Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach (#2 – Gina Harte)

Her Final Hour (Detective Gina Harte, #2)

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach 

  Published: August, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – The Next Girl

 

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach is the second in the Detective Gina Harte series.

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
DI Gina Harte is a good boss, and she has earned the respect of her team, which consists of: DS Jacob Driscoll, DC Harry O’Connor and DC Paula Wyre. She is a stubborn lady, and a determined detective. She has been having an affair with her boss DCI Briggs, and knows it is not one of her better decisions. Thankfully no one knows about it. Of course it isn’t the only secret Gina has. No one knows she helped her abusive husband fall to his death either.

 
My Synopsis:

Ellie Redfern has finally tracked down the man who had raped her when she was 18 years old. She has never told anyone about that night, not even to her soon-to-be wife, Becky. She will regret that decision.

Gina comes home from a much-needed three day weekend. She has finally ended her relationship with her boss, but it seems that DCI Briggs doesn’t seem to understand that. She vows to convince him.

Barely in the door, Gina is called to a horrific murder scene. Melissa Sanderson is tied, hand and foot, to a chair in the kitchen. She has been strangled with blue wash line.  Melissa had it all. She was the perfect wife to Darrel and wonderful mother to Mia, living in a beautiful home on a quiet street. The ideal life…but looks can be deceiving. Was it her controlling, sadistic husband, or maybe her lover, or was there someone else?

Natalie Garrison suffers from severe anxiety, but her loving husband Bruce provides enough sleeping pills so she doesn’t have to deal with day to day life. What would she do without him. She tries so hard to be the perfect wife, but she is always making mistakes.

Selina Dixon also strives to be the perfect wife, and she succeeds. Her house is immaculate, dinner is on the table whatever time Rob wants it, and she is the perfect hostess, always ready with baking for any of her husband’s guests. If only he would include her in all these secret meetings.

Jennifer Munroe is another perfect wife (to Lee). She seems to carry this impression off with ease.

Gina is looking at the spouses of these women. They are all friends of Darrel, and there is something “off” with all of them. But angering Darrel has put her own life in danger.  And where is Ellie?

 

My Opinions:
This is a good follow-up to the first book, and you could probably read this as a stand-alone novel, but I hate doing that, so I rarely recommend it.

I was glad to see the break-up of Gina and her boss.  It is such a cliché, and it just pisses me off. My fear is that it might not really have ended.

The other thing that was off was the fact that Gina was allowed to work after being attacked – twice. That was far-fetched, as no police force would condone this.

On the good side, it was a great story, and it flowed fairly well.  I love Kovach’s writng style.  There were a fair number of characters to keep straight and I did get confused once or twice, but it wasn’t a big deal. Be warned that the plot is fairly dark, and included the abuse, sexual assault, rape and torture of women. It was still interesting, even when it was dark.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and look forward to the next book.

Read: February, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from Her Final Hour:

“I am the crack that runs through the mirror, and I’m scared of reaching the edge. One wrong step, one wrong word, one wrong look, and I’ll shatter. All that will remain are fragments, fragments of me that can no longer be fixed.”

“She was alone with a madman, and that madman was her husband.”

“The bruising was really coming out and the term mild concussion sounded better than it felt.”

 

Carla Kovach

 

About the Author: Carla Kovach is a British Author.  When not writing she’s busy, screenwriting, film producing and acting.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2678470641

 

 

 

 

The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan (#5 – Josie Quinn)

The Bones She Buried (Detective Josie Quinn #5)

 

The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan

 Publishing: March 27, 2019 by Bookouture

3.5 stars

 

 Previous Book in the Series: #4 – Her Final Confession

 

The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan is the 5th book in the Detective Josie Quinn 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.

 

Series Background:   (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Josie Quinn has finally, and with relief, given up the Acting Chief of Police position in Denton, Pennsylvania. She’s back to being a detective and happy. She is learning to love her new-found family, but it is keeping her busy. So is dating Detective Noah Fraley.

 
My Synopsis:
When Noah’s mother Collette is murdered while digging in her garden, Josie has her hands full. Trying to look after Noah is a nightmare since his sister doesn’t want her there. Even Noah, in his grief, is not happy with her. So she goes back to trying to find his mother’s murderer. Unfortunately this doesn’t win her any points with the family either.  They are not happy with the questions that Josie is asking.

