The Birthday Girl By Sue Fortin

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

Four friends.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?
The Birthday Girl

3.5 stars

It's a Birthday party!
It's a guessing game!
Is it murder?

These ladies get together for the weekend in a cozy cottage in the secluded woods. Sounds lovely doesn't it? Joanne has many many things planned- hiking, trailing, boating, guessing games with clue cards, but what does this birthday girl really have on her mind?

I was really into the game and the setting. It was a fun theme, but it does turn darker and little outlandish (possibly), but still clever! One big shocker really had me flipping pages, and the twists kept me reading to see what would happen next. The conclusion was a bit of a stretch and
it took a while to sort all the different characters out, but overall an enjoyable lighter read! I would recommend to those enjoy twisty mysteries with a few jaw droppers!

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for my copy to review! Paperback

Now never having read anything of Sue Fortin before I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this.
Well, Wow, this certainly didn't disappoint.
I read this in practically one sitting, it was such addictive reading that I struggled to put The Birthday Girl down I was so engrossed.
This story tells the tale of four best friends, Carys, Zoe, Andrea and Joanne, all in or approaching their forties.
All Bogged down with the usual life dramas, petty jealousies and rivalries that usually come with groups of girls of all ages.
So when one of the girls, Joanne to be exact, decides to throw a very different fortieth party.
The other Girls half-heartedly accept her invitation.
Straight from the get-go, I loved how the scene was staged, Johanna lulling her friends into a false sense of security, outwardly not portraying her anger, but showing her game face and going in for the long con.
So there you are, You think you know where This tale is going, who the baddies are, when suddenly and without warning The birthday girl changes directions on you leaving you floundering in the wake of the upheaval.
And you're left there scratching your head in total confusion.
The Birthday girl will seriously confound your expectations and have you questioning everything that happens, nothing will be taken on face value and nobody is above suspicion.
On top of all this, there is also the mysterious voice that seems to hate Carys so much, I was so wrong on all fronts with this when attempting to use my sleuthing skills to unmask, brilliantly done indeed.
So the story that unfolds here drew me in straight from the beginning.
It manages to build layer upon layer until gradually a bigger overall picture is finally revealed.
This was so well done and it actually helped make the Birthday Girl such a page-turner.
this has all the ingredients of a five-star read and it wasn't until the last chapter that for me this lost some of its star quality.
I just really didn't like the ending, I've never really been into self-sacrificing or cutting off my nose to spite my face and that is what the last chapter to me stank of.
So Sorry to be so cryptic, but needs must as I really don't want to spoil this experience for others.
So there you have it, in a nutshell, this was such a good solid read, it flowed brilliantly, kept the reader guessing till the final pages and overall just pulled you right in.
So yes I would most certainly recommend this if you like a good psychological thriller, this is hands down, definitely one of the best I have experienced for a while.
So All that's left is to say thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with an ARC of The Birthday Girl this is my own honest and unbiased opinion.

Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm Paperback While reading this book all I could think of was the expression...with friends like these who needs enemies! Secrets and lies abound and Sue Fortin gives us just enough creepy atmosphere to go along with it.

Four best friends gather for Joanne's 40th birthday. This isn't just any birthday celebration. Joanne has planned it down to every detail. The women are whisked away to Scotland to a remote cabin in the woods. She has confiscated all of their phones to have a bonding weekend filled with games and adventure. As soon as her guests arrive you can already sense that something isn't quite right. This sense of foreboding never let's up until you flip the last page.

This is a fast, fun, twisty, and entertaining novel. I was glued to the pages. Is it all plausible? No, not at all. Do I care? No, not at all. This was a perfect read for me right now after having read a few duds lately. Highly recommended!

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. Paperback Oops looks like a minority view from me this time but I had quite a few problems with this story - although it's *really* difficult to rate because Sue Fortin is a really talented writer, I love the good writing but subjectively the story itself annoyed the living heck out of me.

