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 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

Review: Our Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan

Our Little SecretOur Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I. Devoured. This. Book.

The premise is one that draws you in almost immediately, and I just had to keep reading until I found out what happened, and once that picture became clear, I had to know how it turned out.

The book follows two people: Chris, who goes to a train station to kill himself while in a deep depression about his wife, who was killed 10 months before; and Sarah, who happens to run into Chris at the platform and interrupts his plans. Both are then forced to deal with the aftermath and face their personal demons.

The pacing is very quick in this novel – you’re thrown right into the situation at the train platform. When I began reading the novel, before I knew it, I had read 10 percent of it! The rest of the novel goes equally as fast as you see both people struggle in the aftermath of their initial meeting.

I liked that it’s easy to put yourself in the middle of the story and wonder what would happen if you were there. It’s such an average thing – sitting, waiting for a train – that you can’t help but think after you read this: what are the others on this platform thinking? You never know, apparently.

The ending is a doozy, and as it becomes clear, it’s great. It just grips you.

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 Reviews

Review: Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis

4Buried on the Fens (Nikki Galena Series #7)Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since I read “Their Lost Daughters” earlier this year, I’ve been a big fan of Joy Ellis. “Buried on the Fens” is the latest in the DI Nikki Galena series, and I loved it just as much. I really enjoy how Ellis can take what seems like a straightforward mystery and creates a twisty, explosive haters that will shock you to your very core.

While the novel is in a series, it can be read as a standalone, no problem.

Nikki Galena is called to a country church, where an old skeleton has been found, obviously the victim of a brutal murder years ago. As Nikki and her team investigate, they’re pulled into a 30-year-old mystery which seems to still be affecting people in the modern day. At the same time, another murder is confounding Nikki’s team. A woman was murdered and the people that knew her best – all members of a secret drinking society – aren’t talking. Everything collides in spectacular fashion as the investigations continue.

The atmosphere of this book is amazing. It’s all about secrets and trying to crack through layers of silence and misdirection. Plus, it opens with scenes in a creepy church graveyard on a quiet English marsh. Awesome.

There’s no way I saw the ending coming, and I really enjoyed it. It was extremely satisfying. I like how Ellis really blends together good and bad, really making you question who’s doing “right” and what exactly constitutes “wrong.” The characters aren’t all good or all bad. Except the villain in this one – they are uh…..really bad.

I would absolutely read more in this series. It was absolutely great.

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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.