Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

I SEE YOU by Clare Mackintosh

Wowza! This is yet another Clare Mackintosh title that made me stay up all night reading!

If you like this type of suspenseful read, don’t miss I SEE YOU! Thank you for my review e-ARC from Net Galley!

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Here’s the overview:

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OXBLOOD by Annalisa Grant

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Description via Net Galley —

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WHAT SHE KNEW by Gilly Macmillan

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You all know that I can’t stay away from these suspense novels! Here’s another one that I recently found on sale on Amazon for my kindle:

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In her enthralling debut, Gilly Macmillan explores a mother’s search for her missing son, weaving a taut psychological thriller as gripping and skillful as The Girl on the Train and The Guilty One.

In a heartbeat, everything changes…

Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes.

Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.

As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most.

Where is Ben? The clock is ticking…

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Yep – it was another “read all night until it’s over” event. I have to say that I thought this novel did an excellent job portraying how this poor woman was vilified on social media after her son went missing. Everyone is an expert these days and no one waits to throw the first stone.

Pick it up and enjoy it!

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I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh

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I grabbed this off Amazon a few weeks ago when it was on sale. I was late to the party on this one, but many of my friends loved it and said it was suspenseful (sounded good to me!).

Here’s the Amazon overview:

The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl... “a finely crafted novel with a killer twist.” (Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl on the Train)
 
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I’d written it . . . a stellar achievement.”
 
*Peter James, author of Want You Dead
From the Hardcover edition.

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Couldn’t. Stop. Reading.

I really enjoyed this book. Poor Jenna – I felt for her and could understand why she would want to just disappear into the countryside! I can’t say too much without giving it all away, but if you enjoy books like Girl on the Train, etc. you would probably enjoy this one! I hope they make this into a movie.

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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris

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This book was sent to me by the publisher as part of a campaign celebrating its publication this month.

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

The debut psychological thriller you can’t miss!

“A hair-raising debut, both unsettling and addictive…A chilling thriller that will keep you reading long into the night.” ―Mary Kubica, New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of The Good Girl

This is one readers won’t be able to put down.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“This debut is guaranteed to haunt you…Warning: brace yourself.” ―Bustle (10 New Thrillers to Read This Summer)

The sense of believably and terror that engulfs Behind Closed Doors doesn’t waver.” ―The Associated Press, picked up by The Washington Post

This was one of the best and most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever read.” ―San Francisco Book Review

 

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

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Me again!

Can I just say that I got this book and started reading and then read it all night long until I finished. It had that “Girl on the Train” or “Gone Girl” quality that you just don’t want to put it down and leave it. I’m not going to give away the details here as that would spoil the read, but it had the creepy suspense of “what is going on here??” leading to “what will she do??” to “what is going to happen???” It actually gave me nightmares.

Added to all this was a brilliant marketing campaign where I actually received LETTERS IN THE MAIL from the main character, beseeching me to help her. My kids saw one of those and got a little freaked out when I glibly responded to their horrified, “Mom, WHO is this from??” with “Oh don’t worry – it’s just a character from a book I was reading”. My husband referred to them as “mail from Beth’s imaginary friend”.

If you like suspense and one of those “read it til 4 am even if you have to get up and go to work” titles – this is one for you!!

Here’s a You Tube video for you:

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MURDER IN MISSOULA by Laurence Giliotti

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This mystery was a fast and lively read – perfect for summer when you want a thrill without too much violence.

Here’s the overview from Net Galley:

Description

When an old friend offers him a faculty position at the University of Montana it seems his dreams are about to come true. He never dreamed he would have a second chance at love. He never dreamed he would become the prime suspect in a high-profile murder case. He never dreamed he would be forced to undertake the most important investigation of his life.

But dreams can turn into nightmares when there is Murder in Missoula.

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Two Books that I Could Not Put Down!

I love a good thriller! Recently I have read several good ones via Net Galley and two were publishing this month, so they are hot off the press:

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The YA novel, The Girl I Used to Be,  was a fast-paced read. Here’s the description from NG:

When Olivia’s mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large. It’s up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

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This was one of those books where I read it almost straight through while thinking, “I think THIS happened” -and figuring out the mystery. This is the kind of YA book I loved as a teen and enjoy as a fast read as an adult. April Henry is a new author for me, but she is obviously well-known and well-liked!

Then I read:

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Don’t You Cry was my very first Mary Kubica book. I’m hooked! I also grabbed her The Good Girl off a Kindle deal and read that one, too. They’ve got that Gone Girl — Girl on the Train — fast-paced, I can’t-put-it-down, scary-thriller feel to them.

