The Look-Alike

By Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike: A Novel by [Spindler, Erica]

4 out of 5 stars

This was my very first book by Erica Spindler and I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It won’t be the last one I read.

There is something about a death in the snow at night that already leads itself into something you want to uncover. When you add an eerie suspicion that it might be you that was the target, you want to uncover more. Sienna Scott stumbled upon a murdered girl in college one night, who happened to be wearing almost the exact same jacket and gloves. When no murderer has been arrested, she begins to wonder that maybe she was the target. Take into account that her mother has a mental disorder that leads her to paranoia and fear that someone is trying to get her, you begin to wonder if she is right or she is like her mother. We travel back and forth between the past and the present where Sienna has come back home after years abroad. Not only does she have to deal with memories, the case has been reopened and Sienna is getting phone calls that have her on edge.

You will feel the mounting fear rising in your chest as the story stretches out. You start to second guess everyone and everything. There is a great group of characters lead by Sienna that has you hoping you are right about some things and wrong about some things. The mystery didn’t last throughout the whole book, I pretty much figured out the killer pretty quickly, but that didn’t take away from the story at all. Sienna is someone you will want to root for.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for a review copy of this book.

The Better Liar

By Tanen Jones

 

The Better Liar: A Novel by [Jones, Tanen]

4 out of 5 stars

This is really quite an amazing debut novel by Tanen Jones. It is dark and twisty and perfect for reading when you are huddled in your bed with a cold. My addled cold brain was messed up enough and then I get further into this book and my head was swimming.

Leslie is looking for her sister because she needs her to collect her father’s inheritance. When she goes looking for her, she finds her dead and ends up with a young actress named Mary, who will fill the bill nicely. You can already tell that this is not going to go any which way you think it is. I do have to say that part way through I had a big “What if” question mark and I am not going to give anything away but cold be damned! I loved how it was told in the voices of Mary, Leslie, and her sister Robin. It gave a depth to the backstory and made you understand just who they were.

I loved where this book took me and I look forward to wherever Tanen Jones takes me next book.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine for a copy of this book.

 

The Wives

By Tarryn Fisher

The Wives: A Novel by [Fisher, Tarryn]

4 out of 5 stars

I am always fascinated by books about plural marriage and as we follow Thursday, the day of the week her husband shares with her, we start to see just how jealousy and curiosity can get the better of you. Thursday finds out that things are not exactly as they seem but guess what? This book is not exactly what it seems! You are reading along, watching the cracks form and then suddenly, the mirror explodes! I swear you will shout What?! I did not see the ending coming at all and boy, that shows you how well this is written. It makes you think that what you see is not always what the truth is. Thursday is a very complicated character and I will be thinking about her for a while. If you like delusional characters, shocking twists and complicated characters, this is definitely the book for you. Well done, Ms. Fisher.

Thanks to Graydon House and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

The Stranger Inside

By Lisa Unger

The Stranger Inside: A Novel by [Unger, Lisa]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Rain Winter is adjusting to being a stay at home mom after a job as a journalist. When a murder catches her eye, she is thrown back into her past. Rain was a survivor of an awful attack when she was young. She wasn’t the only survivor though and she begins to suspect that Henry is involved in the murder. Are there more vigilante killings including the murder of their attacker?

Though it has very dark aspects to the story, there was also a kind of peaceful redemption, in a way. The push and pull of motherhood with wanting to also be back to doing what you love was a good plot point. The characters were believable and you totally understood where they were coming from, if not always doing things the acceptable way.  There is a reveal that I didn’t see coming at all. I enjoyed the story and the conclusion was very satisfying.

Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row for a copy of this book.

The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs: A Novel by [Jewell, Lisa]

5 out of 5 stars

Lisa Jewell gets better and better with each new book and that is saying a lot because every book has been great.

In this story, Libby finds out she has inherited a house, a rather large, expensive house, on her 25th birthday. Libby was adopted and this house belonged to her birth family. The house has a history as her parents and another man were found dead of an apparent suicide pact. They seemed to have been part of a cult. Libby was found in her crib. As Libby finds out more about her family and the house, we are also learning of the story in two other voices. Her brother Henry tells us how the people who came to live upstairs in their house  changed everything. Our other narrator Lucy is homeless with her two children and when she gets a message saying that “the baby is 25”, does everything to get back to England. Just when you think you have it figured out, oh no you don’t!

I sat reading this book with a feeling of dread. You know everything is leading up to what happened and how this is going to change everything, but you just don’t know how. I had to make myself stop from turning to the end to see what happened. You know that’s the sign of a great thriller when you just need to know! The characters are all compelling. Henry is especially complex. That ending! It still gives me chills.

You will want to pre-order this one right away. Ric Munoz, this has your name written all over it. I can’t wait for the next book and the next and the next….

Thanks to Goodreads for an advance copy of this wonderful book.

Where She Went

By Kelly Simmons

Where She Went: A Novel by [Simmons, Kelly]

4 out of 5 stars

When a police officer arrives at Maggie O’Farrell’s beauty shop, she knows right away something is wrong. Her own late husband was a cop and she knows the drill. She  realizes something is wrong with her daughter Emma. She is a college student and their relationship has changed recently. Emma is missing and Maggie will not rest until she finds out the truth.

The story is told in alternating chapters of Maggie’s search and Emma’s past story that will lead us into the world of sugar daddies and more.

This is definitely a page-turner. I loved Maggie’s gumption. She displays that tough mother bear that we all would be if something happened to our child. Emma has the same gumption.  This is really every mother’s nightmare and Kelly Simmons draws you into it. I read it fairly quickly, about a day and a half. A few of twists and turns will keep you wondering and some shady characters for you to hate.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a copy of this book.

Because You’re Mine

By Rea Frey

Because You're Mine: A Novel by [Frey, Rea]

4 out of 5 stars

Lies, lies, lies, yeah. That song kept playing through my mind as I read this story. Two best friends with so many secrets between them, both unaware. We know someone dies from a fall right away but the getting there, that was a thing of beauty.

Lee is raising her son Mason alone. He is a very special child with the brain of an adult and some very special needs. Grace has been the one friend she can count on, even introducing her to Noah. He works with special kids and he has been a Godsend. Lee needs him in more ways than one. Grace has her own secrets and one that might just push Lee over the edge.

The past comes into play in the story and we find out how both of these women and Noah came to where they are. It plays big time into everything and is really the meat of the story. I was fascinated by it. Then comes the ending. The ending is extremely chilling and very surprising.

This is another good outing from Ms. Frey. She has a wonderful way with a suspenseful thriller and the story that gets you there. Not Her Daughter was another good read. I look forward to reading more from her.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s for a copy of this book. The review is my own humble opinion.