ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

The Spectacular, by Fiona Davis

AVAILABLE June 13, 2023

How often does the title of a book also describe it? Practically never. But such is the case with The Spectacular, by Fiona Davis, because it is, in a word…spectacular.

Set mostly in 1956, we follow nineteen year old dancer Marion Brooks. Stifled by an over-protective father and a jealous older sister, Marion abandons all caution and decides to audition for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Amazingly, she succeeds and is put through the exhausting grind of long hours, extreme physical exertion, and lofty expectations. Kick high and smile wide, no matter what.

The first half of the book gives us a backstage pass through Marion’s eyes and experiences: the euphoria of being on stage, the fear of disappointing her family, plus the friendships and intricacies of a young woman living independently during a very buttoned up time in history. Then suddenly, this already fascinating plot swerves in a new direction, turning The Spectacular into a suspenseful thriller.

While Marion is navigating the excitement of professional dance, the Big Apple Bomber is on his sixteenth year terrorizing the city. Pipe bombs are being left in public places such as libraries, phone booths, offices, and theaters. That’s right. Theaters. It is here that Marion’s story gains even more momentum and collides with actual events because these bombings really happened, becoming a case that pioneered the use of criminal profiling in police work and examining the role of severe mental illness as a possible cause for such crimes.

I went into this book with no real idea of what to expect and ended up absolutely mesmerized. Fiona Davis is an extraordinary writer who has created an incredibly immersive story. Marion Brooks is a riveting protagonist, as are the supporting characters in her orbit, all of whom are grappling with challenges and emotions that Davis brings to life in a realistic way. I could feel the energy of events while being transported to 1950s New York City, a living, breathing metropolis which is a character in itself. Its heartbeat echoes throughout the story’s action, romance, and drama with a pulsating rhythm that keeps the reader’s attention from start to finish.

Keep this book on your radar when it releases in June. It is exceptional.

10/10 Stars

Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

The Last House On The Street, by Diane Chamberlain

One of the most satisfying things about reading a book is discovering a new author. One of the most frustrating is reading an excellent book that you’ve shelved for ages, wishing you’d read it sooner. With The Last House On The Street I’m two-for two. But operating on the philosophy that we often read books at the right time in our lives, I’ll be content that I eventually gave it a chance.

There are two timelines, which I understand from fellow readers is consistent with Diane Chamberlain’s books. The first takes place in modern day North Carolina when young widow, Kayla, and her daughter move into a new house in a new development. New except for one older house that has minimal activity except for a light going on here and there. Any sense of security is then shattered when an odd woman shows up at Kayla’s workplace and tells her to move, followed by disturbing notes and events around the house itself.

The second period is in the late Sixties at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Ellie Hockley, the twenty year old daughter of a prominent Southern family, has decided that her life lacks fulfillment. Then she learns about the SCOPE Project–Summer Community Organization and Political Education–designed to help and encourage Black people in poorer neighborhoods to register to vote. Against the wishes of her parents, boyfriend, and best friend, Ellie signs up with the project, convinced that this is the way to make her mark in the world.

The narration switches between Ellie and Kayla, leaving the reader to wonder how their lives will intersect. After all, their experiences are worlds and decades apart, with Ellie canvasing neighborhoods and seeing racism and violence firsthand while Kayla is dealing with her challenges forty years in the future. The dual stories meet in a clever and unique way, keeping me totally engrossed all the way to the end.

Everything about The Last House On The Street is well thought out and interesting. It’s part historical fiction and part suspense. I’ve never read a book quite like it before, but I definitely plan to read more by this author.

9.5/10 Stars

Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Series & Collections, Suspense

Theme: Two Unforgettable Women

When was the last time you read a book that was so immersive, you felt numb after turning the last page? What about two books in a row? Numb, reeling, in awe, emotionally exhausted in a good way…that is me right now. What makes it even more unusual is that I never even heard of either of these books until very recently.

Whiskey When We’re Dry, an incredible debut novel by John Larison, and The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld, need to go on your reading list ASAP. Are they sweet, comfortable reads? No. Both deal with unpleasant subjects. But presentation is everything and even unpleasant subjects can be handled in such a deft way that the power lies within the reader’s imagination. That, my bookish friends, is high quality writing.

