Source: Minotaur Books

#BookReview The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl @juliadahl @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JuliaDahl #TheMissingHours #iykyk #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl @juliadahl @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JuliaDahl #TheMissingHours #iykyk #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Missing Hours

Author: Julia Dahl

Published by: Minotaur Books on Sep. 14, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From a distance, Claudia Castro has it all: a famous family, a trust fund, thousands of Instagram followers, and a spot in NYU’s freshman class. But look closer, and things are messier: her parents are separating, she’s just been humiliated by a sleazy documentary, and her sister is about to have a baby with a man she barely knows.

Claudia starts the school year resolved to find a path toward something positive, maybe even meaningful – and then one drunken night everything changes. Reeling, her memory hazy, Claudia cuts herself off from her family, seeking solace in a new friendship. But when the rest of school comes back from spring break, Claudia is missing.

Suddenly, the whole city is trying to piece together the hours of that terrible night.

From the critically acclaimed author of Invisible City and Conviction, The Missing Hours is a novel about obsession, privilege, and the explosive consequences of one violent act.


Review:

Intricate, dark, and disturbing!

The Missing Hours is a provocative, compelling thriller that takes us into the life of Claudia Castro, an NYU freshman who, after waking up one morning beaten and raw with no recollection of the night before, heads out on a mission of vengeance and justice after she receives a video depicting the harrowing event that clearly identifies the two men who assaulted her.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are scarred, self-obsessed, and impulsive. And the plot, including all the sub-plots, builds nicely to create tension and suspense as it unravels all the violent actions, manipulative personalities, despicable behaviours, and parasitic relationships within it.

The Missing Hours is ultimately a novel about consent, violation, obsession, overindulgence, scandal, revenge, corruption, deception, social status, and rape, and even though it had me a little more riveted in the first half of the novel than the second, it is still overall a taut, gritty, compelling thriller by Dahl.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Julia Dahl

Julia Dahl is the author of Conviction, Run You Down, and Invisible City, which was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, one of the Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2014, and has been translated into eight languages. A former reporter for CBS News and the New York Post, she now teaches journalism at NYU.

Photo by Chasi Annexy.

 

#BookReview Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JoannaSchaffhausen #GoneforGood #DetectiveAnnalisaVega #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JoannaSchaffhausen #GoneforGood #DetectiveAnnalisaVega #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: Gone for Good

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Detective Annalisa Vega #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Aug. 10, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 10/10

Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.

The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he’s gone for good.

Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.

Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she’s at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew―how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn’t acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.


Review:

Dark, disturbing, and exceptionally entertaining!

In this latest novel by Schaffhausen, Gone for Good, we are introduced to Chicago PD Det. Annalisa Vega, a complex, tenacious young woman who finds herself investigating the death of Grace Harper, a member of a group of online amateur sleuths, whose investigation into the murder of seven women in the 1990s may have just triggered the reappearance of a serial killer from the past.

The writing is bold and tight. The characters are committed, persistent, and vulnerable. And the plot starts off with a bang and then quickly unravels into an ominous tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, lies, obsession, deception, emotion, violence, and murder.

Gone for Good is the first book in the new Detective Annalisa Vega series, and once again, Schaffhausen has written a highly suspenseful, intricately woven mystery with superb character development that gives the story a touch of human frailty and authenticity that takes it from being just a good thriller to a great one!

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

#BookReview The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SandieJones #TheGuiltTrip #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SandieJones #TheGuiltTrip #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Guilt Trip

Author: Sandie Jones

Published by: Minotaur Books on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

In the vein of The Other Woman, Sandie Jones’s explosive new novel The Guilt Trip will have readers gripped to the very last page.

Six friends.

Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.

Three couples.

As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.

One fatal misunderstanding . . .

But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.


Review:

Gripping, tight, and ominous!

The Guilt Trip is a twisty, pacey, domestic thriller that delves into the complex bonds that exist between friends and family members and reminds us that behind all those happy, smiling faces often lies an abundance of devastating secrets and destructive lies.

The writing is taut and edgy. The characters are secretive, manipulative, and troubled. And the plot is suspenseful and highly entertaining as it twists, turns, and unravels all the motivations, personalities, and relationships within it.

