September Finds

September was a much slower reading month for me (#misingsummerreading), but I still managed to find time and some noteworthy books.  Quick note, if a book makes my list, then I recommend reading it.  There are many others I read that are just not worthy of a recommendation.  Four or five star reviews are my cut off as I know there are far too many great ones out there waiting for us.  Here are this months reads –


The Accident: A gripping psychological thriller that will have you hooked

The book opens with a bang. David sees his pregnant wife Tara with another man. He confronts him and accidentally kills him.  Parts of the book were too much inner turmoil for me, but overall the book was good. I’d have liked less background and inner dialogue and more action.  If you want a good psychological thriller, then this one won’t disappoint.  Overall though a big twist in the book made me up my rating to 4 stars.

One Perfect Lie

Lisa Scottoline never disappoints. This is another fast paced read that will keep you turning pages. It’s hard to say too much because there were surprises along the way. The book is about a possible Oklahoma City copy cat bombing. It is set within a high school and we meet several teenage boys knowing one of them is likely involved. Each family has their share of issues happening and we get to know each family, as well as the teachers at the school. It is worth reading and I’d say definitely get it if you like Scottoline’s books. It won’t disappoint. I would have given it five stars but found myself distracted during parts of the book. Likely it’s my issue as the school year just began.

Chasing Red

Totally not my type of book, but enjoyable all the same. Fans of the rich guy, virgin girl sexual tension genre will enjoy this. Very fast read with lots of angst and sexual tension – vanilla read though for fans of 50 Shades. Of course, as all these types of books do, we are left hanging at the end. Leaves you wanting the sequel.

If You Only Knew: IF YOU ONLY KNEW

One decision on a fateful night change the course of many lives. Great debut thriller. Elizabeth makes a decision that will change her life forever. Being raped and kidnapped while in college, forces her to kill or be killed. But what she does next will leave you speechless as you read to the conclusion.

If you’ve read a great book recently, please drop me a note below. I am always on the look out for my next great read. Enjoy.

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August Reads

Oh, please say it isn’t so. It can’t be September already as I have way too many books on my to be read pile.  Summer is my absolute favorite time of year and one in which I can read the most books.  I spoke to my daughter yesterday and she’s doing the same as me, finding a quiet spot (park) and enjoying the waning days of summer with a good book.  Here’s what kept my going all month long and there were some great page turners in this group.  We always have rainy days and weekends to read.

Bring Her Home

Totally devoured this book in one sitting. I was so engrossed and reading this as fast as I could. I had an early suspicion about who did the crime and couldn’t wait for the big reveal.

A father is searching for his missing daughter – Summer and her best friend Haley. The book opens with Bill rushing to the hospital when two girls are found, one dead and one barely alive. As he sits at his barley alive daughter’s bedside he is consumed with guilt and wondering what caused this. He begins to question his relationship with her and his parenting. Then far worse, he begins to question if this is even his daughter in the bed. I really can’t say too much about the plot as I don’t want to give anything away. There were many surprises and twists and turns. David Bell is a masterful story teller. A definite must read.

The Best Kind of People: A Novel

I opened this book and read the first page. It pulled me in immediately. I found this book to be a deep exploration of the psychological effect a major event has on a family. We follow Sadie, Andrew and Joan as they come to grips with their father and husband being charged with sexual abuse. At times it felt so raw. At times I wanted to look away. But, of course I couldn’t. I can’t say too much more for fear of exposing any of the major plot lines.

The Night Child: A Novel

I’m still trying to process this book, a deeply disturbing read. Nora is struggling emotionally and feels she is losing her mind. We are taken into her therapy sessions and witness to the unveiling of her split personality and deep dark secret. We are treated to a well written account of what is is like to be in this state of mind. There wasn’t a linear plot to this one, rather a slow unveiling of the event that caused the trauma. A deeply sad and dark read for me.

19 Souls (A Sin City Investigation)

This book had one very determined stalker who went to great lengths to find her prey – Dan – a boy from her past. Sophie was beautiful and deadly a great combination for a thriller. Jim Bean as the private investigator was a pretty cut and dry character who gets tangled with Sophie. He’s definitely in over his head rather quickly. A thriller that kept me turning the pages until the conclusion. You find yourself waiting for Sophie to strike and knowing it’s coming. Wait for it, wait for it.

Exposed: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel

Lisa Scottoline treats us to another great read based in Philadelphia. We return to favorite characters Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato, now partners. Mary’s quirky family is such a delight in these books and for me knowing the location is a draw. In this book, Mary is representing her family friend Simon who has been unjustly fired because his daughter has cancer and is causing too many expenses at the company. Unfortunately, there is a conflict of interest because Bennie represents the parent company, All this leads to tension between them and between Bennie and Nate who owns the parent company. Lots of twists and turns and fun characters. I love this series and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read.

This Is Not a Love Letter

This young adult book addresses many sensitive and timely topics. Written from the perspective of Jessie speaking to her missing boyfriend Chris, hence the title. When Chris goes missing many think he may have killed himself but Jessie is convinced that he’s a victim of foul play. An emotional read but definitely one to read. Fans of 13 Reasons will love this one.

The Flight Attendant: A Novel

Cassandra wakes in bed in Dubai and finds her latest one night stand dead. She panics and flees leaving her a suspect in his murder. I totally enjoyed this latest book from Bohjailan. As usual he doesn’t disappoint.
A sexy flight attendant, a murder and some espionage with a surprise at the end. Winning for sure.

