Blog Tour: The Kindred Killers (Graham Smith) @Bloodhoundbook @GrahamSmith1972

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 9.17.14 AM.pngGood morning and welcome to my stop on the The Kindred Killers blog tour!

The second book in the Jake Boulder series by Graham Smith and published by Bloodhound Books, I was so excited to crack into this one! I had read the previous novel in the series, Watching the Bodies, earlier this year and I loved it.   A fast paced, suspenseful, action packed story led by brooding protagonist, Jake Boulder; this one read like a police procedural novel…but better! I am not going to lie; I was expecting to be completely blown away by the second book in the series, especially since I loved the first one so much. I am glad to say that this book lived up to my expectations. Graham Smith blew me away with his intricate plot and non-stop action. I couldn’t read this one fast enough.  Continue reading

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Throwback Thursday: Blindsighted (Karin Slaughter)

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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by book blogger extraordinaire, Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favourites and read books that have already been published.

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I have been making my way through Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series ever since I read Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter earlier this month.  Needless to say, I have become pretty much Slaughter obsessed.  Chelsea, my good pal over at The Suspense Is Thrilling Me, suggested I go way back and start with the first book in the Grant County series, Blindsighted and, man oh man, am I happy I decided to do that.

The first novel introduces us to the characters in the small Georgia town of Grant County where a professor is found brutally murdered and defiled in a publish washroom. Found by town pediatrician and medical examiner, Sara Linton, upon further investigation into the corpse it is discovered how sick and twisted this case truly is. Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffery Tolliver is leading the case and, when another local woman is found crucified days later, the entire town is on edge.

Slaughter brilliantly is able to weave a tale that is gruesome, macabre and completely entertaining. Once I started reading this book, I found that I could not put it down. I was entranced with her writing and completely caught up with the happenings in Grant County.

I loved the characters in this one; the tangled romantic relationship between Jeffery and Sara added another level of interest to the plot and the added character of Lena, the town’s first female detective and also the first victim’s sister, on her own vigilante mission added yet another layer. Slaughter’s characterization is clearly her strong suit and I cannot wait to see how these characters will develop in the upcoming novels to this series.

I have already picked up the second book in the series, Kisscut, which from my understanding, is even better!

5/5 stars. I absolutely believe any thriller fan would love this book.

Book Review: The Blackbird Season (Kate Moretti) @KateMoretti1 @AtriaMysteryBus

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 10.17.53 PM.pngLast year, I read (and loved!) The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti, so I was thrilled to find out that #cjsreads had obtained copies of her sophomore novel, The Blackbird Season as one of our September picks!    I had absolutely no expectations going into this book; truthfully, I loved The Vanishing Year so much that I didn’t even read the synopsis of this book.  I figured that if Moretti wrote it, I would be interested.  I was right!  Moretti was able to weave a pretty stellar, mysterious novel within these pages.  One that left me binge reading late into the night.

This story surrounds high school teacher, Nate Winters as he is accused of having an affair with a female student, Lucia Hamm.  As Nate’s life spirals and Lucia goes missing, Nate is the only suspect.  As his wife, Alecia begins to question his situation, his only ally comes in the form of co-worker and creative writing teacher, Bridget, who realizes the only way to save Nate’s reputation could be using Lucia’s journals.

Though marketed as a psychological thriller, I didn’t find that this one fit that bill in the traditional sense.  When I think of psychological thriller, I think of a fast-paced, on the edge of your seat, mind-bending plot filled with unreliable narration and lots of “WHOA” moments.  In this case, I felt Moretti created more of a slow-burning mystery.  What happened to Lucia?  Who is telling the truth?  What is the deal with all these birds?  For me, this absolutely worked.

Generally speaking, choppy and disjointed narration usually gets on my nerves, but, somehow, Moretti manages to make this style of narration easy to follow and completely addictive throughout the plot of this tale.  I was on the edge of my seat as I devoured each chapter (both and back and forth in time) and tried to figure out what the true happenings were and what motives the characters were acting with.   Each character gets a distinct POV and I loved hearing the story from each of their perspectives.  I found this to be incredibly interesting.

One of my largest gripes to this story was the situation with the birds.  At the beginning of the story, we are told that thousands (hundreds?  millions?  Who knows) of blackbirds have fallen out of the sky and into the town.  People are horrified by this phenomenon and experts are called into the test the town’s water and air, looking for reasons and possible side effects of this occurrence.   I waited for the entirety of the book for this to be made clear.  And, alas, there was never really an explanation. The birds were more of a metaphor or a representation and I just wasn’t about that.  Personally, I felt like I needed an explanation.

Overall, if you enjoy a tightly woven plot with multiple characters and a compelling mystery, I think you will enjoy this book.  It really reminded me of Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia.  They both had that small town mystery vibe.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of The Blackbird Season; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one?  Keep reading to find out!

