Source: Grand Central Publishing

#BookReview Truly, Madly by Stephen Galloway @GrandCentralPub #TrulyMadly #StephenGalloway #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Truly, Madly by Stephen Galloway @GrandCentralPub #TrulyMadly #StephenGalloway #GrandCentralPub Title: Truly, Madly

Author: Stephen Galloway

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 22, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 1934, a friend brought fledgling actress Vivien Leigh to see Theatre Royal, where she would first lay eyes on Laurence Olivier in his brilliant performance as Anthony Cavendish. That night, she confided to a friend, he was the man she was going to marry. There was just one problem: she was already married—and so was he.

TRULY, MADLY is the biography of a marriage, a love affair that still captivates millions, even decades after both actors’ deaths. Vivien and Larry were two of the first truly global celebrities – their fame fueled by the explosive growth of tabloids and television, which helped and hurt them in equal measure. They seemed to have it all and yet, in their own minds, they were doomed, blighted by her long-undiagnosed mental-illness, which transformed their relationship from the stuff of dreams into a living nightmare.

Through new research, including exclusive access to previously unpublished correspondence and interviews with their friends and family, author Stephen Galloway takes readers on a bewitching journey. He brilliantly studies their tempestuous liaison, one that took place against the backdrop of two world wars, the Golden Age of Hollywood and the upheavals of the 1960s — as they struggled with love, loss and the ultimate agony of their parting.  


Review:

Scandalous, informative, and dramatic!

Truly, Madly is the intriguing, candid biography of two of the most famous actors of the 20th century, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, and their volatile relationship that started in 1937 with a whirlwind love affair and ended all too suddenly in tragic heartbreak.

The writing is expressive and smooth. The characters are talented, tormented, and driven. And the novel is a poignant tale of one couple’s personal and professional successes and heartaches both on and off the screen, including a marriage grounded in love yet littered with insecurity, jealousy, depression, miscarriages, mental illness, and infidelity.

Overall, Truly, Madly is a captivating, descriptive, sobering tale by Galloway that highlights that loving someone means loving them in the good, the bad, and the ugly, and is an important reminder of just how unfortunate and detrimental our lack of knowledge and treatment of mental illness in the last century truly was.

 

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Stephen Galloway

Stephen Galloway is the dean of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Prior to joining Chapman in 2020, he was for many years the executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

#BookReview Dream Town (Archer #3) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #DreamTown #ArcherSeries

#BookReview Dream Town (Archer #3) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #DreamTown #ArcherSeries Title: Dream Town

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Archer #3

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 19, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Private investigator and World War II veteran Aloysius Archer heads to Los Angeles, the city where dreams are made and shattered, and is ensnared in a lethal case in this latest thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci’s Nero Award-winning series.  

It’s the eve of 1953, and Aloysius Archer is in Los Angeles to ring in the New Year with an old friend, aspiring actress Liberty Callahan, when their evening is interrupted by an acquaintance of Callahan’s: Eleanor Lamb, a screenwriter in dire straits.
 
After a series of increasingly chilling events—mysterious phone calls, the same blue car loitering outside her house, and a bloody knife left in her sink—Eleanor fears that her life is in danger, and she wants to hire Archer to look into the matter. Archer suspects that Eleanor knows more than she’s saying, but before he can officially take on her case, a dead body turns up inside of Eleanor’s home . . . and Eleanor herself disappears. 
 
Missing client or not, Archer is dead set on finding both the murderer and Eleanor. With the help of Callahan and his partner Willie Dash, he launches an investigation that will take him from mob-ridden Las Vegas to the glamorous world of Hollywood to the darkest corners of Los Angeles—a city in which beautiful faces are attached to cutthroat schemers, where the cops can be more corrupt than the criminals . . . and where the powerful people responsible for his client’s disappearance will kill without a moment’s hesitation if they catch Archer on their trail. 


Review:

Rich, gritty, and menacing!

Dream Town is a mysterious, gripping tale that takes us back into the life of Aloysius Archer as he decides to head down to the City of Angeles, where his friend Liberty is just starting to make her mark on Hollywood and where his PI skills will once again come in handy when a writer who is afraid for her life suddenly goes missing and the trail to find her is littered with dead bodies, corruption, smuggling, drugs, blackmail and gangsters.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are loyal, determined, and brave. And the plot is a well-paced, twisty whodunit full of red herrings, sleuthing, suspicious personalities, deduction, attraction, coercion, danger, mayhem, mischief, and murder.

