Nikki Erlick: The Measure Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door,… More
What I Read: October 2022
Etaf Rum: Woman is No Man
In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.
I can’t believe it took me this long to pick this book up, but I’m so happy I finally did. I was truly speechless after reading it and if you haven’t read it yet, you need to ASAP! This book tells the story of three generations of Palestinian women and I was SO invested in each of their stories which were all heartbreaking, deeply emotional and gripping. A Woman is No Man explores immigration, religion, culture, gender roles, and personal freedom. Etaf Rum gets deep into the trauma of being born a female in a family that devalues women and strips them of choice while putting abusive men on a pedestal. It also examines the role women play in perpetuating stereotypes and upholding a system that oppresses them. And even though it was difficult to read at moments, I just couldn’t put it down because I had to know the outcome of these women’s lives. Reading a book like this makes me realize how lucky I am that I get to choose how to spend my time, pursue hobbies, study, travel on my own, have self worth. It makes me angry that this is not the case for women around the world. A must read!
Holly Bourne: It only Happens in the Movies
Audrey is over romance. While dealing with her parents’ contentious divorce, a breakup of her own, and shifting friendship dynamics, she has every reason to feel cynical. But then she meets Harry, her fellow coworker at the local cinema. He’s brash, impulsive, and a major flirt. And even though Audrey tries to resist, she finds herself falling for his charms. But in this funny, insightful, and ultimately empowering novel, love—and life—isn’t what it’s like in the movies.
This is the first book by Holly Bourne that I have read and I loved it! Every teenage girl should read this and I wish I could’ve read it earlier, when I was in my teens! What I liked so much is how it challenges the representation of romance throughout films. It made me want to go through every romance film and analyse it to pull them apart the way Audrey did. Why not tell about the ugly fights, the bad times, real life moments and not so happy ending (as it sometimes happens)? The story is just so realistic and raw. It portrays something that could definitely happen within a young relationship in real life. Also the whole book was so naturally funny without trying too hard, I was laughing out loud multiple times. Even though it’s classed as YA, I recommend it to everyone!
Claire Douglas: The Girls Who Disappeared
Three missing girls. A twenty year mystery. A woman who may be able to crack this cold case. In a rural Wilshire town lies The Devil’s Corridor. A road which has witnessed eerie happenings from unexplained deaths to the sounds of a child crying at night. But nothing more puzzling than the Olivia Rutherford case. Four girls drove home but after their car crashed only Olivia was found. Twenty years later, journalist Jenna Halliday is covering the case. But the locals aren’t happy with this stranger’s arrival. Least of all Olivia. Jenna soon starts receiving threatening notes and it is clear someone wants her out of this town before she suffers a dark fate…
This is the perfect autumn/winter read, the setting is dark and eerie and it was so well described that I felt I was there. The story is set over different timelines and features an intriguing sub-plot which doesn’t make sense at first, but ties in neatly towards the end. The multiple POV and possible supernatural/paranormal elements throughout the setting really kept me intrigued throughout, even though I felt some of the pacing slowed down half way through. I never saw that ending coming and I had tried all the way through to guess different theories but that was one I didn’t see coming.
Ashley Flowers: All Good People Here
Margot Davies is an aspiring investigative journalist stuck at a small-time newspaper, until one night she stumbles upon a new development in an unsolved case that took place in her hometown: the infamous murder of six-year-old January Jacobs. Margot quickly becomes obssessed with solving the case. She returns to the town she left at 8 years old, hoping to bring justice to January, who was discovered dead in a ditch only hours after her family awoke to find her gone, along with a horrifying message spray-painted on their kitchen walls. As Margot digs deeper into the case, she begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems. There is something more sinister than she ever could have imagined lurking in the town: a twisted secret that threatens to endanger the lives of everyone involved, including Margot.
Wow, what a debut by Ashley Flowers! I can’t believe this is her first book! The book is told from 2 alternative timelines, one from 1994, when January goes missing and one now where Margot returns to her hometown as a journalist. There was suspense, multiple twists and great character depth! I had so many theories and I actually predicted some things but the final twist shocked me! I don’t think I would guess this in million years! One thing I didn’t like is the ending – the book just ended with a cliffhanger and I don’t understand why that was necessary. Is Margot returning for a second book? I highly recommend if you are a true crime / thriller lover. This was definitely one of my favorite books I have read this year.
Jason Rekulak: The Hidden Pictures
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy. Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare but one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body. As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house. With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.
I guarantee, you won’t guess where this book is going! I think this is one of the best things I have read lately and I’m not the one who usually picks horror/supernatural books!! Horror- psychological thriller-mystery- suspense genres are blended in perfectly! There are so many things I loved about it… The setting is fantastic, the house, the grounds, the forest especially after dark and the little guesthouse Mallory sleeps in are used cleverly to heighten the tension. What’s cool about this book is that the drawings are included so you get to see everything Mallory is looking at. The pacing was good and I practically flew through the book, reading it every spare moment wondering how everything would be wrapped up. The book is twisty and turns and psychological mind*uck that will leave you wondering what have you just read! And that ending… I don’t think anyone can guess that! If you are looking for something fresh and original and you don’t mind mysteries with a supernatural vibe, then this is the book for you!
Colleen Hoover: It Starts With Us
Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.
Do I think that this sequel was necessary? No. Do I think this book deserves 2 stars just because of that? NO! Lots of people gave it 1 star or 2 stars just because of that but in my opinion this was not so offensive. We got Atlas’ point of view, we got the closure, some cute moments between Lily and Atlas – what else do you need? This book was about the aftermath of leaving an abusive relationship, navigating the world as a single mother to the child of your abuser, and learning that you deserve your own happiness. I’m glad this book went over the struggles of it all, addressed it’s not easy and it won’t be for a while but also saying there can be some light after all. I can tell CoHo wrote this for her fans, giving Atlas and Lily the heartwarming story they deserve. Now, the main issue is that there is no real conflict or surprises in here. And sure enough, the story progresses and ends exactly the way you’d expect. It was an alright way to pass a few hours if you’re not quite ready to leave the world of Lily and Atlas. This story won’t leave you breathless, but it shouldn’t offend either.
