mom Sandra at 3:30 in the morning saying your brothers back and I’m not scared for me because I know he’s going to kill me but you and the kids will be next she doesn’t know what to make of it she knows her mom has been suffering from depression since the death of her father Henry and she’s been known to drink a little bit, not to mention Lorraine just cannot get up and run around to check on her mom because she has little Israel and 5 year old Sophia. So after dropping Sophia off at school she runs around to her moms house only to find it empty but she hasn’t taken her purse or any money. When she goes to the police station the man I ask is if he knows her mom better than she and tells her no doubt she will be back before you know it. So it seems Lorraine is left on her own to find out what happened to the mom she loves so much. Lorraine has many surprises in store for her but the biggest is that she has a brother named Trevor and there are those who believe horrible things about him but then there are those who believe him 100%. Is Lorraine‘s mom dead and if so did her long loss brother do it or is he as innocent as some of her family members believe? This is such a great book I love Diane Saxtons books but she has definitely outdone herself this time. It seems 2023 is a year for thrillers because so many authors are coming out with their A game and that includes Miss Saxton. I felt so bad for poor Lorraine so alone with her two beautiful children and so to say I loved the ending of this book is an understatement. She really is at the top of her profession in this book is proof of that a truly great great book! I received this book from BoldwoodBooks but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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I loved My Sister’s Secret and since I reviewed it have been keenly waiting for another Diane Saxon eARC. I immediately signed up for the blog tour for The Stepson and WOW! Another amazing thrill ride of a novel. It was realistic, atmospheric and dark and I was concerned for Sandra, What happened to her and why? Lorraine was someone I felt for, and I understood her worry over her mother.

The pace was perfect in quick, highly detailed yet focused chapters and I was racing through the book. I HAD to know what happened to Sandra.

Thanks to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars but it deserves more. It’s absolutely chilling.

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First, I want to thank Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with this book so I can bring you this review!

O.M.G!!! Diane Saxon your latest psychological thriller The Stepson is your best written book EVER!!! Dang what an insanely intense read this was! Instantly I was hooked and could not put it down!! If I could give it more than 5 stars I would!! Oh this needs to be put on your must read pile for the summer!! It was such an incredible story!!

Can I just say how stunning this cover is?! The graphic artists did a fantastic job with grasping the feel of the book! Not to mention the colors were beautiful! One of my favorite covers!

The Stepson is wickedly intense, suspenseful, heart wrenching, mind boggling, totally shocking, and omg the twists you will never see coming! At least I didn’t! It is a brilliantly written story that will keep you toes and have you guessing how it will all end?!

Lorraine is one tough cookie for all that she had been through and what she learned throughout this book! My heart felt all the feelings she went through!

I loved how Diane chose the names for her characters in her book. I know first hand what an honor it is to see your name published in a book especially from an author you admire!

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t really enjoy much of anything about this book. To be quite frank I thought Trevor was the most likeable character - right or wrong, Sandra and Henry should have gotten a divorce she’s ago and Lorraine seemed to love making the wrong decision at every turn. I’m also not a huge fan of declaring children as “eViL” so that part of the book just really didn’t do it for me.

I think had there been a story about finding new family in this thriller that could have been really cool. Instead for me it felt like: Basic premise —> Genuinely interesting twist showing nobody is perfect but also that our antagonist isn’t who we think it is —> Oh wait, yeah it is, and also anything remotely bad about Sandra are all justified and his fault.

The tone for the character just feels self righteous and smug, and I personally think there was a story in this book that I would have very much enjoyed and just didn’t. Even without the idea of following through on the first twist until the end, I think there’s other things I would have enjoyed. Maybe had we kept this original plot and stressed the mother/daughter relationship I might have been okay with it? But I hated Sandra and didn’t see the appeal or how they were so close. They kept repeating it, certainly - Lorraine kept finding out secrets that she never knew and going “but we’re so close!” - but I never saw any genuine examples. It felt like character depth was forsaken for the sake of red herrings and twists. Or maybe had this book not boiled it down into a right or wrong side - I feel like the book tried to introduce nuance and complexity into the situation halfway through, but then yanked it away by the end.

Clearly this twist and book overall were not for me, but maybe they will be for someone else.

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Such a well written book and quick read. I really enjoyed the storyline. The book takes place within about 6 days, as you follow the main character as she tries to find her missing mom. There were a couple of twists thrown in, that I didn't see coming. I definitely recommend this book!

Thanks to Diane Saxon and Bolwood Books for the ARC.

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The night my mum disappeared after a panicked 3am phone, I know something was wrong. The police tried to reassure me. There has to be a logical explanation they said - perhaps she's taking a break after the tragic death of my father. But I know my mum. Or do I? She would never leave without telling me. Or would she? The harder I look. the more I discover deep, dark family secrets I was not privy too. Worrying secrets I was never meant to know.

