Tag: mystery

First Line Friday #27

Today’s First Line Friday is one I picked up at my local county’s semi-annual library sale.  I have not been able to read it yet, but hope to one day. It looks like a book you will get sucked into, especially with this first line:

I inspected the knife in my hand.

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

One Perfect Lie

Author:  Lisa Scottoline
368 pages in Hardback

Published: April 11, 2017
Dates Read: June 14-28, 2017

My Rating: 4 stars

Description from Amazon:

On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Jordan’s baseball games. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

My Review:

From the first line of One Perfect Lie you know that Chris Brennan is a liar.  And because of that first line you know you are in for a roller coaster of a ride.  You won’t know who or what to believe:

Chris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud.

Chris Brennan is the main focus of One Perfect Lie, but also involved in the novel are a few of his students and their families.  You know that it will all come together in some way, but you don’t know when or how. I don’t want to really say much about the plot other than the book description, as I don’t want to spoil the novel.  It would be best to go into the novel not knowing much about it.

The chapters are short, with many being just a few pages. This makes One Perfect Lie very hard to put down as you experience that “Just one more chapter!” feeling. I personally enjoy books like that as I am not the fastest reader and short chapters make me feel like I am reading the book quicker. In addition to the short chapters, there are three parts in the novel which are referred to as ‘steps’.  You will have to read it to find out why.  I went from thinking one thing about Chris in the first step then go in a full 180 in step two!

One Perfect Lie is a character driven novel and as Chris gets to know everyone you do as well and we are drawn into their lives and what might happen to them as the novel progresses. This is despite all the lies and secrets that everyone seems to have.

Everything leads up to a fast paced yet somewhat unbelievable conclusion.  For me, after the slow build up for the entire novel the conclusion seemed to come very quickly.  I did enjoy the novel and the many twists and turns that occurred throughout it.

One Perfect Lie was difficult to review without giving spoilers, but I have tried to do the best I think I can.  Lisa Scottoline is becoming an author I enjoy and I plan to read more of her novels.

One Perfect Lie is recommended.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy to review!

**And I just found out that today is Lisa Scottoline’s birthday! This review came in perfect timing! Happy Birthday Lisa!

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Twice as Fatal

jarvismann

Author: R. Weir
232 Pages in Kindle

Published: May 29, 2015
Dates Read: October 11-20, 2016

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Twice the business, twice the danger and Twice as Fatal. PI Jarvis Mann has two cases he is working, making his professional and personal life twice as difficult.

Ray Malone is a promising college football star whose career is derailed by injuries. When he disappears, close friend Jarvis is recruited by Ray’s father to locate him. After tracking him down a video is sent of Ray with the warning of it going public, threatening his career and those that love him.

Case two has landlord Kate Tanner hiring Jarvis to gather evidence against her cheating, thieving husband so she can divorce him. As Jarvis investigates he learns of the husband’s connection to a powerful man, with a dangerously perverted agenda that crosses into Kate’s life with deadly consequences.

Across the Rocky Mountain Front Range Jarvis tries to balance both cases, each dragging him deeper into different sleazy underworlds, jeopardizing him, his clients and their families. With danger and death all around him, he somehow must rescue everyone before this fatal business claims the lives of all involved, his life and the one he is growing to love.

My Review:
Jarvis Mann is back! Twice as Fatal is the second full length novel by R. Weir. The first was a short story introduction to Jarvis. Twice as Fatal picks up where Tracking a Shadow concluded. This time Jarvis is working two cases:

1. His landlord Kate is convinced her husband is cheating on her and she wants evidence of that.
2. His friend Bill’s son Ray has gone missing.

Of course the two cases end up being connected and R. Weir does a good job connecting them.

We are really getting to know Jarvis as a person now. He is a flawed man whose weakness is women. And he really likes looking at pretty women. He sees a lot of that in this book. It is a nice change to see that the protagonist of the novel is not perfect, as none of us are. We also see where certain things happen in the cases that make Jarvis uncomfortable. That was welcome to see as he hasn’t become jaded in his job.

Jarvis’ relationship with Melissa is continued, but is strained. She is working a lot of hours on a court case and is thinking about going to school to become a lawyer. You can’t help but to root for Jarvis and Melissa to work out. He does become conflicted some in the book and you see he doesn’t want to mess up again like he did previously. I was hoping Jarvis wouldn’t make that same mistake again!

**A warning to potential readers**:

The book does take a turn of an adult nature. A “gentleman’s club” is involved. There are a variety of sexual exploits including S&M and violence including torture. There is also a lot of profanity. It is graphic with some of those activities. This book is definitely not for the kids! If you have issues with those types of activities, you may want to stay away from this novel. Some of it was a little difficult for me to read.

 

Twice as Fatal could be read as a standalone novel, but you would not see everything connected from the previous novels. I would recommend reading the others before reading Twice as Fatal. I also recommend Twice as Fatal.
I do like Jarvis and look forward to reading the next in the series: Blood Brothers!

**I received a copy from R. Weir in exchange for an honest review.

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