Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review: Go to My Grave by Catriona McPherson

Title: Go to My Grave
Author: Catriona McPherson
Published: October 2018, Minotaur Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

Donna Weaver has put everything into The Breakers, a Bed and Breakfast that she and her mother are opening on a remote stretch of beach. Now it waits - freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers.

But as the guests arrive, they feel like they've been here before. Amid home-baked scones, gorgeous guest rooms, and lavish dinners fit for a king, the feeling of menace grows.

Someone has broken their vow. Someone is playing games. And then the games turn deadly...

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Catriona McPherson and it definitely won't be the last! I was intrigued about this book as soon as I read the description and begged the publisher for a copy and am so grateful they sent one my way...it was definitely the perfect read for October - a Gothic thriller that had me guessing all the way through!

This book is so cleverly crafted it took my breath away. I loved the way it is set up and loved just how dark and atmospheric it is. It truly is the perfect book to pick up leading up to Halloween if you are so inclined...it is layered in secrets and ghosts from the past, and the isolated house and the locked room concept just add to the overall eerie sense of foreboding.

I loved the flashbacks and how they were sporadically given to us throughout the book. When they came, they provided much needed clarity and crucial pieces of information to tie into what was going on in the present. And let me just say, as much as I was trying to figure it all out, I definitely did not see that ending coming - it completely took me by surprise which is such a great thing! 

I also loved that I questioned all the characters, including the narrator. They are all drawn in such a way as to create suspicion about them. And some of these characters are the types that you just love to hate, so that just leads to being a bit unsure about them almost by default. 

This book was a twisty, dark read and one that definitely keeps you on your toes. I cannot wait to read more from this author, if this book is anything to go by!


Monday, October 22, 2018

Review: The Midnight Witness by Sara Blaedel

Title: The Midnight Witness
Author: Sara Blaedel
Series: Louise Rick, #1
Published: October 2018, Grand Central Publishing
Format: ARC Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

Sara Blaedel returns with another thrilling novel in her series featuring homicide detective Louise Rick--a strong-willed police investigator perfect for readers of Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, or Jo Nesbo.

A young woman is found strangled in a park, and a male journalist has been killed in the backyard of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.

Detective Louise Rick is put on the case of the young girl, but very soon becomes entangled in solving the other homicide too when it turns out her best friend, journalist Camilla Lind, knew the murdered man. Louise tries to keep her friend from getting too involved, but Camilla's never been one to miss out on an interesting story. And this time, Camilla may have gone too far...

Emotionally riveting and filled with unexpected twists, THE MIDNIGHT WITNESS is a tour-de-force from international phenomenon Sara Blaedel.

My thoughts:  This book was another of my most anticipated reads for the fall and one of the books I was ecstatic to pick up at Book Expo this past Spring. I even got to see the lovely Sara Blaedel herself, and it is like seeing an old friend when I see her now - I've seen her so often in the past few years that we recognize each other and she even signed my book "To my friend." I love that!!!

I am so excited that Grand Central Publishing has FINALLY decided to start at the beginning with Sara's Louise Rick series. I have loved this series since reading book 7 - The Forgotten Girls, which is the first one they decided to start translating here in the states and have been a fan ever since. I don't know why they decided to translate in the order they did - books 7-9, then 4-6 and now 1-3, but that is how I have been reading them and I'm just excited to be at the beginning where we see Louise Rick and Camilla Lind starting out their journeys. And I have a feeling I just might reread the series straight through once I finish book 3 just to see how it progresses linearly, and in the order Sara actually wrote them in.

This is the book that launched Sara Blaedel's Louise Rick series. It has all the trademarks we have come to love from Sara Blaedel - dark and twisted, with really good characterizations and spot-on police investigations - though I feel it is more of a slow-burning story than some of her other books - not that there is anything wrong with that. It just isn't as fast-moving and I liked that in this case. I felt that I really got to see Louise and Camilla for who they are. In this case, we see them at a point where their careers cross paths. Louise, a detective, is tasked with solving the murder of a young woman and Camilla, a journalist, has asked her to look into the murder of a colleague. 

What I love is that we see just how strong each of these women's personalities are throughout this book, and just how important their friendship is to each other. While they may not always agree with each other, their friendship comes off as real and relatable. Louise is pragmatic about doing what she can for her friend, but always within the letter of the law. Camilla, on the other hand, is driven and willing to do whatever she can for a story, often putting herself at risk. I love seeing this contradiction at times, and yet, I also love seeing that even when the friends are at odds, they still worry about each other, as we saw a few times during this story.

This book kept me on my toes as Louise and her team worked to solve the two murders. And even with Camilla working on the case of the journalist, I found myself desperate to work it out before anyone else came to harm. I am excited to see where the next two books take us. And of course, I am desperate to go visit Copenhagen - I feel as if I have an up if I ever get there with all the vivid writing Sara gives us! It is definitely on my list of places to visit one day, for sure!!!

A Note on this series:
***This series was first published in Denmark. Grand Central Publishing has started publishing some of the later books here in the US, which have been grouped in 3 trilogies 'The Missing Persons Trilogy,' 'The Camilla Trilogy,' and 'The Homicide Trilogy.'

The Missing Persons Trilogy (Available in US now):
  1. The Forgotten Girls
  2. The Killing Forest 
  3. The Lost Woman
The Camilla Trilogy (Available in the US now - as of 1.2.18): 
  1. The Night Women
  2. The Running Girl
  3. The Stolen Angel 
The Homicide Trilogy (Will be available in the US this year):
  1. The Midnight Witness - to be published October 23rd, 2018
  2. The Silent Women - to be published November 20th, 2018
  3. The Drowned Girl - to be published December 24th, 2018

Louise Rick Series (as Sara Blaedel published it):
  1. The Midnight Witness
  2. Call Me Princess / Blue Blood / The Silent Women
  3. Only One Life / The Drowned Girl
  4. The Night Women (formerly published as Farewell to Freedom)
  5. The Running Girl
  6. The Stolen Angel
  7. The Forgotten Girls
  8. The Killing Forest 
  9. The Lost Woman    
*** You'll notice book 2 has three titles and book 3 has two titles - I actually have all these books, all in English, all from different publishers, released at different times! This is how much I love this author and this series, that I have these different editions!!!

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