Publisher: Mulholland Books

#BookReview Before She Finds Me by Heather Chavez @iamHRChavez @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #BeforeSheFindsMe #HeatherChavez #MulhollandBooks #HBGCanada

#BookReview Before She Finds Me by Heather Chavez @iamHRChavez @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #BeforeSheFindsMe #HeatherChavez #MulhollandBooks #HBGCanada Title: Before She Finds Me

Author: Heather Chavez

Published by: Mulholland Books on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In this shocking thriller, two unlikely mothers race to uncover the truth behind a horrific attack—even after it becomes clear that the truth will destroy one of their families.

Julia Bennett has worked hard to create a stable life for her daughter, Cora, in Southern California. So when Cora leaves for college, the worst thing Julia expects on move-in day is an argument with her ex-husband and his new wife. But a sudden attack leaves the campus stunned—and only Julia’s quick actions save Cora’s life. Shaken in the aftermath, and haunted by a dark secret, Julia starts to wonder: What if the attack wasn’t as random as everyone believes?

Newly pregnant Ren Petrovic has an unusual career—she’s a trained assassin, operating under a strict moral code. Ren wasn’t on campus that day, but she knows who was: her husband, Nolan. What she doesn’t know is why Nolan has broken their rules by not telling her about the job in advance. The more Ren looks into the attack, the more she begins to question: Who really hired Nolan? And why did one woman in the crowd respond so differently from all the rest?

Julia and Ren each want answers, but their searches quickly pit them against each other. One woman is a hired killer, but the other is a determined survivor. And both mothers will defend their families to the bitter end.


Review:

Captivating, twisty, and clever!

Before She Finds Me is an elaborately plotted, ominous tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters whose paths are inexplicably linked after a gunman opens fire on the grounds of Anderson Hughes College on move-in day. Julia Bennett, a mother and botany professor with a troubled past who is sure the recent mass shooting that left her daughter injured and her ex-husband’s new wife dead was not as random as it first appeared, and Ren Petrovic, a hired assassin determined to do whatever it takes to protect her unborn child while also discovering why her husband took a side job she knew nothing about.

The writing is tight and tense. The characters are persistent, resourceful, and multilayered. And the plot, including all the subplots, seamlessly intertwine and unravel into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, secrets, surprises, revelations, manipulation, coercion, mischief, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Before She Finds Me is an exceptionally menacing, intricately woven, highly entertaining mystery that has a nice amount of suspense, good character development, and great pace. It’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve had a chance to read by Chavez, but it certainly won’t be my last.

 

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

 

About Heather Chavez

Heather Chavez is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s English literature program and has worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, and contributor to mystery and television blogs. She lives with her family in Santa Rosa, California. She’s the author of the thrillers No Bad Deed and Blood Will Tell.

#BookReview Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #ForsakenCountry #AllenEskens #DetectiveMaxRupert #MulhollandBooks

#BookReview Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #ForsakenCountry #AllenEskens #DetectiveMaxRupert #MulhollandBooks Title: Forsaken Country

Author: Allen Eskens

Series: Detective Max Rupert #6

Published by: Mulholland Books on Sep 20, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Max Rupert has left his position as a Minneapolis homicide detective to live in solitude. Mourning the tragic death of his wife, he’s also racked by guilt—he alone knows what happened to her killer. But then the former local sheriff, Lyle Voight, arrives with a desperate plea: Lyle’s daughter Sandy and his six-year-old grandson Pip have disappeared. Lyle’s certain Sandy’s ex-husband Reed is behind it, but the new sheriff is refusing to investigate. 

When Max reluctantly looks into their disappearance, he too becomes convinced something has gone very wrong. But the closer Max and Lyle get to finding proof, the more slippery Reed becomes, until he makes a break for the beautiful but formidable Boundary Waters wilderness with vulnerable Pip in tow.

Racing after the most dangerous kind of criminal—a desperate father—and with the ghosts of their own pasts never far behind, Max and Lyle go on the hunt within a treacherous landscape, determined to bring an evil man to justice, and to bring a terrified child home alive.


Review:

Twisty, intricate, and unsettling!

Forsaken Country is an addictive, sinister tale that takes you to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where Max Rupert has been living a reclusive existence since he exacted revenge on his late wife’s killer and handed in his badge for good, but when the daughter and young grandson of one of the only men to know his name in this sleepy town, former sheriff Lyle Voight needs his help he uses his intuition and skills to help hunt down some ruthless predators while also finding a little bit of lightness within himself.

The prose is crisp and intense. The characters are tormented, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot is a suspenseful, engrossing tale full of twists, turns, lies, deception, familial drama, obsession, depravity, violence, and murder.

I’ve been a huge fan of Allen Eskens since I read The Life We Bury almost ten years ago, and whether it’s one of his standalone novels or another saga in the Detective Max Rupert series, such as this latest release Forsaken Country, I am always riveted, entertained, satisfied and incredibly impressed by his brilliantly-executed plots and exceptional character depth.

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

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #TheStolenHours #AllenEskens #MulhollandBooks

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #TheStolenHours #AllenEskens #MulhollandBooks Title: The Stolen Hours

Author: Allen Eskens

Published by: Mulholland Books on Sep 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Lila Nash is on the verge of landing her dream job—working as a prosecutor under the Hennepin County Attorney—and has settled into a happy life with her boyfriend, Joe Talbert. But when a woman is pulled from the Mississippi River, barely alive, things in the office take a personal turn.
 
