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review 2017-06-25 22:58
Every Last Lie
Every Last Lie - Mary Kubica

By: Mary Kubica 

ISBN: 978-0778319986

Publisher: Park Row Books 

Publication Date: 6/27/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars

Featured Friday Read

 

One of my very favorite authors, talented bestselling author, Mary Kubica returns following, the sensational Don’t You Cry, landing on my Top 10 Books of 2016 with yet another 5 star winner: EVERY LAST LIE — a compelling and clever domestic suspense of a young widow trying to make sense of her husband’s untimely death.

A marriage of secrets.

A slow-burning twisty psychological suspense. Heart-pounding, a tale of one woman's desperate search for answers. From an array of emotions —grief, disbelief, anger, fear, and confusion.

What was her husband hiding? Her children are one parent away from being orphaned. A young daughter with nightmares. Was he killed purposefully, intentionally and with malice? Was he the bad man or someone else?

Clara Solberg lives in Chicago suburbs with her husband Nick, a dentist; with children: four-year-old daughter, Maisie, and newborn son, Felix.

A few days after Felix is born, Clara receives the horrific news. Her husband is dead in an automobile accident, yet their daughter is alive, unharmed. He was on his way home from taking his daughter to ballet practice.

Chinese or Mexican? These are the last words Clara would ever exchange with her husband. If she had asked for Mexican, Nick would be home.

A crash on Harvey Road leaves one dead.

An accident implies that something has happened unintentionally and without deliberate cause. Soon Clara begins to suspect foul play was to blame.

She is angry at Nick for leaving her.

Nick is dead. When she is not sad, she is angry. For him being careless. For driving too fast with Maisie in the car. For driving too fast period. For losing control and launching headfirst into a tree.

She hates the tree. The force of the impact wrapped the car around the oak tree on Harvey Road, while Maisie sat in the backseat, on the opposite side, miraculously unharmed.

Reckless driving is to blame. There is no investigation. He was driving too fast. What was going through is mind, minutes before the accident?

Her daughter says there was a bad man in a car, following Maisie and Nick. Who is the bad man that was following Nick and her daughter? Who is the bad man that took her husband? A black car.

Her daughter is afraid. She continues to scream, “the bad man is after us. He’s going to get us.” She fears for her terrorized four-year-old-daughter. She fears for herself and her family.

She replays Maisie’s words over and over in her mind. In no uncertain terms, Maisie has made it clear that Nick’s car accident was no accident at all. The questions continue to run through her mind.

Does Maisie know this bad man? Did the car push Nick from the road? Did her daughter get a glimpse of him before the car went airborne, flying into the tree? Did Nick see the man?

An illusion or a figment of a little girl’s imagination? What if there was another car on the road that fateful afternoon? What didn’t she know about her husband? What secrets was he hiding?

Everyone loved Nick. He had no enemies. Whatever transpired on the street had to be the worst kind of luck, a simple act of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Was someone watching Nick as he crashed?

Why was he going sixty on four-five miles per hour road, that drops to twenty at the bend?

 

How could Maisie be fine and unharmed? Did he take the turn too quickly? A black car? Would he take his own life with his own daughter in the car?

Carla is in denial. She cannot bring herself to tell her daughter her father is gone and not coming back. He is dead.

She must find answers. Financial problems. Who was Melinda Grey?

Drugs, restraining orders, stealing, affairs, suicide?

This cannot be Nick. There were no secrets in their marriage, or was she wrong? She begins to suspect everyone.

Nick’s secrets. How secrets can destroy marriages. Lives. Families. From an unreliable narrator, feelings of paranoia, grief, confusion. The money. She soon learns there is nothing. She needs closure. She hates this feeling of the unknown and uncertainty.

What really happened on Harvey Road?

Clara is overwhelmed by grief, caring for her children, the needs of her aging parents; she’s also unable to sleep. She is coming unhinged. Is she going through the stages of grief? Can she ever reach acceptance?

