Book Review: Thriller & Suspense

Book Review: Time of Death by Lucy Kerr

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A great read in a new series by Lucy Kerr with ‘Time of Death’ — my book review is below…

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Why This Book
I’ve read several books published by Crooked Lane, which led to chatting with their marketing department a few times. I was offered an opportunity to read the second book in this series, but since I’m a bit too Type-A, I had to go back and read the first book. It’s a great publisher, I love book series and the plot sounded interesting. I am clearing ARCs by 12/31 so I have a blank reading slate in 2018. I jumped on this one over the weekend in preparation for reading the second book in another week.

Plot, Characters & Setting
ER nurse Frankie Stapleton, 32, ends her third engagement in Chicago, then rushes home to assist her sister who’s having her second baby. Though she only plans to stay the weekend, as the family hasn’t been very close since Frankie left town more than a decade ago, she stumbles into a few too many problems. First of which is finding a man about to have a heart attack in the hospital where her sister is giving birth six weeks early. Frankie steps in, helps get the doctors to save the man and goes off to see her sister. Unfortunately, someone else with an ax to grind, steps in and kills the heart attack victim. Frankie looks guilty of doing something wrong and must fight to prove her innocence. Along the path, she runs into ex-fiance number one, as well as a few old friends, and some financial issues with her family’s hardware store.

Approach & Style
The 323-page book is told in first-person POV (except the Prologue) and focuses on Frankie. There are 35 chapters, which makes each relatively short at nine pages. I read the paperback in 4 hours throughout 1 day when I had some free time. It’s clear, direct and focuses almost entirely on the main story, while building the world of Stillwater General and the town Frankie will undoubtedly move back to if the series continues.

Strengths
Frankie is a fantastic character. She has flaws, but you like her. She pushes your buttons just enough and then pulls back. She’s smart, but also has a lot to learn about herself and life. She is methodical and independent, yet she asks for help from others. The plot is also very intriguing. It’s clear from the Prologue that someone is going to kill the heart attack victim, but we have no idea when. The victim knows something’s wrong with him, but even he’s unsure who did it, at first.

You’ll be pulled in right away when this story takes off. It’s rare I have a strong emotional connection, but this one made me focus immediately. Once Frankie arrives in the ER at Stillwater, she is a dynamo and you can’t decide whether you’re hurting more for the heart attack victim, Frankie’s third failed engagement or her sister who may lose her baby. I very much enjoy the author’s style, which balances detail and dialogue quite well. A clear recommended read from me.

Concerns
Very little. For the most part, everything flowed quite nicely. There’s a few areas of suspended disbelief, but not anything big. I struggled with the victim’s daughter so willingly connecting to the nurse who is named in the lawsuit, but it is a small town. I couldn’t quite tell what the family drama was in the past, but something felt like it was a little too rushed. I suspect that’s due to it being a potential plot in a future book (which is OK with me!). I also thought too many people were willing to sneak information to Frankie as she worked on the case, but in a small town, perhaps that’s just how it is. Nothing that alarmed me nor should it worry you. It’s good to push readers sometimes, at least I like when that happens. Boundaries are limitless in books.

Final Thoughts
For a debut in a mystery somewhere between a cozy and a thriller, it’s intriguing. It’s not quite a medical drama, but it’s got enough sophistication to push readers beyond normal laymen’s terms (which is a good thing). I will definitely read book number two and am quite interested in how this story will evolve. Thanks to the publisher for keeping me in mind for this and future ones.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: The Black Painting by Neil Olson

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Book review on ‘The Black Painting’ by Neil Olson…

ainting

Why This Book
I stumbled on this via NetGalley several months ago. The cover was creepy and it revolved around a family mystery involving a missing painting and the death of a grandfather. I had to add it to my TBR, then they awarded it to me. I am trying to clear off all NetGalley books by 12/31 so I can start the new year with a clean slate, so this was last week’s choice.

Plot, Characters & Setting
The Morse family head passes away, leaving behind a few children and four grandchildren, all after his money to varying levels or degrees. He may or may not have a lot, they’re unsure. Yet there was a mysterious Goya painting that had been stolen and could still be lurking around. The family all come home to his Owl’s Point, New England estate to attend the funeral and will after someone finds him dead. Each family member, particularly the cousins, are all a bit kooky and very focused on the painting. As the story unfolds, you learn different components of the past, especially where everyone was the day the painting went missing. We soon learn the grandfather may have been murdered and the family begins pointing fingers at one another, including their grandfather’s housekeeper and confidant, Ilsa. There’s also a small fantasy element in knowing the painting might have a ghost that makes anyone who views it go mad.

