Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review - The Drowning Game by LS Hawker

Published - September 2015

Book Summary

They said she was armed.
They said she was dangerous.
They were right.
Petty Moshen spent eighteen years of her life as a prisoner in her own home, training with military precision for everything, ready for anything. She can disarm, dismember, and kill—and now, for the first time ever, she is free.
Her paranoid father is dead, his extreme dominance and rules a thing of the past, but his influence remains as strong as ever. When his final will reveals a future more terrible than her captive past, Petty knows she must escape—by whatever means necessary.
But when Petty learns the truth behind her father's madness—and her own family—the reality is worse than anything she could have imagined. On the road and in over her head, Petty's fight for her life has just begun.
Fans of female-powered thrillers will love debut author LS Hawker and her suspenseful tale of a young woman on the run for her future…and from the nightmares of her past.

My Review - 4 1/2

I saw this book mentioned during a book meme, I was intrigued and downloaded it.  Sometimes the best books are the one's you know nothing about outside of the summary.  I want to just say read it, there is something for all, especially the thriller, mystery fans but I think this is perfect for the YA fans that want to get into thrillers.  I was captivated and didn't want to go to sleep nights and even bought it to work, which I never do, I just couldn't get enough and had to know what was going to happen.

Petty is a 21 year old GI Jane.  Her father has passed and left a will for Petty, this information was a shock to Petty's system.  She finally felt free to explore the world and the will had her to continue to be locked up, she would not have it.  The will bought up other questions that made her say she needs to research her history, what is really going on.  She has been isolated creating a social awkwardness and the kids and town think she is weird but they are also scared of her.  She plans her escape and it involves another young adult, Dekker.

Dekker is more than happy to assist Petty, he has a crush on her but in an intriguing advocate way but he quickly ends up in a life or death escape plan without his blessing.  This is one of the best characters partnered together for me, it just worked, they were exactly what the other needed.  This story is fast paced with twists and secrets being revealed along the way.

Petty has been taught to observe, orient, decide and act, the OODA.  She is also a NYCPD tv addict and quotes the TV oath when she is scared.  Petty is a character to love and I would love to read more on her but the story ended perfectly, I love my stand alone's and the debut author LS Hawker did it brilliantly.  I am excited to read such an intense brilliant thriller.  There is no guessing with this one, your guess will be wrong, you are shocked with the secrets and twists and get to the end saying wow, how did the story turn.  You are cheering for Petty hoping she finds the family she deserves and before she is captured to continue living a locked up life.

I recommend this one to all my blogging friends, so good.  I really hope to see this one around the blogosphere,  It will be on my Top 10 list for 2016 I'm sure.

And.......... so exciting and laughable.  I have chose this as my book club read, they will receive it at next months meeting to read for April's meeting, YES, finally will get them to read something I love but I think they can handle.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review - Eeny Meeny by M. J. Alridge

Published June 2015

Blogger Recommendation - Samantha at Booked On a Feeling

Book Summary

Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....

My Review - 4  1/2

Eeny Meeny miny moe, who will suffer, me or YOU.  This is edge of your seat, cannot wait until you get to the end thriller.  I actually wished I hadn't chose this to read during Book Bloggers Appreciation week, I wasn't able to give it the time it deserved. 

I really like mental games and the serial killer put the victims through the worst mental game, a survival game and really no one wins.  The survivor sometimes suffering more than the victim.  I realized it would really depend who I was imprisoned with.  I thought the serial killer did a great job on choosing.  I like to be in control so I think the choice would be to kill myself or the other but letting my guard and being killed, nope, isn't that terrible, but this is the torture they go through while starving.

Short chapters are addictive, just one more continues until your eyes are closing.  I can't believe how these chapters really pack a punch, whoooah.  I had to stop for a few seconds at the end, take a breath and continue on, yes, I was holding my breath.  I just couldn't wait to get to the end, it did end as I expected but it's a series so that is what I expect but I'm so excited the next two are out, MJ Alridge is releasing all 5 within 2 years, now that is exciting.