Skillfully executed, Kubica takes readers on a chilling psychological journey— a woman grief-stricken obsessed with solving the events surrounding her husband’s mysterious death.

A fan of Mary’s very first book and everyone in between, to her latest: EVERY LAST LIE – a domestic suspense which will leave you guessing to the final conclusion, as we hear from POVs of Clara and Nick.

Motherhood is a strong ongoing theme in the novel, both Clara as a mother to Maisie and Felix, as well as Clara’s relationship with her own mother, Louisa. Many of these relationships are strained. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

As always each of her books is strongly character-driven and psychologically rich. You feel Clara and Nick’s desperation. If only there were no lies. How would the outcome be different?

The feeling of entrapment and coming unhinged is front and center. A twisty suspense of lies and secrets you cannot miss. For fans of B.A. Paris, Ruth Ware, Kimberly Belle, Clare Mackintosh and Fiona Barton My favorites.

Highly recommend all Mary Kubica’s books! Top-rated —she never disappoints her fans and you can always expect to be surprised.

 

A special thank you to Park Row Books and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Buy the Books

 

 

    

 

 

 

Don’t You Cry
Top Books of 2016

Pretty Baby
Top Books of 2015

The Good Girl
Top Books of 2014

 




 

 

 

About the Author 

 

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY and EVERY LAST LIE. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature.

 

She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children, where she enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.  Her first novel THE GOOD GIRL was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014.

 

Mary has been described as “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune) and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times). 

 

She is currently working on her next novel.

 

Photo by Sarah Jastre

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/17/Every-Last-Lie
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review 2017-05-14 07:21
Woman No. 17
Woman No. 17 - Edan Lepucki

By:  Edan Lepucki 

ISBN: 9781101904251

Publisher: Crown 

Publication Date: 5/9/2017 

Format: 9781101904251

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

 

Edan Lepucki returns following California with her latest WOMAN NO.17 – a cleverly written twisty contemporary of motherhood, womanhood, relationships, and identity.

Infused with art in many forms, a web of deceit, dark and witty — a sinister look into a Hollywood family and complex relationships. When things are not always as they appear.

Think a "helicopter" insecure mom with a past; an impersonator, selective mutism, alcoholism, childhood traumas, a revealing photograph, narcissistic behavior, self-sabotage, social media (Twitter) obsession, time, age, a love triangle, and a bunny.

However, this is no typical “Fatal Attraction” . . . A modern contemporary saga: deeper, absorbing, and entertaining. No boiled bunny; however, a floating Peter Rabbit bunny.

An emotional powerhouse of a novel!

Being a child, daughter, and mother is painful." A burden. Told from different perspectives.

Set in Hollywood Hills, a part of the Santa Monica Mountains; a hillside neighborhood of the central region of the city of Los Angeles, California— Lady Daniels is married to Karl, a rich guy who appears to love his family and has given her the life she never had previously. Lady has not always had it so glamorous and able to live this lifestyle.

As we revisit the past, Lady was formerly married to a no-good bum, jack-ass Marcus. None of her girlfriends or anyone liked him. She gets pregnant and ready to have an abortion years earlier and Marcus wants her to keep the baby. Before their son, Seth is even a toddler, Marcus leaves with a little help and financial incentive from Lady’s mom.

Lady hated her mom. Vicious and gorgeous. They had not spoken in twenty years. A love/hate relationship. As a single mom, Lady raised her son, Seth, barely making ends meet. She is protective of him. He never speaks. Marcus never knew about his selective mutism. Then Karl comes along and they marry and are raising son Devin (age two) and Seth. He is a good father to both boys.

As the book opens, Seth is now nineteen, and Devin is a toddler. Devin is a constant chatterbox and talks non-stop, unlike his brother. Seth does not speak and talks via his iPhone, sign language, social media, and letters.

Lady and Karl have an argument regarding an incident about her son Seth. She asks Karl to leave for a trial separation; however, they have a unique relationship and still see one another. Lady does not know what she wants. She is very confused and troubled.

