Review: The Two Lila Bennetts

Title: The Two Lila Bennetts
Author: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Source: Thomas Allen and Son (book distributor)
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

Review:

Lila Bennett is a criminal defense attorney who is having an affair with her boss. She makes a decision one night that changes her life. This story tells what would happen in both scenarios, depending on the choice she makes.

This was a unique way to tell the story. It sounds complicated at first, but it was such a creative way to tell the story. The chapters alternate between Lila’s narrative when she’s free and when she was captured. It looks at both routes her life could have taken.

This narrative also showed how even though Lila’s decision was different, the lives of everyone else stayed the same. Everyone did the same things they would have done whether or not she was captured, so we get to see the same story from two different perspectives.

There were some echoes of each life in both narratives. For example, after wearing handcuffs that hurt her wrist when she’s captured, her wrists mysteriously hurt in the other narrative.

The ending was so shocking. I thought I had it figured out throughout the whole story, but I was wrong! I really enjoyed this story!

Thank you Thomas Allen and Son for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lis Steinke

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

Have you read The Two Lila Bennetts? What did you think of it?

Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 4, 2020 (originally May 2, 2019)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer–but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect. 

Review:

This was a thrilling young adult novel!

In this story, Pippa decides to investigate a five-year-old murder of a girl in her town. The case had been closed by the police after the girl’s boyfriend committed suicide, but something about the case didn’t feel right to Pippa. She does her own investigation with Ravi, the brother of the boy who died.

This was a suspenseful story with loads of twists. There were so many clues that it was difficult to piece together. In the end, it all made sense. I didn’t guess what had happened, because it was a complicated ending. I like it when I’m surprised at the ending of thrillers, without having a bunch of important clues withheld until the end.

I loved this young adult thriller! I’ll be recommending this book to all my friends. I’m excited to read the next book in this series.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Witness Protection Widow

Title: Witness Protection Widow
Author: Debra Webb
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret? 

After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband’s powerful crime family. Now it’s up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali’s ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws?

Discover more spine-tingling suspense in the Winchester, Tennessee Thriller series:
In Self Defense
The Dark Woods
The Stranger Next Door
The Safest Lies 
Witness Protection Widow

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Review:

This is the first Harlequin romance that I’ve ever read. It is part of their line of thrillers, called Harlequin Intrigue.

Ali is in the witness protection program. She was a witness to her husband’s murder by his father. They were part of a crime family, and she had information about the crimes they had committed. Ali was assigned a marshal to look after her, but when he was injured, they had to call in another man. It turns out that the new marshal, Jax, and Ali used to be engaged. They spend a lot of time together while he is protecting her, and they rekindle their romance.

This was an interesting concept for a thriller. I’ve never read a book about someone in the witness protection program, but I’ve seen it in many movies. This situation made many twists when her life was threatened.

There was a lot of build up to the court case at the end, which I found kind of disappointing. The whole story was about protecting Ali for her witness testimony, but that was the shortest part of the story. I wished it was longer because it could have created more tension.

There was also a lot of internal monologue of the two main characters. They spent a lot of time reflecting on their feelings, rather than doing things. This may be the format of these novels, but I wish there was more action and less reflection.

This book was a good introduction to Harlequin’s intrigue series.

Thank you Harlequin for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

In Self Defense by Debra Webb

About the Author:

DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com

Have you read Witness Protection Widow? What did you think of it?

Review: Woman on the Edge

Title: Woman on the Edge
Author: Samantha M. Bailey
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps…

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.

Review:

This was a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller.

Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger. It was so hard to put down this book, because the big reveals and suspenseful moments at the end of each chapter made me want to keep reading to find out what would happen next. Each plot twist was equally creepy and mysterious.

I couldn’t guess the solution to why Nicole gave Morgan her baby, which made me like this book even more. The ending made sense, but it was still surprising. I liked that it kept me guessing until the end.

I really enjoyed this thriller!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Have you read Woman on the Edge? What did you think of it?

Review: The Wives

Title: The Wives
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Graydon House
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 30, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Tarryn Fisher delivers a pulse-pounding, fast-paced suspense novel that will leave you breathless. A thriller you won’t be able to put down!

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married. 

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read. 

You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why.

Review:

This book was a twisted, wild ride, but I loved it.

Thursday’s husband has two other wives. Her life spirals out of control when she decides to find out who the other wives are. I can’t really say much about this book without giving away any spoilers, but it was very suspenseful and creepy.

Thursday was an unreliable narrator, but the pieces of her life fit together, so I couldn’t help but believe her at times.

There were some mental health issues in this story. There were also some miscarriages that were described. These could be triggers, because they were intense parts of the story.

This was a great psychological thriller!

Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

I Can Be a Better You by Tarryn Fisher

Have you read The Wives? What did you think of it?

Review: Jane Anonymous

Title: Jane Anonymous
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

Review:

This story was suspenseful and creepy!

The narrative alternated between “then,” when Jane was kidnapped and “now,” 10 months after she was kidnapped. Even though we know that she gets out, because she tells part of the story from her present perspective, it was still suspenseful. There were a lot of missing pieces that were revealed slowly throughout the book to keep up the mystery.

I figured out the mystery behind what was happening in the “warehouse” where Jane was being kept pretty quickly. It was creepy the way that she became brainwashed in a short amount of time. She took on a lot of behaviors that she learned while in captivity.

Even though the story was slowly revealed, I still had a lot of questions at the end. There were a couple of mysteries that weren’t fully solved, but perhaps that just reflects the reality of a situation like that.

I really enjoyed this suspenseful book!

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Have you read Jane Anonymous? What did you think of it?

Review: The Tenant

Title: The Tenant
Author: Katrine Engberg
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment, with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who’s a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist—and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she’s writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous.

But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit—or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women’s pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings in this electrifying literary thriller.

Review:

This was a fast paced thriller, but it had some loose ends.

Some of the plot lines weren’t completed at the end. I won’t share which ones, but they were just dismissed as not being important to the case once it was solved. I was disappointed because these parts started out as good twists, but they didn’t turn out to mean anything.

There were also unnecessary parallels between characters. I thought it would connect the characters who had been through similar experiences, but it ended up being meaningless. It was confusing, since multiple characters had the same backstory and it didn’t have anything to do with the plot.

The murder mystery was intriguing, but the lack of answers at the end was disappointing.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Child by Fiona Barton

Have you read The Tenant? What did you think of it?