Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Killing Kate by Alex Lake

Title: Killing Kate
Author: Alex Lake
Published: January 2017, Harper
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

A serial killer is stalking your home town.

He has a type: all his victims look the same.

And they all look like you.

Kate returns from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town – and his victims all look like her.

It could, of course, be a simple coincidence.

Or maybe not.

She becomes convinced she is being watched, followed even. Is she next? And could her mild-mannered ex-boyfriend really be a deranged murderer?

Or is the truth something far more sinister?

My thoughts: I became a huge fan of Alex Lake after devouring After Anna, so of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review Killing Kate...and found myself with another addictive, thrilling psychological thriller! 

This is another fast-paced, twisted book that sucks you in right from the start. With the short chapters, it's hard to put it down, as you find yourself saying, "Oh, just one more...until you're at the end!" And with a few different things going on at once, it keeps your interest running high. 

Even though all the characters may not be likeable, you still find yourself wanting to know how they factor in to what is going on - because you know, in some way they do. As the story goes on, it takes on a creepy factor - and I found myself holding my breath a few times, wondering just what would happen next, and yet at the same time, getting frustrated at some of the actions of certain characters

There are plenty of red herrings thrown at us, and while I did figure out one of the major twists quite early on, it in no way detracted from my enjoyment. In fact, I wanted to know just how Alex Lake was going to pull it all together - my spidey senses were on high alert and I was frantically trying to put it all together to see if I would get it right. And I still was surprised!

Alex Lake crafts a clever tale that keeps you captivated from beginning to end. It's a rather quick read with plenty of twists and turns. It also makes you think...what would you do if you were targeted by a serial killer? I cannot wait until Alex Lake's next book - this author is definitely on my auto-read list!!!  


Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Published: January 2017, Flatiron Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher
Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

My thoughts: Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably been seeing this book all around social media with the hashtag #WTFthatending. And, if you are anything like me, it probably piqued your interest, especially if you love psychological thrillers. Well, let me tell you - this one, it's good and that ending...OMG - even knowing it was going to be something out of left field, I will still left stunned!

Sarah Pinborough is a new author for me, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but from the moment I picked up this book, I had a hard time putting it down. I immediately was drawn into the worlds of Adele, Louise and David - and even though I didn't necessarily love them all, I still felt some strange connection with them - I had to know where this was all going and what that #WTFthatending was going to be all about. Even when I thought I had it figured it, I wasn't even close!

This storied is built on lies, secrets, deception and twist upon twist. It's so cleverly crafted that it has you begging for more, even when you don't think you can stand to read anymore. The pacing keeps you hooked, the characters are engaging, flawed and so intriguing that you just want to keep reading to find out all you can about them.  

Believe me when I say, the less you know about this book going into it, the better off you are. But trust me, if you like gripping, chilling psychological thrillers, this book is for you! It's like no other that I have read - and I've been reading a lot in this genre lately...this one is in a world unto itself, but oh so very good!!! 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Duplicity by Sibel Hodge (audio)

Title: Duplicity
Author: Sibel Hodge
Narrator: Simon Vance, Henrietta Meire
Published: December 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 8 hours 5 minutes
Source: Publisher

There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…

Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?

The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?

Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

My thoughts: After reading, and loving, Sibel Hodge's Where the Memories Lie, I knew I wanted to read more by this author. So, of course I jumped at the opportunity to review her latest, Duplicity...this author has staying power!

Now, I have to say, I had mixed feelings about this book throughout it...I was intrigued in the beginning, and then I was not sure about it, and then, it picked back up and I was loving it! Some books are like that and you just need to power through the slow part - it's so worth it in the end...and I'm so glad I stuck with this one because it was definitely worth it!

This book is all about things not being what they appear to be. And believe me when I say, the less you know about the book going into it, the better off you are. It's a twisted, crazy thriller that will have you unsure of what it is you are reading, but believe me - stick with it! I am actually thinking this might be one of the those books I actually reread - not because I think I missed something but rather because I want to see if the parts I didn't like (and almost had me putting the book down) now make a little more sense. 

Sibel Hodge remains an author to keep an eye out for...her books are gripping and well-crafted. I still need to pick up her other books and will be doing so soon. Have you read her yet?  

Audio thoughts: This was a great audio production by Simon Vance and Henrietta Meire. Simon Vance was perfect for the detective's role and his chapters were well played. I've listened to him narrate before, yet he is the ultimate professional, always assuming the role of the book. This is the first time, however, I have listened to Henrietta Meire and I thoroughly enjoyed her narration as well. I felt she did a great job playing "The Other One," really getting into the character and giving the other characters unique voices as needed. I will definitely be checking out what else she has narrated. 