Dream Town is the third book in the Archer series, and if you love mysteries set in the glitz and glamour of 1950s Tinseltown, this one won’t disappoint. It’s an intricate, tight, satisfying read by Baldacci, and I can’t wait to read whatever this steadfast gumshoe gets himself tied up in next.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About David Baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

 

Photograph by Allen Jones.

#BookReview Water’s Edge by Gregg Olsen @Gregg_Olsen @GrandCentralPub #GreggOlsen #WatersEdge #DetectiveMeganCarpenterSeries #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Water’s Edge by Gregg Olsen @Gregg_Olsen @GrandCentralPub #GreggOlsen #WatersEdge #DetectiveMeganCarpenterSeries #GrandCentralPub Title: Water's Edge

Author: Gregg Olsen

Series: Detective Meghan Carpenter #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 15, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

The young woman’s body is lying with her arms stretched out to each side. Her lips slightly parted. Her face untouched by injury and her hair spread around her head like a fan. A redhead. Just like the others.

When the body of Leann Truitt is found in a secluded cove in Mystery Bay, Detective Megan Carpenter is one of the first on the scene. The victim has tell-tale marks on her wrists, ankles and neck where she has been bound. But that’s not all. Next to Leann’s body lies a puzzling clue – an unusual symbol scratched into a rock.

With rookie Deputy Ronnie Marsh under her wing and the investigation underway, Megan starts to receive disturbing messages. Someone knows about her traumatic past. They know what she did.

Determined to stay focussed, Megan soon makes a chilling link between Leann’s brutal killing and the unsolved murder cases of two other women – all redheads with the same marks on their bodies, the same symbol carvings found at the crime scenes, and most shockingly, all had been pregnant.

The killer stalks his prey, kidnapping and torturing them in a very exact and methodical pattern. And he is not finished yet…

When the body of another woman is found bearing a striking resemblance to the other victims, Megan must crack the clues fast if she is to catch the twisted soul before they strike again.

Megan might be closing in on the killer, but someone is watching her every move. Can Megan hide the secrets of her past threatening to destroy her future? And can she protect herself and Ronnie before they both find themselves in terrible danger?


Review:

Dark, chilling, and skillfully crafted!

In this second instalment in the Detective Megan Carpenter series, Water’s Edge, Olsen has written a sinister police procedural that sees Detective Carpenter reluctantly working with a new partner, Reserve Deputy Ronnie Marsh, on a case that inadvertently turns into a hunt for a serial killer when the body of a woman left beaten, strangled and floating in a secluded cove seems to have too many similarities to several other murders that still remain unsolved in the area.

The writing is seamless and tight. The characterization is spot on, with the scarred and stubborn Megan Carpenter still battling her own emotional demons and haunted past. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a gripping tale of twists, turns, deception, revelations, emotion, violence, and murder.

Overall, Water’s Edge is another thrilling, addictive, propulsive addition to a series that, with its flawed characters, great pace, and constant sense of urgency, is quickly becoming one of my faves.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gregg Olsen

A #1 New York Times bestselling true-crime writer, Gregg Olsen is praised for his ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of real people and fictional characters caught in extraordinary circumstances. He has authored ten nonfiction books, over twenty novels, a novella, and a short story, which appeared in a collection edited by Lee Child. In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People, Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post. He is a native of Seattle and currently lives in rural Washington state.

#BookReview The Match by Harlan Coben @harlancoben @GrandCentralPub #TheMatch #HarlanCoben #WildeSeries #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Match by Harlan Coben @harlancoben @GrandCentralPub #TheMatch #HarlanCoben #WildeSeries #GrandCentralPub Title: The Match

Author: Harlan Coben

Series: Wilde #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 15, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the creator of the #1 hit Netflix series Stay Close comes a gripping new thriller in which Wilde follows a tip that may finally reveal the truth behind his abandonment—only to end up in the sights of a ruthless killer.

After months away, Wilde has returned to the Ramapo Mountains in the wake of a failed bid at domesticity that confirms what he’s known all along: He belongs on his own, free from the comforts and constraints of modern life.

Suddenly, a DNA match on an online ancestry database brings Wilde closer to his past than he’s ever dreamed, and finally gives Wilde the opening he needs to track down his father. But meeting the man brings up more questions than answers. So Wilde reaches out to his last, most desperate lead, a second cousin who disappears as quickly as he resurfaces, having experienced an epic fall from grace that can only be described as a waking nightmare.

