REVIEW: Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

34336600Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

To Be Published September 5, 2017 by Minotaur Books

I’ve only read one of Sharon Bolton’s previous books, but I really enjoyed it. I was intrigued by the short blurb for “Dead Woman Walking” and was excited to begin reading.

Sisters, Jessica and Isabel (aka Bella aka Sister Maria Magdalena) are very close, although Jessica wishes she understood her sister better. Whenever Jessica asks her sister about the past or her choice to become a nun, Bella is quick to end the conversation.

“I left that life behind a long time ago, I have a new family now. A family in god”

For Bella’s 40th Birthday, Jessica wants to do something memorable, so she organizes a hot air balloon ride.

But what was supposed to be a one hour balloon ride, a birthday gift from one sister to another, turns into a nightmare….

The passengers are having the time of their lives but then they see something they shouldn’t have, the balloon crashes, leaving only one survivor in a fight for her life.

I found the first part of the book really intense and I was definitely absorbed in the story. But after a while, I found things got a bit confusing. There was a long chase, a lot of police procedural stuff, as well as quite a few characters to keep track of. Switching from past to present was interesting, but the chapter headings: 28 years earlier, 22 years earlier, 2 years 8 months earlier, 3 days earlier etc. weren’t in order (which I realize was on purpose), so I really had to pay close attention.

There was a lot going on in this novel and most of it was really engaging, but for me it was a bit of information overload. But at no point did I consider stopping. I was quite invested in what was happening and although not everything was entirely plausible, it was still entertaining.

There was even a few laugh out loud moments with the sisters AND the Sisters.

“I’m living in a budget sequel to Sister Act”

So while I was confused at times and it seemed like there was almost too much going on, this was definitely a compelling novel with some interesting plot lines that kept me engaged. There were also some really great twists that I did NOT expect and WOW, I did NOT see that ending coming!

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

Goodreads Monday – Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

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Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Expected publication: November 21st 2017 by Atria Books

 

Goodreads Description:

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn’s house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.

 

My Thoughts:

I came across this novel about a month ago and I’ve been excited about it ever since. I’ve read that fans of Liane Moriarty’s “Big Little Lies” may really enjoy this novel. It has also been recommended for fans of Amy Hatvany. I love both of those authors and I am quite intrigued by the description. On top of that, I really like the cover!! So I have a really good feeling about this one. Can’t wait to read it!!

REVIEW: The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

25697689The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly
Published September 8, 2015 by Grove Press

I have enjoyed a few of Paula Daly’s other books so I was pretty sure I would enjoy this one too.

Right at the start, I couldn’t help but feel for main character, Roz. She’s struggling at work, then rushing home to pick  right home to up her son, George on time from after school care. Her husband ran up a bunch of debt, ran around on her, and then ran home to his mother. As a result she lost her business and home (and even the family dog). And now her low paying job leaves her with barely enough money to pay the rent.

Many of the struggles she was having as a single mother rang true. Her relationship with her son was really sweet, you could feel how she was trying to do right by him. Nine-year-old George also came across very genuine. I loved the way the two of them interacted. Circumstances just kept knocking her closer to the breaking point.

Then she comes home to find an eviction notice on her door. She now has just two weeks to figure everything out.

Who wouldn’t at least consider agreeing to an indecent proposal?

I really felt for what Roz was going through. The desperation was clear to see and I found myself trying to figure out what I would do in some of the same situations. Many of the author’s descriptions were bang on. The cast of characters was great. Some of the interactions she had while working with her patients were laugh out loud funny.

While this is definitely not a typical thriller, it was quite suspenseful and it had me gripped. I had to know what was going to happen next. “The Mistake I Made” is a well written, witty, and entertaining novel that I read in just a couple of sittings.

I really enjoyed this novel from Paula Daly and I am definitely looking forward to more.

 

REVIEW – The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves (Lizzie Snow #2)

25487427The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves

Published January 5, 2016 
Bantam

4 Stars!!

This is book two in the “Lizzie Snow” series. It worked out okay as a stand-alone but having a bit of background on Detective Lizzie Snow’s past may have helped me understand a few things a bit more,  but for the most part it was fine.

In the prologue (which takes place fifteen years ago) we meet Janie and Cam.  Fifteen-year-old cousins living in New Haven, Connecticut. The girls spend a lot of time together. Janie is a good girl who always obeys her mother, does all of her homework on time, confesses all of her minor sins, and is tries her best to be perfect. Cam on the other hand, smokes cigarettes, drinks, and is always getting into some kind of trouble. Cam is also very good at persuading Janie to try things she never would have otherwise. Cam has no fear, which scares Janie sometimes.

One night that fearlessness gets both girls into serious trouble….

Fifteen years later, Lizzie Snow, a homicide detective has joined a police force in Bearkill, Maine to look for her missing niece. At the moment forest fires are out of control and there is a threat of evacuation. Now a local teen with a previous history of running away has gone missing. The mother of the missing teen is acting very strangely, she seems to be holding something back.

On top of that they are also searching for a man who has escaped from a mental institution, Henry Gemerle. Gemerle is a kidnapper and rapist. Is it possible he’s connected to the missing teen?

Told from a few different perspectives, at first I had a bit of trouble following along. I wasn’t always sure whose view I was reading, but eventually I caught on. The multiple story lines were all interesting and I was excited to find out how they were all related.

This book really made me think about what I would do in certain situations that came up.  Would I put myself first at all costs? I’d like to think I would think of others, but who’s to say in the heat of the moment (an EXTREMELY scary moment) what I would do.  I’m pretty sure that I’d have a difficult time keeping something so important to myself. I know this sounds cryptic but I don’t want to give anything away.

“The Girls She Left Behind” was a compelling read with unique characters and some very clever twist and turns.  Readers should be aware that there are some disturbing and violent scenes. However, I don’t feel like the author went overboard with too many graphic descriptions. All in all, this was a very intense and satisfying read.

A story with dark secrets, murder, redemption, and revenge!  I look forward to reading more from Sarah Graves.