Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

Advertisements

Review: The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

35616667

There are certain things I look for in a gripping psychological thriller.  Great characters, engaging storyline, plausibility, a nice little twist or two…if these things are present then I’m likely to enjoy and recommend it to others.  This newest release from Kerry Wilkinson fits the bill.

Olivia is the girl who disappeared 13 years ago, and now she’s back.  Her mom and dad couldn’t be happier, although there are other people in their small village who have their doubts.  Where has she been all this time?  What exactly happened that day she disappeared from their backyard?  And why has she suddenly reappeared?  Questions abound as the mystery deepens.  If she’s an imposter, what does she want?

This was a great little story, full of suspense.  It kept me guessing until almost the very end which is no small feat.  Grab it and settle in for an enjoyable ride!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Girl Who Came Back

Review: The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

32604387

Twisty.  That’s the best possible way to describe this engaging psychological thriller.

Jacqueline has a pretty good life.  She enjoys her job as a teacher.  And if asked to describe her marriage of eight years, she’d probably say it was pretty good.  All that comes to a screeching halt, however, when two police officers show up at her door with the worst possible news.  Her husband has been killed in a tragic accident.  Well, actually, that’s not the worst part of it.  He wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and he definitely wasn’t supposed to be with the woman who died with him.

Confusion reigns as she tries to make sense of what happened.  So when Nick, the fiance of the mystery woman, persuades her to join him on his quest to find answers she willingly joins him.  But answers lead to more questions, and she finds herself no closer to the truth.

Nice little mystery with a neat little twist at the end.  A great, quick read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Good Widow

Review: Guilty by Laura Elliot

35214498

I’m going to preface this review by saying that this one didn’t grab me right away as many psychological thrillers do.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at the beginning.  In fact, I almost gave up on it.  I’m glad I didn’t.

Constance is missing.  When the thirteen-year-old suddenly disappears, all efforts are put into finding her.  Her much loved uncle Karl soon finds himself the focus of the investigation.  Through a series of circumstantial pieces of evidence along with a determined journalist, he quickly becomes suspect number one.

Fast forward six years…

And I’m stopping here.  If you read the blurbs on various book-related sites, you’ll find more details leading up to this point.  But I’m not going to give them to you.  Part of the pleasure of this story was the discovery, the itchy inkling feeling I had as I got deeper and deeper into the story.  And I’d like for you to have that same experience.  So go forth and enjoy!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Guilty

 

Review: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

31443398

A friend…a very good one.  Someone who knows you better than you know yourself.  Someone you can turn to in your darkest hour, to help you pick up the pieces.  What can be better?  Leah considers herself lucky to have such a person in Emmy.  She’s been there for her through it all, even after all the time they were out of touch.

And now, Emmy is willing to give up everything and start over for Leah.  Everything begins to unravel, however, when a local girl turns up beaten and left for dead.  And then Emmy goes missing.  Exactly when did Leah see her last, anyway?  As Leah digs deeper and deeper, she realizes that maybe she didn’t really know Emmy that well after all.

This is the perfect follow-up to Miranda’s last novel, All the Missing Girls.  It has just the right mix of intrigue, mystery, whodunit-ness to keep you guessing.  And even if you put pieces of the story together before the halfway mark, as did I, the last 30% is sure to take you for a ride.  That alone is enough of a reason to grab this one!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Perfect Stranger

Review: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

29939148

I absolutely love Chevy Stevens.  She’s one of my go-to authors, one of the few whose new books are definite must reads.  This latest from her didn’t disappoint.

When Lindsey met Andrew, she thought all her dreams were finally coming true.  He was loving, attentive, wealthy, handsome…basically everything you could want in a husband.  And things were very good for awhile.  But then he began to change.  Or rather, his true personality began to show.  Controlling and abusive, this wasn’t the man she fell in love with.  As things get more and more dangerous, she starts to plan her escape.

Finally it happens.  She and her daughter get away, and Andrew is sent to prison for several years.  When he’s released, though, all those feelings come barreling back.  The paranoia, the fear that she’s being followed. And has someone been in her house, messing with her things and with her mind?  Andrew swears it’s not him, but clearly he’s not the most trustworthy individual. And lest you think you’ve got it all figured out, don’t blink.

In some ways this is your typical “wife leaves abusive husband” drama.  But then it becomes more.  Because Chevy Stevens.  She has a way of taking the ordinary and weaving it into a compelling story that you just can’t put down.  Don’t miss this one!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Never Let You Go

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

28815474

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