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review 2017-09-24 20:17
The Blackbird Season
The Blackbird Season - Kate Moretti

By:  Kate Moretti 

ISBN: 9781501118456

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 9/26/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars 

 
Kate Moretti returns following The Vanishing Year, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with her latest THE BLACKBIRD SEASON – a scandal rocks a town with dark chilling secrets. An emotionally charged exploration of a family and community in crisis.

Haunting, complex, twisty, mysterious, and suspenseful — Moretti style. 

The whodunit suspense will keep you glued to the pages. The excellent writing, well-developed characters, and crafty plot will keep you entertained and absorbed. 

“The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying." —from Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, Wallace Stevens

Nate Winters and his wife Alecia are well respected in the small quiet town of Mount Oanoke, Pennsylvania. A dying mill town, the people living in this small community have their struggles. Baseball is one highlight of their town.

Nate is a math teacher and baseball coach, well loved by all. A hero to many. Alecia, a former career woman, is now a stay at home mom with their 5-year-old autistic son, Gabe.

Things are quite tense in their relationship, marriage, and household. Of course, with Gabe, her plate is full. Alecia is consumed with his care and often resentful of her husband who spends time at school and on the ballfield helping others. 

She is miserable, bitter, angry, and sad. She has little time left over for her husband with a special needs child. Her only friend is Bridget. 

Told from alternating points of view: Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget. 
 

Bridget is a creative writing teacher at the school and a co-worker of Nate. She believes in him. She lost her husband to cancer the previous year. They had all been good friends. Of course, as teachers of high school students, a difficult task; there is always drama—they are self-absorbed glued to their phones, or bullying someone. 

Lucia is a senior at the high school. She is an eccentric teen, loner and everyone thinks is weird. A witch? A difficult childhood. She is in a writing class led by Bridget. Bridget feels uncomfortable with Lucia. She has no friends. She writes of death and dying. 

“Lucia tackled pain and death clinically, a biology lab dissection. She sees birds. She says they come to her and she knows bad things will happen.” Entries in her journal.

She is exotic with unsettling beauty. Crazy white hair, black-rimmed eyes, and red lips. She has a brother, Lenny, and dropout and a father Jimmy who had skipped town. Is she evil? She has obsessions with blackbirds, ravens, and crows. She reaches out to Nate for help.

How could this pillar of the community— father, husband, teacher, leader, and friend —Nate, find himself in trouble? He would be fired. Everyone would call him a murderer. They would accuse him of an affair. OR a student who came on to Nate and he rejected her —set out for revenge?

A thousand starlings fell from the sky. Not fluttering to the earth, but plummeting. Hard and fast in the middle of the third inning of the opening day at Mt. Oaknoke High field. 

Then the pandemonium. A cloud of blackbirds, thousands of them. The entire thing lasted less than three minutes. 911 was called, and everyone wondered where they came from. Why did they fall? What did it mean? 

After the falling which everyone thinks is a bad omen, everything bad begins happening. Nate is accused of having an affair. A motel. A reporter. He is fired. Did Nate have a flair for girls in need or was he innocent? A girl goes missing. Fingers are pointed.

A marriage and a town are torn apart. However, is Nate to blame or someone else? Is he being set up and if so whom? Is Lucia a victim or menace? An intriguing character. 

A slow-burning gripping tale, both haunting, spellbinding, and disturbing. 

A cautionary suburban crime story sprinkled with supernatural elements. The unsettling atmosphere gives a strong sense of fearful apprehension or darkness lurking. Foreboding, suspicion, and unease —a feeling that something bad will happen; a dark cloud. 

What lies beneath those dark clouds? 

Moretti delves deep into the lives of these flawed characters. Loss and danger—an ongoing theme. From the loss of a spouse, marriage, love, job, trust, and a town. From teens to adults. Bullying. Everyone has an opinion. With an array of emotions. Jealousy and obsession. 

