Book Review: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

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BOOK INFO
Title: The Last Time I Saw You
Author: Liv Constantine
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.61

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In a world of wealth and privilege, a killer is hiding…

The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone — friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list…

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

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MY REVIEW
When Kate’s mother, Lily, is found murdered, Kate turns to her former best friend, Blaire, for support. Kate soon receives an ominous text, and it seems she may be the next victim. Blaire decides to investigate and find who killed Lily.

Kate and Blaire had been best friends as teens, but grew apart as they got older. Kate married, had a child, and became a doctor. She has a perfect life. Blaire is divorced, childless, and her career is suffering. Her life is not so perfect. Still, when they reconnect after Lily’s death, their friendship picks right back up. As someone targets Kate with disturbing texts, Kate’s paranoia about those around her increases. In addition, Blaire’s investigation into the murder has some people upset.

Secrets, lies, and betrayal. An entertaining, though somewhat ridiculous, thriller. Unreliable characters, murder mystery, friendship, and family drama. Some intriguing things happening, but it wasn’t pulled together as well as I was hoping for. My main complaint was the lackluster ending. Readers who devour psychological thrillers may find this one to be a disappointment. However, it would make a good choice for those looking for a melodramatic thriller to read at the beach/pool this summer.

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

Book Review: Cold Waters by Debbie Herbert

Cold Waters by Debbie Herbert

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: Cold Waters
Author: Debbie Herbert
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: May 1, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.84

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From USA Today bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a thrilling story of murder and madness set in the darkest corner of Alabama.

Everyone thinks fourteen-year-old Violet is a murderer. After a summer-night swim with her best friend, Ainsley, Violet is found confused, wandering in the forest—and Ainsley’s never seen again. But without a body, murder charges won’t stick, so Violet is sent away.

After more than a decade in a psychiatric ward, Violet returns to her broken-down hometown of Normal, Alabama, to claim her dead mother’s inheritance and help her overworked sister care for their unstable, alcoholic father. Violet, still haunted by that night eleven years ago, endures horrific flashbacks and twisted hallucinations while townsfolk spit accusations—and for all she knows, they’re right.

As the summer heats up, details of Ainsley’s fate appear like a beast’s wild eyes, watching in the darkness, and grim revelations about Violet’s family threaten to devour her. Already on the edge of madness, Violet must fight to keep her sanity long enough for the terrible truth to burst from the cold, dark waters.


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MY REVIEW
Violet returns to Normal, Alabama after 11 years away. She returns to claim her inheritance from her deceased mother’s estate and help her sister take care of their ailing father. Violet left town after her friend Ainsley went missing. The locals believe Violet killed Ainsley, and now with Violet’s return home, they believe the truth will finally be revealed.

When Violet was 14 years old, she and Ainsley met up for a late night swim. That night, Violet was found confused and wandering the woods. Ainsley was never found. Violet has been in a psychiatric facility ever since. Violet doesn’t remember the events of that night, but the locals believe she got away with murder. Coinciding with Violet’s return home is the draining of the lake where Ainsley went missing. With speculation being that Ainsley’s body may finally be found, Violet is haunted by her past and the occasional flashback of what happened that night.

This book is partly mystery about what happened to Ainsley and partly family drama. There is a lot of drama happening in Violet’s life. She and her sister are not on good terms. Her father health is failing and his behavior is odd. Violet was close to her mother, but her mother’s death has left her feeling alone. Also, Violet is not welcomed back into town with open arms.

This started off as a good story, but I was not feeling it by the end. It starts with a protagonist with no memory of the night that forever changed her life and a small community ready to turn on her. An unreliable narrator and a cast of unlikable characters always peaks my interest. Unfortunately, it didn’t hold my interest at the end of the book. In the end, everything is wrapped up, but I was let down in how it was handled.

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

Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover

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: Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Hoover Ink, Inc.
Publish Date: December 7, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.45

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.


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MY REVIEW
After a terrible accident, Verity Crawford is unable to finish writing her best selling book series. Her husband hires Lowen Ashleigh to ghostwrite the remaining books. While searching for Verity’s notes, Lowen comes across an unfinished autobiography by Verity. The autobiography was never meant to be found, and contains some chilling admissions.

Told with the alternating viewpoints of Verity and Lowen. Lowen is a struggling author who prefers to live a very private life. The opportunity to ghostwrite a popular series comes at a time when she needs the money and the escape. Verity is a popular author who is basically catatonic after an accident. Verity is married to Jeremy, who Lowen starts to have feelings for as the story progresses.

