• I Know Who You Are

    I Know Who You Are

    Author: Mark Gillespie
    Publisher: Inkubator
    Date Published: April 23, 2023

    Rowan did a bad thing! She bullied someone on social media and the fallout was so bad, she and her family moved miles away. She quit college and changed her name and appearance. She thought she was safe. But she’s constantly looking over her shoulder.

    And she would be right. Someone is following her. Making a plan. Waiting for the right moment.

    While the book slowed in the middle it picks up again with tense nonstop action.

    Background photo courtesy of Nick on Unsplash.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Booksprout and Inkubator Books for an advance reader’s copy.

  • The Only Survivors

    The Only Survivors

    Author: Megan Miranda
    Publisher: Scribner
    Date Published: April 11, 2023

    A group of survivors of a horrific van crash meet up every year on the anniversary of the event.  This will be the tenth year, and what they did out there in the dark and rain all those years ago is finally catching up to them.

    Told in alternating chapters between then and now, the story has a visceral feeling brought on by Megan Miranda’s atmospheric setting of a lumbering shore house, The Shallows, set back from the dunes and the ocean in its seemingly private location. But there are things out of place – a sighting on the beach, a found object, things that show up in the house….

    The book climbs like the switchbacks that led to the accident, and we learn more about each person’s role in the accident’s aftermath, until it all comes to a crescendo.

    Background photo courtesy of Jake Johnson on Unsplash.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for this well told tale by Megan Miranda.

  • The Lost Wife

    The Lost Wife

    Author: Georgina Lees
    Publisher: HarperCollins UK/One More Chapter
    Date Published: April 7, 2023

    Think about your worst-case scenario – you’re on the run with a small child, injured and almost out of gas, heading for a remote cabin in the woods, and you need to move from there quickly to stay ahead of the “bad guys”. But then there’s a snowstorm…

    Yes, this book is just as tense as it sounds! It’s a quick read with the tension sustained throughout. As many reviewers have noted, the letter tying everything together at the end was unnecessary and even left some things unresolved. However, I would still recommend the book for it’s ability to set the tone and keep the reading feeling on the edge of terror!

    Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for the advance reader’s copy and blogger readalong.

  • The Assistant

    The Assistant

    Author: Amanda Reynolds
    Publisher: Boldwood Books
    Date Published: April 5, 2023

    The Assistant is told through a series of interviews with the eccentric assistant of the title, Gail Frost, who has managed to wrangle her way into a position with social media influencer Larissa (Ris). As the story unfolds, the journalist is excited to pitch it as a great true crime episode for TV.

    Although she’s only in her 50s, Gail reads to me like a fusty older woman, one who has lived a life of disappointment and regrets. With her downtrodden clothes, her moldy apartment, and her subservient manner, I was torn between feeling empathy for her, and outrage for her actions. Similarly, Ris is flawed, trying to overcome a failing marriage and inability to get pregnant through likes and comments on Instagram.

    The book bogs down in the middle and is very slowwww, and we’re told that it’s Gail’s desire to tell the story at her own pace. I do wish she would have sped it up a bit, and the twists at the end almost make up for the bogged down middle.

    It’s worth noting that the author’s first book, Close to You, is now a major TV series.

    Background photo courtesy of Megan Bucknall on Unsplash.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for an advance reader’s copy.

  • The Soulmate

    The Soulmate

    Author: Sally Hepworth
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
    Date Published: April 4, 2023

    This is Hepworth’s best novel to date!

    Imagine living in a home with a spectacular cliffside view, only to find out it’s a popular spot for people who see no other option but to jump. But since Pippa and Gabe have moved in, so many lost souls have been saved by Gabe’s empathy and charm.

    Except one. Pippa can’t believe what she thinks she’s seen. Is Gabe the hero people believe he is or has his fluctuating mental health brought him to his limit?

    The character development builds authentically, and the suspense will keep you guessing about the price of loyalty and love.

    Background photo courtesy of Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash.

    Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance reader’s copy.

  • The New One

    The New One

    Author: Evie Green
    Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
    Date Published: March 28, 2023

    I liked this book so much! You will too, especially if you’re a fan of Black Mirror or the books in the Jolvix series by Faith Gardner. It’s thriller meets technology in the (maybe) not so distant future.

