Twenty-one years ago little Joey Proctor was left alone on a raft in the middle of a lake at summer camp by his counselor Alex and told to swim back. He was never seen again. You know how that ends, right????
Well, maybe not exactly like that but there’s definitely some sort of blast from the past going on in the form of pranks and creepy almost-interactions and all signs point to Joey. The only question is how high will be the body count get before Alex can figure out what exactly is going on?
Oh, this was fun times. I love when I don’t see all the twists coming and I love it even more when the pacing is so quick that it doesn’t give me much time to even hypothesize. I really loved that douche La’Rouche Alex didn’t somehow grow up to be some upstanding citizen, but instead a philandering uggo of a real estate developer in NYC – which may provide a bit of a sense of déjà vu to some of you and have you hoping he would eventually get what was coming to him. (I can only assume his mouth must look like a tiny little butthole . . . .
because that wasn’t included in his description.)
If you’re the type of dickhead who can’t sit through Game of Thrones because it isn’t realistic that Samwell Tarly would still be fat . . . . .
This definitely isn’t the book for you. All the fun comes in the form of it being completely over-the-top. If you choose to read it, I can almost guaranty a polar reaction. Either you’re going to embrace the crazy, or you’re gonna pull a Ron . . . . .
This is a beachy read. A poolside read. A Thank-Jeebus-It’s-The-Weekend-Now-Where-Did-I-Leave-That-Box-Of-Wine type of read. It’s not going to change your life, but it might help you . . . .
And to all the other authors who have been attempting revenge stories recently?????
Let’s get a couple of things real clear. My reaction to mandatory “Team Building” within a company would look a little something like . . . .
And my general reaction to being forced to spend the minute it takes to get me up to my floor every morning in an elevator with even one other human attempting to speak to me is pretty much . . . .
Thus, the reasoning behind always having both a Kindle and physical book shield with me at all times . . . .
When I saw the tag line behind this book . . . .
“WELCOME TO THE ESCAPE ROOM. YOUR GOAL IS SIMPLE. GET OUT ALIVE.”
My initial reaction was . . . .
What I wasn’t aware of was this was going to be a little deeper than a B-quality horror. Not only does the reader get to hear about the present where Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are stuck in the “escape room,” but they also get the tale of Sara Hall and the company’s history. A little slashery – a little The Firm, this was a pretty good time. Unfortunately, my company was undergoing a complete system overhaul that left me a little braindead by the time I had a chance for some reading (but at least I didn't murder anyone!!!). I’m rounding my 3.5 Stars up due to that fact because I think any other week this may have been a full 4 Stars for me.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
First – lets talk about the blurb I just noticed . . . .
Perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s Hidden Bodies
So if a title is “hidden bodies” and another book is about hidden bodies they are the same?????
Obviously the person who wrote that has never read Caroline Kepnes.
As for the second comparison to everyone’s favorite serial killer?????
That’s a little more feasible (but I’d actually recommend Hangman instead should you be looking to fill the void the lack of Dexter has left in your life . . . if I ever get around to reviewing that one).
This is a book for those of you looking for pure stabby good times. There’s absolutely ZERO reality involved as the story focuses on Martin – a smarter than smart smartypants who buys the files of serial killers from a dirty cop and then uses his super tingly spidey senses to find any missing bodies – all while hiding this strange hobby from his family, natch. You know what that means, right??? Of course a real bad baddy is going to get fed up with the spotlight not being on what a good murderer he is and set Martin up to potentially take the fall.
Recommended to anyone whose browser history looks like mine . . . .
Can’t live with them, hard to get away with killing them.
Kim and Nicki meet on an international flight and after sharing all their woes with each other come to the conclusion that . . . . .
“We have the perfect solution, you know,” Nicki said. “Solution for what?” Her eyes glittered like broken glass. “For our problems. I kill your ex. You kill my mum. We both get what we want.”
You know what happens next, right?????
But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Especially when . . . .
The blurb is spot-on saying You Owe Me a Murder is perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying. I actually enjoyed this YA retelling of a classic a lot more than The Kind Worth Killing and felt the writing was more tightly woven and the various reveals and twists made it un-put-down-able. Recommended to fans of young adult thrillers for sure....more
Let’s start off by addressing the giant pink elephant which will make this book be a failure for many. As the blurb says, the story here is about a young couple who “abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.” What it doesn’t tell you is these two are literally building the house. Alone. Just the two of them. From watching You Tube videos . . . . . .
Seriously, this may be the most I ever had to suspend disbelief in my entire reading life. Not only is it completely unrealistic that a couple of schoolteachers (neither of whom taught some sort of VoTech subject) would be able to build a house – oh and dare I forget, not just a little shanty either, but . . . . .
FFS. Yeah, a SALTBOX because that's the fucking easiest design plan in the books just adding to the WTFery of this whole plotline . . . .
Grrrrrrr, but I digress. The thing that really irked me was that part of the story wasn’t even necessary. The rest of the plot is about digging into the creepy history surrounding the family tree that sprouted from this plot of land a long, long time ago. But all of the hinkyness of the past? It came in the form of either the goings on at the property itself or via discovered artifacts. Why couldn’t they just have remodeled an existing structure or had enough money to hire builders so I didn’t get my resting bitch face on every time they talked about framing and roofing and other completely unbelievable things that made me feel like stabbing someone??????
The second thing you need to know if you have this on your TBR is that despite this being marketed/shelved as horror . . . . .
This is NOT a horror. Sure, the premise automatically calls to mind other houses with dark pasts from the recesses of one’s mind . . . . .
And there most definitely is a little bit of is everyone going crazy????? If so, how far will it go . . . .
But at the end of it all . . . . .
“First, we’ve got a witch ghost, now there’s a buried treasure? Is this Scooby fucking Doo?”
I assume this will be a mixed mag of reactions. I know I have one friend who was reading it at the same time I was and had to abandon ship because the house building was so absurd. I have no clue how I was able to ignore it, but somehow I did. I also knew right away this would end up being more of a paranormal mystery rather than a horror (which is my personal preference). It probably also helped that it rained for 172 days straight where I live and I read this curled up basking in the gloom of both the weather and the story.
