Member Reviews

If you’d love a good, addictive psychological thriller, read The Photo!
I had several suspects in my mind. AJ McDine created a suspicious world & then took my mind for a spin in the end!

Thank you, AJ McDine Bookouture, & netgalley for my ecopy & audiobook! All opinions are my own.

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Ten years ago, Isabelle and her young twin sons were brutally murdered. Her 5 year old daughter, Lily, was badly injured, but she survived. Isabelle's husband, Jason, is the prime suspect, but he disappeared the day of the murder and hasn't been seen twice. Isabelle's sister, Lara, is a photographer. As she's reviewing her recent photos, she swears it's Jason in the background of one of her pictures. Is it really him? Has Jason resurfaced? If so, why? WOW! What develops in this book is a roller coaster, and I was fully invested in the ride!

A J McDine has done it again! I loved her most recent book, The Baby, and The Photo is even better! This book is fast paced and had me gripped from the very first words. The short chapters made this an easy read, and I found myself engrossed in this story.

McDine's writing style is vividly descriptive, which really helps to bring her characters to life. I flew through this book because I just had to know what was going to happen. The plot developed at a rapid pace that kept me entertained until the very end. There were twists and turns that I didn't predict. Every time I thought I knew what would happen next, McDine proved me wrong. The ending was brilliant! McDine is one of my new fave authors. I can't wait to read her full catalog.

Tamsin Kennard did a great job as usual with her narration. She always brings a story to life for me.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture Audio for the ALC!

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Having read one of McDine's earlier books, The Baby, I knew what to expect from the authors writing style and couldn't wait to immerse myself into Lara's story.

Split across the past and present, McDine takes us on a twisty journey that leads us up to the night of the murders and the ripple effect that's still overshadowing life in the present day.

It's a fast paced read narrated on the whole by Lara. There are red herrings aplenty to keep you on your toes and has a shocker ending.

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"The Photo" was a fantastic story, filled with twists and turns that kept me gripped from start to finish. I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down, so I didn't.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC.

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This is a new author for me. I loved The Photo. The blurb made me want to pick this book up and I knew I’d enjoy it. I loved the twists, turns and misdirection. Once I picked this book up I didn’t want to stop reading it or turning the pages to see what happened next. Lara is a great character. I really felt for her in her dangerous mission to uncover the truth no matter the cost. My heart was in my throat a few times reading this. I kept thinking I knew what was going on only to be led somewhere else. I loved this book and would recommend it.

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What a great psychological thriller - where a face from the past in a photo , a face that murdered
her sister , a face that should be dead is there for her to see ........... turns wedding photographers Laura's world upside down .
There was only one witness to her sister's murder , that of her , then , five year old niece , Lily ,
who is now having flashbacks and wants answers . But using the internet to gain those answers opens up
a whole can of worms
The book is fast pace , full of twists and turns and just when you think you know what is happening - bang- its
a total new curveball . It kept me interested throughout and based on this offering I will be reading more of the Author's books

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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I throughly enjoyed this story! It was very well written! If your looking for a fast-paced binge worthy book then look no further then this gem by the lovely @ajmcdineauthor

It was full of twist that just kept on giving. As soon as you thought you might have figured out who it was, BAM another twist was thrown in. BUT my god, the ending! Just amazing! 😱

I loved her last book The Baby and thought it would be hard to top! But how wrong I was, The Photo was even better!

Mcdines writing style is just so vividly descriptive the characters just jump of the pages and come to life! I felt the plot unfolded at a rapid pace and I was hooked throughout to the very last word!

I am slowly becoming a big fan of A.J. McDines and look forward to reading more of her work!

Thankyou to @netgalley and @bookouture for this opportunity to read and review this book. I would also like to thank A.J. personally because when I was having trouble getting the arc onto my kindle she was very kind to give me a helping hand to try and get it to work, I really appreciate that she took the time out of her busy schedule to help me.

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Lara is a wedding photographer. One day, she is casually taking photos of the harbour in Tidehaven. When she looks through her photos, that's when she spots someone who she hasn't seen in ten years. Jason. The prime suspect in Lara's sisters murder.

This was a great setup to the story. We then learned about what happened ten years ago. And, the following story is the unravelling of secrets, mysteries, and lies.

There was one survivor to the horrific murders ten years ago. Lily, Lara's niece. She is starting to have flashbacks and now wants answers. When she starts up a TikTok account, she inadvertently opens a whole new can of worms.

I really enjoyed this story. As always, A J McDine weaves a twisty thriller. When you think you have the story wrapped up and that the cade is solved, she throws in a curveball to keep you on your toes.

With a whole host of dodgy characters and not knowing who we can really believe, it makes the story more exciting for us.