Jennifer Hillier: Jar of Hearts
Aged just 16, Geo’s best friend Angela disappeared without a trace. Years later, Angela’s body is discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home, revealed as yet another victim of the notorious serial killer Calvin James. Geo’s high-school boyfriend. For fourteen years, Geo knew what had happened and told no one, carrying the secret until she was arrested and sent to prison. Why would any woman protect a man capable of committing such a heinous crime? Geo had her reasons…To Geo, Calvin is more than a monster, a serial killer with no remorse. He is something else entirely. And while Geo did her time, Calvin escaped and went on the run. Now released, Geo is ready to start over. But then the bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela…
This is my first Jennifer Hillier book and I loved it so much I bought another two straight away! First off, you need to know that there are no good guys in the story! If you are ok with that, keep reading! Second thing, Hillier is a master puppeteer and not until the twists are revealed will you then acknowledge that the clues were right there. After all, “You see what you want to see, not what’s there.” Jar of Hearts is an intense, chilling, dark and twisted psychological thriller novel that grabbed my attention very quickly and had me totally invested throughout this whole story. The narrative is divided into 5 parts and is told through alternating present-day POVs of Geo and Kaiser, who is a detective and Geo’s childhood friend. Flashbacks take us through their teenage years and the events leading up to Angela’s death. To be honest, I did not like Geo. The justification for her actions was more than a little questionable. It is hard to feel any sympathy for her. It speaks to the author’s talent to be able to weave a story around an essentially unlikeable character that comes out strong! Fast-paced, (though disturbing in parts), full of twists and turns and an ending that shocks you, this book is hard to put down till you reach the very end.
Ashley Winstead: The Last Housewife
While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tiny Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favourite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever. Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers.
I have to say, I loved Winstead’s previous book In My Dreams I Hold a Knife so I got this book as soon as it came out. I had high expectations for The Last Housewife, but they weren’t quite reached. The story revolves around a sex cult, so there were obviously lots of disturbing scenes that were hard to stomach. Also, there is a big trend now where we see podcast incorporated into thriller/crime stories and I love it but here it just didn’t work. I would prefer if it was dual timeline. The problem is, there was lots of telling and not enough showing and this made it hard for me to really connect with the plot and the characters. Parts where Shay is talking for the podcast were so boring and long and just very odd to me. She included a lot of insight into her behaviour that seemed to be completely missing the rest of the time. Also I couldn’t see the point of her mysterious husband that we know nothing about and didn’t play any role whatsoever in the whole story. Overall, this was not for me but I’m looking forward to her next book!
What I Read: September 2022
Emily Henry: Book Lovers
Nora Stephens’ life is books and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
This was my second book by Emily Henry and even though I wasn’t a fan of the People we Meet on Vacation, I loved this one. Book Lovers checks all my boxes for romance-fun banter, a hardass heroine (can’t deal with blushing damsels), a guy who might have his broody moments but isn’t a jerk, and steamy encounters. Usually rom coms are really cheesy and I kept rolling my eyes but not this one! This was the smartest enemies to lovers trope I’ve ever read! I loved all the characters! I especially love how this book doesn’t change Nora or punish her for being ambitious and hardworking. I like that being career-oriented, valuing independence, living in the city, and being childless are qualities that aren’t villainized nor expected to change in order to have a happy ending. What gave the book more depth, though, was its focus on the Nora’s own issues and relationship with her sister. This helped round the story to be both a combination of romance and personal/family struggles. I think that even if you are not a big romance fan you could read this, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Taylor Jenkins Reid: Carrie Soto is Back
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record.
Those who do not have any interest in tennis as a sport might find this a tough read, but I would like to say that it is the human aspects of the game, like what it takes to rise to the top, the rivalries and competitiveness, that dominate this narrative. I watch important tennis tournament finals and semi finals but that’s all I know about tennis, until now. I learnt a lot from this book and it made me want to go and try playing it. The author immerses the reader into the elite levels of tennis with her realistic and vivid descriptions of what it is like to be part of that world, I felt as if I was there on that court and engaged in all the drama and nailbiting tension of the games. Carrie was not the most easy person to like. Her attitude in the beginning was awful. But over time, as I read through her struggles, hard work and ambition – it became so easy to root for her. To see her become the person she wanted to be. To finally enjoy the sport she used to love. It might feel a bit slow at times, especially the transcripts but it’s so worth it. If you are a fan of Tayor Jenkins Reid be sure to read this!
Riley Sager: The House Across the Lake
Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous. One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.
It’s very hard for me to review this book. Some of it I really loved, but other parts were just ridiculous and slightly boring. This book is a combination of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Woman in the window ( it’s also inspired by Hitchcock’s work), Girl on the train and CoHo’s Layla! The beginning of the book is very slow-paced, but stick with it as things soon change. As a big thriller reader who can easily predict the twist or reveal, I was actually blindsided when the twist was revealed, and in true Sagar fashion, we are hit with multiple blindsiding twists. Without revealing anything I will just say this book is actually a quite different from Sager’s previous work. I felt it was entertaining, but for me, it didn’t have the high level of appeal like Home Before Dark or Lock Every Door. But I think that’s just a personal preference and the fact I didn’t expect this kind of writing from Sager.
Hazel Hayes: Out of Love
As a young woman boxes up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it?Out of Love is a bittersweet romance told in reverse. Beginning at the end of a relationship, each chapter takes us further back in time, weaving together an already unravelled tapestry, from tragic break-up to magical first kiss.
This was such a unique and heartbreaking book! Hazel Hayes is a total genius for making this book start with the ending of the relationship and finishing it with the day our characters met. From the first few pages I was already so invested in the heroine’s story. The whole backwards plot makes you want to continue reading it because in one way or another you just have to know what went wrong with them why did they end up the way they did. Also I feel this teaches such an important lesson about knowing when to let go and move on. and that it’s okay to move on and it’s okay for things to come to an end. I think everyone who has ever broken up following a long term relationship can relate to this book. This was one of these stories that you can’t help but be invested in. Hours after I finished it I kept thinking about how her life turned out. This book was definitely one of my favourite reads this year and I can’t wait to read more of her work!
Alice Feeney: Daisy Darker
After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows… Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.
