Format: ARC

#BookReview The Deepest of Secrets (Rockton #7) by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #TheDeepestofSecrets #KelleyArmstrong #CaseyDuncan #Rockton #RocktonNovels #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Deepest of Secrets (Rockton #7) by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #TheDeepestofSecrets #KelleyArmstrong #CaseyDuncan #Rockton #RocktonNovels #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Deepest of Secrets

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #7

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 15, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

#1 New York Times bestseller Kelley Armstrong returns to the captivating town of Rockton in The Deepest of Secrets, the next installment in one of the most imaginative crime series on shelves today.

It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives—and thrives—because the residents’ many secrets stay just that—secret.

But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out—but when.

Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, need to find the culprit while protecting those who have been thrust into the spotlight. For a place built on privacy and new beginnings, Rockton isn’t handling these revelations very well. People are turning on one another, and when one of the loudest complainers turns up barely alive, it’s clear that their trickster is actually a murderer.

The threat of exposure is reaching its breaking point, and no one knows what’s going to happen next.


Review:

Sinister, addictive, and highly entertaining!

The Deepest of Secrets is a gritty, unsettling tale that takes us back to the Yukon and into the small community of Rockton, a refuge and home to a variety of criminals from the south where histories are guarded, secrets are treasured, the governing council may be finally ready to pull the plug, and at least one individual with a penchant for burying people alive may have decided it’s time to uncover and reveal everyone’s past they’re desperately trying to keep hidden.

The writing is sharp and descriptive. The characters are crafty, intelligent, and driven. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful, action-packed tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, duplicity, politics, red herrings, friendship, complex relationships, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Deepest of Secrets is another intricate, atmospheric, edgy addition to the Rockton series by Armstrong that ultimately left me enthralled, surprised, and undoubtedly confident that whatever happens next, Rockton will never be the same.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

Photograph by Kathryn Hollinrake.

#BookReview Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski @HenryHolt #RealEasy #MarieRutkoski #HenryHoltBooks

#BookReview Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski @HenryHolt #RealEasy #MarieRutkoski #HenryHoltBooks Title: Real Easy

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Jan. 18, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Rating: 8.5/10

It’s 1999 and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to mixing work and friendship―after all, between her jealous boyfriend and his young daughter, she has enough on her plate. But the newest dancer is so clueless that Samantha feels compelled to help her learn the hustle and drama of the club: how to sweet-talk the boss, fit in with the other women, and make good money. One night, when the new girl needs a ride home, Samantha agrees to drive: a simple decision that turns deadly.

Georgia, another dancer drawn into the ensuing murder and missing person investigation, gathers information for Holly, a grieving detective determined to solve the case. Georgia just wants to help, but her involvement makes her a target. As Holly and Georgia round up their suspects, the story’s point of view shifts between dancers, detectives, children, club patrons―and the killer.

Drawing on her experience as a former dancer, Marie Rutkoski immerses us in the captivating world of the club, which comes alive with complicated people trying their best to protect themselves and those they love. Character-driven and masterfully plotted, Real Easy gets to the heart of the timeless question: How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?


Review:

Intricate, addictive, and twisty!

Real Easy is a complex, gritty, character-driven thriller that takes you back to 1999 and into the lives of a myriad of people, including Detectives Amador and Meylin, as they work together to solve a case involving a murdered stripper, her missing coworker Samantha, and a killer who seems to have an unusual fascination with the image of a crown and enjoys keeping small pieces of jewellery as mementoes.

The prose is vigorous and tight. The characters are multilayered, flawed, and troubled. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, quickly unravels into a sinister tale of unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, complex relationships, suspicious motivations, manipulation, obsession, tragedy, loss, and murder.

Overall, Real Easy is a dark, unnerving, entertaining adult debut by Rutkoski that kept me guessing from the very first page and left me chilled, satisfied, impressed, and curious to see what her devious mind might 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 Henry Holt and Company for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels for children and young adults. She grew up in Illinois as the oldest of four children, and has lived in Moscow, Prague, and Paris.

She holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University, and is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Shakespeare, children’s literature, and fiction writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and two cats, Cloud and Firefly.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

 

#BookReview The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff @wunderkindPR #TheLobotomistsWife #SamanthaGreeneWoodruff

#BookReview The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff @wunderkindPR #TheLobotomistsWife #SamanthaGreeneWoodruff Title: The Lobotomist's Wife

Author: Samantha Greene Woodruff

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Feb. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 298

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Wunderkind PR

Book Rating: 8.5/10

An enthralling historical novel of a compassionate and relentless woman, a cutting-edge breakthrough in psychiatry, and a nightmare in the making.

Since her brother took his life after WWI, Ruth Emeraldine has had one goal: to help those suffering from mental illness. Then she falls in love with charismatic Robert Apter—a brilliant doctor championing a radical new treatment, the lobotomy. Ruth believes in it as a miracle treatment and in Robert as its genius pioneer. But as her husband spirals into deluded megalomania, Ruth can’t ignore her growing suspicions. Robert is operating on patients recklessly, often with horrific results. And a vulnerable young mother, Margaret Baxter, is poised to be his next victim.

Margaret can barely get out of bed, let alone care for her infant. When Dr. Apter diagnoses her with the baby blues and proposes a lobotomy, she believes the procedure is her only hope. Only Ruth can save her—and scores of others—from the harrowing consequences of Robert’s ambitions.

Inspired by a shocking chapter in medical history, The Lobotomist’s Wife is a galvanizing novel of a woman fighting against the most grievous odds, of ego, and of the best intentions gone horribly awry.


Review:

Detailed, fascinating, and alluring!

The Lobotomist’s Wife is an immersive tale that sweeps you away to mid-1900s New York and into the life of Ruth Emeraldine, an intelligent woman ahead of her time whose goal in life since her brother’s death is to ease the pain of those suffering from mental illness and whom after marrying the charismatic Robert Apter and being swept away by his enthusiasm and charm encourages and supports him in his work to relieve severe anxiety through the use of a new technique known as lobotomy.

The prose is descriptive and smooth. The characters are wealthy, driven, and complex. And the plot is a vivid, absorbing tale of life, loss, love, hope, family, greed, mental illness, and the unconscionable theory of lobotomy as a beneficial treatment.

Overall, The Lobotomist’s Wife is an insightful, well-written, shocking tale by Woodruff loosely based on real-life events that does an exceptional job of highlighting her considerable knowledge and impressive research into this barbaric practice used to, unbelievably, treat almost sixty thousand people in the US alone between 1936 and 1972.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Wunderkind PR for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Samantha Greene Woodruff

Samantha Greene Woodruff has a BA in history from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She spent most of her career telling stories to executives at MTV Networks as the senior vice president of strategy and business development and, subsequently, audience research for the Nickelodeon Kids & Family Group. After leaving corporate life, she pursued her varied passions, teaching yoga, cooking, and taking classes at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. It was here that she combined her multifaceted background with her wild imagination and passion for history, reading, and writing. The Lobotomist’s Wife is her first historical fiction novel, and she is already at work on her next book. Sam lives in southern Connecticut with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #Manifesto #BernardineEvaristo

#BookReview Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #Manifesto #BernardineEvaristo Title: Manifesto

Author: Bernardine Evaristo

Published by: Grove Press on Jan. 18, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 198

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling and Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism

Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win was a historic and revolutionary occasion, with Evaristo being the first Black woman and first Black British person ever to win the prize in its fifty-year history. Girl, Woman, Other was named a favorite book of the year by President Obama and Roxane Gay, was translated into thirty-five languages, and has now reached more than a million readers.

Evaristo’s astonishing nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is a vibrant and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream and fought over several decades to bring her creative work into the world. With her characteristic humor, Evaristo describes her childhood as one of eight siblings, with a Nigerian father and white Catholic mother, tells the story of how she helped set up Britain’s first Black women’s theatre company, remembers the queer relationships of her twenties, and recounts her determination to write books that were absent in the literary world around her. She provides a hugely powerful perspective to contemporary conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging. She reminds us of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. In Manifesto, Evaristo charts her theory of unstoppability, showing creative people how they too can visualize and find success in their work, ignoring the naysayers.

