New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Mystery > Suspense

Posted on May 1, 2017 |

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter


Women’s Fiction > Mystery

Part mother/daughter novel, part murder mystery, Meg goes to Bonny Island off the coast of Georgia to research her a tell-all memoir. After growing up with money and a narcissistic mother, Meg is asked to write about her mom, a woman who became wealthy and famous for a novel based on a real-life murder of a child on Bonny Island. Frances had been a nineteen-year-old visiting the island when the murder took place. She named the protagonist Kitten based on a real girl, Dorothy, who is now the owner of the hotel, which is now closed to visitors.

 For years the hotel made money off of the rabid fans of the Kitten book, but the fans became increasingly deranged, and Dorothy, who is now forty-eight, closed the hotel to all but three employees who help keep the hotel from falling into complete disrepair.

 We know as soon as the ferry captain tells Meg that cell and internet reception are spotty that something mysterious and possibly dangerous awaits Meg on that island.

 One of the people who works on there is handsome Native American Loa. The romantic tension between Loa and Meg is great.

 Meg is a likeable character despite being a spoiled and bitter young woman. Stateside she has struggled to get a career going; a trust fund means she’s not reliant on work to survive. If she writes this book, her mother will cut her off. Initially Meg doesn’t want to do it, but then thinks it might be cathartic to write about what it was like to be Frances Avery’s daughter as well as possibly find out who really killed young Kim Baker.

Meg is likeable because it’s not her fault her mother ignored her and focused on her books, fans, and multiple marriages. I liked the dynamic of the self-absorbed and manipulative Frances and her troubled-but-trying daughter. The hotel and island made for a great setting for the mystery of what really happened to the young girl, and also the mystery of Meg’s misguided relationship with an older married man when she was just sixteen years old—Meg is also finding herself on this research trip.

 This wasn’t my favorite novel of the year, but the writing is good and I was compelled to keep to reading to resolve the many questions raised.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.


The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter



The first few chapters I read so fast I thought my eyes might bleed because I couldn’t close them lest it slow my reading.
Beginning with the discovery of a murder of an ex-cop, this case hits close to home quickly for Will Trent, both personally and professionally. For the rest of members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigating with him, the complicated twists and conflicting clues make this case mind bending.
WARNING: Virtually every character in this book has been brutalized or brutalizes. I like suspense stories where it starts with a dead body and then the detectives, medical examiner, and the folks who work in the various technology fields supporting law enforcement have a mystery to solve. This novel involves a lot rape and the prostitution of minors. While none of it was graphic, it was still tough to read.
However, the writing is outstanding, so I tried to ignore the endless cruelty. Some of the police work was a little too technical for me to really understand, but the mystery was compelling—I stayed up way too late to finish the book.
This is part of a series, but I hadn’t read any of the other books and thought it stood on its own just fine.
If you can handle a book filled with damaged characters and a lot of brutality, it’s a good novel. Otherwise, I’d pick another writer. I like Slaughter’s writing, but this might be the last book of hers I read because I don’t know that I need to be quite so depressed reading a suspense novel.

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