Format: Hardcover

#BookReview We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper @GrandCentralPub #WeKeeptheDeadClose #BeckyCooper #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper @GrandCentralPub #WeKeeptheDeadClose #BeckyCooper #GrandCentralPub Title: We Keep the Dead Close

Author: Becky Cooper

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 10, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.

Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.


Review:

Candid, descriptive, and informative!

We Keep the Dead Close is the honest, compelling tale of a senseless murder of a young graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology department, Jane Britton, in early January 1969 and the author’s own thoughts, experiences, revelations, and obsession to unravel what truly happened.

The writing is rich and atmospheric.  And the novel is an extremely well researched, sincere tale of a crime with no quick, straightforward conclusion and one woman’s subsequent, complex, frustrating, neverending battle to find closure for those who loved her.

Overall, We Keep the Dead Close is, ultimately, a sensitive, exhaustive analysis and investigation of a 50-year-old cold case that includes valuable, insightful data into an iconic institution plagued by inequality, prejudice, and violence and a murder investigation riddled for years with gossip, innuendos, rumours, multiple suspects, suspicious actions, and little to no concrete evidence.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Becky Cooper

Becky Cooper is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and Senior Fellow at Brandeis’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting. Her undergraduate thesis, a literary biography of David Foster Wallace, won Harvard’s Hoopes Prize, the highest undergraduate award for research and writing. Research for this book was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. She is also the author of Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers (Abrams, 2013).

#BookReview Daylight (Atlee Pine #3) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #Daylight #AtleePineSeries

#BookReview Daylight (Atlee Pine #3) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #Daylight #AtleePineSeries Title: Daylight

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Atlee Pine #3

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.


Review:

Gritty, pacey, and menacing!

Daylight is an action-packed, suspenseful thriller that sees FBI agent Atlee Pine working with Army CID investigator John Puller when cases from the past and present collide and bodies are piling up everywhere, suspects are numerous, coercion and corruption seem to be rampant, and danger lurks around every corner.

The prose is crisp and precise. The characters are driven, tenacious, and resilient. And the plot is an engrossing, fast-paced tale full of twists, turns, intrigue, action, greed, power, duplicity, violence, and murder.

Overall, Daylight is a riveting, sinister, edgy tale by Baldacci that highlights just how fine the line between right and wrong truly is and reminds us just how ruthless and cruel those with something to hide can often be.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About David Baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

 

Photograph by Allen Jones.

#BookReview Still Life by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #StillLife #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid

#BookReview Still Life by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #StillLife #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid Title: Still Life

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #6

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Oct. 16, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 436

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From internationally bestselling author Val McDermid comes a propulsive new Karen Pirie thriller that delves into a historic missing persons case, fake identities, and art forgery.

Val McDermid is the award-winning, international bestselling author of more than thirty novels and has been hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime. In Still Life, McDermid returns to her propulsive series featuring DCI Karen Pirie, who finds herself investigating the shadowy world of forgery, where things are never what they seem.

When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.

Tightly plotted and intensely gripping, Still Life is Val McDermid at her best, and new and longtime readers alike will delight in the latest addition to this superior series.


Review:

Complex, intriguing, and sophisticated!

In this impressive sixth instalment in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, Still Life, McDermid has written a fast-paced, sinuous, police procedural that has DCI Pirie and her team from the Historic Cases Unit immersed in two investigations, one involving skeletal remains found inside a camper van parked in a residential garage, and the other concerning a newly deceased middle-aged male found floating in the water who seems to have an extremely mysterious, complicated past.

The prose is sharp and tight. The characters are impulsive, secretive, and greedy. And the plot, including all the subplots, seamlessly intertwine and unravel into a gripping tale full of deception, manipulation, misdirection, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Still Life is another engrossing, pacey, action-packed thriller by McDermid that once again has just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it a satisfying, highly entertaining read for lovers of this genre.

This book is available now.

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

 

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview #Giveaway The Return by Nicholas Sparks @NicholasSparks @GrandCentralPub #NicholasSparks #TheReturn #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway The Return by Nicholas Sparks @NicholasSparks @GrandCentralPub #NicholasSparks #TheReturn #GrandCentralPub Title: The Return

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 29, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the romantic tradition of Dear John and The Lucky One, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor — and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.
Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can’t be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather’s cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues — until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.


Review:

Hopeful, heart-wrenching, and bittersweet!