Approach & Style
I read this ~300 page novel in 5 hours over a weekend. It’s told in third-person POV with a perspective from each of the major family members. I read it on my iPad via Kindle Reader.

Key Feedback
This was a tough read; I found myself skimming way too often. I very much looked forward to the family drama, suspense and mystery elements. These all existed, but something was missing. It was very difficult to connect with the characters, everything was quite vague. It felt like the story focused on the smallest of details and went on for pages on actions that had no true bearing on character development or plot. That said, the writing style and tone were very strong. The author clearly writes well, but I think the characters didn’t match the plot in this book. In the end, I enjoyed parts of it, but it could have been so much more with a different approach. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to others as a good read, but there’s nothing bad about it. It just didn’t have a great impact on me, perhaps I am the wrong audience for it.

Questions & Final Thoughts
So much about this book had potential. And for some readers, it’s probably going to be quite strong. For me, the most memorable component was that it just always felt 10% off the mark in terms of what I like in a family drama. I am curious to see other works by this author in the future, as I think the writing and talent is present.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

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Another great read by J.T. Ellison with ‘Lie To Me’ — my book review is below…

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Why This Book 
I selected Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison, when it was available on NetGalley about 3 months ago, after enjoying a prior book by this author. I’m glad I did as it was very engaging and twisty. I chose it this weekend because I am trying to get to a ‘0’ count on NetGalley TBR books and other ARCs so that I can start 2018 with a clean and fresh slate to choose new reads.

Approach & Style 
I read this ~400 page book on my iPad through Kindle Reader over ~5 hours in one day. It is written in third-person POV from a few different character perspectives, including the killer, the husband and the wife. It switches back and forth a few times, but is usually clear and clean when it does.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Ethan and Sutton, both authors jealous of each other’s work, have been married for a few years despite fighting a lot. They lost a baby a few years ago and there might have been an affair or two, it’s unclear at first. Sutton leaves a note that she needs space and no one should look for her outside their Tennessee hometown; Ethan thinks there is foul play and begins to check with her friends and family. Eventually, he loops in the cops and a full investigation opens. It’s difficult to provide anymore details without giving away the plot, but there are tons of twists involving bloggers, reviewers, friends, family and murders in another country. Nothing is as it seems and you never quite know who to trust.

Strengths 
The cast of characters is varied and diverse. You get a sense of love and hatred from almost all of them. The sub-plots are nicely woven into the overall story. The drama and suspense are at a good level — not too over-the-top, not too weak. The writing style is strong and inviting.

Concerns 
The two main characters aren’t very likable. They both seem to treat each other poorly, which makes readers uncertain about rooting for them. Ultimately, the he said / she said dilemma leaves you thinking at the end that there are a few too many open-ended situations. While some intensity and far-out plot points are necessary to keep the thrills high, there are a few pieces that either fell too short or went a bit too far for me. Not enough to have a problem with the work, but enough to hold it back from being a true stellar read. Overall, it’s a typical twisty thrill ride, but because of solid writing and good characters, I’d recommend it to others as a good read.

Author & Other Similar Books 
It’s very similar to Gone Girl. VERY similar.

Questions & Final Thoughts 
I like these types of books. I turn the pages quickly. I get invested. I like the balance between reality and chaos. The author is a good writer. It’s a definite recommend from me for a quick weekend read, but it’s not the “oh my god you have to read this book” type of situation.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Search for Maylee by Didi Oviatt

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Overview

Didi Oviatt’s novel, Search For Maylee, is a must-read for suspense and thriller fans. I’d seen Didi’s name all over Goodreads and various blogs, finding myself curious to know more about this novelist. When I looked up her author profiles, I was surprised to see she had a few books already out in the market. I read the descriptions and settled on this one being my introduction to her canon; although I haven’t read the others yet (spoiler alert – I will be reading them) I’m confident this is the right one to start with. Wow, what a ride. And the best part, she’s a well-known blogger who you can follow here on WordPress:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

Book Review

The premise seems basic: Autumn’s niece was kidnapped years ago and might be dead, but Autumn won’t let it rest until she knows for sure. Nothing is ever that simple, right? With only one small clue to go on, Autumn moves away from her hometown in search of the potential lead. When she arrives, nothing goes as she expected. The detective on the case follows her. She meets a group of somewhat younger guys who really challenge her to be someone different than she’s ever been before. Then she stumbles upon something far bigger and worse than just what happened to her niece. No one ever told her life would be easy, and this becomes quite clear once she throws caution to the wind and puts herself directly in the middle of a very twisty case.