#thephoto #ajmcdineauthor #bookreview #bookstagram #booknerd #booklover #bookaddict #sundayreading

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What a ride! This book had me captivated from the very beginning! As soon as I had a suspicion about what was going to happen it was thrown off! I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish!!

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This crime/mystery novel kept my interest all the way through. Some of it was a bit transparent but there were enough missing pieces to keep the eventual conclusion out of reach. The characters' actions and assumptions felt natural, as did their interactions with each other. More than a "cosy mystery" but not unique enough to make it a "must read," this is a well written offering in this genre.

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The Photo by A J McDine is a gripping, compulsive thriller, that had me captivated from beginning to end. An absolute must-read!
A great brilliantly addictive book and I loved every page from beginning to the end.
This book was fast paced and interesting with well developed characters.
I’ll be reading more of this author because I love the style of the writing.

Thank You NetGalley and Bookouture for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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AJ McDine's The Photo is an absolute gem and a must-read for any thriller fan! I loved the plot and the realistic display of characters, each of whom felt incredibly genuine. The dialogues are natural and engaging, making the story flow effortlessly. I particularly appreciated the steady medium pace, which kept me hooked without feeling rushed. The wrap-up was neat and satisfying, tying everything together nicely.
Without giving away any spoilers, the ending was really, really good—one of the best I've read in a while. It's quite a different pace and storyline than "The Baby", which I recently read (and also loved!), but "The Photo" is equally amazing in different ways. AJ McDine has shown remarkable versatility as an author, and I love that!
5 solid stars! I highly recommend it!

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A J McDine has done it again! I will read anything and everything from this author! They way this author sucks you in from the first few pages is nothing but amazing.

This story follows a photographer, Laura, who has her life spiral out of control once she stumbles upon a tragic incident involving her sister and her nephews. She does everything she can to protect not only her mom, but her niece - the only person who survived such a brutal attack.

This book was so twisty that it had me second guessing everything I THOUGHT I had figured out in this book. If you enjoy psychological thrillers that are centered around families, this is the next book you need to read!

Thank you to Netgalley, A J McDine and Bookouture for allowing me to read this advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest opinion. I can't wait for my next read!

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I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick read; the chapters were short which kept me engaged and wanting more. The story itself was also fast paced and kept me hooked until the very end, and the twist at the end definitely got me. I would definitely recommend this!

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I absolutely love this author's work with The Photo being another brilliant addition. By the end of the first chapter it was off with a bang and I was hooked, just like McDine's previous books I had this read in one sitting literally unable to put it down.

I loved the premise of The Photo with a long thought dead ghost from her past appearing in the background of a photo taken by photographer Lara in turn bringing the horrific murder of her sister & nephews tens years previously crashing back into her life. What followed was a whirl of doubts, more questions than answers, uncertainty & red herrings that kept me guessing.

I really enjoyed the authors style of writing with the story mainly told from the point of view of Lara & now teenager Lily, the only survivor of that horrific night, it was interesting to see the story unfold through the eyes of Lara who was there through it all & Lily who was so young she remembers very little & also has to struggle through still loving her father despite the horrific acts he's suspected of committing. I loved Lara as a character & felt very attached to her & her need to protect Lily and her mother while trying to unravel the truth of what happened that night.

This was an excellent, gripping, fast paced page turner that kept me on the edge of my seat with one hell of a final twist at the end, I can hand on heart say I did not see it coming & it literally shook me, it was absolutely genius!!

An absolute must read from one of my favourite go-to authors.

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The story follows along with Lara as attempts to uncover what really happened the night her sister and nephews were murdered. She's working hard to maintain her job, protect her mum and niece, and learn who she can and can't trust.

I loved the character of Lara, even if I didn't always agree with her decisions. And I loved getting to know Lily too and seeing her journey through doubt and memory and social media stardom.

It's not the fastest of thrillers but it keeps your attention and is suitably twisty! I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a family based psychological thriller.

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A.J. McDine's seventh psychological thriller, THE PHOTO, is a twisty, sensational, mind-blowing page-turning whodunit—a mesmerizing tale of marriage, secrets, obsession, and murder.

A wedding photographer shockingly sees in the background of a photo her missing (presumed dead) brother-in-law, who was the prime suspect in her sister's and nephew's murder ten years earlier— in this twisty suspense domestic thriller, which will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page is turned with a jaw-dropping twist you do not see coming!

She thought he was dead.
Until she saw him staring back at her…
Photos do not lie.


Ten years have passed since Jason Carello fled. Ten years since the bloodied bodies of Lara Beckett's sister, Isabelle, and her twin nephews, Jack and Milo, were discovered murdered in their beachside home near seaside Tidehaven.

Within hours of their murders, police named Jason (Carello Killer) as their prime suspect, but despite one of the largest manhunts in the force's history, he was never caught. He simply disappeared after stabbing her sister and two little boys to death.

