Posted in Reviews

Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the NightEmma in the Night by Wendy Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some books are full of action, thrills and big explosions – others are subtle as they twist your mind and make you question everything. “Emma in the Night,” is definitely the latter. And it’s amazingly good.

The story begins when Cass Tanner returns home. Her and her older sister Emma went missing three years ago. With no clues and no bodies, the case went cold. When only Cass returns, she begs for help finding Emma and she weaves an elaborate tale about being forcibly kept on an island with Emma, an older couple and a baby Emma gave birth to. All the evidence points to her telling the truth. But FBI investigator Dr. Abby Winters senses something is off – and that hunch three years earlier about there being trouble in the Tanner home is correct. Where is Emma and what really happened three years ago. It’s all going to come to a head.

This book involves a lot of psychology and exit stench of questions about the truth and importance – it’s really interesting because it creates a possible where you’re constantly questioning what you think you know. You don’t know which characters you can trust and which you can’t. And since the ultimate truth is not revealed until the very end of the book you are kept guessing.

I love trying to piece together what all was happening. I didn’t guess the ending, and I think it was done really well and in a way that was very satisfying.

I’d really like to see more of Abby in future novels. Her personal story is very interesting and her job as an FBI psychological analyst has a lot of possibilities for future stories. I hope we see her again soon.

I’d recommend this novel for anyone looking for a good psychological thriller that will keep me reading into the night.

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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

Review: Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9)Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grew up near several Amish communities and know as well as anyone that they’re generally about as normal and boring as anyone; they simply belong to a different, more intense religious practice. But there’s something about any secretive religious sect that is just fascinating and, when written about in the right way can add a creepy feeling to a good story.

Linda Castillo strikes that balance yet again in the latest Kate Burkholder novel. This book was a great ride, from beginning to end.

Kate – an ex-Amish police chief – becomes embroiled in what was thought to be a closed case when her former childhood friend, convicted of the murder of his wife, escapes from prison and takes his four children and Kate hostage. He insists that he didn’t kill his wife and begs Late to look into it. Then he lets her go. As Kate begins to investigate, she realizes that maybe Joseph wasn’t as guilty as everyone thinks he was. If that’s the case, who really killed his wife? Or is Late blinded by her childhood memories and unable to see the truth?

This novel starts at a running pace and doesn’t let up. It was just a thrill from start to finish and Castillo pulls no punches, adding details that really pull you in and make you gasp. I loved it.

I guessed the gist of the ending, but I didn’t mind it, since there’s so many questions about how the bigger picture will turn out. (I’m really trying not to spoil things so I hope all that makes sense.) There’s a lot questions involved so there’s more than enough to keep you interested.

However, at least one of my questions didn’t get answered, which is why it’s a four-star read instead of a five-star.

Overall, I loved it and am completely hooked on the Kate Butkholder series. Highly recommended

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Posted in For Fun

Goodreads Monday: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

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!

Awhile ago, I read “The Lace Reader,” by Brunonia Barry and absolutely loved it! Salem, Mass. has always fascinated me – it’s the perfect blend of New England charm and creepy history. I’ve visited before and am dying to go back! So I was sooo excited to see that the characters from “The Lace Reader” are back in “The Fifth Petal,” which I just got yesterday on Amazon. I can’t wait to indulge!


The New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader returns to Salem with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. 

But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again? 

Posted in For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis

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.

Today, I’m knee-deep in “Buried on the Fens” and I’m loving it! I’m a big fan of Joy Ellis’ work. It usually has a story that seems straightforward, but is anything but in reality. Here’s a peak:

As they walked down the stairs, Nikki heard voices coming from the landing below. She held out her hand to stop Gill going any further down and they both listened.

Book Description:

A SKELETON IS UNEARTHED FROM A SHALLOW GRAVE IN THE CHURCHYARD. BUT THIS WAS NOT AN OFFICIAL BURIAL. THE VICTIM WAS MURDERED DECADES AGO.

At the same time, Detective Nikki Galena and her team are investigating the brutal slaying of local businesswoman Madeline Prospero. She was a member of an exclusive and secretive drinking club called The Briar Patch. But they’ve got no suspects and no one is telling them the truth.

Meanwhile, the buried skeleton leads them on a trail to the village of Quintin Eaudyke. This is a troubled place. In the late seventies and eighties a reign of terror and abuse was unleashed on the close-knit population.

When more women from the The Briar Patch come under threat, Nikki faces a race against time to stop the killing.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping ending. 


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 Book Extras

Cover Reveal: The Missing Girls by Carol Wyer

Today, Carol Wyer unveiled the cover for her follow up to “Secrets of the Dead,” and the next Robyn Carter novel. It looks great!

The book is due out Sept. 14! I can’t wait!

Book Description:

One girl found dead. Another girl gone…

Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever…

When, a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for Detective Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer.

No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit; her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered. This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial killer.

As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart.

Robyn can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

An utterly gripping and darkly compelling detective thriller that will have fans of Robert Dugoni, Angela Marsons and James Patterson hooked from the very start. You will not guess the ending!