Lady had written an essay in Real Simple about the strains of parenting a mute child After it went viral, she landed a book contract to expand on the subject.

In her forties, she decides to hire a nanny to help take care of Devin, so she could spend her time writing. However, she goes to coffee shops among other things and never writes. She procrastinates and overthinks everything.

She hires a twenty-two-year-old girl, called “S”. S is not her real name. She connects with Lady and Devin. Immediately, Lady hires her without even doing a background check. She moves into the cottage.

Lady is needy and in desperate need of companionship. She makes crazy poor choices. She pushes Karl away, and overprotective with Seth, and does not have the patience for Devin. However, she and S soon become friends. Even though they have a twenty-year-age difference, the two have many things in common. Mainly their dysfunctional overbearing mothers. (and, Seth). The claws come out.

As the book moves on, we hear from Lady and S. We know early on, S has something up her sleeve. Lady has a past involving a photograph called Woman No. 17, taken by her sister-in-law, and nemesis, Kit. How will these three connect? (Lots of triangles in the book).

S begins working on a secretive art project and in the meantime, she becomes closer to Seth. (before/after) in reverse. They connect in more ways than none. He is working on a film plus much more. He also is a little naughty. S loves to drink as well as Lady. Lady is always hungry.

Readers learn more about Lady’s past and S’s family. Seth is mysterious with a secretive side. Lady thinks about Marco and wants him to meet (their) son. Karl is trying to get back together. Marcus is curious about his dad. Lady and S have their own secrets.

Stop. Drop. Dead. Private signs.

Twitter: @Sethconscious and @muffinbuffin41. Crazy action going on here.

Seth is a teen boy. Lady Daniel’s baby boy. He was like a wild animal, rarely seen and barely understood. He has selective mutism. Was Seth a skilled liar? Dangerous? S and Seth are both artists.

With all the drama and the deception, there are so many funny hilarious moments. One of my favorites one-liners, among many:

“Mommy,” Devin said, finally tearing himself away from the screen. “You done with your dog hair?”
I laughed and wiped my face with my sleeve. “Hair of the dog, baby."
"And, yes, I finished it. Go back to watching your show now. Mommy’s all right.”



Triangles: Seth/Lady/S, Marco/Karl/Lady, Lady/Marco/Kit, Seth/Kit/S, (Sure I am leaving out more).

A woman saddled with secrets. Guilt. Betrayal. A mother who straddles between love and doubt. A collision course. Two complex women. Secrets and lies. Lady is not as put together as she would like others to believe. WOMAN NO. 17 would make an interesting movie. (Very LA)

 



The author skillfully crafts complexities of life with a twist. A compelling portrait of motherhood. WOMAN NO. 17 is like nothing you will ever read. It is unique. The author is talented and delves into the human psyche. With flawed characters, written with a deep understanding of mothers, daughters, sons.

The best description (bullseye) and an accurate summary of the book (great review):

. . . “Despite the hint of deceit and scent of illicit canoodling in the air, Lepucki doesn’t appear to be interested in writing a trashy noir cum sly bodice-ripper, though some of the sexy scenes do get a pinch, well, rough. Pretty early on, it’s clear that she’s experimenting with exploring something deeper. Mainly: what it means to be a needy, vulnerable, passionate, discarded lover,
wife, daughter, and mother.” . . .

“Woman No. 17” is structured like a classic she-said, she-said. In odd-numbered chapters, we hear about events from Lady’s perspective —
and the scoop ain’t pretty. " . . .
San Francisco Chronicle.



Like the book based, mini- TV series, Big Little Lies, there is a façade. Twisted secrets. Friendships. Motherhood. Relationships. She was poor, lonely, and single when Lady met Karl. Did he ever really know the real Lady? Lady is coming unglued and her life is unraveling. Self-sabotage. The haunting photo.

Gripping. Provocative. Thought-provoking, and yet frustrating.

