Author: Daniel Hurst
Date Published: January 31, 2023
Daniel Hurst is an auto-buy for me. He not only does lies and deceit well, but he can tell a story from a woman’s point of view flawlessly.
I loved how Fern lulls Drew into thinking she went along with his idea to move to a small village even though she loves her life in the city. Drew thinks he has gotten away with a grand deception, but he has no idea what’s coming! What is Fern planning and how will she pull it off?
I loved how the characters grew and morphed in this quick read that will keep you guessing.
Thanks to NetGalley and Inkubator Books for an advance review copy by one of my favorite authors!
Author: C. J. Tudor
Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine
Date Published: January 31, 2023
I was hesitant to read a post-apocalyptic novel, worried that it would be too dark and angsty. But C. J. Tudor has given us a story about the will to survive, and maybe a fable for our current situation – one that tells the story of what happens when/if we lose our humanity.
The story is told from three different scenarios: a coach bus that has crashed on its side in a snow drift, a cable car suspended and stalled over an abandoned ski run, and a compound called The Retreat, a living quarters for survivors. Each group has one or more people with secrets, as the body count rises and the survivors do what they must.
And if that isn’t enough, Tudor writes with just the right amount of humor (the second book I read this month that riffs on our favorite car loving, space traveling, social media buying celebrity), right amount of cursing, and megatons of tension throughout. Their lives will intersect in the most surprising and gruesome ways. So I offer you this recipe for a great novel:
- 1 lb of suspense
- 45 cliffhangers
- 1-2 dozen well defined characters
- 1 jigger of horror tropes
- Stir together
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing – Ballantine for an arc of this thrilling novel!
Author: Laura Wolfe
Date Published: January 26, 2023
Camping in the remote woods with your in-laws-to-be. What could go wrong?
Abigail and her parents have only met once, and it didn’t go so well. As a participant in many “required” bonding events, I cringed when bride-to-be Abigail suggests a 3-day guided camping trip with organized exercises. Of course, they can’t take the main trails because what would be the fun in that? Not! They hike deep into the woods which should already be a red flag.
But there are other events: a strange encounter, odd messages, and eerie screams in the night.
Since we know from the start that someone falls to their death, it’s only a matter of whom, and when. And the why will blow you away.
I am thrilled that NetGalley and Bookouture gave me the opportunity to read an advance reader’s copy of this intense and fast-paced thriller!
Author: S. C. Sterling
Publisher: No Bueno Publishing
Date Published: January 18, 2023
This book starts out as a search for a missing daughter but turns into so much more. It’s the story of what happens to a married couple when tragedy strikes, the desperation of lives marred by drugs and alcohol, and the splinter between children and parents.
At one point I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters since the book doesn’t use chapters to separate points of view but combines them into their own sections within the chapters. But once the story got going and I sorted everyone out, I was hooked.
As Marshall, Hannah and Tom’s search converges with possible suspects and witnesses, the tension increases up until the end. Prepare to wrap yourself in a warm blanket as Sterling describes the Colorado winter so realistically, you’ll feel yourself shivering with cold and suspense! I can see multiple story lines coming out of this, the first book in the series.
Thanks to NetGalley, Hidden Gems Books and No Bueno Publishing for an advance reader’s copy.
Author: Gemma Rogers
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Date Published: January 5, 2023
You know what they say – if it seems too good….
When Shelley’s mom dies after a long bout with dementia, Shelley is so happy to find a 6-month lease on a decent house on Beech Close in a great school catchment area. But when she gets a chance to meet the neighbors at a party thrown in her honor, she starts to get those “creepy” vibes. These are not her people! But one of the neighbors, Amber, has established a good rapport with her daughter, and another neighbor, Niamh has made it her job to introduce Shelley around the Close. She also gets sparks every time to she talks to Remy, whose mom lives next door, but Valerie (his mom) is quite nasty toward her (and her dog).
