The Mistake by K.L. Slater

The Mistake

The Mistake by K.L. Slater

 Published: October 2017

5Stars

 

The Mistake by K.L. Slater 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.

16 years ago, Rose had it all.  She was going to college and thoroughly enjoying her newfound freedom.  She had a kid brother Billy whom she adored.  She had a best friend Cassie to share her dreams.  She loved her little town, and although they were having a bit of a rough time since the mine closed, she knew her parents loved her.  There was even a new boy in her life, well I guess a man, as he was a bit older.

Then things started to fall apart.  She lost it all.  The final straw came when 8-year old Billy went missing while Rose and he were out flying his kite.  All the heartache that came before could not even compare to the loss of Billy.

Rose had made one mistake.  She trusted the wrong person. 

Rose never fully recovered from the events of that year.  16 years later, she has internal scars that may never heal, and although she is no longer bulimic, she is always close to the edge.  Her parents have passed away, and she is still living in the house.   She is the Head Librarian for their little town, with no desire to leave.  Truth be told, her fears may have something to do with her lifestyle.  She likes routine, her small group of acquaintances, and her elderly neighbour Ronnie, who she keeps an eye on. 

But Rose has never let go of Billy.  She has never let go of the guilt she feels.  When the past rears its head, Rose may not be able to hold on to her sanity.  Has the wrong person been in jail for the last 16 years?  She needs to know.

Told from Rose’s point of view in both the current time and 16 years ago, this story is about guilt, about the effects it can have on a person when they don’t let it go.  It is also about control, and the effect that a controlling personality can have on another.  How well do you really know someone?

This was a great, fast read.  Really gripping.   Can’t put down gripping.    Although Rose was young and impressionable when the events took place, the author made you feel her naivety throughout the years.  You wanted to hug her, but a lot of the time you wanted to slap her – in both her younger and current years. 

Wonderful ending!

Great book, highly recommend it!

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from The Mistake:

“Our customers love a good mystery, a page-turner. They seem fascinated by terrifying tales or awful deeds that could quite feasibly happen to them in their own ordinary lives. But of course that’s because they are safely afraid; they can close the book at any point and keep those emotions firmly in check.”

“My mind is one hot mess of freshly released unbearable memories and I seriously don’t know how long I can stand it.”

“The feelings of inferiority had risen up back then, taken hold and never left me to this day.”

 

About the Author:  Kim Slater went back to school at the age of 40 where she studied for an English & Creative Writing degree followed by an MA in Creative Writing.  She is now a best-selling author of both psychological thrillers and YA Fiction.  She lives in England with her husband Mac.

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Damaged by Alex Kava (#8 Maggie O’Dell)

Damaged (Maggie O'Dell, #8)

Damaged by Alex Kava

 Originally Published: July 2010

4stars

 

Damaged by Alex Kava is the 8th in the FBI Profiler Maggie O’Dell series.

As a Category 5 hurricane sets its sights on Pensacola Florida, Maggie is sent into the eye of the storm to investigate body parts which the US Coast Guard discovered in a huge fishing cooler floating just a mile off shore.  The body parts are individually wrapped, and don’t all belong to the same person.  When she finally identifies one of the parts as belonging to a man who went missing a few weeks after a previous hurricane, she realizes something is fishy (okay, couldn’t resist).  He went missing on the Atlantic side, so how did his torso end up in a cooler in the Gulf of Mexico?  What she discovers is a murderer, whose greed may finally take him over the edge.

Unknown to Maggie, her “friend” Colonel Benjamin Platt is also in Pensacola, where he has been called to determine why so many people, mainly military personnel, are dying.

Maggie and Ben will cross paths, and perhaps more.

From strange infections, to the sale of illegal body parts, to sleazy funeral directors, Alex Kava takes us on a wild ride, all in the middle of a hurricane.  Kava often creates a character that you hope to see more of.  In this one, she introduces us to Liz Bailey, a rescue diver with the US Coast guard.  I think she could have her own book series. 

Another fast-paced mystery, and well worth the read if you are a Maggie O’Dell fan.

 

Re-Read: August 2017

 

Alex Kava About the Author:  Alex Kava  (June 1960 –  ) is the NY Times best-selling author of this Maggie O’Dell Series.  She  has also written a new Ryder Creed series, as well as stand-alone novels.  Before devoting her time to writing, she held a variety of jobs, mostly in marketing and advertising.  She started her own graphic design company, designing food packages and logos for various national companies.   Kava currently divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.  She has a pack of Westies (or more likely, they have her.)

