Posted in Reviews

Review: Ominous by Lisa Jackson

Ominous (Wyoming, #2)Ominous by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve seen these multi-author collaborations before, but never tried one. However, this latest venture between Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush, and Rosalind Noonan looked good, so I decided to branch out. I have to say, I’m pretty glad I did.

“Ominous” provides the suspense, romance and mystery we’ve come to love from these authors, all in one volume. I greatly enjoyed it.

FYI: this novel contains multiple, graphic sexual assaults. If this is a triggering topic for you, you probably want to choose another book.

The novel centers around three girls, who, one summer night 15 years ago, decided to sneak out of their homes and go skinny-dipping at a local lake. However, things go terribly wrong when they are attacked – and through mutual agreement they decide never to talk about that night again. However, in the present day, all three have returned to the small Wyoming town where they grew up. And it shortly becomes apparent that their attacker is back as well, and ready to start up again.

I really enjoyed this book. It had all of the elements of a romantic suspense novel from Jackson or Bush that I’ve come to love. Plenty of suspects kept me guessing throughout the book as well. I didn’t guess the ending. And let me tell you – the villain in this book is bad. Like, really, really creepy/scary/awful. I was really creeped out during his “scenes.”

The romances were also on point as well. I was routing for each of the couples, and was happy with their scenes. They felt real and genuine, which is the key in this genre.

My only complaint would be that it with three main characters and three romances, there were a lot of characters squeezed into the book. I wish we had more time with each of them! But that’s the nature of anthologies.

Overall, I really liked this book and would try another multi-author effort involving these authors. Any fan of these authors will enjoy it.

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Posted in For Fun

Vacation reading! What I’m taking with me!

I’m headed out in vacation this week, so you know what that means – making sure I have a bunch of good books downloaded to take with me for those long plane rides and downtime relaxing by the pool.

So what am I taking with me? Here we go:


Ominous by Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan

Someone is watching. . .

New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush, and Rosalind Noonan join together in a gripping novel of suspense, as a long-guarded secret plunges three friends into a new nightmare.

NO WARNING

In the photograph, three teenaged girls splash in the lake on a sweltering summer evening. Shiloh, Kat, and Ruth are unaware of the man who spies on them from the woods. They have no idea how their lives will be changed by the brutal violence that follows—and the vow of secrecy they take.

CAN PREPARE YOU

Fifteen years later, Ruth and Shiloh have both returned to Prairie Creek, Wyoming, where Kat is deputy sheriff. Though they’ve tried to leave their shared past behind, each has the feeling that someone is lurking in the shadows. When a local girl vanishes, Kat is convinced there’s a connection to that long ago night. But as the friends unite to find the missing teenager, a killer sends a chilling message.

FOR A KILLER’S VENGEANCE

He’s still there. And he hasn’t forgotten. For so long he’s made do with other victims, but they can’t compare to the ones who got away. The ones who keep searching for him, blind to the terrifying truth that they are not the hunters, but his prey . . .

The Child by Fiona Barton

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell… 

Stasi Child by David Young

East Berlin, 1975

When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a teenage girl’s body at the foot of the wall, she imagines she’s seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other: the girl was trying to escape – but from the West.
Müller is a member of the national police, but the case has Stasi written all over it. Karin is tasked with uncovering the identity of the girl, but her Stasi handlers assure her that the perpetrators are from the West ­- and strongly discourage her asking questions.
The evidence doesn’t add up, and Muller soon realises the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn’t realise that the trail she’s following will lead her dangerously close to home . . . 

Posted in Reviews

You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

You Will PayYou Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a new standalone novel, Lisa Jackson creates a fascinating mystery, anchored in the past, with reverberations in the present. It’s another winner from Jackson, though not quite one of my favorites (though that’s a tall order, because her books are generally very good).

Twenty years ago, a group of young people were thrown together at a Christian summer camp. As expected hormones and bad behavior raged, culminating in the disappearance of three of the camp’s young employees. Now, as a set of bones are discovered, The unsolved disappearances are getting a fresh look. Everyone has something to hide and everyone behaved poorly, but who is a killer? The remaining group is determined to find out.

