Book Review – The Last Thing He Told Me

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave / Genre: Mystery

Synopsis

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

Thoughts

A great fast paced mystery which was also one of the Reese’s Bookclub selections with lots of twists and turns that kept me engaged from beginning to end!

I gave this book 4 stars.

Book Review – Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens / Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

A novel about a young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.

Thoughts

I have not read a book that has made me this emotional since The Nightingale, and just like The Nightingale, I will talk about Where the Crawdads sing for the rest of my days.

If you are one of the few who haven’t read Where the Crawdads Sing, I implore you to do it!!

This book received 5 stars from me.

Book Review – Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano / Genre: Mystery

Synopsis

Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

Thoughts

This book might be a mystery, but I have never laughed so much in my life! The antics that Finlay and her nanny/sidekick Vero get into are hilarious.

The book definitely ended with a great cliffhanger which I’m sure will play out in the next book in the series.

This book earned 5 stars from me.

Book Review – The Dead Season (Shana Merchant #2)

The Dead Season (Shana Merchant #2) by Tessa Wegert / Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis

Senior Investigator Shana Merchant has spent years running from her past. But she never imagined a murder case would drive her to the most dangerous place of all–home.

After leaving the NYPD following her abduction by serial killer Blake Bram, Shana Merchant hoped for a fresh start in the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York. Her former tormentor has other plans. Shana and Bram share more than just a hometown, and he won’t let her forget it. When the decades-old skeleton of Shana’s estranged uncle is uncovered, Bram issues a challenge: Return home to Vermont and solve the cold case, or the blood he spills next will be on her hands.

As Shana interviews members of her family and the community, mining for secrets that could help her solve her uncle’s murder, she begins to realize how little she remembers of her childhood. And when Bram grows impatient and kidnaps again, leaving a trail of clues Shana alone can understand, she knows his new victim will only survive if she wins the psychopath’s twisted game. In order to solve one mystery, Shana must wade into her murky past to unravel another.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first book in the Shana Merchant series (Death In The Family) and this second book did not disappoint!

We learned more about Shana as well as Bram, the serial killer who previously abducted her, and what their connection is.

Tesa Wegert recently announced 2 more books will be released in this series and I can’t wait to see what will be in store for Shana and Bram!

It’s a gripping, suspenseful story that I couldn’t put down and I gave this book 4 stars.

Book Review – Death In The Family

Death In The Family by Tessa Wegert / Genre: Mystery

Synopsis

A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant believes it all adds up to a killer in their midst—and that murder is a family affair.

Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she’s taken a job in her fiancé’s sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

But as a nor’easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they’re dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana’s right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they’ll strike again.

Thoughts

This book was so good!

While I had suspicious of who was guilty I didn’t have the complete picture until it was revealed at the end. Speaking of the ending . . . what a cliffhanger!

I’m so glad that this is a series because there is definitely more to learn about Shana!

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The Survivors

The Survivors by Jane Harper / Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

Thoughts

This book started out a little slow for me but it quickly picked up and kept my interest until the end. I absolutely loved that I had no idea who was guilty until it was revealed at the end of the book. My first Jane Harper book and I was not disappointed!

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – A Fatal Grace

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny / Genre: Mystery

SYNOPSIS:

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.

No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he’s dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?

With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.

THOUGHTS:

I really enjoyed this book! It’s the second in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and while I liked the first book (A Still Life) a lot, I think this book was even better! I was happy that some of the characters from the first book were in this one as well and I got to know them even more. Anyone who has read these books probably mentions Ruth at some point in their reviews . . . she is quite the character and I hope I will see more of her in this series!

I will be honest in that I was able to figure out ahead of time one of the twists in the book. That didn’t disappoint me though because I didn’t see the ending coming at all.

If you haven’t started reading this series, I would absolutely recommend diving in. Reading them in order is probably the best way to read them (in my opinion).

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.

Book Review – You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis:

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

Thoughts:

I liked this book and it kept my interest from beginning to end; however, there weren’t that many twists and turns in it and only one that I didn’t see coming. This is the second book I’ve read by these authors and I definitely liked the other book (The Wife Between Us) better. Don’t get me wrong, this book was good but I just don’t think it was as good as the first book I read by them.

I gave this book 3/5 stars.

Book Review – The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis:

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist. 

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book! It had twists and turns right from the beginning and they continued throughout. The ending was awesome!! Can’t wait to read more by this author.

I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Book Review – The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis:

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Thoughts:

This book took me a bit to get into, but once I did, holy cow what a ride! I had to read it during the day because it is definitely full of creepy vibes. And let’s talk about the ending . . . blew me away!!! I’m definitely going to check out some of C.J. Tudor’s other books.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.