The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – a Review

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – a Review

 

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Description:
Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

 

 

Review:

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter is the first book in her new series, which is a suspenseful psychological thriller. This was my first time reading Karin Slaughter and after finishing this book, it will not be my last. I loved The Good Daughter, which turned out to be one of the best thrillers I have read this year, and I have read quite a few.

The Good Daughter revolves around two sisters, Sam (Samantha) and Charlie (Charlotte) Quinn, who both survived a horrible tragedy 28 years ago.  The story starts in the past, in their hometown of Pikeville, North Carolina; Sam & Charlie were practicing relay running with their mom testing them; they have just moved to a small cabin, after their house was burned down.  Their father Rusty, was a defense attorney who made enemies, especially after he always managed to get the criminals off.  When they return to the house, someone enters threatening them all, causing a terrorizing event that results in a death, two brutal attacks and a family that is devastated.

We now are in the present, 28 years later, with Charlie stopping at the school to return something, and all hell breaks loose, as the shots can be heard throughout.   Charlie and one of the teachers (Mason) race the halls to try to help, only to find two people dead, and the shooter pointing the gun on them self.   The police come with guns threatening to kill the shooter, and Mason is determined to convince the police to allow her to surrender.  So much of what happens in the school, brings forth terrible emotional memories for Charlie, who continues to live in Pikesville with her husband, and her father.  Sam has not returned for many years, having left when she was a teenager.  Sam was the most physically  damaged in the attack when she was a teen, but she managed to have a very successful career as a lawyer, though she does suffer; when Rusty has a heart attack, Sam will be called home.  It has been 20 years since Sam and Charlie have seen each other, as they had become a little estranged, but they still loved each other.  While Sam has suffered physically, Charlie is the one who still suffers emotionally,  which includes secrets that she has not told her sister or husband.  Sam will work on Kelly’s (the young shooter) case while her father is recovering, and Charlie will help.  As the present mystery unfolds, we will return occasionally to the past with the point of view of either Charlie or Sam, as we learn more of what happened then.

What follows is an intense, exciting, mind boggling story line that has us holding our breath throughout.   Sam will uncover some clues that make her second guess what really happened at the school.  One of the things Slaughter has done so well, is show us a small town that has not forgotten the event from the past, which they show with their terrible treatment of the victims; we get the see the narrow minded attitudes of the police, district attorney, and the families involved in that tragedy.  We also get to see how much Sam and Charlie’s lives changed, and how it has affected them all these years. 

The last third of the book was simply amazing, with excitement, revelations and multiple twists that blew our minds, especially since we needed to keep up with them.  Sam and Charlie were great characters that had us also emotionally tied to them.  I do not want to tell too much more, as it would be spoilers, and this book is too good to ruin.  The Good Daughter was a fantastic read, so very well written by Karin Slaughter.   I suggest you read The Good Daughter, as it is a must read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review

 

Cat Shining Bright
Joe Grey Mystery series – Book #20
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Release Date: August 15, 2017
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Description:
The stakes are higher and more personal than ever for feline investigator Joe Grey when death comes to his beloved coastal California town in this twentieth installment of the enchanting cat mystery series.

While new father Joe Grey is overjoyed to teach his three young kittens about the world, he misses his cop work — secretly helping solve crimes alongside his human friends at Molena Point P. D. But when beautician Barbara Conley and one of her customers are found dead in the salon, Joe makes an exception, he heads for the crime scene. He has no idea that the kittens are following him, or how they will complicate the investigation.

But this is not the only danger to the kittens. A stranger is lurking around the home of Joe’s tabby lady, Dulcie, where the kittens were born. Both parents’ backs are up and their claws out, ready to protect their babies and to protect Wilma Getz, Dulcie’s human housemate.

As the death of the beautician becomes entangled with a gang of thieves working the village, Joe, Dulcie, Kit and Pan are all into the investigation; and they are led to unexpected connections, to the building of the new cat shelter and to a neighbor who becomes suddenly an unexpected part of the tangle.

