THE JUNK RUN by James Pattinson

img_0821      THE JUNK RUN by James Pattinson

Paul White, a rich womanizing bachelor with no job who lives off his inherited fortune, has disappeared from the isolated Scottish Island where he lives when his yacht is discovered drifting in the Atlantic Ocean. His sister, Diana believes it was foul play and that Paul did not fall overboard like suspected. In her relentless pursuit to find the truth, she finally convinces a reluctant police detective, Bruce Standon, to investigate further and uncover the truth behind her brother’s disappearance.

This book was really hard for me to get into so I’m glad it was a short read. The plot was mediocre and the characters lacked depth and believability. Of the few James Pattison novels I’ve read, I have enjoyed, but this one just fell short and couldn’t hold my attention. I rate this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Endeavour Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: January 20, 2017. Novel Publish Date: January 9, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads


DEAD LETTERS by Caite Dolan-Leach

img_0818     DEAD LETTERS by Caite Dolan-Leach

The premise of Caite Dolan-Leach’s debut thriller novel Dead Letters is about two estranged identical twin sisters Ava and Zelda Antipova, one of whom was murdered and the other, left with unresolved anger and feelings of guilt is left to plan her sister’s funeral and look after their demented mother. Once back home at the family vineyard in upstate New York, Ava starts receiving several eerie and obscure emails from Zelda from beyond the grave. Ava starts to suspect that her sister may not be dead and is playing mind games with her. She must now try and unravel the enigma that is Zelda’s secret life and even more mysterious disappearance. Can she beat Zelda at her own game?

I really enjoyed learning about the two sisters’ dysfunctional family, fractured relationship with one another, and quirky nuances as the mystery surrounding Zelda’s death/disappearance unfolded little by little. It was an enjoyable and quick read. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: January 15, 2017. Novel Publish Date: February 28, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads


img_0817     IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by Leah Weiss

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss takes place in 1970 in an isolated small town in North Carolina and is a sad story about a newly married 17 year old girl named Sadie Blue who has been abused her entire life in some form or another. Many people in Sadie’s life are rooting for her and Sadie starts to wonder herself if there’s more to life than being Roy Tupkin’s wife and punching bag.

I love that each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective leading up to the climax of the story. I also really like that the dialect of the homegrown characters, particularly Sadie’s, which sounds exactly like a southern drawl and the language she uses or lack of vernacular vocabulary portrays her her lifestyle or a low economic status. Great debut novel. I was totally drawn into this story from beginning to end. For book club readers, there’s a Q & A section at the end of the novel. I rate this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: January 13, 2017. Novel Publish Date: August 8, 2017.

AFTER THE BLOOM by Leslie Shimotakahara

img_0816       AFTER THE BLOOM by Leslie Shimotakahara

After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara is a story about a mother and daughter and the dark history the family struggles to overcome in the search for peace and absolution. Lily Takemitsu, who suffers from a memory and dissociative disorder, wanders away from her Toronto home one day in the mid 1980s. Rita, her daughter, not satisfied with the police’s investigation, starts her own investigation into her mother’s disappearance. Along the way, she uncovers many secrets about the father she never knew, the family’s unspoken history of being interned in a California desert camp during the Second World War, and readjusting to life in Toronto after immigrating.

This book was well-written and descriptive with well developed characters and plot. I especially liked the switching timelines between Lily’s past and her daughter, Rita’s present which kept the story moving along, although at times there were lulls in the story. The details of Japanese internment in America during WWII was certainly interesting to read about, especially since I knew so little about it. The author even added a “of related interest” section at the end of the novel. A great debut novel. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.The only issue I had was a formatting issue with the Kindle advance copy I received in that it was slightly off throughout most of the novel and quite distracting in places, but I’m sure that will be taken care of by the release date.

Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn Publishing for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: January 10, 2017. Novel Publish Date: April 15, 2017.

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

img_0814      The Witches of New York by Ami McKay 

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay is the continuation of Moth’s life as an adult woman in New York. Moth, who goes by the name Adelaide Thom, lives with and owns a tea shop with another witch Eleanor St. Clair. A young woman, Beatrice Dunn. comes to make a new life for herself in New York in 1880 and takes a job working for Eleanor and Adelaide. Unbeknownst to Beatrice, she quickly discovers that she has unique skills and gifts that become predominant once she keeps company with these two women.

The writing is well done, characters and plot are are well developed, and the novel is beautifully formatted, with many unusual drawings and old newspaper clippings. There are a few slow parts, but overall, the story is charming and has interesting tidbits about witchcraft and rituals. I waited a long time time to read this book and will continue to read Ami McKay novels. 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed: January 8, 2017. Ebook Publish Date: October 27, 2016