Title: Life After Death: An American Family Book Two
Author: Jackson Baer
Narrator: Dan Carroll
Published: November 5, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 15-19, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The Childs family faced the unthinkable… now they have a second chance.
The Childs family has endured a terrible tragedy, but the FBI’s shocking discovery has turned their lives upside down.
His kids have all moved on from the death of their mother, as has Isaac from the loss of his wife, but now that the FBI has finally solved the case, the Childs family must face the loss of Ramie all over again.
Each has their own relationships and their own lives, but all are upended due to unforeseen circumstances. As they maneuver these new lives, they must deal with love, heartache, and jealousy as a family, and the choices they face will not be easy.
Their decisions bring out the best in some… and the worst in others.
Life After Death is the second and final book in An American Family series that follows the Childs family. I reviewed An American Family here. Life After Death picks up shortly after An American Family ends. I would recommend having both books to read sequentially, as An American Family ends a bit abruptly and I was ready for more story with the Childs’ family.
Life After Death deals with Isaac again and also more with his kids Olivia and Carter. As mentioned previously, all of these characters have many flaws and they have to deal with the aftermath of a terrible situation. If they had been perfect before, they would have been far from it after the fact!
This is a series where you cannot say much in the review without giving spoilers away, but it is just an average read for me. Yes, every family has some kind of tragedy, but for the Childs family the tragedies kept coming and became more extreme: This makes it less believable and also predictable as it became a “yep, this is going to happen next” kind of read for me.
Though predictable, I did enjoy the read. The psychology of the family experiences and how they coped kept me intrigued.
The narrator, Dan Carroll’s voice sounded similar to John Goodman to me.
Many thanks to the author Jackson Baer who sent an audible copy in exchange for a review.
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: March 13, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 10-23, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean—or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?
The Flight Attendant was the first book I have read by Chris Bohjalian and it will not be my last! It genuinely surprised me how much I enjoyed it as Cassandra (Cassie) is not likeable at all! She is very much the unreliable narrator who finds herself in a unique situation in a country that is oppressive to women: She wakes up and the man lying next to her is dead and she has no idea what happened!
Cassie is unlikeable for several reasons: she is a very promiscuous alcoholic who often blacks out. She really lives up the flight attendant lifestyle!
Unreliable narrator stories are hit or miss for me, but The Flight Attendant was a hit! I was drawn into the story from the beginning and never lost my interest in it. We also have multiple narrators, and you know those are some of my favorite kinds of novels! Despite not liking her, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Cassie! There was even a moment that happened that I was not expecting and my mouth dropped as I was listening to the novel while I was washing dishes. Then we had the Epilogue, which was a great ending! I will be reading Chris Bohjalian again!
The Flight Attendant is recommended.[Top]
Author: J.D. Barker
Published: July 10, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 2- 15, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.
Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.
Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.
My review of The Fourth Monkey, the first in the series is here.
J.D. Barker is back with The Fifth to Die, sequel to The Fourth Monkey (4MK). This is another brilliant novel in the series. Be warned in advance: there is a cliffhanger to this one…. I need the third (and possibly final??? ) book now! I really like Detective Porter and Bishop is just frightening and now we see where he gets it from: His mother!
I would say you could read The Fifth to Die before 4MK, but I would not recommend it at all! You would see what’s going on as this novel goes into the past some, BUT you would miss so many of the details and you NEED to know 4MK’s gruesome background! You will not understand the brutality or how extreme of a sociopath Bishop is without reading 4MK.
There is quite the punch of activities that occur in a short amount of time in Fifth. We have multiple POVs and more than one bad guy. The mystery with what is going on with the girls keeps you reading wondering what will happen next. And thank you J.D. Barker for totally freaking me out by the overdose one character dies of: I am currently taking that medication!!
Bishop is fast becoming a favorite serial killer of mine and I look forward to see what Barker brings us next in this series. I just hope it isn’t too long!
The reason I rated The Fifth to Die 4.5 stars (rounded up to five for Goodreads, Amazon, etc) was that I personally wanted more of Bishop in the novel. His presence wasn’t as high in this one as I wanted. BUT we do get another frightening serial killer! J.D. Barker, how do you come up with these characters in your mind?????
Special thanks to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and J.D. Barker for my arc copies!
The Fifth to Die is highly recommended!
**Be sure to go to Jessica’s Reading Room on Facebook for a chance to win a SIGNED arc copy of The Fifth to Die sent to me by J.D. Barker!! It runs through Saturday morning!!!![Top]