Book Review: Thriller & Suspense

Book Review: Kalorama Road by E. Denise Billups

Posted on

After reading a few articles written by E. Denise Billups in Conscious Talk Magazine, I found myself intrigued with her writing style and voice. After some research, I noticed she’d written a few books, so I selected the one that appealed to me the most, Kalorama Road. If you’re a fan of mysterious character connections, someone with memory loss trying to unearth what happened during a missing 24-hour period, or a subtle tense feeling of “uh oh” while reading, you will definitely enjoy this one!

38340854.jpg

The story takes place in modern day NYC (blocks from where I live) and the Washington DC / Virginia area. Allie, an editor at a big publishing company, can’t remember what happened one night at a party during her college years. She remembers being invited by a strange girl, showing up and seeing some peculiar behavior, but then all she knows is that her roommate saw a handsome guy drop her off the next morning. What happened overnight? Well… Allie’s been getting monthly text messages and emails asking her what happened at Kalorama Road that night. They scare her but also intrigue her. Is it someone else who doesn’t recall? Is it someone who wants her to remember? Is it the person who took her there who has since disappeared? It all begins coming back together when she’s let go from her publishing job and begins writing a blog. Someone submits a book for her review but it seems like a real life mystery, then it begins to resemble her own experience at Emsworth University. Allie never told anyone but she’s compelled to reveal all the details to her former colleague and the former roommate. At the same time, Allie’s sister has a secret she wants to keep hidden and a new man enters Allie’s life that seems very familiar. How does everything come together?

The book jumps back and forth between a few main characters, sharing their stories and actions over the course of a few weeks. We see a few memories from the past and learn who is really connected to who. As each chapter unfolds, a piece of the puzzle gets more clear but also opens up more confusion to leaf through. Throw in a powerful senator and his family, a suicide, a newspaper reporter trying to find out what happened in the past, a murder, and a family with a large endowment given to the university yet some secrets worth protecting, there’s bound to be a few explosive moments. What a wild ride, both in terms of how all the connections are revealed and in the build-up of tension between all the new people suddenly just appearing in Allie’s life as she’s trying to solve the puzzle of her missing memories.

Billups drew me in from the first few chapters. I’m a sucker for a lost memory story, but when it straddles that line of “oh, this seems obvious” but then throws you a curve where you’re like “wait, WHAT?” it’s even more appealing. It takes a lot to plan a story where you reveal things bit by bit. It’s also difficult to cover a story from multiple points of view without confusing readers. Billups handles both with great aplomb and talent, as it came together solidly without any concern.

Her character sketches of different women and men in their 20s, living in NY, were on point and realistic — there were moments were they annoyed me because of typical behavior, but that’s a good thing as it means Billups has evoked intense emotion and a strong connection to the story. I enjoyed the slow-build romance and potential eerie connections with her new friends, but I also could tell she had some blinders on when it came to all the ‘coincidences’ going on in her life. And there’s an explanation for it… as the tidbits of history we learn about Allie and her sister’s lives growing up clearly show why they act the way they do now. A great way to make things seem quite reasonable in a story that has you guessing who to trust.

I’m quite intrigued by what else might come from the author’s clever mind. I’ll be taking another look at her previous books and seeing if I can find out what’s coming up next… as I’ll definitely be reading another one this year. And I don’t want to wait a year for another book! 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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.

