Tag Archives: mystery

The Hanging Girl

The Hanging Girl Book Cover The Hanging Girl
Eileen Cook
Hmh Books for Young Readers
October 3, 2017
320

Another unputdownable, twisty, cat-and-mouse thriller by the author of With Malice about a girl who claims to have a psychic vision that could help find a missing teenager.

 

Review:

“The Hanging Girl” is a good read for someone in the mood for a quick and fun young adult mystery.  The plot is entertaining and would come in handy for someone needing a break during the holiday season by escaping for a while.  The only problem I had with it is the main character, Skye.  No matter how much her character’s deeper history was revealed I just could not bring myself to like her.  Recommended for a light read!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

 

Emma in the Night

Emma in the Night Book Cover Emma in the Night
Wendy Walker
Fiction
August 8, 2017
320

"Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators." –Booklist, Starred Review 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.

 

Review:

“Emma in the Night” is a taut psychological thriller that kept me reading from start to finish without putting it down.  Not only did I keep second-guessing my theories,  I kept feeling ill-at-ease in my own home.  It’s difficult to say much more than the book synopsis because to spoil it even a little would take away from the fun.  If you like thriller mysteries, you will probably enjoy this.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Little Monsters

Little Monsters Book Cover Little Monsters
Kara Thomas
Young Adult Fiction
Delacorte Press
2017
336

When Kacey moves in with her estranged father and his new family, her new friend goes missing and Kacey finds herself at the center of the investigation.

 

Review:

“Little Monsters” is a young adult thriller that will satisfy both the ya audience and adult readers.  The mystery is well-written and keeps the reader guessing throughout.  Even when you think you know the bad guy, you keep second-guessing yourself.  A very enjoyable read that I recommend to any fan of the mystery and thriller genres.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunters #1)

Southern Spirits Book Cover Southern Spirits
Southern Ghost Hunters, Book 1
Angie Fox
Fantasy fiction
January 13, 2015
276

When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she's saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick-she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can't refuse from the town's bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with. Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee's finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless-and destructive. He hires Verity to put an end to the disturbances. But soon, Verity learns there's more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms. There's a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn't above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

 

Review:

“Southern Spirits” is the perfect cozy mystery for a rainy winter’s day.  There is plenty of humor, a pet skunk, and southern charm, along with the beginning of what promises to be a steamy romance.  Don’t be fooled, though, as there were some legitimate scares to be found.  A really fun adult mystery read!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23)

Turbo Twenty-Three Book Cover Turbo Twenty-Three
Stephanie Plum, Book 23
Janet Evanovich
Fiction
Bantam
November 15, 2016
320

Speed is the name of the game as Stephanie Plum returns in Turbo Twenty-Three--the thrilling, fast-paced new adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

 

Review:

“Turbo Twenty-Three” is another funny and endearing novel in the Stephanie Plum series.  I found myself laughing quite a bit and thrilled at some plot threads  that were explored.  My only issue with it is that it feels like the author knows things need a bit of a shake-up after all this time, and began to go down the road, only to chicken out rather abruptly at the end.  I hope she takes some chances on the next one.

The Lost and the Found

The Lost and the Found Book Cover The Lost and the Found
Cat Clarke
JUVENILE FICTION
Crown Books For Young Readers
September 13, 2016
368

THE LOST
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Since then, Faith’s childhood has revolved around her sister’s disappearance—from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention, to dealing with so-called friends who only ever want to talk about her missing sister.

THE FOUND
Now, thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the front yard of the Logans’ old house, disoriented and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Can her sister finally be back? Faith always dreamed of her sister coming home; she just never believed it would happen. But soon a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated from her family and paranoid about her sister’s motives. Before long, Faith begins to wonder if it’s the abduction that’s changed her sister, or if it’s something else. . . .

Originally published in the United Kingdom by Quercus in 2015.

 

Review:

“The Lost and the Found” is a contemporary thriller about a kidnapped girl coming home that managed to hold my attention and keep me flipping the pages until it was finished.

The story of Faith and her sister Laurel, who was kidnapped at age 6, revolves around Faith’s feelings after her sister returns home.  I found it interesting to think about how a sibling would feel given the situation.  Faith was both likable and frustrating in the ways that any teenager can be, and it felt like her reactions would be common in the situation.  The book had a steady pace that built up to a conclusion that was both predictable and not predictable.  I only had one problem, and that was with a resolution to a subplot that seemed completely out-of-character and rushed, as though it were an afterthought.