Carys is annoying and her problems were not that interesting. Also on anti-depressants (yawn) prone to brain freezes at inopportune moments (bigger yawn) and lies through her teeth numerous times thinking she's doing the right thing but actually usually making it worse even though she's supposed to be intelligent (biggest yawn of all)

The birthday party itself. I'm sorry but it was silly. For a start nobody would go through all the steps to get there that the friends were expected to take, especially if they were already at odds and even more so if they were supposedly, again, intelligent women. Maybe the first bit. Even the second. But mobile phones taken away, put on a plane, no idea where they are going and completely cut off when they get there? Yeah I'd have said a few choice words, taken my phone and gone back to my duvet. It just felt so...puerile. I'm all for surprises but in the initial portions of this novel less would definitely have been more. I was already shaking my head in disbelief and I wasn't even that far into it.

Then it just got stupider. Confrontations (but still even when it was clear that they were not all jolly friends together they happily went off into the woods and followed all the instructions because of COURSE that's what you do when you have no idea where you are, have no communication with the outside world, your friend is acting oddly and you yourself are feeling slightly worried)

The resolution was very convoluted, for me didn't really sit logically within the context of the rest a kind of oh THIS happened BEFORE that and so THIS is what it's all about. Then the need to quite definitively over egg the pudding with a final twist. **rolls eyes**

BUT you know people love this stuff (as is reflected in the majority of the reviews) and the author is not at fault here really, she has an insightful writing eye and a clever turn of phrase that makes this a page turner even as I was spitting chips and going really? REALLY? as things unfolded. I didn't want to put it down, I was interested to see what the outcome was (even though my hoped for outcome was that they all fell off a cliff and died painfully ) and for lovers of the psychological thriller it will hit a lot of marks. I think with this genre now it's hit and miss, this was a miss for me but a hit for a lot of others.

Pfft. What do I know anyway?
Paperback “There is still no cure for the common birthday.”

----John Glenn

Sue Fortin, an English author, has penned an atmospheric and compelling thriller called, The Birthday Girl that revolves around a mother, of a teenage son, who has recently lost her husband, receiving the best birthday surprise that she cannot ever imagine in her lifetime from someone really close to her heart, even though she has three best friends and one of her friends has already planned out a surprise weekend getaway somewhere away from the regular noises of the city, and in there unfolds a deathly mystery when the host of the holiday, reveals the secrets of each women through a creepy guessing game, finally turning fatal.


Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

Four friends.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?

Carys never knew that her birthday would turn out to be so devastating that she would lose everything she holds dear to in her life in one single sweep, when she agrees to a weekend getaway at a remote location hosted by one of her best friend's named, Joanne. So along with Zoe and Andrea, her other two best friends, Carys join in Joanne's surprise birthday weekend trip where Joanne has already pre-planned everything in advance to shock the hell out of her best friends. Starting with a creepy guessing game and then moving on to adventure sports, Joanne is hell bound to reveal her friends' ugly secrets. Not until, Joanne herself becomes a victim of her own game and Carys could never imagine or believe the person who would eventually present her with the best birthday gift of her life. But sadly Carys and her friends are staying at a country houses somewhere so isolated that no one can come to their rescue if they need any help.

From now on, Sue Fortin will be my go-to author whenever her books come out. Fortin's story got into my skin and scared the hell out of me. No matter how much I kept guessing and anticipating the climax or certain turn of events, I could not even once could rightly surmise the climax. Trust me, its epic and it did blew my mind off. Felt a bit unrealistic to me in the beginning, but later I realized that either grief can make you an evil or can make you depressed. Her story is the perfect example of how grief can affect one human being in the most twisted way that they can be blindsided by that grief turned into rage.

The author's writing style is quite articulate and her story telling is really captivating enough and it is going to keep the readers glued to the pages of her book till the very end. The dialogues are engaging enough to peak the readers' interest as per the swift pace of the story line. The prose is lucid yet it is underlay with lots of edgy tension to make the plot extremely gripping enough for her readers. The voices of the characters are extremely realistic and the whole setting or rather say the backdrop is in perfect sync with the mystery unfolding before it.

The mystery is really well concocted by the author. She has laced her plot with unpredictable twists and turns, and not only that, the mood of the story line has been set to something filled with deep, dark, moody suspense and thrilling enough to give the readers that bone-chilling feel all through out. The characters are really well depicted and portrayed through their flaws and honesty and realism.

