Tag: thriller and suspense

Every Last Lie

Author: Mary Kubica
Published: June 27, 2017
AUDIOBOOK

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 6-21, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description from Amazon:

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

Jessica’s Review:

Mary Kubica may not be the author for me.  I did enjoy her first book The Good Girl, but I figured out the big twist to it. I wish I had not as I would have enjoyed it much more. I have read all of her books except Don’t You Cry and I do still plan to give it a chance and read it.  The book description of Every Last Lie intrigued me and I was excited to find out my library offered it as an audiobook. Knowing there are two narrators (Nick from before the accident and also Clara), I was ready for this book! I am a huge fan of multiple points of views in books.

Nick dies in a car crash while his and Clara’s young daughter Maisie survives unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident but Clara has her doubts and believes that someone killed Nick. She has no idea why someone would kill Nick. She starts digging and discovering secrets that her husband had that makes her wonder if she ever really knew him.

Days before Nick dies in the accident Clara gives birth to their second child.  Giving birth and also dealing with Nick’s death, Clara experiences a wide range of emotions throughout the novel.  Mary Kubica got these emotions spot on!  I actually had to stop listening to the audiobook for a short time as the emotions Clara experienced affected me.  Those emotions felt 100% real and I started to identify with them.  Once I was in a better place, I picked the audiobook back up and started it over.

It is a slower paced novel but I never lost interest in it. I really wanted to know what happened with Nick. The direction that the author chose to go with was not for me.  It was an unexpected route that people will either like or dislike.  For me it was a big build up to get to the conclusion, which not deliver.  There are some other things I did not like about the novel: There are several times that Clara leaves her children in the car alone while she ‘investigates’.  No child should ever be left in car alone, especially small children, with one being an infant.  There was also one decision that Clara made towards the end that was a bit extreme for me. Nick also ends up having so many secrets it seems unrealistic that Clara would not have known something was going on.

Every Last Lie was not for me, so I can’t recommend it.

The Cellar

Author: Natasha Preston
374 pages
Published: March 1, 2014

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating:
5 Stars

Description from Amazon:

“Lily?”

My stomach dropped as a tall, dark-haired man stepped into view. Had he been hiding between the trees?

“No. Sorry.” Gulping, I took a step back. “I’m not Lily.”

He shook his head, a satisfied grin on his face. “No. You are Lily.”

“I’m Summer. You have the wrong person.” You utter freak!

I could hear my pulse crashing in my ears. How stupid to give him my real name. He continued to stare at me, smiling. It made me feel sick.

“You are Lily,” he repeated.

Before I could blink, he threw his arms forward and grabbed me. I tried to shout, but he clasped his hand over my mouth, muffling my screams. My heart raced. I’m going to die.

For months Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her—and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…

Kim’s Review:

I’ve been seeing Preston’s books on the shelves for months and for some reason, I only just picked them up recently. And I’m so glad I did! I read Awake a few weeks ago and loved it, so when I saw The Cellar at Target, I grabbed it. I’m a huge fan of Criminal Minds and to the annoyance of my family and friends, I totally consider myself to be an amateur profiler, and yes, I love showing off my skills. 😉 However, no Criminal Minds episode has ever awakened more empathy than this book did. Getting into the mind of both the criminal and the victim was fascinating! Watching Summer fight to hold onto her identity and her innocence was inspiring and heartbreaking, all at the same time. Seeing the other girls losing themselves in the fantasy that “Clover” set up for them gives such insight into real life kidnapping plights. If you like psycho thrillers, then this book is for you! And even if you don’t, this is an empathetic and educational read that I would recommend to anyone.

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Release Day Review: The Breakdown

Author: B.A. Paris
328 pages in Paperback
Published: US: Today, July 18, 2017  UK: February 9, 2017

Reviewed by: Jessica
Dates Read: July 2, July 9-14, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Description from Amazon:

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Jessica’s Review:

I first started reading this over the July 4th weekend along with Behind Closed Doors (BCD), which is also written by B.A. Paris.  I very quickly read the first 100 pages of The Breakdown.  I put it on hold to finish BCD first. Once finished with BCD I continued with The Breakdown.

The Breakdown has a strong opening: Cass is heading home alone in a bad storm. Instead of going home the way her husband wants, she cuts down a dark, wooded road which is a shortcut to home.  While driving, she sees a car pulled over. She can tell it’s a woman and debates on stopping to see if she needs assistance. Cass does not and continues home.  The next day she finds out that the woman was killed overnight.  Cass is torn between feelings of guilt and self-preservation; if she had stayed to help would the woman still be alive, or would they both be dead?

Beyond her guilty conscience, Cass is also having memory problems and they are progressively getting worse.  Her mother had dementia and Cass is beginning to wonder if she is facing early onset dementia.  And then there are the silent phone calls that have started.  Did the killer see Cass that night and he is taunting her, or is something else going on?

Once I saw that Cass was going to be dealing with memory issues throughout the novel, I did not know what to think. Sometimes these novels with the ‘unreliable narrator’ work for me (Jack Jordan’s My Girl and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10) and sometimes they don’t (Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train). Cass’ memory issues become the focus in the novel and I struggled with it. My thoughts were: “Yeah, yeah…things keep being delivered from the home shopping network that she doesn’t remember ordering; she keeps forgetting how to work things… I get it! Come one move on from this.” As I was reading I came to realize the double meaning of the title of the novel: The breakdown of the car and Cass’ mental breakdown. Even as I was struggling through The Breakdown I kept reading because I wanted to know what the final twist was going to be. When I finally got there I was glad I kept going. Everything that B.A. Paris wrote had a purpose and she knew what she was doing! I thought the twist was going to go in one direction, but I was wrong. I did not see the twist coming.

Despite struggling through part of the novel, The Breakdown is recommended.

Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me an arc copy for review!

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