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review 2018-10-11 18:47
Halloween Bingo 2018 Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough
Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough

I think this book takes place in London but I'm not 100% certain so I'll put this in the "Free" space.

 

Behind Her Eyes by this same author was a five star read for me (and yep, I LOVED that ending) but this one was not. I’m giving it a three and that makes me sad because I was so looking forward to another amazingly nasty little read.

 

CROSS HER HEART started out great. It’s a story of dark secrets and lies and murder. That kind of thing screams my name but I can’t give it a high rating because I saw most everything coming before it was revealed. I am NOT good at the sleuthing and I am not afraid to admit it. I never figure out the murderer or the twisty twists on any of those mystery shows and I’m even worse with books. So, either my brain is getting better at detection, or this book was a little too heavy handed with the clues. I’m guessing it is the latter but it also could be because the characterization was so well done that many little clues stuck in my forgetful brain.

 

The story is about a woman named Lisa. Lisa has a dark past she’s desperately trying to keep hidden now that she’s built a respectable new life and is the mother of a 16 year old daughter named Ava. But someone is haunting her and taunting her with tidbits that remind her that this someone knows all of her secrets and may expose her past misdeeds and ruin her life at any moment. The story is told from the point of view of Lisa, her best friend Marilyn and daughter Ava. I loved the three different point of views because we soon realize that all of these ladies have a little darkness in their lives and are very good at secret keeping.

 

And that’s all I’m giving you. To say more defeats the purpose of reading the book. Lies are eventually revealed, characterization stays intense and there was plenty of crazy to keep my attention but the fact that the plot reveals, the twists, and the murderer were all so obvious and the stalkers motive so weak, I found myself a very disappointed reader by the end of it all.

 

This one is going into the Free Category.

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

 

I've Read These (none called):


Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

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text 2018-10-02 18:45
September 2018-That's A Wrap!
Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories - Adam Light,Gregor Xane,Josh Malerman,Jason Parent,Evans Light
Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough
Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Ramsey Campbell
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix
The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson
Cockblock - Ramona Master,Roderick Hunt,Roderick Hunt
Drawing Blood - Poppy Z. Brite,Matt Godfrey
Hex - Thomas Olde Heuvelt
The Devil's Fingers - Hunter Shea

I read 13 books in September! 

 

Graphic Novels

 

Lucifer Book 3 by Mike Carey 5*

 

Total: 1

 

Audiobooks

 

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor, narrated by Ray Porter 4*

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, narrated by Bernadette Dunn 5* (HB)

Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite, narrated by Matt Godfrey 3* (HB)

Cockblock by C.V. Hunt, narrated by Ramona Master 4*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough 4* (HB) 

Doorbells At Dusk edited by Evans Light (Anthology) 4*

Thirteen Days at Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell 3* (HB)

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix 5* (HB) 

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson 3.5* (HB)

Slimer by Harry Adam Knight 5* (HB)

The Devil's Fingers by Hunter Shea 4* (HB)

 

Total: 7

 

RANDOM READS

 

Hex by Thomas Heulvelt (Buddy read with Lillelara) 3* (HB)

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

(I'm failing miserably)

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

6. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale

7. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

8. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

9. Hex by Thomas Heuvelt

Running Total: 122

 

Books read for Halloween Bingo: 9

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-22 07:36
Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale
Poison - Sarah Pinborough

I'm a firm believer that it's a rare re-telling that's better than the original.

 

This is not that rare re-telling. 

 

In general, I'm 'meh' about fairy tales anyway, at least as an adult, though I can't remember any I loved as a kid either.  Even in my innocent youth I lacked romance.  But I needed a fairy tale and this was on the FOTL shelves for a buck and the cover was pretty.

 

The star is for the pretty cover and for serving its purpose.  Otherwise the writing was juvenile, which is fitting for a fairy tale, but the sex and language were not.  Perhaps the dichotomy is part of the darkness of the re-telling, but it didn't work for me.

 

But what really didn't work for me was that the story didn't end.  It didn't have a happy ending or a dark ending or a sad ending; it lacked any ending - it just stopped.  No resolution for Snow White, the Woodsman, the elves or the witch.  There's an epilogue, from the POV of a minor character, but it does nothing to offer any kind of closure.  Again, probably part of the whole "dark retelling" but obviously, I'm not the target audience, because it didn't feel all that dark, or all that twisted, or all that wicked.  

 

By the last page of the book, I felt nothing for any of the characters, which I guess is the best possible outcome since that means I won't waste any time wondering what the hell happened at the end??

 

I read this for the A Grimm Tale square for Halloween Bingo.

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review 2018-09-20 21:15
Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough

Oh, this book. Where to start? I honestly did not expect to be so addicted Cross Her Heart. My original plan was to start this, and then read it in between other books that I'm working on at the same time. Since, normally, Thriller/Mystery books take a little time to really get going. Well, scratch that idea. Sarah Pinborough's book is a slow burn sure, but one that just keeps you on your toes as every single turn. She expertly pulls you one way, then the other, never really allowing you to settle in. In short, I flew through this book. I'm really pleased about that.

It's going to be rough to say a lot about this story, because I absolutely don't want to give anything away. The joy of discovery is half of the fun of reading this book. What I can say, is that Lisa's character is perfection. Both her and her daughter are fully fleshed out people who you'll slowly finding yourself falling in step with. Even Ava's teenage petulance made me smile. There's something wonderful about reading a story like this and feeling like the characters could be your next door neighbors. In the case of a story like this, there's always something vaguely ominous about it too.

When I say that twists abound, I'm really not kidding. Cross Her Heart has a steady pace that just grabs you by the hand and tugs you along, never letting go. Even when you stop in your tracks because of what's around the next corner, it just pulls you along. I so appreciated the fact that nothing in this story felt forced. Every action, every plot point, felt expertly laid out. I felt like I was being told a real story which, like I mentioned above, added to the unease I felt while reading this book. I thought I knew where Sarah Pinborough was taking me. I was so wrong.

If you're looking for a very well written, very quick moving Thriller this is your next read.

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review 2018-09-03 15:00
CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough
Cross Her Heart: The gripping new psychological thriller from the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author - Sarah Pinborough

 

Starting at 12:01 on Saturday morning and finished by 7pm Sunday night, CROSS HER HEART consumed almost my entire weekend. A fast paced thriller with so many twists and turns, I can honestly say that I did not guess how it would end. I love when that happens!

 

There are so many reviews out already, I'm not sure what I can add to what's already been said, but here we go. Lisa loves her daughter Ava so much, but is suffocating her by being so over-protective. Now that Ava is 16, she's chomping at the bit to get on with her life and for her mom to back off. Ava is an excellent swimmer and on the swim team at school. When a young boy falls into the water at a community fair, Ava doesn't hesitate to jump in and save him, and as a result, both her and her mom's pictures are plastered all over the local papers. This sets in motion a series of events that will change their lives forever. How do their lives change due to these pictures? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This is only my second Sarah Pinborough novel but I'm happy to know there are several older books for me to catch up with. Her writing style appeals to me because of the pacing, the depth of the characters and her ability to change the direction of the story on a dime. A dime, I say! I was rooting for Lisa and Ava to pull through. I was rooting for Lisa's best friend Marilyn too. With bad guys you can easily hate and protagonists that are easy to love, Sarah Pinborough has gained a reader for life.

 

Highly recommended for fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers!

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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