Questions abound, because Collette had a secret, and people are dying to cover it up. Josie is going to have to go back in time to unbury the truth.

 
My Opinions:
It was interesting to learn a bit about Noah’s background in this one. The author is very good at developing her characters. Josie is a strong female lead. Apparently she has the patience of Job. I would have laid into Noah’s sister or at least walked away a number of times. That part was almost unbelievable. I wish Josie’s grandmother would be more involved. She’s a really likable character. As well, I like the close friendship that has developed between Josie and Gretchen. It feels real.

There was a lot of action, and that usually leads to a fast read. However, it was a complex plot which was slow to reveal itself, a little too slow for my liking. Although I had an idea early on as to who was to blame, the motive eluded me for a while. As well, there didn’t seem to be any real “thrill” moment for me. I also think the “Luke” scenes were unnecessary to the plot, unless the author plans on bringing him back into Josie’s life.

Although this could be read as a stand-alone novel, so much has happened in past books that lead to these characters development, that I would recommend reading the first four books prior to reading this one.

This one just didn’t excite me as all the others have. It’s good, but not great. I am, however, looking forward to the next one.

 

Read: March, 2019

 

 

Lisa  ReganAbout The Author: Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.   Her website says she has worn many hats, including: author, paralegal, former martial arts instructor, former certified nursing assistant, former bookstore manager. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2734143886

 

 

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

 

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

 Publishing: March 20, 2019 by Bookouture

StarStar

 

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland 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:
Mia James rouses briefly to the sound of waves. The next time she awakens, she is in the hospital. Apparently she almost drowned. Other than a few bumps to the back of her head, she has no injuries, but she is lucky to be alive. Other than headaches, a recurring nightmare, and some memory loss, the prognosis is good. She is assured her memories will return….in time.

Unfortunately, she has no memory of what happened. Actually, she has no memories at all. When she finally works up the courage to look in the mirror, she doesn’t recognize the woman staring back at her. She doesn’t recognize her boyfriend, or her mother, or her sister, or any of her numerous friends/acquaintances. Her house doesn’t seem familiar. She is discovering a whole new world, and some of it is disturbing. Some of it is scary, and people are lying to her. She doesn’t know who to trust.

 
My Opinions:
Not one of my better reads, and I will probably be in the minority, but to each there own. I was really looking forward to another great thriller from this author.

However, I felt the plot and character actions were predictable. I didn’t like the main character, and for some reason couldn’t feel sorry for her, even when she had just almost drowned, and that was at the beginning of the book! That’s not a good start. Then there was the romantic angle, and everyone knows I’m not a romance reader. Mia, who doesn’t even know herself, willingly jumps into bed with one guy, drops him and can’t keep her mind off the next one. You would think she would have other things on her mind – like trying to figure out who she is. I am really sick of weak, mentally unhinged female characters. There was no real excitement or suspense, only a longing for it to be over.

The one good thing, it’s a very fast read.

Now, some of you will enjoy this book, so don’t automatically dismiss it because of me. One opinion, even if it’s mine, means nothing 🙂

I have read three other books by this author, and enjoyed them all. This one, as you can tell, not so much. When I went to review this on GoodReads, I realized this was originally published in 2016. That means this was one of Boland’s earliest novels. I am happy to say her writing has definitely improved since this one, and look forward to newer books.

 

Read: March, 2019

 

 

Favorite Quote from The Girl From The Sea:

“The mind is an incredible thing – it can steer you to madness, or furnish you with comfort.”

 

 

Shalini BolandAbout the Author:  Shalini Boland writes suspense thrillers and dark adventures.  She lives in England with her husband, two children and dog.   Before writing novels, Shalini was signed to Universal Music as a singer/songwriter.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2749996639

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

  Published:  February 7, 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

  3.5 stars

 

Just a Few Words:   The twists, the turns, the sheer magnitude of the revelations makes me want to turn around and read it again, but unfortunately, I only want to read the last half — well, actually not that much.  Oh the dilemma.     Okay, let’s begin…

 

The Promise by Teresa Driscoll is a psychological thriller

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.