The book raises big questions about identity, ethics, art, parenthood, relationships, motherhood, social media and our modern digital age. A mix of intriguing, stimulating, unpredictable, mysterious, and utterly engaging.

I hit the literary jack box: I scored an electronic early reading copy from NetGalley, and granted an early print book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and purchased the audiobook, which sealed the deal!

My favorite narrator is Cassandra Campbell. I pretty much pre-order every book she narrates. Her voice is calming and soothing. She was a perfect Lady and Devin. Phoebe Strole was well-suited for the younger S! 11 hrs and 46 mins. Kept me entertained for days!

Ironically, I had just finished The Scattering (Strole) and The Book of Summer (Campbell) performing and directly afterward got to hear them both as a duo team.

Looking forward to reading more from Lepucki. Her writing is inventive, unique, sharp, fascinating, dark, mysterious and witty. I found myself dying to get back to the book. It was addictive. Strongly reminded of Ellen Meister’s The Other Life with the art connection, humor, and an honest look at the innermost thoughts of struggling women.

A special thank you to Crown, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/Woman-No-17
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review 2017-05-05 06:10
Into the Water
Into the Water - Paula Hawkins

By: Paula Hawkins

ISBN: 0735211205

Publisher: Riverhead

Publication Date: 5/2/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Paula Hawkins who took the literary world by storm, with her first murder mystery sensation, The Girl on the Train, which of course came to sell approximately 20 million copies and a major motion picture (loved) starring Emily Blunt, returns with the highly anticipated INTO THE WATER —a twisty, complex, bold, and ambitious follow-up, which may be even better!

Whereas, The Girl on the Train involved more of a murder mystery centered around three perspectives, a commuter train, alcoholism, infidelity, and cozy suburban homes; INTO THE WATER, is centered around a village of people from multi-generations of women, men, teens, and those spirits which have passed on. From multiple perspectives (a dozen or so), critical to the atmospheric, Gothic, dark crime noir contemporary suspense tale—leading to the shocking climax.

The “last four words” will leave you holding your breath. You are assured to re-read them again and again. It is worth the journey, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

“Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.” Murky waters hide dark secrets.

INTO THE WATER is a mix of historical fiction, psychological, paranormal, and Gothic, taking us back to over 300 years of murders, suicides, and suspicious deaths of local girls and women in the area. Some women were called witches.

Beginning in 1679, when the first woman was forced into the water under suspicion of witchcraft, and to the present day with the suspected mysterious "suicide" of Danielle "Nel" Abbott, an obsessive journalist and photographer who dedicated her life to raising her daughter, Lena and her work. Especially the truth about The Drowning Pool.

A book of childhood memories.

What we learn and hear as a child may not always be the reality. People will try and protect, they will spin a story to suit their own needs. The truth may not ever be clear. We may think a certain way; however, we may learn too late, the story was not as it appeared. What is the truth? Never assume you have all the facts.

Memories of childhood stories we tell about our lives. We recall a situation and may have a clear memory of it and then discover something that is completely false or the interpretation may be different – things which shaped our lives and made us the people we are today. What if we were wrong?

“We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen, like Proust’s jars of preserves in a larder, but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of relocation. – Oliver Sacks, Hallucinations

Can guided imagery instructions increase the likelihood of false memory creation and of remembering previously unremembered true events?

First, let me start out by saying a few words which hopefully will have some impact on your reading experience. Do not make comparisons.

INTO THE WATER is a totally different book than Hawkins' first. It is strong enough to stand on its own merits. I discovered through an online interview - the author was working on this idea before The Girl on the Train and continued to work on it even during the first book promotion.

As you can only imagine the pressure and scrutiny involved when you now have a built-in audience, expectations, publishers, editors, movie critics, and fans to please. Not her first rodeo. I commend the author, which could have taken the lazy approach and rested on her first success. Hawkins, after all, is the highest paid author in the world. She had nothing when she began. Instead, she creates a complex and highly absorbing story which had to be a “bear” to write with all the many perspectives and timelines. However, she pulled it off like a rock-star!

