The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

** Thank you Netgalley & Forge Books for my eARC. **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Crime Fiction

Rating: DNF ⭐⭐

I am going to be a VERY unpopular opinion with this one.

I’m all for courtroom drama, but this…was just drama. It felt like I was reading a daytime soap. The storytelling was slow and repetitive. Hello Y&R!

I could have skipped from chapter 1 to chapter 5 and it would still be the same thing: the mention of Jack being a lawyer who hates losing, his hatred for Martha Gardiner and Rachel the law student, who also happens to be Gardiner’s intern.

I also found it juvenile at times. Rachel was like a melodramatic teenager trapped in a 36 year old’s body.

The premise is what hooked me, and I liked the alternating timelines, but I just didn’t have the patience for this one. Sorry..

Have you read this one?

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

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The Whisper Man by Alex North #Netgalley @CeladonBooks @NetGalley @writer_north

**Thank you Netgalley & Celadon Books for my eARC.**

Genre: Thriller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

“He stepped silently out from the bushes behind the boy, and then whispered his name.”

This was like Sixth Sense meets Stephen King. All the hype around this book is completely legit. It definitely has the makings of a great horror flick.

This book had such an incredible creep factor! From the description of the scary looking house, to Jake’s drawing of the little girl. It was all so eerie.

“He had captured the odd look of the place well. The curved, childlike lines stretched the house into a strange shape, elongating the windows, and making it look more like a face than ever. The front door appeared to be moaning.”

“And beside him, he’d drawn another person in his bedroom. A little girl, her black hair splayed almost angrily out to one side. Her dress was colored in with patches of blue, leaving the rest white. Little scrapes of red on one of her knees. A corkscrew smile on her face.”

I made the mistake of reading this at night, which was kind of a bad idea! I let my mind run loose and had managed to creep myself out enough, that I couldn’t sleep!!

“If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.

If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.

If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.

If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”

The Characters

I don’t think there was one character I didn’t like!

Detective Willis is a recovering alcoholic, Tom is a grieving widower and Jake has an imaginary friend.

The Whisper Man was like the boogeyman: terrifying and incredibly well-written.

The story & connecting the dots..

Both Detective Willis and Tom have personal issues they are dealing with, which made for a slower read at times, but it was never boring.

Even though I had figured out the whodunit part halfway through, there were a few twists and elements of surprise that were unexpected.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think it makes a great one to add to your Halloween list of reads.

Have you read it? Is it on your TBR??

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS a bad case. Only a bad client.

This was like learning to drive a stick shift for the very first time. At times it’s moving well, others not so much.

What worked well:

I enjoyed the alternating POV’s between Eddie & Kane.

Kane was a great villain: ever so calculated with impeccable timing.

What didn’t:

Unfortunately, the story itself didn’t quite have the same effect as the premise did.
It was entertaining, but not the nail biting experience I was hoping to get.

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

The Chain by Adrian McKinty #Netgalley

** Thank you Netgalley and Mulholland Books for my eARC **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Number one: you are not the first and you will certainly not be the last. Number two: remember, it’s not about the money —it’s about The Chain.

Would you kidnap someone’s child in order to rescue yours?

This book starts off intense. I’m not much of a sports fan, but it was like watching game 6 of the 2019 NBA finals (Raptors vs Golden State Warriors). Anything to do with children going missing gives me anxiety!

I had a hard time deciding how to rate this one because the writing fell a little short for me. While it was fast-paced, it read more like a sports commentary. The intensity was there, but it lacked the emotions I wanted to feel. I wanted to feel like it was real..like the pages were coming to life. I think this could have been achieved if the story was told in first person, rather than third.

Overall, it was still a good read. It was addictive and made me wanna keep turning the pages!

Have you read it?

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding #Netgalley

** Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my eARC **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Welcome to the sugar bowl.

How far would you go to solve a financial crisis?

This was Pretty Woman meets Fatal Attraction.

I really enjoyed Her Pretty Face, so naturally, I was looking forward to reading The Arrangement. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite have the same effect on me, and was off to a rocky start .

