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review 2017-11-17 17:11

 

 

Book Description:  

Are you my mummy?’

 

Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must first confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?

An absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller with a twist that will make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Trainand The Sister this book is for you.

 

 

My Review:  I enjoyed reading this fast-paced thriller which kept me glued to every page.  Shalini Boland did a great job expressing in detail what the main character was feeling and going through I couldn't help to feel compassion.  I took joy in seeing the main character's growth from just going through the motions in life to becoming strong and taking control.  The other characters' contribution to the story were traits of selfishness, ignorance, doubt and empathy.

 

The Secret Mother flowed effortlessly.  It was very easy to follow along with every twist and turn and the short chapters were a bonus.  When I thought I had the story figured out, something else happens.  

 

I recommend The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland to lovers of psycholoical thrillers.  It was hard to put down.  This is the first time I've read her work and I will definitely read more.

 

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.

 

 

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review 2017-11-09 17:44
Disturbed
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

By: Jennifer Jaynes

ISBN:  1542046386

Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date:  11/7/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  4 Stars  (ARC)

 

Talented Jennifer Jaynes returns following The Stranger Inside with her latest twisty psychological thriller DISTURBED — a gritty fast-paced standalone page-turner, both chilling and emotional with a mind-blowing conclusion. 

“You Made Me.” 

Those were the words on Nov 1, 2010, the morning after Halloween. Three women who attended Springfield College. 911 was called. The young officer Brandon was the first responder. 

One girl was left alive in the tub. Multiple stab wounds. One of them deep in the side of her abdomen. Blood everywhere. 

Now, Oct 4, 2015 —Four years and eleven months later. 
Twenty-three-year-old Chelsea Dutton is safe and sane. She is still paranoid and fearful. No one is out to get her. Not anymore. These words had been her mantra for almost five years. 

The Halloween night that her college roommates (Christine and Amy) had been murdered and she had been carved up and left for dead.

Since then, she had merely existed. She had been diagnosed with psychogenic amnesia, which made life even more confusing and frightening.

There were no guarantees whether she would recover any of her lost memories. A few had come back over the years but nothing of real significance. A flash here, and there. Some scents and settings brought back some memories of the horrible night.

Her biological parents had been dead since she was six years old. There were a long string of foster families whom she had lived with until she turned eighteen and started college.

The night of the murders clung to her. 

There had been a boy, Ethan whom Chelsea had invited and his roommate Boyd. Ethan was from a wealthy family. He was gorgeous. What caused him to start the brutal killings?

She had left Springfield and moved ninety miles east of Boston after the murders. She would be safer there. However, she had wondered why he had spared her. Would he return to finish the job?

She did not want to play the victim anymore. 

Chelsea has a close friend Elizabeth. She had been her salvation. They had met nearly five years ago in the Springfield psychiatric hospital where Chelsea had been held for three months after following the attacks. 

Elizabeth had been one of the nurses assigned to her pod. She was older, but they had stayed connected and when she had transferred to a Boston hospital, Chelsea tagged along. With her scars, she had a fresh start. Elizabeth was her rock. 

When she runs into Boyd she thinks it may be nice to be around someone who was there that night. Even though Elizabeth was great, she was intimated by her. With Boyd, she was on more of an even playing field. 

However, shortly afterward, there is a message left at a murder scene with the same message. Lang (detective) takes up temporary residence at a motel in Southie. 

He remembered Boyd. The kid had been a drug user. He is determined to solve the case. Was it Ethan? Why come back to torment Chelsea now after all these years?

Who was the message meant for? One of the victims? Were the killings retribution for something? Motive? 

Another message: “You’re going to make me do it again, aren’t you”?

Detectives Lang and Garcia are on the case and Chelsea is worried her attacker is back. Who can she trust?

Halloween, the fifth anniversary of the murders, takes on a new twist. Who is really the killer (then and now)? Or is there something more dark and sinister at play?

As always, Jaynes keeps her readers in suspense with twists and turns. A thrilling ride to very dark places of the human psyche. Disturbing, intense, and suspenseful to the final mind-blowing shocking conclusion. 

