The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (#13 – Ruth Galloway)

The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway, #12)

 

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths 

 Publishing: June 29, 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

Previous Book in the Series: #12 – The Lantern Men

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I love this series, the characters, the plots, the author.

 

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths is the 13th in the Ruth Galloway mystery series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 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)
Ruth is a Forensic Archaeologist who lives in a rather remote cottage on the edge of the Saltmarsh near Norfolk England. She teaches at the university, and has a daughter (Kate) by DCI Harry Nelson, an already married police officer. Their relationship is complicated. Ruth seems to help solve most of the crimes in the area, as they usually involve the discovery of bones. As well, there is often some aspect of religion in these books. Although Ruth believes in very little, Harry is a lapsed Catholic, their friend Cathbad is a Druid, and all of their families are quite religious.

 

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

After two years, Ruth has left Cambridge, and Frank, behind.  She is  back in her home on the Saltmarsh, and now Head of Archaeology at the University of North Norfolk.  She has taken over Phil Trent’s job when he decided to take an early retirement.

She has hired a new lecturer to take over her old post, and she isn’t sure why David Brown annoys her so much.

Nelson calls her to the beach when a body is found by a group of local metal detectorists that call themselves the Night Hawks.  They have also uncovered some Bronze Age artifacts.   She isn’t impressed with this group of amateur archaeologists, but David thinks they are wonderful.

Unfortunately, that will not be the first body that Ruth gets involved with, and when a murder-suicide turn up at a farmhouse which is supposedly haunted by a humongous black dog, Nelson wants Ruth to dig up the backyard.  That farmhouse will involve more death, and Ruth finds herself in danger.

 

My Opinions:

First, these books must be read in order so that you can appreciate the intricate dynamics of each character, and their relationship to the others.

I am so happy that Ruth is back at her old university and the saltmarsh.

You can actually feel the tension every time Ruth and David interact.  It actually made me feel uncomfortable.  The relationship between Ruth and Nelson is again showing promise, and I alternate between hoping they will get together, and liking the status quo.  Since the birth of Nelson and Michelle’s little boy,  Ruth has been somewhat cast aside, but things look like they may change yet again.  Although I am not a romance reader, these people have become family to me, and they all seem to be hurting.

The plot was definitely interesting, and the suspects many.  I love how the local legends always get wound through the stories.

Another fast read, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Read: June, 2021

 

Elly GriffithsAbout The Author:   Elly Griffiths (1963 – ) was born in London England and now lives in Brighton with her husband and two children.  Born Domenica de Rosa, she wrote four books under that name.  As Elly Griffiths she is best known for the Ruth Galloway novels, which were inspired by her husband who trained as an archaeologist, and her aunt who filled her head with myths of the Norfolk coast.

***Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3741650819

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

My Monday Reviews for August, 2021….and Covid

My Monday Reviews for August,  2021….and Covid

With so many people fully vaccinated, things are really looking up.  I was so thankful for my second shot of the vaccine that I could have cried.  I am still washing my hands, still social distancing (although not to the extreme any longer), and still wearing a mask when shopping.  This is not just for my own benefit, but for others who are not as fortunate as I am.  I know that this is will change, but for now, still better safe than sorry.

Moving on….below are my Monday reviews for August.  As you know, my Mondays are usually reserved for books within a series, but not always.  There are many more books I’ll be reading in August, and there will probably be more stand-alone than series books.

Of course you’ll have to check out my blog throughout the month to see if I enjoyed them or not…. My blog has many more reviews, and if you’d like a recommendation, feel free to ask!

Remember, #keepreading and #staysafe…oh and please #wearamask #getyourshot

The Night Hawks (Ruth Galloway #13)

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (Published June, 2021)

The 13th in the Ruth Galloway series has some amateur metal detectorists finding more than treasure.

Elly Griffiths is a British author.

 

 

A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2)A Cut for A Cut by Carol Wyer (Published June, 2021)

The 2nd in the Detective Kate Young series has Kate and the team trying to find a serial rapist and murderer, who is carving “MINE” in the backs of his victims.

Carol Wyer is a British author.

 

 

Hunted Girl (Rachel Ryder, #2)

Hunted Girl by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson (Published June 2021)

The 2nd in the Detective Rachel Ryder series has Rachel and Rob investigating the suicide of a family friend of Rob’s.  It seems to have links to Rachel’s past.