Each of these stories centers around a female protagonist. Jess Harney in “Whiskey” and Naomi Cottle in “Child.” Both of them are motherless and isolated, forcing them to figure out on their own what it means to be a woman. Both have been through extreme hardship. Both use that hardship in positive ways to help others. Both sacrifice greatly.

Whiskey When We’re Dry is western historical fiction. Left alone on the family homestead in 1880’s Montana, Jessilyn Harney decides to find her last remaining relative, beloved older brother Noah. Dressed as a man and armed with above average shooting skills, she and her trusty mare, Ingrid, set off on an unimaginable adventure. Along the way, Jess encounters people of every sort, good and evil. She must defend herself, but she also learns from what she sees, tucking away that knowledge for the future. The most fascinating secondary characters are the women who come and go throughout Jess’s odyssey. Because of their limited choices, women did what they had to do to survive whether it was marriage, spinsterhood, masquerading as a man, or selling their bodies. Rich and poor, submissive and rebellious, frontier women and city women, Jess encounters them all. Knowledge and wisdom is exchanged. (The weaker sex? I think not.) The jaw-dropping ending will leave you gasping and Jess’s narrative voice is one of the best I’ve ever read.

9.5/10 Stars

The Child Finder is contemporary suspense. Naomi Cottle is a twenty-nine year old survivor of childhood abduction. She is one of the lucky ones, if you can call not knowing her parents and a deep mistrust of men lucky. But she’s alive and her foster home was a loving one. Now she is the “child finder,” a private investigator who makes it her mission to rescue missing children. She’s been hired to locate Madison Culver, who disappeared at age five from the Oregon forest. It’s been three years, so the chances she is alive are slim. Meanwhile, hidden away in an old cabin, live Mr. B and the Snow Girl. Their language is silent. Their relationship is odd. Snow Girl knows something isn’t right. There is friendship and there is terror, two things that cannot coexist forever. Some missing children are found alive and make something of their futures. Some always remain victims. The brilliance of this book is the way it shows both of these scenarios, as well as the fortitude that lies dormant within all of us until it is needed.

9.5/10 Stars

I recommend both of these books most highly. I found myself transported into other times and other worlds. They are undoubtedly raw, but the writing is magnificent. Both deserve accolades and attention.

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Women's Fiction

Regrets Only, by Kieran Scott

Available tomorrow! January 10, 2023

Where do you go when you want to find pettiness, gossip, mayhem and murder? Look no further than the PBA (Parent Booster Association) in an upscale Connecticut town.

Regrets Only, by Kieran Scott is hilarious. A satirical look at a group of women who represent those committees we’ve pretty much all had to participate in at one time or another. There’s the Type A president, who ruthlessly clutches to her position as though her life depends on it (it does,) who overshadows and overachieves, basking in the glory of her success and leaving baffled and intimidated worker bees in her wake. That is Ainsley Aames Anderson. A triple Type A. Her name says it all.

With someone like Ainsley, you’re either a minion or an enemy. You do not question her. You do not compete with her. You certainly do not defy her. A tough lesson learned by her seemingly faithful entourage, Bee, Dayna, and Lanie. The outliers have a more difficult time. There’s working mother Nina, a successful accountant with more brains than charm, and the town’s prodigal daughter, single mom Paige Lancaster. Paige has returned to her hometown after being let go from a successful job writing crime shows in LA. She’s worldly and strong, the complete opposite of the submissive women who work with, um for, Ainsley. And it doesn’t help that Paige’s first love happens to be Ainsley’s husband.

Things fall apart at the PBA’s annual Parents and Pinot fundraising auction. By the end of the night the PBA president everyone loves to hate is dead. Suspects are everywhere. A surprising amount have access to weapons. Unsurprisingly, the blind adoration of Ainsley’s followers isn’t quite as blind as it once appeared. Using the alternating POVs of Paige, Lanie, Nina, and Dayna, we discover that few things (and people) are what they seem.