Was his cousin’s downfall a long time coming? Or was he the victim of a conspiracy as cunning as it is complex? And how does it all connect to the man once known as The Stranger, a treacherous fugitive with a growing following whose mission and methods have only turned more dangerous with time?


Review:

Action-packed, ominous, and twisty!

The Match is an engrossing, fast-paced thrill ride that takes you back into the life of Wilde from The Boy from the Woods now a grown man and unexpectedly embroiled in a mess of vigilante violence, online trolls, and the cutthroat world of reality tv when he submits his DNA to a genealogy website and matches with an unassuming man who could be his father and a potential cousin who turns out to be a missing, disgraced reality star.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are intelligent, steadfast, and reliable. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you into a sinister tale full of twists, turns, mayhem, chaos, danger, suspicious personalities, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Match is another menacing, edgy, satisfying tale by Coben that highlights just how fine the line between right and wrong truly is and is a good reminder that sometimes there are no limits to the lengths that people will go for fame and fortune.

 

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is a #1 NewYorkTimes bestselling author and one of the world's leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-five languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, with seventy-five million books in print worldwide. His Myron Bolitar series has earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and many of his books have been developed into Netflix series, including his adaptation of The Stranger, headlined by Richard Armitage, and The Woods. He lives in New Jersey.

Photo by Claudio Marinesco.

#BookReview On a Night of a Thousand Stars @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #OnaNightofaThousandStars #AndreaYaryuraClark #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada

#BookReview On a Night of a Thousand Stars @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #OnaNightofaThousandStars #AndreaYaryuraClark #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada Title: On a Night of a Thousand Stars

Author: Andrea Yaryura Clark

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

In this moving, emotional narrative of love and resilience, a young couple confronts the start of Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s, and a daughter searches for truth twenty years later.

New York, 1998. Santiago Larrea, a wealthy Argentine diplomat, is holding court alongside his wife, Lila, and their daughter, Paloma, a college student and budding jewelry designer, at their annual summer polo match and soiree. All seems perfect in the Larreas’ world—until an unexpected party guest from Santiago’s university days shakes his usually unflappable demeanor. The woman’s cryptic comments spark Paloma’s curiosity about her father’s past, of which she knows little.
 
When the family travels to Buenos Aires for Santiago’s UN ambassadorial appointment, Paloma is determined to learn more about his life in the years leading up to the military dictatorship of 1976. With the help of a local university student, Franco Bonetti, an activist member of H.I.J.O.S.—a group whose members are the children of the desaparecidos, or the “disappeared,” men and women who were forcibly disappeared by the state during Argentina’s “Dirty War”—Paloma unleashes a chain of events that not only leads her to question her family and her identity, but also puts her life in danger.

In compelling fashion, On a Night of a Thousand Stars speaks to relationships, morality, and identity during a brutal period in Argentinian history, and the understanding—and redemption—people crave in the face of tragedy.


Review:

Rich, informative, and fascinating!

On a Night of a Thousand Stars is a vivid, moving tale set in Buenos Aires during the mid-1970s, as well as 1998, that takes you into the lives of the Larrea family whose individual actions, decisions, choices, secrets, and sacrifices made in order to survive and keep their loved ones safe from the random disappearances, kidnappings, torture, and murder experienced during Argentina’s political nightmare led by General Jorge Rafael Videla, known as the Dirty War will have lasting effects and irrevocably change their lives forever.

The prose is perceptive and descriptive. The characters are anguished, steadfast, and multilayered. And the plot using a past-present style unfolds effortlessly into a harrowing tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, injustice, guilt, grief, secrets, self-identity, ancestry, kindness, war, bravery, and survival.

On a Night of a Thousand Stars is a hauntingly tragic, insightful, heart-wrenching debut by Clark that highlights the inconceivable horrors, suffering, and events endured during a heinous time in Argentina’s history and reminds us of humanities incredible ability to still be resilient and compassionate to others even when surrounded by barbaric cruelty.

 

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 & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Andrea Yaryura Clark

Andrea Yaryura Clark grew up in Argentina amid the political turmoil of the 1970s until her family relocated to North America. After completing her university studies, she returned to Buenos Aires to reconnect with her roots. By the mid-1990s, many sons and daughters of the “Disappeared”—the youngest victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s—were coming of age and grappling with the fates of their families. She interviewed several of these children, and their experiences, not widely known outside Argentina, inspired her debut novel. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons and a spirited terrier.

