10 Things I Love About Psychological Thrillers

One of my favourite genre’s of books is Psychological Thrillers. I love how involved you can get in the storylines and the hours just fly by. In this post, I wanted to discuss why I love twisty, crime thrillers and make a list of some recent ones which I have read and enjoyed.

10 Things I Love About Psychological Thrillers

1 We all love a puzzle right?

What is more satisfying than working out whodunnit? That is unless it is glaringly obvious, then it is just downright annoying and you feel like you have wasted four hours of your life.

2 Love a good twist

One of the things I love about psychological thrillers is that they can completely derail you with a shocking twist. You think you have it all worked out then wham, a twist comes out of nowhere and suddenly the whole plot changes. When this is written well it can make a story so exciting.

3 Inside the mind of a criminal.

Now if you’re an average person like me you don’t get to chat with a serial killer whilst waiting for your coffee order. So, it’s great to delve into a criminal mind and see what makes them act the way that they do.

4 Police Procedurals.

I would love to have gone into the Police Force but unfortunately never had the courage. By reading psychological thrillers you get a great insight into how the police solve crimes, without any of the danger. I also like to explore the dynamics of a team, how they work together and love it when you get to read about their personal lives too.

5 The Intellectual Challenge.

It’s great when a book gets the old brain cells working and a good psychological thriller should do just that. Also, if the books are well researched you can pick up all sorts of information that you wouldn’t normally know about. Some of the plots are harrowing but if the content is informative I don’t mind it being a little graphic.

6 The characters are relatable.

The Psychological Thriller is usually centred around ordinary people who get embroiled in some sort of crime situation. This means that we can relate to the characters and envisage ourselves in similar circumstances.

7 A satisfying ending.

Usually, all the loose ends are tied up nicely at the end of the book and the reader is not left scratching their head in confusion. Many are standalone books so there is no need to leave a  tantalising ending to get you to read the next book.

8 A build up of suspense.

I like a book to hit the ground running and steadily build up the pace to an amazing climax. Psychological thrillers let you get to know the characters and location steadily, as you follow the plot. There doesn’t seem to be as much deeply descriptive writing but great dialogue which sets the scene perfectly.

9 Multiple Points of View.

Lately, I have read many books where the chapters are alternated between the victim, criminal and Police perspectives. This can make the plot even more immersive.

10 Cold Cases.

Sometimes a team will investigate an unsolved crime from previous years when they didn’t have the technology that they have today. With improvements in forensics, DNA and the addition of the internet and mobile phones, a crime can be given a different angle completely.

6  Recommended Psychological Thrillers


Amazon  Description and Purchase Link

I got lost in this book, it was hard to put down and easily one of the best psychological thrillers published last year.”


Amazon Description and Purchase Link

I loved this highly original psychological thriller, the pace and plotline were seamless and thought-provoking. I will be keeping my eye out for more from Jo Spain. “


Amazon Description and PurchaseLink

I was desperate to finish the book and find out the conclusion, but bereft that the story had come to an end. It is not often that a book makes you think so deeply about the path your life can take. There are not many books I would describe as ‘unforgettable’ but this is one of them.”


Amazon Description and Purchase Link

I sat in a trance, blocking out everything. My mind flitted between theories, suspicions and just when I thought I’d worked it out…..wham, another twist!


Amazon Description and Purchase Link

“From the very first chapter, you hit the ground running and the pace stays constant throughout. The ending did not disappoint, the web of intricate storylines fits together beautifully. It is graphic at times but this just makes the characters more compelling and you are swept away with the outstanding storytelling”


Amazon Description and Purchase Link

“An epic psychological thriller… you’ll never think of your friends in the same way again! “

Quotes are taken from my full reviews of the books which can be found at https://waggytalesblog.com/

What do you love or hate about Psychological Thrillers?

Which books are your favourites in this genre?

Talking About…How To Declutter Fast

Talking About…How To Declutter Fast

The one good thing I like about January is it’s a great time to declutter.

