Format: Hardcover

#BookReview The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale @RKapelkeDale @StMartinsPress #TheIngenue #RachelKalpekeDale #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer

#BookReview The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale @RKapelkeDale @StMartinsPress #TheIngenue #RachelKalpekeDale #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer Title: The Ingenue

Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen’s Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.

When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother’s unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother’s will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past–and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life–for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?

Set against a post #MeToo landscape, The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia’s childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.


Review:

Dark, dramatic, and disturbing!

The Ingenue is a gritty, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of Saskia Kreis, a thirty-seven-year-old former piano prodigy who, after returning home after her mother’s death to find she’s been disinherited and that her mother has left her multi-million dollar mansion to an old family friend, decides to open up old wounds and discover just how inappropriate her teenage relationship was with this man and just how many others he may have also targeted.

The prose is taut and tight. The characters are vulnerable, consumed, and tormented. And the plot does a exceptional job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate tale of lies, secrets, abuse, control, manipulation, expectations, revenge, and redemption.

Overall, The Ingenue is an unsettling, compelling psychological thriller by Kapelke-Dale that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and raises the question of how well do you really know anyone.

 

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 Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Rachel Kapelke-Dale is the co-author of GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND (Penguin 2014), a memoir about the significance and nuances of female friendships. The author of Vanity Fair Hollywood's column "Advice from the Stars," Kapelke-Dale spent years in intensive ballet training before receiving a BA from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She currently lives in Paris.

Photo by author.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly @Mobius_Books #TheSkeletonKey #ErinKelly #MobiusBooksUS

#BlogTour #BookReview The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly @Mobius_Books #TheSkeletonKey #ErinKelly #MobiusBooksUS Title: The Skeleton Key

Author: Erin Kelly

Published by: Mobius on Jan. 24, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 512

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 8.5/10

THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART…

Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

From the bestselling author of He Said/She Said and Watch Her Fall, this is a taut, mesmerising novel about a daughter haunted by her father’s legacy…


Review:

Intricate, twisty, and tragic!

The Skeleton Key is a dark, compelling tale that takes you into the lives of two families, Churcher and Lally, who have been tied together over the last fifty years by the successful publication of the treasure quest book, The Golden Bones. A book, whose success is now being honoured with a documentary film and a special edition release which has prompted the resurgence of all the crazed obsessive fans, also known as the “bone hunters” who are determined to discover all of the bones scattered across England, led to all the family members being reunited under one roof in a very long time, and caused all the secrets and skeletons that have been buried under lies and deception for many years to finally be unearthed and uncovered.

The prose is rich and tight. The characters are selfish, deceptive, and troubled. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, unfolds briskly into a murky tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, secrets, greed, resentments, deception, scandal, wickedness, tragedy, and murder.

Overall, The Skeleton Key is another sophisticated, vivid, creepy tale by Kelly that does a fantastic job of delving into all the complex, dysfunctional dynamics that can occur between family members and reminds us just how toxic and evil, and yet somehow still loyal some of these relationships can truly be.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, Stone Mothers and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier crime novel of the year award and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs. She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1998 and written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman, Red, Elle, Cosmopolitan and The Pool. Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

 

#BookReview Burial of Ghosts by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #BurialofGhosts #AnnCleeves #PGCBooks

#BookReview Burial of Ghosts by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #BurialofGhosts #AnnCleeves #PGCBooks Title: Burial of Ghosts

Author: Ann Cleeves

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 24, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 339

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A classic psychological thriller, available for the first time in Canada, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Shetland, Vera Stanhope, and Two Rivers series, Ann Cleeves.

Abandoned as a baby, twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Bartholomew spent her childhood moving between foster homes and has had more than her fair share of troubles.

Now a holiday in Morocco seems to be the perfect escape. Especially when she meets Philip, a fellow tourist. After a brief affair, Lizzie returns to England, only to find a solicitor’s letter waiting for her.

Philip Samson has died and in his will, has left Lizzie a gift of £15,000. But there are conditions attached to this unexpected legacy that will soon force Lizzie to confront terrifying secrets from her past life.

Burial of Ghosts is a page-turning, edge of your seat thriller from superstar crime writer Ann Cleeves, author and creator of three astounding TV series: Shetland, Vera, and The Long Call.


Review:

Simmering, tight, and mysterious!

