The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown

Title: The Breakdown

Author: B.A. Paris

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: July 18th, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 336

POV: 1st person

Where you can find The Breakdown: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

My review:

The Breakdown is a nail-biting, psychological thriller that will take you through the wringer as you read it. There is a fine line when writing books like these. The author can give too much away in the buildup and it ruins the rest of the book. It didn’t happen with The Breakdown.

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Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights

Title: Two Nights

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: July 11th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Number of pages: 336

POV: 1st person

Where you can find Two Nights: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . . 

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. 

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago. 

Trigger Warning: Terrorism, Child Abuse, Terrorist Acts

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Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Watch Me Disappear

Title: Watch Me Disappear

Author: Janelle Brown

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Random House

Date of publication: July 11, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 368

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Watch Me Disappear: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Nobody—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.

But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.

My review:

How well do we actually know the ones we love? If they had secrets that came out after their death, would they totally change the way that we looked at that person or would we just shrug and say “That was just like so and so“. Watch Me Disappear explores those questions in-depth.

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The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

The Fourth Monkey

Title: The Fourth Monkey

Author: J.D. Barker

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Date of publication: June 27th, 2017

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 416

POV: Alternating 3rd person and 1st person

Where you can find The Fourth Monkey: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The most anticipated thriller of the year – Optioned for both film and television

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

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A Guy, a Girl and a Voodoo Monkey Hand by D.I. Jolly

A Guy, a Girl and a Voodoo Monkey Hand

Title: A Guy, a Girl and a Voodoo Monkey Hand

Author: D.I. Jolly

Publisher: Raider Publishing International

Date of publication: August 20th, 2010

Genre: Mystery, Humor

Number of pages: 260

POV: 1st person

Where you can find A Guy, a Girl and a Voodoo Monkey Hand: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A quirky tongue-and-cheek story about a detective with a difference, and it’s not his caffeine addiction or his strange collection of friends. Through the course of three cases, Jones P.I. starts to discover that maybe he doesn’t know everything about life, love, and everything. Syn Island a man-made island created as a maximum security prison when left for a few generations becomes one of the world’s strongest economies, exporting brain power and work ethic. Now, it’s a city like any other filled with jazz, crime mobsters, and dark alleyways, and it lends itself to a few night-time adventures. Like all good detective stories, this one starts with a woman in a red dress, and as we follow our hero through a strange maze of misunderstandings, mistresses, and bars we start to learn that a little bit of crazy is what will keep you sane on the streets of Syn Island. And then, of course, there’s Jeff…

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The Silent Corner (Jane Hawk: Book 1) by Dean Koontz

Title: The Silent Corner

Author: Dean Koontz

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: June 20th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 464

POV:

Series: Jane Hawk

The Silent Corner – Book 1

Where you can find The Silent Corner: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A dazzling new series debuts with a remarkable heroine certain to become a new icon of suspense, propelled by the singular narrative genius of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.

I very much need to be dead.

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

My review:

I had an ultimate fangirl moment when I saw that The Silent Corner was available for review on NetGalley. See, I am a huge Dean Koontz fan. Huge. I started reading his books my sophomore year of high school, Ticktock was the book, and I was hooked. I have read every single book of his up to The Husband. Then I stopped. I had two children almost back to back, moved 3 times and honestly, didn’t have the time to read. In 2011, I got my first Kindle and started reading again. I missed reading his books (mine got lost in one of the moves we had). So when I saw The Silent Corner for review on NetGalley, I applied. I was not expecting to be selected and when I got the email that I had been selected, I got up and did a happy dance.

I wasn’t disappointed in The Silent Corner. It was everything that I have come to expect from his books. Plenty of intrigue, action and a hint of paranormal. From the beginning of the book, I was hooked in because I had to find out what Jane was doing and how she was going to do it. Believe me, when a book does that to someone, it is worth reading and keeping (I am talking my SO into buying me the hardcover when it is published).

From the opening scene to the end, which was really creepy, I was kept on my toes. You never knew where the story would end up or what Jane would do. I loved it. Normally, I don’t like it when the author plays mind games or switches to other characters point of views. But in this book, it worked and it helped build the story up to the climax and when the two main storylines intertwined.

What I liked about this book is how realistic it was. What was happening to these people on that scientist’s Hamlet list….that could happen. It is possible that some nut with a God complex could design something like what is outlined in the book and then use it in the same way. As with all of his other books, there is a hint of truth running through it and it makes you think….what if?? Could it really happen??

The end of the book was pretty intense. All of the storylines were brought together in a way that ended all but the main one. Doing that also left the book wide open for book 2….which I will be waiting with bated breath to come out.

How many stars will I give The Silent Corner: 5

Why: Great plot lines, great characters, and overall a great book

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Party bv Robyn Harding

The Party

Title: The Party

Author: Robyn Harding

Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Date of publication: June 6, 2017

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 352

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find The Party: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.

My review:

The Party is one of those books that when I finished, I exhaled and thought “What the heck did I just read”. I thought it showed perfectly how relationships can be destroyed when pressure is put on them….more so if they are already fracturing. It was an intense read and I did just sit there and think about the book for a while after I read it. It got that under my skin. As a mother of an 11-year-old girl, I often wonder how high school is going to be for her and if she is going to feel like she is going to have to be something she’s not to fit in. I will tell you this, I will not be like Kim or Lisa. Too extreme on either end. One wants to control her daughter and the other letting her daughter having too much freedom.

I am going to admit that Kim bugged the crap out of me the entire book. She was self-righteous. Everything that she did had to be better than everyone else, she was extremely condescending to her husband and kids and she basically thought that she was above everyone. She rubbed me the wrong way. Even when I was supposed to feel bad for her, I didn’t. I almost felt that she brought this on herself by being the stuck up snob that she was. But then again, greed was a reason in the lawsuit too.

Lisa, however, I did feel bad for, at first. Her daughter was disfigured and hospitalized. But her greed started showing very early in the book and by the time they went to court, I felt disgust for her. She had convinced herself that her daughter wouldn’t be able to do anything in life because of her injury and she refused to listen to Ronni when Ronni begged her to drop the lawsuit. At that point, Lisa was out to ruin Kim and Jeff, professionally and publicly, because they didn’t offer to pay for Ronni’s hospital bills right away (which they should have done right off the bat, to be honest). Even her boyfriend got clued in when she declined a settlement….because she wanted the full amount in the lawsuit.

Honestly, in my eyes, Ronni was the only one who lost in this book. She was mercilessly bullied by people she had once considered friends and didn’t have any friends, she lost her eye and her mother had turned into someone who she didn’t even know. So when certain events happened in the book about her, I truly wasn’t surprised. I actually figured that what happened would happen and expected it to happen earlier.

I am really not going to get into the storylines because they all crisscross with each other, but I will say that I found them all very compelling. Actually, the storyline with Lauren and Jeff creeped me out….a lot. But I did think that he did the right thing in the end.

The end of the book wasn’t a happy ending. While some storylines were resolved, other’s weren’t and that is what made the ending good. I was taken by surprise by the slight twist at the end. I actually wished that there was an epilogue or something because I wanted to see what happened.

Now my questions for the book:

Why were certain events about that night not revealed until almost until the end of the book? I mean, it makes sense with what happened but I wish that the author made those characters make their scenes sooner

Why the total 180 with Lisa? I mean, I kinda liked her as the laid back, pot smoking mom. But when she morphed into Ms. Greedypants, I just lost interest and empathy for her.

Why didn’t Hannah try harder with Ronni? She went to the same school and she had to of seen her. If she missed her that much, she should have tried harder. But, then again, she is a teenager and we all know how they are.

How many stars will I give The Party: 4

Why: I really liked the story and the messages that it got across. Even with my dislike of Kim and Lisa, the story was beautifully written with compelling storylines and hot topics. I couldn’t put the book down.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Language, violence. Also, triggers for bullying

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**