I don’t have words for how much I love this book!! Don’t read my review. Honestly, just buy the book and start reading it.
You’re still here? Fine. Alright. If you’re going to be stubborn...
The book had me in its grips once I hit the support group scene towards the beginning of the book. Yowzers, what a scene. It conveys so much truth about what parents with missing children must go through, while also having sharply drawn and distinctive characters and a wonderful sense of humor. This is writing that is so skilled that it almost makes me want to give up and never write another word again.
Anyway, the type of insightful truth-telling about human emotions and behavior that exists in that scene continues throughout the book. There is so much that I could rave about when it comes to this story — from the solid plotting, to the great descriptions, to the brilliant twists — but the thing that really stands out to me are the characters. When it comes to thrillers, this stands out as one that actually has real depth. The emotions of the characters seem so real, and they are written with such empathy and understanding.
But man, oh, man —- this is just a fun, shocking, can-not-put-it-down read. Don’t let the mention of emotional depth make you think this isn’t a heart-pounding page-turned, because it most certainly is. Hats off to @jenniferhillier
I don’t normally say this, but this needs to be made into a movie!! It’s practically screaming ‘film script!’
Thank you to #NetGalley @stmartinspress and @minotaurbooks for the ARC!
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family―until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.
I loved this read! Just like any great mystery or thriller I’ve read, it started off with a bang, and it ended with a couple of strong and shocking twists that I didn’t see in coming.
The character of Gemma was created so well that you think that she may be crazy or guilty, but you hope so badly that she’s not. This is exactly the way I want to feel about unreliable narrators! This is why I love them so much!
This switches POV a bit, but it’s done in such a skillful and deft way that it serves the story and doesn’t feel forced, cheap or contrived, the way a fair number of thrillers with multiple POVs do these days. (I know some people love multiple POVs, and I do, too, if it’s done well. If it’s not done well, I kind of hate it).
This felt like such an easy read to me, and by saying that, I don’t at all mean that it is in any way simplistic or lacks depth. I’ve just read some thrillers lately that really could have used more editing. While reading this, I didn’t see any gimmicks. Nothing seemed contrived. My mind didn’t start musing about how I might fix things here or there.
No, this is just some good, old-fashioned clean writing by @jackiekabler. Clear, well-defined characters. Motivations that made sense. Thought out psychological underpinnings. Excellent pacing. Solid dialogue and descriptions. And even though the circumstances were pretty ‘out there,’ it all still seemed so believable. (But hey, in the middle of a global pandemic, does anything seem too ‘out there?’)
If you like mysteries or thrillers or shocking endings or things that take your mind — every so slightly — off of a terrible global pandemic, I highly recommend this fun book!
Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC of #ThePerfectCouple!
A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.
After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified by what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned … they all look just like Danny.
But the police aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?
When I receive an ARC, I do my best to read the entire book, out of respect for the author. I made it to the halfway point on this one, then stopped.
My favorite thing: I love the setting of an amusement park in a smaller town, and it is well-crafted. It brought back memories of the park I used to go to as a kid (Knoebel’s Grove in Elysburg, PA). This is a fantastic setting for a YA mystery!
My least favorite thing: the characters don’t seem real enough, which - for me and many readers - is, like, THE MOST important thing, right? For example, if a character’s father is an immature, chauvinistic *insert expletive here,* then I want the main character to acknowledge it, at least in her own thoughts. Or the narrator. This is what allows the reader to believe the narrator and the story. If it doesn’t happen, we suddenly see the facade and realize that everything is contrived and made up.
Ugh, I hate being negative because I know how hard it is to write a book. There is so much potential here, there really is, but I think it needed stronger editing before it was published.
This is a page-turning fictional True Crime book mixed with paranormal. It’s billed as a thriller, but it’s more mystery. Almost the entire book is set at a run-down motel on the outskirts of small-town NY and the happenings there that span nearly forty years.
The setting jumps right off the page and creates a fantastically spooky ghost story. The turns that are supposed to be twists, I found, to be predictable, but I still enjoyed the read.
The author, Simone St. James, is clearly someone who loves true crime, due to her knowledge of it and her mentions of #murderinos and @myfavoritemurder.
I think anyone who has a fascination with true crime or the paranormal will absolutely love this book!!
Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.
Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.
This was a fun read that had me hooked from the beginning. Its well-defined characters have strong dynamics between them, including a flawed – yet very believable – main character. There was good dialogue and witty, young adult banter.
The strange hotel in which the story is set was well-crafted and at points came alive on the page. Thevariations and warping within it reminded me a bit of House of Leaves, which is one of my favorite horror novels.
The narrative, at times, would go back to prior conversations and events to provide backstory, and it wasn’t always clear when it was travelling back and when it was returning, which was a bit confusing.
The ending was sort of fun, but since you can see where the story is going from the beginning, I wish that it was an allegory with deeper meaning. Is it exploring society, individualism, culture, identity…anything?? Yeeaah, no. Nope. It’s just a horror novel with some camp and a fair amount of gruesome.
Now, there are lots of people who are into that type of thing. If horror and/or camp is your thing, you’ll LOVE this read.
Even though that is not my thing, I still devoured it in a day, got lost in it and enjoyed it.
Thank you @penguinrandomhouse and @berkleypub for the ARC!