The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla

The Darkness in the Light: A Thriller

 

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla

Publishing:  May 3, 2022 by Simon and Shuster

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  Well, the author is Canadian.  But that’s not all.  He’s really talented, and I’ve enjoyed a number of his other books, so he is becoming one of my go-to authors.  I don’t usually read medical thrillers, but this author writes compelling characters.

 

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon and Shuster 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)

Dr. David Spears  is a psychiatrist, working out of Anchorage Alaska.  A number of his patients are actually in the Arctic, and he “sees” them via video chat.  One of his patients up there, Brianna, just committed suicide, and he feels guilty for missing the warning signs.  A friend of hers, Amka, who is also his patient,  is taking it hard, and David decides it is time for him to visit the remote community to check up on her.

David has had his own issues.  His wife took his daughter, and they are living in Seattle, so visits are tough, and when his anticipated father/daughter trip gets cancelled on top of the recent suicides, David’s own depression gets amped up.  He has been on a fairly new anti-depressant called Ketopram, which he swears saved his life.  But now he is having doubts.  A few of his patients that are on this drug have committed suicide lately, and he starts to wonder if it may not be the wonder drug he had anticipated.  His own friend/psychiatrist has invested heavily into this drug, and David can’t convince him there is a problem.

Upon visiting the remote arctic town, David and Taylor Holmes (the town’s social worker)  take up the hunt for Amka, who is now missing.  David’s fear that Amka’s use of Ketopram may send her over the edge.  Taylor, on the other hand, thinks her disappearance could be down to her drug-dealing boyfriend and his connections.    But there are a lot of connections, and the investigation will prove treacherous.

 

My Opinions:   

Okay, about 1/2 way through the book was a MAJOR twist.  I certainly did not see that one coming!  The author took a giant leap, and I followed.  I actually think the book got even better after that jump.

The book looks into pharmaceuticals, both legal and illegal. Other topics include mental health issues,  suicide and abuse.  So, overall, pretty dark, sensitive topics.  The author handled them all with grace.  The plot was good, as was the pace.

The characters were all really well developed, and you either loved them or hated them,  but they seemed “real”.

It was a really good, fast read, and it kept my attention from start to finish.  What more can I ask?

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read:  April, 2022

 

Daniel KallaAbout The Author: Daniel Kalla is a Canadian author, still living in his home-town of Vancouver, BC.  He spends some days, some nights, working as an ER Doctor at a major BC hospital.  Then he writes.  He is the proud father of two girls and a poorly behaved but lovable mutt, Milo.

*** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4695358907

 

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 Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

 

The Children on the Hill

 

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

Publishing:  April 26, 2022 by Simon and Schuster Canada

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I have really enjoyed other books by this author (particularly The Drowning Kind).

 

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon and Schuster Canada 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)

Vi and Eric grew up in Vermont with their gran, psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth.  Gran ran The Hillside Inn, a hospital noted for their unique and compassionate work with the mentally ill.  Gran often brought patients home to live with them for a night, or a week, or so.  She felt that a “home” environment was beneficial to their recovery.

Then one day, Gran brings home Iris, a girl who doesn’t speak, and when she does, she remembers nothing, not even her name. Gran says no one is to know she is living with them.  Vi is determined to find out everything she can about Iris…who she starts to think of as her sister.

Vi and Eric invite Iris to join their “Monster Club”, where they are documenting all sorts of monsters and ways to banish or kill them.  Vi does the writing, and Eric draws their pictures.  Iris can help.  They discover that monsters are closer than they think.

Forty years have past, and 53 year old Lizzy Shelley is still chasing monsters.  She and her brother changed their names, but some things never change. Lizzy is the host of a really popular podcast, and is travelling the country searching for monsters.  She has a fully customized van, and she’s been searching for Sasquatches, vampires, werewolves, etc.

But the monster Lizzy is really after is her sister.

 

My Opinions:

This was great.  The story is told in different timelines and different perspectives,  including blurbs from the “Monster Book” that the children were writing, and an article written by a journalist.  Then  there is “Lizzie’s” story of her hunt for her sister/monster.

The plot was so well thought out, and the whole thing was really well written.  The characters were deep, and the topic of eugenics was rather disturbing.  The overall creepiness of the mental hospital was really well done.

The pace was good. The suspense continued to build, and when the twist came, I was stunned.  Absolutely loved it, and if that wasn’t enough, the ending was!  It was a very atmospheric novel, with evil and monsters everywhere.