Photo by David Jacobs.

#BookReview Diablo Mesa by Preston & Child @GrandCentralPub #DiabloMesa #PrestonChild #NoraKelly #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Diablo Mesa by Preston & Child @GrandCentralPub #DiabloMesa #PrestonChild #NoraKelly #GrandCentralPub Title: Diablo Mesa

Series: Nora Kelly #3

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 15, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Preston & Child continue with the wildly popular series featuring archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI Agent Corrie Swanson. 

Lucas Tappan, a wealthy and eccentric billionaire and founder of Icarus Space Systems, approaches the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute with an outlandish proposal—to finance a careful, scientific excavation of the Roswell Incident site, where a UFO is alleged to have crashed in 1947. A skeptical Nora Kelly, to her great annoyance, is tasked with the job. 

Nora’s excavation immediately uncovers two murder victims buried at the site, faces and hands obliterated with acid to erase their identities. Special Agent Corrie Swanson is assigned to the case. As Nora’s excavation proceeds, uncovering things both bizarre and seemingly inexplicable, Corrie’s homicide investigation throws open a Pandora’s box of espionage and violence, uncovering bloody traces of a powerful force that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—and that threatens to engulf them all in an unimaginable fate.


Review:

Menacing, tortuous, and action-packed!

In this third instalment in the Nora Kelly series, Diablo Mesa, Preston & Child have written an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that sees archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI Agent Cora Swanson teaming up once again when after reluctantly being convinced to work for billionaire Lucas Tappan on a new dig at the 1947 crash site of a potentially otherworldly aircraft in the New Mexico desert, Nora uncovers two murdered bodies and something even more surprising that the government has not only been hiding for decades but is still willing to do whatever it takes, even kill, to continue to keep a secret.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are hesitant, intelligent, and persistent. And the plot is a menacing tale full of twists, turns, violence, deception, corruption, mayhem, danger, deduction, power, manipulation, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, Diablo Mesa is another suspenseful, fast-paced, exciting mystery by Preston & Child that, with its well-drawn characterization, creative storyline, and thrilling conclusion, is sure to be a big hit with longtime fans of this dynamic writing duo.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Preston & Child

Douglas Preston has published thirty-six books of both nonfiction and fiction, of which twenty-nine have been New York Times bestsellers. He is the co-author, with Lincoln Child, of the Pendergast series of thrillers. He writes about archaeology and anthropology for the New Yorker Magazine, and he worked as an editor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University. He currently serves as President of the Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest association of authors and journalists.

Lincoln Child is the New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Room, The Third Gate, Terminal Freeze, Deep Storm, Death Match, and Utopia, as well as coauthor, with Douglas Preston, of numerous New York Times bestsellers, most recently Crimson Shore. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.

Photo courtesy of Authors' Website.

#BookReview The Midnight Ride by Ben Mezrich @benmezrich @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada #TheMidnightRide #BenMezrich

#BookReview The Midnight Ride by Ben Mezrich @benmezrich @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada #TheMidnightRide #BenMezrich Title: The Midnight Ride

Author: Ben Mezrich

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 22, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the celebrated, New York Times bestselling author comes a commercial thriller of an MIT grad student who unwittingly uncovers the hidden connection between the Gardner Museum heist and the most fascinating secret in American history.

THE CARD SHARK: Hailey Gordon is looking to make some fast cash to help pay her tuition when she’s caught counting cards at the Encore casino in Boston. She grabs her winnings and makes her escape. With guards closing in, she dives into an unlocked room to hide . . . only to find a dead body.

THE EX-CON: Recently released from prison, Nick Patterson hasn’t felt hope in a long time, but the job he “inherited” in prison promises to change that. He enters hotel room 633 to find that the person he was supposed to meet has been murdered. Next to the corpse stands a terrified young woman—Hailey Gordon.

THE PROFESSOR: American history professor Adrian Jensen learns of the death of his professional nemesis, Charles Walker, the night after he received Walker’s latest research. Skeptical at first, Adrian nearly deletes the file. But when one small, new detail catches his eye, he makes it his mission to uncover what could be one of the biggest secrets of the Revolutionary War.

All three strangers find themselves on the cusp of an incredible discovery—one that someone is willing to kill to keep buried.


Review:

Sinister, tense, and highly entertaining!

