Book Review: A Good Man by Ani Katz

A Good Man by Ani Katz


BOOK INFO

Title: A Good Man
Author: Ani Katz
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: January 14, 2020
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.00 / Community 3.60


BOOK BLURB

A dark and gripping novel of psychological suspense about a family man driven to unspeakable acts, in the vein of The Perfect Nanny and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Thomas Martin was a devoted family man who had all the trappings of an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island’s north shore, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He was also a devoted son and brother, shielding the women in his orbit from the everyday brutalities of the world.

But what happens when Thomas’s fragile ego is rocked? After committing a horrific deed — that he can never undo — Thomas grapples with his sense of self. Sometimes he casts himself as a victim and, at other times, a monster. All he ever did was try to be a good man, but maybe if he tells his version of the story, he might uncover how and why things unraveled so horribly.



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MY REVIEW

Thomas is a man with a good life. This is his story about how things went wrong.

Told from Thomas’s point of view. He recalls the early days with his wife, his family life, and his work life. While everything seems ordinary, and even a bit dull in Thomas’s life, there is an underlying darkness. As Thomas tells his story, it’s clear that he’s not the good man he claims to be.

This book reminds me of Looker by Laura Sims, but from a male POV. A slow-paced psychological drama. While this novel has several things I love (unreliable narrator, picture perfect life, dark and twisted tale), I was never drawn into the story.

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: I Choose You by Gayle Curtis

I Choose You by Gayle Curtis


BOOK INFO

Title: I Choose You
Author: Gayle Curtis
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: January 1, 2020
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 2.00 / Community 3.33


BOOK BLURB

When a killer chooses you, what choice do you have?

Thirty years ago, Elise and Nathaniel shared a horrific trauma that united them in grief. Now, grown up and married with a young family, they feel their worst nightmares are behind them. Until the day their daughter is abducted and murdered.

Both Elise and Nathaniel lost their mothers to a notorious killer who manipulated innocent victims into taking their own lives. Could it be that ‘the Watcher’ has returned for another round of the same sadistic game? Why now? And why are Elise and Nathaniel being targeted again?

When Elise’s family falls under suspicion, her world crashes down around her. Is there anyone she can trust, or is her whole life built on lies?

Only one thing is clear: someone left their cruel game unfinished all those years ago. This time the Watcher intends to win – once and for all.



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MY REVIEW

Nathaniel and Elise Munroe are a married couple with kids. Their teen daughter goes missing and is found murdered. This leads into an investigation that looks at their family and friends.

Nathaniel and Elise met at a suicide support group. They shared something in common… both of their mothers were killed by the “Suicide Watcher,” a serial killer that manipulates victims into killing themselves. The “Watcher” plays a part in the current events unfolding in the Munroes lives.

This book has a lot happening. There are a lot of characters and various storylines. Also, multiple timelines and points of view are used. For me, too much was happening and it didn’t flow well. The parts concerning the “Watcher” were intriguing, but otherwise it was a fairly chaotic read. On the plus side, there is so much happening, it’s hard to guess who the killer is.


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 Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison


BOOK INFO

Title: Good Girls Lie
Author: J.T. Ellison
Publisher: MIRA
Publish Date: December 30, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.00 / Community 3.96


BOOK BLURB

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new psychological thriller examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to in order to protect their secrets.

Goode girls don’t lie…

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond.

But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder.

When a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.



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MY REVIEW

A couple of deaths, plenty of drama, and questionable behavior combine to make a clever suspense novel. The characters in this book are primarily young adults, but it reads as an adult novel.

Ash is the new girl at The Goode School, an elite boarding school for girls. Her arrival is the catalyst that leads to the events at The Goode School. I especially enjoyed the atmospheric boarding school setting. Lies, secrets, and rumors combined with money and power.

A slow burning mystery with secret societies and mean girls. Good for readers who enjoy mysteries and thrillers in a boarding school setting.

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: Under Lying by Janelle Harris

Under Lying by Janelle Harris


BOOK INFO

Title: Under Lying
Author: Janelle Harris
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: November 1, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.86


BOOK BLURB

In this gripping novel of suspense, the disappearance of a couple’s baby daughter leaves everyone a suspect.

