The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (#1 – Collector) 

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector, #1)

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (#1 – Collector)

 Published: April 2016 by Thomas and Mercer 

4stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  I found this book hard to classify.  The events in the “garden” was actually horror, but most was mystery and thriller.  All I really know, was that it was worth my time.

 

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison is the first in the Collector series.

 My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

It is the job of FBI Special Agent Victor Hanoverian to ask the tough questions.  There are a lot of them.  The one he most wants the answer to is the name of the girl who is in front of him.  Her fake ID says she is Inara Morrissey, but the other girls call her Maya.  He  feels sure that eventually, when she is ready, she will tell him her real name.  After all, she is opening up, and telling her story….her sad, brutal, horrific story.  But she is a survivor.  Hanoverian’s partner, Brandon Eddison, is not so sure that they will ever get the whole story.

Inara/Maya is telling how she was kidnapped and held prisoner with many other girls, by a man who called himself The Gardener.  He is a collector of “butterflies”,  and has been collecting for over 30 years.  The girls were his butterflies.  He gave them each a tattoo of a butterfly which covered their back, he raped them, he allowed his sons access to them, and when the girls reached the age of 21 he killed them, and put them behind glass. 

This young woman tells how the girls learned from each other, relied on each other.  She talks about the struggles, the love, the family she found, all within the Butterfly Garden, and how some of them survived to breathe fresh air again.

 

My Opinions:

This was a captivating story.  I like the way the story unfolded, going back and forth between Maya’s time in the garden, and then to her current interview with the FBI, where we often learned additional details.

I really liked the characters.  They had depth and their emotions and actions felt real.  They were complex, even the captors.  Knowing that Maya and a few other survived, but not being told how or who, helped to build the suspense.

It was dark, and creepy, and thoroughly entertaining.  I know this is first of a series, but I am unsure if the series follows Maya, or the FBI agents, but I am along for the ride.  I really enjoyed this book….except the end, which felt rushed, and inadequate given all that had happened.

I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series (one of those times I am glad I am behind on these, as the rest are already waiting for me).

 

Read: August, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from The Vanishing Season:

“Beautiful things are short-lived, he told me the first time we met.
He made sure of that, and then he strove to give his Butterflies a strange breed of immortality.”

“Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.”

“Collectors don’t let butterflies fly free. It defeats the purpose.”

“You don’t learn to be brave. You just have to do what’s right, even if it scares you.”

 

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoorAbout The Author:  Dot Hutchison is the author of A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the adult thriller The Butterfly Garden. With past experience working at a Boy Scout camp, a craft store, a bookstore, and the Renaissance Faire (as a human combat chess piece), Hutchison prides herself on remaining delightfully in tune with her inner young adult. She loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2377973735

 

Hey followers….Have you read this series?  Loved it/hated it?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr

What Rose Forgot 

 What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr

 Publishing:   September 17, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press (Minotaur)

3.5 stars

 

 What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr is a mystery novel with a touch of humour.

 First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books), and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

68 year old Rose Dennis awakes in the secured ward of a nursing home.  She is a dementia patient.  That would be fine….if that were true.  But Rose Dennis is coming out of her stupor, and realizes that she has been drugged.   Her family has committed her.  She is as sane as she ever was, which is sometimes questionable.

You would think her main problem would be convincing staff and family that her mind is clear.  Unfortunately, Rose’s problems are much bigger than that.  Someone has deliberately put her in this position, and now someone is trying to kill her.    She needs to get out, and stay safe until she can figure out who wants her dead.

The only persons she can trust is her sister Marion, who is a recluse, but wicked with a computer, and Rose’s 14 year-old grand-daughter Melanie.  Together, they will make one hell of a team.

 

My Opinions:  

Although Nevada Barr has been writing for decades, this is the first of her books I have read.  It makes me want to start her Anna Pigeon series (I think there are 18 or 19 of those).

Anyway, this was a fast and enjoyable read.  Not too deep, and not too believable, but enjoyable.  I am not usually thrilled with humor in my mysteries, but this worked well.  The story was entertaining, and I loved the characters.  Rose and Melanie were a great team, and the author definitely gave them great lines.  The action and pace was very good.

