Review: A Necessary End by Holly Brown

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All Adrienne wants is a baby.  Is that too much to ask?  Unable to have one of her own, she and husband Gabe have jumped through every hoop to make their dream come true.  And it almost happened once.  Now that chance is here once again, and Adrienne’s not about to let this one slip away.  She’ll do anything to make it happen.  Even if the birth mother’s demands seem a bit….unusual.

So Leah moves in with Adrienne and Gabe.  And they craft a most nontraditional agreement.  Not only will she live with them for a year following the birth of the baby, she’ll also wait until the end of that year to sign the baby over to them.  Oh and she gets an allowance of several hundred dollars a month.  If that’s what it takes, though, Adrienne will do it even if Gabe is a bit less enthusiastic.

When the baby is born, she goes to increasingly sneaky lengths to keep the baby from Leah.  Meanwhile, Leah’s starting to pull away from Adrienne and form more of a bond with Gabe.  And then the baby daddy shows up, throwing everything into a tailspin.

There’s so much more going on with this book.  Leah has a secretive past.  Something bad happened with the previous birth mother, although we don’t find out the full details until the very end.  I have to say, I didn’t like any of these characters.  But in this case, that’s okay.  I think that was the author’s point.  A great little suspense of a story!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  A Necessary End

 

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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A missing baby.  A maybe slightly psychotic mother.  A lying father.  Kinky next door neighbors.  They’re all there, a cast of characters to set you up for one heck of a story.

When their babysitter cancels at the last minute,  Anne’s first instinct is to skip the dinner party next door.  But somehow, her husband Marco convinces her that it’ll be okay to leave the sleeping baby home alone.  Their houses share a wall, after all.  And they’ll be checking up on Cora every thirty minutes.  What could possibly go wrong?

Of course it does go wrong.  Baby Cora goes missing.  And there are very few clues left behind.  It’s natural that suspicion would fall upon her parents.  Anne has been slightly depressed, after all. And Marco’s business isn’t doing so well. Was he so desperate for money that he’d stage a kidnapping and ransom demand?

But wait.  There’s more. There are also the shady dinner party neighbors, especially the wife Cynthia who has eyes for Marco.  And Anne’s dad? He’s got a ton of money, thanks to her mom.  Along with that, he has some questionable business dealings.  Or was it really just a random event, a crime of opportunity?  Somehow the detectives in charge don’t think so.  But the deeper they dig, the more twists and turns they find.

This was quite an enjoyable book.  There are so many characters who could be guilty that even when I found how who dunnit, I was still suspicious of the others.  And it’s very twisty and turny, right up until the very end.  Also to note, I listened to the audio version which had an excellent narrator.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Couple Next Door

 

Review ~ The Trespasser, by Tana French.

29430013I must admit, I picked up this book in error. I had heard a lot of positive reviews regarding French’s books, and in particular, her Dublin Murder Squad series. Me being me, at midnight on a work-night, browsing Audible, I saw this book and thought “Oh, I’ll try the first book in the series”. It wasn’t until about chapter 10, that I realised that this is actually the 6th, yes, 6th, book in the series! However, even though, this is a continuing series, the characters come and go, and it just so happens that the characters in this novel, only featured in one other previous story. I missed a little background, but it was barely noticeable as I continued to read/listen to the story.

The plot was a fairly standard “who dunnit” type deal, and I must say, there was a plot point introduced that didn’t seem to gel, and in my opinion, could have been left out entirely. In spit of these small misgivings, the tone and characters really carried this novel.

Dark, gritty, and dirty, are some phrases I would associate with the tone, and the pace is fast, keeping the narrative at a good pace. The characters, on first glance, seem quite traditional; societal attitudes are still steeped in an air of patriarchy and French seems to spend quite a bit of time in establishing that the main character is a lone female in a squad of patronising and bullying males. Even though a lot of time, I was thinking to myself, doesn’t this police station have a HR department, the repetition of the antiquated attitudes actually reinforced the character development of Detective Conway.

I really recommend this book if you want to escape for a while, and read some good police procedural fiction. Is it in my top ten? Probably not. However, it is a good little read in its own right, competing with a ton, and indeed winning, of other similarly themed thriller fiction.

Until next time,

Pegasus

The Trespasser

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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There are those books that, while good enough to keep you reading, aren’t necessarily in the “can’t put it down until I finish it” category.  And as voracious readers, we understand that.  Not every story can be a page turner of epic proportions.  That’s what I was thinking as I worked my way through the first half of this one.  But then, oh boy.