Susan has everything she ever wanted. A loving husband, an angelic daughter and the cottage of her dreams in County Cork. Her picture-perfect life seems too good to be true. And it is.

At a housewarming party with their new neighbours, her daughter Amelia goes missing. As friends become suspects, Susan’s life spirals out of control. And when Amelia’s yellow cardigan is dredged from the lake, every parent’s worst nightmare suddenly seems horribly real.

In the aftermath of Amelia’s disappearance Susan and her husband Paul are not themselves. Someone is hiding something. What if Susan and Paul’s entire relationship was built on lies stretching back years?

Some secrets may be best left buried in the past, but uncovering the truth could be the only way to find Amelia – before it’s too late.



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MY REVIEW

Susan and Paul are hosting a party when their young daughter goes missing. After searching the area and not finding the girl, everyone starts to assume the worst. In the days following the disappearance, Susan and Paul are both acting differently… and they are both keeping secrets.

Told from Susan’s point of view using alternate timelines (now and then). Susan is not exactly who she seems to be, and her story is slowly revealed as the novel progresses. Susan is not a likable character. She is obsessed, vengeful, and deranged. That combination makes for an entertaining read.

An intriguing thriller with some twists and turns along the way. Good for fans of revenge plots. Suspenseful, crazy, and shocking.


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 Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell


BOOK INFO

Title: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.18


BOOK BLURB

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.



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MY REVIEW

After turning 25 years old, Libby inherits a valuable property and learns who her biological parents were. Libby was unaware of her biological family, but there are a couple of people who have been waiting for her to discover where she came from.

Told using multiple points of view (Libby, Lucy, and Henry) and alternating timelines. Libby and Lucy’s stories are present day, while Henry’s story takes place in the early to mid-1990s. At first, I found the alternating POVs to be confusing, but I soon got into the flow. The stories do all meet up, and it’s not all that surprising how people and events are connected.

A domestic suspense with some crazy people and plenty of drama. Dark, chaotic, and twisted.

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: Lock Me In by Kate Simants

Lock Me In by Kate Simants


BOOK INFO

Title: Lock Me In
Author: Kate Simants
Publisher: Killer Reads
Publish Date: October 4, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.04


BOOK BLURB

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…



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MY REVIEW

Ellie suffers from a sleep disorder. She can become unpredictable and violent, so she needs to be locked in her bedroom at night. One morning, she awakens to discover her bedroom door smashed, injuries on her body, and no memory of what happened during the night. Then she learns her boyfriend is missing. As Ellie questions what happened, she delves into her past to learn more about her condition.

Told with alternating points of view – Ellie and Detective Ben Mae. Detective Mae is assigned the missing persons case of Ellie’s boyfriend. Ellie and Detective Mae have a history though. He worked the case of her missing best friend a couple years prior. That’s right, a similar situation happened previously, making Ellie an obvious suspect. She doesn’t remember what happens on those nights though, and, so far, there is not real evidence linking her to a crime.

An intriguing psychological thriller. Ellie lives with her mother, and they keep very low profiles. As the investigation of Ellie’s boyfriend progresses, secrets from Ellie’s past are revealed. Slow-burning, engrossing, and twisty.

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: Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak


BOOK INFO

Title: Necessary People
Author: Anna Pitoniak
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date: May 21, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.74


BOOK BLURB

One of them has it all. One of them wants it all. But they can’t both win.

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.
After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit.

Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.



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MY REVIEW

Stella and Violet have been friends since college. They seem like opposites, but they balance one another out. Stella is privileged and irresponsible. Violet is hardworking and serious. After graduating, Stella travels and Violet starts an internship at a cable news station in New York. When Stella returns to New York, Violet’s advancements are overshadowed and threatened when Stella is hired at the same station. Violet has always been there for Stella, but Violet isn’t giving up on her dreams.

Told from Violet’s point of view. She’s driven and hardworking, but not always likable. Both women are manipulative with one another and others in their lives. While they both have traits that are unlikable, they also both have moments to sympathize with. This is one of those novels where unlikable characters really works. Even though I wasn’t loving either woman, I was curious as to how their relationship would play out.

