An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.
Caitlin Walker hasn't had a dream in nine years. Nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son's nightmares threaten to reveal.
In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town's notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.
How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.
UP THE CREEK (Culver Creek Book #1) by Alissa Grosso is the start of a new crime fiction/mystery series. This introduction to the series intertwines past mysteries and crimes to the present lives of the three characters focused on in this story.
Detective Sage Dorian is recently hired by the Culver Creek PD and he has a specific reason for seeking employment in Culver City. He wants to work on the small town’s notorious cold case.
Caitlin and Lance Walker are a couple with secrets. Caitlin and now her young son, Adam have prophetic dreams of violent crimes. Lance has a nighttime secret of his own.
How is this couple connected to a horrific cold case?
The author does a good job of not dropping any threads of this intricate mystery in the past and present, but there are times I was confused because there are so many. I also felt there was a lot of set up with the Walker’s and their secrets which distracts from Sage, who I assume will be the main character in future books and makes the start of the book slow. I did not like that the Walker’s were married for so long with major secrets they did not share. That lack of communication from both did not feel realistic or believable. If you can overlook this, and get through the back story, the mystery does have a satisfying conclusion.
Great book! It was very alert from the beginning. A little girl is found dead and even after many years they did not find the killer. Adam is a cute boy who has nightmares, and his mom can see he is like her. They can see violent acts in their dreams. I don't want to tell more because is nice to find the truth by reading the book. Well, I knew it from the moment Adam was insisting in keeping the door closed. 🤐 Thank you Netgalley gor this Arc, definitely I am going to read more from Alissa Grosso.
Right from the very start it had me hooked and wanting to know all of the secrets that everyone seemed to be keeping and what really happened to the young girl and who killed her and why, other thing I loved was how complex the characters was and how the plot seemed to flow with the story and made it easy to get lost in, and the pace also help it wasn't to fast or slow it was just right. But the biggest win for me was how it was a murder mystery, a thriller and suspense all wrapped up into one exciting book that kept me setting on the edge of my set.
Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary copy of Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this book prior to publication. My opinions are my own, and no one has influenced them.
Up the Creek is an exciting mystery with complex characters and a gripping plot. The pacing pulled me in from the first page and kept me enthralled until the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and trying to discover how it was all connected.
Caitlin Walker is the main character in this book, and she is married to Lance. She was plagued by horrific nightmares as a child, and when in college, found a way to silence them. Now her young son is having similar gruesome nightmares. I enjoyed her character a lot and loved her determination to protect her young son.
Lance has several unexplained idiosyncrasies, such as insisting they keep the bedroom locked while they sleep. He never has explained why he needs this to Caitlin. He makes light of their son’s nightmares, but he is actually deeply concerned and takes Adam to a woman who is supposed to be able to end his nightmares. His secrets are eating him alive, but fear keeps him silent. I felt so sorry for his troubled soul as the story plays out and shed a few tears for him, especially at the end.
This is a true phycological thriller that kept me reading as fast as possible, so I could find out how or if they could overcome their issues. This book is far from the light-hearted books I normally read, and I loved it.
If you enjoy thrillers with complex relationships, and a plot that pulls you into the story, then you will love Up the Creek as much as I did. Upon finishing the novel I rated it with 4 Gold Crowns, but as I wrote this review, I decided to give it 4.5 Gold Crowns instead and will round it up to Five stars on the sites where I place my review. Happy reading!
I received a free electronic copy of this novel on December 9, 2020, from Netgalley, Alissa Grosso, and Glitter Pigeon Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Alissa Grosso writes a tight, compelling story that grabs hold early and doesn't let go. I am pleased to recommend this author to friends and family.
In her youth Caitlin was traumatized again and again by nightmares of horrific murders, making her fearful to go to sleep to the point that she would do anything to avoid it. Her mother, a tired, depressed, and bored woman chooses, once it is obvious that these are precognitions of actual murders, of exploiting her daughter's curse for attention and coin. Once grown, Caitlin works her way through sleeping aids, both prescription and over-the-counter, until she finds one that will give her 8 hours of guaranteed dreamless sleep. And nine years later, that company has gone out of business, encasing Caitlin in anxiety and a never-ending search for outdated pills from any source, measuring her life in the nights of a peaceful sleep she can count on in the future.