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is an American author.

 

 

The Faceless Man (DI Harry Lennox & DS Jess Wilde #2)

The Faceless Man by Helen H. Durrant (Published February, 2021)

The 2nd in the Detectives Lennox and Wilde series has the investigating the murder of a young man who seems to have been tracking a serial killer.

Helen H. Durrant is a British author.

 

 

The Institute

The Institute by Jakub Żulczyk (Published June, 2021)

Agnieszka Celińska took over the apartment from her grandmother.  She, and 6 others become trapped in it.  All communications and exits are blocked.  Who would want to do this, and why?

Jakub Żulczyk is a Polish author and journalist.

 

 

The above are just a small sampling of what I will/have read in the month.  If something appeals to you, please check out the full review on my blog, where you will find many other books, perhaps something that will peak your interest.  I’d appreciate your comments.

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Dark Roads

 

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Publishing: August 3, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I was sent a widget by the publisher, and as I have enjoyed her other books, and this looked really good,  it was a no-brainer!  Did I mention Chevy is Canadian?

 

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s Press, 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)

Hailey McBride can no longer stand her living conditions.  Her parents are gone, and she has to live with her Aunt and Uncle.  She doesn’t like or trust her Uncle Vaughn.  He may be a police sergeant, but his behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.  Hailey decides to run away, and live on the mountain until she is of legal age to collect her inheritance.

For decades the Cold Creek Highway has known tragedy.  Hitchhikers have disappeared and women have been found dead along its ditches.  Most people assume that Hailey has become another victim of the highway.

Beth arrives in town to attend a memorial service for the victims of the highway.  Her sister Amber was murdered last year, and had been Hailey’s love.  Beth is not handling her sisters death well.  She quit university, and is popping pills, and using alcohol to dull the pain.  She gets a job at the same diner that Amber had worked, and connects with her sisters friends.  She is determined to find out who killed her sister.  

 

My Opinions:   

Although the author created a fictional town and plot, she based her idea on the Highway of Tears in Northern BC where so many young women (mostly Indigenous) have gone missing.  Many bodies have been found, many have not.  I’m not sure the Prologue or Epilogue  (told from a ghost’s perspective) were really needed, but I guess it added to the overall reminder that these were real dead women we were talking about.  However, it was a little mis-leading as I thought I was about to read a supernatural tale….which this is not.

Considering the above, the author really researched the topic, and the plot was very well-developed.  The characters were deep enough, and the reader felt their pain and anguish.  It was easy to hate Vaughn, and love Hailey and Beth.  I absolutely loved Wolf!

The story was told from both Hailey and Beth’s perspectives. The pace was good, and it was a fast, entertaining read.

Bottom line, don’t hitchhike in BC.

Read: July, 2021 

 

Chevy StevensAbout The Author:  CHEVY STEVENS grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home.  She started writing while she was in real estate, and hasn’t stopped.  Chevy’s books have been optioned for movies and are published in more than thirty countries. Check out her website at:  https://chevystevens.com/

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3826450866

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Guilty Man by Helen H. Durrant (#1 – Lennox and Wilde)

The Guilty Man

 

The Guilty Man by Helen H. Durrant

Publishing: October 29, 2020 by Joffe Books

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I can always rely on this author to provide a good (if not stupendous) read, which are always fast and entertaining.

 

The Guilty Man by Helen H. Durrant is the first in the Detectives Lennox & Wilde series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Joffe 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 Information:

DI Harry Lennox and DS Jess Wilde are detectives in Ryebridge in Northern England.  They have been working together for the last couple of years, and seem to get along well, but Harry’s past is a mystery.  We know his is from Scotland.  Harry just broke up with his girlfriend, and living in a friend’s driveway in a camper van.  Jess is living with her parents, but saving for a house of her own.  Their boss is Superintendent Roderick Croft.

 

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

3 year old Lucy Green has shown up in a park, after being missing for 5 weeks.  She seems to be in better shape now than when she lived with her rather uncaring mother.  The suspect who confessed to killing her is in custody….but since she isn’t dead.

Caroline Sutton appears at the precinct to say her husband Nick was missing.  Nick is responsible for half of the crime in the area, mainly drug dealing.  Caroline specifically asks for Harry, even though she had recently charged him with bullying when he tried to get her to turn her husband in.  The main suspect in Nick’s disappearance is his rival Andy Marsh.  There could be a turf war brewing.  However, there seems to be a new player in town.