Burial of Ghosts is a tense, twisty tale that introduces us to Lizzie Bartholomew, a young social worker who, after experiencing a tragic incident at work, takes a leave of absence to Morocco, where she indulges in some rest, relaxation and a one-night stand with an older man she believes she will never see or hear from again only to return from vacation to find a letter from his solicitor informing her that Philip has died and has left her a sizeable inheritance linked to a stipulated request that will ultimately turn her life upside down, make her a possible suspect in a grizzly murder, and will cause her own secrets from the past to rear their ugly heads.

The writing is sharp and brisk. The characters are flawed, unreliable, and troubled. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style intertwines and unravels into an ominous tale of twists, turns, lies, deception, corruption, suspicions, revelations, mayhem, familial drama, and murder.

Overall, Burial of Ghosts is an atmospheric, sinister, satisfying tale by Cleeves that does a wonderful job of highlighting that she’s not only the queen of police procedural series, but also a pretty good standalone psychological thriller writer as well.

 

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 Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is the author behind PBS’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before becoming a crime writer. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series, and in 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside, England.

#BookReview The House of Wolves by James Patterson & Mike Lupica @JP_Books @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheHouseofWolves #JamesPatterson #HBGCanada

#BookReview The House of Wolves by James Patterson & Mike Lupica @JP_Books @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheHouseofWolves #JamesPatterson #HBGCanada Title: The House of Wolves

Author: James Patterson, Mike Lupica

Series: House of Wolves #1

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jan. 9, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The murder of a billionaire patriarch triggers a bloody battle for control of his empire. For fans of Succession, Yellowstone—and #1 bestselling duo James Patterson and Mike Lupica.

Joe Wolf applies a cutthroat determination to his life’s work, from to building a California business empire to parenting three sons and a daughter. Kill or be killed. So when the patriarch takes a deadly cruise on San Francisco Bay, Joe Wolf’s bloodline becomes SFPD’s lifeline. 
 
Detective Ben Cantor trails the “pack of wolves” as the siblings vie for control of their legacy of power and assets. All four have the means and the motive to commit murder, but only one of them is most like Joe Wolf. Only one of them earned their father’s love.
 
Lurking in the shadows is the real alpha wolf. That creature survives on instinct. And desire. To kill all the wolves dead.  


Review:

Edgy, menacing, and tortuously thrilling!

The House of Wolves is a gripping, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of the ruthless Wolf family, especially Jennifer Wolf, a science teacher and high school football coach whose comfortable life gets turned upside down when her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her in charge of both the family’s NFL team and local newspaper which ruffles a lot of feathers and leaves her a target for those who are willing to do whatever it takes, even kill, to get what they want.

The writing is tight and gritty. The characters are secretive, deceptive, stubborn, and driven. And the plot is a sharp, sinister tale filled with twists, turns, power, mayhem, coercion, politics, obsession, greed, lies, secrets, surprises, football, and murder.

Overall, The House of Wolves is a dark, intense, action-packed brilliant start to a new series by Patterson that has everything I’ve come to expect and love about his novels, and honestly, I can’t wait for more.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About James Patterson

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 385 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels - and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand- alone thrillers.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Party House by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ThePartyHouse #LinAnderson #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Party House by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ThePartyHouse #LinAnderson #PGCBooks Title: The Party House

Author: Lin Anderson

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

The Party House by Lin Anderson is a deeply atmospheric psychological thriller set in the Scottish Highlands, for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware and Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium.

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .


Review:

Dark, suspenseful, and unnerving!

The Party House is an engrossing, ominous tale that transports you to Scotland post-pandemic and into the lives of the Blackrig villagers, especially estate gamekeeper Greg, as they juggle with their feelings for the reopening of the posh, local estate where parties were always wild, rules were flounted, COVID was transmitted killing six of their own treasured souls, and where it now also seems to be the burial site for the body of a missing teen.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are wary, secretive, and troubled. And the plot, told from alternating perspectives, unravels quickly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, shocking revelations, lies, deception, indulgence, depravity, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Party House is a sinister, entertaining, intense stand-alone thriller by Anderson that does a wonderful job of combining the isolating atmosphere of The Scottish Highlands with unsavoury characters, poor choices, and eerie motivations.

