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The Book of James

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,475 ratings  ·  352 reviews

After a devastating car accident, Nick whispers his last words to his wife, Mackenzie: “As soon as they know I’m dead, they’ll come after you.”

Frightened and bewildered, Mackenzie travels to Philadelphia for the reading of her late husband’s will. To her shock, she learns that Nick’s mother, Cora, is not dead as he always claimed—rather, she is living as a recluse in the f

Paperback, 387 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Thomas & Mercer (first published March 10th 2012)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,475 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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May 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

First, this book was about seven times longer than it needed to be.

Second, when I find out my dead husband has lied to me about his entire history, remind me to simply take my fifteen million dollars off and console myself with that money, while leaving the rest as a bad business that really doesn't concern me, but does concern a lot of bat-shit crazy people. Also remind me that I ALREADY HAVE THE MONEY so there is absolutely no reason for me to go into Nancy Drew mode while sta
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
4.5 stars
How well does anyone know the man they are married too?

Mackenzie's life turns upside down when she loses her husband from complications of a horrible car accident. On his death bed, he whispers to her to go to Philadelphia and find James...but in the whirlwind of his passing and her grief she writes these words off as delusion, his brain playing tricks on him from his injuries.
All this changes when she gets notification about a will that she didn't know existed. Being overseen by an att
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

Right, review done.

This book really took a lot out of me as I persisted with it thinking it had to rev up at some point.

It has a steady pace but a very slow start after Nicks death unveils secrets of his past. I was being so hopeful.

The plot should have been brilliant but it fell flat, I skimmed bits in the middle and the reveals at the end were terribly predictable.

As for the main characters. Cora is well written as a mean spirited spiteful woman. I found Mackenzie to be insipid and weak
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am definitely still reeling from this book. ‘The Book of James’ is one of those rare novels that ensnares you from the first word, and keeps you there until the last; I actually finished it all in one sitting. You know a book is good when you have barely moved in a few hours, and it is past midnight when you next check the clock!

The plot speaks volumes for itself and the author delivers all of the mystery and intrigue that is promised from the description – truly this book will not let you do
The Behrg
"The Book of James" is like ordering a salad at a restaurant and getting a bowl full of lettuce. You can't complain, because you got what you ordered, but there are no trimmings or any of the small details that go into making a salad extraordinary. This just is what it is.

You've got the beginnings of a great mystery, with a dying husband telling his wife that, "As soon as they know I'm dead, they'll come after you." The mystery continues to unfold as Mackenzie learns that almost everything she k
Ellen J.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is a story that developed in sections. I did not expect this to come together the way it did. My goal was to write not just a whodunnit or a what-happened, but for the reader to truly understand why the characters made the choices they did. (and some of those choices were horrific.) I hope I was successful in this. I was as happy as I could be when it was finished but could have spent a lifetime making changes here and there. I'm giving it 5 stars because it was a labor of love and that lov ...more
Carol Ann Tomko
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Could not put the book down! I could feel the environment! The characters so palpably real! I'm still reeling from the outcome!
Sarah Saturday
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blind trust... isn’t it amazing how many people in our lives we offer that to? But what if the person that you trust the most turns out to have a life filled with secrets? A past that turns out to be dangerous even for you in the present. “The Book of James” offered the perfect amount of suspense, emotion, and thrill. Now I can’t wait to pick up another Ellen Green book!
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.0 out of 5 stars -- Melodramatic attempt at suspense is overwrought and mostly irritating. I picked this because I thought the synopsis sounded interesting and I like a good mystery. This story was so implausible on many levels, but the worst part was that I hated the character of Mackenzie. I just wanted to shake her as she floundered from one peril to the next while investigating what had happened all those years ago when her recently deceased husband lived in the house. Many readers will fi ...more
Jason Schneeberger
I received this revised edition from Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for an honest review. The official release date is June 30th 2015.

Murder. Madness. Betrayal. Greed. Deception. All of these things play a huge part in the mystery that unfolds in THE BOOK OF JAMES.

I loved the way the story unfolded, in that you get bits and pieces of the mystery revealed to you with each chapter, pretty much right from the beginning. As the lead in the story, Mackenzie, realizes that she never really knew her
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just before he dies from his injuries from a car accident, Nick whispers to his wife McKenzie: "As soon as they know I'm dead, they'll come after you. Don't trust any of them. Find the house. The only way to end this is to get to them first. Find James."

The Book of James has everything a great gothic novel should have---an innocent young widow whose life has been upended and needs to get answers about her beloved husband, who apparently had been keeping lots of secrets. The answers to her questi
Sandra Tober spahr
Listening to the audiobook version... Ugh. This may be a great story, but one would never know as the horrible narration is just killing it. It sounds like it's being read by en elderly drunk lady, sorry. Regrets that maybe this woman has suffered a stroke or has some type of disability, but this person should not be narrating this book. I have listened to books by various narrators with even the strongest accents, & this is far more difficult to listen to. Shame on me for not listening to the s ...more
Justin Robinson
There was absolutely nothing wrong with this book. It was more a situation where I was expecting one thing and got another. In this case, what sounded like Raymond Chandler ended up being VC Andrews. This isn't the fault of the book, or the writer, but it's nice to know what you're getting beforehand. No one wants to take a nice big spoonful of vanilla pudding only to find that it's mayo.