Marriage, parenting, infidelity. Expectations. The wide variation in challenges, strains, and strengths of a special needs child with autism; the complex developmental disability, and the caregivers. The strains it can bring to a marriage. 

Guilt or Innocence. Good or Evil. Black and white magic. From malicious acts to loyalty and friendship. Self-discovery or destruction. Denial or obsession. A compelling complex book of contrasts, relationships, and expectations with shades of gray. 

The symbolic meaning of blackbirds is eternally linked to the "dark vs light" phases of the moon similar to the character’s lives. Blackbirds and birds of black or dark colors are special among their airy clan as they are symbolic of mystery, magic, secrets, and the unknown. 

The blackbird teaches you how to acknowledge your power and use it to its fullest. While the crow or blackbird can play the trickster, they are usually benevolent and bring news of good passage and protection.

The condition of the town with its ups and downs and tragedy, as well as the claustrophobic, toxic, bleak, and creepy outlook— also parallels to the character’s lives. Would make for an ideal selection for book clubs and further discussions. 

Fans of Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, Paula Treick Deboard, T. Greenwood, and Lisa Scottoline’s One Perfect Life(also set in Pennsylvania), will enjoy this emotional thriller. 

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON also gave me the chills (psychologically) as so, when watching The Birds, (a 1963 American horror-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock) as a child—this one did give me nightmares for weeks. 

Would love to learn more about the author’s inspiration for this unique book. Hats off to the author for courageously tackling this storyline with so many moving parts. Hint: (an interview Q&A is in order). 

A very special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 4.5 Stars 

Have also pre-ordered the Audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell (My favorite narrator), Gibson Frazier, Joy Osmanski, Rebekah Ross. Look forward to listening!

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Kate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of  Thought I Knew You, While You Were Gone, and Binds That Tie. Her newest novel, The Vanishing Year will be available fall 2016. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life. 

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway. Read More  

 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/02/The-Blackbird-Season
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review 2017-09-19 15:42
Lies She Told
Lies She Told - Cate Holahan

By:  Cate Holahan 

ISBN: 9781683312956

Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 9/12/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

LIES SHE TOLD by Cate Holahan is a dark and twisty mind-bending thriller with more than one unreliable narrator. 

On almost every page, this imaginative psychological thriller forces the reader to reconsider what is real. A book within a book when the lines of fact and fiction are blurred.

“The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted.” — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook H 

Manhattan author Liza, (of romantic suspense) is under extreme pressure with her upcoming novel. 

Trevor, a forty-two-year-old (editor) is telling a thirty-five-year-old woman in the middle of her target audience demographic, what her peers want in the sack. He thinks he knows trends. 

Alternating between Liza’s POV in the real world, and Beth (the protagonist) in Liza’s novel. Needless to say, both these ladies lives are complex. 

"Blurring fact and fantasy is my trade. I am a con artist. A prevaricator. I make up stories." So why does he think this one is real? 

David Jacobson, husband of twelve years. Nick Landau, David’s law partner is missing. Nick never liked Liza.

Liza and David have been unable to conceive. Both the anxiety of this plus her writing deadlines push her to get lost in her characters. Their marriage is strained. 

. . . She does not invent her characters. She steals them from her surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day she robs herself blind.

"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place." —Henry Louis Mencken, A Little Book in C Major

As the pressure of the deadlines mounts, Liza becomes immersed in her heroine. Unfaithful? Murder?

Is she writing about her own life? 

Beth has a new baby and her husband, Jake is a prosecutor. He is cheating, while she is home taking care of the baby. The sexy officer, Colleen. The psychiatrist, Tyler, and an old friend.

Will both stories lead to murder? The lines are blurred. 

Who is telling the truth? Who is not? Two stories intertwined.

The author cleverly draws readers into a world where truth blends with delusion, plus more. . . 

