Author: Shari Lapena
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up. It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love.
So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one.
They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.
I absolutely loved The Couple Next Door which was also written by Lapena. An Unwanted Guest had everything needed to pull me in: a very intriguing book description with a great location with complete isolation, and murder mysteries: “Help! There is a killer among us!” This was very much like Clue for me.
But that was where it stopped working for me. Maybe there were too many characters for me to keep up with (I listened to the audiobook version) or maybe it was just too slow moving. I am fine with character driven novels and the character development was superb, but this one just did not work for me. I was not invested with any of the characters. I did choose to finish the novel as I wanted to know the outcome and I was glad I did continue it. That ending was unexpected!! In a way that ending saved the novel for me as I would not have EVER seen that coming.
I will definitely be listening to Lapena’s other novel A Stranger in the House soon.
Author: Lee Maguire
Published: October 21, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 9-16, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Meet Bryce Davison, a gifted psychologist who can heal any troubled mind-except his own.
You see, Bryce’s life is falling apart. His marriage is crumbling. His insomnia brings only half-sleep and troubled dreams-visions of dark and buried memories he’d rather forget or ignore completely. And the new female patient in his psych ward just might be more trouble than he’s able to cope with.
…and now he has a stalker.
Somebody’s been watching Bryce for a long time. Somebody who knows his life inside and out-his fears, his regrets, his greatest longings and deepest despairs. Somebody with access to his most private places-his workplace, his home, his family…anywhere Bryce might have felt safe.
They do their dirty work in the shadows… and they want Bryce Davison dead.
So Bryce has got to get his life together. To save his patients. To save his family. To save his marriage…and his life.
Because no matter how close Bryce gets to the deadly truth, the enigmatic stalker is always closer than he thinks.
Closer Than You Think is the first novel in the Broken Minds series by Lee Maguire. Maguire takes what he knows from his occupation and brings us the main protagonist of Dr. Bryce Davison. Dr. Davison is far from perfect himself, as his personal life is in chaos and now he is dealing with a stalker…. Or could it be something more, or does Dr. Davison need some psychological services himself?
Despite some grammatical and spelling errors in the arc copy that I received, which were hopefully corrected by the publication day this past October, I really enjoyed this novel. It was definitely suspenseful but not so much a thriller. I wondered how far things were going to go with Davison’s situation. Who is going to get hurt next and in what way? Who is behind everything that is going on? And is somehow Davison himself responsible for what is going on?
My only negative thought as I was reading was: “If you kill the dog, I’m gonna riot!” I worried for Max the whole novel; I did not want anything to happen to her.
At first Dr. Davison was not very likeable nor came off as professional as he was supposed to be. He just seemed to be too much of a troubled man to be a psychologist. Eventually, I did grow to like and root for him: I wanted a good ending for him. The last 20 or so pages of the novel were totally unexpected! Everything was put together and wrapped in a nice bow.
Some may see the totality of the novel a bit far-fetched, but I enjoyed it. As this is the first in the series, I look forward to reading more of Dr. Davison’s stories.
Special thanks to TCK Publishing for sending me an arc copy to read and review.
Author: Sara Flannery Murphy
Published: February 7, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In an unnamed city, the Elysian Society allows paying clients to reconnect with their lost loved ones. The workers, known as bodies, spend their days in a numb routine, wearing the discarded belongings of the dead and swallowing pills to summon spirits.
Edie has been a body for five years, an unusual record. Her success depends on her carefulness. When she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, an enigmatic widower, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the strange circumstances surrounding Sylvia Braddock’s death, Edie pursues Patrick outside the Elysian Society walls, moving deeper into his life.
After years of hiding, Edie can’t tell whether she’s falling in love or whether she’s being possessed by Sylvia. She takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. But as a disturbing murder case brings attention to the Elysian Society, Edie feels her quiet life unraveling. She grapples with both Sylvia’s growing influence and with her own long-buried secrets.
This is an interesting mystery. The premise of a company that allows people to legitimately communicate with their dead loved ones is fascinating and I wish there were more details about the lotus and the actual process. Edie is a different kind of character that I enjoyed learning more about throughout the story. I will say that I don’t really like the description where it says that once she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, that she becomes obsessed with the couple. That sounds so malevolent, when in reality, it wasn’t. Seeing how Edie cares not just for Patrick but for all her clients gives good grounding to the story.
The mystery felt very simple, like I should have figured it out long before I did. But it was still satisfying and everything clicked into place. The cover is perfect in every way! Overall, this was an interesting read that I enjoyed and got thru very quickly. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.