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  • Another great book from Claire Douglas

    Having previously read and enjoyed Then She Vanishes and Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas, I was excited to get the ARC of Just Like The Other Girls. It’s a great premise – an elderly lady takes on help from young, female carers but as Una discovers when she takes the job, her predecessors have met sudden ends. I really enjoyed the split narrative of the plot – we start off with the perspective of Una, the young carer and Katherine, the cold, seemingly uncaring daughter of the elderly Elspeth. Half-way through this is shaken up slightly in a really nice twist which I enjoyed (no spoilers!) Katheryn is an odd one - at the start of the book her chapters seem a little pointless but when we get to snippets about her past it starts to get a lot more interesting. I did feel like some parts of the book dragged out a bit, particularly in the middle section. There is a lot of tension and red herrings but there was never really a point where I thought I had it all figured out, even though there’s quite a relatively small pool of suspects – it was working out the *why* rather than the *who* that I struggled with. The only bad side of this is that I found the ending quite contrived and odd. The book does a really nice job of not letting you be able to guess the conclusion but this comes at a cost of an ending that makes sense. The end of the book suddenly felt very rushed and then the author added a final twist to it as well which really ruined the realism. However, I do feel that if this hadn’t been done I would have complained it was too predictable so perhaps there’s no way to win with it! Overall, Just Like The Other Girls is a twisty thriller with an ending I did not see coming. Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Tense & Riveting

    My second novel by Claire Douglas, Just Like the Other Girls was a really cracking read! The reader is introduced to Una Richardson who has recently lost her mother. Still grieving and having split with her boyfriend, she answers an advert for a companion to an elderly lady, Elspeth McKenzie, hoping the money she earns will enable her to travel later in the year with her friend Courtney. But when she starts the job she discovers that Elspeth's daughter, Kathryn, resents her. She also realises that Elspeth had other girls to provide care before her... Set in Bristol, England, this was a wonderfully tense, dramatic and nerve-wracking read and everything I would want to see in a thriller was there. Claire Douglas threw several red herrings into the plot and there were occasions when I was sure I knew exactly what was going on, only to be thrown a curveball and be knocked way off track. I was totally hooked from the beginning and the character creation and development was very well done, even though I couldn't particularly relate to any individual. Gripping and believable, the plot unravelled at a very satisfying pace. I appreciated the way Claire Douglas delved into the heart of the family and the complexity of relationships, adeptly creating further depth to the story. I was certainly very pleased with the astonishing and exciting denouement. I highly recommend this tense and unputdownable book. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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