REVIEW – Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

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Published September 26th 2017 by Dutton Books

 

I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Harlan Coben’s books over the years. After reading the description for “Don’t Let Go” I was really excited to get reading.

New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas has been searching for fifteen years.  He’s been searching for his high school love, Maura. He’s also been searching for answers to what happened on the fateful night that his twin brother and girlfriend were found dead on the train tracks.

Now fifteen years later Maura’s fingerprints have been found where a crime has been committed. Will Nap finally find Maura and find out what happened that terrible night all those years before? Could it have something to do with the nearby abandoned military facility?

I really liked the way the book started. I found it was interesting and I was intrigued. However, after a while I found myself drifting. I was having a hard time with all of the characters and was easily distracted by other things going on.

I really liked Nap and enjoyed leaning about what he was like when he was younger. However, I wondered if an eighteen year old would really have the foresight that he did. I guess maybe he would have had the instincts of a cop early on. There were times he seemed very intelligent with great investigative skills. But then there were a few times I felt like he should have been more prepared as a seasoned police officer. I won’t say more as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.

There was a lot that I liked about this novel but unfortunately there were things that lessened my enjoyment of it. The story-line was interesting but there were many things that I found far-fetched. I often tell myself that it is normal when I’m reading fiction to have to suspend disbelief. Maybe I’m just being too fussy, but I found myself having to do it quite a bit while reading this novel. The book brought up a lot of important thought-provoking issues, but I just had a hard time staying connected to the story.

I’ve seen a lot of great reviews from readers that have really enjoyed this novel. It could very well be a case of “it’s not you it’s me”.  I’ve enjoyed quite a few of the author’s other books. The Stranger, Hold Tight, and Stay Close are among my favorites.  Although this wasn’t my favorite from this author, I do look forward to seeing what Mr. Coben writes in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Throwback Thursday: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

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Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:  Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls

Published July 16, 2013 by Simon Pulse

 

Goodreads Description:

 

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off on a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I was hooked right from the start….

A group of friends are excited for their senior year Spring Break trip to Aruba. Anna and her best friend Elise are especially excited for the trip. Anna is also happy her boyfriend, Tate and a few other friends are coming along. A couple of days in and the group seems to be having a lot of fun drinking and partying in the clubs etc..

However, their trip is cut short when Elise is found brutally murdered and Anna along with Tate are the ones being blamed for her death. I was addicted and unable to put this book down as Anna tried to fight the charges and prove her innocence in a country far from home. The trial was like a circus. I felt the tension and suspense as if I was in the courtroom watching it all unfold.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be fighting for my freedom in a foreign country. How terrified I would be. It boggles my mind. There seemed to be some similarities to some real life cases in this book. Amanda Knox and Natalee Holloway to name a couple, but in my opinion there was still a lot of originality to this story.

This book was about much more than a student who was murdered on a spring break trip. Sex, love, jealousy, youth, guilt, innocence, and a whole lot more. Abigail Haas writes about relationships extremely well. Relationships between lovers as well as friends.

The truth can be far from anything you would ever expect.

A fantastic and compelling read that I highly recommend!!!

REVIEW: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

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Published October 17th 2017

HarperCollins

4.5 Stars!!

I’ve had a lucky streak of great books lately and I’m happy to say that this was another terrific read. “The Last Mrs. Parrish” was a very compelling psychological suspense novel.

“Some women get everything. Some women get everything they deserve”

Amber Patterson detests the rich and privileged women she sees at the gym, yet she would give anything to be one of them. She is tired of being poor – of feeling unimportant, and invisible. But Amber has a plan to change her life and it starts with…Daphne Parrish.

Daphne has it all….and Amber wants it.

Daphne feels like she finally has a friend who can really understand the loss she suffered. Amber offers to help out with a foundation that Daphne runs and she’s thrilled to have Amber’s help. Some of the other women aren’t so sure about Amber, but Daphne ignores their warnings as she grows even closer to Amber. But she has no idea what Amber is up too.

Spending holidays and even taking trips with the family, Amber has done her research and feels like things are going perfectly. However, she may have charmed Daphne but there’s still Jackson to win over.

“Daphne had been easy pickings, but Jackson was going to be a different matter entirely. He was going to require all of Amber’s cunning and ingenuity.”

Amber is positive that she’s finally going to have it all. SHE was going to be the one everyone looked at and admired. She was going to win this time.

But we don’t always see what people are thinking behind their big smiles and we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. And Amber’s past is full of things she doesn’t want anyone to find out.

Will her secrets get out and ruin her big plans? Will she finally get what she deserves?

The book is broken up into three parts. Part one is from Amber’s perspective. We learn about her plan to infiltrate the Parrish’s world. Part two is Daphne’s point of view. Part three was the best of all. Both perspectives come together leading up to a thrilling and very satisfying conclusion.

Although there were a few things that seemed a bit over the top, I didn’t really dwell on it as the story was so interesting. There was also a bit of repetition in part two. However, I think it was probably necessary in order to see Daphne’s view and get the full effect of what was going on.

I really enjoyed this novel. Amber was the perfect villain, someone readers will love to hate. Manipulative and calculating, you never knew what she was going to do next. Jackson Parrish, the high-powered real estate tycoon with the world at his fingertips. And then we have the beautiful and kind, Daphne Parrish, loving wife and mother.

I had a bit of an idea of what might be going on early on. But it may have been written that way intentionally. At any rate, it really didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story as I was curious to see if I was right and if I wasn’t, I was still excited to see where the story was going to go.

And the story didn’t let me down. There were plenty of twists that I did not see coming. I was completely absorbed in the story and found it hard to put down. This book was a bit longer than most suspense novels at almost 400 pages. But I didn’t feel like it was too much, it felt just right.

“The Last Mrs. Parrish” was an engrossing and addictive read, with a great plot and well-developed, diabolical characters. This really was a very impressive debut novel. A delicious story of jealousy, betrayal, and revenge.

The author Liv Constantine is actually the pen name of two sisters, Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Lynne and Valerie wrote this novel while living in different states, using both Skype and email. I’m excited to see what they come up with next!

Thank you HarperCollins for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

 

Music Monday: Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No,No,No)

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Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today has been a favorite of mine for many years. I first heard it on the dance floor many years ago ( it was a bit hard to dance to …..we just sort of swayed).  My boyfriend was the DJ and put this on and everyone stopped and stared at him. This was a hard rock kind of club. However, this song soon became a favorite.

One of my favorite books is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and I was a big fan of the TV series that was made based on the book. When I heard this song in two episodes, I was reminded of how much I loved it.

I hope you enjoy it too!!

Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No,No,No)

Wa-wa-wa-wake the town and tell the people
‘Bout the musical disc coming your way

Bow!
Bow!
Bo-bo-bo-bow!

No no no
You don’t love me
And I know now

No no no
You don’t love me
Yes I know now

Coz you left me
Baby
And I got no place to go now

No no no
I’ll do anything you say boy

No no no
I’ll do anything you say boy

Coz if you asked me
Baby
I’ll get on my knees and pray boy