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review 2017-11-08 15:42
If You Only Knew: IF YOU ONLY KNEW - Cyn... If You Only Knew: IF YOU ONLY KNEW - Cynthia Clark

With thanks to Netgalley and Aria for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

 

Seventeen years ago university student Elizabeth was riding her bike back to halls when she was struck by a lorry.  The driver was charming and apologetic, when he offered her a lift home she thought why not?

 

Elizabeth woke up hours later kept prisoner in a shed in the middle of nowhere.  Once she had come round he viciously raped her.  When he was about to rape her again Elizabeth found a piece of jagged glass on the floor and stabbed him in the neck.  Elizabeth was in shock and felt she could not go to the police so she walked back to university pushing her bicycle in the dark.  She never mentioned the rape or killing to anyone and vowed to put it behind her.

 

In the present day Elizabeth is a lawyer and part owner of a solicitors practice.  She is married to Miles who she met at university and they have two children.  Her carefully constructed life starts to unravel when someone close starts raking through their past.

 

I can't say much more in case I ruin the story.  But I have to say, this book has left me speechless it was so good.  The tension the author creased was palpable, I could practically hear the clock ticking as Elizabeth's secret was about to be revealed.

 

You find out what happened to Elizabeth early in the story, but this made me understand the lengths she went to protect herself.  The character I disliked was Miles because he wanted Elizabeth to confess because he could not live with himself knowing the truth.

 

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars.  I look forward to Cynthia Clark's next book.

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review 2017-10-29 15:51
If You Knew Her
If You Knew Her: A Novel - Emily Elgar If You Knew Her: A Novel - Emily Elgar

I received this book via Edelweiss+ to give an honest review.

 

Just reading the blurb is what made me want to read this book. Told by different people's point of view. We slowly learn what has lead up to Cassie being put in the hospital. 

Alice is the nurse that tends to both Cassie and Frank and Alice is going through some things herself which we see in a way why she is wanting to take care of Cassie more than what a nurse would. It seems that Alice believes there is something more going on than meets the eye. Frank who shares a room with Cassie can hear everything going on around him yet he can not talk to say this is what is going on. We see how Frank just is screaming to be heard yet he knows there is nothing he can do. He wants to protect Cassie just like Alice wants to. 

As read on we learn that the marriage between Cassie and her husband is not all rainbows and butterflies and you will be surprised at what happened on that cold winter night. A very good story that pulled me in from the beginning. I love how the characters are well developed, especially Alice and her unconventional methods at getting answers. The plot was a steady pace and I didn't feel that it went to fast or too slow. 

The way the author did the building up to us readers finding out what happened was awesome, because we go between the past and the present and it just flowed together so nicely that there didn't seem to be room for errors. 

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review 2017-10-17 00:14
The Zoo is Foreclosed
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

Caerphilly has a zoo. A small zoo, but a zoo. The owner has run into money troubles and has been selling his animals and then is found dead in the basement of Meg and Michael's recently renovated home. He is found on the day that they are starting the move into the house. Things come to a grinding halt when they have to wait for the investigation. 

 

They call the chief and let him know that a body has been found in a recent hole dug by Meg's father to allow for a pond for the penguins he has been caring for because of the foreclosure. As the day progresses, more police show up, her cousin shows up and many other characters start showing up. People are dumping animals at her house for her to care for and she meets the great Dr. Montgomery Blake. He has come to town to see if he wants to be financially responsible for the zoo. 

 

The family has started to show up and the Sprockets (the family Meg and Michael bought the house from) start showing up, digging holes in Meg's yard on the premise that the body they found is their missing uncle. 

 

I already shared one of my favorite moments, from pages 86-87 where someone who was not invited to stay at her home finds a snake in the bathroom, the coroner (who has too many phobias) is terrified in the yard by Meg's brother, Rob, and all the animals being kept on her property and her father's neighboring property. 

