Review: An Unwanted Guest

Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up.It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm. 

Review:

I was so excited to read this book when I found out it was similar to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. That has always been my favourite book.

It is similar to that story in the way that a group of people are stranded for a couple of days, and someone starts murdering them. However, it doesn’t have the same ending. There was a little twist at the end which I loved!

This is the perfect book for a cold winter night. It was a fun mystery, but terrifying to imagine being part of it.

What to read next:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Have you read An Unwanted Guest? What did you think of it?

Review: Two Can Keep a Secret

Title: Two Can Keep a Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Review:

I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it. It didn’t disappoint!

I couldn’t put this book down. It was such a page-turner! There were so many pieces of the puzzle that kept popping up. I figured out who did it halfway through the story, when I heard one of the clues. I was still excited to read the ending.

The last 50 pages or so were so fast paced. I kept holding my breath just waiting to see what would happen next. The final lines of the story gave me chills!

I loved this book! I can’t wait to read everything Karen M. McManus writes in the future!

What to read next:

One of Us Is Lying by
Karen M. McManus

The Window by Amelia Brunskill

Have you read Two Can Keep a Secret? What did you think of it?

Review: Seven Days

Title: Seven Days
Author: Patrick Senécal (translated by Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff)
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of Stephen King’s Misery and Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman comes an engrossing thriller about a monster who becomes a victim and a victim who becomes a monster. From Patrick Senécal, the Quebec author who has sold over a million books worldwide.

One sunny fall day, Dr. Bruno Hamel’s life changes forever.

His beloved seven-year-old daughter, Jasmine, is the victim of a tragic crime. Grief-stricken, Hamel sets in play a meticulous plan. He will kidnap the man responsible for his daughter’s death and make him pay horribly for what he has done. He manages to ambush a police transport and disappear with his target.

But Hamel hasn’t accounted for Hervé Mercure, a detective with a troubled past who becomes certain he can track down Hamel by studying clues in his past—and in the increasingly unsettling phone calls Hamel makes to his partner, Sylvie.

Both riveting and provocative, this daring thriller is an enthralling meditation on what it means to be human—and to battle the monster within and without.

Review:

I have to start this review with some trigger warnings. This book includes the rape and murder of a young girl and graphic torture of a man. There was one point that I almost had to put down the book because the scenes were bothering me, but I skipped a few pages and kept reading.

This story was fascinating because it explored the morality behind killing. Bruno’s daughter was murdered, so he tortured her murderer with the intent to kill him. Is an eye for an eye applicable? Does it justify one death over another? Which one is the worse monster? The one who killed first, or the one who tortured a man for a week? These are difficult questions to think about.

I was expecting a twist to happen at the end. There was a slight surprise, but more the most part it ended the way I expected. Other than some graphic scenes, this was a great crime thriller.

What to read next:

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley

Have you read Seven Days? What did you think of it?

Review: Watching You

Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 26, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

Review:

I loved this book!

The chapters were short which made the book a quick read. I read it in one day! It was fast paced too, with important plot points in every chapter.

Even though there were many characters, it was easy to follow them. All of their lives were woven together, but it wasn’t obvious at the beginning. I loved the way that the story slowly unfolded until the end.

It took a long time for me to figure out who was the victim and who did the crime. I figured it out just before it was revealed. It wasn’t an obvious crime, but it made sense.

This is a great thriller!

What to read next:

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Have you read Watching You? What did you think of it?

Review: Don’t You Cry

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Title: Don’t You Cry
Author: Mary Kubica
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her roommate Quinn Collins to question how well she really knew her friend. Meanwhile, in a small 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, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more sinister.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’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.

Review:

My friend recommended this book to me, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it.

It took a long time to get into the story. It moved very slowly. There was a lot of description and not a lot of action.

What was the most frustrating was the ending. There was no way I could have guessed what would happen. It took me a minute to understand what was happening because it was all twisted up and complicated. Some of the issues weren’t even resolved, or didn’t have a logical conclusion.

This book didn’t work for me.

What to read next:

  • The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
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  • When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
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Have you read Don’t You Cry? What did you think of it?

Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

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Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Review:

I loved this book so much! It was so thrilling and suspenseful.

I loved the way this story was woven together. Elizabeth reflects on her childhood with Victor throughout the beginning of the book while she is searching for him. He stopped returning her letters, so she went looking for him at his school. But once she finds him, everything changes. She finds a lot more than just her friend Victor.

Parts of Elizabeth’s past are constantly reflected in her current life, including the many ways she saved Victor in their childhood. She was a strong woman, who was a huge influence on Victor. However, she was still restricted to the life of an eighteenth century woman. She was an orphan and she could have been kicked out of the house at any moment without any help. She didn’t have anything to fall back on, except staying with the Frankensteins.

I haven’t read Frankenstein yet, but I’m planning on reading it soon since it is the 200th anniversary of its publication this year. I’m curious to see how it measures up to this book, because this story had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

What to read next:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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  • And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White

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Have you read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein? What did you think of it?

Review: Tell Me You’re Mine

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Title: Tell Me You’re Mine
Author: Elisabeth Norebäck
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this riveting domestic suspense debut, a woman’s life shatters when she meets a girl she believes is the daughter she lost years ago–and she finds that reclaiming the life she lost might cost her the life she has. Tell Me You’re Mine is a story of guilt, grief, and the delicate balance between love and obsession.

Where is the line between hope and madness?

Three women: one who believes she has found her long lost daughter, one terrified she’s about to lose her child, and one determined to understand who she truly is.

Stella Widstrand is a psychotherapist, a happily married mother to a thirteen-year-old son. But when a young woman named Isabelle steps into her clinic to begin therapy, Stella’s placid life begins to crumble. She is convinced that Isabelle is her daughter, Alice. The baby that tragically disappeared more than twenty years ago on a beach during a family vacation. Alice is believed to have drowned, but her body was never found. Stella has always believed that Alice is alive, somewhere–but everyone around her worries she’s delusional. Could this be Alice?

Stella will risk everything to answer that question, but in doing so she will set in motion a sequence of events beyond her control, endangering herself and everyone she loves.

Review:

This was a slow paced thriller with a good ending.

It took a while for me to get into this book. The first few chapters ended with cliffhangers and things weren’t clear, so I didn’t really know who was related and what they believed was the truth. Once I got used to the pace of the story, it became exciting.

I found the ending predictable, but good. I think the ending was the only possible solution to the mystery of the possibility of Isabelle being Stella’s long lost daughter. I don’t think there could have been another ending, especially considering the involvement of Isabelle’s mother in the narrative.

There were some things in the story that weren’t believable, including the fact that Stella could just abandon her job for days and no one noticed or complained. However, this is still an entertaining story.

What to read next:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Have you read Tell Me You’re Mine? What did you think of it?