Book Review: Strangers (Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel) @MinotaurBooks

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 8.10.45 PMLately, I have been feeling the need to expand my reading repertoire and read something a little bit different than my usual. So, when I received Strangers, a German noir novel by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel, I was thrilled. Not only did this book fit into my Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge (a book by two authors) and have an amazing cover but also the synopsis had me completely hooked.

A woman wakes up without any memory of the strange man who is in her home, claiming to be her fiancé. The ultimate he said/she said narrative style on steroids; Strangers had me feeling actual anxiety throughout my reading. I was so stressed out trying to figure out what was happening!!

Like many other domestic thrillers, this one uses the back and forth narrative style between our male and female protagonist. This style had me incredibly conflicted throughout my reading. I would hear from Joanna, fearing her safety as a strange man enters her home, and feel for her. Then, a chapter later, Erik would enter talking about how upset he was that Joanna didn’t remember him, and I would feel for his plight just as much! I was completely divided trying to figure out whom I could trust. You want a novel with an unreliable narrator? How about two!

Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t stay continuous throughout the text. About halfway through the novel, I started feeling as if the story was becoming a little redundant. I get it. They couldn’t trust each other. Then, the novel switched gears and gave more of a conspiracy vibe. I did like this bit of narration but I think I would have been completely content with the novel to be about 100 pages shorter and focusing solely on their back and forth narration.

Overall, I didn’t love the end and I didn’t love the final twist, but I did appreciate the bit of originality.

Regardless of my feelings for the end, I did feel as if this book was worth the read and feel that fans of domestic thrillers will enjoy this one. Especially if you enjoyed SJ Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep; they had a very similar vibe!

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


Book Review: Dead Woman Walking (Sharon Bolton) @AuthorSJBolton @MinotaurBooks

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 9.43.43 AM.pngI wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton. I had never read a Sharon Bolton book before and I always go into a new author’s work with excitement and with a little apprehension. Will I like their writing style? Will I appreciate the tone of the story? Now that I am finished, I am pleased to say that I can safely add Sharon Bolton to a list of my “must read authors” because I DEVOURED this book!

The novel opens with a balloon accident gone wrong (please note, this is my worst nightmare) leaving several passengers dead, others critically injured, all except for one. Jessica Lane, on the ride with her sister, survives the accident and finds herself immediately in danger after witnessing a horrible crime minutes before the crash. As a game of cat and mouse ensues, Jessica must follow her instincts and try to return to the only place she has ever felt safe- but could it be her sanctuary is the most dangerous place of them all?

From the pacing to the plot, this one had me completely on the edge of my seat. I read it in a single sitting, binging on each chapter and relishing in the story. I absolutely loved the short chapters; a smart choice by Bolton, I felt like I couldn’t put this book down.   I was also a huge fan of our protagonist, Jessica, who is mourning her sister and running from a killer. I found her to be incredibly likable and developed. Truly, even the secondary characters in this novel were memorable to me. I loved that Bolton gave each their own backstory.

There were a few things, although I loved the book that I found a little problematic; I did find the switches in time periods a little confusing at times. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason at the time and not all the chapters were clearly labeled.  I also didn’t love the ending; I felt like the story on its own gave me enough resolution and I didn’t need the little tidbit at the end. It felt like it was thrown in. I am obviously being vague since I don’t want to give any spoilers but it didn’t really feel like it fit.

Regardless of my nitpicking, I really did love the book and will absolutely read more novels by this author.

4/5 stars!

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

This was also a #cjsreads pick for September.  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one?  Keep reading to see what they thought!

Continue reading “Book Review: Dead Woman Walking (Sharon Bolton) @AuthorSJBolton @MinotaurBooks”

Book Review: He Said/She Said (Erin Kelly) @MinotaurBooks #HeSaidSheSaid

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Last year, the biggest trend in the thriller genre was the unreliable narrator.

Books like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train had people wanting more people didn’t think they could believe or trust.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly is a book with so much unreliability; I had no idea who to trust or who to turn too.

Kelly took the unreliable narrator phenomenon and wrote it on steroids.

Continue reading “Book Review: He Said/She Said (Erin Kelly) @MinotaurBooks #HeSaidSheSaid”