Book Review: Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Until the Day I Die
Author: Emily Carpenter
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.01

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From the bestselling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls comes a riveting novel about a mother and daughter separated by grief, secrets, and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy their lives.

If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button…

Shorie is not only worried about her mother’s mental state but also for the future of her parents’ company. Especially when she begins to suspect that not all of Erin’s colleagues can be trusted. It seems someone is spinning an intricate web of deception—the foundation for a conspiracy that is putting everything, and everyone she loves, at risk. And she may be the only one who can stop it.

Now, thousands of miles away in a remote, and oftentimes menacing, tropical jungle, Erin is beginning to have similar fears. Things at the resort aren’t exactly how the brochure described, and unless she’s losing her mind, Erin’s pretty sure she wasn’t sent there to recover—she was sent to disappear.


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MY REVIEW
Erin Gaines, her husband, and two friends created a tech company that has started to take off. Erin’s husband died unexpectedly, and Erin is grieving his loss. Her daughter Shorie is leaving for college, but wants to stay home and work at her parents company. Between their grieving and difference of opinions regarding Shorie’s future, the mother-daughter relationship has become strained. Erin is encouraged to go to an exclusive spa for help, but it turns out the spa is not the relaxing resort experience she was expecting.

Told with alternating viewpoints – Erin and Shorie. Erin is grieving, working too much, and doesn’t seem to be taking care of herself. Shorie is smart and resourceful, and wants to work with her parent’s tech company rather than go to college. Erin and Shorie love each other, but their relationship is strained with what is currently happening in their lives. Erin’s friends and family encourage her to attend a spa on a private island to help her get back on track. The island resort turns into a dangerous experience. While Erin is away on the island, Shorie starts to look into some questionable activity going on with the tech company.

An exciting thriller, especially the parts that take place in the jungle of the private island. This book combines a mystery at a tech company and a perilous island experience. Overall, a wild, mysterious, and fast-paced page turner.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Switch Places With for a Day

Top Ten Tuesday

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With.

This one was a challenge! There are so many interesting characters to choose from. Below are 10 characters that I would enjoy being for a day.

1. Nancy Drew – Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

2. Stephanie Plum – Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

3. Fortune Redding – Miss Fortune series by Jana Deleon

Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon

4. Sookie Stackhouse – Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

5. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6. Jane Doe – Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

7. Millie Morris – My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

8. Charley Davidson – Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

9. Lindsey Boxer – Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson

1st to Die by James Patterson

10. Anna Pigeon – Anna Pigeon series by Nevada Barr

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr

Book Review: Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare

Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Call Me Evie
Author: J.P. Pomare
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.97

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In this propulsive, twist-filled, and haunting psychological suspense debut perfect for fans of Sharp Objects and Room, a seventeen-year-old girl struggles to remember the role she played on the night her life changed forever.

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town–brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he’s hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne–something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can’t remember the night in question.

The fragments of Kate’s shattered memories of her old life seem happy: good friends, a big house in the suburbs, a devoted boyfriend. Bill says he’ll help her fill in the blanks–but his story isn’t adding up. And as she tries to reconcile the girl she thought she’d been with the devastating consequences Bill claims she’s responsible for, Kate will unearth secrets about herself and those closest to her that could change everything.

A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth, even from ourselves.


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MY REVIEW
Kate, a teenager, is living in a remote cabin with Jim. She has no memory of why she is being kept in the cabin, or who Jim is. She only knows that something terrible has happened. Jim says he’s trying to help her, but she’s not sure she can really trust him.

Told with alternating timelines – before and after. In the before timeline, Kate has some disturbing things from her past, but also some pretty normal teenage problems. In the after timeline, it’s clear something bad has happened, but the details are slowly revealed.

A story that combines memory loss and kidnapping into an entertaining psychological thriller. The main character is a teenager, and this book does read a lot like a young adult story rather than adult. Good for fans of YA thrillers. Suspenseful story of secrets and lies.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Weekly Wrap-Up (Feb 23 – Mar 1)

Weekly Wrap-Up

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.