Christmas is the one time when clutter builds up in my house. There are presents which come with far too much packaging and you’re not completely sure where to put them, decorations waiting to be returned to the loft, and cards you just can’t bear to put in the bin.

Then there is the kitchen. We have boxes of chocolates with the ones remaining that no one likes, dried up cake and strange bottles of alcohol that you wouldn’t dream of drinking at any other time of year.

untitled design (8)

If you have hit the January sales too, it’s even worse. The wardrobe is overflowing with clothes you just couldn’t live without a week ago, now the leopard print maxi dress doesn’t seem so appealing.

I always think that the retail shops are laughing at us. All the stock they couldn’t sell in the Summer suddenly becomes a ‘must have’ in Winter when it has a big shiny ‘50% off’ sticker hanging from it.

Here are just a few easy tips to do a quick declutter and you will feel so much better for it.

1. The Fridge

If you are not sure how long it’s been there, throw it! The best day to do this is just before a big food shop, it should be obvious when there are only a few items on the shelves. Tackle the freezer at the same time.

2 Whilst you are in the Kitchen

Open that cupboard where you open the door quick, throw something in, then shut it quickly before the whole lot cascades on top of your head.

Things To Throw Away

Any storage containers that don’t have lids or lids that don’t have containers.

Saucepans with missing or damaged handles.

Cracked glasses, chipped mugs.

Old spices from the back of the cupboard.

3. The Sock Drawer

Throw away every odd sock in the house, you will not regret it!

Holey underwear, bra’s with no elastic left, white socks that have turned grey.

4. The Make Up Bag

Tip it out on to a towel. Now you can see all the things you don’t use anymore, instantly throw, these items are no use to anyone!

Take a look at some of the great space saving makeup storage bags and containers. All these can be purchased online and are really inexpensive. Once you have thrown out all the items you no longer use or are just out of date, then you can arrange the items you really use so that they are super easy to find.

Makeup Organisers

Old cosmetics are unhygienic and cause skin and eye infections. You will be much healthier by condensing your cosmetics. Also, give those makeup brushes a good wash!

around the house

5. Wander around picking up any of the following items and put straight into a bin bag.

Broken umbrellas

Phone Directories (We all have the internet )

Takeaway Menu’s (Same again)

Junk Mail.

Expired Coupons

Broken toys

Broken Costume Jewellery.

Faulty electrical items: lamps, toasters, hairdryers etc


Wall Organiser

Decluttering is Addictive!

In an hour or two, you will have a sizeable amount of rubbish which was taking up precious space in your home. It’s great for the mind to have a good throwing out session, and you will want to go on and declutter every room in more detail.

It’s easy to throw away useless items and it is a great way to start organising and stop procrastinating!

If you’re a hoarder, there will be possessions that are hard for you to part with but just take small steps and when you see a difference to your home it will encourage you to do more.



Memory boxes, scrapbooks, and photograph albums are a great way to store keepsakes. I have loads which are filled with my daughter’s drawings, concert tickets and get well cards. However, they are condensed and displayed in a lovely way.



Memory Box


Things I Find Really Hard To Throw Away

1 Greetings cards – When someone has chosen a beautiful card I just can’t throw it away

2 Magazines-           There may be an article or recipe I might need in the future.

3 Clothes                   I hate to have things in my wardrobe that I don’t wear. However, I can’t discard new clothes that I haven’t worn.

4 Handbags           It doesn’t take long for a bag that you use every day to get shabby but I get attached to handbags, I can’t help it!

What Do You Find Difficult To Throw Away?









Cover Reveal, The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin @HollyMAuthor.

Cover Reveal, The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin

So excited to reveal the beautiful cover for The Summer of Chasing Dreams, the new book by @HollyMAuthor. A gorgeously uplifting and heartwarming romantic comedy to escape with this summer

The Summer of Chasing FINAL.jpg

Amazon Purchase Link

Book Description

The stunning new story from the bestselling author of The Cottage on Sunshine Beach. Discover an unforgettable romance this summer.

