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review 2018-01-18 05:59
Lie to Me: A Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller - J.T. Ellison

The lies are definitely all over this story. I couldn't tell who was lying and who wasn't between this couple. Then there is someone who you don't know doing some background narration and saying all kinds of things. It was cray, cray. Then when the author lets you in on the narrator of the background . . . YOWZA!! I didn't see that coming.

Cray, cray with lots of action and lots of twists, I definitely enjoyed this one.

Thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2018-01-11 03:04
Review: Tattletale by Sarah J. Naughton
Tattletale - Sarah J. Naughton

Published by: Trapeze (23rd March 2017)


ISBN: 978-1409170228


Source: Netgalley


Rating: 4.5*



One day changes Jody's life forever. She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.


One day changes Mags's life forever. After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don't quite seem to fit...



Tattletale is one of those books I've been meaning to read for ages but for some reason I just overlooked. I've promised myself that this year I will read as many books as I can that have been on my TBR for a long while for one reason or another.


I was so impressed by this novel that I looked the author up on goodreads as soon as I  finished reading to see how many books she'd written before this one. I was so impressed when I discovered this was her debut. It's intelligently written with such an eye for detail. The author has a real knack for holding the reader's interest and taking them on a journey.


The two central characters here are wonderfully complex, full of personality, flaws, anguish and all that that entails. The plot weaves around them beautifully, and just when you think you know what is going to happen, Sarah J. Naughton throws a curve ball you really weren't expecting! There are twists on top of twists! Brilliant stuff!


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review 2018-01-10 19:42
The Chalk Man


 When you're twelve years old, playing with your friends and having fun is all that matters.  That's what Eddie and his four childhood friends did when they were around each other.  They even had an unusual way of communicating with each other at times; leaving messages in chalk.


The story begins in England, 1986.  A dismembered body is discovered.  A mysterious man comes to town.  Let's move forward to 2016.  Who's sending chalk messages?


First, I must say this novel has the potential of becoming a good screen psychological thriller. I was held captive once I began reading.  This story is intense and gripping.  Nothing is what it seems and with all its twists and turns, stopping at the end of a chapter wasn't an option.


 Tudor didn't skimp on the characterization.  Each character strongly described and just enough sub-characters to keep the story balanced.  


I'm glad I read The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor.  I look forward to reading more of this author's novels.


*Thank you Netgalley and Crown Publishing for the ARC.

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review 2018-01-09 10:35
Look for Me
Look for Me (D. D. Warren) - Lisa Gardner

Detective D.D. Warren #9

By: Lisa Gardner

ISBN: 1524742058

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date:  2/6/2018

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars


Crime thriller queen Lisa Gardner returns following Right Behind You, (2017) landing on my Top Books of 2017 with her latest twisty suspense thriller —LOOK FOR ME. 

Two favorite characters, Detective D. D. Warren and Flora Dane work together to solve a crime. A brutal family murder with one remaining girl missing. 

The last time we caught up with D. D. Warren and Flora Dane (2016) Find Her (Detective D.D. Warren, #8). 

Flora Dane, a former kidnapping victim, turned survivor— held in a coffin box by a sadistic monster for 472 days — on a mission to save other victims from predators, holding on to an obsession of REVENGE, or something else?

In LOOK FOR ME, Boston Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren returns with crime scene expert husband, Alex and five-year-old son, Jack. D. D.’s family outing to find a dog for Jack gets sidetracked with a brutal crime. 

A family of five. Two adults, three kids, and two dogs (Blaze and Rosie). Shots were fired. A brutal murder. The responding officers found four bodies. The oldest daughter, a sixteen-year-old female, and two dogs are still unaccounted for. 

The girl’s name Roxanna Baez, Hispanic with two elderly Brittany spaniels and both reported blind. 

D D’s job was to access and strategize. However, has the girl escaped, been kidnapped, victim or murderer? Or was she just not home at the time? 

Juanita Baez and Charlie were the parents. Lola – age thirteen, Manny age nine. Did the father murder the wife and kids and shoot himself? However, the way the shots were fired, they had to rule out the guy as a suicide. 

The mom had a history of DUIs over five years earlier; however, the father had a clean record. No drugs, alcohol, or any high-risk lifestyle. An ordinary family. A family of secrets? Was the daughter the perpetrator? 

They had to find her. 


Flora Dane is a survivor. It has been a year, and now she is teaching others how to live again. Abduction at the hands of Jacob Ness, a serial rapist, and murderer. Flora is a fighter. She had gone from victim to vigilante. 

Mixed with personal and troubling narratives from Roxanna about the perfect family. She was writing after a teacher posed the question about family. 