 
My Synopsis:
Due to fewer nuns entering the order, and less students enrolling in the school, The Order of St. Colman is moving to a smaller site. The existing buildings will be demolished, and the site sold and re-developed.

Beth and Sally meet to discuss the ramifications of the destruction of their old boarding school. They agree. They have to find Carol. Their secret may be revealed, and they have to figure out what to do – together. The three girls had become inseparable during their school days, but Carol had drifted away. Now, a promise made at the age of 14, must be broken as adults, but all must agree.

In the last 30 years, the girls became women. Beth is happily married to Adam and they have two boys. She is terrified that she will lose Adam if the secret comes out. Sally is divorced after a miscarriage showed her the truth about her husband. She is finally getting her life back on track. She doesn’t want the secret to derail her now. Last they heard, Carol was living in France with her husband Ned, and doing a lot of travelling.

Without providing him with too much detail, the women hire Private Investigator Matthew Hill to find Carol.

Little do they know that there is someone out there watching them, and Beth starts getting warnings to drop things. It starts innocent enough, but the warnings escalate.

 

My Opinions:
This book is about loyalty, and love, and friendship. Friends that we make as children, and keep as we age. Those friends, even when separated by distance, have powerful bonds. And it is about a secret between three such friends. A secret that should never have been kept, and which has haunted them all.  I love this premise.

Unfortunately, the book started slow, and I truly thought there were just too many words…. There were definitely parts that could have been cut out, that didn’t really add to the plot – Matthew’s backstory, the crows, and that epilogue was just too long… Needless to say I must have skimmed parts, because I know Carol’s Mom came to stay at Beth’s, but I don’t remember her ever leaving… These things concern me.

However, again, the premise was great, and with a little patience, the story revealed itself, and it was good. It was told from different perspectives, from different time-lines, but it was very straightforward, no confusion. Some of the reveals were very predictable, but there were a couple of extra twists that surprised me.

The book really picked up speed by about 60%, and from there to the overly long ending, I really enjoyed it. Part of me thinks too late, and the other part says but it was good! So I’m struggling to give it a rating. In my book,” Good” is a 3 star rating, but I can’t do that because the bad part was so long, it deserves only 2. On the other hand, the good part was that good that I want to forget about all the bad and give it 4 stars…but I can’t do that either. See my dilemma? I’m going with 3.5. Don’t ask.

 

Read: March, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from The Promise:

“I think about loyalty. I think about a promise that I wish with every ounce of my being I had never, ever made . . .”

“You can’t hear the world in the water. I’ve done it myself often enough. Dipped under the surface until the water fills your ears with echoes from a different place. “

“I feel so sorry that I misjudged him but as we all learn much too late, guilt is a dangerous bedfellow.”

“It fascinated me in a dark and unhealthy way that there are seconds between one whole path in your life and a different one. A split-second choice.  Do it. Or don’t.”

 

 

Teresa Driscoll

About The Author: Teresa Driscoll is a British writer who was a journalist for over 25 years. She now writes women’s fiction as well as psychological thrillers and her novels have been sold for translation in twenty languages. She has become a #1 International Bestselling author. She lives in Devon with her husband and two sons.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2730917375

 

 

 

 

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Unwanted Guest, An - Shari Lapena

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Published: August 2018 by Penguin Publishing Group

4stars

 

Just a Few Words:  A rather creepy tale, mainly because it feels like a possibility.  Being snowed in with a bunch of strangers?  Who knows what could happen….  Okay, let’s begin.

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena is psychological thriller.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Penguin Publishing Group , 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:
An out of the way Inn in Upstate New York is the perfect place to get away and rejuvenate. No internet, no Wi-Fi. How can a weekend away go so wrong.

The locale is Mitchel’s Inn, a small remote place, currently owned by James Harwood. His son Bradley helps out. Their weekend guests include: Dana and Matthew, who are taking a break from wedding planning. Gwen and her friend Riley both have baggage they are trying to abandon, at least for a couple of days. Candice is at the Inn for quiet while she writes her book. David, a Defense Attorney is trying to de-stress. Henry and Beverly, married for over twenty years, are there to repair their marriage, or not. Lauren and Ian are just taking a weekend holiday. But are these people the only ones sharing the Inn this weekend, or is there someone else lurking in the shadows?

