“Second Story Man”–Review

61RkJrP7i9LGood evening, bloggers! I hope you were able to enjoy World Book Day. This afternoon, I finished reading another great one from Charles Salzberg, so here’s my review.

Francis Hoyt is athletic, brilliant, arrogant, manipulative, and ruthless. He cares for no one but himself. In fact, he loves talking about himself, all the while truly believing he’ll always be the best at anything. What he’s always excelled in, though, is stealing high-end silver. Somehow, he’s been able to enter homes—usually while families were eating dinner—swipe the silver, and make his escape without leaving any trace of his DNA. How was it all possible? How did he manage to avoid getting caught?

Charlie Floyd is a recently retired investigator with Connecticut’s attorney general department. For years, he’s been a stubborn, yet highly-skilled investigator, but now felt it was the time to take some time for himself. When he receives a phone call from Manny Perez—a Miami police officer who’s worked with him in the past—regarding Francis Hoyt, Charlie is a bit hesitant. It isn’t long before Manny talks him into taking on the case with him, however, and the two friends work endlessly together, determined to not rest until Hoyt is behind bars.

Each chapter alternates from the points-of-view of Hoyt, Floyd, and Perez. When Hoyt eventually learns that Floyd and Perez are gaining on him, he taunts them. There’s no way he’s backing down, no matter the situation. He’ll do whatever it takes to have them out of the picture, even if some people may have to get hurt. I really liked where the story was going and the narration and dialog was well-written. Getting to know Hoyt’s story and why he did what he did made the story even better. Even the ending had me saying, “Are you kidding me?” No spoilers, of course. The whole story was realistic, which is what I do like in a novel. I recommend this one for crime fiction enthusiasts.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Charles Salzberg is the author of the Shamus Award-nominated Swann’s Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair, and Swann’s Way Out. He also is the author of Devil in the Hole, which was chosen as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. He lives in New York City and teaches writing at the Writer’s Voice and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is proud to be a Founding Member. For more info, click here. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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“Sometimes I Lie”–Review

41fsIXhitVL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_My name is Amber Reynolds.

There are three things you should know:

1. I’m in a coma.

2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.

3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber learns she is in the hospital. She may not be able to open her eyes, let alone speak. But she can hear everything and everyone, although they have no idea. Even though she doesn’t remember how she wound up in a coma, Amber suspects her husband had something to do with it.

This story alternates from Amber’s paralyzed present, the week before the accident, and a series of childhood diary entries from 20 years ago. Every chapter leads up to the most important question: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

I must say I did enjoy the suspense from this book, especially the chapters with the childhood diaries. Once I got to the ending, it made me wonder if the narrator was actually telling the truth or not. For those who’ve read the book, what do you think?

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

Sometimes I Lie will be available on March 13, 2018.

About the author: Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She has spent 15 years with BBC News, where she has worked as a reporter, news editor, arts and entertainment producer, and One o’ Clock news producer. Alice is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course. She has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog. Sometimes I Lie is her debut.

“Pretty Lost Dolls”–Review

411UUFkwQEL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Welcome home, little doll…

Detective Jade Phillips is back in the second installment of the Pretty Little Dolls series. In fact, she’s back in the same cell where her captor, Benny, held her prisoner for four years, along with her sister, Macy—who Jade had left behind during her escape over eight years ago. While she is fighting to stay strong and to overpower Benny once and for all, Jade has high hopes that she’ll make her escape again and to finally bring Macy home. But after years of Benny’s abuse, Macy has lost her mind. Will Jade still be able to save Macy?

Meanwhile, Detective Dillon Scott—Jade’s lover and partner on the police force—is doing everything in his power to find Jade and to destroy Benny. Until Benny is dead, Dillon knows Jade will never be at peace.

Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. It definitely got better, especially because most of the chapters were from Benny’s point-of-view. If you’ve read the previous book, you know how much of a psycho he is. In this book, though, he gets worse. This installment was twice as disturbing and graphic, but it’s still worth reading. Also, the book had more of Dillon’s perspective and I liked that he was quick to act when it came to Jade. His love for her was strong and he was willing to stop at nothing to have her back.

If you haven’t read the first book, Pretty Stolen Dolls, I encourage you to do so. You just might love it. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. As I’ve mentioned regarding the previous book, the second book also contains violence, language, and adult content. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the authors: K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author of dozens of romance books in many different genres including dark romance, taboo romance, contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her supportive husband and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers. For more info, click here.

Ker Dukey’s books tend to be darker romance, edge-of-your-seat, angst-filled reads. Her advice to readers: “When starting one of my titles…prepare for the unexpected.”
For info on Ker Dukey, click here.

“Grist Mill Road”–Review

619Paq6gYqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_It’s the year 1982, set in an Edenic hamlet 90 miles north of New York City. In the nearby woods, three teenage friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible crime. One is guilty, the other is a victim, and one is a witness, yet claims to not have been a witness. So what really did happen?

Fast forward to 2008, in New York City.  The three friends unexpectedly meet again. Although the crime occurred 26 years ago, the three are still haunted by the past, and it gets worse as more secrets are revealed.

