Mystery/Thriller

#BookReview Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz @harperbooks #ClosetoDeath #AnthonyHorowitz #HawthorneAndHorowitz #HarperBooks

#BookReview Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz @harperbooks #ClosetoDeath #AnthonyHorowitz #HawthorneAndHorowitz #HarperBooks Title: Close to Death

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Series: Hawthorne & Horowitz #5

Published by: Harper Books on Apr. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Harper Books

Book Rating: 9/10

In New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s ingenious fifth literary whodunnit in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, Detective Hawthorne is once again called upon to solve an unsolvable case—a gruesome murder in an idyllic gated community in which suspects abound.

Riverside Close is a picture-perfect community. The six exclusive and attractive houses are tucked far away from the noise and grime of city life, allowing the residents to enjoy beautiful gardens, pleasant birdsong, and tranquility from behind the security of a locked gate.

It is the perfect idyll, until the Kentworthy family arrives, with their four giant, gas-guzzling cars, gaggle of shrieking children, and plans for a garish swimming pool in the backyard. Obvious outsiders, the Kentworthys do not belong in Riverside Close, and quickly offend every last one of the neighbors.

When Charles Kentworthy is found dead on his own doorstep, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest, Detective Hawthorne is the only investigator they can call to solve the case.

Because how do you solve a murder when everyone is a suspect?


Review:

Intricate, sharp, and clever!

In this fifth instalment in the Hawthorne & Horowitz series, Close to Death, we head back into the life of Horowitz, the author extraordinaire who, now under a tight deadline to produce his next book, decides to delve into one of Hawthorne’s most challenging murder cases from five years ago involving a gated cul-de-sac in an exclusive part of London, and the crossbow slaying of an arrogant neighbour who everyone in the community seems to have had a motive to kill.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are multilayered, irritated, and secretive. And the plot is an immersive, mysterious tale full of twists, turns, surprises, deception, mayhem, suspicious personalities, revelations, manipulation, animosity, and murder.

Overall, Close to Death is a complex, intense, engrossing tale that has just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it a satisfying, highly entertaining addition to a metafiction series that I can honestly not get enough of. Anthony Horowitz has certainly written some amazing characters over the years, but Hawthorne & Horowitz are definitely two of my all-time favourites.

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Harper Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anthony Horowitz

ANTHONY HOROWITZ is the author of the US bestselling Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder, and one of the most prolific and successful writers in the English language; he may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novel Trigger Mortis features original material from Ian Fleming. His most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is a reader favorite; and his bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. As a TV screenwriter, he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War on PBS. Horowitz regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE.

#BookReview The Night in Question by Susan Fletcher @sfletcherauthor @PenguinRandomCA #SusanFletcher #TheNightInQuestion #PenguinReads

#BookReview The Night in Question by Susan Fletcher @sfletcherauthor @PenguinRandomCA #SusanFletcher #TheNightInQuestion #PenguinReads Title: The Night in Question

Author: Susan Fletcher

Published by: Doubleday Canada on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 440

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A lyrical and emotionally engaging novel infused with mystery and wisdom about love, friendship, and the power of forgiveness.

Florrie Butterfield—eighty-seven, one-legged, and of cheerful disposition—believes there can’t be any more adventures or surprises in life to experience. Yet one midsummer’s evening, there’s an accident at Babbington Hall—the adult residence where she lives—so shocking and strange that Florrie is suspicious; is this really an accident? Or is she being lied to? Is she, in fact, living alongside a potential murderer? In her efforts to learn the truth, Florrie is forced to look back on her own life, with all its passions and regrets; she must confront her own bloody secret—and, at last, forgive herself. Above all, Florrie learns, through the help of her new friend, Stanhope, that you’re never too old to have the life you’ve always dreamed of. When it comes to love, it’s never too late.

Readers of moving fiction about late-in-life second chances such as Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will love this un-putdownable book.


Review:

Poignant, satisfying, and mysterious!