She has never talked of that time in her youth with her husband Lance - until their son, Adam begins having horrific nightmares, waking Lance almost nightly with screams and crying. Not aware of Caitlin's history, Lance is of the opinion that these episodes should be ignored. Lance has his own problems that take his focus off of the family, and the sleeping pills usually put Caitlin too deeply asleep to respond to Adam's cries. While talking Adam through the trauma of another nightmare over breakfast, Caitlin is stunned to realize that some of his dreams are an echo of ones she suffered in her own youth, a series of murders that were never solved despite her assistance to the police. She cannot let her son Adam go through the same torture she suffered in her youth. It becomes obvious that Lance is not going to be able to help them. He has too many problems of his own to work through. But what can she do? Who can she turn to for help?
pub date Jan 12, 2021 Glitter Pigeon Press Reviewed on Goodreads and Netgalley on January 4, 2021. Reviewed on AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay on January 12, 2021. Not able to change to Kindle edition
This was a fast twisted fun read. Caitlin and Lance married and had a 5 year old son who suffered terrible nightmares. Caitlin, as a child, also experienced nightmares and her most ghastly nightmares would come true. She found a discontinued over the counter sleep aid to rid her of her nightmares, and stocked piled them so she would have them for years. Lance, on the other hand, was a sleepwalker. Neither had told the other about their dream time conditions out of embarrassment.
They both blame themselves in silence thinking they are the reason for their sons condition and both have different views on how to treat it.
In a strange twist of fate, Adam is kidnapped. Can they find the child before it’s too late? And is either parent responsible for the kidnapping due to their own mental conditions?
This book takes many twists and turns that kept me not wanting to stop reading. It was a great thriller and I’m excited that this is a series and can’t wait to see what happens next in Culver Creek.
Callie has had nightmares her whole life , but found a over the counter medication that helps her, her young son is having nightmares and the same ones she has had, her husband has to have the bedroom door locked or he will end covered with blood and somewhere strange, Sage the new police detective in culver creek Takes on a cold case, how do they all tie together?
I'd previously enjoyed Grosso's In the Bag, so I picked this one next, and I liked it for the most part. The couple at its center suffers from secretitis, that annoying affliction wherein mystery/thriller characters will not share secrets, even with their life partners, but it's tolerable in this book. And I'd like to know what happened to Sage's sister.
I received a copy of Up the Creek in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Up the Creek is Alissa Grosso's latest novel – and the beginning of a brand new series known as Culver Creek. It's a mystery series that any fan is not going to want to miss out on.
There was a time when Caitlin Walker was plagued by dreams. But that was a long time ago. Now when she sleeps, she sees nothing but black. Peaceful, quiet, black. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her young son, Adam.
His childhood is already being torn apart by the nightmares that visit him each and every night. Only, there's more to his dreams than Caitlin is willing to let on, and it all ties back to a moment of her childhood. And the death of a little girl nineteen years ago.
“Moving to a strange town because of a little girl he'd never known who had gotten killed there nineteen years ago was hardly the most impulsive thing he had done.”
Up the Creek is a thrilling and compelling read. One that perfectly obfuscates the truth until the perfect moment for it to all come bursting out. I can't speak for anybody else, but it kept me invested right up to the end.
There are three main perspectives of this book, Caitlin's (obviously), her story is relevant both in the present and in the past, and it takes a while to fully understand everything she's gone through. And how she's connected to it all.
Then there's her husband, Lance. I'll admit that I probably enjoyed his perspective the least, but I also feel like that was done with a certain amount of intent. He's the counter to Caitlin's perspective in every way possible.
Finally, there's Sage Dorian, both a detective and highly driven man. He's haunted by a tragedy in his own past, and that set him on a path to solve other mysteries as a coping mechanism. He's the piece that connects all three tales together. He also adds a heavy dose of grounding to the entire novel, and he is by far my favorite perspective.
There were lots of surprises, twists, and turns that occurred within Up the Creek. I love that this book managed to surprise me, while still having many of those moments make complete sense. That's a fine balance, and one that I will always appreciate.
