Best Friends Forever

By Margot Hunt

Best Friends Forever by [Hunt, Margot]

4 out of 5 stars

I have been on a roll with the psychological murder mysteries lately. They seem to be checking off everything on my reading list. This one was no exception.

Alice meets Kat at an airport while she is tired and struggling with her two kids. They strike up an instant friendship and Alice is swept into the big moneyed world of Kat. Kat is very unhappy with her husband. And then one day, he seems to have fallen off the balcony. Kat was out of town and suddenly Alice is a suspect. Does Alice really know the real Kat?

As we read about Alice’s interrogation, she flashes back to all the time with Kat leading up to the murder. It was interesting to see the manipulation because it is all there in black and white. It moves at a very fast pace which was really an asset to the story. I felt like it all happened so fast anyway that it worked perfectly. Alice is a very interesting character, you think you have her figured out. She was a true friend to Kat. But this book definitely answered a question of “how well do you know your best friend”. And then there was the little one two punch at the end. I have to say I have enjoyed all the books lately that have that little afterthought that sticks in your head for days. This is one of them.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Harlequin Mira and this review is simply my own humble opinion.

The Chalk Man

By C.J. Tudor

 

The Chalk Man: A Novel by [Tudor, C. J.]

4 out of 5 stars

Eddie and his little gang of friends are growing up in a little town in England in the 80s. Eddie and a teacher, albino Mr. Halloran, help to save a girl’s life after a freak accident at the fair. Mr. Halloran, who likes to draw in chalk, gives one of the boys a box of chalk for his birthday and this becomes their calling card. They all have a different colored chalk man that they use for messages to each other. But everything is not so idyllic in this little burg, when a young girl is murdered (among some other strange happenings), the chalk men lead the boys to the body, well, body pieces.

It’s now 2016 and Eddie is a teacher in town. Things have happened to separate the gang but when one of them comes back and tells Eddie that he is writing a book about the murder (he says he knows who did it), strange things start happening all over again.

I think I expected this to be a bit more eerie but it was an engrossing read with a few things thrown in that you don’t expect.  And that is not to say that it didn’t have a shadowy quality throughout. There is also a sadness that flows in the story, a sadness and a need for forgiveness.  I had my suspicions about a few characters and one of them was true. Kudos to me! I loved the going back and forth in time to really flesh out the characters. And the ending, well okay, that was completely eerie and unexpected. This is a really great job for a debut novel. I am looking forward to what the future will give us from C.J. Tudor.

This review is my humble opinion but a big thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a copy of this book.

Just Between Us

By Rebecca Drake

Just Between Us: A Novel by [Drake, Rebecca]

4 out of 5 stars

Four mothers, friends with children in the same school, go beyond coffee dates and end up in something very sinister. When Alison notices bruises on Heather, she starts to wonder if Heather’s perfect marriage to Viktor and her life, are as good as it all seems. When there are more bruises and a torn apart kitchen on a play date, Julie, Sarah, and Alison confront Heather.  The truth is revealed and this springs into a motion some devastating events that changes everyone and everything. What are friends for?

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but there are twists and turns aplenty that will have you sitting there with your mouth open. The chapters are told in alternating characters so we get to see just what each person is thinking. Besides Heather’s life, we are drawn into the other three characters’ lives as well.  I am usually very good at figuring out the twists of a novel but this one had me going until close to the end. It has a quick pace which will keep you involved and keep reading. I was very entertained on these past few cold evenings.  I look forward to more books from Ms. Drake.

 

The Marriage Lie

By Kimberly Belle

The Marriage Lie: A bestselling psychological thriller by [Belle, Kimberly]

4 out of 5 stars

What a great way to start off this new year!

Iris thinks she has the perfect marriage with Will. They both love their jobs. They have a beautiful house. When news of a plane crash comes, just as Will is flying for business, Iris is happy to know it wasn’t his plane. Oh but it was his plane. Will has died in a horrendous plane crash. As she deals with his tragic death, surrounded by a wonderfully loving family, especially her twin brother, things start to come to light. Iris finds out some truths about her husband that she did not know and when text messages start coming in, threatening text messages, she believes her husband is not really dead. Iris begins to unravel the threads of their marriage and Will’s lies and it leads her to places she could not have imagined.

