Mystery/Suspense

#BookReview
Best Intentions by Erika Raskin
@erikaraskin @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

Marti Trailor—social worker on hold, mother of three, wife of a successful obstetrician, daughter of a Congressman—is ready to go back to work. She’s thrilled when the perfect opportunity falls in her lap. The catch? The job is at her husband’s hospital and he seems not to share her enthusiasm. Undeterred, she takes the position counseling vulnerable young women as they prepare to give birth.

Marti quickly begins to feel like she is making a difference in the lives of her clients. Soon, though, she finds herself caught up in the dark side of the medical center—with its long hours, overworked doctors and entrenched practices. When she witnesses something she can’t unsee, Marti, who has always done her best to keep a low-profile, finds herself thrust under a dangerous spotlight with all of Richmond, Virginia watching.

In her captivating domestic suspense novel Best Intentions, Erika Raskin weaves together high stakes hospital politics, the pressures of family life, and the consequences of trying to do the right thing.


Book Rating: 8/10

Intense, ominous, and engrossing!

Best Intentions is a character-driven thriller that highlights how easily someone’s behaviour can be misconstrued, manipulated, and used against them.

It is, ultimately, a story about marriage, motherhood, friendship, social work, greed, deception, adultery, medical politics, and the legal process.

The writing is well done. The characters are complex and multilayered with some being loving, supportive, and kind and others being pompous and self-centered. And the plot, although sometimes a little hard to follow as it flips from the past to the present, has a nice balance of suspense, tension, character development, and surprises.

Overall I would have to say that Best Intentions is a compelling, well-written read that once started will keep you entertained and invested to the very end.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Erika Raskin, visit her website at: erikaraskin.net

or follow her on Twitter at: @erikaraskin


#BookReview
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
@katelizabee @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Complex, creative, and satisfying!

Are You Sleeping is a character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 10-year-old murder while delving into the intricacies and psychological effects homicide, deception, and abandonment have on surviving family members.

The writing is well done. The characters are scarred, leery, and emotionally distant. The plot has a good mix of mystery, intrigue, conflict, and drama. And the unconventional narration using true-crime podcasts and social media postings adds a unique touch.

Are You Sleeping is ultimately a novel about familial dynamics, twinship, friendship, secrets, lies, murder and the power of media and although it isn’t exceptionally fast-paced or unputdownable, it is certainly a strong debut for Barber.

 

About the Author:

 

Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Kathleen Barber, visit her website at: kathleenbarber.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @katelizabee

#BookReview
The Late Show by Michael Connelly
@Connellybooks @littlebrown

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, a new thriller introducing a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.


Book Rating: 9/10

Extremely tense, highly suspenseful and masterfully paced!

The Late Show is a skillfully crafted, well-executed police procedural that introduces us to the feisty Detective Renée Ballard as she heads out on a shift that will have her hunting a burglar, a sadist, and a ruthless killer.

The writing is tight and seamless. The characterization is spot on with a gang of multi-layered, gritty characters including the gutsy, tenacious Ballard. And the plot is a thrill ride of twists, turns, surprises, corruption, violence, forensics, police politics and murder that will have you hooked from the very first page.

Connelly is a best-selling author, and with this new release it’s easy to see why. The Late Show is a raw, action-packed page turner that is compelling, entertaining and will leave you wanting more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                       

For more information on Michael Connelly, visit his website at: michaelconnelly.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @Connellybooks

#CoverReveal
Fatal Masquerade (A Lady Alkmene Mystery #4)
by Vivian Conroy @VivWrites @HQDigitalUK

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

Fatal Masquerade releases on October 4, 2017.

Preorder now at one of the following links and stay tuned for my review closer to publication.

 

                                

 

About the Author:

Vivian Conroy discovered Agatha Christie at 13 and quickly devoured all Poirot and Miss Marple stories. Over time Lord Peter Wimsey and Brother Cadfael joined her favourite sleuths. Even more fun than reading was thinking up her own fog-filled alleys, missing heirs and priceless artifacts. So Vivian created feisty Lady Alkmene and enigmatic reporter Jake Dubois sleuthing in 1920s London and the countryside, first appearing in A PROPOSAL TO DIE FOR (published by Carina UK/Harper Collins).

