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The Runaway Heiress by Meg Tilly [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 Runaway Heiress

Author: Meg Tilly

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: July 27, 2021

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Runaway Heiress by Meg Tilly

BOOK BLURB

A brave woman on the run from her vindictive husband faces a dangerous path in the thrilling new romantic suspense novel from Oscar-nominated actress Meg Tilly.

Sarah Rainsford has been on the run for more than three years. She’s changed identities yet again in hopes of throwing her violent estranged husband, a police lieutenant, off her trail. Since she’s still legally married to him, and he is willing to bend any laws to get his hands on her inheritance, he’ll stop at nothing to locate her.

With a new name and fake ID papers, she lands a job as a personal assistant to none other than Hollywood’s golden boy director Mick Talford. He’s a difficult client but she senses hidden depths to him. Once Mick and Sarah combine forces in a desperate attempt to keep Sarah out of harm’s way, they build a strong bond . . . but with danger trailing them, is it enough to keep them both alive?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Sarah is on the run from her abusive husband, a cop who will not give up on finding her. She changed her name, and has a new job. Her new boss, Mick, soon realizes Sarah is hiding something. As Mick helps Sarah, they develop feelings for one another.

Sarah is an heiress, but her estranged husband wants her money. She’s on the run, wanting to divorce her husband and gain her life back. Mick is a Hollywood director with a “bad boy” image, and a complicated past. They make for entertaining characters.

The Runaway Heiress is a fast-paced romantic suspense. This was my first book by Meg Tilly, and I will pick up others by her in the future.

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

Book Review

Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron [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: Just One Look

Author: Lindsay Cameron

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publish Date: July 27, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron

BOOK BLURB

Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Cassie is an attorney who suffered a public downfall at her previous job. She takes a job working as a temp at a large law firm. Her job is to read through emails for a fraud case. It’s a rather boring job, but she soon reads emails exchanged between Forrest and his wife Annabelle. Cassie becomes more and more interested in Forrest, going from reading private emails to wanting to see Forrest in person.

Cassie is an intriguing character, though she’s not very likable. As her story slowly unfolds, it also gets crazier. Just One Look isn’t the most believable story, but it is entertaining.

Just One Look is a complex thriller. A story with obsession and stalking, making it a good read for fans of You by Caroline Kepnes.

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

Book Review

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda [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: Such a Quiet Place

Author: Megan Miranda

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: July 13, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

BOOK BLURB

Welcome to Hollow’s Edge, where you can find secrets, scandal, and a suspected killer—all on one street.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truetts’ murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Pulsating with suspense and with the shocking twists that are Megan Miranda’s trademark, Such a Quiet Place is Megan Miranda’s best novel yet—a twisty locked-box thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Hollow’s Edge was a nice neighborhood, until a murder occurred. Ruby was convicted of killing her neighbors, but her conviction was overturned. Much to the residents of Hollow’s Edge surprise, Ruby returned after her release. She moved back in with her roommate, Harper. Harper is as surprised as everyone else. As suspicions and lies keep all of the neighbors on edge, Harper tries to discover what really happened the night her neighbors died.

Such a Quiet Place is told through Harper point of view. She recalls events that led to Ruby’s conviction, plus the current happenings in the neighborhood. Harper is worried about having Ruby in the house, and most of the neighbors are not happy about Ruby being back. There are a lot of characters, and it seems most people are not entirely truthful.

One my favorite tropes in books is an idyllic neighborhood. So, of course, Such a Quiet Place piqued my interest. I usually find Megan Miranda’s novels to be intriguing reads, and Such a Quiet Place did not disappoint. A slow burning thriller for readers who enjoy female protagonists and neighborhood drama.

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

Books by Megan Miranda:
  1. All the Missing Girls
  2. The Perfect Stranger
  3. The Last House Guest
  4. The Girl from Widow Hills
  5. Such a Quiet Place
Book Review

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Other Passenger

Author: Louise Candlish

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: July 20, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

BOOK BLURB

It all happens so quickly. One day you’re living the dream, commuting to work by ferry with your charismatic neighbor Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn’t turned up for the boat and his wife, Melia, has reported him missing.