Sometimes families keep secrets from one another because they are embarrassed, sometimes because they don’t want to even have to face the situation again themselves. And sometimes people go so far to hide a secret that secrets end up threatening or ending everyone’s relationship. Caitlin suffered from a horrid trauma at a young age and begins to realize her son is having nightmares for a reason. As parents she and her husband think the nightmares their son has are something he’ll outgrow. But will he? There is a detective in this story that is one of my favorite kind of characters. In my mind he has the typical description of a small-town cop and one that is a determined person. I must say that the narrative from three people can on occasion be confusing, but that was not the case in this story. It flowed well and read well. A good thriller with hopefully more to come.
This is a very interesting novel about past secrets and keeping those secrets hidden within a marriage. The plot centers on dreams, experiencing them, medicating to not experience them, and what they can mean. The wife and son are the characters who experience or have experienced prescient dreams, ones that reveal a possible future but also place people in danger. The husband is a bit different in that he sleep walks yet that night time activity figures greatly into the plot too.
The narrative has three points of view, roaming between the wife, husband, and a detective in the small town where murders have occurred. Past secrets of all three are revealed in bits and pieces. We eventually get enough back story that we can see the potential danger in the current situation, anticipating suspense.
I really liked the emphasis on activities during sleep. I liked highlighting the issue of spouses not being open within the marriage. If the husband and wife had just been open about their past lives, well, then that would have been a different book. One aspect I did not like so much was the seeming lack of emotion and a certain detachment by the husband and wife when tragedy happened in their family. Granted, the wife was in a drug stupor but it still seemed odd.
The small town detective was the most engaging character for me. He has a secret too and I will be looking for a sequel telling more of his story and solving another murder.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Up the Creek by Alyssa C. Grosso, is the first book in a new series based in and around the small town of Culver Creek. The story introduces Caitlin Walker who hasn't had a dream for nine years, but her son Adam suffers from terrifying nightmares which awaken buried memories in Caitlin and a deep secret. Her husband, Lance, also has a secret and Adam's nightmares are threatening to reveal that secret. At the same time, Sage Dorian, the newly hired detective at the police department, starts work on the town's cold case - the grisly murder of a young girl.
How all this hangs together is bound up in a pretty decent, suspenseful murder mystery. I enjoyed it and would definitely read another book in this series as and when further titles become available. Recommended.
Bottom line: couples should not keep secrets from each other. Bottom line two: this was a great introduction to a new series! But with such an emphasis on the Walker family, it was hard to see that Detective Sage Dorian will be the going forward center of the series.
Caitlin had prophetic dreams/nightmares as a child. When her son starts to express his, Caitlin is startled and worried. Her husband, Lance, is worried but for a different reason. It is the combination of these worries that propels them in various directions that ultimately bring their family into a decade’s old murder. Ms. Grosso did a terrific job of developing these incredibly flawed characters! If only they had talked to each other! The story line was solidly built, a tad predictable, but sometimes that is okay when you have a good plot coming to fruition. I look forward to learning more about Detective Dorian and hope Culver Creek can keep him busy!
Thanks to BooksGoSocial for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.
This book is a murder mystery, a thriller and suspense all wrapped up in one exciting book. As you read you find connections with various characters that weren’t obvious in the beginning. I don’t want to spoil the book so I can’t get into what parts I liked or didn’t like without ruining it for you.
The characters were well developed and it was easy to feel what they were experiencing. The story was told through various characters eyes so you get to see different perspectives of the situation which helped me figure things out quickly.
I will say the ending disappointed me because it didn’t have the startling climax that most suspense novels have. To me it seemed predictable and I thought that the ending could have been different. A lot of storylines were left without closure. The married couple seemed unbelievable as a couple because they didn’t share anything and there were obvious things that they should have noticed about each other.
Overall it’s an exciting book with lots of twists and I didn’t want to put it down. I needed to know what the truth was, even if I didn’t like the way it ended.
Secrets, lies and murder. What role do dreams play in solving the nineteen year old unsolved murder of Lily Esposito? Caitlin drugs herself to prevent herself from dreaming, Lance wonders what he’s done during the night that he can’t remember and their son Adam wakes screaming from the nightmares he’s having.
The story is told from alternating perspectives, Caitlin’s, Lance’s and Sage Driscoll, the detective investigating the unsolved murder. Each of them experience flashbacks of events that occurred years ago. These flashbacks give clues to how they became the people they currently are and the fears they deal with. This book is a well written interesting read..Not all story threads are resolved and we’re left with some unanswered questions that are teasers for the next installment.
