Book Review

Good Girls Don’t Die by Christina Henry [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Good Girls Don’t Die

Author: Christina Henry

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: November 14, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Good Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry

BOOK BLURB

Celia wakes up in a house that’s supposed to be hers. There’s a little girl who claims to be her daughter and a man who claims to be her husband, but Celia knows this family—and this life—is not hers…

Allie is supposed to be on a fun weekend trip—but then her friend’s boyfriend unexpectedly invites the group to a remote cabin in the woods. No one else believes Allie, but she is sure that something about this trip is very, very wrong…

Maggie just wants to be home with her daughter, but she’s in a dangerous situation and she doesn’t know who put her there or why. She’ll have to fight with everything she has to survive…

Three women. Three stories. Only one way out. This captivating novel will keep readers guessing until the very end.


Good Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry

MY REVIEW

Three stories of women with individual frightening experiences that eventually interconnect into one disturbing experience.

Good Girls Don’t Die has four parts – one for each of the three women, and the final part, where the stories come together. I enjoyed the individual parts more than the final part. While I found the ending to be a bit of a disappointment, I still was entertained by the book.

A fast-paced and suspenseful thriller. Recommended for fans of mixed genres and strong female leads.

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

Book Review

The Strangers Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Strangers Upstairs

Author: Lisa M. Matlin

Publisher: Bantam

Publish Date: September 12, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin

BOOK BLURB

A therapist and self-help writer with all the answers, Sarah Slade has just bought a gorgeous Victorian in the community of her dreams. Turns out, you can get a killer deal on a house where someone was murdered. Plus, renovating Black Wood House makes for great blog content and a decent distraction from her failing marriage. Good thing nobody knows that her past is just as filthy as the bloodstain on her bedroom floor.

But the renovations are fast becoming a nightmare. Sarah imagined custom avocado wallpaper, massive profits, and an appreciative husband who wants to share her bed again. Instead, the neighbors hate her guts and her husband still sleeps on the couch. And though the builders attempt to cover up Black Wood’s horrifying past, a series of bizarre accidents, threatening notes, and unexplained footsteps in the attic only confirms for Sarah what the rest of the town already knew: Something is very wrong in that house.

With every passing moment, Sarah’s life spirals further out of control—and with it, her sense of reality. But as she peels back the curling wallpaper and discovers the house’s secrets, she realizes that the deadly legacy of Black Wood House has only just begun.


The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin

MY REVIEW

A successful influencer moves into a “murder house” to fix it up and blog about it. She’s hoping the new house and remodel will also help improve her marriage. Unfortunately, things do not go as she had hoped.

The Stranger Upstairs is a story with secrets and drama. Shifting timelines are used, though I found it to be somewhat disjointed. This is a slow burning novel that picks up during the second half.

An atmospheric, creepy, and dark thriller. The Stranger Upstairs is an enjoyable debut novel. Good for readers who enjoy dark thrillers with unlikable and unreliable narrators.

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

Book Review

Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Perfect Shot

Author: Steve Urszenyi

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: November 14, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: Special Agent Alexandra Martel #1

My Rating: 3/5

Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi

BOOK BLURB

Special Agent Alexandra Martel has put her days on the battlefield behind her. Charming and disarming, relentless and lethal, she earned a reputation as one of the most renowned and decorated Army snipers in the service before stepping away. But when Alex, now an FBI special agent on loan to Interpol, learns that an old friend, an MI5 officer, has been killed under mysterious circumstances, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world she left behind: a world where some people fear her, some want to recruit her, and everyone seems to want her dead.

Following a trail of clues left behind by the dead woman, Alex pieces together a terrifying conspiracy that only escalates when a nuclear warhead goes missing. Dodging death at every turn, she reluctantly joins forces with a CIA officer, but he has plans of his own for her―and will stop at nothing to achieve them.

Chasing the truth through the streets of London and bustling Turkish markets to the underbelly of Paris, Alex is unrelenting in her pursuit of justice. But as the clock ticks down and the world edges closer to doom, she must fall back on her Special Ops skills to stop the unthinkable. She thought her life as a sniper was over―but with stakes this high, she must use whatever means necessary to render the world safe.


Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi

MY REVIEW

When Alex learns a friend has been killed, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world of espionage.

Perfect Shot is the first book in the Special Agent Alexandra Martel series. Alex is charming, lethal, a sniper, and a special agent with the FBI.

This book is action packed, and takes place all over the world. A fast-paced read recommended for fans of spy thrillers with female protagonists.

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

Books in the Special Agent Alexandra Martel series:
  1. Perfect Shot
Book Review

The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Beautiful and the Wild

Author: Peggy Townsend

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: November 7, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend

BOOK BLURB

The dangers of Alaska aren’t limited to storms, starvation, and grizzly bears. Sometimes the most dangerous thing is the person you love.

