REVIEW – The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine

The Wife Stalker

Expected publication: May 19th, 2020 by HarperCollins Publishers

 

An excellent summer read!

Joanna has devoted her life to eight-year-old Evie, six-year-old Stelli, and their father, Leo. Joanna’s been patiently waiting for Leo to come out of the depression that gripped him for months. Now it seems like her prayers have been answered. He’s coming back to them.

Leo is a successful lawyer and he’s just about to start a new high profile case. Joanna suggests he attend a meditation workshop at the Phoenix Recovery Center to help him get prepared emotionally.

It won’t be long before she regrets that suggestion.

“I was relieved that he was finally going to take a step toward health. Little did I know that it would be his first step out of my life and right into hers”.

Piper Reynard recently moved to Westport from San Diego. She wanted to start over without standing out. She found the perfect home and she loves running the Phoenix Recovery Center. She hopes things will be different in Westport. “She couldn’t keep starting over and finding new places to hide“. Piper promised herself that she wasn’t going to get involved with anyone for at least a year. Then she meets Leo Drakos. Piper is excited when he signs up for a meditation workshop at the center. Leo quickly realizes mediation isn’t for him and instead of finishing the workshop, he takes Piper for lunch where the conversation flows easily. Piper is very attracted to Leo and she thinks the feeling might be mutual.

Leo seems pretty relaxed when he gets home that evening so Joanna is surprised when he says he didn’t get anything out of the workshop.

When Joanna meets Piper at their annual Memorial Day Party, she’s far from impressed. After the party, she searches social media to see what she can find out about Piper. Joanna can’t find anything about Piper online. What is she hiding?

When Joanna’s mother hurts herself, Leo encourages Joanna to go and stay with her. The weeks go by. The children visit but it’s not the same. Then an unexpected visitor one morning turns Joanna’s life upside down.

Joanna’s devastated. She’s losing everything that matters to her. But she’s not going to go down without a fight. She’s going to get her life back. Her loved ones are in danger and she’s going to do what she has to do to prove it. Will she be able to do it in time?

 

Well done. You got me!

The story is told from both Joanna’s and Piper’s point of view. We learn a lot about their current lives as well as their childhood, and their complicated relationships with parents and previous partners.

This in-depth and well-developed story had me gripped. I definitely had to suspend my disbelief at times, but I was addicted to the story. And that ending?  I NEVER saw it coming.  At first, I was a bit confused. I was like…wait…what? Then I got it and my mouth dropped.

I thought this was an excellent domestic suspense novel with great characters that many will love to hate. I suggest you read this book in as few sittings as possible.

 

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

REVIEW – The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen

The Closer You Get

Published April 21st 2020 by Berkley Books

 

Thirty-six-year-old, Ruby is waiting for her husband, Tom to come home from work. She has something important to tell him and she’s not sure how he’s going to take it. She knows that once she has said what she needs to say, there’s no going back.

Finally, Tom arrives home and Ruby has the conversation she’s been dreading. It actually goes much better than she expected. She feels as though a huge weight has been taken off of her shoulders. For a moment, she wonders if it might have gone too well, but she pushes that thought aside.

Now she waits for someone else. But it seems like this part isn’t going according to plan

On Monday, Ruby goes to work where she’s hit with another surprise. A woman from human resources meets her at security and tells her that her contract has been terminated. Ruby has been with the company for less than two years so they aren’t obligated to tell her why she’s been let go. She’ll soon find out.

Now she wonders if she’s made the biggest mistake of her life.

But it seems like someone doesn’t think Ruby’s been through enough. She starts receiving threatening messages and prank calls. She even wonders if someone has been inside her home. Now Ruby is going to have to do something she’s rarely done before. She’s going to have to stand up for herself.

Ruby has decided that she won’t go down without a fight. But first, she’ll have to figure out who she’s fighting against.

An excellent read!

I thought this was a very enjoyable psychological suspense novel. A well-crafted story with well-developed and relatable characters. Although I may not have agreed with all of their decisions, I still felt for Ruby and Emma and enjoyed reading both their perspectives.

The story deals with some very important issues and I thought the author handled these issues well. Though it was a little predictable at times, there were still some very good twists and turns. I was engaged from the start until the very satisfying finish.

 

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

REVIEW – Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Little Secrets

Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Minotaur Books

 
This Book definitely deserves its spot as one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2020!

 

I loved this author’s previous novel, “Jar of Hearts”. As soon as I heard about “Little Secrets”, I knew I HAD to read it as soon as possible. I had high hopes and I wasn’t let down.