Hawkins mentioned in her interviews, she wanted to provide readers a totally unique experience. In my opinion, she exceeded her goal. INTO THE WATER is complex and when you read it, you will understand. This is much more than a who-dun-it. It is a why-dun-it and how-dun-it?

At the center of the story is The Drowning Pool. The crime novel is set in Beckford, a gloomy dark historic fictional village town overlooking the river where an unprecedented number of women have drowned or ended their lives. You can feel the darkness and black cloud.

These women were brought to the water (forced), suffered, or accused of witchcraft to see if they would sink or swim. Some thought it was a place of horror. For some, a place to cover up their crimes (to bury their secrets).

Two of the latest apparent suicides is the single mother Nel Abbott who has been investigating the history of these women for a story and a young teenage girl, Kate. Lena is Nel’s daughter and Kate’s best friend, so she has lost two people very close to her. Did they jump or were they pushed? Not only these two but all the ones from ages past.

The lives of the women who went to the Beckford Drowning Pool. A place that over centuries has claimed the lives of Libby Seeton, Mary Marsh, Anne Ward, Ginny Thomas, Lauren Slater, Katie Whittaker, and more- countless others, nameless and faceless.

Why and how? Some would rather hush, suppress, silence. Nel wanted this memoir of her life and the Beckford pool starting with the swimming of witches. Some say the women left something of themselves in the water; some say it retains some of their power, for ever since then it has drawn to its shores the unlucky, the desperate, the unhappy, the lost. They come here to swim with their sisters.

Another key character is Jules. Jules Abbott is the sister of Nell. They are estranged. They grew up in the Mill House. Nell was always obsessed with the women in the river. What they did and who they left behind. Now, did Nell take it too far?

Jules was always the fat sister (or so they said), the ugly one, and Nel the pretty one. A misunderstanding. Now she is forced to return to the place she never wanted to come back to look after her sister’s daughter (her niece), to sort out the bloody mess. She relives her past. The old memories resurfaced. Disturbing. Chilling. However, what she thought as a child was not the way it happened. No one ever communicated. There are many with dark grim secrets of the past. A picture is worth a thousand lies.

“I was very young when I was cracked open. Some things you should let go. Others you shouldn’t. Views differ as to which – Emily Berry, The Numbers Game

Amidst the drama, lies history in the town of Beckford. The Drowning Pool was a cliff-black and dark while sparkling in the summer. Contrasts. A place of spirits, hopeless people, despair. A place where people (women) go to end their lives. Or is a place where men use to end the women’s lives? Some of them went into the water willingly, some did not. Some went in fighting. A place of secrets. People turned a blind eye.

No one liked to think about the fact that the water in the river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women. Not many people believed Nickie Sage, a woman who speaks with the spirits. Nel listened when she began writing a book about the events of the river and the haunted past.

Detective Inspector Sean Townsend also has a past. He appears to be the upstanding policeman. His father Patrick was a former police officer known for his violence. His mom was also a victim of the Drowning Pool. Did she commit suicide or was she killed by her husband, Patrick? Did Sean as a boy witness his own mother’s death? What is real or what had he been told or made to believe?

There were stories of witches dragged to the water since the 16th century or desperate women flinging themselves from the cliffs to the rocks below.

Not many people liked Nel. . She likes married men. She was investigating. People in this town like to keep their dark hidden secrets under the radar. (and boy they are plentiful). Everyone wanted to put the deaths behind them, to get on with things.

As the book moves forward with a large cast of characters. Libby (1679) Anne Ward (1920) Lauren (1983), (2015) Jules, Lena, and Nell (Danielle) Abbott; Katie, brother Josh, parents Louise and Alec; Nickie (psychic), Mark (teacher), DI Erin Morgan, DI Sean Townsend, wife Helen, dad Patrick.

