The Last Mrs. Parrish

By Live Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish by [Constantine, Liv]

5 out of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for……

Amber Patterson has set her sights on handsome, rich Jackson Parrish. The only problem is that he is married to the seemingly perfect Daphne Parrish. Amber slowly insinuates herself into their lives by becoming friends with Daphne. It seems they have something in common, they both lost a sister to Cystic Fibrosis. It looks that way anyway. The first part of the book, we get Amber’s plan in detail. She is quite the wily one. She just might not be as wily as she thinks she is.

The next part of the book we see the world through Daphne’s eyes. She was swept off her feet by the powerful Jackson. She was so young and naive but he sure changes her.  She might not be so naive now.

The third part, we have the merging up to the climax and what a climax it is! Everything boils down to a stew of envy, greed, lust, love, hate and boy, is it delicious! This book is so well thought out and so perfectly structured. As you are reeled into Amber’s mind, you can see beyond what she sees with the subtlest of hints. You will love Daphne and you will root for her and maybe even let out a yelp or two. It will keep you up late into the night waiting to see how it all plays out. Bravo on a wonderful debut novel!

I happily received a copy of this book from Edelweiss  and HarperCollins. This review is solely my own humble opinion.

The Visitors

By Catherine Burns

The Visitors by [Burns, Catherine]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Marion lives with her brother John in their old family home. She is in her fifties and he is a little older. She seems to live under his rule.  She grew up afraid of his moods and bending to them. He runs the house and the basement. The basement is locked and she is not supposed to go in there, even though she knows what’s down there, she abides by his rules. Marion lives in her own little world, filled with stuffed animals, and daydreams of a different life. Marion is a very different bird. When John takes ill, she must go into the basement and what happens after that ….

This has to be one of the creepiest books I have read in a long time. This family was so strange and so mentally ill. There were times I felt bad for Marion. She was so bullied by John but then she would do something to someone and I was not feeling the pity anymore. There were parts that seemed to drag so I found myself wanting to flip through but it is a well-written thriller.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Legends Press in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Blackbird Season

By Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season: A Novel by [Moretti, Kate]

4 out of 5 stars

The day a thousand dead starlings fall on a high school baseball field in Pennsylvania, a chain of events begins that changes everything for the small town. Nate Winters, the baseball coach, is caught on camera, in an embrace with student Lucia at a local motel. When she disappears, he becomes the prime suspect. His wife Alicia doubts him and she is so wrapped up in her autistic son that she really can’t see past anything else. Lucia had a horrible family life and was called a witch by a lot of the kids in school but why would she suddenly leave and why not clear Nate’s name? The only person who seems to believe Nate is Bridget, a fellow teacher and good friend who has her own issues with Lucia. She just might find the answers in Lucia’s journal. Can she find out in time to change the course of what’s going to happen?

This book will definitely draw you in from the get-go. How many stories start with birds, tons of birds, dropping from the sky? Is there some kind of magical voodoo going on? You will have to read and find out. These characters are not the most likable. They all have their tics and secrets and sometimes I wanted to shake a few of them but that is what keeps you reading. How easy would it be for them to be black or white instead of shades of grey? Bridget was my favorite, I will say that. Nate, probably my least favorite because he was so hard to read. Another character summed him up nicely when she said he wanted to be liked by everyone. He did walk a fine line between appropriate behavior with a student and not appropriate behavior. It is a good suspenseful story with a thoughtful look at morals .  The ending was really good, fit perfectly.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Good Me Bad Me

By Ali Land

Good Me Bad Me: A Novel by [Land, Ali]

4 out of 5 stars

Milly’s mother has been arrested and charged with killing children. Their home was a torture chamber and Milly knew what was going on. Milly turned her mother in with the last child’s murder. Now, her mother is on trial and Milly must testify. She has been placed in a foster home and her foster father Mike is working with her to remember her past and to confront her mother. His wife Saskia is in her own little world, highly medicated most of the time. Phoebe, there daughter, is the queen witch of their home and of Milly’s new school. She will not make life easy for Milly. The one thing they all have in common are the secrets they carry. Oh yes. There are secrets. Milly probably has the most damaging secret of all. What happens with nature vs. nurture? Can the apple fall very far from the tree?

