Source: Flatiron Books

#BookReview Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak @Flatironbooks #HiddenPictures #JasonRekulak #FlatironBooks

#BookReview Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak @Flatironbooks #HiddenPictures #JasonRekulak #FlatironBooks Title: Hidden Pictures

Author: Jason Rekulak

Published by: Flatiron Books on May 10, 2022

Genres: Horror, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Flatiron Books

Book Rating: 8/10

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.


Review:

Intense, eerie, and dark!

Hidden Pictures is a haunting, character-driven thriller that takes you into the life of recovering addict Mallory Quinn who, after recently being hired to nanny the delightful five-year-old Teddy, whose love for drawing and his imaginative friend Anya become creepier day by day, discovers quickly that something isn’t right in this seemingly perfect home of Ted and Caroline Maxwell, and that someone or something is determined to reveal the secrets they’re desperately trying to hide.

The prose is unsettling and taut. The characters are suspicious, troubled, and wary. And the plot is a simmering, sinister tale of familial drama, class division, tension, deception, violence, and desperation, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, Hidden Pictures is a tight, creepy, atmospheric tale by Rekulak that, with its quick pace and disturbing illustrations, kept me unnerved and highly entertained right from the very first page.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Jason Rekulak

Jason Rekulak is the author of The Impossible Fortress, which was translated into 12 languages and was nominated for the Edgar Award. For many years, he was the publisher of Quirk Books, an independent press, where he acquired and edited multiple New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Philadelphia with his family.

Photo by Jason Varney.

#BookReview Sleepless by Romy Hausmann @Flatironbooks #Sleepless #RomyHausmann

#BookReview Sleepless by Romy Hausmann @Flatironbooks #Sleepless #RomyHausmann Title: Sleepless

Author: Romy Hausmann

Published by: Flatiron Books on Oct. 19, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Flatiron Books

Book Rating: 7/10

It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven–free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss–kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to refuse.

The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer…


Review:

Atmospheric, menacing, and crafty!

Sleepless is an ominous, character-driven thriller that delves into the complex dynamics between friends and family members and highlights just how parasitic some of those relationships can truly be.

The prose is gritty and taut. The characters are plagued, deceptive, and self-involved. And the plot using a back-and-forth, past/present style builds tension as it unfolds a tortuous tale of friendship, lies, secrets, retribution, manipulation, guilt, violence, and murder.

There is no doubt that Hausmann can weave a suspicious tale that’s dark, gloomy, and tragic and that highlights the scheming, selfish, dark side of human nature. And even though I thought the storyline itself was very intricate and clever, although a little disjointed at times, unfortunately for me the lack of characters with any sort of moral or ethical conscience in Sleepless made it a little hard for me to like, connect, or even root for any of them the way I would have liked to.

 

This novel is available on October 19, 2021!

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Romy Hausmann

Romy Hausmann lives with her family at a remote house in the woods in Stuttgart, Germany. Dear Child is her English-language debut.

Photograph by Astrid Eckert.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Paris Hours by Alex George @AlexGeorge @Flatironbooks #TheParisHours

#BlogTour #BookReview The Paris Hours by Alex George @AlexGeorge @Flatironbooks #TheParisHours Title: The Paris Hours

Author: Alex George

Published by: Flatiron Books on May 5, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Flatiron Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

One day in the City of Lights. One night in search of lost time.

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay—but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.

Told over the course of a single day in 1927, The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.


Review:

Pensive, evocative, and atmospheric!

The Paris Hours takes you on a moving journey into the lives of four strangers in Paris for one day during 1927 and introduces you to their thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, and dreams, and highlights just how small the world truly is and how easily our paths can cross, intertwine, and collide. 

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, damaged, and genuine. And the plot is an affecting, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, loneliness, family, friendship, heartbreak, war, grief, hope, guilt, secrets, deception, and survival.

Overall, The Paris Hours is a wonderful blend of historical characters and alluring fiction that sweeps you away to another time and place and does a beautiful job of reminding you that everyone that enters your life, no matter how brief, can impact, shape, and define it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Alex George

A native of England, Alex George read law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris. He has lived in the Midwest of the United States for the last sixteen years. He is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival, and is the owner of Skylark Bookshop, an independent bookstore in downtown Columbia, Missouri.

Alex is the author of The Paris Hours, A Good American, and Setting Free the Kites.

Photograph by Anastasia Pottinger/Rogue Studios.

#BookReview One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell @marklamprell @Flatironbooks

#BookReview One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell @marklamprell @Flatironbooks Title: One Summer Day in Rome

Author: Mark Lamprell

Published by: Flatiron Books on Aug. 1, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Flatiron Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.

Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.


Review:

Absorbing, romantic and incredibly moving!

One Summer Day in Rome is a story about love, new love, struggling love, eternal love, and lost love.

The story takes place in the time span of one day and takes us into the lives of three couples; Alice and August, university students from different continents who test the idea of love at first sight; Alec and Meg, a middle-aged married couple who’ve lost that loving feeling; and Constance a heartbroken widow who recently lost her soul mate.

The prose is light, humorous and incredibly descriptive. The narration is unconventional. The characters are multi-layered, real and endearing. And the plot is an entertaining mix of emotion, dialogue, humour, hijinks, mishaps, and passion.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started One Summer Day in Rome but it wasn’t long before Lamprell not only swept me away to a city he obviously knows and loves and gave me a truly romantic guidebook to all the history, must-see landmarks, culture, lifestyle, and food but also immersed me in a heartfelt, touching story that made me laugh, smile and even cry.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

For more information on Mark Lamprell follow him on Twitter at: @marklamprell

 

 

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

#BookReview To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin @beatricecolin

#BookReview To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin @beatricecolin Title: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

Author: Beatrice Colin

Published by: Flatiron Books on Nov. 29, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 291

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Flatiron Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live–one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.


Review:

Incredibly atmospheric, extremely alluring, and remarkably insightful.

This story is predominantly set in Paris in the late 1880s when the city was bursting with industrialization, immigration, artistic freedom, and high fashion; and is, ultimately, a story about familial obligations, social acceptance, independence, morality, impropriety, secrets and passion.

The prose is clear, precise, descriptive and fluid. The characters are genuine, engaging, and complex. And the story has two distinct plots; one involving the ingenuity, foresight, hardships and struggles involved in the creation and completion of the iconic Eiffel Tower; and the other the budding romance developing between Émile Nouguier, a wealthy, upper-class engineer, and Caitriona Wallace, the lowly, Scottish widower.

I will say that although I enjoyed reading this novel I did find the ending a little lacklustre and wish that it had just a little bit more.

However, overall this book is well written, well researched, with a varied cast of characters that is well worth the read.

 

This book is due to be published on November 29, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/IndigoBook Depository

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Flatiron Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Beatrice Colin

Beatrice Colin was born in London and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. A former arts and features journalist, she also writes novels for adults, children, short stories, radio plays for the BBC. She has spoken at numerous book festivals, taught at Arvon and was a judge and mentor for the Scottish Boom Trust's New Writers Award.
Beatrice was also once a singer in the band, April Showers, whose single, Abandon Ship, reached the number 144 in the charts.

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