The Night Before

By Wendy Walker

The Night Before: A Novel by [Walker, Wendy]

4 out of 5 stars

Laura Lochner is back in her hometown and living with her sister Rose. They are a close pair and with Rose’s husband Joe and his best friend Gabe, they have always been a tight group. After a tragic death, Laura has tried to start her life over, away from home. Something happens that brings her back and she tries to get her life on track. She is going on a date with someone she matched up with online.  The story takes us between the present and the night before when Laura meets up with the mysterious Jonathan Fielding. When she doesn’t return home the next morning, Rose sets out to find where she is and just who this man really is.

I loved how this story took us between the actual date, the search for Laura, and her sessions with a therapist. You learn so much of the back story of how she got to be who she was and there are a few excellent twists thrown in. I cannot say I saw what was coming but it all made such perfect sense. I loved the character of Laura. The way she was written, you could just see all the wheels turning in her brain. You could see how she wanted to be so different than how she was. So much of what we are is a product of the past and not only our own past.

Definitely a page turner! It comes out May 14th so put it on your radar.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book. They are really one of my very favorite publishers.

My Lovely Wife

By Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by [Downing, Samantha]

4 out of 5 stars

If you are looking for something twisted and dark, well then step right up and read all about it!

Millicent and her husband seem like a normal couple. They are raising two teenagers. She sells houses. He is a tennis coach. He is also the narrator of this twisty little tale. After he kills someone  to protect his family, they think think all is normal. Until it is not. Why did they like it so much? They are setting up for another girl when a girl that he thinks has been long dead, turns up. The surprising factor, to him anyway, is that she was recently killed. His wife had kept her alive for a year. This is all a big setup because of a past serial killer from the area but things go way out of hand. He slowly starts to realize that he is in big trouble. They all are.

This is quite the sordid tale. I love that it was told with the husband’s POV. It gave the story a little different spin. He is not at all innocent in everything but he is in way over his head. Millicent is quite the character. I figured a few things out on my own, pat myself on the back, but there are more than enough twists and turns to keep you reading. And the ending……It was definitely one of those!

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Books for an advanced copy.

The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by [Michaelides, Alex]

5 out of 5 stars

After the murder of her husband, Alicia Berenson stops talking. She is found standing by him, he being tied to a chair with his head blown off, holding the gun and covered in blood. Did she do it? It sure looks that way. Dr. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who is fascinated by this case. He takes a job at the hospital she is in to see if he can get her to talk, to see what she remembers. It isn’t an easy job but he seems to find a way to get to her. She gives him her diary and we read along as to what was going on in her head and life. We also read about Theo’s wife and her affair. Theo is consumed by that as well.

This book was slow-going for me at first but let me tell you, when it picks up, it will not let you go. I stayed up late to finish it last night and that ending! I had no idea where it was leading me but what a journey! This is an incredible debut and perfect for anyone who loves a good psychological thriller. As much as I felt it was dragging in the beginning, the slow boil was a perfect starter to all that followed. I think I might have even said “Holy crap” a few times. I look forward to many more books from Mr. Michaelides in the future.

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

The Temp

By Michelle Frances

The Temp by [Frances, Michelle]

4 out of 5 stars

Carrie is a television producer and her husband a very successful writer. Carrie has it all and when she realizes she is pregnant, wants to include a baby in that mix. Adrian does not. In comes young Emma. She is eager to work in television and to stand in for Carrie while she is on maternity leave. Carrie’s radar goes up and she feels as if Emma wants her job and more. Emma does have her own agenda but it might not be exactly what Carrie thinks it is.

This was great fun. There is a lot of cat and mouse going on throughout the story. You get a few All About Eve vibes. You get a lot of vibes that are totally wrong! There is one big reveal that I do have to say I figured out very early on but that was okay. It made a lot of things more understandable. You definitely feel for Carrie and for Emma in various ways. You will not get the feels for Adrian. He is one of the jerkiest characters you will read and I kept wondering just what Carrie saw in him in the first place.

This is another good book from Michelle Frances. I always look forward to them and am never disappointed.

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

She Lies In Wait

By Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait: A Novel by [Lodge, Gytha]

3,5  out of 5 stars

Thirty years after Aurora Jackson has gone missing, her body is found at the campground she was last seen at. She had went that night with her sister Topaz and a group of her sister’s friends. We get the backstory as to what happened in Aurora’s eyes as we alternate with the investigation into her murder. This is the first in a series with Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens. I really look forward to reading more about him because he is a very interesting character. He grew up with the kids involved so he had a higher stake in it than most.

The story unfolds as each suspect is brought in for questioning and little by little, secrets are revealed. I really had no idea who the killer was. It could have been any of them. I loved Jonah’s process and his thinking as he slowly unfolded everything.

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

The Au Pair

By Emma Rous

The Au Pair by [Rous, Emma]

5 out of 5 stars

I think I entered into reading this book with a misconception. I was thinking it was a mystery/thriller. It definitely is a mystery but it is a lot more than that.

