SECOND LIFE was a tense, exciting read throughout most of the book - but boy, I did NOT enjoy the ending! Throughout the book, we know that the main cSECOND LIFE was a tense, exciting read throughout most of the book - but boy, I did NOT enjoy the ending! Throughout the book, we know that the main character, Julia's, sister was murdered and she begins going online to the same "casual encounters" hookup type websites that her adventurous sister visited, to try and find the killer. Well, Julia soon finds some excitement and attention through chatting to a young man, Lukas, online - things she's missing in her current life. At first, her whirlwind affair with Lukas is captivating but soon things turn very sinister. Hopefully without giving away any spoilers, I will say I was disappointed when Lukas wasn't who he seemed to be, TWO different times in the book. SECOND LIFE is thrilling and captivating until the reader reaches the ending - with an obscure kind of twist, it is gimmicky and just plays games with the reader. That ending was a real dud! ...more
This book was worth reading more for the characters than the plot. All of the characters are very well-written, but I felt like many of the little detThis book was worth reading more for the characters than the plot. All of the characters are very well-written, but I felt like many of the little details in the plot were dropped halfway through. It's kind of easy to figure out the "whodunit" long before the big reveal, but it's worth reading for the evolution of Tessa, her daughter, and the other characters. ...more
Unfortunately, this book accidentally fell open to the back few pages when I was moving it around while still reading the beginning, and the name of tUnfortunately, this book accidentally fell open to the back few pages when I was moving it around while still reading the beginning, and the name of the murderer leapt off the page to my eyes :( So, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the "whodunit" was a surprise, but it still was an interesting enough read....more
Though the book has an interesting premise, I was really disappointed in the execution. It felt like all build-up, with very little payoff. The backgrThough the book has an interesting premise, I was really disappointed in the execution. It felt like all build-up, with very little payoff. The background of the characters was deep and interesting, but none of them were very sympathetic. I really wanted more suspense and mystery to wrap me up in this book, but it just wasn't there. ...more
I was white-knuckle driving the whole time I was listening to MR. MERCEDES. Stephen King really ratchets up the tension in this book, with chapters alI was white-knuckle driving the whole time I was listening to MR. MERCEDES. Stephen King really ratchets up the tension in this book, with chapters alternating between the good guys' and the villains' perspectives. Will Patton is my new favorite audiobook narrator; he changed the tone of his voice to perfectly capture the chapters narrated in the alternating perspectives. Goodreads is indicating this is the first in the trilogy, which is exciting because I really loved the detective team of Hodges, Holly & Jerome. I also think this story would make an amazing TV show!...more
I received THE GOOD GIRL as an eGalley from NetGalley. This twisting tale turns around readers' notions of which characters are "good" and which are "I received THE GOOD GIRL as an eGalley from NetGalley. This twisting tale turns around readers' notions of which characters are "good" and which are "bad," inverting the traditional stereotypes we have about the sometimes one-dimensional casts in psychological thrillers. I found it hard to engage with the characters at first, because they seemed stereotypical, but as I read on I was fascinated to see how Kubica gave the characters new layers and dimensions through slowly revealing their pasts.
Mia Dennett, the daughter of an influential, wealthy Chicago judge, has been kidnapped and remains missing for months. In shifting points-of-view, we hear from Mia's mother, her kidnapper, and the detective investigating her case. The timelines coalesce at the conclusion of the book with a dramatic showdown at the cabin where Colin (the kidnapper) has been keeping Mia. This summer read will keep your attention until the very end....more
Want a quick, scary thrill ride that can be read in one sitting? Your should pick up BIRD BOX this summer! This post-apocalyptic adventure follows MalWant a quick, scary thrill ride that can be read in one sitting? Your should pick up BIRD BOX this summer! This post-apocalyptic adventure follows Malorie, a single mother of two children, interweaving her present and her past. It has been four years since a mysterious plague of "creatures" decimated America's population - beings that seem to make people go insane and kill themselves and others upon sight. The survivors have blocked out their windows and only go outside when blindfolded. In the months immediately following the disaster, Malorie bands together with a group of survivors. In the present day, she's undertaking a dangerous journey with the children, all while they are blindfolded. I don't want to say too much more about the book because it's so much fun to discover on your own. If you like shows like THE WALKING DEAD you will love BIRD BOX....more
I received a complimentary eBook copy of this title for review from NetGalley. Grace is a couples therapist in New York City, and the book opens as shI received a complimentary eBook copy of this title for review from NetGalley. Grace is a couples therapist in New York City, and the book opens as she's being interviewed about her hot new book, "You Should Have Known," a wake-up call for women who ignored the warning signs of problems in their relationships. As Grace is juggling her busy life of PR for the book, her patients, and a fancy fundraiser for the expensive private school her son Henry attends, she begins to realize something is going terribly wrong...Grace learns that a murder has been committed: a fellow mom from the private school is dead. Then, she can't seem to reach her husband, Johnathan, a busy pediatric oncologist. She thought he was flying out to a conference in Cleveland, but now he seems to have disappeared completely. This addictive read follows Grace as she must deal with one shocking, sudden realization after another, and is finally able to move on to the next stage of her life. YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN is a great read for anyone who loves suspense, books about marriage, or books set in New York City....more
I've been a fan of Greg Iles' pulse-pounding thrillers for a while, but the author really takes it to the next level in NATCHEZ BURNING, the first inI've been a fan of Greg Iles' pulse-pounding thrillers for a while, but the author really takes it to the next level in NATCHEZ BURNING, the first in a new trilogy. Even if you haven't read Iles' other books featuring former prosecutor, novelist and Natchez Mayor Penn Cage, you can get to know him and his family in this book.
