Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Spotlight: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen -- with link to Giveaway!!!

In January, Greer Hendrick & Sarah Pekkanen's latest novel, An Anonymous Girl, will be published and because I ended up with 2 early copies, I am giving one away...BUT - the giveaway is over on my Instagram page. I recently just finishing reading this book (it was AMAZING!!!) and will be sharing my review soon. You can see some early praise below and then you can find out where to enter the giveaway below that!!! 


 

Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Published: January 2019, St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Summary: 
The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.



Early Praise: 

"Slickly twisty [with] gasp-worthy final twists...major league suspense." ―Publishers Weekly 

"Masterfully escalates the suspense...keep[s] the reader guessing until the end. A great follow-up." ―Booklist

"For those who relished the creepy stalking in Hendricks and Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us, this unnerving tale will have them rethinking what secrets are safe to share and if moral and ethics really matter when protecting the ones you love." ―Library Journal


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Giveaway Details
-- (US Only) 
Thanks to the publisher, one reader will win an advanced copy of  An Anonymous Girl  by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. To enter the giveaway, please head over to my Instagram page to this post. The giveaway ends Thursday, December 6th and is not affliated with or sponsored by Instagram.



 
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver


Title: One Day in December
Author: Josie Silver
Published: October 2018, Broadway Books (Crown Publishing)
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don't meet the one.
  
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.




My thoughts: As much as I love my psychological thrillers/suspense reads, every once in a while I need a palate cleanser from those books and this one was the perfect book for that. I absolutely loved this read...it grabbed me right from the start and never let go of my heart the entire time...this book is definitely going down as a favorite!

I think what appealed most to me about this book is that it isn't just a tale of girl meets boy, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Oh no, that is definitely not the case here. This book is about love at first sight, yet, but that love is never materialized because Laurie and Jack don't actually meet when they first see each other. It's not until a year later that they finally meet and by then he is dating her best friend, Sarah. Oh the irony! But, isn't it true that the best relationships often start out as friendships? I know that is what happened with my husband and I...we met in the 8th grade and were best friends all through high school (he wanted to date and I didn't!)...fast forward 14 years and we finally end up dating and then getting married! But I digress.

This book then follows Laurie, Sarah and Jack through the next ten years and we watch as their friendships go through all the highs and lows that friendships go through. I loved that the story is narrated from both Laurie and Jack's perspectives...this really allows you to feel a deeper connection to these characters. And just as important as the relationship between Jack and Laurie is, we also see the strong female friendship Laurie has with Sarah and I think this is an integral part of the overall story line.

This book took me by surprise...I thought it would be a light, breezy read that I would fly through and while it was a relatively quick read, I didn't expect to have such an emotional connection to the characters as I did. I ended up falling in love with these characters over and over again and as much as I laughed during this story, I probably shed that many tears, too. I highly recommend picking up this book!!!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review: Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney


Title: Tell Nobody
Author: Patricia Gibney
Series: Detective Lottie Parker, #5
Published: October 2018, Bookouture
Format: ARC E-copy, 458 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

Summary: 
A killer close to home. A town full of secrets…
   
One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his broken body is discovered on a bed of wild flowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. A close friend of her son Sean, Mikey was from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother that Mikey was behaving normally before he died but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her … 

 
Then days later, another boy is found dead, surrounded by wild flowers next to a beautiful lake.

   
On the hunt for a twisted individual with a terrifying calling card, Lottie must uncover the web of secrets within Mikey’s circle of friends. Someone is keeping secrets but who are they protecting and can Lottie find out before it’s too late? Lottie is desperate to catch the killer before he strikes again because this time her own child could be in terrible danger… 
 
If you love Karin Slaughter, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Abbott, you’ll love the latest heart-stopping thriller from Patricia Gibney. Tell Nobody will keep you guessing until the very last page.  



My thoughts: This is the 5th book in Patricia Gibney's Detective Lottie Parker series and I think it just gets better and better with every book! It is definitely a dark, creepy series and certainly not on for the faint of heart, but I sure do love my crime thrillers and this series is one heck of a good one!

As is typical in this series, right from the beginning you are pulled into the investigation and are not sure who is behind the gruesome murders.  As you meet potential suspects you wonder if they are the "one." I had so many theories as I was reading, yet I never ended up guessing the right person. And even as we hear from the murderer's point of view at times, I still couldn't pinpoint who they were...and let me tell you, those chapters were quite chilling!

Besides all this going on, there is still the usual character development happening that is the hallmark of this series. Detective Lottie Parker and her children are now living with her mum because of developments that occurred in the previous book and things are not easy. Lottie's temper is getting the best of her most days and she is running herself ragged trying to stay on top of work, keep track of her children and get their new place ready to move in yesterday. To say she is a "hot mess" is putting it mildly!

While this book can be read as a stand-alone, I really think - and strongly recommend!!! - that you read this series in order for the sole purpose of watching these characters develop as they were meant to. There are relationships that have been built, developments that have occurred and character development that has been developed over the course of this series that really is the foundation of this series. As much as it is a crime fiction series, it is also a character-driven series. 

There is a major development that occurs for Lottie's team at the end of this book that is both devastating and horrific. It has implications not only on the team as a whole, but on a particular individual within the team and I am so anxious for the next book to come out to see how this development moves forward. There is also things going on in Lottie's personal life that need to be addressed - concerning her mother as well as a visitor from the U.S. I am looking forward to seeing how that plays out, too. 