When Seraphine’s father dies suddenly of an accident, she stumbles upon s photograph that starts her down a path that will change everything she believes about her family.  It is a picture of her mother, father and a baby on the day she was born.  It is also right before her mother kills herself. The problem is, Seraphine is a twin. Why only one baby? As she searches for the truth, we are also given the backstory of Laura, the au pair who came to stay that year to watch the oldest son Edwin. The Summerbourne  manor holds lots of secrets and Laura is right in the middle of them all.

This is a wonderful book! It slowly unfolds to the reader in a very delectable way. As secrets are revealed, your mind will start spinning in a lot of directions. You might have it figured out, you might not. (I had some but there were some great surprises!) This is the author’s first novel and what a way to debut into the world. I look forward to many more!

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy of this wonderful book.

Watching You

By Lisa Jewell

Watching You: A Novel by [Jewell, Lisa]

5 out of 5 stars

This beauty comes out at the end of December and you are going to want to read it! This is my second Lisa Jewell book and like I said after the first one, Then She Was Gone, I don’t know why I am so late to the party!

There is a dead body in one of the houses in Melville Heights. (And I have to admit I thought it was one person but was so wrong) The story takes us between the police questioning a few people, to the stories of the people living there. They all seem to revolve around Tom Fitzwilliam, the headmaster at a local school. There is Joey, who recently moved in with her brother and pregnant wife. She feels a connection to him. There is Jenna, who’s mother has some serious mental issues and believes that Tom is watching her ever since a vacation they took. Jenna also has serious doubts about Tom’s character around female students. Tom’s son, Freddie, who keeps an eye on the comings and goings of the street, feels like he both loves and hates his father. Then there is Nicola, Tom’s wife, who seems to try to be something she’s not for him. It all swirls and ebbs around and around until you start to not trust everyone and isn’t that the most delicious part of reading?!

This is such a page-turning read and I could not wait to see how it all played out. Each of the main characters are written with such clarity and you really could feel what they were all about. I really loved the progression in Freddie. And who doesn’t love that little tidbit at an ending that makes you go AHA! I will read more and more from this wonderful writer, at least until I finish her library, and wait for more.

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria for this fantastic book.

Lies

By T.M. Logan

Lies by [Logan, T. M.]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Joe Lynch happens upon his wife’s car while with his young son. He follows her into a hotel parking lot and finds her arguing with a friend. He has no idea why she would be arguing with Ben and something niggles at him about the situation. When she leaves and he confronts Ben, Ben tells Joe that Joe has no idea what’s really going on. He goes to punch Joe. Joe pushes him away, not wanting to hit someone not quite up to his size, Ben falls and hits his head. Joe’s son is in the midst of an asthma attack so Joe runs home and when he goes back, Ben is gone. He asks his wife what’s going on and she tells him she was just helping Ben out with a client but as the story unfolds, and Joe is implicated in Ben’s disappearance, there is lie upon lie upon lie.

I did not see the biggest lie reveal at all. I thought I knew what was happening and was pretty proud of myself but I was wrong. There were some parts that really dragged for me and I wanted them to move a little quicker but all in all, it is a good thriller with a very likable lead character.

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

You Were Always Mine

By Nicole Baart

 

You Were Always Mine: A Novel by [Baart, Nicole]

4 out of 5 stars

Jessica Chamberlain is navigating life as best she can now that she and her husband Evan have separated. When he is killed, Jessica has to face life as a mother of her two sons alone. Max, a teenager, is angry at his mom, angry at the world. He feels if she did not kick him out, their dad would still be there. Gabe, their young adopted son, is loving but has his own developmental issues. It all leads to the private adoption when Jessica finds out that Evan was in contact with Gabe’s biological mother. Was what he finds out the cause of his death?

There are a lot of twists, the most major one I did not see coming, that make this a page turner. As you read Evan’s letters to Gabe’s birth mom, you really start to wonder why would he not tell Jessica and what the heck was going on! There is a fine line between thinking you are doing what is right and actually doing what is right. The best intentions of mice and men…. I liked Jessica. I loved that she followed her intuition despite others not believing her.

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

The Lies We Told

By Camilla Way

The Lies We Told by [Way, Camilla]

4 out of 5 stars

There are lies, lies and even more lies in this twisty little tale.  When Clara’s boyfriend Luke doesn’t return home or even show up the next day for work, she knows something is wrong. He had been harassed by someone but even she did not know to what extent until he is missing. When she opens up his laptop and finds a ton of messages from a seemingly crazy woman, she goes with his best friend to the police. The search begins and there is so much that is uncovered.

Each chapter goes between the search for Luke and a woman writing about her young daughter who seems to be quite the Bad Seed. Little Hannah does a lot of very nasty things with no affect whatsoever. When she overhears her mother talking to another woman about a secret they share, it sets off a chain of events with disastrous results. Is this all tied to Luke’s disappearance? Well of course you think it has to because why are we reading about her.

Then the lies. There are so many lies. Everyone has some to tell. The last little lie at the end threw me for a loop, that’s for sure.

It will definitely keep you reading to see just what craziness is going to happen. Clara is a wonderfully sympathetic character and you want so much for her. Hannah is such a psychotic character, perfectly written. It has more than enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. It is a very good read for a cold October night.

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advance copy of this book.