Advertisements

Book Review: A Mersey Mariner by Brian L. Porter

Posted on Updated on

It is very rare that I will read a book in the middle of a series, but sometimes it isn’t easily avoidable – that’s what happened in the case of A Mersey Mariner written by Brian L. Porter and published in 2017. As the 4th book in the Mersey mystery series, it fell into my lap when I saw a free download opportunity last month on Amazon. I’d previously read a few things about the author and his work seemed quite appealing, but I was overloaded with books on my TBR and couldn’t go back to book number one. At the same time, the plot was very intriguing and I wanted to read it while on my trip to Italy last month, so I pushed myself to take a chance on a mid-series read. All I can say is I am both glad and sad because I really wish I’d started at the beginning. I like the series so much I do plan to read them all and would have loved to watch the growth and beauty with each successive book. Oh well, I can always read it again, right?
mariner
First things first… it’s a classic murder mystery containing British detectives with a bit of an ode or homage to an Agatha Christie novel – a joke is even cracked by one of the main characters, which made me laugh out loud for a few moments. In this edition, the detectives are summoned to a ship nearing port in England because they’ve stumbled upon a dead passenger. It’s no ordinary ship given it’s an old-style cargo liner, carrying a small group of passengers, and in this case, it’s quite eclectic when you start to unravel each person’s façade. Kudos to the author for creating such intricate characters, hidden identities and murky potential red herrings. It’s a true mystery fan’s ideal novel given all the plot twists, clever arcs and details… think of it as peeling away the skin on an onion only to find there are so many layers, it’s never quite what it seems. All in a challenging, precise and connective manner. Truly, Poirot would be a perfect confidante to these detectives for a quick call to get some advice on the suspects, but alas, it takes place in a bit of a more modern time, so that wouldn’t work.

international-best-seller-badge

You’ll travel from Britain to the Amazon jungle in this tale, covering industrial espionage, secret identities, money laundering, drugs, scary diseases with interesting cures, a bit of romance, witty banter between the detectives (male and female, which makes it all the more fun!), and curiously unusual actions that leave you thinking it’s a straight-forward case – no, wait, it’s totally complex and I’ll never figure it out! But the detectives do, and that’s what makes it quite an enjoyable read. As readers, you learn the clues just as the detectives do, stumbling and wading through lies, the truth and misleading statements. I’m never quite sure which people to trust, but I find myself tightly connected to the personalities wanting to solve this case. That makes for good drama and mystery, and it has a satisfying conclusion.

Mariner international 2

I learned so much about police procedures, shipping rules, international water policies and ship design – in a good way, quite interesting but never overwhelming. The scenery and descriptive components were vivid and painted a picture I felt like I was standing right next to. I’m very curious to read more of Porter’s novels and will be looking at his literary works later this year to plot out a few more reads both in this series and in some of his other books. See more on my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com where I will be adding some additional content to this review about the author, his books and upcoming cover releases. What a great find! If you’re a mystery fan who enjoys a good British setting with some adventures across the globe, you’ll find yourself quite intrigued and enamored.

***
And a peek into the next book in the series, published just last month!
A VERY MERSEY MURDER EBOOK COMPLETE

A Personal Message from the Author

First of all, I’d like to thank you, Jay, for your wonderful review of the 4th book in my Mersey Mystery series, A Mersey Mariner. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the book, and hope you’ll eventually read the rest of the series. Being part of an old Liverpool family, the series means a lot to me, as most of the central characters who feature in each book are based on members of my own family, based on my recollection of them from my younger days, as nowadays I live in the neigh boring county of South Yorkshire in the UK. Readers might not be aware that I write under three different names. Most of my books including all my novels and my remembrance poetry collection Lest We Forget are written as Brian L Porter, my children’s books are written as Harry Porter, and my best selling collection of romantic poetry is penned by Juan Pablo Jalisco.

all books

Though the Mersey Mysteries all revolve around the cases of the fictional, Merseyside Police Specialist Murder Investigation team, some of the books have a very international theme, as you have discovered in A Mersey Mariner, as their cases take them as far afield as locations in Germany, Canada, Brazil and others. This is not the case with the most recent in the series as A Very Mersey Murder sees the team investigating a case very much on home turf, as they go in search of a serial killer who is working to a strict timetable, giving them only one week to prevent him from killing again.

Mersey Mysteries2.June2018

The series is really an homage to the city and people of Liverpool, which I remember so fondly from my youth. I have been writing for over twenty years and always wanted to set a book in the city but never had the courage until three years ago. I feared I wouldn’t be able to do the city justice, but after the first book, A Mersey Killing was so well received, I gained the confidence, following some encouragement from my publisher and some great reviews, to embark upon writing more books featuring Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Clarissa (Izzie) Drake and the rest of the team.