This book is homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, one of my favourites! I love locked-room mysteries so I was excited to read it. The setting was great—a spooky house on a cliff that’s cut off from the world based on how high the tide is. I liked that the family reunion takes place on Halloween which added to the atmospheric creepiness of the house and the events. Like Agatha Christie’s book there were some clever rhyming poems which were very clever and interesting! The majority of the Darker family was easy to hate, and the extent of the dysfunction surrounding each relationship was intense. There were interesting plot twists, including one I didn’t foresee. I thought Feeney did a great job keeping the reader guessing who was behind the killings. With all thrillers, there are unbelievable moments but with this one you really need to suspend your belief. So if you don’t mind that, you will enjoy it.
Megan Goldin: Stay Awake
Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE. Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years?
Wow! Memento meets a thriller version of Fifty First Dates! I’m a huge fan of author Megan Goldin, and this did not disappoint. She proves here that her storylines are quite versatile, so readers shouldn’t go into this one expecting the same tone as her previous efforts. The story is told in multiple timelines, and Goldin manages to juggle all of them and create a cohesive story that is unique and thrilling. I also appreciated that the story could’ve easily become repetitive given the nature of the plot, but yet never felt stale. Each chapter gives us a little more knowledge than the last…until the puzzle is complete. Liv’s confusion is written so well the reader can feel it too – he dread, panic and utter bewilderment are palpable! The ending was unexpected but not completely shocking. I was focusing so much on Liv that I probably missed some clues. If you are after an intelligent and well-crafted mystery thriller that’s a bit different from the norm then look no further! Highly recommended.
Cara Hunter: Hope to Die(DI Adam Fawley #6)
When a body is found in a farmhouse in a gruesome state, DI Adam Fawley is one of the first on the scene. The murder leads Fawley to a convoluted investigation from the past, and a family torn apart by a devastating crime involving the disappearance of a child. Can Fawley piece together the facts of history with the clues in the present? Sometimes the truth is the hardest answer to face up to…
Book # 6 in the DI Adam Fawley series! If you enjoy police procedurals, you’ll love this one. This is another twisty detective novel based on a true crime case. You can read it as standalone but it would help if you read the previous ones as well. If there’s one thing I love about Cara Hunter’s books it her attention to detail, not only does she provide the reader with a gripping story line, but there’s the clever integration of things like social media opinions, suspects statements, psychological evaluations and even a fictional Netflix series that runs alongside the narrative. It’s such an original concept! The plot is complex and very clever, the pace rises and falls appropriately and it is compelling and entertaining from the beginning to the end. There were a few things that I guessed quite easily and whilst I didn’t find any of the revelations particularly shocking, it keeps pace and is engaging throughout.
What I Read: August 2022
Katherine St. John: The Lion’s Den
Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend’s yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once she’s aboard the luxurious Lion’s Den, it soon becomes clear this jet-setting holiday is not as advertised.Belle’s dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as she and the handful of other girls Summer invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host-and in one terrifying moment, Belle comes to see Summer for who she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Told from Belle’s point of view, the narrative flips back and forth in time where the reader learns the history of Belle and Summer’s friendship. My favourite part of the book was the twist at the end. I definitely didn’t see that coming. I just wish we had a few more twists leading up to it to help strengthen my engagement. The book was a bit too long, and pacing was off. The writing could’ve use more editing—a lot of it felt jumbled and just kind of random. I thought there were too many characters (what was the point of Claire?). Some of Belle’s decisions made me roll my eyes but the reveals toward the end of the book helped that make more sense. If you are looking for a book that you can have fun with and not take super seriously, then this book will be for you!
clare mackintosh: The last Party
On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors. But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake. On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family—and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him. In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning.
I love Clare Mackintosh but this is my lowest rating for her book! The main reason is that it was too slow! It spans over 10 days and it’s a detective story so it should’ve been much faster. Also, the victim was just awful, with not a single redeeming character. Honestly, I didn’t care who killed him and I was actually hoping killer will get away with it! The book was a bit long and had lots of characters, I felt I need a map of the lake and characters to understand. But I liked a whodunit plot, a serene Wales lake setting, and the twist that I didn’t see coming! Perhaps the next in the series will be shorter, and more to the point as this first novel must have been written to set the stage for upcoming plots with the various characters we discovered.
SARAH PEARSE: THE RETREAT
An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumoured to be cursed. Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all. When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . .
Another twisty thriller from Sarah Pearse, a follow-up to The Sanatorium featuring the same main protagonist. This time we are heading to an English island with a morbid history. I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of The Sanatorium but this one is so much better! I love locked room mysteries and this one was just the perfect summer read! Pearse done a great job in describing deeply atmospheric setting and spooky history of the island. This is a story that takes a while to get settled, but once I got to grips with things I found it really hard to put down. It has a tense air to it given its isolated location, the tales and also the overall general feel of the place. There are lots of characters but it’s actually just enough to keep you guessing. I have to say that I didn’t guess the murderer and definitely didn’t guess the reason for it so that is a good sign in a book. get the feeling that there are more books to come and I really hope that is the case as I feel this author has a real talent for this genre of writing and I will be looking out for any further books.
COLLEEN HOOVER: ALL YOUR PERFECTS
Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
I don’t know how to feel about this book. I found Quinn really annoying. Maybe because I couldn’t relate and I don’t understand women who feel like that. I know her circumstances are horrible and sad but I couldn’t take her constant whining, it was downright depressing and so annoying. I was dreading the Now chapters and was always glad when I finally got to read another Then chapter. I also didn’t like the way Quinn treated Graham. He was probably one of the most perfect guys to be out there and she didn’t appreciate him at all. Now to the good things…I don’t know how that woman does it but every time I read a book by her, I seem to flow through it. Her writing style is so impeccable, it is so easy to get through any of her books, even if she writes about the most sad and depressing things ever. I really liked the alternating Now and Then chapters. It gave us the perfect comparison between Quinn & Graham Then and Quinn & Graham Now. If the majority of the book was “then” I would have been thrilled… but half was “now” so that’s why I’m giving it only 3.5 stars.