1 Star for the idiocy of the house shit, 4 Stars for the page turnability = 3.5 Stars.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, NetGalley!...more
That’s soooooooo applicable here because The Better Sister was a damn good domestic thriller (as can be seen by my rating). Not only did it hold my interest throughout, but it did so without me even realizing how much progress I was making until I sat down to finish it last night and only had about 20% remaining. Burke also proved she knows which lane to stay in. This was a domestic - NOT a police procedural or a courtroom drama or a wife sticking her nose where it didn’t belong and doing what the pros couldn’t do – and it remained focused on the family throughout. Not to mention it didn’t attempt to throw everything at the wall to see what would stick or bounce around in different timelines or via different narrators. So why does it suck to suck???? Well, because the focus on the kid maybe being the answer behind the whodunit reminded me of Defending Jacob, and nothing can compete with that. Thus the 4 Stars, but hey 4 Stars ain’t nuttin’ to cry about.
Really, aside from the focus being on the son as the suspect in the father’s murder there were a lot of differences. Mainly in the form of our solo narrator Chloe who had worked her way up the magazine publishing world and instantly brought visions of a certain someone to my head . . . .
(Even though she wasn’t presented as such a ballbuster.) She obviously did have ambitions and a willingness to do whatever was necessary in order to get what she wanted, however, since she not only ended up at the top of the heap of the magazine industry but also ended up marrying her sister’s husband!
And what about that husband? Well, he’s dead so he doesn’t really have much to say about things. You just have to figure out whodunit and why. Just watch out so you don’t get knocked out by all the skeletons that start falling out of the closets.
If you like your beachy reads on the stabby side, this might be a winner because homeboy gets stabbed FIVE TIMES : )
If you want to know you live with a bunch of potential serial killers ask the question “what’s a buck knife?” while you’re reading and have multiple examples be brought to you . . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
“I doubt it would be easy to take a life. But I think if you had to—I mean, if we had to—we could absolutely get away with it.”
Look at that quote^^^. LOOK AT IT!!!!!! Did you look at it? Why the eff wasn’t I all over this when it was an ARC? I mean I realize I’m not super late to this party since it was just released ten days ago, but still . . . especially since it was a BOTM selection as well. Thankfully I jumped on the library right away, begged and pleaded while holding on to the pornbrarian's leg as she drug me around the suburban branch and was first in line when it was finally obtained. I have a feeling the wait list is probably about as long as my arm at this point. But about the book . . .
Okay so Natalie and Will are both aspiring attorneys whose first-date small talk consists of figuring out how to get away with murder. (Confession: I read zero blurbs about this so I was totally ready for another Strangers On A Train knockoff.) Fast-forward to the present where the two have been married for ages, have an eleven-year-old son and have fallen into a pattern of work and home that’s pretty much a snoozefest – despite the fact that she’s a criminal defense attorney for a living. Needless to say, that old conversation from the past has long since been forgotten. Until something happens in their community that calls for . . . .
Okay so that’s all I can give you without giving too much. I will say that there were some hints about as subtle as a skillet to the back of the head about a certain something that made my brain decide if this didn’t end the way my brain was thinking I was going to be super pissed, but then . . . .
This was awesome. I loved that there weren’t 50,000 twists and turns, I loved even more that mistakes were made and things didn’t add up and normal people didn’t somehow become criminal masterminds. But most of all? I looooooooved Natalie. Good lord she’s my number one fictional gal pal for 2018 fo sho! I gave this 4.5 Stars over on Instagram this morning, but that’s just stupid. It deserves all 5....more
FantasticLand is getting every Star and I ain’t even sorry.
Like the blurb says, this story is a modern-day . . . .
Ha! I keed. It truly is Lord of the Flies meets [insert battle to the death book/film of your choosing here]. More specifically it is about . . . .
What happened in FantasticLand during the thirty-five days dubbed “The Battle of the Tribes.”
Here’s the deal: In the Fall of 2017 Hurricane Sadie was being tracked off the coast of Florida. It was anticipated she would be a wreaker of havoc, but no one ever anticipated her effects would be felt so far inland and just how powerful she would become. Basically, the only thing that could have been worse is . . . .
While the National Guard, local authorities and all humanitarian efforts were focused on the coastal regions, 326 employees of FantasticLand were left to their own devices. Weeks later, 207 were evacuated. This is the story of what happened, told in interview format by the survivors. It was oh so very . . . .
(If you haven’t seen that movie, you really need to rectify it immediately or there’s a possibility I will defriend you. j/k. *cough* maybe *cough*)
This was everything it should have been. Gory, nauseating, action-packed and a story that didn't miss a beat from the first page to the last. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurved it....more
EDIT: FLOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAT FOR THIS BABY'S BERFDAY. MITCHELL GAVE THIS STABBY GOOD TIME TWO TUSKS UP!
“Did I marry a psychopath?”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one . . . .
Yeah, you didn’t stop me because you haven’t read anything like this before. The story here is of Millicent and her husband. She’s a real estate agent, he’s the local tennis pro. They live in a coveted neighborhood with their two teenaged children, Rory and Jenna. Oh, and . . . . .
Everything in their lives has been going swimmingly until the body of one of their victims is discovered. And then?????
“Here we go.”
Obviously I can’t give away much more without ruining everything, but you know how I complain a lot about too many twists and turns and not wanting the kitchen sink thrown in to my thrillers?
This truly is an exception to the rule. The fact that it is completely over the top and errrrrrrrythang that happens happens is exactly what makes it so fun. All the Starzzzzzzz (and sorry y’all have to wait until March for it to come out.)
Advanced copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. They obviously know who the crazies are....more
Before we begin, let’s talk about this cover for a second . . . .
Now that that is out of the way, we can talk about the book – kinda – maybe. Per usual, this is one full of spoiley spoils I want to barf out all over the place and twists and reveals that if you knew about beforehand would ruin all the fun of reading it, so I can’t say much.
What I will say is nosey neighbor meets the new people next door and immediately comes to the conclusion the hubs is a serial killer?????
I mean for real. I could read a book a week with this plotline. And should I ever run out of books? That’s what Shia Labeouf is for . . . . .
