Friday, June 07, 2019

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

"Need to Know" by Karen Cleveland is a domestic suspense novel mixed with a spy story. It's a page-turner with a likeable heroine, though personally I would have preferred her stronger and smarter.

Vivian Miller. High-powered CIA analyst, happily married to a man she adores, mother of four beautiful children. Until the moment she makes a shocking discovery that makes her question everything she believes.
She thought she knew her husband inside and out. But now she wonders if it was all a lie. How far will she go to learn the truth?  And does she really . . . 

Their Little Secret (Tom Thorne Novels Book 16)

"Their Little Secret" is Mark Billingham's 16th Tom Thorne Novel. What I like about this series is the character development: the Tom we meet in "Sleepyhead" is not the same Tom as the one in "Good as Dead", and he's different (consistently so) from the one in "Their Little Secret". Nicola Tanner is also evolving, healing in one sense but still broken in another. All good.

The plot features interesting characters (a suburban mum with a secret, a conman), and the book ends before this reader got to know them well enough for her liking. Still, it's the usual Billingham page-turner. And Tom's a treat, as always.

Run Away - review

"Run Away" by Harlan Coben is your perfect suburban thriller / domestic suspense novel. Family in trouble - check. Modern dilemma - check. Readers asking themselves what they would do and thanking their lucky stars it's only hypothetical - check, check, check.

Written in the classic Coben style, with a cameo appearance from a regular character (sadly, not Win this time).

From the blurb:
You've lost your daughter.

She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs. 

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.Age Range:Adult.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Farm - Joanne Ramos

A clever premise with a story line that will make you turn the pages, this book is a pleasure to read. It will fill your heart with love and empathy, it'll uplift your mood and leave you with food for thought: is charity always selfless? or can it be a win-win for the one giving as well as the one receiving?

Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules…

Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks - a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry. There, women get the very best of everything: organic meals, fitness trainers, daily massages and big money. Provided they dedicate themselves to producing the perfect baby. For someone else. 

Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna

"Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna" is an extremely readable book that digs into deep issues such as what success looks like versus what it actually is, domestic violence, motherhood in all its shapes and forms.

I liked that the characters were women of all ages, from twenty to seventy: the breadth provided a variety of perspectives and voices and points of view.

A fast moving plot twisted and turned to a satisfying conclusion.

Why would four women admit to committing the same murder?
Four different women offer four very different confessions to the death of a man found in the midst of a rehearsal dinner at an luxurious resort, each insisting they acted alone. Their stories are contradicting and confusing, posing a conundrum for the detective who must untangle their secrets.
Truth and friendship surface in surprising ways, but who is the guiltiest of them all and what really happened on that rooftop?

Friday, April 12, 2019

29 Seconds - TM Logan

"29 Seconds" by TM Logan is an important book. Within the framework of a psychological suburban thriller, the author examines the - unfortunately - still very current issues of sexual harassment at work and glass ceilings. 

The question that might stay with the reader long after they put down the novel: should you fight criminal behaviour by resorting to criminal actions?

When Sarah Haywood rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her instinctive act of bravery puts her in the debt of a powerful and dangerous man, and he has other ideas. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid - in the only way he knows how. He offers Sarah a way to solve an impossible situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that could turn her life around and make all her problems disappear. No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out. All it takes is a 29-second phone call ... Because everyone has a name to give. Don't they?

Monday, April 08, 2019

Never Tell - Lisa Gardner

"Never Tell" by Lisa Gardner is the 10th book in the D.D. Warren series. As usual, it explores the themes of survivors of crime, motherhood, independent women - all within the framework of a thriller.

As usual, a well-paced read with 3D characters. It was good to see Flora Dane return to the pages and to have her story fleshed out. I look forward to that thread continuing in future books.

The blurb:
A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. 

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman--Evie Carter--from a case many years back. Evie's father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. 

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim--a hostage--and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad's murder. 

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?