I really enjoyed Regrets Only. I’m giving it 9 stars because the ending fell a bit flat, but it’s still worth reading. It’s an honest commentary on suburban society. The seriousness and intensity at which these women view something as basic as a parent organization is extreme, yes, but not entirely untrue. We women can get a lot of things done, but the backroom plotting and politics are as old as time itself.

9/10 Stars

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Series & Collections, Suspense, Thriller

Rich Blood & Rich Waters (Jason Rich Series,) by Robert Bailey

Jason Rich has failed at a lot of things in life: beating his alcohol dependency, relationships with women, and living up to his father’s expectations. Despite that, and thanks to a series of tacky billboards along the highway, Jason has still drummed up his own version of success as an ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer.

When Jason is forced to defend his sister after she is charged with killing her husband, everything changes. Now he must transition to criminal law, reconnect with his splintered family, and enter the grimy world of drugs, dirty cops, and murder. Not an easy task for a man already on the state bar’s radar. Rich Blood gives us lots of expository information about Jason Rich’s personality, boundaries, background, and courtroom tactics.

In Rich Waters, Jason is blackmailed into defending a fallen local hero accused of killing a cop. His personal life is a mess, but he has his allies. Always on retainer are the three ex-military Tonidandel brothers, former Screaming Eagles who double as security and friends. Plus there is Izzy, his law partner; Harry, his investigator; and Ashley, his AA sponsor. This motley crew help to keep Jason grounded and safe, but are put at risk by a powerful enemy.

Well-written legal thrillers, like this series, are a fun way to break out of my reading comfort zone. There are lots of characters to keep track of, puzzle pieces to assemble, ongoing stories, plot twists, and reveals. I’ve become pretty skilled at pinpointing killers in murder mysteries, but both Jason Rich books kept me guessing until the very end. That’s a good thing. Plus we are treated to a very multi-faceted main character who is always fighting one demon or another, whether personal or professional.

Rich Waters ended with a very sewn-up conclusion, so I don’t know if more books will appear in the series, but I, for one, would like to see others. They are fast-paced, intelligent reads. I recommend both and to read them in order.

9/10 Stars for each book and for the series.

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Cozy Mysteries, History, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

October Reads 2022

OK, this turned out a bit blurry! Sorry about that…

The facts are these: sometimes I’m in a reading mood, sometimes I’m in a blogging mood. Lately I’ve been in a reading mood! A lot. I will highlight a few from this month’s literary adventures.

Best Thriller: Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney. Yes, this extremely popular book lives up to the hype, even though it was nothing like what I expected. In true Agatha Christie fashion, a group of dysfunctional relatives gather at Grandma’s house for a weekend. Many go in, but few go out. All seen through the eyes of 13 year old Daisy. Great writing with a surprise ending. Recommended! (Some language.) 4.5/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Classic: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by R.A. Dick. I only recently discovered that one of my favorite classic films was first a book. And it was great! There are definitely some differences, as to be expected, but I really enjoyed this as original source material. It was fun to watch the movie again after reading it. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Cozy Mysteries: Send in the Clowns/Watching the Detectives/Cold as Ice, by Julie Mulhern. These are books 4-6 in the Country Club Murders series and they are just as fun as the ones preceding them. If you’re looking for a smart, escapist series, this is a great one! The writing is terrific and you’ll love the main characters, the headstrong Ellison and Detective Anarchy Jones. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Romantic Comedies: Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice AND The Accidental Text, both by Becky Monson. They’re clean, there’s depth, and they tug at your heart. Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice is a companion book to Jennifer Peel’s The Pumpkin and the Patch (which I read last month and loved.) The Accidental Text is about a twenty-something young woman who has recently lost her mother. She texts her mother’s phone number, pouring her heart out, as a way to deal with her grief. What she doesn’t know is that the number has already been given to someone else. I really loved this one. I recommend both books for a combination of clean, light romance with a splash of emotion. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Clean Romance: Mulberry Hollow, by Denise Hunter. This is an author whose work I want to pursue more. I just finished this book yesterday morning. It’s proof that you can have a romance with attraction, emotion, tension, and a satisfying story without steamy scenes. It could be marketed as a “Christian Romance,” but the Christian aspect is pretty minimal. The main characters, Avery and Wes, felt so real. I loved the privilege of looking into their lives. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Steamy Romance: Yours Until Dawn, by Teresa Medeiros. To be clear, I don’t go looking for steamy books. Sometimes, like in this case, the steam shows up halfway through the story. But, despite the blush-worthy scenes (which just about hit my steam limit) this is a fantastic historical romance. A young woman is employed to care for a recently blinded soldier. He’s cantankerous, demanding, and stubborn. She is undaunted, but also a bit mysterious. Then there’s a shocking twist I never saw coming (and I’m usually pretty good at predicting twists.) Again, there are some R-rated steamy scenes. I really wish there was a sanitized version because this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. 5/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Young Adult: Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom. Another blind protagonist, high school junior Parker Grant is snarky, a runner, and bluntly honest. She’s high maintenance and she knows it. She also has a fierce love for those who stood by her in her darkest hours (literally) when she lost her sight at age seven. Navigating a new normal after she is orphaned, Parker must deal with her relatives, the drama of high school, and her own heart. The author does an amazing job writing the character of this complex girl. I was completely immersed in her world. (Some language.) 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Fiction: Take Me With You, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I love books that pair unlikely adults and kids together. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a master at this kind of story. Here we have a divorced science teacher who goes on a cross-country road trip, grieving for a son who recently died. While getting his RV serviced, he strikes up a conversation with the surly mechanic, a single father of two boys. When the mechanic reveals that he’s off to serve a prison sentence, he pleads with the man to take his sons on the road. It’s unusual, heartfelt, and keeps your attention. I recommend it. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