A plot that is fast-paced, twisted, and complex. Characters that are well developed, intriguing, and unlikable. A thriller that will leave you unsettled. Recommended to fans of domestic thrillers.

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

Book Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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 Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publish Date: February 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.09

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…


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MY REVIEW
Alicia Berenson is a unique case. She killed her husband and never spoke again. Alicia, the silent patient, is incarcerated at the Grove, a psychiatric facility. Theo is the new criminal psychotherapist at the Grove. He is determined to get Alicia to talk, and reveal what happened that day.

Told with alternating points of view – Alicia and Theo. Alicia’s viewpoint is told using her journal entries before killing her husband. Theo’s viewpoint is as a therapist at the Grove, but also includes info about his personal life. Two different voices that make for a compelling read.

A psychological thriller that kept me intrigued. I read this book after seeing so many rave reviews, and can say it does not disappoint. Highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers. Clever, suspenseful, and twisted.

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

Book Review: Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

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: Her Pretty Face
Author: Robyn Harding
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publish Date: July 10, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.76

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart.

Because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?


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MY REVIEW
Frances and Kate seem very different, but soon became friends. Their sons go to the same private school, and neither one quite fits in with the other parents. Frances is somewhat ostracized because of her son’s behavioral problems. Kate is confident and not all that interested in blending in with the other parents. As the women’s friendship grows, one learns of the other’s secret. A disturbing secret of a past murder.

Told with alternating timelines (past and present) and three alternating points of view (Frances, Daisy, and DJ). Frances is insecure, but wants to be liked. When she meets Kate, she is happy to finally have a friend. Daisy is Kate’s lonely teenage daughter. DJ is a young child. Frances and Daisy’s timelines are present day, and DJ’s story is in the past.

Her Pretty Face is great domestic drama. It is character driven, which makes for a somewhat slower-paced read. There is intrigue and suspense with the story as well, which makes for a compelling story.

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

Book Review: The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott

The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott

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 Woman Inside
Author: E.G. Scott
Publisher: Dutton
Publish Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.48

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
An impossible-to-put-down domestic thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect, and the most dangerous, match for each other

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.

But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.

What follows is an unpredictable and stylish game of cat and mouse—a shocking tale of unfaithfulness and unreliability that will keep you racing until the final twist and make you wonder how well you really know your spouse.


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MY REVIEW
Paul and Rebecca have been married for twenty years. Their marriage has hit a rocky patch, and both of them are keeping secrets.

Told with the alternating viewpoints of Paul and Rebecca. Rebecca is addicted to opiates, making her somewhat unreliable as a narrator. Paul has secrets of his own, including an affair that doesn’t end well. Two manipulative characters that were so unlikable it was hard to care too much with how things turned out for them.

This novel has two main points of view, but also includes a few other POV as the story progresses. The combination of multiple POVs and timelines (before, after, and now) made for a convoluted read. I enjoyed the twistiness of this domestic thriller, but it was not as intriguing as other recent novels.

Crazy mistress. Drug addicted wife. Suspicious husband. A fast-paced and entertaining thriller.

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

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak

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: Before We Were Strangers
Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: MIRA
Publish Date: December 4, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.93

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she’s determined to uncover her family’s dark secrets, even if they bury her.

Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound — the ominous thump before all went quiet.

In the morning, her mother was gone.

The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn’t just difficult — he was deadly.

Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend, and a father and brother who’d rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn’t whether she can uncover what really happened that night… it’s what will remain of her family if she does?


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MY REVIEW
Sloane was five years old when her mother disappeared. Sloane remembers hearing her parents argue, and the next day her mother was gone. Sloane left home at eighteen, moved to New York, and started a career as a model. She has done well for herself, but she has always felt there was more to the story about her mother. A loving mother doesn’t just walk away from her children. Sloane decides to move back to her small town and finally discover what happened to her mother.

Sloane is an interesting character. She moved away from home as soon as she could, and she did well for herself. She’s smart, independent, and determined. When she left home, she left behind a father she didn’t get along with, a brother who did whatever their father said, a high school boyfriend who loved her, and a childhood best friend. After years away, Sloane’s relationship with everyone is different when she returns to her hometown.

A suspenseful mystery with plenty of drama. Family drama, mystery, and a little romance make this a compelling read.

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

Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

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: My Lovely Wife
Author: Samantha Downing
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: March 26, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.08

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting…

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have our secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.