 

Meg gets involved in finding out who murdered and buried the zookeeper in her yard and finds out all the weird things that were happening, even learning about canned hunts. I had never heard about this, until this book. This is where hunters pay to hunt rare animals in a small area where the animal cannot get away so that it is an easy target for them. I don't agree with trophy hunting, but I understand the need for food hunting from any other levels. 

 

Good story. Lots of funny moments. 

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quote 2017-10-16 04:54
I was almost asleep when a bloodcurdling scream jolted me wide awake. “What the hell was that?” Michael asked. “I think someone found the snake I put in the hall bath,” I said. “Why did you—never mind. That came from the backyard, not the house.” The screaming had subsided into muted wails, and I could also hear voices, and someone laughing. I stumbled over to the window overlooking the backyard. Rob, wearing a black cape and a smear of stage blood around his mouth, was sprawled on the ground just outside the cellar doors, laughing hysterically. The wailing appeared to be coming from a small cherry tree. Dad, Horace, and Rose Noire were standing beneath the tree, saying soothing things to it. The Adirondack chair was empty. “Ah,” I said. “Rob was helping Dr. Smoot relive childhood memories.” “Serves him right for telling everyone about his damned trauma all day,” Michael muttered. Rob’s laughter died down—not that he’d stopped, but he’d reached the point where he only had the breath to utter an occasional, barely audible squeak. But just about then, the hyenas kicked in, more than making up for his silence. Chief Burke burst out of the back door, strode over to the cherry tree, and stood looking up at it with his hands on his hips. “Get a grip on it, man!” he bellowed. I heard another scream at closer range. “Now that was definitely the snake in the hall bath,” I said. Michael groaned, and pulled a pillow over his head. I followed his example.
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

"The Penguin Who Knew Too Much," by Donna Andrews pigs 86-87

 

Laugh out loud moments. This was a favorite of mine. 

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review 2017-10-07 00:05
If You Knew My Sister
If You Knew My Sister - Michelle Adams

By:  Michelle Adams

ISBN:  9781250126702

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date:  10/3/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER —British author, Michelle Adams’ riveting dark and spellbinding psychological debut thriller of two broken sisters. 

As dark and sinister as The Sinner, by Petra Hammesfahr (TV-mini-series-which I loved) and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Multi-layered, Complex, Spine-tingling, and Twisty, with an explosive conclusion you do not see coming. 

Narrated by Dr. Irini Harringford, (an anaesthetist at Queen’s College Hospital); the unwanted little girl now a woman living in London —haunted by the scars, unknowns, and mysteries of her past. The missing gaps.

Daughter of Maurice and Cassandra and sister, Elle in Scotland. Only for three years. Then she was sent away. She was the good daughter (age three). Why did they keep the bad daughter Elle (age seven) and send her away?

The years of studying to become a doctor to wear a mask so people would not see the real her. Maybe she does not recall. A life where she had parents. A past with somebody other than Elle.

“Sometimes I think I can remember my mother’s face: like mine, only older, redder, wrinkles like a spider’s web weaving around her lips. Other times I’m not so sure. But I’m sure that she didn’t offer any last-minute advice to be a good girl, no quick kiss on the cheek to tide me over. I would have remembered that, wouldn’t I? She slammed the car door, stepped back, and my aunt and uncle drove me away from her like it was the most normal thing in the world. And even then, I knew something was over. I have been given away, cast out, dumped.”


Elle is her sister. Her only sister from a previous life from which she has kept a few memories. Some are blurry, some are hauntingly real. She is the last remaining connection to a past she has tried desperately to forget. Elle is her destiny. 

She is utterly inescapable. She is back to ruin things. Torment her, and create havoc in every part of her life. She even killed their family dog, Toto, plus so much more . . . (way more than Irini knows)

Irini is living with a man Antonio whom she will not marry. She had no role models. She really would like a family, but it feels too dangerous. She only needs someone to care for her for the last twenty-nine years. 

When Irini was only three-years-old her parents sent her away. They kept one daughter, Ella, and sent her away. She has never discovered why.

