Posted in Reviews

Hope’s Peak by Tony Healey

Hope's Peak (Harper and Lane, #1)Hope’s Peak by Tony Healey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is dark. Like, really dark. If you want a happy ending, skip this one.

But it’s also very good, in terms of thrillers. It has a definite “Psycho” vibe, a movie which the author mentions in the novel. Fans of the movie will certainly enjoy this book. Like the movie, it’ll scare the pants off of you.

The novel follows Jane Harper, who at the beginning of the novel is at the scene of the second ritualistic murder in recent weeks. She thinks a budding serial killer may be on the loose, but as her and her partner, Stu, are beginning their investigation, they find out the murders go back much farther. The first victim’s daughter, plays a big role in their investigation, with her host for being able to “see” things when she touches emotionally-charged people or objects. But she’s been fragile since her mother’s death – cut off from the outside world. There’s also a sub-plot involving Harper and Stu’s personal relationship.

The book isn’t a whodunnit, since readers are let in on the killer’s identity fairly early on, it’s more about watching the investigation unfold and wondering what is going to happen next. And the author does a good job of still keeping the suspense high even though the traditional “killer reveal” isn’t on the table. I really didn’t feel disappointed with the author’s choice in that regard.

Also, the paranormal aspect is fairly light, which keeps the believability high. I could see many Idas out there, watching life pass by with all its secrets and stories. And that’s the key to a good thriller like this: making the reader believe this could really happen.

In the end, that paranormal element allows for all the pieces to be put together and provide some closure in a neat way.

Based on the subtitle, the author intends to make a series of books about Jane and Ida’s unique relationship. I look forward to the next in the series.

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

Dark Flowers by Caytlyn Brooke

Dark FlowersDark Flowers by Caytlyn Brooke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for the perfect spooky book to curl up with as a snowstorm swirls outside, look no further. Dark Flowers is the perfect dark version of a fairy-tale: complete with a brutal headmistress, orphans in distress, a psychiatric hospital and not-so-nice fairies.

The main character is Eliza, who, along with her friend Millie, lives at St. Agatha’s School for Girls, a depressing orphanage run by a sadistic headmistress. Eliza vows not only to escape through the Louisiana swamps that surround the grounds, but bring Millie with her. But their attempt is thwarted when the girls encounter alluring fairies, who invite them to share in their realm. But Eliza has a bad feeling about them. And based on what happens next, she was right.

This book kept me turning pages until I hit the end. I couldn’t wait to see what happened. I don’t want to give away too many details, because the fun is in reading the twists yourself, but as the girls get closer to uncovering the secrets of the swamp fairies, things get scary – fast.

And while the story uses some tried-and-true techniques to keep the readers on their toes – dreams, whispered voices, scary children – the story feels fresh and new. It never at any point feels tired or reductive. That’s what makes it so great; I had no idea what was going to come next or how it was going to work out.

The ending is also satisfying, wrapping things up nicely, answering all the major questions. But it’s definitely got this open-ended feeling, like in the movie Psycho, where you are left wondering, “Oh God, what’s next?!”

I’m really trying not to give anything away because it really is that good, there’s a new shock around every turn and you’ll stay up all night finishing it. You won’t regret picking this one up.

Absolutely recommend.

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

The New Mrs. Collins by Quanie Miller

Below is my review of (the fabulous!) “The New Mrs. Collins,” by Quanie Miller. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a special author Q&A with the author!

The New Mrs. CollinsThe New Mrs. Collins by Quanie Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paranormal stories, in my opinion, tend to fall into one of two categories: cheesy, ridiculous affairs, in which vampires “just want to go to high school!”; or creepy, haunting tales that leave you wondering, “What if this is real?”

The New Mrs. Collins is definitely in that second category. To borrow a phrase from the book: “Oh dear Lord,” It is so good!

The book follows Leena, who is left at the altar in the worst possible way; she finds out at the ceremony that he is leaving her for the most beautiful, poised woman anyone’s ever seen. Leena begins the struggle to pick up the pieces of her life, but it’s a small town, and her and Johnny share a son, so she continues to run into his new wife.

Then strange things begin happening. And they all seem to revolve around Adira, Johnny’s new wife. As Leena looks into Adira’s past, she realizes she may be in over her head. Who is Adira, and more importantly, what is she capable of?

This book hit the perfect tone for me. There were times I was frightened and looking over my shoulder, and there were other times I was literally laughing out loud. Trust me, the cast of supporting characters in this book is great.

I also like that the “bad side” is a little ambiguous. I don’t want to give anything away, but the backstory is one that makes you think and question if things could have turned out differently. I like that you can look at things from various angles. It adds dimension to the book.

The ending is very satisfying – but it also leaves open the possibility that Miller may be able to revisit these characters. I hope she does and if so I will be reading it.

I give it my highest recommendation.

View all my reviews