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review 2016-11-11 17:02
Love You to Death
Love You to Death: An Absolutely Gripping Thriller With a Killer Twist (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 1) - Caroline Mitchell
Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series #1
ISBN: 9781786810847 
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date:  11/11/2016
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 stars  ++


A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Master crime thriller author, Caroline Mitchell “ups the ante” with her edgy and gritty new series: LOVE YOU TO DEATH,the first jaw-dropper Detective Ruby Preston debut, which will blow you away. OMG! A thriller like no other, ever. Mitchell’s best yet! Movie Worthy.

Merry Christmas Mummy. What if Santa doesn’t bring me what I want, Mummy? Now let me kill you for leaving me How far will a person go for love?

Set in London, this is a series you will be dying to read. I started at 2am and planned on reading for an hour or so. Trust me, there is NO way you can sleep once you start. Did not stop until I finished the last satisfying page. Non-stop action. Dark, gripping, heart-pounding. It was worth an entire sleepless night. Cannot wait to tell everyone about this book. Words cannot adequately describe the intensity. My heart is still not back to normal..

Caroline Mitchell shines. Brilliantly plotted, the antagonist Lucy is beyond evil, MENTAL, deranged, with demons unleashed in ways you cannot imagine. The author gives an award- winning performance. Each character is sculpted with the finest of instruments.

And this is not even the best part! Detective Ruby Preston is spectacular! Gritty, edgy, kick-ass, tough – absolutely love her! She is not beyond going around the law when needed, plus she has many flaws, a secret past, and a great heart. To further enhance your reading enjoyment, yes . . . there is plenty more.

The author adds a bad boy, Nathan Crosby (rich-gangster) on the wrong side of the law from a crime (abusive) family (even though he is the best of the bunch and a great heart-loved him) – on and off again boyfriend with a lots of history; a horrible mom, dad, and evil crime lord brother, Lenny.

To add more spice, there is another DI, romantic interest "sleeping with (off and on)." And let’s not forget Ruby’s mom, Joy which has dementia in a care facility, Oakwood; which also adds some flair for the dramatic and humor.

Ruby's past is about to catch up with her, which may destroy her career, her life, and anyone who gets in the way. Complicated. Hang on for the ride of your life. Buckle up, it is a rip-roaring roller coaster ride that never loses speed until the explosive conclusion.

A few tidbits. OK, "few" is not in my vocabulary. However, promise not to give away any spoilers, but man, there are some shockers, twists, and many surprises. Nothing about this novel is predictable. Had me, guessing to the very end.

Meet Lucy. Bad girl. Emily was not her mother. She was just like all the others. Nothing but a huge disappointment. She had another Mummy with a different surname, and soon she would be knocking on her door. Tomorrow she would begin again. And again. And again. She would do what it took to find her mother. Somebody worthy of her love. Was she cursed?

She does not want distractions of other family members. She enjoyed the hunt. It gave her a special kind of joy. But there was no time to waste, and tomorrow, she would get back to the serious task of finding her mother. She will eliminate anyone who gets in the way. Husbands and other family members, included. She scratches off the names. Emily, Monica, Anita . .

She knew she had been born to a strong, loving independent woman. Someone who would take her in and love her forever. They would go on shopping trips together, and when Christmas came, it would be the best day of all. She works her way down the list. Time was running out. Only a few months to Christmas and Lucy would not spend it alone! Soon Lucy would have her fairy-tale ending. Christmas Day!

Women who gave up their babies for adoption are being targeted. A serial killer. The door-knocker. Desperate letters to a mother. A death notification. A black-edged card.

Dearest Mother, “Yes, you read right. I’m your daughter. I’ve come to find you. I know that this will come as a shock to you, or perhaps you’ve always known that this day would come. That the daughter you gave away would come looking for answers. But there’s no need to worry. I don’t care about the past. I just want us to be a family. Writing this letter has not been easy, but I want us to be together. I hope this advance warning will make things easier when we meet. I’m so looking forward to being a part of your family again.” Lots of love, Lucy x

The door-knocker killer. She knocks on doors with the news she is the daughter they gave away and is invited in. The woman on the other side is now a victim, at the hands of a monster.

Would she ever really have a happy ever after? Was trying to recreate a happy ending a façade. It all revolved around a set up based on a movie, Lucy’s First Christmas. A twisted desperation to recreate an idyllic family scene. An old-fashioned heart-warming fairy tale, gone bad. She was playing it out.

Lucy is totally unpredictable and would react without warning. Will her victims give the right answers to her stupid game? If not. Watch out, you will be eliminated. Wait, if you do have the right answer, she still wants the joy of killing you.

Detective Ruby Preston is on the case. Now she is receiving letters RIP. No one knows her middle name which starts with an I, but only a select few in her past. Could it be her worst nightmare? Now she finds, herself risking her career for something in her past which has risen to the surface. Plus, who can she trust at work?