STEVE CAVANAGH: THE ACCOMPLICE
The Sandman killings have been solved. Daniel Miller murdered fourteen people before he vanished. His wife, Carrie, now faces trial as his accomplice. The FBI, the District Attorney, the media and everyone in America believe she knew and helped cover up her husband’s crimes.Eddie Flynn won’t take a case unless his client is innocent. Now, he has to prove to a jury, and the entire world, that Carrie Miller was just another victim of the Sandman. She didn’t know her husband’s dark side and she had no part in the murders. But so far, Eddie and his team are the only ones who believe her. Gabriel Lake used to be a federal agent, before someone tried to kill him. Now, he’s an investigator with a vendetta against the Sandman. He’s the only one who can catch him, because he believes that everything the FBI knows about serial killers is wrong. With his wife on trial, the Sandman is forced to come out of hiding to save her from a life sentence. He will kill to protect her and everyone involved in the case is a target. Even Eddie Flynn…
Wow! Every time I read a book from the Eddie Flynn series I think it can’t get better but then it does! In typical Cavanagh fashion, this was a beautiful, clever and well-thought-out story and a mind-fuck! The plot is fast paced and on occasion goes at warp speed making it exciting and completely gripping. It’s almost like you’re there and living it with them. But the twists – there wasn’t lots of them but what we got was pure gold. I did not see this one coming at all! And now I hope that Cavanagh is already writing the next book because I can’t wait to read it! if you’re looking for a suspense-filled, thrilling read that you are obsessed with for the time you are reading it, and the months after finishing (until the next book comes out), make sure you put this book on your to-be-read pile!
RUTH WARE: THE IT GIRL
April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide… including a murder.
This is very similar to In My Dreams I’m Holding a Knife by Ashley Winstead so if you liked that you will love this as well! It is told in two timelines (After the Murder-present day and Before the Murder-college years). it’s very atmospheric especially part in Oxford which feels like a character on its own. This was a book in two halves for me. I found the first half a bit slow. But by the second half, when Hannah’s obsession with finding out the truth really took hold it suddenly got much more interesting. I still found Hannah quite annoying but it gradually became clear that she really was onto something. I loved the ending! The final reveal was a jaw dropper and I didn’t see it coming! My only issue was the book’s length. It easily could have been edited down, as there is a lot of unnecessary repetition. Ware never lets me down and I’ll be waiting patiently for whatever she delivers next.
What I Read: July 2022
Carley Fortune: Every Summer After
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart. Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without. For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books – Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
There are some books you know you will love even before you start reading them, and this was one of those. It reminded me so much of Love and Other Words which is one of my favourite romance books ever. This book deserves every bit of hype it’s getting. More than just a good summer read this was a beautiful story about second chances and the love between two people that manages to stay intact even after not seeing each other for over a decade. Because it switches back and forth between the past and present, and a large chunk of the book is retelling the events of those six summers as teenagers, you might wonder if it’s YA. It’s not. It’s refreshingly mature, and I adored Percy and Sam, both as teens and as adults. The reason for their falling out was kept a mystery throughout the book and that made it impossible to put down! I don’t think I have enough words to describe how much I loved! Do yourself a favour and read it now!
JOHN Marrs: The vacation
How far would you run to escape your past? Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth. Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood. But for eight strangers at a beach front hostel, there is far more on their mind than an extended vacation. All of them are running from something. And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep…
I usually like John Marrs’ books but I’m not sure what to think of this one. I liked the premise of the novel – that characters for a variety of reasons end up in a run down hostel in Venice Beach. However, there were far too many characters. It’s fair to say that several of those were really interesting but some were too boring. Secondly, every chapter on every character you would get another chunk of the present day story and then that would halt so a bit more of their back story could be told over the last year or so. I just found the whole thing way too disjointed and irritating. I will say, though, I was impressed by the way all the puzzle pieces eventually came together. It takes a skilful author to make all the connections work, without becoming cheesy and/or implausible. Bottom line, John Marrs is an amazing author, with incredible talent, and I’ll definitely be reading his future works. I suggest you do the same.
Tessa Bailey: It happened one summer
Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.
I had high expectations for this book because everyone seemed to love it judging from raving reviews and the amount of hype it got, but it fell short of my expectations.This wasn’t a total miss. overall, I enjoyed this quick little romance. The plot was fun, the characters were charming, and I liked Piper’s growth throughout the story. You can clearly see how she evolved as a character, but nothing else felt special to me, unfortunately. The beginning started ok between Piper and Brendan… loved the chemistry and banter between the two. Loved the enemies to lovers vibe. But, I feel like there wasn’t enough of the enemies. We see them take off quickly with lovers vibe and we didn’t get to see more of the enemies sassy banter. I feel it was a missed opportunity for more funny moments. Also, the cheesiness…I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes through the book. So overall, fun and easy summer read but nothing amazing!
Jennifer Lynn barnes: The inheritance games
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
This had a very Knives Out vibes, it was fun, full of riddles and games, all wrapped around a mysterious inheritance. I really liked Avery, she felt relatable and smart, and I loved how she adapted to the situations thrown at her. I loved her sister Libby and their relationship, but I have to say my favourite side character was Nash. I know I am supposed to like either Grayson or Jameson, but it is Nash for me! The mystery in this was really good, I loved the twists and turns throughout the book, most of them I didn’t see coming. I loved guessing the puzzles and games alongside Avery. It’s the first book in a trilogy so I am excited to see where the next book takes us!
Lucy Score: Things we never got over
Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride.Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia. Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with the niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old to take care of.There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his solitary life. At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.
I had high expectations from this book because of all the hype – but I don’t think it lived up to them entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all city-girl-moving-to-the-small-village, enemies to lovers story. It was very cute, funny, and heartwarming. I loved that it had elements of crime in it, and also telenovelas(evil twin!) so it was interesting and not completely predictable like romances are. Now, things I didn’t like…it was too long for what it actually contained! It was 500 pages long! I feel like I would skim on certain parts and miss nothing because there were so many repetitive moments of him being obsessive, protective and controlling over her yet acting like an immature prick. Lets not forget, he’s over 40!! Also the ending was too cheesy for my liking but I don’t want to spoil it. Ultimately a solid 4 star book, didn’t change my life or top my list of small town romances like I anticipated given its popularity, but still really enjoyable and I’d recommend!
lisa jewell: The family remains
Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago. Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer. After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present. As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.
