The Push by Ashley Audrain of

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

Even with the trigger warnings, I still wasn’t prepared for this journey. I purposely avoided reading reviews, because I think going into this particular story, less is more. The less you know, the better the enjoyment and reading experience you’ll get from the book.

I’m going to be completely honest, I initially had no intention of reading this one. I didn’t think it’d be my kinda read, but I kept seeing it pop up on my Instagram feed and it was selected in my buddy read group. So of course, I had the FOMO and decided, hey why not?! How bad can it be? While it wasn’t perfect, I’m glad I decided to pick it up, cause I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I will say however, I wouldn’t have pegged this as a thriller or even really suspense.

This was a very raw, emotional and dark portrayal of motherhood. We have 3 separate timelines and POV’s (Blythe, Cecilia & Etta). There were a couple of times I was a bit confused as to who’s story we were reading and what timeline were in, because it bounces back and forth between the present and Blythe’s childhood memories. I caught on quickly though and enjoyed it regardless. There were definitely times I found it hard to read since it dealt with child abuse, mental illness and loss of a child. It was a lot to digest and process.

I had so many things running through my head when it came to Blythe’s story, but I found myself rooting for her and believing her. Her experience as a new mom, really hit home for me. My first born was colic, cried 6 hours a day, hardly slept and wanted to be held ALL the time! It was incredibly exhausting and not what I envisioned motherhood to be back then. Having gone through PPD myself, I understood Blythe in those moments. However, I never neglected my child or went through a lot of the other things she was going through, so I couldn’t relate to it. But I definitely felt her emotions!

THE CHARACTERS

FOX- He was such a dick! It was heartbreaking to watch Fox be as dismissive as he was, and to do what he did!

MRS. ELLINGTON -I loved her and loved that she took on the motherly role that Blythe so badly needed. I wish we got to see more of what happened in her relationship with Blythe in the 2nd half of the book.

CECILIA & ETTA – I couldn’t stand these two women. They were just awful!

I was a little disappointed with Gemma & Blythe’s relationship. I was hoping for some drama in that department. I was surprised and irritated that Blythe never confronted her about the affair. Then what was the point of going through all that trouble?!!

THE ENDING..

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna spoil it. But you’ll either feel satisfied, or you won’t. In this case, it worked well enough for me.

I did think the 2nd half of the book stretched a little longer in some areas than it really needed to, making the ending seem a tad rushed. There were some missed opportunities that I would have preferred and love to have seen instead.

Overall, it was still a good read and one I’d say, is worth picking up.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

[#BookReview] If It Bleeds by Stephen King

** Minor spoilers up ahead **

Genre: Horror, Occult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

If it bleeds, it leads. That’s because the stories people are most interested in are bad news stories.

Mr.Harrigan’s Phone

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I’m so glad I buddy read this one! Otherwise, I would’ve been more disappointed with this story than I was. I kept waiting for ‘the moment’, but there never really was one. Sorry..but the rest of the book doesn’t get any better either!

I did enjoy the relationship between Craig & Mr. Harrigan, along with the creepy texts, which is why I gave this one a 3.

Life With Chuck

Rating: ⭐⭐

The ending of this one was my only favourite part, and wish the story were lead with this idea instead of an apocalyptic one.

It was just weird and didn’t quite mesh well for me.

If It Bleeds

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I LOVED The Outsider and this was my most anticipated story! Unfortunately, it was mostly underwhelming and slow at first. Very much like the show..slow and boring.

About halfway through it picked up and I was enjoying revisiting the idea of an Outsider.

I liked Holly Gibney more in this story, even though I have a love/hate relationship with her. So if you already don’t like her, you’ll hate this story cause it’s all about Holly here.

Rat

Rating: ⭐⭐1/2

This story had a lot of potential with missed opportunities in my opinion.

I kept thinking it was going to be a pandemic story and trying to see where he was going with the whole flu thing. But it never really went anywhere.

I’m not a fan of rats, so the scritch scratching of a rat at the door in the middle of a stormy night, in a cabin, in the woods was creepy and cringeworthy for me.

There was a small unexpected twist, but that was about as good as the story got.

What I wanted to see was Drew go a little Jack Torrance while he was out in the cabin alone. Instead, not much happened and I just wanted to be done already.

Overall, this was probably my most disappointing King book I’ve read and own so far.