The Art of Hiding

The book opens with Nina at a rugby came watching her son. She’s waiting for her husband who is late when she gets that dreaded phone call. Her husband is dead and life will never be the same for her or her two boys.
This book has a lot of promise. The plot didn’t hold my total interest in all parts, but at it’s heart it was a story of facing ones personal demons.

The Dark Lake

I enjoyed reading this mystery by Sarah Bailey. I have not read any books by her before. The main character Gemma is the lead homicide police investigator of the murder of a local woman. It turns out the woman has a connection to Gemma as she stole her teenage boyfriend just before he committed suicide. Gemma is quite the messed up character and much of the book is devoted to her angst in life. The plot is good though and I really didn’t figure out who done it until it was revealed. I had my suspicions but they were not on target.

There’s a lot going on in the book other than just the murder. As I said, a lot of the book is devoted to Gemma and her internal struggles which are all linked back to the death of her boyfriend. Worthy of a read as it kept me turning pages to find out who killed Rosalind.

The Space Between Words

This book is truly magnificent. I was hesitant to read it due to the difficult subject matter, but am ever so glad I plunged in. The book grabs you from the first page and fails to let you go. I’m feeling it still lingering with me. Julie, Adeline, Jess, Patrick, they are characters who you soon won’t forget. I’m not going to say parts of this book aren’t difficult to read, let alone imagine that they happened, but the stories are so worth reading.
Jess finds herself caught up in the terror of the Bataclan mass murders. Life for her will never be the same. She comes upon pages from an antique Bible and journal and sets off on a journey to discover the life of Adeline and Julie and the entire Baillard family. This story too can be difficult to read at times and again events like this really did happen.
All I can say is it will be so worth your time because as the author so eloquently says, you often find light layered over the darkness in the world. Wonderful!

The Broken Girls

This was not the normal type of book I read, as I don’t read paranormal or ghost books. What drew me to this one was that it was advertised to be a thriller. Yes, there was a ghost aspect but it was not the focal point of the plot, though was a focal point of the story. I enjoyed this one and would never have figured out the mysterious death of Sonia or its connection to the death of Deb. Fiona as the main narrator was a likeable character who has walls around her emotions since her sister was found murdered 20 years ago. She obsesses over it and has a feeling that there is more to the death than ever was revealed. What she uncovers is pretty surprising and sad to think it all could have been avoided. This one will keep you turning the pages to find out what in the world happened and how the alternating chapters intersect.

Enjoy and if you read any of these books, please let me know how you enjoyed them. Leave me a comment below – I love to chat about books.

New and Noteable

Claiming Noah

An enjoyable debut novel in the psychological thriller genre.  This book tells the story of two families struggling with fertility issues.  Catriona and James decide to donate their frozen embryo after they become pregnant with what will be their last attempt.  They have struggled with fertility and have decided this pregnancy will be their last try no matter what the outcome.  They finally are able to carry this baby to term and after he is born, Catriona struggles terribly with her emotions.

Diana and Liam also have struggled with fertility.  They are thrilled to be able to adopt a frozen embryo and even more excited with the birth of their son.  Diana is thrilled with motherhood and all her prayers seem to have been answered.  Or have they been?

What follows is at times a predictable twist, but ultimately a great read.  The author provides a glimpse into both marriages and her creation of Catriona was flawless.  Her detachment and emotional turmoil were captured perfectly.   A quick read for a day at the beach.  Available now.

Fractured

I really loved this one and am thrilled to see the author has several other books for me to check out.  Interestingly laid out and at times I felt the fracture as you never are really sure what happened.  The author masterfully plots this book to it’s shocking conclusion.

The book is told in alternating chapters with varying narrators.  We alternate between past and present with Julie and John’s narration.  Never really sure what has transpired, we know that someone has died but not who.

The book opens with author Julie Prentice and her family moving into a development in Cincinnati.  Julie has had an issue with a stalker, Heather, who’s terrorized her.  She hopes to start again in this new town as she writes her second book.  Julie is a runner and she meets her neighbor John who also runs.  A friendship ensues between the two but things quickly begin to get interesting.

After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family are made to feel unwelcome. Julie can’t do anything right and you really do feel sorry for her as you read the events.  Each time I found myself wondering what else could possibly happen.  McKenzie masterfully crafts the story and really weaves it along in a fractured way.  Just enough to keep you wondering and guessing.  Loved it!  Available for preorder now.

Damaged: A Novel (A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel)

After a slow start that felt like the author was teaching us about the educational system and dyslexia, the story and Patrick pulled at my heart.  The book opens with Edward O’Brien hiring Mary DiNunzio to represent him in a lawsuit a school-aide filed against his grandson Patrick.  He is accused of stabbing the aide with a scissor.

Ten year old Patrick soon wins over Mary as she realizes he’s dyslexic, suffering from anxeity and been shuffled through a school system that is failing him.  Patrick gets to Mary’s heart and mine as well.  As we learn more about him we find ourselves wondering if there’s more to his story than meets the eye.  Is he really a sweet, sad, 10 year old boy, or is he a sociopath?  Very emotional read that kept me turning the pages past my bedtime.  I highly recommend this one.  Available August 16th.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers of these books for providing me copies to read and review.