Posted in Reviews

Review: Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This novel was a great sophomore effort from Mindy Mejia, so filled with the nuance and excitement we’ve come to expect from her, but with a completely different type of set-up from “Everything You Want Me To Be.”

Maya is a speech therapist at a psychiatric facility with a dark past to match many of her patients, but who is working to stabilize her life in Duluth, MN. Then, she is assigned to help Lucas Blackthorn, who disappeared 10 years ago with his father during a camping trip in the boundary Waters, a remote wilderness filled with trees and lakes, stretching to the Canadian border. Suddenly, Lucas, who won’t communicate with anyone, speaks to Maya, sparking a chain of events that will change the course of the community.

The great thing about this book is that it makes you question so many things – what is madness? Who is mad; is Lucas? Maya? Neither? I was totally sucked in and completely invested in the characters.

There were also some great twists that I didn’t see coming. And they made total sense in the context of the book, which is what makes a really good twist work.

Mejia is fast becoming one of my favorite authors and I really am looking forward to what she comes up with next. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

View all my reviews

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Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

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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 looking forward to digging into “Let Me Lie,” which has a really intriguing summary. I’m looking forward to reading a good psychological thriller, so hopefully this fits the bill!

Here we go:

Too late I bite my tongue. Billy turns away, but not before I’ve seen the hurt on his face. I stand helplessly for a while, looking at the back of his head and trying to say sorry, but the words won’t come.

 

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About the Book

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

 

Posted in Reviews

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise MeSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

I’m generally a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books. And this one was good, make no mistake; it just wasn’t my favorite of hers. At parts, as I was laughing out loud, howling with laughter; at other points, it’s actually very serious and even a bit dark.

Sylvie and Dan are happily married, if in a little bit of a rut. But when their doctor suggests they may have 68 more years of wedded bliss ahead of them, they decide to shake things up by surprising each other. However, as can be the case with surprises, sometimes things are revealed that make you question everything.

This book had some of the great “I Love Lucy”-type moments that Kinsella is so good at writing. I was howling with laughter at some parts. But like I said, toward the end things get very serious. Which is a nice blend, because it gives balance to the book and makes you think.

But I can’t say that there was anything super surprising or twisty in the plot, which made it kind of predictable, ironically. I didn’t guess the exact details, but I got the general outline. The characters were also a little predictable.

But I liked their growth in the end of the novel. They didn’t stay stagnant like so many characters can, and that’s good.

Like I said, if you enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s work, you’ll also like this one. It’s funny, a quick read and features delightful characters, although they may be predictable. But for brand new readers, maybe start with a different standalone and work your way into this one.

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

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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.

After several intense thrillers, I decided to try something lighter in tone. I am a huge an of Sophie Kinsella, so I am excited to get to read her latest! Here’s a little peak:

I’m baffled. Isn’t she even going to try to sell me the chopper thing? She seems to have been utterly derailed, and I can’t work out why.

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About the Book

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

 

Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

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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 just beginning “The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James. This book has great reviews so far, so I’m excited to get it started and see how I like it.

There was a chill of foreboding running through Fiona’s blood. She stared at the men, gathered with their heads together, their postures tense and distressed.

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About the Book

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

 

Posted in Reviews

#BlogTour: Carpenter Road by NM Brown

B L O G B L I T Z (1)

About the Book

When a young woman swaps coats with a prostitute then vanishes, it marks the start of a mystifying case for Leighton Jones.

After traffic officer Leighton is called to an altercation in a used car lot he is confronted by a prostitute rambling on about a girl who stole her coat. He thinks nothing off it. That is until the body of a Jane Doe shows up, matching the prostitute’s description.

What is the link between the fight in the car lot and the dead woman?

Leighton proceeds to gather evidence, which he attempts to pass onto the lead Homicide detective, Slater. However, Slater tells Leighton to back off, and that a suspect has been arrested.

Fearing there is more to the case than he first thought, Leighton is driven to keep digging and soon ends up on the trail of a serial killer.

But Leighton might be out of his depth this time…

carpenter road FINAL

My Review

4/5 stars – Highly recommended!

First things first, this is the second book starring Leighton Jones, but it absolutely can be read as a standalone; it takes place 10 years before the events of the previous book, “The Girl on the Bus.” But warning: you will want to read the “The Girl on the Bus” after finishing this book!

“Carpenter Road” is the perfect, quick summer read to take with you to the pool or the beach. You’ll be hooked in no time.

This was a great police procedural, with a really intense mystery at its center: Who is killing these girls and why? Plus, there’s some really interesting subplots involving the politics of the police station, since Leighton is a “lowly” traffic cop, and he is dealing with prostitutes, who aren’t necessarily high-priority citizens in the eyes of many. I enjoyed that angle and it had me rooting for Leighton throughout the book.

I really liked Leighton, he is just an average guy trying to right by people, while juggling some personal demons. It’s very relatable. The villains in the book are also “perfect” bad guys who you just love seeing Leighton battle against.

I will definitely be reading more from NM Brown in the future and am excited to see where he takes this series.

About the Author

downloadNorman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always believed a combination of decent fiction and good coffee provides the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.

Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.

More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel – The Girl on the Bus -around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jonesy at least two more outings. Carpenter Road is the second novel to feature this protagonist.

Aside from his family, and travelling, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why many culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his fiction.

 

Links            

Posted in Reviews

#BlogTour: Lead Me Home by CS Savage

B L O G B L I T Z (1)

About the Book

As an overworked NHS psychiatrist, Dr Clancy Mclean is used to dealing with mental illness.  But she is stressed –  trying to balance her career and the needs of her only child, Rowan.  And she has her work cut out trying to keep her patients well. She knows two of them are psychotic, and becoming overwhelmed by their voices. If they act on them it could prove disastrous.

Rowan is troubled. Her boyfriend is abusive but she doesn’t want to end the relationship – she’s too scared of being lonely. Can she find someone else to keep her company?

And, as if Clancy doesn’t have enough to worry about, another of her patients is paranoid and convinced she is being stalked. Is it just a symptom of her mental illness?

Because there is a stalker on the prowl and he is getting closer to his victim with each passing day.

Lead Me Home – CS Savage (1)

My Review

4/5 Stars – Highly Recommended

I feel like I have whiplash after reading this book! It’s such a great ride from start to finish, with enough going on to keep you turning pages until the very end. I was so absorbed in each of the three main storylines; they were well-balanced throughout the book, giving you just enough to keep you interested in each until the novel is finished.

And what an ending it is – I can’t wait until the next installment – I need more! It’s definitely possible that this will be the start of a great series, especially as fascinating as Clancy’s job is and as much as she cares about helping her patients.

This novel has a great premise and was very well-written. Any fan of thrillers will enjoy this one.

About the Author

CS+SavageCS Savage is a psychiatrist, and a life long fan of mystery/suspense and crime fiction.

She works and lives in South London with her family and two dogs, but spends as much time as she can in her Lake District retreat.

She followed her life long ambition to write two years ago, and is an alumni of the Faber academy.

Lead Me Home is her debut novel, and she is currently working on the sequel.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.savage.37625

Twitter @sarahsavage26