The police believe the woman’s assailant is local photographer Gavin Spenser, but the case quickly flounders as the evidence wears thin. It seems Gavin saw this investigation coming—and no one can imagine how carefully he has prepared.

The more determined Lila is to put Gavin behind bars, the more elusive justice becomes. Battling a vindictive new boss and haunted by the ghosts of her own unspeakable attack, which she’s kept a dark secret for eight long years, Lila knows the clock is ticking down. In a race against an evil mastermind, it will take everything Lila’s got to outsmart a killer—and to escape the dark hold of her own past.


Review:

Sharp, riveting, and creepy!

In this latest novel by Eskens, The Stolen Hours, he transports us to Hennepin County and into the life of Lila Nash, a young prosecutor with a haunted, troubled past, who under the guidance of the tough, veteran prosecutor Andi Fitch takes on the assault and attempted murder case of bridesmaid, Sadie Vaub, putting her front and centre in the sightline of Gavin Spencer, a wedding photographer with a penchant for details and a long history of sadistic violence.

The prose is fluid and tight. The characters are vulnerable, persistent, and meticulous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine quickly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, surprises, deception, cruelty, obsession, manipulation, power, privilege, politics, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Allen Eskens is one of those authors that every time I pick up one of his books, I absolutely love it, and yet for some reason he seems to fly under the mainstream radar. I don’t know why. He’s one of my favourite authors, and once again, with The Stolen Hours, he’s written a tense, crafty, cunning thriller that I highly recommend and, in my opinion, shouldn’t be missed.

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

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada

#BookReview Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada Title: Nothing More Dangerous

Author: Allen Eskens

Published by: Mulholland Books on Nov. 12, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

In a small town where loyalty to family and to “your people” carries the weight of a sacred oath, defying those unspoken rules can be a deadly proposition.

After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn’t being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him.

Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady’s life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins-a black family settling into a community where notions of “us” and “them” carry the weight of history-forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he’s taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close, the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle.

But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world.

As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town, and he is forced to choose sides.


Review:

Impactful, atmospheric, and hauntingly realistic!

In this latest novel by Eskens, Nothing More Dangerous, he transports us to Jessup, Missouri, a small, midwestern town that suddenly finds itself turned upside down when an unsolved case of embezzlement, a missing, young, African-American employee, depressing economics, and a strong underlying racist mentality tests and unearths all the hidden, longstanding alliances, relationships, and friendships within it.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characters are vulnerable, raw, and impulsive. And the plot is an immersive journey of life, loss, poverty, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, community, self-preservation, racism, and violence.

Overall, Nothing More Dangerous is a sincere, pensive, ominous tale that not only highlights the ugliness and weakness of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to behave with ignorance, intolerance, and even participate in the most unforgivable of crimes, but also reminds us that kindness and compassion is the base of humanity that should ultimately transcend skin colour and socioeconomic status.

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

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Missing Person by Sarah Lotz @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada

#BookReview Missing Person by Sarah Lotz @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada Title: Missing Person

Author: Sarah Lotz

Published by: Mulholland Books on Sep. 3, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From acclaimed horror writer Sarah Lotz, hailed by Stephen King as “vastly entertaining,” a new novel about a group of amateur detectives infiltrated by the sadistic killer whose case they’re investigating.

Reclusive Irish bookseller Shaun Ryan has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident. It’s only on his mother’s deathbed that he learns the truth: Teddy, who was gay, fled the Catholic, deeply conservative County Wicklow for New York decades earlier. Shaun finds no sign of him in New York or anywhere else–until he comes across the unsolved murder of a John Doe whose description matches Teddy’s.

Desperate for information, Shaun tracks down Chris Guzman, a woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing persons cases with unidentified bodies. Through Chris’s site, a group of online cold case fanatics connect Teddy with the notorious “Boy in the Dress” murder, believed to be one of many committed by a serial killer targeting gay men.

But who are these cold case fanatics, and how do they know so much about a case that left the police and the FBI stumped? With investigators, amateurs, and one sadistic killer on a collision course, Missing Person is Sarah Lotz at her most thrilling and terrifying.


Review:

Gripping, mysterious, and sinister!

Missing Person is a captivating, slow-burning mystery that takes us into the lives of Shaun Ryan, a young Irish lad whose uncle has been missing for the past twenty years, a group of online amateur sleuths who take it upon themselves to identify and pursue new evidence in cold cases, and a ruthless killer who may or may not be willing to kill again.

The writing is methodical and sharp. The characters are secretive, sly, and determined. And the plot told from multiple perspectives builds steadily as it twists, turns, and unravels all the behaviours, actions, motivations, relationships, and personalities within it.

Missing Person is ultimately a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, criminal fanatics, obsession, violence, and murder that does a nice job of reminding us that people aren’t always who they perceive themselves to be, especially online. And even though I would have loved a little more urgency and thrills it was still a dark, creepy, entertaining read.

 

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

 

About Sarah Lotz

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Among other things, she writes urban horror novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg; a YA pulp-fiction zombie series, Deadlands, with her daughter, Savannah, under the pseudonym Lily Herne; and quirky erotica novels with authors Helen Moffett and Paige Nick under the name Helena S. Paige. She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.