Violet

violet

Book Description

“Violet begins with a quote from a Nick Cave song, which equals great promise in my mind, and does not disappoint. Scott Thomas does a great job of instilling that hint of something sinister lurking behind or underneath or just blended in with what’s familiar and ordinary. I know when Inkshares is behind something, it’s going to be good, and Violet is good in all the ways you want your great dark and creepy literature to be.” —Peter Win, co-owner of the Brookline Booksmith

For many children, the summer of 1988 was filled with sunshine and laughter. But for ten-year-old Kris Barlow, it was her chance to say goodbye to her dying mother.

Three decades later, loss returns—her husband killed in a car accident. And so, Kris goes home to the place where she first knew pain—to that summer house overlooking the crystal waters of Lost Lake. It’s there that Kris and her eight-year-old daughter will make a stand against grief.

But a shadow has fallen over the quiet lake town of Pacington, Kansas. Beneath its surface, an evil has grown—and inside that home where Kris Barlow last saw her mother, an old friend awaits her return.

My Thoughts

Scott Thomas’ Violet is a creepy tale mixed together with a healthy dose of grief. The accidental death of Kris Barlow’s husband and father to her 8-year-old daughter Sadie lead them to Pacington, Kansas to try and heal over the summer. Kris spent years with her parents at their cottage on Lost Lake, and though her mother died here, she hasn’t thought about this place in over 30 years. For some reason, she believes the place will be good for Sadie, though it is probably never a good idea to trust the childhood memories of someone consumed with grief, and Kris maybe a most unreliable narrator.

The cottage is in ruins, Sadie is speechless with grief, and yet Kris believes that a good cleaning and a few DIY repairs will make the cottage as good as she remembers. There is a lot going on in Violet. Creepy town folk, missing and murdered children, an isolated cottage on the lake, a mother’s tenuous grip on her own sanity, and a little girl, very much left on her own. Well, that is except for Violet, Sadie’s imaginary friend, who Kris seems to know well. I admit, seemingly mundane tasks are the basis of a slow start to the story, but as I progressed further into the story, the beginning made sense, and the tension kept gradually increasing until I had to know what was real and what was imaginary.I wound up enjoying my time with Violet, and that ending….what!

I entered a Shelf Awareness contest for Violet, and while I did not win an ARC, the publisher(thanks Adam), send me a DRC through Inkshares. I now plan to find room on my TBR pile for the author’s first novel, Kill Creek.

😱😱😱😱
My Review System:
5  – Absolutely loved everything about the book! It was unique or presented something differently, and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.
4– A really solid read that made me glad I read the book. Didn’t keep me up all night or make me abandon my plans, but I would recommend it without hesitation.
3 – An ok read and I might try another book by the same author to see if their writing style is a good fit for me.
2– The book just didn’t work for me.
1 – I have never read a 1-star book( yet, fingers crossed), but I would have to hate it to give it this rating.

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Save Me From Dangerous Men

savemefromdangerousmen

Book Description

An outstanding debut…If you’re a fan of Jack Reacher or Lisbeth Salander, you are gonna love Nikki Griffin.” New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston

Action-packed and razor-sharp – Jack Reacher would love Nikki Griffin.” Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Past Tense

Nikki Griffin isn’t your typical private investigator. In her office above her bookstore’s shelves and stacks, where she luxuriates in books and the comfort they provide, she also tracks certain men. Dangerous men. Men who have hurt the women they claim to love. And Nikki likes to teach those men a lesson, to teach them what it feels like to be hurt and helpless, so she can be sure that their victims are safe from them forever. When a regular PI job tailing Karen, a tech company’s disgruntled employee who might be selling secrets, turns ugly and Karen’s life is threatened, Nikki has to break cover and intervene. Karen tells Nikki that there are people after her. Dangerous men. She says she’ll tell Nikki what’s really going on. But then something goes wrong, and suddenly Nikki is no longer just solving a case—she’s trying hard to stay alive. Part Lisbeth Salander, part Jack Reacher, part Jessica Jones, Nikki Griffin is a kickass character who readers will root for as she seeks to right the world’s wrongs. S.A. Lelchuk’s Save Me From Dangerous Men marks the beginning of a gripping new series and the launch of a fabulous new character.

