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review 2018-01-04 04:29
The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window: A Novel - A. J. Finn

By: A. J. Finn

ISBN: 0062678418

Publisher: William Morrow 

Publication Date: 1/2/2018 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars + +

 

A.J. Finn’s most talked about (highly anticipated) psychological thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, most definitely lives up to the hype! 

A B S O R B I N G. 

Just when you think you have attained your answers and you have reached the top of the mountain— think again. The climb has only begun. It is just gaining speed. 

From here on out, it is non-stop action, suspense —unputdownable. There are many more twists to follow before reaching the explosive ending— making this an "engrossing"5 stars “must read” and Top Thrillers of 2018. 

Audiobook Not sure I have ever been this immersed in an audiobook previously. Cannot stress enough, Ann Marie Lee (narrator) rocks! Her performance is award-winning. I was hanging on every word. 

Generally, with audio, I am distracted by other work and continuously rewinding. Not the case with THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW. Listen to Clip
 



BTW, I purchased the Kindle format, hardcover (which has not arrived from Amazon), and the audiobook. 

Anna, age 38 agoraphobic, cat owner, fond of wine drinking wine and pill popping to ease her fears. She likes old classic black-and-white movie classics — and she spies on her neighbors. 

“Everything goes down better with a glass of smooth merlot.” 

When Anna views the woman in the window: "I noticed she liked a drink in the morning, as do I." 

The narrator: again, off-the-charts bloody-good. The author: So many delicious witty one-liners. 

Anna is a child psychologist and often advises a few patients by email. “The doctor is in.” 

She does not venture into the outside world; however, she does have phone conversations with her husband (ex) and her eight-year-old daughter.

Readers are unsure what happened to her family and why she is in this state. However, she is in constant contact with her husband and daughter even though they live apart. We suspect something dreadful, painful, and tragic occurred. 

She resides in a beautiful large home in Manhattan and has a handsome tenant, who is a carpenter. He lives in her basement.

Her latest highlight a new form of entertainment happens to be her new neighbors. They do not seem to have any window dressing, and she enjoys observing. (spying). Trying to figure out their life from her eyes. 

Ethan Russell, the son (age sixteen) lives across the street. He is a pleasant enough young man, and Anna seems to connect with him. She also meets the parents: Paul and Jane (from the window). 

Then one night, after watching her usual noir films, she witnesses a crime. She is frantic! She sees a woman murdered. She immediately calls the police. 

However, she is not a credible witness. After all, she comes across as crazy, paranoid, unstable. Pretty much an alcoholic buzzed out on pills, and an agoraphobic. 

She is beyond puzzled and begins her own investigation. The wife is OK and alive, says the cops. However, the wife is not the one she saw that night. Therefore, Anna thinks she is an imposter. 

However, what is the motive? What happened to the woman in the window?

She immediately begins suspecting everyone. She becomes obsessed. Picking up clues any way she can. The also has a feeling Ethan is scared of his parents and offers him friendship.

Cleverly, the author unravels the reasoning behind Anna becoming an alcoholic and an agoraphobic. However, again, this is NOT the end. Do not let your guard down. Keep your spy hat in place.

Anna continues to watch her Hitchcockian movies (the titles relate to parts of her investigation) and speaks to her family. Slowly she begins suspecting she is not crazy like everyone thinks she is. 

However, she needs to seek solid answers before she gets the police involved again. She must find clues and confront the problem. It is not paranoia or is it? 

The cops think with the constant viewing of late night crime movies, in combination with her alcohol and medication she sees things that are not there. 

However, Anna is more than determined to find answers to prove to herself and everyone there is something more sinister at play. In doing so, then she may be able to face her demons to begin to live a somewhat healthy life.

What a fantastic book! 
 


Brilliantly written and plotted, psychologically rich, characters well-drawn, highly emotional —From love, loss, to complete madness. Anna is a woman you can sympathize with, no matter your gender or age. I listened/read in one sitting. 