This year everything is about to change…

Eva Blue is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She’s happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Ones she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled – she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this trip of a lifetime.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this adventure, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor’s kindness and mischievous sense of humour. While Eva wrestles with moving out of her comfort zone, Thor is running from a past heartache. Sparks fly between them, but will a simple holiday romance be enough or can they put aside their pasts to embrace their futures?

A joyously romantic, feel-good summer read that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond, this book is for you.

About The Author


Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor

Other Books By Holly Martin

Remembering Enid Blyton

Remembering Enid Blyton

I was born in the Sixties and some of my oldest memories were the Enid Blyton books I used to love so much. As a child, it wasn’t the author that attracted me to the books but looking back all my favourites were written by Enid Blyton, even though the books were all very different.

I put together some of my favourites, with the original covers if I could find them.

The strange thing was I was a massive fan of The Secret Seven series but never got into The Famous Five. The one I loved most was The Naughtiest Girl in the School probably because I was a quiet, shy child and just wanted to rebel but didn’t have the courage. I actually asked if I could change my name to Amelia Jane because she was everything I wanted to be. Strangely, I always found Noddy a little scary and I have no idea why!


I remember being offered different authors by aunties and uncles who worried about my very narrow taste in reading, but as a young child, I could not be swayed. Enid Blyton’s books were the first ones that I actually read myself instead of having them read to me. The books got very dog-eared because they were read so much but I still remember the covers of every one of them.


I always read bedtime stories to my daughter and she has grown up to love books almost as much as I do. Even now, if I get the chance, I love to review children’s books. Nowadays there is always an educational element or moral lesson which can only be a good thing.

I know that you can still buy Enid Blyton books today but wonder if they have the same appeal to the younger generation?

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 Enid Blyton


(11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968)

Enid Blyton was born in London in 1897, the oldest of three children. She was very close to her father and was devastated when he left home, when Enid was thirteen, to live with another woman.

After leaving school she worked as a  teacher and later as a nursery governess. In  1949 the first Secret Seven edition was published as well as Noddy Goes To Toyland. She wrote prolifically throughout the 1950s often publishing more than fifty books a year.

This is a quote from Enid Blyton which describes her writing technique.

I shut my eyes for a few minutes, with my portable typewriter on my knee – I make my mind a blank and wait – and then, as clearly as I would see real children, my characters stand before me in my mind’s eye … The first sentence comes straight into my mind, I don’t have to think of it – I don’t have to think of anything

She married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock and the couple went on to have two daughters Gillian and Imogen. They divorced and she married her second husband, Darrell Waters in 1943.

In 1960 Enid began to show signs of dementia, she died in 1968 aged 71.



The Controversial Side to Enid Blyton.

Enid Blyton’s writing has been strongly criticised, she has been accused of being racist and sexist. Some of the stories have been changed since the 1990s to make them more politically correct.

Here are some examples:-

The original Noddy books featured Golliwogs, which were black faced characters which stole Noddy’s car and were perceived as a little more mean than other characters.


Enid Blyton wrote a book called ‘The Little Black Doll’ in which the doll was called ‘ugly’ by her owner. ‘Sambo’ the black doll was so upset she ran away, then the rain washed her face clean. With a pink face, the doll was welcomed back into the family.


In the ‘Famous Five’ stories, one of the characters was a girl called George. She was portrayed as a tomboy who wore boys clothes and people showed confusion about her gender. The other girl Anne was given a demure, homely image which lead to criticism that Enid Blyton gave the impression that boys were a more important part of society than girls.

In the ‘Secret Seven’ stories, Peter makes a claim that girls could never be as good as boys at solving mysteries and always rejected Janet’s suggestions, just because she was a girl.


In the Faraway Tree series, there was a teacher called Dame Slap who slapped her pupils. Concerns were raised that children would become damaged by the treatment Dame Slap gave out and turn into a generation of psychopaths. The character was changed to Dame Snap and she shouted rather than slapped the children.