My Thoughts

Save Me From Dangerous Men had my attention before I read the first page. A bookstore owner by day, and by night, a defender of women. Nikki is the kind of person that anyone in trouble would love to have in her corner, and honestly, who wouldn’t like to have a strong, book-loving woman as a friend? I will gladly take two, please!
The story was fast-paced and even though there were times when I rolled my eyes at what Nikki managed to accomplish, I was still on board with this character. It is fiction, after all, and books just like movies can present characters that no average person could pull off in the real world. This was a fun, entertaining read at times and at other times, deadly serious. I could see myself joining Nikki’s book club, but I’ll settle for the further adventures of Nikki!
4 stars – A really solid read that made me glad I read the book. Didn’t keep me up all night or make me abandon my plans, but I would recommend it without hesitation.

Here to Stay by Mark Edwards

heretostay

Book Description

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.

My Thoughts

Elliot is in a word, nice. He enjoys his job and has purchased and restored a beautiful Victorian home. He opens his garden gates to support the local community on Open Gardens Day and finds the one thing that has been missing from his life, a partner to love. Gemma, a veterinary nurse, tours his garden, saves Elliot from anaphylactic shock from a bee sting, and soon after they marry and live happily ever after….not.

You see, Gemma’s parents and sister are relocating from France and they need somewhere to stay. It will just be for a couple of weeks, and Elliot is thrilled to meet Gemma’s family and gladly invites them to stay. But there is much more to Gemma’s family, and soon Elliot will be fighting for his sanity, as well as his house.

If you have ever had a less than stellar interaction with your in-laws, this is the book to make you realize it wasn’t that bad. I have to say I was quite surprised with all the twists and turns, and especially, the ending. On one hand, I couldn’t believe how quickly the story went off the rails, and Elliot’s solution felt a little off to me. But, after thinking about Here to Stay, I realized that it was a reaction to an unbearable situation, and who knows how someone would react. Ultimately, I enjoyed almost all of the read, and as this is the first book I have read by Mark Edwards, I am looking forward to seeing what else he has written.

I received a DRC from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley.

The Whispering Room

thewhisperingroom

The Whispering Room is the second book in Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series. I am a Koontz fan and was prepared to give up some sleep to read this one. Luck was with me though, since I received my copy, right before a scheduled train trip. This was planned ‘awake’ time, so I was able to start and finish the book before I got back home.

Often with a series, it is difficult if not impossible to jump in at any point other than the beginning. While I certainly had more background information, I do think that if this was the first book you read, you wouldn’t be lost. Of course, if you enjoyed it as much as I did, you would probably go get the first in the series, The Silent Corner.

Jane Hawk is a former FBI agent gone rogue. She is totally alone and constantly looking over her shoulder since she had uncovered a mind-control conspiracy in the first book and is now a wanted fugitive. While there are many people determined to silence Jane, she is just as unwavering in her commitment to exposing the truth. That begets the question, can Jane survive against such terrible odds and will she find anyone she can trust? All the answers won’t be provided as the story ends, which is where the third book will come in to play.

I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that you could give me a book with no reference to Dean Koontz and I would know he was the writer. He has a very distinctive style and while I haven’t loved every book he has written, the good ones far outweigh those that didn’t quite resonate with me. Jane is one of those characters that I am hoping will triumph. As always in a Koontz story with evil villains, there are always some people who are good to the core and provide a beacon of hope when things appear darkest. For whatever reason, I kept thinking Hawk, Jane Hawk, so I am hoping that like Bond, James Bond, she succeeds. Koontz conspiracy theories are always way out there, or are they? In today’s world, hard to tell.

Thank you, Dean Koontz, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It appears the publication date is now set for November 2017. Maybe treat yourself to an early holiday gift, just because, well who better than you and enjoy Jane’s latest adventure.

Lady in the Lake

Lady in the Lake takes us back to 1960s Baltimore where we come face to face with the blatant unfairness of societal norms. Your race, religious beliefs, and gender, ultimately decided what doors were open to you and what doors you wouldn’t even consider trying to open. Maddie Schwarz is a typical housewife and mother, who decides to push the boundaries by leaving her husband and son and her safe, secure, and boring life behind. She hopes to discover who she is as a person, one not defined by her parents, or friends, or family, but rather by her hopes and dreams.