Dark, twisty, and sinister grip-lit. The author keeps the reader on its toes while switching from fact and fiction while questioning every move. 

Chilling, unique, intriguing, and disturbing, LIES SHE TOLD, will keep readers turning the pages. With all the books about LIES these days, this one definitely takes a distinctive spin. 

A special thank you to Crooked Lane and NetGalley for an early reading digital copy. 

I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Amy McFadden and Lisa Larsen, for a captivating performance.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/12/Lies-She-Told
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review 2017-09-05 07:35
Best Day Ever
Best Day Ever - Kaira Rouda

By: Kaira Rouda

ISBN:  9781525811401

Publisher:  Graydon House

Publication Date: 9/19/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

Best Books of 2017 

 

Psychologically rich, Kaira Rouda's latest, BEST DAY EVER is one of the most satisfying and entertaining books I have read in 2017! 5 Stars +++ When I add (+s): my Top List for the year. 

Kaira Rouda creates an unpredictable delicious unique domestic suspense at its finest. I predict BEST DAY EVER will be a blockbuster hit and prime for the wide screen. What goes on behind closed doors? 

BEST DAY EVER, a Big Little Lies, but better. The author’s best work to date and this psychological domestic thriller sets itself apart from all the rest due to, a number of things which I will address in my review. (sorry for the length of the review, but have a lot to say).

There are so many psychological elements at play here (starting with the car ride). A weekend trip. The allure. A lake house. A dinner. The anticipation. Afterwards. The perfect set up. You will be dying to know what will happen next. Truly edge-of-your-seat. 

I can envision Alexander Skarsgård (Paul) and Nichole Kidman (Mia) starring in the film. I want a front row seat. An ideal choice for BEST DAY EVER. Hint, someone! Will need to ponder the cast for Buck. (he needs to be hot and hunky)! 

Skillful writing and execution tactics abound. The story takes place within a 24 hr. period. Tick Tock. There is not one moment of boredom. It is addictive and compelling. 

The banter is to die for! 

The author has outdone herself. Spine-tingling. Impending peril (not knowing what Paul will do next) creating intense tension, that propels this claustrophobic cat-and-mouse tale toward its hold your breath, gratifying conclusion. 

Meet Paul and Mia Strom. 

Mia was once a copywriter at an advertising agency when they met. She is from a wealthy family. Paul is an advertising executive and he thinks he is God. He thinks everyone worships him. It does not matter what he does wrong. He can put a spin on it. He has secrets. 

He, of course, has taught his wife everything. (gag) Sex, love, fine food, travel. He is the sophisticated older man she pledged to love honor and obey. As most psychopaths, they do not respect women. They are a conquest. They seek them out. Put on the charm. Slowly turn on their dark side. 

We hear from Paul, in Ohio and his plans to take his wife away for the weekend to their home on Lake Erie. It is a Friday afternoon and Paul feels some tension. He has made these plans and he wants nothing to go wrong. He appears charming and romantic. It will be the BEST DAY EVER. 

They have not been away for a weekend together in more than a year. This day was going to be just for them and it was time to go. The phone rings causing a little delay. 

They drop the kids off at the sitter’s house and then they are on their way. After all, he has loaded and syncing all his wife’s favorite songs. It will be a romantic weekend, with candles, wine, and a fabulous restaurant. Everything to set the mood. Nothing will stand in his way. 

As for most of us, we are aware of any sort of relationship- when you are traveling, you have expectations of an upcoming trip. Emotions run high. She is thinking. He is thinking. Trying to read the other's mind. However, as the car winds its way to the lake, we soon get the feeling, Paul has a dark side. 

However, we are not quite sure what is going on with Mia. 

 




Of course, he does not like it when she wants to stop for a restroom break (God forbid) or stop at a bakery for croissants. However, he is in a flexible mood. He will throw her a bone or two. This once. Paul also talks about the neighbors and bad mouths them if they do not like him. He is all about appearances. 