The Guilt Trip, at its core, is a novel about marital discord, friendship, deception, jealousy, misconceptions, devious behaviours, and murder. It’s an intense, dramatic, exceptionally menacing tale by Jones, and even though it seems to be getting some mixed reviews at the moment, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now, more than ever, eager to read the copy of The Other Woman that has been sitting on my unread shelves for far too long.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sandie Jones

SANDIE JONES has worked as a freelance journalist for more than twenty years and has written for publications including The Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly, and Hello magazine. She lives in Lon-don with her husband and three children. She is the author of The Other Woman, a Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick, as well as The First Mistake and The Half Sister. The Guilt Trip is her fourth novel.

Photo by Harriet Buckingham.

#BookReview Dead by Dawn by Paul Doiron @pauldoiron @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #PaulDoiron #DeadbyDawn #MikeBowditch

#BookReview Dead by Dawn by Paul Doiron @pauldoiron @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #PaulDoiron #DeadbyDawn #MikeBowditch Title: Dead by Dawn

Author: Paul Doiron

Series: Mike Bowditch #12

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jun. 29, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch finds himself in a life-or-death chase in this new thriller in the bestselling mystery series by Edgar Award nominee Paul Doiron.

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is fighting for his life. Ambushed on a darkened winter road, he plunges his Jeep into a frozen river and must escape drowning beneath the ice. Surviving the crash is only the first challenge he faces in a nightlong battle to stay alive and one step ahead of his unknown, heavily armed pursuers. To outwit them and return to his friends and family, none of whom knows where he is, Bowditch must dissect the hours leading up to the ambush and solve two riddles: who are these people who desperately want him dead and what has he done to incur their wrath?


Review:

Shady, intense, and incredibly atmospheric!

In this adrenaline-pumping, twelfth instalment in the Mike Bowditch series, Dead by Dawn, Doiron has written a fast-paced, sinister thriller that finds Maine game warden Mike Bowditch in a race against time to save his life from the elements of a harsh, New England winter and a team of criminals determined to keep their illegal enterprises hidden when his reopening of a suspicious drowning case involving a local professor triggers a chain of events that end with himself and his unusual, wolf sidekick, Shadow plunging into the icy depths of the Androscoggin River.

The prose is crisp and rich. The characters are intelligent, relentless, and resourceful. And the plot, using a back-and-forth, past/present style, is a menacing tale of mischief, mayhem, corruption, manipulation, impulsivity, depravity, heinous violence, and murder.

Overall, Dead By Dawn is a gritty, engrossing, action-packed thrill ride by Dorion that is highly entertaining, a little disturbing, and the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a really good survivalist tale.

 

This novel is available on June 29, 2021.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Paul Doiron

A native of Maine, bestselling author PAUL DOIRON attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English. The Poacher’s Son, the first book in the Mike Bowditch series, won the Barry award, the Strand award for best first novel, and has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity awards in the same category. He is a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife, Kristen Lindquist.

Photo by Mark Fleming.

#BookReview A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor @SSTaylorBooks @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ADistantGrave #SarahStewartTaylor #MaggieDArcy

#BookReview A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor @SSTaylorBooks @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ADistantGrave #SarahStewartTaylor #MaggieDArcy Title: A Distant Grave

Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jun. 22, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the follow up to the critically acclaimed The Mountains Wild, Detective Maggie D’arcy tackles another intricate case that bridges Long Island and Ireland.

Long Island homicide detective Maggie D’arcy and her teenage daughter, Lilly, are still recovering from the events of last fall when a strange new case demands Maggie’s attention. The body of an unidentified Irish national turns up in a wealthy Long Island beach community and with little to go on but the scars on his back, Maggie once again teams up with Garda detectives in Ireland to find out who the man was and what he was doing on Long Island. As the strands of the mystery lead Maggie to a quiet village in rural County Clare and back to her home turf, they also lead her in range of a dangerous and determined killer who will do anything to keep the victim’s story hidden forever.

With the lyrical prose, deeply drawn characters, and atmospheric setting that made The Mountains Wild one of 2020’s most anticipated summer reads, Sarah Stewart Taylor delivers another gripping mystery novel about family, survival, and the meaning of home.


Review:

Complex, sophisticated, and sharp!

In this latest novel by Taylor, A Distant Grave, we head back to Long Island, where Detective Maggie D’arcy finds herself once again immersed in an investigation that will take her from the streets of NY to the green hills of Ireland when an Irish international aid worker with a complicated past is found suspiciously murdered on the beach in Bay Shore Manor Park.

The writing is absorbing and meticulous. The characters are multifaceted, intuitive, and persistent. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine methodically into a sinister mix of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, deduction, mayhem, manipulation, corruption, politics, violence, and murder.