The mystery of what happened all those years ago is at the heart of this novel. It’s so suspenseful and twisty, you can’t help but get sucked in and want to find out what happened. There’s enough things that will keep you turning pages.

I didn’t figure it all out. I had some ideas, but the final outcomes remained a mystery to me. I loved the suspense in this novel and was satisfied with how things turned out. Everything seemed to wrap up nicely.

The novel is not only told in both the past and the present, it is told from various viewpoints, as Jackson shows what happened 20 years ago from all angles. While this provides some good information and adds to the mystery, it does make it hard to really connect with any of the characters.

Because of that, the romance fell flat for me. But I was really in it for the mystery anyway. That’s the gem of this novel and what Jackson really does best: creating a world of suspense and mystery that drags you in.

I’ll be interested to see if these characters will return for another novel. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Maggie, Annette or Nell. If this does turn into a series, I’ll definitely be picking up the future books!

Highly recommended.

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Posted in Author Q&As, Book Extras

Goodreads celebrates “Mystery and Thriller Week” with Lisa Jackson Q&A!

NI’ve made no secret about the fact that Lisa Jackson is one of my favorite authors – so I was so excited to see that she is one of the authors featured in the Q&A section of Goodreads’ “Mystery and Thriller Week” feature.

Goodreads users were able to submit questions for Jackson to answer about writing, publishing and her characters.

Here’s my favorite bits below:

Continue reading “Goodreads celebrates “Mystery and Thriller Week” with Lisa Jackson Q&A!”

Posted in Reviews

Expecting to Die by Lisa Jackson

Expecting to Die (To Die, #7)Expecting to Die by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I love Lisa Jackson’s romantic suspense novels. She knows how to craft a book that is creepy, intriguing and incredibly addicting.

And I’m happy to say that “Expecting to Die” is another winner!

The novel is a decidedly modern take on teenage drama, murder and – wait for it – the hunt for Bigfoot. Somehow Jackson is able to weave all of these elements into a tale that keeps you guessing and wanting more.

The story opens with the murder of a pregnant local teen, whose body is discovered during a teenage drinking party by homicide detective Regan Pescoli’s daughter, Bianca. More frightening is that Bianca says she discovered the body after being chased down a steep bank by a big, hairy creature that many in the town are quick to assume is a Sasquatch. As media attention focuses on the small town of Grizzly Falls and its teenage population, more bodies turn up, and Pescoli and her partner have to untangle what’s going on in the mountains.

Once the story got going, I really enjoyed the “fresh” elements of the story: reality television, social media, etc. are all big points in the story, since much of the storyline focuses on the teenage crowd that surrounds Bianca. And figuring out who knows who, who’s sleeping with who is incredibly intriguing, as you are just pushed into the drama. It’s like a murderous, delicious “Gossip Girl.”

I hadn’t read the other in Jackson’s Grizzly Falls series before this book, but had no problems picking it right up. In fact, it made me disappointed in myself that I had been slacking and hadn’t gotten into the Pescoli/Alvarez storyline yet! (My favorite is the New Orleans series!)

The four stars come in because after reading (and rereading) some parts, I still am a little unclear about the ending. Some elements were very clearly laid out, but one in particular is still unclear to me. Maybe once others pick this one up, we can discuss. It’s also a kind-of depressing take on the teenage crowd (similar to “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth”). You don’t come out with a lot of faith in the next generation.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book. I stayed up late last night to finish it because I had to know how it ended.

Highly recommended.

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Posted in Reviews

“The Night Before”

816tFGcMvWLThe Basics:

Title: The Night Before
Author: Lisa Jackson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 464

My rating: smooth-star smooth-star smooth-star smooth-star

Publisher’s Description: The next morning, Caitlyn Montgomery Bandeaux wakes covered in blood. But Caitlyn has no memory of the night before, when her estranged husband was brutally murdered like so many others she has known…Wanted by the police and haunted by horrifying, fragmented memories, Caitlyn turns to Adam Hunt, the town’s new psychologist. But how far can she really trust him? For as a twisted killer strikes again and again, Caitlyn’s about to discover that those who appear the most innocent are usually the most evil…

My review:If you don’t like to be scared silly, please scroll through this one, folks. But if you love things that go bump in the night, pick up this book, NOW!

Continue reading ““The Night Before””