Once you reach the 50-75% mark, you will understand why the movie rights. As mentioned in my review of THE WIVES BETWEEN US, (another huge hit 5 Stars ++) with film rights; why these two books will be on the bestseller list for some time to come: 

Readers are getting the “best” of the literary world (expertise) with the two author's background in journalism, and the publishing world, plus Pekkannen is a well established best-selling author. These guys know what they are doing and do it well. What a way to kick off 2018! 

Back to TWITW: I enjoyed the second half of the book, more than the first part. The first part is a slow-burning set up for the fast-paced, intense second half. 

If you have read, The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre Top Books of 2017 you will note some similarities when reading between the lines of the main character. (both of course with different outcomes). Fans of each- will enjoy the other. 

Both involve an unreliable narrator, with a mystery surrounding husband and child, and agoraphobic. Ironically, A. J. Finn’s THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW also reminds me strongly of A. R. Torre (Alessandra Torre)’s Deanna Madden Series (minus the erotica, UPS man, and internet sex); however, the box cutter, agoraphobic, family tragic past, and a strong pull to save someone beyond the reaches of her home, while putting herself in harm’s way.

Highly Recommend for fans of well-written strong, and intelligent psychological suspense thrillers. Heavy on the old movie classics, literary flair, and less on the blood and gore, which works for me. Enthralling, and all-consuming are words which quickly come to mind. 

To summarize, Finn brilliantly explores the mind of Anna. Her anxiety, fears, insanity, depression, mental illness, paranoia, panic attacks, agoraphobia; love, loss, grief, and guilt —hitting all cylinders. 

The next Gone Girl? I would say "Yes," to that question. Looking forward to the small/or big screen and can imagine its cast of stars. I loved Anna! I hope we see more of her in future books. View Book Trailer 

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 
 

 Praise
 
 
“Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing....Finn has created a noir for the new millennium, packed with mesmerizing characters, stunning twists, beautiful writing and a narrator with whom I’d love to split a bottle of pinot. Maybe two bottles—I’ve got a lot of questions for her.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn)

The Woman in the Window is one of those rare books that really is unputdownable. The writing is smooth and often remarkable. The way Finn plays off this totally original story against a background of film noir is both delightful and chilling.” (Stephen King)

“Twisted to the power of max. Hitchcockian suspense with a 21st century twist.” (Bestselling author Val McDermid)

The Woman in the Window is a tour de force. A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality. It left my own mind reeling and my heart pounding. An absolutely gripping thriller.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny )

“Compelling, wrenching, and gasp-for-breath exciting―I was blown away.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill)

“A dark, twisty confection with an irresistible film noir premise. Hitchcock would have snapped up the rights in a heartbeat.” (New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware)

The Woman in the Window is the most riveting thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl. A. J. Finn is a bold new talent with the touch of a master.” (New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen)

“Finn’s debut lives up to the hype. . . . A riveting and mature first novel that stands out in a crowded genre.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Gripping, compelling, and utterly intriguing.” (Liz Nugent, author of the 2017 BEA “Buzz Book” Unraveling Oliver)

The Woman in the Window reads like a classic Hitchcock movie in novel form, in fact I was half expecting a cameo. Dripping with suspense. Creaking with menace. Beautifully written. There’s a lot of buzz around this book and every single bit of it is totally justified.” (Simon Toyne, bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy)
 
 
 
 

About the Author

 

 

A J Finn is the pseudonym of Daniel Mallory, currently a senior publishing executive at William Morrow/ HarperCollins. An Oxford graduate and former book critic, he lives in New York City. His debut novel, The Woman in the Window, is currently in development as a major motion picture at Fox.

 

More . . . A. J. Finn has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Times Literary Supplement. Finn’s debut novel, The Woman in the Window, has been sold in thirty-eight territories worldwide.  A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City.   Read More 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/12/01/The-Woman-in-the-Window
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review 2017-12-27 21:31
Here We Lie
Here We Lie - Paula Treick DeBoard

By:  Paula Treick DeBoard

ISBN: 0778330265

Publisher: Park Row Books 

Publication Date:  1/30/2018 

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Buy the Book

 

From the critically acclaimed author, of The Drowning GirlsThe Fragile World, and The Mourning Hours (all five glowing stars-review links below), Paula Treick DeBoard follows with her latest riveting suspense, coming Jan 2018— HERE WE LIE. 