Well, that and this . . . .
But that’s more of a spank bank type of experience rather than a stabby one.
Where was I? Oh yeah this book I can’t talk about. I picked this one up because I enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing okay and wanted to give Swanson another go. I was not disappointed. You have the potentially murdery new guy, the neighborhood Nancy Drew sticking her nose into things she should probably leave alone, and to top it all off she’s not a particularly reliable narrator . . . .
“I was sure it was schizophrenia, because of your uncle. But turns out you’re just batshit crazy like everyone else in this family.”
However, at times she’s pretty entertaining . . . .
“What were you talking about with Matthew Dolamore?”
“He kills people,” she said.
“That’s not news. I’ve already told you that.”
I will say that I did see the big reveal coming, but I still sucked this down like a fat girl me with cake . . . .
For Lonnie, Mike and Pork Chop this road trip was simply supposed to be a little boys’ getaway and a chance to experience some firsthand . . . .
The beer was flowing, the tunes were playing, the counterfeit easy-shred Hulkamania T’s were ready for selling, there was a tag-a-long hot piece of ass in the form of the local bar fly. They were even riding in style in a Gen.U.Ine. R.V. . . . .
It was great . . . until they ran over a nekkid chick while attempting to short-cut it through the backroads followed by a crossbow bolt through one of their tires. You know what that means, right????
Nope. Something even more terrifying . . . .
Now the boys (and girls) need to channel their inner CCR ‘cause these suckas are gonna have to “run through the jungle.”
You can take this “review” with a grain (or mountain) of salt if you like. At this point it's obvious I’m an Adam Howe fangirl. I won’t even get into Mitchell’s relationship with him because I’m fairly certain it’s illegal in at least 47 states. All I’m going to say is if you are looking for some gory good times this October jam-packed with action, humor and some twists and turns that make this not-your-average “lost in the woods” slasher story, Scapegoat is getting released right on time.
ARC provided by Honey Badger Press in exchange for an honest review....more
It appears the marketing blurb has been changed a teensie bit, because I’m positive when I decided I want to read #fashionvictim it was said to be “The Devil Wears Prada meets American Psycho.” Having now read this book, I can only say . . . .
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a comparison that makes sense and not one that just barfs out it’s “the next Gone Girl.”
This may have been a right place/right time read for me but whatever, I’m going with it. From the cover to the hashtaggy title to the one-line seller . . . .
“Bitches get stitches.”
We’re talking pure campy good times as Anya does everything it takes to make her mark on the fashion world and get in Sarah's inner circle. All that's left to say??? Dear Amina Akhtar . . .
All we have to do now Is take these lies and make them true somehow All we have to see Is that I don't belong to you But if you keep writing like this you might have to belong to me
ARC provided by Crooked Lane in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Korede has always felt it was her responsibility to look after her younger sister Ayoola. Not only is Korede older, but she’s also the sensible one, the one with the good job. And while she may not be the “pretty” one – at least she doesn’t have a habit of murdering her boyfriends.
Thus is the plot behind this compact little slice of fun. If you enjoy the stabby stabby over the bump and grind while sitting poolside, My Sister the Serial Killer might be right up your alley for a fun little time killer.
3.5 Stars because that cover deserves at least a half star all on its own . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
Despite The Couple Next Door only being an average read for me, I immediately clicked the request (which is still pending so go ahead and decline that one, NetGalley) button for Lapena’s new novel. Thanks to friends’ mediocre ratings I lowered my expectations accordingly. But I didn’t realize that An Unwanted Guest was pretty much going to be . . . . .
I am a SUCKER for retellings of And Then There Were None. Up to and including an annual viewing of the ever-so-underrated . . . .
And this one took place in the Catskills which instantly had me thinking of . . . .
Sing along, everyone . . . .
*In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you should probably adjust your own expectations accordingly, because this most likely wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it was.
But I did think it was good and read half of it without even realizing it the other evening. Call me a sucker for a group of strangers holed up in a hotel during a snowstorm when a superbadawful takes place . . . . .
You know what happens next, right????
AND MORE DEAD BODIES. Yipeeeeeeeee!!!!
The only thing that would have been better is if it weren’t 95 degrees outside on the day I read it – but there was zero chance I was going to be able to wait until winter as I am most assuredly an instant gratification type of gal. ...more
“My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.”
^^^That line right there had me like . . . .
I mean let’s be honest. I don’t care if the tramp deserved it – or if she was a tramp – or if the husband did or didn’t mean to kill her. I just appreciate any time someone is dead and I am given an early copy to read. As mentioned a time or a thousand before, I have a bit of old lady brain so I knew I had read Liz Nugent before, but I couldn’t remember what and I didn’t bother looking it up because I thought I had enjoyed her previously. Turns out I was right because this is the author of Unraveling Oliver. Go brain! You is smart sometimes!
Anyway, I didn’t bother looking her up before starting and it turns out I didn’t even have to because once I started reading I remembered who she was and what I had read before. I love an author whose voice is so distinct that you can recognize it without a Google search.
The story here is about that tramp chick above who gets whacked by dear ol’ hubs. It tells the who, when, why and how – and all by the 30% point which had me a little dubious. But then I remembered that it was Liz Nugent writing the story, so the thriller aspect was just the peel of the onion and the remaining 70% would be all the stinky deliciousness contained in the other layers. If you didn’t like Oliver, there’s a good chance you probably won’t like Lydia or Andrew or Laurence either. But if you did????? Oh such good times in a story that reminds us all that . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
RELEASE DATE TODAY!!!!! (6/12/18) YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.
When Georgina was only sixteen she thought she had found her one true love in Calvin. Things didn’t work out quite as planned, though, and he turned out to be a serial killer known as the Sweetbay Strangler. His first victim? Geo’s best friend, whose remains went undiscovered for 14 years. Once the body is discovered all sorts of skeletons start falling out of closets.
After reading Creep by this author, I knew I would need to seek out more of her stuff in the future. Good news is, I convinced the pornbrary that I cannot live on smut alone and they recently purchased some of her other books. Great news is I totally broke all the rules about how to act like a decent person and begged for an ARC of this one because stabby stabby in love with a freakin’ murderer?!?!?!?!