Iles' book perfectly echoes many of the divisions among people in America today, and is a horrifying illustration of how far our nation - especially the south - still has to go in healing the terrible wounds of racism.
Mayor Cage, his fiancee Caitlin, his father Tom, and newspaper reporter Henry Sexton represent one side of an old race war that rears its ugly head in the 21st century - progressive leaders and sympathetic pillars of a community that's aching for change. Throughout the course of the novel, they find themselves increasingly in conflict with another group. The lower-class white Knox family represents the remnants of a super-secret Ku Klux Klan offshoot, the Double Eagles. One member of the family even claims to have assassinated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The Royal family - a super-wealthy businessman, his sociopathic son in law, and his drugged-up daughter - represent those among the super-rich who covertly support the continued oppression of minorities.
What sets all this off is the downfall of Tom Cage, an elderly physician who's respected by all in Natchez, black and white alike. He's accused of the murder of his former nurse, Viola. The mystery of who actually killed Viola remains unsolved as Penn races against the clock to clear his father's name. As he investigates Tom's past, he learns of all the heinous hate crimes committed by the Double Eagle group in the 1960s. Penn is soon joined in his quest by crusading newspaper reporter Henry Sexton, who's made it his life's work to bring these civil rights murders into the public eye.
As Penn and Henry continue their investigation, they attract unwanted attention and life-threatening danger from the remaining Double Eagle members and Brody Royal. Soon they are fighting to survive and bring the truth to light amongst death and destruction in their hometowns.
I was worried that this book would conclude on a cliffhanger and not answer any questions, but it very neatly wraps up one thread in this twisted story. I can't wait to read the next installment. The story is terrible and tragic, and sadly I have no doubts that some parts of NATCHEZ BURNING are rooted in truth....more
While the Anna Pigeon series is one of my favorite book series and I'll never stop reading the new installments, the last few haven't been as good asWhile the Anna Pigeon series is one of my favorite book series and I'll never stop reading the new installments, the last few haven't been as good as the earlier volumes. The innovative plot of DESTROYER ANGEL was marred by cartoonish, stereotypical villains and a lack of a central mystery propelling the action. On the plus side, I loved seeing how Anna (and Wiley the dog) used the very few resources she had at hand to defeat the bad men who kidnapped her friends, and how she used her knowledge of the wilderness to be a formidable enemy. The plot twist at the end of the book that related to the title was a nice touch, also. I'll keep reading, but I hope the next one has more of a mystery to it!...more
I listened to the audiobook version of "Doctor Sleep" which was expertly narrated by Will Patton. He adds just the right touch to each character's uniI listened to the audiobook version of "Doctor Sleep" which was expertly narrated by Will Patton. He adds just the right touch to each character's unique voice. This "sequel" to THE SHINING is nowhere near as scary as the original; I enjoyed it for the character growth of Dan Torrance as he recovers from his alcoholism, and his sweet relationship with his mentee, Abra. The "steam"-eating vampires of the True Knot were skin-crawlingly creepy, and I'll probably never look at RV's the same way again, but for me this was more of a winding journey with the characters than a thrill ride of a book....more
Wow! I didn't start this book with any expectations and I ended up LOVING it. I was hesitant to read it because I had the impression that it would beWow! I didn't start this book with any expectations and I ended up LOVING it. I was hesitant to read it because I had the impression that it would be pretentious, literary New York-y fiction, which I have very little patience with (at this stage of my life). It wasn't! Yes, New York was one of the settings in the book, but there were two other darkly beautiful, compelling locations featured in NIGHT FILM. The main character, Scott McGrath, is a journalist who's traveled to some of the most war-torn regions on earth but the scoop he wants more than anything is to learn the truth about genius horror filmmaker, Stanislas Cordova. Cordova has a huge cult following with obsessive fans all over the world and there are all kinds of insane rumors about him.
