Author: Jennifer Hillier
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
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.
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.
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.
I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.
Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.
I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.
The Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin
Published: July 30, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 30- May 12, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.
When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.
The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—”now gone but not forgotten”.
This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.
First, I have to say this: THERE IS NO ESCAPE ROOM in this novel! Our characters are trapped in a real elevator and they have to figure out answers to clues or die. Needless to say I have issues with the title of this novel. I was expecting something different, but other than this, I really enjoyed this novel.
We have two POVs and time periods for this novel: Sara Hall and the past, and present day with four investment bankers. Sara Hall is a recent graduate and trying to find a job in investment banking. Eventually she lands a job at Stanhope and Sons, which is where our four investment bankers also work. As we learn about Sara and her life we see just how tough and hard-hitting that investment banking would be; I would not want to have a job like this. The author apparently does not like investment bankers!
From the beginning of the novel, we know what is going to happen to the four in the elevator. It is not a surprise, but the mystery is seeing how past and present come together to give us our conclusion.
Though not a believable novel, it was a fun ride to go on. Once you finish reading, you might think twice before going in an elevator again, especially if you know the people going in it with you. Be careful who you go inside an elevator with![Top]