I. JUST. COULD. NOT. WAIT. for publication day. But then I was terrified I would hate it and get blacklisted from all ARCs for eternity and also probably receive an e-mail saying I’m the reason why I can’t have nice things. Luckily the first didn’t happen and seriously I would not blame anyone for doing the second. Simply put in order to prevent a whole lotta spoilsies . . . .
“In every story, there’s a hero and a villain. Sometimes one person can be both.”
Occasionally I fantasize about what I would fill my to-read suitcase with if I got to go to someplace like Mallorca and do things like this . . . . .
Rather than sitting in the middle of a sweltering dust bowl of a baseball diamond in Kansas watching my kids play ball all summer. Jar of Hearts is the type of book I want in that suitcase. I’m giving it every star. I couldn’t put the dang thing down and I was completely enraptured by alllllll of the different aged Geos I got to meet. I did figure out the first “twist” pretty quickly, but am happy to report I was a little slow on the uptake regarding the big shebang at the end and didn’t catch on to that until it was pretty much shoved in my face.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Yuuuuuuuuup. I have absolutely been singing Christina Perri ever since this arrived in the mail. My family really appreciates when I get to the part where I screech belt out . . . .
DON’T COME BAAAAAAAACK AT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
I probably could get a golden ticket to Hollywood if I auditioned for American Idol.
ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!...more
“Define success,” I say almost to myself. “I didn’t kill anyone today,” Alex says.
I quickly dismissed the idea of adding The Female of the Species to my TBR when it came out due to the first line of the blurb declaring that it would be a “novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives.” Now before you get your knickers in a knot, please hear me out that it’s not the theme itself that turned me off, but the inclusion of the very-much-overused-and-very-often-used-incorrectly term “rape culture” which on social media generally makes me say . . . .
(Just take a look at some of the low star ratings and what things pissed some people off if you doubt what I’m saying. )
But then it kept popping up from friends reading it and they all liked it and were of waaaaaaay different demographics so I figured what the hell. And in the immortal words of one Gomer Pile . . . . .
Because I freaking LOVED this sucker. The story here is about a group of high schoolers and the goings on that take place in their interpersonal relationships during their senior year. If you don’t like things dark, stay far away because this sucker focuses on the pitch black of teenage life. Characters include good girl Peekay (“Preacher’s Kid”), her ex-boyfriend Adam, his new girlfriend Branley, her ex-boyfriend Jack and his new girlfriend Dexter Alex, who just happens to have a little secret . . . .
Here, let me say it for all the trolls before they have a chance . . . .
This one hits you with truthbombs like a frying pan to the face . . . .
“It doesn’t matter. What you were wearing. What you look like. Nothing. Watch the nature channel. Predators go for the easy prey.”
And completely breaks your heart . . . .
“I don’t know how anybody can stand it. … All I have is a scratch,” I explain. “One little, tiny . . .” I break down again. Because it’s not just a little tiny scratch, and I know that. The softest parts of my skin are under a stranger’s dirty fingernails, my DNA embedded there along with fast-food grease and his own dandruff. Some of my cells are with him right now and I don’t want them to be. I want them back. I want them all right where they belong and I can’t even imagine if it were the other way around . . .
The writing is absolutely stunning at times . . . .
“It’s not the sheep that call to me, but the other wolves. I want to run with them, so that I may tear out their throats when they threaten my flock. But I can’t return to the sheep with blood on my breath; they will shy away from me.”
And amazingly enough occasionally made me laugh out loud . . .
“I’m inviting you.”
She raises an eyebrow. “Is that okay?”
“There’ll be so many people there no one will know either way. We can’t talk here. . . . She might throw her drink in your face.”
“Then I’ll kill her. Kidding. I have criteria.”
I don’t know what else to say. I dig Young Adult books that confront important issues head-on and boy does this one. 4 Stars rather than 5 due to all of the animal stuff. While I think I understand the point/symbolism/what-have-you behind it, that will be a turn-off to many readers and the book could have easily left all of it on the cutting-room floor....more
Gina thought she had the perfect life. Happily (enough) married to Mel, mother of two, she was a real Suzy Homemaker. That is, until a drunk driver crashed into their garage and uncovered her husband’s little secret . . . .
(Mitchell still can’t figure out why Gina would be upset about discovering she was married to the perfect man.)
Anywho, fast forward a year where we meet the new and improved Gina . . . .
Now known as Gwen, she was cleared of all charges when it came to her husband’s hobby. Thanks to some really obsessed internet trolls (y’all think it sucks to get told how you read wrong, you should try to walk in Gwen’s shoes for a second), Gwen and her children have changed their identities and locations four times and Gwen knows how to blow your head off with whatever gun she pulls out of her arsenal. Things seem to be settling down on the psycho front and Gwen has finally started to plant some roots in a quiet little locale known as Stillhouse Lake, Tennessee. That is until a surprise pops up in the lake that has everyone pointing the finger at “Melvin’s Little Helper” . . . .
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Stillhouse Lake is without a doubt 100% a Lifetime Mystery Movie of the week. Save your holier than thou. Sometimes these stories are exactly what I need and after reading two really good mysteries, I needed to embrace my inner . . . . .
(that’s a basic white girl starter kit, if you aren’t familiar) and read a different kind of thriller.
I have been a fan of Rachel Caine since I read about eleven thousand of her Morganville Vampire books back in the dizzy when I was in love with all things teenage vampirey . . . .
Put one of those in front of me today, I’d probably gobble it right up. When my friend Casey book pushed this on me (and Casey NEVER book pushes on me), I knew I would not be able to resist. I even spent my own dollars on it when the pornbrarian failed to order it for me in a timely fashion proving that miracles do happen – but you should’ve seen all the moths that flew out of my wallet! Wowzers!
If you’re okay with suspending disbelief and simply want a decent read that will keep your interest and you will speed through, Stillhouse Lake might be a winner. Really my only complaints are that I immediately knew who did it – like literally at the first word out of his mouth . . . .
