What Are We Reading And Reviewing in September 2019?

Mystery and Suspense

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What Are We Reading And Reviewing in September 2019?

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Edited: Aug 25, 2019, 10:34am

Help Police!!! Someone has stolen all my leaves!!!!

This is the place to let everyone know the books you are reading this month, and then to leave reviews of these books. You can put up a list of the books you are reading for the month or put a post about a book as you start it, or even both.

A review doesn't have to long. It can be something as simple as a sentence about the book or as comprehensive as you want to make it - whatever is good for you. Our love of books is the reason we are all here.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 7:17am

Carol's Reads for September
📌 - ★

Group Reads
📌The Caller – Chris Carter - 4.5★
📌The Funeral Boat – Kate Ellis - 4.5★

Pick A Winner…Make A friend
📌The House Next Door – Darcy Coates - 4★

📌Paradox Bound –Peter Clines - ★
📌Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault – Cathy Guisewite - 4★
📌The Magpies – Mark Edwards - 5★
📌In The Darkness –Mike Omer - 5★
📌The Infinite Blacktop – Sara Gran - 3★
📌Emma In The Night – Wendy Walker - 3★
📌The Child Finder –Rene Denfeld - 3★
📌Three Weeks With My Brother - Nicholas Sparks - 3.5★
📌The Secrets She Keeps - Michael Robotham - 4.5★
📌Before and Again - Barbara Delinsky -2.5★
📌The Summer That Never Was - Peter Robinson- 5★
📌Sticks & Stones Madeleine Urban- 3.5 ★
📌Lethal White by Robert Galbraith - 2.5★
📌Ruff Justice - Laurien Berenson - 3★
📌Old Bones by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - 5★
📌The Institute by Stephen King - 4.5★
📌The Last Hostage - John J. Nance - 3★
📌The North Water - Ian McGuire - 4★
📌What You Did - Claire McGowen - 2★
📌Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan - 4★
📌Rivers End - Nora Roberts - 4★

Edited: Sep 9, 2019, 5:14pm

Lynda and Oliver's September Reading List


Caller - Chris Carter
Child's Play - Angela Marsons - 4.5 Stars - 9/1/19
Flashback - Nevada Barr
Funeral Boat - Kate Ellis
Hush Hush - James Patterson - 4 Stars - 9/6/19
Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong King Buddha - Dorothy Gilman - 3 Stars - 9/9/19
In the Darkness - Mike Omer - 4.5 Stars - 9/8/19
One Good Deed - David Baldacci
Shamed - Linda Castillo
Temporary Gentleman - Sebastian Berry - 3 Stars - 9/4/19
Tumbled Graves - Brenda Chapman
Ultimatum - Karen Robards - 3 Stars - 9/2/19
Vendetta in Death - J. D. Robb
Vermilion Drift - William Kent Krueger
Wedding Cake Crumble - Jenn McKinley - 3 Stars - 9/5/19


Butterfly Conspiracy - Vivian Conroy
Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
Five Smooth Stones - Ann Fairbairn
Heads You Win - Jeffrey Archer
I Am Legend - Richard Mathieson - 4 Stars - 9/7/19
Nefertiti - Michelle Moran
Perfect Couple - Elin Hildebrand

Aug 29, 2019, 9:17pm

>2 Carol420: - I love that photo

I have In the Darkness on my Kindle and am going to try to fit it in if I can. I liked the first one.

Edited: Aug 29, 2019, 9:18pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Aug 30, 2019, 6:27am

>4 Olivermagnus: I love the animal images. I find myself forgetting what I was looking for and spending time going through them all. I've gone ahead and started In the Darkness. I really like this author.