First, I knew nothing about this book going in, except the summary and the book trailer. At first glance, you think this will be another murder at the lake. Been there, done that. Think again. This book is nothing like anything I have read. 

Not the blood and gore. It is the most dangerous of all. The mind. The thoughts. The suspense. The impending danger. The mystery. The intrigue and the dark humor. Character-driven. 

You pretty much suspect early on Paul (husband) looks at life through rose-colored glasses. He thinks he can do no wrong. Everyone is beneath him and he can manipulate anyone to his advantage. What a jerk. 

He is king of their castle and his queen needs to fall back in line. He is all about action, like a super hero. About achieving and success. Their family is superior. What is this talk about her going back to work? No way. 

You have no clue what he has planned for the romantic weekend away at the lake without the boys. You know something is hidden in the car in the glove compartment, but you do not know what. It will be the BEST DAY EVER. 

He has a lot riding on this weekend. More than you can imagine. 

Paul is trying to make this a pleasant experience to smooth things over, or so it appears. We soon learn Mia has been sick. It annoys him when she eats healthy and controls their eating and dining habits. He appears to be trying, yet he does not like it when the conversation does not go his way. 

Everything he is thinking is played out in the book. He continues to steer it in his direction. He demands control. 

This is where the book excels in my opinion. I could not put this book down. If I had to, I was dying to get back to it. You know something has occurred and he is trying to make a good impression to get Mia back to his side. He wants to smooth things over for some reason. 

He gets annoyed when she starts talking about her strawberries and garden at the lake. The guy Buck is their next door neighbor and his wife died. He helps look after her garden when they are away.

Of course, Paul does not like Buck. Mmmmm . .

The next thing which keeps the reader guessing. Mia does not seem like the meek and mild type with an overbearing controlling (Sleeping with the Enemy husband). She seems a little cocky. She is not argumentive, but yet she brings up topics which are uncomfortable for her husband. 

It is a tug and pull; a little tit for tat, cat and mouse game. She appears calm and collected. What does she have on him? She keeps him on his toes. 

She is intriguing. Mysterious. You do not know what is going through her mind at all. It is all coming from Paul’s viewpoint (which you soon find out, he is wacky). Love her character. 

A modern-day psychopath. 

Mia, on the other hand, does not seem too worried about what her husband has planned, and pretty much drives the night in a subtle way, much to her husband’s displeasure.

When Buck interrupts their alone time, throws dinner reservations late, and at dinner, appears the waiter hates him (because he is a pompous ass) and always looks at his wife, plus his wife seems to be looking at the window in a daze with a smile on her face. He is thrown off his game. 

Could Mia have turned the tables on him? Mia knows much more than she has let on about her husband’s secrets and lies. She is the one who comes from money (parent’s wealthy) and they do not like him and never have. 

How could he have not been paying attention? When did little Mia become so confident and bold? And what does she know? Has someone told her what is going on? He has many skeletons in his closet. 

“This was supposed to be the best day ever, and now it is deteriorating, decaying like the memories of his childhood. “

Frantic, we see Paul’s world unraveling and spinning out of control. And the letter . . . . Priceless!!! I have never laughed so hard. Karma will bite you in the butt when you least expect. 

WOW! It is hard to describe a book of this nature since you do not want to give anything away. You want to provide enough to encourage others, they “Must” read this book. From the cover, author, characters, plot – from the first page to the last (A complete package). I would not change a thing. 

All the dirty secrets are revealed. 

 



Rouda has created a character so evil with his banter and thoughts. I would put him next to any of the bad guys out there. One reviewer compared him to Joe in You and I agree. I think also Perry in Big Little Lies and Jack Behind Closed DoorsAn utterly compelling journey through the darker side of the human psyche. 

The things which go on in his head! Clever writing. Both creepy, and witty. Paul is psychotic, entitled, and a narcissist with a capital N! Rouda reminds me of Paul Cleave here. Another favorite author which uses a lot of dark humor mixed with the thoughts of his psychos. 