Presently, her sister Ella has found her once again. After six years of absence, she has managed to worm her way back into her life. Ella is a dark monster. One she runs from. One she is indebted to. 

A message, that their mum (Cassandra) has died. Of course, a mother is nothing more to her than an idea. A dream. A childish hope. However, she is curious. Ella needs her. Once again after six years, of keeping her distance, she weakens her. She makes her feel guilty. She owes her. Ella constantly reminds her.

She agrees to return home. Possibly she will use this as an opportunity to find answers to her past. Maybe she will find the truth from her father. The why? Why did she have to leave her home and family to go and live with a woman who did not want her?

The missing part of this puzzle. Why did her aunt continue to move them each time Elle found them. How can she pass up the chance to know why they gave her away and kept Elle?

Elle is everything superficially, Irini is not. Irini has a limp due to her dysplastic hip. She is a cripple. She has deep scars. She is chubby. Elle is beautiful, thin, fit, enigmatic captivating, and has confidence. 

Elle is the one person who never tired of finding her. This knowledge was for Irini, an addiction. The fact no matter how far she runs, Elle will find her. The only thing worse than her absence was her presence. A risky game of cat and mouse. 

But it is too late to ask for answers because all that remains is her mom's grave, the secrets of the past buried with her and out of reach. The little butterfly returning to the nest. The grand Victorian house with all its wealth. One she was not a part of. One giant black hole waiting to suck her in. 

With all their wealth, she had to settle for hand-me-downs. Discarded things for a discarded child. 

The return was not as she expected. She does not belong here. Ella is still manipulative and evil. She was the one they kept. Even after they sent her away, Ella would seek her out and deliver her from the bullies. The late-night trips she would leave Aunt Jemina’s house to meet her sister. She was hoping her father would explain. 

Now, she still has no answers. Irini wants to leave. She feels trapped. Ella drugs her in order to get her to stay. Two broken girls. Mental illness. Dysfunctional families. However, there is much more to the story than Irini can imagine. What is everyone covering up?

Before she can speak to her father. He suddenly dies but not before he redoes his will. Leaving everything to the daughter he gave up. 

Is Elle setting her up for a fall? Now the police are questioning her about the death of her father. How is Antonio mixed up in all of this? What do the strange numbers mean on the will? Then she meets a friend of Elle. Matt. Everyone knows Elle is a sociopath. Reckless. Manipulative. A killer. 
 



Are we our parents? "We are what they make us either by their presence or through their absence." 

Were they really trying to protect her by sending her away? A cover-up? What do suicides in the 1990s at Fair Fields along the Scottish Border have to do with her sister?

Is Elle a scared girl running from her past. Is she a murderer? Who will stop her? Killed to save her sister and to save herself. Will Irini keep her secrets?

I was glued to the pages of this page-turner! Love stories of hidden secrets of families. Elle will give you the spine-tingling chills! (Was dying to find out the mystery. It is a big one and one you do not anticipate.) Unpredictable. 

I am shocked there has not been more "hype" surrounding IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER (prime for the big screen). As I was reading, was strongly reminded of The Sinner, in many ways with the toxic relationship and deep scars of two sisters. The forgotten past. The missing links. The dysfunction, violence, abandonment, and the tug and pull between the two sisters. The dark secrets, drugs, manipulation, evil, and the love/hate relationship. Was one sacrificed for the other? 

Family. The butterfly effect. (many relations to butterflies). Hidden meanings. . . Madame Butterfly. 

The ending left unanswered questions, so wondering if we may get a sequel, or meant to leave us pondering. Would love to learn more about these haunting characters and secrets of Fair Fields and Elle's POV. An ideal choice for books clubs and further discussions. 

Well-written, dark, disturbing, twisty, and unsettling. Looking forward to reading more from the talented author. Fans of Lisa Unger, Ruth Ware, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier will enjoy Adams' debut IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER.

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an early reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Emily Pennant-Rea for an engaging listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/09/If-You-Knew-My-Sister
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