 

 

Review:

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy is the 20th book in her fabulous & fun Joe Grey series.  I have read every book in this series, and it is one of my favorite go to books when I want a sweet lighthearted mystery with a group of wonderful talking cats, and their humans.  These are magical sentient cats that live in Molena Point, California, but only their humans close to them know, and the cats are the real ones who solve the crimes.   I am amazed that into the 20th book, Murphy can still win us over each and every time.  I adore our cats, Joe, Dulcie and Kit.  They are awesome, sweet, daring, and clever.  The humans who are a major part of this series, are Clyde and Ryan; Wilma, Charlie (who is married to the police chief, and he does not know about the cats).  They are all an awesome group that makes this series so much fun and exciting.

In Cat Shining Bright, Dulcie has given birth to three kittens, two boys and a girl, and Joe, the proud father, is finally able to get past the stress of Dulcie giving birth.  Joe and Dulcie have always been a team from the start of this series, and we have enjoyed the love they have for each other.  A few books later, we met the wonderful sweet and daring Kit, who found her own love, Pan recently. It will take a few months, with everyone waiting with anticipation, for the kittens to begin to talk.  It was very well written and fun when they did. 

It is Kit and Pan who will discover a car theft ring stealing cars during a storm; this after the death of a beautician found in her salon with a customer.  Though Joe has been spending most of his time with his kittens and Dulcie, he becomes intrigued by the car thefts, and will join Pan and Kit in their investigations.  The Molena Police department has gotten used to Joe entering the station and falling asleep in the Chief’s office’ of course they do not know he listens and learns all the information there.   One day, the kittens became interested in what their father was doing and secretly followed him; Joe will catch them before they are discovered, but their curiosity is now peaked. 

What follows is an exciting mystery, trying to find out who murdered the two people, and who was behind all the car thefts.  There are trying times when Joe, Kit, Pan and even the kittens find themselves in danger.  When Wilma (Dulcie’s human), senses an intruder in her house, she will take Dulcie and the kittens to stay at Clyde & Ryan’s (joe’s humans) house for protection.  Someone knows about the secret book about the magical sentient cats, and their ability to talk; and they want the book.  Besides the cats finding clues, and making secret calls to the police, the humans will also play a big part in solving the crimes.  As I have noted before, I love the characters that have accepted our cats; Charlie, Ryan, Wilma, Clyde, Kate, etc.  We also spend time with the police department characters, such as Max, Dallas, etc, who have no idea about the cats.

This is a fun series, exciting mysteries, and fantastic characters, including cats and humans.  Do not let that fact that these cats can talk deter you into reading this series. It is a fun and awesome series, and so well written my Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Give yourself a chance to read this enjoyable series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Blight by Alexandra Duncan – a Review

Blight by Alexandra Duncan – a Review

 

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Description:
Seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres has lived on the AgraStar farm north of Atlanta since she was found outside the gates at the age of five. Now she’s part of the security force guarding the fence and watching for scavengers—people who would rather steal genetically engineered food from the company than work for it. When a group of such rebels accidentally sets off an explosion in the research compound, it releases into the air a blight that kills every living thing in its path—including humans. With blight-resistant seeds in her pocket, Tempest teams up with a scavenger boy named Alder and runs for help. But when they finally arrive at AgraStar headquarters, they discover that there’s an even bigger plot behind the blight—and it’s up to them to stop it from happening again.

 

 

Review:

Blight by Alexandra Duncan is the first book in her new YA dystopian series.  We have not heard if this book will be a series, but having completed the book, and read the ending, I do suspect there will be more to come.

Tempest Torres, our young heroine, lives on AgraStar, a research and development area that creates genetically engineered food.  Tempest, who was left at the gate when she was 5, is now 17 and a member of the security forces for Agrastar.  When scavengers try to break into the compound to steal food, Tempest shoots one of them to scare them off.  She joins one of the older groups for a short trip, excited to be included.  While on the expedition, an explosion takes place that destroys the compound, with both people and crops destroyed.  When her team fights off the attackers, she is captured, as the rest of her team is killed.  Because she killed one of the scavengers, they mark her for death.  Tempest will escape, and as she comes across different groups besides the AgraStar, and scavengers, she will see a different world that she was not prepared for. 