From beginning to end, Jennifer creates a sense of foreboding, paranoia, fear, distrust, and lurking darkness. You know there is something beneath the surface. 

Chelsea is a complex character. She continues to live with the consequences of her violent and painful past, which continue to plague her. However, is she an unreliable narrator? 

As a reader, you will question everyone. 

The author does an exceptional job in keeping you glued to the pages. She knows how to emotionally hook the reader. Without any spoilers . . . nothing is as it appears. Jaynes’ fans will enjoy another twisty, edgy psychological thriller to add to their collection.

Highly recommend all of the author's books. She never disappoints. For fans of James Hankins, Jennifer Hillier, and Lisa Unger. 

Read my reviews here: 
The Stranger Inside 
Don’t Say a Word 
Ugly Young Thing 
Never Smile at Strangers 

A special thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Thomas & Mercer for an advanced reading copy.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

#1 USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

 

She made her living as a content manager, webmaster, news publisher, medical assistant, editor, publishing consultant, and copywriter before finally living her dream as a full-time novelist. Jennifer is the author of Never Smile at Strangers, Don’t Say a Word, Ugly Young Thing, and The Stranger Inside.

 

When she’s not writing or spending time with her husband and twin boys, Jennifer loves reading, cooking, and studying nutrition.

 

Visit Jennifer at www.jenniferjaynes.net.  Read More 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/06/07/Disturbed
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review 2017-11-02 22:20
Stillhouse Lake
Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake Series #1

By: Rachel Caine

ISBN: 978-1477848661

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 7/1/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

WOW! STILLHOUSE LAKE by Rachel Caine is A riveting heart-pounding psychological thriller . . . My first book by the author and anxiously awaiting #2! What an incredible writer - an addictive, deliciously evil new series. I can see this playing out on Amazon Video. 

Meet Gina Royal from Wichita, Kansas. 

Gina never asked about the garage. That thought would keep her awake every night for years. “I should have asked. Should have known. But she had never asked. She didn’t know. In the end, that was what destroyed her.

Her husband, Mel was charming. Their children Brady and Lily. That day, her husband called with an emergency. She needed to pick up the kids. Mel loved their family life. His second-favorite thing: wood-working in his shop. More than wood-working going down in the garage. 

“Normal life. Comfortable life. Not perfect, of course. Nobody had a perfect marriage, did they? But Gina was satisfied at least most of the time.”

However, that day when she arrived home there were police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck. Their mailbox. Their lawn. Their house. 

An SUV had crashed into their garage. (Mel’s workshop). Before she knew what was happening Detective Salazar was arresting her. 

They were victims. Someone had crashed into their home. Why were the cops mistreating her in front of her own children? This had to be a mistake. Embarrassing. The neighbors were taking videos. They would be uploaded to the internet.

Handcuffs. This could not be happening. She could not understand why someone was driving drunk and now she is being arrested.

The garage. The cops wondered if she knew about the garage. She does not park in the garage. Her husband was going to be upset.

However, the detective wants her to explain the life-size naked doll hanging from a hook in the center of the garage. Except, it was not a doll. It was real.

The day her life changed forever. Her husband was a serial killer.

Fast forward four years later. 

Gwen Proctor and her children are living at Stillhouse Lake in Tennessee. Since leaving Wichita, they have changed their identity four times. The weak creature she had left behind. One who had aided and abetted; however, unconsciously. That woman is long dead and she does not mourn her.

Her kids are now Connor and Atlanta (Lanny for short). She has tried to keep them safe from predators and all the hate mail. Their father was a monster. The “good” father with a mask. 

If it had not been for the drunk driver, their lives would have gone on the same. It was her fault his true depth of evil had been finally unmasked. He had taken out a storage locker in the name of her long-dead brother. The journal. Each victim had a section.

From abduction, torture, murder. The man will kill again. 

There had been a trial. All the women. Mel had infected her like a virus. Then there was the hacker which goes by the name of Absalom. But he helped with the false identities. Finding them safe havens. He controls the online harassment. Strictly business. She pays him. 