Overall, A Distant Grave is a dark, crafty, intriguing tale by Taylor that is thoroughly entertaining and undoubtedly another highly satisfying addition to the Maggie D’arcy series.

 

This book is available on June 22, 2021.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Stewart Taylor

Sarah Stewart Taylor grew up on Long Island and was educated at Middlebury College and Trinity College, Dublin. She lives with her husband and three children on a farm in Vermont where they raise sheep and blueberries.

Sarah is the author of THE MOUNTAINS WILD, an atmospheric thriller about a Long Island homicide detective named Maggie D'Arcy who returns to Ireland twenty-three years after the unsolved disappearance of her beloved cousin Erin in the Wicklow Mountains. When a young woman disappears and new evidence from Erin’s case is found, Maggie will have to uncover the truth about the Irish man she's never stopped loving and, in order to help Irish police save the missing woman, the truth about who Erin was and what happened to her.

It will be published by Minotaur Books on June 23, 2020.

Sarah is also the author of the Sweeney St. George mystery series, about an art historian who studies funerary art, "the art of death," from Minotaur Books. The first book in the series, O’ Artful Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

Her non-fiction has been published in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and many other publications.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch Title: An Extravagant Death

Author: Charles Finch

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries #11

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In what promises to be a breakout in Charles Finch’s bestselling series, An Extravagant Death finds Sir Charles Lenox traveling to Gilded Age Newport and New York to investigate the death of a beautiful socialite.

London, 1878. With faith in Scotland Yard shattered after a damning corruption investigation, Charles Lenox’s detective agency is rapidly expanding. The gentleman sleuth has all the work he can handle, two children, and an intriguing new murder case.

But when a letter arrives with an unexpected invitation, he’s unable to resist the call of an old, unfulfilled yearning: to travel to America. Arriving in New York, he begins to receive introductions into both its old Knickerbocker society and its new robber baron splendor. Then, a shock: the suicide of the season’s most beautiful debutante, who has thrown herself from a cliff. Or was it a suicide? Her closest friend doesn’t think so, and Lenox, sacrificing his plans, travels to the family’s magnificent Newport mansion in the guise of an idle English gentleman. What ensues is a fiendsh game of cat and mouse.

Witty, complex, and tender, An Extravagant Death is Charles Finch’s triumphant return to the main storyline of his beloved Charles Lenox series–a devilish mystery, a social drama, and an unforgettable first trip for an Englishman coming to America.


Review:

Dramatic, devious, and engaging!

In this latest novel by Finch, An Extravagant Death, we head back to 1878 and into the life of detective Charles Lenox as he reluctantly heads to America and finds himself acquiring an unforeseen sidekick, Theodore Blaine, and helping in the investigation of a murdered woman found on the beaches of Newport that has a list of suspects that reads like the who’s who of Manhattan royalty.

The prose is intricate and tight. The characters are intelligent, resourceful, and witty. And the plot is a methodical, compelling whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, deduction, deception, corruption, power, secrets, violence, and murder.

An Extravagant Death is the eleventh book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries, and if you enjoy historical mysteries, this novel won’t disappoint. It’s a compelling, intriguing, delightfully entertaining tale by Finch that’s another fantastic addition to this USA Today bestselling series and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Charles Finch

Charles Finch is the USA Today bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Vanishing Man. His first contemporary novel, The Last Enchantments, is also available from St. Martin's Press. Finch received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries Title: A Peculiar Combination

Author: Ashley Weaver

Series: Electra McDonnell #1

Published by: Minotaur Books, Montlake Romance on May 25, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie’s cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick’s more honorable business as a locksmith can’t pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned–until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn’t care for the Major’s imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she’s eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she’s no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.


Review:

Clever, mysterious, and witty!

A Peculiar Combination is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the life of Electra McDonnell, a part-time, talented safecracker who is recruited by the broodily handsome Major Ramsey to use her exceptional skills to help king and country retrieve some documents of a fragile nature before they can possibly be passed into enemy hands.

The prose is rich and polished. The characters are plucky, resourceful, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, intriguing mystery full of suspects, deduction, red herrings, familial dynamics, espionage, duty, friendship, flirtation, secrets, and duplicity.

Overall, A Peculiar Combination is a vivid, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Weaver that is not only a fantastic start to the Electra McDonnell series but, in my opinion, the perfect choice for anyone who loves a lighthearted, amusing, historical mystery.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter Title: The Photographer

Author: Mary Dixie Carter

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 25, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

WHEN PERFECT IMAGES

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene―in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.