It starts with a blizzard and power outage that cuts the inn off from all outside communication, and ends with multiple deaths.

 
My Opinions:
It is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but more survived in this one.

It was interesting to see how the guests started turning on each other, and how everyone had a dark secret that they were hiding, but that in one way or another, was revealed. Shari Lapena handled the reveals really well, and this contributed to the suspense.

The writing flows smoothly, and despite the number of characters, there is no confusion. The characters had the depth required to ensure this happened.

The perfect atmosphere was created in a quaint, remote Inn, somewhat off-the-grid, in the middle of a snowstorm. Add a power outage, and the characters find themselves in a dark, unknown location, surrounded by strangers, one of them a killer. Can you say who-dun-it?

It is a really gripping, fast paced book that totally entertains the reader, filled with suspense. Although I had an idea who the murderer was, I had no motive, so could never be sure. The final twist, however, was a given.

This is definitely the best so far by this author!

 

Read: February, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from An Unwanted Guest:

“But one person can’t be responsible for another person’s happiness. She is responsible for her own. He can’t make her happy.”

“He’s learned that he himself has it in him to be a killer. He finds it’s not that big a leap, after all, to imagine anyone else as a killer either.”

 

Shari Lapena

About The Author:   Shari Lapena (1960 – ) is Canadian, and an international best-selling author.  Before writing full-time, she was a lawyer and an English teacher.  She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

 

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2747843577

 

 

365 Ways to Find Peace by Marcus Braybooke

365 Ways to Find Peace

365 Ways to Find Peace by Marcus Braybooke

 Published: February 19, 2019

StarStar

 

 

365 Ways to Find Peace by Marcus Braybooke is a self-help book.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Watkins 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:
This is a compilation of inspirational quotes, poetry and sayings grouped together by theme. They are from authors of different eras, different religions, and different countries. Authors include Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jack Kerouac, Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa, The Bible and The Koran. The list goes on. All sayings are aimed to bring the reader a sense of calmness and peace. One for every day of the year.

 

My Opinions:
Unfortunately, this was not what I was looking for.

I have no problems with the quotes. They are a nice collection. However, that is all they are.  They lacked any discussion around them, and therefore I found myself just reading one, and quickly going on to the next, without giving them any serious thought. It may work for some, but did nothing for me.

I was looking for a daily inspirational reading/meditation, but this came up short. Hopefully this collection will work for you!

 

Read: February, 2019

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2596168125

 

To My Followers:  Since this didn’t work for me, do you have any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

 

The Husbands by T.J. Brearton

The Husbands

 

The Husbands by T.J. Brearton

 Publishing: March 7, 2019 by Joffe Books

3.5 stars

 

The Husbands by T.J. Brearton is a psychological thriller

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.

 
My Synopsis:
Three crime sites, in three different jurisdictions of Syracuse NY. All victims were found on, or close to, a park trail. One victim was alone, another pregnant, and another was a woman and her ten year-old son. All dead. One shot to the head by a hunting rifle. The casings are left behind. It appears everyone in the area owns a similar rifle. The pool of suspects is wide. Are the targets women in secluded areas? Are they specific women? How and where are the victims targeted? Are they followed, or will anyone that shows up suffice? So many questions.

FBI Agent Kelly Roth is called in to profile the killer. This is her first time in the field, and although she is a little nervous, she’s been doing this job for a long time behind a desk, and she’s confident. When her opinions differ from the police officers working the cases, her luke-warm reception starts to turn icy. Her boss, however, reassures her, and provides whatever she asks for.

Kelly is sure that the real targets are the husbands. One of them told an officer that he received a text message and then a call from someone that admitted to being his wife’s killer. The officer dismissed this. By the time Kelly found out, the husband had committed suicide. Another of the husband’s has left town for a bit, and the third husband is not saying much. Kelly has her work cut out for her, because she is sure this killer isn’t done.

On a personal level, Kelly doesn’t really want to be back in Syracuse. She is from the area, and past events still haunt her. Facing her family will not be easy.

 
My Opinions:
I’ve read a couple of other books by T.J. Brearton, and thought they were great, so I was really looking forward to this one.