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MY REVIEW
Millicent and her husband are a married couple with two teenagers, great jobs, and a home in a nice neighborhood. They also have a shared interest in murder.

Told from the husband’s point of view. Interestingly, the husband is never named. He and his wife, Millicent, live in a nice, quiet neighborhood. Millicent and her husband occasionally have date nights, but these aren’t the usual type of date nights. During these dates, they plot and scheme how to get away with murder.

Wonderful debut novel. Well written story with complex characters and an intriguing plot. Psychological thrillers often have one crazy spouse, but in this novel, the readers get a double dose of demented.

A deliciously wicked domestic thriller. Great for fans of psychological thrillers. Twisted, dark, and disturbing.

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

Book Review: The Temp by Michelle Frances

The Temp by Michelle Frances

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 Temp
Author: Michelle Frances
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: January 29, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.72

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Wanted: Assistant to provide maternity cover for high-powered TV producer. Must be bright, creative, with killer instincts.

Emma would do anything to work for the woman who has the job she wants. Carrie is at the top of her game, with a dream career, a baby on the way, and a handsome screenwriter husband. For Emma, with parents who don’t understand her ambition and a serious misstep behind her, this temp position might be her last chance.

Carrie has given up more than anyone knows to get to the top of a ruthless business. She won’t give up this baby too. But with Emma filling in for her at the office, her perfect life starts to unravel. Her bank account is inexplicably overdrawn, her husband seems strangely distant and colleagues are all too happy to take Emma’s creative direction. Carrie finds herself dying to get back to work . . . until a letter left at her door changes everything.

Trust and fear trade places in a love triangle that defies readers’ expectations at every turn.


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MY REVIEW
Carrie, a successful TV producer, is pregnant and needs to hire a temp. She will need time off work after the baby comes, even though she hates having to leave her job. She hires Emma. Emma is ambitious and eager to work with Carrie.

Told with the alternating points of view of Carrie and Emma. Carrie and her husband have successful careers and a happy marriage. When Carrie finds out she is pregnant, they’re well planned lives get off course. Emma wants to work in the television industry, but hasn’t had much luck. A temp position with Carrie is a dream for her, and she desperately wants it to work.

A slow-burning psychological thriller. Interesting characters and twisty plot made for a captivating read. Intriguing, suspenseful, and twisted.

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

Book Review: And Then You Were Gone by R.J. Jacobs

And Then You Were Gone by R.J. Jacobs

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BOOK INFO
Title: And Then You Were Gone
Author: R.J. Jacobs
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publish Date: March 13, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.78

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
For fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica comes a propulsive, twisting psychological thriller that asks, How can you save someone else if you can’t save yourself?

After years of learning how to manage her bipolar disorder, Emily Firestone finally has it under control. Even better, her life is coming together: she’s got a great job, her own place, and a boyfriend, Paolo, who adores her. So when Paolo suggests a weekend sailing trip, Emily agrees—wine, water, and the man she loves? What could be better? But when Emily wakes the morning after they set sail, the boat is still adrift…and Paolo is gone.

A strong swimmer, there’s no way Paolo drowned, but Emily is at a loss for any other explanation. Where else could he have gone? And why? As the hours and days pass by, each moment marking Paolo’s disappearance, Emily’s hard-won stability begins to slip.

But when Emily uncovers evidence suggesting Paolo was murdered, the investigation throws her mania into overdrive, even as she becomes a person of interest in her own personal tragedy. To clear her name, Emily must find the truth—but can she hold onto her own sanity in the process?


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MY REVIEW
While on a sailing trip, Emily wakes to find her boyfriend Paolo is missing. Since Paolo is a strong swimmer, Emily finds it hard to believe he could have drowned. As days pass, Paolo’s disappearance starts to lean toward murder… with Emily as a suspect. Emily struggles with managing her bipolar disorder, which she though was under control, while she searches for answers to what happened to Paolo.

Emily makes for an interesting unreliable narrator. She has been managing her bipolar disorder well, but when Paolo goes missing and she becomes a suspect, she no longer has control. In addition to that, her memory of the night Paolo went missing is very hazy. The fun thing about unreliable narrators is the reader never knows if they can be trusted.

When Emily looks into Paolo’s disappearance, she learns more about his work. Paolo works in medical research, and while Emily was aware of the virus he was working with, she learns a lot more about his research and coworkers as she questions what happened to him.

A fast-paced thriller. Intriguing, suspenseful, and twisty.

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