“The Dark Lake”–Review

51ZIhQaUz2L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

In a rural town in Australia, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is on the case involving a murder of a high school classmate, Rosalind Ryan. To many, Rosalind was beautiful, talented, and mysterious. People seemed to be obsessed with her. But why? After the news of her death comes out, everyone is devastated. What had made Rosalind so special?

As the case goes on, Gemma tries to figure out why Rosalind had quit her teaching job in Sydney to return to her hometown. Even though her father was one of the richest men in town, why did Rosalind live in a run-down apartment? And did anyone truly know her? Was she as great as people claimed?

The longer the case goes on, the more frustrated Gemma becomes. All the while, she’s juggling her own problems and secrets: an affair with her colleague, including a tragedy from long ago that Gemma fears may not stay in the past.

I’m happy for having the opportunity to read this great debut. The dialogue was well-written and it all left me curious as to what secrets would be revealed. For thriller fans, this might be the book for you. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Sarah Bailey was born in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived all her life and resides with her two young sons. She has a degree in journalism and works in advertising. She is currently a partner at the creative agency Mr Smith. The Dark Lake is her first novel.

Advertisements

“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.

“He Said/She Said”–Review

51C2M6jShgL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Who Do You Believe?

With chapters alternating from past to present, this is a story of Laura and Kit, a couple who were young and in love in the summer of 1999.  Kit has always been an eclipse chaser, so he and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun.  It is also a first time that Laura’s witnessing an eclipse.

After the moment is over, Laura wanders about and then just happens to witness what looks like a rape.  Although the accused man, Jamie Balcombe, swears it’s not what it appears, the victim, Beth Taylor, is practically mute and in shock.  But Laura knows what she saw.  After Jamie is arrested and later convicted, an appreciative Beth moves in on Laura and Kit’s lives.  While showering them with gifts as a token of her gratitude, it isn’t long before Beth’s attitude changes.  Kit wants Beth out of their lives, while Laura wants to see the best in her.  However, Laura starts to see that Kit just might be right, so they go to great lengths to get away from Beth.

Fifteen years later, in 2015, Laura and Kit live in a new home and changed their names.  Laura is pregnant and Kit is preparing for his trip to see a new eclipse.  No matter, Beth couldn’t possibly find them.  They’ve been living as carefully as possible and have agreed to not have any social media accounts.  But why have they had to live this way?  And why do they still feel as if they’re being watched?

As the story progresses, more secrets are revealed, including some unexpected twists.

I enjoyed this story because each chapter made me wonder whose side I was going to take.  How far are people willing to go to save themselves?  And who was actually telling the truth?  With every surprise, I wasn’t quite sure whom to believe.  As for Beth and Jamie, was it rape or consent?  It gets interesting, in my opinion.

Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

He Said/She Said 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: Erin Kelly has worked as a freelance journalist for ten years. A regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Psychologies, Red, and Look, she has also written for Elle, Marie Claire, and Glamour.  She also is the author of The Poison Tree and The Burning Air.

“Still Missing”–Review

51lenbozeel-_sx304_bo1204203200_The story begins with Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, who had three goals for the day: sell a home, forget about that trivial argument she had with her demanding mother, and to be home on time to have dinner with her boyfriend.  After a slow day at the open house, Annie starts packing up to prepare for an evening with her boyfriend, Luke.  Then a van pulls up in front of the house and a good-looking, friendly man steps out and approaches the house.  Although Annie was all ready to head out, she figured giving a last-minute potential buyer a tour of the place couldn’t hurt.

But that turned out to be a mistake.

The story alternates between the year Annie had spent in isolation with her captor and her sessions with her psychiatrist.  She goes into the details of her being beaten, raped, and controlled by a psychopath who apparently had plans for her, including her escape and the ongoing police investigations leading to the truth about Annie’s captor.

This book had one surprise after another and I think it was worth reading.  Just when it seemed as if everything were going to be all right, another twist occurred.  Annie was struggling to put her life back together, yet it never seemed to be over.  I was definitely hooked.  If you’re a fan of thrillers, this may be for you.

Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press for review purposes.

About the author: Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. While holding an open house one afternoon, she had a terrifying idea that became the inspiration for Still Missing. Chevy eventually sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book. Still Missing went on to become a New York Times bestseller and win the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel.  Chevy’s books have been optioned for movies and are published in more than thirty countries.

Chevy enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her husband and daughter in the local mountains.

You can also check out her page here.

“Most Wanted”–Review

41y7VzBGw9L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Donor 3319.  Tall.  Blonde.  Blue eyes.  Medical Student.  Wanted for Murder.

For quite some time, Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, have tried to get pregnant.  After going from one appointment to the other with specialists, research, and therapy, Christine and Marcus finally decide to seek a donor.