The Midnight Ride is a propulsive, ominous tale that takes us on a journey into the lives of three strangers, Hailey Gordon, an MIT grad student with an exceptional mind for numbers and a special talent for counting cards, Nick Patterson, a recently paroled con man with a new job already planned that he’s sure will go off without a hitch, and Adrian Jensen, a Tufts professor of American history who specializes in all things Paul Revere, as their paths accidentally collide in a race to uncover a secret of unimaginable importance that seems to have been hidden since the Revolutionary War.

The writing is brisk and sharp. The characters are intelligent, determined, and impulsive. And the plot is an action-packed thrill ride full of twists, turns, surprises, adventure, manipulation, danger, historical events, code-breaking, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Midnight Ride is an intense, suspenseful, fast-paced read by Mezrich that I thoroughly enjoyed and which reminded me a little of the National Treasure movies that I absolutely adore.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich is the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires (adapted by Aaron Sorkin into the David Fincher film The Social Network) and Bringing Down the House (adapted into the #1 box office hit film 21), as well as many other bestselling books. His books have sold over six million copies worldwide.

Photo courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com

#BookReview Play Dead by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #PlayDead #DIKimStoneSeries

#BookReview Play Dead by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #PlayDead #DIKimStoneSeries Title: Play Dead

Author: Angela Marsons

Series: DI Kim Stone #4

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jan. 18, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

Detective Kim Stone discovers the best place to hide a murder in this gripping psychological thriller from USA Today bestselling author Angela Marsons.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a “body farm” known for its investigations into human decomposition, with inhabitants that are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman among the donated cadavers there, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work. But just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

When local reporter Tracy Frost disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets—but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim?


Review:

Relentless, unpredictable, and sinister!

In this latest novel in the DI Kim Stone series, Play Dead, Marsons has written a gripping, fast-paced mystery that sees Detective Inspective Stone and her team heading to the Westerley research facility to investigate an eerie case involving a potential serial killer with a penchant for dumping their victims amongst the decaying corpses being researched at the local body farm.

The writing is crisp and tight. The characters are impulsive, secretive, and scarred. And the plot keeps you engrossed from start to finish with all its twists, turns, deception, revelations, revenge, retribution, violence, and murder.

I have to say this series keeps getting better and better. Play Dead is an intricate, suspenseful, perfectly paced whodunit that has all the elements I look for in a thrilling mystery, along with a touch of authenticity not always found in police procedurals that kept me riveted and eager 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 Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the USA Today bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series, and her books have sold more than four million copies and have been translated into twenty-seven languages. She lives in the Black Country, in the West Midlands of England, with her partner and their two Golden Retrievers. She first discovered her love of writing at junior school when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s.” After writing women’s fiction, Angela turned to crime — fictionally speaking, of course — and developed a character that refused to go away.

#BookReview Antoinette’s Sister by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #AntoinettesSister #DianaGiovinazzo #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Antoinette’s Sister by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #AntoinettesSister #DianaGiovinazzo #GrandCentralPub Title: Antoinette's Sister

Author: Diana Giovinazzo

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jan. 11, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

As Marie Antoinette took her last breath as Queen of France in Paris, another formidable monarch—Antoinette’s dearly beloved sister, Charlotte—was hundreds of miles away, in Naples, fighting desperately to secure her release from the revolutionaries who would take her life. Little did Charlotte know, however, that her sister’s execution would change the course of history—and bring about the end of her own empire.
 
“You are the queen. You are the queen that Antoinette wanted to be.”
 
Austria 1767: Maria Carolina Charlotte—tenth daughter and one of sixteen children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria—knows her position as a Habsburg archduchess will inevitably force her to leave her home, her family, and her cherished sister, Antoinette, whose companionship she values over all else. But not yet. The Habsburg family is celebrating a great triumph: Charlotte’s older sister, Josepha, has been promised to King Ferdinand IV of Naples and will soon take her place as queen. Before she can journey to her new home, however, tragedy strikes. After visiting the family crypt, Josepha contracts smallpox and dies. Shocked, Charlotte is forced to face an unthinkable new reality: she must now marry Ferdinand in her sister’s stead.
 
Bereft and alone, Charlotte finds that her life in Naples is more complicated than she could ever have imagined. Ferdinand is weak and feckless, and a disastrous wedding night plunges her into despair. Her husband’s regent, Tanucci, a controlling and power-hungry man, has pushed the country to the brink of ruin. Overwhelmed, she asks her brother Leopold, now the Holy Roman Emperor, to send help—which he does in the form of John Acton, a handsome military man twenty years Charlotte’s senior who is tasked with overseeing the Navy. Now, Charlotte must gather the strength to do what her mother did before her: take control of a country.
 