I really liked the premise of the book, and the character of Kelly was really good in that I could really feel her determination and anxiousness.

The other characters were okay, but weak.  I just couldn’t relate to any of them. I had sort of guessed the perpetrator part way through, so that was disappointing. As well, although it was generally fast paced, some parts dragged. The explanations about guns and shells went on, and on…

So, overall, I’m on the fence. I liked it, but didn’t love it. It won’t, however, stop me from reading more by this author.

 

Read: March, 2019

 

T.J. Brearton

About the Author:  TJ Brearton is an American author whose books have been in the Top 100 for the Amazon Kindle.  He lives in the Adirondacks with his wife and three children where he writes full time, but his list of previous jobs include construction, bar-tending and cleaning the moss off tombstones. 

 

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2730913366

 

 

 

 

Call Me Evie by J. P. Pomare

Call Me Evie - J. P. Pomare

 

Call Me Evie by J. P. Pomare

 Publishing:  March 5, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons 

5Stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  A debut novel that will have writing down this author’s name for future reference.  Hang on, the twists are on the way.  Okay, let’s begin…

 

Call Me Evie by J. P. Pomare is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons , 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:
17 year old Kate Bennett is trying to remember the events that changed her life. Her memories are sporadic, incomplete and mixed with truth and lies.

“Jim” has taken her away from her home in Australia and moved them into a small town in New Zealand. He has convinced Kate, who he now calls Evie, that if anyone were to find them, she would be locked up. Jim says he is protecting her. He controls every aspect of her life.

But Kate is starting to doubt Jim. She realizes he has been drugging her, and when she stops swallowing the pills, her health and memory start to return. She continues to catch him in lies. But what if he is right? What if there is someone out there watching them? It’s not like she is being held captive. Yes, her bedroom door is locked at night, and she isn’t allowed a phone or computer, but that’s all for her protection, right?

Every time Kate tries to escape, she fails and it sometimes seems that the entire town is working with Jim.

She needs to figure things out. Is she a murderer?

 

My Opinions:
Well, for a debut novel, I must say I was impressed. There are a lot of psychological thrillers out there, (and I’ve read more than my fair share), but JP Pomare is easily up there with the best.

The book is about the reliability of our memories, and the possibility that they can be changed.

The story is told in two parts: “Before the event” and “After the event”. The reader is taken on a roller-coaster ride through Kate’s memories, which may or may not be accurate. We are left doubting everything.

The book grabs you from the first page, and you want to know this young girl’s story. The tale is slow to unfold, and although I almost felt it was too slow, I eventually realized the suspense was killing me. Then the twists arrived, and although I actually anticipated the last one, the identity of Jim floored me….and an author that can do that has my interest. I’ll be watching for more from JP Pomare!

Read: February, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from Call Me Evie:

“Isn’t it amazing how quickly plans can derail, how life can break apart like a flock of startled birds?”

“We’re both damaged, you and me. We’re stuck in this together. Just think about what they’re going to do if they find us.”

 

About The Author: J.P. Pomare is an author from New Zealand, and he now lives with his wife in Australia. He produces a literary podcast called On Writing, for which he has interviewed bestselling authors including Joyce Carol Oates and E. Lockhart.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2701194304

 

 

 

 

Blackthorn Manor Haunting by Cheryl Bradshaw (#3 -Addison Lockhart)

Blackthorn Manor Haunting - Cheryl Bradshaw

Blackthorn Manor Haunting by Cheryl Bradshaw

 Published:  May, 2018

 4stars

 

 

Previous Book in the Series: Rosecliff Manor Haunting

 

Blackthorn Manor Haunting by Cheryl Bradshaw is the 3rd in the Addison Lockhart paranormal mystery series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Kobo Writing Life, 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)
Addison Lockhart is a medium, like her mother and grandmother before her. Her talent only really manifested itself when she inherited Grayson Manor, upon her mother’s passing. As a child, her gifts vanished when she was convinced they didn’t really exist. Now she is learning to use her gifts to help others. Her boyfriend, Luke, is a restorer of historical homes. He knows Addison’s story and tries to help her. Her Grandmother has recently returned to her life, and showing Addison how to use her gifts.

