Posted in Reviews

Review: Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft

Silent LiesSilent Lies by Kathryn Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mia is recovering five years after her husband’s suicide. He was found in a student’s apartment; she was never seen again and he was assumed to have killed her to cover up an affair. But one day, a woman walks into Mia’s office and says that she doesn’t think Zach killed himself. And Mia begins a journey into the past that will test everything.

This book alternates viewpoints between Mia in the present day and the female student’s, Josie, in the past. The breaks in viewpoints are some really well to heighten suspense. I was desperately flipping pages at points.

Needless to say, this book is very suspenseful because you don’t really know what – or who – to believe. Everything and everyone seems slightly wrong, and it’s hard to put all the pieces together until they are revealed. And some of the characters are very creepy. There’s more than enough bad guys to go around.

Speaking of reveals, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. The way things turned out was good, and indeed twisty, but then the very end leaves a bad taste, in my opinion. It didn’t feel complete. To me, that was a shame after such a good book up until that final point.

Still, I have to say that I liked this book. It’s not action heavy, it’s more about suspense and feelings, and that’s refreshing every once in awhile.


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Review: Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham

Wicked Deeds (Krewe of Hunters, #23)Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Wicked Deeds” is the 23rd (!!) book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham. And Graham certainly hasn’t lost her touch, bringing fun and creepiness to this latest take, which is centered on Edgar Allan Poe.

Of note: this book can be read as a stand-alone (maybe after reading just a bit about what the “Krewe” is so you’re up-to-date.

After stopping for a brief stay in Baltimore, Griffin and Vickie, who is about to enroll in the FBI academy, get tangled in a mystery when a writer is found dead in the basement of a Poe-themed restaurant, in a very Poe-sequence way. At the same time, Vickie is having nightmares about the mysterious death of the famous writer, and wonders if what happened all those years ago is tied to current events, as the body count rises.

I loved the Poe tie-in, it gave it a very creepy vibe and a nice twist on the murder mystery. Plus adds a nice historical mystery to the mix. Hey, it might not be exactly what happened, but it’s fun to think about.

I just wish the ending had been better explained. It was over very quickly. I would have liked the see a little bit more of the hows and the whys – it wasn’t very obvious to me after having read it. That took away a little bit of it for me.

Overall, this book is a light, fun read. If you’re a fan of Poe, or just paranormal mysteries, you’ll enjoy this book.

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#BlogTour: The Other Mother by J.A. Baker

About the Book:

Three troubled women. One deadly secret.

Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire, however when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered.

Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.

All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame.

But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?

As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights…

About the Book:

I finished this book really quickly- I was really into it. The action ramps up as you realize that something is terribly “off” with the three main women’s lives. It’s really greatly suspenseful and will make you gasp out loud.

The chapters revealing what happened when the women were children are interspersed throughout the book and don’t reveal exactly what’s going on at first, which gives the book the great unreliable narrator theme – there’s no telling who’s telling the truth and who’s just glossing over the facts. I love reading books like that because you have no idea who’s hiding what and why. It’s a puzzle you have to solve.

I also love a good past-catches-up-with-you story. It adds layers to the story and creates more mystery. And the author gives us a front-row seat to the events that lead up to the tragedy that binds the women together.

I also really liked the ending. It didn’t turn out exactly how I had pictured it, but it was satisfying. I felt pleased with everything and felt things went the way they should have. (Trying for no spoilers!)

This book would make a great travel book or beach read – it was an interesting, suspenseful and character-driven book that I devoured. I highly recommend to mystery/thriller lovers.

This is my first, but certainly won’t be my last book by J.A. Baker!

Author Bio:

Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.

After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.

J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.


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Review: If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams

If You Knew My SisterIf You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book in two days – it was tense, suspenseful and filled with drama. Plus the setting (a large family home in rural Scotland filled with secrets) is great for these kind of familial sagas. I really enjoyed it, but the ending left me with several questions.

The plot revolves around the complicated relationship between sisters Irini and Elle. Elle grew up with their parents and their parents’ money, while Irini was given away to relatives and only had hand-me-downs growing up. Irini receives a call from Elle asking for her to come to the family’s estate for their mother’s funeral. Irini plans for it to be a final goodbye to her past, but as events unfold, the secrets in the past threaten to take over Irini’s life.

I loved this book and its plot. I was getting anxious as Irini’s trip home became more and more fraught with tension. I was upset for her. I couldn’t stop turning pages until I found out certain things. There’s not much “mystery” here, plenty of foreshadowing left me with a pretty ok idea of some plot points. But there’s some twists and questions about how it’s all going to shake out in the end.

And this book stayed with me long after the ending. I was looking over my shoulder the entire night, lol.