The author dives into gritty subjects of women’s abuse, underage teens having sex with older men, body image issues, and violence. You will be second guessing everyone and there are some evil characters who never take responsibility for their actions. Always passing off the blame. No one can be trusted.

I can actually see this one playing out as a mini-TV series similar to Big Little Lies versus a simple movie. It has enough material to continue for numerous episodes. It would be powerful with the right cast.

When approaching the last part of the book, it was absolutely unputdownable. For days, this one grabbed my attention. Mind-bending, and captivating! I loved Nikki (psychic) she is cynical and humorous. Very bad men and the women persecuted, even in the present.

My reading experience: I pre-ordered the audiobook and within the first couple chapters, I realized this was not the kind of book you could be listening to while multi-tasking doing other work or running errands. There are multiple characters and you need to pay attention and learn the major players. All these introductions play into the bigger picture. From the middle to the end, the pieces all begin to come together. You will think you have guessed, and then you turn the page and think again. Trust me, you will be guessing to the final words.

I decided to slow down, give the book my undivided attention. Also as a book blogger, I tend to speed read- rushing to get to the next book, as many of us do on a time schedule. However, with the wide range of reviews for this book, I wanted to spend more quality time. After listening to the entire audiobook and rewinding numerous times, attempting to bookmark, I decided to purchase the kindle book version, which was a nice way to go back and collect my notes of the characters for review writing.

The audiobook was fantastic with an award-winning lineup of talented performers; however, would recommend both audio and book format. Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, and Imogen Church (she is always spectacular).

I read the editorial reviews the day the book released- the negative and positives. What I found most helpful were the interviews with the author. I enjoy learning about the inspiration behind the book. It will enhance your reading experience. In addition, enjoyed reading about Hawkins and her writing experience with her last book- having to borrow money from her dad to take the time to write the book. It was her last shot. She hit the literary jackpot. This is truly an inspirational story for any writer or reader. A success story.

In Summary: I am more excited about the film of INTO THE WATER, more so than The Girl on the Train, even though I loved TGOTT movie. What will be interesting: all of us from the US hope it will once again be filmed here in the states (like her previous movie); however, sure the UK will want it to remain in their own backyard. Either way, I know it will be a "hit" and one I am dying to see!

Another winner here! Highly creative. Demonstrates the author's skill and talent, to cross multiple genres.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/Into-the-Water
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review 2017-03-14 12:58
Never Let You Go
Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens
ISBN: 9781250034564
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date:  3/14/2017 
Format:  Other
My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Chevy Stevens returns following Those Girls (2015), with yet another top notch Sleeping with the Enemy psychological domestic suspense thriller on steroids!

A long-time Stevens fan, reading every book she creatively crafts, and anxiously awaiting the next — Stevens once again showcases her highly creative plotting skills, an engrossing narrative, and her "signature ingredient" of keeping readers surprised, with her famous twists, while moving seamlessly between timelines.

Starting in November 2005, we meet Lindsey, married to Andrew and daughter Sophie. She knows one thing: She had to leave her husband. There was no more time. No matter what it took, no matter how risky it was, she had to get Sophie away from him. She needed to protect her daughter. She is terrified.

As with all domestic abusers, they remove all their victim's friends and financial resources, to keep them under their thumb.

Flash forward to 2016. Lindsey and Sophie are now living in Dogwood Bay. She has started a new life. She hopes the past is in the past. Or is it? Andrew has spent time in prison. He wants her to suffer. He was going to make her pay for every year he spent behind bars. He was now a free man and he was going to find her.

Is someone watching? Is Andrew back to act out his revenge?

Stevens flashes back and forth from between these two timelines and even further back to 1997 when the couple met. We hear from Lindsey and Sophie’s POV. The master manipulator. Is there more than one? Who can be trusted?

When she left him years ago, after drugging him, to enable their escape—there was a car accident. A young woman was dead. Someone had to pay.