Sep 1, 2019, 1:19pm

In the Darkness - Mike Omer
Zoe Bentley series Book #2

An online video of a girl clawing at the ceiling of her own grave could be the worst thing FBI forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley has ever seen. Perhaps even more disturbing is the implication of the video’s title: “Experiment Number One.” Zoe and her partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray, work as fast as they can to find the monster behind the shocking video, but soon another one shows up online, and another girl turns up dead. Meanwhile, a different murderer is on Zoe’s mind. Rod Glover has been tormenting her since childhood, and his latest attack is a threatening photo of himself with Zoe’s sister. As Glover’s threats creep toward action, Zoe’s torn between family and duty. Zoe must think fast to prevent another murder. With her own family’s safety on the line, Zoe feels she’s never been in more danger. And while she’s always known her job could send her to an early grave, she always assumed she’d be dead first.

This is the second book that I have read in this series and again I was very impressed with the writing style of Mike Omer. I love the characters of Zoe Bentley and Tatum Gray along with Tatum's whacky grandfather. He even throws in the cat from Hell and the goldfish that swims around his bowl with a beer bottle in it. I believe the creepiest part of it though...is one that isn't written but screams it's very existence. The killers... from both the first book and this one are people that the average person would never suspect. They move through society, blending in and interacting with the townspeople's everyday life. Now that's scary! Overall...another well told tale with a more than chilling plot. I'm Looking forward to #3 and hopefully many more to come.

Sep 2, 2019, 5:20pm

Emma in The Night - Wendy Walker

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

I liked the book but I really expected and wanted to like it a lot more based on the other books that I have read by Wendy Walker. I have to say that the Martin family gave a whole new meaning to the term "dysfunctional". If "Mrs. Martin" had been my mother I believe I would have opted to remain on the island. Also the character of Abby Winters, the forensic psychiatrist, seemed to have no other purpose than to tell Cass's story. Her narrative became a bit over bearing after awhile. Having said that...I found that the story was intriguing enough that I kept reading but I think I was almost in danger of going into a psychology overload coma.

Sep 3, 2019, 1:12pm

The Summer That Never Was by Peter Robinson
Alan Banks series Book #14

Inspector Alan Banks reads that the bones of his childhood friend, Graham Marshall, have been dug up in a field not far away from the road where he disappeared more than thirty-five years earlier. Intrigued by the discovery, and still consumed with guilt because of a related incident he failed to report at the time, Banks returns to his hometown and becomes peripherally involved in the investigation. At the same time, a few counties away, the case of another missing teenager – the son of a famous model and step-son of anex-footballer, is handed to DI Annie Cabbot. Banks shuttles between the two cases far apart in time but perhaps not so far apart in character. When the lives of both detectives are threatened, Banks searches his own memories for clues, until he is finally forced to confront truths he would rather avoid, and finds that, in these investigations, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, guardian of the law and law-breaker is becoming ever more blurred.

This story is composed of parallel cases that have a three decade time lapse between them. The police are trying to figure out why boys, as a whole... and these two in particular...one in the past and one in the present...have run away or become easy prey to abductors. Alan Banks finds that the reasons have changed very little in the 35 years since his friend, Graham...whose bones have just been unearthed... disappeared. It mattered very little that Graham was cool and popular where the current boy, Luke...was lonely, talented, and precocious. Banks must also reveal one of his own most closely guarded secrets...the evidence he withheld as a boy during the initial police investigation into Graham’s disappearance. Robinson creates a complex and intriguing story while bringing into question if we can really know anyone...even those closest to us.

Edited: Sep 3, 2019, 2:12pm

Proposed Group Read Dates

The Caller by Chris Carter : Friday 6th September

The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis : Friday 20th September

Sep 3, 2019, 6:17pm

The Child Finder - Rene Denfeld

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?" Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope. Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too. As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

Children are some of the most vulnerable human beings. They often go missing or disappear without a trace. Some are found, and many are not...creating loss and turmoil in homes and families that change the very core pattern of their lives. In this book we meet Naomi, a young woman known as the "child finder." She has no past she can fully remember, but she knows that she must never give up on finding those who are lost. I thought the book was hard to follow since the story was told from two voices that alternated. Also this child was portrayed as 6 years old going on 30 with understanding of things that were far beyond her mental abilities. The man was a pedophile no matter how the author painted it. The ending was wrapped up too neat and everything just went back to norm? I don't think so.