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Blog Blitz: The Winter Wedding Plan (Olivia Miles) @MSOLIVIAMILES @FOREVERROMANCE

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Earlier this year, I read One Week to the Wedding, the intro to a new series by Olivia Miles, featuring a recently jilted wedding planner (Kate) and her family.   Fun and endearing, I was able to devour it in an afternoon so, as soon as I saw the second book in the series, The Winter Wedding Plan, I knew I had to add to my TBR.

Similar to the first book, this one gave me that Elin Hilderbrand vibe; heartwarming and endearing.   I ended up sitting down to start this book and finished it within a few hours. Featuring Kate’s sister, Charlotte, recently back from some time away from home (reasons are explained in the previous book, so I don’t want to ruin anything!) is trying to redeem herself and ends up smack dab in the middle of a plan that she doesn’t know if she can handle.  Greg is a high profile client with a lot on the line.  As he and Charlotte become closer, will he risk it all for a chance at true happiness?  That being said, I do think the book could be difficult to read as a standalone.  The characters build from the first book, as does the plot.

I think I liked this book even better than the first, Miles truly gets into her stride and further develops these characters. I loved it.  There are some truly heartfelt moments and some hilarious ones too as Charlotte tries to navigate motherhood and her family. If you are looking for a fun, romance novel to get you into the holiday spirit, I would recommend this one!  It’s a great winter read!

As part of the blog blitz for release week, Olivia Miles, the book’s author, curated a list of her top five favourite books, especially for Clues and Reviews!

Top 5 Favorite Novels

Oh, so hard to narrow it to just five! I read across all genres, but I’m sticking with romance for this one.

  • A Lady Awakened, by Cecilia Grant
  • The Trouble with Christmas, by Debbie Mason
  • Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  • If You Only Knew, by Kristen Higgins
  • Marry – Me Christmas, by Shirley Jump
Thanks so much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel.

Book Review: Lightning Men (Thomas Mullen) @Mullenwrites @SimonSchusterCA

Lightning MenLast year, I read Thomas Mullen’s “buzzed about” publication, Darktown, and I was absolutely blown away.  So, I was extremely excited to read its follow-up, Lightning Men. This book took me forever to get through. It had nothing to do with the writing (it is phenomenal) or the plot (it is completely captivating). Instead, I found myself struggling due to the completely pertinent nature of the text. It made me completely sick to my stomach to think that a plot, highlighting racial inequality and tension in the 1950s would be so relevant to 2017.   I found this historical mystery to be completely draining.

The second novel in this series picks up two years after Darktown with African American police officers, Officer Boggs and Officer Smith, in Atlanta on patrol. The characters remained just as realistic and well developed as in the first novel and Mullen’s vivid imagery, which was one of the features I loved most within Darktown, was just as apparent throughout these pages. Mullens is a master of word choice and creating an entire “scene” for the reader.

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Sneak Peak and Giveaway- The Accident (Dawn Goodwin) @DGoodwinAuthor @Aria_Fiction

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 7.11.42 PM.pngHappy Monday!  After struggling with the most awful flu bug all weekend, I am dragging myself out of bed to be able to bring you a sneak peek and a giveaway for Aria Fiction’s upcoming psychological thriller, The Accident by Dawn Goodwin!   I am such a sucker for this genre and I cannot wait for this one to be released on October 1, 2017!

Care for a synopsis?

A tragic accident, an unbearable loss and a marriage in crisis – but who can she trust or is she all alone? A gripping, debut psychological thriller that will keep you hooked. Perfect for the fans of Paula Hawkins and S.J. Watson.

Veronica Pullman’s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.   Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable.  But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday, it becomes clear to Veronica that the friendship she thought was saving her life could be costing her everything.

Consumed by grief and left questioning her own sanity, is there anyone she can really trust or is someone out to torment her as part of their twisted game?

Sounds fantastic right??!!  Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel and to see how you can win yourself a copy!

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Mini Review Monday: The Rizzoli and Isles Edition

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Remember that one time where I was obsessed with the Rizzoli and Isles series by my favourite author of all time Tess Gerritsen?

I know you do because I talk about them ALL. THE. TIME.

Sorry not sorry.

After hoarding them on my bookshelf for nearly a year, I was able to binge read all remaining books in the series last month in preparation for the newest release, I Know A Secret (which I reviewed here with my CJS reads counterparts).

I don’t even need to go over the fact that I believe this fast-paced stories are well written and filled with twists and turns because that is a given.   And, I will say one thing for sure, I feel like this series is getting better and better. Each installment is better than the last.

Keep reading to see my mini-review thoughts on Last to Die, John Doe and Die Again.

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