[I TOTALLY NOTED THIS, BUT GR ISN'T SHOWING ME MY EFFING NOTES SO I CAN'T TAKE A SCREEN GRAB!]
And how often Gina/Gwen jumped on the “everything is worse for me because I’m a woman” bandwagon. Uhhhhh, no dipshit – everything is worse for you because you are a fucking idiot who thought it wasn’t weird to not be allowed in part of your own goddamn house . . . .
Other than that, though, this was pretty fun.
Book #2 in the Winter Reading Challenge. I’m getting closer to you, pretty red coffee mug : )
If you know me, you will know that means it’s time for the (porny) library’s Winter Reading Challenge and my chance to obtain yet another free coffee mug to add to my hoard. Even though the library up in the ‘burbs is where I get most of my smut, the challenge this bitterly cold season is not to read all about hiding salami, rather it is . . . . .
WHODUNITS! Now if there is one thing I read just as much as I read porn, it’s mystery/thrillers. The Good Daughter had been on my TBR since way back when I somehow managed to abstain from clicking the request button over on NetGalley. Little did I know that upon its release I would be approximately nine trillionth on the wait list. Lucky for me, my turn came around just in time. Of course, being a thriller I can’t say allllllllll the things. (I even went and peaked at a couple of reviews as well as the synopsis to confirm that – NOPE – can’t even say the one thing.) Here’s what I can tell you (AND DON’T YOU FUCKING JUDGE ME!): The Good Daughter was like a blast from the past when I was in love with all things John Grisham . . .
Hey! I said don’t judge. I haven’t read Grisham in a fortnight, mainly because he started churning out stuff at a pace even Stephen King couldn’t keep up with and I was a little scurrrred he was going to go down the path of James Patterson. But back in the dizzy???? Remember A Time To Kill??? Oh, such good stuff. THAT’S what this made me think of with a school shooting and a poor man’s Atticus Finch (mixed with a little smooth-talking Harold Hill for good measure) and a local prosecutor who could give little possum-tailed Jeff Sessions a run for his money in the smarmy department and country folk and then . . . . . AND THEN!!!!! . . . . there’s this whooooooooooooooole other storyline going on simultaneously regarding a superbadawful (or actually quite a pile of superbadawfuls) that happened years and years and years ago that somehow will tie in to the present goings on. And that’s all I can tell you without spilling some beans.
I will say that according to Goodreads, The Good Daughter sits at over 500 pages. It doesn’t feel like it. I breezed through this in a day. Minor gripes are as follows:
1. There were no surprises. YMMV obviously, but if you read a lot of mysteries you probably will see everything coming too.
2. At around the 50% mark something happened (no spoilsies) and then the story did a bit of a rewind/retelling and that is not a tactic I enjoy. I didn’t enjoy it here either and I kind of stalled out for a bit and went and cleaned closets until I knew I would be able to find a rhythm again.
The good news is I fell in love with Charlie so hard that I either want to marry her or wear her as a skin suit . . . .
“A possum stared at me through the door all night.”
“That’s Bill. He’s my lover.”
“Possums can transmit leptospirosis, E. coli, salmonella. Their scat can carry a bacteria that causes flesh-eating ulcers.”
“We’re not into the kinky stuff.”
Mitchell says skin suit but I’m still debating it.
Book # 1 in my quest for free crap (Hoarders, here I come!!!!). While I currently have about eleventy-four library books checked out and another ten thousand on my reading room shelves that will get me to my goal, I’m always open for suggestions when it comes to thrillers so feel free to comment with your faves. James Patterson novels need not apply : )...more
“It’s not up to you to stop it, not by yourself. You’re just one person, Ellie.”
“Yeah, but I’m the one he wants.”
The Vanishing Season would most definitely NOT pass the Ron 2.0 smell test . . . .
Some of the reasons include:
1. Our leading lady was the “one who got away” from a serial killer . . .
2. Who then grew up to become a cop . . . .
3. And yet somehow no one knows who she was . . . .
4. In a sleepy little hamlet where she has decided three missing persons cases are somehow linked to a copycat killer.
5. Our leading male was the FBI agent who saved our leading lady when she was a kid . . . .
6. Who flubbed his last case and is now on leave . . . .
7. But has decided to be all mavericky and lend a hand when it comes to solving these new cases . . . .
8. And of course no one stops him and he calls in favors and they send him files he needs and whatever else would never happen.
Guess what? Ron is totally right . . . .
For whatever reason, however, I kinda have a great time with these “Lifetimey” selections of whodunits. They are my version of the cozy mystery and . . . .
I enjoyed that Ellery was flawed (to the extent some readers might not even be able to sympathize with her character). I appreciated Reed and Ellery’s relationship in that they worked together, as equals, and there was never even a hint that things would turn sexual. I liked their dialogue . . . .
“I did not cheat on my wife with any live women.”
“That’s a creepy way to put it.”
The storytelling here was captivating and the page count was spot-on without a bunch of filler. Really, the only downside was I immediately knew “whodunit” – but when there are like four characters being focused on and you know three didn’t do it . . . .
It didn’t even matter, though. This was the perfect read for a rainy Sunday....more
When Alice was just a little girl she was attacked by twins who were trying to please “Mister Tender.” While Mister Tender’s Girl flat out states in the blurb that it was inspired by the true events surrounding a brutal stabbing of a young girl by two classmates who claim they did it in the name of the “Slender Man” – the character of Mister Tender reminded me less of this . . . .
And more of this . . . .
(If you don't know who that is, we may have to reevaluate our friendship.)
Combined with this . . . . .
As Mister Tender was a comic book …. errr excuse me graphic novel creation of Alice’s (the stabbing victim) father in the form of a friendly neighborhood bartender who could give you anything your heart desired – as long as you performed whatever task he requested of you in return.
Years have passed, Alice is now grown and moved across the pond to the States, owner of a coffeehouse as well as her own home and has done everything possible to escape her personal history – until a package arrives that won’t allow her to keep ignoring it.
I will attempt to avoid spoiling things here, but you do need to be forewarned that this sucker goes off the rails pretty darn quickly into unbelievable territory. And Alice????
If you can check reality at the door you might find this to be a pretty stabby fun time. 3.5 Stars for me, but rounded down because apparently even some things are too ridiculous for me to accept.
