Laurel Estabrook is a college student innocently riding her bike on a Vermont back road when she is viciously attacked by two men. Her injuries, bothLaurel Estabrook is a college student innocently riding her bike on a Vermont back road when she is viciously attacked by two men. Her injuries, both physical and psychological, are severe. Previously an outgoing, energetic young woman and budding photographer, she withdraws into herself trying to recover from her trauma. During her recovery, she starts working at a homeless shelter and begins to heal emotionally - or so it seems.
At the shelter she becomes acquainted with Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness. Bobbie dies suddenly with no known family to claim his only possession- a box of photos and negatives. Laurel becomes obsessed with searching for the truth behind the photos. Within those photos she uncovers dark family secrets that feed her obsession.
The story takes some twists and turns. I enjoyed it and didn't anticipate the conclusion....more
This action-packed, noirish, hitman thriller is not what I typically pick up. Plus, it’s the 12th book in the Charlier Parker series which I had neverThis action-packed, noirish, hitman thriller is not what I typically pick up. Plus, it’s the 12th book in the Charlier Parker series which I had never read before, so what was I thinking?
Well, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, the premise sounded intriguing (Small town gone wrong and hiding dark culty secrets? How can I resist?), and I figured it would be a good listen that wouldn’t require too much brain power.
So glad I tried it! It was a great listen – addictive with propulsive action. Plus, it’s very character-driven, which I love in my mysteries. Parker is a great character, but so are his partners in crime – Angel and Louis and the rest. Plus, the villains are great, too. I was completely absorbed the whole time.
Also, while the characters clearly have a history together, I never felt lost or confused, despite coming in to the series so late.
Yes, you do have to check bits of your sense of reality as this is a very over-the-top book, but if you can buy into the premise, you’ll find fun and explosive escapist literature worth reading.
I've only read one other book by Kate Morton (The House at Riverton), and it's structured similarly to this one: mystery from 50+ years ago is being rI've only read one other book by Kate Morton (The House at Riverton), and it's structured similarly to this one: mystery from 50+ years ago is being remembered by an older person who was young at the time and investigated by someone else who is curious about what really happened.
Not sure if that's always Morton's modus operandi, but it's a premise that apparently works for me, because Morton's sucked me in both times. In this case, disgraced cop Sadie is drawn into the mystery of toddler who went missing over seventy years ago from the large lake house near her grandfather's current home in Cornwall. Alice Edevane, now a famous mystery author, is the toddler's older sister who thinks she knows what happened on that tragic night, but has never shared her secrets with anyone.
I loved the beginning of the story. I was turning the pages as quickly as I could, curious about the characters and what happened that night. However, about 2/3rds of the way, it slowed down for me. I think the author's purposeful misdirection became a little too obvious and it became frustrating to read.
Also, the ending . . . I sort of loved it, because I like stories where every loose end is accounted for, and this title does exactly that. However, coincidence much? C'mon. It just wasn't believable, and that took me out of the story I had been so infatuated with earlier. It was too much for me.
And, yet, . . . despite my issues with the author's heavy-handed machinations, it was a really good yarn with characters that I grew to care about.
So, I'd give it 3.5 stars, but I'll round up for goodreads.
I'm beginning to think that Megan Abbott and I are just not sympatico.
I can't put my finger on exactly what bothers me about her novels, but this is t I'm beginning to think that Megan Abbott and I are just not sympatico.
I can't put my finger on exactly what bothers me about her novels, but this is the second by her that I've read, and I just didn't love it. I liked it better than "Dare Me", but not by much.
In short - everyone in this novel is feverish: the teenage girls who seem to be falling victim to random seizures and are feverishly trying to figure out why it's happening and to whom it will happen next, the parents who are feverishly trying to blame the school, the environment, the HPV vaccine, and themselves, the school and government officials who are feverishly trying to get an explanation out there before the situation worsens . . . and so on.
I think my problem with Abbott's novels is that they feel pushily "literary" and a bit didactic. It's not enough just to write the story and have some decent characters, but there also have to be plenty of allusions to the Salem witch trials, some preaching about adult's seemingly universal fear of adolescent girls and their budding sexuality, and lots of interior monologues about our secret desires and needs as humans.
Again, none of this is terrible, and the writing is fine, it just all felt a bit overblown for a book that's really about teen female friendships and how they can go horribly off the rails. Isn't that frightening enough without all of the "big meanings" being tossed in there too?
It's not that I don't like literary fiction . . . it just felt like this book was trying to be more than it really was.
