Today, I'll be discussing 2015 favorite: What She Knew.
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
Rachel Jenner is walking in a park with her young child, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben disappears.
The police are called, search parties are formed, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, falls apart. As hours and days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knows him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.
As she desperately pieces together the clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts.
FINALLY... a GREAT police procedural.
What She Knew is my first Macmillan novel, but it certainly won't be the last.
This 2015 novel tells the story of a child's kidnapping from two perspectives: the victim's mother and the detective on the case. This change in point of view provides audiences with a captivating police procedural that reads like a thriller. What She Knew is riveting and unputdownable.
There are various elements that combined, make this an amazing read. The author's writing is concise while also being vivid. The characters are fascinating, real, and relatable. And the narrative itself is compelling.
What She Knew is an ideal whodunnit for readers who enjoy crime, mystery, and even psychological thrillers. Although this is a great pick for Tana French readers, audiences who prefer succinct writing styles are sure to enjoy this one as well. If you enjoyed Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell or even Blink by K.L. Slater, pick up a copy of this 2015 novel!
Have you read this beloved mystery? Share your thoughts below!
Hello book lovers!
Today, I'll be discussing Sara Shepard's latest piece, The Elizas.
The Elizas by Sara Shepard
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family assumes that it’s another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza is sure she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.
Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her book draws closer, she finds more questions than answers. Like why do her editor, agent, and family continue to mix up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional... isn’t it?
The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation, the closer her life starts to resemble her book, until finally the line between reality and fiction blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
After having such high expectations for the The Elizas, it's not surprising that I'm feeling disappointed.
Shepard's latest piece features an intriguing and unique storyline, as well as a cast of graphic and lifelike characters. And although there are a couple of great elements in the piece, including the two previously discussed and the author's diction and writing style, in this case, the bad outweighs the good.
Despite the fact that The Elizas is an interesting narrative, the plot quickly becomes repetitive. The protagonist, who is considered an unreliable and paranoid narrator, spends the entire novel questioning her actions as well as that of those around her. And although the purpose of the book is to uncover why Eliza was found at the bottom of a hotel pool, the events that unfold throughout the novel quickly become flat and monotonous.
Even though the storyline has the potential to be exhilarating, the author fails to develop the idea. Additionally, Shepard neglects to include thrilling and spooky twists that serve to keep readers attentive and absorbed in the story.
Because the novel is unchanging and predictable, it becomes boring—which causes many readers to feel restless.
While I didn't particularly enjoy Shepard's latest, I may give her future works a chance.
What's your favorite Shepard novel? Comment down below!
Welcome back to AZE
Today, I'll be discussing April 2018's most popular novel, Sometimes I Lie.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
One day, Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. Nonetheless, she can hear everyone around her, and they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a feeling her husband might be involved.
Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this psychological thriller asks:
Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?
I'd been waiting to get my hands on Alice Feeney's debut for months, and after reading Sometimes I Lie, I assure all readers this one is a must.
Feeney's debut is a dark, captivating narrative that begs one question: who can you actually trust?
Sometimes I Lie is well-written and brilliantly developed. Feeney's writing style is not only easy to understand and follow, it's hypnotizing—which makes her first novel unputdownable.
Along with its superb writing style, Sometimes I Lie hooks readers with its enticing plot and fascinating set of characters. Despite the plot being fantastic, the book's cast is what makes this thriller a favorite.
Although the book is exceptional, the ending is a bit discouraging. Most audience members are fans of plot twists, but there is such thing as too many. As a reader, there is nothing more important than closure at the end of a story, and because of this, a vague conclusion makes the reading experience quite frustrating.
After discussing Sometimes I Lie with @aprilsbookshelf and @flippingpageswithjess and reading reviews on Goodreads, I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was left feeling confused. As a matter of fact, the majority voiced feelings of uncertainty in the moments after finishing the book.
It wasn't until a while after the discussions, that I was able to decipher the ending. Nonetheless, this took away from what could've been a 5-star novel.
While the ending may be a bit chaotic, there's no doubt that Sometimes I Lie is a great pick, especially for those who enjoy the thriller, mystery, and crime genres. However, if you're not up for decoding the story, it's best to pick up another novel!
Have you read Sometimes I Lie? What did you think?
Today, I'll be discussing 2019 mystery and new release, She Lies in Wait. Gytha Lodge's latest novel will be on sale January 8, 2019!
A BIG thanks to Random House for sending me a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Let's get to rating!
She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
On a hot July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is eager to tag along. The evening starts like any other—there’s drinking, dancing, fighting, and kissing. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared.
Her friends claim that she was fine the night before. Could they be telling the truth?
An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the girl is found.
Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is discovered in a hideaway that only the six teens knew about, and DCI Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the cold case.
Back in 1983, as a young cop in the small town, he had known the teenagers personally, even before taking part in the search. Now, he’s determined to get the truth of what happened that night.
Sheens’ investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the small town, where they will be confronted with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them changed forever.
Lodge's upcoming novel is a great summer and autumn read.
This suspense-filled, police procedural features a great cast of characters and a storyline that keeps readers guessing until the very end.