The novel begins out rather slowly telling the history of Maylee and Autumn. You grow fond of the two women, saddened over the kidnapping and loss. Readers don’t know whether Maylee is still alive or not, and they won’t find out until the very end of the novel. Didi Oviatt takes on this journey inch by inch, pulling us into the story, the search for clues, and the budding romances until somewhere around 33%, you’re suddenly heaved into this huge dramatic arc. You only learn small pieces at a time, but with each layer, you become more invested and concerned over which of Autumn’s new friends might not exactly be trustworthy.

Autumn grows in the journey. I thought she was too quiet and nervous in the beginning, but that’s what happens when someone you love is stolen. By the middle of the book, she’s the kind of person you want to have as your best friend – full of sass, humor and strength. While parts of this story are your typical kidnapping suspense and thriller ride, there are several stronger layers building in the background. When you hit the climactic scenes, which last so much longer than normal (and it’s a really good thing!), you can’t help but speed read. I had to stop myself a few times because I was skipping passages — not because I didn’t want to read them — but because I had to know if Maylee was alive. Luckily, I caught myself after the third time and went back a few pages, forcing myself to read more slowly, searching for little clues in each of Didi’s passages. I felt certain she buried hints in there. Since I won’t include any spoilers here, you’ll just have to read the novel to figure it out for yourself.

When you read this book, and you should if you like suspense, thriller or mystery fiction, sit back and enjoy the words as they are written. Great care was taken and deliberate choices were made to keep the first section of this book a bit more slower paced than a normal novel of this genre; it seems concerning at first, but that build-up is what prepares you for the fantastic explosions as they happen later on.

I am already planning to read another of her books at the end of the year as I want to see the range of her style, tone and story-telling abilities. Get on this coaster and roll with it, Baby!

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I’m hoping she’ll agree to do an author alert in the coming weeks!!!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: The Author by Jordan Antonacci

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Book Review 
I stumbled on this author and his book several months ago via his blog. When I read a synopsis of the plot, it hit all the sweet spots for my love of thriller and suspense novels: serial killers, twists, writers, subtle relationships and cops. After I read the intro chapter he shared with his followers, I was quick to get a copy of The Author once it launched a few weeks ago.

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As a debut novel, it shows great potential for Jordan Antonacci’s writing career. He has built an intricate story with several red herrings and likely suspects, clearly creating several points of suspense where you change your mind on who the culprit is throughout the novel. His descriptions of crime scenes and the emotional state of the detective, who is much closer to the case than you’d expect (not a spoiler, he knows some of the victims), are bountiful and vivid. Jordan’s attention to detail and creativity will take him far as he masters his craft and delivers future novels.

As a story, this has a few twists and turns, woven with the detective’s own interest in writing a novel and meeting his favorite author. Given the title, you know there will be a lot of components and layers to the story – and there are a few which you don’t think are important at first, but slowly come to realize there’s more bubbling under the surface. I couldn’t tell who I was supposed to trust and that’s a good way to keep the tone fresh. The plot of ‘The Author’ is solid and the characters seem real through their suffering.

Some parts of the novel were a strong and a feverish read; others felt a bit slower paced which doesn’t always work to the author’s advantage. I would have liked a few more chapters teasing us about the different potential killers rather than a few of the times we were inside the detective’s head, learning more about his own issues and goals. It was interesting, but it might have popped even more with the extra suspense.

It’s always a good feeling to get in on the early stages of someone’s career. I enjoyed the novel, I like the author’s style and I will read more of his work when he releases it.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers

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Be prepared to shiver a little before bed at night with Cleaving Souls, a psychological suspense and thriller published in 2017 by Chauncey Rogers.