The other 4 Star books are also worth your time, but these are the ones that affected me the most. Now, what will November bring? I have a few reads mapped out, but only time will tell!

Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

September Reads!

Since it is unlikely that I will finish another book by tomorrow, here are the books I read this month! Any of the ones with 4 or 5 stars are worth your time. Some quick thoughts:

Thank You For Listening: This unique book, written by a woman who narrates audio books, is about people who narrate audio books! The main characters are great, a lot of their communication is through emails and texts, and the big reveal is very sweet. (Some steaminess.)

Rich Blood: This is a legal thriller with twists and turns aplenty! Jason Rich is a billboard-ambulance-chasing lawyer who must now defend his sister accused of murdering her husband. It keeps you guessing until the very end. I definitely want to read more by this author!

That Fine Line/Double or Nothing: These Cindy Steel books are fantastic, with a lot more going on than the covers would lead you to believe. They are clean romances with tons of hilarity, heart, and homespun characters that you will love. They are the first and second of a four-book series that I plan to continue. Extremely enjoyable!

A Pumpkin and a Patch/How to Get Over Your Ex in Ninety Days: Jennifer Peel is another author I was thrilled to discover this month! Her characters are smart, sensitive, and constantly learning from their mistakes. These clean romances are winners! Highly recommended!

The Deep End/Guaranteed to Bleed/Clouds in My Coffee: These are the first three books in a multi-book cozy mystery series. They are very entertaining, set in the 1970s among the Kansas City country club elite. Money might buy some nice things, but it can’t stop some people from being murdered…*cue sinister laugh* I plan to continue with this clever series!

The Bodyguard/What You Wish For/How to Walk Away: Books by Katherine Center, need I say more? You know I absolutely adore this woman. Hubby and I listened to all three of these in September, sometimes for hours. And guess what? We’re having a tough time finding other audio books we enjoy as much.

I hope you find something you love from this list! Happy Reading!!

One more thing,” as Detective Colombo would say… The “Most Messed Up Book Award” for September goes to Verity, by Colleen Hoover. If you’ve read anything by the popular and divisive “CoHo” then I can tell you that Verity is not within her “normal” style. Some people love it, some people despise it. I just wanted to vacuum that story out of my brain. It. Is. Twisted. And I know I’m not alone in that opinion. You’ve been warned!

Horror, Suspense

A Curated List of Spook and Horror

Thank you, Abbie!