Also, in this series were characters called Fanny and Dick, these were later changed in the 1990s to Frannie and Rick. The original names had to be changed because, forty years after the books were written, the names were considered vulgar.

Her books were also criticised as too simplistic, with limited vocabulary and transparent plots.

A festival planned for her hometown of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, to commemorate seventy-five years since she moved there, was actually opposed by critics.

Enid Blyton wrote so prolifically that she was accused of using ghostwriters, she always denied this.

She is believed to have had several affairs including a lesbian relationship with her children’s nanny.

She was a big tennis fan, especially naked tennis which was quite common amongst the middle classes of this era.



Enid’s daughter Imogen wrote a biography about her mother in 1989 called  A Childhood at Green Hedges. In this biography, she describes how her mother was arrogant, pretentious and lacking in maternal instinct. However, Enid’s other daughter Gillian described her mother as a fascinating companion and a fair and loving mother.

Imogen Smallwood (Blyton’s daughter) said that her mother possessed childlike qualities, and could be spiteful and cold.

Barbara Stoney, another biographer said that she believed Enid was so severely traumatised by arguments between her mother and father that she froze emotionally, which explained her ‘teenage’ like behaviour.

Enid’s brother Hanly also described the terrible distress suffered by his sister when their father left the family home.

Interestingly, Enid didn’t even attend her mother’s funeral when she died in 1950.


In 2009 a film about Enid Blyton’s life was produced. It was simply titled ‘Enid’ and starred Helena Bonham Carter. Her first husband Hugh Pollock was played by Matthew Macfadyen

In Enid’s Defence…

Could it not be true that Enid Blyton was describing early feminism when she described George the ‘tomboy’, a girl who refused to conform to a stereotypical perception? Blyton always insisted that George was based on a real person and later admitted that it was actually herself.

Also, the books which were written between 1920 and 1960 portray the way that middle-class women of that time thought.

It could be said that although the books were not literary masterpieces, they encouraged children to read and that could only be applauded.

The stories can be used as teaching tools to discuss controversial topics with children, in a way that they can fully understand.

My Thoughts on the Censorship of Enid Blyton books.

Obviously, some of the stories must be changed, especially the racist undertones in Noddy, The Golliwogs, and The Little Black Doll. However, with the sexist and classism issues, I feel that children should be given the credit to judge for themselves. Adults reading the books to a child should make the child aware that the stories were written in a bygone age and certain things are undoubtedly unacceptable now. I don’t want to see the ‘lashings of ginger beer’ terminology changed because it has such a vintage style which I feel should be preserved and not censored.

Although J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series are firm favourites with children today, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five remains the favourite children’s book for adults.

Her books have sold more than five hundred million copies Worldwide.

Finally a quote from the lady herself

hatred is so mich easier to win than love - and so much harder to get rid of1


Do you have fond memories of Enid Blyton books as a child?

Do you feel that Enid Blyton’s writing was racist and sexist or just from a  generation prior to political correctness?

Would you feel happy to read one of her books to a child today?



Thank you for reading.


Fatal Promise (D.I. Kim Stone Book 9) – Angela Marsons

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons. I have heard such amazing things about this author and couldn’t wait to finally dive into a D. I. Kim Stone book.

Fatal Promise (D.I. Kim Stone Book 9) – Angela Marsons

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. 

From multi-million copy number one bestseller Angela Marsons comes another absolutely nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat crime thriller.



Purchase Link

My Thoughts

I have heard such amazing things about this author and couldn’t wait to finally dive into a D. I. Kim Stone book. It is the ninth in a series but worked fine as a standalone, although after reading this I will be going back to book one very, very soon.

We meet the team soon after they have tragically lost one of their members and Kim is recovering from injury. A new member is met with a frosty reception, but the team put their feelings to one side when a doctor is found murdered.

Dr. Gordon Cordell is already known to the team from a previous case. His body is found in a wooded area but it is suspected that he wasn’t actually killed there. When other bodies are exposed Kim suspects there is a serial killer at large.