Although Lodge's diction makes the story compelling and easy to follow, it's her attention to detail that brings the story to life. While reading She Lies in Wait, readers will find clues in the characters' thoughts and actions. What seems insignificant at first glance, may actually be essential to solving the mystery of Aurora's disappearance.
Although the cast of characters is perfectly developed and portrayed, the star element of this pick is the plot itself. While the storyline is filled with great mystery, it's the children's evident naivety and innocence that makes danger apparent and inevitable. These combined components make She Lies in Wait a thrilling and modern whodunnit.
Despite there being times in which the novel is slow-paced, there's no doubt that Lodge's latest piece is great for readers who enjoy Tana French or Matt Wesolowski's Six Stories.
Interested in this Random House mystery? Pre Order a copy today!
Today, I'll be discussing September BOTM pick, Cross Her Heart.
Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.
But when Ava rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are plastered all over the news, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she’s built threatened, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what little she has left.
Someone has been pulling the strings, and that person is determined to make Lisa suffer for breaking a promise she made long ago.
Who picked Cross Her Heart as their September BOTM? I sure did!
I read this new release as a buddy read with @thrilltalkbookblog and quite enjoyed it.
Cross Her Heart, Pinborough's latest novel, is a quick and fun thriller. Her writing style can be described as concise and comprehensible. Despite the fact that her word choice is descriptive and vivid, it's not excessively detailed and flowery.
The characters in Cross Her Heart are also quite engaging. Although they're all fairly different from one another, each serves a purpose. Lisa's observant demeanor, Ava's innocence, and Marilyn's strong intuition work together to make an intriguing story. The secondary characters also have a significant role. Simon, Richard, Julia and the rest of the cast serve to pique the audience's interest even further.
Despite Pinborough's fantastic writing and character development, the best element of Cross Her Heart is the fast-paced, suspense-filled plot. However, although the narrative is filled with twists and turns, some of them are far-fetched and unconvincing—for many, this is the fault of CHH.
Nonetheless, Pinborough's latest book is a good choice for those looking for a quick and easy-to-read thriller.
Already read this BOTM pick? Reach out to me and share your thoughts!
Today, I'll be discussing my thoughts on the most popular novel of 2003, The Da Vinci Code.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
While in Paris, Harvard professor Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call. The curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body found covered in ancient symbols.
Even more startling, the victim was involved in the Priory of Sion: a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton and Da Vinci. It seems the curator was guarding a long-held secret.
As Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through strange riddles, they are shocked to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet cleverly disguised by the painter. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the puzzle, this explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.
Guess who finally joined the Dan Brown fan club...
After years of debating whether to read The Da Vinci Code, my mom surprised me with a copy she found at a local, second-hand bookstore... I picked it up a couple of weeks later.
In all honesty, I went into The Da Vinci Code with a bit of doubt. Although I'd heard dozens of great reviews, I wondered whether the story would capture my interest.
After only a couple of pages, I knew I had nothing to worry about. The Da Vinci Code is one of the most fascinating and captivating novels I've read so far.
While Brown's writing style is quite wonderful, his storyline and character development are what make The Da Vinci Code a 5-star read.
The characters featured in this novel, such as Robert Langford; Sophie Neveu; and even Jacques Saunière; are complex and fascinating. Despite being a part of a superb narrative, these characters bring the story to life, their authenticity makes the story feel real and genuine.
However, the best element of The Da Vinci Code is the storyline itself. Brown manages to develop a multi-dimensional plot based on factual events and people. That, in itself, is what makes this novel astounding.
This book has everything a reader could want. If you enjoy mysteries, treasure hunts, puzzles, art, history, and are open to alternative theories & concepts regarding the Catholic religion/church, pick up a copy of The Da Vinci Code.
Have you read this novel? Share what you thought in the comments.
Hello again readers!
Starting off Booktober with a review of Sager's second thriller, The Last Time I Lied.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Two Truths and a Lie—Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, played the game every night at summer camp. But the games ended the night Emma watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the late hours of the night. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, pressing a finger to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma channels the feelings and thoughts about her past into her work. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, Camp Nightingale's owner, she urges Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor.
In no time, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats... The closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and and what happened to her friends, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.
After being blown away by Final Girls, I decided to pick up The Last Time I Lied for some #backtobacksager. It's no surprise that I loved TLTIL just as much as the author's first thriller.
Despite both novels being quite different, each was just as fascinating and suspense-filled. Like Final Girls, TLTIL features concise yet detailed writing and immensely intriguing characters. In Sager's second thriller, each and every character, whether primary or secondary, is suspicious; it's almost as if everyone has something to hide...
In spite of this, the most favored element of this book is its storyline. Although the first couple of chapters lack action and intensity, the narrative picks up when the setting shifts. In that moment, the dynamic of the plot completely changes.
From that point onward, readers can feel a profound sense of eeriness, and as the story progresses, the audience also becomes aware of a great menace. It's quite evident that something horrible is going to happen, it's just unclear when that something will occur.
Because the feeling of imminent danger isn't enough in a Sager thriller, the author introduces a shocking twist that leaves readers completely shocked—their hearts pounding in their chest. Like in Final Girls, the twists in The Last Time I Lied are mind blowing and brilliant.
I'd recommend both Sager novels in a heartbeat; they just might be my favorite reads of 2018.
Did you read this creepy thriller? Let's chat!