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 – Tell Me No Secret

Tell Me No Secret by Brandon Ellrich / Genre: Thriller

Synopsis

Can you keep a secret? High school student Joe wishes he’d never been asked that question. In the small town of New Haven, Missouri, murder is not a common occurrence, so when Joe kills his “best bud” Brad, a tidal wave of shock washes over the community. It makes no sense that Joe killed Brad. However, among teens, you never know what evil lurks beneath the surface.

Take a journey inside Joe’s mind as he reveals the details, planning, and tumultuous emotions that went into murdering his best friend. It’s no mystery that Joe is guilty; he admits that on page one. The question is why? What causes a nice young man to commit a murder? The answer isn’t as clear as it initially seems.

Details slowly float to the surface as time moves from the present into the past. Joe might admit guilt, but who is truly to blame for Brad’s murder? Will those responsible for heinous acts be brought to justice? Keeping a secret can be risky, but in Tell Me No Secret, a group of teen friends discovers just how dangerous it can be. 

Thoughts

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book! It was a super quick read and I enjoyed how the story started in the present day and then went backwards to tie all of the events together so the reader would know how everything related.

I’d definitely recommend this book!

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Invisible Girl

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell / Genre: Thriller

Synopsis

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

Thoughts

A super fast paced thriller with dual timelines and a fabulous twist at the end that I didn’t see coming! I was hooked right from the beginning and kept me guessing the entire time who was guilty for the disappearance of Saffyre. This was such a great read!

I gave this book 4 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 – Little Secrets

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Genre: Thriller

Synopsis

A mother driven to the edge by the disappearance of her son learns her husband is having an affair with the woman who might have kidnapped him.


Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.

Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.

Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.

Thoughts

I received an advance copy ecopy of Little Secrets for free from NetGalley and am leaving this honest review voluntarily. The book is due to come out on April 21, 2020.

This was the first book I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed it! I was hooked from the very beginning of the book. It’s faced paced and kept me engaged until the very end. I will be reading more books by Jennifer Hillier and definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Pretty Things

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
Genre: Thriller

Synopsis

Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.

Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer–traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina.

Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.

This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play.

Thoughts

This book comes out on April 21, 2020 and I received an advance ebook from NetGalley to read and provide my honest opinion.

I feel like the story could have been shorter than it was. There was a lot of time spent on the backstories of Nina and Vanessa that I don’t think was necessary. I was also able to guess some of the twists that took place in the story.

The book wasn’t bad, but it was just ok for me and I gave it 3/5 stars.

Book Review – The Turn Of The Key

The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Thoughts on the book:

I enjoyed this book. It was definitely a fast read and the chapters were mostly short which I enjoy in a book. I feel that there were parts of the book that felt a little drawn out. I did not see the twists coming at the end of the book and I actually had to read the first twist over again because I was so surprised as to what had just unfolded. I was a little disappointed with the ending of the book because I felt it ended abruptly and left me feeling like there were still questions that needed answering.

Overall, I liked this book and gave it 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Woman On The Edge

Woman On The Edge by Samantha M. Bailey
Genre: Thriller

Synopsis:

A moment on the platform changes two lives for ever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes for ever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or is something much darker going on?

Thoughts:

I was fortunate to receive this ebook ARC through NetGalley. The book is set to be published on March 3, 2020.

I really enjoyed how Morgan and Nicole’s story was woven together. Morgan’s chapters were present day where she is trying to figure out why all fingers were pointing to her doing something sinister to Nicole. Nicole’s chapters took the reader from the time she was about to give birth up to the point of meeting Morgan on the platform at the train station. The story was fast paced and I like that when reading this type of genre. The only thing I thought fell short for me was that I was pretty much able to figure out who was ultimately responsible for Nicole’s demise before the end of the book.

All in all, I was happy with this story and gave it 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Truly Devious

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery/Thriller

This book centers around a private school in Vermont, the Ellingham Academy, where the wife and daughter of the school’s founder were kidnapped and murdered in the 30’s. The only clue was a riddle that was signed “Truly Devious”.

Flash forward to current day and we follow Stevie Bell. Stevie is obsessed with true crime and becomes a student at Ellingham Academy in hopes of solving the murders that took place all those years ago. One big problem is that Stevie thinks she sees a new riddle which is also signed by Truly Devious . . . how can that be?

This book reads really fast and I loved the cliff hanger/teaser at the end! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I rated this book with 4/5 stars.