Ugly, cruel things about her and her children online. Like they had known was a monster Mel was. She keeps a gun. She will not let anyone hurt her kids or her ever again. Alarms, computers, security systems, burner phones. Their lives are spent looking over their shoulders. She is committed to their survival. 

Absalom communicates with them (computer guy). Her husband writes letters. There is a mailing address elsewhere. How does he know where she is?

He writes from prison. He describes what he will do to her if given the chance. He’s inventive. Descriptive. Repellently direct. Mel is a contagious, fatal disease.

People think she is guilty. His hobby. The garage. Little did she know what he was doing in the garage and what he was hiding. She knew he used bleach, but it was always a logical reason. She had believed every word. 

Then there is a murder at Stillhouse Lake. 

The rustic retreat. Upper-middle-class families. Second homes. A woman weighed down. The description sounds familiar to Mel’s victims. Does it have anything to do with Mel’s crimes? Murder practically at her front door? 

She owes her children a stable upbringing and safety. From trading cars to houses, always on the move. 

 




Mel had liked his stupid games. “Breath Play.” Cords around her neck. She hated it. She had seen something dark. She had refused. He had never choked her hard enough to pass out, but close. Little did she know while he was starving her for oxygen during sex, he was imagining his women in the garage, fighting the noose as he raised and lowered them off the ground. 

He was using her to play out his murders. Chilling and sickening. 

Now she had to protect her family with more than a gun. Mentally, emotionally, and logically. She cannot trust anyone. She must break the trail. 

Sam Cade. He is new to town. He is supposed to do some work on the house. They both have secrets.

She has money that was Mel’s escape money. The inheritance from his parents’ estate; in the storage shed. It had been a year before she was acquitted. She had spent it on their safety, shelter, and identities before Stillhouse Lake. For their new life. 

Slowly she learns to trust Sam Cade and her son likes him. Even Lanny (with her goth and edge). Her son wants to be an architect so he and Sam hit it off. She wants to fall for this guy, but she is cautious. However, does he have a hidden agenda? 

Gina has a mailing service. Mel writes her. He has seen her and Sam at the lake house. How is this possible?

She must go to the prison and confront the monster. 

From Javier, Sam, Absalom, Lance Graham, Detective Prester— who can she trust? Enemy or ally? 

“Mel is worse than a monster. He’s a smart monster. Mel disposed of women in the water. Now, one trusts her. 

Another dead girl found floating in the lake.

People are learning about her past. She will be arrested and she will lose her kids. Her murdering ex-husband. Who is doing this? Who else is keeping secrets? Does Gwen (Gina) have a stalker?Has she fallen for a serial killer twice? 

Now there are horrible words on their windows. A life she cannot escape. She has to fix it. But how. The safe room. Threats. Has Mel broken out of death row and someone made his way to Stillhouse Lake without a soul seeing him? 

Someone has her kids. . . She needs help, but who can she trust? 

 




The suspense is riveting! Nerve-racking, heart-pounding! Does Mel have followers? (Mel reminds me of Joe Carroll - The Following - when watching I have to keep one eye closed)

Highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith (Narrator) for an outstanding and entertaining performance. I purchased the book and audio version.

I can see why STILLHOUSE LAKE has received rave reviews and included in the Goodreads Opening Round of Best Mystery and Thriller as well as climbing the Amazon charts.

So excited to receive an ARC of #2 Stillhouse Lake, Killman Creek (currently reading), coming Dec 12, 2017. For fans of psychological thrillers—compelling, well-written, and twisty plots. Love the covers and titles. 

With #2, we catch up with Gwen. Mel has escaped from prison with the warning: “You’re not safe anywhere now.”

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

KILLMAN CREEK  

Stillhouse Lake Series #2

By: Rachel Caine

ISBN:  1542046416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 12/12/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: Currently Reading (ARC)

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

 

You’re not safe anywhere now.

 

Pre-Order Now 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/06/01/Stillhouse-Lake
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review 2017-10-26 15:41
You Never Know What Goes On Behind Closed Doors!!
Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris

Cons:  A few slow moments, but towards the end I felt it started to rush and slightly predictable.

