Review: When I Am Through with You

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This one didn’t go anything like I was expecting.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  However, it does make for a difficult task writing a review without giving too much away.

Teenagers, weekend hike in the mountains, somebody dies.  That’s the story in a nutshell.  There’s a bit more to it, of course.  Ben starts off the story by telling you that he killed someone.  Not just any someone, but his girlfriend while at the same time claiming to love her very much.  Just how and why he killed her remains a mystery for much of the story.  Along the way we’re introduced to a host of other characters with their own bits of intrigue.

While this was a good enough story, I feel like it could have been more.  I somehow felt cheated by the ending as I was expecting something a bit juicier.  Still, it’s suspenseful enough to keep you interested as you wonder just what’s going to happen with this ragtag group of teenagers out in the middle of nowhere.

Read it and let me know what you think!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  When I Am Through with You

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Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

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What a thrill it must be, as an author, to have your debut novel reach the top of the best seller list.  To have everyone talking about it, recommending it.  To have it made into a movie, even.  But as wonderful as this all must be, there’s a downside.  Everyone expects your next novel to be just as good if not better.  Unfair, probably.  Still, the bar has been set.

There’s a river that runs through town.  It’s a river filled with mystery and intrigue.  It’s where many a woman has met her fate over the years.  The latest death isn’t like the others, though.  Nel’s death seems different, both to her daughter Lena and to her sister Jules.  Did she really kill herself?  Or was she digging too deep, uncovering the town’s hidden secrets?  If that’s the case, then everyone connected to her is in danger as well.

Did I enjoy this one as much as The Girl on the Train?  Not really.  There’s a lot going on, and there are a lot of characters to keep up with.  It seems like the story is trying to be too much at once.  It’s a mystery/thriller, of course.  But there’s also a supernatural-paranormal element at work although that aspect is never fully developed.  That doesn’t stop me from recommending it, though.  It’s a good story, well worth your time.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Into the Water

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: 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: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

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Since I never read the synopsis, I didn’t know who this book was about. But when I realized who the story was about and my heart started to race. From reading the previous books, I knew who Malcolm was and how he became Duke. I didn’t read a sad story, a story I already knew the outcome. But I kept going and realized this was so much more.

This love story was so epic and emotional, filled with heartache and honor. Mal loved his family so much he was willing to do just about anything to keep them safe and together. Oh my gosh. And he loved Mary something fierce. His love for her was his driving force for all of his actions. He was never going to leave her unless he had no other choice.

This story had me smiling and crying. And I mean CRYING. So embarrassing. These battles happened. These man lost their lives. This was real. And through it all, Malcolm never stopped fighting for his love. Ugh. So many tears…

You can read this book first, as a standalone, or read the series in order. I personally liked reading in order. As you read, you’re able to see glimpses of future Mackenzies in the past ones. I could totally pick out all the brothers’ personalities. It was fun to see which brother was matched up with what nephew. I loved it! I can’t wait for the next book. My historical romance heart is verra happy with this series.

~Melpomene

Buy The Stolen Mackenzie Bride HERE.

Review: X by Sue Grafton

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It was many years ago, in the basement of my local library during a used book sale, that I discovered the magic of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series.  Grabbing volumes A, B, and C for a measly .50 each, I soon fell in love with Kinsey Milhone.  I quickly grabbed all available titles and anxiously awaited each new release.  Sadly, I’ve slacked off a bit over the last several years.  Too many books, too little time. But still, I keep coming back to this series like a comfy pair of flannel jammies.

Once again, Kinsey finds herself unwittingly caught up in a mystery.  It starts off simple enough with a seemingly harmless meeting and an easy little job locating a missing person.  Soon, though, Kinsey finds out that she’s been had.  And the mystery goes much deeper than she ever suspected.  Stolen art, murder, robbery, it’s all there.  Of course, along the way, we are treated to generous helpings of the characters we’ve grown to love.  There’s Henry, Kinsey’s lovable landlord/surrogate father.  And Ed the cat, Rosie, William, they’re all there.

Is this the best book of the series?  Not by a long shot.  I found it a bit draggy at times and too drawn out at others.  With a character like Kinsey, however, those are just small bumps in the road.  You read these books for the storyline, sure.  But just as much, you read them because you’ve grown to know and love the characters.  It’ll be a very sad day when I read the very last page of volume Z.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  X

Review: The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench, #7) by PJ Tracy

2777462129966598(Titled Cold Hit in the UK) I really love this series so I was well chuffed when I received an ARC to read and review. I’ve been a huge fan of the mother/daughter team of PJ Tracy. I was totally blown away when Monkeewrench was published in 2003 and I am always excited when a new installment comes out.

If I wasn’t already familiar with the Monkeewrench team I might have been a bit disappointed in this novel…or perhaps I wouldn’t have been disappointed in it, but I wouldn’t have understood the relationship that the 5 team members (yes, Charlie IS a team member) share.

I really enjoyed this novel. I just wish there had been more of the interaction between the team. I really missed that. No, we didn’t have to revisit and rehash all of the past, but there just didn’t seem to be the same chemistry between them as there has been in other novels.

Don’t let my disappointment stop you from reading a very good novel! Please! If I’m to be honest, maybe I can admit that the lack of chemistry between the team might mean that they are all in better places and much more able to support themselves emotionally.

Yes, you can read this novel and follow along just fine. You won’t be lost. It’s a good solid standalone crime novel…however, don’t cut yourself short. This is a series that deserves to be read from the first book. If only you can see how wonderful this series is.

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Sixth Idea by PJ Tracy