Book Review: What You Did by Claire McGowan

What You Did by Claire McGowan


BOOK INFO

Title: What You Did
Author: Claire McGowan
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: August 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.92


BOOK BLURB

A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.

When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why?

When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.


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MY REVIEW

Six college friends gather for a reunion 25 years later. When one of the women stumbles inside after being raped, it puts relationships to the test and challenges who can be trusted.

The characters are six so-called friends – Ali, Mike, Karen, Bill, Callum, and Jodi. Ali and Mike are married and hosting the reunion at their home. Karen is Ali’s best friend, and the rape victim. Bill has been living away, but is back after breaking up with his girlfriend. Callum and Jodi are married and expecting their first child.

Told from Ali’s point of view. When Karen claims Mike raped her, Ali has to make a decision to stand by her husband or her best friend. As the story progresses, more secrets are revealed. Some secrets are newer ones, but some go back to their college days.

This book was hard for me to get into, mainly because the characters were all unlikable people. Some of the things that happen were hard to believe, especially where Ali was concerned. Her naive behavior was difficult to read, and I would have preferred a stronger female protagonist.

A domestic thriller with a lot of drama. The story was interesting, but the characters left a lot to be desired.

This was my Amazon First Reads pick in July 2019.


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 Review: A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell


BOOK INFO

Title: A Stranger on the Beach
Author: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.89


BOOK BLURB

From bestselling author Michele Campbell comes A Stranger on the Beach, an edge-of-your seat story of passion and intrigue that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Caroline Stark’s beach house was supposed to be her crowning achievement: a lavish, expensive space to showcase what she thought was her perfect family. But after a very public fight with her husband, she realizes things may not be as perfect as they seem: her husband is lying to her, the money is disappearing, and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house.

As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse around her, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline, her family, and her house becomes more and more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead… and what is Caroline hiding?


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MY REVIEW

Caroline Stark is living the dream life. Well, until her husband shows up late to their housewarming party… and with another woman. As Caroline’s marriage falls apart, so does her fancy life. When Caroline meets a stranger on the beach, Aiden, they have a brief fling. It’s clear from the start that Aiden’s feelings are stronger for Caroline than hers for him.

Told with the alternating points of view of Caroline and Aiden. Caroline’s POV is first person, while Aiden’s is third person. It’s clear their stories don’t match, but which one is lying is not clear. An entertaining unreliable narrator psychological thriller.

This is the second book I’ve read by Michele Campbell, and I enjoyed this one slightly more than She Was the Quiet One. For avid readers of domestic suspense, A Stranger on the Beach isn’t too hard to figure out. Still, it was a fun, fast-paced read. Suspenseful and exciting.

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


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 Review: The Current by Tim Johnston

The Current by Tim Johnston


BOOK INFO

Title: The Current
Author: Tim Johnston
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.70


BOOK BLURB

Tim Johnston, whose breakout debut Descent was called “astonishing,” “dazzling,” and “unforgettable” by critics, returns with The Current, a tour de force about the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people.

In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene—half frozen but alive.

What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may still live among them.

Determined to find answers, the surviving young woman soon realizes that she’s connected to the earlier unsolved case by more than just a river, and the deeper she plunges into her own investigation, the closer she comes to dangerous truths, and to the violence that simmers just below the surface of her hometown.

Grief, suspicion, the innocent and the guilty—all stir to life in this cold northern town where a young woman can come home, but still not be safe. Brilliantly plotted and unrelentingly propulsive, The Current is a beautifully realized story about the fragility of life, the power of the past, and the need, always, to fight back.


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MY REVIEW

Two college friends are in a tragic accident when their vehicle goes in the river. One is found alive, but the other is killed. The police investigate to determine if it was an accident or intentional. The accident reminds locals of a similar case from ten years earlier, when a young woman was killed at the river and the case was never solved.

Two different mysteries combine in this intriguing and slow-burning novel. One mystery concerns the current car accident involving two young women. They had an unsettling encounter at a convenience store, and there is a question of whether their car going into the river was accidental or if someone was intentionally trying to harm the girls. The other mystery involves an old, unsolved murder case. The current case brings back old memories, and a link between the cases. The surviving girl’s father was sheriff when the earlier murder occurred. He and a few others have been haunted by the unsolved case. Various connections from the past come into play, and secrets are revealed to old unanswered questions.

I love a good slow-burn mystery, but this one was a little too drawn out for me. The ending was great though. This is definitely not a book that is easy to guess what’s going to happen. Recommended for fans of character-driven mysteries. Atmospheric, dark, and mysterious.

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


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 Review: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim


BOOK INFO

Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publish Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.02


BOOK BLURB

The “gripping… page-turner” (Time) hitting all the best of summer reading lists, Miracle Creek is perfect for book clubs and fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng

How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?

In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.

A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?