Alder, one of the scavengers, who wanted to kill Tempest, will join with her find a way to survive.  They, despite their differences, they will become friends, and help each other.  Tempest does not believe Alder’s stories about AgraStar being bad, and she maintains her loyalty, but at the same time will protect Alder, since he saved her life.  As the Blight continues to move toward other areas, Tempest is determined to bring to the main headquarters of AgraStar the seeds that will stop the destruction.

When she is rescued, Tempest will meet the woman who claims she is her mother; it seems her father stole her when she was 5, and the mother grieved over her loss.  She will meet her younger sister, who resembles her, as well as a young man, whom also looks like the boy she had a crush on back home.  Tempest’s mother is a high ranking scientist, which puts Tempest on higher echelon ; but she is worried about Alder, and wants to save him.  What follows is at first an exciting adventure, which will become a interesting discovery with a few twists that will change everything.  Tempest was a very good heroine, who must decide what is real and where does she belong.  As I said earlier, the ending is not a cliffhanger, but does leave things open.  I know that I for one want to know what happens next.  This was a very good YA dystopian storyline, very well written by Alexandra Duncan.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason – a Review

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason – a Review

 

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Description:
When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.

After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive-father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink–and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.

Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney, and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas–until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.

A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out, in Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason.

 

Review:

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason is the 2nd book of a trilogy.  I was not aware that there was a first book, but this read very well as a standalone. Abby Rhodes, our heroine, is a contractor and designer of homes, in her home town of Blink, Texas.   Abby is drawn to a small house that has been rumored to be haunted.  However, Abby decides to purchase the house and renovate it.  What she is not prepared for are the ghosts that belong to the house since a murder almost 30 years ago. Her friend, who is a physic, tells her the ghosts seem happy she is there;  so Abby decides she will move in temporarily while she is renovating.

Jordan Gatewood, our hero,  is a millionaire entrepreneur, who happens to be passing by Blink and decides to visit the old house where his father was killed.  Jordan does not know why now he decides to stop into that house, but he is drawn to it.  He meets Abby, as she is making her plans.  He leaves after a short time to go home, but he cannot forget Abby.   Jordan is also in the middle of major deal that will bring his company millions.  Robin Sinclair is a high powered attorney, who works for Jordan; she is also his mistress.  

What follows is fast paced story revolving around the ghosts of Jordan father, and his mistress; the sweet slow built romance between Jordan and Abby; and the vengeance of a woman scorned. 

As Jordan cannot stay away, he and Abby begin to fall in love.  In the midst of this, they want to understand why the ghosts remain, and since they cannot talk, it is a mystery that will slowly unravel.  Jordan has only cared about work, and his relationship with Robin and other woman was never serious. Unfortunately, Robin has fallen in love with Jordan and is determined at any cost to break up the growing relationship between him and Abby. It is Jordan’s past concerning the suicide death of his first wife, and his mistress that will possibly prevent him from staying with Abby.

Through all of this, we learn more about Jordan, his family and the murders from years before. We also learn how vicious Robin can be.  Will Jordan give up Abby to prevent Robin from destroying him and his family?  Will we learn what truly happened years before, and why the ghosts have not moved on? Will Abby find a way to keep Jordan?

J.D. Mason has written an interesting unique mystery and a wonderful romance.  Seducing Abby Rhodes held my attention from start to finish.

Reviewed by Barb

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A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

 

A Penny for her HeartAmazon

Description:
Vanessa Johnson Rossi’s dream is to work in the White House. Not as the leader of the free world, but as chief of staff, overseeing the executive office of the president. As an assistant working at Buderwood Hills City Hall, she finds herself getting closer to realizing her dream when a plum position becomes available that would put her a step closer working directly for the mayor who has personal connections to the White House. But Vanessa’s hopes are dashed when her best friend, Penelope Newhouse, lands the coveted job. However, when Vanessa discovers Penelope murdered less than a hundred feet from the office she dreamed of occupying, her disappointment turns into devastation. Detective Rachel Storme and her team are put on the case and she soon finds herself delving into the underbelly of politics in search of the killer. The clues point to a litany of suspects, including the mayor. As usual, Detective Storme is determined to solve this case—a case so chock-full of dark and sinister twists and turns, it has her questioning her own competence.