I did figure out 2 main parts of the suspense, who the serial killer was, mainly from one early scene, so it was a little annoying that Detective Helen took that long to figure it out, definitely must have been denial.  I lost respect for her due to this decision, she should have shared earlier on.  It actually made me think she is a little hypocritical considering the person that was corrupting the case, which I  also had figured out.

I really look forward to this series, I thought 5 star start to a series and I really prefer stand alone"s but I look forward to more Detective Helen Grace, she is a great main character.  Strong female, genuine, a loner due to dark past but a hard dedicated worker and oh so mysterious.  If you enjoyed Chelsea Cain's series and or the movies Saw, you would love this one.  I think the fact of knowing who the killer was and the way it was revealed was a major fault for me, it took away from the edge of your seat worthy thrill.

I enjoyed the secret lifestyle chapters but hope this continues with a little more of why in the future books.  Some will not enjoy this part in the book at all but I understood the connection to the story.  I initially was going to give a 4 but when I really think about it, this was twisted, dark and bloody and the mental game, brilliant so a 4 1/2 stars it is.  I thought one part was gruesome but oh so intense, intelligent like.  If your looking for a thrilling suspense, this will keep you up at night to get through just a couple more chapters.  I will be reading Pop Goes the Weasel soon.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 5 - BBAW - Blogger Burnout and Book Hangovers

Day 5

Blogger Burnout and Book Hangovers

One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. 

How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

Emotional burnout - I have been blogging since 2009, I had 3 great years then I hit the burnout mode, along with a few close bloggers.  It was more emotional then anything. 

Blogging burnout - I started receiving review requests, Netgalley comes on board, all exciting stuff but it hits me, I'm no longer reading what I want and to my mood, this was blogging burnout for me.

I did quickly accept that I could 'waste' time on memes that had 75% YA blogs and should just move on.  This is when I decided to try something new.

Keeping it fresh for the Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime genre fans

Serial Killers Reading Challenge and.......

Thrill Week, this was 2 years I loved during blogging.  2011 and 2012

Late 2014 and all of last year, I joined a book club.  Such a bad decision.  Last year was the worst reading year of my life, so many books I didn't enjoy but I do love the ladies.  I posted this discussion asking bloggers for feedback - note, we have been 'off' since the 1st week of December and it has been the best reading.  I have to decide if I will tell them on Tuesday that I am leaving. 

The good thing that has came out of this is that I am more grateful for the blogging community, the few blogging friends I have and reading what I choose and YOU the bloggers recommendations for me.

Now this is the kind of book hangover I love.  You finish a book and you will talk to anyone and everyone about it.  Your child, spouse, neighbor, colleague and they all listen but couldn't care less and you don't care either because you LOVED the book, It's not about them, its the book.  So to have that excitement and find someone else in the blogging community that agrees PRICELESS MOMENTS.
And this is me since December, who cares about work, the book is more important.  I do have to slow down though before I end up with burnout due to my own habits.  My partner has even started asking again what are you reading?  :-)  He notices that I love reading again, last year was hangover I never want to remember.
So the main thing for me is 1st I need to read books I love and are intrigued with.  As you can see I definitely love thrillers, the darker, psychological mind blown, bloody ones but I do have eclectic taste and get those recommendations from you.  My Top Tens at the end of the year are always mixed.
This year I will decide if I want to bring back Thrill Week.......... what do you think?
My blog button is so very me :-)  A bloody thriller with a cup of tea most nights. girly girl and I love a good sucker punch to the heart with highly emotional reads.
What a fun BBAW - thank you to the event planners and thank you for participating and commenting.  I am grateful.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 3 - BBAW - Because of bloggers I have loved these books

What have you read and loved because of a fellow blogger?

I use LibraryThing to organize my books: Wishlist, Kindle, Bookshelf, the monthly book club read and WHO RECOMMENDED the book.  I really like that I keep this information.

It was interesting to look back on this actually.

Matthew from A Guys Moleskine Notebook wrote a kick ass review of........

Matthew's Review

My Review - I just had a mini meltdown, I deleted my 5star review by mistake.  I didn't post to LibraryThing but thank goodness I did to Goodreads, sigh, I will have to fix this later.  Immediate headache and tears........... a 5star review, ok I'm breathing again.

