The Safe Place
Author: Anna Downes
Published: July 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Dates Read: July 5-July 20, 2020
Emily is a mess.
Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.
Emily is desperate.
Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.
Emily is perfect.
Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.
Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?
This one was an average read for me. We had multiple points of view (both Emily and Scott with Nina thrown in from time to time) which I always enjoy.
From the beginning we see Emily have a really bad day which starts with losing her temporary job and agent. Then we have a chapter with Scott’s POV and we know from then that something is not right, we know he has something planned and that plan involves Emily.
Needing a job and now her former boss comes to’ her rescue’ with another job offer (The warning bells should have been going off right there Emily!) Emily takes it. She ends up in a secluded home with Scott’s wife Nina and their child Aurelia. But they are in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception or internet, and Nina will not let Emily into the family home. Emily is cut off from everything/everyone. Once Emily realizes things are amiss, it might already be too late.
I did not figure out the twist, but I should have as the signs were there. . It would be a bit of a predictable novel and the ending did not totally deliver. This is a first novel for Anna Downes and I would give her another try.
**Many thanks to the publisher Minotaur Books for sending me a copy to read and review**
Even If It Kills Her
Series: Bailey Weggins Mystery #7
Author: Kate White
Published: October 31, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.
Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.
As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.
This was a pick for my neighborhood book club. Thank goodness we seem to be on a roll with the good books! I was a little worried because it’s book seven in one of those long term character series, but White did a very good job of making it a stand alone. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and for once, my gut was right! As soon as the murderer walked in, I got a bad and in my head said, “that’s the murderer!” But until the end, White kept me in suspense. There was some extra rambling that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Bailey’s personal life was definitely part of the series so it got long and monotonous pretty quick, but other than that, I like the characters. The police and DA were kind of annoying, especially with their little power trip. But the mystery had me going all the way to the end and I was very engaged while reading! I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery! I enjoyed it!
The Girl Who was Supposed to Die
Author: April Henry
Published: June 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 13-15, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
“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.
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.[Top]