As the series has progressed, the characters have ‘grown’ and developed and many readers now contact me to tell me who their favorite characters are and actually taking an interest in their ‘lives’ almost as though they were real people. Perhaps the series is developing into a kind of literary soap opera. If it is, I just hope it runs and runs! I currently have a total of ten books planned for Ross and the team and having completed the first five, I am about to begin work on book 6, Last Train to Lime Street. For your American readers, who may not be familiar with British institutions and place names, Lime Street is Liverpool’s major railway station, which you could perhaps think of as being as well known here in the UK as New York’s Grand Central is in the States.

34831497_2056524341283791_5399296841994993664_n

For a sneak peek, read a brief preview

As the late night train from Manchester to Liverpool, Lime Street approaches the outskirts of Liverpool it hits the body of a man under a bridge. When the police are called it transpires the man was a well known movie director… of pornographic films. They have to discover first of all whether he was dead before he hit the tracks, not easy given the damage caused by the locomotive. As Andy Ross and his team investigate they find the man’s list of enemies is almost as long as the railway line from Manchester to Liverpool. Is his murder personal or professional? How was he killed, again not easy when they have a mangled body on their hands. Oh yes, and the victim was American, with three disgruntled ex-wives, all of whom have a motive for murder. Ross, Drake and the team have a real international headache on their hands as they attempt to solve the case of the Last Train to Lime Street!

***

About the Author

With over twenty years of writing experience I have over twenty novels, true-life, poetry and short story collections to my name including, my international bestseller Sasha, the true story of the life of my incredible rescue dog of that name, who has become something of an icon for epileptic dogs around the world.

Brian.promo

I’ve been fortunate to record 15 Amazon bestsellers so far, including all the books in the Mersey Mystery series, A Mersey Killing, All Saints, Murder on the Mersey, A Mersey Maiden and A Mersey Mariner, and also The Nemesis Cell, Purple Death, Behind Closed Doors, Avenue of the Dead, and my second dog rescue book, Sheba: From Hell to Happiness, the story of another of our eleven rescue dogs who was saved from her previous life as a bait dog, for the training of fighting dogs, and more.

My books have also won a number of awards over the years and currently, A Mersey Maiden, is among the nominations for the TCK Publishing Readers Choice Awards, 2018. If any of your readers would be kind enough to vote for me, all they need to do is visit https://www.tckpublishing.com/2018-readers-choice-voting-page/ and scroll through to the Mystery section, select A Mersey Maiden and follow the simple voting instructions.

maiden new sub1

When I’m not writing, my wife and I are both involved in caring for our wonderful family of eleven rescue dogs. We are both dedicated to dog rescue and I have separate Facebook pages involving Sasha and Sheba, the two most well-known of our dogs. My own Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/harry.porter.12139862 where I write as Harry Porter.

Anyone wishing to learn more about my works is cordially invited to visit my website at http://www.brianlporter.co.uk

3 pics

Or my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Brian-L.-Porter/e/B00466KITC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

You can find all the book in the Mersey Mystery series at https://www.amazon.com/Brian-L.-Porter/e/B00466KITC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

I also have a blog at https://sashaandharry.blogspot.com/

 

mersey murder1

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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: The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin

Posted on Updated on

I’m very excited to share a review on a book I read while in Italy last month. From the moment I saw the first few postings or social media messages, I was interested… and when I learned it was from a blogger I follow and respect, it was all the more intriguing. If you aren’t following her blog, please check it out. Let’s get into my thoughts on this fantastic book…

bone

When The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin appeared on my news feed earlier this year, I was excited to devour such a thriller. I purchased the novel and scheduled it for my May vacation while I was out of the country visiting various Italian cities, especially since one of the tours included the crypts and catacombs of Rome. What a perfect way to align my reading with my physical setting, right? Well, it gets even scarier… I’ve previously visited the Paris Catacombs where the story kicks off, and at some point during my current trip, I scratched my finger (I believe while trying to load luggage on a bus when it stopped to pick me up in Amalfi on the edge of a cliff) just like the main character in this book, and within two days I had a nasty bug and infection. For a moment, I thought the The Bone Curse might be coming to life and I was gonna call Ms. Rubin for some advice! Thankfully, I did not cause people around me to die, so all in all, I handled it with aplomb — just like this great new author I’ve found!

