Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Audio Review: The Outsider by Stephen King

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories. 

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

 As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

 Audiobook, unabridged/eAudiobook,
18 hours plus
 Published May 22nd 2018 by Simon Schuster Audio
****

I jumped at the chance to listen to this one in audio format when I realized Will Patton was the reader. He was also the reader for the Mr. Mercedes trilogy and he did a great job. I’ve heard other readers mention this so I will also remind anyone interested in this book that you should read the Mr Mercedes series first or if you have no intention of reading that series then jump right in (and that's all I'll say about it).

This book comes in at over 18 hours long, equivalent to about 561 pages. The blurb above does a great job outlining what this book is about. I found this to be a easy read even for the amount of pages, the chapters are short and to the point, the characters are authentic, the plot intriguing and the conclusion fitting - even if a little rushed.

Though I found the characters authentic there were a number of them and at times I found myself a little overwhelmed, but that could just be the audio version and my mind not paying close enough attention.

I am not a fan of horror and books that are heavy into supernatural stuff, so I’ve always shied away from Stephen King but I’ve found some of his books appeal to me these days, they have the mystery and suspense I enjoy.

Though I recommend The Outsider be warned that there are some graphic crime scene parts and hard to read.

Audiobook through Scribd

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Review: Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

When a child goes missing, two mothers’ lives collide in a shocking way in this suspenseful novel from the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie .

 It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: the call that comes in the middle of the night.

 When Kat Jenkins awakens to the police on her doorstep, her greatest fear is realized. Her nine-year-old son, Ethan, is missing—vanished from the cabin where he’d been on an overnight field trip with his class. Shocked and distraught, Kat rushes to the campground where he was last seen. But she’s too late; the authorities have returned from their search empty-handed after losing Ethan’s trail in the mountain forest.

 Another mother from the school, Stef Huntington, seems like she has it all: money, prominence in the community, a popular son and a loving husband. She hardly knows Kat, except for the vicious gossip that swirls around Kat’s traumatic past. But as the police investigation unfolds, Ethan’s disappearance will have earth-shattering consequences in Stef’s own life—and the paths of these two mothers are about to cross in ways no one could have anticipated.

 Racing against the clock, their desperate search for answers begins—one where the greatest danger could lie behind the everyday smiles of those they trust the most.

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2018 by Park Row
(first published June 26th 2018)
*****

I have been a fan of Kimberly Belle since her debut (see covers at end of post). Three Days Missing is her 4th novel and I loved it, read it in less then 3 days.

It’s every parents worst nightmare, especially when your child is in the care of those you trust. But when your fears are realized and it happens, you are pitted with total helplessness of not being able to fix it. This fast paced book is told from the POV of 2 women, women from different walks of life and how the story’s mesh is very interesting. It is one of those ‘just one more chapter’ books. Never a dull moment with twists and turns I didn’t see coming.

One of the things I love about Kimberly Belle’s books is that the story truly doesn’t end till the very last page, this one was perfect (yet again).

Three Days Missing has many layers, it’s more than a missing child, but I really can’t say what exactly and spoil the ride for someone else. Suffice to say, read this one, I highly recommend.

My thanks to Park Row for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for honest review.



 click on cover to take you to my review

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Review: Chasing the Wind by C.C. Humphreys

Smuggler. Smoker. Aviatrix. Thief. The dynamic Roxy Loewen is all these things and more, in this riveting and gorgeous historical fiction novel for readers of Paula McLain, Roberta Rich, Kate Morton and Jacqueline Winspear.

 You should never fall in love with a flyer. You should only fall in love with flight.

That's what Roxy Loewen always thought, until she falls for fellow pilot Jocco Zomack as they run guns into Ethiopia. Jocco may be a godless commie, but his father is a leading art dealer and he's found the original of Bruegel's famous painting, the Fall of Icarus. The trouble is, it's in Spain, a country slipping fast into civil war. The money's better than good--if Roxy can just get the painting to Berlin and back out again before Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring and his Nazi pals get their hands on it . . .