Review: Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Title: Right Behind You
Author: Lisa Gardner
Series: Quincy & Rainie, #7
Published: January 2017, Dutton
Format: ARC E-book, 400 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher
Is he a hero?
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

My thoughts: I've been reading Lisa Gardner for a while now, but I have not read any of her Quincy & Rainie Profiler series until I read the prequel/short story that Lisa wrote introducing this latest book. What intrigued me most was that a favorite character of mine was in that book, so after reading that one (and loving it!) I decided to give this one a chance...and I'm so glad I did!

First things first...as many of you know, I'm a stickler for reading series in order. Yes, I started this series at book 6.5 (with the prequel, The 4th Man) and then this one, but let me tell you, while I didn't have the complete background on the characters, I didn't feel all that lost. Lisa Gardner does a really good job of giving us just enough backstory so that those of us new to the series have a pretty good feel for who Quincy and Rainie are and what drives them. And, this is a good time to jump in as it's been a while since there's been a book out in this series - 8 years to be exact. So, don't be weary if you haven't read the previous books - now's a good time to jump in - you won't be sorry!

This book hooks you from the start and keeps you frantically flipping the pages until the very end. Every time you think you have it figured out, think again - nothing is as it seems, for good or bad. The characters are all well-drawn and I loved that not only do we see into the minds of both Quincy and Rainie, but also young Sharlah and Telly. It shows the connection made between the characters and to me, that's just as important as the action going on and the mystery waiting to be solved. 

This book definitely has me wanting to go back to read the earlier books in the series...I need more of Quincy and Rainie...and now that Lisa Gardner has written a new book about them...hopefully that means there's more to come for them! Lisa Gardner has three series out there and now I'm a fan of all three!

Books in this series:
     1.  The Perfect Husband
     2.  The Third Victim
     3.  The Next Accident
     4.  The Killing Hour

     5.  Gone
     6.  Say Goodbye
     6.5  The 4th Man
     7.  Right Behind You 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in January 27

It was another good week...my training is going well for the BIG walk...only 33 days to go!!! I just ordered a new pair of sneakers - they should be arriving by the end of the week. I'm a huge creature of habit, so I went with the same pair of sneakers (new color, though) that I've had for the last few years. They work, I like them and I don't have any issues with my knees or hips, so why change, right?
January Goals:

  • 10K steps M-F, at least 7,500 steps on the weekend - met
  • 30 minutes of active walking every day, M-F - met
  • Eat mindfully/eat enough (esp. in important while training!) - met
My training plan for the Challenge Walk MS I'll be doing in March of 2017:

  • 4 miles, 2 days a week, interval training - changed this  up a little this week, but ok with that - did Leslie Sansone walks at home, 2 mile walks!
  • Distance walks (distances will vary, try to do 2 days, back-to-back ) - met!
  • Practice yoga - didn't do any full sessions this week, but got in some specific poses every day.

Here's how my last week went:    

Jan 21:  7,531 steps
Jan 22:  10,043 steps

Jan 23:  14,398 steps (Leslie Sansone's 2 Mile Brisk Walk w/ Resistance Band)
Jan 24:  15,829 steps
(10K - 6.24 Charity Miles for MS)
Jan 25:  31,098 steps
(10K+ -  13 Charity Miles for MS)
Jan 26:  21
,945 steps (10K+ -  9 Charity Miles for MS)
Jan 27:  12
,72 steps (5K - 3.19 Charity Miles for MS)

Total Steps: 113,564 steps

Audiobooks listened to last week (since I'm not much of a music fan, I listen to books while I walk):

  • Finished The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey, narrated by Sarah Coomes 
  • Started & Finished Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich, narrated by Lorelei King
  • Started & Finished A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax, narrated by Amy Rubinate

How did your week go? You can find this week's link-up here.

***In March, I'll be doing the CHALLENGE WALK MS in Savannah, GA. It is a three-day, 50-mile walk that tests your strength and your spirit, and makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with MS and their families.

To help me reach my fundraising goal, click here :)

Virtual 5K /10K Tally:
     January:                               May:                             September:   
           5K  -  4                                  5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -  6                                10K  -                                  10K  - 
     February:                             June:                            October:

           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                 10K  -   
     March:                                  July:                             November:
           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                  10K  - 
     April:                                    August:                        December:
           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                  10K  - 

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