Sandy from You've GOTTA read this blog - Her Review and  Ath's blog Reading on a Rainy Day

I have many on my list from Sandy actually, I never realized this before.

My Review - this was my 1st True Crime and Graphic novel

This blogger doesn't blog anymore but her is my review.

Another that I can't find the blogger anymore - My Review

Christa from the blog Mental Foodie: A Book and Food Lover (note we are online friends, she hasn't officially blogged in a few months but hasn't official gave up)  We have recommended many books to each other.

My review - I also had my book club read this, loved it

And the last one I will feature is from Natalie's blog - Coffee and Book Chick

Natalie's Review

My Review

Outside of blogger recommendation I would say Amazon has the best personal recommendations for me so far.  They are great at giving book ideas similar to books I have read and enjoyed.

I want to highlight these recommended books to me from my favourite bloggers:

Samantha from Booked on a Feeling - Silent Scream by Angela Marsons - My current read is from Sam also, Eeny Meeny by MJ Alridge and many more.  I add to my list often from Sam.

Kathy from Bermudaonion blog - The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell and The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

Michelle from That's what she read - The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich, How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman and Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Nicola from Back to Books - Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Reading with Jade - Marble Collector by Ceclia Ahern

Nise from Under the Boardwalk - The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day 2 - Interview Day for BBAW with Priya (Tabula Rasa)

3 of us have been partnered for the interviews, Priya at Tabula Rasa who I am interviewing, Priya interviewed Heather at Based on a True Story and go over to Heather's blog as she interviewed me.

Tabula Rasa - Priya's blog

Thank you Priya for coming over to Tea Time with Marce.  I loved how you used quotes from books in your Day 1 feature. 

Enjoy our interview.


Your blog is called Tabula Rasa, a clean slate – tell us more about how you came up with your blog title?


Hi, Marce. It is great to be here on your site. I get asked this a lot. When I started the blog, I was in a tough place and I thought writing would help me get better. It was to be my new beginning, a clean slate of sorts. Tabula Rasa is also the title of one of my favourite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes!


Do you enjoy Thrillers, Mystery or Suspense books?  Please recommend one of your favourites.


It is the Book Blogger Appreciation Week, so it is only appropriate that I mention a mystery series that I discovered through blogging. The Cooper and Fry mysteries by Stephen Booth is a particular favourite of mine. Set in a typical small town, the series has some good old detective stories with much intrigue and a lot of heart!


Who are some of your favourite authors?


My favourite authors are Terry Pratchett, J K Rowling, Stephen King, A S Byatt and Stephen Booth. I try to expand my horizon and read different kinds of books, but I can't help be partial to speculative fiction!


You are from India, do you have any Indian authors you would recommend?  I have read Renita D’Silva and think she is great on capturing the Indian culture.


I haven't read Renita D'Silva. But I do recommend reading books by Amitav Ghosh and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Not only do they capture the exotic charms of India, they also make their books quite relatable to non-Indians.


You currently write for, tell us a little about The Dew Eagle?   You can go here to check it out.  By Priya on NewMyths


News Myths is a website where I published one story a couple of years ago. The story is inspired from Native American mythology, it is about a huntress who falls in love with an eagle-god. I do write some fiction occasionally, but hardly any makes it to the blog!

Thank you so much Pryia, I look forward to getting to know you more during Book Bloggers Appreciation Week.

Remember to go to Heather's blog to see her interview with me. 


Monday, February 15, 2016

Day 1 - Book Bloggers Appreciation Week

Day 1 
Introduce Yourself

5 Books that represent me, my interest and/or lifestyle.

When I read the reviews from these books I laughed, was teary eyed, smiled and overall filled with beautiful book loving hugs.  What a way to cherish my blogging journey.

I read this book before I started blogging but I love it and I'm thankful for it because my father has Alzheimer's and it helped me to understand how he feels at times especially from being in a high profile job and being a family man. A sad but brilliant book. I highly recommend. This one will always stay with me.

I also think the book adaptation was great.

My brother had a massive stroke in 2011, he has now passed but Stoke of Insight was so helpful and will be my recommendation to any family that is affected.  Here is a glimpse of my review.  Reading the comments again, made me tear up, bloggers, do not forget the impact you have with other bloggers.  I feel honoured to have many of you as blogging friends.

