Tag: suspense

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

The Girl Who was Supposed to Die
Author: April Henry

Published: June 17, 2014
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 13-15, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

“Take her out back and finish her off.”

She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.

And that she must run.

In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.

Jessica’s Review:

I am about to give 100% honesty here (but it’s not like I ever give less than 100%, some reviews are harder or easier to write than others): I was not expecting much from this novel when I started listening to it.  I had finished one audiobook and was waiting on another to arrive.  The Girl Who was Supposed to Die  is a short audiobook, just under 5.5 hours and I finished it within two days, which is similarly the time period of our story.

Cady is our narrator and she tells us her story, starting with waking up with zero memories and she hears a man ordering another to kill her.  Needless to say she gets away and now we have a cat and mouse chase for the rest of the novel, or do we?  With no memory, Cady could be an unreliable narrator.  Is she actually mentally ill or is there a story going on here? 

We do get an answer to this question by the time we get to the last act of the novel.  It is a fast paced and gripping novel, yet it goes in a direction that is not very believable.  But I found myself so engrossed in Cady’s story, I was able to let go of the lack of believability.  I enjoy first person and being told the protagonist’s story directly from their lips. 

I would suggest going into this one not knowing or expecting much about the book and you might be pleasantly surprised as I was. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Girl Last Seen

Girl Last Seen
Author:  Nina Laurin

Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Published: June 20, 2017
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 4-13, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago. If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow. Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.

Jessica’s Review:

This is yet another thriller that had an interesting premise that failed to deliver, despite the prologue giving a great beginning.  Our protagonist is Ella Santos who now goes by the name of Lainey Moreno, who was kidnapped at a young age and then finally gets away.   The first twist happens early on and ok, yeah, I can go with it, but then in my opinion Laine gets involved in the case way over her head of this new missing girl. 

Both the author and narrator showcase how much of a very flawed person Ella/Lainey is. Not every ending is happy and Laine’s is far from happy. Her past shaped her whole life. It does make you wonder about people who are held prisoner for long time spans, how they are after the fact and leave the spot light. 

This is a very dark novel that deals with heavy themes (rape, drug abuse, kidnapping, etc) with several flawed characters. Don’t expect a happy ending.  The final twist was unexpected, but left no satisfaction at the end.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Blog Tour: 30 Days in June by Chris Westlake

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for 30 Days in June by Chris Westlake.  This is a crime thriller that has a serial killer!

Book Description:

On the 1st day of June 1988, the residents of south Wales were thrown into a state of panic when a married couple were brutally murdered in their own home. The killer, nicknamed Spartacus by the media, did not flee the scene immediately; instead, he stayed to carve Roman Numerals onto his victims’ chests.

This was the beginning of a month-long killing spree, each murder taking a step closer to home.

Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Allen was to be the final victim, on the final day of the month. Instead, he became the only survivor, and the only real witness. The killings ended as suddenly as they began. Jeffrey relocated to London, changing his name, and his identity, to Marcus Clancy. His past life became merely a dark secret.

On 1st June 2018, 30 years to the day since the first killing, a mysterious figure refers to Marcus by his old name, through closing lift doors.

Is Spartacus back? If so, has he returned to finish what he failed to do thirty years ago?

And so begins 30 days of terror for Marcus Clancy, culminating in dramatic fashion on the final day of June.

30 DAYS IN JUNE is Chris Westlake’s third novel, and his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second crime thriller and is on schedule to have it completed in 2020.

30 Days in June
Author: Chris Westlake

Published: December 15, 2019
359 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 9-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Sign me up: 30 Days in June is a crime novel about a serial killer during the month of June and the story also takes place in 1988 and 2018. The novel starts on June 1st, 1988 with a married couple and their sexually graphic adventures that take an unexpected turn for them.  Throughout the month of June the serial killer Spartacus frightens the immediate area until the final victim survives and then Spartacus disappears.

Fast forward thirty years and the survivor had moved and changed his name then one day he hears his old name, which starts him on a path he did not expect to go on. Is Spartacus back or is this some kind of copycat occurring exactly 30 years later? And if Spartacus in fact is back, what does he want after all this time?    

30 Days in June was a decent read for me. The premise is intriguing and you want to know if in fact Spartacus is back. I was not really attached to Jeffrey/Marcus, so I did not really care what happened to him.  He is an imperfect person and we see this over both time periods. Parts of the novel became a bit mind-numbing for me, but keep with it as when you get to the final few chapters, the story really gets moving and we have a final standoff  with a satisfying conclusion. 

Overall, 30 Days in June has its ups and downs but is ultimately worth it in the end! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Blackwells

About the Author:

After completing a Creative Writing course in 2010, Chris Westlake’s short story, Welsh Lessons, was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Story Award (not bad for the first writing competition he had entered). He followed this up with 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award and 2nd place in the HASSRA Literary Award.

Chris has written three novels. 30 DAYS IN JUNE is his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second thriller, on schedule to be completed in 2020. He is determined to write many, many more – his main regret is that he didn’t start writing earlier.

Chris considers himself to be a developing author. He is always looking to improve, to make his next novel even better than the last. He is continuously experimenting with different styles, different genres.

Contact Chris:
Email: You can contact Chris at chriswestlakeauthor@hotmail.co.uk. He would love to hear from you!
Website
Twitter: @ChrisWestlake2

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