The Return sweeps you away to the small town of New Bern, North Carolina and into the life of Trevor Benson, a young doctor and wounded war vet who inadvertently stumbles across a mystery and unexpectedly falls in love when he heads to his late grandfather’s home to regroup, refocus, heal and prepare to move on.

The prose is smooth and effortless. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are multilayered, strong, secretive, and endearing. And the plot is a tender tale full of life, love, heartache, healing, kindness, community, the intricacies of beekeeping, and a sliver of mystique.

Overall, The Return is an absorbing, charming, incredibly touching tale with a real undercurrent of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, and grief. And even though in classic Sparks style it had me a little teary more than once, it also left me warmed, smiling, and extremely satisfied.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                  

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

I’m giving two people a chance to win a copy of The Return. To enter please visit my Instagram page HERE

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway! All giveaway information can be found in the Instagram Giveaway Post. Books will be mailed by the publisher to the randomly chosen winners. Good luck!

 

About Nicholas Sparks

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include fifteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks’s novels–The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle–have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Photography courtesy of Grand Central Publishing Website.

#BookReview Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Shadowplay #JosephOConnor

#BookReview Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Shadowplay #JosephOConnor Title: Shadowplay

Author: Joseph O'Connor

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 26, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 310

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Shadowplay by New York Times best-selling author, Joseph O’Connor, is set during the golden age of West End theater in a London shaken by the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

Henry Irving is Victorian London’s most celebrated actor and theater impresario. He has introduced groundbreaking ideas to the theater, bringing to the stage performances that are spectacular, shocking, and always entertaining. When Irving decides to open his own London theater with the goal of making it the greatest playhouse on earth, he hires a young Dublin clerk harboring literary ambitions by the name of Bram Stoker to manage it. As Irving’s theater grows in reputation and financial solvency, he lures to his company of mummers the century’s most beloved actress, the dazzlingly talented leading lady Ellen Terry, who nightly casts a spell not only on her audiences but also on Stoker and Irving both.

Bram Stoker’s extraordinary experiences at the Lyceum Theatre, his early morning walks on the streets of a London terrorized by a serial killer, his long, tempestuous relationship with Irving, and the closeness he finds with Ellen Terry, inspire him to write DRACULA, the most iconic and best-selling supernatural tale ever published.

A magnificent portrait both of lamp-lit London and of lives and loves enacted on the stage, Shadowplay’s rich prose, incomparable storytelling, and vivid characters will linger in readers’ hearts and minds for many years.


Review:

Immersive, evocative, and colourful!

Shadowplay is a beautiful, powerful, alluring interpretation that sweeps you away to London in the late 1800s and into the life of Bram Stroker, from his employment as manager of the Lyceum Theatre, his tumultuous relationships with both his employer, Henry Irving and the celebrated actress Ellen Terry, to his ultimately writing the infamous Dracula.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are exceptionally drawn, complex, and authentic. And the plot set to the backdrop of a city terrorized by Jack the Ripper and using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, diary entries, and transcripts is an exceptionally absorbing tale of life, loss, loneliness, loyalty, friendship, desires, aspirations, heartache, drama, and love in all its different forms.

Overall, Shadowplay is a vivid, pensive, compelling story by O’Connor that does a remarkable job of highlighting his considerable knowledge and impressive research into these renowned historical figures whose lives and contribution to the dramatic and literary worlds are often unknown or unfortunately long forgotten.

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

 

About Joseph O'Connor

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes , The Salesman , Inishowen , Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls , as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction.

He was recently voted ‘Irish Writer of the Decade’ by the readers of Hot Press magazine. He broadcasts a popular weekly radio diary on RTE’s Drivetime With Mary Wilson and writes regularly for The Guardian Review and The Sunday Independent. In 2009 he was the Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, the City University of New York.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead Title: The Innocent Dead

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona MacLeod #15

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 22, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A gripping new crime novel by Lin Anderson featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, who is tasked with solving the case of a young girl who went missing forty-five years ago.

Mary McIntyre’s disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her. So when the present-day discovery of a child’s remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved.

Called in to excavate the body, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod uses the advances made in forensic science since Mary’s vanishing to determine what really happened all those years ago – and who was responsible.

One key person had been Karen Marshall who was devastated by her best friend’s abduction. Questioned by the police at the time had led to a dead end and the case soon went cold.