As many of you read, my personal notes in my recent review of Emma in the Night— this topic is very relatable and one I have researched for years since my ex-husband was a narcissist. Most everything in this book is so realistic. I think Paul and my ex could be brothers. SCARY. If you meet someone too charming and too good-looking. RUN. 

The author keeps you guessing all the way through the book. You want to savor each moment and not rush. What I did indeed enjoy (which I wish more authors would follow)- Kaira recaps the night and the events leading up to the night from Mia’s point of view at the end. A "behind the scenes." 

During the reading, the author does not give anything away. As a reader, you think she is being manipulated by her husband. By providing all the final details, this balances the story for a satisfying conclusion.

Note: Kaira, if I see Paul around Palm Beach at the Breakers or shopping along Worth Avenue in his pink shirt with an older rich lady on his arm, will let you know. This could be a great follow-up book. Even better, he and Donald Trump have a lot in common, so I am sure Paul will worm his way into Mar-a-Lago. I can view his estate from my apartment window. Will keep you updated! 

Seriously, this may be my favorite psychological/domestic thriller this year. Congrats. Can’t wait to see what’s next. You have found your groove. Give us more of this, please. (no pressure).

 

Have ordered the hardcover (to arrive today), and currently listening to the audiobook, narrated by Graham Halstead and Amy McFadden. Look forward to reading 2018  PLENTY TO GO AROUND. (sneak preview included). 

If I have not convinced you yet. Readers, pre-order this now. The best psychological thriller of 2017! Fans of Mary KubicaFiona Barton, and B.A. Paris will enjoy.

A special thank you to Graydon House and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

In the Mirror 
Here Home Hope 
The Goodbye Year 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/03/02/Best-Day-Ever
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review 2017-09-04 03:04
Lie to Me
Lie to Me: A Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller - J.T. Ellison

By:  J.T. Ellison 

ISBN: 9780778330950

Publisher:  MIRA

Publication Date: 9/5/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  4.5 Stars  

 

From No One Knows (2016) to the present with her latest standalone. 

From the southern town of Franklin, Tennessee to glamorous streets of Paris, and Hemingway’s old haunts, talented storyteller J. T. Ellison delivers a gripping domestic suspense thriller. LIE TO ME – the highly anticipated story of need and desire. Of betrayal, secrets, lies, and danger. 

Reminiscent of Gone Girl (even better), two writers' lives set on a downward course driven by lies, secrets, evil, and revenge.

Love, the author’s journey, the literary references, and her passion. From the inspiration, the setting, and the final words, which jump off the page. (not sure how the author can crank out so many books, and travel – she is superwoman)!

Two ultimately unreliable narrators. The third one is freaky, creepy. Watch your back. Trust no one.

“Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.”— George Santayana

As the book opens we meet a nameless and faceless demented person. She/he is talking to the reader. This person informs us we are not going to like them. Stealing, killing, manipulating, and leaving a trail of destruction. 

Everyone is powerless. 

Next, there is a body in the woods. It has been there for six days before she was found. Who is this body burned and left to decay?

Moving along we meet a literary power couple. Ethan and Sutton Montclair. They made a powerful and attractive couple. Looks, brains, and success. However, all is not so perfect behind this façade.

Their son, Dashiell had died. SIDS. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). He was not even six months old. Things were not the same after this. Their marriage and relationship were on the rocks.

Presently, Ethan finds a note from Sutton stating she has gone away. She is unhappy. She asks him to forgive her for being a coward and instructs him not to look for her.

She was gone. 

 



He deserved this. He was selfish. (A narcissist) However, why would she leave without her things? Her laptop, and phone. These things were her lifeline. She was a writer. 

