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THE VISITORS By CATHERINE BURNS

IMG_1011     THE VISITORS By CATHERINE BURNS

The Visitors by Catherine Burns is a mystery/thriller is about two single siblings who have lived together most of their life. Marion is a spinster who has convinced herself that she can’t stay alone and take care of herself and therefore is reliant on her older brother John. John is a loner and spends much of his time in the cellar. Unbeknownst to outsiders is that John has a sadistic side and forces Marion into situations she doesn’t know how to get out of for fear of John’s blistering temper and sometimes menacing hatred toward her. Marion craves any type of affection and puts up with John’s manipulative ways for fear of being alone.

It’s hard to believe Marion is so daft, but rather in denial. She knew about the “Visitors” but chose to push the thoughts from her mind and pretend everything was normal. I suppose it was her way of dealing with the situation and clearly she doesn’t have all her faculties, but has startling moments of clarity and common sense when dealing with John. I like how it switches from past to present so the reader can gain insight into how John became so evil. Pretty good for a debut novel. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: August 25, 2017. Novel Publish Date: September 26, 2017.

Link to purchase via Goodreads

 

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DEAD WOMAN WALKING By Sharon Bolton

IMG_0959     DEAD WOMAN WALKING By Sharon Bolton

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton is about a woman who witnesses several murders and can identify the murderer; however, the murderer can also identify her. A thrilling cat and mouse game.

Wow! What a riveting thriller from start to finish, uniquely written to keep you enthralled! This story was so suspenseful, I couldn’t put it down. Sharon Bolton is now on my must-read list. I rate this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: August 16, 2017. Novel Publish Date: September 5, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads

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BEST INTENTIONS by Erica Raskin

IMG_0904       BEST INTENTIONS by Erica Raskin

Marti Trainer is an obstetrician’s wife, mother of three, and a senator’s daughter. After years of being a stay-at-home mom, she makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to go back to social work which ends up having an irrevocable and life changing impact on all of their lives forever.

This women’s fiction novel, Best Intentions by Erica Raskin, is a very easy and quick read, has a plausible plot line, and relatable developed characters. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: June 10, 2017. Novel Publish Date: August 15, 2017.

Link to purchase via Goodreads

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THE BREAKDOWN by B. A. PARIS

IMG_0903    THE BREAKDOWN by B. A. PARIS

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris is a mystery/thriller about a young woman named Cass who feels terribly guilty that she could have prevented the murder of an acquaintance after stopping to help her when her vehicle was sitting on the side of a secluded road on a stormy night. After stopping, she gets an uneasy feeling that it could possibly be an ambush and frightened, drives away leaving the woman alone. Cass finds out the next day that the woman was brutally murdered. Cass has also been forgetting things lately, but she cannot forget about leaving the woman alone. What other secrets are waiting to be exposed?

This book had me hooked from the get go and had a promising start full of intrigue and suspense; but lost some of its lustre about a quarter of the way through. There was a bit of a lull in the middle, but it picked up towards the end again. There were no shocking revelations or twists. It’s a pretty typical mystery, and a bit predictable, but still interesting enough to finish. Would make for a good beach read. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: May 27, 2017. Novel Publish Date: July 18, 2017.

Link to purchase via Goodreads

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BEWARE THE CUCKOO by Julie Newman

IMG_0926   BEWARE THE CUCKOO by Julie Newman

Beware the Cuckoo by Julie Newman is not your typical mystery/thriller. It has very sensitive issues at the heart of the story which can be very disturbing for some to read (see below, if you don’t mind a spoiler) .

The story flashes back and forth between the past and present of two women who were best friends as young teenage girls who reconnect at at a funeral where secrets and lies from the past are about to be dredged up and painfully relived.

Karen has a loving husband, two adoring children and a seemingly wonderful life; however, she also has an incomprehensible and painful secret that could potentially ruin it all.

Sandra had a perfect life which is now in a shambles as her business is gong under, the man she loves has a cunning dark side, and Sandra knows a secret that could help her reclaim what is rightfully hers if she uses it to her advantage.

*Spoiler Alert* This novel was certainly not what I was expecting. I almost stopped reading it when I realized that a young girl was being groomed by her best friend’s father, and was frankly, hard to get through. After reading just over half the book, I did abandon it, which is something I very rarely do. I just couldn’t get through it as it. It took a long time for the story to progress and then it just stalled, there were grammatical errors that were hard to overlook, and I didn’t overly enjoy the writing style or author’s voice I guess you could say; it was written rather simplistically. I did love the book cover however; it was very eye-catching. I rate this novel 2 stars out of 5.

Thank you NetGalley and Urbane Publishers for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: May 22, 2017. Novel Publish Date: May 18, 2017.

Link to purchase via Goodreads

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SILENT RAIN by Karen Salvalaggio

IMG_0902    SILENT RAIN by Karen Salvalaggio 

Silent Rain by Karen Salvalaggio is book 4 in the Macy Greeley Mystery series.

Grace Adams, changed her name to Grace Larson and relocated from Collier to Bolton to give college a try and escape the ghosts of her past. However, thanks to Peter Granger her past soon catches up with her and she finds herself smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. Lara, her overbearing, overindulging and somewhat unpredictable, roommate who is a struggling writer is also connected to the murder victim.

Macy Greeley, a police detective who lives with her son Luke and mother Ellen, is sent to Bolton to investigate the fire, which turns out to be a double homicide. She soon uncovers that one of the murder victims, Peter Granger, has crossed several people in the community and his marriage is a farce. What she discovers leaves the town roiling.

This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and I quite enjoyed it; it had me intrigued from the get-go. It’s a typical whodunnit mystery, but had enough appeal to keep me interested and wasn’t overly predictable. This novel is part of a series but can stand alone – that is – you didn’t have to have read the previous three in the series to enjoy this book. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: April 22, 2017. Novel Publish Date: May 9, 2017.

Link to purchase via Goodreads

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BABY DOLL by Hollie Overton

IMG_0864    BABY DOLL by Hollie Overton

The novel Baby Doll by Hollie Overton is a mystery/thriller about a sixteen year-old girl who was kidnapped and held hostage for eight years. Every chapter alternates between the perspectives of four character’s: Lily, Rick, Eve, and Abby. Lily, the protagonist, finally escapes after being held in captivity for eight years with her six year old daughter Sky after their captor makes a mistake. Before the abduction, Lily was docile and delicate, but over time became a strong and unbreakable woman. Rick Hanson, a high school English educator and a self-proclaimed writer, is a manipulative and calculating psycho. He is married and an active pillar in the community, but lives a double life where he keeps the girl he abducted locked in the basement of his “writing” cabin with the child that was conceived from rape. Eve, the twins mother and hospital director, is numb and without purpose, merely existing in life. Abby, Lily’s older twin sister, is the bossy, domineering twin who was fearless and sassy, but after Lily’s abduction, became the weak and fragile one.

Not one of the most thrilling books I’ve ever read as there are no surprising plot twists typical of thrillers, but interesting enough to finish. If you enjoyed the book Room by Emma Donoghue, this novel has a similar storyline. The characters do lack some depth and can seem a bit contrived or superficial, but if you’re looking for a quick beach read, this will do. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Redhook Books for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. https://moesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Reviewed: March 12, 2017. Novel Publish Date: July 12, 2016.

Link to purchase: Goodreads