For the latest #LadyAlkmene, with a dash of dogs and chocolate, follow Vivian on Twitter via @VivWrites

#BookReview
A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave
@PaulCleave @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

A new thriller from the Edgar-nominated author of Trust No One and Joe Victim about a blind teenager who receives new eyes through corneal donation and begins to see and feel memories that he believes belong to the previous owners a detective and a serial killer.

Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It’s taken away his biological parents, robbed him of his eyesight, and is the reason his father Logan, the detective who raised him, is killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman. The suspect, Simon Bowers, is killed by Logan’s partner Ben, whose intentions are murkier than expected.

After this tragedy Joshua is handed an opportunity he can’t refuse: a new pair of eyes. But a mishap during the surgery leads to Joshua unknowingly getting one eye from his father, and the other from Simon. As Joshua navigates a world of sight, he gets glimpses of what his eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. Memories, truths, and lies Joshua discovers a world darker than the one he has emerged from. What else has he failed to see?

Meanwhile, Simon’s accomplice Vincent is bent on revenge, going after the loved ones of those involved in Simon’s death and Vincent is drawing closer and closer to Joshua.

Thriller virtuoso Paul Cleave is back with another riveting story of hidden secrets and unspeakable horrors that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.


Book Rating: 10/10

Gritty, dark and undoubtedly one of the best surprises of the year!

A Killer Harvest is a spine-chilling, often macabre, well-crafted thriller, with a side order of science fiction, that takes us on the hunt to find a missing woman and the vicious, sadistic serial killer responsible for her disappearance.

The characters are intriguing, well-developed, and complex. And the story starts off with a bang, simmers nicely with some mild action and character development, and then quickly spins at breakneck speed through unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, murder, depravity, and unimaginable wickedness right up to the very last page and the fantastically creepy ending.

A Killer Harvest truly is an exceptionally riveting novel that will not only fascinate, shock, disturb, and frighten you, but will also leave you contemplating the idea of cellular memory and the potentially horrific consequences of “evil” being stored in all cells.

I have to admit when I requested this book I was expecting a good book, but this book is not only a good book it’s a great book. I loved it, and I can guarantee this will not be the last time a book by Paul Cleave will be on my TBR list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada (Atria Books) for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                         

For more information on Paul Cleave, visit his website at: paulcleave.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @PaulCleave

 

#BookReview
Unforgivable by Mike Thomas
@ItDaFiveOh @BonnierZaffre

Synopsis:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.


Book Rating: 9/10

Explosive, adrenaline-pumping, and chillingly plausible!

Unforgivable is a well crafted, perfectly executed thriller that takes us on a manhunt for a ruthless terrorist and highlights how vulnerable we truly are.

The writing is tight and intense. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of complex, genuine characters including the intelligent, gutsy, troubled Will MacReady whose greatest weakness seems to be his fearless, impulsive behaviour and his continuously unfolding personal drama. And the plot is a never-ending rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, suspense, intrigue, violence, and murder.

Overall this book has everything you look for in an action-packed mystery. It’s timely, provocative, has great pace, incredible depth and does an exceptional job of showcasing Thomas’ extraordinary knowledge of the nitty-gritty details of police policies and procedures.

Unforgivable is the first book I’ve read by Thomas, for which I am now definitely kicking myself, and even though it is the second novel in the “DC Will MacReady” series and there are some references to events from the previous novel it can be read as a standalone. However, if you would prefer to be a little smarter than me then be sure to pick up Ash and Bones, book #1, to start this clever, satisfying series right!

Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                         

For more information on Mike Thomas, visit his website at: mikethomasauthor.co.uk

or follow him on Twitter at: @ItDaFiveOh

#BookReview
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
@RuthWareWriter @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

From the New York Times and #1 Globe and Mail bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood—a novel about the slipperiness of truth and the price of friendships.

I need you.” Three small words that change everything.

Isa Wilde knows something terrible has happened when she receives this text from an old friend. Why else would Kate summon her and their two friends Thea and Fatima to the seaside town where they briefly attended school together seventeen years ago?

The four friends first met at Salten House boarding school, where they quickly bonded over The Lying Game, a risky contest that involved tricking fellow boarders and faculty with their lies. But the game had consequences, and the girls were eventually expelled after Kate’s dad, their beloved art teacher, mysteriously disappeared. Forever bound by their lies but needing to forget their past, they went their separate ways—Kate remaining in Salten while the other three left to start new lives in and around London.

