STRANGERS by Ursula Archer & Arno Strobel

IMG_1104    STRANGERS by Ursula Archer & Arno Strobel

Strangers by Ursula Archer & Arno Strobel is a mesmerizing thriller that uncovers a strange situation of mysterious foul play when a woman does not recognize a man who claims to be her fiancé and is cohabitating in her house contrary to the evidence. Joanna is at a loss and is eventually forced to trust this stranger. Erik is just as confused when the woman he’s been living with for 7 months treats him as if he’s an intruder. The more Erik tries to understand the situation, the more confusing it all becomes. Soon the couple realize they are in mortal danger and must find a solution together in order to survive.

Totally mind-bending and warped with many unexpected twists and turns. A must-read, fast-paced psychological thriller you will not be able to put down. 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.

Reviewed: December 10, 2017. Novel Publish Date: January 9, 2018.

Link to purchase via Goodreads




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.

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

Link to purchase via Goodreads




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.

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

Link to purchase: Goodreads




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.

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

Link to purchase via Goodreads



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.

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

Link to purchase via Goodreads


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.

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

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