The plot construction was quite good, the steady revelation of secrets well done. The writing itself was work
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful psychological thriller that kept me guessing through most of the book, and even my guess at who "James" was turned out wrong. This story is well-paced, one I'd recommend to all of my book lovin' friends.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a wonderful location

Where the secret ninja academy located. Where the ninjas are getting trained by sensei to save the future word. Ninja storm
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Page Turner

Every family has secrets but not as twisted as this nother. Definitely worth the read and it keeps your interest till the very end.
Tammy Fowler
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great suspense.

I didn't want to put it down. Very visual in describing the scene and the characters were very relatable. I felt like I was there.
Agatha Lund
Another totally fucked up mystery.
The Book Of James by Ellen Green is a tightly crafted story about how much we really know about the people closest to us, in particular, the spouse in a relationship. Mackenzie is married to Nick, and while she feels he keeps his distance from her emotionally as well as with details from his past, she really has no idea how much about Nick she doesn't know. Until she and Nick are involved in a traffic accident which Nick barely survives. Mackenzie was driving the car, and while the accident was ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently, I've been reading young adult novels nonstop. For months, I read nothing but YA and now, I feel saturated. I signed up for this book blog tour because the synopsis got me interested. I thought to myself that maybe I should take a break from YA and get back to my usual reads. If I'm not reading YA, I read mysteries and thrillers. I wasn't really sure what the tone of the book will be but the synopsis really got to me and so I started reading it. And boy, I would never regret doing so.

Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was a thriller, let me first say that. The story/plot blew me away; it was creatively well written and well thought out. There were twists and turns, and the story seemed unpredictable at times, which I liked, as it created even more suspense, and I definitely was flipping the pages, as I wanted to immediately know more. The characters were well developed and seemed realistic. Some have gone through horrific upbringings, and you will read which characters(s) those were. Mackenzie to me ...more
Harold Kasselman
This is an extraordinarily well written mystery thriller about a family's secret. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first novel. The abundant descriptions of the characters and the locale make the reader feel like they are on location. The intricate plot revolves around the courageous efforts of the protagonist Mackenzie to untangle the riddle of her dying husband's last wish.
That quest brings her to Chestnut Hill and the prestigious old moneyed Monroe mansion, the home of Mac's fo
Debbie Sweeney
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise was very intriguing and knowing the setting,well, I just had to check out the book. The story took quite a bit longer to develop than I would have liked, in that, as soon as the suspense was building, the chapter drops off into a totally different scene, which I would liken to a commercial. There is a hefty amount of dialogue which makes this book ready for a screenplay plus repetitions in the story made me skip through some of the explanations. On the up side, the twists and turns w ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, net-galley, 2015, n
A thriller that starts when Mackenzie’s husband is in a bad car crash. He tells her she must go to Philidelphia and find James and that she may be in danger from someone from his past. She discovers that his mum is still alive and that she really didn’t know her husband at all. His mum seems desperate to keep the secrets from his childhood well hidden- but Mackenzie wants to solve everything.
She finds photos that suggest a dark history and finds hidden messages in his bible in the Book of James.
Janet Martinez
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because of the title, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. It's an excellent mystery with engaging characters and a terrific plot. The basis of a plot is a secret the main character has to find out about to fulfill her dead husband's final wish. I thought I had it figured out a couple of times, but when I got to the end, I was totally wrong. I highly recommend this book and I'll be looking for more from this author.
Harriette Orr
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts off with an accident and a last request from a husband for his wife to find James. As the wife starts her exploration into her husbands past she finds that their life as she knew it was based on lies. He had kept his true early life from her.
It is a slow plot with weird characters . It was a good read with lots of description.
The ending only becomes predictable as the plot is slowly revealed.
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day. Absolutely could not put it down. After a devastating car accident, Nick whispers his last words to his wife ... "As soon as they know I'm dead, they'll come after you."

What's not to like: a creepy old stone mansion, a mother-in-law you were told was dead, and a massive inheritance.

Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's just something disturbing about the thought of a woman sleeping with a man within 6 weeks of her husband's devastating death. I couldn't get past that. This book would have stood on it's own without a romantic element; I wish the author hadn't gone there. It made me lose all sympathy for the main character.
Edith Green
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that seemed long at first, but then I didn't want it to end. The ending was satisfying, couldn't have been better. I personally loved the main character. She was strong, determined but also very vulnerable. I'd recommend this book to anyone that loves suspense.
Erica Sendros
So predictable

I almost stopped reading at several points throughout this book. It was very predictable and Mackenzie wasn't a very captivating protagonist. The book redeemed itself a bit at the end though.
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