I thought the Appendix - Forty Things I Needed the Most - was so important and I wish Doctors could share with all families of stroke survivors.  Here are some of my favourites:

- I am not stupid, I am wounded.  Please respect me.

- Approach me with an open heart and slow your energy down. Take your time.

- Make eye contact with me.  I am in here - come find me.  Encourage me.

- Please don't raise your voice - I'm not deaf, I'm wounded.

- Celebrate all of m little successes.  They inspire me.

- Love me for who I am today.  Don't hold me to being the person I was before.  I have a different brain now.

I couldn't wait until my daughter was old enough, she just turned 9 and I think this summer would be the perfect time to read together.

From my reviewThe best part of this book is that even though it was published in 1910 it is perfect for today also.  I especially recommend for wealthy friends, celebrity children, children moving to a new culture and children that feel different for any reason.

Please don't judge me :-)

My Reviews
Interview with Dan Wells

This is the series, I admit to being in love with a sociopath, lol.  In the first, I say..... John has you feel sorry for him, feel fearful of him, fearful for others around him including his mom, just an overall shock.  I am wow'd and completely intrigued by him.  The 2nd book I say I am in love with this horrifying sociopath, lol.  And the 3rd.... I proclaimed my love for John after completing Mr. Monster, lol, in love with a sociopath, HA, but seriously his character is a knock out.

I recently found out book 4 has been released, I'm excited - The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver)

Silence of the Lambs is my favourite movie of all time, I was happy to read also.  If you haven't read or watched this movie you are missing out on some of the most well crafted works ever.  I have to say I loved the movie more because I am visual.  The book had me engaged and wanting to know what was next but the details still were unable to capture the true crazy, delicate, creepy scenes as a whole, the parts that took your breath away.

Honorable Mention

I never talk about it on my blog, but I am a Yoga Instructor - this book is crucial to understanding your own Yoga Journey more.

Please NOTE - if you don't see my comment, it may have went in your junk folder, I don't know why this is happening, I have tried to reach out to some bloggers but I have noticed it 3 times now and I have only visited 10 so far.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Review - The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

Published - March 2015

Book Summary

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.

And now they are all his mother has left.

Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.

When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn't? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son...

But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?

Or is he something far, far worse?

My Review - 2 1/2

I found this one over at Bolo Books, a blog that lets us know what to be on the lookout for in the thriller, mystery genre.  Then I use LibraryThing which tells you if you will like a book, well it came out that I will LOVE this one, sigh, very wrong in this instance.

I usually give all books that I complete at least a 3 star when I complete it but the ending didn't revive the story, it was very unbelievable and then the ending seemed raced and more unbelievable with so many questions.  There was a stunning scene in the middle but it also turned the book for me and never came back.  I didn't read it for 2 days, considered not finishing it but kept on thinking LT thinks I will love it.

One of my passions is diversity, so the idea of having expatriates, illegal immigrants, cultures, gays all within the story was a plus.  Unfortunately, the boss of the illegal immigrants was terrible even though I am sure very real in our world at times and the others almost felt pushed on us, it didn't make a difference who they were in the story.  A part of the illegal immigrants cultural tradition was bought in the story for the reader but not as part of the mystery investigation, so why are we told, it then almost seems judgmental.  I would have appreciated it coming up and being discussed with the investigation, I think the author missed the mark with this big time, may have even offended readers.

A mother is dealing with grief at a level which makes her come across as crazy.  I really enjoy the husbands character even though more quiet in the story, he is loyal and also dealing with grief but with guilt also.  He left the door open which allowed their son to leave the house and disappear.  Something never felt right to me and the ending made it more unbelievable, I refuse to think that happened and no one saw, bullocks.

The Detective was good but so into himself, the empathy to make him brilliant was not there and he came across as a hypocrite to me.  If you don't believe in psychics, shut eyes then why call on them, but really he was just using them for his own gain.  Most of his attention was on an old case of the girl that was missing, I enjoyed this overall but to many questions in the end, just why, I felt this was left hanging and got us engaged for nothing.

