Tag: 2 stars

Little Secrets

Little Secrets
Author: Jennifer Hillier

Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.

Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.

Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.

Jessica’s Review:

This was a thriller that had promise but did not deliver. I hate to say this because you don’t ever want to blame the parent (especially if you do not have kids like me) but it was all Marin’s fault: She was in an extremely busy area with her young son and texting. Not only texting, but it wasn’t really important! She took her eyes off of her son at the height of Christmas shopping season!  So basically I did not have empathy for Marin while listening to the audiobook.

Then, the direction the novel goes did not bring anything new to the thriller genre for me.  It wasn’t really a thriller either; it was an average suspense novel.  The direction it goes in is a bit far-fetched, but then when we ultimately find out whom the ‘villian’ is it isn’t surprising and neither is their motive.

This one just did not deliver, but I would give Hillier another chance to see if one of her other novels works for me.  She may be another author that ‘isn’t for me’.  The one saving grace for me with Little Secrets was the narrator Kirsten Potter. To me she has a voice similar to Diane Sawyer, and I was first introduced to her narration with The Couple Next Door.  As with The Couple Next Door I felt like I was listening to an episode of a news show such as Prime Time Live. Potter was the reason I finished Little Secrets.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Tower

The Tower
Author: Anne-Marie Ornsby
Published: January 10, 2020
135 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 30- April 2, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts.

Jessica’s Review:

This is sadly another novel that did not work for me.  Yes, I enjoy the crime thrillers and this one had paranormal twists to it.  I was fine with that but the direction the novel went did not work for me. The final act/twist which explains everything did not work for me.  Unfortunately, I can’t go into it or I would give away spoilers.  This is the author’s second novel and I will give her another try and read her debut at some point.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Girl Last Seen

Girl Last Seen
Author:  Nina Laurin

Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Published: June 20, 2017
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 4-13, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago. If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow. Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.

Jessica’s Review:

This is yet another thriller that had an interesting premise that failed to deliver, despite the prologue giving a great beginning.  Our protagonist is Ella Santos who now goes by the name of Lainey Moreno, who was kidnapped at a young age and then finally gets away.   The first twist happens early on and ok, yeah, I can go with it, but then in my opinion Laine gets involved in the case way over her head of this new missing girl. 

Both the author and narrator showcase how much of a very flawed person Ella/Lainey is. Not every ending is happy and Laine’s is far from happy. Her past shaped her whole life. It does make you wonder about people who are held prisoner for long time spans, how they are after the fact and leave the spot light. 

This is a very dark novel that deals with heavy themes (rape, drug abuse, kidnapping, etc) with several flawed characters. Don’t expect a happy ending.  The final twist was unexpected, but left no satisfaction at the end.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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