McMahon is an amazing writer, and I definitely recommend this one.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read:  April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from The Children on the Hill:

“I don’t believe places can be haunted.  Only people, and not in a supernatural way.  People are only haunted by their pasts.”

“We belong dead.”

 

 

Jennifer McMahonAbout The Author: Jennifer McMahon is an American author of suspense novels.  She lives in Vermont with her partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.  She loves exploring the Vermont woods, and haunted places.

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4658689953

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.

 

 

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch

 

She Lied She Died

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch

Publishing:  April 26, 2022 by One More Chapter (Harper Collins)

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I have read a couple of her books, and really enjoyed them!

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher One More Chapter (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:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When Natalie Breyas was 9, the dead body of 14 year old Jenny Juliott showed up on their farm.  Another teenager, Chrissy Cornwall confessed to the crime, and has spent the last 30 years behind bars.

Natalie has never forgotten the night of that murder, and has often questioned how this could have happened.  There have been plenty of rumours over the years, but it seemed to all boil down to a fight between the two girls over a boy.

Natalie has had her own problems since that night. A few years after the body was found, her mom left for greener pastures,  then later her dad had a heart attack and died, and 10 years ago, her brother Jack committed suicide.  Natalie found him.  She came home to the farm after that, feeling guilty about Jack being alone, and her own depression would not let her leave.  She always dreamed of being a writer, but has never published.

Now, Chrissy is out of prison, and proclaiming her innocence.  She wants Natalie to tell her story.  Natalie isn’t sure what to believe.  Did Chrissy lie when she confessed to the murder, and if so why?  Or is she lying now?

 

My Opinions:   

This was quite good.  It is a short, fast read.  Note that it is much shorter than anticipated, because the last number of chapters are actually the start of another book — I hate when they do that, as I figure I still have quite a ways to go in the book, and suddenly it’s done!

That being said, the actual story was well plotted out, and although I had an idea as to the identity of Jenny’s murderer early on, there were other twists that I had not seen coming.  WOW!

The writing is very good, the pace fast, and the characters captivating.  An entertaining, fast read.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read: April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from She Lied, She Died:

“That when bad girls lie, good girls die.”

“Lies.  People told them for so many reasons – to protect others to protect themselves … to protect their reputation.”

 

Carissa Ann LynchAbout The Author:  Carissa Ann Lynch is an American author.  She lives in Indiana with her husband and children.  She has a background in psychology.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check her out:  

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4686652004

 

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.

 

 

 

Lakeview House by Helen Phifer

 

Lakeview House

 

Lakeview House by Helen Phifer

Publishing:  April 8, 2022 by Bookouture

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I enjoy this authors’ various series, and this looked like an interesting stand-alone.

 

Heads Up: Lakeview House was previously published as What Lies Below.

 

Lakeview House by Helen Phifer 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)

Maddy Hart needs a fresh start.  She’s running from an abusive relationship.  She’s on a deadline with her publisher.  She just needs to get away.

When her best friend sends her a flyer showing Lakeview House, with the opportunity for Maddy to work there uninterrupted while being paid as a caretaker, she jumps at the chance.

But things are not as they seem in this rather imposing mansion.  Either the house is haunted, or someone is trying to scare her off.  Maddy’s going to put up a fight.

 

My Opinions:   

Absolutely loved this….and the twist…OMG, I was really surprised.  Love when that happens!

It started out a little slow, but when it picked up speed, there was no stopping it.  Helen Phifer is an excellent writer.

The plot was really good, and although it seemed straight-forward, it wasn’t.  I loved Maddy, and her friend Stella.  Although Stella’s actions left a lot to be desired, she was still a friend.  Glynnis and her son were just as entertaining.  All the characters were a little quirky, well thought out.

So, a creepy old house, a serial killer, and an author.  What more could you want?

 

Read: April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from Lakeview House:

“I’d rather have something to protect ourselves with than an empty hand and harsh language.”

“Are you like some kind of crazy woman who hides it really well?”

 

Helen PhiferAbout The Author:  Helen Phifer is a British Author of crime and horror.  She is best known for writing both the Annie Graham series and Lucy Harwin series.  Helen lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.  

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check her out: 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4638956236

 

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 Detective’s Daughter by Erica Spindler

 

The Detective’s Daughter

 

The Detective’s Daughter by Erica Spindler

Publishing:  March 29, 2022 by Hoffman Miller Advertising

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I was approached by the publisher, and jumped at the chance.  I always enjoy this author’s books.