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Why This Book 
I’m a big fan of psychological mysteries and thrillers. When the opportunity popped up to read this one, I jumped on getting a copy last month. I’ve been reading a few lighthearted children’s books and cozy mysteries, which meant I needed something to scare the pants off me (doesn’t happen often)! The other reason I needed to read it – and yes, this is embarrassing but I am nothing if not honest and focused on learning – is that I wasn’t certain I knew what the word ‘cleaving’ meant. Though I’d heard it before, I wanted a clear definition, and so I started reading the book. Wouldn’t you know… the first page provides a few definitions to choose from. And when I got to the end, it was QUITE CLEAR!

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Kate’s expecting a baby with husband Alex, but she’s starting to lose her mind a little more each day. She has absolutely no idea why she’s lost and confused, but her husband tries to be supportive. As a truck driver, he’s unfortunately out of town for several days in a row. It begins to unravel Kate, who by now is hearing her name being called in weird places, sees people outside her window and thinks she’s being followed. She tells Alex, and he tries to be a good husband, but things escalate quickly. Alex takes her to a cabin for a getaway while they wait for her appointment with a psychologist, hopeful the break will calm his wife. But it doesn’t; instead, Kate meets a woman who has visions that indicate someone might bring harm to Kate and Alex. That’s when the drama truly begins and you won’t see this one coming from a mile away. I might stop talking to myself based on what happens to others once you go down that dangerous path!

Approach & Style 
I read the 225 page novel on my iPad through Kindle Readers. Chauncey’s writing is very detailed and descriptive; he goes to great efforts to fully flesh out the specific look-n-feel, setting and thoughts of his characters. While this can be a bit much for some people, it helps amp up the suspense and bring on the fear-factor in this book. The novel is told in third person, switching back and forth between focusing on Alex and Kate for most chapters. One or two chapters are told from the local police’s perspective, helping create some confusion and mystery all throughout the book; you will try to piece together the puzzle before it bursts forth on its own. Don’t try – just let it happen naturally in this book.

Key Thoughts 
If you’re a fan of horror, thriller or suspense stories, you often want it to be as innovative and mysterious as possible; you enjoy the guesswork from start to finish, but you love when the author can surprise and shock you. Chauncey’s work leans in the direction of big surprise. I didn’t care who was causing the trouble in his book, I just wanted to know how and why it was happening. I look at that as a good thing! The build-up is strong. The potential angles are wide. When it finally becomes clear what’s going on, you realize all the possibilities of what could be baked into the finish. It’s a great psychological ride.

Chauncey excels at realistic descriptions and narrative. You will know the location and setting as much as you understand every little aspect of what’s happening in the main characters’ lives. His slow build-up of driving the main character a little batty is quite strong. It was less about “Oh, I like Kate and don’t hurt her” but instead “That poor woman, what on earth is happening to her.” Through some repetition, sound effects and purposely missing moments, you really feel the swift descent of her psyche once the story gets into its climax.

Author & Other Similar Books 
Chauncey Rogers has two other books he released earlier this year, both of which sound interesting. We connected on Goodreads and he’s a genuinely good guy. I enjoy when authors interact with their readers and fans. It’s tough as time goes by and your following grows larger, but when you have the time and choose to make yourself reachable, it’s a big win in my book. Kudos to Chauncey for demonstrating that in both his own books and his interest in reviewing other books on Goodreads.

Summary 
I recommend this book. I do not recommend reading it right before bed. I am normally quite excited by thrillers and suspense, even before getting ready to sleep under most other circumstances. But when the main character in this book is that scared in her bedroom while trying to sleep and there is a noise at the window – Chauncey’s words, imagery, details and timing created quite a stir – I was in my bedroom, getting ready for bed, listening to the rain pellet the window… unable to let myself fall asleep for at least an hour because I kept seeing someone at the window. I’ll find a way to get him back for this!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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3 out of 5 stars to Hidden Bodies, the second book in a thriller and suspense series by Caroline Kepnes.

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Last month, my buddy Medhat suggested a read of You, the first novel in the series. It was such a fantastic book, probably in my top 2 of 2017 to date, that I had to continue reading the series. I’ve heard rumors there will be a third book, but I’ve yet to see it confirmed. I need to check on that! I am also completely excited as Lifetime is turning the books into a television series. I can’t wait… but until then, let’s get on with the review of this second book. While I enjoyed several parts of it, it doesn’t hold a candle to the first book and I’ll explain why below.