And in the end, those twists and revelations come fast furious – perhaps a little to fast. Some things kind of got glossed over. And some things weren’t fully explained. I don’t want to spoil it, because it’s really worth reading yourself, but I’d love to discuss with someone, so feel free to comment if you’ve read this one.

Overall, I really did love this book – it has a great, exciting plot that will keep you reading. Just be prepared to want chat about it. It’d be perfect for a book club.

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Review: Her Last Goodbye by Melinda Leigh

Her Last Goodbye (Morgan Dane #2)Her Last Goodbye by Melinda Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Morgan Dane series (my first book review is here), but it can be read as a standalone, though there are references to the first book.

This was a great, solid mystery, with plenty of suspense, romance and a doozy of an ending. I will certainly be continuing reading this series.

The story takes place a month after the events of Say You’re Sorry. The Sharp Investigations crew – now with Morgan as a legal consultant – is hired to find Chelsea Clark, who has been missing for a week. Her husband hires the firm because he’s been the focus of the investigation, but he firmly maintains his innocence and is overwhelmed with worry and the stress of caring for their two young children. From there, things get messy, as multiple unsavory characters come to the forefront and some begin threatening Morgan personally.

The plot was very straightforward, and you’re thrust right into the middle of the action. And there are some nice twists in there. It’s not a generic romantic suspense plot. I enjoyed trying to figure out how it was going to end up.

I continue to enjoy the broader cast of characters in this book- Morgan’s grandfather and kids, Lance’s mom, etc. They really add some depth to the plot and some touching moments (though some of the chaos those little girls bring could make you dizzy!) I’m excited to see how they all develop in the future.

The relationship between Lance and Morgan continued to develop too, which was nice. I like that it’s going slowly, so it provides some tension, and something to look forward to.

Overall, this is a nice addition to the series. Recommended.

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Review: Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy

Today, we’re kicking off the holiday season with a special review – and “guest reviewer!”

Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy – available on Amazon – is a cute reindeer-themed children’s chapter book, and as soon as I heard about it, I thought of my niece, Leah! She loves reindeer so she was the perfect partner to read this book with. So, here’s our review of this super adorable book, which is filled with enough cheer to keep you excited for the holiday!

Rating: 5/5 stars

This book is the first in the Ronaldo series and it’s a fun read from start to finish, filled with cute details that bring a reindeer’s world to life – like “carrot pancakes” and appearances from your favorite traditional reindeer pals.

Ronaldo – who loves flying and keeping track of his favorite flyers – is a great protagonist. He’s sweet and kind, but also kicks butt when it comes to flying; he’s definitely a hero to root for. Like I said earlier, I also really liked the addition of the “traditional characters” because that allowed us to get a glimpse of their personalities as well.

Leah enjoyed the jokes throughout the book, especially Blitzen’s appearance (I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s a doozy, lol) and I liked that there were enough jokes and references to keep both adults and children entertained. I didn’t feel bored reading it with her.

Overall, I highly recommend this book and am sure your little reindeer fans will love it!

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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#BlogTour: The Man in the Wall by Emma Ångström

About the Book:

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two week after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

The Man in the Wall is a thrilling and stylish Scandinavian thriller.

My Review:

If you are a fan of horror movies, you will love this book.

It’s not a slasher/gory/bloody book (too much, at least) but it is a kind of creepy that will completely unsettle you. It’s definitely a “What if?” type of book, and that scenario is really horrifying. It’s perfect for these gray, cold nights when you’re lookin for a scary read to put a little extra chill into your night.

And the mIn character, Alva, is really something. She’s a complete mystery at first, then when you get to understand her, it’s very, um, interesting. (I’m realllly trying not to give spoilers!)

The ending is so creepy. OMG. Just wait for it. It really brings things full circle and will leave you quite breathless. I was creeped out long after closing the book.

Overall, this is a great, gritty, scary read. I really liked it.

About the Author:

Emma Ångström is an author and architect. She has a Master’s degree in architecture from the Royal Technical University in Stockholm and from Parsons in New York. Besides her writing she currently works as head of communications at an architectural firm in Stockholm, Sweden.

She was born in 1982 in Västerås, Sweden, and started her writing career as a journalist at the age of 17. Since then, she has also worked as a lighting designer, and written non-fiction books about lighting design and architecture.

Ångström made her debut in 2009 with the novel AND ALL IS DISTORTED (Och allt är förvridet). In 2016 THE MAN IN THE WALL was released, a remarkable and nerve-wracking thriller with a ”monster” it is hard not to feel certain sympathy with. Condensed writing shaping characters of real flesh and blood, a steady hand’s brushwork forming each piece of the portrait’s originality to a whole, stylistically assured.


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