 

 

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz (#1 Jane Hawk)

The Silent Corner (Jane Hawk, #1)

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

 Published: June 2017

5Stars

 

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz is the first in a new thriller series starring Jane Hawk,  who is presently on leave from the FBI.

Jane’s devoted and loving husband, who had everything to live for, committed suicide. He left a note saying “I very much need to be dead”.  Jane isn’t buying it.  Yes, she agrees he took his own life, but there is something more.  Something wrong.  She starts digging. She discovers a surprising number of prominent men and women across the country who have taken this final step as well.  People who have no reason, suddenly end their lives.  When Jane’s son is threatened within the walls of their own home, Jane only becomes more determined to find answers.  She sells her home, hides her son, and increases her efforts.  What she finds is beyond anything she could have imagined.  It involves some very powerful people, and those people will do anything they can to stop Jane from discovering their secrets.  Even off the grid, “they” keep finding her.

Dean Koontz will always surprise you.  I wasn’t sure at first whether this book would turn out to be horror, supernatural, or suspense.  It is pure suspense (but with a touch of horror).  It is not horror in the usual sense.  It is horror in the sense of reality.  It begs the question, how advanced is technology?

Whatever Koontz writes, he gives it his all.  My first thought when I saw the number of pages was, okay, this may take a while.  Then I remembered who I was reading.  The pages just sailed by.  Yes, he’s a little wordy sometimes, but the story keeps you glued.  The characters, both the good and the bad, each need to be there.  I found the ways in which Koontz had Jane evade her pursuers to be detailed and riveting.  Really intense. 

Jane is an amazing character, and I am really looking forward to the second book!

 

Read: June 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from The Silent Corner:

“The Silent Corner: Those who are truly off the grid and cannot be tracked by any technology, yet are able to move about freely and use the Internet, are said to be in the silent corner.”

“Week by week she had grown quieter in all things, as though she was preparing soon to be a ghost and silent forever.”

“The Hamlet list. Like the play. If someone had killed Hamlet in the first act, a lot more people would’ve been alive at the end.”

 

Dean Photo 8

 

About the Author:  Dean Koontz (1945 – ), the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, grew up in Pennsylvania, but lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

 

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

The Doll House

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

 Published: September 2017

5Stars

 

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan is her debut thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher HQ Digital, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a suspenseful tale of a family unaware of a past transgression.  Richard Hawes, a well-known and respected architect, and his wife Mathilde had two daughters, Corinne and Ashley.

Corinne and her boyfriend Dominic are attempting IVF (for the fourth time).  They so desperately want a child, but Corrine fears it may not happen.  She is a bundle of nerves. Dominic is a journalist who is doing a feature piece on an old mansion that is in the process of being restored, but he may not have the stomach to write the truth. 

Ashley is now married to James, and is the mother of three children.  Her eldest daughter is going through the trials of being a teenager, her middle boy is a normal rambunctious child, and her youngest can’t seem to sleep through the night.  On top of her busy home-life, she tries to maintain a part-time job with the help of an elderly babysitter.  Now she thinks James may be having an affair, because he’s never home to help with the kids. 

It has been a rough year for everyone.  Their beloved father died, and the anniversary of his death looms near.  Their mother moved to a smaller house, and doesn’t seem to be coping.  Ashley’s suspicions of her husband’s infidelity are growing firmer, and she wants to confront James.  Meanwhile, Corinne is receiving pieces of the doll house that her father had made for them when they were just kids.  She doesn’t know who is leaving them for her to find, but she is frightened.  Her mother refuses to answer her questions, and Dominic doesn’t seem to believe her, chalking it up to stress and hormones.

The past is about to rear its ugly head.

Told from the perspectives of Corinne, Ashley and occasionally Dominic, the author adds a fourth voice.  An unknown observer tells the strange tale of her childhood, and a mother that may be a little unhinged.  Revenge is such an ugly word.

This book was amazing.  Really enjoyed the roller coaster ride.  One of those books you don’t want to set down.  Even told by so many different characters, nothing got lost. Everything ran smoothly right to the “bitter” end.  The characters were deep, and their emotions and thoughts all rang true (although Corinne could have used a little more backbone).  The writing was excellent!

Definitely looking for more from this budding author!

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from The Doll House:

“To my family, for not being like this one.”  (This is on Morgan’s dedication page, love it!)

“Sometimes I really wonder how anyone can ever trust a man. I mean, really trust them. I know I couldn’t. I don’t understand why people do, I’ve never seen evidence that we ought to.”