It’s summer in Alaska and the light surrounding the shipping-container-turned-storage shed where Liv Russo is being held prisoner is fuzzy and gray. Around her is thick forest and jagged mountains. In front of her, across a clearing, is a low-slung cabin with a single window that spills a wash of yellow light onto bare ground. Illuminated in that light is the father of her child, a man she once loved. A man who is now her jailor. Liv vows to do anything to escape.  

Carrying her own secrets and a fierce need to protect her young son, Liv must navigate a new world where extreme weather, starvation, and dangerous wildlife are not the only threats she faces. With winter’s arrival imminent, she knows she must reckon with her past and the choices that brought her to the unforgiving Alaskan landscape if she is ever going to make it out alive.


The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend

MY REVIEW

Liv travels to Alaska to locate the man she once loved. When she arrives, she realizes he is not letting her leave. To protect herself and her son, she must survive the dangers of an Alaskan winter.

The Beautiful and the Wild is told from Liv’s point of view. She is a strong, yet flawed protagonist. She makes for a character that is easy to root for her.

An intriguing story with an interesting cast of characters. Recommended for fans of mysteries with harsh environments and strong female leads.

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

Book Review

Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Blind Fear

Author: Brandon Webb and John David Mann

Publisher: Bantam

Publish Date: July 11, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: Finn Thrillers #3

My Rating: 4/5

Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

BOOK BLURB

By day, AWOL Navy SEAL Finn is hiding out on Vieques, a tiny island paradise off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, living in a spare room behind a seafood restaurant owned by a blind local. By night he scours the dark web, hunting for the rogue officer responsible for the crimes he is accused of committing.

But Finn’s world is about to be turned upside down by a new nightmare, when his employer’s two grandchildren go missing. To find them, he’ll have to infiltrate the island’s dangerous criminal underbelly and expose a shadowy crime network known as La Empresa—even if it means exposing himself in the process.

As the children go on their own harrowing odyssey to stay one step ahead of a cop-turned-killer, a hurricane batters the coastline, cutting Puerto Rico off from the rest of the world. Taking his pursuit to the sea, Finn’s skills and endurance will be tested to their limits to rescue the lost children and escape his own pursuers before the clock runs out. No one is to be trusted. And those who are seemingly his friends might be the most dangerous foes he’s faced yet.


Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

MY REVIEW

Finn is living on an island, working at a seafood restaurant, and trying to locate the person framing him for war crimes. When Finn’s employer’s grandchildren go missing, Finn risks exposing his location to find the children.

Blind Fear is the third book in the Finn Thrillers series. While Blind Fear can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the other books in the series first.

Blind Fear is an entertaining thriller with plenty of action. The characters are well-developed and interesting. The story is fast-paced and exciting.

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
  2. Cold Fear
  3. Blind Fear
Book Review

The Last One by Will Dean [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Last One

Author: Will Dean

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Publish Date: August 8, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Last One by Will Dean

BOOK BLURB

When Caz steps onboard the exclusive cruise liner RMS Atlantica, it’s the start of a vacation of a lifetime with her new love, Pete. On their first night they explore the ship, eat, dance, make friends, but when Caz wakes the next morning, Pete is missing.

And when she walks out into the corridor, all the cabin doors are open. To her horror, she soon realizes that the ship is completely empty. No passengers, no crew, nobody but her. The Atlantica is steaming into the mid-Atlantic and Caz is the only person on board. But that’s just the beginning of the terrifying journey she finds herself trapped on in this white-knuckled mystery.


The Last One by Will Dean

MY REVIEW

Caz and her boyfriend go on a cruise. After waking the first morning, Caz realizes her boyfriend is gone. Then she realizes everyone is gone.

Caz is an interesting character. She finds herself alone on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. At first, panic seems the appropriate response, but she soon gets smart about finding help and surviving.

The Last One is one shocking thriller with a fantastic twist ending. A clever and intense locked-room mystery about trust and survival.

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

Books by Will Dean:

  1. The Last Thing to Burn
  2. First Born
  3. The Last One
  4. The Chamber
Book Review

The Long Way Back by Nicole Baart [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Long Way Back

Author: Nicole Baart

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: June 13, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Long Way Back by Nicole Baart

BOOK BLURB

Mother and daughter Charlie and Eva never sought social media fame, but when a stunning photo of Eva went viral, fame found them. Now, after more than two years documenting life on the road in their vintage Airstream trailer, the duo has temporarily settled on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Eva is happily finishing her senior year of high school and applying to college, but Charlie longs for the adventures they left behind.