 

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 Devil’s Way by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza #DevilsWay #RobertBryndza #KateMarshall #KateMarshallSeries

#BookReview Devil’s Way by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza #DevilsWay #RobertBryndza #KateMarshall #KateMarshallSeries Title: Devil's Way

Author: Robert Bryndza

Series: Kate Marshall #4

Published by: Raven Street Publishing on Jan. 12, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 334

Format: Hardcover

Source: Robert Bryndza

Book Rating: 9/10

THE TRUTH HIDES IN THE DARK

Kate Marshall’s investigation into a young boy’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path in a riveting thriller by multi-million bestselling author, Robert Bryndza.

When Private Investigator Kate Marshall is rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea, the near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip on Dartmoor.

By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she’s agreed to take on the case, but when Kate and her trusty sidekick Tristan start to look at the events of that fateful night, they discover that Jean has a dark past that could have put Charlie in jeopardy.

Was Charlie abducted? Or did he fall into Devil’s Way? A rushing river that vanishes into a gorge close to where they were camping.

When Kate and Tristan discover that a social worker who flagged concerns about Jean and her daughter was found brutally murdered shortly after Charlie vanished, it makes them question everything they thought they knew about the family…

Filled with twists and turns, Devil’s Way is the fourth Kate Marshall novel and the most gripping and satisfying yet!


Review:

Deft, intricate, and suspenseful!

In this latest novel by Bryndza, Devil’s Way, we head back to the UK where former police detective turned PI Kate Marshall and her trusty partner Tristan Harper now find themselves, at the request of a tormented grandmother, investigating the tragic eleven-year-old cold case of a missing toddler who seemingly vanished without a trace one night while out camping with his family in the wilds of Dartmoor.

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, deception, desperation, suspicious personalities, familial drama, mental illness, misdirection, and tragedy.

Overall, Devil’s Way is an atmospheric, gripping, highly entertaining thriller that once again highlights Bryndza’s exceptional ability to write menacing, sophisticated mysteries that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines. It is the fourth novel in the Kate Marshall series and definitely one of my favourites.

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

Thank you to Robert Bryndza for providing me with a copy in exchange for an review.

 

About Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over four million copies in the English language.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further five novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 18 countries. The second book in the series is the global bestselling, Shadow Sands and the third book, Darkness Falls, has just been published.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

#BookReview The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #NatashaLester #TheThreeLivesofAlixStPierre #HBGCanada

#BookReview The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #NatashaLester #TheThreeLivesofAlixStPierre #HBGCanada Title: The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre

Author: Natasha Lester

Published by: Forever on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forever, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

New York Times bestselling author Natasha Lester delivers an unforgettable story of an orphan turned WWII spy turned fashion icon in Paris—perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Fiona Davis.
 
Alix St. Pierre. An unforgettable name for an unforgettable woman. She grew up surrounded by Hollywood glamor, but, as an orphan, never truly felt part of that world. In 1943, with WWII raging and men headed overseas to fight, she lands a publicity job to recruit women into the workforce. Her skills—persuasion, daring, quick-witted under pressure—catch the attention of the U.S. government and she finds herself with an even bigger assignment: sent to Switzerland as a spy. Soon Alix is on the precipice of something big, very big. But how far can she trust her German informant…?
 
After an Allied victory that didn’t come nearly soon enough, Alix moves to Paris, ready to immerse herself in a new position as director of publicity for the yet-to-be-launched House of Dior. In the glamorous halls of the French fashion house, she can nearly forget everything she lost and the dangerous secret she carries. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realizes that only she can right the wrongs of the past …and finally find justice.

Review:

Sincere, vivid, and engaging!

The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is a gripping, heartfelt story set predominantly in Switzerland and France between 1942 and 1947 that takes you into the life of Alix St. Pierre, a young woman who spends the last few years of the war working for the OSS as a spy in Bern helping to create a secure courier line for the Italian partisans, and the next few years post WWII working as hard as she can to make the new Maison Christian Dior a worldwide phenomenon as his Directrice of the Service de la Presse while also using her spare time to hunt down the Nazi informant who shattered her world and left her responsible for the needless slaughtering of nine lives, two of whom she deeply cared for.

The prose is polished and eloquent. The characters are driven, tormented, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a sweeping saga of life, loss, heartbreak, betrayal, secrets, espionage, danger, survival, tragedy, friendship, and a touch of romance.

As a historical fiction lover for the past few years Natasha Lester’s books have been some of my all-time favourites, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love another one of her books more than the ones I’ve already read, she proved me wrong. The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is an unbelievable story that captured me from the very first page, and not only did I devour it, I absolutely loved it!