Overall, it was a fun, light read.

Read: September, 2019

 

 

Favorite Quotes from What Rose Forgot:

“What kind of grandmother are you?” Mel asks. “Offering to show an impressionable child a cut-off finger!”
“You’re way tougher than me,” Rose replies.
“Of course I want to see it,” Mel says. “Are you kidding? How often does a chance like this come along?”

“Rose cringes. Could ageism and sexism have made a more unholy match than “Gun Granny”? What is wrong with Vixen Vigilante? Senior Siren? Armed and cantankerous? At this juncture, Rose would settle for Walker Woman. “Gun Granny” is horrid on so many levels she might actually welcome solitary confinement.”

 

Nevada BarrAbout The Author:   Nevada Barr (March 1, 1952 – ) was born in Yerington Nevada, but raised in California. After 18 years as an actor, she decided to become a Park Ranger.  It was while working in Guadalupe Mountains National Park that she created the successful Anna Pigeon series (who is law enforcement within the National Park Services).  Barr currently lives in Louisiana with her husband.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2970966600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mindful Year by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Dr. Seth J. Gillihan

A Mindful Year: 365 Ways to Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life

A Mindful Year by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Dr. Seth J. Gillihan

Publishing: September 10, 2019 by Blackstone Publishing

4stars

 

 

A Mindful Year by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Dr. Seth J. Gillihan is a self-help book….

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Blackstone Publishing, and of course the authors, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis and Opinions:

This book is meant to encourage the reader to look into themselves and connect to the important aspects of their life.  Basically, the authors wrote to each other every day for a year, sometimes about what was going on in their life, sometimes just philosophical ideas or thoughts.

It is meant to be read as a daily inspirational, and I actually found it to be just that.  Each days reading usually started with a quote from a famous personality (for example Martin Luther King Jr. or Eleanor Roosevelt).  Then the authors letter of the day (they alternated days), and then a follow-up “invitation”, for you to give some thought to what was just written.

Needless to say I am trying to stick to the schedule, and some days I can’t relate to what I read, and others I can.  Overall,  this is probably the best daily inspirational I have found.   The only suggestion I have is to make sure you take some quiet time to read and reflect.  It can’t be rushed.

Definitely recommend this book for those who occasionally need some thought-provoking reflections.

For a more complete review of this book and others, please visit my blog: https://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

 

Read: September, 2019

 

About The Authors:

Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh,  is a psychologist and an expert in the fields of behavior change and long-term health. A mindfulness specialist and creator of the FIT Method, he works internationally with clients on their mindset, exercise, and nutrition.

Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor of psychology in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Pennsylvania with a private practice in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2969915940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last of the Magpies by Mark Edwards (#3 The Magpies)

 Last of the Magpies: The Thrilling Conclusion to The Magpies (Kindle Single)

 Last of the Magpies by Mark Edwards 

 Published:  April, 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

4stars

 

 Previous Book in the Series: Murder of Magpies

 

Last of the Magpies by Mark Edwards is the third and final book in The Magpies series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Jamie and Kirsty thought they had found the home of their dreams until the downstairs neighbours started to torment them.  Chris and Lucy Newton made their lives hell.  Kirsty eventually left, but Jamie’s pride took over.  He refused to give in.  Eventually he discovered that the Newton’s had bugged their apartment, and videotaped them.  He also discovered that Lucy Newton was responsible for 18 deaths in the long-term care facility in which she worked.  A scuffle with Chris lead to a fire in the flat, resulting in Chris’s death, but not before Jamie had all the evidence he needed to put Lucy Newton behind bars.  However, on appeal, Lucy was freed, and again Jamie and Kirsty were drawn into her world.  Again, Lucy was apprehended, but escaped custody before even hitting jail.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

It’s been a year since Lucy escaped custody, and Jamie is still obsessed.  The police have not had any luck in finding her, but Jamie feels he cannot move on until she has been dealt with.  Kirsty is handling things much better.  Her torture by Lucy has made her stronger, and she is doing everything in her power to take control of her life.