“Our desperate thoughts fill the room like balloons.”

 

Phoebe Morgan

About the Author:  Phoebe Morgan studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London.

Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff (#2 Huntress/FBI)

Blood Moon (Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #2)

Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

 Originally Published: 2013

5Stars 

 

Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff is the 2nd in the Huntress/FBI Series.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an inter-state manhunt for Cara Lindstrom.  25 years ago 5-year old Cara had been the only survivor in her family when a killer known as “The Reaper” went on a deadly rampage.  Now, Cara is responsible for the deaths of many more, although some would say that these deserve to die.  Her victims are generally child molesters or sex traffickers, but it still makes Cara a killer.

Roarke is not handling Cara’s case as he should.  He knows it.  His feelings toward Cara are mixed.  He may be responsible for her letting her escape last time but he vows to catch her this time.  When using himself as bait does not work, they decide to create a new Reaper crime.  They find a similar crime that they can pretend was the Reapers doing, and hope it will bring Cara to them.  Instead, what they find is The Reaper.

Alexandra Sokoloff continues to keep us guessing.  This is an amazing series.  The characters are intense, and I found myself cheering for both Matthew and Cara.  The action keeps the book moving along at a fast pace.  It isn’t deep, but it is very entertaining.  Just loving these books!

It’s one of those hard-to-put-down books.  Can’t wait til the next one (although, as always, I will take a break in between them.

 

Read: August 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Blood Moon:

“She was forcing Roarke to come up with new definitions for everything he’d ever believed in.”

“Another murder on her scorecard; another death not many people would ever lose sleep over.”

“At the beginning of her dark journey, an old Native American man had taught her that every moon has a name. This month is Blood Moon.
She will listen and wait for the signs.”

 

Alexandra Sokoloff

About the Author:   Alexandra Sokoloff is the bestselling author of both supernatural and crime novels.  Her awards and nominations continue to build up. As a screenwriter she has sold original suspense and horror scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios.   Although originally from California, she now divides her time between Los Angeles and Scotland.   In her free time, she dances.

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Lie To Me

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

 Published: September 2017

4stars

 

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison is a mystery/thriller, about a couple whose relationship seems to be built on lies. 

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher HQ Digital, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair are both authors, both passionate and impulsive people. Both liars. It makes them good storytellers, but is perhaps not the greatest basis for a marriage.

The two seem to have a love/hate relationship.  They almost seem jealous of each other’s successes.  Their marriage has been rocky.  Career set-backs and lousy reviews upset their lifestyle.  Then they lose their baby to SIDS.  What was rocky, has now become a minefield, with neither one of them stepping too carefully.

One morning Ethan finds a note on the kitchen counter.  Sutton has left him, and instructs him not to come looking.  At first, he is bewildered, then relieved, then angry, and then true disbelief sets in.  When he looks around, he finds her laptop, her cellphone, her wallet and ID are all still in their home.  Would she leave without taking them?  Could she have caused herself harm?  Could someone else have taken her? Always thinking about the reaction of his fans, his self-centeredness holds him back from immediately contacting the police.  He calls her friends first who know nothing, and talks to her mother who is thankful Sutton finally left him, and then his lawyer, who suggests the police.  Ivy, their best friend, flies back from a business trip to help him deal with everything. 

It doesn’t take long before all the gossip starts, and the police are concentrating on Ethan as their number one suspect. 

The story is told from different perspectives.  Reminiscent of Gone Girl, the narrations are unreliable.  Both Ethan and Sutton tell their story from “then” and “now” time frames, but both narrations are heavily slanted in their own favor.  To add a new twist, the author has a third narrator, a third personality, thrown into the mix, which definitely adds a punch to this book.  You don’t know who this person is, but you quickly know that nothing is as it seems.

I loved how Ellison named each chapter instead of numbering them (and there are a lot of them).  All are relatively short, which helps with the fast flow of the book (which is quite long).

To be honest, when I started it, I thought, okay, another “he said this, she said that” kind of book, but it surprised me.  By half way through, I was barely putting it down.  I didn’t particularly like either of the main characters.  They were both very selfish, egotistical, and they lied right to the end.  However, this book had enough twists and turns to make it a little different.  You were still wondering if you were hearing the whole story at the end.  And the end, well, it was different too.

Definitely worth the read!

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Lie To Me:

“You aren’t going to like me very much.”  (Great opening line to the book)

“Somewhere, deep inside, there is a kernel of hate that each and every one of us must push away. Push down. Pretend it doesn’t exist. We’re all such good people.
Until we’re not.”