I am always a bit wary when an author writes a sequel in response to demand from fans, especially when the first book was a domestic thriller that wrapped well. I was invested in this book from the start because I wanted to know what happened to the characters but to be honest this was not needed. This book is not the same thrilling, sinister and tense thriller as the first one, it is more of a closure. There is some suspense and obviously few murders to be solved so I kept turning pages to get an answer! I love Jewell’s writing, I’m always hooked from the first page! Rachel’s story arc was my favourite, likely because she was a new character with a fresh take. Also, I really missed Libby’s POV, and thought she would’ve had more of an active role in the search for her father. One thing I do think – the blurb of this book calls it a “standalone sequel” which I disagree with. I suggest reading The Family Upstairs first or if you read it read a summary to refresh your memory. Even though this book does contain reminders, there’s a lot of characterisation and backstory that would be missing here if you jumped straight into this book without reading the first.
What I Read: June 2022
Lucy Clark: One of the Girls
It was supposed to be the perfect weekend away. Six very different women travel to a sun-soaked Greek island for a bachelorette trip, to celebrate Lexi’s upcoming wedding. From the glorious ocean views to the quaint tavernas and whitewashed streets, the vacation seems too good to be true. But dangerous undercurrents run beneath the sunset swims and midnight cocktails – because each of the women is hiding a secret. Someone is determined to make sure that Lexi’s marriage never happens – and that one of them doesn’t leave the island alive.
I really wanted this book to be a 5 star because I love a good thriller/mystery on a Greek island, summer vibes and all that. But the book started really slow and I found the beginning really boring! But it picks up later, somewhere in the middle. Told in multiple points of view from each of the women was a great way to develop the plot. The six friends have all secrets to hide and as we learn about each of the characters and their circumstances are revealed, we find that they are linked in some way and that causes the death over the cliffs are into the sea – which is revealed at the beginning. Because we don’t know who it is, I kept turning pages just to find out. I loved the end, it was unexpected and tense until the last chapter.
tim weaver: The blackbird
Just before the crash, Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are recorded on CCTV, laughing and happy. Then their car plunges into a ninety-foot ravine. Within seconds, the vehicle is an inferno – and the Gascoignes are trapped inside. But when fire crews arrive, they find something impossible: The vehicle is empty. Cate and Aiden have vanished. And only missing persons investigator David Raker can solve the mystery . . .
The Blackbird is the 11th Book in the David Raker series by Tim Weaver, and he never seems to disappoint. You don’t have to read previous books because there is enough of information about Raker’s story so the reader can understand what is going on. From the first chapter, I was intrigued, couldn’t figure out how this can be possible. How could two people caught in a devastating road traffic accident just disappear? And why? And was it even an accident? All of these questions! There are lots of threads to the story, that seem to be unconnected until they all come together in a completely brilliant way. And theres a cliff hanger at the end that will definitely entice you into reading the next book in the series.If you are the kind of reader who tries to solve the mystery alongside the detective, you will love this. I didn’t have a clue whodunnit until the big reveal. The Blackbird is fabulous – twisty and extremely clever – one of my favourite reads this year!
Clare Pooley: The people on platform 5
Every day Iona, a larger-than-life magazine advice columnist, travels the ten stops from Hampton Court to Waterloo Station by train, accompanied by her dog, Lulu. Every day she sees the same people, whom she knows only by nickname: Impossibly-Pretty-Constant-Reader and Terribly-Lonely-Teenager. Of course, they never speak. Seasoned commuters never do. Then one morning, the man she calls Smart-But-Sexist-Manspreader chokes on a grape right in front of her. He’d have died were it not for the timely intervention of Sanjay, a nurse, who gives him the Heimlich maneuver. This single event starts a chain reaction, and an eclectic group of people with almost nothing in common except their commute discover that a chance encounter can blossom into much more.
Another heartwarming book by Clare Pooley! The writing is brilliant and so witty that I got engrossed in the plot straight away. Each main character is so well written and so likeable but Iona deserves a special mention! I wish I can bring her to life so she can be my best friend and life coach. This book covered so many themes, amongst them ageism, homophobia, cancer, bullying, depression but each one was worked into the story so well and weaved into each of the characters that I just had to keep turning pages! This is a great book to pick up if you’re in a slump and after something with characters you’ll want to be friends with!
Emily Henry: You and me on Vacation
12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again. 11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together. 10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way. 7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans. 2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong. THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.
There was so much hype about this book but in my opinion, it didn’t live up to it! Don’t get me wrong, it was ok but just ok. The story was cute, the writing was well done, the dialogue was super witty, and the characters were original! It’s a good book if you don’t mind, disorienting time jumps, a frustrating lack of communication, and a best friends-to-lovers story that takes ages to materialise. I didn’t like the flashbacks of their travels through the years, they were so long and I glazed over them (which is… a lot of the book). Each trip felt like another summer in where they don’t go for it and the lack of progress started to stall my reading experience. I feel it would be much more interesting if the book started 12 years ago and just moved forward, there would be more tension. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light summer read.
mark edwards: no place to run
Two years ago, on a trip to Seattle to visit her brother Aidan, fifteen-year-old Scarlett vanished into thin air. After years of false leads and dead ends, Aidan has almost given up hope. But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?Heading south, Aidan finds a fire-ravaged town covered in missing-teenager posters. The locals seem afraid, the sheriff won’t answer any questions and it looks like another dead end – until a chance meeting with returned local Lana gives Aidan his first clue. But as they piece together what happened, Lana and Aidan make deadly enemies. Enemies willing to do anything to silence them – and to protect the terrible truth about what is really going on in the forest…
No Place to Run started off strong, it was tense, creepy and interesting, usual Mark Edwards.There was lots going on in this book – what starts off as a brother looking for his missing sister, quickly adds kidnapping, human trafficking, missing persons, corruption, cults and crime. The story had two-time frames, the present day and the past, two years ago. It’s also told from several perspectives. The first part had me glued to the pages but then midway it slowed way down. In fact, I really struggled to finish it to the end. I love this author and I really wanted to like this book but I didn’t like the direction it went. Maybe some people interested in subject of ecoterrorism will like it but this wasn’t for me.
What I Read: May 2022
Katherine Faulkner: Greenwich Park
Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and a baby on the way —begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath of Greenwich Park.
Want a book that messes with your head? Look no further! I can’t believe this is a debut! It was a slow start, but once it picked up, it never stopped surprising me. All the twists and turns were great, the characters were well developed and the author left no unanswered questions. Most of the story is told through Helen’s eyes with interludes from Kate or Serena. There is also an unnamed point of view narrating scenes where the reader is unsure as to what is happening but is left with a vague feeling of threat. The storytelling left me uneasy, curious to figure out the truth, impatient to understand what exactly was going on. It is a true page-turner. I couldn’t put it down.