ON THE BLOG

THIS WEEK

MONDAY – Book Review: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward
TUESDAY – Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Places in Books I’d Like to Visit
WEDNESDAY – Book Review: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets & The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
THURSDAY – Book Review: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle & February 2019 Reading Recap
FRIDAY – Weekly Wrap-Up (Feb 23 – Mar 1)

NEXT WEEK

MONDAY – Book Review: Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
TUESDAY – Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With
WEDNESDAY – Book Review: Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter & Book Review: Smash and Grab by Joe Albanese
THURSDAY – Book Review: Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
FRIDAY – Weekly Wrap-Up (Mar 2 – Mar 8)


BOOKS READ

PRINT & EBOOKS

Two books read this week – Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter and In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire.

Until the Day I Die by Emily CarpenterIn an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

AUDIOBOOKS

Two audiobooks listened to this week – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and Collared by David Rosenfelt.

The Nightingale by Kristin HannahCollared by David Rosenfelt


CURRENTLY READING

Currently reading three books – one print book (The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott), one ebook (The Line Between by Tosca Lee), and one audiobook (One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus).

The Woman Inside by E.G. ScottThe Line Between by Tosca LeeOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus


BOOKS ACQUIRED

One ARC received via Edelweiss – The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine
Four ARCs received via Netgalley – The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre, Murder by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge, The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney, and The Dare by Carol Wyer
One book borrowed from the library – The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann AguirreMurder by the Sea by Kathleen BridgeThe Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine
The Perfect Wife by J.P. DelaneyThe Silent Patient by Alex MichaelidesThe Dare by Carol Wyer

Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Happy Reading!

February 2019 Reading Recap

Reading Recap

FEBRUARY STATS

BOOKS READ
· Print – 7
· Ebooks – 13
· Audiobooks – 15

READING CHALLENGES
· Goodreads 73/350 – Read/listened to 35 books this month.
· Audiobook 23/60 – Listened to 11 books this month.
· Colors 1/18 – Read 1 book this month.
· Genre Bingo 6/24 – Read 1 book this month.
· Library Love 5/60 – Read 4 books this month.
· Modern Mrs. Darcy 4/10 – Read 2 books this month.
· Netgalley & Edelweiss 10/50 – Read 8 books this month.
· Popsugar 19/50 – Read 6 books this month.
· Read Harder 7/24 – Read 3 books this month.


TOP FIVE FEBRUARY READS

1. Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

2. One Dog Night by David Rosenfelt

3. Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

4. The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

5. Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak


ON THE BLOG

BOOK REVIEWS
· The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
· The Swan Keeper by Milana Marsenich
· Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw
· A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory
· Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
· Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle
· Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
· The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
· Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
· Between the Lies by Michelle Adams
· The Hunger by Alma Katsu
· Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker
· Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward
· The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
· The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
· The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

TOP TEN TUESDAYS
· Upcoming Releases I’m on the Fence About
· Favorite Couples in Books
· Books I Loved with Fewer Than 2000 Ratings on Goodreads
· Fictional Places in Books I’d Like to Visit

WEEKLY WRAP-UPS
· Weekly Wrap-Up (Jan 26 – Feb 1)
· Weekly Wrap-Up (Feb 2 – Feb 8)
· Weekly Wrap-Up (Feb 9 – Feb 15)
· Weekly Wrap-Up (Feb 16 – Feb 22)

TAGS
· The 80s Movie Book Tag


YEARLY GOALS

✓1. Read more print books that I own. – I read 2 books I own this month.
✓2. Read 350 books this year. – I read/listened to 35 books this month.
✓3. Participate in reading challenges. – I read/listened to books for multiple reading challenges this month.
✗4. Finish more book series. – I finished 0 series this month.
✓5. Post 5 days a week on the blog. – I posted every weekday this month.

Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: September 11, 2018
Genre: Magical Realism
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.67

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
“We’ve been waiting for an hour.” That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.”

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, THE DINNER LIST, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, THE DINNER LIST is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.


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MY REVIEW
Sabrina’s birthday dinner has quite the guest list – her best friend, her father, her boyfriend, her favorite college professor, and Audrey Hepburn. This is not any normal dinner gathering, and it seems Sabrina has some things from her past to discuss with the invited guests.

A unique and magical story that answers the question that many people have discussed – If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? Sabrina chooses people she cares about, and Audrey Hepburn. Because, who wouldn’t invite Audrey.