Both unconventional memoir and inspirational text, Manifesto is a unique reminder to us all to persist in doing work we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted. Evaristo shows us how we too can follow in her footsteps, from first vision, to insistent perseverance, to eventual triumph.


Review:

Honest, informative, and inspiring!

Manifesto is the insightful, intriguing story of Bernardine Evaristo’s personal and professional successes, hardships, relationships, struggles, and accomplishments as a mixed-raced author from South London.

The writing is genuine and perceptive. And the novel is an introspective, intriguing tale of one woman’s life from being a creative child and one of eight siblings to a strong, sexually fluid woman who has experienced fulfilment by being one of the founding members of Britain’s Theatre of Black Women, writing rewarding but not so popular novels of poetry, to ultimately winning one of the most prestigious literary awards in 2019, the Booker Prize, for her novel Girl, Woman, Other

Overall, Manifesto is such a forthright, captivating, absorbing tale by Evaristo that covers such an abundance of themes, that as a fellow woman, it was easy to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy it.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of several books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize in 2019. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, London, and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She was made an MBE in 2009. As a literary activist for inclusion Bernardine has founded a number of successful initiatives, including Spread the Word writer development agency (1995-ongoing); the Complete Works mentoring scheme for poets of colour (2007-2017) and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012-ongoing).

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Last Seen Alive (Ellery Hathaway #5) by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #Last Seen Alive #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Last Seen Alive (Ellery Hathaway #5) by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #Last Seen Alive #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: Last Seen Alive

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Ellery Hathaway #5

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 25, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 10/10

The fifth book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

Boston detective Ellery Hathaway met FBI agent Reed Markham when he pried open a serial killer’s closet to rescue her. Years on, their relationship remains defined by that moment and by Francis Coben’s horrific crimes. To free herself from Coben’s legacy, Ellery had to walk away from Reed, too. But Coben is not letting go so easily. He has an impossible proposition: Coben will finally give up the location of the remaining bodies, on one condition—Reed must bring him Ellery.

Now the families of the missing victims are crying out for justice that only Ellery can deliver. The media hungers for a sequel and Coben is their camera-ready star. He claims he is sorry and wants to make amends. But Ellery is the one living person who has seen the monster behind the mask and she doesn’t believe he can be redeemed. Not after everything he’s done. Not after what she’s been through. And certainly not after a fresh body turns up with Coben’s signature all over it.


Review:

Astute, chilling, and addictive!

Last Seen Alive is a perilous, action-packed thrill ride that sees Detective Hathaway working once again with FBI agent Reed Markham when her nightmares come back to life, bodies begin piling up with wounds that have an eerie resemblance to the ones the incarcerated serial killer she once was a victim of liked to inflict, and danger lurks around every corner.

The prose is edgy and tight. The characters are astute, flawed, and resilient. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it submerges you in an ominous tale full of twists, turns, intrigue, action, manipulation, obsession, duplicity, relationship dynamics, swirling emotions, violence, and murder.

Last Seen Alive is the fifth title in the Ellery Hathaway series, and I think this is the one we’ve all been waiting for. As a long-time fan of this series, it lived up to all of my expectations and more. There is just something about the characters, the storylines, and how Schaffhausen writes that I absolutely love, and I can guarantee you I will be a fan for life. If you haven’t already read this series, you really need to.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

#BookReview Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson @shaunarobs @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #MustLoveBooks #ShaunaRobinson #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson @shaunarobs @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #MustLoveBooks #ShaunaRobinson #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Must Love Books

Author: Shauna Robinson

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jan. 18, 2022

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill meets Younger in a heartfelt debut following a young woman who discovers she’ll have to ditch the “dream job” and write her own story to find her happy ending.

Meet Nora Hughes—the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now.

When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.

With her life spiraling and the Parsons staff sinking, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet…and maybe poach some Parsons’ authors along the way.

But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling Parsons author no one can afford to lose is thrown into the mix, Nora has to decide where her loyalties lie. Her new Dream Job, ever-optimistic Andrew, or…herself and her future.


Review:

Heartwarming, engaging, and introspective!