Ten years ago, Lara was a press press photographer at the time of the crime. She was with the police at her sister's million-dollar home house, and a terrible scene waited inside. Nothing could prepare her for the three bodies removed from the house. She knew she could never cover brutal stories like this again after this tragedy.

Jason, the husband, father, and classic car dealer, was presumed dead after a widespread manhunt. The case has puzzled both police and amateur detectives for years.

Lara never wanted to be a wedding photographer as a vocation, but at the time, it paid the bills. While photographing a wedding, she initially thinks it is a random man on a balcony who's slipped into her photo uninvited, but she realizes there is something familiar about this man—the man she thought was dead.

A man everyone thought was a loving husband and father who butchered his own family. The news stories all say he killed himself after slaughtering his family after a framed photo of the family was found near the cliffs. Despite a search of the shoreline, his remains were never found.

No one could make sense of this brutal crime. Lily gave them a reason to live.

Lara's niece, Lily (15), was the only one who survived. She was five and was in critical condition at the time. She was the only witness to the murders and has no memory of the night.

The police were wrong. Lara has proof. Jason is alive, and he is in Tidehaven, and she has the evidence to prove it. Why is he showing up now on the 10th anniversary of their deaths?

Lily has also been recording videos of herself and posting them on TikTok. Does she remember things she had suppressed? Is she drawing out the killer, her dad? The sole survivor of the Carello Killings talks for the first time. To all the crime victims out there, she says she is a victim searching for the truth.

Lara worries that she unwittingly led Jason to her mum and Lily's front door. She contacts DCI Frampton, which took over after Phil Glover retired. But did Jason see her? Is he coming for them next?

Is she in danger? As well as Lily and Lara's mum? And then the message, "Quit while you still have a choice."

My thoughts...

Twisty, addictive, and bingeable!

WOW, that ending!?! THE PHOTO had me on the edge the entire book! The author cleverly keeps you in suspense and you will not see the gasp-worthy jaw-dropping twist coming! This suspense-thriller will fully engage readers and leave them guessing until the end.

Often, happy couples in tightly knit neighborhoods can sometimes turn unexpectedly terrifyingly deadly! The twists, turns, and unpredictable ending make THE PHOTO irresistible!

A plot-driven, dark, suspenseful thriller with delicious twists and compelling characters. It's smart and chilling, and nothing is as it seems. I liked Lily's POV and her true crime videos/podcast, which added to the intrigue. Just when you think it is over, the secret last POV blindsides you. Spine-chilling!

This was my first book by the author, and I was highly impressed. I love her writing style, and I cannot wait to read her backlist. I look forward to her next book! I also enjoyed her author's note and the inspiration behind the book.


I devoured the audiobook narrated by the talented Tamsin Kennard, and her performance was outstanding! I loved her British accent and was fully engaged, hanging on her every word. It was totally spellbinding. After listening, I purchased The Baby audiobook (I missed it when it came out) and cannot wait to listen— again, by the same talented narrator.


I highly recommend THE PHOTO to thriller fans and those who enjoy authors: Miranda Rijks, Emily Shiner, K.L. Slater, Wendy Walker, Michele Campbell, and Freida McFadden.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a digital advanced reading copy and advanced listening copy for an honest review.

Blog review posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pub Date: July 11, 2024
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Round of applause............for The Photo by A J McDine and narrated by Tamsin Kennard this was a excellent and totally addictive psychological thriller with a jaw dropping twist that will just have you shocked!!!

I thought he was dead. Until I saw him staring back at me in a photo I took!!…..........
I know it was him. Jason, my Brother in law!

It may be ten years that have passed, He has aged and put on weight But I know it's him!

He is the main suspect and only suspect for the murder of my beloved sister and her two year old twin boys. and leaving behind her sweet five-year-old daughter, Lily.

WoW..........this book/audiobook is so good. I was gripped from the beginning will the very end and WoW what brilliant ending this was! Jaw dropping!!!

The narrator Tamsin Kennard was excellent and one of the best narrator's out there. She bought this book alive from start to finish.

I highly recommend this book.

Big Thank you Netgalley, Bookouture Audio and A J McDine for the audio Arc of The Photo.

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Wow, another book by Amanda that had kept me on the edge of my seat.

I absolutely loved her book The Baby and knew I would love any others I was lucky enough to read and I wasn't wrong. This book had me gripped from page 1 and didn't let go.

The twists in her books are brilliant and i was certain I had it right but then the ending happened and I couldn't have been more wrong.

Amanda has become an instant read author to me and I can't wait to read more of her books.

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Just WOW! AJ McDine knocks it out of the park again. My second novel by this author and it was great. Secrets, lies and family ties. Great characters that kept me flipping pages long past my bedtime. It was impossible to know who to trust. Fantastic read.
Thank you NetGalley, AJ McDine and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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