The Exes’ Revenge

By Jo Jakeman

 

The Exes' Revenge by [Jakeman, Jo]

4 out of 5 stars

Our story begins at a funeral and ends with a funeral. It is the funeral of Imogen’s soon-to-be ex-husband. In front of Imogen sits his latest girlfriend Naomi and behind her, his first wife Ruby. These three women are as different as night and day but they all have something in common, the abusive Phillip. What starts as a disagreement between Imogen and Phillip over their house, ends up with someone locked in a basement converted room and lots of violence.

The book takes us back before the funeral and what leads up to his death.  But in between, there is a ton of action. I definitely could see this being a movie. I have no idea who I would cast but it would be quite the film.

I loved watching Imogen come into her own after years of mental and physical abuse from Phillip. I also loved that the spunky Naomi was not having any of it period. Ruby, on the other hand, seemed to be in a la la land but you have to know that the truth can slap you in the face.

This is definitely a page turner that you will read very quickly. Just desserts are the most delicious.

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for this review copy.

Are You Sleeping

By Kathleen Barber

Are You Sleeping: A Novel by [Barber, Kathleen]

4 out of 5 stars

When I saw that this was going to be a television show, I knew I had better get to reading before it came out. It is very topical in this age of podcasts and Netflix shows that go over older criminal cases. Is it sensationalism or is it really news?

Josie has tried to forget her past and move on but can you ever really do that? Especially when your past is about the murder of your father. Polly Parnell’s podcast about convicted murderer Warren Cave has brought everything into the limelight again. Did Josie’s twin sister Lanie tell the truth?

This is about so much more than just the murder case. It is about the feelings of abandonment and the feelings of sadness at not being able to help the ones you truly love. You will want to slap Polly Parnell quite a few times. Though I do feel as if a lot of these shows do really want to get at the truth for truth’s sake, I did not get that feeling at all with Polly. Polly was out for Polly. I cringed a few times when she would turn up at the wrong time. I also felt a lot for Josie. I could understand her need to move on but I also could understand the need to reconnect, even when she thought she didn’t want to. I loved her relationship with Caleb. I always enjoy a sympathetic partner and not a jerk.

I look forward to seeing how the show turns out. I hope it does justice to this wonderful writing.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.

The Banker’s Wife

By Cristina Alger

The Banker's Wife by [Alger, Cristina]

4 out 5 stars

If you are looking for a book with twists and turns that take you on a wild ride, this is the one for you!

The story follows Marina, a reporter, and Annabel, who’s husband has mysteriously died in a plane crash, discovering  the truth of what happened. A Swiss bank that Matthew, Annabel’s husband, worked for, is involved in a lot of illegal doings and these women will find out more than they bargained for.

I loved  the women in this book. They were smart, fearless at times, and downright awesome. This includes Zoe, who was Matthew’s assistant. Loved her! This really is a wild ride and the ending was perfection. I have to admit that there were a lot of characters and at times, I had to stop and think, “who is this now”? But it was easy to figure out and I went along my merry way. This is the perfect book in this climate with so much corruption going on in the world today. I got a better understanding of how offshore banking worked. A really good read.

Thanks to Putnam for a copy of this book.

She Was The Quiet One

By Michele Campbell

She Was the Quiet One: A Novel by [Campbell, Michele]

4 out of 5 stars

Bel and Rose Enright are shipped off by their grandmother to Odell School after the death of their mother.  It is an elite boarding school that their father and grandfather attended.  We know from the onset that one of the twins is dead and that one is probably a suspect. What we learn as we read is just how we got to this point. The story is interspersed with different people being interrogated about events leaning up to the death and then we are taken back to see just what the sisters were doing and thinking.

You can tell you are in the throes of a good book when you find yourself talking out loud while reading it. (Maybe that’s just me!) “How can you be so naive?!” “Don’t fall for it!” That was just some of the things I said and probably the few I can write on here. You will definitely become entwined in these characters’ lives. You might want to shake a couple of them but you will want to see how they work through it all. This is a true page-turner and another outstanding outing by Ms. Campbell. You should also read her book It’s Always the Husband.

Thanks to Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for a couple of this wonderful read.

 

her pretty face

By Robyn Harding

Her Pretty Face by [Harding, Robyn]

4 out of 5 stars

Frances Metcalfe has no real friends among the mothers of her son’s private school. Her son has some issues and an incident with a bottle of water, sets the tone for how the others treat her. Until Kate Randolph appears on the scene. She is everything Frances feels she is not. She is a tall, thin, classy woman compared to Frances’ rather frumpy, overweight appearance. Frances has something from her past that has left her feeling bad about herself. Her husband tells her he loves her just as she is but Frances is loaded with self-doubt so when Kate comes to the rescue, her life starts to change. But is anyone who we truly think they are?

Kate’s daughter Daisy comes and goes as she pleases. Kate doesn’t seem to care. A stranger seems to be buzzing around Daisy’s life but why? What is his agenda?

The story also lets us hear the from the voice of DJ, who’s sister was tortured and killed by a couple when she was a teen. He knows that there was more to the story than the young woman told. She was not who she pretended to be.

Everyone pretending to be someone else can only lead to one thing, an explosion.

It was so hard to put this book down. I had figured out things pretty early on but the way it was written, really enhanced the whole reveal and aftermath. I loved Frances coming to grips with her life and herself. It was a total rebirth. Daisy was a very powerful character. It was fascinating to watch her grow up and work things out. Once everything hit the boiling point, it was hard to put down. Another great outing by Robyn Harding. You will enjoy The Party too, if you haven’t picked it up yet.

This would make a fabulous miniseries.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery for a copy of this book.

Bring Me Back

By B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back: A Novel by [Paris, B. A.]

4 out of 5 stars

B.A. Paris has a wonderful way around a mystery/thriller. I enjoyed her last two books and this one slid easily with the others.

Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared one night from a rest stop. The details are sketchy because Finn has not told the police the whole truth, which you will find out as you read. Years later, Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister Ellen. Ellen is the polar opposite of Layla but Finn has found a somewhat peaceful life until….(cue the dramatic music) a little Russian nesting doll appears and then emails from Layla appear. Now, if only Layla will appear….

I really enjoyed the back and forth between Finn and Layla’s emails. It was such a cat and mouse game. I have to admit though that I felt it started to drag in a few places and I was wanting to fast forward to what happened after. But I didn’t and the ending was worth the price of admission. It is one you will not see coming.

I look forward to whatever she writes next!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for letting me read this book early.

Paper Ghosts

By Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense by [Heaberlin, Julia]

4 out of 5 stars

This book has such an interesting concept; is Carl a serial killer or just some old photographer with dementia? Grace wants to know what happened to her sister and Carl is the likely suspect in her mind. His photographs are eerie and have hints of girls who have gone missing, never to be found again. She plans a road trip hoping to find her answers but it is hard to tell what is real in his mind or not.

I took care of my mom, who suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, for four years. Ms. Hearberlin wrote perfectly of the struggles of someone who has it. My mom had people that talked to her. One was very evil and wanted to kill her. She was terrified. One was a sweet nurse who did not want any harm to come to her. Carl’s friends reminded me so much of what my mom dealt with. She also remembered a lot about her past and then in other moments, not at all. The way Grace dealt with him was a lot of how I felt (well except I didn’t think she was a killer!). You are patient and then you are not. You don’t know what’s real or not. But then again,, I think Grace had a thin rope that she was hanging onto anyway. She is definitely one of the most complex characters I have read it a while.

You will be completely wrapped up in Grace’s search and her slow and painful realizations. Such a good read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine for this wonderful read.