 

Review:

A Penny for Her Heart begins with Vanessa heading into work at the mayor’s office on what should have been her day off, but duty calls.  She arrives and heads to her best friend’s office.  She and Penelope (Penny) met in college and have been best friends ever since.  Once Vanessa enters Penny’s office, she notices almost immediately that things seem a bit off.  Penny is nowhere around, which leads Vanessa to check the bathroom.  Little did she know that once she set foot in that bathroom, her world would be changed forever.  She sees blood everywhere and someone in a stall, but is so distraught all she can do is run out screaming for the security guard on duty to summon the police. 

Rachel Storme is attending a cookout at Herb’s, who also happens to be her long-time partner at the police department.  When Herb gets the call that there’s been a murder at the mayor’s office, he and Rachel, along with co-workers Vincent and Carlos, who were also attending the get together, head out to the scene of the murder.  It doesn’t take Rachel long for that methodical mind of hers to start processing the scene and the people there.  She interviews Vanessa, who is understandably upset and ready to just go home.  Once finished, Vanessa heads out with the promise to call Rachel if anything of use comes to mind. 

As the investigation progresses, Vanessa soon realizes that Penny had a whole other side that she never knew about.  Lies are uncovered, hearts are broken and Vanessa finds herself questioning everything she thought she ever knew about her friendship with Penny.  While Rachel and her team dig up clues and try to tie together a motive, she knows that the longer it takes them, the chances of finding the killer get smaller.  Add to that the family issues Rachel has with her scattered and irresponsible aunt, along with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease……….some days she just can’t catch a break.  The one thing that she excels doing?  Pulling together the pieces of evidence and listening to her gut.

A Penny for Her Heart is another wonderfully written book by Alretha Thomas.  As I’ve said before, all of the characters in Mrs. Thomas’s books are relatable, as well as believable.  While reading this particular one, more than any of the others, I found myself wrong so many times when I thought I’d figured out who the killer was.  The twists and turns kept me turning the pages, but Rachel Storme keeps me coming back to this series.  Her determination and drive, along with a big ol’ heart, is very endearing.  I’m starting to feel repetitive in my reviews of this series, but Rachel is truly one of the most believable and realistic characters I’ve read in a long time.  Anyone would feel lucky to have such a person in their lives.  If you’re a mystery fan, this one will not disappoint.  And, as always, I look forward to the next installment.  Well done, Alretha Thomas!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy supplied for review

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Wired by Julie Garwood – Review & Giveaway

Wired by Julie Garwood – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…
and longing for more . . .

 

 

Review:

Wired by Julie Garwood is the 13th book in her Buchanan/FBI series.   I am a big fan of Julie Garwood, and I am happy to say that I loved Wired.  What makes this story fun to read, were the two lead characters, Allison Trent and Liam Scott.   I loved both of them.   The story line was also exciting, fun and with the two wonderfully likable characters, it was a fast fun read.

Allison Trent, our heroine, is a college student by day, a part time model, and a hacker at night.  Allison is a genius, and can find bugs, break viruses or stop hacks and writes her own security programs.   Allison visits the FBI’s new cyber building with her friend Jordan , but while there she is approached by two men who want her to work for them to find a leak in the FBI. 

Liam Scott, our hero, is an FBI agent, who has researched and discovered Allison.  Liam does not work for the Cyber division, but he recognizes that Allison is the one who will be able to find the leak, which has been stopping some of their key investigations.  At first Allison refuses, as they want a commitment of a year.  She is also afraid that they will discover how easy it is for her to get into any computer system, even if she only fixes bugs, or helps find and return millions of dollars scammed from seniors.  But Liam will arrange for Allison to have immunity, as they need her to work on this sensitive project, which thus far has been impossible. 

As Liam slowly fights off his attraction to the smart, tough, beautiful Allison, he learns about her rough life.  When Allison mother and father died years before; she and her sister were forced to live with their aunt and uncle.  They used Allison to do modeling work, and would take all her money.  They were really nasty people, who badgered her constantly with phone calls.  

