Review: Blood Will Out

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Title: Blood Will Out
Author: Jo Treggiari
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.

She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.

Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.

Review:

I liked this thriller!

This book had me on the edge of my seat. There were some gruesome scenes that were hard to read, but they fit in with the story. There were some particularly disturbing scenes about animal abuse. However, these scenes characterized the kidnapper.

At first, I thought I had figured out who had taken her. Then, halfway through the story, I discovered I was wrong. I was pretty surprised at the ending. I wish it had been a more obvious person who was the kidnapper.

I was surprised to see so many negative reviews for this book, because I enjoyed it. I like when a thriller is unpredictable and has a unique storyline. Often thrillers, especially YA thrillers, can follow similar plots, but I enjoyed this different story.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Review: Still Mine

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Title: Still Mine
Author: Amy Stuart
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Purchased
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Girl on the Train meets The Silent Wife in this taut psychological thriller.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU VANISH FROM YOUR LIFE AND LEAVE NO STORY BEHIND?

SOMEONE WILL MAKE ONE UP FOR YOU.

Clare is on the run.

From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she’s hiding. As it turns out, she’s hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna’s golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna’s overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.

Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she’s still alive?

As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna’s disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she’s really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.

Review:

This is a great thriller.

I found the beginning of this story a little slow. There was a lot happening, but I didn’t feel invested in the character of Clare. I wanted to know more about her and how she ended up investigating Shayna’s life. There was plenty of information about Shayna and the town, but not enough about Clare to make me feel connected to her.

There were twists throughout the story. Clare was a unreliable character, so she was usually unpredictable. She made bad decisions, though sometimes she just had to make the best of the situation she was in.

I really had no idea what happened to Shayna. Everyone in town had a motive to hurt her, including the possibility that she harmed herself or left. But I figured she didn’t just walk away because that wouldn’t make for a very interesting ending.

I really enjoyed this story. I can’t wait to read the sequel Still Water.

Review: Then She Was Gone

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Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Thriller, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

Review:

I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down!

I was hooked right from the beginning. Ellie’s disappearance was so mysterious. Even though we get a hint of who was involved in her disappearance early on in the book, the details of what happened are saved until the end. I didn’t want to stop reading because I really wanted to find out what happened to her!

I found Floyd so creepy right from the moment he was introduced. He was a little too good to be true. He seemed like the perfect guy for Laurel, which was too convenient. His daughter was a little odd too. Poppy is very mature for her age and she looks just like Laurel’s daughter. Their appearance in Laurel’s life was suspicious.

Though the novel was very suspenseful, the ending was so emotional that it made me cry. If you’re looking for a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, go read this book!

Review: The Woman in The Window

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Title: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Gift
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Review:

This book didn’t live up to the hype for me. I was expecting an amazing thriller, but I didn’t understand the excitement.

Anna was a very annoying character for me. She took tons of pills and mixed them with alcohol, but she was a psychologist, so she should have known better. The whole story was based on wondering if she was imagining things or not, and all those stimulants didn’t help her case. Really, there weren’t any likable characters in this book. The Russels were furious with her, though their son, Ethan, would speak to her. And even the police were rude and jumped to conclusions. It was frustrating to read.

I don’t want to give away the ending for those who haven’t read it yet, so I won’t give my comments on that. I guessed what was happening before it was said. I knew what happened to Anna’s family, and the solution to Jane Russel’s identity ended up being the first thing I thought of when I read it! The thing about figuring out this mystery is to look at what’s being said, and more importantly what’s not being said.

The last couple of chapters were pretty exciting, but unfortunately, the rest of the book was frustrating so I didn’t enjoy it.

Blog Tour: A Mother’s Sacrifice

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Title: A Mother’s Sacrifice
Author: Gemma Metcalfe
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Perfect for fans of Louise Jensen.

Review:

I really liked this book. It was so suspenseful and spooky.

The pacing was good. It sped up as it went along. The beginning of the story was hard to read because there were some problems while Louisa was giving birth. But the story picked up after that. There were twists along the way, so even when I thought I knew what was happening, I ended up being wrong.

Louisa was one of those characters that I found so frustrating. I kept wanting to tell her to do things differently, like tell James what was going on right away. But at the same time, I can understand why she was scared and wanted to keep it to herself. It was so frustrating for me, but it wouldn’t be much of a story if she resolved it right away!

The ending really surprised me! I kept going back and forth wondering who was threatening Louisa. In the end, it was actually the first person I suspected. This was a great ending!

This book is a great thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

About the Author:

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Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…

Giveaway:
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Prize: A Mother’s Sacrifice choccies & a lipgloss set
UK Only

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Thank you Neverland Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Review: Find You In The Dark

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Title: Find You In The Dark
Author: Nathan Ripley
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.

Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.

For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.

When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.

Review:

This book is a great twist on a thriller. Instead of following the life of a serial killer, it follows the life of a man who digs up the victims of serial killers. He then tells the police where to find them, but this eventually leads him into trouble. This unique plot made the story unpredictable.

There were multiple narratives in the story. One was from Martin’s perspective, where he talked about finding the bodies. There was another narrative that followed the detectives who were investigating the man who dug up the graves as well as the original murders. And another narrative was about the man who pulled the strings behind the killers.

The pacing of this book was great. There were major plot points that happened in each chapter that made me want to keep reading. It was hard to put this book down.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a unique thriller, this is the one for you.

Review: Unraveling Oliver

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Title: Unraveling Oliver
Author: Liz Nugent
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

Review:

This is a very clever thriller.

The title is perfect for this book! Oliver’s story is unraveled through multiple perspectives. Many different people who have met and interacted with Oliver over his lifetime give accounts of the things that led to his attack on his wife. At first, these events seem unconnected and confusing. However, they are all threaded together by Oliver’s presence. Each person and their story weave together the person who Oliver has become.

The mystery slowly grew throughout the story. At the beginning, we have no idea why Oliver suddenly beat his wife. But as we learn more about Oliver, it becomes clear that he is unhinged. The ending connects all of the dots and proves Oliver’s guilt on multiple counts.

I often find multiple perspectives confusing. However, this was a great way to tell the story. Each perspective read like a police report, with all of the witnesses giving their accounts. Oliver also gave his point of view, though it didn’t help his case.

I loved this book. It’s a great thrilling mystery.