 

The Detective’s Daughter by Erica Spindler  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank the publisher Hoffman Miller Advertising (and in particular Monica Growden) 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)

Detective Quinn Conners is 29 and having relationship problems.  Commitment doesn’t come easy.  Her mother died when she was a baby, and her father killed himself, after telling her that he had solved the murder of Cynthia Hudson, and the kidnapping of her daughter, Grace.  Of course, Quinn’s father had been drunk at the time of this revelation, and Quinn didn’t believe him.  He had been obsessed with the case since Quinn was around two.

When Quinn receives an anonymous message saying “Your father didn’t kill himself”, she starts to question things.  But when a writer shows up who seems determined to re-open the Hudson cold case, Quinn finds herself drawn in.  Soon she is as obsessed with the case as her father had been.

 

My Opinions:   

I probably would have given this 5 stars, if it hadn’t been so predictable that it annoyed me.  I had it figured out early on, and just got frustrated that it was taking so long for the protagonist to make the connections.  It was still a good book, even though I had guessed most of the twists.

The story is told in two time-lines, one centered on Quinn, and one on her father.  I liked that method of telling both stories.

I did like Quinn, although a lot of her actions seemed like rookie moves.  She is a stubborn and determined woman, but  gives no thought to authority, and basically does whatever she wants – which further annoyed me.  Okay, maybe I don’t like her as much as I should.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this book lead to a series.

Don’t get me wrong, it was well-written, and entertaining.  For Spindler fans, this one will be a must.

 

Read: March, 2022

 

Erica SpindlerAbout The Author: Erica Spindler is an American author, raised in Illinois.  She planned on being an artist, and got a BFA from Delta State University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans in the visual arts.  She lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two sons.

*** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4588443154

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 Resting Place by Camilla Sten

 

The Resting Place

 

The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

Publishing:  March 22, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books)

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I really enjoyed The Lost Village by this author, and when I received a widget for this one, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

The Resting Place by Camilla Sten is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books) and in particular Danielle Prielipp from the publisher who sent 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)

Eleanor reluctantly visits her rather cruel grandmother Vivianne every week.  One Sunday, she knocks on the door and comes face to face with a killer, who calmly walks away, blood on her hands.  Inside the apartment, Vivianne lays dying from being viciously stabbed by a pair of scissors.

Unfortunately, Eleanor suffers from prosopagnosia, a rare disease that does not allow her to remember faces.  Although the killer walked right by her, Eleanor has no idea who it was, or if she even knew them.

Months go by, with the police considering it a break and enter, and Eleanor still trying to understand her grandmother’s death.  Then, Eleanor hears from a lawyer of Vivianne’s estate.  She and her Aunt Veronika need to do an inventory of a mansion that Eleanor had never even heard of.  Apparently her grandmother had kept many secrets.

Almost upon arrival at the large estate, things start going wrong.  Eleanor’s boyfriend Sebastian doesn’t believe that she saw someone in the woods, but when her aunt is attacked, things start getting serious…all in the middle of a blizzard.

 

My Opinions:   

This was really good. The premise of the story was good (although the face-blindness angle could have been a little stronger), and the author took the reader on quite a journey.  It felt “tense” from beginning to end.  Nothing is as it seems, and although I had guessed a couple of the twists, I didn’t see the last one coming.  It was about a very dysfunctional family, and also touched on mental illness.

The story was told by different perspectives and through a decades old diary, but it was laid out very well.

My only complaint were some of the characters, as they weren’t very deep (Sebastian in particular).  Then there were the names….so many started with a V that I started getting a little confused, and a few of the characters were known by two different names, so that didn’t help either.

Overall, it’s a creepy, atmospheric, and compelling thriller.  I can’t wait to see what Sten pulls out of her mind next!

 

Read: March, 2022

 

Favorite Quote from The Resting Place:

“The fear is still pulsing through my veins, but my thoughts have scattered. I no longer remember what I’m scared of: I know I need to get away, but not what from or why.”

 

Camilla Sten

 

About The Author: Camilla Sten (Sept 19 1992 – ) is a Swedish author, currently studying psychology.  She has co-authored two novels with her mother Viveca Sten, and written a number on her own (mostly in Swedish).

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/edit/57693360

 

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 Couple on Maple Drive by Sam Carrington

 

The Couple on Maple Drive

 

The Couple on Maple Drive by Sam Carrington

Publishing:  December 9, 2021 by Avon UK

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I really enjoy her books!

 

The Couple on Maple Grove by Sam Carrington is a psychological thriller.