When the story breaks that Cordova's daughter, Ashley, has committed suicide, McGrath begins a quest to research the last days of Ashley's life. His research draws him into a mystical, twisting, turning series of events and he meets up with Nora and Hopper, two twentysomethings that also have an interest in finding out what happened to Ashley before she died. I don't want to say anything else about the plot in my review, because it will be SO much more fun for you to read it without knowing about anything that happens in advance!
This book is also a lot of fun from a graphic-design perspective because it is peppered with "screen shots" from websites, "articles" from the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and more graphic snippets that give clues to the life of the fictional Cordova. This book was a great adventure, perfect to read in the weeks before Halloween when the skies are gray and the leaves are falling.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing the advance reader copy of NIGHT FILM, which I read on my Kindle!...more
Did you ever live in a house with a group of your very best friends in college? You may remember that it was full of drama, heartache and arguments, bDid you ever live in a house with a group of your very best friends in college? You may remember that it was full of drama, heartache and arguments, but maybe you also remember some of those golden, sunshiny moments when you all felt like you could stay housemates forever? Now imagine if some of those arguments had turned fatal - what would happen to you and your friends afterward? That's the situation that Dublin detective Cassie Maddox dives into when she agrees to go undercover to solve the murder of Lexie Madison, a woman who lived under an assumed identity and was found fatally stabbed.
The kicker is that Lexie looked identical to Cassie, and she had used the name Lexie Madison in a past undercover operation. Her old boss in the undercover department convinces Cassie to masquerade as the "new" Lexie so they can get an inside angle on the murder investigation. She's chafing under the boredom of her new job in Domestic Violence, so eventually she agrees. The boundaries between Lexie and Cassie begin to blur in all sorts of interesting ways when she becomes fascinated with the other students who live in the rambling old mansion, Whitethorn House, that one of them inherited from an uncle. They are a quirky group of English Literature PhD students and she finds herself wishing she could stay and become a part of this group for real.
Of course, it's not to be, as the investigation moves on toward a tragic end. Author Tana French shows the same vast talent for capturing different nuances of emotion in her characters that was evident in her first book, INTO THE WOODS. Readers also get to experience the aftermath of INTO THE WOODS from Cassie's point of view, which provides a nice perspective for those who read the first book. Even if you didn't read it, this book provides enough of an intro to Cassie's life that it can also stand alone. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as INTO THE WOODS (which blew me away), but it was still amazing and I can't wait to read the third book!...more
After hearing the author read the prologue of this book on the Diane Rehm Show, I had to check it out. This is one of the best books I've listened toAfter hearing the author read the prologue of this book on the Diane Rehm Show, I had to check it out. This is one of the best books I've listened to on audio for a long time. The main character, Rob Ryan, experienced a traumatic event in his childhood: two of his best friends vanished while they were playing in the woods near their neighborhood. Later, Rob becomes a detective with the Dublin Murder Squad and returns to his childhood neighborhood, and the woods, when he is assigned to investigate the murder of a young girl.
While the mystery around the teenager's murder case comes to a suspenseful and chilling conclusion, the truly enthralling part of this book is Rob's description of the downward spiral of his relationship with his partner on the squad, Cassie. There is a lot of foreshadowing so the reader knows that something terrible is going to happen to their closer-than-siblings bond, and the implosion of their relationship is even more depressing than anything you could have expected. The author is remarkable at bringing the emotions of the characters alive through her descriptions, and the expert narration by Steven Crossley made me feel like I was face to face with Rob, Cassie, Sam and all the other characters in the novel. Although I'm sad that Crossley doesn't narrate the rest of the books in the series, I'll definitely be listening to all of them. ...more
A young mother, haunted by unresolved mysteries from her past, reconsiders her comfortable suburban life in this atmospheric novel. Readers who enjoyA young mother, haunted by unresolved mysteries from her past, reconsiders her comfortable suburban life in this atmospheric novel. Readers who enjoy a strong sense of place will love Brown's lush descriptions of the New England countryside and its coastal areas. While Karen Brown's writing is wonderfully descriptive, I had trouble engaging with the characters in the book. I think the author tries to show how detached the characters are from one another, but it also makes the reader feel very detached from the characters. Some characters never seem to develop at all. I think this book could have been much more suspenseful and exciting if Brown had not tried so obviously to project such a high level of suburban ennui. Don't get disappointed if you don't quite connect with any of the characters; this book is still worth a read for its descriptive language and exploration of a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Washington Square Press via Netgalley for review purposes....more