Posted in Reviews

The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White

The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino #1)The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t even know what to say about this book. It’s a roller coaster ride from start to finish – and I loved every minute of it!

If you break down the story, there’s three separate storylines going on, and each of them is intriguing and had me begging for more. And for the first time in a long time, I found myself seeking out the love scenes, having fallen madly in “shipping” with the main characters.

Before I get further: this book deals with graphic sexual assault. People wishing to avoid this topic should pick another novel.

Angie Pallorino is at a bad place in her personal life: her mother has just been institutionalized with schizophrenia, and Angie fears she may be be showing symptoms herself; Angie seeks release in dangerous, anonymous sexual encounters she describes as “hunting”; and she has some serious questions about her childhood. Then at work, where she’s still recovering from an incident which shook her to her core and claimed her partners life, a violent serial rapist has escalated to serial murderer and is leaving a string of dead, mutilated girls across the city. And Angie’s partner in this new investigation? A guy she slept with at the club, thinking it was completely anonymous.

Each of these storylines: the killer, the romance and the personal issues, all were so good I found myself waiting for the next installment in each – especially the romance. It was HOT. I seriously loved Angie and Maddocks together, I couldn’t wait to see how it all turned out.

The ending is so nuanced and well thought out – I didn’t see it coming, and I don’t know how you could. But it was satisfying and it fit. There were enough layers to keep things interesting and enough clues to make you say “oh yeahhhhh.”

This is apparently the first book in a new series, and I can’t wait for the next one! Things were wrapped up with the main storylines, but enough was left open to keep things interesting!

Mark me down for number two – STAT!

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Posted in Lists

Thursday Musings: The DNF Graveyard

 

I’ve had a really great streak going lately – the last several books I have read have all been great. I’ve really been on quite a roll.

Which got me thinking about books that I didn’t mesh with – specifically ones that I wasn’t able to finish. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make them “bad,” they just weren’t for me. Usually, if I only get a couple chapters into a book and realize it’s not for me, I don’t post a review. I don’t feel I can truly review a book having only read maybe two or three chapters.

So for the first time, I’m admitting which books I couldn’t finish – at least the first time I picked them up (See more on that below).

  1. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin: After hearing all the hype about the TV series, I was really curious about the books, because that’s how I think. But I couldn’t get more than 100 pages in. Even though I knew it was a fantasy/epic/drama, it was just SO MUCH of all of that. I couldn’t stomach it, I guess for the same reasons I don’t like soap operas. Oh well.
  2. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: I have always been fascinated by the Salem witch trials, and have even visited Salem, Mass. But I couldn’t get into this book, which blended reality and legend and lots and lots of small details. I couldn’t follow it at all.
  3. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell: I got about halfway through this book before letting it just drift off and finally putting it away. I just couldn’t really sympathize with others the characters here. But maybe that’s because they were just so different from me. Or the fact that I never liked “Sex and the City.” *shrugs*
  4. The Girl with the Dragin Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: Ok, so the first time I picked this book up in an airport bookstore, I let the Swedish names trip me up. I couldn’t focus on the Tory because I was distract d by the hard to pronounce names and places. But then, maybe 2 years or so later, I decided to give it another try. And I DEVOURED the entire series. I absolutely loved it. Which goes to show you: never give up on a book totally. You may change your mind.

What books have you never been able to finish? Or do you think I should give one of these another chance? Let me know!

Posted in Reviews

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

The Lucky OnesThe Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I’ve said before, when I see that Mark Edwards has a new book out, I know to clear my schedule for the next few days. No ones better at crafting a chilling, eerie thriller that will stay with you for weeks afterward.

“The Lucky Ones” is no different.

It’s Edwards’ take on a police procedural, and it is a great twisty ride that you won’t be able to put down until the last page – which is a good thing because it doesn’t all finish up until then.

The book follows two people: Detective Imogen Evans who is chasing a serial killer who just claimed his third victim, and Ben, a single dad who is struggling in the wake of his separation from his wife. The two will cross paths as they both realize they are in the crosshairs of the most dangerous criminal to shake up their sleepy English town.