Frantic, he must call her friends. They would know. Rachel, a yoga teacher. Ellen the head of library sciences at Vanderbilt, Filly (Phyllis), and Ivy. Ivy, a self-employed stock broker- was out of town on business and she was Sutton’s closest friend and confidant for the last three years. 

Then, of course, the bloody mother, Siobhan. They do not get along but she receives a monthly check from her daughter. 

We soon learn there were cracks and fissures in this domestic house of bliss. Was Ethan abusing her? There had been multiple domestic calls. What was missing?

Ethan thought he was the best writer. However, he had not produced anything since the baby’s death. Sutton had sustained them with her historical romance, which he never gave her the credit or respect. 

Sutton never wanted children. Ethan knew heirs were simply part of the things that should be expected from someone of his standing. 

However, he got desperate. He had made a mistake. 

He loved Sutton. If she did not show up, he would call the police. It was the anniversary of their son’s death. 

From beauty and the beast. A love and hate relationship. From then to now. 

Most of his family money was gone now, eaten up by the Victorian house they purchased, the renovations, and no writing. An advance paid back, humiliated in the industry and social media. He relied on Sutton’s income to support them. He simply had not been able to write a word since Dashiell’s death. He resented his wife. She resented him. They blamed one another. 

He needs a lawyer. The cops always look at the husband first.

Their lives had unraveled. The affair, the death of the baby, the book cancellation, and now Sutton’s disappearance.

He had not told her the truth. 

Where could she be? And who is the woman they found dead? What about her friends? Is Sutton dead or alive? 

What dark secrets does Sutton hold? Money missing. An investigation. 

Sergeant Roy Moreno and Holly Graham. However, Holly does not seem to think Ethan is the culprit. She has to find out more about the stalker, the friends, and where Sutton could have disappeared to. 

However, was it really SIDs? Ethan had lost his son, his marriage, his wife. His life. Are the friends reliable? Then there was the horrible review from a blogger.  Everything had spiraled out of control. The video. 

Had his wife snapped, or is there something more sinister going on? All the signs point to foul play; however, who is at the wheel and why?

Get ready for the ride of your life! Ellison takes readers from Tennessee to Paris and back. Character-driven (unpredictable) we hear from Ethan’s voice in the first part of the novel. Then Sutton the second part. From the past to present and all the dark juicy evil secrets in between. 

Skillfully executed, with twists and turns keep you guessing as to the real murderer. The creepy (third narrator) voice, carefully orchestrating a plan, watching the cops and all the puppets. Tick tock. 

A compelling journey through the darker side of the human psyche. An absorbing complex web of deceit. 

Ellison withholds the identity of the killer until the end. (the final little twist, was perfect). The note from the author seals the deal making this a “must read” if you love literary, psychological thrillers and domestic suspense. (Holly) was the best character. Otherwise, not a lot of likable characters here. 

If you enjoyed Gone GirlThe Marriage LieEvery Last Lie, and Behind Closed DoorsLIE TO ME is for you. Movie-worthy and an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. 

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

Also pre-ordered the audiobook. Listen to clip which should be quite entertaining narrated by Matthew Waterson, Saskia Maarleveld, Sarah Naughton, and Julia Whelan (my favorite). 

PS Be sure and look for Dead Ends: Stories from the Gothic South Coming Sept 28, featuring 13 original stories by 13 incredible authors.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/24/Lie-to-Me
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review 2017-07-12 04:54
The Secrets She Keeps
The Secrets She Keeps - Michael Robotham

By: Michael Robotham 

ISBN: 9781501170317

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date:  7/11/2017 

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

 

An avid Michael Robotham fan since his first book to his latest— and each one in between! The talented Australian crime fiction author returns following Close Your Eyes, landing on my Top Books of 2016, as well as Life or Death on my Top 10 Books of 2015 with his twelveth novel—yet another supercharged smashing hit THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS! 

5 stars +++ Let me say, there are some juicy evil secrets here . . . KILLER! Top Books of 2017. 