Christina lauren: Love and other words
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos – the first and only love of her life – the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world – growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother . . . only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.
Wow, what a book! One of my favourite romance books ever! It was so beautifully written, with the most lovely characters that you can’t help but root for! I loved when the stories flip between the timeline and this one really added to the character development. I liked how the author connected the dots together at the end. I thought there would be just another predictable romance ending but there was a twist that completely took me by surprise. I could go on and on, because there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like. This book actually deserves a thousand-word review but I’m just going to stop here! Highly recommend!
gillian mcallister: wrong place wrong time
It’s every parent’s nightmare.Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost. That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . . and it is yesterday. Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and you don’t have a choice but to find them . . .
This is a part crime novel, part domestic drama and part…supernatural! I Well this was certainly different! What a cleverly structured plot. I don’t even know how McAllister kept track and created this exceptionally difficult jigsaw puzzle, that all fit perfectly in the end. Right from the start the author pulls you into the storytelling with shock, horror, disbelief and tension being the tone set and maintained throughout. The concept of the novel is fantastic and very different from her previous novels, yet it’s also full of many clever twists and turns you don’t see coming which is one of her trademarks. By far, her best book!
ali hazelwood: The love hypothesis
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.
This book was so hyped all over social media that initially, I didn’t want to read it! And the cover was really putting me off. Did I enjoy it? Sure. I mean, it was fun and I guess it was kind of flirty at times? Did it live up to the hype? No! They were cute, and the setting was unique but they were not memorable romantic characters. I loved the use of all the classic romance tropes – the fake dating, the whole acting like a couple thing, the falling for your fake boyfriend thing, the pretend relationship turning a little bit too real… I just didn’t feel all that strong of a connection to the characters. I think it might’ve been the POV that it was written in. also thought the lack of communication was super frustrating, especially because those people were supposed to be super smart! I’m glad I’ve finally read it but for me it was just ok.
simone st. James: The book of Cold cases
In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect–a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?
I picked up this book after reading The Sun Down Motel which I loved! Now this one was also good but not as good as the first one. Just like St. James’ last novel, this is full of paranormal activity. The setting of the old Victorian house nestled on the edge of a cliff overlooking the coastal waters below gives an ominous and threatening feel to the story. Extremely interesting and well developed characters, two distinct timelines, long-held secrets, and family drama are skillfully blended together to create additional atmosphere and suspense within this story. First half of the book was a bit slower for my liking but I loved the ending so that made it up for me. Now, I’m not typically a ghost book type of reader but no one does the genre better than her!
What I Read: April 2022
SALLY HEPWORTH: THE GOOD SISTER
Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be dangerous. When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.
I almost skipped this book because I didn’t like the cover or the title but I’m glad I didn’t because…this was so good! Chapters alternated between Fern in the present and Rose’s diary entries, which also include flashbacks to the twins troubled childhood. It started a bit slow and I was thinking where this will go but later it picked up. Even though I wouldn’t call it a thriller, it’s more like suspense and a family drama with the elements of crime. I won’t reveal anything else because I think you need to go into this book blindly so you can get surprised like I did. Even though I had my suspicions I didn’t expect such an amazing, twisty ending!
SIMONE ST. JAMES: SUN DOWN MOTEL
The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden
I’m not really a fan of horror books but this one was so good that even before I finished it I ordered a new book by the same author. What makes this book stand out it’s the eerie atmosphere. I felt every spine-tingling scare that Carly felt. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. The story is brilliantly narrated in two timelines/perspectives – through Carly in 2017 and her aunt Vivian in 1982. Loved the pace and flow – it kept me curious and hungry to read “just one more chapter.” I will warn you that this novel is quite ghost-y. I am not one who is generally attracted to ghost type novels, however, this story simply felt so real and kept me fully immersed and invested that I never doubted the supernatural element. Highly recommend!
BETH O’LEARY: NO SHOW
Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon who used to be treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth. These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….
This book was just wonderful! You may think that this is another predictable romance but it’s not. The story alternates between the three women, and I really liked all their characters and had fun trying to work out how everything linked together. The plot is really clever and I felt I need to take notes to keep up with the story. O’Leary really did a great job of binding everything together. I was confused halfway through the book, couldn’t see how is this even a romance, couldn’t picture the happy ending at all – and then comes the twist that I didn’t see it coming. Overall, this was a heartbreaking, sweet, and tragic story about three women finding themselves and the man who is part of their journey. It was a fun, enjoyable, and sometimes sad read. Highly recommend it!
ELLE COSIMANO: FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS ‘EM DEAD
Finlay Donovan is―once again―struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish. On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven maybe, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.
This is part 2 and you definitely need to read part 1 before starting this one. I struggled to remember what happened in the first book, I had to go and read the summary beforehand. If you read the first one and you loved it, you will love this one too? It’s very much more of the same. There is some mystery, humour, romance and over the top shenanigans. I have to say, I loved the first one a little bit more but just because the pace was much slower and there was less laugh at loud moments. But overall, a good sequel. Finlay and Vero are still a pair I’m invested in and look forward to seeing what direction they take next!
T.M. LOGAN: THE CURFEW
Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight. When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever. Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. And telling the truth might mean losing everything…
I always find T.M Logan’s books enjoyable and great page turners and this was no different. Even though it took me a few chapters to get into it, this was a fast paced read with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. I’ve read a few of his books before and I think this one is the best. This story is mostly narrated from the father’s POV (Andy) but we also get glimpses from other characters’ POVs, so I had to change my mind more than once about the outcome of this story. I liked how the author continue to build the tension, so towards the end I couldn’t read fast enough to see what will happen next. The twists were incredible, little parts of information given to set the story going in a whole new direction!
What I Read: March 2022
Lucy Foley: The Paris Apartment
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
I loved all of the Lucy’s previous books so it saddens me to say that this one wasn’t as good. It was a surprisingly quick read considering that nothing much happens through the majority of the book. Narrated by Jess, Nick, Sophie, Mimi, and the concierge, all of the characters fell flat except for Jess. My biggest problem with the narrating was too much telling and not enough showing. I loved the setting, the creepy building, the mystery and the tension, but I feel there wasn’t enough of Paris. This building could’ve been in any city.However, there were some decent twists and turns. I figured out two of the three main twists, but one caught me off guard, and I loved it!