Must Love Books is a lighthearted, thoughtful tale that takes you on a journey into the life of editorial assistant Nora Hughes as she navigates career uncertainty, financial struggles, demanding expectations, mental illness, and a budding new relationship.

The prose is sincere and light. The characters are multi-layered, kind, and lonely. And the plot is a genuine, soul-searching tale filled with hope, friendship, awkward moments, depression, suicidal ideation, contentment, happiness, and the ups and downs of life in the publishing world.

Overall, Must Love Books is a sweet, tender, delightful story by Robinson that, for the most part, kept me captivated and invested in both the characters and the situations and was a good reminder that life is about taking chances, moving on, discovering one’s true self at any age, and most importantly asking for help whenever we need it.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shauna Robinson

Shauna Robinson’s love of books led her to try a career in publishing before deciding she’d rather write books instead. Originally from San Diego, she now lives in Virginia with her husband and their sleepy greyhound. Shauna is an introvert at heart—she spends most of her time reading, baking, and figuring out the politest way to avoid social interaction. Must Love Books is her debut novel.

Photo by Rachel E.H. Photography.

#BlogTour #BookReview One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @centurybooksuk #OneStepTooFar #LisaGardner

#BlogTour #BookReview One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @centurybooksuk #OneStepTooFar #LisaGardner Title: One Step Too Far

Author: Lisa Gardner

Published by: Century on Jan. 20, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Arrow Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Frankie Elkin has dedicated her life to doing what no one else will: searching for missing people the world has forgotten.

When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking. She has found fourteen victims to date, but none yet alive. Traveling from city to city with more regrets than belongings, Frankie is drawn to a new case in Boston, and to a neighbourhood with a rough reputation.

Angelique Badeau, a local teenager and Haitian immigrant, vanished eleven months ago in the middle of the day from her high school.  No scrap of surveillance footage, no cell phone tracking; 
Angelique simply disappeared.

Despite resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family, Frankie starts to unpick the truth of Angelique’s disappearance and starts to discover there are those that don’t want these questions answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to find Angelique and bring her home, even if it means the next person to go missing will be herself …


Review:

Twisty, tight, and incredibly atmospheric!

One Step Too Far is an engrossing, sinister thrill ride that takes us back on the road to solve the unsolved with Frankie Elkin, a middle-aged wanderer who now finds herself in the rugged Wyoming countryside and completely out of her element when she joins a search party, including the victim’s father, three of his friends, and three search and rescue specialists heading into the Shoshone National Forest wilderness to once and for all discover what happened to Timothy O’Day five years ago when he stepped away from his campsite never to be seen again.

The writing is brisk and sharp. The characters are tormented, scarred, and vulnerable. And the plot is tense, action-packed and full of suspicious personalities, unreliable characters, unexpected twists, nefarious motivations, mayhem, survival, violence, and murder.

Overall, One Step Too Far is an unpredictable, tortuous, gripping tale by Gardner, that like all her previous novels, kept me guessing from the very first page and left me unsettled, highly entertained, and certainly eager for more.

This book is available now.

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

                 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House UK – Century Books for providing me with 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 A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AFlickerintheDark #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AFlickerintheDark #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: A Flicker in the Dark

Author: Stacy Willingham

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 11, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From debut author Stacy Willingham comes a masterfully done, lyrical thriller, certain to be the launch of an amazing career. A Flicker in the Dark is eerily compelling to the very last page.

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.


Review:

Intricate, gritty, and unsettling!

A Flicker in the Dark transports you into the life of psychologist Chloe Davis, a young woman just reaching a point of contentment in her life she never thought she would achieve, until the past suddenly collides with the present and teen girls start to go missing and are found murdered in an eerily similar way to the six teens her father murdered one summer twenty years ago.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are complex, tormented, and unreliable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style intertwines and unravels seamlessly into an engrossing whodunit full of twists, turns, lies, deception, suspicious personalities, familial drama, depravity, violence, and murder.

Overall, A Flicker in the Dark is a devious, atmospheric, promising debut by Willingham that kept me guessing from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and without a doubt 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 St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Stacy Willingham

STACY WILLINGHAM, author of A Flicker in the Dark, worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies before deciding to write fiction full time. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She currently lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Britt, and Labradoodle, Mako.

