Book Review: Let Me Lie (Clare Mackintosh)

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 7.58.28 PMClare Mackintosh is one of those “blow my mind” authors. One of the queens of the psychological thriller genre, I found myself completely gripped with her previous novels from the fast-paced plots to the “real world” situations, I loved her full of suspense writing style and dynamically developed characters.

Unfortunately, for me, Let Me Lie, the newest publication by Clare Mackintosh left much to be desired.

For starters, this one was a sloooooooooow burn. I found myself unable to read more than a few chapters at a time without feeling the need to put this one down. It just didn’t have the same “grip” as some of the previous work I have read by Mackintosh.   I like to think I have a pretty solid attention span but this one tested me!

I did appreciate the final twist in the end and was intrigued by the last 15% or so of the novel, but, truthfully, I was expecting more!

I know that I shouldn’t compare one work to another but I cannot help it! I feel like fans of Mackintosh will be a little disappointed by this one but, if you are a new reader to her work, you may be more entertained!

I, of course, will continue to read more from this author but this particular book was a miss for me.

 Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to see if this book worked better for Jessica and Chandra?  They read this one too!  Keep reading to find out…

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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!

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Book Review: Anatomy of A Scandal (Sarah Vaughan) @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaMysteryBus @SVaughanAuthor

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 9.35.10 AM.pngWhen choosing a novel, I am typically drawn to anything involving courtroom drama or a he said/she said type storyline. When I discovered that Anatomy of a Scandal, the new novel by Sarah Vaughan, had these exact two things within its storyline, I was sold! Up to the top of my TBR pile, it went.

The novel opens with the introduction of James: loving father, Member of Parliament and accused rapist. His wife, Sophie, is shocked at the accusations and is desperate to protect her family. Kate, the lawyer hired to prosecute the case, is certain James is guilty and should pay for his crimes. As all three viewpoints collide, Vaughan weaves a tale of love, betrayal, deceit and revenge.

When I started reading, I was completely hooked from the first few pages. In fact, I flew through Anatomy of a Scandal within a couple of sittings. Vaughan’s narrative voice is completely addictive and I found myself loving the characters; I found Sophie and Kate to be extremely relatable. Vaughan did a spectacular job at making her characters jump off the pages; there was nothing superficial about them. Instead, Vaughan seemed to delve deep and I found myself completely engrossed as their stories developed. While I loved the female characters, James, on the other hand, I hated from the moment I was introduced to him. Conniving and powerful, I felt like I couldn’t trust him for a second. I loved this juxtaposition within the writing! Having characters I loved and characters I abhorred kept me on the edge of my seat!

As for twists, I felt as if the story was pretty surface. I was able to guess where it was going almost immediately but that didn’t disturb or affect my reading at all. In fact, it made me more curious to see exactly how the story was going to play out.

I think my favourite part of the novel was how relevant it was. With all that is going on in the world involving rape culture, women’s rights and Hollywood/political scandals, I felt as if Anatomy of a Scandal did an amazing job at portraying the system surrounding these issues and what needs to change.

Overall, I really enjoyed Anatomy of a Scandal. If you are looking for a character-centric, slow burn that will get you thinking and leave you feeling, then you will enjoy this one too! However, if you are looking for an extremely fast-paced, thrill ride type of novel this one will likely disappoint.

I gave it 4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author (Sarah Vaughan), the publisher (Atria/Simon and Schuster Canada) and Netgalley for copies of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Obviously, #cjsreads had to make this one of our January picks!  Keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought!

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Book Review: The Wolves of Winter (Tyrell Johnson) @tjohnso14 @SimonSchusterCA

Wolves of Winter.pngI am such a sucker for any sort of dystopian novel or any novel with a dystopian landscape. Usually, anything that has a Hunger Games vibe gets me; I just love it. So, when I stumbled upon The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson.

The novel sort of has a young adult vibe with the perfect blend of a young, coming of age vibe and dark, disturbing plotlines. I find this so rare when an author can accomplish this balance (especially since I struggle with any novel that feels too YA). The story opens with a society that has collapsed after facing nuclear war and spread of disease. Lynn McBride and her family are some of the only ones left. Living in the Canadian Yukon, she has learned how to hunt and trap to survive this landscape of ice and snow. However, when a stranger stumbles upon their camp setting in motion a chain of events that leads Lynn away from the life she has come to know and into great danger, she must face challenges she has never dreamed of and fulfil a destiny she never imagined.

So let’s break this book down.

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Sitting Down With Robyn Harding: Author of The Party @SimonSchusterCA

Earlier this summer, I read The Party a novel written by Canadian author, Robyn Harding. I was completely blown away by this novel (if you missed it, my review is here). From the eloquent story telling to the intricate prose, I found this read completely unputdownable; it was not the traditional thriller that I am often drawn to but I found it completely unputdownable and quickly gave it a 5-star review!

Today, I am so excited to have Robyn Harding on Clues and Reviews answering my questions about the book, the writing process, and some serious Canadian business….oh, and there may or may not be a giveaway opportunity!!

