Book Review: Follow You Down (Michael Bradley) @amberjackpub

Follow You DownMeet Neil Brewster: a successful lawyer with a reputation, on track to partner and engaged to a gorgeous woman. Known for his ruthless nature in the courtroom, Neil has always been a bully. Just ask the kids he tormented in his youth.

Follow You Down, by Michael Bradley, follows Neil’s journey as he is confronted by his past sins and is forced to look back when he realizes things were not always as they seem.

When I started Follow You Down, I was hooked right away. I loved Bradley’s narrative voice. It was incredibly easy to be sucked in and I breezed through the first chapters. Once I started, I was compelled to find out what was going to happen. Now, that being said, one of the downsides to this novel was that I was able to guess one of the pretty largest twists very early on. From there, I just felt like this novel became incredibly predictable, incredibly quickly.  That doesn’t bother me because I did find Bradley’s style to be so enjoyable but I know that this would be an issue to some readers.

Even with the predictability, I was impressed that Bradley was able to surprise me with the final twist! I appreciated that!

Overall, a quick crime read that I made me feel a bit like summer. It really reminded me of those “teen slasher” movies. Very entertaining and easy to breeze through!

This novel comes out on April 3, 2018; mark your calendars!

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

 

Advertisements

Blog Tour: A Dangerous Game (Heather Graham)

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 11.02.07 PM.pngGood Morning and welcome to my stop on the TLC blog tour for A Dangerous Game, the newest publication by romantic suspense author Heather Graham! I am thrilled to be able to provide a review.

When I found out that this novel was, in fact, the third book in the New York Confidential series, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was a good idea to read this one as a standalone. However, once I read the synopsis, I couldn’t pass it up! Human trafficking, danger and a romantically linked team, A Dangerous Game seemed to have everything that I would want in a read! From what I understand, the novels are written using the same characters throughout but are independent stories, which makes it easy to read them as a standalone.  This was absolutely true! I had no issue following the story or latching on to the main characters. After the first few pages, I was hooked.

Usually, when I read romantic suspense, I expect to have a novel that is heavy on the romance with a little bit of mystery mixed in. But, for this novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite to be true! I found that A Dangerous Game had plenty of action and a few twists and turns with the romantic element taking more of a backseat.  And, although I did find the general plot quite predictable, I did really find myself enjoying Graham’s writing style. I liked the banter between the characters and the “to the point” prose.

One thing that I struggled with was that A Dangerous Game had a plethora of characters, some easier to keep track of than others, and I found this to be a little bit distracting as I read. Now, as mentioned, I have not read the other books in the series so I am not sure if this was an issue related to that or if it truly was a large number of new characters introduced. Either way, I felt like I could easily have plucked ten characters out of the story immediately and not have missed them.

Overall, I felt like this was an excellent lighter crime read and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice crime read for the beach; I know I always reach for a romantic suspense when the weather gets warmer!

Book Review: Zero Day (Ezekiel Boone) @AtriaMysteryBus @ezekiel_boone @SimonSchusterCA

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 8.37.02 PMYES! YES! YES! I had been eagerly awaiting the third instalment of The Hatching series since last year when I read Skitter last year.  Seeing the spiders hatch, take over and seeing the apocalypse on the horizon, I couldn’t wait to watch the United States go to war against the queen spiders; Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone had arrived!! Truthfully, if anyone had told me that I would be anticipating a book about killer spiders, I would have looked at them like they were crazy. But, alas, here we are!

One of my favourite things about the writing style of Boone is his ability to take tons of characters, both major and minor, and blend them effortlessly together.   All characters are fully developed and each with their own POV. This could end up being confusing the Boone’s execution is brilliant and it ends up adding continuous layers to the plot.

Another fast paced, action packed novel that had me up late into the night and my eyes glued to the pages, but, I have to say, I feel like the ending was a little lacklustre for me. I think I wanted a big SHABANG at the end and it turned out to be a little bit meh. Mind you, this was a trilogy, so I knew it had to come to an end but I wish there would have been a bit more development so the ending could have been drawn out a little more.

I know I will read anything that Boone publishes in the future and cannot wait to see what he will come up with next!

4.5 stars.

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

Of course, Chandra and Jessica gave this one a read with me!  In fact, the first book in this series, The Hatching, was one of the first books that Chandra and I read together!

Keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one!

Continue reading “Book Review: Zero Day (Ezekiel Boone) @AtriaMysteryBus @ezekiel_boone @SimonSchusterCA”

Book Review: The Clarity (Keith Thomas)

screen-shot-2018-02-28-at-8-44-58-pm.pngI don’t often read science fiction but I am a sucker for a medical thriller so when #cjsreads decided to read Clarity, by Keith Thomas, I was on board. Experimentation, conspiracies, past lives and “night doctors” collide to create a fast paced, action packed novel. Truly, I loved the concept but, in the end, I struggled with the execution.

Let me explain.

The novel opens with the introduction of several different characters including Matilda, a psychologist who specializes in memories and Ashanique, an eleven-year-old girl who has violent and traumatic memories of being in WWI. Right away, I was hooked. The “past lives phenomenon” thread moving throughout the plot was extremely interesting. I don’t know how I feel about this issue, or if I believe in it, but reading about it was fascinating! Especially the little bits of medical jargon and lectures that Matilda’s character brings to the plot.

However, what started to irk me with this novel was the delivery. For starters, several things had me a little bit confused. It took me a long time to figure out who each character was (once I understood the role of everyone it was fine) but it took about 30% of the plot for me to be able to identify the main character and the sub characters and acknowledge their roles. And, for me, after about 30% of the book completed, I wanted to be able to settle in and enjoy the story instead of trying to navigate characters.