What didn’t work for me:

The writing was a bit underwhelming. It didn’t always feel like storytelling and was lacking a certain quality. I think it may have worked better if it had been told in first person.

The story was slow building. A little too slow in my opinion. I nearly gave up, but really wanted to know how things would go down.

What I did enjoy:

The last 80% of the book was like a rollercoaster ride and the best part. I like the twist Harding threw in there! That wasn’t the person I had my finger pointed at, but I was extremely close!

Overall, it wasn’t a bad read and was a bit of a guilty pleasure..like reading a tacky gossip magazine full of sex and sugar daddies.

Have you read it? Have you read Her Pretty Face?

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman #Netgalley

**Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for my eARC**

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I had no idea this was part of a series until I added it to my tbr on Goodreads, but it can be read as a standalone, which I liked.

This was kind of like watching an episode of CSI. It was good and kept me wanting to know what happens, but there were also things that didn’t work for me.

What didn’t work:

-While the story is told in multiple POV’s, the chapters aren’t labelled, which caused some confusion as to who was narrating. At one point, the narrative switched from first to third person in the same chapter.

– I felt Brigid’s thoughts on her 2 year marriage and jealousy of Carlo’s first wife, detracted from the story a bit.

– It also annoyed me a little that information was given up so easily by some of the characters.

What I enjoyed:

– I actually liked all the characters. Even though Brigid was much older and retired, she was still pretty badass.

I think I enjoyed Jerry the most. He was a great villain.

I had never heard of Truman Capote and his book In Cold Blood until now. For those like me and in the dark, it’s a non-fiction novel about a true crime. As a lover of fictional work based on true stories, this was an added bonus.

I may not have loved this one, but I did enjoy it!

Have you read this one? Or In Cold Blood? What did you think??

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn returns in Becky Masterman’s fourth stunning thriller

In 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote’s masterpiece, IN COLD BLOOD. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confession, explaining everything?

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo’s days as a prison chaplain–a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo’s old things–has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he’d like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he’ll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.

[#Netgalley] The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me an eARC

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

My Rating: ⭐⭐1/2

Publication Date: June 18, 2019

I loved All The Missing Girls and was hoping to get the same high with this one. The Perfect Stranger was a complete flop for me and resulted in a DNF. But I believe in second chances and the premise for this one sounded VERY promising.

Unfortunately, I find myself chasing the dragon here.
This was every bit as slow as her last novel in my opinion. The only reason I pressed on was cause I wanted to know what REALLY happened with Sadie, which I had already guessed after the first few chapters.

Although my review sounds mainly negative, there were a couple of things I enjoyed. Megan Miranda managed to create a very picturesque setting, which I liked and I appreciated the alternating timelines. She did manage to throw in a bit of a twist, but nothing that took my breathe away.

Sorry..I really wanted to love this one and hoped it would be the IT book of summer 2019. But sadly, there was no redemption here for me.

Have you read this yet? Or any other Megan Miranda books?

Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

[#Netgalley] The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Chick flicks are a guilty pleasure of mine, and this read very much like one.

It was cute, funny & cheesy at times. But it was a nice quick read, making it the perfect beachy read.

Olive annoyed me at times, but I enjoyed some of the banter that went on between her and Ethan.

**Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC**

Have you read this or any other books written by Christina Lauren?

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #1)The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story had an excellent start and I liked that it was told in first person.
Unfortunately, my expectations were a little too high and ended in a DNF.

What worked:

– I liked that we dive right into the story from the get-go. A lot happens, which is also its ultimate downfall for me.

What didn’t work:

-The timelines move back and forth at warp speed making it confusing. It was like listening to someone with a million thoughts speaking a mile a minute. You had to keep up to follow.

– Because there’s so much going on with alternating timelines, the story doesn’t properly unfold. Before one portion of the story finishes, the next one begins.

The final straw for me was when the story takes place in the mortal world. The narration went from classic fairytale to contemporary YA. It was like I was reading an entirely different story.

There others who enjoyed it, I just wasn’t one of them..sorry..

Thank you Netgalley & Harlequin teen for my ARC.

View all my reviews

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