BOOK REVIEW – The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

Expected publication: August 10th 2021 by Gallery Books

I’ve really enjoyed Robyn Harding’s previous novels and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this novel too.

Happily married for twenty-two years, Thomas and Viv Adler. appear to have it all. They are attractive and successful. They have a beautiful home. To top it all off, they have well adjusted and wonderful children. Their loving family is happy and healthy.

At least that’s how it appears to be.

But the family isn’t so perfect. Apparently, the Adler’s have done some very bad things. They are all keeping secrets. Even from each other.

Other people don’t know the things the Adler’s have done and the secrets they are keeping. At least not yet.

The pranks start out relatively benign. Annoying but harmless. Eggs on their porch etc. Random attacks that they don’t take personally. But the pranks quickly escalate, becoming more aggressive and violent. The Adler’s wonder if they are being targeted. When they try to get the police involved, it isn’t taken seriously. They are told it’s probably just local kids.

Now someone is happily watching this “perfect” family falling apart. Someone who thinks the world would be a much better place WITHOUT them.
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Who is doing these things? Why?

The family is afraid and their fear grows with each attack. And if their secrets become public…it might destroy them all.

Appearances can REALLY be deceiving!!

A thought-provoking and entertaining read!!

I love how Robyn Harding tells a story. Everything was revealed in a way that held my attention and had me saying just one more chapter again and again. While I may not have loved all the characters, they were well-written and I was invested in seeing how things would turn out for them all.

Another very satisfying psychological suspense novel by Robyn Harding!!

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

BOOK REVIEW – Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Dark Roads

Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

This was an exciting, thrilling, and unputdownable read!!

June 2018- Seventeen-year-old, Hailey McBride recently lost her father in a tragic car accident. Hailey was very close to her father. He taught her survival skills, and how to hunt and fish. Now Hailey’s moved in with her Aunt Lana, her six-year-old cousin, Cash, and her aunt’s husband, Vaughn. Her aunt is kind but Vaughn makes Hailey nervous. Vaughn is a Police Sergeant many call “The Iceman”. He loves to write tickets and he’s especially hard on young people, harassing them and busting them for the smallest infractions.

Hailey has a friend named Jonny. They have been best friends since she was eight years old. They fix their dirt bikes together and she loves watching him race. She even thinks he could go pro. Vaughn seems to have it out for Jonny and warns Hailey to stay away from him. Vaughn won’t let her get a job and his rules are becoming unbearable. Hailey knows he just wants to keep an eye on her.

 “Someone like you, a pretty girl without a dad, you have to be even more careful.”

When Hailey makes a horrifying discovery, she realizes she can’t live like this any longer. So she comes up with a plan.

Everyone who lived in Cold Creek knew about the dangerous highway. Parents warned their children about it and you couldn’t miss the billboard warning women not to hitchhike. You also couldn’t ignore the posters of the “victims with their sweet, hopeful smiles”. With no public transportation, these warnings still couldn’t stop those young women who were determined to run away or find a place to hang out with friends. Some went missing from the highway, some from local communities who were last seen at a party or walking home alone.

Cold Creek is one of the towns were several women had last been seen. The town is the last stop for gas and supplies for many miles. People had started to relax a little after several years had gone by without any murders.

That was a big mistake.

Now more photos are being added to the posters. It’s started again.

Who is the highway killer? Will they ever be caught?

I loved this book!

Chevy Stevens is a fantastic storyteller, and in my opinion, this was a terrific read. Well-paced and intense with many engaging characters. One of my favorite characters was a wonderful dog named Wolf. The author’s descriptions made it easy to picture this super-smart dog with his different colored eyes. A well-written story filled with plenty of action and suspense, I was gripped from start to finish.

Dark Roads is a captivating and twisted tale of murder and suspense. Don’t miss it!!!

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

BOOK REVIEW – The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

The Sunday Girl

Published August 23, 2018 by Simon Schuster

 

“Some love affairs change you forever”

Someone comes into your life, like “the wind working on a rooftop weather vane.  And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.”

Taylor Bishop knows why she did what she did…”love – broken love – made me do it”

She tells us the how is more complicated. And the when?  Well she can tell us that exactly…

“it started four days, eighteen hours and twenty-three minutes after the strongest gust of wind I’d ever known decided to leave me”. That gust of wind was Angus Hollingsworth.

The book opens as Taylor, after a night of drinking, is using Google to search for ways to ruin a man.

What do they always say about a woman scorned?

We learn about Taylor’s relationship with Angus through memories she shares. He called her his “Sunday Girl”.

In the beginning:

“With Angus life was like a movie: a dozen red roses at work for no reason, phone calls from the restaurant bathroom in the middle of a business lunch just to say that he missed me, long baths together chatting about nonsense.”

But after a few months…things start to change. When Angus was happy he was wonderful, but when he wasn’t happy?

But something made her stay. However, everybody has a limit.

Taylor might have been able to move on and get over it. But then she receives an email with an attachment. When she opens it, she’s BEYOND shocked by what she sees…and it changes EVERYTHING. Then a friend gives her a copy of The Art of War”

“That’s when I had the idea that would change the course of my life forever.”

 

A gripping and exciting read!

At the beginning of each chapter is a quote from  “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu which I found really interesting.

In my opinion, this really was a fantastic read. I may have had to let go and not worry if everything was believable or plausible, but it was worth it.

“The Sunday Girl” was an escape from everyday life that I really enjoyed.

A fantastic debut novel about love, anger, and revenge!

 

BOOK REVIEW – The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent

The Memory Watcher

Published December 31st 2016 by Createspace

The synopsis for this novel instantly intrigued me. Books that have anything to do with social media are my kryptonite and from the description and the reviews I read, I knew it was one I had to read. I was pretty sure this was going to be a book I would really enjoy.

I was right.

“ I found her, it took three years but I found her“ 

The book opens with twenty-five year old, Autumn Carpenter searching online for posts that Daphne McMullen has put up of her daughter, Grace. She looks at every picture and reads every post she can find. For now social media provides access to three-year-old Grace….HER Grace. “She is theirs but she is also mine”.

But it’s not just Grace she’s taken an interest in…

Autumn likes to envision herself as other people, likes the things they like etc. She does her hair like theirs and buys the things they buy. She pictures herself in their homes. But everyone likes to pretend sometimes….

But for Autumn this is more than playing pretend.

Daphne McMullen seems to have it all. But we know that so many things can and do go on behind closed-doors (and computer screens).

Is Daphne’s life really as perfect as it seems?

Then one day Autumn is online as usual, hoping to get her “fix” of Daphne and family when a message pops up.  “No results found”. She searches everywhere but she can’t find Daphne‘s account. Everything is gone. She feels like she can’t breathe.  She doesn’t know what to do.

“My gateway to Grace’s life has come to a screeching halt just like that”

Autumn HAS to find a way to see what is going on in Grace’s life.  What will she do to make that happen?

I really enjoyed this novel. I was totally invested in the lives of the characters, anxious to find out what was going to happen next.

As I mentioned, I love stories that involve social media and the online world played a big part in this novel. But the rest of the story was great too. An intriguing and engaging story about secrets, lies, deception, obsession, and more that I finished in just a few sittings.

This was my first novel from Minka Kent, but I know it won’t be my last.