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Natasha Lester

Natasha Lester is a USA Today, internationally best-selling author. Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was followed by Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and The Paris Seamstress in 2018. The French Photographer is her latest book (note: this will be published as The Paris Orphan in North America in September 2019).

Natasha's books have been published in the US, the UK, Australia and throughout Europe. She lives in Perth, Western Australia with her 3 children and loves travelling, Paris, vintage fashion and, of course, books.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer Title: A Hard Day for a Hangover

Author: Darynda Jones

Series: Sunshine Vicram #3

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.


Review:

Lighthearted, quirky, and highly entertaining!

A Hard Day for a Hangover is a playful, engaging, suspenseful tale that takes us back to Del Sol, New Mexico, one last time and into the life of Sunshine Vicram, police chief extraordinaire, as she once again has her hands full with robberies, assaults, murders, an escaped convict, a town flasher, a pregnant racoon, a daughter indulging in first love, and a childhood sweetheart she may finally get to settle down with.

The writing is witty and sweet. The characters are sharp, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an enticing mix of friendship, family, danger, drama, tension, attraction, community, intrigue, violence, spirited mishaps, romance, and a little heat.

Overall, A Hard Day for a Hangover is the third and final story in the Sunshine Vicram series, and even though it’s more than a little bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing gang of characters I’ve come to know and love over these past three novels, it is nevertheless a superb ending to a fabulous series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.

This book is available now.

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

               

 

 

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

 

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks Title: The Choice

Author: Penny Hancock

Published by: Mantle Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast; a successful career as a relationship therapist; three grown up children; and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface, as Renee is all too aware. And when Xavier vanishes after she fails to pick him up from school one day, the repercussions are manifold.

Renee is wracked with remorse; her daughter Mia can’t forgive her; the local community question her priorities; and her clients abandon her. But as long-held family secrets threaten to tear her world apart once and for all, those same secrets might also hold hope for the future — because it’s not always the secret itself that has the power to destroy; sometimes it’s the act of keeping of it . . .

For fans of Hannah Beckerman and Lucy Diamond, Penny Hancock’s The Choice is a beautiful, haunting novel about family secrets and silences — and the power of love.


Review:

Complex, thought-provoking, and engaging!

The Choice is a multilayered, emotional, domestic drama that delves into all the complexities, dynamics, and dysfunction that exist in the familial relationships of the Gulliver family, including the long-lasting effects of secrets and the art of forgiveness.

The prose is mysterious and smooth. The characters are hesitant, conflicted, and troubled. And the plot is a well-paced, pensive tale about life, loss, love, tragedy, resentment, regret, guilt, grief, familial drama, self-reflection, friendship, and absolution.

Overall, The Choice is a rich, immersive, absorbing tale by Hancock that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, and even the smallest choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.

 

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 Penny Hancock

Penny grew up in South East London and then did an English degree in Newcastle Upon Tyne. For several years she taught English as a foreign language in Italy, Greece and Morocco. She then took a PGCE, got a job as a Primary school teacher in an inner city London school, and moved into her partner Andy’s short-life house in East London, which is now part of the hardcore under the M11 that links their new home in Cambridge with her birth place in Greenwich!

While bringing up their three children, she continued to teach in primary schools, taught English to asylum seekers, and ran adult education classes in writing. She also wrote articles for various papers (The Independent, The Guardian, The Times Ed, The Sunday Express magazine, and Child Education, amongst others) specialising in family and education. Penny has also written readers for English language learners for Cambridge University Press, and a Primary English course for children published by Longmans. It was an Arvon writing course and an MA in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University that encouraged her to complete her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.


Review:

Compelling, ominous, and unpredictable!

The Villa transports you into the life of cosy mystery writer Emily Sheridan who, after recently battling illness and a nasty divorce, heads to an Italian villa at the invitation of her childhood best friend and successful self-help author Chess Chandler, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will be unearthed, and the infamous murder that occurred on the property in 1974 and was the inspiration for the classic, celebrated horror novel, Lilith Rising may finally be solved.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale full of manipulation, deception, lies, drama, jealousy, secrets, revelations, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Villa is a twisty, intense, sinister tale by Hawkins that does an excellent job of delving into the complex dynamics that exist between friends and highlights just how toxic, parasitic, and dangerous some of those relationships can turn out to be.

 

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.

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