Have you read it? What did you think?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley @HarperCollinsCa

** Thank you Harper Collins Canada for gifting me and ARC in exchange for my honest opinion **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

If you like:

✔ Agatha Christie-like murder mysteries
✔multiple POV’s
✔ slow burn build ups

✔ multiple twists

I’ve been very picky with my thrillers lately, and slow burn build ups aren’t my thing to begin with. Intially it actually worked for me, but then it started to lose steam, making it easy for me to put down and get distracted by another book.

What I enjoyed..

– I loved the opening scene! It felt very Agatha Christie like and had me hooked!

– I’m a fan of multiple POV’s. Each character had some sort of secret, making each one look guilty.

My Issues with it..

– It was a bit too coincidental that the groom was somehow connected to each MC.

– Because the pacing started slowing down around 80 pages or so, I almost lost interest in finishing it and came close to DNF-ing it.

Overall, some of it you could see it a mile away, but I didn’t see the final twist coming. I actually thought it was gonna be someone else!

Have you read it? Did you love it? Have you read The Hunting Party?

Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, this is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year’s Eve party in Foley’s previous novel, The Hunting Party . Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead, there are old secrets, and one of them is murdered.

[Blog Tour & #Excerpt] Stranger In the Lake by Kimberly Belle

Genre:

Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological

352 pages

On Sale Date: June 9, 2020

9780778309819, 0778309819

Trade Paperback

$17.99 USD, $22.99 CAD

About the Book

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

About the Author

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.kimberlybellebooks.com/

Facebook: @KimberlyBelleBooks

Twitter: @KimberlySBelle

Instagram: @kimberlysbelle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimberlybelle

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WNX6ZZS

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stranger-in-the-lake-kimberly-belle/1133065677

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/stranger-in-the-lake-original/9780778309819?aid=0

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778309819

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Stranger-Lake/Kimberly-Belle/9780778309819

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stranger-in-the-lake

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stranger-in-the-lake/id1477319023

Google Play: https://books.google.com/books?q=editions%3AISBN0008907390

The town of Lake Crosby isn’t much, just three square blocks and some change, but it’s the only town in the southern Appalachians perched at the edge of the water, which makes it a popular tourist spot. Paul’s office is at the far end of the first block, tucked between a fudge shop and Stuart’s Craft Cocktails, which, as far as I can tell, is just another way to say “pretentious bar.” Most of the businesses here are pretentious, farm-to-table restaurants and specialty boutiques selling all things overpriced and unnecessary.

For people like Paul, town is a place to socialize and make money—in his case, by selling custom house designs for the million-dollar lots that sit high on the hills or line the lakeshores. My old friends serve his drinks and wait his tables—but only the lucky ones. There are ten times more locals than there are jobs.

The covered terrace for the cocktail lounge is quiet, a result of the off-season and the incoming weather, the sign on the door still flipped to Closed. I’m passing the empty hostess stand when I notice movement at the very back, a tattered shadow peeling away from the wall. Jax—the town loon, the crazy old man who lives in the woods. Most people turn away from him, either out of pity or fear, but not me. For some reason I can’t put into words, I’ve never been afraid to look him straight on.

He takes a couple of halting steps, like he doesn’t want to be seen—and he probably doesn’t. Jax is like a deer you come up on in a meadow, one blink and he’s gone. But this time he doesn’t run.

His gaze flicks around, searching the street behind me. “Where’s Paul.” A statement, not a question.

Slowly, so not to spook him, I point to the sleek double doors on the next building, golden light spilling out the windows of Keller Architecture. “Did you check inside?”

Jax shakes his head. “I need to talk to him. It’s important.”

Like every time he emerges from out of the woods, curiosity bubbles in my chest. Once upon a time, Jax had everything going for him. High school prom king and star quarterback, the golden boy with a golden future, and one of Paul’s two best friends. Their picture still sits atop his desk in the study, Paul and Jax and Micah, all tanned chests and straightened smiles, three teenage boys with the world at their feet.

Now he’s Batty Jax, the raggedy, bearded boogeyman parents use as a warning. Do your homework, stay out of trouble, and don’t end up like Jax.

He clings to the murky back of the terrace, sticking to the shaded spots where it’s too dark for me to make out much more than a halo of matted hair, the jutting edges of an oversized jacket, long, lean thighs. His face is dark, too, the combination of a life outdoors and dirt.

“Do you want me to give Paul a message? Or if you stay right there, I can send him out. I know he’ll want to see you.”