Here’s a very quick entry devoted to a genre that gets neglected a lot on this site. Horror. One of the most voracious readers in my online book club, Abbie, has assembled a list of books for people who want to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween in September and October. I have not read these (and probably won’t,) but if darker stories are your thing, I put a lot of faith in her choices. She reads nonstop and has an enviable Goodreads profile!

Happy Reading!

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Suspense

Now Is Not The Time To Panic, by Kevin Wilson

AVAILABLE November 8, 2022

I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Only 50% in, not knowing its conclusion, my mind was bursting with things I wanted to say about it. In fact, most of this review is from notes that flowed out of me before I even knew how it ended.

It is 1996 in Coalfield, Tennessee. Partly out of boredom, with a bit of mischief and a desire to make their marks in a world that was ignoring them, Frankie and Zeke combine their talents and make a poster. Frankie, the writer, creates a cryptic, poetic phrase of which she is very proud. Zeke, the artist, draws a picture to match the phrase.

Next, the two sixteen year olds make hundreds of copies of the poster and start putting them in public places. The rush they get from the town’s initial reaction is exactly the motivation they need to make more…and more…and more. But the more creative they get with the posters’ placement, the more things spiral out of control.

At the risk of spoilers, I’ll say no more about the plot except that it is brilliant. The idea that something as obscure as a poster can escalate into the level of panic that happens is nothing short of genius. Genius that is scary in its truth of the way humans behave. Any kind of extremism throughout history can be traced to an initial idea–or the interpretation of an idea. We’ve seen plenty of that in the last few years.

So is the poster about art? About the interpretation of art? Personal branding? Or is it about people trying to be a part of something bigger than themselves? Politics? Religion? It could be about any, or all, or none of these–making the book as open to discussion as the poster itself.

I highly recommend this book when it becomes available in November. There is some language–these are teenagers, after all–but the concept is so intriguing and the plot so cleverly woven, this really is a book not to be missed.

9.5/10 Stars

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Suspense

The Water Keeper/The Letter Keeper/The Record Keeper, by Charles Martin

Beyond the comfort of our iPhones, Kindles, and smart TVs lies a grim world that we rarely, if ever, think about. It is the world of sex trafficking. Flesh for sale. If you’ve read Timothy Ballard’s Slave Stealers, which I highly recommend, you also know that it is one of the largest, fastest growing, most lucrative, horrifying industries on our entire planet.

These are not hardened women or shiny gigolos. These are children as young as five or six years old. Some are stolen, some are lured. All are deceived, sold, or auctioned off to the highest bidder. In the eyes of their captors they are simply chattel. A means to an end. A dollar sign with terrified eyes, but easily replaceable.

When I applied to read an advanced copy of The Record Keeper, by Charles Martin, I had no idea what lay ahead, yet I felt compelled to read the first two books in the Murphy Shepherd series before tackling the final installment. Little did I know I would be discovering an amazing author and a series that will stay with me forever.

Think of the novels as a jigsaw puzzle. The Water Keeper keeps those puzzle pieces relatively scattered, but organized enough to motivate the reader to pursue the second and third books. Our main character, Murphy Shepherd, is broken yet heroic. He is solitary but part of a network. He is spiritual but a man of action. Lots of action. He is also covert, compassionate, philanthropic, and mysterious.

But, above all, Murphy is selfless. His mentor, Bones, chose and trained him because of this specific quality. The person to be rescued is always, ALWAYS the first priority. Exhaustion, hunger, and even gaping wounds come second. We see examples of Murphy’s drive and skill in The Water Keeper. We also meet important characters whose lives will intertwine with our hero in the future.

In The Letter Keeper, we learn more about Murphy Shepherd’s backstory. More of the puzzle pieces come together with each rescue. We understand what drives him, his greatest loss, and his ultimate catharsis. Humble man that he is, even Murphy doesn’t realize the extent of his positive influence.

Last in the series is The Record Keeper, due out in July 2022. Before a shepherd is needed to rescue the sheep, there is the wolf that first endangers them. This wolf is the worst of the worst and he sold his soul long ago. But to pursue him we must first understand him. How did he become that way? There are always reasons.