But this is 1936, and Hitler's Olympics are in full swing. Not only that, but Göring has teamed up with Roxy's greatest enemy: Sydney Munroe, an American billionaire responsible for the death of her beloved dad seven years before. When the Nazis steal the painting, Roxy and Jocco decide that they are just going to have to steal it back.

What happens when Icarus flies too close to the sun? Roxy is going to find out. From African skies to a cellar in Madrid, from the shadow cast by the swastika to the world above the clouds on the Hindenburg's last voyage, in the end Roxy will have just two choices left--but only one bullet.

Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 320 Pages
Genre: Historical/Women's Fiction/Mystery
****

I have never read any of C.C. Humphreys books previous to Chasing the Wind though it's not from lack of desire, I have a number sitting in my TBR pile patiently waiting. Those books take place in the 16th to 18th century and with Chasing the Wind the author has jumped to the 1930s in his latest.

Chasing the Wind is about a young woman named Roxy, I liked Roxy right away and found her to be an adventurous, spontaneous and rather unique pilot. She takes risks is compassionate and has a knack for getting into tight situations. This is the 1930’s between the Great Depression and the rise of Hitler, Germany is a beehive of activity, as is Spain and flying over the Atlantic.

The author kept me engaged with an interesting plot against the backdrop of real historical events with the appearances of well known figures. Humphrey’s knowledge of the time period is evident.

Chasing the Wind is a story full of adventure, suspicion, love and loss that actually had me feeling sorry for the bad guys (takes a special kinda author that can do that).  Definitely happy to have read this one and will confess that Vlad and Plague are sitting next in line to read.

My thanks to Amy at HFVBT for the invite to be part of this tour.

Readers Outside Canada: Amazon US


For Canadian readers: Amazon Canada | Chapters-Indigo | iBooks



Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto, lived till he was seven in Los Angeles, then grew up in the UK. All four grandparents were actors, and since his father was an actor as well, it was inevitable he would follow the bloodline. Chris has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood in roles including Hamlet, Caleb the gladiator in NBC's AD-Anno Domini', Clive Parnell in ‘Coronation Street’, PC Richard Turnham in 'The Bill', the Immortal Graham Ashe in ‘Highlander’, Jack Absolute in 'The Rivals' (This performance led to him writing the Jack Absolute novels – and they say acting doesn’t pay!). Bizarrely, he was also the voice of Salem the cat in ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’.

 A playwright, fight choreographer and novelist, he has written eleven adult novels including ‘The French Executioner’, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; ‘The Jack Absolute Trilogy’; ‘A Place Called Armageddon’; ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ and the international bestseller, ‘Vlad – The Last Confession’. He also writes for young adults, with a trilogy called The Runestone Saga and ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’. The sequel, ‘The Hunt of the Dragon’, was published Fall 2016. His recent novel ‘Plague’ won Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 2015. The sequel, ‘Fire’ is a thriller set during the Great Fire, published Summer 2016. Both novels spent five weeks in the top ten on 2016’s Globe and Mail and Toronto Star Bestseller lists.

 His new novel is ‘Chasing the Wind’ about 1930’s aviatrix – and thief! – Roxy Loewen, will be published in Canada and the USA in June 2018. Several of his novels are available as Audiobooks - read by himself! Find him here at Audible.

 He is translated into thirteen languages. In 2015 he earned his Masters in Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from the University of British Columbia. Chris now lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, with his wife, son and cat, Dickon (who keeps making it into his books!).

 For more information, please visit C.C. Humphrey's website.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Spotlight: Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante


Hardcover, 272 pages
 Expected publication: July 10th 2018
 by Scribner

A smart, haunting tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.

 Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

 And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

 Half Moon Bay is a chilling story about a mother haunted by her past. As Stewart O’Nan said about Turn of Mind—this novel “blindfolds the reader and spins her around.”


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1) by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

 Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

 Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 30th 2018
by Flatiron Books
***

When I saw this book’s heavy presence on Instagram I caved to peer pressure, especially when I read the blurb. A book about fairy tales, the recluse and mysterious author and a place called Hinterland. The cover kinda clinched the deal.