 

J.T. Ellison

 

 About the Author:   J.T. Ellison is a NY Times and USA Today best-selling author.  She writes both stand-alone thrillers as well as two series and is the co-author of the “A Brit in the FBI” series with Catherine Coulter.   Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Partials by Dan Wells (#1 Partials)

Partials (Partials Sequence, #1)

Partials by Dan Wells

 Published: February 2012

4stars

 

Partials by Dan Wells is the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy aimed at the YA Crowd.  I may not be YA, but that never deters me, and should not send you running either.  Wells is an excellent sci-fi writer.  You don’t really notice it is sci-fi.  It is a story about survival.

Humanity is near its end.  In the eleven years since the Partials attack, not a single baby has survived more than a few days.  They die from a virus that no one knows how to cure.  Now a small group of immune humans are surviving on Long Island.  But unless they find a cure for “RM”, they will be the last to walk the earth.

On the other side, although they look human, the Partials were built for war.  They have some special attributes that link them together.  After winning the war, the Partials were left with human qualities, but a military mind.  They tried to fit in with the humans.  That didn’t work, so they rebelled.  As long as the humans stay away, there is peace.  Now, however, the Partials have a problem, and factions are separating.  Now there may be trouble.

Although the senate is trying to research the virus, they are failing. Instead, they are forcing anyone 18 years old and over to have children, hoping one will survive.  There is talk of lowering that age.  A 16-year old medic named Kira Walker may hold the key.  Her friend is pregnant, and she is intent on finding a cure before Madison’s baby becomes another statistic.  Kira has an idea that involves finding a Partial to run some tests on. Kira may discover more than she hoped.  The only way for everyone to survive may be to work together.  Partials and humans.

There is a lot of action in this book, and it really moves along at a good pace.  Wells delved into the science of the virus, which made it more interesting, and then he created characters to dissect it in a way that was easily understood.  His character development is always good, and this book was no exception.  The protagonist is only 16, but she is strong, intelligent and outspoken….and most of the time she doesn’t realize it.

Overall, for a no-where-near Young Adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one in this series.

 

Re-Read: August 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Partials:

“Happiness is the most natural thing in the world when you have it, and the slowest, strangest, most impossible thing when you don’t.” …  “It’s like learning a foreign language: You can think about the words all you want, but you’ll never be able to speak it until you suck up your courage and say them out loud.”

“No matter why you’re here, no matter why any of us are here, you’re never tied down to fate. You’re never locked in. You make your own choices, Kira, and you can’t let anyone ever take that away from you.”

“Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess,” said Marcus. “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later.”

 

bio-pic_03

About the Author:  Dan Wells (March 1977 – )   lives in North Salt Lake, Utah, with his wife and children.   In addition to the John Cleaver (I am Not a Serial Killer) Series, he has also written the Partials Series, as well as stand-alone novels.  He has a popular Podcast called Writing Excuses.

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (#3 Harry Hole)

The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

 Originally Published: December 2008

3stars

 

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo is the 3rd in the Harry Hole series.

Harry Hole (pronounced Hoo-leh) is a detective with the police department in Norway. He is a (still struggling) recovering alcoholic with a surprisingly good record of solving crimes.  Unfortunately, and much to the dismay of his bosses, Harry does not always follow procedures.

While on protective detail, Harry erroneously shoots a US Secret Service Agent who was out of position.  The Governments of both countries decide that Norway needs a hero (instead of a scapegoat), and Harry is made an inspector.  With his new title, wages and office, Harry is supposed to be laying low.  This new job may not be Harry’s style.  He is assigned the rather mundane task of surveilling a group of Neo-Nazi’s.  When he hears about a rare and expensive gun being test-fired, he decides to investigate.  Could there be an assassination being planned? 

His investigation introduces him to some Norwegians who were fighting for Hitler on the Eastern Front during the Second World War.  They seem to be hiding more than the Neo-Nazi’s.  Although Harry seems to be running in different directions, he has been meeting some interesting characters, including a woman who sparks his interest.

Meanwhile his old partner is savagely murdered, and Harry barely keeps it together. 

Told from two different time-frames, the book alternates between events that occurred in 1944 during WWII, and present day.  I found that with the name changes, and the unfamiliar territory (my knowledge of Norway during Hitler’s reign of terror is scant), I occasionally found myself lost.  However, by the end of the book, everything was crystal clear.