ALEX FINLAY: THE NIGHT SHIFT
It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. At the Blockbuster Video in Linden, New Jersey, four teenage girls working the night shift are attacked. Only one survives. Police quickly identify a suspect who flees and is never seen again. Fifteen years later, in the same town, four teenage employees working late at an ice cream store are attacked, and again only one makes it out alive. Both surviving victims recall the killer speaking only a few final words… “Goodnight, pretty girl.”In the aftermath, three lives intersect: the survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive her tragedy; the brother of the original suspect, who’s convinced the police have it wrong; and the FBI agent, who’s determined to solve both cases. On a collision course toward the truth, all three lives will forever be changed, and not everyone will make it out alive.
I really want to start Alex Finlay fan club! Even though I’ve read only two books, I feel I’ve seen enough and he will be my auto-buy author from now on. Night Shift has everything for mystery/ serial killer story fans like me. Just like the previous novel this one kept me hooked from beginning to end. I love the way it’s written as most chapters end with an enticing cliff hanger some of which are so unexpected. It’s fast paced, I loved all of the characters. and the best part – I didn’t guess the culprit. I don’t think there are enough of superlatives to describe this. I truly deeply highly recommend this mind blowing page- turner!
PETER SWANSON: NINE LIVES
Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke – until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list. First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor. FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out.
If you read the blurb you probably think that this sounds familiar. It’s a nod to Agatha Christy’s And there were none but Swanson put his own spin to it. He introduces all the characters in the first 30 pages, and I even took a picture of the whole name list thinking it will be hard for me to keep up but I didn’t have to refer to it again. That’s because the chapters were very quick and simple and they move to another character so I didn’t have a chance to forget the previous one. Also they are all very different and they start to die very quickly so there is less people to remember. Swanson done a great job balancing multiple POVs and keeping the reader hooked from one short chapter to the next. Be aware this is not a shocking thriller with a massive twist. It’s an intelligent, solid mystery, that is well-plotted with great characters.
COLLEEN HOOVER: CONFESS
Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?
Another great book by CoHo! I could not stop reading this, it had me pulled into the story so quickly, and kept my attention the whole time. The only objection and the reason it’s not a 5 stars is that the female character is not as strong. She just felt flat to me. I feel I didn’t connect to her as well as I would’ve liked. But I loved everything else! I loved Owen and his art and the way it’s created. CoHo actually showcased the real art from a real artist, Danny O’Connor within this book! And the ending…I think it’s one of the best endings in Colleen Hover’s books! It’s an amazing reading experience and a trip to an art gallery all at the same time.
G.HENDRICKS & S.PEKKANEN: THE GOLDEN COUPLE
Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers. Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.
This story is not your typical mystery. There’s no dead body or traditional crime to solve. But that doesn’t make it any less suspenseful. The book has dual storylines. The first is Avery’s and includes her backstory, detailing previous and existing clients. The second is Marissa’s and we quickly learn she is still keeping secrets. I often find books with dual storylines are unequal and I’ll care for one more than the other, but not here – I was equally engaged with both. There were many characters acting strangely and I think I pointed my finger at all of them at some point. It’s a complex and multilayered story with lots of twists and turns and red herrings. and even though it started a bit slow, it got better with every chapter.
What I Read: February 2022
Taylor Jenkins Reid: Daisy Jones and The Six
A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.
I don’t know why I waited for so long to read this book but…wow! I refuse to believe these people are not real. The book was written like an interview and I was unsure about it at first but actually I really loved it like that because I connected more to the characters . You can see all the character’s perspectives and how they all recall different situations. I especially love all the female characters, they were so different but so complex, powerful and strong. TJR captures the 70s era beautifully and it will make you want to listen to songs from artists like Fleetwood Mac in the background. This is definitely a must read! Also, Reese Witherspoon is making a TV show and I cannot wait!
colleen hoover: reminders of him
After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.
I gave every Colleen Hoover book a five star but after reading this one I wanted to go back and give every other one a 4 because this one is something else! This was very hard to put down and I finished it in less than 24 hours! I felt different reading this, it wasn’t a classic love story, with butterflies, it was more raw and heavy and it’s more a life story than a love story. It’s about second chances, forgiveness and people being put in impossible circumstances. I felt sad for every single character in this book and I understood all of their decisions equally. If you were thinking of reading this book, stop thinking and go read it!! Absolutely amazing!
rachel hawkins: Reckless girls
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island.When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilisation than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
I was really confused with this book, I thought it was a mystery/thriller but it wasn’t really. I thought I was promised a story about six people on an island, cut off from all civilisation and help. But slowly, strange things start to happen and there is no escape. So you mean a locked-room mystery on an island? Say no more! But unfortunately I couldn’t find any mystery. For most of the book nothing happens, it’s just a bunch of 20-somethings trying to get into each others pants and stir up unnecessary drama. And then in the last 50 pages something happens and it’s all finished. It’s only 3 stars for me just because I definitely didn’t see that ending coming! You really need to suspend your belief with this one! This was ok but not even close to her previous book ‘The Wife Upstairs’!
steve cavanagh: The devil’s advocate
They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States. When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent. Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared. Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair. But the murders are just beginning.
This is Steve Cavanagh at its best! This book dealt with heavy topics like racism, corruption, graphic killing scenes and all of this made the book even more believable. I was shocked to see how everyone broke the very principle of justice simply to send a black person to jail and when I read the authors note that there are actually a group of people called The White Camelia, I was shocked. The amount of research Steve did for this book is something else! I loved the multiple POV’s, they worked very well in this book and had me guessing until the end. I can’t recommend this book and the series enough!
colleen hoover: heart bones
Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realise is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.
This book was really sweet, but also really sad and heartbreaking. This book is everything you’d expect from a Colleen Hoover book, it’s sad as hell, it will make you cry, it has dark characters with mysterious pasts, etc. I liked Beyah’s sister Sara, Samson was frustrating at the beginning but I started liking him later. Even though this wasn’t my favourite CoHo book, it still sucked me in! Keep in mind, this book is actually classed as YA romance!
Stacy willingham: A flicker in the dark
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth.Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?