Now reunited, Isa, Kate, Thea, and Fatima discover that their past lies had far-reaching effects and criminal implications that threaten them all. In order to protect their reputations, and their friendship, they must uncover the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

Atmospheric, twisty, with just the right amount of chill, The Lying Game will have readers at the edge of their seats, not knowing who can be trusted in this tangled web of lies.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Tense, absorbing and eerie!

This is a well-crafted, character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 17-year-old mystery while delving into the intricacies of a friendship built on lies and secrets and maintained by trust, loyalty, and fear.

The characterization is well done with a cast of female characters that are unique, troubled, and self-involved. The prose is clear and direct.  The setting is a character in itself with its isolation, dereliction, and dreariness. And the plot unravels subtly and has just the right amount of drama and a past/present style that reveals all the actions, motivations, personalities and relationships within it

This is ultimately an intriguing, atmospheric novel with little action but enough twists and suspense to be unputdownable.

About the Author:

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer, and is the internationally bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. She is married with two small children. 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Ruth Ware, visit her website at: ruthware.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @RuthWareWriter

#BookReview
The Breakdown by B. A. Paris
@BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…


Book Rating: 8/10

Captivating, menacing and intense!

This is a suspenseful thriller that highlights just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally manipulated and how quickly things can spiral out of control.

It is, ultimately, a story about relationships, friendship, greed, jealousy, exploitation, deception, and murder.

The writing is crisp and clear. The characters are complex, secretive and unstable. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator, builds nicely and has just the right of amount of tension, befuddlement, mystery, and authenticity.

This is the second novel I’ve read by Paris and although I didn’t find this novel as dark and disturbing as her previous novel it is certainly just as engrossing, entertaining and enjoyable.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for B. A. Paris’ other novel, Behind Closed Doors, be sure to check it out here:

Behind Closed Doors - Cover

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                

For more information on B. A. Paris follow her on Twitter at: @BAParisAuthor


#BlogTour & #BookReview
Marked for Death by Matt Hilton
@MHiltonauthor @canelo_co

Synopsis:

Joe Hunter has been Marked for Death in his most explosive outing to date.

It should be a routine job. Joe Hunter and his associates are hired to provide security for an elite event in Miami. Wear a tux, stay professional, job done.

But things go wrong.

Hunter is drawn into what appears to be a domestic altercation. When he crosses the mysterious Mikhail however, he soon finds something altogether more sinister…

Before long this chance encounter has serious repercussions for Hunter and his friends. Good people are being killed. On the run, in the line of fire, the clock is ticking.

From the bars of Miami beach to car chases and super-yacht grenade battles, bestseller Matt Hilton dials up the intensity in this rip-roaring, set-piece filled thriller perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Stephen Leather.


Book Rating: 9/10

Suspenseful, gripping, and exceptionally fast-paced!

This is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of gun smuggling and sex trafficking and reminds us that evil often exists closer than you think.

The writing is well done and well paced. The characters are tenacious, tough, smart, dangerous and protective. And the plot is a riveting tale of murder, revenge, corruption, power, hatred, manipulation, abuse, survival and terror.

Overall, I have to say that Hilton has written another winner with this latest outing in the Joe Hunter series. It’s exciting, highly entertaining and bursting with so much tension, action and adventure that it’s impossible not to be completely captivated and enthralled from start to finish. 

 

About the Author:

Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer to pursue his love of writing cinematic action thrillers. He is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series. His first book, Dead Men’s Dust, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph.

 

Thank you to Matt Hilton and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                

For more information on Matt Hilton, visit his website at: matthiltonbooks.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @MHiltonauthor

 

#BookReview
Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
@KathyReichs @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.


Book Rating: 7/10

Fast-paced, mysterious, and entertaining!

This is a suspenseful thriller that reminds us that terrorism can often be homegrown and emphasizes just how dangerous anger, hatred, and religious fanaticism can truly be.

The writing is clear and precise. The main character, Sunday Night, is tough, intelligent, and determined, and the supporting characters are an intriguing mix of ruthless, persistent zealots, and a charming, dependable brother.

I have to say that die-hard fans of the Temperance Brennan series may be a little disappointed in this latest outing by Reichs which doesn’t have the scientific jargon and forensic analysis we typically associate with her novels, but there’s no question that Reichs is a great writer and if you read this new novel with an open mind you will recognize her trademark strong, flawed, female protagonist and straightforward style of writing that could definitely lead to another bestselling series for her.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

For more information on Kathy Reichs visit her website at: kathyreichs.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KathyReichs

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