Emma is a podcaster who has had luck tracking down people who don’t want to be found.  She and Jamie decide to work together to find Lucy.   Kirsty ends up being dragged in again.

 

My Opinions:  

I loved this series.  Please….this is a series…Do not read this as a stand-alone book.

Each installment has quickly sucked me in.  Thankfully this is another short read, so I didn’t have to set it down.

I think Mark Edwards created wonderful characters.  The Lucy/Jamie rivalry expanded in this one, and the characters all stepped up.  I love the direction the author took the plot, and although I wasn’t surprised by the final twist, it was well done.  

This book is again about revenge….and justice….

I think the author ended the series well.  I will continue to pick up any book he writes.

 

Read: June, 2019

 

AMark  Edwardsbout The Author: Mark Edwards (1970 – ) is a British novelist, whose past careers have included everything from answering complaint calls for a rail company to teaching English in Japan and being a marketing director.  He now writes full-time, and has co-written a number of books with Louise Voss.  He lives in England with his wife and three children. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (#1 Two Rivers)

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Publishing:  September 3, 2019 by MacMillan

4stars

 

 

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves is the 1st in the Two Rivers Detective series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher MacMillan, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background:   

The location is North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge merge with the Atlantic.  DI Matthew Venn has returned to the area where he grew up,  where he walked away from the strict evangelical church, and away from his family.  He and his husband Jon have bought a small cottage on the marsh, and Matthew is now working for the local police.  Jon is the administrator of Woodyard Centre, where he created a space for artists, and a space for those with learning disabilities.  A space where everyone could mingle, and perhaps learn from each other. 

Matthew’s team consists of DC Ross May, a rather egotistical but energetic man who is a personal friend of Matthew’s boss, and DS Jenn Rafferty, rather too spirited and fun-loving for Matthew’s taste, but the best detective he’d ever worked with.  Matthew’s boss, DCI Oldham, is due to retire soon, is rather lazy, and prefers to drink and watch rugby, rather than run the precinct.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When the body of Simon Walden turns up on the beach not far from Matthew’s home,  he is concerned that he may have to excuse himself from the case.  Apparently Walden had volunteered in the kitchen at Woodyard, and although Jon did not know him well, Matthew thought there may be a conflict of interest.  His boss disagreed, so Matthew carries on.  It turns out that the dead man had many secrets.

When Chrissie Southcombe, a young woman with Down’s Syndrome goes missing as she was leaving Woodyard, it is difficult not to draw the conclusion that the two cases are tied together.  

Everything is circling back to Woodyard, and both Matthew and Jon are concerned as to where this may lead.  Matthew is losing confidence in his abilities, and having to deal with the church elders and his own mother, are proving stressful.  He is seriously wishing he had been allowed to turn away from this case.

 

My Opinions:  

The author is no stranger to writing books, and in particular books in a series, and it quickly becomes evident in this first book. 

The characters quickly grew on me.  I loved the relationship between the detectives, as well as the relationship between Matthew and Jon, seemingly opposites.  The plot was interesting, and the twist was rather huge – to me anyway.  I loved it.

The author dealt with a number of sensitive topics including abuse, mental illness, disabilities, and religion.  She handled each with grace. 

I did, however, sometimes think that the book slowed to a crawl.  This did not stop me from reading, though.

Definitely recommend this to mystery lovers everywhere. 

 

Read: August, 2019

 

Favorite Quote from The Long Call:

“He’d left the window down and now he could hear the surf on the beach and the cry of a herring gull, the sound naturalists named the long call, the cry which always sounded to him like an inarticulate howl of pain.”

 

Ann Cleeves

About The Author: Ann Cleeves (Oct 24 1954 – ), is a British author who has won many awards, and a couple of honorary Doctorates.  She studied English, but dropped out and took a variety of jobs including cook, auxiliary coastguard, probation officer, library outreach worker and child care officer.  All this, before writing full-time. Both her Vera Stanhope and her Jimi Perez series have become television detective shows.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2917067813

 

 

 

 

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Rewind

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

 Publishing: September 3, 2019 by Blackstone Publishing

3.5 stars

 

 

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Blackstone Publishing, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Nathalie is a star on Instagram, but in her own life, she is troubled.  She thinks she is being followed by a crazy fan.  She wonders if her husband Mike is having an affair.  She wonders if she herself is going a little nuts.  When she finds a receipt for Shanamore Cottages billed to Mike’s credit card, she decides to investigate herself.  She schedules her own stay at Shanamore….without telling anyone where she is going.

