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Book Review

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Golden Couple

Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: March 8, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

BOOK BLURB

Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.

Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A picture perfect couple seek counseling to help their marriage. The therapist is unconventional, but the couple are willing to try it to save their marriage.

Told using the alternating points of view of Marissa, the client, and Avery, the therapist. Marissa cheated on her husband, but wants to save her marriage. She finds Avery, a therapist who guarantees she can fix issues in only ten sessions. Of course, nothing is as it appears.

The Golden Couple is a gripping and twisty psychological thriller. Fans of Hendricks and Pekkanen’s other books are sure to enjoy this one too.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:
  1. The Wife Between Us
  2. An Anonymous Girl
  3. You Are Not Alone
  4. The Golden Couple
Book Review

Secret Identity by Alex Segura [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Secret Identity

Author: Alex Segura

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publish Date: March 15, 2022

Genre: Historical Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Secret Identity by Alex Segura

BOOK BLURB

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A 1970s mystery in the comic book industry. A woman helps create a female superhero, but her involvement is kept secret. When her colleague is murdered, she is left wondering what happened, and she has no proof that she created the comic.

Secret Identity is a character driven mystery. Carmen wanted to create comics, and took a questionable offer from a colleague. She created a new comic superhero, but her name wasn’t on it. When her colleague was murdered, Carmen no longer has a connection to the comic.

Noir fiction for comic book fans. Secret Identity is a unique and gritty novel. The characters did not capture my attention as much as I would have liked, but the 1970s New York setting was fantastic.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Alex Segura:
  1. Secret Identity
Book Review

The Heights by Louise Candlish [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The Heights

Author: Louise Candlish

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: March 1, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Heights by Louise Candlish

BOOK BLURB

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among warehouses in London. Its roof terrace is so discreet, you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there—a man you’d recognize anywhere. He may be older now, but it’s definitely him.

But that can’t be because he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A woman spots a man on a nearby roof terrace. She thinks it is the man she blames for the death of her son, which is impossible since he’s supposed to be dead.

The Heights is told using multiple points of view and timelines, which adds more layers to this thriller.

A novel about obsession and revenge. The Heights is a dark and slow-burning psychological thriller. I had a hard time getting into this story, but still found it an enjoyable read.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Louise Candlish:
  1. The Swimming Pool
  2. Our House
  3. Those People
  4. The Other Passenger
  5. The Heights
Book Review

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The Night Shift

Author: Alex Finlay

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: March 1, 2022

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

BOOK BLURB

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey, four teenagers working late at the store are attacked. Only one inexplicably survives. Police quickly identify a suspect, the boyfriend of one of the victims, who flees and is never seen again.

Fifteen years later, more teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream store in the same town, and again only one makes it out alive.

In the aftermath of the latest crime, three lives intersect: the lone survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive the horrors of her tragedy; the brother of the fugitive accused, who’s convinced the police have the wrong suspect; and FBI agent Sarah Keller who must delve into the secrets of both nights—stirring up memories of teen love and lies—to uncover the truth about murders on the night shift.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Two similar crimes that happen fifteen years apart. On New Year’s Eve in 1999, four teenage Blockbuster workers were attacked, and only one survived. Years later, in 2015, teens working at an ice cream shop were attacked, and only one survived.

The Night Shift is told using multiple points of view of three characters – Ella, Chris, and Sarah. Ella was the survivor of the first attack. She is now a therapist and is called to the hospital to talk with the newest survivor. She is forced to recall a time that she would rather forget. Chris is the brother of the suspect in the 1999 murders. He is now a public defender and believes his brother was innocent. Sarah is the FBI agent assigned to the recent case, and looking for a connection between the two crimes. She’s eight months pregnant, so she’s supposed to be on the sidelines, but she doesn’t shy away from the action.

With well-developed characters and a clever plot, The Night Shift makes for a compelling read. This is an addictive and twisty novel, great for fans of mystery thrillers.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Alex Finlay:
  1. Every Last Fear
  2. The Night Shift
Book Review

Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: Batten Down the Belfry

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: March 1, 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: House-Flipper Mystery #4

My Rating: 4/5

Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

Here is the church, here is the steeple…

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have successfully flipped houses, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to renovate a house of worship. Still, the colorful stained glass in the country church has caught Whitney’s eye, and she’d love to breathe new life into the abandoned building. What’s more, the place has perfect acoustics. Could the worship hall be reborn as an entertainment venue with its parsonage repurposed as a pre-show bistro?