In a time of political uprisings and royal executions and with the increasingly desperate crisis her favorite sister, Queen Marie Antoinette, is facing in France, how is a young monarch to keep hold of everything—and everyone—she loves? Find out in this sweeping, luxurious tale of family, court intrigue, and power.


Review:

Rich, fascinating, and informative!

Antoinette’s Sister is an alluring, compelling tale set in Europe during the late 1700s that tells the story of Maria Carolina Charlotte, a young, Habsburg archduchess who not only became the powerful Queen of Naples and Sicily and a loving mother after her reluctant marriage to the immature King Ferdinand IV but also remained a stalwart, unwavering supporter of her closest and dearest sister, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.

The prose is seamless and vivid. The characters are intelligent, ruthless, and bold. And the plot is an insightful, sweeping tale of the struggles, sacrifices, hopes, fears, entangled relationships, love affairs, schemes, and treachery that surrounded one of the most powerful families of the time.

Antoinette’s Sister is, ultimately, a story about life, loss, politics, power, family, desires, sacrifices, love, and war. It’s an immersive, absorbing, well-written tale by Giovinazzo that does a beautiful job of highlighting her incredible research and considerable knowledge into the life of Maria Carolina of Austria and both her undeniable love for her infamous sister and her long-lasting influence on Naples and European history.

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Diana Giovinazzo

Diana Giovinazzo is the co-creator of Wine, Women and Words, a weekly literary podcast featuring interviews with au­thors over a glass of wine. Diana is active within her local literary community as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. The Woman in Red is her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Anthem by Noah Hawley @GrandCentralPub #NoahHawley #Anthem #GrandCentralPub #Thriller

#BookReview Anthem by Noah Hawley @GrandCentralPub #NoahHawley #Anthem #GrandCentralPub #Thriller Title: Anthem

Author: Noah Hawley

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

An epic literary thriller set where America is right now, in which a band of unlikely heroes sets out on a quest to save one innocent life—and might end up saving us all.

Something is happening to teenagers across America, spreading through memes only they can parse.  

At the Float Anxiety Abatement Center, in a suburb of Chicago, Simon Oliver is trying to recover from his sister’s tragic passing. He breaks out to join a woman named Louise and a man called The Prophet on a quest as urgent as it is enigmatic. Who lies at the end of the road? A man known as The Wizard, whose past encounter with Louise sparked her own collapse. Their quest becomes a rescue mission when they join up with a man whose sister is being held captive by the Wizard, impregnated and imprisoned in a tower.  

Noah Hawley’s new novel is an adventure that finds unquenchable lights in dark corners.  Unforgettably vivid characters and a plot as fast and bright as pop cinema blend in a Vonnegutian story that is as timeless as a Grimm’s fairy tale.  It is a leap into the idiosyncratic pulse of the American heart, written with the bravado, literary power, and feverish foresight that have made Hawley one of our most essential writers.


Review:

Dark, tragic, and action-packed!

Anthem is a creative, pacey, intriguing novel that sweeps you away to a few years in the future when the world has finally seen the back of the current pandemic, mother nature is reaping even more havoc on a planet that continues to warm, politics is as tumultuous as ever, teenagers are taking their own lives at an alarming rate, and a misfit group of teens, including the son of a wealthy pharmaceutical exec and a boy who likes to be addressed primarily as “the Prophet” decide to take matters into their own hands and hunt down a sadistic billionaire who thinks he’s way above the law.

The writing is complex and suspenseful. The characters are troubled, driven, and impulsive. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and with a large cast of characters is tight and intense as it twists, turns, and unravels all the actions, motivations, personalities, and relationships within it.

Overall, Anthem is not the type of book I typically read but was nevertheless a menacing, pensive, unique page-turner with a fantastical thread that did a remarkable job of raising the question will the youth of today be able to weather the storms and handle all the responsibilities, catastrophes, and disasters that are sure to come.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Noah Hawley

Award‑winning author Noah Hawley is one of the most accomplished auteurs and versatile storytellers working in television, film and literature. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Hawley's work as a novelist, screenwriter, series creator, showrunner and director has garnered acclaim—winning an Emmy®, Golden Globe®, PEN, Critics’ Choice, and Peabody Award. As a bestselling author, Hawley has published six novels: A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People’s Weddings, The Punch, The Good Father, Before the Fall and the upcoming Anthem.

Photo courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com

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