Meanwhile,   Harry is hiding a past that not even his partner knows about, and it’s about to explode.

 

My Opinions:   

This was a really interesting start to a new series, but it may take me a little to get into it.

A couple of things were dropped, for instance what happened to the man who said he killed Lucy?

The characters….not so sure about them.  I definitely disliked Harry, who is living like a slob, drinking too much, and hiding his past.  Jess didn’t fair too much better in my mind, as she was constantly complaining about Harry and his personal habits.  While both may be justified in their actions (in their own minds),  the secrets and the nit-picking got annoying.

The actual plot was quite good, and there were a number of twists, although I had anticipated most of them.

It was definitely a fast and entertaining read, and I will be reading the next (which I already have).

 

Read: June, 2021

 

Helen H. DurrantAbout The Author:  Helen H. Durrant is a British Author.  She started writing full-time when she retired from working in a local further education college.  Her other series include the ‘Calladine & Bayliss’ series. the ‘DI Greco’ series, and the DI Matt Brindle series.  She has  a grown-up family and five grandchildren. 

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3603543328

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents

 

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

 Publishing:  July 20, 2021 by Random House Publishing

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I loved the premise of the book, and I’ve never read anything by this author before.  Oh, and I received a widget from the publisher.

Heads Up:  This is a looooong book.

 

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a horror novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Random House Publishing (in particular Ashleigh Heaton for sending me a widget),  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)

Nathan and Maddie have left the city with their son, to return to the house in which Nathan was raised.   There were so many reasons to return.  The price of the house, Nathan’s job, Maddie’s need for space, and Oliver’s need for less “noise”.

Unfortunately, the house has a lot of bad memories for Nathan, and the ghost of his father may never leave him.  He makes a new friend in their closest neighbour, Jed, who is an author of many books referencing strange events, a number of which have occurred in the area.

For Maddie, she starts worrying about her art.  For some reason her sculptures are starting to become a little more realistic than previous attempts.  As well, memories from her past are becoming more vivid.

Oliver, too, is having problems. His extreme empathy always make things difficult, but he is finally making some friends, but they are not always what they seem.  Oliver is also learning more about himself, and that worries him a bit.

Nathan, Maddie and Oliver, all learn that they have moved to  a “thin” area, where the borders between worlds can be broken, and often are.

Is the supernatural element enough to destroy their family?

 

My Opinions:   

This book grabbed me at the beginning.  There was a lot of character-building as well as location-building, all done very well.    The plot was really good.  Unfortunately, the descriptions seemed to be unending, and the book often dragged, which for a long book, shouldn’t happen if you want to keep readers.  However, every time I thought I might want to give up, the story picked up again.

I really liked the characters, which were very well defined.  I loved Oliver.  His empathy was such a great trait.  His parents were wonderful.  They were a great family.

The story is about good and evil, about family and friendship.  It is also about bullying and abuse.  Wendig took his story to extremes, and covered so many topics, that it was hard to keep track.  There was a serial killer, there were multiple universes, ghosts, demons, time travel,  supernatural elements and magic,  and then there was high school bullying, as well as thoughts on climate change.  It was a mish-mash of topics, that “most of the time” made sense.  Every now and then it was a little much.  So be warned, there’s a lot going on….and also it’s a big book (I may have mentioned that before).

That being said, the plot was really entertaining.  It’s more of a creepy story than a scary story.  The characters were great, and it was worth the read.

 

Read: July, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Book of Accidents:

“Oliver didn’t have any armor. He felt people’s pain—literally, he could see it, feel it, like a dark star pulsating. Sometimes the pain was small and sharp, other times like a geyser of sickness fountaining out of a person. Their fear, their worry, their trauma. It shared it with him. And he couldn’t turn it off.”

“But intrusive thoughts were trespassers. You didn’t invite them in. But they broke in, anyway, whether they were true or false.”

Guilt.  And shame.  What mighty motivators they were.”