This book grabbed me right away, with its lyrical telling I settled in for this adventure. The pacing was great, the characters likable (well sort of) and the story intriguing. But then I hit the half way point and bam! The writing changed, it was almost like another writer took over and everything changed. My interest weaned and disappointment took over when I lost interest in this story.
All of a sudden there were many new characters and a different vibe.

I realize that I am going against the flow and most loved it, I really wanted to and sadly I am not sure I will continue with this series.

Originally I was leaning at 2 stars but bumped up to 3 for the awesome beginning.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review/Giveaway: The Underground River by Martha Conway

Set aboard a nineteenth century riverboat theater, this is the moving, page-turning story of a charmingly frank and naive seamstress who is blackmailed into saving runaways on the Underground Railroad, jeopardizing her freedom, her livelihood, and a new love. 

It’s 1838, and May Bedloe works as a seamstress for her cousin, the famous actress Comfort Vertue—until their steamboat sinks on the Ohio River. Though they both survive, both must find new employment. Comfort is hired to give lectures by noted abolitionist, Flora Howard, and May finds work on a small flatboat, Hugo and Helena’s Floating Theatre, as it cruises the border between the northern states and the southern slave-holding states.

May becomes indispensable to Hugo and his troupe, and all goes well until she sees her cousin again. Comfort and Mrs. Howard are also traveling down the Ohio River, speaking out against slavery at the many riverside towns. May owes Mrs. Howard a debt she cannot repay, and Mrs. Howard uses the opportunity to enlist May in her network of shadowy characters who ferry babies given up by their slave mothers across the river to freedom. Lying has never come easy to May, but now she is compelled to break the law, deceive all her new-found friends, and deflect the rising suspicions of Dr. Early who captures runaways and sells them back to their southern masters. 

As May’s secrets become more tangled and harder to keep, the Floating Theatre readies for its biggest performance yet. May’s predicament could mean doom for all her friends on board, including her beloved Hugo, unless she can figure out a way to trap those who know her best.


Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Touchstone
Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

***


It’s 1838 when The Underground River begins and Mary tells her story. It’s also 10 years before the Civil War begins where the Ohio River is the boundary separating free blacks from those not.

Martha Conway has definitely done her homework and was able to place me right there, I could visual and feel the tension that existed between the north and south. The feel of the landscape was clear as well as the way of life. I knew nothing about River Theatres and I found that aspect quite interesting.

It isn’t until the last half of the book where most of the action takes place that is described in the synopsis above.  I kinda wish that started a little sooner and went on longer to really show this part of history.  I'm sure there are more people like me that have heard of the underground railway but never the river being used as paths to freedom.

Again the author definitely knows her history and I'll be checking out her other books.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-a-Million | Powell’s


Martha Conway grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, the sixth of seven daughters. Her first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, and she has won several awards for her historical fiction, including an Independent Book Publishers Award and the North American Book Award for Historical Fiction. Her short fiction has been published in the Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, Carolina Quarterly, Folio, Epoch, The Quarterly, and other journals. She has received a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing, and has reviewed books for the Iowa Review and the San Francisco Chronicle. She now lives in San Francisco, and is an instructor of creative writing for Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension. She is the author of The Underground River.

For more information, please visit Martha Conway's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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Giveaway!

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 custom-made coffee mugs!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen

The Underground River


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: The Mayflower Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #1) by Kimberley Woodhouse

A New Series Begins for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry

 Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

 Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

 More to come in the Daughters of the Mayflower series: The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo - set 1725 New Orleans (coming April 2018) The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep - set 1760 during the French and Indian War (coming June 2018)

 Kindle, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2018
by Barbour Books
***

Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride. Coming in at 256 pages it’s a relatively quick read chronicling the voyage in 1620 of the Mayflower to the New World.

I enjoyed the historical setting and was interested as these Separatists wanted to start over in a place where they have the freedom to worship as they saw fit. Most of this book takes place on the ship and it's where the real test of endurance takes place.  There are lots of themes to this book - survival, love and loss, faith and the day to day struggles on a voyage that brought heartache and tested so many.

While I didn’t always connect to the characters and would have loved a little more depth to the story The Mayflower Bride was an enjoyable read and a series I will continue to read.

Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an arc in exchange for honest review.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Spotlight/Giveaway: The King's Justice by E.M Powell


Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Thomas & Mercer
Paperback & eBook; 288 Pages
ISBN-978-1542046015
Series: Stanton and Barling #1
Genre: Historical Mystery

A murder that defies logic—and a killer on the loose.

England, 1176. Aelred Barling, esteemed clerk to the justices of King Henry II, is dispatched from the royal court with his young assistant, Hugo Stanton, to investigate a brutal murder in a village outside York. The case appears straightforward. A suspect is under lock and key in the local prison, and the angry villagers are demanding swift justice. But when more bodies are discovered, certainty turns to doubt—and amid the chaos it becomes clear that nobody is above suspicion. Facing growing unrest in the village and the fury of the lord of the manor, Stanton and Barling find themselves drawn into a mystery that defies logic, pursuing a killer who evades capture at every turn.

Can they solve the riddle of who is preying upon the villagers?

And can they do it without becoming prey themselves?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


E.M. Powell’s historical thriller Fifth Knight novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers. The King’s Justice is the first novel in her new Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers’ The Big Thrill magazine, blogs for English Historical Fiction Authors and is the social media manager for the Historical Novel Society. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in North-West England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 6 paperback copies of The King's Justice!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
 – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  The King's Justice

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

With the colonies at war and his country divided, Hamilton Lightfoot must choose sides: Fight for the British Crown or for the Independence of America. But after witnessing the death of his family at the hands of redcoats, he fears he’ll fight for revenge instead of honor. On the verge of a great battle, he pens a letter to Esther, the woman he loves.

 Esther Longfellow is in love with Hamilton, but her father is a loyalist, living in upcountry South Carolina and working for a wealthy British lord. When the Revolutionary War comes to her doorstep she is forced to choose between devotion to her father and her love for Hamilton.

 Chloe Daschle is the daughter of Hollywood royalty—a great director and an Oscar-winning actress. Yet her career has taken an unexpected turn: She’s the queen of death scenes. Trying to break out, she accepts a supporting role in a revolutionary war film. But she longs for the perfect role and the perfect real-life romance. Does happily ever after only exist in the movies?

 After a life-changing tragedy, MIT graduate Jesse Gates decides to leave his life behind and move to LA to try his hand at acting and screenwriting. When he finds a page from one of his ancestor’s letters, he becomes consumed with the love he finds there. Determined to help his grandfather find happiness at the end of his life, Jesse writes and sells a screenplay based on the events surrounding the lost love of previous generations.

 When Jesse meets the woman he has cast to play Esther Longfellow—his grandfather’s one true love—the stories of all four collide across time and space. The love letter from the past might have more power to affect the future than any of them could have imagined.

Kindle, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 12th 2018
by Thomas Nelson
*** 

Authors probably cringe when a review starts with something like ‘I am really not a fan of ‘such and such genre ‘ when I see that myself my first thought is why are you even reading it then? So here so, I am not a big fan of romance novels, but I am a big fan of historical and dual time period stories. Ever since reading Rachel Hauck's books The Wedding Dress and The Writing Desk I have become a fan. Both those books grabbed me with the unique stories and characters.

The Love Letter follows along with its dual time period but this time it was a bit softer, quieter almost in the plots.  I wasn't totally absorbed in the present day story there were times it was a little too neat and tidy.  The historical aspects is usually what draws me right in and I found the letter interesting as well as the connection to Jesse.  I would have loved more of that time flushed out.

 Faith played a big part in both story lines.  The characters are flawed, carrying around a load of guilt.  Ultimately The Love Letter is a story of discovering oneself, letting go of baggage and of course love.  I can't say I enjoyed this as much as her 2 previous books but she is still an author I will continue to read more of.

My thanks to Thomas Nelson (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.  The Love Letter can be found on at your favorite bookstores starting tomorrow (June 12th).



Friday, June 8, 2018

Review: The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between JFK and Alicia Corning Clark - and the child they may have had.

 Based on a real story - in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

 Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

 The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Expected publication: May 29th 2018
 by St. Martin's Press
****


Michelle Gable is a new author to me, her book The Paris Apartment has been sitting very patiently waiting but instead I grabbed this, her latest. I was given an ARC from the publisher (with my sincere thanks) but time just got away from me. The Summer I Met Jack was released last week. I grabbed the audio version and my kindle alternating between the two.