The novel is categorized as a medical thriller, but it goes beyond that initial genre with the introduction of educational backstory on Voodoo / Voudo practice (different types depending on the interpretation), a young doctor learning how to make a name for himself during his initial hospital training, some fantasy elements when ancient bones seemingly come back to life, and a bit of romance and family drama to round out the story’s depth. I am always excited when a book crosses genres and this one did not disappoint. Life’s sometimes ordinary, and if you can push the boundaries with a little bit of mystery and a strange curse, I’m all for it. Bring it on!

Rubin’s story is top notch. It combined all the elements of my favorite movies and stories covering ancient mummies with revenge on their mind, mass graves of people who were victimized and need to heal, a fine line between medicinal cures and that of the occult. The story drags you in from the beginning and throws out many well-calculated twists and turns. You’re never quite sure if the truth will add up in the end with a logical and natural explanation like some weird virus that caused it all, or if it’s an honest-to-god ancestral curse come back to life seeking vengeance. That’s what made it such a page-turner… you felt tossed back and forth and feverishly thrashed while reading and savoring each of the words to figure it out all.

It helps that the characters were distinct, admirable and endearing. But oh, the deaths… an author is brave when she goes after the ones likely to be a fan favorite. A few times, I wanted to punch the main character, Ben, for being such a dunce. Rubin offers more than enough detail and reasoning for why he might choose not to believe in such a curse, but when enough people are impacted around him, the dude needs to wake up! If I’d been his friend, I would have locked him up much sooner… but that’s what makes the story such an intrigue. Ben is human and torn from what his scientific experience tells him and how his interesting upbringing has shaped him. He’s a product of all the things that keep him wary and cautious of the truth, so he seeks to eliminate all the rational before allowing himself to accept the non-tangible. It was a well-crafted approach and makes readers attach strongly to the entire cast and plot.

I am fond of the author’s writing style and the world she’s built in Ben’s personal life. Though he may have a ‘solution’ with answers at the end of this book, his travels are far from over… this is the kick off of a new series, and there’s plenty more to explore coming out of what’s happened to him in this book. Between death, changes to his family situation, and the upcoming impacts of his life at the hospital, I’m excited to continue being part of this adventure. Rubin’s enamored a new fan and I might even need to take a peek at a few of her earlier unrelated books while I wait for book two in this series. Kudos!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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: Last Girl Gone by J. G. Hetherton

Posted on

Starting off this review by saying it’s right around 4.5 stars for this one… Everyone once in a while, a writer truly catches you off guard with either a story arc or a plot twist. It’s especially powerful when it’s a new writer you’ve not experienced before. And that’s what happened when I picked up Last Girl Gone: A Laura Chambers Mystery by J.G. Hetherton after it was provided to me earlier this year by the publisher, Crooked Lane.

37648229.jpg

Laura Chambers, a reporter who’s been fired from a big-time Boston paper for doing something bad, is the main character in this suspense thriller series. Eventually we find out what happened, and all I have to say is… yikes, we better revisit that story as it doesn’t feel like it’s quite over yet. She returns home to a North Carolina town where she has been working at a local paper for about a month. She’s being treated poorly by a real jerk of a colleague, has a horrific mother, and now a serial killer is fascinated by her reporting. But it doesn’t start there… we open with a young girl being kidnapped nearly 40 years earlier, then we figure out we’re decades forward in Laura’s story. It’s connected somehow, but it takes 2/3 of the book to get there. And when it does, you’ll definitely enjoy the connection. But trust me, that’s only the beginning!

For some reason, this book really talked to me. I felt Laura’s pain given how everyone treats her (tho she can give back with full force). Writing quality is strong. I’m not sure how much I particularly like Laura yet–or understand why she is still living at home / tolerates her mother (other than money)–but I’m hoping it’ll get fleshed out in the next book in the series. The book has a bit of everything and quickly pulls you into the action. It also ends with a bang and a very twisted story. It’s the perfect genre with an out-there-over-the-cliff-edge plot, yet I totally see it happening in a weird sorta way one day.