Review:

Ominous, crafty, and compelling!

The Photographer is a cunning, intense thrill ride that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you are lonely and starved for affection, tend to engage in destructive behaviour, are driven by uncontrollable, obsessive tendencies, share in other people’s special moments, and often have easy access to their personal property.

The prose is eerie and dark. The characters are manipulative, deceitful, and consumed. And the plot is a simmering, engrossing tale of power, betrayal, control, obsession, malice, seduction, desire, and jealousy.

Overall, The Photographer is a taut, sinister, solid debut for Carter, and with this kind of imagination, I’m extremely excited to read whatever utterly disturbing tale she manages to come up with next.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Dixie Carter

MARY DIXIE CARTER’s writing has appeared in TIME, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, The New York Observer and other print and online publications. She worked at The Observer for five years, where she served as the publishing director. In addition to writing, she also has a background as a professional actor. Mary Dixie graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The Photographer is her first novel.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson Title: The Girl Who Died

Author: Ragnar Jónasson

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World

Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track.

But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to less than a dozen people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space – the site of a local legendary haunting – drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long-buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.


Review:

Dark, intense, and creepy!

The Girl Who Died is a menacing, haunted thriller that sweeps you away to the secluded hamlet of Skálar and into the life of Una, a young teacher who after recently relocating from Reykjavík, struggles to feel comfortable, safe, and able to integrate herself into this community of ten residents that seem to be extremely insular and have something they’re determined to protect and hide at all costs.

The prose is eerie and tight. The characters are multilayered, aloof, and secretive, with the setting being a character itself with its desolation, claustrophobic environment, and isolation. And the plot is a simmering, ominous tale of familial drama, tension, desperation, violence, and death, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Girl Who Died is a taut, unsettling, atmospheric mystery by Jónasson that has all the qualities you typically look for in a Nordic Noir tale, and even though I thought it could have had a slighter quicker pace, it was nevertheless still an entertaining read from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ragnar Jónasson

RAGNAR JONASSON is an international number one bestselling author who has sold over two million books in thirty-two countries worldwide. His books include the Dark Iceland series and the Hulda series. Jonasson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he also works as an investment banker and teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, since the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie's novels. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. His critically acclaimed international bestseller The Darkness is soon to be a major TV series. Jonasson lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters.

Photo by Bill Waters

#BookReview Every Waking Hour (Ellery Hathaway #4) by Joanna Schaffhausen @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #EveryWakingHour #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries

#BookReview Every Waking Hour (Ellery Hathaway #4) by Joanna Schaffhausen @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #EveryWakingHour #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries Title: Every Waking Hour

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Ellery Hathaway #4

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 26, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

The fourth book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

After surviving a serial killer’s abduction as a young teenager, Ellery Hathaway is finally attempting a normal life. She has a new job as a rookie Boston detective and a fledgling relationship with Reed Markham, the FBI agent who rescued her years ago. But when a twelve-year-old girl disappears on Ellery’s watch, the troubling case opens deep wounds that never fully healed.

Chloe Lockhart walked away from a busy street fair and vanished into the crowd. Maybe she was fleeing the suffocating surveillance her parents put on her from the time she was born, or maybe the evil from her parents’ past finally caught up to her. For Chloe, as Ellery learns, is not the first child Teresa Lockhart has lost.
Ellery knows what it’s like to have the past stalk you, to hold your breath around every corner. Sending one kidnapped girl to find another could be Chloe’s only hope or an unmitigated disaster that dooms them both. Ellery must untangle the labyrinth of secrets inside the Lockhart household—secrets that have already murdered one child. Each second that ticks by reminds her of her own lost hours, how close she came to death, and how near it still remains.


Review:

Intricate, sinister, and twisty!

In this fourth instalment in the Ellery Hathaway series, Every Waking Hour, Detective Hathaway and Agent Markham find themselves inadvertently working together once again when a child goes missing, a kidnapper seems to have a targeted agenda, and the family has way too many skeletons hiding in their closet.

The writing is sharp and sophisticated. The characterization is spot on with all the usual gang back, including the scarred and stubborn Ellery Hathaway, whose greatest struggles involve her own emotional demons and her apprehension at the growing intimacy between herself and Markham. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a gripping tale of life, loss, family, friendship, deception, manipulation, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Every Waking Hour is another addictive, propulsive, thrilling addition to one of my favourite series with its flawed characters, great pace, and consistent sense of urgency that I can never get enough of.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

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