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Posts made in February, 2018

Book Review: After Anna – Scottonline

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 | 0 comments

After Anna by Lisa Scottonline

♥♥♥

Mystery > Thriller

Parts of this mystery/thriller will very well done. The story is told both Before Anna and After Anna. Anna is Maggie’s daughter who she lost custody of after battling postpartum psychosis, a more serious illness than postpartum depression. That was seventeen years ago, when Anna was just six months old. After Anna’s father dies in a plane crash, she seeks out Maggie, who is thrilled to take Anna from the boarding school she hates and have her move in with Maggie, her husband of two years, Noah, and her ten-year-old stepson.

The parts where Noah is on trial and we don’t yet know what his sentence was or what his involvement with her death might be were stressfuly taut. There were a few places that were less successful, however. The ending had lots of twists and turns, but from what I know of the law and the prison system, things suddenly work incredibly fast in a system that to my knowledge, does not move swiftly like that. Also, the dialogue between Maggie and her girlfriend Karen did not ring true to me at all.

This is a decent thriller, but not Scottoline’s best. Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to review this novel. RELEASE APRIL 10, 2018.

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Book Review: Stillhouse Lake

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 | 0 comments

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

♥♥♥♥

Mystery > Thriller

Two warnings before you begin this taut thriller: It ends on a cliffhanger (book two is available and there is a third book not yet out), and there is a degree of graphic detail about women who are tortured before they are killed.

Gina Royal thinks she’s living a wonderful, suburban life with a loving husband and two great kids. Then she comes home one day to a street clogged with police cars and ambulances. A car accident has revealed that her husband’s hobby in the garage—one she never inquired about—was gruesome—he’s a serial killer.

The public thinks she was his helper. So while he’s sentenced to actual prison, Gina is on the run from public opinion which is not always confined to horrific online messages. Gina transforms herself into Gwen and for the next four years she and her kids are in hiding with new identities, never knowing who they can trust. When more bodies start showing up, the police think this is proof that Gina/Gwen was in fact in on her husband’s grotesque and unimaginably cruel activities. For her safety and the safety of her children, Gwen needs to figure out who she can trust—and who has betrayed her in the remote area where she’s been hiding out, Stillhouse Lake.

I enjoyed this fast-paced novel and am looking forward to the next two books in the series.

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Book Review: Silent Hearts

Posted by on Feb 18, 2018 | 0 comments

Silent Hearts

♥♥♥♥♥

Fiction > Literary Fiction

This is a powerful novel. It begins just before the 9/11 attacks and follows the story of an educated Pakistani woman, Farida, and an American woman, Liv. Liv follows her husband to Afghanistan after the attacks because he thinks he can inject new life into his career as a professor and researcher. The fact that she’s female enables her to “help” him with collecting information talking to Afghani women, which really means she’s the one doing all the work. Farida is her interpreter.

These two women are strong in the face of the harrowing position of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. After twenty-five years of Russian occupation, the Taliban took over. Part of their rule meant women couldn’t work unless they were widows, and then they could only work alongside other women. Farida was sent to an arranged marriage, and her husband insisted that she wear a burka. The only reason she’s allowed to work as an interpreter is because her new husband’s family wants her to bring back information gleaned from the Americans she works for.

This is a fascinating story of how the forces of Afghanistan under the United States’ desire for retribution impacts the women, their relationship with each other and with their husbands.

I’ve been a big fan of Florio’s the five books in the Lola Wicks’ mystery series. This stand-alone novel is not one you will soon forget. Highly recommend.

Thanks so much to Atria Books and the author for an advance copy of this book, which RELEASES JULY 24, 2018.

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Book Review: Still Me – JoJo Moyes

Posted by on Feb 17, 2018 | 0 comments

Still Me by JoJo Moyes

♥♥♥♥

Women’s Fiction

I loved Me Before You and enjoyed After You, two books I recommend you read before you read the third book in the trilogy, Still Me.

In Still Me, Louisa keeps her promise to Will, her love from book one, to say yes to new opportunities. This opportunity brings her from her home in England—and her hunky boyfriend the paramedic Sam—to New York City to be the assistant to a wealthy young wife of a wildly rich man. Louisa acts like something of an emotional bodyguard for Agnes against the society women who assumed she stole Leonard from his first wife because she was just after his money and citizenship (she’s from Poland). There are perks to her job, like going to charity balls in 3,000-dollar dress purchased by her employer, but it puts a huge strain on her relationship with Sam. Can they make the long-distance thing work, or is this going to be the end of them?

I laughed and teared up at this book. Moyes does a great job of a putting the character in a terrible situation where you think “Oh no, how is she going to get out of this?” I just didn’t laugh quite as hard or cry as much as I did in Me Before You. Still, this novel is worth your time.

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Book Review: Bring Me Back

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 | 0 comments

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

♥♥♥

Thriller > Mystery

I didn’t have as much enthusiasm for this book as some other reviewers. It does start out strong. The premise is that twelve years ago, Finn’s girlfriend went missing at a rest stop on their way from a trip to Paris back to England. Now that he’s engaged to be married to someone else, suddenly there are clues that maybe his ex-girlfriend wasn’t kidnapped/murdered as Finn and the cops initially thought.

There’s all sorts of page-turning suspense for the first half of the book. You don’t know who to believe, which of course is what makes this kind of book fun. Then, for me, the middle got dull, and the ending was a good twist, but I didn’t buy the execution of how it was revealed, and I can’t tell you why lest I ruin the surprise.

Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES JUNE 19, 2018.

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