And yes, no doubt, they are layered with so much depth that by the end of the book, the readers might feel like they already know the characters by the back of their hands.
Also all through out the story line, each and every character is bound to keep a firm psychological grip on the minds of the readers. The author has developed them brilliantly, they are the cherry on the top of this book. And because of those flawed and complex characters, the story itself becomes a riveting one that a reader cannot afford to miss it.

In a nutshell, this story is a must read and if you love reading chilly and creepy thrillers, then this book is the perfect fit for you!

PS: A spooky book penned vividly by the author, so its better that you don't read it on your birthday!

Verdict: Absolutely eerie and gripping thriller that is a must read!

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from Harper Collins India for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. Paperback

Sue Fortin × 9 Read & Download

Wow! This book blew me away! I loved Sister Sister so it was a no brainer to request this book on Netgalley when it came up. Once you start this book it is very hard to put it down.4 friends go away on a birthday weekend... a weekend that will change of of their lives forever. So many lies and twists.. this book was fantastic. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for a copy of this book to read and review Paperback This book was a shocker of a story. Where I thought the book ended and there would be nothing more to know, other than to read it for a thrill, the story actually started.

This is my first book by Sue Fortin, and I was bloody well enthralled to leave other work and get to the last page. It was a race against time. This is the book which made me go ‘One more chapter and I would sleep’ till the end.

All the credit goes to the author, Sue Fortin. She starts the story as a routine murder mystery. Joanne invites her friends Carys, Andrea, and Zoe to her adventure themed birthday weekend in a cottage in an isolated part of Scotland. And one of them dies. Which one of them is a killer?

I liked the way the location of the story, in the middle of nowhere, with no compass, no phones, no means of communication other than a walkie talkie. With the dead body shifted to the shed, with every friend having a motive for murder, with every friend having the opportunity to murder, doubts and suspicions arise.

There were twists and turns to keep the adrenaline flowing. I did guess the killer, but it was fun to see the story rush to its finale. I love books which follow their own definitions and logic. The twisted mind of a killer, the need for revenge, and the sub-layers in the plots are all well weaved into this story by Sue Fortin.

There are a few niggles; I wanted main character, Carys to be stronger than what she was shown in the story. She came across as an escapist, at least to me. I wanted more background about their friendship. It did come across in bits and pieces in the mystery.

Action and drama, murder and suspicion, friends and hidden enemies, this book gives it all with Sue Fortin at its helm… Paperback BLOG TOUR REVIEW

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting. One of them is hiding a secret. And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

Four friends. A party to die for. Who will survive?

Wow,Omg,I absolutely loved this well written,gripping,intense,fast paced,twist packed thriller.The story is mainly voiced by Carys whose narrative isn't exactly reliable.Interspersed throughout the book are parts that are voiced by a unknown person whose identity when it was revealed took me totally by surprise.I thought I had worked out who the person was but I was 100% wrong.The story hooks you in from the very first page,the sense of unease building as Carys,Andrea and Zoe travel to their mysterious destination where Joanne is waiting for them.Once they get to the cottage that's where the fun and games begin,all four of the women have secrets,could one of them have revenge on her mind? or is someone else playing sick games and terrorizing the four women for their own personal reasons?.All the characters are realistic and believable,Andrea was definitely my favourite,if she had something to say,she said it whether you like what she said or not.The setting was perfect for some intense,gripping action scenes that had me holding my breath,frantically turning the pages and snarling at anyone who dared to interrupt me while I was reading.

I absolutely loved this riveting psychological thriller,the plot is compelling and intricate and has more twists and turns than the river that flows near the cottage.I would love to give this book far more than 5 stars.Highly recommended by little old me.

Many thanks to Harper Collins UK / Harper Impulse for a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review
Paperback 3.5 stars

What was suppose to be a fun weekend celebrating a birthday turns scarily tragic and creepy. This was a good story although it was not too difficult figuring out who was the bad girl.

Another good story brought to me by my local library! Paperback This was a very middle of the road read for me.
The first half very nearly put me off this book as I felt it was a very stereotypical portrayal of a group of four female friends. The middle to end did improve but I guessed the twist very early on. I probably wouldn’t recommend or read another of her books. X Paperback