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

 

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

Isla MacKenzie is trying to recover from a mugging, but her fears of even leaving the house are hindering that recovery.   She had been partying to celebrate her new promotion, and on the walk home, she was hit over the head, and left for dead.  She has amnesia, and doesn’t remember anything about that night, or days prior.

Isla’s boyfriend, Zach, has moved in to look after her, but that doesn’t seem to be helping either.  Mind you, it was pretty early in their relationship to be living together, and sometimes she wonders if he is only there so that he can get away from his father.  It’s enough that they both work for the cantankerous old man.

But as memories start returning, Isla is starting to wonder about Zach, and about others.  She is a big fan of a true crime podcast, and decides that finding out who attacked her is the path to recovery.  She decides to investigate herself.

 

My Opinions:   

To be honest, I had problems getting into this book.  I didn’t really like the main character, or any of the others.  It seemed slow.  I kept hanging on, because I have really loved this author’s other books.    About 25-30% in, I started taking an interest.  As soon as Isla started standing up for herself, the book got better (in my opinion if the main character is weak,  I won’t enjoy it).

Anyway, it still moved slowly, but once Isla started investigating her own mugging, it got more interesting.  The suspense started building, and it ended with a bang.

So although I liked some of the author’s other works better, this still ended up being a good read….just not great.

Read: January, 2022

 

Sam CarringtonAbout The Author: Sam Carrington lives in Devon England with her husband and three children.  (She now has a grandson!)  Following the completion of a psychology degree she went to work for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator.  Her experiences within this field inspired her writing.  

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4423694125

 

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 Village by Caroline Mitchell

 

The Village

 

The Village by Caroline Mitchell

Publishing:  January 25, 2022 by Thomas & Mercer

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I have enjoyed numerous books by this author.

 

The Village by Caroline Mitchell 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:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Naomi, a true crime journalist, moves from London to Ivy Cottage, in the sleepy little village of Nighbrook.  The last year has changed her life…a new husband, a 16 year-old step-daughter, and now a rural cottage.  She’s not sure any of this is a good idea.

But life in Nighbrook has not always been perfect .  Ten years ago Martin Harper, his wife Susan, and their wheel-chair bound 8-year old daughter Grace,  disappeared from their home, Ivy Cottage.

This is the same Ivy Cottage that Naomi has purchased…without telling her husband of it’s rather dark history.  Ed would not approve although he is bound to find out.  But as a crime journalist Naomi has never been able to let this story go.  She is obsessed, and determined to find the truth, even if it means buying and living in that eerie little cottage.

The villagers are just as determined to keep their secrets.  They all seem to know what happened 10 years ago, but no one plans on opening up to Naomi.  She may regret moving her new family to this town, because some secrets can be deadly.

 

My Opinions:   

I really enjoy the Amy Winters series by this author, and have enjoyed her other stand-alone novels, so I really looked forward to this.

Unfortunately, my first thoughts were not good, as it involved a bratty teen-aged stepdaughter.  You sort of knew where that was headed.  So the first quarter of the book, I admit to being a little annoyed with myself for choosing to read this book.  Once I got over the wicked step-daughter thing, I started to really enjoy the book.

The story is told in two time-lines (current and ten years ago).  There was no confusion.  The characters were really interesting, and the suspense built throughout.  Then, when you thought you knew what was going on, the author threw you another curve.  Yes, the plot took some definitely unexpected turns, and a couple of them a little “out-there”, but I loved turning the pages to see where we were going next.

It was a really fast read, and the many twists kept me turning the pages to see what awaited around the next corner.  The book gives new meaning to the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Anyway, I enjoyed it!

Read: January, 2022

 

Caroline MitchellAbout The Author: Caroline Mitchell, originally from Ireland, now lives with her family in a small village on the coast of Essex.  She is a former police detective, but now writes full-time, with over half a million of her books sold worldwide.  She is an international USA Today #1 best-selling thriller author.  She writes a number of different mystery/crime series, as well as psychological thrillers. 

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4205823431

 

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 Night Shift by Alex Finlay

 

The Night Shift

 

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

Publishing:  March 1, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I read his first book, and was impressed.  This has received a lot of hype, so I’m hoping it proves true.

 

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay 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)

On New Year’s Eve 1999, four teenagers are attacked at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey.  Only one survives.  Ella has never really been the same.  She became a therapist, hoping to help others, but she hasn’t really helped herself yet.

The alleged perpetrator, Vince Whittaker, although identified, was never caught.   Vince’s younger brother Chris has become a public defender.  He has not seen his brother since the video store massacre, but he thinks he knows where he is.