I enjoyed the book, mainly because of Harry.  Although a tough, flawed protagonist is nothing new, Nesbo has created a very likeable character who you really want to win.

It is evident from the way the book ended that there is much more to come. I’m looking forward to the next book!

 

Re-Read: August 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from The Redbreast:

“Hell, wasn’t that one of the reasons he became a detective? To avoid having people underneath him, and to have as few as possible above him?”

“He had heard from a colleague over there that it only rained twice every autumn in Bergen: from September to November, and from November to New Year.”

“She was seven years old when she came to me in the kitchen and turned these grave eyes on me. “Humans were created by God to love,” she said.”

 

Jo Nesbø 

About the Author:  Jo Nesbo (pronounced “you nesbaugh”) (1960 – ) is a Norwegian author.   When is dreams of being a soccer star were dashed by an injury, he entered the military, then he entered the world of finance, then formed several bands.  Then he started writing.  He has never stopped.  Apparently he still rock climbs.

Zoo 2 by James Patterson (#2 – Zoo)

Zoo 2 (Zoo, #2)

Zoo 2 by James Patterson (with Max DiLallo)

 Published: June 2016

3stars

 

Zoo II by James Patterson and Max DiLallo is a “bookshot”.  Basically a novella. 

As a continuation of a world gone wild, literally, we enter the realm of Jackson Oz, who is currently living in the Arctic with his wife Chloe and their young son Eli.   When his solution to the animal kingdom attacking humans didn’t seem viable as a long-term answer to the government, Oz fled with his family.  Now the government is willing to put another team together and listen to the scientists.  Oz agrees to join, while sending his wife and child to live with her parents in France.  Now there is a new wrinkle.  Humans are starting to show aggression.  And it doesn’t seem to matter where you go, no one is safe.

Although the plot and writing is good, I am actually enjoying the television series more than I am enjoying these books.  For one thing, Patterson’s male characters are always a little sexist.  Even though Oz is married, and he remains loyal, his thoughts are always on how cute his co-worker is.  He sounds like another of Patterson’s characters – Alex Cross, a womanizer.  Patterson doesn’t get it.

There is definitely lots of action, which helps to move the book along.  This is a short story in Patterson’s fast style of short chapters, but in this case a shorter book.  Personally I feel these are just a money grab by someone who has no need of the cash.  But, if you need something to fill in a little time….

 

Read: July 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Zoo 2:

“Even for an optimist like myself, it’s getting harder and harder not to worry.
Not just about my family. About the future of the human race.”

“I’m all for saving a life.  Just as long as it doesn’t cost my own.”

 

About the Authors:

James Patterson has written more bestsellers and created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today. He lives in Florida with his family.

Max DiLallo is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He lives in Los Angeles.

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons (#3 Kim Stone)

Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone, #3)

 Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

 Published: November 2015

5Stars

 

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons is the 3rd in the DI Kim Stone crime series.

Detective Inspector Kim Stone has a hard exterior.  She is tough, but it is going to take all her strength to keep it together this time.  Two 9-year old girls have been kidnapped and their families, already close friends, are thrust together into an unimaginable nightmare. When the kidnappers demands are received, the true horror of the situation is revealed.  The family who bids the highest will get their daughter back.  The other child will be killed.  The anger and frustration against the kidnappers now turns the families against each other.  Secrets will be revealed and fists will fly. 

The in-fighting among the families is not helping Stone solve her case.  Her boss has already given her two more professionals to add to her team, but she doesn’t really want to be saddled with either a criminal profiler or a negotiator.  If she could be left alone to solve this herself, she would be fine.  But she is going to find that she needs all the help she can get.  This is not the first abduction of children by this kidnapper, and the last one didn’t end well.  Stone is going to make sure that this time there will be no mistakes.  Both of these girls are coming home.

With each new book, Angela Marsons shows more talent.  Her characters are growing, their relationships with each other are being cemented, and her plots are continuing to hold our interest.  A fast-paced thrill.  This series continues to excite!

 

Read: July 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Lost Girls:

“There was an old adage that if you couldn’t say anything nice, get the hell away before you said something very wrong. Or something like that.”

“All through their marriage Elizabeth had consoled herself that every partnership was a balance sheet. There were assets and debts on both sides but now that she added up her net worth she realised the company had gone bust.”

 

Angela Marsons

About the Author:  Angela Marsons (1968 – ) is a British author who discovered writing in Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.   Her books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.   She still lives in England with her partner, a Labrador and a “potty-mouthed” grey parrot.