Plot, Characters & Setting
When we left off at the end of [book:You|20821614], our protagonist/villain, Joe, completed his vicious cycle of crossing many lines and breaking tons of laws in NYC all in the name of love, also known to most people as stalking your prey. Yet he escaped without anyone knowing of his crimes and found himself falling in love with a new potential victim, Amy Adam. Joe begins trusting Amy, realizing she’s a much-improved version of his last girlfriend, Beck. Amy begins pushing him for a key to his bookstore, which we all know from reading the first book contains a few secrets Joe would prefer stay buried, like some bodies. He hides everything as much as he possibly can, caving in to his girlfriend in order to hold on to her. When he arrives for work a few days later, the place has been robbed and Amy is missing. Did she do it? Was she kidnapped as payback for his prior crimes? What does she know? You’ll find out… he finds a lead that shows she may be in Los Angeles. Joe quits his job and moves cross-country, where he meets an interesting cast of characters in his typical LA apartment. He negotiates/manipulates his way into working closely with a few Hollywood type agents and producers, finding himself falling in love with a new woman, coincidentally named Love.

Love is perfect for Joe. She adores him. And he soon forgets about Amy. All seems well for a short period of time. But he keeps worrying about the one piece of evidence of his former crimes back in Rhode Island… and it drives him nearly insane, especially when the case is re-opened. He knows he has to find a way to retrieve it without anyone seeing him in the victim’s house. Unfortunately, he’s distracted by Delilah, one of the women in his apartment complex who has the hots for him. And then there’s a cop who has taken a dislike to Joe, tailing him at different parts of the day while Joe is trying to tie up loose ends. But it’s when Love’s ex-boyfriend and her brother monopolize all of Love’s time, Joe goes off the rails. As he begins to unwind, adding more and more crimes to his list in order to cover up the past and protect himself from losing Love, Joe finds himself getting careless. It all comes crashing down in the last few chapters of the book, ending at a place where it’s very clear, a third book is necessary. Readers will not be OK with this ending, as it opens more holes than the one’s Joe’s already had to dig for each of his hidden bodies.

Approach & Style
Whereas in the first book, Joe talks to the readers almost as if they are Beck, it’s quite different in this second book. It’s still told in first person with the perspective only on Joe throughout the whole story; however, there’s no concept of “you” this time around. It works just as well, given the title is no longer “You,” which means alternative progression is an expected path.

I read a large-sized soft-cover book with ~430 pages. There are 56 chapters, so each one is less than 8 pages long on average. It took me 4 days over the course of a week, as I couldn’t read each day; in total, probably about 6 hours. Some sections are a bit slow-paced while others are ultimate page-turners where you probably skip every fifth word just to see more quickly what’s happening.

Strengths
Kepnes can certainly dream up extremely aggravating and realistic characters. Everyone she incorporates feels like someone I’ve met before, and at times, I wish I could be Joe and punish them for the things they say and do. But I’m a good guy and I don’t commit many crimes. I mean any crimes.

When she’s on point with a dramatic scene, the plot and action is amazing. A few scenes were just as good as the initial book, especially when Joe is dealing with Delilah and the cop. It’s almost like we never left the first book.

Love is a really multi-dimensional woman; she has moments of brilliance followed by sheer silliness. I want her to be with Joe, but sometimes, she seems too good for him.

The settings are crystal clear for the most part. I can always tell where we are and whether it’s gonna be a safe zone or all hands to the battle field.

Concerns
It was such a let-down from the first book. Joe became weak. I didn’t buy his drama. He seemed to cause problems for the sake of causing problems. He had the girl. But he let himself get caught up in other areas, ones that made him a true criminal and not a man in love. That’s where he becomes a bad stalker. In the first book, he loved the girl so much, you could see why he did the things he did. This time, I struggled connecting with his motivation. He became every other evil antagonist, rather than the guy you wanted to root for.

The ending gets closer to the original strength, but not all the way. I was pleasantly surprised when the last 100 or so pages took the story in quite a different and unexpected direction, but it wasn’t enough to turn the book around for me. If this were the only book I read, and I didn’t know much about the original plot, it wouldn’t have been a book I’d recommend to friends. And that’s sad because Joe is an amazing villain. I toyed with giving this less than 3 stars but I know that is mostly the disappointment in ruining a good character. It’s redeemable in a third book, so I will have faith things get better.

Final Thoughts
The story is still good. It’s got major problems with his constant quest for sex, which is just an overused plot component in this book. Pull that out. Take out the section where he turns into a whiny mess. And maybe give him a few more close calls, and we’re back in the game.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.