Two events are central to Maddie’s story, Cleo Sherwood( the Lady in the Lake), and Tessie Fine( a missing young girl from a good family).Maddie finds one body and becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind what happened to the other.Fate or luck or sheer determination land Maddie a job at a newspaper and she is determined to be more than an office girl. In her quest to secure her dream job, she interviews many people about Cleo. No one seems to care about a murdered black woman(except Maddie), though her investigation uncovers more than Cleo might have wanted to be known about her life.

Many different POVs are used to tell the story. If Maddie talks to a bartender, the following chapter will be told from his POV and I found it a very clever way to move the plot forward. I certainly learned more through these encounters, since what was held back from Maddie was explained in greater detail( can I say I especially enjoyed what the ghost had to say). What can I possibly say about Baltimore other than Laura Lippman’s words bring the town to life, and honestly, you could certainly classify it as another character in the story.

There was nothing about Lady in the Lake that made me furiously flip pages, but that was a huge part of its charm. I am a huge psychological mystery/thriller reader, but sometimes, you just want to slow down and inhale the details from a well-crafted tale. A great beach read and the author( who I have to say, I read all of her books with pleasure)really outdid herself. Highly recommended. July 25,2019 is the US publication date.

 

The Silent Corner

thesilentcorner

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have a fairly extensive list of authors including Dean Koontz and at least two dozen others whose new releases I eagerly await and mark on my calendar. The opportunity to read an ARC from one of my go-to authors was a great surprise and one that certainly did not disappoint. While I don’t think I have missed reading any of his books, many have left me wishing for more, while a few I’ve just finished and never given them another thought. Knowing that the character of Jane Hawk has more to tell in future books was an added bonus if the book engaged me, and yes it did.

Jane Hawk has lost her husband to an apparent suicide, something totally out of character for the man she knows and loves. Not only does Jane sense something darker and more sinister, but as an F.B.I. agent, she has the skills and determination to push through her grief and discover the truth. Jane discovers other “suicides” that don’t ring true and she finds herself being followed, not by someone who wants to provide answers, but by someone who wants to silence her forever. With no idea who she can trust, Jane goes off the grid and finds that the wrong people can use mind control with terrifying and tragic results.

As a long-time fan of Dean Koontz, I am always excited when he releases a new book and especially one with a character that I just really liked. I loved Odd Thomas and enjoyed following his journey through multiple adventures and I am excited to see where Jane Hawk goes in the future.

Again, thank you, Dean Koontz, NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the ARC to read and review.

29 Seconds

Published in the US, September 10,2019! Happy Book Birthday T.M. Logan!

29seconds

Book Description

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . . 

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

My Thoughts

Sarah Haywood is a professor, a wife( to a currently MIA husband), a mother, a daughter, and a good friend. She enjoys her work and hopes to be given a permanent position. Only one thing stands in her way, Alan Hawthorne, her boss, who could be on a poster for the # MeToo movement. Everyone knows that he has a roving eye, but he holds a position of power, and no one is willing to rock the Alan money train. The women in his department know to never be alone with Alan, and those he has cornered alone, well, if they complained about his behavior, suddenly, they have no job and their future career aspirations are shattered.
When Alan sets his sights on Sarah, she doesn’t know what to do. He makes it clear that if she sleeps with him, she will get her promotion, and if not, well, she can always try again next year. With the fear of losing her job hanging over her head and Alan’s demands, Sarah is not in a happy place. After she intervenes in the abduction of a child, her life is about to become much more complicated, as the grateful father lets her know he owes her a favor, one favor. Sarah can give him a name, one name of someone she would like to disappear from her life, and then they will be even. With Alan’s harassment hanging over her head, will she choose to give him Alan’s name or figure out a solution on her own?
Anyone who has ever had to face sexual harassment and a boss like Alan, might be tempted to have her problem solved, ‘just like that’, but will Sarah? I was furiously flipping pages to see what she would decide and how this story would end.
For me, 2019 will be the summer of no rain, sunny weekends, a productive garden, and unbelievably good books. Lies by T.M. Logan was one of my favorite books by a new author, and 29 Seconds did not disappoint.