Set aside the time (unputdownable). Would make a fabulous movie! A story that will change the way you view other people’s lives. Fitting for today's world of social media. 

Two women. Two lives. Two worlds. Two pregnancies. Two sets of very different secrets. The dangers of envy and lies. 

Character-driven, skillfully-plotted —Robotham pulls you into the dark secret world of two different women in this riveting domestic suspense thriller.

Two pregnant women. Two women from different walks of life. How will their worlds connect?

The search for happiness. Survival. Managing expectations. Wishing for something someone else has.

Agatha watches Meghan from the window of the suburban London grocery store where she works part-time stocking shelves. She is pregnant. Her baby’s father is away. She leads a sad life. What an imagination! 

She desires a perfect life. She wants to be a perfect mother and wife. She will have this world. 

“We need the darkness to appreciate the light, and the bumps along the road to stop us falling asleep at the wheel.”

Meghan is chic, elegant, dazzling. Meghan has it all. Perfect children (Lucy and Lachlan), a handsome husband (sports reporter), Jack; stylish, nice friends, beautiful, plus she writes a mommy blog. She is pregnant. Meghan Shaughnessy is a former journalist but now a super-mom with tons of followers.

One follower is obsessed and carries it further.

Agatha is delighted to discover their two pregnancy dates are within the same month. She must figure out a way to get to know this woman. To get close to her.

What is Agatha's agenda? She is the more mysterious one.

Agatha is not so pretty. People do not notice shelf-stockers.She imagines herself friends with Meg. She soon learns Meg’s habits by the things she buys and shops for in the store. She wants to have a life like Meg. She waits for her man, Hayden to return from the Navy. He does not know she is pregnant. 

Despite her dead-end job and the desperate ordinary life, Agatha has her imagination and her dreams.

However, is Meg’s life as glamorous as Agatha thinks? 

Meg’s marriage is not so perfect. The happy go lucky easy-going Jack has turned into a brittle man whose emotions seem to be wrapped tightly in barbed wire that she cannot hope to unloop them. 

Agatha watches Meg, Jack and the children for hours. She stalks. She has been inside their home. The house next to the train track. She may see more than she wanted to. (loved this part with Jack/Realtor/Agatha).

Megan had an affair with Simon. Secrets to take to the grave. 

 




What is Agatha hiding? What does her Jehovah Witness childhood have to do with the present? The horrors and monsters. She is attracted to people. When it comes to her past, people get some of the truth, some of the time. 

Told in alternating voices, Agatha has a haunting past she hides. Meghan’s perfect life begins to unravel. What unfolds is heart-pounding chilling suspense! They may have more in common than they know. 

A top-notch thriller and a compulsive read. Dark, twisted, and emotionally charged! 

Am always amazed at how a man writes such strong women characters. He gets inside their heads—flawed characters, full of emotion, sprinkled with wit, humor, book titles, movies and lots of heart and intensity. 

The author mentions in the acknowledgments: . . . “The Secrets She Keeps, a novel whose structure, substance, and twin voices are the most ambitious I’ve ever tackled.” 

Congrats! Just when I think the next book cannot possibly be better than the previous, the author manages to create another intelligent award-winning psychological masterpiece!

Not only is Robotham one of the most talented writers, he could be a standup comedian. Hilarious one-liners. 

I love the Joe O’Loughlin series; however, the author’s stand-alone's are to be savored as well. One of the top crime thriller international authors today. As always, glued to the pages. (Your US fans adore you!) 

Looks like we will get to see more of Joe O’Loughlin, with The Other Wife, coming July 2018 (can’t wait). A pre-order for sure! 

Also purchased the audiobook (currently listening). Love narrator, Lucy Price-Lewis delivering a riveting performance. 

For fans of Karin Slaughter, Paula Hawkins, Paul Cleave, and Liane Moriarty. Highly Recommend. 

A special thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/03/The-Secrets-She-Keeps
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