“A stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost” (Washington Post), Miracle Creek uncovers the worst prejudice and best intentions, tense rivalries and the challenges of parenting a child with special needs. It’s “a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine) as it carefully pieces together the tense atmosphere of a courtroom drama and the complexities of life as an immigrant family. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a Korean-American, former trial lawyer, and mother of a “miracle submarine” patient, this is a novel steeped in suspense and igniting discussion. Recommended by Erin Morgenstern, Jean Kwok, Jennifer Weiner, Scott Turow, Laura Lippman, and more — Miracle Creek is a brave, moving debut from an unforgettable new voice.


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MY REVIEW

A courtroom drama that recalls the events leading up to the night of the explosion. Told with the alternating points of view of the patients and the family that ran the Miracle Submarine. The Miracle Submarine, an experimental medical treatment, explodes. Two people are killed and others injured. The investigation into the explosion leads to a patient’s mother on trial for murder.

The Miracle Submarine is a pressurized oxygen chamber that is large enough for multiple people to receive treatment at the same time. The patients that are involved in the treatment include Matt (infertility), Teresa and her daughter Rosa (cerebral palsy), Kitt and her son TJ (autism), and Elizabeth and her son Henry (autism). Matt is the only adult undergoing the treatment. The others involved are receiving treatment for the children, though the chamber allows the mothers to accompany their children. Each of the families has something to contribute to the mystery of the submarine and what happened on the night of the explosion.

The family that ran the treatment facility – Pak, Young, and Mary Yoo – are Korean immigrants. Pak and Young are married, and Mary is their teenage daughter. Their facility was a target of local protests in the small town of Miracle Creek. Since it is an experimental treatment, some viewed it as dangerous. Family drama (secrets and not really understanding one another) comes into play for the Yoos.

Intriguing mystery with unique characters. With so many characters, there are multiple stories. Things are happening in each character’s life, and it all culminates into a disastrous event. Everything is not as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets. Captivating and powerful.

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


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 Review: Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

BOOK INFO
Title: Good Girl, Bad Girl
Author: Michael Robotham
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.25

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master… with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth? Fiendishly clever, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham.

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
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MY REVIEW
A multi-layered mystery. A girl with a troubled past who wants to be on her own. A forensic psychologist who wants to help her. The murder case of a teen figure skater.

Told with the alternating points of view of Evie and Cyrus. Evie is teen girl with a dark and mysterious past. She’s living in a children’s home, but wants to be out on her own. Also, she has the unique ability to know when someone is lying. Cyrus is a psychologist called in to evaluate her. He’s fascinated by her, and wants to help her succeed on her own. Meanwhile, Cyrus is also helping the police on a murder case. The police appear to find the killer, but Cyrus feels there is more to the case. The alternating POVs work well with this novel. Both Evie and Cyrus have suffered tragic events in their youth. Evie’s past is the most mysterious, but Cyrus has a lot going on with him too.

A dark suspense novel. Flawed characters and an intricate plot. Some things are not resolved by the ending, so it appears there may be a sequel. A good read for fans of gritty thrillers. Clever and addictive.

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


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 Review: Layover by David Bell

Layover by David Bell

BOOK INFO
Title: Layover
Author: David Bell
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: July 2, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.49

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a pulse-pounding quest for the truth.

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

Layover by David Bell
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MY REVIEW
During a layover, Joshua meets Morgan. He feels an instant attraction to her, and alters his travel plans to follow her. Only, she doesn’t want to be followed. Joshua ends up in a whirlwind of a mystery.

Told with the alternating points of view of Joshua and Detective Kimberly Givens. Joshua doesn’t enjoy his work, has a (sort of) girlfriend, and he really hates flying, which he does a lot of. He seems like a decent guy who is not sure what he wants in life. When he meets Morgan, he is drawn to her, and thinks she feels the same about him. Turn out, she’s got some secrets and getting involved with her only leads to trouble for him. Detective Givens is working hard on a missing person case of a local business man. Eventually, Joshua and the detective cross paths.

A slow-building suspense. For avid readers of thrillers, this one may fall flat. I found the idea of a stranger getting so involved in the mystery a bit unbelievable, but it was entertaining to read. My biggest quibble is Joshua following Morgan. He should have backed off when Morgan told him to. He’s not doing either of them any favors by staying involved. One thing I really enjoyed was Joshua’s relationship with his father. It was great to see a good father-son relationship.

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


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 Review: Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik

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: Into the Jungle
Author: Erica Ferencik
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publish Date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Magical Realism
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.91

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the “haunting, twisting thrill ride” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the Bolivian jungle, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.

Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.

When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local hostel isn’t the life she wants either. Tired of hustling and already world-weary, crazy love finds her in the form she least expected: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero—a remote jungle village—to try his hand at city life.

When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city, or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle–its wonders as well as its terrors—using only her wits and resilience.

Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik
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MY REVIEW
Lily is a young woman who moves to Bolivia to escape her not-so-great life in the US. When her work plans in Bolivia fall through, she decides to stay anyway. She makes some friends, has fun, and meets Omar. She falls hard for Omar, a local man from a remote jungle village. Omar learns that his nephew was killed by a jaguar, so he plans to return to the village. He asks Lily to travel into the jungle with him. She is in love, and follows Omar to live in a jungle village that no one has ever heard of. Lily is unprepared for what meets her.

