I don't typically read series. It's too much of an investment, books end without answers, and I am left waiting for a new one to release. However, I was introduced to Into The Black Nowhere back in January of 2018. I specifically remember reading it in Whistler, foregoing a night out to stay bundled up on the couch, rapidly flipping pages because it was incredible, and frightening, and wonderful, all at the same time. Little did I know that it wasn't a stand-a-lone, but the second in a series that would soon become one of my favourites of all time.
When I was younger I was captivated by true crime stories (hello...JonBenét) and loved every single episode of CSI. There is something about fast-paced crime investigations, behavioural analysis, and unpredictable outcomes. So it was no surprise that after I started this story, I could not put it down. I read a LOT of books. I've read 32 books and it's only the end of April. Oftentimes, I will look at a cover and remember that I either 'liked it' or 'didn't like it', but I have a difficult time remembering the plot, characters or resolution. That is not the case with Meg Gardiner's books. As soon as I finished Into The Black Nowhere, I went back and read Unsub, which filled in a lot of holes that I had when finishing Into the Black. The backstories of certain characters started to make sense, and I couldn't wait for her to release the next one.
2 years later... and Booksparks makes my dreams come true by sending me the third instalment called The Dark Corners of the Night. What a thrill it was. Intricately written, unsuspecting antagonist, and an intriguing story filled with action and suspense.
What's most exciting is that this series has been bought by CBS and will soon be a TV show.
I highly recommend this series and can't wait to hear what you think!
This is the third book from the duo that brought you The Wife Between Us and Anonymous Girl. This story is written in the same vein, however I found myself less invested in this story. You know the old saying 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is?' I wrestled with this and the main characters lack of common sense throughout the whole story - and as the reader I was powerless to shake some sense into her. What I did love, and found truly unique, was the addition of her stats book, and the statistics that mark each chapter. The narration shifts between multiple characters point of view, and the present/past, so you get glimpses into what happened. It took me until the 3/4 mark to really piece together what was going on, and I was totally satisfied by the ending. It's an entertaining read...and with that ending, I'm rounding up my 3 stars to 4. These women sure know how to amp up the suspense.
I am so excited to share the cover reveal for Matthew Farrell's newest book 'I Know Everything.' Farrell's previous book was part of the Winter Reading Challenge hosted through Booksparks. My photo was featured in a blog post by Katherine Heigl on her blog 'Those Heavenly Days.' I can't wait to read his newest book!
I Know Everything:
A psychologist grapples with his own sanity as murder evidence mounts against him.
Police investigator Susan Adler is ready to close the book on a deadly car accident, but after the medical examiner discovers evidence of foul play, she knows she has a murder on her hands. The victim was the wealthy wife of Randall Brock, a renowned psychologist who treats patients with disturbing, brutal fantasies. And just like that, Susan’s got a suspect.
Randall has a violent past but knows he didn’t kill his wife. In the midst of his crushing grief, Randall receives a visit from a stranger with information to share about his wife’s death. But there’s a catch: in exchange for the stranger’s information, Randall must reveal dark secrets he’s kept hidden for years. As this shady figure applies more pressure and Susan closes in, Randall begins to doubt himself, clinging desperately to the pieces of his sanity.
Revelations and suspicious coincidences send shock waves through the investigation, and circumstances spin out of control. Susan must race to put it all together before it’s too late—before the next murder strikes too close to home.
Matthew Farrell lives just outside of New York City in the Hudson Valley with his wife and two daughters. Get caught up on the progress of his next thriller along with his general musings by following him on Twitter @mfarrellwriter or liking his page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mfarrellwriter2. You can also visit his website at www.mfarrellwriter.com for news, events, and other information.
Available August 6th from Thomas & Mercer Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
This is unmistakably not my favourite book by Liane Moriarty. My favourite's are Truly Madly Guilty and Big Little Lies. They're actually a couple of books I highly recommend because they're addictive, compulsive and fiendishly clever. To be completely honest, I kind of hated Nine Perfect Strangers at times, and on the other hand I also loved it. The plot gave me severe anxiety, and spoke to my deepest fears (hello claustrophobia!). Nevertheless, Moriarty effortlessly shares from 10 or 11 points of view, and although I couldn't relate to any of the characters who happened upon Tranquillum House for self-improvement, I did root for one specific family, and they are the sole reason I finished this book. All of the reviews I've read from fellow book bloggers were remarkably positive, raving, giving 5 stars, and stating this is 'her best yet,' so I am apparently in the minority. It's definitely a wild ride, it just wasn't as entertaining as I'd hoped.