After two months, Christine is finally pregnant.  She’s happy and ready to start a family.  But during her farewell party at her school—where she teaches literacy to children—she sees on the news a young, blond man being arrested for a series of murders.  What shocks Christine is that the man has an uncanny resemblance to her donor.  Christine soon becomes obsessed with the man accused of murder, leading her to play detective to uncover the truth for the sake of her unborn child.

I wasn’t that big a fan during the first half of the story; however, once I got toward the middle, it started to get better.  More tension was created and I liked the big risk that Christine was taking, not just for the sake of the murder victims and that her marriage was in trouble, but for the sake of her baby’s future.  Although I wasn’t crazy about the story, I did like the conflict.  It’s definitely worth the read.

Most Wanted, by Lisa Scottoline, is available now.  Feel free to post your comments.

Happy reading!

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

“The 13th Continuum”–Review

51qc2LWVmsL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Hello, Sci-Fi/YA fans!  Jennifer Brody’s debut novel, The 13th Continuum, will soon be available and I’m happy to share this review.

The 13th Continuum is the first book in the Continuum trilogy.  The story begins one thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the verge of extinction.  Until Earth is safe enough to inhabit, chosen survivors have taken refuge in continuums—in outer space, underground, and the bottom of the ocean—designed to sustain the human race.

Residing in the underwater 13th Continuum is Myra Jackson, who has always heard rumors of a place known as the Surface—provided with fresh air, stars, trees, etc.  It’s everything Myra’s ever dreamed outside of her totalitarian life.  Talking about the Surface, however, is strictly forbidden and punishable by execution—by orders of Padre Flavius, the Head Priest of The Church of the Oracle of the Sea.  With Padre Flavius and his Patrollers keeping a close eye on everyone, no one is safe.  Residents fear being cast out to the Holy Sea.  But when Myra learns of a secret that determines the fate of everyone in the continuum, she and her friends risk everything for their freedom and to return to their rightful home: the Surface.

This is my first Sci-Fi read and I must say I enjoyed it.  At first, I didn’t know what to expect.  Many scenes made me mad, while other scenes made me sad for particular characters.  I’m looking forward to the second book, which will be available on November 2016.  If you’re new to YA Sci-Fi, you just might enjoy this book.  Feel free to post your comments.

Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Turner Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The 13th Continuum will be available on April 19, 2016.

About the author: Jennifer Brody is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She lives and writes in LA.  After studying film at Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on The Lord of the Rings films and The Golden Compass. In 2008, she produced the film Make It Happen for The Weinstein Company. She is an alumna of the Sirenland Writers Conference, Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, The Lemon Tree House Residency for Writers, and has been accepted for a residency at the Helen R. Whiteley Center, run by the University of Washington. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media platform for authors. She’s also a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation and a writing instructor at The Writing Pad.

You can find her online at:

@JenniferBrody

http://www.jenniferbrody.com

http://www.facebook.com/jenniferbrodywriter

 

“Double Switch”–Review

51Zp6zShDPL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Blackmail.  Bullets.  Deception.  It’s time to play ball.

Johnny Adcock—the aging major-league relief pitcher who also works as a private investigator—is back in a follow-up thriller to The Setup Man.

Johnny has the bullpen as his office.  The bullpen is where he’s sitting, shelling out sunflower seeds after a game, when he is approached by Tiff Tate—the career-making stylist behind the most highly marketable looks in Major League Baseball.  Tiff needs Johnny’s help with her new client, Yonel Ruiz, a rookie phenom who had risked his life to flee his native Cuba for fame and fortune in the MLB.  Now that Ruiz has a signed contract with the League, the Venezuelan cartel that smuggled him out has sent out a ruthless assassin, known as La Loba, to collect.

Although the front office wants to shut down Johnny’s side work, Johnny takes on the case—with the corporate fixer and “director of security” keeping a close watch on him.  This new case leaves Johnny in more deadly situations that not only threaten to end his baseball career, but may be the end of him.

I was definitely satisfied with this book.  With excellent narration and dialogue, the story had one surprise and twist after another.  The ending wasn’t what I expected, either, but I liked it.  Johnny Adcock is clever and sexy, in my opinion.  I don’t know much about baseball, but I do enjoy a good mystery.  Also, Reader, this book is not for children.  Feel free to post your comments.  Double Switch is now available.

Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Doubleday for an honest review.

About the author: T.T. Monday is the pseudonym of novelist Nick Taylor, author of The Disagreement and Father Junipero’s Confessor.  Double Switch is his second novel to feature Johnny Adcock, following The Setup Man.  For more info, click here.  Follow him on Twitter.