September 6, 2015

Review: The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich

Product Description:
It's wintertime in the Hamptons, where Scott and his wife, Elise, have come to be with her terminally ill father, Victor, to await the inevitable. As weeks turn to months, their daily routine—Elise at the hospital with her father, Scott pretending to work and drinking Victor's booze—only highlights their growing resentment and dissatisfaction with the usual litany of unhappy marriages: work, love, passion, each other. But then Scott notices something simple, even innocuous. Every night at precisely eleven, the lights in the neighbor's bedroom turn off. It's clearly a timer . . .but in the dead of winter with no one else around, there's something about that light he can't let go of. So one day while Elise is at the hospital, he breaks in. And he feels a jolt of excitement he hasn't felt in a long time. Soon, it's not hard to enlist his wife as a partner in crime and see if they can't restart the passion. 
     Their one simple transgression quickly sends husband and wife down a deliriously wicked spiral of bad decisions, infidelities, escalating violence, and absolutely shocking revelations. 
     Matt Marinovich makes a strong statement with this novel. The Winter Girl is the psychological thriller done to absolute perfection.

My Review: 
The Winter Girl is one of those books that stayed with me long after I read it and even now, a month after reading it, I can't figure out if it was in a good way or not. I swear I had the eeriest feeling reading this book. It felt like my mind was in a haze and I was under a spell. I was pulled in from the beginning and stayed in suspense all the way through to the end. 

I can't say that it was a fantastic book because things just kept getting weirder and weirder but I really did love how strange it all was. Towards the end things really stepped into the land of incredulity so that brought my rating down a couple of notches. 

My Recommendation: 
I recommend this one for anyone who loves dark and twisted suspense thrillers. 

June 16, 2015

Review: Follow You Home by Mark Edwards


It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.
After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilization, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror.
Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…
My Thoughts:
Mark Edwards really knows how to build up the suspense. The first part of the book was all about how Daniel and Laura avoided telling their story and the consequences of that decision. In the back of my mind I knew that I would eventually learn what happened in Romania but I was dying to get there. 

Once that part of the story is revealed you just can't get over the creep factor. It's easy to imagine that there are terrors like this happening around the world right now. It kind of makes you think twice about traveling abroad. 

What follows next is how Laura and Daniel unravel and the slow realization that someone followed them home. Again it's super creepy. 

Towards the end of the story things get really unbelievable and that's the reason I couldn't rate this any higher than 3 stars. I just couldn't get past how everything is tied up. Too over the top cheesy. 

One little pet peeve, Edwards writes that Laura has an iPad and not even 2 pages later reveals that Laura doesn't use Apple products because she doesn't like how Apple treats their workers in China. How didn't an editor or early reader catch this? 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this for anyone who loves a good suspense thriller. 

May 25, 2015

Review: Moving Day by Jonathan Stone

Product Description:
Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago.When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps and dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself.Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves but also with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.

My Thoughts:

Based on how much I loved The Teller by Jonathan Stone I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by Moving Day. There was some suspense but I was expecting more thrills. Stone gave us plenty of intrigue at the beginning by sprinkling in little teasers about Peke's past but not enough to sustain any action. 

When Peke goes on the hunt to get his belongings back it's just kind of a ho-hum adventure. I wanted so much more but really what can I expect from a 72 year old protagonist? The ending came through just a bit more but overall I was more disappointed than satisfied. 

I do however have to give credit where it's due. The writing is very well done and flows nicely. The characters come alive on the pages but I just wish they did more. 

My Recommendation:

I recommend this as a library read for when you want slower paced thrills.

May 9, 2015

Review: Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge

Product Description:
Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....

My Thoughts:
The creep factor is super high with this one! It really reminds me of how creeped out I was by The Book of Matthew by Thomas White. That one stayed with me for a long time afterwards and I feel like Eeny Meeny will also. I just keep thinking about what I would do if I was in the same situation as the victims in this book. Who I imagined myself with definitely made a difference in what I thought the outcome would be. (That's terrible, I know!)

Helen Grace is broken on the inside but not one ounce of it shows on the outside. She's a strong leader that has to make tough choices and the ending just breaks my heart for her.  I'm so glad that this is the start of a new series because I would love to see how her character develops with everything that unfolded in Eeny Meeny.

My only frustration with this one was who the serial killer turned out to be and how the case was resolved. It made me say, "Really?" but ultimately didn't take away from how much I loved this book. I just wish it would have ended differently.

My Recommendation: 
I recommend this one for anyone who loves suspense thrillers and intensely creepy books.

April 27, 2015

Review: Game On by Gabra Zackman

Product Description:
Part caper, part romantic comedy, this hilariously entertaining book in the Bod Squad series features a sassy and sexy undercover operative, Susannah “Legs” Carter, and her Ocean’s Eleven–style team of private investigators.

From Washington, DC, to Paris, Legs is tailing Charles Oakley Palmer III, a white-collar criminal she’s determined to bring to justice. But will romance or betrayal blossom along the way? Find out in the first in a sizzling new series about a team of highly skilled investigators who go undercover to catch criminals—while juggling romance, world travel, and danger around every corner.

My Thoughts:

As I first started reading Game on I was really irritated by the cheesiness and improbability of the story but as the "plot thickened" it was so over the top I couldn't help but find myself enjoying it more and more.

Legs gets herself into trouble over a man and struggles to fight her way out. She enlists the help of her team and a long-time personal friend to figure it all out. I hope that the next book in the series focuses on my two favorite characters Bod Squad team members, Lisa Bee and Jackson.

A little intrigue, a little sex and plenty of high-tech gadgets. It was James Bond meets Stephanie Plum. Actually I was reminded of the Fox and O'Hare Series series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg and am looking forward to the next installment. 

My Recommendation: 

Recommended for anyone who loves romantic comedies.