ARC received about 114 years ago from NetGalley that I just now got around to reading since I suck. Thanks NetGalley! ...more
Caitlin Hendrix’s childhood was almost ruined by a serial killer. Her father was the lead detective on the case that featured . . . .
“Eleven murders, all unsolved. An UNSUB: the unknown subject who would come to be called the Prophet. He made women stay home instead of going out alone. He made parents bring their children in before it got dark, and keep them inside. For five years, one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country lived in fear, dreading the next news bulletin. Waiting for the Prophet’s next victim. Until he disappeared.”
Caitlin’s father nearly lost his sanity as he was consumed by it. Now it’s twenty-five years later and Caitlin has followed in her father’s footsteps when it comes to her choice of career. Maybe more than even she bargained for . . . .
“All these years you thought I was gone. But hell and heaven turn and turn again. Angels fall, the messenger descends, your insolence is harrowed, defiance ends. You wail in fury, but the Equinox delivers pain. It batters like a hurricane. Tremble now—you cannot hide.”
This was a mixed bag when it came to friends' ratings so it kept getting pushed to the backburner. As you can see from my placeholder "review," the only thing that forced me into it was the library message which was the equivalent of a triple-dog dare. When it comes to mysteries, there are two types that I enjoy. These . . . .
(So much so that I call it the “S7ven Scale”)
Or these . . . .
Don’t judge me.
I will say I was a bit leery at the start when an “amateur sleuth” of sorts was introduced since this story obviously wasn’t trying to go in the Hallmark Mystery Channel direction. Luckily said sleuth wasn’t immediately deputized, but she did provide believable info that many people with too much spare time on their hands might find themselves trying to obtain so I quickly accepted her character. UNSUB lands at a solid 4 on the S7ven scale and was well on the way to a full 5 until the ending. Those endings – they can be tricky. You can either do a “WHAT’S IN THE BOX” last minute twist that makes everything oh so much better or you can do one like this . . . .
Still, a great story that I never once wanted to put down.
And now for a couple of public service announcements rants since I’m suffering a severe Case of the Mondays:
#1 Dear Goodreads: NO ONE wants a book automatically marked as “read” as soon as they turn the last page or the library takes it back. NO ONE. Stop the effing madness. Especially when it said I finished reading this THIS MORNING and the entire point of me even getting motivated to read the dang blasted thing was I only had Saturday, the 2nd, in which to start AND finish it . . . .
#2 Random Strangers on Social Media: It is December and several different “bookish” places are posting statuses (statii????) about Yearly Reading Challenges along with the magical goal of 100 books. NO ONE forces you to participate in them or that 100 books is a mandatory challenge goal, so take your “but I have a life” or “but I work all day and then am superparent to my minivan full of children and don’t have time to sit around doing nothing but read” and . . . .
Just because YOU don’t want to spend your spare time reading or participate in a challenge for fun doesn’t mean you need to put others who do on blast. You’re probably the first to rant about being “bullied” on social media too. Hypocrites. And on that note, this is my 200th book of the year. Challenge complete . . . .
“I don’t find the idea of people or children hurting and killing each other upsetting. I find it familiar. I find it is home.”
Allow me to share Millie’s mother’s CV:
“Forty-eight-year-old Ruth Thompson was a popular member of staff at the women’s refuge where she worked. Employed as a nurse counselor, she was the main point of contact for the scores of frightened women and their children who were in hiding … Following her arrest, the bodies of eight children were discovered in the cellar of the house and a ninth found in the so-called playground.”
When I found out this was about a girl whose mother was a serial killer I was like . . . .
And when Millie was removed from her mother’s home and placed into foster care only to find herself faced with a real mean girl of a foster sibling I was like . . . .
By the time I got to the end, I was like . . . . .
The only gripe I have? After recently finishing the very "skillet to the face" type of Young Adult novel which was Living Dead Girl, I would have marketed this as YA as well. It earns 4 Stars because I’m pretending it was (it would probably be 3.5 otherwise). Be warned if you are an avid thriller reader that this one may not have all chills and thrills you need to satisfy your stabby side, but it definitely has a lil’ summin’ summin’ . . . . .
“You’re the spit of your mother, they used to say at the women’s refuge you worked at. That’s what I’m afraid of.”...more
Overdue book review? I’d say so since I read this thing last freaking year. The most disgusting part? I was offered another reader copy by Crooked Lane for review and was actually ballsy enough to ask for this one instead. Proves once again no one should ever do anything nice for me.
Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that I actually REMEMBERED this story – which is practically a miracle. Especially when it comes to mysteries/thrillers since I read so many of them and they tend to blend together. Lies She Told was obviously just different enough that even my broken brain couldn’t forget the plot . . . . despite forgetting to ever post a review.
The story here is of Liz. Liz used to be a successful author of romantic suspense, but her last book really went in the dumper. Now she’s under a 30-day time crunch in order to get her new story finished and get back on top of her game. Follow along with not only Liz’s life, but also Beth’s – Liz’s new female protagonist who discovers her husband is having an affair. Make sure to pay attention, though, because the dual narrators along with a potential case of life imitating art are sure to create some #blurredlines . . . . .
3.5 Stars because this was a book that took a while to find its rhythm. Rounded up because now that summer is approaching this would make for a great beachy read.
Many thanks to Crooked Lane for providing a copy of this to me in exchange for an honest review. Sorry I suck!...more
I am now so far behind in reviewing that all of my read-but-not-yet-reviewed selections can't fit on my home page. Bonus this go 'round is somehow I didn’t even manage to mark this one down as something I was reading at all (#failure).
But wait, you ain’t seen NUTTIN’ yet. Not only have I never read Dexter, but I have never seen an episode of the highly acclaimed television series either . . . .
Yeah yeah yeah . . . .
Since I am so late to this party, this won’t be much of a review (so unusual for me, right?). Instead, it will probably read like a love letter to my Darling, Dreamy Dexter . . . .
Boy is THAT an understatement!!!