“The Lost and the Found” will be of interest to older young adults and adults who enjoy a quick reading contemporary thriller that has some substance and bite.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Somewhat Graphic Sexual Situations, Violence, Sexual Abuse

The Cabin

The Cabin
Natasha Preston
Sourcebooks Fire
September 6, 2016
Paperback
336

A New York Times Bestseller!

There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new young adult thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar, a New York Times Bestseller, and Awake

They think they're invincible.
They think they can do and say whatever they want.
They think there are no consequences.
They've left me no choice.
It's time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can't wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead-murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn't telling the truth. And Mackenzie's first mistake? Assuming the killing is over...

 

Review:

“The Cabin” was a solid four-star thriller up until the very end.  That doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable in a B horror movie sort of way.

The characters are the stereotypical mix that you come to expect from horror movies and fun, fast reading thrillers.  There were some plot surprises and enough creepy things to give you some chills.  Just.  The ending.  I can’t quite forgive that one.

Overall, “The Cabin” is a fun read for the Halloween season or any other time you’re feeling like a fun and breezy thriller.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

Curious Minds

Curious Minds Book Cover Curious Minds
Knight and Moon, Book 1
Janet Evanovich, Phoef Sutton,
Fiction
Bantam
August 16, 2016
256

Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring charmingly eccentric Emerson Knight and professional go-getter Riley Moon.

 

Review:

“Curious Minds” was a fun, quick read that featured all of the humor and wit for which Janet Evanovich is known.  She and Phoef Sutton make a great writing team.

The new characters of Emerson Knight and Riley Moon are quite a bit different from others we have seen in previous series.  The quirkiness of Emerson is especially intriguing, and I can’t wait to read more about him.  They play well off of one another.  The plot moved fast and it can easily be read in a sitting or two.  There were a few sputters in character development, with few detailed background characters, but all of those can easily be fixed and filled in with the next installment.

I can easily recommend “Curious Minds” for any Janet Evanovich fan or for someone looking for a new humorous mystery series to enjoy.

This honest review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

As this is an adult book, there are no content warnings.

Defender

Defender Book Cover Defender
Graham McNamee
Wendy Lamb Books
April 12, 2016
240

Seventeen-year-old Tyne and her boyfriend Stick investigate a decades-old murder after she finds the body of a girl in the basement wall of her apartment building.

 

Review:

“Defender” is a gritty mystery set in a downtrodden urban area of Toronto.

While I felt that the varied races of the characters and the realistic feel of the location were unique, there was something off about it all that I can’t quite put my finger on.  It didn’t all come together in a way that could have taken it from okay to great.  There were a lot of subplots occurring, and that may have been a barrier in keeping the story cohesive.

The mystery contained in the story was a good one with an ending I really appreciated.  The look into the very real problems with the foster care system and the difficulty of being able to escape poverty were eye-opening.  Many readers are sure to find characters they can relate to, which for many may be a rare occurrence.

“Defender” has its good and bad points, and I encourage those who are interested to give it a try.  There is quite a bit of  disturbing imagery, so those buying for younger or sensitive readers should keep that in mind.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Violence, Disturbing Imagery

Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Save Me, Kurt Cobain Book Cover Save Me, Kurt Cobain
Jenny Manzer
Delacorte Press
March 8, 2016
272

A chance discovery makes Nico, fifteen, believe that not only is Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the 1990s grung band Nirvana, still alive, but that he might be her real father.

 

Review:

“Save Me, Kurt Cobain” is not a book meant to be read by everyone (which is in no way a bad thing), but for those it is meant for, you will enjoy it immensely.

At its heart, it is the coming-of-age story of Nico Cavan, a girl who has been lost in the world since the age of four.  She is an extremely well-developed character who evokes both sympathy and, at times, rage.  Believe me, sometimes the reader will truly want to shake her and ask what the heck she is doing.  The auxiliary characters are developed to the perfect point of being both mysterious and understood.  In other words, you see them as Nico sees them.

The book is also a love story to music.  While Nirvana is the central band, as is obvious from the title, there are many other good ones mentioned.  I really hope some of the younger readers will give them a try.  I grew up in the Kurt Cobain era, and the facts and stories about him brought an intense wave of nostalgia.  Though I do have to admit I felt ancient when they were classified as oldies that parents listen to.  Many of the facts presented I had never heard, and I found that to add quite a bit of enjoyment to my reading experience.

My only complaint is that the beginning of the book seems to drag somewhat.  All of it is important to where the story goes, so please remember that if you are tempted to stop reading.  It is totally worth it.

“Save Me, Kurt Cobain” will appeal to all of the audiophiles, artists, “freaks”, and the lost.  It’s perfect for both young adults and adults.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Brief Sexual Situations, Drug Abuse, Discussions of Suicide