Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier; Plus extras from Publisher

Title: Jar of Hearts
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Published: June 2018, Minotaur Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 320 pages
Source: Netgalley

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

My thoughts: This is the first time I've read anything by Jennifer Hillier, though I do have her book, The Butcher, sitting on my shelf. Well, I can say with absolute fact that I will certainly be reading more of her books if Jar of Hearts is anything to go by...this book was so good - it was creepy and thrilling and everything I love in a good thriller!

This is most definitely a binge-worthy type of read - I read it in two sittings and was totally immersed in the story from page one. It's broken down into five parts and alternates between Georgina, better known as Geo, and Kaiser's points of view. While most of the story is told in the present day, there are occasional flash backs to when Geo, Kaiser and Angela where in high school - these provided the much-needed background to set up all that was necessary for what was to come. And I loved how these were interspersed throughout the book - they seemed to come up just at the right time.

This book is so full of good twists and surprises that come at you throughout the book - so many that I just did not see coming - and I love that! I read so many thrillers because I enjoy them, but I tend to figure things out or at least have a clue as to where things are heading - but not in this case. And let me tell you - this book is creepy as all get out - somethings that are a bit subtle and some that are in your face creepy! This certainly isn't a book I'm going to be forgetting soon...with the well-developed characters, the strong plot line and the creep factor!

This is definitely a book where nothing is as it seems - in fact I believe that phrase is stated a time or two! It will shock you, it will keep you on your toes and you will be hard-pressed to put this book down once you start reading it. And it will most certainly get under your skin as you try to put all the pieces together - I know it did for me! I absolutely enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up this author's back list as well as keeping an eye out for what comes next from her!!!

*** Here's a link to the first 3 chapters of Jar of Hearts: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/jar-of-hearts/

*** Here's a video of Jennifer talking about Jar of Hearts:  https://youtu.be/NIbxKqCluF0


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