This is such a good, involved read! Your heart breaks for Iris as she finds out exactly who the man she married was. You will let out a little gasp at the end when she makes the biggest decision of her life. I loved all the characters around Iris as well. Her family was great. Evan, a lawyer, who lost his family in the crash, loved him too. In my mind, I have hopes for him.  Toss in a few surprises and you will not be able to stop turning the page.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Harlequin and this review is completely my own humble opinion.

The Fifth Letter

By Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth Letter by [Moriarty, Nicola]

4 out of 5 stars

Four friends meet up for a getaway. They have been friends since high school.  Such good friends…..Joni, the only one with no children, has set up the vacation, as she always does. Things don’t go perfectly and one night, it is suggested that they all write a letter, telling a secret that the others don’t know about. They each type it up on the computer so as not to give it away. But as they pick one letter each day, they seem to figure out just who is who. Their secrets lead to more secrets being revealed and a lot of anger coming out. But, it’s a letter that Joni finds half burnt in the fireplace, that changes everything. It seems as if one of the ladies  is harboring a deep hate and resentment for one of the other women. Enough that she writes about killing her. Can they figure this all out in time to save each other?

This is one of those books that you pick up and right away, know you are going to enjoy it. There are enough juicy little tidbits about each character to keep you intrigued by all of them. Trying to figure out just who hates the other one is the best part! I was wrong but the answer made so much sense when all was revealed. And I loved Father O’Reilly, Joni’s confessional conspirator. The ending made me smile. This is a very enjoyable read and one that made for a perfect ending to my year of reading.

 

The Woman in the Window

By A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window: A Novel by [Finn, A. J.]

5 out of 5 stars

I have read that this is the thriller of 2018 and it very well may be. I hope it is the start of many, many more good reads like this.

Dr. Anna Fox is agoraphobic. She does not leave her house, well, a few steps in the yard with her umbrella, per her doctor’s advice. She wasn’t always this way. She had a child psychology practice with another doctor. She had a husband and a daughter. Something happens, which I will not go into, and she is now housebound. Anna has her computer. That seems to be her lifeline to the outside world. She is on a website for agoraphobics where she does offer some advice. She plays chess. Anna also loves to watch her neighborhood from her window, taking pictures and imagining what their lives are all about. She shares her findings with her husband , whom she talks to a lot. He has their daughter Olivia.

It is in looking out the window that Anna witnesses a murder. Or does she? She is hardly reliable with her over medicating herself and her large consumption of merlot every night. Is she going crazy? Is it real? Is it her fascination with film noir and Hitchcock that feeds into her mind playing tricks on her? You must read this gem to find out.

I love all things Hitchcock and this story was so reminiscent of Rear Window in many ways. Of course, Anna is no Jimmy Stewart, but she is pretty good at thinking things out, even with the state of her mind. Having her be agoraphobic added such a sense of claustrophobia throughout the story. And let me tell you, I gasped aloud on a couple of occasions. You read it and you will know exactly when! This will be a great first book of the year for everyone. It comes out January 2. Don’t we all love to start the new year out with a great book?

I am so thankful to Edelweiss and William Morrow for my early copy of this book. Of course, this review is my own opinion but I know you will all agree.

Genuine Fraud

By e. lockhart

Genuine Fraud by [Lockhart, E.]

4 out of 5 stars

I finished this book last night and I am still trying to figure out what went on in it!

Jule seems to be running away from something. It seems that way pretty much through the whole book but was she really? Her life story is so interesting and yet you are left to wonder just what is true and what isn’t. She is searching for something but what? Jule seems to envy the life that Imogen has or does she? Does she want to be Imogen? Does she just want to be someone else period? I don’t know! I do know that I was totally invested in what happened to her. The storyline pops back and forth into time, which I admit, confused me a couple of times, but it worked.

If you like your characters a bit unhinged, this is definitely the book for you.