In case you too have recently emerged from cave dwelling and now mingle with the masses, the story here is of Dexter Morgan. His day job is in the forensics department with the Miami police force (specialty blood splatter - come to momma), but it’s what he does off the clock that makes things real interesting . . . .
“What are you?” Father Donovan whispered. “The beginning,” I said. “And the end. Meet your Unmaker, Father.”
Some of you might be thinking “not a man of the cloth?!?!?!” To which I say OH YES A MAN OF THE CLOTH. See, this is one of those priests that you sometimes see on the nightly news who totally had it coming to him. Such is the case with all of Dexter’s victims. You see, a superbadawful happened to Dexter when he was a wee little boy. When the Morgan family took lil’ Dex in as a foster child, pops Harry realized pretty early on that there was something off about the boy . . . .
“I’ve been expecting this. What happened to you when you were a little kid has shaped you . . . But you can channel it. Control it. Choose – . . . choose what …. or who … you kill . . . There are plenty of people who deserve it, Dex.”
So that’s it. Dexter solves crimes by day and rids Florida of human waste by night. He’s my lobster because . . . . .
We’re in love and we’re going to get married. You’re all invited to the wedding. Hopefully there won’t be a hurricane in the middle of the ceremony . . . .
I decided to take a break from my usual selections . . . .
And read listen to this oldie-but-goodie to celebrate my favorite time of year . . .
(Spoiler Alert: He’s really going to murder her for being a basic white bitch.)
After having a pretty meh time with Killing Mr. Griffin during Banned Book Week, I set my expectations super low before starting this one. Imagine my delight when I ended up really enjoying it. The basic premise was the same – group of drunken stumbly teenie-boppers kill someone in a hit and run and then decide . . . .
Little plot twist: in the book version they didn’t run over an adult – instead it was a kid . . . .
A year goes by when suddenly the teens start receiving notes . . . .
That have them concerned their secret might get out. Or worse . . . . .
I Know What You Did Last Summer stood the test of time surprisingly well. While it has obviously been updated since its original release back in the ‘70s, a more thorough job was done here making the modern-day references more effortless instead of standing out like a sore thumb. It does date itself with antiquated remarks regarding things of a “girly” nature, but if you aren’t of the easily offended variety, you can simply laugh it off as talk of the olde days of yore. Although I did see the whodunit from about a football field away, there was a little something extra that I wasn’t really looking for that ended up being a pretty decent bonus. Fairly PG (references to underage drinking and smoking pot that wouldn’t pass the test with some parents) for youngsters to read this Halloween season....more
Words cannot even express the amount of joy it brings me when I am the first of my friends to read something. Well, when it’s something I liked - being the one to burst the bubble when a highly anticipated release turns out to be a turd kinda sucks. Anywho, when I saw this blurb . . . .
“Scream meets YA”
I had much excite! But then I saw the next part . . . .
“ in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss”
Oh noes. My experience with Anna was mucho baddo : (
There’s Someone Inside Your House is Exhibit A of why you shouldn’t just throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to giving an author a second chance. This was everything I wanted it to be. Much like with One Of Us Is Lying earlier this year, the comparison to its “inspired by” or counterpart or whatever you want to call it was spot on. The only difference???
They say there are no more original ideas. And maybe that’s true. (Except what Shelby just read about eating baby teeth – that seems pretty friggin’ original.) There’s Someone Inside Your House proves that an idea doesn’t have to be original for it to be a crapload of fun. This one follows the slasher formula pretty well. There’s a super baddy who just wants to . . . .
Well, maybe he wants to stab the shit out of you and mash your brains, but you get the idea.
There are oversexed teens who say things like “I’ll be right back” and other stuff that shows they didn’t take the sage advice of this fella . . . .
There’s even a little humor when everyone should be in panic mode . . .
“Shit! What’s your password?” “9999.” “What? Why would you do that? Somebody could guess that!” “You didn’t.”
Bonus was you weren’t forced to spin your wheels for forever and a day before you found out who the killer was. The big reveal happened about the halfway mark – but that didn’t stop the stabber from stabbing ‘cause they still had to catch him/her/them (no spoilsies)! By the end of this I was like . . .
The only things missing? Matthew Lillard making me snortlaugh . . . .
Skeet Ulrich making me wanna get my freak on . . . .
This is one of those times where I really wish Goodreads had half stars, because this was a classic case of a perfectly average book. Killing Mr. Griffin went on my TBR simply for the fact that when I Googled “banned books” it was one of the first I hadn’t already read (and that I might want to) that popped up. I have to admit, if I were a teacher and saw a kid reading a title like this, I might want to disappear all the copies from the school right quick too!
The story here is one that is probably familiar to most . . . .
“That Griffin’s the sort of guy you’d like to kill.” “Well, why don’t we then?”
But not really. The plan is to get revenge on the literature teacher who has made a group of student lives’ hell all year. They’ll kidnap Brian Griffin . . .
Drive him out to the middle of nowhere, make him beg for his freedom while promising to stop being such a shit human being and then let him go. The only thing no one expected? Mr. Griffin’s heart condition. The rest of the story is just how far they are willing to go in order to make sure their little escapade remains under wraps.
There’s a chance I would have been more generous with my rating, if a truly horribly executed bait and switch hadn’t been attempted. My initial thought was “good lord, for something published in 1990 this seems REALLY dated.” Then I noticed the original publication date was 1978. It’s not the worst thing in the world for a book not to stand the test of time, and really the subject matter here was waaaaaay provocative for young adult at the time.
That being said, allow me a moment to offer a nickel’s worth of free advice to the powers that be: DO NOT TRY AND EDIT BITS OF A BOOK TO MAKE IT SEEM NEW. Not unless you’re going to re-write the whole shebang. You can’t make the occasional edit by throwing in references to things like DVDs and cell phones, without eliminating all of the left-in blasts from the past like girls getting phone calls on the family LANDLINE or riding around in cars with bench seats . . . . .
But the best had to be wishing they had an iPod while burying the body because . . .
“A little music makes work go faster. Besides, there’s always music at funerals. We could pick out some good songs for this one. ‘Down by the Old Mill Stream’ would be appropriate, or that Scottish thing, ‘Where, oh, where, has my highland laddie gone?”