“A perfect family has to be made. Mistakes. Regret. Repair. You have to work at it.”

We also meet other survivors from trauma and the support group. Flora teaches them that bad people do not want to deal with the powerful. They prey on the weak. Sarah recalls this girl coming to discuss help for a friend.

Gardner skillfully weaves an intricate tale of a family sent away to live at Mother Del’s (abuse, neglect, rape, assault) before coming back to live with their mother and Charlie. Until the mom cleaned up her act. What went on while they were away?

“Where are these perfect families? Can there even be such a thing? One where everything goes so right where no one ever hurts each other? Or is there just me and my family and all of the lessons we’re still learning the hard way?”

After protecting her siblings, from all the abuse while in foster care, Roxanna could not possibly hurt her family? No longer foster kids after three years, they were reunited family in a real house with two dogs. A family ripped apart and brought back together. 

What happened to this family? Motive? In one moment. That’s all it took. Destroyed. Over, Finished. Done. 

Someone is protecting a friend. 

Wow, this was one complex, intense, emotional, multi-layered and twisty roller coaster ride! Gardner keeps you guessing while exploring the dark evil within the foster care system. 

I enjoyed catching with DD and hubby as they try and balance work and family life. Flora, a vigilante, is kick ass and hilarious. (thanks for bringing her back). Two different women. Both with their own demons. 

“Revenge must be revenge, or it isn’t sweet.”

Highly recommend; however, while I always enjoy Lisa Gardner’s books, this one was not as strong as last year’s Right Behind You, in my opinion. 

A special thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/07/01/Look-For-Me
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review 2018-01-04 04:29
The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window: A Novel - A. J. Finn

By: A. J. Finn

ISBN: 0062678418

Publisher: William Morrow 

Publication Date: 1/2/2018 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars + +


A.J. Finn’s most talked about (highly anticipated) psychological thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, most definitely lives up to the hype! 

A B S O R B I N G. 

Just when you think you have attained your answers and you have reached the top of the mountain— think again. The climb has only begun. It is just gaining speed. 

From here on out, it is non-stop action, suspense —unputdownable. There are many more twists to follow before reaching the explosive ending— making this an "engrossing"5 stars “must read” and Top Thrillers of 2018. 

Audiobook Not sure I have ever been this immersed in an audiobook previously. Cannot stress enough, Ann Marie Lee (narrator) rocks! Her performance is award-winning. I was hanging on every word. 

Generally, with audio, I am distracted by other work and continuously rewinding. Not the case with THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW. Listen to Clip

BTW, I purchased the Kindle format, hardcover (which has not arrived from Amazon), and the audiobook. 

Anna, age 38 agoraphobic, cat owner, fond of wine drinking wine and pill popping to ease her fears. She likes old classic black-and-white movie classics — and she spies on her neighbors. 

“Everything goes down better with a glass of smooth merlot.” 

When Anna views the woman in the window: "I noticed she liked a drink in the morning, as do I." 

The narrator: again, off-the-charts bloody-good. The author: So many delicious witty one-liners. 

Anna is a child psychologist and often advises a few patients by email. “The doctor is in.” 

She does not venture into the outside world; however, she does have phone conversations with her husband (ex) and her eight-year-old daughter.

Readers are unsure what happened to her family and why she is in this state. However, she is in constant contact with her husband and daughter even though they live apart. We suspect something dreadful, painful, and tragic occurred. 

She resides in a beautiful large home in Manhattan and has a handsome tenant, who is a carpenter. He lives in her basement.

Her latest highlight a new form of entertainment happens to be her new neighbors. They do not seem to have any window dressing, and she enjoys observing. (spying). Trying to figure out their life from her eyes. 

Ethan Russell, the son (age sixteen) lives across the street. He is a pleasant enough young man, and Anna seems to connect with him. She also meets the parents: Paul and Jane (from the window). 

Then one night, after watching her usual noir films, she witnesses a crime. She is frantic! She sees a woman murdered. She immediately calls the police. 

However, she is not a credible witness. After all, she comes across as crazy, paranoid, unstable. Pretty much an alcoholic buzzed out on pills, and an agoraphobic. 

She is beyond puzzled and begins her own investigation. The wife is OK and alive, says the cops. However, the wife is not the one she saw that night. Therefore, Anna thinks she is an imposter. 

However, what is the motive? What happened to the woman in the window?

She immediately begins suspecting everyone. She becomes obsessed. Picking up clues any way she can. The also has a feeling Ethan is scared of his parents and offers him friendship.

Cleverly, the author unravels the reasoning behind Anna becoming an alcoholic and an agoraphobic. However, again, this is NOT the end. Do not let your guard down. Keep your spy hat in place.