Rather than give spoilers, what follows is a wonderful story that blends an exciting storyline that threatens Allison, as well as the threats from her relatives; but it is also such a sweet romance that will develop between Allison and Liam.  This was a fun story, and Allison was such a great heroine.  Liam was also good, as he was always there for Allison, even when he was determined to not let his growing feelings change anything in his life.

Wired was a wonderful fast exciting, fun read, with a great couple, some humor and nasty villains.  Julie Garwood once again gives us another wonderful enjoyable story.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

giveaway

Julie Garwood’s publisher is offering a hard copy of WIRED to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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8. Giveaway runs from July 4 to 8, 2017

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The Child by Fiona Barton – Review & Tour

The Child by Fiona Barton – Review & Tour

 

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Description:
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

 

 

Review:

The Child by Fiona Barton is a psychological thriller.   I have read quite of few psychological thrillers this year, with many of them simply ok reads, with the authors using the same multi character POV’s, which can get confusing.  The Child started off a bit slow and somewhat confusing with multiple POV’s and I thought “here we go again”.  But things changed about a ¼ into the story, when it caught hold of me, and I could not let go; that being said, I loved The Child.

The story revolves around the discovery of a baby’s skeleton on a construction site of a torn down building.  Kate Waters, an investigative reporter, sees the notice about the finding of the “Building Site Baby” and decides to do some investigating.  The POV’s of this story are Kate; Emma and Angela, with a 4th, Jude, having an occasional narration. 

As Kate does her investigation, she will indirectly become involved with the other two ladies.  Angela gave birth to a girl over 20 years ago, only to have her child stolen out of the hospital room.  Angela and her husband Nick, have been living a nightmare all these years, especially in the beginning when Angela was an initial suspect. Emma is young lady who is emotionally disturbed, which was caused by nightmares from her harsh childhood.  Emma used to live with her mother, Jude, near the site where the baby was found.    

Kate is in the center of this novel, as she makes discoveries along the way that will bring her into contact with various people, including those who lived near the site all those years before.  When the body has been identified as having been buried for decades, Kate will find herself researching missing children from that time period.  This will bring her to Angela and her missing baby, Alice.  When DNA confirms the child is Alice, both Angela and Nick feel they finally have closure.  Then a strange turn of events will open the door for further investigation, as the lab informs the authorities that the things wrapped around the burial of the body was only 10 years old.  Was the baby’s body moved? Will Angela get closure?

The story becomes exciting & intense as Kate’s in depth investigation will come across more secrets along the way.  Emma’s emotional stability plays a major part of the ongoing story, which will introduce us to many of the other characters we get to meet, all whom were living near the site a decade earlier.  I loved the character of Kate, who was an awesome and caring reporter.  Her persistence and determination will help bring out the truths.

Once we get past the first quarter, which leads the way into meeting the main characters, it was such a captivating story.  I could not put the book down, as I needed to know what happened. What a tangled web it weaves.  To tell too much more would be spoilers.

The Child was an awesome thriller, with some great characters, and many amazing twists.  Fiona Barton has written a fantastic story, and I loved how things came to a very good and satisfactory conclusion.  Certainly not like most the psychological thrillers we have read that leave things to the imagination.  If you enjoy thrillers, The Child is a must read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

THE CHILD by Fiona Barton

*One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017*

*A TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*

*Pre-publication exclusives featured by Entertainment Weekly and theSkimm*

*Praise from Lee Child, Shari Lapena, and Clare Mackintosh *

*Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal*

*A June 2017 Library Reads Selection*

 

Fiona Barton credit Jenny LewisThis summer FIONA BARTON is back with a second novel that proves lightning can strike twice.

Barton’s 2016 debut, The Widow, was an instant global bestseller, captivating readers around the world and setting the publishing industry abuzz.

The highly-anticipated release of THE CHILD (Berkley Hardcover; June 27, 2017) reaffirms Barton’s growing reputation as a writer of rich, character-driven suspense novels. Like Tana French, Louise Penny, and Megan Abbott, Barton’s stories do more than thrill: they explore the complexities of a changing world.