Cleverly plotted, complex, and engrossing. One of my favourite genres is Gothic Fiction; a blend of horror, fiction, and romance, with of course, plenty of suspense. The Winters is the perfect retelling of the classic 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier, a best-seller from 1938. The Winters is a psychological thriller, set in a dark, architecturally grand home, with a romanticized look into its former lady of the home, Mrs. Winter. With all the necessary plot conventions; revenge, family secrets, drama, and unreliable narrators and in the tradition of two of my favourite books: Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre, The Winters was my stay-up-all-night, read-all-day fav book this month. I can't rave enough about this one! For those of you looking to grab it this weekend, check out Costco!
It is super rare for me to give a psychological thriller 4.5 stars, but this one was incredible, and I devoured it in one sitting. This one is a one-more-chapter-will-be-late-for-work, stay-up-all night experience. Electrifying, heart-stopping, and it gave me all the chills! You really ask yourself the whole time, "What would I do if this was my child?" This super twisty thriller had all my boxes ticked - terrifying child character, secrets, lies, and suspense. I really hope this one graces the big screen. I did not see the ending coming, and thoroughly enjoyed the different POV's. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read this one!
Description from Goodreads:
When Clara's boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he's left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he's been kidnapped. Then Luke's older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.
Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened--even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke's mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected.
Robyn Harding has quickly become one of my favourite authors...and she's from Vancouver! I read The Party last year, and the Advanced Reader Copy of Her Pretty Face in March. This new book releases on July 10th and is on my list of Most Anticipated Summer Reads, and is part of the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge with BookSparks. Her books are suspenseful, shocking and raw, grabbing the reader from the first page and not letting go until the shocking conclusion. Her Pretty Face explores reinvention, grief, and retribution, leaving you wondering if people can truly change. She has also written four works of humorous women’s fiction, a YA novel, and a comedic memoir with an environmental focus. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, two kids, and a seven-pound, toothless dog named Ozzie. With my very first Q&A, thank you Robyn for participating!
A few questions about writing:
1) What is your writing process like?
When I start a novel, I create a loose outline. I was a screenwriter for several years and it taught me a lot about structure. I find that writing toward the next major plot point keeps me from getting lost or overwhelmed by the story. I also create character profiles before I start writing, giving them a backstory that may or may not make it into the book. Knowing the characters inside and out, really helps inform their behaviors and actions.
2) What advice do you have for writers?
Write, write, write. I recently saw David Sedaris speak, and he said he wrote for seven years before he showed anyone his work. It took him that long to be good enough! The other advice I’d offer is to enjoy writing for writing’s sake. I’m incredibly grateful to be published, but once writing becomes a business, it’s a different experience.
3) What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I love how supportive authors are of one another! I’ve made so many incredible connections to authors all over the world, mostly through social media or e-mail. I recently had dinner with Lisa Genova here in Vancouver and she inspired me to dream big and to go for it! I have regular lunches with YA writer Eileen Cook who is very smart about the business side of writing and gives great advice. And fellow thriller writers Roz Nay and Chevy Stevens have offered great insight into the genre. All these women are also hilarious!
4) I loved Her Pretty Face. What did you edit out of this book?
Thank you so much! I did a HUGE edit after the first draft. Originally, I had a documentary filmmaker following the women around, and it was he who revealed which of the women had the murderous past. My editor felt that this storyline distracted from the meat of the story, and I had to agree. It was a big re-write but it was worth it.
5) If Her Pretty Face graced the big screen, who do you see cast in the main leads? (Frances and Kate)
I’d like to see Amy Adams as Frances and Charlize Theron as Kate!
Some book-ish questions:
6) What is the first book that made you cry?
7) How has the bookstagram community impacted you?
I love the bookstagrammers I have connected with (including you)! It is such a fun and supportive environment. Every day, I learn about new books and see amazing photos. And I am in awe of how fast you all read!
8) An upcoming release you're most looking forward to?
I am so behind! I still need to read last summer’s new releases. But I’ve seen a lot of buzz about “Baby Teeth”. It sounds original and creepy-good!
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.
“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!
Photographing books, one day at a time.