The story takes place in a small community. Lisa Kallisto, is struggling with the hectic pace of holding a job, raising three children, and trying toThe story takes place in a small community. Lisa Kallisto, is struggling with the hectic pace of holding a job, raising three children, and trying to maintain a marriage. Amidst the confusion of her busy life, Lisa forgets she has agreed to watch her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter. This becomes a life changing nightmare when the girl comes up missing. The story takes one crazy, chilling turn after another. Daly's imagination in the telling of this story was intriguing. I found myself clearly imagining the terror of the situation. It kept me guessing right up to the end....more
It's the annual Statewide High School Music convention, and the cream of the crop are at the BellweatheA tale of music, high school, murder, and loss.
It's the annual Statewide High School Music convention, and the cream of the crop are at the Bellweather hotel. However, when one of the students disappears from the same room where a murder-suicide occurred twenty years before, the weekend quickly devolves.
The first 2/3rds of the novel were like a really, really dark episode of "Glee", filled with the rapture of music and performing, teen angst and horomones, and adults who never quite managed to grow up.
It lost me with chaperone Natalie's story. Not sure why I didn't care about her or her past or her issues with her sociopathic childhood mentor (the book's villain - bloodless and sort of boring after a while . . . people with no shades of gray often are, and Viola was all black, all the time). Anyhow - Natalie's story simply didn't ring true to me for some reason, and I found myself skimming through most of the chapters focused on her. Plus, dream sequences always bore me, and Natalie had one in this story, and it was no different . . . maybe that biased me against her . . .
However, I was brought back around with the story of Hastings, the hotel's long-time concierge. He was a fascinating character with some genuine surprises and moving scenes. So well done that I was rooting for him and really wanted a happy ending for him . . . won't say whether or not he gets one - but I enjoyed spending time with him. He felt like someone I could know, and I love reading characters like that - complex, tragic, hopeful, imperfect.
All in all, a good read. A coming of age tale for the adolescent and adult characters with a murder mystery as background filler.
"Plans go wrong, bad things happen, people die...." This quote is given several times in the course of the story. Bad things are happening at a fast "Plans go wrong, bad things happen, people die...." This quote is given several times in the course of the story. Bad things are happening at a fast pace to employees of an Ann Arbor mystery magazine. The problem is, "Who is doing the planning?" David Loogan, the main character, has just been hired as an editor for the company. From the beginning he finds he really likes his boss, Tom Kristoll. They are drawn into a genuine friendship even though David begins an affair with Tom's beautiful wife, Laura. It turns out that Laura has had more than one affair in her life and a tangled web of deceit begins to wrap around all the members of the publishing company's team as one after another is killed under ever more puzzling circumstances. Elizabeth Waishkey is the talented detective assigned to the case. She tries to work with David in solving the murders and making connections from crime to guilty parties but neither of them know who to trust - including each other. This is Dolan's first book and I can picture more stories involving these two characters. The story was interesting and since it takes place in Ann Arbor and other parts of Michigan it felt true to me. I was disappointed in the final ending scene. I feel it could have been left out. Also, the number of characters involved became difficult to keep straight as times but I enjoyed the book. ...more
The story takes place beginning in the early 1900's. "The Wrecker", an unknown, vile, dastardly killer/saboteur is creating havoc for the Southern PacThe story takes place beginning in the early 1900's. "The Wrecker", an unknown, vile, dastardly killer/saboteur is creating havoc for the Southern Pacific Railroad. The train wrecks, fires, explosions, and daring rescues would make for a great adventure movie. This is not a story I would normally be drawn to but I found it an interesting "page turner". I couldn't wait to see what might happen next. It was an interesting mystery. I have never read Cussler but would try one of his titles again. ...more
The story revolves around the life of Johnny, a thirteen year old boy. Johnny's twin sister has vanished and with her went the warm, stable life JohnnThe story revolves around the life of Johnny, a thirteen year old boy. Johnny's twin sister has vanished and with her went the warm, stable life Johnny knew. Unable to handle the grief his father has left, his mother is with an abusive boyfriend, and no one believes his sister, Alyssa, can still be alive. No one except Police Detective Hunt who is looking into her disappearance and also looking out for Johnny's well being. This was a real page turner! ...more
Read this for Book Club and I enjoyed! Rylee Monroe, a Charleston dogwalker, becomes the prime suspect in a handful of burglaries upsetting the wealthRead this for Book Club and I enjoyed! Rylee Monroe, a Charleston dogwalker, becomes the prime suspect in a handful of burglaries upsetting the wealthy community. Logan Woods, news reporter and book author hopeful, sees Rylee as his ideal source of inside information. As the two realize their attraction for each other, they also realize they may not be able to trust one another.
I thought this romantic suspense was a fun read and especially liked all the details of the setting that actual exist....more