Browsing Tag

mystery

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough - Book Review juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – Review

Book Description:

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.

David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.

Review:

Wow! Just WOW!

I’m just dying for someone I know to read this so we can discuss it!

When I agreed to read and review this book for Macmillan/Flatiron Books I had no idea how difficult it was going to be for me to actually write a review.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  I’d never heard of Sarah Pinborough, and now I’m searching for anything and everything she has ever written.  This chick is good!  So, I will apologize now if this seems a bit rambly or repetitive. It is just so, so hard to review this particular book without giving anything away.

Behind Her Eyes completely consumed me.  Gripping is a good word for it!  I love a good page turner, and this is one heck of a page turner.  I carried this book with me every where I went, and I mean every where.  If I had to wait in line at the grocery store, then I had this book in my hands.  I even sent my husband into the post office so I could read a page or two while I waited.

There is a little bit of a supernatural twist to the story, but not so much that I wanted to put the book down.  That just isn’t something I typically read.  Something else that I don’t typically read is love triangle stories.  Behind Her Eyes is written from the viewpoint of Adele and Louise.  It does go back and forth between them, and at times I found myself having to really think about which one was which.  That is the only thing that slowed me down a teensy tiny bit.  It is so well written with twists when you aren’t expecting them, characters that you can’t figure out who to trust, and a deranged mind-blowing ending.  I am not blindsided by book ending very often, but this one got me good!  In fact, one of the hashtags for this book is #WTFending, and I am not a WTF kind of girl, but it is certainly that kind of ending.

I’ve given this book 5 blooms.  I have gone back and forth on whether to give it 4 or 5, but I settled on 5 because it is just so good.  You’ve got to read this!

Many thanks to Macmillan for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, also for introducing me to a new-to-me author.  Thank you to Sarah Pinborough for such gripping novel!

 

Behind Her Eyes
Sarah Pinborough
Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
Flatiron Books
1/31/2017
Hardcover
320
Macmillan

Book Reviews

If I Run by Terri Blackstock – Book Review

If I Run Book Cover If I Run
Terri Blackstock
Christian Mystery & Suspense
Zondervan
February 16, 2016
ebook
319
BookLook Bloggers/Harper Collins Publishing

Book Description:

Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

My Review:

First of all, I need to tell you a couple of things. 1) I am already a fan of Terri Blackstock's work, so I was looking forward to reading this one. 2) This is the first book in the If I Run Series. I was not aware of this when I agreed to read this one. Now I feel like I can tell you exactly what I think about this book.

Let's talk about the main character, Casey Cox.  She is one smart cookie. I think she watches too much Criminal Minds or CSI reruns. For being innocent, she sure knows how to run from the law.

Now, Dylan Roberts is such a good guy who is trying to do the right thing. In my opinion, it looks like they could eventually work on her case together and fall in love in the process. But that is just me hoping for a happy ending in the series, because they never even meet in this book.

If the details of this story were yarn, they would be woven into a beautiful piece of art. Needless to say, it is well-written.  It is written in first-person from the viewpoint of Casey and Dylan. It is a bit unpredictable, and perfectly paced. Blackstock is able to write about faith without being preachy or over the top. This one will be on my Best Reads of 2016 list. 

I do have to tell you that I seriously gasped and almost threw my kindle across the room. Almost. When I agreed to read this book, I had no idea that it was the first in a series. I'll just say this, cliff. hanger. Cliffhanger! I wasn't thrilled, but I will be sending Terri a message to find out when the next in the series will be out.

Thank you to Booklook Bloggers who furnished me with a digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Reviews

Hiding Places by Erin Healy – Book Review

Hiding Places Book Description:

Family means safety. Family means protection. Until it doesn’t.

Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend.

Devoted to the people she loves-more than they have ever been to her-Kate vows to protect each one. Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run.

When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself.

The murderous gang tracks Charlie down. To flush him out, they take the clueless family hostage and threaten young Kate. Even then, Kate keeps Charlie hidden, putting all her childlike faith in one terrible hope: that the family who has never been able to protect her before might learn how to do it now.

hidingplacesHiding Places by Erin Healy

About the author:

Erin Healy is the bestselling coauthor of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for many bestselling authors. She is a member of ACFW and Academy of Christian Editors. Her novels include such thrilling stories as Never Let You Go, The Baker’s Wife, Stranger Things, and Motherless. She and her family live in Colorado. Facebook: erinhealybooks Twitter: @erinhealybooks

Review:

I’m a huge Erin Healy fan, I just want to get that out there. I follow on social media, read her books, and occasionally chat with her over tea. Well, sorta. It might be chatting over social media, and it might be more on my part than on hers. Just sayin’.