This series is one of my favorites and that next book cannot come out soon enough!!!


Books in this series:  
  1. The Missing Ones
  2. The Stolen Girls
  3. The Lost Child
  4. No Safe Place 
  5. Tell Nobody
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Monday, November 26, 2018

Review: You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks (audio)


Title: You Were Made for This
Author: Michelle Sacks
Narrator: Stephanie Willis, Jeremy Arthur, Caroline Slaughter
Published: June 2018, Hachette Audio
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes
Source: Publisher


Summary:
A gripping page-turner for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Michelle Sacks's You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darker sides of marriage, motherhood. and friendship. 

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they've built.

When Merry's childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she's always seemed to scorn.

All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that's why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.


 
My thoughts: I have become a fan of the domestic thrillers and this one is definitely unlike any other I have read before. It is dark and disturbing and goes where you least expect it to go...but it's like when you pass a car wreck - you just can't help but keep looking. I found myself completely mesmerized by this story - I just couldn't put it down and had to see where it all ended up.

At the heart of this book is the idea that nothing is really as it seems. And that couldn't be more true than with Merry and Sam. We start out thinking that Merry and Sam have this picture perfect marriage, living the ideal life in the Swedish countryside, but that quickly falls to the wayside when the cracks start to show...and those cracks become quite alarming very fast. And then Merry's best friend, Frank, comes to visit. Frank knows Merry better than anyone else - she knows all her secrets - and she sees right through Merry's phony act. But Merry isn't the only one with secrets.

I loved the way this story is told, at first alternating between Merry and Sam, and then adding Frank into the mix. Hearing from each of the characters, getting into their heads, makes this book come alive. And the crazy part is that none of these characters are particularly likeable, yet you cannot help but want to know every little bit about them. You end up having this burning desire to keep reading to find out just what they are up to. 

This book really gets under your skin. There is a sense of foreboding building and the short chapters only add to that as the suspense builds ever so slowly. It also evokes a wide range of emotions and will leave you utterly spent once you finish. For a debut novel, this surely is a stand-out and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what comes next from this author.


Audio thoughts: I was not familiar with any of the three narrators going into this audio book, yet I think they all did a great job with their sections. I was completely captivated with this audio production and I think it was a wise move to have three different narrators - it really helped separate out the different sections. As disturbing and chilling as this book was, the audio was well done and a pleasure to listen to. 


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Review: The Silent Women by Sara Blaedel


Title: The Silent Women
Author: Sara Blaedel
Series: Louise Rick, #2
Published: November 2018, Grand Central Publishing
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
Homicide detective Louise Rick chases a terrifying serial rapist who meets women on a popular online dating website in this fast-paced #1 internationally bestselling thriller from Sara Blaedel, whose books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

An online flirtation can have horrific consequences, as Detective Louise Rick discovers when she is called to an idyllic Copenhagen neighborhood where a young woman has been left bound and gagged after a profoundly brutal rape attack.

Susanne Hansson met her rapist on a popular dating website. But the man is hiding behind a labyrinth of false pseudonyms, and neither Susanne--nor the police--have been able to trace his true identity. With the internet as his playground, the rapist will almost certainly strike again if Louise can't unmask him before it's too late.

Incredible suspense and a diabolical series of twists take Sara Blaedel's wildly popular series to new heights.



My thoughts: This is the second book in Sara Blaedel's Louise Rick series, and the second book in the Homicide Trilogy that Grand Central Publishing is releasing this year. I am so excited that this whole series will now be available for readers here in the states...it really is one of my favorite crime fiction series!!! 

Just a word on this particular installment...this book has already been translated into English prior to this publication. It was originally called "Call Me Princess" and then it was published in the UK and called "Blue Blood." So, if you have read either of these titles, you have already read this book. For some reason, when Grand Central re-released the book, they opted to change the title yet again...not sure why, and now having read the book, I can see that all three titles actually work.

This book is dark and very disturbing. It deals with a heavy topic - rape and sexual assault, so for those who are triggered by that, this might not be the book for you. It's graphic at times, but those graphic descriptions are few and far between. The theme of rape and sexual assault, though, is carried throughout the book, as this is the case that Detective Louise Rick and her team are investigating, so it is mentioned time and again. 

In addition to the above-mentioned topics, the case also has Detective Louise Rick diving into the world of online dating. And this is where journalist, and Louise's good friend, Camilla Lind comes into play. She has written articles about this topic in the past, and so helps Louise navigate this topic, and also happens to be involved in online dating right now herself. What's interesting to note is that this book was first published in 2011 and the dangers that Sara Blaedel discusses in her book still apply in today's world. 

I feel in this book, we got a very solid look at Louise Rick herself. She is struggling with her personal life here and at times, it affects her judgement. She is also having a hard time turning off this particular case when she is off the clock. There are some unsettling developments in her personal life and I am anxious to see how things progress from here.

I found the pace of this book to be just right. It would amp up at just the right times and the tension and suspense built slowly and steadily until the end when I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This is such a gripping story and I found myself completely enthralled the entire time. And that ending....I cannot wait to get my hands on that next book!

 

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 Girl
  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 - out now
  2. The Silent Women - out now
  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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