I look forward to reading more from the author. He builds creepy characters and creates rousing suspense, especially when Laura goes after the killer basically on her own. And the title is such a play on words — always like seeing that when the book is over and being analyzed. Kudos and thanks to Crooked Lanes for sending me this book. Definite spot-on read for me!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Posted on

Why This Book 
I was either approached by the publisher or received the book, Our Little Secret written by Roz Nay in 2018, through NetGalley. I liked the premise of the story and saw it was getting positive reviews, so I took it on. It was published this week, which meant I needed to read and review it to share my feedback with others. I would give the book 3.5 stars and encourage fans of thrillers and questionable narrators to give it a chance.
Fire

Approach & Style 
I read the Kindle Reader version on my iPad in about 3 hours over a few days. It has ~30 chapters split across ~225 pages or ~3k lines. It is told in 1st person POV with the perspective on Angela or LJ or Little John (she has many names) where she conveys what she knows about the disappearance of an Australian woman named Saskia.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
The book takes place in a small New England American town over a 24-hour period where the main character, Angela tells a story to Detective Novak after being brought in for questioning. We have no idea who Saskia, the missing woman, is or what her connection is to Angela. It’s obvious Angela has either got information she’s hiding (protecting someone?) or has killed Saskia. Novak wants answers and holds her without arrest for maximum time.

We learn of Angela’s relationship as teenager with HP whom she fell in love with. She traces the last decade of how they dated, fell apart, how she dated Freddy, etc. Then we learn how Saskia fits in. We see what happened between everyone. And in the end, we discover what likely happened to Saskia. Add in Angela’s parents, a few other friends, and a couple of trips to Australia and Europe, the plot thickens. The book ends with readers knowing how it happened, but the cop is still uncertain, yet he makes an arrest.

Key Thoughts 
There are many parts of this book which I enjoyed reading. The story draws you in. The plot builds in all the right places creating suspenseful moments where as a reader you think you’ve got the answers. Then it changes and you’re back to the drawing board. Nay’s writing style is very strong and clean. It makes you feel part of the action and tension. You want to keep turning the pages to know what’s going on.

At the same time, I struggled a little with character attraction. Each character had a voice, personality, and physical descriptions, but I couldn’t quite find myself supporting Angela or even HP. I liked their romance, wanted them to get together… as kids, they were adorable. As a witness, Angela was evasive in a very good way in the beginning. As the story unfolded, I felt a little less connected to her and couldn’t quite get behind the decisions being made.

When the book ends, you’re left with a few “hmmm… not sure I understand that” moments and sorta think “eh, okay, well, I guess it was obvious in the beginning.” I think with a little more suspense and depth to have a bigger climax scene, this would have been a solid 4 star read. But it was missing a little something for me that either made it stand out because of who the main character was and the secrets being kept, or to give us that jaw-dropping moment. All-in-all, it was a good read and has lots of promise for the author to build an audience.

Summary 
This is Nay’s debut, and her writing skills are strong. Her plot development is also impressive. I would chance another novel, but I’d like to see some stronger character development as noted above. Thank you to NetGalley, Roz Nay, Minotaur Books, and St. Martin’s Press for getting me an early copy (ARC) to review.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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: Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Posted on

When the newest book, Providence, by Caroline Kepnesbecame available, I excitedly requested and downloaded it on NetGalley. Her first book, You, is one of my favorites, and her second, Hidden Bodies, was very strong. I rushed through Providence this week turning the pages and watching a strange story unfold before my eyes. There are many parts I enjoyed, a few I thought were just okay, and in the end would give it about 3.5 stars.

nce

Let’s start out with a little bit about the story… two teenagers are best friends in love with one another but unwilling to tell the other. We see why they click and what is appealing in both. Then Jon goes missing. The book jumps several years later and Chloe is now dating the guy who picked on Jon when they were younger. We have no idea what happened to Jon. More time passes and we find out Jon was kidnapped by someone at their school, and when he wakes up, he’s been in a medically-induced coma for years. He’s physically matured and somehow developed a bit of a supernatural power. This is where I got worried… I’m not a fantasy or sci-fi reader, but I’m trying to branch out, so this was a really great opportunity to check out another genre.

