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.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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