When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends—ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?

No, whatever danger followed you home last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.

Aren’t you?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Jamie and Kit ride the ferry together. One day, Kit doesn’t show up, and soon the police are questioning Jamie. Kit’s wife has reported him missing, and Jamie was last seen arguing with him. Multiple questions arise, like what happened to Kit, and did Jamie have anything to do with it?

The Other Passenger is told from Jamie’s point of view. Jamie is nearing fifty years old, suffers from agoraphobia, works at a coffee shop, and relies on his partner, Clare, to pay for everything. Jamie seems to have a pretty good life, and is enjoying taking things easy. Kit is in his late twenties, in debt, and married to Melia. Jamie and Kit ride the ferry together everyday, enjoy the occasional after work drink, and form an unlikely friendship.

Interesting and unlikable characters make for an intriguing read. The Other Passenger is a slow burning thriller with some twists along the way. Fans of Louise Candlish’s other books are likely to enjoy this novel too.

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. Backseat Saints
  5. The Other Passenger
  6. The Heights
Book Review

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones [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 Good Day for Chardonnay

Author: Darynda Jones

Publisher: St, Martin’s Press

Publish Date: July 27, 2021

Genre: Crime Fiction

Series: Sunshine Vicram #2

My Rating: 5/5

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

BOOK BLURB

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff—and even fuller-time coffee guzzler—Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A Good Day for Chardonnay is the second book in the Sunshine Vicram series. Sunshine is the sheriff in a small New Mexico town. Sunshine has her hands full in this one. For one, her daughter, Auri, is hunting a serial killer. Also, there is new evidence in the mystery of Sunshine’s kidnapping when she was younger.

This is the second book in the series, and I definitely recommend starting with the first book, A Bad Day for Sunshine. Both books are clever and exciting reads.

A Good Day for Chardonnay has a great cast of quirky characters, a desert town setting, a little romance, and a gripping mystery. A fantastic novel for fans of mystery thrillers with strong female protagonists and sarcastic humor.

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

Books in the Sunshine Vicram series:
  1. A Bad Day for Sunshine
  2. A Good Day for Chardonnay
Book Review

An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott [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: An Ambush of Widows

Author: Jeff Abbott

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publish Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott

BOOK BLURB

In New York Times bestselling author Jeff Abbott’s latest novel of riveting psychological suspense, an uneasy alliance forms as two widows delve into their husbands’ deadly and dangerous secrets—as they try to protect their own.

Henry North is a down-on-his-luck cybersecurity expert from New Orleans. Adam Zhang is the cofounder of one of Austin’s most successful venture capitalist firms. These two men didn’t know each other. They had never met. Yet they died together, violently, in a place neither had any business being.

When Henry doesn’t return from a business trip, his wife, Kirsten, panics—and then gets an anonymous phone call: “Your husband is dead in Austin.”

Flora Zhang knew her husband was keeping secrets. She suspected an affair, but she had decided she could forgive him for his weakness—until her husband ended up dead. And with no explanation for her husband’s murder, the police begin to suspect her.

Together, these two widows will face a powerful foe determined to write a false narrative about the murders. In doing so, neither Flora nor Kirsten will remain the women the world thought they were.

An uneasy alliance forms as the two widows delve into their husbands’ deadly and dangerous secrets—as they try to protect their own. Together they will face a powerful foe determined to write a false narrative about the murders. In doing so, neither Flora nor Kirsten will remain the woman the world thought they were.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Kirsten’s husband Henry doesn’t return from a business trip. Flora’s husband Adam doesn’t make it home either. Both men, who don’t appear to have any connection, were gunned down in an abandoned warehouse in Austin. Kirsten’s husband wasn’t supposed to be in Austin, so she decides to go there and find out what her husband was doing. Flora also wants to know what her husband was up to. Together, the widows uncover their husband’s secrets.