This was a wickedly twisted and fast-paced read that satisfied me but also left me wanting more!

Sixteen months ago: Marin Machado is Christmas shopping with her four-year-old son, Sebastian. Her husband, Derek is at a pub nearby. They are just finishing up when Marin receives a text from her husband. She lets go of Sebastian’s hand to text Derek back. A minute later, Marin realizes Sebastian is no longer leaning against her. She can’t see him. She calls out his name but the market is crowded and loud. She phones her husband and someone else notifies security. A few minutes later, Derek shows up. “What the hell, Marin? What did you do?” She had only let go of Sebastian’s hand for a minute and now he’s gone. They give security a picture of Sebastian and it’s forwarded around. Then the police show up.

16 months later: Marin wakes up thinking about Sebastian just like she does every morning. Her husband, Derek is out of town again. Marin checks her phone and sees the usual text from her best friend, Sal. “You alive?” he asks. She’s glad Sal doesn’t tiptoe around her. Sal Palermo and Marin don’t have much in common, but he gets her.

Sebastian has been gone for 485 days.

Marin attends a support group for parents of missing children. It’s a safe place for parents to vent their feelings. Marin’s therapist would like her to process what happened and move through it so she can heal. He doesn’t understand that she WANTS to fixate on it. He also had a very strong reaction to the secret she shared during their last appointment. He told her that what she was doing was very unhealthy, not to mention…illegal.

Marin is on her way to meet up with Vanessa Castro, the PI she hired after the police stopped focusing on Sebastian’s case. Vanessa said she had some new information for Marin. “Would today be the day?” Marin meets up with Vanessa and what she’s told shakes her world once again. She’s enraged and in some ways, she almost welcomes the feeling. It’s very different from feeling sad.“Rage, on the other hand, will get shit done.” Marin is going to start her own investigation.

Wow! She’s done it again! What an awesome and addictive read!

Compelling and unpredictable, this page flipping thriller had me captivated from the start and kept me guessing all the way through.

Jennifer Hillier knows how to tell one heck of a story. She writes in a way that continually holds my interest. I loved how the story flowed. There was a lot going on but I found it easy to keep up. The story is told from two points of view and I liked reading both “sides”. The characters were complex, flawed, and well-defined.

An emotionally-driven psychological suspense novel about secrets, lies, hope, revenge, and more!

I highly recommend this novel as well as the author’s previous novel, “Jar of Hearts”. I’m super excited to see what this talented author comes up with next!

 

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

 

REVIEW – Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell

Something She's Not Telling Us

Published April 7th 2020 by Harper

 

Charlotte knows she has a good life but often finds herself overcome with worry especially where her five-year-old daughter, Daisy is concerned. Charlotte is currently working with a psychiatrist who is trying to help her deal with her anxiety and her past. Charlotte knows she can’t predict the future or change the past but if she could there’s one thing she would definitely change.

Charlotte, her husband, and Daisy returned home from Mexico the night before.   Charlotte receives a text from her brother, Rocco telling her he’s home now too. They were originally supposed to be on the same flight as Rocco and his girlfriend; Ruth, but when they were about to board, Ruth couldn’t find her passport. They’d had to stay behind to sort it out.

Charlotte owns a floral-arrangement business and has an important meeting at nine am. The meeting is then postponed to four o’clock. Unfortunately, the time change means she’ll be late picking Daisy up after school. She tries but has no luck finding someone else to pick Daisy up. Charlotte attends her meeting and rushes to Daisy’s school.

Charlotte FINALLY gets to the school. Instantly she can tell something isn’t right. The teachers look confused. Charlotte asks what’s going on. “I guess there’s been a little mix-up. She’s already been picked up”. They tell Charlotte that Daisy’s aunt picked her up and that there was a man with her. But Daisy doesn’t have an aunt.

It’s now 5:30 pm.  Daisy has been gone two and a half hours.

Charlotte is frantic. She worries that Daisy might not have her inhaler with her. What if she gets sick?

Where is Daisy?

Sooo many secrets!!!!

The majority of this story is told from the two main characters’ points of view, switching back and forth between past and present. I liked the multiple perspectives at first. However, after a while it became a little repetitive. Hearing the same part of the story from two (sometimes three) characters was a bit much at times.

I can see why this book has a lot of mixed reviews. The story was over the top.  Although it wasn’t quite what I expected, this was a quick and entertaining read that passed some time. I’m curious to see what Darcey Bell comes up with next.

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