Rich in character, a look inside the secret lives of two different unlikely friends from two different social classes. A world of privilege and secrets. The lies and secrets they tell themselves, and to one another —with devastating consequences. 

Ripped from today’s headlines: Scandal, power, cover-ups, and deadly secrets. Messy, complicated and imperfect lives. 

Told in alternating first-person perspectives, moving between past and present. Megan Mazeros and Lauren Mabrey. Each views the world differently— from diverse backgrounds.

As the book opens it is 2016. A press conference. Someone is about to spill a lie. Age thirty-five. Female. A lie kept silent for fourteen years is about to be exposed to the world. 

“Fourteen years was a long time. It was long enough to forget, forgive, move on.” A long time to keep a secret. 

Megan is from Kansas. She lived for years watching her dad die each day slowly from asbestos fibers (a poor man’s cancer) from the mesothelioma with his job. She holds a secret. Her father’s dying wish.

“Something had to die so something else could live.”

With the life insurance money, Megan can attend a college of choice in combination with a scholarship and her good grades. She wants nothing more than to escape this town and her past. Her mom has moved on to Gerry, her boss at the accounting firm. 

She decides on Keale College in Scofield, Connecticut— a unscale private girls-only school. She realizes that wealth lives here and people of privilege. People different than herself.

She meets a regular local boy named Joe on her first day. Soon after that, her roommates commits suicide, assigning her another roommate.

Lauren Mabrey is the wild child with continued reckless behavior from a wealthy family. From the elite, boarding schools, and old money pedigree. The cars, wealth, homes, status, power, and the best education. She is the daughter of a U.S. senator from Connecticut. Lauren has a poor GPA; however, with her parent’s money, she can pretty much do as she pleases. 

She also feels like an outsider in her only family and goes against the traditional values, causing disarray in her family. Often she wanted to be regular so as not to have to live up to the expectations. 

A bit rebellious, she encounters some problems with drugs before she goes off to college, which lands the guy in jail, and ultimately ended up dead in a prison yard. This event haunts her. However, her parents manage to keep this out of the news. Her mom warns her they cannot continue to bail her out. 

Lauren loves photography and takes her talent a little too far. Her family dismisses it. After an encounter with her current roommate, Erin she is assigned a new one.

Lauren and Megan become best friends in their freshman year 1999-2000. Lauren is everything Megan is not. Lauren sees Megan as normal. Due to her family environment, she finds herself attracted to Megan, Joe, Marcus, and others she meets, unlike her status.

However, Megan distorts her life offering shocking lies about her family. She exaggerated about how poor her family was and how many boyfriends she had. She wants to be someone else, someone different from the dull girl she is. To feel better about herself. Both girls are insecure in their ways. 

Lauren loves Megan’s wit, and the two develop a friendship based on lies. Telling each other their best and worst truths and lies. As time moves on, they also become jealous and angry with one another. 

Megan meets Lauren’s family and becomes exposed to a different way of life. Their home, a job, and a private summer island off the coast of Maine. This trip was to be their last vacation before senior year. 

However, one night something happens which changes the course of their lives. A house of money. To cover up the dirty deeds of its family members. 

Dreams of Harvard are no longer in view. Shattered by one night. Worse than her father dying. A choice to make. A decision. Who would believe her—a girl from nowhere? The Mabrey's had the kind of power that could buy justice—that could shape truth. 

The lies she had told. She could not put herself through it. She would remain silent. One girl all alone. Dreams shattered. Another one left clueless about the events unfolding around her. Where was the trust in one another?

Many years later when the girls have their separate lives and families of their own, someone comes forward with rape and sexual assault. A political scandal. If someone had come forward earlier, could it have saved others down the road? 