Andrew is the manager at Shanamore.  By all accounts, the village people find him a little creepy.  Little do they know that Andrew has installed cameras in the bedrooms of each cottage.  This is the least of his issues.

Richard is a resident of the village, and hangs around Shanamore, keeping an eye on Andrew, and on everything else.  He generally torments any woman he sees.  He has some anger issues, and a sketchy past, but he knows things.

Audrey is a rather down-on-her-luck reporter, who is the first to react to Nathalie’s disappearance, and although it isn’t her job, she’s hot on the trail.

 

My Opinions:  

I will probably be in the minority on this one, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped.  The plot and twists, yes, without a doubt were good.

I didn’t really like any of the characters, so found it difficult to relate.

My main problem was that I didn’t like the way the story was told.

Although I generally enjoy books that go back and forth in time-lines, and don’t mind when they also include different characters, this one did not work for me at all.  I don’t think there was enough background provided initially for the story to make sense.  I found it confusing, and every time I picked it up to read again, I had to back up a few pages to determine who/when/where I was.  This doesn’t normally happen to me.  Anyway,  although I had figured out what was going on by the middle of the book, I became very frustrated with the whole thing.

I do, however, maintain that the story itself was good.  It just missed my mark. 

 

Read: August, 2019

 

Catherine Ryan HowardAbout The Author: Catherine Ryan Howard (1982 – ) is an Irish author.  Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2783867329

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Reviews for September 2019

 

My Upcoming Book Reviews for September 2019

Once again, the month will be a busy one….and I am soooo looking forward to it 🙂

Below is a sample of what books you’ll see in the coming weeks.   As always, some new, some not released yet, some old, some parts of a series….  I will read another 5 or 10, so please check out my blog, follow me, and maybe find your next great read!

Remember, reading for pleasure is a good thing!  #KeepReading

 

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector, #1) The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison – Published 2016

This is the first in The Collector series.  The FBI are interviewing one of the survivors of a man known as The Gardener. He collected young women, tattooed a butterfly on their back, raped them, and kept them until the age of 21, when he killed them and put them behind glass.  A little/lot creepy….but good.

 

 

The Passengers

The Passengers by John Marrs – Published: August, 2019

Autonomous cars.  Yes, this is a science-fiction book, but self-driving cars may become reality in the not-so-different future.  So what if they get hacked.  Eight passengers and a jury are held captive by a madman who is intent on killing all the Passengers.  A reality check!

 

 

What Rose Forgot

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr – Publishing September, 2019

Imagine waking up from a mental fog, only to discover that you have been committed to a nursing home with dementia.  Then you overhear a conversation which leads you to believe that you are not going to make it through the week. You know you have to get out of there.  But how do you make anyone believe you are suddenly fine…

 

Last of the Magpies: The Thrilling Conclusion to The Magpies (Kindle Single)

Last of the Magpies by Mark Edwards – Published: April, 2019

This is the final in the trilogy.  Lucy Newton is still evading authorities but Jamie has a new way of finding her.  His ex will be dragged in again.  The series has been good….this one is about revenge and justice….and it’s a little twisted.

 

 

Rewind

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard – Publishing September 3, 2019

Shanamore Family Cottages, a nice little retreat.  But for Natalie, she is there for information, not rest.   Andrew, the manager seems a little “off”, but that could be because he has a camera set up in the bedrooms of his unsuspecting tenants, and at one point he saw much more than he wanted to.  Creepy!

 

 

So…have you read any of these?  Plan to?