I will admit, I had to take breaks with this series. It is intense. It is also beautifully written in an old-world style that forces our imaginations to do all the work. The way Charles Martin is able to craft such a bleak underbelly of society without graphic language or vulgar scenes shows his genius. He creates a brilliant balance of darkness and light. I highly, highly recommend these three books and very willingly give them a rare 10 Stars on this site. They are worth your time.

10/10 Stars

***It is impossible not to feel helpless when reading about this subject. Please take a moment to visit “real-life Murphy Shepherd,” Timothy Ballard’s site Operation Underground Railroad. They always need donations to fund their worldwide efforts to bring children home. Thank you.

Fiction, Suspense

Stranger at Wildings, by Madeleine Brent

Martin said tranquilly, “Yes, I suppose it’s better to lose your memory than be changed to a different person. At least that hasn’t happened to me.” “One cannot be entirely sure.” Mr. Galletti’s eyes twinkled. Perhaps you were wild and wreckless before, my young friend.” Martin smiled lazily. “I hadn’t thought of that.”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Madeleine Brent. Stranger at Wildings (also known by the title Kirkby’s Changeling) is just as wonderfully odd and unique as Moonraker’s Bride (which resides on this site’s 10-Star page.) An epic journey of self-discovery for an English girl traveling with a Hungarian circus, this book does not disappoint.

It is 1904 and Chantal (her chosen name) is eighteen and in her fifth year as a trapeze artist. At thirteen she was found alone and destitute by the kind Mr. Galletti, who took her in, trained her, and is now her mentor and wise friend. Along with his two grandchildren, Maria and Leo, they are a family within the larger troupe of circus performers and workers touring throughout Europe. They support, practice, and look out for each other.

After a few expository chapters about the dynamics of such an unusual group, we learn more about Chantal’s backstory. It is here that Stranger at Wildings becomes the classic Madeleine Brent novel, which often tell of young women whose lives are upended. Chantal’s fortitude is tested and all she knew to be true is challenged. (A reminder that “Madeleine Brent” is actually the pen name of author Peter O’Donnell, which I always find amusing because he is so adept at writing from a young woman’s perspective.)

In Forrest Gump-like fashion, Chantal comes into contact with many different people in many different places. She maintains her dignity, her keen perception, and is frequently underestimated. No matter her circumstance, she tries to be good and compassionate, always striving to be better than the person she was in her childhood.

It’s quite a different type of story, falling into the “Gothic” category, but I enjoyed Stranger at Wildings very much. I have several other novels by this author that I need to read, but this is the only one available digitally (and on Kindle Unlimited for those who subscribe.)

9/10 Stars

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

214 Palmer Street, by Karen McQuestion

AVAILABLE April 5, 2022

Imagine you’re trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle. You have no idea what it is supposed to look like. Painstakingly, you continue working. When you’re about 30% done the frustration really starts. What is it supposed to be?

Unfortunately, that is my metaphor for this book.

214 Palmer Street is a book that required a lot of patience. I doubt I would’ve finished it if it wasn’t for my agreement with NetGalley to review it. By one-third completed, I was still full of questions, confused by so many characters, and getting whiplash by the POV format that jumped from one person to another. Finally, finally the pieces started to fit together. But the more they did, the more predictable it became. By then I just didn’t care.

Sarah Aden is seen lurking inside the house of Josh and Cady Caldwell. They’re on vacation. A neighbor is suspicious. Who is this woman and why is she there? We discover Sarah is recovering from a head injury–an assault–and is becoming more and more mistrusting of her husband, Kirk. She’s discovering things about his past that do not add up.

Over time, more characters are added. Each tells their part of their story, pressing the rewind button on tedious scenes you just read. Then there’s the mysterious, unnamed “Her,” who I first assumed was one person and then changed my opinion (correctly.) All of the main characters are terrible people. Even the protagonist, Sarah, was unlikable.

This is my third Karen McQuestion book and, sadly, my least favorite. There’s no real hope, no real solution, no hero. I do not have a lot of experience with the suspense genre, but I know readers need something more than what we get here. I longed for a strong character to be the moral center, but there was none.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy. I wish I enjoyed this one more.

7/10 Stars