Now the news of the discovered body brings the nightmares back. But added to that, memories long-buried by Karen are returning, memories that begin to reveal her role in her friend’s disappearance and perhaps even the identity of the killer…

The Innocent Dead is the fifteenth novel in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod crime series.


Review:

Shrewd, gripping, and meticulous!

In this latest novel by Anderson, The Innocent Dead, we head back to Glasgow where forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod and her team at Police Scotland find themselves investigating and unravelling the 1975 cold case of a missing eleven-year-old girl after a child’s body is accidentally discovered in a nearby peat bog.

The prose is seamless and crisp. The characterization is stellar with all the usual gang back including the meticulous, intuitive Dr Rhona MacLeod who’s still grappling with the psychological and emotional toll left by the sin-eater case. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unwind seamlessly into an engrossing tale full of abuse, deception, secrets, familial drama, red herrings, manipulation, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Innocent Dead is a gripping, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Anderson that is another fine example of her exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have catchy storylines and fully-developed characters.

 

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 Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is a Scottish author and screenwriter known for her bestselling crime series featuring forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod. Four of her novels have been longlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, with Follow the Dead being a 2018 finalist. Her short film River Child won both a Scottish BAFTA for Best Fiction and the Celtic Film Festival’s Best Drama award and has now been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. Lin is also the co-founder of the international crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, which takes place annually in Stirling.

#BookReview Chaos by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #Chaos #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Chaos by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #Chaos #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub Title: Chaos

Author: Iris Johansen

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 624

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author introduces CIA agent Alisa Flynn, who is willing to go rogue if it means catching the most heartless band of criminals she’s ever encountered.

When CIA agent Alisa Flynn flaunts the rules by breaking into a mansion in the middle of the night, she skillfully circumvents alarms and outwits guards only to find herself standing in billionaire Gabe Korgan’s study . . . busted by Korgan himself. This could cost her her job unless, in a split second, she can turn the tables and try to convince him to join her on the most important mission of her life.

In a ripped-from-the-headlines plot, schoolgirls in Africa have been kidnapped, and Alisa knows that Korgan has the courage, financial means, and high-tech weaponry to help rescue them. With so many innocent lives hanging in the balance, what she doesn’t reveal is that one of those schoolgirls is like a little sister to her. But when the truth gets out, the stakes grow even higher.

Calling in additional assistance from renowned horse whisperer Margaret Douglas, Alisa and Gabe lay their plans, only to see them descend into chaos as the line between right and wrong wavers before them like a mirage. Every path is strewn with pitfalls, each likely to get them — or the hostages — killed. But with the help of a brave team and a horse with the heart of a warrior, they might just get out of this alive.


Review:

Adrenaline-pumping, fast-paced, and suspenseful!

In this first instalment in the Alisa Flynn series, Chaos, Johansen has written an action-packed thrill ride that introduces the highly intelligent CIA Special Operative Flynn who with the help of her friend, the animal whisperer, Margaret Douglas, and the billionaire inventor, Gabe Korgan, is on the hunt for a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped a group of rich, young girls, a stable full of thoroughbred horses, and Alisa’s ward, Sasha Lawrence from the St. Eldon’s Academy with disturbingly nefarious purposes in mind.

The writing is edgy and crisp. The characters are persistent, ruthless, and unique. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as it submerges you in a menacing, chilling tale full of violence, deception, corruption, mayhem, danger, control, power, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, Chaos is a tortuous, pacey, exciting mystery that’s sure to be a new fan favourite with its creative, well-drawn characterization, heightened sense of urgency, and thrilling conclusion.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

#BookReview If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin @tinycharlotte72 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IfICantHaveYou #CharlotteLevin

#BookReview If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin @tinycharlotte72 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IfICantHaveYou #CharlotteLevin Title: If I Can't Have You

Author: Charlotte Levin

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Aug. 25, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin is an all-consuming novel about loneliness, obsession and how far we go for the ones we love.

What if the problem with your love life is you?

Samuel, the day we met I knew I’d finally found what I’ve been waiting for. You.Happiness, at last.

Then you left me.

And now I am alone.

Everyone I love leaves in the end.

But not this time.

I’m not giving up on us.

I’m not giving up on you.

When you love someone, you never let them go. That’s why for me, this is just beginning.


Review:

Cunning, compulsive, and unsettling!