Actually, I don’t know; I only assume. Jax is the source of a slew of rumors and petty gossip, but for Paul, he’s a painful subject, one he doesn’t like to talk about. As far as I know, the two haven’t spoken since high school graduation—not an easy thing to do in a town where everybody knows everybody.

Jax glances up the street, in the direction of far-off voices floating on the icy wind. I don’t follow his gaze, but I can tell from the way his body turns skittish that someone is coming this way, moving closer.

“Do you need anything? Some money, maybe?”

Good thing those people aren’t within earshot, because they would laugh at the absurdity of the trailer-park girl turned married-up wifey offering the son of an insurance tycoon some cash. Not that Jax’s father didn’t disown him ages ago or that I have more than a couple of bucks in my pocket, but still.

Jax shakes his head again. “Tell Paul I need to talk to him. Tell him to hurry.”

Before I can ask what for, he’s off, planting a palm on the railing and springing over in one easy leap, his body light as a pole vaulter. He hits the cement and takes off up the alley. I dash forward until I’m flush with the railing, peering down the long passage between Paul’s building and the cocktail lounge, but it’s empty. Jax is already gone.

I push through the doors of Keller Architecture, an open space with cleared desks and darkened computer screens. The whiteboard on the back wall has already been wiped clean, too, one of the many tasks Paul requires his staff to do daily. It’s nearing five, and other than his lead designer, Gwen, hunched over a drawing at her drafting table, the office is empty.

She nods at my desk. “Perfect timing. I just finished the Curtis Cottage drawings.”

Calling a seven-thousand-square-foot house a “cottage” is ridiculous, as are whatever reasons Tom Curtis and his wife, a couple well into their seventies, gave Paul for wanting six bedrooms and two kitchens in what is essentially a weekend home. But the Curtises are typical Keller Architecture clients—privileged, demanding and more than a little entitled. They like Paul because he’s one of them. Having a desk is probably ridiculous, too, since I only work twenty hours a week, and for most of them I’m anywhere but here. My role is client relations, which consists mainly of hauling my ass to wherever the clients are so I can put out fires and talk them off the latest ledge. The job and the desk are one of the many perks of being married to a Keller.

“Thanks.” I tuck the Curtis designs under an arm and move toward the hallway to my left, a sleek tunnel of wood and steel that ends in Paul’s glass-walled office. “I’m here to pick up Paul. There’s something wrong with his car.”

When he called earlier to tell me his car was dead in the lot, I thought he was joking. Engine trouble is what happens to my ancient Civic, not Paul’s fancy Range Rover, a brand-new supercharged machine with a dashboard that belongs in a cockpit. More money than sense, my mother would say about Paul if she were here, and now, I guess, about me.

Gwen leans back in her chair, wagging a mechanical pencil between two slim fingers. “Yeah, the dealer is sending a tow truck and a replacement car, but they just called to say they’re delayed. He said he had a couple of errands to run.”

I frown. “Who, the tow truck driver?”

“No, Paul.” She swivels in her chair, reaching across the desk behind her for a straightedge. “He should be back any sec.”

I thank her and head for the door.

On the sidewalk, I fire off a quick text to Paul. I’m here, where are you?

I wait for a reply that doesn’t come. The screen goes dark, then black. I slip the phone into my jacket pocket and start walking.

In a town like Lake Crosby, there are only so many places Paul could be. The market, the pharmacy, the shop where he buys his ties and socks. I pop into all of them, but no one’s seen him since this morning. Back on the sidewalk, I pull out my phone and give him a call. It rings once, then shoots me to voice mail. I hit End and look up and down the mostly deserted street.

“Hey, Charlie,” somebody calls from across the road, two single lanes separated by a parking strip, and I whirl around, spotting Wade’s familiar face over the cars and SUVs. One of my brother’s former classmates, a known troublemaker who dropped out sophomore year because he was too busy cooking meth and raising hell. He leans against the ivory siding of the bed-and-breakfast, holding what I sincerely hope is a hand-rolled cigarette.

“It’s Charlotte,” I say, but I don’t know why I bother.

On my sixteenth birthday, I plunked down more than a hundred hard-earned dollars at the courthouse to change my name. But no matter how many times I correct the people who knew me back when—people who populate the trailer parks and shacks along the mountain range, people like Wade and me—no matter how many times I tell them I’m not that person anymore, to them I’ll always be Charlie.

