Tag: thriller

Book Review: The Cloisters by Katy Hays

The Cloisters
Author:
Katy Hays

Published: November 1, 2022
312 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Kim’s Review:

My first book of 2023! And unfortunately it was kind of a dud. I went into it expecting a lot of supernatural mystery and spooky elements … what I got was adult drama and a murder mystery. The best thing about this book was the setting! Now I want to go to NYC and visit the Cloisters! The world of history and artifacts gets me all geeked out! There was a nice focus on some of those artifacts, but even then, it didn’t feel like enough. And there was some odd historical research that I really wasn’t able to follow; a lot of mental gymnastics that I don’t think would hold up very well in academia. Overall, I was just disappointed, I expected so much more!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Only Girl Alive by Holly S. Roberts

Only Girl Alive
Series: Detective Eve Bennet #1
Author: Holly S. Roberts

Narrator: Stacia Keogh
Published: January 13, 2023
Audiobook: 7 hours 35 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: January 9-11, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars 

Book Description:

As day breaks over the Tanner family home, the house is deadly silent and the door is firmly closed. Upstairs, the whole family lie cold and lifeless in their beds. All with the same look of fear in their unblinking eyes…

Detective Eve Bennet takes a steadying breath as she enters the main bedroom of the Tanners’ modest home in the tight-knit town of Hilldale, Utah. Mrs Tanner’s high-collared nightgown and her long plaited blonde hair are soaked in blood. Next to her, Mr Tanner’s hands are clasped together in a final prayer.

Filled with dread, Eve forces herself towards the children’s rooms. But instead of two children, she only finds one. Where is the youngest daughter, Hannah? And why are there long scratches across the walls?

Eve tracks Hannah down to her uncle’s house nearby. But he won’t let her step foot in the house. Eve knows what it’s like to be held captive by a family member, and fears for Hannah’s safety. What is he terrified Hannah might reveal?

Back at the Tanner home, Eve makes a shocking discovery in the dust covered attic. Mr Tanner was hiding a dark secret from the rest of the community—the kind of secret someone would kill for.

Realizing another family could be in danger, Eve runs from the house and stumbles into the path of the one man she spent years trying to forget— and he won’t let her get away this time. Can Eve escape the evil that has haunted her whole life? And will she catch the killer before another innocent family is murdered?

Jessica’s Review:

Only Girl Alive is the first in the new Eve Bennet crime thriller series, and I am looking forward to the upcoming novels! Only Girl Alive is a fast moving and quick read that is also short: at just over 7.5 hours or around 275 pages this one got pulled me in from the beginning and I never lost interest!

Polygamist communities are an interesting topic to read about for me, both fictional and factual and we are dealing with one such community in this novel.  Detective Eve Bennet had been a part of this community in her past and we also get to see that in flashbacks. We see how her past affects the present and how her knowledge with the community helps with the case.  I don’t know if what was mentioned in the novel with polygamist community is factual, but it can be downright frightening what these women are forced to go through!

The reasoning for my four-star review was two things:  I was not surprised to find out who the killer was, it was a bit predictable for me.  The second reason was the narrator.  It took a while to get used to her voice. Keogh came off as nasally to me, but over time I adjusted and was able to really enjoy the audiobook. 

I was not surprised to find out that Roberts is a retired homicide detective, and she takes her knowledge and gives it to us in this fictionalized novel. I look forward to future installments of the Detective Eve Bennet series!

Many thanks to Bookouture Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audiobook Review: Best Friends Forever by Shannon Hollinger

Best Friends Forever
Author:
Shannon Hollinger

Narrator: Kate Handford
Published:  January 12, 2023
Audiobook: 10 hours 57 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: December 20-28, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

I emerge from the trees, drenched in sweat, my voice lost as I take in the scene in front of me. The blood. The body. Emma’s eyes meet mine for a second. “It was an accident,” she whispers.

Emma and I were childhood best friends. We did everything together. Until that terrible night in the woods.

I couldn’t tell anyone what I’d seen. We never discussed it, but our bond was too strong; I could never betray my best friend. Even if she had killed someone.

But I also couldn’t stay in town and watch her live a normal life, knowing what she’d done. So I left.

Now, ten years later, I’m back. The guilt and the fear have stayed with me. And I have realized I need to reveal the truth if I’m ever going to move on.

But I never get the chance. Because the day I turn up, Emma is found dead, and the way she died means I start to doubt everything I thought I knew about that night all those years ago.

As my grief turns to anger at all those lost years of friendship, I realise with horror that Emma might not have been the only killer. Someone else is out there. Someone who was close to us both, someone who knew the smallest details of what had happened back then. Who from our small town could have murdered not once, but twice? And who’s next…?

Jessica’s Review:

Best Friends Forever just did not work for me. It reads more like a YA novel with the way the adult characters of 28 years old were acting, but there were some adult situations involved.  It was also slower for me and a bit confusing as it went back and forth from present day to the past.  For me it was obvious who the killer was so I wasn’t shocked when we got to that part. I was all excited because I figured it out, and I usually hate when I figure out who the killer is.  It just wasn’t believable at all for me and the reason why just did not work for me.  I would be willing to give the author another try.

I think some of my issues might have been the narrator. Maybe the novel is better to actually read. Some novels just don’t do well on audio.

Many thanks to the publisher Bookotoure Audio for granting me an audio arc, I just wish I could have written a favorable review. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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