This book is chilling. There is definitely a sense of doom that hangs over every page. You know something bad is going to happen. You can feel it in every chapter. But what will that be? It was very hard to read at times because of the subject matter of killing children but it doesn’t overpower the whole book and it is written so well. You will close the book thinking that there really are some screwed up people in this world. If you like twisted and disturbed, this is for you.

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads and the review is humbly my own opinion.

 

Lies She Told

By Cate Holahan

 

Lies She Told: A Novel by [Holahan, Cate]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Liza writes romantic suspense murder novels and though her first novel sold very well, she hasn’t had a big one again. She is writing about an affair and a murder that comes from that affair. The chapters of this book go between Liza’s life and writing to Beth’s life, the main character in her story,  whose husband is having an affair. The lines begin to blur between her novel and her own life when there is a murder and things are way too similar.

I loved the concept of the story line. Liza struggles with trying to work out the points of her story but you can tell there is something more going on in her brain. Beth had fertility struggles and has a baby. Liza has been struggling with her own fertility problems. Her husband is obsessed with his missing partner. Beth’s husband has an affair with a cop he is working with. They all go hand in hand. There were a few times that I was more interested in the fictional story line than Liza’s own story and it dragged a bit. But this was a quick, easy read with a very interesting outcome. I would definitely read more books by Ms. Holahan.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Best Day Ever

By Kaira Rouda

 

Best Day Ever: A Psychological Thriller by [Rouda, Kaira]

5 out of 5 stars

Wow.

There are so many blurbs I have read in different books claiming that they are the next Gone Girl, I never thought that I would find it in a character like Paul Strom.  He is the text book study of a narcissistic sociopath.  He has planned the best day ever for his wife Mia. He is taking her to their house on Lake Erie. He has planned a dinner at the new restaurant in town. But things seem off with Mia. He can’t quite put his finger on it but he knows that he can charm her into anything.  Hasn’t he always?  She doesn’t know the secrets that he keeps and just why this trip is so important to him.  Hmmmm…..

As I sat there reading into the night, I was praying for this man to get his due. I loved watching as he unraveled and yet tried to spin things his way. Why not? He always had before. Don’t ever tell him you can’t babysit! I loved how as the story progressed, we found out more and more about him.  This man was one walking secret after secret. He is written so well.  As horrible as he was, he kept me reading.  It was dark and twisty and oh so delicious. I will not say you will love to hate Paul because you will probably pretty much just hate him but you will love this book. Definitely a page turner!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Graydon House in exchange for an honest review.

Unraveling Oliver

By Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver: A Novel by [Nugent, Liz]

4 out of 5 stars

I have seen this line in many reviews and I hate repeating but it speaks volumes about this book:

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

Thus begins the story of Oliver Ryan’s life and what he has done to get where he is. As the book starts, Oliver has beaten his wife Alice into near death. His story is told by Oliver and then by the people who have crossed his path. He didn’t have a great start in life, abandoned almost completely by his father, to live at a boy’s school. He never knew who his mother was. He didn’t know his half-brother by his father’s second marriage. He befriends Michael and has a relationship with his sister Laura, which doesn’t end well. To be honest, nothing ends well if Oliver has been involved. We also hear from Barney, who loved Alice.  And then there is Alice’s brother Eugene, who she deeply loves, but because of his mental handicap, Oliver sends him away. Moya, the next door neighbor and an actress, has an affair with Oliver. It is accidentally by her hand that Alice finally learns the truth about Oliver and his time in France. It slowly unravels until we finally find out just who Oliver Ryan really is.

Oliver has been compared to Joe in the book You but I do not see that at all. I liked Joe, for whatever reason all we readers did, but there was nothing at all likable about Oliver. He does have his one generous moment, I will give him that. But even though Oliver was horrid, I kept reading and wanting to know  more about what made him tick. I loved the alternating points of view because we saw just what different people saw differently about Oliver. The characters  were all interesting in their own right with their life paths. If you want a rather dark read that will lead you down a rather dark path, this is the book for you. Enjoy!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.