This was a gripping read and an amazing debut! The prologue sucked me in instantly. Chloe is an unreliable narrator and she had me guessing what is real and what she thinks it’s real. She also makes some dumb choices and I wanted to shake her a few times. There are few downsides in the story, a few ridiculous things but nothing major. Also I guessed part of the ending reveal early on but there was still plenty of twists and red herrings along the way.
khaled hosseini: A thousand splendid suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years – from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding – that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives – the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness – are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
I don’t think there will be a book I will read after this that will make more impact on me than this one. This book is extremely thought-provoking and not easy to digest. It will resonate with some people who have lived through war-torn countries or under the terrifying Taliban rule, or, as in my case, it will be a learning experience. For example, learning Afghan history and the shifts in the treatment of women culturally. It also made me consider my own privilege compared to the stories of both Laila and Mariam. I think the most stunning thing about this novel is that whilst Mariam and Laila are fictional characters, it applies to so many women out there. This book is about devastation and loss, but also about hope and love. Hosseini approaches the plot in a very realistic way and it is written beautifully. This was an unforgettable read and it will stay with me for a while.
What I Read: January 2022
Mary Kubica: Local Woman Missing
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….
You know that creepy feeling that you get when you walk alone through a parking garage late at night? That feeling where you have chills going up your spine? You just feel like something is going to happen? I felt like that this entire book! The book goes back and forth in between 3 different timelines and 4 POVs. I never had any problem following along or distinguishing between the characters. Mary Kubica has a way of giving the reader the perfect amounts of information to keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping through the pages as fast as possible. Or at least that’s what I experienced. There are many red herrings; however, you will NOT be able to figure this one out. It will shock you. In the end,all I can say is that the hype is real and totally justified for this book. If you read only one thriller this year, Local Woman Missing has to be the one!
v.e. schwab: the invisible life of addie le rue
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man Henry Strauss in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives or to find strength in a very long one.”
Oh wow, where to start with this one. I’m not usually one to read historical fiction or fantasy but this book was magical. The writing was absolute perfection, so gorgeous I could cry just thinking about it. I love the idea of reading about a character who is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, it was fascinating and I just can’t imagine how lonely she is. I was pleasently surprised by how much more there was within the book beside Addie’s story. Especially the story about Henry Strauss – I think his character will stay with me for a long time. I felt for him even more than I felt for Addie. I think it’s because I could relate to him and everything about his fear of running out of time, his fear of missing out, how life seems to go without him… Overall, I couldn’t recommend this book enough! It definitely deserves all the hype. The story is so original and full of life lessons. This is definitely an all time favorite, I’m not going to be forgetting this story anytime soon.
ashley winstead: in my dreams i hold a knife
Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love. But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.
What a jaw dropping, page flipping, edge of your seat debut this was! I was invested in the story throughout even though I really didn’t like any of the characters. Most of the characters in this story are morally grey (even sociopathic). They all had some twisted motivations and dark things they are hiding. At one point or another I suspected pretty much everyone, so the ultimate revelation definitely came as a surprise to me. The character development and multi-layered plot were brilliant. Which made me more invested in the story. I thought the story was very clever and stylishly written and I enjoyed discovering all the dirty little secrets. I hope to read more books by Ashley Winstead in the future and I recommend this story to any reader who enjoys sinister college drama. I also think that this could be a great TV show!
yaa gyasi: transcendent kingdom
Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love.
A very intense and honest book that tackles a lot of heavy topics like science vs. faith, mental illness, addiction and the different ways to handle your grief without having any kind of a support system to lean on. This was honest and authentic. It captured people and emotions incredibly well, and left me feeling like I knew exactly who our main character was and how she ended up where she did. What I didn’t like is that there is no time order within the chapters, it kind of jumps around. And even though I understand it’s written like this so we can see how her past affects her experiences and relationships as an adult, I would have preferred some order. Also it ends very abruptly, it left me wanting more.
colleen hoover: november 9
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
This is a romance that actually shocked me! I loved the concept of them only meeting once a year for 5 years. I loved the confidence that Ben gave Fallon. Everything about it was absolutely adorable…until it wasn’t. I feel like I’ve already said too much because I don’t want to take away the experience from any future reader. The emotions in this novel were so raw, so real. I felt the love. I felt the heartbreak. I felt the regret. I felt everything. This is the CoHo that nearly every single person is hyping up. This was so original from start to finish. It was intriguing, unique and of course every chapter left me wanting more. November 9 is the kind of book you need to experience for yourself, so I’m not going to give anything else away, but make sure to read it.
riley sager: survive the night
Charlie Jordan is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe.Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news – the Campus Killer, who’s tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again.Travelling the lengthy journey between university and their final destination, Charlie begins to notice discrepancies in Josh’s story.As she begins to plan her escape from the man she is becoming certain is the killer, she starts to suspect that Josh knows exactly what she’s thinking. Meaning that she could very well end up as his next victim.
I read all the reviews before starting this book and I was thinking: nah, it can’t be that bad, it’s Riley Sager and I love his books…but I was wrong! Usually I can deal with a few naive and gullable characters because if they are very clever, books would finish very quickly but this was just too much. From the start I was just rolling my eyes. Imagine the most stupid female character ever! That’s Charlie! Who takes an overnight drive with complete stranger just after your friend has been murdered by a serial killer. Really?!Who would do that?! The twist saved the story for a bit even though the reasoning was beyond ridiculous! Despite that and the slow start, I raced through this book. Was this one of my favourite reads? Definitely not. Will I keep reading every Riley Sager book in the future? Definitely yes!
Nita prose: The Maid
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
This was fun, quirky, heartwarming, and mysterious – if you are a fan of cosy mysteries this is the one for you. Although it is never specified, Molly is somewhere on the autism spectrum. She struggles with reading emotions and not saying exactly what comes into her mind. She is the kind of character you root for, stress about and feel protective over. Everything unique about this story was a definite highlight, and the writing was very easy. Now, I have to warn every die-hard mystery/crime reader that this is not some complex whodunit story with lots of twists and tension, it’s actually very simplistic and a bit slow. But it’s like that because of our perspective and the narrator which is Molly. I’m saying this because I expected something else due to all of the hype. But when I looked back at it, I decided to review it for what it is and not for what I expected it to be. I would recommend this to everyone who loves cosy mysteries. This is a great debut novel by Nita Prose and I would definitely read more from her.