Genre: Mystery/Thriller

#BookReview The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

#BookReview The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight Title: The Outliers

Author: Kimberly McCreight

Series: The Outliers #1

Published by: HarperCollins on May 3, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7/10

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?


Review:

I was really excited to read this novel as I have previously read Kimberly McCreight’s other two novels, Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her, and really enjoyed them.

This story, for me, started off really well, in fact it was positively creepy. The plot was interesting, mysterious, and suspenseful. And all the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat and totally engrossed.

However, the second half of the book seemed a little less intriguing. The plot lost a little momentum, became a bit disjointed, and felt slightly unrealistic.

Overall, though, I think it’s a good story. The writing is strong. And the characters are complex, flawed, and determined. 

This book is certainly unique and interesting, and I think it is definitely worth a read.

 

#BookReview Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

#BookReview Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica Title: Don't You Cry

Author: Mary Kubica

Published by: MIRA on May 17, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession 

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew. 

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.  

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.


Review:

This is a dark, intelligent, psychological thriller that will have you asking yourself, “How well do we really know someone?”

The story is told from two different perspectives. One is that of Quinn, a young woman living in Chicago whose roommate, Esther, has gone missing. And the other is that of Alex, an 18-year-old boy living in a small town 70-miles outside of Chicago who recently noticed a strange woman wandering around the town. These two characters have never met and you are left to puzzle how and when their two paths will collide throughout the novel.

The characters are multi-layered, complex and empathetic. The story is skillfully written. And the multiple plots will have you pondering each and every twist and turn.

This story is not full of action or extremely suspenseful. However, the slow build will keep you enthralled and captivated until the very end.

I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it

 

#BookReview The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza @robertbryndza @bookouture

#BookReview The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza @robertbryndza @bookouture Title: The Night Stalker

Author: Robert Bryndza

Series: Detective Erika Foster #2

Published by: Bookouture on Jun. 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead… 

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head. 

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike. 

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer? 

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line. 


Review:

Intense, suspenseful, and clever!

This is a compelling thriller that delves into the depth and despair associated with psychological and physical torment, and reminds us that you never really know what happens behind closed doors.

The characters are multi-layered, complex and creative. The story is well written, with multiple plots and great twists and turns that will keep you enthralled for hours.

This is a gripping page turner that is disturbingly real, and I highly recommend it.

This book is due to be published on June 2, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

Thank you to Bookouture for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest 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 Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

#BookReview Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian Title: Lost and Gone Forever

Author: Alex Grecian

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #5

Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 17, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 375

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is—though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company—a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem . . .


Review:

This novel is thrilling and suspenseful.

Once again, Alex Grecian has created a gripping historical mystery in the dark, gritty streets of Victorian London in this fifth book in the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad series.

The plot is interesting. The depiction of nineteenth century London is spot on. And all the usual cast of characters are back, flaws and all, for another round against the evils that humanity can spawn.

It is, truly, a great page turner and you don’t want to miss it.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series, I would suggest you read at least books #1, 3, and 4, although it’s not necessary, to truly appreciate the continuing storyline and character development.

 

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline Title: Most Wanted

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 12, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 438

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 6.5/10

Lisa Scottoline delivers another searing, powerful blockbuster novel that explores hot-button issues within the framework of an intricately plotted thriller. When a woman and her husband, desperate for a baby, find themselves unable to conceive, they decide to take further steps. Since it is the husband who is infertile, the heroine decides to use a donor. And all seems to be well. Three months pass and she is happily pregnant. But a shocking revelation occurs when she discovers that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is her donor – the biological father of the child she is carrying. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, the heroine must face her worst fears, and confront a terrifying truth. Most Wanted is sure to be Lisa Scottoline’s most discussed, bestselling novel yet.


Review:

I really don’t like to give bad reviews, as I can only imagine how hard it is to be a writer and how much effort goes into every book they write. However, saying that, I was little disappointed in this one.

This story has a great premise, a little suspense, a bit of mystery, and some interesting moral and ethical dilemmas.

Overall though, I found the plot slow and slightly unrealistic, and the characterization seemed somewhat flat and unbelievable.

I have read several really good Lisa Scottoline books in the past, such as Every Fifteen Minutes, and I look forward to reading her next release, but this one wasn’t one of her best.

 

 

About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

#BookReview Friction by Sandra Brown

#BookReview Friction by Sandra Brown Title: Friction

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?


Review:

This is a great mystery. In fact, it is one of my favourite reads in this genre so far this year.

It is a riveting, intense, suspenseful story, with a side of romance, that starts with a murder in a courtroom and takes us through multiple twists and turns to identify who the target really is and why.

The characters are well-developed, bold, and complex. And the story is well written, with multiple plots, great dialogue, and steamy romance.

This is a gripping page turner and I highly recommend it.

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan Coben

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan Coben Title: The Stranger

Author: Harlan Coben

Published by: Dutton on Feb. 9, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.


Review:

I enjoyed this book.

It is intense, suspenseful, and full of action.

It takes us on a journey through the depth and despair that comes from secrets, and reminds us that everything is not always as it seems.

This book is interesting, unique and well written. The characters are realistic and colourful. And the plot develops nicely, has multiple twists and turns, and is highly captivating.

Harlan Coben is a great mystery writer. And once again he has written a good one!

 

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci Title: The Last Mile

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 420

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

In his #1 New York Times bestseller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker-the man who can forget nothing. Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller . . . 
THE LAST MILE
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution–for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier–when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars–guilty or not–a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger–and more sinister–than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed. 


Review:

This is another great mystery from David Baldacci. It is the second book in the Amos Decker series, but can definitely be read as a standalone.

In this novel our favourite characters, Decker, Jamison and Bogart, from Memory Man are back and working together as a special team in the FBI that try to solve cold cases.

This story is well written, interesting, suspenseful, and intelligent. It has everything you look for in a good mystery, murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and deceit.

It is a captivating page turner that you won’t want to put down. I highly recommend it.

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on David Baldacci, visit his website at: davidbaldacci.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @davidbaldacci

 

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1

Published by: Quirk Books on Jun. 4, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Review:

I have seen this book many times but it wasn’t until I recently saw it on a “Books Becoming Movies in 2016” list that I decided to give it a try.

I actually thought from the picture on the front cover of this book that it might be a horror story, but boy was I surprised.

This is actually a highly imaginative tale about those with extraordinary abilities. It takes place in the present, and the past during the height of WWII.

I have to say, there are elements of this story that remind me a little of such classics as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter. Similar to those stories, the children, themselves, are the protectors and heroes against the monsters that hunt them, and they use portals for time travel between the present and the past to survive.

The writing is simple but effective. The plot is creative, suspenseful, and magical. It truly is a very unique story.

Keep in mind, there are two other novels in the series, Hollow City and Library of Souls, where the battles and adventures of these “peculiar children” continue.

Also, the movie for this first book is set to be released in theatres in September 2016.

 

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen Title: Shadow Play

Author: Iris Johansen

Series: Eve Duncan #19

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 29, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 6.5/10

An explosive new Eve Duncan thriller from the New York Times #1 bestselling author

Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated… 


Review:

Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me.

I have read many of the other Eve Duncan books in the series, this is book #19, and really enjoyed them, but this one was a little disappointing.

The plot wasn’t that suspenseful. There was a supernatural element that seemed to make the story disjointed at times. And even though some of the usual characters were back, Eve and Joe, the other supporting characters were unrealistic and flat.

I usually like Iris Johansen’s work so I will definitely give her next book a try, but unless you are a die-hard fan of the Eve Duncan series, I’d give this one a miss.

 

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.

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