Slow start, with a can’t put down middle to the end.
Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso was a very good thriller with engrossing characters and an unusual plot. The book starts out a bit slow, and I’ll admit, I almost gave up on it, but then boom.....it took off, and I had a hard time putting it down. The story had several twist and turns, as the author built up to a satisfying ending. I would definitely read another book by Alissa Grosso.
Up the Creek by Alissa C. Grosso is an interesting thriller that left me with mixed feelings. Overall, the concept is particularly good because frightening dreams can be a problem that is not easily solved. All three of the main characters, Caitlin, Lance, and Adam., have night terrors or active dreams. Caitlin Walker thinks she has found a solution to avoiding her physic dreams. She drugs herself each night with an over-the-counter sleep aid that has recently been discontinued. As I read how desperate she became to get the expired Pacifcleon, I wanted to shake her. She was putting her health and the safety of her child at risk without seeking professional help. Lance thinks if he keeps the bedroom door locked at night, he will be safe from wandering and acting out his dreams. He acts out aggressive behavior towards others as he sleepwalks away from home in the night. Little Adam finds solace in drawing scenes of the dreams that scare him in the night. Adam is the only one in the family who is honest about the scary dreams. The story interweaves the past and the present as old and new mysteries are linked together. Publication Date: January 12, 2021 Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Full of secrets and lies, this one will keep you guessing until the end. It's a bit confusing at the beginning trying to keep all the characters and timelines straight. Keep with it though because about a third of the way through it turns into a page-turner. This is the first in a new series. While the case revolving around the past and the current case are resolved, there are a few threads left undone. While we will definitely be seeing more of Sage it's unclear if we will see the other characters as well. I hope so because there are definitely some interesting turns that could take.
Thank you Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me to read this ARC. This book started off great!Right away I started caring about Adam, poor kid. As the book went on, I got confused because there was so much going on and it was frustrating that so many people had secrets and stories, many of which did not seem to be resolved. I guess that's why this is only book one. However, I think the other stories distracted from the main story that was actually great. I would have enjoyed it more if the whole thing had been more streamlined because at some points I could not keep track of who was who. And other than Adam, I did not like any of the characters. The ending was really good. I will check out the subsequent books in the series for sure!
The nineteen-year-old unsolved murder of a child connects most of the characters in this read though they don’t know it.
Caitlin Walker doesn’t dream thanks to the sleeping pills she takes and she’s okay with that. The pills block out the violent psychic premonitions that fill her dreams. One of those dreams is of a then-ten-year-old Caitlin dreaming of a girl younger than her being murdered near a riverbank.
Lance Walker is part of a successful startup and doing well. He adores his wife and son and would do anything for them… except tell them about the secret he’s been hiding for a lifetime.
Preschooler Adam’s childhood is marred by the violent nightmares he has. The nightmares Caitlin and Lance try to minimize in importance, each for different reasons.
Sage Dorian is the newest member of the Culver Creek Police Department. A detective who walked away from a promising career in the big city, Sage also has secrets of his own as he becomes obsessed with solving a murder almost two decades old.
When Adam is kidnapped, secrets are revealed and a murderer is exposed, and not everyone makes it out alive.
The suspense is high in this thriller as I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. All roads lead to Culver Creek, and even though I figured out why, I was still engrossed in the climax. Good writing!
My only issue with the story is Caitlin and Lance, or rather, their marriage. For two people who loved each other and were committed to their life together, they hid too many things from each other out of shame. While their secrets were not dinner party conversation, they were something you would share with your spouse, the person who’s supposed to have your back.
The lack of trust was also evident as Caitlin and Lance each made their way to Culver Creek, they suspected each other of harming Adam.
However, their faithless moments didn’t distract me from the brisk, methodical pace of this read. The bittersweet ending is satisfying but open enough to continue on to book two without missing a beat!
In Up The Creek, book one of the Culver Creek Series, author Alissa Grosso takes the reader behind the scenes of a riveting thriller as Culver Creek Detective Sage Dorian tries to solve a nineteen year old unsolved cold murder case, while Caitlin and Lance Walker deal with deep dark secrets and disturbing dreams that has an affect on their four year old son Adam.