Beginning in 1951 when Alicia meets Jack Kennedy. I don’t know a lot of Jack's history but I’ve gleamed enough over the years to get a feel for his character. It’s obvious that a lot of research went into this book. Based on fact the author filled in the gaps nicely to create this fictional account of Alicia and Jack's long affair. There were lots of well known names dropped and the Kennedy’s were a powerful family that took care of themselves. Told from Alicia's side of the story it wasn't hard to feel her plight, from immigration, to friends, to the Kennedy's and just surviving in this new country.

“...my goal was to make the story plausible” and that Michelle Gable did very nicely.

Thank you to St. Martin Press (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

A compelling story of murder, betrayal, and the secrets of the past… Georgina, known as Geo, is a 30-year-old rising executive when her world comes crashing down. Her high school boyfriend has been identified and arrested for a series of serial murders, including Angela, Geo's best friend in high school. Angela disappeared without a trace at 16 and her body has just been found. Now Geo is under arrest for helping her then-boyfriend cover it up. And it's one of her other close friends from high school, Kaiser Brody, who arrests her.

While Geo is sent to prison for her part, Calvin escapes from custody and is on the run. Geo, now thirty-five, is about to be released from prison to try and start over. But someone has started killing people and dumping their bodies in her old neighborhood, with some of the markers of the missing Sweetbay Strangler—her old boyfriend Calvin. Is these killings some kind of message from Calvin? Are they some of revenge? Is she herself now in danger?

 Everything turns on what really happened that tragic night back when Geo and Angela were high schoolers. Everyone thinks they know the truth, but there are dark secrets buried deep within other secrets, and it may be too late for anyone to survive the truth.

Jar of Hearts is a compelling edge-of-your-seat thriller that grabs readers from the very beginning and holds them rapt, as the truth of both the past and the present is skillfully unfolded, until the very last page.

 Kindle Edition, 320 pages
 Expected publication: June 12th 2018
 by Minotaur Books
*** 1/2

Jennifer Hillier is a new author to me, Jar of Hearts releases next week and already its garnered a huge amount of 4/5 star ratings. In terms of anticipation I can see that, I was flipping the pages in my kindle to see what would happen next, trying to figure it out myself. I knew there were twists and turns coming and I was genuinely curious about the outcome. But there were just a few things that bogged me down and the thing is I really cann't say anything more for fear of spoiling someone else's ride. These are things not mentioned in the synopsis but if you are really interested check out this review on Goodreads where I can hide behind the spoiler button.

Having said that I enjoyed how the author went back and forth in time, it was smooth and each tidbit of the past only heightened my curiosity. I found it hard at times to connect with the characters, I just didn’t feel the emotional side of them or understand some of their actions.

Jar of Hearts is a book of secrets, heartache and survival.  While it wasn't perfect I would still recommend it to those that like a good mystery. 

My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advance copy.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Review: I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case—which was solved in April 2018.

 Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt

 “A brilliant genre-buster.... Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.” —Stephen King

 For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

 Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

 I’ll Be Gone in the Dark —the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

 Paperback, 352 pages
 Published February 27th 2018
by Harper
****

I caved to social media pressure to read this one, everywhere I looked I saw this book. Especially when news reports of an arrest started coming through.

Michelle McNamara had a blog called TrueCrimeDiary and had a fascination (to put it mildly) with unsolved murders and the EAR/Golden State Murders is the focus of this book. She writes with grace and respect for the victims, she didn’t glorify the acts but protected the innocent. Her research is almost obsessive and it’s sad that in her passing she was not able to see his arrest.

This book presented the era, the various locations with detail as well as the criminal procedures in a time before DNA testing. This is a gripping story and for those that sleep uneasy you might want to have your dog close by, I read a lot of this while alone for a weekend and I think I even made my dog nervous. But really what did I expect, it’s a book about some absolutely horrible crimes.

I don't read a lot of true crime, nonfiction book and am trying to rectify that this year.  My copy was from my personal library.