 

author-photo-2016

 

About The Author: Chuck Wendig is an American author and screenwriter, currently living in Pennsylvania with his wife and dogs.  Check out his website at http://terribleminds.com/ramble/

*** Photo taken from author’s website.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4013964134

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Damaging Secrets by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson  (#1 Rachel Ryder)

Damaging Secrets (Rachel Ryder, #1)

 

Damaging Secrets by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson  

Published: January, 2021 by Severn River Publishing

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  The publisher offered me the second book to review, but after telling her that I only read book series in order, she sent me this first one too.  Hard to say no!

Heads Up:  There was a lot of swearing in this one, which didn’t bother me, but may be offensive to some.

 

Damaging Secrets by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the first in the Detective Rachel Ryder series.

First, let me thank the publisher Severn River Publishing (in particular Cate Streissguth) 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 Information:

Detective Rachel Ryder left her 15 year career on the Chicago police force, and moved to Hamby Georgia, after the death of her husband.  Her old boss Lenny, was like a father to her.  Her new boss Chief Cochran,  is under the impression that women should be home baking.  Rachel is not up for that.  She has a bit of an attitude, and insists on the truth coming out.  Her new partner is a veteran of 30 years, Rob Bishop.

 

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

Rachel is not getting along with her boss, and she can’t see that ever happening.  He’s chauvinistic, and she has an attitude.  Never the two shall meet.  Apparently the “South” is still in the “old boys club” stage, and Rachel’s Chicago equality influence is not welcome here.  She is still not sure about her partner either.

When a councilman is found dead in a hotel room, Rachel immediately sees it as an auto-erotic strangulation, but it looks like homicide.  No one else sees it that way.  There is an election coming up, and the Mayor, Police Chief, and Medical Examiner don’t want a homicide in their town.  They decide it was a suicide, and insist Rachel tow the line.

Rachel can’t let it go but not even her partner will rock the boat.  Corruption in the police force cannot be tolerated, and Rachel continues to work the case, even after everyone else considers it closed.  Reluctantly, her partner goes along for the ride.  But things aren’t adding up, and this may be a whole lot bigger than Rachel knew.

 

My Opinions:   

I admit to not liking Rachel (which makes it difficult to like the book).  She is an opinionated woman who has never learned that a little sugar goes a long way.  She is in your face antagonistic, and I hate that in a person (or character).  She comes across as a know-it-all, and refuses to give any ground.

Second thing I admit to is not liking political-based novels….and the corruption in this town is all political, and the whole book is about it.

Are you wondering yet how this book got more than 1 star in my rating system?  Because the plot ended up being really interesting.  The writing was great.  The characters were different, and I finally learned to admire and like Rachel.  I found myself turning those pages to see what would happen next.  It ended up being a twisty and intriguing read, with a very strong female lead. It just took a little too long to get there.

I’m now looking forward to the second in the series!

Read: May, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from Damaging Secrets:

Someone once told me the men wear the pants in the family, but the wives control the zipper.”

“I could bring a beefy man to the ground with two strikes or a well-aimed kick, but I struggled to control my mouth around bitchy women.”

“Grace comes not from struggle, but how you handle the struggle.”

 

ACarolyn Ridder Aspensonbout The Author:  Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is an American author,  living in Atlanta with her husband, a couple of dogs, and a couple of cats.  Check out her website at https://carolynridderaspenson.com/

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4021595372

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Therapist by B.A. Paris

The Therapist

 

The Therapist by B.A. Paris

Publishing: July 13, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: First, I received a widget from the publisher.  Second, the book is getting a lot of hype, and I’ve read other books by this author in the past.

 

The Therapist by B.A. Paris is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s Press (and in particular Kejana Ayala for sending me a widget), 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)

Alice and Leo are starting a new life together.  They move into a gated community of exclusive houses, and Alice wants to get to know the neighbours.

Apparently it isn’t as easy as it seems.  Furthermore, no one wants to talk about the therapist who lived in their new home before they moved in.  Alice becomes obsessed with the secrets that everyone seems to be keeping.  She is determined to find out more, even if Leo isn’t interested.

Her paranoia and obsession may become the death of her.

 

My Opinions:   

I found this to have a rather slow start, but as the suspense started building, so did my interest.  By the end I didn’t want to put it down.  The plot was wonderful, the premise very sound.  If given the same circumstances, I, too, would have been interested in learning more about the previous owner of my house.  Hopefully I would not have become quite so obsessed.

The book is about trust, and lies, and deceit, and secrets.  It is also about fear, anxiety, paranoia and obsession.