The silence broken, shattering lives and the ugly truth revealed. Allegations, investigation, and a trial. The what ifs.

What a fabulous story— highly relatable to the events which surround us today. Even though fictional, unfortunately, it is all too real for many women who experience sexual assault at the hands of famous figures such as politicians and celebrities. The victims often are viewed in a negative light; therefore they remain silent. 

An avid fan of the author, for years—her books continually land on my top books of the year. Unique and compelling, her stories possess a common thread. Thought-provoking, she writes of powerful bonds of friendships, family, and betrayal. 

Paula’s writing is superb! The dual timelines and alternating perspectives keep the reader engrossed in the lives of the two young women at different ages. From college years to the present, the author gives a glimpse of the gap and how words and actions have consequences resulting in hurt and resentment. A convincing look at lies and how they come back to haunt (no matter the age). 

From teenagers to young women with families of their own to their true selves. In addition to the topic of friendship, a strong focus on daughter/father and daughter/mother relationships. 

Highly charged topics: enjoyed how she tied female friendship, sexual assault, political scandal and moral complexities together in one dynamic story. HERE WE LIE is an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions (Reader’s Guide Included).

An added bonus—a insightful Q&A with the author! Highly recommend. A "read-in-one-sitting" kind of book. 

JDCMustReadBooks 

A special thank you to the author for the lovely print copy and Park Row and NetGalley for the digital advanced reading copy. 

The Drowning Girls 
Top Books of 2016 

The Fragile World 
Top Books of 2014 

The Mourning Hours

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Judith D Collins (@judithdcollins) on Jan 11, 2018 at 1:35am PST


 

 

 

Praise

 

"With this story of two very different young women, DeBoard portrays the lies that people tell to find acceptance and the terrible acts that powerful people casually commit... While the rape looms in the future as a foregone conclusion, DeBoard only slowly reveals the details, so the final revelations are all the more powerful." –Publishers Weekly

 

"With each chapter shifting perspective between Lauren and Megan, DeBoard lets each woman's story reflect and distort the other's, deftly angling the mirror of truth... A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams." –Kirkus Reviews

 

"A nuanced and complex look at the long-standing consequences of privilege and toxic masculinity. At its heart, Here We Lie examines the seemingly unbreakable bonds of both friendship and family, and the lengths one will go to take care of their own. Compulsively readable!"-Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

 

"With Here We Lie, Paula Treick de Board spins a mesmerizing tale of two former best friends and one shocking secret. Suspenseful and evocative, with pitch-perfect prose and pacing, Here We Lie is a story that resonates long after the last word. An engrossing read." -Kimberly Belle, bestselling author of The Marriage Lie

 

From her riveting first chapter, DeBoard casts a line back in time and reels an unlikely college friendship ever closer to the novel's inevitable conclusion. An absorbing exploration of how we attain personal power and the consequences of wielding it." -Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy and The Art of Falling

 

"Set against a backdrop of college life, politics, and sexual assault, Paul Treick DeBoard explores the exquisite joy of discovering the perfect friendship--then the acute pain of disentangling when that friendship sours. Here We Lie takes you a remarkable journey of two girls who learn, together and alone, to decide who they will ultimately be-it is at once observant, devastating, and thoroughly satisfying."-Emily Carpenter, author of The Weight of Lies and Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

 

 

 

 

About the Author 

 

 

Paula is a reader, writer, drinker of strong coffee and an all-around slave to public education. She wrote her first novel when she was nine years old, in the back seat of an orange 1977 Chevy Caprice station wagon with wood paneling. It was exactly as good as you might expect a novel written by a nine-year-old to be.
 
In the intervening years, Paula majored in English, taught junior high and high school English and earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Southern Maine.
 
These days, she splits her time between teaching (at the University of California, Merced), chatting about writing whenever she has a chance, and staring at a laptop screen for uninterrupted hours. Her novels include The Drowning Girls, The Fragile World and The Mourning Hours. 
 
Her heart—and her remaining spare time—belongs to Will and their four-legged brood. Read More  

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/06/01/Here-We-Lie
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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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