An intriguing thriller about a toxic friendship. Well developed characters that make this a highly enjoyable read. Dark, complex, and compelling.


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 Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke


BOOK INFO

Title: The Two Lila Bennetts
Author: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.9


BOOK BLURB

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.



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MY REVIEW

Lila Bennett has made some bad choices. She has now reached a decision that splits her life in two. In one life, she is taken hostage by someone who knows everything about her. In the other life, someone is after her, and exposes her secrets as she escapes capture.

Lila is a criminal defense attorney. She’s made plenty of enemies, so narrowing down who is after her proves challenging. She has made choices that impact her personal and professional lives. As those choices are revealed, her life is forever changed. Lila is not exactly likable. She’s lied to the people in her life for many years. She always has an excuse, but she knows that she’s done the wrong thing. When her life splits, she finally faces those choices and has to face the ones she has hurt.

An intriguing thriller about choices affecting our path in life, and having to face the consequences. Fast-paced, complex, and suspenseful.


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: Here to Stay by Mark Edwards

Here to Stay by Mark Edwards

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: Here to Stay
Author: Mark Edwards
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: September 1, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.99

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
A beautiful home. A loving wife. And in-laws to die for.

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.

The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about…

As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

From the two million copy bestselling author comes a tale about the chilling consequences of welcoming strangers into your home.


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MY REVIEW
Elliot has a comfortable life with a rewarding career and a beautiful home he remodeled. The only thing missing is a family. When he meets Gemma, she seems perfect for him, and they have a brief courtship before marrying. Soon after getting married, Gemma’s family (mother, father, and sister) need somewhere to stay. Elliot is happy to welcome them into his home for a couple of weeks, but the time keeps passing and his in-laws aren’t leaving. In fact, they’re taking over his home and starting to destroy other areas of his life too.

Elliot is a decent man who works hard and enjoys his quiet life. He wants love though, and is happy when he meets Gemma. Then his in-laws move in. When his in-laws refuse to leave, Elliot is pushed beyond the breaking point. It’s a difficult time for him and Gemma. In some ways it brings them closer and in other ways pushes them apart.

While I enjoyed the story, I did feel it was a little too slowly drawn out. The in-laws are smart though, and stay within the law as they disrupt Elliot’s life. Elliot tries to remain calm, but there is only so much that a man can handle.

An intriguing story involving the in-laws from Hell. Good for readers who enjoy family drama in domestic thrillers. Crazy, suspenseful, and entertaining.

This was my Amazon First Reads pick for August 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: The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist

The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist

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BOOK INFO
Title: The Woman in the Park
Author: Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist
Publisher: Beaufort Books
Publish Date: August 26, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.20

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
When Manhattanite Sarah Rock meets a mysterious and handsome stranger in the park, she is drawn to him. Sarah wants to get away from her daily routine, her cheating husband and his crazy mistress, her frequent sessions with her heartless therapist, and her moody children.

But nothing is as it seems. Her life begins to unravel when a woman from the park goes missing and Sarah becomes the prime suspect in the woman’s disappearance. Her lover is nowhere to be found, her husband is suspicious of her, and her therapist is talking to the police.

With no one to trust, Sarah must face her inner demons and uncover the truth to prove her innocence.

A thriller that questions what is real-with its shocking twists, secrets, and lies — The Woman in the Park will leave readers breathless.


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MY REVIEW
Sarah is attracted to a handsome man she met in the park. This new man provides a way for Sarah to escape her unhappiness at home. When a woman Sarah recognizes from the park goes missing, Sarah comes under suspicion in the her disappearance. Sarah’s home life and secret life collide. Nothing is as it seems, and Sarah’s not sure who she can trust.

A suspenseful psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator. Sarah has discontent in her life, but she’s trying to manage things with therapy. As the story progresses, it’s hard to know if everything is based in reality. An entertaining trip down the rabbit hole of Sarah’s life.

A twisty debut novel. Good for readers who enjoy domestic thrillers with unreliable narrators. Dark, clever, and captivating.

I received a free advance digital copy 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.