Meanwhile, a teenage girl has gone missing, the police are not too concerned, she has run away before, but this time feels different. Stacey had been assigned the case whilst Kim was on sick leave and she needs to see closure.

Kim’s team are still reeling from the shock of losing a colleague, however, their professionalism and dedication shine through. Without reading the previous novels I could tell from small snippets that Kim has had a traumatic past and is a complex, highly motivated character.

I found this to be a superbly written crime thriller with an intricate and absorbing plot and utterly fascinating characters. I honestly can’t wait to read all the other novels from this truly addictive author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.

What a way to end 2018! , Happy New Year everyone!

Welcome to After Eleven

Thank you for joining me at “After Eleven” a new blog for all lovers of the written word.

We may already have met through “Waggy Tales Blog” and if so I would like to offer you a huge welcome. Thank you for stopping by.

In this blog, I wanted to create posts about great written content, either from books, magazines, newspapers or blogs.

I have a small collection of poems which I would love to share with you and I hope to add more in the near future. There will be inspiring quotes from literature and spotlights on authors who deserve to have their work promoted. Of course, I will continue to publish book reviews concentrating on the genres of psychological thrillers and romance.

One thing I would love to do is read more of the classics and create discussion posts about some of the topics covered. I hope you will join me on my mission to read the great literature which has stood the test of time. If you have any suggestions, I would love to know what you recommend.

Please feel free to stop by and drop a comment or two, I would love to hear your opinions on everything.

Don’t forget… The fun starts After Eleven!

“But I don_t want to go among mad people,_ Alice remarked._Oh, you can_t help that,_ said the Cat_ _we_re all mad here. I_m mad. You_re mad.__How do you know I_m mad__ said

Do Bugs Wear Shoes?-Anthony Puttee and Addie Broussard

Happy Halloween and welcome to the Blog Blitz for Do Bugs Wear Shoes? by Anthony Puttee and Addie Broussard. Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to the Blitz and for an e-copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.


Do Bugs Wear Shoes?

A colorful, fun-filled book packed with answers to all your silliest bug questions! 
Learn what happens when a bug goes to space, to school, and to the gym. Find out if bugs have feelings like people do. Discover robot bugs, dancing bugs, bugs that poop and so much more!
Filled with illustrations, photographs and interactive videos, Do Bugs Wear Shoes will have kids laughing and learning as they discover awe-inspiring facts about the insect world. This beautifully designed book is organized into colorful two-page spreads that each focus on a different question, making it easy and fun to read for children and big kids alike.

BOOK EXTRAS include videos and printable worksheets for extended learning. Great for educators and at-home learning.

PLUS, vote on the world’s most beautiful bug!

Recommended for ages 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and up.

Don’t miss out on the chance to bug out!tu-bugbook-pinterest-pins-standard-v1

Purchase Links Here

My Review

Do Bugs Wear Shoes? is an entertaining and educational look at the World of Insects for all children from the age of six upwards. The book is split into bite-size questions just like a typical child would ask;-

Do Bugs Poop?

Do Bugs Have Feelings?

The answers are all there, with up-close photographs and infographics on each colourful page.

Take scary misconceptions about bugs away and make learning about these amazing creatures great fun.

I’m not a fan of bugs but I found some of the amazing facts fascinating. This may not be an ideal bedtime read but I’m sure it will become a firm favourite with children, parents, and teachers. It’s a great way to get children interested in nature and presented in a way which will relate to their sense of imagination.

For all budding Entomologists!



Author Bio –

Two Umbrellas is an educational publishing company that fuses education and storytelling.  We offer books and activities to help parents and educators empower tomorrow’s leaders.

Our founders, Anthony Puttee and Addie Broussard, love to travel.  Anthony’s favorite trip was to Antarctica and he has included some of his personal photos in this book.  Addie has traveled solo around the world. While in Portugal, she encountered a unique insect, which inspired a children’s book called The Beedog, which was published in 2018. The idea for Do Bugs Wear Shoes came from a playful team meeting on a rooftop in Mexico.

Social Media Links –





Book resources at https://twoumbrellasplease.com