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review 2017-08-18 08:51
The Breakdown
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris

By:  B. A. Paris 

ISBN: 978-1250122469

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date:  7/18/2017 

Format: e-book

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

British author, BA Paris (one of my favorites) returns following her sensational debut, Behind Closed Doors, on my Top Books of 2016 with another gripping second thriller THE BREAKDOWN – A fitting title for a mysterious car breakdown, to a possible mental breakdown. 

The dark truths behind a façade. From friendship, love, trust, deception, madness, jealousy, gaslighting, to murder. 

It is summer in July and Cass’s husband has told her to drive carefully. There is a storm coming. Secondly, he cautions her not to drive through the woods on her own at night. She promises. 

Cass leaves a party early to go home when it begins to rain. She should have waited out the storm with her friends. However, she does not heed the warning. At the very last minute, she veers off to the left, taking the shortcut, Matthew told her not to take.

An eerie setting, Cass is determined she will be home soon. Suddenly there is the wind and she is in her Mini. She fears she will be stranded in the woods. More thunder and lightning. The road is deserted. She does not want to wake her husband. He would be furious. She cannot call him. She sees a car up ahead. The car is stopped. It is a woman. A woman looks back at her, her features blurred by the rain.

Thinking she has broken down, she pulls in a little way in front of her and comes to a stop. She waits to see if the woman will get out of the car. She does not get out. Why can’t she leave the car? Why is she just sitting there?

Then Cass notices there is something off about the way she is sitting with her headlights on. A shiver runs down her spine. It does not seem right to drive off and leave her. Maybe someone is on their way to help her. 

She is afraid and does not want to stop and help because it could be dangerous. Everything tells her to go. So, she does. But the woman is still her on her mind and wonders if she could call the breakdown services to tell them or the police.

Then she sees a text from Rachel. The message was strange. Did she forget something? She racks her brain. Memories of her mum, uncomfortable ones flood her mind and she quickly pushes them away. By tomorrow she will have remembered.

Rachel is the sister she never had. Their mothers had been friends. Rachel had spent a large part of her childhood at their house and they always referred to her as their second daughter. 

Cass is a teacher and had to give up her job to take care of her mum. She and Matthew had not been on a real honeymoon because they had been busy renovating their cottage. Turned out when her mom died she had been wealthy instead of a penniless widow after her father passed away. Her mum had lived on so little when she could have lived in luxury. 

The next morning, she learns the woman is on the news. A woman was found dead. Blackwater Lane. Could it be the same woman?

A woman had been found dead in her car near Browbury in Suxxex. Did she commit suicide? 

Feeling overwhelming guilt, Cass thinks if she had stopped to check on her, things might have turned out differently. 

Her death was being treated as suspicious. Had the killer been in the same spot? Had he been lurking in the bushes waiting for the opportunity to kill. Murder. 

Cass cannot stop thinking about taking this road. What about the woman? She had left her to her fate. . . to be murdered.

Turns out the mystery woman was Jane Waters, a young mother whom Cass recently befriended. A mother with two-year-old twins. She is shocked. She recently had lunch with her. Her cottage was only a few miles from where she was killed. She was her new friend. They had met by chance at a party.

Between this, Rachel and her husband continuing to tell her she is forgetting things, she begins questioning her own sanity. Or, is she getting like her mom with early onset dementia? She is terrified. 

Rachel and Matthew do not like one another. There is mistrust there. Rachel disapproved of Matthew. Could Rachel be jealous that she has someone in her life?

Jane haunts her. The constant nagging guilt. She has to find out what happened. Should she contact the police? She was on the road at around eleven-thirty but another voice tells her not to because she kept this information to herself. Could she be putting herself in danger if the killer is still out there?

Now she is worried about her own safety living so close to the murder. Strange things begin happening. 

 




The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Cass has a surprise for Rachel. A house. She will give her the keys to her house of dreams. She will keep the secret. Her mum and dad would have wanted her to have it. 

Tension builds to the point of madness or is it paranoia? Either someone is gaslighting her with an evil plot to make her think she is crazy, and losing her mind or she is actually losing her mind.

From Matthew to Rachel, something is not right. Someone is manipulating circumstances and Cass soon does not trust anyone. 

From the intensity and worry of trying to solve Jane’s murder — could there be a connection with her husband, Rachel, and Jane? Nothing is as it appears and Cass feels like she has nowhere to turn. Why is everyone out to get her? Does someone want her money? 

Cass wants the truth no matter how it turns out. However, will she get too close to the truth and put herself in harm's way? 

Once again, the author delivers a brilliantly crafted intense psychological thriller grabbing you from the first page to the last. Enjoyed reading the inspiration behind the book by the author. 

Gripping, riveting, and maddening, the author takes readers on a twisty, dark and scary journey. A page-turner which will keep you on the edge of your seat turning into the night. Emotional and addictive— (great cover)! Would make a suspenseful movie. Love the author’s style. 

The setting reminds me of all the rainy stormy late nights stuck out in the dark deserted woods on the Silver Comet 150 mile bike trail in Atlanta, GA — I rode every week (alone) 8 hrs (for years) and often after the time change I would be stuck out after dark before returning to the end, where I parked my car. There was no cell signal since most parts were very remote. I literally could not see anything in front of me, and no one on the trail for miles and miles. Pitch dark in the middle of thunder and lightning and pouring rain storms. 

Everyone warned me to stop doing this, but I was an avid cycler. Later, of course, several women were murdered on the trail. (guess it was fortunate I moved to Florida ). Also hiking on a mountain top in the dark with thunder, lightning, and rain on so many occasions. When looking back on these times, I wonder how I survived. Young, crazy, foolish, and adventurous. Would love for someone to write a book about this trail. I definitely have some scary and chilling stories. 

In addition to the reading copy also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Georgia Maguire for a chilling performance. (love the accent). 

Fans of Wendy Walker, Mary Kubica, and Fiona Barton (also my favorites) will enjoy this top-notch psychological suspense thriller. Can't wait to see what's next! 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks 

 

 



On a personal note: 
My apologies for the delay in posting my review since I was fortunate to have read THE BREAKDOWN prior to the pub date back in March, and wanted to wait until closer to pub date to post a review. 

In early May-June, my dad became critical with congestive heart failure (I was his POA) and flew home rather suddenly to care for him (my mom passed away ten months earlier). Wound up remaining in North Carolina for another two months, was in a bad car accident (his SUV), and my dad passed away the same evening, planned a funeral, deal with the insurance claim, car repairs, and had to clear out and sell his home. (closed on it this week). Also being the executor of my dad's estate, dealing with probate, among other things. So just getting back home to Florida and returning to work full time, this week. 

Tons of reviews, book blogging, and lots of reading to catch up! (May-Aug)

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/02/TheBreakdown
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review 2017-08-15 06:18
Emma in the Night
Emma in the Night - Wendy Walker

By: Wendy Walker

ISBN: 978-1250141439

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date:  8/8/2017

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars + 

 

Talented Wendy Walker returns following her standout debut, All is Not Forgotten—landing on my Top Books of 2016, with another gripping and twisty, addictive psychological suspense thriller EMMA IN THE NIGHT revolving around narcissistic personality disorder and abuse. 

Top Books of 2017! 5 Stars + 

Two girls go missing. Three years later, only one comes home. What happened to Emma?

One of the most difficult things to understand in life is how someone who professes to love you can then go on to abuse you. Combine narcissistic behavior with obsession, insecurity, control, jealousy, love, hate, and revenge, and you have a nasty evil person. 

Emotional coercion, blame, guilt, manipulation, negative comparison, jealousy, and possessiveness. (great character traits for a parent, right)? 

Judy Martin (well I do like the name), but she is one evil horrible person. Her daughters call her Mrs. Martin. Readers will despise her. She lives to be the center of attention. 

Walker does an outstanding job with her characters. (I cannot imagine how difficult this book was to write). Judy inflicts pain (her ways and motives) onto everyone around her. A devil of a mother. She manipulates everyone around her. Everything is a game. Even Emma gets caught up in the game. 

Everything is a competition. Not sure how either of these girls had time to live a normal life. Game on every day. Like an endless tennis match. 

Two daughters. Emma and Cass Tanner. 

Their mother remarried a guy she was having an affair with. Mr. Martin. Their biological dad is Owen. 

The two girls have been missing for three years. 

Cass was 15 and her older sister Emma was 17. No one knew whether they were dead or alive? 

Now Cass shows up on her mother’s doorstep. She claims her sister is on an island and she escaped and needs help in rescuing her and her baby girl. Who knew she was pregnant?

Of course, at the time of the original investigation, there was the FBI psychologist, Abigail Winter (Abby) who was engrossed in the case. She herself lived with a narcissistic mother and was a pro on the subject.

Now Cass returns without Emma. 

Is she telling the truth? Can she provide enough clues to lead them to her sister Emma? Are they really on an island? Apparently, her sister had a horrible argument with Judy the night she left and went to the beach. Cass hid in her car.

A man and woman who befriended them, turned against them and held them hostage. For three years they attempted to escape. 

What is this family hiding? Everyone seems to be hiding a dark secret. From Mr. Martin (step-dad), his son—Hunter, Owen—the dad, Judy, Emma, and Cass. 

Wow, this is one dysfunctional family! Nerve-wracking suspense. Walker knows how to build suspense with unreliable narrators. You know something is coming. Something is lurking around the corner. Which one will outsmart the other in this cat and mouse game?

You know there is a scheme, a plan; however, you are not sure where this story will lead. What is Judy hiding? Mr. Martin? Cass? Hunter?

The author keeps you guessing from the first page to the last. From slow burning manipulation, Walker hits on all cylinders. 

 



I had a lot going on in my life during the reading of this book; however, I found myself rushing to get back to this saga. This subject is one I did quite a bit of research on years ago and have read many books on the subject. My ex-husband (I emphasize "EX" for 20 yrs. now), was a true narcissistic personality. He could give Judy a few lessons. Will give you chills. 

Reading this book brought back all these dangerous, manipulative, and scary personality traits and their sense of entitlement, which he handed down to his own sons. (Thank goodness I did not have any children with him; however, mine saw the damage) and we were able to get away from this life after five years. 

Narcissistic abuse was originally just defined as a specific form of emotional abuse of children by narcissistic parents, parental narcissistic abuse, where parents who require the child to give up their own wants and feelings in order to serve the parent's needs for esteem. 

It is real. You can be assured a narcissist can have “intellectual empathy” and no emotional empathy. Not in their vocabulary. If faced with a narcissist, you will ask yourself, “How much abuse am I prepared to take?” RUN! However, if you are a child, this is somewhat difficult to do. 

How could an island be any worse than living with Mr. and Mrs. Martin? There has to be a good reason to return. Yes, it was. 

Walker works her way back to that night slowly as all the pieces unravel for dynamite ending. Outstanding twists, intense characterizations, and interesting subject matter make EMMA IN THE NIGHT a top psychological thriller. 

I also purchased the audiobook and Therese Plummer and Julia Whelan provided an edge- of-your-seat award-winning performance!

What an intense mind-bending page-turner! Move this one to the top of your list. A devilish cat and mouse game. Who will win in the end? Read and find out. . . 

Read more on the author’s website Behind the Book. Good Stuff! 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/03/09/Emma-in-the-Night
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review 2017-07-31 16:02
Fear Inducer by Ellie Douglas Review – @AuthorEllie @SDSXXTours
Fear Inducer - Ellie Douglas
Fear Inducer
by Ellie Douglas
Genre: Psychological Thriller
 
 

MY REVIEW

 

LOVIN’ THAT COVER

 

Hello. Meet Felix. He’s a genius. But he is all evil.

 

Have a phobia. He wants to know about it, then use it against you.

 

Let me count the ways a person can die.

 

Each chapter begins with a morbid picture, hinting at the upcoming torture.

 

Ellie Douglas will take you on a horror trip that may have you squirming in your seat, brushing imaginary critters from your arm, glancing at flickering shadows out of the corner of your eye…then laughing at your silliness. If you weren’t afraid before, you will be now.

 

You will need a strong stomach…and maybe a barf bucket.

 

I loved it…but then so much death, torture, blood and guts, that I needed a break. I actually became bored with it. This is killing, just to kill. I love serial killers and I want  to know their motivation, the WHY of it. What made this so necessary for him?

 

And then…it’s just done. I felt lost…

 

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Fear Inducer by Ellie Douglas.

 

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  3 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/fear-inducer-by-ellie-douglas-giveaway-authorellie-sdsxxtours
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review 2017-07-28 13:49
Edging- Michael Schutz

 

     An intense read, high on adrenaline to the end. Not all the loops in the story quite join at the end, though some of this is almost certainly intentional as Schutz sets his readers of for a second edging. There are a few copy errors, but none that came close to spoiling my read.

     In my view, the book has a little too much pace to it to really built the horror, increasingly lacking a juxtaposition between normality and evil abnormality which really put’s teeth on edge. So not quite Mary Shelly or Steven King, but a great read by any standards. This is very much the sort of book that I would be happy picking up as a pot-luck read from the airport lounge.

    As to the plot, I am inclined to make the noun plural. There are many elements that might have been better divided into two separate stories. The first, about the drug culture and it’s dangers to society was by far the most powerful. The second plot, the devil working through the minds of his devotees and captured souls and the physical manifestation of his evil, provided the meat of the climatic ending but lacked the conviction of the narcotic story. There is connection between the two plots, but not a direct and strong enough one for my liking. Perhaps Edging II will bind the plots together with more conviction.

   Overall, I recommend this book to those that like to feel the rush of a fast paced, edge-of-seat entertainment. Reading this is like watching a movie, exciting but lacking enough detail to properly join all the dots, entertainment trumping exacting plot, rather than a book plot stripped of logical continuity in the making of a film. That doesn’t make the book unreadable any more than making an exciting movie unwatchable, on the contrary, both can be great entertainment; that being very much the case here.

    This raises the question of whether this book has potential as a film. It absolutely does. With well-engineered special effects, it could be a real blockbuster.

    As I did, you may want to compartmentalise the plot elements a little. But, yes, this is a quality read. I have no hesitation in awarding the five stars I do to most books that raise my interest enough to solicit a review.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2017-07-14 19:05
Two Sisters: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist - Kerry Wilkinson

This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. The story of two sisters who find out that their brother did not die years ago like they thought because that's what their parents told them was intense at times and very entertaining all of the time. 

I will definitely be reading more of this author in the future.

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

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