Since Lily is young and in love, she agrees to travel to a remote village without really knowing anything about the jungle. Really, Lily seems aimless, but she has one thing going for her. She’s determined. Jungle life turns out to be much more challenging than she anticipated, but she works to find her place in the community.

This starts as a slow-paced novel, but gets more thrilling toward the end. It also gets more unrealistic as the story progresses. In addition to the adventure story, there are also moments of magical realism. I wasn’t expecting the magical realism element, but found it enjoyable. For the most part, I liked the story and was rooting for Lily to find her place in the jungle village.

An enjoyable read that combines adventure, thriller, women’s fiction, and magical realism. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the jungle. Exciting, mysterious, and wild.

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

Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

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: Little Darlings
Author: Melanie Golding
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publish Date: April 30, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.86

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own… creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley — to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw… she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking — and rechecking — your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
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MY REVIEW
Lauren has newborn twins. In the hospital room one night, Lauren sees a woman try to take her babies and replace them with her own. The police find no one around, and everyone thinks Lauren is imagining things. A month later, the babies disappear. When they are found, they look like Lauren’s twins, but Lauren believes they are not her babies. To get her babies back, Lauren will do the unthinkable.

Lauren is a fantastic unreliable narrator. She is a new mother of twins, so it’s not surprising that everyone around her (husband, doctor, etc.) considers her behavior to be due to exhaustion and postpartum depression. The questioning of what was real, or if there was a supernatural element in play, made for a compelling read. The fairy tale element added to the eerie atmosphere.

A thriller inspired by dark fairy tales. Good for fans of psychological thrillers and Grimms’ fairy tales. Dark, creepy, and clever.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: The Sound of Echoes by Eric Bernt

The Sound of Echoes by Eric Bernt

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 Sound of Echoes
Author: Eric Bernt
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: Speed of Sound Thrillers #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.45

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Only one man can stop the most dangerous conspiracy ever designed in a shattering thriller about the end of secrets from the author of The Speed of Sound.

After going on the run—for what he knows and has created—autistic Eddie Parks is back in Harmony House, the think tank that has been his sanctuary for sixteen years. With his miraculous invention, an “echo box” that excavates sounds from the past, Eddie achieved the only thing he wanted: to hear his late mother sing. But where Eddie sees good, others see infamy. Because no conversation ever held will be a secret again.

For Bob Stenson, leader of the American Heritage Foundation, whoever controls the echo box controls the future. To seize the game-changing device, he has to get Eddie where he’s most vulnerable: by kidnapping Dr. Skylar Drummond, the only person in the word Eddie trusts.

But Stenson has underestimated his prey. Eddie has the power of echoes on his side. Now he must follow them—into the most dangerous places he’s ever ventured—to save Skylar and the country.

The Sound of Echoes by Eric Bernt
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MY REVIEW
This is the second book in the Speed of Sound thriller series by Eric Bernt. I read the first book in this series, and was looking forward to the next adventure with Eddie and his “echo box”. Since this book picks up where the first book ended, it is best to read The Speed of Sound before reading The Sound of Echoes. My review for The Speed of Sound can be found here.

Eddie is a high-functioning autistic savant. He lives in a place called Harmony House, a think tank for autistic savants. In The Speed of Sound, Eddie was working on an “echo box”. He had dreams of using the box to hear his deceased mother sing. Of course, there were others wanting to use the box for more nefarious plans.

Eddie doesn’t trust many people, or anyone really, but he has formed a trusting relationship with Dr. Skylar Drummond. This book opens with Eddie back at Harmony House and Skylar in danger. The people interested in the echo box decide to go after the one person Eddie cares about. Eddie and Skylar are thrown again into a fast and thrilling mystery.

An exciting and action-packed technothriller. Not exactly realistic, but a fun and fast-paced read. Enjoyable characters, a bit of humor, and plenty of action.

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

Book Review: The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

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 Night Olivia Fell
Author: Christina McDonald
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: February 5, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.93

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?


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MY REVIEW
Abi gets a call that every parent fears. Her daughter, Olivia, is in the hospital. Abi rushes to the hospital to find that seventeen-year-old Olivia fell off a bridge and is brain dead. Olivia is dead, but she is on life support because she is pregnant. The police believe Olivia’s fall to be an accident, but Abi thinks someone killed her daughter. She starts to question the people in Olivia’s life, and also ends up learning more about her daughter.

Told with alternating points of view (Abi and Olivia) and timelines (before and after Olivia’s fall). Abi suspects that Olivia’s fall was not an accident, even though it seems everyone else wants her to believe that it was. To learn about what caused Oliva’s fall, Abi must learn about what was going on in Olivia’s life leading up to that night. Olivia’s POV provides insight as to what Olivia was thinking and doing in the months preceding the fall.

An emotional and suspenseful novel. No parent wants to get a call that their child has been in an accident, and even worse, has died as a result. Abi was a strong character in the way she pursued the truth about Oliva’s fall. Sadly, Olivia and Abi were not truthful with one another before the fall, and that hurt their relationship.

A compelling read for fans of domestic suspense. Intense, dramatic, and gripping.

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