After Sandra's husband Henry's death, she's finding it hard to cope. Her daughter Lorraine is trying to deal with er own problems, her husband has left her. But where did Sandra disappear to? The story is told from Trevor in the past and Lorraine in the present day. With lots of twists and turns, this mysterious, gripping and suspenseful book kept me on my toes. I loved the flashbacks in this fast-paced read. Not all the characters are likeable or reliable. There's lots of secrets to unravel. There's lots of secrets to be unravel. This is a really enjoyable read.

I would like to thank #Netgalley #Boldbooks and the author #DianeSaxon for my ARC of #TheStepson in exchange for an honest review.

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I’d like to thank Boldwood Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘The Stepson’ written by Diane Saxon in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Lorraine is woken at 3am by a phone call from her mother Sandra who sounds scared. She’d normally go straight round to her mother’s house but she can’t disturb her children Sophia and Elijah in the middle of the night so waits until the next morning. Sandra’s house is empty and Lorraine reports her disappearance to the police but as they don’t seem very interested she starts looking for Sandra herself. It isn’t long before she discovers secrets from her parents’ past and is surprised to learn that she has a half-brother Trevor who she wasn’t aware of.

‘The Stepson’ is a well-written thriller told in the present by Lorraine and then by Trevor some thirty years prior to this when he’d been put into care and was living on the streets. This is the sixth novel I’ve read by Ms Saxon and despite it not being one of her best it does have an interesting storyline although it was slow at times. I really didn’t like the character of Trevor who came over as a thoroughly unpleasant person, and it was only towards the end that it became more exciting and the tension built. At times I found it difficult to keep up my enthusiasm for the story but despite not really enjoying it I’ll still look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

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This book felt for me more like a family drama with sprinkles of murder mustery. I enjoyed the book. But for me it felt a little bit stressful. Bang then this happen bang the next thing happening. It Just became too much. I really did not like the.main characters. And I really do not why. She Just got on my nerves. But still glad i read this book
Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion

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Thankyou netgalley for allowing me to get the arc for this story

Unfortunately it wasn't quite for me. I really liked the concept of the storyline but I think it could have been so much better

I found some of the story dragged in parts - especially the beginning.

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Another fabulous read from one of my
Favourite authors. Once I had started reading I couldn’t put it down and was hooked from the very first page. This fast paced book has it all mystery suspense and thrill all in one storyline and lots of twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes.

This book makes you question is anyone who they say they are and that you don’t know what skeletons are lurking in your families cupboard until secrets and lies Come tumbling out.

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This frightening novel will have you question who in your family you can trust. When Lorraine's best friend (her mom) goes missing after a terrifying and cryptic phone call, she begins to seriously worry about her. Since the police are not taking Lorraine seriously, she has to take it upon herself to delve into her parent's past and try and locate her mom.

The book is fast paced with plenty of "jump scares." Well written!

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I enjoyed this book by Diane Saxon its a gripping story and would recommend it. This is the first book I have read by this author and would definitely read more.

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WOW what a page turner!! I was hooked.
After lorraines fathers death, sandra hs wife isnt coping.lorraine her daughter is having her own crisis, her husband has left her to look after 2 children on her own..Henry lorraines dad was married before and had had a son, when trevors mom died he was due to go and live with his dad and sandra but sandra was convinced he killed her newborn son.. Did he??? When sandra goes missing the family and police are in a race to save her, where could she be? Who has her? Why????. I couldnt put this book down, fantastic read

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The story starts on a gripping note and the suspense is maintained until the end. The Stepson by Diane Saxon is a gripping domestic thriller with a dash of creepiness. The mystery behind family secrets and Sandra's sudden disappearance kept me guessing till the end. The flashbacks scenes are heart-wrenching, and one cannot help but feel sad for those who were involved in the tragedy - even the 'so-called' bad guys.

The 'stepson' is a villainous character, or at least Sandra thinks so. Sandra is no saint either. I didn't like her. Maybe, she was right all along, maybe her motherly instincts knew better. But she ill-treated a young boy and left him to fend for himself. So, it obvious that he would come back one day to exact revenge.

Lorraine was doing pretty well until she wasn't. I was quite annoyed when, almost at the end of the story, she trusted someone whom she hardly knew. She was given the gist of her parents' past and yet she chose to ignore the warning signs.

Don't get me wrong when I say I like negative characters in a story. So, when certain characters' true nature was revealed, I was expecting a twisty, mind-blowing ending. It's twisty, all right. But it felt a tad rushed.

Overall, this was an engrossing and interesting domestic thriller. Kept me hooked from start to finish. I am looking forward to reading more of Diane Saxon's novels as I really loved her storytelling.

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Diane Saxon has done it again with another brilliant book!. This has twists and turns and just when you think you know what’s happening you’re made to think again. I absolutely love Diane’s books, they keep you on the edge of your seat and the plots are so believable. This story focuses on Lorraine, a mother of two young children, whose mother goes missing. She soon finds out that her parents had secrets and she struggles to make sense of everything and who to trust. A fantastic thriller with brilliant characters. I also loved how it flowed, using different timelines so that you got the backstory of each character and that helped to make sense of their actions. Can’t wait for her next book! Thanks to Netgalley and Boldwood Books for the ARC.

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