When Eva goes missing less than a week before her graduation, it’s Charlie who is immediately suspected of foul play—not just by their fans, but also by the police and the FBI. As a fight about one more road trip comes to light, and the truth about their relationship is questioned, Charlie realizes the rosy facade they portrayed online hid a complicated and potentially dangerous reality. Now, to clear her name and find out what has happened to her daughter, she’ll have to confront her own role in Eva’s disappearance—and whether she knows her daughter at all.


The Long Way Back by Nicole Baart

MY REVIEW

A mother and daughter found social media fame while traveling in their Airstream. When the daughter goes missing, the mother is the first suspect.

The Long Way Back is told using the dual points of view of the mother and daughter. The characters are realistic and relatable. The story is complex and well written.

An atmospheric, suspenseful, and twisty mystery thriller. This is the first books I’ve read by this author, and I look forward to reading more from her.

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

Book Review

What the Neighbors Saw by Melissa Adelman [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: What the Neighbors Saw

Author: Melissa Adelman

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: June 20, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

What the Neighbors Saw by Melissa Adelman

BOOK BLURB

Sometimes the darkest acts occur in the most beautiful houses…

When Alexis and her husband Sam buy a neglected Cape Cod house in an exclusive DC suburb, they are ecstatic. Sam is on the cusp of making partner at his law firm, Alexis is pregnant with their second child, and their glamorous neighbors welcome the couple with open arms. Things are looking up, and Alexis believes she can finally leave her troubled past behind.

But the neighborhood’s picture-perfect image is shattered when their neighbor Teddy – a handsome, successful father of three – is found dead on the steep banks of the Potomac River. The community is shaken, and as the police struggle to identify and apprehend the killer, tension in the neighborhood mounts and long-buried secrets start to emerge.

In the midst of the turmoil, Alexis takes comfort in her budding friendship with Teddy’s beautiful and charismatic widow, Blair. But as the women grow closer, the neighborhood only becomes more divided. And when the unthinkable truth behind Teddy’s murder is finally uncovered, both Blair and Alexis must reexamine their friendship and decide how far they are willing to go to preserve the lives they have so carefully constructed.


What the Neighbors Saw by Melissa Adelman

MY REVIEW

A married couple moves into a fancy neighborhood. One of their new neighbors is killed. Turns out their are a lot of secrets in their new neighborhood.

What the Neighbors Saw is told through the dual points of view of Alexis and Blair. Alexis is new to the neighborhood, pregnant, and grew up in poverty. Blair is wealthy, confident, and newly widowed. Alexis and Blair become friends, though Alexis suspects Blair may be hiding secrets.

Unlikable characters in a wealthy neighborhood is a favorite trope of mine, so I was excited to read this one. A slow-burning, suspenseful, and entertaining debut novel.

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

Book Review

Try Not to Breathe by David Bell [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Try Not to Breathe

Author: David Bell

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: June 27, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Try Not to Breathe by David Bell

BOOK BLURB

An ex-cop sets out to find her missing sister and discovers the shocking truth about her family…

A traumatic experience in the line of duty forces thirty-year-old Avery Rogers to abandon both her relationship and her position as a Kentucky State Police officer. She retreats to a college town where she works an unfulfilling job as a security guard, breaking up fights between drunken frat boys. 

But a frantic phone call turns Avery’s life upside down. Her father—a retired cop who never fails to convey his disappointment in Avery—says her half sister is missing and in danger. Avery is sure Anna’s just crashing with friends, but her father strong-arms her into searching for the sister she barely knows.

Anna Rogers is fed up with her family—a half sister who resents her existence and a domineering father who thinks it’s okay for cops to shoot unarmed civilians. She hits the road to attend a protest against police brutality, unaware of the danger that awaits her there. 

Just after catching a glimpse of Avery at the protest, Anna receives a shocking text. Now she’s no longer road-tripping; she’s running, pursued by an older sister she doesn’t trust and a violent stranger who has been stalking her for weeks. 

When Avery discovers Anna’s hiding place near a remote cave system, she risks everything to save her. Little do the sisters know that a secret is catching up to them—a secret at the very heart of their family history.


Try Not to Breathe by David Bell

MY REVIEW

An ex-cop looks for her missing sister. They don’t know about the family secrets people want to keep hidden.

Try Not to Breathe is told using multiple points of view. Avery and Anna are interesting characters. The story is well paced and intriguing.

A fast-paced and intense thriller full of family secrets. Readers who enjoyed David Bell’s other books are sure to enjoy this one too.