He flicks the cigarette butt into the gutter and tilts his head up the street. “I just saw your old man coming out of the coffee shop.” Emphasis on the old man. “If you hurry, you can probably catch him.”

I mumble a thanks, then head in that direction.

Just past the market, I spot Paul at the far end of a side street, a paper cup clutched in his hand. He’s wearing the clothes I watched him pull on this morning—a North Face fleece, a navy cashmere sweater, dark jeans, leather lace-up boots, but no coat. No hat or scarf or gloves. Paul always dresses like this, without a second thought as to the elements. That fleece might be fine for the quick jogs from the house to his car to the office door, but with the wind skimming up the lake, he must be freezing.

The woman he’s talking to is more properly dressed. Boots and a black wool coat, the big buttons fastened all the way to a neck cloaked in a double-wrapped scarf. A knitted hat is pulled low over her ears and hair, leaving only a slice of her face—from this angle, her profile—exposed.

“There you are,” I say, and they both turn.

A short but awkward silence. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he looks surprised to see me.

“Charlotte, hi. I was just…” He glances at the woman, then back to me. “What are you doing here?”

“You asked me to pick you up. Didn’t you get my text?”

With his free hand, he wriggles his cell from his pocket and checks the screen. “Oh. Sorry, I must have had it on Silent. I was on my way back to the office, but then I got to talking and…well, you know how that goes.” He gives me a sheepish smile. It’s a known fact that Paul is a talker, and like in most small towns, there’s always someone to talk to.

But I don’t know this woman.

I take in her milky skin and sky blue eyes, the light smattering of freckles across her nose and high cheekbones, and I’m positive I’ve never seen her before. She’s the kind of pretty a person would remember, almost beautiful even, though she’s nothing like his type. Paul likes his women curvy and exotic, with dark hair and ambiguous coloring. This woman is bony, her skin so pale it’s almost translucent.

I step closer, holding up my hand in a wave. “Hi, I’m Charlotte Keller. Paul’s wife.”

The woman gives me a polite smile, but her gaze flits to Paul. She murmurs something, and I’m pretty sure it’s “Keller.”

The hairs soldier on the back of my neck, even though I’ve never been the jealous type. It’s always seemed like such a waste of energy to me, being possessive and suspicious of a man who claims to love you. Either you believe him or you don’t—or so I’ve always thought. Paul tells me he loves me all the time, and I believe him.

But this woman wouldn’t be the first around these parts to try to snag herself a Keller.

“Are you ready?” I say, looking at Paul. “Because I came in the boat, and we need to get home before this weather blows in.”

The talk of rain does the trick, and Paul snaps out of whatever I walked into here. He gives me that smile he saves only for me, and a rush of something warm hits me hard, right behind the knees.

People who say Paul and I are wrong together don’t get that we’ve been waiting for each other all our lives. His first wife’s death, my convict father and meth-head mother, they broke us for a reason, so all these years later our jagged edges would fit together perfectly, like two pieces of the same fractured puzzle. The first time Paul took my hand, the world just…started making sense.

And now there’s a baby, a perfect little piece of Paul and me, an accidental miracle that somehow busted through the birth control. Maybe it’s not a fluke but a sign, the universe’s way of telling me something good is coming. A new life. A new chance to get things right.

All of a sudden and out of nowhere I feel it, this burning in my chest, an overwhelming, desperate fire for this baby that’s taken root in my belly. I want it to grow and kick and thrive. I want it with everything inside me.

“Let’s go home.” Without so much as a backward glance at the woman, Paul takes my hand and leads me to the boat.

Excerpted from Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle, Copyright © 2020 by Kimberle S. Belle Books, LLC. Published by Park Row Books.

You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie @SimonSchusterCa @CEMcKenzie1

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Pub Date: June 9, 2020.

QOTD: Do you ever find the title while reading the book?

Jessica Two has texted me back.

You can’t catch me, her text says.

There’s no more sleep after that.

This was my first time reading about identity theft and cults, and it didn’t disappoint.

I literally yelled out “A-HA! I knew it!!”, when I got to part 3, while my 6 year old looked at me like I’d gone coo coo. 🤪
But of course, I was only half right!

Jessica Two’s twenty questions were kinda creepy, and really makes you think just how easy it is for someone to catfish you.

I really enjoyed the alternating timelines between Jess’ past and what was happening in the present. And the final twist..this will either work for some of you, or it won’t. But I loved it.