As the dinner progresses, it’s clear there are some serious topics to be discussed. While sometimes emotional, there are moments of humor. A delightful book for readers who enjoy magical realism. Thought-provoking, engaging, and heart-breaking.

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Book Review: The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Perfect Child
Author: Lucinda Berry
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: March 1, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.21

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.


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MY REVIEW
Christopher and Hannah are a happy couple, but they long to have a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, shows up at the hospital where they work, Christopher wants to foster her. Despite the warnings about raising a child with an abusive past, they take her into their home and family. They are not prepared for the challenges they face.

Told with alternating points of view – Christopher, Hannah, and Piper, Janie’s social worker. Christopher adores Janie and finds it difficult to believe she is capable of the harmful behavior others warn him about. Hannah is more realistic about the difficulties they face. Piper is Janie’s social worker, and presents an outsider’s view of the family and their behaviors.

It’s no surprise that Janie suffers from physical and mental issues due to her abusive past. With their medical background, Christopher and Hannah do seem like the perfect couple to take care of Janie. Unfortunately, Christopher is blinded by his love, and Janie’s manipulation, to see how bad things are. My biggest issue with this book was Christopher’s disregard for Hannah’s concerns and the safety of their family. If Christopher hadn’t been such a dolt, this would have been a better book for me.

A disturbing domestic thriller. While it is clear something very bad has happened, the very bad thing isn’t revealed until late in the book. Makes for a suspenseful read. Good for fans of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage.

This was my pick for Amazon First Reads in February 2019.

Book Review: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Last Woman in the Forest
Author: Diane Les Becquets
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.84

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves….

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. When they’re separated on another assignment, she’s shattered to learn of his tragic death. Before long, Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move….


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MY REVIEW
Marian learns about four unsolved murders, and wonders if her recently deceased boyfriend, Tate, could have been involved with them. She finds it difficult to reconcile the man she loved with him also being a murderer. She wants to keep her questioning private, and involves a retired profiler to help her learn more about the unsolved cases.

Told from Marian’s point of view, the story alternates between past and present. The past is about her work in wildlife research and her relationship with Tate. In the present day timeline, she questions everything she knew about Tate. Marian loved Tate, but she is faced with inconsistencies between what he told her and what she learns after his death.

The wilderness is a large part of this story. Personally, I loved that aspect of this novel. As someone with a background in environmental research, I enjoy stories that highlight outdoors and research. The research Marian is involved with uses rescued dogs to track and monitor wildlife populations. The setting is the wilderness of Montana and Canada.

This is a character-driven mystery. Intriguing, atmospheric, and complex. Good for fans of mysteries and thrillers.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Places in Books I’d Like to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Places Mentioned in Books That I’d Like to Visit.

I wasn’t sure if this week’s topic was meant to be real places or fictional places. I figured it could go either way, and fictional places seemed more fun, so that’s what I listed below.

1. Jay Gatsby’s House – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. The Oasis – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

3. Jurassic Park – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

4. Capitol – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

5. Caraval – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

6. Hogsmeade – Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

7. Pemberly – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

8. Willy Wonka’s Factory – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

9. Sinful – Miss Fortune series by Jana Deleon

Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon

10. River Heights – Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

Book Review: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Beautiful Bad
Author: Annie Ward
Publisher: Park Row
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.83

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.


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MY REVIEW
Maddie and Ian appear to have a wonderful life. After a camping accident leaves Maddie disfigured, she begins going to therapy. Maddie and Ian’s past is slowly revealed, along with their current situation – the day of the killing.

Told using flashbacks, this suspenseful novel covers two decades and a variety of locations. Maddie and Ian met when they were both living in the Balkans. Maddie was working as a travel writer and Ian was a soldier working as a bodyguard. They had a brief flirtation, but as their work took them elsewhere, their relationship was complicated. In the present day story, they are married and have a son, but their relationship still has difficulties.

A complex and intriguing psychological thriller. The novel opens with a frantic 911 call, which leads to the responding officer finding a bloody scene. The story then alternates between the events of Maddie and Ian’s past and the present day investigation.

A captivating read for fans of slow-burning domestic thrillers. Compelling characters. Complicated relationships. Unreliable narrator. Murder investigation.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.