Overall, an interesting and compelling read for conspiracy and sci-fi fans; perhaps I wasn’t the right reader!

2.5/5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

We read The Clarity for a #cjsreads pick; want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one?  Keep reading to see!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Clarity (Keith Thomas)”

Book Review: The French Girl (Lexie Elliot)

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 10.14.20 PM.pngI have always been a big fan of a “vacation” novel. Makes for a stellar beach read. So, when I read a basic synopsis about six friends who go on a trip and are confronted ten years later when the body of a woman is found and they were the last people to see her. The French Girl, the debut novel by Lexie Elliot, calls to question what happened during the events of the trip, which people were involved and, of course, what happens when the past comes knocking at one’s door.

As much as I am a fan of a vacation style novel, I am always wary when a “girl” novel comes into my TBR pile. That being said, The French Girl had several amazing features that intrigued me!

One thing that I enjoyed most was how the dynamic between all the characters unfolded. Elliot did an excellent job at keeping it real and I think every reader will be able to find a bit of he or she mirrored within these characters, good traits and bad! Each character is intense and rich and they shone off the pages. Elliot’s strong suit is clearly her apt for characterization. For me, it comes down to the tiny details and Elliot left no stone unturned. I felt like this was even more compelling since the entire novel is narrated from Kate’s point of view.

The thing that irked me about The French Girl was the pacing. This book moved, at times, with glacier speed, which was a real struggle for me. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a novel that starts slowly and picks up steam until I am racing to the finish line but this novel did no such thing. They do say that slow and steady wins the race but, for me, I really struggled.

Overall, I felt like this was a solid debut and I will be absolutely waiting for Elliot’s next novel; I feel like she will only get better with each novel!

3/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

#cjsreads read this one together; want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought when they read The French Girl?  Keep reading to check out their reviews!

Continue reading “Book Review: The French Girl (Lexie Elliot)”

Book Review: The Liar’s Girl (Catherine Ryan Howard) @cathryanhoward @BlackstoneAudio

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 10.15.49 PMI was so excited for The Liar’s Girl, the sophomore novel by Catherine Ryan Howard, especially after reading (and LOVING) Distress Signals last year. I lent this novel out to several people and had everyone in my life jumping on to the Catherine Ryan Howard train. I was expecting on the edge of my seat action, tension and red herrings aplenty. Glad to say that The Liar’s Girl did not disappoint!!

We meet Allison, a college student who has met the man of her dreams, Will, and they fall madly in love. Seems like they will live happily ever after until a murder unfolds, her boyfriend is implicated and she realizes she is dating a serial killer. Ten years later, after struggling to rebuild her life, her past comes rushing back into her life as the police ask for her help in a string of new murders that appear like Will’s.

Like Distress Signals, I loved how Howard rolled out the plot in The Liar’s Girl. It all flowed seamlessly and, by the end of the first chapter, I was completely hooked. It sort of read to me like the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. Not too many twists or turns but just a strong, steady, creepy plot. I loved it.

Now, the ending, I have a bone to pick with. I won’t say anything other than that since I don’t want to give away any spoilers but it just didn’t feel like it “fit” with the tone of the story.

Overall, another awesome novel by Howard and I’ll be waiting anxiously for her third book. Is there any way you could write a little faster??!!

4/5 stars.

Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and the author (Catherine Ryan Howard) for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

#cjsreads read this book as one of our picks!  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one?  Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Liar’s Girl (Catherine Ryan Howard) @cathryanhoward @BlackstoneAudio”

Book Review: Sometimes I Lie (Alice Feeney) @alicewriterland @Flatironbooks

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 1.41.20 PM.pngSometimes I Lie, the debut novel by Alice Feeney, was a book that I was virtually bombarded with last year when it was released in the UK. I watched in jealousy as all my book blogger friends abroad devoured this psychological thriller and I patiently waited for the North American release. Now that it is here, I am pleased to report that Sometimes I Lie was worth the wait!

The novel opens with the introduction of Amber who is in a coma and unable to communicate with the world around her. All she knows for sure is that she is, indeed, in a coma, her husband does not love her anymore and that sometimes she lies. From the first pages, I was pretty much hooked. I appreciated Fenney’s slow release of information and I was eagerly awaiting more clues so I could try and figure out the wrongful parties. How did Amber end up in a coma? Was her husband involved? Maybe her sister? Perhaps her co-worker nemesis?   I loved how Feeney kept me on edge and slowly drew me in.

Told mainly through the perspective of Amber, partially in the present as Amber listens to those around her in the hospital and in the past, in the events leading up to the “incident” that put her in a coma, I enjoyed that Feeney was able to keep things fairly chronological and that I didn’t have to do a lot of guesswork to when things happened or read past pages to reorient myself. Her writing style is pretty straightforward and to the point. Aside from a few diary entries from Amber’s youth, I appreciated that it took place all in the present. This was a change from the past few psychological thrillers I have read in which we go further into the past and then shoot back to the present continuously.  I also love myself a good, ol’ unreliable narrator.

I have read a few reviews that claim the story is filled with too many of the classic thriller clichés but I personally did not mind this. Was there a lot going on? Sure. Did it work for me? Absolutely. I liked having a little bit of everything thrown in! And I loved the final twist.

Overall, I was impressed with this debut and I will absolutely read more from this author!!

5/5 stars.

Thanks to Flatiron Books, the author (Alice Feeney) and Netgalley for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to see what the rest of #cjsreads felt while reading Sometimes I Lie?  Keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought!

Continue reading “Book Review: Sometimes I Lie (Alice Feeney) @alicewriterland @Flatironbooks”