Here’s the description from NG:

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

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It’s a wowza of a ride and I could not put this book down!

I love a good thrill – especially during winter in New England – but these books are good any time of the year!

Thank you, Net Galley, for my review copies!

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Audiobooks — Nightfall and The Japanese Lover

Oh my ears!

I love listening to audiobooks in my car on the way to work. I got two last month: NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (which I paid for) and THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende (which I used Audible credits for).

These were two very different books!

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I first heard about NIGHTFALL at BEA last spring. It is a YA novel with a twist – about a group of preteens left behind on their community’s island when everyone else leaves as part of the tradition of moving when night comes, once every 14 years. Marin is left behind with her twin brother Kana and their friend Line. They need to survive the beasts that accompany the night and they each are changing as they understand the true meanings of the rituals and traditions that shape their community.

Wowza! This was a tough one to read while driving because I had zero interest in the traffic and full interest in the story. I can’t say too much without giving it away, but it is compelling and unique and well-written. It’s a very creative take on the old fear of being afraid of the dark and the power of friendship and the ties that bind. I’m so glad that I got it for myself since I wasn’t able to get it any other way!  Ably read by Nicholas Guy Smith, NIGHTFALL runs just over 10 hours.

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On a totally different note is THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende. If you know me, you know I love all her books! I’ve been a tad disappointed in the last few but this one marked a return for me to her best genre: historical fiction with a touch of magical realism. In this novel, young Alma Belasco is sent from Europe to live with relatives in the United States to escape the horrors of WWII. She falls in love with the son of the Japanese gardener and so begins a lifelong love affair between them.This story was beautiful yet heart-breaking. It moved through time a bit – which can be disorienting if you are in the car listening – but overall was easy to follow and written in the hallmark prose that marks Allende as a true genius of the craft. Joanna Gleason narrates this nine hour tale.

These days I’m working through CUTTING FOR STONE on my commute. This is an intriguing story, though I do get a little squeamish over the medical details! More to come on this one when I finish it!

Find these books online at Amazon, at your library, or at an indie near you!!

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Review: OCHOCO REACH by Jim Stewart

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The nice folks at MindBuck Media recently asked me if I’d like to read and review OCHOCO REACH by Jim Stewart. Here’s what they had to say about it:

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Mike’s usual strategy was to gently stir the pot and wait for patterns to emerge, but this case was boiling over from the day Willimina showed up at his office…

Freelance investigator Mike Ironwood doesn’t hesitate for a moment when a lovely stranger asks him to help her get to the bottom of suspicious happenings on her family’s cattle ranch. The case is intriguing, and Willimina even more so.
Six days in, the case has turned up two dead bodies, an alphabet soup of secretive federal investigators, and a client who just might be The One. That’s when things get complicated.
When a greedy DEA agent and his complex and deadly triggerman kidnap Willy, Mike enlists help from his brother and sets out to rescue her from the conflicted jefe of a major drug cartel. The trail takes them on a surreal tour that extends deep into Mexico, but they come home with unfinished business.
Ochoco Reach introduces Mike Ironwood, his special ops brother Daniel, and Bucket, a Catahoula leopard dog who is equally at home herding cattle and pinning bad guys to the floor. They have each others’ backs, and they have unexpected allies in the natural world, who appear in surprising ways. But they also attract trouble at every turn.

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I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. When I first started reading, the descriptions of the characters, the slight wackiness, the humor, it all caught me off guard. I worried that it might be too much for me – a little too “Mike Hammer” – but the thing that was great was this novel can be outrageous and unique and sarcastic and flippant without being over the top (and believe me – there’s a fine line). Stewart creates the characters of Mike and Willy and makes them believable. Mike has a Native American half-brother, Daniel, and a super smart dog to boot. There is no dearth of action and the story is well-plotted. I had a hard time putting it down.

I’d love to think that this is the first in a series!

Thank you for my opportunity to read and review OCHOCO REACH!

Here’s a bit about the author (who looks like a friendly guy):

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About the Author

A professional writer for over 25 years, Jim has published dozens of stories and essays, technical manuals, and poetry. After starting his journey in the Midwest and spending formative years in New England, he made it to the West Coast just in time to try and figure out what was happening in Vietnam. Music and writing kept him mostly sane. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Laura.

 

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Review: THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian

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Chris Bohjalian is one of my very favorite authors, so I was more than thrilled to get his new novel through Net Galley for review.

Here’s the description via Net Galley:

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