Anna continues to watch her Hitchcockian movies (the titles relate to parts of her investigation) and speaks to her family. Slowly she begins suspecting she is not crazy like everyone thinks she is. 

However, she needs to seek solid answers before she gets the police involved again. She must find clues and confront the problem. It is not paranoia or is it? 

The cops think with the constant viewing of late night crime movies, in combination with her alcohol and medication she sees things that are not there. 

However, Anna is more than determined to find answers to prove to herself and everyone there is something more sinister at play. In doing so, then she may be able to face her demons to begin to live a somewhat healthy life.

What a fantastic book! 

Brilliantly written and plotted, psychologically rich, characters well-drawn, highly emotional —From love, loss, to complete madness. Anna is a woman you can sympathize with, no matter your gender or age. I listened/read in one sitting. 

Once you reach the 50-75% mark, you will understand why the movie rights. As mentioned in my review of THE WIVES BETWEEN US, (another huge hit 5 Stars ++) with film rights; why these two books will be on the bestseller list for some time to come: 

Readers are getting the “best” of the literary world (expertise) with the two author's background in journalism, and the publishing world, plus Pekkannen is a well established best-selling author. These guys know what they are doing and do it well. What a way to kick off 2018! 

Back to TWITW: I enjoyed the second half of the book, more than the first part. The first part is a slow-burning set up for the fast-paced, intense second half. 

If you have read, The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre Top Books of 2017 you will note some similarities when reading between the lines of the main character. (both of course with different outcomes). Fans of each- will enjoy the other. 

Both involve an unreliable narrator, with a mystery surrounding husband and child, and agoraphobic. Ironically, A. J. Finn’s THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW also reminds me strongly of A. R. Torre (Alessandra Torre)’s Deanna Madden Series (minus the erotica, UPS man, and internet sex); however, the box cutter, agoraphobic, family tragic past, and a strong pull to save someone beyond the reaches of her home, while putting herself in harm’s way.

Highly Recommend for fans of well-written strong, and intelligent psychological suspense thrillers. Heavy on the old movie classics, literary flair, and less on the blood and gore, which works for me. Enthralling, and all-consuming are words which quickly come to mind. 

To summarize, Finn brilliantly explores the mind of Anna. Her anxiety, fears, insanity, depression, mental illness, paranoia, panic attacks, agoraphobia; love, loss, grief, and guilt —hitting all cylinders. 

The next Gone Girl? I would say "Yes," to that question. Looking forward to the small/or big screen and can imagine its cast of stars. I loved Anna! I hope we see more of her in future books. View Book Trailer 


“Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing....Finn has created a noir for the new millennium, packed with mesmerizing characters, stunning twists, beautiful writing and a narrator with whom I’d love to split a bottle of pinot. Maybe two bottles—I’ve got a lot of questions for her.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn)

The Woman in the Window is one of those rare books that really is unputdownable. The writing is smooth and often remarkable. The way Finn plays off this totally original story against a background of film noir is both delightful and chilling.” (Stephen King)

“Twisted to the power of max. Hitchcockian suspense with a 21st century twist.” (Bestselling author Val McDermid)

The Woman in the Window is a tour de force. A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality. It left my own mind reeling and my heart pounding. An absolutely gripping thriller.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny )

“Compelling, wrenching, and gasp-for-breath exciting―I was blown away.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill)

“A dark, twisty confection with an irresistible film noir premise. Hitchcock would have snapped up the rights in a heartbeat.” (New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware)

The Woman in the Window is the most riveting thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl. A. J. Finn is a bold new talent with the touch of a master.” (New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen)

“Finn’s debut lives up to the hype. . . . A riveting and mature first novel that stands out in a crowded genre.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Gripping, compelling, and utterly intriguing.” (Liz Nugent, author of the 2017 BEA “Buzz Book” Unraveling Oliver)

The Woman in the Window reads like a classic Hitchcock movie in novel form, in fact I was half expecting a cameo. Dripping with suspense. Creaking with menace. Beautifully written. There’s a lot of buzz around this book and every single bit of it is totally justified.” (Simon Toyne, bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy)

About the Author



A J Finn is the pseudonym of Daniel Mallory, currently a senior publishing executive at William Morrow/ HarperCollins. An Oxford graduate and former book critic, he lives in New York City. His debut novel, The Woman in the Window, is currently in development as a major motion picture at Fox.


More . . . A. J. Finn has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Times Literary Supplement. Finn’s debut novel, The Woman in the Window, has been sold in thirty-eight territories worldwide.  A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City.   Read More 



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/12/01/The-Woman-in-the-Window
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