Some of the characters were easy to like, others just as easy to hate.  I really felt sorry for Alice, as she was a very likable character, but definitely needed a therapist of her own!  Her mind was always going in a million different directions, and when Tamsin called her a “fantasist”, I think she  was close.

Although I had an idea as to the perpetrator, there were many things that eluded me.  There were some major twists which I did not see coming.

Overall, this was a very entertaining read, and I will continue to watch for more books by this author!

 

Read: July, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Therapist:

“Do you know what Henry David Thoreau believed? ‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”’…..She smiles, relaxes. It always works.

“Is that what I am, a fantasist? When I look at all the things I’ve allowed myself to believe over the last few weeks, I’m ashamed. Tamsin’s right, at one time or another I’ve suspected all of them of being involved in Nina’s murder.”

 

B.A. ParisAbout The Author: B A Paris (Bernadette Ann Paris) (1958 – ) grew up in England, spent most of her adult life in France, but has now returned to the U.K.  She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. Behind Closed Doors was her first novel, and she is now a NY Times Bestseller.

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3873113734

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Repressed by M.A. Hunter (#5 – Missing Children Case Files)

Repressed (The Missing Children Case Files #5)

 

Repressed by M.A. Hunter

Publishing: May 6, 2021 by Harper Collins UK (One More Chapter)

 

Previous Book in the Series: #4 – Discarded

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book: A series installment.  I am really enjoying this series, as it is not your run-of-the-mill police procedural.  I mean, the main character is an author.  It’s really good.

 

Repressed by M.A Hunter is the fifth in The Missing Children Case Files series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harper Collins UK (One More Chapter) 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)

Emma Hunter is an investigative journalist who is now a best-selling author. Her entire adult life has revolved around finding her sister who has been missing for over 20 years.  Between her friend and literary agent Maddie, and her best friend from college Rachel, Emma has a good support team, although she wishes they got along.    DC Jack Serrovitz has been helping her track down a pedophile ring, and they have recently discovered that a police official may be a part of this….. Emma’s relationship with Jack is “strained”.  

 

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

Zara Edwards was abducted when she was 9 years old.  She lived the next 2 years of her life in captivity.   She only escaped because a fire brought help.  That was 35 years ago, and Zara was never the same girl who left her family when she was 9.  Her memory of that time has never been good, but even her memory previous to her capture is not what it should be. 

Zara is finally asking for help, but Emma isn’t sure what she can do, or if Zara is really ready.

Aurélie Lebrun calls a meeting regarding Emma’s publishing of her story, and there seems to be a problem.

Meanwhile, the work she and Jack have been doing in secret to confirm that the Metropolitan Police’s former commissioner Sir Anthony Tomlinson had a role in the pedophile ring is bringing some unexpected results, and things are getting dangerous. 

Everything that Emma does is based on her desire to find Anna….will any of this bring her closer?

 

My Opinions:

Well, this series has been amazing, and I know the next book will be the final one, the culmination of Emma’s work.  This book laid more groundwork, and the ending of this one is leading us to a rather fore-gone conclusion to the series.    None of these books should be read as stand-alone novels, although they are each good in their own way.  But together, they tell the bigger picture.  Please read them in order.

The story was told from different perspectives and time-lines, and I really enjoyed Zara’s story, but I thought it ended rather weakly.  

There were definitely some surprising moments in this book, and a fairly obvious cliff-hanger at the end.

The characters have grown with each book, and the overall story is good.  Each book focuses on a specific missing child, but each book also expands our knowledge of the pedophile ring that took Anna.  I am definitely looking forward to the final book!

 

Read: May, 2021

 

About The Author:   M.A. Hunter is a British author who studied law.  Hunter is married and has two children.  M.A. Hunter is a pseudonym for Stephen Edger.  You can check out his website… https://www.stephenedger.com/

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3977486973

 

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Her Sister’s Secret by S.E. Lynes

Her Sister's Secret

 

Her Sister’s Secret by S.E. Lynes

Publishing:  July 13, 2021 by Bookouture

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: One of my favorite authors.  Note that this was originally titled “The One to Blame” (and I’m glad they changed the title).

 

Her Sister’s Secret by S.E. Lynes is a psychological thriller.

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)

Annie and Isla were close growing up in Scotland, and when Annie got pregnant at 15, Isla was right there with her, even though she was only 10.  Callum had two mothers for the first 10 years of his life.