The Widow delved into the secrets that exist within a marriage and the reporter’s role as voyeur. Here Barton continues to mine those themes. THE CHILD tackles the 24/7 news cycle, and lays bare the intricacies of a different but equally fascinating relationship—mother and child.

Says Barton: “The emotions, responsibilities—and the pain—of motherhood are unique to each of us with children. Ask any woman and she will have her own story to tell.”

In a working class neighborhood of London, construction workers make a grisly discovery: the long-buried remains of a baby. When a newspaper mention reveals the find, most readers barely give it a glance. But for two women, its threat to unearth hidden stories is impossible to ignore. For veteran reporter, Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow), it sparks the question “Who would bury a baby?” and starts a hunt for the truth about the nameless child. The story unfolds via the women’s alternating perspectives to eventually reveal: Who is Building Site Baby?

In fact, it was the allure of a hidden story that propelled Barton to her long-time career in news. A journalist and British Press Awards “Reporter of the Year,” she has worked at the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, and brings that experience to bear in her novels.

In THE CHILD she details how Kate’s lengthy investigation into Building Site Baby’s death represents a perilous breach of the newsroom’s new culture of 24/7 online news. Says Barton: “The danger for Kate is that she risks becoming one of the dinosaurs—sidelined because she is unable and unwilling to be part of the revolution. And I feel for her.”

Though THE CHILD delivers an evocative look at the changing face of journalism, and a delicious plot twist, it is the characters’ haunting and rich emotional lives that set Barton apart and confirm her stature as a crime novelist of the first order.

Visit Fiona Barton online at fionabartonauthor.com and on Twitter @figbarton. Join the conversation using #TheChild.

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Up In The Pines by Katie Jennings – a Review

Up In The Pines by Katie Jennings – a Review

 

Up in the PinesAmazon / B&N

Description:
Deep in the mountains of Montana, Deputy Lark Galloway discovers a body. Despite being nothing more than bones, she connects the remains to a resident who disappeared twenty years earlier. As she unravels the dead man’s history to solve his murder, someone tries desperately to throw her off the scent. Meanwhile, famed Hollywood screenwriter Sawyer Matheson returns to town to escape his cheating fiancé, only to find himself at the heart of Lark’s investigation. Sparks fly as things heat up between Lark and Sawyer, but nothing can prepare her for the earth-shattering truth behind the body in the pines.

 

 

Review:

Up in the Pines by Katie Jennings is a standalone romance suspense thriller.  Up in the Pines takes place in a small town in Montana, where we meet Deputy Lark Galloway, our heroine.  A decaying body is discovered by a tourist, and when Lark surveys the scene, she knows it was murder.  The lab will confirm that the body has been buried approximately 20 years.   Lark will find herself, and the detective team researching missing persons back in that time period.

Sawyer Matheson, our hero, returns home to his deceased father’s house after having left years before.  Sawyer is now a successful and famous screenwriter, who comes home to get away from the media hounding him over his split with a famous actress, whom he found in bed with another man.  Sawyer will meet Lark, who lives in a cabin nearby, and thinks she looks familiar.   Lark, of course, knows who the famous Sawyer is, and remembers having a crush on him in high school.

What follows is a complex murder investigation that will become difficult to solve, especially with the element of time having passed.  Lark will work with the lead detective and learn the identity of the victim, which will bring out a few possible suspects.   When Lark’s partner is attacked and left for dead, she knows the danger is escalating, as the murderer is still alive and trying to stop the investigation.

Sawyer, whose mother ran away years before, will begin to help Lark in the investigation, in the hope he will learn why she left.  In a short time, their romance will begin to heat up, and they made a sweet couple.  Lark felt that there was no future, as he would go back to California; but Sawyer begins to see value in staying in his old home town.   But first they must survive, and a murderer must be caught.

This is a difficult review, because saying too much more would be spoilers.  Up in the Pines was an excellent “whodunit” with many twists and surprises.  Just when you thought you knew who it was, the next breath things turned another way.   Katie Jennings did a wonderful job keeping us glued to our seats, unable to put the book down.  The last third of the book was non-stop action, intense and very exciting.  If you love mysteries, thrillers, and a great couple, then you should read Up in the Pines.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

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