 

 

 

 

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

 Publishing:  August 27, 2019 by Simon & Schuster

4stars

 

 

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon & Schuster, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Rowan Caine excitedly takes a job as a nanny, in a remote area of Scotland.  Looks like she is finally going to get what she always wanted.  The pay is amazing, the location beautiful, and the home spectacular.  The house, while lavish, is also a “smart” home, with cameras and speakers and a voice-activated assistant.  Of course, when they say something is too good to be true…..

The mother is a bit of a stickler for routine, and may be a little overly cautious.  She has a three ring binder with everything that Rowan could ever need to know and then some.

The father is a letch,  who makes his intentions clear the first night Rowan arrives.

The children are….a handful.  Petra is almost two, and that says it all.  Ellie is five, and adventurous but is under eight year-old Maddie’s thumb, who makes it plain that Rowan is not wanted.  Rhianna is 14, and goes to boarding school.

Rowan is there only one evening before the parents leave for a business trip.  Not enough time to get to know the kids, the house, or the danger.  It soon becomes evident why this family can’t keep a nanny.  Before long, one of the children will be dead, and Rowan will be in a Scottish women’s prison.  Perhaps if Rowan hadn’t lied…

 

My Opinions: 

The story is told by Rowan, in a letter she writes to Mr. Wrexham, a lawyer, in hopes of convincing him to take her case.

The book is about lies and deceit, and family dynamics.

I found the lengthy descriptions of the house to be a bit much.  I realize that much of it was information relevant to the plot, but i really didn’t need to know about colours of walls and wallpaper….

The house itself became a “character”, just as the ghosts do, providing the reader with two more potential suspects.   Since it wasn’t until close to the end that we discover who died, all of the children, as well as the parents, Jack, and the housekeeper could have done it — well maybe not Petra.  I loved the fact that I did not guess the perpetrator.

I do feel that the ending was a little too rushed.

While Ruth Ware’s writing often has a gothic feel, this one also incorporated modern technology, and made me wonder how much I really want a “smart” home.  Do I want to be under constant surveillance?  As well, if someone else could trigger the commands, or the system mal-functioned,  it could be a nightmare.

I would definitely recommend this book to any Ruth Ware fan, and to anyone who needs a good old-fashioned mystery with a modern twist. 

For a more complete review of this book and others, please visit my blog: https://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

Read: August 2019

 

 

About The Author: Ruth Ware (1977 – ) is a British author, known for her best-selling psychological thrillers.  Before dedicating herself to full-time writing, Ruth worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England.

Credit Image Copyright: Gemma Day

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2534170447

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Better Man by Louise Penny (#15 – Armand Gamache)

A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)

A Better Man by Louise Penny

 Publishing: August 27, 2019 by Minotaur Books

4.5 stars

 

 Previous Book in the Series:  #14 – Kingdom of the Blind

 

A Better Man by Louise Penny is the 15th in the Detective Armand Gamache/Three Pines series.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Minotaur Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie moved to the small village of Three Pines a few years ago, where they have found peace from their daily struggles, and have found a home among the locals…who often play a large part in the mysteries that surround Gamache.  While Armand Gamache was the head of the Surete du Quebec, he made a lot of enemies.  He was on a lofty mission to rid the police force of the corruption that had enabled the drug cartels to take over, and he was building a new police force. Unfortunately,  a large amount of the deadly drug carfentanil escaped his net, and although he got it back, the powers that be held him accountable.  His suspension has now ended, and he is going back as Chief Inspector of Homicide.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

It is spring in Quebec, and it looks like it’s going to be a nasty one.  The banks of the St. Lawrence River look like they will flood, which means tributaries will also.  Decisions have to be made.  Three Pines stands in the path of the potential flood, and already the banks of the Bella Bella river are rising.  Residents have been sandbagging, but they may not hold.

But there is no rest for the police force.  On the request of one of his officers, Armand, Jean-Guy, and Isabelle are looking into the case of Vivienne Godin, a missing pregnant woman.   Her father is sure that her abusive husband has killed her, but evidence is scarce.  The more the team digs, the more circumstantial the case becomes.  Just trying to keep the woman’s father calm is almost more than they can handle.  The flooding is not helping matters, and they are starting to question the little evidence they have.

