Friday, July 29, 2016

ARC Review - Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Published releasing date - September 20, 2016

Book Summary

In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.  
She'd been enjoying her summer break: working at a fast-food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—a presence in her room at night, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.  
Eleven years later she is replaced. 
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.  
Soon the impostor is living Bec's life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends' names. Playing with her little brothers. 
But Bec's welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the impostor dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.

My Review - 3

Only Daughter is the debut book by Anna Snoekstra from Australia.  I see huge potential with this author's writing in the psychological thriller genre.  This is a story about what is done in the dark will come out in the light and that family deep rooted secrets will come out and have you hurt all over again.

A young woman is arrested and instead of facing her consequences she remembers an old police story where she looked like the victim and says she was abducted and that her name is Bec Winter.  How shocking and ridiculous is this lie but she gets away with it, or does she......  'Surely, a mother would know her only daughter.'  Kindle 11%

The story felt a little farfetched to start with coincidence after coincidence and then you realize the story may not be about her replacing Bec's life but finding out where Bec disappeared.  The officer in charge is disappointed she won't help him find who took her and starts to think she is protecting someone, but who?  Bec has no idea what she has started all over again with her new family and friends.  Instead of living the life with a beautiful reunion she ends up with guilt and continuous stress on tricking her new family and getting the cops to give up on the investigation.

'I'm being hunted.  Staked on every angle.  Hoe is the only safe place left.  Sitting on the couch, I try to breathe.  Feeling helpless will get me nowhere.  Fear will get me nowhere.' Kindle 49%

The story switches between 2003 before Bec goes missing and 2014 when she is replaced.  I thought this was a solid story keeping you engaged but it missed the thrill and the highs and lows that keep you on the edge of your seat.  You knew something was off with the mom and dad but never exactly what, so many of the secrets were not fleshed out because the characters were one dimensional. You know the mom is conflicted but there is no growth to understand why.  Then there is the best friend's father, weird things are said and done in the past and present but never comes to intuition, you just have this feeling that is never revealed.

I enjoyed the ending but it could have been longer to answer some questions.  The text messages she was receiving added a great potential threat and edge of your seat thrill but never was fully captured to be thrilling and a true threat.  'Get Out' and 'Leave now or it will happen again.'   This execution was a miss and could have taken the book to another level but great debut overall.

Thanks to Netgalley for pre-approving Only Daughter for me to review.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review - I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Book Summary

On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past. 
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I'd written it . . . a stellar achievement.”

My Review 4 1/2

I Let You Go is execution sweetness........  I added this to my to be read list as it was on many bloggers Top Ten 2015 list.  I found it quite slow in the beginning, it captured my attention but I was starting to worry, it didn't say pick me up, read on and then 40% it got interesting and I couldn't put it down, one more day, late night and finished it, WOW.

I do feel like I have to give a warning. The abuse in this book is torture to read, highly emotional and heartbreaking, it took my breath away and made me think of victims that live this every day.  I am unable to say more or it can become a spoiler.

The planning the author did for this book and the way she tied all the characters and coincidences together is mind blowing, I am so impressed.  I do feel like the twist at the end with the additional connection was completely unnecessary and didn't add or take away from the story.

In the beginning the chapters  go back and fourth between Jenna's life and the Detectives.  At times I was more interested in the Detectives life, I think he was starting to have a mid life crisis.  Then the first in your face WHAT closes off Part 1 brilliant.

I did think about part of the reason for the accident but definitely not all.  I highly recommend this one and have to say push through the beginning, it is worth it.  A true Psychological Thriller, really great debut, I look forward to more by Clare Mackintosh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review - The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane

Book Summary

Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind? A serendipitous crossing of paths between Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck job seeker, and Julie Forman, a personal trainer to an Olympic hopeful, forever changes the course of both women's lives. One winds up dead and the other finds herself a fugitive, hiding behind one lie after another as a cold-blooded killer methodically hunts her. Desperately trying to stay alive, the terrified woman enlists the help of Forensic Instincts, a rogue investigative team that clandestinely operates in the gray area between legal and illegal. Safeguarding their client's deception, Forensic Instincts digs into dangerous territory as they try to find out who's after their client—and why. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in Chicago, New Jersey, and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate anyone who threatens the success of his medical breakthrough. With an unhinged client and a monstrous criminal enterprise as its adversary, Forensic Instincts is forced into uncharted territory to protect their client and save one of their own from becoming the next corpse. Forensic Instincts is an unorthodox, criminal investigative team that carefully navigates the fine line between legal and illegal. The team consists of a behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a techo-wiz, an intuitive, a pickpocket, a retired FBI agent, and a human scent evidence dog.

My Review 4 1/2 (Book 5)

The Forensic Instinct team can do no wrong, absolutely love these characters.  Andrea Kane makes me feel at home and her writing immediately grabs me and I'm in the comfort of m book journey with this team, I am one of them....

I really enjoy the fact that all the cases are so different and then a race against the clock, these kind of suspense thrillers I live for.  The FI team live by there own rules to help the innocent, very unorthodox but you love them all.  The banter between them is great, sarcastic, funny, professional, an overall refreshing edgy group.

We meet Lisa who becomes FI new client.  Finally her life is moving in the right direction and then she sees her look alike get killed.  She makes a run for it but changes identity in hopes that her past will now be buried.  Well the fear of her past doesn't compare to the fear she will have against the murderers which are high up on the Russian Organized Crime groups.

The new member of the team Emma, sees an article and immediately has connection with Lisa due to her past life.  Her colleagues does a little investigating and soon realizes Lisa and her friend Miles are in danger and need their help.

Organized Crime is very scary, talk about brutal with no feelings.  They will do whatever it takes to keep their boss happy and his research secret.  Innocent people involved in research that becomes a matter of life or death.

I highly recommend this series but you should read in order.  Andrea Kane does a fascinating job at building the characters, moving along the personal storylines while keeping you on the edge of your seat with the case of each book.  It brings a genuine touch to the stories as you really start to care for the team.  I think it is great execution with the balance of description, dialogue, plot and interesting characters.

Image from Books Direct

I highly recommend this series 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Monday, Happy July 4th, Happy Belated Canada Day

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'm currently reading a favourite author

I just completed and loved the latest from a favourite series.

I reviewed and cannot recommend, please read another by her instead.  My Review

I teased myself by mistake, eek

I saw a FREE 5 chapters of this one so I downloaded it as I usually just start with a sample of Kindle books.  Well......... I was hooked ready to go on and guess what, it releases on August 9, 2016.  I have to wait another month, ugggh, I totally teased myself.  I can't wait to figure what the heck happens Behind Closed Doors.

What has been your favourite book of the year so far?  Please tell me in the comments.  Here is mine.

My Review

I hope everyone enjoys there week.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review - Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Book Summary

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

My Review - Not Rating, Nor Recommending 

I have read all of Mary Kubica's other books and enjoyed them, so I was excited to see a new release. This story just kept going and going and going, I was bored and felt like I was torturing myself.

Finally I reached 50% and couldn't take it anymore, I read the last 3 chapters to see how it ends, not impressed and not really a surprise.

I usually really enjoy a story being told by multiple characters but they all sounded the same to me.  I am shocked to see this as her 3rd book, I really thought I would start to see her writing improve over time and really become a great 'formula' author.

This was not really a DNF but I think rating it 2 stars is also unfair.  I am really glad this wasn't my first experience with a book by Mary Kubica as I wouldn't try again if it was.

My Other Reviews by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby - 4 stars

The Good Girl - 3 1/2 stars