Open the doors, and see all the trouble.

The owner of the horse farm next door has asserted a legal claim to the church property, rendering their title uncertain. If that’s not bad enough, while rehabbing the church, Whitney’s cat Sawdust discovers a bombshell in the bell tower—the body of the man who’d delivered their beautiful new replacement windows. What transpired in the spire? Who rang the man’s bell and why?

The steeple is keeping its secrets and, when a second body turns up, things become even less clear. Can Whitney help Detective Collin Flynn solve the crimes before someone else is sent to meet their maker?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Whitney and her cousin Buck have flipped houses before, but now they’re renovating an old church. When two murders take place near the old church, Whitney wants to help solve the cases. Her boyfriend is the homicide detective, so she soon is looking for clues.

Batten Down the Belfry is the fourth book in the House Flipper mystery series. This book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with the first book in this series, Dead as a Doorknocker.

Whitney and her family and friends are likable characters. The setting is charming. The mystery is entertaining. Batten Down the Belfry is an enjoyable cozy mystery, and I look forward to reading more of this series.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the House-Flipper Mystery Series:
  1. Dead as a Doorknocker
  2. Dead in the Doorway
  3. Murder With a View
  4. Batten Down the Belfry
Book Review

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: This Might Hurt

Author: Stephanie Wrobel

Publisher: Berkley Books

Publish Date: February 22, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

BOOK BLURB

Welcome to Wisewood. We’ll keep your secrets if you keep ours.

Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year.

The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there. 

And then she found Wisewood.

On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world—no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.
 
Six months later Natalie receives a menacing e-mail from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Natalie has not heard from her sister, Kit, in over six months. Kit took off to a remote retreat, and cut off contact with the outside world. After receiving a cryptic email, Natalie goes to the retreat in search of her sister.

This Might Hurt is told using multiple points of view and timelines. This was somewhat confusing at first, but eventually came together well. The characters were intriguing and unique. The story was complex and engaging.

This Might Hurt is a psychological thriller about sisters, cults, childhood trauma, and therapy. A creepy and atmospheric novel.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Stephanie Wrobel:
  1. Darling Rose Gold
  2. This Might Hurt
Book Review

Beneath the Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: Beneath the Stairs

Author: Jennifer Fawcett

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: February 22, 2022

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Beneath the Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett

BOOK BLURB

Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did.

Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Two girls, Clare and Abby, entered a local house rumored to be haunted. Twenty years later, Abby has returned to the house to commit suicide. The house has effected many people over the years, and Clare returns to uncover the mystery of the house.

Beneath the Stairs is a debut novel that combines mystery thriller with paranormal elements. It is told primarily through Clare’s viewpoint and uses alternating timelines. This one took me a while to get into, but I ended up enjoying the story.

Beneath the Stairs is a slow-burning read for fans of mysteries and horror.

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

Books by Jennifer Fawcett
  1. Beneath the Stairs
Book Review

The Fields by Erin Young [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The Fields

Author: Erin Young

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publish Date: January 25, 2022

Genre: Police Procedural

Series: Riley Fisher #1

My Rating: 4/5

The Fields by Erin Young

BOOK BLURB

Some things don’t stay buried.

It starts with a body—a young woman found dead in an Iowa cornfield, on one of the few family farms still managing to compete with the giants of Big Agriculture.

When Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, arrives on the scene, an already horrific crime becomes personal when she discovers the victim was a childhood friend, connected to a dark past she thought she’d left behind.

The investigation grows complicated as more victims are found. Drawn deeper in, Riley soon discovers implications far beyond her Midwest town.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Fields is a debut crime thriller. Riley Fisher heads the investigation in the murder of one of her childhood friends.

The Fields is a dark and gritty police procedural. Riley Fisher is an intriguing character. The mystery is complex and compelling. This is the first book in a new series, and I look forward to reading more.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Riley Fisher series:
  1. The Fields
Book Review

The End of Getting Lost by Robin Kirman [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The End of Getting Lost

Author: Robin Kirman

Publisher: Simon Schuster

Publish Date: February 15, 2022

Genre: Domestic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The End of Getting Lost by Robin Kirman

BOOK BLURB

A young woman and her husband travel around Europe to celebrate their first year of marriage—a year that the woman has no memory of—in this searing novel of intimacy and deceit.

