Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

#BookReview
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
@sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey @sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPubTitle: The Dark Lake

Author: Sarah Bailey

Series: Gemma Woodstock #1

Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 3, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Grand Central Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

In a suspense thriller to rival Paula Hawkins and Tana French, a detective with secrets of her own hunts the killer of a woman who was the glamorous star of their high school.

Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.


Review:

Menacing, unsettling, and intense!

In this debut novel, The Dark Lake, Bailey transports us to Smithson, Australia a small town where gossip and deception run rampant, emotions run high, and solving the murder of the beloved local high school teacher may unearth more skeletons in the closet than anyone could have imagined.

The prose is dark and eerie. The characters, including the scarred Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock, are flawed, complicated, and self-involved. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a suspenseful thrill ride filled with familial drama, jealousy, obsession, grief, revenge, infidelity, secrets, and murder.

The Dark Lake is truly a well-written, gritty, absorbing story that highlights that rage and resentment fostered over many years can have devastating consequences.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey was born in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived all her life and currently resides with her two young sons. She has a degree in journalism and has a career in advertising. She is currently a partner at creative agency, Mr Smith. The Dark Lake is her first novel.

 

#BookReview
Friction by Sandra Brown

#BookReview Friction by Sandra BrownTitle: Friction

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by Grand Central Publishing on February 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

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 Moment of Everything by Shelly King

#BookReview The Moment of Everything by Shelly KingTitle: The Moment of Everything

Author: Shelly King

Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 2, 2014

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 270

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.

Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley startup, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.
When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance-even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley–it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.

Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.


Review:

This was a book club read for me this month, and I have to say I enjoyed it.

To me this story is a journey of finding one’s self, discovering what makes you happy, realizing that sacrifices are not really sacrifices when we make them for love, and friendship. 

The setting is a wonderful juxtaposition, where on the one hand we have a quaint used book store. A store seeped in history and the past, right down to the musty shelves and the crinkled pages. And on the other hand we have Silicon Valley, the epitome of the future, all things new, better, faster and electronic.

The story flows nicely. The prose is subtle but lovely. And the characters are quirky, interesting and engaging.

It is a nice, heart-warming story that was a pleasure to read.

 

#BookReview
The Last Mile by David Baldacci
@davidbaldacci

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacciTitle: The Last Mile

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #2

Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 420

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

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
Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

#BookReview Nobody But You by Jill ShalvisTitle: Nobody But You

Author: Jill Shalvis

Series: Cedar Ridge #3

Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 29, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 315

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.


Review:

This is Book #3 in the Cedar Ridge Series, but can definitely be read as a standalone novel.

This is the story of Jacob Kincaid, the brother who left cedar ridge, after harsh words, nine years ago and has finally decided to return.

This is a lighthearted, fun, easy read about two people who come together to find the true meaning of love and home. On top of the romance, and there is a lot of steamy romance, the story evolves around sibling relationships, guilt, trust, the importance of communication and family.

The characters are charming and quirky. The writing is witty and effortless. The plot flows nicely. And the ending makes you smile.

Jill Shalvis is a leader in this genre and this book doesn’t disappoint. This is definitely contemporary romance at it’s best.

If you missed the first two books in the series and would like to read about two of the other Kincaid brothers, pick up Second Chance Summer (Book #1) and My Kind of Wonderful (Book #2).

 

#BookReview
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

#BookReview Child 44 by Tom Rob SmithTitle: Child 44

Author: Tom Rob Smith

Series: Leo Demidov #1

Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 31, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

In a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.

Stalin’s Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law, but when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer–and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.


Review:

I really liked this book.

It was dark. It was gritty. At times it was downright disturbing. But this book is a great mystery.

Smith uses this novel to take us deep into the historical and political nightmare of Stalin’s Russia to catch a killer. And with incredible imagery delves into the hardships and cruelty endured by the people of that time.

It is an intriguing, interesting, well written story with lots of twists and turns. Don’t miss it. It’s hard to put down.

 

#BookReview
Memory Man by David Baldacci
@davidbaldacci

#BookReview Memory Man by David Baldacci @davidbaldacciTitle: Memory Man

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #1

Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 21, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Review:

I really enjoyed this book.

I am probably a little biased as David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors, and this book didn’t disappoint.

In Memory Man we are introduced to some new characters, Decker, Jamison, and Bogart and an entirely new series.

This novel is well written, intriguing, suspenseful, thought provoking, intelligent and interesting,

From the beginning you are hooked and even though this is a stand-alone novel, the ending only leaves you wanting more.

What more can I say. If you like mystery/suspense novels you will like this book.

Now I just have to patiently wait for the next book in the series, The Last Mile, to get my next Amos Decker fix.

 

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

 

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