Tag: mystery

Release Day Review: The Mother-In-Law


Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: TODAY, April 23, 2019
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 11-20, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

Jessica’s Review:

We are pulled into this novel of mystery from the first line as we know something has happened: I am folding laundry at my dining room table when the police car pulls up.

The Mother-In-Law does have the mystery of what happened to Diana, but it is more of a women’s contemporary fiction book.  If you are looking for a psychological thriller, this is not it.

Both Diana and Lucy are our narrators and they go between the present and the past over a 10 year time period.  Diana and Lucy never really had a chance to get to know and like each other.  Their personalities just did not mesh. Diana is very guarded with ‘high walls’ that take effort to break down, and with good reasons. I actually liked Diana more than Lucy, as I understood Diana.

This book was a page turner with short chapters.  As the novel progresses, it really began moving and the chapters became even shorter.  The last quarter of the book really moves fast and I stayed up late to finish it.  I had made my decision as to who the guilty party was but I was wrong! Everyone has their secrets in this novel and finding out all these secrets is part of the pull of the novel. 

I am fortunate to get along with my mother-in-law, but not everyone has that. Do you get along with your mother-in-law?   If you don’t would you want to kill yours?  Did Lucy kill Diana? Did Diana kill herself or was it something else entirely?

The Mother-In-Law is recommended. I received a copy of The Mother-In-Law from St. Martin’s Press via a Goodreads giveaway. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Blog Tour: After Jessica by Morgen Bailey

Today I get to help end the blog tour for After Jessica by Morgen Bailey! I share my review of this novella.

Book Description:

Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between his sister and Alexis?

Author: Morgen Bailey
Published: September 20, 2016
172 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 4-10, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

After Jessica is a short novella written by Morgen Bailey that pulls you in from the beginning and we have multiple mysteries throughout.  The chapters are extremely short and the story is fast paced.  You will want to keep reading to see what will happen!

The chapters are from multiple points of view (a favorite of mine!) and they start out disconnected, but as the novella progresses, they all wind up interconnected. Readers of thrillers/mysteries will most likely figure out the connections early on, I did.  But it did not end my enjoyment of the novella.  I wanted to see how these characters figured out the outcome. I liked and was invested in these characters, even the ‘unlikable’ Daniel, but you can understand his reasoning!

Reader beware: After Jessica ends on a cliffhanger!  Ms. Bailey, I am ready for the continuation of this novella.  I really hope you are planning to continue the story and I want to know what will happen next: Because ‘After Jessica’ is just the beginning!

After Jessica is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address morgen@morgenbailey.com.

Contact Morgen:
Email
Author
Editor
Tutor
Blogger
Speaker
Twitter @morgenwriteruk

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The Last by Hanna Jameson

Author: Hanna Jameson
To Be Published: April 9, 2019
288 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 19- April 2, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Jessica’s Review:

The Last by Hanna Jameson is an apocalyptic novel from an American’s perspective (Jon) who is stuck in a huge hotel in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland after nuclear bombs fell and  whole countries are gone. Jon keeps a daily journal or as he calls it “A Narrative Chronicle of the Initial Post-nuclear Months by Possibly the Last Living Historian”.

This is a character driven novel with a side of murder mystery.  The Last is written in first person perspective, and I was pulled in from the first line.  Jameson shows what could happen in the world whenever the bombs fall. Of course, there is panic and we keep up with the news until it is no more. Then we are in seclusion with 20 strangers and the mystery: a dead girl. Jon becomes determined at all costs to figure out who killed her.

Everything felt realistic with The Last: From the fear of the unknown, adjusting to a new world with strangers, to thoughts of ‘should we stay or leave?’ We get to experience a variety of situations that occur and the consequences of those decisions in this new world. The Last is like an episode of The Walking Dead but without zombies.  There is a little action, but the story focuses on the people and their situation.

I really enjoyed The Last. The ending is ambiguous, so it could be the end of the story or it could continue if Jameson decides to write more.

The only negative for me was a big one, and why I rated it four stars:  The mention of politics and characters blaming each other based on if they were American and if they voted for the president.  The president’s name is not mentioned, but you know who he is based on what is said.  I like my fiction to be free from politics (unless I happen to be reading a politically charged book) or it is necessary to the story, so these instances were not enjoyed. Let’s keep politics out of our fiction!

The Last is recommended.  Special thanks to Atria Books for granting me an e-arc copy via NetGalley. I really enjoyed it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US *Pre-order link. The Last will be available TOMORROW!*
Amazon UK *It has already been published in the UK*

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