Each chapter alternates from the past to the present, from the point of view of Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah. While some of the stories were interesting, I’m not quite sure how I feel about the entire book. Although I understand why the crime occurred, I just don’t think the whole conflict was really resolved, in the end, especially when it came to Matthew’s story. But I won’t spoil a thing. Either way, I’ll give it three stars because of the suspense. As always, though, I don’t discourage anyone from reading a book I didn’t really enjoy, so check it out and feel free to post your comments.

Happy reading!

Grist Mill Road will be on sale on January 9, 2018.

*I received this copy from Picador, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. His first novel, Black Chalk, was named a Must-Read by The Boston Globe and New York Post and named a Best Book of the Year by National Public Radio. Grist Mill Road is his second novel. He lives in New York with his wife and dog.

“The Wife Between Us”–Review

51jGrXhnyzL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_When you read this book, you will make assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife.

You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement—a woman who is about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume you know the anatomy of the relationships.

Assume nothing.

When Vanessa was married to Richard, everything was perfect. Richard was charming, handsome, a good provider, and a caring husband. Then, one day, it was over. Wallowing in her own misery, Vanessa learns that her ex-husband is soon marrying a younger, attractive, flawless woman. While Vanessa constantly thinks back to the pros and cons of her marriage, she swears she won’t rest until she can put a stop to the wedding.

When I’d read the beginning of this book, I thought, “Oh, my god, what a psycho.” However, each chapter seems to tell three sides to the story, leaving me wondering where it all was going. Who was the bad guy here? Most chapters had me saying, “What the…?” It was great suspense, don’t get me wrong. In the end, though, I think some parts were unnecessary. When I read the ending, I thought, “I don’t get it,” so I had to flip a few chapters back, and then I said, “Ah, I get it now.” I just don’t think it really hooked me like the first half did.

Although I didn’t really love the book, I’ll still give it three stars because I enjoyed the suspense. The Wife Between Us will be available on January 9, 2018. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the authors: Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of seven previous novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, she had published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is a mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.

Greer Hendricks spent over two decades as an editor. Prior to her tenure in book publishing, she worked at Allure magazine and earned her master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her writing has been published in The New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Greer lives in Manhattan with her husband, two children, and one very needy dog, Rocky. The Wife Between Us is her first novel.

“Pretty Stolen Dolls”–Review

41XHfrHYd2LGood evening, all! I believe I finally got out of my reading slump, since I finished reading the first book in the Pretty Little Dolls series.

When the main character, Jade, was 14 years old, she and her younger sister, Macy, were abducted by Benny, a doll vendor who knew how to charm the two sisters. After four years in captivity and enduring unspeakable torment, Jade escapes. Fast forward to the present, Jade is a police officer, working homicide and missing person cases. Although the trauma remains after eight years, a guilt-ridden Jade is determined to find the sister she’d left behind during her escape. She knows Benny is still out there, doing whatever it takes to bring Jade, his “dirty little doll,” back home.

I couldn’t get enough of this book. Now I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. Each chapter was creepy and violent. Just the idea of Benny’s abducting girls and making them his own, personal doll collection is disturbing. This book is for mature readers, containing violence, language, and sexuality. I’m not sure it can be recommended for the faint-hearted, but it’s up to you.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the authors: Click here for info on K. Webster and Ker Dukey.

 

“Come Sundown”–Review

51FVfObxphL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Come Sundown takes place in the successful ranch and resort in western Montana, where the Bodine family business is thriving and filled with vacationers.  The 30,000-acre ranch has been a home to four generations and is now managed by Bodine Longbow, along with a large staff and a new hire, Callen Skinner.

While everything is going well at the ranch, every now and then the topic of Bodine’s estranged aunt, Alice Bodine, comes up.  Unfortunately, the other family members don’t want to speak of her, all the more arousing Bodine’s curiosity.  Is Alice dead or still alive? And what drove Alice away? But, then, it isn’t long before they all are informed of an unexpected death of a young woman.  And then another death.  No one is quite sure why these deaths occurred.

After 25 years, however, the family is in a state of shock when they learn that Alice has been found.  It was 25 years ago that Alice had rebelled and left the ranch to pursue an acting career in Hollywood.  Once her days in Hollywood were done, though, she was ready to come back home.  But she never did make it back.

Now that Alice is back, everyone has questions.  Alice, however, is no longer the same.  Half of her life has been taken, yet she won’t give anyone the entire story.  Only within time will it all test the bonds of the Bodine family and thrust Bodine into a darkness she never could have imagined.

This is my first read by Nora Roberts. Although I didn’t really love the story—especially because I feel some scenes were unnecessary—I still think the plot and story line were good.  The scenes from Alice’s past were so awful, they angered me, but I won’t spoil any of it.  I did like the closeness of the Bodine family and the description of the ranch and resort, including the food.  Montana sounds like a beautiful place, in my opinion.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy this book.  Along with suspense, there is some romance involved.

Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

Come Sundown will be available on June 6, 2017.

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including The Obsession, The Liar, The Collector, Whiskey Beach, and many more.  She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series, written under the pen name J.D. Robb.  There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.  For more info on the author, click here.