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?

 

 

Review: The Exes’ Revenge

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Title: The Exes’ Revenge
Author: Jo Jakeman
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Originally titled Sticks and Stones

A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who’ve all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him…

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.

Review:

This was a dark, suspenseful thriller.

The premise behind the story reminded me of the movie The Other Woman. In that movie, three women join together to get back at a man. The women are his wife, his mistress, and his new young girlfriend. In this story, Phillip’s ex-wife, current wife, and new girlfriend try to get revenge against him together.

Most of the story was narrated by Phillip’s current wife, Imogen. The only parts that were not narrated by her were flashbacks into the other women’s lives. I found her frustrating most of the time. I kept wanting to yell at her to do something different. For example, she didn’t want to go to the police for help. Her husband is a police officer, so they were likely to side with him like they had done in the past. But I still think she should have reported what was happening.

Even though I found Imogen frustrating at times, I still liked this fast paced thriller.

What to read next:

  • With You Always by Rena Olsen

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  • Still Mine by Amy Stuart

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Have you read The Exes’ Revenge? What did you think of it?

Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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Title: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed—again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend—but nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

Review:

This is a unique mystery. It’s Groundhog Day meets Freaky Friday in an Agatha Christie novel.

I couldn’t put this book down for hours. There were loads of twists at the beginning so I had no idea where the story was heading.

I liked how the story ended. However, I didn’t like the explanation for how the main character entered the loop of living the day over and over to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder. I wish that background was either explored more in the story or simplified. It seemed like the start of a side story but it wasn’t detailed enough.

The title is confusing I’m not sure why sometimes it is the 7 deaths and other times it’s the 7 1/2 deaths. I understand what the deaths are, but not why there are two different numbers in the titles. If anyone knows, I’d love to hear it.

I loved this book! If you like a suspenseful thriller in the style of Agatha Christie, you’ll love this book.

What to read next:

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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  • The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

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Have you read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle? What did you think of it?

Review: With You Always

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Title: With You Always
Author: Rena Olsen
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of The Girl Before comes a tense and incisive work of psychological suspense that examines how easy it is to fall into the wrong relationship…and how impossible it can be to leave.

In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.

But this is no fairy tale.

Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes…and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out.

Review:

This book disappointed me a little, because it is marketed as a psychological thriller but it takes a long time for the thriller to begin.The thrilling parts of it only began in the last third of the book.

The thriller aspects of the story only began in the last third of the book. The beginning of the book laid the groundwork for the rest of it, but it took too long for the exciting part to start.

It is clear pretty early on that Bryce is controlling. He was very creepy, and I don’t know why Julia couldn’t see it. He was way too perfect. Since he was obviously creepy, the long story of their relationship leading up to the climax could have been shorter than the 200 pages it took up.

This book wasn’t for me, because I like fast paced thrillers. If you like a book that has a slower pace, this is for you.

What to read next:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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  • The Girl Before by Rena Olsen

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Have you read With You Always? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Believe Me

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Title: Believe Me
Author: J.P. Delaney
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

Review:

This was a great thriller. It had tons of twists!

Claire was an unreliable character. I couldn’t trust what she did or said because sometimes she would lie and I couldn’t tell what was true. It made for a good story since I didn’t know what was happening, but it was frustrating at the same time because I couldn’t trust her.

Halfway through the book, I was sure that I had figured out who killed Stella. But there was a twist in part 3, which completely through me off. I was also wrong with my theory.

The last part of the story was different from the first two. There was less of the mystery because everyone was more settled in their lives. The mystery was resolved at the very end, but it felt rushed to me. I was surprised at how it ended.

This book is great if you love twisty thrillers!

What to read next:

  • A Noise Downstairs

  • Gone Girl

Have you read Believe Me? What did you think of it?

Review: A Noise Downstairs

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Title: A Noise Downstairs
Author: Linwood Barclay
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbyereturns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

Review:

I loved this thriller! I couldn’t put it down.

This story was super creepy. I couldn’t tell if Paul was going crazy or if things were actually happening to him. It was hard to tell. At first, I couldn’t tell why the narrative switched between Paul and other characters, mostly Anna White. It’s clear why at the end, so there was a good reason.

I kept thinking about how this story would have been so different if it had a woman as the main character. Many thrillers with female main characters imply that the woman is going crazy, and it’s much more frustrating. Usually she ends up having a drug or alcohol problem as well, such as in The Woman in the Window. I liked this story with a male main character much better. I feel like the other people in his life weren’t as hard on him, as they are when there is a woman who seems to be going crazy.

I loved the twists at the end. It all made sense, but it was pretty complicated. I really enjoyed this story.

What to read next:

  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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  • Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley

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Have you read A Noise Downstairs? What did you think of it?

Review: Baby Teeth

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Title: Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Review:

This book was such a wild ride!

Hanna was so disturbing. I was actually scared when I read about the creepy things she would do. She tortured her mother in ways that weren’t always obvious. It’s hard to believe that a child could think up these ways to harm their parents. I can’t imagine going through something like that.

I had no idea how this book was going to end. It wasn’t a clear cut story where you know in general what will happen (for example in romances where the couple either gets together or not, or a mystery where the detective will find the killer). I didn’t know if everyone was going to die or live or some other unknown solution! I’ll admit I was surprised at the ending.

One strange thing about this book is that it has two different names. It is called Baby Teeth in North America, but it is called Bad Apple in the UK. I didn’t really understand why it is called Baby Teeth, but I can understand the Bad Apple reference, since Hanna really is a bad apple. If anyone knows the reasoning behind the different names I’d love to know!

I would love to see this story continued in a sequel! I highly recommend this book for a creepy thrilling read.

What to read next:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
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  • The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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Have you read Baby Teeth? What did you think of it?