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.