I don’t want to give away too many plot details because it’s fun to see everything unfold. Edwards has a talent for creating unique stories that will both fascinate and scare you. And this guy – “The Viper” as he’s known in the book – is very creepy indeed. There’s a feeling of something being “off” throughout the entire novel, casting a dark, suspenseful shadow over the book, which is delicious as it grows and grows.

At certain points, I thought I knew where things were headed, but the ending proved me wrong. It’s really all in the details here, and putting them together is how you can figure out this puzzle.

I still think my favorite Edwards novel is “Follow You Home,” but “The Lucky Ones” is certainly a great addition to anyone’s library.

Highly recommended.

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Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: “The Lucky Ones” by Mark Edwards

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!

It is very easy to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  •  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

This week I’m knee-deep in “The Lucky Ones” by Mark Edwards, one of my favorite authors. I’m loving the book and am excited to share a small peak with y’all!

Here we go:

“So you took advantage of that?”

He shot her a look. “We both did.”

“And what? Was she planning to leave her husband for you?”


Book description:

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

The Lucky Ones is the terrifying new thriller from the #1 Kindle bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Devil’s Work.

Posted in Reviews

Goodreads Monday: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners, and add your own links!
My selection this week is a recent purchase of mine that looks great, you know, if I can ever start to make a dent in my TBR pile, which seems to grow every day. 

This book gives me a distinct vibe similar to “The Keepers,” a documentary on Netflix which also involves a long-ago crime in Baltimore which seemed to occur out of thin air. 

Now I can’t wait to get to this one.


What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who—or what—could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? 

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been? Why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn’t a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead end—a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household. 
In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth? 

Posted in Reviews

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

Sweet Little LiesSweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. A solid mystery, with a bang-up ending that caught me entirely by surprise!

Cat Kinsella hasn’t quite been the same since the summer of 1998, when her family visited her Gran in Ireland and a local girl disappeared. Cat always suspected her father had something to do with it. Now a police detective, Cat is suddenly drawn into a case with echoes of the past when a body turns up near her father’s bar. Cat tries to remain emotionally distant from the case, but finds she can’t as more information comes to light.

This book was like a roller coaster ride. Things start slowly, but then speed up, only to have the case stall and then *BOOM*, things fall into place. And the ending is quite a big one – almost impossible to guess, I’d say. But it is satisfying and makes sense based on the rest of the book.

There’s also a lot of moral ambiguity in this book, really blurring the lines on conduct and honesty. I still don’t know how I feel about all the decisions Cat made in the book, but it seems to all work out in the end. It gives some complexity to Cat’s character, though her character was already well developed and had me hooked from the beginning.

I really hope we see more of Cat because I’d like to explore some of that complexity and see how she handles other cases. She seems to really care, without the dispassion that can seem to permeate other police procedurals. Hopefully, this will be the start of a series.

I really enjoyed this book. It has family drama, mystery and some mayhem.

View all my reviews

Posted in For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: “Sweet Little Lies” by Caz Frear

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!

It is very easy to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  •  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

This week, I’m in the middle of “Sweet Little Lies,” by Caz Frear, a police procedural filled with family drama and murder – dun dun dun! Here’s my preview:

I laugh. She’s good company. I can see why Alice opened up to her.

“Seriously, it’s so much harder when you’re a bit older.” She sizes me up.


About the book

To be released: June 29

What happens when the trust has gone?

Cat Kinsella was always a daddy’s girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.

When Maryanne later disappears and Cat’s father denies ever knowing her, Cat’s relationship with him is changed forever. 

Eighteen years later, Cat is now a Detective Constable with the Met. Called to the scene of a murder in Islington, she discovers a woman’s body: Alice Lapaine has been found strangled, not far from the pub that Cat’s father runs.

When evidence links Alice to the still missing Maryanne, all Cat’s fears about her father resurface. Could he really be a killer? Determined to confront the past and find out what really happened to Maryanne all those years ago, Cat begins to dig into the case. But the problem with looking into the past is that sometimes you might not like what you find. 

For fans of Erin Kelly and Belinda Bauer, Sweet Little Lies is a suspenseful page-turner from a talented new voice.