I really enjoyed Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. Sometimes I go into a book without reading the synopsis, and this is one of those examples. With a quick glimpse at the back reviews by B.A. Paris, Riley Sager and Amy Engel (all favorites’), I had a feeling this was a psychological thriller, but had no expectations going into it. I really loved the premise and found it unexpected and unique. I don’t want to say too much in fear of giving away the mystery at the heart of the novel…which is what is ‘in the water?’ I will say that it took me about 100 pages to feel really invested in this story, but the build-up and character development is important to the narrative. As many of you know, I absolutely love morality tales, and this one is the perfect mix of bad decisions and thought-provoking scenarios. The perfect summer/beach read.
He did it again! An atmospheric thriller that keeps you guessing until the very last page. This one includes all of my favourites: Unreliable narrator, family secrets, red herrings, gothic undertones and a complex plot, filled with psychological suspense. This is the perfect summer read!
The Last Time I Lied is one of those stay up all night and read no matter how early you have to get up in the morning for work. I was lost in the pages of this haunting story that spans generations. As we learned from Final Girls, Forests + Riley Sager = a terrifying experience.
Releases in July.
Thank you @duttonbooks and @riley.sager.
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she--or anyone--saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings--massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.
Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.
And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.
I just finished Bone Music, and my initial thoughts are 'Wow, this has all the makings of a great Netflix series!' This book is the backstory of Charlotte Rowe, which reminds me of why Marvel is so successful. A thriller that is both vivid, intelligent, and intensely moving, with a strong female protagonist. There is LOTS going on, and I don't want to give anything away. The book synopsis really doesn't do this book justice. Superhero, meets vigilante, with a mix of sci-fi, murder mystery, and the supernatural. It's LONG. I'm talking 450 plus pages long, and at first it deterred me from starting this. But with many hours to spare yesterday and today due to an unexpected knee injury, I was able to finish it in a few sittings. When I first saw the cover of this book, the title threw me off. But after getting half way you understand that the title refers to the symptoms of a powerful drug - "the shaking hands, the throbbing in her bones." What I loved most about this book, was the reason the drug was created in the first place - to wipe out sexual sadism. rape, and domestic violence. A unique approach to the thriller genre. It will not disappoint!
“Her Pretty Face” – Whose pretty face you may ask? I wrestled with this question throughout the novel, with many red herrings strategically placed throughout to throw me for a loop.
I absolutely loved this domestic suspense novel, and finished it in two days. Shocking, violent, and raw, this book grabs the reader and doesn’t let go.
This novel explores reinvention, grief, and retribution, and leaves you wondering if people can truly change.
This title releases in Canada on July 10, 2018!
Thank you so much @robynharding and Rebecca from @simonschusterca for sending me this ARC.
Jar of Hearts claims to “grab you by the throat,” and that’s exactly what it did. A sophisticated, and chilling psychological thriller, with a mix of Orange is the new Black, Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter. This book is spectacular and I devoured it one day. Split into 5 parts, with different narrations, this book will have you reading well into the night.
What I loved most about this book was the author's ability to have you sympathize and hate Geo simultaneously. Are we the product of our parents? And I don't mean that in a purely biological sense either. The cycle of abuse is real, and violence is often passed from one generation to the next. I remember discussing this with a colleague years ago, when she brought up an article about generations of violence and the cycle of child abuse. She fully believed that as a child of abuse, she was statistically likely to pass this on to her children, and because of her traumatic childhood, decided to not have children. What a tragedy. This story affected me both emotionally and psychologically. It also leaves you to reflect on how emotions influence our decision-making.
Jar of Hearts will definitely be a buzz-worthy book when it releases in Canada on June 12. Make sure that you pre-order. This will be an incredible summer read.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
I will warn you that this book is heavy! It has dark subject matter, with explicit details.
I received this ARC from NetGalley and St. Martins Press - Thank you!