What I liked:
Shelley – she is kind, taking care of her mom for years, and now helping out anyone on her cul-de-sac who needs it. I loved the relationship between her and her daughter.
Josh – her best friend, who offers great advice and is always there for her.
The last 20% of the book – where the pace really picked up.
The gothic vibe I got reading this.
What I wasn’t crazy about:
Remy – although he took care of his mom, he didn’t seem like a nice guy.
Constant references to dog duties – taking Teddy out for a “wee”, taking Teddy to the park, walking Teddy around the beech tree, feeding Teddy. Every. Single. Day.
This book builds the mystery slowly but surely and leaves you some breadcrumbs along the way. It was a quick, enjoyable read, and you might know the author from some of her previous books: The Feud, The Secret, The Teacher, etc.
Thanks to NetGalley, Boldwood Books, and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this #blogtour!
Author: Rebecca Heath
Publisher: Aria & Aries
Date Published: January 5, 2023
This was a taut thriller about a woman named Lucy who returns to clean out her Nan’s house a few month’s after she passes. Coincidentally, just before she arrives, a body is found near the cliffside of her childhood friend’s house. Even after all these years, her life is tied up in the lives and secrets of the wealthy family on the hill, as were her grandmother and grandfather’s. There is a love interest (well, a couple, a little too much giddy romance for me), and there are suspects (several).
I enjoyed the writing by author Rebecca Heath. I could almost feel the waves splashing, and see the gigantic house overlooking the cliff, hear the fountain, and see the lights in the window. And let’s not forget Hades, ornery but loyal “mountain of a dog” who is pretty good at telling friend from foe!
Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aires for an advance reader’s copy.
Author: K. L. Slater
Date Published: January 6, 2023
There are several plots running through this book:
- Eve is a single mom, trying to keep her awful ex from gaining custody of her daughter now that he somehow has money.
- Eve is a narrator for Phillipa Roberts, who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances
- Eve accidentally reads an early draft of a newly “discovered” Phillipa book, and starts to think there are clues to her disappearance.
I loved how the author had you suspecting everyone until the end. Of course, you must suspend disbelief for the outrageous ending, but it was a quick, fun read to get there! K. L. Slater is always worth reading!
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an advance reader’s copy.
Author: Hannah Morrissey
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date Published: December 6, 2022
I loved Hannah Morrissey’s first book, Hello, Transcriber. So, in a similar vein, The Widowmaker calls upon the author’s experience, bringing a great deal of background knowledge to the story. The Widowmaker follows two seemingly unrelated cases: a cold case going back at least 20 years in which a wealthy man goes missing, and a current day case when a cop is gunned down in cold blood.
The story meandered a bit, alluding to burned down structures, a charred key, and a dark past, so it took me a while to understand what was going on. But as you get to know the characters, you start to feel for the main character, Morgan Mori, and what she has gone through in her life. After she gets tangled up in not one, but two crimes, she becomes the pivotal chess piece. But not everyone has her best interests.
This is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve read it.
Background image thanks to @LGNWVR on Unsplash.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced reader’s copy.
Author: Lorna Dounaeva
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Date Published: December 4, 2022
Prudence has just retired and plans to spend it pottering about in the garden and taking long walks with her dog, Bob. She has a wonderful relationship with her son, Nathan, who has been seeing a girl he met at university. When Zoe turns out to be pregnant, that’s when the games begin!
Prudence really feels there’s something off about Zoe, but for her son’s sake, invites her to stay with them until the baby is born. Zoe is vivacious and engaged when she’s around Nathan and Pru’s friends find her charming. But she is expressionless or worse around Pru, who just has a very bad feeling about her.
I really related to Prudence – wanting to keep her son close, but not be critical of his girlfriend. Wanting to be close to the new baby, but unable to force Zoe to stay with her for the baby’s sake.
This was my second book by the author, and I felt this one resonated with me so much more!
Thank you to NetGalley, Inkubator Books, and Booksprout for an advance reader’s copy.