Thursday, August 19, 2021

{I've Been Reading} I Let Him In

 The Family Plot by Megan Collins

The Lighthouse family is "unnatural." That's what Dahlia's twin brother tells her before running away on his sixteenth birthday. It's not until ten years after Andy's disappearance that Dahlia returns to the family's isolated island mansion for their father's funeral and realizes that her brother never left the property at all. All this time, he's been buried in the family plot, in the grave set aside for their father, his skull split open with his own axe. 

A serial killer has lurked on the island for decades, killing young women and branding them before leaving their bodies  to be battered by the waves. Dahlia and her siblings were educated through the homeschool curriculum their mother devised, one that consisted of writing carefully researched reports about murder victims and holding annual ceremonies to honor their names. The siblings themselves were named after famous murder victims. Now, while Dahlia tries to figure out what happened to Andy, her older brother, Charlie, is planning to open the house as a memorial museum and her sister, Tate, is constructing an intricate diorama of the murder scene. 

I really enjoyed this one. It's a mystery with a kind of traditional gothic feel to it. Even though I'm not a true crime expert by any stretch of the imagination, the author provides just enough context with her references that I never felt like I was missing too much. 

The Liar Next Door by Nicola Marsh

Three women cross paths at a neighborhood party. There's the expectant mother, who is hosting a gender reveal in an attempt to make connections with her new neighbors. There's the social influencer, and there's her new neighbor who might be a little too anxious to build a friendship between them. 

It's an somewhat entertaining read. The chapters alternate between the three women and more than once I found myself flipping back to double check whose part of the story I was reading. Spoiler -- everyone in this book is a liar. They've all got secrets to hide. The ending was abrupt and a little unsatisfying, but I don't regret reading through to get there. 

I Let Him In by Jill Childs 

After a hit and run accident puts an end to her travel plans, Louise finds herself with her leg in a cast, mostly confined to her small apartment. She hires a friend of an acquaintance to repaint the walls and 
they begin to develop a relationship that's threatened by dark secrets Louise has hidden from almost everyone in her life...This one is all over the place. It starts with the accident and feels like a tense thriller, then veers into romantic suspense territory, then winds up someplace else entirely. It wasn't the sort of read I was hoping for and ended with a final twist that made no sense. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

{I've Been Reading} The Sister-in-Law



The Sister-in-Law by Pamela Crane

Wow! From the book's cover copy, I expected Candace to have difficulty with her new sister-in-law. I didn't expect the conflict to be so immediate or both women to be so nasty. These two aren't even going to try to get along. I was never sure which of them I was supposed to be siding with. The plot is fast paced and entertaining an although I found some parts unbelievable, I had fun reading it. 

Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links. the publisher provided me with an advance review copy.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

{I've Been Reading} Dark Roads


Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

It was my buddy Jo, from Jo's Country Junction, who recommended Still Missing. I guess I can thank her for getting me hooked on thrillers and Chevy Stevens's books in particular. It was  the book's description that really made me want to read it, even before I realized who it was by, but I almost feel like it gave too much away. After the death of her father, teenager Hailey McBride uses the notoriety of the Cold Creek highway to escape her controlling uncle. Women have been disappearing from the area for decades. Sometimes their bodies were found. Others disappeared without a trace. Hailey hopes that she'll be seen as just another victim of whoever was responsible and can escape her life. But that doesn't happen until well into the book. At times Hailey felt really young and I had to remind myself that she was just a kid so of course she was acting that way. I'm not sure if I've ever felt the loss of a character the way I did in this book.


 Bad Scene by  Max Tomlinson

Set in 1978 San Francisco, this mystery definitely isn't a cozy. The protagonist, Colleen Hayes, spent a decade in jail for fatally stabbing her husband in the neck with a screwdriver. Her estranged daughter is involved with a cult. (I'm guessing one of the earlier books in the series explained why there's a restraining order against her, filed by a different cult that her daughter was previously involved with -- these are really interesting characters!) She's also infiltrating a neo-Nazi group of bikers to investigate rumors that they plan to shoot the mayor.  And did I mention the active volcano in South America  where the cult is building its new church? This book is a wild ride that had me holding my breath more than once.


Home Sweet Home by Nicole Trope 

Something is wrong in the pretty house on Hogarth Street. The twins haven't left for school. The drapes and windows are still tightly shut and Katherine won't answer the door, not to receive a delivery that requires a signature or to talk to her next door neighbor. It took me a while to figure out what was going on but once I did I was hooked. Katherine and  her husband are a bit of a mystery until the end, but the delivery driver and concerned neighbor were both intriguing enough to hold my interest while I waited to find out what was going to happen to the family in the locked house. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 


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