I had heard of Lizzie Borden before but had never really given much thought to her actual trial until I began See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. One of #cjsreads first August picks, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect when I dove into this book. Generally speaking, I enjoy historical fiction but struggle when it has a mystery/thriller angle. I don’t know what it is about them, but they all feel a little “Sherlock Holmes” to me. However, with a cover quote by Paula Hawkins stating this book was “eerie and compelling” I was intrigued right away. I would have to say that I agree with Hawkins on this one; See What I Have Done had an ominous vibe throughout.
Opening with Lizzie discovering her father dead in his study and going back and forth between the day of the murder and the days prior, the investigation into the murder begins and it doesn’t take long for Lizzie to be at the center when she begins to seem unreliable and struggles to remember events of the day. With her sister by her side and the police closing in, the novel is narrated through multiple character perspectives including a stranger and a housemaid.
The first thing that stood out for me while I was reading was how irritated I was with the multiple character perspectives. I didn’t care for the various POVs; I felt like I wanted to hear the story through the eyes of Lizzie and all the other characters felt a little bit irrelevant to me. I know they all played their role but I think I would have been completely consumed with the plot should it had been through Lizzie’s unreliable narration. I love me an unreliable narrator!
I was impressed with how Schmidt was able to take a real scenario and turn it into a fictionalized account without making it seem over-embellished or too far-fetched. I feel like it was kept realistic and took more of a rational approach. This was a smart decision on Schmidt’s part. I felt like I was truly reading more a “true crime” story instead of a work of fiction.
Overall, I felt like this was an entertaining read but, like some other historical mysteries, I found this one to be quite slow moving. If you are at all interested in Lizzie Bordon, this will obviously appeal to you and I also feel like fans of true crime will have a special interest in this tale. However, if you are looking for something incredibly fast paced, then I would skip this one!
Thanks to the publisher and the author for a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Want to know what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one? Keep reading to see what the other members of #cjsreads had to say about See What I Have Done!
Continue reading “Book Review: See What I Have Done (Sarah Schmidt) @groveatlantic ”
It’s Always the Husband, by Michelle Campbell, was a book I was dying to read since Chelsea at The Suspense Is Thrilling Me read it a while back. I was intrigued by the amazing cover and the general premise.
This is not an “on the edge of your seat” style thriller. This is a not a pulling my hair out from suspense type of novel. I wouldn’t even go as far to categorize this one as a slow burn. This one is really more of a fluffy, fun type of a thriller.
This one felt like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty meets the Gossip Girl series. It had a bit of small town gossip, a whole lotta secrets and some delicious, self-indulgent storytelling. I feel like this one will be a perfect summer vacation type of read; a book to bring to the beach or cuddle up with a glass of wine at the cottage.
Continue reading “Book Review: It’s Always the Husband (Michele Campbell) @MCampbellBooks @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress”
I can barely contain my excitement over this book any longer! The Fourth Monkey, by J.D Barker, was one of my most anticipated summer reads. Any book that draws a comparison to Silence of the Lambs and Se7en immediately had my attention. After I have finished my reading, one thing stands clear regarding this title- this book lives up to the hype.
Fast paced, complex and filled with twists and turns, once I picked up this novel, it was incredibly hard to put down.
When The Fourth Monkey opens, we meet Detective Sam Porter, who seems to be on a leave from the police force when he is suddenly called back to the scene of an apparent suicide. Not truly understanding what his purpose it at this crime scene, his questions are soon answered when a box is found containing an ear. The first signature of The Four-Monkey killer (4MK), a serial killer case that Sam has been the lead investigator on for over five years. When he finds a diary in the pocket of the deceased, Sam is given entry into the mind of a psychopath and must begin to unravel a twisted history in order to try to find his latest victim…a victim they hope is still alive.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Fourth Monkey (J.D Barker) @jdbarker @RaincoastBooks”
Justine Merrison and her family (a husband and teenage daughter) move from their lives in London and settle down in a small town. Shortly after, her daughter begins to withdraw and strange, threatening phone calls begin. Who can be trusted? What is real?
Continue reading “Book Review: A Game for All the Family (Sophie Hannah)”
Jean’s husband was accused of committing a kidnapping (and murder) of a two year old child. Jean’s husband is now dead. What does Jean know? What will she share? Does a marriage mean keeping secrets and standing by while the unthinkable happens?
Continue reading “Book Review: The Widow (Fiona Barton)”