The loss of a child is unimaginable for most of us, thankfully.  So it’s impossible to truly understand how we might react.  Would you find the strength to go on?  Or would you curl up in a ball and simply wither away?  Jacob’s mother is faced with just this dilemma when his young life is tragically ended on a rainy street.  To make matters worse, the driver just keeps on going.  Justice is not served, she’s left without a child and a purpose, and a killer runs free.  So she leaves town, presumably hoping for a fresh start elsewhere.

The detectives on the case, however, can’t let it go.  Lead after lead is exhausted, and still they plow on, hoping for that big break.  And finally it comes.  But it’s not what they expected.  Actually, it’s not what anyone expected.  And this is where I’ll stop.

Told in differing viewpoints alternating between past and present, this story is unforgettable.  Seems like a simple detective novel at first, but ends up being so much more.  So much more that I did not move from my couch as I raced through the last half.  Get it, read it, and enjoy!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  I Let You Go

Review: Night School by Lee Child

night-schoolQuickly…This Reacher book has lots of players in it. At times, I thought maybe a few too many. But Child has made it work. Many times in the past when Reacher is part of a team, it ends up being a book I am not a big fan of, however, I really enjoyed this book.

I was a bit disturbed by the ending. I didn’t dislike it, but it bothers me. The bit of fact layered in with the fiction has me unsettled. It’s gave me too much to think about really. One more reason to stay up late at night worrying about things I can’t possibly change. The choice that Reacher makes at the end….well…uffta….I won’t go into that…again, so many implications…

Finally, I need to say, I’ve been reading Reacher from the start. Nearly 20 years I’ve been waiting month after month, year after year, for new installments. A few of the later ones have…well…they haven’t exactly lived up to my high expectations.

When I started reading this one, at one point, I was like, “wow, this is like a modern-day marriage” I have felt like just walking away recently from Reacher. I’ve stayed out of loyalty to the past. At one point, I saw a glimpse of the man I used to love so much.

I feel like I’ve known all of Reacher’s habits, bad and good, that I’ve taken them for granted….and perhaps even been a bit annoyed with them.

Isn’t this what happens in long-term (hey!!! ALMOST 20 YEARS!!!! REMEMBER???) People change…they get bored…I’ve changed…and Reacher hasn’t…but that’s my side of the story. There are always two sides. Reacher has changed as well. And we’ve both remained the same…

So I really enjoyed this book…but now I question everything. Did I hate some of the others because I was in a dull spot in our relationship? Did I love this one because I’ve missed our relationship?

Yea, I know…I’ve went way off base here and tangents galore…but bottom line is, I’m glad I’ve stuck with Reacher…and I don’t plan on bailing ship anytime soon…I’m in it for the long run…even if sometimes I get bored…and annoyed…and I question his motives…I trust at the end of the day, Reacher is Reacher and just doing the things he does to provide his sort of justice…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Night School by Lee Child

Review: Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia

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What a great mystery this book was.  I can’t remember the last time I read a story with so many twists and turns.  And then those twists and turns had twists and turns.

Small towns are hard, especially if you’re a teenager with a secret.  When Hattie Hoffman goes missing, it’s all anyone can talk about.  And when her body is found a short time later, the rumors begin flying.  Hattie was a good girl from a good family with everything going for her and a bright future ahead.  But even good girls have secrets, and good girls may not be who we think they are.

Told from three points of view alternating between past and present, we find out that Hattie wasn’t who she pretended to be.  And the bad person may or may not be who we think it is.  Even when you think you know who it is, it really isn’t.

Again, a very vague review.  But do you really want me to spoil it for you?  Of course you don’t.  So just trust me and read it.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Everything You Want Me To Be

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

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When a book keeps me up until after midnight to finish it, it’s a keeper.  Granted, it was a Saturday night with no school the next day but still.  And yes, it’s another story about a dysfunctional family.  Just trust me when I say it’s really, really good.

Jack and Grace are the perfect couple.  He’s handsome and charming, she’s beautiful and elegant.  His job as a highly successful lawyer allows them to have an exquisite home filled with luxurious furnishings.  Their dinner parties leave nothing to be desired with Grace painstakingly preparing everything herself.  And last but not least, they appear to dote on each other with no sign of their honeymoon phase wearing off anytime soon.

But when the doors close, it’s a different story…

So this is where I’m going to stop.  Yes, I know it’s not much as far as reviews go.  The question is, did I intrigue you?  Did my brief little intro make you want to go get the book immediately?  Because you should.

~Thalia

~Buy It Now:  Behind Closed Doors