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review 2017-10-26 07:36
The Ghostwriter
The Ghostwriter - Alessandra Torre

By:  Alessandra Torre

ISBN: 1940941946

Publisher:  DCA

Publication Date:10/2/2017 

Format: Paperback

My Rating:  5 Stars ++

 

WOW! THE GHOSTWRITER is the author's best yet! 

Alessandra Torre has found her groove! Please, more of this genre-contemporary fiction. (Listen to your character's advice). A ripping riveting drama, domestic suspense, thriller, literary fiction, plus much more. 

A perfect husband. A perfect daughter. A perfect lie. Simon is gone. Bethany is gone. She is alone. 

Bestselling romance author, Helena Ross (age 32) is dying.Cancer. She has three months to live. She has no friends and no family to speak of. An empty house. 

“I have only this countdown, a dark ominous chant of days, sunrises and sunsets before my body gives up and my mind shuts down.”

She has a story which needs to be told. The truth. One which she has avoided for the last four years.

Helena does not have decades. She does not have years. Three months. The deadline is the tightest she has ever faced. Three months to write a story that deserves years.

. . . "I've always been a liar. Maybe that's why writing came so naturally. A thousand lies, disguised in a character's voice, bits of my life sprinkled through the pages, the perfect camouflage for whatever it is I feel the urge to say."

She notifies Kate, her agent of thirteen years she is retiring. No more outstanding deadlines. She wants to walk away from all her commitments. She wants to write a new book with a different editor. The hottest editor in publishing. 

"There is something soothing about the act of writing, a drug that lures you into another world, but then forgets to stop, and sometimes carries you all of the way into sleepdom."

This editor does not do romance. Helena has no outline. Everyone will need to trust her. 

She needs a ghostwriter. 

Not just any ghostwriter. She wants her arch-enemy, Marka Vantly (pen name). International bestselling author. She hates her. She would almost rather die than ask her. Helena needs her. She is terrified of her. 

This will be no normal manuscript. Once the story is written it will be real. She will be exposed. Two thousand words a day. One million dollars. 

An impossible task. However, Helena is determined. She knows the writer who writes smut; deep down, a highly talented author and one which will be able to help write her story. 

However, she never thought that possibly contemporary fiction with heart, may not sell as well as the smut. She cannot imagine an author hating the novels they spend months writing. Ones they do not respect. 

Kate, nor anyone would understand why this book was so important. The most critical book of her career. She cannot die with this book unwritten. Word count is her everything.The truths buried among her bones. It needs to come out. The real truth. 

She is fearful of how her final novel will come across. She is terrified, yet almost giddy with liberation. Soon her final story will come out, and everyone will know the truth. Life and death. 

However, her ghostwriter may prove to be the one person to get her through her dying days. In the process, they may learn something from one another. Her agent may see a side of her she has never seen. 

Instead of "entertaining" like her usual books. This final book would be both her punishment and her absolution. 

Loved the Epilogue! 

The relationship with THE GHOSTWRITER is as equally powerful as Helena's story. Raw, emotional, heart wrenching, and touching - we hear from Kate, Helena, and Mark’s POV. 

Intense, riveting, and suspenseful. Readers will not know how or why the deaths occurred until later in the book, as her story unravels — writing each chapter and hands off to THE GHOSTWRITER. You know Helena carries guilt. She has pushed everyone away, until now. 

Get out the Kleenex. "How quickly a life can change."

Torre is dynamite! The writing is superb. I would not change "one" word. A must-read for every writer, author, publicist, and reader out there today. 

THE GHOSTWRITER is on my Top Books of 2017!. Readers, you will have a new respect for authors. I cannot imagine how difficult this was to write. 

Buy this book now! You will not be able to put it down. Award-winning. A big turning point for this author. If this is a beta test, then scratch the test and go for it, Torre. Top of the chart's quality. This is my kind of book and hits all the spots. This is the "real deal" and she is a master! Ultimately no sleep, but it was worth every single word. 

Poignant, beautifully written, lyrical, raw, soul-searching, suspenseful, emotional, and heartbreaking. 

I was hanging on every word. Tried to go to bed about 4 am and could not sleep thinking about Helena. Had to know what happened. The suspense and intensity . . . so back up, espresso in hand and dove back in until the final heart-pounding conclusion. This is a true test of how absorbing a great novel should be. 

At 90% this scene was intense. Readers will be dying to know the circumstances surrounding Simon and Bethany. I bookmarked so many pages; it is one of the most highlighted books I have ever read. THE GHOSTWRITER would be perfect for a TV mini-series. 

Younger TV Series would love this one (could you imagine??) . . . Ideal for book clubs and further discussions. I am not an erotica or romance fan; however, I am a lover of this genre. Hits on all cylinders. The author has a God-given talent for intimate words and gut-wrenching feelings of the heart. 