Meanwhile, Armand is again being blasted in the media, and it becomes evident that someone high up has started a campaign to discredit him yet again.  It seems to be working.  Ruth has an idea that she feels may help.

Armand is not the only one getting a bad rep.  Clara’s newest artwork is not having the response she had hoped for.   While she feels all the negative tweets are unfounded, even some of her friends have doubts.  Again, Ruth has an idea that she feels may help.

 

My Opinions:  

Louise Penny is amazing.  Even after 14 books, she continues to add details to the characters, and put them in new and interesting (albeit dangerous) scenarios.  Really, her characters ARE the books.  Yes, the plots are always good, but the characters are what make the books good.

I am, however,  getting a little tired of Armand always having his integrity questioned,  it’s getting old.   Just having him solve crimes would be okay, instead of always being under pressure to fight for his reputation.  I still love him, but it’s a bit exasperating, hence this book loses 1/2 a star.   However, all the characters continue to have a place in my heart.  The last two books have dealt, in some way, with Jean-Guy and Annie moving to Paris, and his reasons were really explained in this book.  I will pray for their return.

This book is about how far a father would go to protect his daughter, it is about questioning your own morality, your own judgement,  your own conscience.  It is about speaking your truth, whether it will hurt someone or not, and then living with those words or actions.  But overall, it is about love, between families and friends.

Three Pines is one of the happy places in my head.  It is there that I relax, grab a cup of coffee and curl up with a good book.  You should join me 🙂

Thank you Louise Penny!!

 

Read: August, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from A Better Man:

“Is it true? Is it kind? Does it need to be said?”

“That was one of the many reasons he had to leave. Had to escape the Sûreté and get far, far away. From a world filled with threats. He longed to see a kinder world.”

“All truth with malice in it”  (Moby Dick) …..  “About obsession. About allowing rancor to cloud judgment. About what happens when we see the malice but fail to see the truth.”

 

About The Author: About the Author:  (July 1, 1958 –  ) Louise Penny is a Canadian author, living in a small village south of Montréal.  Once a journalist with CBC, she now devotes most of her time to writing.   She is the New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity, and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Louise has won five Agatha Awards and four Anthony Awards. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2782089417

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Night by Geraldine Hogan (#1 – Iris Locke)

Silent Night (Detective Iris Locke #1)

Silent Night by Geraldine Hogan  

Publishing:  August 23, 2019 by Bookouture

4stars

 

 

Silent Night by Geraldine Hogan is the first in the Detective Iris Locke series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

While the undercover work that just ended for Detective Iris Locke feels like it was all for nothing, she now has the opportunity of fulfilling her real dream.  Her goal has always been to work on a Murder Team.  Unfortunately, she will be working in Limerick, the same place that her father John Locke retired from after 40 years of excellent service.  She will have to battle those who think she is only there because of her father.  She will be living in his shadow.

When the body of Anna Crowe and her two children are found inside the burnt remains of their cabin, all with gunshots in their heads, the Murder Team is called to action.  Iris feels a connection to Anna, whom she had met once in a parking lot.  It turns out that Anna Crowe is actually Anna Fairley, whose sister Janey had been kidnapped over 30 years ago, presumed dead.   Although this was before Iris’s time on the force, the memory of this case has never left some.  Her father was actually the officer in charge of the case.  When asked, John Locke says there was no case, everyone knew the depressed mother had killed her baby, and she ended up in an institution.

Iris is about to open some very old wounds in her new department, and within her own family.  But she can’t let the murder of this family rest.

 

My Opinions:  

This was a good start to a new detective series.  I liked the main character, who seems determined.

The plot was good, and everything flowed smoothly.  Although I sometimes felt it was moving a little slow, it ended up being a fast read.  I think the best part was that although I had anticipated some of the ending, I certainly didn’t see other parts coming.  That was good.

I am looking forward to more in this series.

 

Read:  August, 2019

 

 

Geraldine HoganAbout The Author: Geraldine Hogan is an Iris author who has an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.  She has also written under the name Faith Hogan.  She lives in Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46038958-silent-night