 

My Synopsis:
Addison arrives at Blackthorn Manor on her wedding day, only to find the spirit of a woman in black waiting for her. Although her grandmother assures her that the dead cannot hurt her, Addison wonders who pushed her out the second story window. Thankfully someone unseen cushioned her fall. Still, it’s not a great beginning to her special day.

As Addison investigates the mysteries of the manor, she finds the spirit of a young boy, who tells her he will be leaving soon. Two spirits, a manor with a lot of secrets, and the owner a rather cantankerous old woman who refuses to answer Addison’s questions. She has her work cut out for her, and there are more deaths ahead.

 

My Opinions:
Okay, the first two books in this series were entertaining light reads. This one was really good. It had much more depth. The plot and twists were better, and although some of the dialog was a little stilted, overall, I enjoyed this book.

Maybe I’m just getting used to the characters, but I am looking forward to the next one!

 

Read: January, 2019

 

About the Author:  Cheryl Bradshaw was raised in Southern California, and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author writing in the genres of mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal suspense, and women’s contemporary fiction.  Cheryl writes the bestselling Sloane Monroe mystery series, based on a sassy, OCD-challenged PI.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2639827165

 

 

 

 

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

 Publishing: March 5, 2019 by Harper Collins

5Stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  A rather dark thriller filled with enough suspense and twists, that you don’t want it to end.  I loved it!  Okay, let’s begin…

 

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson is a psychological thriller

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Harper Collins, 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:
Hen is bi-polar. Her first manic episode occurred in college, when she was sure a student was trying to kill her. She attacked that student. Her second episode occurred when Dustin Miller, who lived down the street, was murdered. Hen obsessed about him for a long time. But they changed her meds, and although she thinks she’s a tad less creative in her artwork, things have been good for years.

Lloyd is Hen’s husband, and has been with her through the good and the bad. He loves her, but he watches her like a hawk, always wondering when the shoe is going to drop again.

Matthew and his brother Richard grew up in a horrible home. Their father treated their mother like a second-class citizen, abused her and cheated on her. Eventually she became just what he said she was. Matthew seldom talks about his childhood. He fears Richard has become like his father.

Hen and Lloyd move out of the city, into a small community. Hen is an illustrator, and the near-by studio is perfect. Their new neighbors Mira and Matthew seem nice. Until that is, Hen spots a fencing trophy just like the one that went missing from Dustin Miller’s place. Hen is convinced Matthew is a killer…and he knows she knows.

 
My Opinions:
This is the first book I have read by Peter Swanson. It won’t be the last.  I have now moved The Kind Worth Killing closer to the top of my reading pile.  Hmmm.  Okay, concentrate…back to Before She Knew Him.

This book peaked my interest at the beginning, and then picked up speed. When I hit the half-way mark I didn’t want to put it down….and that continued to the end. Needless to say it was a fast read.

Swanson created great characters, with enough depth that they felt real, and although some of the events were predictable, others were not. As well, with the story being told from different perspectives, the reader saw and understood so much more. Of course with an unreliable narrator or two, belief was thrown out the window.

I liked the writing style, and loved the plot.

The author dealt with mental illness in a thought-provoking way….and how many of us would agree to sit down with someone we knew was a killer – well, okay, a few of us might. I loved the relationship between Hen and Matthew.

I just loved this book!

 

Read: February, 2019

 

Favorite Quotes from Before She Knew Him:

“I had two lives before I met Henrietta Mazur, both of them simple, with their own comforts and rewards. And from out of nowhere she’s come along and turned those two lives into one. One complicated mess of a life.”

“I didn’t know that blood could jump like that, almost like it wants to leave the human body, get as far away as possible. I’d read about it, of course, in books, and I’d seen it in movies, the way arterial blood will spray. But to see it in reality, to see the life of it, that was something . . . something I can’t even express in words.”

 “Thinking back, Hen realized that before she knew him, before they were neighbors, Matthew had already been a huge part of her life.”

 

Peter Swanson PhotoAbout The Author: Peter Swanson (May 26, 1968 – ) is an American author. He holds degrees from Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College. Swanson lives with his wife in Somerville, Massachusetts.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2732455866

 

To My Readers:  Off-topic… I swear I have, within the last year, read another book with the husband and wife being Hen and Lloyd.  It’s driving me nuts.  Anyone???