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 6:14pm

Schedule for the Group Read of The Caller, Book 8 in the Robert Hunter Series.

Friday 6th September : Chapter 1 - 18
Saturday 7th September : Chapter 19 - 34
Sunday 8th September : Chapter 35 - 52
Monday 9th September : Chapter 53 - 71
Tuesday 10th September : Chapter 72 - 94

Sep 5, 2019, 6:53pm

The Infinite Blacktop - Sara Gran

Claire DeWitt, the world’s best private detective, wakes up one dark night in an ambulance in Oakland: someone has just tried to murder her. But she’s not dead. Not yet. More sure of herself than of the police, Claire follows the clues on a 52-hour odyssey through shimmering Las Vegas and the shabby surrounding desert to find out who wants her dead. But in order to save herself, Claire will have to revisit her own complicated past as she navigates the present: a past of childhood obsessions, rival detectives, lost friends, and mysteries mostly—but not always—solved. Three intertwining stories illuminate three eras of Claire’s life: her early years as an ambitious girl detective in Brooklyn (before it was gentrified), which ended when her best friend and partner in crime-solving disappeared; a case of an unexplained death in the art world of late-1990s Los Angeles, when, devastated by the demise of her mentor in New Orleans, Claire was forced to start again; and her current quest to save her own life from a determined assassin. As the connections between the stories come into focus, the truth becomes clear.

Claire DeWitt is a hard boiled detective who reminds me a lot of Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher. The author did a great job of keeping the focus on the current mystery while at the same time going back in time to a long unsolved mystery from Claire’s past simultaneously. It was fun trying to solve the case before Claire... but sadly, I don't think being a detective is in the cards for me. However I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Sep 6, 2019, 11:04am

Paradox Bound - Peter Clines

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town’s still got a video store, for god’s sake. So why doesn’t Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he’d ever admit it, but maybe he’s been waiting—waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who’s roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who’s a walking anachronism, with her tri-corner hat, flintlock rifle, and steam-punked Model-A Ford. The one who’s being pursued by…something. So when the mysterious traveler finally reappears, Eli’s determined that this time, he’s going to get some answers. But his hunt soon yields far more than he bargained for, plunging him headlong into a dizzying world full of competing factions and figures straight out of legend. To make sense of the mystery at its heart, he must embark on a breakneck chase across the country and through two centuries of history—with nothing less than America’s past, present, and future at stake.

It has time travel, murders, and faceless villains...what more could you ask for? "There are some great moments in this book. I thought the town of Hourglass was a place I may seriously consider relocating to...as soon as my future self comes back and my past self settles down. "Hourglass is a sort of time travelers resort that you can only go to 3 times in your life because while you are at one bar in the town another you is just down the street at a different bar." With that quote swimming happily in your head...you have a pretty good idea that you will diffidently need to suspend your disbelief to get into this one.

Sep 7, 2019, 4:40pm

The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
4.5 ★

The largest known meteorite has been discovered, entombed in the earth for millions of years on a frigid, desolate island off the southern tip of Chile. At four thousand tons, this treasure seems impossible to move. New York billionaire Palmer Lloyd is determined to have this incredible find for his new museum. Stocking a cargo ship with the finest scientists and engineers, he builds a flawless expedition. But from the first approach to the meteorite, people begin to die.

I was caught up in this story right from the beginning. It’s an adventure with many difficulties to overcome, and suspense, tension and excitement throughout. The meteorite is the mystery here and there’s a big twist at the end. I liked the main characters and thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Sep 7, 2019, 5:22pm

>15 gaylebutz: I love their books. Glad you enjoyed this one.