Fifteen years later, four teenagers are attacked at a Dairy Creamery in New Jersey.  Only one survives.  Jesse is already a troubled teen, and her life just got worse. 

Ella comes to Jesse’s aid hoping that the fact that she can relate to Jesse’s circumstances will prove helpful.

FBI agent Sarah Keller is 8 months pregnant, and is assigned the task of looking into the similarities between the two events.  She is partnered with Atticus Singh.

 

My Opinions:   

Well, this definitely lived up to the hype.  I loved it.

It was told in two timelines, but 1999 was generally told in flashbacks, and everything was perfectly clear.

I loved the characters, and how the author brought them all together.  I loved the relationship between Sarah and her husband (although I was a little concerned for those babies).  Atticus was charming.  Those in the center of the mystery were deep enough, and I ended up caring for “most” of them.

The plot was good, and although some of the twists were inevitable,  the method that they were delivered was good.  However, the ending did have a surprise or two.

Overall, it was a fast and entertaining read, with enough action to keep me turning those pages.  I highly recommend this one!

For a more complete review of this book and others (including the reason I chose to read/review this book, author information and a favorite quotation or two from the book), please visit my blog: https://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

 

Read: February, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from The Night Shift:

“They didn’t consider that the name might not go over well for the only brown kid at North Caldwell Elementary.” He smiles. “And I never had the heart to mention that after Harper Lee died, they released her original manuscript and Atticus turns out to be a racist.” The smile again.”

“The sheep spends its life worried about the wolf, only to be eaten by the farmer.’”

 

Alex FinlayAbout The Author: Alex Finlay is the pseudonym of an author who lives in Washington, D.C. Born in the American South, Alex spent years traversing the globe, from a tropical island in the Pacific to a small village in the UK to a remote region in the Far East. But it was on a trip to Tulum, Mexico that Alex was inspired to write Every Last Fear. 

*** Picture Taken from GoodReads

 

Check out him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4241343357

 

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.

 

 

 

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

 

This Might Hurt

 

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Publishing:  February 22, 2021 by Simon and Schuster

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: This is her second novel, and although I didn’t particularly like the cover, the premise grabbed me.

 

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, 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)

Natalie Collins has not heard from her sister Kit in over six months.  They haven’t been close in a long time, but they’ve still kept in touch.  Their mother’s passing was hard on them both, but Kit took it exceptionally hard.

But Kit has found Wisewood.  Although other self-help groups have not worked, this looks really promising.  She signed up for six months on the island, and has found what she was looking for.  The residents of Wisewood sign an NDA to never discuss what happens on the island.  They have no access to the outside world – no internet, no phones, no contact with family or friends.  Their time is spent with chores, and learning to become fearless.  Their “Teacher” accepts nothing less than loyalty.

Natalie finally receives a rather menacing email from Wisewood threatening to tell Kit what Natalie has done.  She heads to the island.  She must be the one to tell Natalie.  But what she finds is not really her sister anymore.  The new Kit is much stronger, much more determined, and much less friendly.

 

My Opinions:   

First, I found the cover to be really boring.

Second, it didn’t start out too promising.   It was boring, it was slow moving, and I didn’t like any of the characters.

The story is told in different time-lines, and by three people…Natalie, Kit, and another unidentified person.  Unfortunately, as the chapters for the unidentified character didn’t have a heading, I thought they were from Natalie’s perspective, as they usually followed her chapter.  This was really confusing until I figure out it must be a third person.  By then I was a little annoyed.

The plot looks at how a child who has a demanding and abusive father can grow up to be just as manipulative and abusive with others.  It is about creating your own cult, and having a “god” complex.   It is about fear, and grief, and guilt, and why people are always looking for a way to better themselves, and the different reasons why people resort to joining a cult.

So, overall, the book was okay, but the last 20-25% improved it immensely — which was when it got good (sort of a long time to wait, though).  I loved the twist at the end.

Read: February, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from This Might Hurt:

“Dread is more painful to the brain than the thing you are actually dreading.”

“I am goddamn invincible.”

“What’s the only way you’re going to succeed? … Through my willingness to endure.”

 

Stephanie WrobelAbout The Author: Stephanie Wrobel is an American author who grew up in Chicago. After college she worked as a copywriter, then associate creative director, for advertising agencies in Chicago. During this time, she wrote and helped produce television and radio spots, print ads, billboards, and digital campaigns for brands like Coors, McDonald’s, and Capital One.  She now lives in London.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

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I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4340998972

 

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.