Tuesday 19 March 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Thief of Joy - Stacey Murray

Single-mum Roz compares herself to everyone else, from her sister to friends to people on social media, and feels she's missing out. She wants what they've got - a husband, a father for her daughter, and respect.

When she meets Daniel, Roz thinks her dreams are possible, until he dies suddenly and tragically. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she rushes headlong into a relationship with Mark, a widower she meets in an online support group.

Yet as Mark's behaviour becomes more controlling and manipulative, Roz realises he isn't the man of her dreams. He is hiding a jaw-dropping secret that spells danger for Roz and her daughter...

What did I think?

The Thief of Joy is a very good slow burn thriller that smoulders from start to finish and I really enjoyed it.  Stacey Murray's suspenseful writing creates a web of intrigue that completely captured my attention.

I felt really sorry for Roz at the start when all the hopes and dreams of a new relationship are snatched away from her so cruelly.  Roz only knew Daniel for a short time so she doesn't get much sympathy from her family and turns to an online grief support group to validate her right to grieve.  

As with all online groups though, there are some nice people and some trolls so when Roz gets a message from an administrator the reader can't help but wonder which category Mark falls into.  As Mark gradually wheedles his way into Roz's life the chapters are interspersed with sinister snippets that let the reader know that all is not as it seems.

My sympathy for Roz ebbed and flowed like the tide as she is always comparing herself to other people and wanting what they have.  I'm not saying she's not unlucky but her desperation to find a partner causes her to overlook their flaws and this puts her and her daughter in danger.

Captivating and tense, The Thief of Joy is a riveting psychological thriller that is filled with suspense, envy and danger.  It's well worth a read and I think it's important to remind readers that some people online are not who they seem.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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