Ruby now has more problems and it is getting personal in more ways than one. A journalist has received a letter which could end her career.

Dear Helen: "Detective Ruby Preston (RIP) is sleeping with gangster Nathan Crosby and DI Jack Downers. Disgusting behavior from a MET police officer. The public needs to know." Lucy

Who in the heck is this gal Lucy? How does she know about her past and present?

Mix in Nathan (Ruby/ Nathan), Joy-Ruby’s mom with dementia, Goldie- a hooker prostitute, Cathy-a homeless girl, Lenny a crime lord (Nathan’s brother), The Crosbys (rich, powerful, corrupt family), women being held captive and murdered, a DI Downes-a love interest, and an entire team on the hunt for the killer, plus more twists and turns and shockers than you can count!

Plus with all Ruby’s flaws, she is struggling with her on and off relationship with Nathan. They are on both sides of the law which propose ongoing problems, but they can’t quite part ways. He has bought her a new flat, in a safe neighborhood (which she needs desperately on her salary), but she is afraid it comes with strings. She is unsure about her new relationship with DI Downes since they work together, which can get complicated. Plus she does like her booze.

A gripping psychological crime cop suspense thriller on steroids! My Top Thriller List for 2016. Hard to describe without giving away clues; however, if you think a mix of: Karin Slaughter/Lisa Gardner (crime-cop-female protagonist-gritty, edgy), Mark Edwards/Jennifer Hillier (sinister, horror, evil, suspense), Harlan Coben (non-stop action, twists) and Paul Cleave/Michael Robotham/Lindsay Barclay (crime, psychological suspense, humor) + Caroline’s own personal cop/crime expertise + writing talent = LOVE YOU TO DEATH.

Plot and character driven -coming from all sides. Everything you could possibly want from a crime thriller is here. Buy this book and move to the top of your reading list. Comes out today!! I am so thrilled about the Ruby Preston series, and cannot wait for the next installment to see what comes next.

I am enjoying how many of the authors today are taking their female leads (series) and kicking it up a notch (like Marcia Clark and Mitchell, among others), with more ballsy protagonists than their previous series, with secret pasts and often color outside the lines, with moral gray areas.

What amazes me is how the Mitchell can crank out so many books. Like LOVE YOU TO DEATH, and currently reading WITNESS, coming Dec 20, 2016 (loving it-Featured Weekend Read), and The Silent Twin (April 2016) – all in one year. Impressive!

My third in a row with the awesome publisher, Bookouture (great covers). The UK gals can sure write psychological crime thrillers, like no other!


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/02/Love-You-to-Death
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review 2016-04-22 22:04
A fan-fucking-tastic re-telling of The Winter's Tale
Exit, Pursued by a Bear - E.K. Johnston

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This was not my first book by Johnston. I read A Thousand Nights last year and even though I didn’t love it, I fell in love with the author’s writing style so when I heard about this book, I KNEW I WANTED to read it. Little did I know at that time that it was a re-telling of The Winter’s Tale (which I recently read for the first time in my Shakespeare Lit class.) When I found out that that is what the author was going for, my excitement to read the book soared and I really wanted to see how the author would adapt the play into a YA novel.

My verdict is that this book passed with flying colors and everyone needs to read it NOW. I would say that it is more inspired by the play than an actual re-telling but at the same time, the author does an amazing job of incorporating elements from the play and using them to tell her very own story.

So, this book deals with serious issues like rape and pregnancy and in my opinion, the author does these issues justice. Hermione is one of the best female leads I have ever come across. Her strength and her realness endeared her to me. I realize realness is such a vague term but it’s really the only way I can describe her. This book doesn’t present readers with a romanticized version of rape but rather one that is more realistic. The main character is detached from her experience and hates how she is changed by something she cannot even remember. How everyone around her is treating her as if she is fragile and breakable.

One of my favorite things about this book is the way the author writes the relationships. Hermione’s relationships with the people around her are amazing! There is obviously not anything easy about her experience, especially given the rumours going on about her and the way she is casted as an outcast because she is the ‘raped and pregnant’ girl. She has a great set of friends though and her relationship with her therapist and her parents makes me happy. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when there are positive relationships in books and not everything is hopeless and depressing. I especially love it when therapy isn’t shown as being the worst thing in the world because therapy is actually important for a lot of people.

The reason why this book did not get all 5 stars though was because some things were disjointed including the ending of the book. I think that if the book were a little longer, it would have given the author even more room to explore Hermione’s character and show her growth over the course of the book.

That said, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is an important book and one I would encourage everyone to add to their to-read shelves. It’s not worth missing out on and if you are a bit of a Shakespeare geek or have read The Winter’s Tale, there will be LOTS of interesting happenings and satisfying moments that you might have wished happened in the play.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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