Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Mystery Novels’ Category

Book Review-I Know You by Annabel Kantaria #Thriller #IKnowYou @BellaKay @HQStories #NetGalley

I Know You
A Novel of Suspense by Annabel Kantaria
Crooked Lane Books

Mystery & Thrillers, Women’s Fiction
Pub Date 11 Jun 2019

Description:

A twisted domestic thriller in the vein of B. A. Paris and Shari Lapena that asks: How well do you know your friends?

That picture you posted?
I’ve seen it.
That location you tagged?
I’ve been there.
I know everything about your life . . .
And I’m going to destroy it.

A recent transplant from sunny California, life in the London suburbs is not what Taylor Watson expected. Far from the West End shops and city lights she imagined, she finds herself pregnant and lonely, with a husband frequently away on business and only social media to keep her company. It’s only after Taylor joins a book club and a walking group, that she finally starts to make some real-life friends.

Before long, Taylor’s hanging out with Anna, Sarah, Simon, and Caroline but, as her pregnancy progresses and her friendships blossom, a sense of unease develops. Nothing’s ever quite as it seems on the surface, and it soon becomes clear that Taylor’s new friends have secrets. One appears to be after Taylor’s husband, another’s always putting her down, and then there’s the question of Simon. Could he have feelings for Taylor?

But far more worryingly, one of the group’s not being too careful what they post on social media—and another is watching all too closely. Who’s stalking who . . . and why?

Adele’s Review:

4.5 Stars!

I loved reading this book! I Know You is a thrilling roller coaster ride that left me breathless and turning the pages until its explosive conclusion. Well plotted and very well-written, this novel is a must read for fans of the genre; especially if you’re one of the millions of people who post personal images on social media and share tidbits of your day to day life. We really don’t know who’s watching us!

I found the protagonist, Taylor, the pregnant American wife living in London to placate her not-so-great husband to be realistic and quite relatable. Pregnancy really does color a woman’s perspective, especially without the support of family and friends, and watching Taylor struggle to adapt to her new surroundings made me root for her from the first page to the last. There are lots of suspects in this mystery/thriller to choose from and all are interesting characters that lure us deeper into the drama. (Because I was drawn into the story, I was able to forgive the diction of the American heroine sounding exactly like her English acquaintances.) I thoroughly enjoyed reading I Know You by Annabel Kantaria and recommend adding it to your 2019 reading list. Received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2681187056

Book Review-The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne #Thriller #BookReview #NetGalley #TheSecondWife @SherylBrowne @Bookouture

The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne

Publisher: Bookouture
Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 29 Jan 2019

Description:

She made her bed. You’ll lie in it.

Rebecca only wanted to help out – to be kind. Richard seemed so alone after his wife, Nicole, died, and Rebecca wanted to make sure he knew he had someone to rely on.

But now she’s in Nicole’s immaculate house. Drinking from her favourite crystal wine glass. Keeping shoes in her orderly closet. Comforting her sweet and grieving step-daughter. It feels like Rebecca is living another woman’s life.

And as she gets to know the neighbours, Rebecca hears stories that make her wonder: was free-spirited Nicole happy in this perfect life, or did she feel trapped? Did she feel, as Rebecca is beginning to, that something wasn’t quite right?

The book everyone’s talking about! If you loved The Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and The Girl Before, you’ll be totally gripped and unable to put down this twisty page-turning psychological thriller.

Adele’s Review:

4.5 Stars!

I thoroughly enjoyed this fabulous thriller! It’s rare to find a perfectly plotted book with equally perfect pacing and tension, but Sheryl Browne hit the mark in The Second Wife. The story leads us on a trail of dark twists and turns to the best possible solution and satisfying ending. I rooted for the female protagonist all the way to the last page. I highly recommend adding this book to your 2019 reading list. Received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2667372605?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Book Review-The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald #Thriller #NetGalley @Christinamac79 @simonschuster #TheNightOliviaFell #BookReview

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

ISBN  9781501184000
PRICE  $16.00 (USD)

Release Date: February 5, 2019.

Description:
In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Adele’s Review:

4.5 Stars!

Creating character emotion that evokes reader empathy is an author’s biggest challenge, and Christina McDonald achieves that in spades in her debut novel The Night Olivia Fell. Sentences can be rewritten during the editing process and facts, grammar and spelling can be verified or corrected during copy editing. However, no amount of rewriting or editing can put emotion to the page if an author is unable to channel sentiment from her creative mind to her reader.

The Night Olivia Fell is a mystery and a thriller with a subtle secondary romance that softens the edges of sharp, painful human emotions like jealousy, loss and rage, and brings hope after despair. Though the story includes several important characters, it is a mother/daughter tale that will keep you guessing and turning the pages until the very end.

Received an ARC for an honest review from NetGalley.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2639599827?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Book Review-Lies by T.M. Logan #LIES #NetGalley #Thriller @TMLoganAuthor @StMartinsPress

5 Stars

I couldn’t put this book down! LIES by T.M. Logan was fast paced and very well written. An impressive second book, and I will definitely read more by this author. I gave the book five stars because it kept me intrigued until the very last page. It’s not a perfect book, but was nevertheless a fun read. I would have enjoyed the story more if the solution had been woven into the plot in the third act instead of offering an info dump at the end. Still, this was a thoroughly entertaining story. Received a copy of the book from NetGalley for an honest review.

NetGalley Review Link:

https://www.netgalley.com/book/136106/review/467080

Goodreads Review Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2495103118

Book Review-Under My Skin by Lisa Unger #UnderMySkin #NetGalley #Thriller @LisaUnger

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4.5 Stars

Reading books by Lisa Unger is always a Master Class in fiction writing. I’ve attended her book signings and read all of her books, and while I’ve enjoyed some more than others, it struck me that Under My Skin must have been an especially difficult story to write. Dreams and hallucinations, versus reality, is a tough subject.

As a recent widow myself, I felt an instant connection to the protagonist, Poppy, and feel it’s important to mention that Poppy’s struggle with grief struck a major chord with me. Her emotions, behavior, and reactions were both understandable and believable within the context of her loss. Grief affects people in profound ways, and the need to escape the pain can be all-consuming. Lisa Unger did a fantastic job depicting the ways grief can cause indescribable anguish. I cried at the end of this book and give the author major kudos for empathizing so well with the grieving process.

Under My Skin kept me turning the pages until the very end. I received a copy of the story from NetGalley.

Link to NetGalley review:

https://www.netgalley.com/book/131813/review/467080

On Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36645003-under-my-skin

My Mother’s Original 1930 Copy of Nancy Drew

Happy 85th Birthday, Nancy Drew! 

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Did you read Nancy Drew mysteries as a girl? Or the Hardy Boys when you were a boy? I loved the Nancy Drew series and devoured them as an adolescent and young teen. My favorite was The Witch Tree Symbol. I liked the paranormal woo-woo overtones of the title and full-color cover, though the story turned out to be as sensible as Nancy’s sleuthing shoes. Still, I kept that book in my collection well into adulthood.

The Secret of The Old Clock was the first Nancy Drew mystery published in 1930. This original copy belonged to my mother. Notice the detailed illustration. Her copy is fragile and the pages are very brown, but this book is a treasure. I gave my copies of Nancy Drew away years ago, but have kept my mother’s in a place of honor on my bookshelf.

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Happy 85th Birthday, Nancy Drew!

Thank you for fueling my lifelong love of reading and writing.

 

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