Tag: thriller

Book Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis

Published: August 25, 2020
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There’s something not right about this town.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker–she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map–and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone–or something–stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Kim’s Review:

Hmmmm… what an odd read.

It had a lot of good things in it, but it also has some pretty confusing things. I felt lost a good portion of the time. The pacing at the beginning was so fast that I started to think that something was up. But then, Lola ends up in Harrow Lake where everything slowed down to a snail’s pace. I’m all for a slow burn, but this just dragged. I was having a hard time connecting everything that was happening. The horror film, Night Jar, that was set in Harrow Lake felt like an extra element that did more to muddy the waters than to clear them. While Mary Ann fascinated me, I couldn’t really figure out her place in the story either.

Nothing really made any sense until the very end. I’m mostly happy with the way things turned out, most of the loose ends were tied up. I also like the horror elements that Ellis included in the book. There were some places where I felt the goosebumps.

Overall, this was an ok book. I’m glad I read it and I love the cover … but I’m also probably not gonna read it again.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Misery By Stephen King: A Book Review and Movie Comparison

Today Kim is going to bring you a book review and movie comparison to Stephen King’s Misery:

Author: Stephen King

Published: June 8, 1987
422 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Bestselling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health—his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery, and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel—his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house…and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants….

Kim’s Review:

This is easily my favorite of King’s books that I’ve read so far. The movie was brilliant, in almost every way. So of course, I needed to read the book. And the book was brilliant as well! It’s a fascinating look at obsession. As a book nerd who has favorite authors that I adore, I totally understand Annie’s fangirling through the whole book. How Paul deals with her would fit in just fine in any Criminal Minds episode. Throw in Annie’s obvious mental illness and high functioning, she’s terrifying! I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes criminal psychology. Spending all the reading time analyzing and considering just adds another level of enjoyment! I really liked this book!

Movie Comparison

Movie Trailer:

Kim’s Video Movie Comparison:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon UK



The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

The Suicide House
Series: Rory Moore/ Lane Phillips #2
Author: Charlie Donlea

Published: July 28, 2020
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: August 20-September 3, 2020

Book Description:

A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out–unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house–to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win–or to survive. . . .

Jessica’s Review:

YES!  A thriller I really enjoyed and have been lacking in that lately!  From the first two sentences, you know you are in for a gory ride: I killed my brother with a penny. Simple, benign, and perfectly believable. 

We have all kinds of dynamics that make this one super interesting:  The setting of a prestigious prep school and a teacher kills some students!?!?!  And a year later the survivors start killing themselves?!?!?!   Something else must be going on! 

We have three different sections of the book: Journal entries, the time period of June 2019, and present day of August 2020. Better yet is that the chapters are extremely short and it’s hard to put down because the next chapter isn’t that long!  This one is meant to be binge read, it is that intense. I loved how everything came together and I never figured out the killer or motive so I was shocked when we had the big moment in the climax of the novel.

This is the second in the series that feature Rory and Lane.  Poor Rory has some issues herself and also what could classify as a creepy hobby, which is also written in a way that you find it interesting, which I never would have thought of this particular hobby as interesting!  We also get to see her work on her hobby.

 All of Donlea’s books can be read as standalones, but if you have read Donlea’s previous novels, you get some takeback from those.  This is my first Donlea novel and I would love to read his others!

Many thanks to the publisher Kensington Books for granting me a copy to read and review!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK