Wednesday, January 19, 2022

{I've Been Reading} The Tally Stick


The Tally Stick by Carl Nixon

The Chamberlain family vanished without a trace one night in 1978 when their car plunged off of an isolated road. By the time another car passed, all evidence of the accident had been washed away by the heavy rain. By the time anyone would have realized that the family of six was missing, there was no hope of finding out what had happened. In 2010, the bones of their oldest son are found, along with a piece of scored wood. Forensics show that he didn't die until four years after the family's disappearance. 

The Tally Stick is a black, fascinating story of survival in remote New Zealand. The plot moves between the time of the accident, what happens after the bones are discovered, and the years in between. You don't know what's going to happen, but you know what didn't happen and that's where the suspense comes in. The author also has an amazing way of capturing things like the impact of the car crash. I physically tensed up when I read that passage. 

Chloe Cates is Missing by Mandy McHugh 

I really loved this fast paced domestic thriller. Chloe, online star of CC and Me, is missing. In reality she's 13-year-old Abigail and she's been getting less and less enthusiastic about keeping up the online persona her mother created when she was four. Of courss  Jennifer Scarborough is worried about her missing daughter -- but she's also determined to exploit the situation and generate as much publicity as possible. She's an absolutely awful person and the detective in charge of the case, who happened to be her best friend when the two of  them were Chloe's age, knows exactly the sort of thing she's capable of. 

The plot is a roller coaster with some truly heart stopping plunges and it kept me guessing until the end, which I wish hadn't been quite to abrupt. 


The Other  Family by Wendy Corsi Staub

Life in a New York brownstone will be a huge change for the Howell family, one they're not all entirely confident about. But it's only for a year, a temporary relocation for Keith's job. They'll get used to sharing a bathroom and having less space to spread out in.  The neighbors are welcoming, the girls have been accepted into a great school, and things  are looking good. Until the neighbor's son let it slip that there was a triple homicide in their new home. Until the neighbor herself pointed out the post-motem photograph hanging in the stairwell. There've been multiple tragedies in the house over the past century. And strange things are happening now. 

I enjoyed this one. The characters were three dimensional and interesting. Some things that really didn't make sense were explained by the end. The plot went in directions I wasn't expecting and kept me entertained. 

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


Mystica said...

Sounds good reading. I like the different settings too.

Julierose said...

Thanks for the book reviews--I am always on the lookout for good reading..hugs, Julierose


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