The Night in Question is a charming, tender tale that takes you into the life of eighty-seven-year-old Florrie Butterfield, a feisty resident of Babbington Hall who, after witnessing the facility’s young manager fall from a third-floor window, takes it upon herself to recruit another fellow resident to help her prove that it was not an attempted suicide after all but rather a more sinister plan that had actually been in the works for a very long time.

The writing style is sentimental and heartfelt. The characters are quirky, determined, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, compelling whodunit full of red herrings, amateur sleuthing, tricky situations, awkward moments, troubled pasts, deduction, danger, and vengeance.

Overall, The Night in Question is a cosy, satisfying, entertaining read by Fletcher that was such a delight to read with all its intricacies, drama, and endearing characters.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Fletcher

SUSAN FLETCHER is a British novelist. Her debut, Eve Green, won the 2004 Whitbread First Novel Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and the Richard and Judy Summer Read in 2005. It was also shortlisted for the LA Times First Novel Award. Her other novels include Oystercatchers (longlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize), Witch Light (shortlisted for the John Llewellyn-Rhys Award and the Writer’s Guild Best Fiction Award) and A Little In Love (winner of 2016 North East Children's Book Award). Susan is the current Fellow at the University of Worcester as part of the Royal Literary Fund's fellowship scheme. She lives in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England.

#BookReview The Gathering by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @PenguinRandomCA #CJTudor #TheGathering #PenguinReads

#BookReview The Gathering by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @PenguinRandomCA #CJTudor #TheGathering #PenguinReads Title: The Gathering

Author: C.J. Tudor

Published by: Doubleday Canada on Apr. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A detective investigating a grisly crime in rural Alaska finds herself caught up in the dark secrets and superstitions of a small town in this riveting novel from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Deadhart, Alaska. 873. Living.

In a small Alaska town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and all the blood drained from his body. The inhabitants of Deadhart haven’t seen a killing like this in twenty-five years. But they know who’s responsible: a member of the Colony, an ostracized community of vampyrs living in an old mine settlement deep in the woods.

Detective Barbara Atkins, a specialist in vampyr killings, is called in to officially determine if this is a Colony killing—and authorize a cull. Old suspicions die hard in a town like Deadhart, but Barbara isn’t so sure. Determined to find the truth, she enlists the help of a former Deadhart sheriff, Jenson Tucker, whose investigation into the previous murder almost cost him his life. Since then, Tucker has become a recluse. But he knows the Colony better than almost anyone.

As the pair delve into the town’s history, they uncover secrets darker than they could have imagined. And then another body is found. While the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, a killer stalks Deadhart, and two disparate communities circle each other for blood. Time is running out for Atkins and Tucker to find the truth: Are they hunting a bloodthirsty monster . . . or a twisted psychopath? And which is more dangerous?


Review:

Unique, mysterious, and atmospheric!

The Gathering is a gritty, unsettling tale that takes you to Deadhart, Alaska, a small town that has lived a relatively quiet existence for the past twenty-five years since the Colony moved away after the death of a local boy. But now the Colony is back, and another young boy has suddenly been found with his throat ripped out, and the townspeople are no longer interested in finding the one person or thing responsible, they’re out for blood and won’t be happy until the whole Colony of vampyrs are slaughtered once and for all.

The writing is sharp and descriptive. The characters are meticulous, intelligent, and driven. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful, action-packed tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, community, surprises, suspects, hostility, savagery, deduction, desperation, complex relationships, violence, murder, and the supernatural.

Overall, The Gathering is a clever, tight, disturbing thrill ride that had just the right amount of twists, turns, and surprises to keep me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. It’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Tudor, but I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About C.J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor is the author of The Drift, The Burning Girls, The Other People, The Hiding Place, and The Chalk Man, which won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award, and the Strand Critics Award for Best Debut Novel. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over artist, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. She lives in England with her partner and daughter.

Photo: © Bill Waters

#BookReview Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda @MeganLMiranda @SimonSchusterCA #DaughterofMine #MeganMiranda #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda @MeganLMiranda @SimonSchusterCA #DaughterofMine #MeganMiranda #SimonSchusterCA Title: Daughter of Mine

Author: Megan Miranda

Published by: Marysue Rucci Books on Apr. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The new thrilling novel from Megan Miranda, the instant New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls, The Last to Vanish, and The Only Survivors.

When Hazel Sharp, daughter of Mirror Lake’s longtime local detective, unexpectedly inherits her childhood home, she’s warily drawn back to the town—and people—she left behind almost a decade earlier. But Hazel’s not the only relic of the past to a drought has descended on the region, and as the water level in the lake drops, long-hidden secrets begin to emerge…including evidence that may help finally explain the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.


Review:

Intricate, unsettling, and gritty!

Daughter of Mine is a compelling, absorbing tale that transports you to Mirror Lake, North Carolina, and into the lives of the Holt family as the past suddenly collides with the present when, soon after the patriarch passes, an automobile is found submerged at the bottom of the lake, and at least one person is on edge and threatened by the long-buried secrets it may finally bring to light.

The writing is intense and tight. The characters are vulnerable, impulsive, and scarred. And the plot intertwines and unravels seamlessly into a riveting tale full of lies, deception, secrets, desperation, manipulation, familial drama, troubled pasts, suspicious behaviours, violence, and murder.

Overall, Daughter of Mine is a dark, atmospheric, engrossing tale by Miranda that kept me enthralled from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and more than a little eager to read whatever her deliciously sinister mind manages to come up with next.

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

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

 

About Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of ALL THE MISSING GIRLS and THE PERFECT STRANGER. She has also written several books for young adults, including FRACTURE, THE SAFEST LIES, and FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

#BookReview The Unquiet Bones by Loreth Anne White @Loreth @AmazonPub @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheUnquietBones #LorethAnneWhite #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview The Unquiet Bones by Loreth Anne White @Loreth @AmazonPub @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheUnquietBones #LorethAnneWhite #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: The Unquiet Bones

Author: Loreth Anne White

Published by: Montlake Romance on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 351

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

A shocking discovery of human bones reopens an almost fifty-year-old cold case—and rips apart the lives of a group of friends—in a riveting novel by Loreth Anne White, the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of The Maid’s Diary.

When human bones are found beneath an old chapel in the woods, evidence suggests the remains could be linked to the decades-old case of missing teen Annalise Jansen.

Homicide detective Jane Munro—pregnant and acutely attuned to the preciousness of life—hopes the grim discovery will finally bring closure to the girl’s family. But for a group of Annalise’s old friends, once dubbed the Shoreview Six by the media, it threatens to expose a terrible pledge made on an autumn night forty-seven years ago.

The friends are now highly respected, affluent members of their communities, and none of them ever expected the dark chapter in their past to resurface. But as Jane and forensic anthropologist Dr. Ella Quinn peel back the layers of secrets, the group begins to fracture. Will one cave? Will they turn on each other?

The investigation takes a sharp turn when Jane discovers a second body—that of the boy long blamed for Annalise’s disappearance. As the bones tell their story, the group learns just how far each will go to guard their own truth.


Review:

Intricate, deft, and suspenseful!

The Unquiet Bones is a chilling, engrossing tale that takes us into the life of the grieving, pregnant homicide detective Jane Munro as she and her team suddenly find themselves investigating the tragic decades-old cold case of a missing teen who seemingly vanished without a trace one night after partying with some of her closest friends.

The writing is meticulous and tight. The characters are intuitive, relentless, and committed. And the plot unravels briskly into a sinister tale full of twists, turns, heartbreak, lies, secrets, desperation, suspicious personalities, familial drama, abuse, misdirection, and tragedy.

Overall, The Unquiet Bones is an atmospheric, gripping, highly entertaining thriller that once again highlights White’s exceptional ability to write menacing, sophisticated mysteries that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines.

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Loreth Anne White

Loreth Anne White is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries.

A three-time RITA finalist, she has also won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist, a multiple Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner.

A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she’s not writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her Black Dog.

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks Title: Death on the Lusitania

Author: R. L. Graham

Series: Patrick Gallagher #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Welcome on board the Lusitania’s final voyage . . .

New York, 1915. RMS Lusitania, one of the world’s most luxurious trans-Atlantic liners, departs for Liverpool and war-torn Europe. Among those on board is Patrick Gallagher, a civil servant in Her Majesty’s government tasked with discreetly escorting a British diplomat back to England in relation to charges of suspected treason.

When a fellow passenger, Jimmy Dowrich, is found shot to death in his cabin, the captain asks Gallagher to investigate. Knowing something of the man’s past, Gallagher realizes that the problem will not be simple; and also, the body was discovered in a locked cabin with the key inside and no gun to be found.

Gallagher believes that one of his fellow passengers is a deadly killer. But many of those on board are harbouring secrets of their own, and his questioning reveals that several had a motive for ending Dowrich’s life. He fears that the killer could strike again to protect their true reasons for being on board and all the while, the ship sails on towards Europe, where deadly submarines patrol the war zone . . .


Review:

Mysterious, captivating, and atmospheric!

Death on the Lusitania is an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery set during 1915 on the infamous HMS Lusitania that features the savvy Patrick Gallagher who, when shortly after departure from New York, one of the travellers winds up dead in a locked cabin with no murder weapon in sight, endeavours to a find the murderer onboard amongst a passenger list riddled with secrets, deception, and ulterior motives.

The prose is descriptive and light. The characters are multi-layered, intriguing, and secretive. And the plot is a well-paced, locked-door style whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, amateur sleuthing, deduction, danger and, of course, a touch of the unexpected.

Overall, Death on the Lusitania is the first book in the Patrick Gallagher series, and if you love historical mysteries, this one won’t disappoint. It’s an entertaining, cosy, satisfying debut by the writing duo of Graham, and I can only hope, even with the tragic loss of one half of this dynamic team, that there is still more to come.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About R. L. Graham

R. L. Graham is a husband-and-wife team of historians and writers with a broad range of interests in many periods of history, including the belle époque and the tumultuous years leading up to the First World War and the post-war re-ordering of the world.

They are very much drawn to the shadowy world of crime, espionage and political intrigue. They are particularly fascinated by historical mysteries: things which have happened but have no apparent explanation. Originally from Canada, they now live in a small village in Devon. Marilyn Livingstone, one half of R. L. Graham, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while this book was being written. She passed away in September 2023.

#BookReview The Guest by B. A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress #TheGuestNovel #BAParis #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Guest by B. A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress #TheGuestNovel #BAParis #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Guest

Author: B.A. Paris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 20, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

New York Times bestselling author B. A. Paris captivated psychological thriller readers everywhere with Behind Closed Doors. Now she invites you into another home full of heart-pounding secrets, in The Guest.

Some secrets never leave.

Iris and Gabriel have just arrived home from a make-or-break holiday. But a shock awaits them. One of their closest friends, Laure, is in their house. The atmosphere quickly becomes tense as she oversteps again and sleeping in their bed, wearing Iris’ clothes, even rearranging the furniture.

Laure has walked out on her husband—and their good friend—Pierre, over his confession of an affair and a secret child. Iris and Gabriel want to be supportive of their friends, but as Laure’s mood becomes increasingly unpredictable, her presence takes its toll.

Iris and Gabriel’s only respite comes in the form of a couple new to town. But with them comes their gardener, who has a checkered past. Soon, secrets from all their pasts will unravel, some more dangerous than they could have known.


Review:

Cunning, edgy, and mysterious!

The Guest is a fast-paced, menacing thriller that takes you into the lives of Iris and Gabriel as their worlds get turned upside down when one of their best friends shows up uninvited to stay, one of their other friends seems to have disappeared without a trace, and everyone all around them seems to have deep dark secrets they’re willing to do anything to hide.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, self-absorbed, and secretive. And the plot is a simmering, ominous tale full of twists, turns, deception, manipulation, friendship, family, lies, desperation, tension, unease, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Guest is another devious, intense, eerie tale by Paris that kept me guessing from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and surprised.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

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

 

About B.A. Paris

B. A. PARIS is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. The Dilemma is her fourth novel.

Photograph by Philippe Matsas.

#BookReview Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #LisaGardner #StillSeeYouEverywhere #FrankieElkin #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada

#BookReview Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #LisaGardner #StillSeeYouEverywhere #FrankieElkin #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada Title: Still See You Everywhere

Author: Lisa Gardner

Series: Frankie Elkin #3

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 12, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner comes a harrowing new thriller:

Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding the missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten, but even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of a female serial killer facing execution in three weeks’ time.

She has called herself “death,” but people called her the devil.

The case was sensational. Kaylee Pierson had confessed from the very beginning, waived all appeals. Despite the media’s chronicling of her tragic circumstances—the childhood spent with a violent father—no one could find sympathy for “the Beautiful Butcher” who had led eighteen men home from bars before viciously slitting their throats.
Now, with only twenty-one days left to live, Pierson has finally received a lead on the whereabouts of the sister who was kidnapped over a decade ago, and she needs Frankie’s help to find her. The Beautiful Butcher’s offer:

When was the last time your search ended with finding the living?

Unable to resist the chance for a rescue, Frankie takes on Pierson’s request. Twelve years ago, five-year-old Leilani went missing in Hawaii. The main suspect? Pierson’s tech mogul ex-boyfriend, Sanders MacManus. Now, on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific—the site of MacManus’s latest vanity project—fresh evidence has appeared. In order to learn the truth and possibly save a young woman’s life, Frankie must go undercover at the isolated base camp. Her challenge: A dozen strangers. Countless dangerous secrets. Zero means of calling for help. And then the storm rolls in…


Review:

Simmering, gripping, and atmospheric!

Still See You Everywhere is an ominous, character-driven thriller that takes us back into the life of Frankie Elkin as she now finds herself heading to the remote Hawaiian island of Pomaikai at the request of a deranged, convicted serial killer on death row who is hoping to find her missing teenage sister whom she believes is being groomed by her ex-boyfriend and tech billionaire, Sanders MacManus, before her execution.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are stubborn, damaged, and impulsive. And the plot is a darkly menacing tale of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, corruption, duplicity, manipulation, danger, terror, suspicion, survival, and murder.

Overall, Still See You Everywhere is another tortuous, addictive, unnerving tale by Gardner that is deliciously relentless, excessively deceptive, and bursting with misdirection.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Gardner

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.

Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

#BookReview Bye, Baby by Carola Lovering @carolatlovering @StMartinsPress #ByeBaby #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Bye, Baby by Carola Lovering @carolatlovering @StMartinsPress #ByeBaby #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Bye, Baby

Author: Carola Lovering

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A missing baby. A fraught friendship. A secret that can never be told.

On a brisk fall night in a New York apartment, 35-year-old Billie West hears terrified screams. It’s her lifelong best friend Cassie Barnwell, one floor above, and she’s just realized her infant daughter has gone missing. Billie is shaken as she looks down into her own arms to see the baby, remembering—with a jolt of fear—that she is responsible for the kidnapping that has instantly shattered Cassie’s world.

So begins the story of Billie and Cassie’s friendship–both in recent weeks, and since they met twenty-three years ago, in their small Hudson Valley hometown the summer before seventh grade. Once fiercely bonded by their secrets, including a traumatic, unspeakable incident in high school, Cassie and Billie have drifted apart in adulthood, no longer the inseparable pair they used to be. Cassie is married to a wealthy man, has recently become a mother, and is building a following as a fashion and lifestyle influencer. She is desperate to leave her past behind–including Billie, who is single and childless, and no longer fits into her world. Hurt and rejected by Cassie’s new priorities, Billie will do anything to restore their friendship, even as she hides the truth about what really happened the night the baby was taken.

Told in alternating perspectives in Lovering’s signature suspenseful style, Bye Baby confronts the myriad ways friendships change and evolve over time, the lingering echoes of childhood trauma, and the impact of women’s choices on their lifelong relationships.


Review:

Compelling, ominous, and addictive!

Bye, Baby is a taut, intricate tale that takes you into the life of Cassie Adler, a young mother and social media influencer who seems to have the affluent life she’s always coveted, until one day her four-month-old baby girl goes missing and she feels like the only person who can help her is her childhood best friend Billie West who for the past few years she’s deliberately snubbed and left behind.

The prose is tight and edgy. The characters are secretive, consumed, and troubled. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style, builds and unravels quickly into a twisty tale full of drama, deception, lies, jealousy, obsession, manipulation, tragedy, childhood trauma, dark secrets, and the complex relationships that can exist between friends.

Overall, Bye, Baby is an engrossing, sinister, tortuous novel by Lovering that kept me riveted from the very first page and is the perfect choice for anyone who loves a menacing, highly entertaining, tension-filled read.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

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

 

About Carola Lovering

Carola Lovering is the author of TELL ME LIES (Atria Books) and TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (St. Martin's Press). She attended Colorado College, and her writing has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Dredge by Brendan Flaherty @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #TheDredge #BrendanFlaherty #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Dredge by Brendan Flaherty @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #TheDredge #BrendanFlaherty #PGCBooks Title: The Dredge

Author: Brendan Flaherty

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 240

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

n Brendan Flaherty’s debut novel, two estranged brothers must confront the violence of the past when they find out a pond where they played as children will be dredged.

After some traumatic teenaged years in rural Connecticut, Cale and Ambrose Casey had nothing left to say to each other. Cale ran off to Hawaii to sell luxury real estate. Ambrose stayed behind and built up his construction company. Neither thought they’d be in touch again and were glad for it—until they learned of a real estate developer’s plan to drain and expand Gibbs Pond.

Nearly 30 years before, the Casey brothers buried a secret in that pond, which fell somewhere between self-defense and family preservation.

Lily Rowe, the contractor in charge of the dredging, can also trace her roots—and her trauma—to the banks of Gibbs Pond. After a childhood that saw her and her brother yanked across the country by her abusive father, it was here where she finally stayed put, even if they didn’t. But as ambitious as Lily is, and as much as she wants answers of her own, her family also has secrets to protect. 

Now, the haunted lives of Cale, Ambrose, and Lily collide once more as they reunite to unearth the devastation of the past.


Review:

Intricate, gritty, and unsettling!

The Dredge is a compelling, absorbing tale that transports you to Macoun, Connecticut, and into the lives of members of both the Rowe and Casey families as the past suddenly collides with the present when a developer decides to dredge Gibbs Pond and more than one person is on edge and threatened by the long-buried secrets it may finally bring to light.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, impulsive, and scarred. And the plot, using a back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels seamlessly into an engrossing tale full of lies, deception, abuse, desperation, manipulation, familial drama, troubled pasts, unusual friendships, troubling behaviours, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Dredge is a dark, atmospheric, promising debut by Flaherty that kept me enthralled from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and eager to read whatever his deliciously sinister mind manages to come up with next. 

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Brendan Flaherty

Brendan Flaherty is from outside Hartford. He went to Washington University in St. Louis, and received his MFA from Boston University, where he was awarded the Saul Bellow prize. The Dredge is his debut novel.

Photo by Luke Wayne Photography