Up The Creek is a riveting thriller that easily draws the reader in from the start. The author provides the reader with a fascinating, multi-layered, and richly detailed story set in the small factory town of Culver Creek, Pennsylvania. This exciting story takes the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride as the intertwined connection between Caitlin, Lance, and Sage unfolds. There is enough drama, secrets, deception, tension, and surprising twists and turns that definitely will keep the reader sitting on the edge of their seat, and guessing how this story will turn out. I loved how the interweaving of tension, drama, and suspense kept me turning the pages as this complexed and intriguing story unfolded. Just when you think you knew how the story would end, the author does a wonderful job of mixing in twists and turns that definitely keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat until the surprising conclusion.
Up The Creek is a well-written, slow-building story that left me interested in finding out what drama and suspense happens in the rest of the books in the Culver Creek Series.
Up the Creek is an interesting mystery that looks at something most of us rarely consider: our loss of control while sleeping. What if prophetic nightmares and dangerous sleepwalking take over our sleep, and the consequences start controlling our waking hours?
I enjoyed the premise of this story. My heart broke for young Adam, whose realistic, torturous nightmares were destroying his childhood.
I didn’t like either parent. The choices they made along the way made me want to smack them both. Also, I couldn’t quite buy into certain aspects of their relationship regarding secrets they’d easily kept from one another for many years, while somehow maintaining a great marriage. You have to be willing to suspend disbelief here and not examine details too closely.
Pacing starts out slow, but soon events spin out of control and we’re racing alongside the characters as secrets spill and murder casts a heavy cloak.
Up the Creek is the first book in the Culver Creek series. The plot is resolved at the end, leaving no cliffhangers.
*I received a review copy as part of the Partners in Crime book tour.*
I was very close to not finishing this book, but I decided to persevere and give it a chance until the end. I should have DNFed it.
Very disappointing story, plagued with ridiculous details in its plot, the development of the characters, and the ending. And it is very difficult to explain everything that is wrong with this book without revealing spoilers. So I'm just going to say that most of the conflicts in this book would have been less problematic if the main protagonists communicated more and trusted each other. I thought that was quite ridiculous: a married couple that barely communicates with the other, keeps lots of secrets, and doesn't trust in the other, but yet they are a good couple and there are no problems and not even the remote possibility of getting a divorce? Yeah, right. I know this is fiction, but that's quite a stretch.
And then, the secrets they were so ashamed of, I didn't understand why they were so ashamed, since everything was quite normal.
Anyways, I couldn't feel sympathy for any of the characters because they were annoying and borderline unbearable. And the story didn't make me think this book had any redeeming quality. I cannot recommend it, and obviously I wouldn't read more books in this series.
Being the first book of a mystery/thriller series, I have to say WOW! There was a lot going on that opened the doors to an endless supply of secrets. Secrets that threaten to unravel lives, changing everything the characters have built around themselves.
My heart ached for Adam -- and his parents. There is a hard lesson within all of this -- secrets, no matter how dark and sinister, are never worth the potential loss if they aren't shared.
As a child, I experienced sleepwalking episodes and my own son had night terrors for a few years. I could relate to the fear within Adam's episodes. There were times that I felt chill bumps forming, adding to my need to read even faster to learn the darkness within this family.
This is definitely a series I want to continue. I need to know more!
I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Up the Creek is an exciting read, filled with lots of twists and turns. From the first chapter this book kept me turning the page, this is one of my favorite genre of books and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Caltin and Lance both have been keeping secrets from the other, which is never good in a marriage. As their young son Adam begins to have nightmares constantly, all sort of things begin to surface. You can't delve deeply into the storyline, or I would be giving away the storyline and how the book is written. I will say that overall I found it to be a good read, I do wish more things could have been cleared up overall but not all books do that. I received an ARC from the author but I was under no obligation to leave a favorable review, all opinions expressed here are my opinion.
Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso a five-star read that will grip you and never let you go. This is number one on the Culver Creek series and I am excited to read number two as well as more by this author, I don’t know what to write to tell you to read this story as I am terrified that I may give you a tiny hint that as you read may reveal something to you. All I will say is if you are looking for a gripping mystery with characters that will keep you guessing as well as make you care then this is a story for you.