Then Annie met Dom, and was swept off her feet.  She and her son moved to Dorset  where Dom had built a studio for her.  Now she had her own space to paint.  She was no longer under her parents thumb.   Dom had thought of everything.  However, Annie was suddenly also running Dom’s cottage rental business, cooking his meals, entertaining all his friends, and barely has time to breathe.  But no matter what Dom does to her, she keeps up a brave front.  She keeps her rather miserable existence from her sister, who would be so disappointed.

Isla, back in London, misses her sister, but knows she is happy with her new life.  But when Cal calls her in the middle of the night saying that both his mother and Dom are dead, Isla rushes to his side.  She soon realizes that Annie was keeping some major secrets from her, and nothing was as it seemed.

Isla is determined to find out the truth of Annie’s life, and protect Cal from harm….but he doesn’t seem to want help.

 

My Opinions:   

This was an amazing book, which is really no surprise, because Susie Lynes is a wonderful author, whose strong suit seems to be in her characters, who are are deep and relatable.

I got hooked right from the start, as it is a really compelling and suspenseful read.  It did, however, drag once is a while, but I can’t actually think of a specific instance, so….maybe it was me.  On the other hand, it could be during Isla’s recollections of earlier times that got a little boring.

The book alternated between Isla and Annie, past and present, and it read very smoothly.

It is about sisters, family,  and secrets.  It is also about abuse,  grief and guilt.

There  are a couple of plot twists, including  a major twist at the end, and I actually considered it (and dismissed it), early on in the book.  So it was a wonderful surprise when it came to be.

I would highly recommend this book, as well as anything else that this author writes.

 

Read: July, 2021

 

S.E. LynesAbout The Author: S.E. (Susie) Lynes is a British author who worked as a reporter, researcher and finally a producer at the BBC before moving with her husband, Paul, and two young children to Rome. After her third child, she returned to the UK, and now spends her time writing and lecturing. 

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4024823943

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

Such a Quiet Place

 

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

Publishing: July 13, 2021 by Simon and Schuster

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I like this author.  Her books are often hit or miss for me, but usually good.

 

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Simon and 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)

Hollow’s Edge is a small and idyllic neighborhood, on a lake, with a community pool, and neighbours who will do anything for one another.

Fourteen months ago, Ruby Fletcher was sentenced to 20 years for killing Brandon and Fiona Truett, residents in one of these wonderful houses.  But now, her conviction has been over-turned.

Unbelievably, Ruby returned to Hollow’s Edge, despite the fact that almost all of her neighbours testified against her.  Ruby returned to Harper Nash, who couldn’t seem to say no when Ruby just walked in and made herself at home.

Nobody wants Ruby back in their lives, but she seems to relish in the fact that she is making everyone very uncomfortable.  It feels like Ruby is trying to prove something, but no one is interested.  Ruby doesn’t really care…is she looking for revenge, or is there something more?

 

My Opinions:   

This book is about secrets, about how far people are willing to go to protect each other, how no one really knows the people living in the house next door, or down the street.

I can’t say I really liked any of the characters, but I admit that most of them were well-developed, and eventually they were interesting (even if I still didn’t like them).  However, if you can’t really get behind the main character, it makes for a rough read.

As well, the pace was really slow for the first 50% of the book, and then all of a sudden, it picked up, and ended up being a very fast read.  The twists when they came, surprised me.

The premise was good, and the suspense did build, but I wouldn’t call this a thriller by any means.  It was, however, a good mystery.

So overall, it was a good, entertaining, fast read, just lacking a little excitement.

 

Read: July, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from Such a Quiet Place:

“So much for this quiet little neighborhood. All of us were alive, at night, in the dark. All the things we needed to keep hidden during the day, set loose at night, when we revealed ourselves.”

“Because negatives were harder to prove. Absences, harder to find.”

“We were good people with bad intentions. Or bad people with good intentions.  We imagined ourselves judge and jury, protectors of our community.  Turned ourselves into monsters, to murderers.  We became the very thing we feared.”

 

Megan MirandaAbout The Author:  Megan Miranda is an American best-selling author.  She writes books for adults as well as some aimed at the YA crowd.  Although she grew up in New Jersey, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.  Check out her website at www.meganmiranda.com

 

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads but attributed to Magen Marie Photography

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3828504225

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.