An Ambush of Widows starts slow, but picks up about half way through the novel. Multiple points of view and storylines makes for an intriguing novel. The women each have their own stories, but there is also the mysterious connection of why their husbands were killed together. A twisty and suspenseful thriller.

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

Books by Jeff Abbott:
  1. Blame
  2. The Three Beths
  3. Never Ask Me
  4. An Ambush of Widows
Book Review

Steel Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann [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: Steel Fear

Author: Brandon Webb and John David Mann

Publisher: Bantam

Publish Date: July 13, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: Finn Thrillers #1

My Rating: 4/5

Steel Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

BOOK BLURB

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Chief Finn is a veteran Navy SEAL who ends up on an aircraft carrier. While Finn is on the ship, a series of deaths occurs. At first, it appears to be suicides. As the number of deaths increase, it becomes clear that a serial killer is on the ship.

Steel Fear is told using multiple points of view. Finn is one viewpoint, and he is a mysterious character. The people on board treat him with both respect and suspicion. Another viewpoint is Monica, an aircraft pilot. She questions her roommate’s death, and suspects more is happening than anyone else will admit.

Steel Fear is an exciting thriller with intriguing characters and plenty of action. The story moves fast and keeps the reader guessing. I don’t typically read military thrillers, but I”m happy I picked this one up.

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

Books in the Finn Thrillers series:
  1. Steel Fear
Book Review

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs [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 Bone Code

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Scribner

Publish Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Series: Temperance Brennan #20

My Rating: 4/5

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs

BOOK BLURB

On the way to hurricane-ravaged Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, Tempe receives a call from the Charleston coroner. The storm has tossed ashore a medical waste container. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Tempe recognizes many of the details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she travels to Montreal to gather evidence.

Meanwhile, health authorities in South Carolina become increasingly alarmed as a human flesh-eating contagion spreads. So focused is Tempe on identifying the container victims that, initially, she doesn’t register how their murders and the pestilence may be related. But she does recognize one unsettling fact. Someone is protecting a dark secret—and willing to do anything to keep it hidden.

An absorbing look at the sinister uses to which genetics can be put, and featuring a cascade of ever-more-shocking revelations, The Bone Code is Temperance Brennan’s most astonishing case yet—one that gives new meaning to today’s headlines.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Bone Code is the twentieth book in the Temperance Brennan series. Temperance is a forensic anthropologist who has worked on a variety of cases. While this could be read as a standalone novel, I recommend reading some of the earlier books first.

In The Bone Code, Temperance gets involved with a case in Charleston that reminds her of a cold case she worked years earlier in Quebec. Meanwhile, a virus outbreak in Charleston is causing panic. Temperance works to connect the two cases and uncover more than just a murderer.

This is a series that I’ve enjoyed over the years. There are a few books in this series that I haven’t read, but I plan to go back and read them soon. Temperance is intelligent and driven in her work. She makes for a strong and interesting protagonist.

The Bone Code is sure to be enjoyed by fans of this series. For readers unfamiliar with Temperance, I recommend checking out this series if you like crime fiction.

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

Books in the Temperance Brennan series:
  1. Déjà Dead
  2. Death du Jour
  3. Deadly Decisions
  4. Fatal Voyage
  5. Grave Secrets
  6. Bare Bones
  7. Monday Mourning
  8. Cross Bones
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones
  12. 206 Bones
  13. Spider Bones
  14. Flash and Bones
  15. Bones Are Forever
  16. Bones of the Lost
  17. Bones Never Lie
  18. Speaking in Bones
  19. A Conspiracy of Bones
  20. The Bone Code
Book Review

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby [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: Razorblade Tears

Author: S.A. Cosby

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publish Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

BOOK BLURB

A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.

Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.

The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.

Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed of his father’s criminal record. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change – and maybe even redemption.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Ike and Buddy Lee share little in common. They do have a few things in common though. They’re both ex-cons. They are the fathers of Isiah and Derek, an interracial gay couple who were gunned down. They both want revenge against the people behind their sons’ deaths.

Razorblade Tears is a gritty revenge mystery. Ike and Buddy Lee are both flawed characters with regrets. While they would both like redemption, they will settle for revenge. A well written and compelling novel.

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

Books by S.A. Cosby:
  1. Blacktop Wasteland
  2. Razorblade Tears
Book Review

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge [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: Lie Beside Me

Author: Gytha Lodge

Publisher: Random House

Publish Date: June 22, 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Series: DCI Jonah Sheens #3

My Rating: 4/5

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge

BOOK BLURB

Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy—but she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over toward her husband, Niall. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.

But it’s not Niall lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s not breathing. . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, it’s clear to Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect—though they soon find she’s not the only one with something to hide.

Did she do it? And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

In this gripping novel, a young woman finds that trying to make sense of her life’s bad choices might prove the most dangerous reckoning there is.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A woman awakens to discover that the man beside her is not only not her husband, but he’s dead. Though she doesn’t remember what happened, she can’t believe she killed this man. When the police arrive, they find the body in the front yard. The woman is clearly keeping secrets and is a prime suspect.

Lie Beside Me is told using alternating points of view – the suspect, Louise, and the detective, Jonah. Louise is insecure and a struggling alcoholic. Jonah is trying to find a killer. The mystery is well paced and complex.

Lie Beside Me is the third book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series, but it can be read as a standalone. I’ve read the previous two books (She Lies in Wait and Watching from the Dark), and think this series is getting better with each book.

Twisty and intriguing. Lie Beside Me is a straightforward police procedural. A great series for fans of British police procedurals.

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

Books in the DCI Jonah Sheens series:
  1. She Lies in Wait
  2. Watching from the Dark
  3. Lie Beside Me
Book Review

Dream Girl by Laura Lippman [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: Dream Girl

Author: Laura Lippman

Publisher: Faber and Faber

Publish Date: July 1, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

BOOK BLURB

Following up on her acclaimed and wildly successful New York Times bestseller Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman returns with a dark, complex tale of psychological suspense with echoes of Misery involving a novelist, incapacitated by injury, who is plagued by mysterious phone calls.

In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.

Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?

And why does no one believe that the call even happened?

Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.

And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.

Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Gerry had an accident that left him confined to a hospital bed in his apartment. He is dependent on two women, his personal assistant and his night nurse. Gerry has plenty of time to reminiscence about his past, and he has many regrets. On top of all of that, he is receiving phone calls from Aubrey, a fictional character from his most successful novel. He suspects someone is messing with him, or he may be losing his mind.

Dream Girl is a multilayered novel with an unlikable main character. The timeline shifts between past and present. The past is all over the place, covering everything from Gerry’s childhood to more recent moments. While the story is slow building, it is also engrossing.

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

Books by Laura Lippman:
  1. After I’m Gone
  2. Wilde Lake
  3. Sunburn
  4. Lady in the Lake
  5. Dream Girl
Book Review

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman [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 Disappearing Act

Author: Catherine Steadman

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publish Date: June 8, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

BOOK BLURB

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. 

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Mia has traveled from London to LA to audition for new roles. While at an audition, she meets Emily, another actress. Mia does a simple favor for Emily, but that favor leads to a mysterious case of a missing woman. When Mia claims Emily is missing, no one seems to believe her.

Mia is a young woman on her own in a new country. She is not completely comfortable in LA, but she’s slowly finding her place. She is smart but naive. Her caring nature sometimes put her in sketchy situations. When she meets Emily, she finds a kindred spirit. When she realizes Emily is missing, she is drawn to find her new friend. A wild and twisty mystery follows.

The Disappearing Act is a slow building psychological thriller. Atmospheric and suspenseful.

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

Books by Catherine Steadman:
  1. Something in the Water
  2. Mr. Nobody
  3. The Disappearing Act