I wasn’t disappointed. It was exactly what I thought it would be. I love how the ‘other worldly’ talents integrate into the story, but I had tons of questions like a two year old: why, how, when, where, what… yet I believe it’s important as a reader to hold your own questions at bay and read with an open mind. I never got the answers, but then again, you don’t always get them in sci-fi or fantasy (from what I understand). It just happens and you go with the fun aspects of something new or different. That said, I found ways to enjoy the book for what it is. A coming-of-age story where the main character is a bit older than normal because of everything he’s gone through. And you end up questioning what is right and wrong. Is one bad or evil action able to be redeemed, or should someone suffer / die because of it.

Throughout the course of the ~400 pages, Jon struggles to balance his love for Chloe and his inability to control the powers when he gets emotional. It’s a love story, a suspenseful drama, a mystery chase, and a bit of a reflection on life. Kepnes is fond of (and strong at, too) developing characters with obsessions, social media-frenzied anxiety, and over-indulgence in human emotional needs. I mean this in a positive way, too. She gets right to the core of what makes some people tick or focus on the little details that sit within a person’s mind all day long. It helps pull you in to the story and the characters.

Many readers will compare this to You, and if they aren’t sci-fi or fantasy genre buffs, they may struggle a little. I am not familiar with HP Lovecraft’s books, which are a central theme in this one. Although Kepnes does a good job and explaining what you need to know, it would be better if you had read Lovecraft. I hope readers will see this as something similar yet purposely different to both books, as it stands out as an interesting and quick read where you see a different slice of humanity and psychological rhythm. Character development is spot on. Plots are woven well. Settings are very clear. And there’s a subtle page-turning push you feel trying to understand where it’s all going.

For me, it’s a good book. I’m glad I read it. I’d recommend it only to folks I think would be willing to cross all the different genres and go for a peculiar and crafty ride. Thanks to NetGalley, Kepnes and her publisher for getting me an early copy.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Posted on

I read a Lisa Jewell novel last year and connected immediately with her writing style, tone, and voice. When Then She Was Gone showed up on NetGalley last month, I immediately requested it and added it to my reading queue for April. I really find myself enamored with Jewell’s characters, plots, and settings, so much that I’ve added ten of her other books to my TBR and hope to read a few more later this year.

then she was gone.jpg

Domestic drama is the best sub-genre to describe this book. A 15-year-old girl goes missing, resulting in her family falling apart. Ten years later, her mother finds new love (divorced her ex-husband though they still remain friends) and slowly learns of connections to her missing child who was feared dead. The description in the Goodreads or Amazon summary says it all, so I don’t need to add to it here. The book alternates between “Then” and “Now” to tell the story of what happened to Ellie, who kidnapped and hurt her, what the new love interest for Ellie’s mother, Laurel, has to say transpired over all the years, and where things really fell apart.

This book read itself. I intended to spend 90 minutes reading on a weekend afternoon to have a relaxing break from some outside chores. Three (3) hours later, I’d finished it. The book was so good that I lost track of time and read so quickly, everything just disappeared, but I was absolutely connected and attached to every part of the story and characters. Jewell clearly knows how to lead readers on a path where investment is deep and shock is wide. I’m sure a few readers will sideways glance at a couple of plot twists, and I can understand it. You have to suspend a tiny bit of your disbelief or questions as to how the kidnapping was truly pulled off. But it’s fiction and it’s part of a story and that’s why it worked — the writing supports it and carries you off into a world you cannot leave.

I normally figure out what’s really going on. But Jewell uses some clever disguises regarding timing that make it complicated, and when you do figure it out about 2/3 of the way thru, you have to stop for a few minutes and think about all the repercussions, Then, it all adds up. How did I miss it??? But for me, that’s what makes an incredibly gifted writer. One who transports you into the story that you forget to try to solve it because you’re just so stunned by its beauty. I can’t wait to pick up another Jewell book this summer. So many to choose from! But this one gets at least 4.5 stars.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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.