I hadn't  heard the saying Shut Eye before, they are known for conning people, it's more for entertainment, seeing visions from tarot cards, pictures etc.  This also came across as dumb for me once they said the police used a gentleman.  Police surely would choose better.

Even when I do not enjoy a story I can understand why others do, unfortunately in this one, it completely missed the mark for me.  I won't recommend and doubt I will give this author another go actually.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review - Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Book Summary

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. Nevertheless, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home, despite her family's objections. As clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into an unrelenting web of lies and a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

My Review 4

Mary Kubica is releasing a new book out in May.  I enjoyed her debut book and think they were both solid reads but some growth still needed with the author. After noticing her new one releases soon I also realized I didn't review Pretty Baby and I read it last year, so just a mini review from what I remember.

I think Mary Kubica will become known as a formula writer which I can appreciate.  When you go to your favourite restaurant you know what you are getting, you cherish the time and food.  This is my appeal with her books so far, I see the execution and think she does it well, I really think she will be an author that captures long standing fans.

The story was told by a multiple of narrators which I love, it allows you to become more engaged with the characters and to see another side to the story.

I enjoyed Willow's story, being in the right place at the right time finally, maybe.  She was an orphan and those stories were sad but with a glimmer of hope, we meet Matthew who was also an orphan, helping her to escape.  We get to see revealed secrets of Willow and the baby which make the story in the end.

Heidi is on a train and sees Willow in the cold with her baby.  After a few sightings she decides to bring Willow and the baby home, yes this really happened.  Is she a charitable advocate or a little crazy, I will say both.  I don't know how her husband allowed this but I think it was his own way of trying to help Heidi but also he was a busy business men.  They also had a teenager daughter, who the heck would make this decision, bringing in a broken teenager with a baby when you already have a teenager at the peak of hormonal moodiness.  The husband continued to say I'm calling the police, maybe he should have as this baby scene, homeless teenager became unbelievable.

Uncomfortable, sometimes shocking but overall an emotional mysterious read.  I recommend trying a book by Mary Kubica.   The new one sounds so good.  I look forward to reading and seeing further growth with the author.

Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this one.  I read it before release date and never reviewed it.  Last year was a write off.  I will not repeat last years book reading decisions.

Review of Mary Kubica debut

Don't You Cry (Release date is May 17, 2016)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review - The Word Game by Steena Holmes

Published November 2015

General Fiction

Book Summary

For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.
But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?

My Review - 5

I couldn't stop reading this, I wanted to call in to work and say I had more important things to do, which was finishing this book.  The story completely captured my attention.   This is the perfect book for an advocate group on sexual abuse to read and discuss with each other.  What I loved the best that Steena Holmes did was not make it emotionally driven to the point where you have to warn readers about possible triggers to sexual abuse as their were no descriptions.  This wasn't about the act but more about what do you do with suspicions or when a young child repeats something and your unsure.

Alyson was my favourite character, she had a traumatic experience when she was young which makes her overprotective with her daughter Lyla.  The unfortunate part is her family treat her with kid gloves and thinks that she exaggerates everything.  Alyson has a great trusting relationship with her sister Tricia and so when Tricia has a huge sleepover with all the dance girls she says yes.  Her son is allowed a friend also, so here starts the preteen drama, boys and girls in the house together, hmmmm.

The night goes well but when Lyla is telling her mom about it, she innocently says Keera, Alyson's sisters best friend daughter makes this statement.  "She said she wanted to know if a boy's kisses are different than a man's."

Alyson's world stops, is history repeating itself.  She is happy her daughter told and it wasn't her daughter involved but she goes into advocate mode.  This is where the story is edge of your seat worthy until the end.  We then see how adults deal with a suspicion of sexual abuse to a child.  This would make for some great discussion.  Secrets, lies, debates, anger, betrayal, all sorts of emotions start.

I also enjoyed that the grandparents were in the story.  We were able to see how another generation dealt with accusations of sexual abuse, bringing family together but also keeping mouths shut.  A huge question would be how do you protect the child, the parents, the abuser if they are innocent?  It can wreck everyone's world but what if the accusations are true?  Alyson is angry that everyone is not making critical fast decisions which trigger her past more.