If I Can’t Have You is an addictive, sinister, character-driven tale that takes you into the life of Constance Little, a lonely, fragile, young woman whose life quickly spins out of control after the tragic loss of her mother causes her to seek attention, affection and love from all the wrong places.

The prose is tight and tense. The characters are impulsive, vulnerable, and troubled. And the plot told through retrospective first-person narration is a slow-burning, creepy yet heartbreaking tale of life, loss, love, desperation, deception, jealousy, manipulation, anger, hatred, obsession, and emotional volatility.

Overall, If I Can’t Have You is a gripping, nuanced, fantastic debut by Levin that does a remarkable job of reminding us that love is not just lightness and joy but also sometimes extremely dark and dangerous.

 

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

 

About Charlotte Levin

Charlotte Levin has been shortlisted for the Andrea Badenoch Award, part of the New Writers North Awards, and for the Mslexia Short Story Competition. Charlotte lives in Manchester and If I Can't Have You is her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante Title: The Lying Life of Adults

Author: Elena Ferrante

Published by: Europa Editions on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.


Review:

Astute, honest, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults, she transports us to the streets of Naples, Italy and into the life of Giovanna, a young girl who after overhearing a harsh comment made by her father embarks on a journey to discover the extended family she has previously been sheltered and protected from resulting in unexpectedly enlightening consequences.

The prose is emotive and precise. The characters are complex, guileless, and impulsive. And the plot is a compelling, coming-of-age tale of life, love, deception, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, emerging sexuality, abuse, and self-reflection.

Overall, The Lying Life of Adults is a raw, perceptive, heartfelt, domestic drama that does an exceptional job of reminding us that reality is often a disillusioned version of the life we conjure with the fantasies and lies we choose to believe, especially in young adulthood.

 

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

 

About Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Oscar Award-winner Olivia Colman. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016) and The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016), illustrated by Mara Cerri. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. Her most recent novel is The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020).

#BookReview #Giveaway Thick as Thieves Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway Thick as Thieves Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #GrandCentralPub Title: Thick as Thieves

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 25, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 496

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

In this tantalizing thriller from a #1 New York Timesbestselling author, a woman uncovers lifelong secrets as she searches for the truth behind her father’s involvement in a heist gone wrong.

Twenty years ago in the dead of night, four seemingly random individuals pulled the ultimate heist and almost walked away with half a million dollars. But by daybreak, their plan had been shot to hell. One of them was in the hospital. One was in jail. One was dead. And one got away with it.

Arden Maxwell, the daughter of the man who disappeared all those years ago — presumably with the money, after murdering his accomplice — has never reconciled with her father’s abandonment of her and her sister. After countless personal setbacks she decides to return to her family home near mysterious Caddo Lake, and finally get answers to the many questions that torment her. Little does she know, two of her father’s co-conspirators — a war hero and a corrupt district attorney — are watching her every move.

Ledge Burnet, a rebellious teen at the time of the heist, evaded his jail sentence by enlisting in the army. Now he’s back in town to care for his ailing father — and to keep his eye on the county’s corrupt district attorney, whom he suspects was the real murderer. Although the two are bound to silence because of the crime they committed together, each has spent years waiting and hoping that the other will make a fatal misstep. But the arrival of their elusive accomplice’s daughter, Arden, who may know more about the missing money than she’s telling, sets them both on red alert. She ignites Ledge’s determination to expose the D.A.’s treachery . . . and sparks a desire he wishes to deny.


Review:

Menacing, absorbing, and well crafted!

Thick as Thieves is an intricate, steamy thrill ride that takes you to Penton, Texas and into the lives of Arden Maxwell and Ledge Burnet as they investigate and unravel all the lies, secrets, deception, and corruption that has tainted their past, and attempt to finally uncover what really happened on that one night twenty years ago.

The writing is taut and smooth. The characters are secretive, complex, and scarred. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style and told from multiple perspectives is an intense, mysterious tale filled with familial drama, police corruption, palpable chemistry, coercion, manipulation, thievery, violence, and murder.

Overall, Thick as Thieves is another adrenaline-pumping, twisty, highly satisfying page-turner by Brown that has just the right amount of suspense and romance to keep you engaged, invested, and guessing until the very last page.

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

I’m giving two people a chance to win a copy of Thick as Thieves. To enter please visit my Instagram page HERE

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway! All giveaway information can be found in the Instagram Giveaway Post. Books will be mailed by the publisher to the randomly chosen winners. Good luck!

 

About Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.

 

Photograph courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

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