Photo by Mary Hannah Harte.

#BookReview Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #RecklessGirls #GetRecklessGirls #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #RecklessGirls #GetRecklessGirls #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Reckless Girls

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.


Review:

Ominous, intense, and addictive!

Reckless Girls is an unsettling, locked-island thriller that sweeps you away to the infamous Meroe Island and into the lives of Lux and Nico, a young couple eager to charter two friends to a secluded island in the Pacific Ocean for a two-week vacation. Upon arrival, however, the island seems to have visitors already there, and long-buried secrets and skeletons from the past gruesomely begin to arise.

The prose is precise and clear. The characters are impulsive, secretive, and self-absorbed. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a foreboding tale of lies, secrets, jealousy, deception, drama, manipulation, desperation, betrayal, violence, and murder.

Overall, Reckless Girls is a dark, taut, unnerving page-turner by Hawkins that does a wonderful job of reminding us just how easily people can often be psychologically and emotionally manipulated.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

#BookReview When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham @ScribnerBooks #WhenYouAreMine #MichaelRobotham #ScribnerBooks

#BookReview When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham @ScribnerBooks #WhenYouAreMine #MichaelRobotham #ScribnerBooks Title: When You Are Mine

Author: Michael Robotham

Published by: Scribner on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Scribner

Book Rating: 9/10

In this page-turning psychological thriller from an author who Stephen King called “an absolute master,” a young female police officer faces danger on all fronts—from a clever victim of abuse, her colleagues on the force, and even her own mobster father.

Philomena McCarthy is a young, ambitious police office with the elite Metropolitan Police in London. When she responds to a domestic violence call, she finds the victim, Tempe Brown, trying to protect her abuser, a married man named Darren Goodall, a decorated Scotland Yard detective afraid of no one. As Philomena pursues the case against him, she not only encounters resistance from her police force colleagues but also becomes dangerously entangled with the victim—who is not at all whom she appears to be—much to the increasing endangerment of herself and Henry, her fiancée.

Complicating matters is Philomena’s estranged father Edward McCarthy, a powerful man who has built a criminal empire along with his brothers. Philomena has long tried to pursue her career as a police officer without her father’s involvement, but as she falls under suspicion of stalking and harassing Goodall, her father becomes involved.

As the situation escalates, Tempe’s sinister maneuvers further entangle Philomena in a web of secrets, corruption, and murder, putting Philomena’s impending marriage, career, and very survival in jeopardy…​

Spellbinding, suspenseful, and filled with complex characters that could be heroes or villains, Robotham has crafted a smart and propulsive thriller that’s impossible to put down.


Review:

Unpredictable, creepy, and brilliantly paced!

When You Are Mine is a sinister, psychological thriller that introduces us to Philomena McCarthy, a young police officer who, after responding to a domestic callout, finds her life turned upside down when she befriends the victim who seems to be an obsessive pathological liar, arrests the offender who turns out to be a decorated detective with corrupt friends in very high places, and ultimately needs some help from the one man, her gangster father, she never wanted to rely on to not only save her career but potentially save her life.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are vulnerable, secretive, and suspicious. And the well-crafted, menacing plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, and parasitic relationships within it.

Overall, When You Are Mine is an intricate, tight, satisfying thrill ride that had just the right amount of twists, turns, and surprises to keep me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. It’s the first novel I’ve read by Robotham, but I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available on January 4, 2022.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Scribner for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham is a former investigative journalist whose psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-three languages. In 2015, he won the prestigious UK Gold Dagger for his novel Life or Death, which was also shortlisted for the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. Michael has twice won a Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s best crime novel for Lost in 2015 and Shatter in 2008. He has also twice been shortlisted for the CWA UK Steel Dagger in 2007 for The Night Ferry and 2008 with Shatter. He lives in Sydney with his wife and three daughters. His recent novels include When She Was Good; The Secrets She Keeps; and Good Girl, Bad Girl.

Photo by Tony Mott.

%d bloggers like this: