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review 2017-10-17 21:33
Little Secrets
Little Secrets - Anna Snoekstra

By: Anna Snoekstra

ISBN: 9780778331094

Publisher: MIRA

Publication Date:  10/17/2017 

Format:  Paperback 

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

Anna Snoekstra returns following her dark and edgy debut, Only Daughter, with her second psychological suspense thriller, LITTLE SECRETS — an arsonist, a cop, porcelain dolls, a stranger, dark secrets, mystery, and a journalist are all part of a dying town. 

Rose Blakey is living in the small town of Colmstock, Australia. a small town. She is tired of the dead-end job at the Eamon’s Tavern Hotel and her dead-end life. 

After the car factory shut down the town had quickly lost its sense of purpose. Small enough to have a strong community, but big enough that you could walk down the street without recognizing every person you passed.

Everything and everyone seemed broken and ugly. People were not friendly. Crime was up. People had meth habits. She wanted out. She is a journalist. 

The local paper had closed with all the setbacks. She was still on a list for a larger national paper. It had been a wealthy town with its grand buildings. Now cracked and weathered. 

The mines closed in the eighties. The newspaper closing, had been the worst for her. 

A boy had died. Ben Riley. He had been only thirteen and was brain damaged. He acted like a kid instead of a teen but everyone liked him. His parents owned the local grocery store. 

A fire at the courthouse. Bored teens or a psycho? Since the high school had been closed down, the crime was worse. 

Then there was Senior Sergent Frank Ghirardello. He was hot for Rose since she started working there. His partner Bazza was a good looking buy. Frank could picture them double dating. Mia, Rose’s friend with Bazza and he with Rose.

She had written about everything including the search for the arsonist. Regardless of the topic, there were endless rejections. 

Rose wonders about the mysterious newcomer, Will. 

Then someone was leaving porcelain dolls on the doorsteps of houses. Plus the dolls looked like the little girls in the respective home. Creepy. 

 



If she does not get a good paying job, she will never escape this dark town. She was living on borrowed time. Most people in the town had given up, trying to escape. She would not give up on her dreams. 

She would write about the “Porcelain Terror in Colmstock.”After all, everyone loved a good mystery. Is there a link to child molesters and pedophiles?

There is also the mum, stepfather, and the younger siblings. If she could learn more about the fire and person behind the dolls, it would help her stories.

Rose gets caught up in the stories. She may be making things worse. She needs to dramatize the stories for flair. The person who had left the dolls was marking his victims. Some monster had her sister.

“Hack journalist wanting their piece of the pie, religious groups looking for a cause, children’s groups trying to find a new level of outrage, they were all here.”

The entire town felt changed, paranoid and suspicious. It was her fault. Did the truth matter? 

. . . "People didn’t care about human life like she’d thoughts they did. People cared about purity, they cared when something unexpected happened, something that confirmed the deep-seated fears they already held. They wanted black and white, someone was good or someone was bad and nothing in between."

If something didn’t sound good in a headline, it wasn’t news. 

From a bleak remote town pulled down by its economic misfortunes and crime, there is a sense of ongoing claustrophobic darkness infiltrating the town. 

Gloom and doom. A town of devastation. From police misconduct, an old mine, desperation, drug trafficking, as well as being overwhelmed by arson attacked and the highly publicized porcelain doll case. 

On an emotional level, there is betrayal, dark secrets, revenge, tension, domestic abuse, anger, rage, friendship, menace, evil, lust, unhappy families, and envy. A need to protect. A means of survival. Fear. Coverups. 

The author creates Rose, a complex woman who wants nothing more than to escape this Aussie town. She is desperate. However, how far will she go? 

Not a "feel good" kind of book; however, some intriguing twists and turns you do not see coming. Several of the characters had plans, with good intentions in the beginning, but their plans unravel and ignite a spark which spirals out of control. Creating havoc for many. The butterfly effect. 

The author does a good job of creating that “Noir” feeling and a sense of dark foreboding lurking with mystery, suspense, and tragedy — throughout the book. 

A lot of tug-and-pull between characters; at war, with one another and themselves. The characters are deeply flawed and everyone seems to wear a mask. A good pick for Halloween. 

A town full of little secrets and big lies. For those who enjoyed Big Little Lies and The Blackbird Season,  in a rural darker Australian remote setting. 

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

I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld(love her accent) for an engaging listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/09/11/Little-Secrets
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review 2017-10-15 21:06
Chilling
Nerve Damage: A chilling psychological thriller that will have you covering your eyes and turning the pages faster at the same time - J.L. Myers

This is not a happy story. There is no sunshine or rainbows in these pages. Nerve Damage is dark and disturbing to the extreme and there are scenes of abuse, both physical and sexual, that may be triggers to some.
That being said, I was completely consumed by this psychological thriller and could not put it down. I had an idea of where this story was going, but the author threw enough twists at me to keep me second guessing myself. Myers is quite the master at dangling carrots as she builds a tension filled tale of a nightmarish look inside a mind broken by terrors that no one should ever have to suffer. 
The story does jump between past and present and in and out of the killer's mind, sometimes rather abruptly, but as the book progresses, there is a purpose for those jumps and what may seem confusing at first, all comes together to create a chilling tale to rival the early works of King or Koontz.
For me, the evils that men do is always so much scarier than any of the things that go bump in the night. Nerve Damage shows just how terrifying and manipulative an intelligent mind can be when it's completely shattered by unspeakable horrors. From the opening chapter to the mind-blowing ending, I was riveted. This is one that I won't soon forget and will serve to set a high bar for future reads in the genre.

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review 2017-10-13 08:22
The Silent Corner
The Silent Corner - Dean Koontz

Jane Hawk #1

By: Dean Koontz

ISBN: 978-0345545992

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 6/20/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

Dean Koontz returns following Ashley Bell, landing on myTop Books of 2015 with his latest, THE SILENT CORNER.

Koontz, a master at building suspense, and an incredible story-teller, this time around with action and a well-developed heroine to match. And as always, his signature lyrical prose. 

The author introduces readers to the impressive, Jane Hawk: the first in the new series THE SILENT CORNER —A tough, intelligent, courageous kick-ass heroine with all the skills of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, David Baldacci's Will Robie and then some, as she encounters ruthless, dangerous, and evil predators on her journey for justice. 

A fast action, suspense, high octane gripping page-turner! 

“Those who are truly off the grid and cannot be tracked by any technology, yet are able to move about freely and use the Internet, are said to be in the silent corner.”

A grieving widow, Jane Hawk. An unstoppable clever FBI agent. A marine husband (Nick). They were married six years. Four months earlier she lost him. Another widow, Gwyn (husband Gordon). 

Jane is passionate about clearing Nick’s name, about proving that he had not committed suicide. She had unknowingly set out on a path from which there would be no retreat. Driven by the love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has gone into hiding. 

Murder-Suicides. A conspiracy. 8400 suicides. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police, journalists . . . Unusual suicides. No history of depression, emotional problems or financial crisis. They do not fit the profile. 

Vertigo. Intense dreams. A bitter taste. 

Staying off the grid, going rogue, Jane is smart. She hides her five-year-old son with friends and moves across California. Staying in motels, in disguise and using different names. She is determined to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.

Before Nick’s death, there was a piece about scientists who were developing brain implants using light-sensitive proteins and fiber-optics. Their thoughts translated into luminous pulses by light-sensitive proteins and processed by software and rendered into speech by a computer.

Then she had marveled by all the miracles, technology, and changes. Was it mind control?
How were people make to do it? 

Now she was trapped in a world of violence and horror. She recalled an earlier time with Nick. 

His words. “You rock me.”

Jane takes a leave of absence and hits the road. Interviewing those left behind. Spouses of murder’ suicide cases. Those she sought to expose would not allow her to walk away and live. They had brought something new and terrible into the world. She did not understand. What would two more be people be to them? A mother and son? 

She knew little. At the same time, she knew too much. She suspected more, and there would be no one to who she could risk turning for help until she knew it all. 

Jane finds herself risking her life, as she makes shocking discoveries and comes up against dangerous conspiracies. (and we have more to come). 

Koontz definitely kicks up the action ten-fold in THE SILENT CORNER!. It is no wonder Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have optioned the FBI drama. 

The highly-skilled Jane Hawk rocks! She will be adored and respected by women and men readers, alike. 

Rumors have it Koontz plans to write at least five more books featuring Jane Hawk, and the next in the series, The Whispering Room coming Nov 21, 2017. Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner. Can't wait. 

A reminder why we keep coming back for more Koontz.Better than ever! Fans will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this enthralling suspense action thriller. 

This may be my favorite since The City (which is totally different). Top Books of 2014. 

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers, for an entertaining listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks

Coming in Paperback 

Oct 31, 2017 

Pre-Order Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE WHISPERING ROOM
 

Jane Hawk #2

 

Coming Nov 21, 2017

 

Pre-Order  

 

Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

 

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.”

 

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/04/The-Silent-Corner
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review 2017-10-13 07:30
The One - John Marrs

I started reading this a few days ago but put it down again in favour of my library books. I picked it up again yesterday because I didn't have another book right there and finished it in one sitting. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. It follows the very different fates of several characters who all decide to take a DNA test to find 'the One', their guaranteed partner for life.I just thought it was a brilliant idea although it was a little predictable in some places but that didn't detract from my enjoyment. 

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review 2017-10-11 02:56
Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Lie to Me: A Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller - J.T. Ellison

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book but not as much as I had hoped that I would. I decided to read this book after seeing a few really good reviews. I love a good thriller so I decided to give it a try. I decided to take a peek at the first few pages of this book late one night and ended up putting other books aside so that I could focus on this one. Unfortunately, the book became much easier to set aside the further I read. 

I love a good thriller with a lot of twists and turns. This book takes some pretty ambitious twists that could have been really exciting if I had been even a little surprised. All of the big twists in this story were fairly easy for me to predict and ended up being quite disappointing. I had the urge to set the book aside for a bit whenever there was a bit reveal in the story which was unfortunate.

I didn't have any really strong feelings about the characters in this story. I don't think that took anything away from the story though. I think that this is the kind of book that being unsure of the characters actually works well. Ethan and Sutton both had characteristics that were hard to like but understandable because of the things they have been through.

This was a very easy book to read. I think that it had a nice overall flow and I found myself reading big sections of the book in a single sitting. I liked the short chapters that kept the pace of the book feeling quite rapid. I thought that alternate perspectives were worked into the story exactly when they were most effective. My biggest issue was the fact that I was really let down with every twist that proved to be very predictable. These usually happened just as the focus of the book shifted and I found myself setting the book aside a little easier.

I do think that many readers will enjoy this book a bit more than I did. It is a fast paced story that has quite a few exciting moments. I would definitely pick up more of J.T. Ellison's work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from HQ Digital via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I didn't fall in love with this book but I did like it. There were a lot of twists in the book. Unfortunately, I found those twists to be pretty predictable. I liked some parts of the book quite a bit and found other sections to be just okay.

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