Have no fear, though, as an attempt was quickly made to modernize this with reference to “that old group, the Grateful Dead” . . . . . Only to have the train fall completely off the rails again with “Brush Away the Blue-Tail Fly” . . . .
I had to Google that one. Burle friggin’ Ives sang it – in 1964. You know who Burle Ives is????
By the time I was finished reading I was thinking 1978 might have been a re-pub date as well because this sucker seemed like it was from the ‘50s. So, there’s the reason it was a fail for me and I'm rounding down because whoever decided to hack into this did it a huge disservice and should have just left it alone FFS. On the bright side, I didn’t realize Killing Mr. Griffin was written by the same author who wrote one of my fave guilty pleasures . . .
I’m going on a road trip this weekend with my oldest so he can play some college showcase ball. I’m hoping he follows the tradition of what he does when his father takes him on these excursions and immediately falls asleep for the entire car ride. If he does this will be my first audiobook experience . . . .
“Up is down, down is up. Bigfoot is searching for me now.”
I passed Bone White up when it was offered over on NetGalley due to having a pretty “meh” experience with Little Girls by this author. But then a bunch of my friends started reading it and loving it and giving it crazy high ratings and well, you know me . . . . .
I was 100% prepared to be the dissenting opinion and wrong-reader of this one, so imagine my surprise when I got sucked in just like everyone else.
The story here is of Paul, a man who ends up in a remote area of Alaska searching for his missing brother after seeing a story on the news about a local who showed up in town, confessed to murdering eight people and led authorities to their bodies. When it turns out Danny isn’t one of the deceased, Paul decides to try and track him down in the last town he was seen - Dread’s Hand . . . .
“Blink and you’d miss it: a town, or, rather, the memory of a town, secreted away at the end of a nameless, unpaved roadway that, in the deepening half light of an Alaskan dusk, looks like it might arc straight off the surface of the planet and out into the far reaches of the cosmos. A town where the scant few roads twist like veins and the little black-roofed houses, distanced from one another as if fearful of some contagion, look as if they’d been excreted into existence, pushed up through the crust of the earth from someplace deep underground.”
Faced with less-than-cooperative civil servants and even more uncooperative townsfolk, Paul is on his own when it comes to discovering what happened to his brother. And that’s when things really get interesting . . .
I’m well aware that I’m a weirdo, but I wouldn’t categorize this as a horror. That should probably be taken as a compliment by the author, because my brain has a twisted definition of what “horror” is and I tend to not be real impressed by the things that go bump in the night. At the same time (without giving anything away), Bone Whitedid end up having one of the only “big reveals” that doesn’t feel super campy to me. The only other thing it could have been that would have scared the hell out of me?????
Ha! Anyway, I would file this as a mystery. The desolate location and “Deliverance-esque” locals (without the butt rape) is what provides the make-your-butthole-pucker-type-of-creepy – not some monster. I mean, have you ever watched one of those Alaska reality shows? I like being alone, but that is a waaaaaaaay different kind of alone. I can’t believe this sits at little over 100 ratings on Goodreads. With October right around the corner, I hope more people add this to their TBR. It would be perfect for a cold, Halloweeny-type read. Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. Go check out what these amazing people had to say instead. They words much better than me . . .
The Fourth Monkey popped up on my radar months ago after a friend 5-Starred it. However, due to the fact that I’m well aware that my friends are much kinder and way less judgey than me, I didn’t bother requesting an ARC. Then more 5s started appearing, including one from a certain someone who is judgey like me . . . but who also has a well-known love for evil monkeys so I still wasn’t 100% sold. It was also too late to request a reader copy so I had to put myself on hold at the library. It seemed another friend was doling out alllllllll the Stars daily by the time my turn came up Saturday night . . . .
Ouch. But sticks and stones because it turns out I wasn’t the one to poop the party! Who will the honor go to???? (Spoiler Alert: Probably Ron 2.0.)
Our story escalates pretty quickly when the local serial killer has an unfortunate run-in on his way to mail a package . . . .
Detectives Porter and Nash have been working the “Four Monkey Killer” case for the past five years ever since the first white package was delivered. Those packages have arrived fairly regularly ever since . . . .
Well, seven really, but the whole story here is finding the eighth before she croaks since the perp can’t really tell anyone where she’s being held.
This thing was just flat out awesome. I’m a hard sell when it comes to thrillers, because they ALWAYS crap the bed somehow. And while this one wasn’t exactly perfect when it came to the big reveal (if you want to talk in spoilers in the comments below, I’m more than happy to because maybe I just missed something), in the end it didn’t really matter.
The bad guy was amazingly bad . . . .
The brutality of the murders was deliciously squicky. And while there was an obvious comparison to “What’s In The Box?!?!?!?!,” the fact that it was acknowledged made it all A-Okay . . . .
“Open it up, Nash.”
“Maybe we should flip for it. I had to open the last one.”
“No, I insist. I saw Seven – if Gwyneth’s head is in there, the image will be stuck in my mind for months. This is all you. Be a man.”
^^^Great, right? Which brings me to the humorous undertone that was present throughout . . . .
“Are you escaping?”
“You’re wearing scrubs and you look a little rough to be on staff.”
“No, nothing like that. [SPOILER OMMITTED] stabbed me in the leg with a kitchen knife, then left me for dead in my kitchen. I couldn’t find my clothes, so I took these.”
Porter and Nash were excellent leads, but the real magic came from the surrounding cast of characters. Especially Kloz, the computer programmer turned detective who wasn’t afraid to engage in some questionable activity in order to find what he was looking for.
Not to mention the clues that were presented were so minor, and yet all made such sense in the end . . . .
“Some change, a dry cleaner receipt, a fedora, the pocket watch . . . . what does it all mean?”
“Puzzle it out.”
Oh, and it’s not what you might be thinking . . . .
There was even an awesome soundtrack provided that had a kickass explanation . . . .
I’m not a girl who likes a kitchen sink thrown in to the mix at the end of a whodunit, but even an exception for that has to be made here because dat lil’ summin’ summin’ more?????
Okay, really my reaction was probably more like . . . .
Recommend to ANYONE who likes a bit of the stabby stabby....more