 

Pros: I had no idea I would be in store for a crazy good, demented psychological treat.  Every page turned built up anticipation for the next page.  The way B.A. Paris sets the pages for a smooth, gentle ride....then immediately shifts gears to a psychotic roller coaster ride.  The chapters switched from past to present which helped me fully understand the main characters' personalities.  I was absorbed in every page due to the intense characterization and gripping plot.  

 

"You never know what goes on behind closed doors" is a true adage when describing this book.  On the outside everything looks perfect and on the inside everything is dark and evil.  I highly recommend Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris to all readers who enjoyed a fast paced psychological thriller.  This was my first time reading one of this author's novels and have since added another one of her thrillers, The Breakdown as no.1,500,000 on my TBR list.

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review 2017-10-25 22:41
Silent Lies
Silent Lies: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist - Kathryn Croft

By:  Kathryn Croft

ASIN: B074YGZTPB

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 10/25/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

 

Kathryn Croft returns following While You Were Sleeping (2016) with SILENT LIES — a twisty psychological thriller of big secrets and silent lies, with an ending you do not see coming. 

As the novel opens to five years earlier, at a funeral. Zach. The husband of Mia and father of Freya. This is no normal funeral. There are angry people. A monster. Suicide. They were married for ten years. 

People are asking her if she knew what her husband was up to? How could she have comprehended what he was capable of? She never really knew the man she married. 

Presently we hear from Mia Hamilton. Her daughter now is seven years old. Mia owns a counseling business and is dating Will. He would like for them to move in together. She is not ready. He is the kindest man she could ever meet and so good with Freya.

She thinks someone is watching her. Her world as she knows will never be the same. 

Mia is meeting a client, Alison Cummings (a young woman). She works from her home office. However, she tells Mia that her husband did not kill himself. Alison is Josie’s former roommate and Alison’s partner is Dominic Bradford. She says he is a violent man. 

Alternating from past to present we hear from Josie Carpenter (past) and Mia (present). 

Josie was a student of Zachs at the university. Dominic was Zach’s colleague. At the time he never believed Zach was capable of the things people said. 

Zach’s parents (Pam and Graham) love their granddaughter and they even like Will. They think it is time for her to move on.

Mia has been unable to tell them for the last five years, that she does not think Zach was innocent. The evidence stacked against him was too compelling to ignore. They think he was just depressed and nothing to do with that girl. 

But why would Alison say he did not kill himself, now five years later? Why would Zach risk his life and family for this girl?

Josie supposedly had an affair with her college professor. However, Zach committed suicide while in Josie’s apartment. Or did he? Innocent or guilty of an affair.

Josie disappeared. The police could never determine what happened to her. There was blood. Did Zach kill her, or what really went down that evening?

What does her former roommate Alison know about that night?` What did Zach do to that girl?

Who is telling the truth and who is lying? 

Mia has fought so hard to start over and build a new life for herself and her daughter. Now she feels she is getting sucked back into the past. She will not involve Will. She will not allow Alison or Dominic to ruin it for her. 

Mia has a strong feeling Alison knows exactly what happened to Josie. Josie is one troubled, messed up gal with a past of horrors; abuse, both verbally and physically. Zach sympathized. Alison and Mia— your feeling will change from the beginning to the ending. 

“Who knows what is within us?”

Unreliable narrator (s) and red herrings. A tangled web of deceit and lies. From obsession, jealousy, suspicion, mental illness to justice. The author keeps you guessing until you are not sure if any character is trustworthy. Nothing is as it appears. 

Do not ever think you have gotten away with something. Karma is a bitch. The silence and the past will come back to haunt you. You are not safe. 

No real likable characters here. Not one of my favorites of Crofts; however, entertaining. Some readers may come away feeling a little cheated or let down while some may like the 360-degree twist. 

If you have read Alessandra Torre's The Ghost Writer, you may see a similarity, with a different twist. 

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

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/16/Silent-Lies
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