I was fortunate enough to receive an amazing package of books from Dutton back in November, full of Advanced Reader Copies. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read the first instalment in the UNSUB series, however I found this one works as a stand-alone. This was an intense and thrilling reading experience. I started this on December 29th as we headed up to Whistler for New Years Eve weekend. Once I started, I couldn't stop, and I read well into the night on News Year Eve (super anti-social). The characters are mesmerizing, the detailed scenes heart-wrenching, and the plot is completely original. I felt like I was watching an entire season of Criminal Minds. I highly recommend this one for anyone needing a fast-paced, addictive psychological thriller. I didn't think any thrillers could top Good Me, Bad Me, Final Girls, or The Good Daughter this year, but this one knocked it out of the park. Bravo Gardiner!
Details from Goodreads:
Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer
In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.
Caitlin and the FBI's serial crime unit discover the first victim's body in the woods. She's laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest's darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style--posed like Snow White awaiting her prince's kiss.
To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology--that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy--dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin's profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people's trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
If you haven't read Find Her by Lisa Gardner, you need to read it prior to reading Look For Me. Look For Me can act as a stand-a-lone, however the character of Flora Danes is so unique and intense. Find Her is book # 8 in the Detective D.D. Warren series. It's one of those books that always stays with you. It truly made me question what kind of survivor I would be? Flora Danes is held captive for 472 days in a coffin-sized box. It's a terrific, fast-paced revenge thriller, that looks at what it means to find yourself again . Look For Me follows Flora Dane, as D.D. Warren's new sidekick. I loved the sarcastic banter, the community of survivors, and the mystery at the heart of this novel. I highly recommend this one! A compelling, well-written read, that makes you question, 'what does it mean to be family?'
I have seen this book all over Instagram and in everyone's hands in passing this month. I've read a few of John Green's books including Finding Alaska and The Fault in our Stars. I know I'm not the targeted audience for YA, however I do love this genre. I listened to this on Audible, so it may have impacted by opinion, as the multiple voices were read vastly different than I would read on my own. The main character suffers from an anxiety disorder. Listening to the narrator gave me anxiety, which proves Green's ability to force the reader into the characters shoes in a compelling and powerful way. At the heart of this story is the mystery of a billionaire, which Aza and Daisy attempt to solve in order to earn the large reward. I didn't think the two themes blended at all. I found the story to lack a solid plot line. Events were unrealistic, characters were self-absorbed and narcissistic, and the unending references to Star Wars was enough to make close this one and never return. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone. For some of my favourite Young Adult reads, check out the link.
I had seen Six Stories posted on numerous blogs for the past year. Ever since seeing the cover (the art work drew me in), and discovering the podcast element, I have wanted to devour this book. After the first "story" I contemplated not finishing, or putting it away for awhile. I just couldn't get into it. I love podcasts, especially Serial, which was quite possibly the greatest murder-mystery I've ever listened to. In my fiction selections I prefer page-turners and whodunnit's, but I also enjoy a slow burn, with the heart of a story dependent on character-development. After the third story I realized this book had little to no suspense, with shallow characters that were unreliable. There are supernatural elements, built upon the superstition and folklore passed down to the characters in the town. I was actually hoping the story would follow this plot line, as it was more interesting then the unsatisfying conclusion that was repetitive and drawn out.
I'm not one for slasher-flicks, horror, or anything in this subgenre, however I really loved Final Girls by Riley Sager.
Goodreads: "Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished."
I wouldn't categorize this a horror book, but rather a psychological thriller/mystery. This book is fast-paced, full of twists and turns, with an ending you won't see coming. Did I like the ending? No, not particularly. I felt that it left more questions then answers. It lacked substance, was unexpected, dropped in to throw the reader for a complete loop'. It's still highly entertaining and I can see why this is on many "Best of 2017" lists. I would have preferred a different ending. Maybe worth discussing once my friends get a copy of this one.
Photographing books, one day at a time.