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Book Review: The Lying Game (Ruth Ware) @SimonSchusterCA

The Lying Game

I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I know, I know, what kind of thriller lover am I?

I have them all purchased, sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me but I am a slave to my TBR pile and hadn’t been able to read them yet. So, I was more than thrilled when #cjsreads made The Lying Game by Ruth Ware a July title.

The novel opens with a body being discovered and Isa, a new mother, receiving a text from her childhood friend. A text she knows to always respond to. A text she hoped she would never get. Travelling to Salten, a boarding school she spent a year in, she meets up with Kate and two other friends who all went to the school; notorious in their time, they were known for playing The Lying Game. A game blurred with reality, and soon, the girls realize that their past is not as buried as they had hoped.

From the first pages, I was pretty much hooked. It sort of had that chick lit, Pretty Little Liars vibe that I enjoy in a thriller. Imagine Big Little Lies and a sort of darker Gossip Girl. I really enjoy where I can get that sort of “feeling” from a piece of fiction for an adult, especially since it usually can only be found in the realm of YA.

I found myself flying through the pages, which were narrated by Isa, and was gripped trying to figure out what had gone on in their past (which was also explored). I had plenty of theories.   This one peaked for me in the middle, it had a sort of “SAY WHAT” moment and I was completely perplexed.

However, I found the ending to be a little lacklustre. It sort of went the tried and true route and I felt a little disappointed.

Overall, I felt like this one was fast paced and juicy enough to be a perfect read for the beach.

I gave it a 4/5 stars!

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

Want to know if Chandra and Jessica felt the same way as I did about The Lying Game?  Keep reading to find out!

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Book Review: Two Nights (Kathy Reichs) @SimonSchusterCA

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Being a crime fiction fan, it is not easy to peruse any sort of crime shelf without seeing a book by Kathy Reichs.   When I read the synopsis for Reichs’ newest standalone thriller, Two Nights, I knew that I would have to give this one a read. As soon as I started reading Two Nights, it became very clear why all of her books do well. Reichs can weave a serious story!

Two Nights opens with the introduction of Sunday Night. Sunday is a woman with a tumultuous past, a grudge on her shoulder and some serious killer instinct. After leaving the police force after some misconduct, she is drawn back to the scene privately after a wealthy woman approaches her to look into the disappearance of her teenaged granddaughter. As Sunnie begins her investigation, she comes into more danger than she ever believed and not only fights to save the missing girl but also her own life as well.
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Blog Tour: Until It Fades (K.A Tucker) @AtriaBooks @kathleenatucker @SimonSchusterCA

Until It Fades.png I am absolutely thrilled to be on the Until It Fades blog tour today celebrating the release of K.A Tucker’s newest novel!

KA Tucker has quickly become one of my go-to authors.  Not only does she in Canada (oh hey!) but I love how her titles have a Colleen Hoover vibe with an edge.

Genre bending structure, complex characters and the perfect amount of romance and tension make me devour her novels whole.

Her newest novel, Until It Fades, brings around the softer side of Tucker and reads like a new adult or contemporary romance novel. It follows Cath Wright, a single mother and truck stop waitress, who has been doing her best to live her life under the radar. After she ended her teenage years being the talk of her small town, she wants nothing more than to blend in and move on. That is, until one foggy night, she saves a man’s life. Soon, the media is at her door and it isn’t then until Cath realizes whom she has saved: Brett Madden, a hockey icon. Their friendship is immediate and soon Cath finds her feelings developing into something more, something she is afraid of and something she feels she cannot trust.   Because how long can a man like Brett be into a woman like Cath….before the spark fades?

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Book Review: Our Little Secret (Roz Nay) @roznay1 @SimonSchusterCA

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Our Little Secret by Roz Nay was not a hard book to completely become absorbed in.  The narrative style, the content, the pace and the general menacing tone had me completely captivated from the first pages.   I loved this novel. And, at 228 pages, it made the perfect binge read!

The novel opens with a woman, Angela, sitting in an interrogation room. She is the suspect in a disappearance. Her ex-boyfriend’s wife has gone missing and all signs point to Angela. As Angela is interrogated she begins to weave a story of a distorted love triangle and a tangled web of betrayals.

I found this one to be a nice breather from the typical flash forward/flashback type of narration that is so common in psychological thrillers lately.   We do move back and forth through time in Angela’s story telling but this character is so manipulative, calculating and so intent on wasting the police time, it does not come off as overdone. Instead, Nay brilliantly captures an unreliable narrator as she plays her game of cat and mouse; she gives a little, takes a little and leaves the reader wanting more.   The character development of Angela was my favourite part of the plot; the juxtaposition of scorned lover meets insecure woman made me unsure of who or what to believe. This one kept me guessing until the end.

In terms of psychological thrillers, this is one of the best that I have read lately.   If you like psychological thrillers, this is a must read. 5/5 stars.

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