Emma in the Night

Title: Emma in the Night
Author: Wendy Walker
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.


As soon as I started this book and I saw the reference to mythology I was excited! I love Greek mythology. When I saw that the main character was named Cassandra, I guessed what was going to happen. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the son of King Priam of Troy. She was cursed with the power to tell the future, but no one would ever believe her. Cass experiences a similar effect, though not as extreme.

This was a very exciting story. I could see some holes in Cass’s story, but I had no idea how it was going to end.

Some of the background stories became confusing after a while because they were so extensive. I kept wanting the story to move forward rather than focus on things that had happened before the girls disappeared. There was also a lot of background information on Abby that was unnecessary to the story.

I really loved this story! If you love thrillers, you should definitely read it!

Are You Sleeping

Title: Are You Sleeping
Author: Kathleen Barber
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: August 2, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Josie’s father, Charles, was murdered in their kitchen when she was fifteen-years-old. Her twin sister said that she saw their neighbour’s son, Warren, do it. His presumed motive was because his mother was having an affair with Charles. He was convicted and is now in prison. Josie’s mother joined a cult after her husband’s death. Josie’s sister, Lanie, became a drug addict and betrayed Josie. Poppy Purnell, an investigative journalist, has decided to look into the case at the request of Warren’s mom. Poppy puts out a podcast called Reconsidered. But when Josie’s mother dies suddenly, she has to return to her hometown. Josie is reunited with her sister after 10 years of separation. The girls have to face each other during this difficult time, and deal with the reopening of their father’s murder case.

I was hooked on this story from the beginning. There have been crimes and murders investigated in podcasts and TV shows recently, so it’s on trend. There were so many hooks and twists surrounding the murder that I couldn’t put the book down.

I thought I had figured out the mystery about halfway through but I was wrong. I’m always glad when the solution isn’t simple, but it makes sense.

I really enjoyed this book!

The Lying Game

Title: The Lying Game
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Isa Wilde’s life changed when she went to boarding school in Salten when she was fifteen. She met Kate, Thea, and Fatima, and they introduced her to the lying game. They would make up lies and the more convincing they were, the more points they would get. But the four girls drifted apart in the seventeen years since they left the school. That is, until Kate texts all three women saying she needs them. They all race to Kate’s home, with Isa bringing her baby, Freya. A body has been discovered close to Kate’s home, and all their lies are coming back to haunt them. 

I liked this thrilling novel. It was very suspenseful. There were so many plot twists throughout the first half, that I didn’t know what was going to happen next. 

I really felt for the characters, which is important to me when reading a book. I kept wanting to tell Isa what to do, which was frustrating, but I also felt sympathetic towards her problems. 

I had kind of figured out what happened by the end of the book. There was a slight twist at the very end, but I had figured out the gist of it. 

I think this thriller will be a big hit this summer. 

Fierce Kingdom

Title: Fierce Kingdom
Author: Gin Phillips
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Joan and Lincoln were leaving the zoo when it happened. Four-year-old Lincoln had been playing with his “guys,” his superhero toys, in the sand when his mother said they should go. The zoo would be closing soon. She kept hearing popping noises, like fireworks. But she didn’t realize what it really was until she saw the bodies on the ground near the exit. She ran when she saw the the gunmen. She carried Lincoln and they ran to a hiding place in an empty animal enclosure.

This story is very realistic right now. These kinds of shootings happen all too often. I think it would be especially scary in a zoo, because there are so many hiding places for both the shooters and the victims.

There were other people hidden in the zoo along with Joan and Lincoln, but I don’t think they were as necessary to the story. I felt more of a connection to Joan because she was the main focus of the story. There was also the hint of the backstory of why the shooters did this. It would have been interesting to know the full story, but it was never told.
Lincoln added some comic relief to the story. He made jokes to make his mom laugh. But I would cringe when he would speak to loudly, possibly alerting the shooters to their position.

I was holding my breath for a lot of this book. It was very thrilling, but I wish there was some more explanation of why the situation happened.

Girl Last Seen

Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Nina Laurin
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Ten years after she was found, Lainey learns that a ten-year-old girl has gone missing. The girl resembles her, so she knows she was taken by the same kidnapper. Lainey was held by him for three years from the time she was ten. However, the police contact Lainey to help them because of her connection to the girl: she’s her birth mother. Lainey has to use her unique position to help find Olivia Shaw while also finding her own kidnapper. 

This is an original thriller with many twists and turns. It reminded me of the stories in the last few years of girls being held captive for many years.

This story also demonstrates the different media coverage that cases get, depending on who the missing child is. Lainey’s story wasn’t as popular because her mother was in jail, whereas Olivia’s family is very wealthy so they had a lot of media coverage.

I really liked this thrilling novel!

Here and Gone

Title: Here and Gone
Author: Haylen Beck
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Audra Kinney was driving her two children, Sean and Louise, across the country from New York to California when she was pulled over by Sheriff Whiteside. He claimed that he thought her car was loaded down too much at the back, so he offered to help her unload some things into his car. But when he reached into one of her boxes in the trunk, he found a bag of marijuana, more than would be considered for personal use. He arrested her and had his deputy come and take her children to “a safe place.” However, when he brings Audra into the station and she asks where her children are, he says “what children?”

This was a chilling thriller. My heart was racing through the whole book. I was hooked right from the beginning, when I didn’t even know why Audra was escaping something in New York with her children.

I liked that it was a small cast of characters, so they could be developed. The perspective switched between characters too. Even though I knew who had taken the children, the story was exciting because they were still in danger.

I highly recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers!

The End of Temperance Dare

Title: The End of Temperance Dare
Author: Wendy Webb
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

When Eleanor Harper is fired from her job as a crime reporter, she applies to be the director at Cliffside Manor. Cliffside was originally a Tuberculosis sanitarium but the owner, Chester Dare, turned it into a retreat for artists. His daughter, Penelope now runs it but she has decided to retire and pass the reins off to Eleanor. However, the day Eleanor arrives, after learning the basics of how the building is run, Penelope Dare is found dead in her room with an apparent suicide note on her chest. After the initial shock, Eleanor finds a letter from Penelope that says she has left a puzzle for her to solve. Once the writers and artists arrive for the four week retreat, Eleanor soon finds out that all of the fellows have prior connections to Cliffside which led Penelope to choose them to come. Eleanor is left with the mystery of why all those fellows were chosen to come to this haunted manor.

I loved this book! It was so spooky. It reminded me of The Shining, because a new person has come to run this old building, but they discover it is somehow haunted.

I really liked how everything was explained at the end. I figured out some of the twists just before they happened. But they were still exciting.

This story is also a little mysterious because you have to figure out the connection between the people at the manor right along with Eleanor.

This is a really good story, but I don’t recommend reading it at night!