If anything, I kinda wanted more action. It’s hard for me to explain this part without giving anything away. But I would have liked to see this story go a little darker. But that’s just me.

Overall, it’s an A+ from me and would recommend it to anyone wanting to dip their toes into mystery & thrillers.

Trigger warnings: suicide, cult

** Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for my advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest opinion. **

Do you want to play a game?

Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.

Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…

Who will pay the price?

An Unbiased Review Of Why American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings Wasn’t For Me


Genre: General Fiction

My Rating: DNF @ chapter 9


“She doesn’t ask if he’s okay, because from now on that question will carry a weight of painful absurdity. ”


Just so you know, my opinion is from a neutral standpoint, and up until it landed on my doorstep (which was right on pub date), I was completely oblivious to the controversy surrounding this book.  Still, I wanted to be my own judge and read it. 

What I liked..

– Great opening scene. Something you’d see in an action movie.  My heart broke for Luca.


My issues with it..

-It wasn’t the bingeworthy read I was hoping for.  It bordered on being overly descriptive, which made for a slower and tedious read. Quite frankly, I’d feel exhausted after only reading 2 chapters at a time.


The kicker for me: I just wasn’t buying the insta friendship between Javier & Lydia.  It felt forced into the story, especially where he reveals his feelings for her.  It was laughable!
It reminded me of a cheesy scene from a daytime soap.  I had to ignore the part of me that rolled my eyes, just to make it through that chapter.

And rather than trying to protect her husband by convincing him to pull the plug on his story, she goes on to defend her new found friend.  It was infuriating.

A story this ambitious would have been told better through a different pair of eyes, like maybe the wife of Javier trying to escape the cartel.. THAT. Would have been WAY better.

– I had a hard time connecting with Lydia and feeling what I should have been feeling after watching her family get massacred.  The emotions and terror that should have come along with the aftermath, didn’t come through for me. The gut wrenching pain of death, or that adrenaline rush of being spotted by the cartel..I didn’t feel any of that (and definitely wanted to).

Personally, I felt the story was lacking and ultimately resulting in disappointment.  There were some good ideas and enjoyable scenes, but it wasn’t enough to keep me invested in wanting to continue.

Thanks to all the own voices advocates, I’ve discovered some new titles and added these to my list:

I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER BY ERIKA L. SANCHEZ


THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS BY CRISTINA HENRIQUEZ


Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

Best Reads of 2019

Hey book sharks! Can you believe 2019 is almost over?! Seriously. Where did the time go?

So the past couple of months haven’t been the most successful reading months..you know. Life and shit. But I’ve been lucky to have some incredible journeys this year! (Through fiction, that is 😉)

So I thought I’d compile a list of books that blew my mind this year and either left me with a hangover, or completely took me by surprise.

What were some of your favourites this year?

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Contagion by Erin Bowman

Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Sword And The Dagger by Robert Cochran

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

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…

[#BookReview] Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce @GrandCentralPub @harriet_tyce

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Oh Alison 🤦‍♀️..seriously, I wanted to shake the crap out of her and slap her. On the surface she has it all: career, husband and daughter. But behind closed doors, not only is she a cheater, but she’s a shitty wife and mother who gets completely wasted and makes a mockery of herself. It’s like you want to feel sorry for her at times, but you really don’t.

To be honest, I don’t think there was one likeable character in the book! But I’m sure that was intentional, which was very well executed. I definitely wouldn’t have deemed this one a thriller though. Yes, there’s a murder case involved, but to me, the story was more centered on Alison’s personal life making it more of a domestic drama.

Even though I had things figured out, I still enjoyed this one and found myself not wanting to put it down. I thought the author did a nice job of tying in the prologue to the ending. 👏

Have you read it?

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise–she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

[#BookReview] The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I had to sit and really think about how I felt with this one! In all honesty, the Prologue and last 30% of the book were the best parts.

After reading the first 20% I almost wanted to give up! There’s a lot of background story on Theo, which made for a slower read and had me thinking at one point whether there was even a point to all this. I assure you, there is! You just have to be patient and keep reading.

I was a bit disappointed that majority of the book was actually centered on Theo. I was expecting to hear more of Alicia’s POV. But I was determined to find out if Alicia ends up speaking or not, and if she really killed her husband which is what kept me going.

Aside from the slow pace, I thought the author did a brilliant job with the big reveal and adding tidbits of information on other characters to second guess yourself.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

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