From Sleeping with the Enemy, The Perfect Guy, Fatal Attraction and more, we always love the intensity of unfortunate protagonists finding themselves stuck with Mr, Crazy. Intense. The man masked behind the chilling monster inside. Unfortunately, not until too late, does he reveal his true self. Then the victim finds themselves risking their lives and others to escape.

As always, a master storyteller, Stevens adds her own clever twist. There is nothing ordinary or similar to this tale. A cautionary tale screaming “Do not trust anyone.” When you least expect someone, crosses your path. When you are most vulnerable, most trusting. They may seek you out for their own revenge.

Stevens delivers her most riveting grip-lit yet. The brutality of domestic violence. Frighteningly real, and all too familiar for many. In addition, it is among the hardest to witness, as for why many are free to continue on their destructive path, until it is often, too late.

The author knows how to build suspense, and keep readers on the edge of their seat From the darkest obsessions, the entrapment, control, and evil.

By adding Sophie’s POV, she reaches outside the couple to hear the fear of a child, a sense of loyalty, the consequences, and strong pull between the troubled parent's abusive relationship.

If you enjoy the TV series, Big Little Lies —you will be thinking of Celeste (Nichole Kidman) and Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård). This guy totally gives me the creeps. He reminds me of my ex-husband. Rich, powerful, and crazy.

Highly recommend. For all my Chevy Stevens' GR Book Reviews. Trust me, you will want to read this one. Mark out the time. Unputdownable.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/30/Never-Let-You-Go
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review 2017-03-06 13:22
The Trophy Child
The Trophy Child: A Novel - Paula Daly

By:  Paula Daly

ISBN: 9780802125941

Publisher: Grove Atlantic

Publication Date: 3/7/2017

Format: Other

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

Paula Daly returns following The Mistake I Made landing on my Top Books of 2015, with her fourth and latest domestic suspense THE TROPHY CHILD with an array of dysfunction and madness, mixed with mystery.

Our favorite DS Joanne Aspinall (from previous books), revisits—always finding herself in the middle of trouble and mischief.

Karen Bloom (achievement-obsessed) is a tiger mom to ten- year-old Bonte. Karen is married to womanizer Noel and does not pay much attention to her stoner son, Ewan, and her teenage stepdaughter, Verity (drug possession). She had to agree to weekly onsite drug tests and counseling sessions.

Of course, Karen compares the other two children, to her precious Bonte. Brontë goes missing, and Karen is, of course, crazy with worry, since her daughter is her life.

Karen did not care that people called her a tiger mom. She was proud of it “It was an easy way to justify their own lazy lives, their own acceptance of mediocrity.”

And Karen was very sorry, but she wasn’t having that for Bronte. It was her duty to prepare her daughter for the life ahead of her in the best way she knew how.

Life was a competition. Only the best and the brightest succeeded, and if that meant Karen had to put her own hopes and dreams on the back burner, while she invested everything she had in Bronte’s future, so be it.

In the meantime, we catch up with Joanne, joining secondchance.com and her share of bad men and dating. She is always good for a few laughs.

Joanne is called in to investigate when Bronte goes missing from Windermere. She soon learns and is shocked to find a connection to Noel. (Seamus-whom she had gone to bed with six nights previously). She had no idea he was married. She had sex with the father of a missing child. Not cool.

Noel is a small-town GP. He had to be careful so as not to run into his patients. There was his first wife, then Karen. Second marriage problems, and stepchildren.

The child returns unhurt, (where was she), but not before Karen has stirred up all sorts of problems and outrage. Then Karen turns up murdered. Not liked by many, did Noel kill his wife? Was she sleeping around? There is a long line of suspects.

Now Joanne must find the killer and figure out what happened to Bronte. Was the same person involved?

A crazy bunch, this was my least favorite of all Daly’s books. I have read all her books and each has been 5-star, except for this one. Too much drama and not enough likable characters, except for Joanne (she is always a spark); however, beginning to question even her choices.

Fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies may enjoy the dysfunction, drama and dark humor.

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

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/03/The-Trophy-Child
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