I loved the Deanna Madden (suspense-psychological thriller) series; however, THE GHOSTWRITER to me is so far beyond her other books, and really allows the author to really showcase her writing. She shines without the sex, erotica, romance, and violence. THE GHOSTWRITER opens up an entirely new reader base for her (more my style). 

For fans of Jo Jo Moyes, Colleen Hoover, Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner, Amy Hatvany, and Renee Carlino . . . with Torre's unique unstoppable witty style. 

For some reason, I am strongly reminded of Blake Crouch's Good Behavior. Even though different, two unlikely souls find strength, clarity, and redemption in one another. A huge Mark fan! 

OMG . . . I have Helena's list on my door too— for the last two years. Laminated and regular. (too funny). 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/09/13/The-Ghost-Writer
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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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review 2017-10-01 09:32
Liar
Liar: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist - K. Slater

By:  K.L. Slater

ASIN: B06XZWWH6L

Publisher:  Bookouture

Pub Date: 6/16/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

K. L. Slater returns following (2017) Blink and her sensational debut (2016) Safe with Me with her latest hit, LIAR — a thriller with a sinister killer twist you do not see coming! 

Who is the unreliable narrator? 

As always, Slater keeps you in suspense until the explosive ending, which will blow you away.

Judi is a wife, mother, and doting grandmother. 

Her son, David died when he was a teen (readers are kept in the dark about what actually happened to him until later in the book). She is overprotective of her family. Often to the extremes. Obsessive and controlling of her other son Ben and his sons. 

Since her devoted son Ben’s wife, Louise died, she makes sure he is taken care of along with his two sons. She cleans his home, cleaned, meals are stocked and even does his laundry. She has a key. Ben adores her. Everyone looks up to Judi and she makes sure she is the "queen" of the castle.

Currently, she is going through menopause, so her emotions are all over the board. The annoying hot flashes, mood swings, and all the other annoying side effects. You know, if you have been there: Unbalanced and crazy. Plus possibly she is still grieving thinking of the son she lost. 

Ben meets a mysterious new woman. Amber. However, Amber planned this chance meeting. She has an ulterior motive. As a reader, we are not quite sure. Amber has secrets. She is manipulative and quickly wraps Ben around her finger.

Amber does not like Judi. Judi does not like Amber. 

This news of Ben's new girlfriend does not set too well with Judi. Immediately, the claws come out along with jealousy, revenge, and insecurities.

Each of the women starts plotting against the other. Ben takes a back seat. 

Judi cannot have another woman taking over with her grandsons nor her son. On one hand as a reader, you feel for Judi and you despise Amber. However, you never fully know which one to trust until later in the book. 

Judi feels like she is losing control. Some other woman is taking over her role. Amber is gaining her son’s affection and even Judi’s husband likes her and tells her to lighten up.

However, things get more serious and they plan to marry. Judi does not like Amber and has to stop this relationship before it goes any further. Ben is shutting her out. Amber is winning. Now, Judi is not the center of attention. Desperation. 

Which woman will outsmart the other? Which one is more evil and devious? Murder? What secrets do they both hide? How far will each of them go to protect their family?

What happens next will blow you away! 

Slater definitely knows how to spin a tale, crank up the intensity and suspense, create some evil ass characters, get your heart beating, and give an added twisty kick. She just keeps getting better. 

Each and every novel provides unique surprises and twists. Your emotions will definitely switch while reading like a tennis match. All I kept thinking about: the lyrics and song, “Judy in Disguise.” 

Now, I am protective of my sons and yes, we mothers of sons do not like daughter-in-laws taking over; however, Judi is over the top. Man, she has two sides. 

When you finish you will have to decide which woman is more evil and sinister. 

I had the pleasure of reading LIAR a while back before it was published; however, typically wait until closer to pub date to write and post my review. During the time (May-Aug) happened to be dealing with my elderly dad's illness out of state, his death, and then as executor, settling his estate. 

After reading her latest, The Mistake (highly recommend), wanted to link to my review for Liar and noticed I had not reviewed or posted. I quickly purchased the audiobook narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis to refresh myself. Highly recommend the book and the audio version. Lucy is always entertaining and a perfect match for K.L. Slater’s books!

A complex, haunting, chilling, and addictive mind-blowing psychological suspense thriller! 

 

Definitely packs a wicked punch and then some. Clever and unpredictable. 

A special thank you to Bookouture for an advanced reading copy.Bookouture has created a winning lineup of talent in the psychological thriller genre! 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

The Mistake Coming Oct 4, 2017 

 

 

 

About the Author 

 

Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers 'Safe With Me,' 'Blink,' 'Liar' and the soon to be released 'The Mistake.'

 

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected quite a stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

 

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

 

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham, England with her husband, Mac.

 

She also writes award-winning Young Adult fiction for Macmillan Children's Books, writing as Kim Slater.

 

Author website: www.KLSlaterAuthor.com
Twitter: @KimLSlater
Facebook: KL Slater Author


 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/05/Liar
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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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