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review 2017-07-22 02:38
This author knows how to keep the reader fully engaged!
Into The Water - Paula Hawkins

Into The Water, Paul Hawkins, author; Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Imogen Church, narrators When the story begins, a young girl is being immersed into “the drowning pool” in order to discover if she is a witch. If she floats, she is one; but if she sinks she is not. Although the child sinks and pleads for them to stop, there are some in the crowd who are merciless. The description of her experience will immediately capture the reader. As the book then enters the present, in the year 2015, the reader discovers that the pool is still the stuff of local legend. Over the years, others have drowned there, either by accident, design or under a cloud of suspicion. The Abbott sisters, Julia and Danielle had been estranged for years because of an incident that occurred in their teens. When one suddenly drowns, the events surrounding her death grow more and more curious. At first, it was believed that while investigating the area, Nell (Danielle) slipped and fell into the water accidentally. She had been conducting research for a book she was planning to publish on the town’s unusual history of drowning deaths and had been at the site of the “drowning pool”. When her sister, Jules, (Julia) returned to become the guardian of her daughter, Lena, the situation became fraught with tension. Lena was defiant; she disliked her aunt immensely based of stories her mom had told her. Aunt Jules was still resentful and angry with her sister, because of how Nell had treated her when they were young. She believed Nell had a mean streak. Jules had been overweight and unattractive. Nell had been a beauty who made fun of her sister. She thought Nell was cruel and designing, and as the investigation into her death began, it became enmeshed in tangential theories which created disharmony in the community and conflict in families. The community wanted their secrets kept. There were a great many characters to sift through as the mystery developed, but each chapter in the book is labeled with the name of a character so that it was relatively easy to sort them out and follow the thread of the story as it proceeded or to refresh one’s memory about the circumstances surrounding each character’s place in the novel. There was a feeling that evil was lurking behind closed doors, and there was definitely an overlay that hinted at elements of the supernatural as some characters appeared to be communicating with the dead who provided them with clues about the unnatural circumstances surrounding some of the deaths. What started out as a simple investigation into the death of Nell Abbott, surrounded by a bit of controversy since her project was widely resented by the residents of the community who did not want the drowning pool’s history published or used for personal gain, soon evolved into a mystery concerning other deaths and affairs of the heart. Many of the characters harbored deep resentments toward each other, and many seemed to be hiding secrets or were withholding information. Because of the existing biases toward some of the townspeople, clues were misinterpreted and false assumptions were made pointing fingers in all different directions, accusing some of crimes they did not commit and misdirecting those involved, preventing them from discovering the truth. The misinterpretation of events created chaos. In the end, there were two connected crimes that were revealed. Both were related peripherally, but they were separated by more than four decades. In the end, the loyalty and devotion of parents and children was examined and the lengths to which a parent would go to protect an offspring was exposed. The narrators were wonderful, creating mind images so that the story played out like theater in the mind. I do have a preference for narrators with British accents, as I find that the Brits seem to portray the characters very well without getting in the way by putting too much of themselves into the story. I have both the audio and a digital copy, without which, I would have been a bit lost because of the different themes and numerous characters introduced. Although I loved the audio, I recommend the print copy for that reason. It is simply easier to refer back to a print copy.

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review 2017-07-17 03:09
The Bookshop at Water's End
The Bookshop at Water's End - Patti Callahan Henry


A summer home that has been left abandoned for years, but a summer home that Bonny now desperately needs to return to regardless of the pain and memories it holds.

The town of Watersend, South Carolina, was quaint, a treasure from childhood, and had the best bookstore with a marvelous bookstore owner that could pick out a book you "need" not a book that you want.

We meet many likable and believable characters except one in THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END. You are able to empathize with the characters as well as want everything to turn out for them.

The main character, Bonny, was a successful doctor, but a tragic mistake in the emergency room one night caused Bonny to be put on sabbatical and has her deciding to return to the childhood summer home that contains secrets and some happy and not so happy memories.

A happy memory was the friendship between Bonny and Lainey. They were labeled the "summer sisters."

They had made a pact to always be there for each other. Bonny needed Lainey now, and Lainey came back to the house with her two children even though she also had some bad summer memories and really didn’t want to.

The bookstore and its owner were definitely a happy memory.  Mimi, the bookstore owner was marvelous.   Any book that has a bookstore and a book club in it definitely makes the story line even more appealing.

Two not-so-happy memories and ones that were difficult to forget gnawed at both women. The disappearance of Lainey's mother and Bonny's love for Lainey's brother, Owen, who was the love of her life, but a love she could never get to stay were memories difficult to get over.

The book’s setting was perfect, and the descriptions of the house, the town, the beach, and the ocean put you there with the characters sharing their days and their feelings both good and bad.

THE BOOK SHOP AT WATER'S END was a warm, inviting read bringing women together for what we do best - support each other.

This was my first book by Ms. Henry, and it was a delightful, summer treat.

ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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text 2017-07-07 19:02
Fire and Water (Carlisle Cops Book 1) by Andrew Grey 99 cents!
Fire and Water - Andrew Grey

Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.

 

Overhearing one of the officer’s comments about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.

 

Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.

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text 2017-07-05 18:45
June 2017 Round up!
The Changeling - Victor LaValle
Ascent - Luke Walker
Empire Falls - Richard Russo
The Memory of Running - Recorded Books LLC,Ron McLarty,Ron McLarty
The North Water: A Novel - Ian McGuire
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King,Richard Chizmar
Criminal: The Deluxe Edition - Volume 1 - Ed Brubaker,Sean Phillips
The Fever: A Novel - Megan Abbott
Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdale
DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

I read 18 books in June!

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

Criminal Deluxe Edition 5*

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-Last Shots 4*

American Vampire 5 4.5*

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger- The Man in Black-3*

Total: 4

 

Audio Books

 

Empire Falls by Richard Russo 5*

The Fever by Megan Abbott 3.5*

The Memory of Running by Ron McClarty 5*

Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo 4*

The North Water by Ian McGuire 4*

Total: 5

 

E-ARCS

 

Ascent by Luke Walker 4*

The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss and Brian Freeman 4.5*

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones 5*

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey 3.5*

The Changeling by Victor LaValle 4.5*

Hoodoo Harry by Joe R. Lansdale 4.5*

Dis MeM ber by Joyce Carol Oates 4*

Total: 7

 

Random Books

 

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar 4*

The Summer Job by Adam Cesare 3*

Total: 2

 

Total books read in June: 18

 

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

January Count: 1

February Count: 2

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June: 0

Running Count: 5

 

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

 

Running count: 24

 

I'm ditching the Coolthulhu Crew 2017 challenge. It just seems to be too much work for me right now!

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

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review 2017-06-28 18:45
The North Water by Ian McGuire, narrated by John Keating
The North Water - Ian McGuire,John Keating

 

The North Water is a savage, harsh, gory, dark fiction story taking place mainly on a whaling vessel in the 19th century. Ever moving north in search of the dwindling whale population, the realities of life are hard enough for these men, never mind the serial killer/child molester hiding among them.

 

I listened to this on audio and the narrator John Keating was most excellent. I would love to hear more of his work in the future.

 

I enjoyed the hell out of this brutal story, but it's not for everyone. Be aware that Mr. McGuire takes an unflinching look at the whaling life- and it was very, very unpleasant for just about every character in the book. If you're okay with that type of thing, then I highly recommend The North Water.

 

*I was able to listen to this one on audio thanks to my awesome public library.*

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