Tricia is having coffee with her friend which is also the principle and makes a statement without thought.  In my opinion she knew exactly what she was doing and I was proud that the principle went into risk of abuse mode.

This story is an important one for young adults to understand when secrets should be revealed, how adults should deal with possible abuse, generational decisions and how they affect adults and when adults need to be honest with children.  Again, I didn't think the author underplayed the circumstances but made it readable for all, such an important topic can be to hard to read about but was perfectly executed in my opinion, it was powerful.

A great portray of friendships, marriage, culture pride, cousin connections, sibling relationships and a little bit of dance mom drama.  A perfect character driven book, a loved the execution of this story which was told by the 3 adult, Alyson, Tricia and Myah, the mom of Keera.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday - What are you reading?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

January was such an amazing month of reading, I'm so thankful for bloggers recommendations, you rock.

I'm currently reading

I just completed and loved this one, review coming soon

I reviewed this one and highlighted her other books.  This one was different, not as character driven.  My Review

I'm not sure what is next, possibly this one

Have a great week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review - Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Published February 2, 2016

Book Summary

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded. 

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

My Review - 3 1/2

I have only missed out on one of Heather Gudenkauf's books so far, she has became a go to author for me when she releases a new book.  This one didn't feel nor read like her others, there wasn't what I would say her style or voice that came through.  

The prologue drew you in immediately, a brutal murder, you knew you were into a great start to a who dun-nit story.  Jack gets a call that his Aunt was hurt badly and was in a coma.   Jack and his wife Sarah of 20 years head back to his childhood home and small community, Penny Gate, Iowa.  Sarah knows the family from the wedding but immediately feels something is off, secrets.  The Aunt has a brutal death in the hospital in front of all the family and then begins an investigation into her murder. 

All the family are questioned, fingers being pointed and for Sarah, secrets revealed making her second guess the life she built with Jack.  Similarities into the death of his Aunt and his mother have everyone entangled into a family dysfunctional mess.  Can you imagine planning a funeral while the family is being investigated, emotional turmoil. Jack had told Sarah his parents died from a car accident so to hear it was murder and now his aunts murder has similarities, who should she trust.  She turns to her own instinct or is it morbid curiosity and becomes private detective which puts her in the fire pan also.  All fingers point to the troubled sister of Jack, Amy and she called their childhood home, 'the house of horrors' which is occupied by cousins, so it is still within the family.

Sarah is an advice columnist and when she checks her email she gets a strange email and when the 3rd comes in she knows it has something to do with the murders. The first part of the book was good but there was just something off, it may have been the flow, execution not the best but I thought the 2nd half was better.  I think Heather is good with layering her stories to make mysterious and in this case it was the continuous secrets revealed which for Sarah were lies. She considered catching the next plane back home. Even though I knew who the murderer wasn't, the families reactions to everything didn't make sense to me and I think it was the lack of really getting to know the characters.

This was a solid read, the ending was okay but you will still have so many questions and that is due to the lack of connection with the characters. The questions are not about the story but more.... how can a husband lie about the things he did, how can family live in a home where their loved one was murdered, why did the murderer do it and the additional bodies found, is that even possible?

Thanks to NetGalley for honouring me with the opportunity to review a favourite author.

My Reviews of Heather Gudenkauf's other books * = favourites

Little Lies (prequel)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday - What are you reading?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I just completed Missing Pieces, unsure how I feel about it, review will be up tomorrow for release date.

I really enjoyed this one.  If you are a Grey's Anatomy and specifically Christina Yang fan, I highly recommend.  A fun, laugh out loud read.

I have no idea what is next.

My daughter is 9 years old today.  She is beautiful, inside and out, can't believe I have a 9 year old, wow.  We woke a little earlier so I can make her favourite breakfast, waffles and bacon and we are going to dinner tonight to celebrate.  I probably will not start a book tonight so that gives me a little more time to decide. 

The next 2 Book club choices are:  Goldfinch - which I decided I will not be reading.  771 pages is past my limit rule, I will not do that to myself.  This is the other, have you read it?

Have a great week.