    The story starts with a very dysfunctional family. Their home is a caravan, Ed and Tamsyn aren’t really communicating, and their daughter, Scarlett, is out of control. She runs from the house to meet someone, and the next thing we know she’s in a coma from a hit and run. Ed is approached with an offer he can’t refuse….VitaNova will provide medical care, a place to live, and a new job for Ed. The catch? They will create a clone of Scarlett. And what’s a little lack of privacy and morally gray areas when you can have your precious daughter back?

    If you’re even a little intrigued, read this book! You won’t be disappointed!

    Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advance reader’s copy.

  • Eve in Overdrive

    Eve in Overdrive

    Author: Faith Gardner
    Publisher: Mirror House Press
    Date Published: March 23, 2023

    The format of this novella was perfect for Eve’s fast paced trip across the country in her new, over-the-top, self-driving Sunray. The only problem? It’s a trip Eve hadn’t planned on.

    Faith Gardner is wonderful at capturing her character’s thought processes, be they human or technological. In Eve in Overdrive, she’s thought of everything. We get to hear Eve’s thoughts and feel her physical discomfort. We are in the driver’s seat (or passenger seat because you know…it’s self-driving) and we see everything through Eve’s eyes. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I definitely caught myself wondering what I would do if I was in her situation..

    FYI, I would not have bought this book if I saw the cover, but as a fan of Faith Gardner’s other works (read them!) I took a chance and had an entertaining two hour read!

    Thank you to NetGalley and Mirror House Press for the chance to read Gardner’s latest in the Jolvix series!

  • How I’ll Kill You

    How I’ll Kill You

    Author: Ren DeStefano
    Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
    Date Published: March 21, 2023

    This book about sisters who enter a pact to kill off their boyfriends reminded me a female You (Caroline Kepnes). In triplicate. Each of the sisters has a skill that makes their kills efficient and virtually untraceable. Their loyalty to each other is what holds them together and each knows the other one will be there for them.

    But what if they allow someone else in?

    When Sissy (Jade) gets too close to her neighbor, the sisters get restless. When she gets too close to her target, Edison, they get downright mutinous!

    There was strong character development as we see the triplets background and how it played into their strong adulthood bond. We see how Jade pulls the “real” Edison out, showing that he might possibly have a dark side too. There were some moments that made me laugh, and some that made me sad (“His dead wife sleeps forever in the albums in the fireplace”). But the overall tone of the book is lighthearted and entertaining. I know that’s a crazy thing to say about a dark thriller – but read it and you’ll see what I mean!

    Background map of Arizona courtesy of Stephen Monroe on Unsplash.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an advance reader’s copy.

    Ren DeStafano, Author, How I’ll Kill You
  • Gone Again

    Gone Again

    Author: Minka Kent
    Publisher: Thomas Mercer
    Date Published: March 7, 2023

    An unsettling childhood in a severely religious household causes one child to rebel, one to tow the line, and one to be doted on. Celia escapes after a failed attempt to run away. Then, after years of a happy marriage, she finds a note among her 40th birthday presents that unsettles her. She deals with it by doing what she knows best. Running away. It was only meant to be a day trip. Until something happened, and Celia went missing.

    This is a story about how shared experience seen from different perspectives can tear people apart. And how a tragedy can bring them together and heal their bonds. Wrapped up in a wonderful domestic thriller from Minka Kent.

    Background image courtesy of Kwan Fung @unsplash

    Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance reader’s copy.

  • What Have We Done

    What Have We Done

    Author: Alex Finlay
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
    Date Published: March 7, 2023

    This book is about a group of kids who grow up in a group home together. It tells the story of where they are now as adults, as they try to figure out who is trying to kill them and why. There are likeable and unlikeable characters, some really creepy bad guys, and some taut intrigue.

    But what I really like about Alex Finlay is…he goes there. His descriptions of Washington, D.C., a town he knows well are solid and full of tongue in cheek commentary. He also riffs on famous politicians and public figures in the spotlight, for example, “These rich dudes who have more money than they’ll ever need, but waste it on flying into space or buying more companies or mansions.”

    Every Last Fear was my favorite Finlay title, but this one is not far behind!

    Background image courtesy of Sebastian Unrau @unsplash.

    Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance reader’s copy.