Being the fan that I am, I really, really wanted to love this book. I don’t know if I emphasized that enough. I sometimes feel that if I don’t give an awesome rating to my friends, just play along, then I might be, I don’t know, letting them down. I am warped, and I know this.  Let’s move on. I really, really wanted to love this book. I know I already said that, but I can’t say that enough because what I am about to say I am only going to say it once.

I did not love this book.

I had a difficult time just getting into the story. I kept reading though, knowing it had to get more interesting and it did. It just happened a little to late for me. I felt like everything took so long to happen, and there was the climax of the story, and BAM there’s the bow wrapping it all up nice and neat.  It lacked something.

I loved the character Kate, and Pearl.  I loved imagining the lodge and cabins, and honestly would even go there if it was real. (Is it a real place, Erin?) I loved that the whole point of the story was a life lesson.

I have decided to give this one three blooms. I did like the book once I got into the meat of it. I liked the ending. I liked the life lesson. And I just love Erin Healy, and I will keep reading her books!

3blooms

Book Reviews

Runner by Patrick Lee – Book Review

Runner
  Book Description:

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Breach launches his explosive new thriller series featuring former Special Forces operative Sam Dryden

Sam
Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on
the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of
the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot
and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one
clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her
pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can
remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the
government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She
only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill
that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden,
who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago,
agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to
protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them
both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the
extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years
doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly
begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their
heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own
unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?

Review:

Great book!   **Available February 18, 2014**

I love a fast read that I can just escape into, and that is exactly what you will get when you open this book. It is an action-packed mystery with twists and turns in it that keep you guessing. It is suspenseful with a little sci-fi thrown in for good measure. I liked that it was unpredictable. I get bored with books that I can predict each move, and I promise this isn't one of those books.

As for the characters in the book, for the most part, they were all likable at one point or another in the book. Even if it was only for a page or two.

My favorite character was Sam Dryden, and then Rachel. Sam was the tough teddy bear kind of guy, and being an ex-Ranger, Delta and black ops man he had to be in great shape. I am trying to figure out who would make a good Sam Dryden in the movie. It really should become a movie. While reading this book I pictured Rachel just like Dakota Fanning's character in Man on Fire just a little older. She's a lovable little girl, even after learning all her deepest, darkest secrets.

I am pleased that this book is the first in the Sam Dryden series.  I will be reading the next one!

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Book Reviews

Secretly Smitten – A Book Review

_200_360_Book.758.cover
Secretly Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter

I just have to say that I haven't always been a fan of romance novels. In fact, I just recently started reading them. Okay, within a year or so. I am very picky about the romances I read though, they must be Christian Romances because I don't enjoy reading smut. 

Book Description:

Summer, fall, winter, spring—Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!

There’s a secret in Grandma Rose’s attic—a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?

The mystery intrigues Rose’s three granddaughters—Tess, Clare, and Zoe—and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?

Join popular romance novelists—and real-life BFFs—Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.

Review:

I am pretty sure that Secretly Smitten is the first novella I have ever read.

What caught my interest in this title was the mystery. I was intrigued after reading the book description. Whoever wrote that blurb did an excellent job! 

If you are not familiar with novellas then let me tell you about them. A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. (from wikipedia) I loved the way one story flows into the next just as all streams flow into the sea. The transition from one story to the next was so smooth that I forgot that I was reading writings by four different authors.

Apparently, this is the second book in the Smitten series. I was not aware of this when I read this title. Now I am looking forward to reading the first book, Smitten. Obviously, these ladies work very well together. They have created Smitten, a small town in Vermont, that has me wanting to plan a romantic weekend there. Are there any towns like this in real life?  And they have created characters that could live just down the road from any one of us. 

This novella is not overly sappy, has a great mystery to it, and leaves you wanting to know more. I am looking forward to the third book in this series!

This book was provided for free from Thomas Nelson, through Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaways

The Baker’s Wife by Erin Healy – Giveaway

TheBakersWife
I've decided to host a giveaway!  I haven't had a giveaway in a while, and I am in the giving mood.  One thing that I've learned about this book is that the blurb on the back of the book isn't the same as the one that was on the ARC.  If it had've been the same, then I might not have been as interested in reading it. 

You can read my review on the book over at ENLR.

This will be a random drawing, so please enter as many times as you would like.  To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I will announce the winner Monday, November 28, 2011.

Book Reviews

Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins – Review

GonetoGround
Book Description:

Amaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the flower for which it's named-bright and fragrant. But the Amaryllis flower is poison.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago-a sixth murder.

Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is – someone they love. None is aware of the others' suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down. But each woman suspects a different man.

I did my review over at Everybody Needs A Little Romance today.  Go check it out!  Let me know if you would be interested in a book like this!