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

Books by David Bell:
  1. Cemetery Girl
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. Never Come Back
  4. The Forgotten Girl
  5. Somebody I Used to Know
  6. Since She Went Away
  7. Bring Her Home
  8. Somebody’s Daughter
  9. Layover
  10. The Request
  11. Kill All Your Darlings
  12. The Finalists
  13. She’s Gone
  14. Try Not to Breathe
Book Review

Not So Perfect Strangers by L.S. Stratton [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Not So Perfect Strangers

Author: L.S. Stratton

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Publish Date: March 28, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Not So Perfect Strangers by L.S. Stratton

BOOK BLURB

One fateful encounter upends the lives of two women in this tense domestic thriller, a modern spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train that flips the script on race and gender politics.

“I’m a big believer that women should help each other, Tasha,” she says. “Don’t you think?”

Tasha Jenkins has finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband. Taking her teenage son with her, Tasha checks into a hotel the night before their flight out of D.C. and out of Kordell Jenkins’s life forever. But escaping isn’t so easy, and Tasha soon finds herself driving back to her own personal hell. As she is leaving, a white woman pounds on her car window, begging to be let in. Behind the woman, an angry man is in pursuit. Tasha makes a split-second decision that will alter the course of her life: she lets her in and takes off. 

Tasha and Madison Gingell may have very different everyday realities, but what they have in common is marriages they need out of. The two women want to help each other, but they have very different ideas of what that means . . .

They are on a collision course that will end in the case files of the D.C. MPD homicide unit. Unraveling the truth of what really happened may be impossible‒and futile. Because what has the truth ever done for women like Tasha and Madison?


Not So Perfect Strangers by L.S. Stratton

MY REVIEW

Not So Perfect Strangers is a retelling of Strangers on a Train. Two women have a chance meeting one night. Both women are looking to escape their spouses, and one of them suggests they kill each other’s husbands.

Told using dual points of view, the reader gets both women’s perspectives on their lives and what they think of each other. Not So Perfect Strangers is a fun, dark, and twisty thriller.

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

Book Review

How I’ll Kill You by Ren DeStefano [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: How I’ll Kill You

Author: Ren DeStefano

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: March 21, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

How I'll Kill You by Ren DeStefano

BOOK BLURB

Your next stay-up-all-night thriller, about identical triplets who have a nasty habit of killing their boyfriends, and what happens when the youngest commits their worst crime yet: falling in love with her mark.

Make him want you.
Make him love you.
Make him dead.

Sissy has an…interesting family. Always the careful one, always the cautious one, she has handled the cleanup while her serial killer sisters have carved a path of carnage across the U.S. Now, as they arrive in the Arizona heat, Sissy must step up and embrace the family pastime of making a man fall in love and then murdering him. Her first target? A young widower named Edison—and their mutual attraction is instant. While their relationship progresses, and most couples would be thinking about picking out china patterns and moving in together, Sissy’s family is reminding her to think about picking out burial sites and moving on. 

Then something happens that Sissy never anticipated: She begins to feel protective of Edison, and before she can help it, she’s fallen in love. But the clock is ticking, and her sisters are growing restless. It becomes clear that the gravesite she chooses will hide a body no matter what happens; but if she betrays her family, will it be hers?


How I'll Kill You by Ren DeStefano

MY REVIEW

Sissy, Moody, and Iris are identical triplets, and serial killers. Moody and Iris have each killed a few men, and now it’s Sissy’s turn.

How I’ll Kill You is told from Sissy’s point of view. Sissy hasn’t killed anyone before, but she does the clean up for the murders her sisters commit. Her sisters say it is now her turn to kill, but she ends up falling in love with her target. This is obviously unacceptable to the sisters.

A wickedly fun thriller. Dark, clever, and intense.

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

Book Review

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell [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 Golden Spoon

Author: Jessa Maxwell

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: March 7, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell

BOOK BLURB

Every summer for the past ten years, six awe-struck bakers have descended on the grounds of Grafton, the leafy and imposing Vermont estate that is not only the filming site for “Bake Week” but also the childhood home of the show’s famous host, celebrated baker Betsy Martin.

The author of numerous bestselling cookbooks and hailed as “America’s Grandmother,” Betsy Martin isn’t as warm off-screen as on, though no one needs to know that but her. She has always demanded perfection, and gotten it with a smile, but this year something is off. As the baking competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s merely sabotage—sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high—but when a body is discovered, everyone is a suspect.


The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell

MY REVIEW

Six amateur bakers compete in Bake Week, a popular reality show. At first, there are small sabotages on the bakers. Eventually, things escalate when someone is murdered.

The Golden Spoon is told through multiple points of view – the six contestants and the show’s host. Each character is unique, and these interesting characters really pull the reader into the story.

A delightful cozy mystery. This is a debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from this author. Recommended for readers who like baking and cooking shows.

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