The year is 1996—a time before cell phones, status updates, and location tags—when you could still travel to a remote corner of the world and disappear. This is where we meet Gina and Duncan, a young couple madly in love, traveling around Europe on a romantic adventure. It’s a time both thrilling and dizzying for Gina, whose memories are hazy following a head injury—and the growing sense that the man at her side is keeping secrets from her.

Just what is Duncan hiding and how far will he go to keep their pasts at bay? As the pair hop borders across Europe, their former lives threatening to catch up with them while the truth grows more elusive, we witness how love can lead us astray, and what it means to lose oneself in love


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

In The End of Getting Lost, a married couple, Gina and Duncan, travel around Europe on a romantic adventure. Unfortunately, Gina suffers from amnesia due to a head injury. Gina feels that Duncan is hiding something from her, but she’s not all that forthcoming either.

The End of Getting Lost is told from the alternating viewpoints of Gina and Duncan. It is a domestic mystery of lies and deceit. The story takes place during the 1990s, which I enjoyed. However, I found the characters unlikable, and the story never fully grasped my attention.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Robin Kirman:
  1. The End of Getting Lost
Book Review

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: A Flicker in the Dark

Author: Stacy Willingham

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: January 11, 2022

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

BOOK BLURB

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. While she finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to achieve, she sometimes feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. So when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, seeing parallels from her past that aren’t actually there, or for the second time in her life, is Chloe about to unmask a killer?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

When Chloe Davis was twelve years old, her father was convicted for killing six teenage girls. Twenty years later, teenage girls are being killed, and Chloe suspects there is a connection with her father.

Chloe had a traumatic childhood, but has worked to overcome her difficult past. She is a psychologist with her own practice, she’s planning her wedding, and has the support of her fiancé  and her brother. Unfortunately, she also self-medicates, which makes her a bit unreliable as a narrator. When teenage girls start missing again, Chloe is unsure if there is a connection with her father, or if it’s all unrelated and in her imagination.

A Flicker in the Dark is a gripping debut novel. Flawed characters and an atmospheric setting in this twisty thriller. I look forward to reading more by this author.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Stacy Willingham:
  1. A Flicker in the Dark
Book Review

The Appeal by Janice Hallett [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The Appeal

Author: Janice Hallett

Publisher: Atria

Publish Date: January 25, 2022

Genre: Crime Fiction

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

BOOK BLURB

The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play’s star. Their young granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental treatment costing a tremendous sum, their fellow castmates rally to raise the money to give her a chance at survival.

But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment’s efficacy—nor of the good intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material—emails, messages, letters—with a growing suspicion that a killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Appeal is an epistolary novel told through emails, texts, and other written communications. I’ve read several books with this format, and usually end up enjoying them. A mystery written in this format allows the reader to attempt solving the crime as the story unfolds.

A local theater group rallies around a sick child in one of their families. Along with preparing for their next production, the group helps raise money for an experimental treatment for the child. Tensions and doubts arise, and then one of the theater group is found dead. As two lawyers sort through the correspondence between the players involved, they start to suspect a killer is on the loose.

The Appeal is a compelling and uniquely told murder mystery. A good read for fans of epistolary novels and armchair sleuths.

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

Book Review

My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: My Darling Husband

Author: Kimberly Belle

Publisher: Park Row

Publish Date: December 28, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle

BOOK BLURB

Everyone is about to know what her husband isn’t telling her…

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

My Darling Husband starts strong. Jade and her two kids, a daughter and a son, are held hostage in their home. Jade contacts her husband, Cam, with the intruder’s ransom demands. Unfortunately, Cam hasn’t been completely forthcoming about his business and their finances. As Cam scrambles, Jade and the kids attempt to save themselves.

Three points of view are used – Jade, Cam, and Sebastian, the intruder. Each of the characters has a unique voice, though I believe the story could have been more suspenseful without Sebastian’s viewpoint. The characters are relatable and strong, including the kids.

My Darling Husband is an intense and gripping psychological thriller. A good read for fans of domestic thrillers and authors such as B.A. Paris and Liv Constantine.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Kimberly Belle:
  1. The Last Breath
  2. The Ones We Trust
  3. The Marriage Lie
  4. Three Days Missing
  5. Dear Wife
  6. Stranger in the Lake
  7. My Darling Husband