Sep 8, 2019, 6:04pm

Lethal White - Robert Galbraith
Cormoran Strike series Book #4
2.5 ★

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

The last part of the book was much better than the first part. The main problem with the entire book was the constant whining about the character of Matthew. I came to hate Matthew with a passion. Then there was the parts entirely devoted to the love affair triangle. I usually like Cormoran Strike novels but I just can't find much good to say about this one. In whole the overall plot was stranger than strange. The story just seemed to dig itself into a rut.

Sep 9, 2019, 4:41pm

Ruff Justice - Laurien Berenson
Melanie Travis series Book #22

As owner of prize-winning Poodles, Melanie Travis knows how to handle fierce competition. But when a conformation show turns deadly, it’ll take every trick in the book to outsmart a murderer who refuses to lose. No one expected to discover one of the participants murdered behind the concession booth...strangled by one of her dazzling custom creations. Another shock wave ripples through the close-knit show community when Amanda, Aunt Peg’s longtime dog sitter and a renter on Jasmine’s property, ominously vanishes that same day. While nosing around for clues, Melanie suspects a dangerous connection between Amanda’s disappearance and the homicide case

My neighbor brought me this book that she had found at a recent yard sale. She knew I would just love it because it had a dog on the cover. On looking closer I saw that it wasn't just any old dog...it was a POODLE and POODLE begins with a "P", and I needed something starting with that particular letter for yet another challenge. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I only read cozy mysteries when I need them for..well, a challenge. It wasn't a bad storyline and the characters...especially the furry four-legged ones were likable. The heroine had sense enough to let the police handle the murderer and she didn't do stupid things that were destined to get her killed. I can see where this series would really appeal to dog owners.

Sep 11, 2019, 9:10am

The Caller - Chris Carter
Robert Hunter series Book #8

After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring.The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward.Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.

This is a fantastic series with two really good, believable characters of Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia. It's is not...I repeat NOT a series for anyone that doesn't like very, very graphic murders. Chris Carter has a background in criminal psychology so the killers he creates for his novels are all the more terrifying. This one has another character that comes across as a very likable individual, even though he himself has a shady background. I'm hoping that Mr. J will appear again in another book. Overall...this was a very interesting, fast moving novel that i really hated to see end.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:22pm

>19 Carol420: A great series, but not for the feint of heart!

Sep 11, 2019, 4:29pm

Sep 11, 2019, 5:38pm

Black Diamond by Martin Walker
3.5 ★

Chief of police Bruno Courreges investigates the possible adulteration of the truffles of France's Perigord region with a cheaper Chinese version. Then, a Vietnamese family's stall at the Saint-Denis market is wrecked, and Bruno wonders if this is the beginning of an Asian gang war. Things become more complex when Bruno's hunting partner and former top-level military man is found brutally murdered.

This takes place in a small town in France where Bruno is well-known by everyone and very likeable. There’s lots of discussion of food that sounded fabulous. There was also a somewhat complicated plot about the gang war between the Chinese and Vietnamese that I sometimes found confusing. Overall, an interesting combination of the ways of the French, food, immigration and Chinese and Vietnamese relations.

Sep 12, 2019, 3:29pm

Old Bones - Douglas Oreston & Lincoln Child
Norma Kelly series Book #1

Nora Kelly, a young curator at the Santa Fe Institute of Archaeology, is approached by historian Clive Benton with a once-in-a-lifetime proposal: to lead a team in search of the so-called "Lost Camp" of the tragic Donner Party. This was a group of pioneers who earned a terrible place in American history when they became snow-bound in the California mountains in 1847, their fate unknown until the first skeletonized survivors stumbled out of the wilderness, raving about starvation, murder-and cannibalism. Benton tells Kelly he has stumbled upon an amazing find: the long-sought diary of one of the victims, which has an enigmatic description of the Lost Camp. Nora agrees to lead an expedition to locate and excavate it-to reveal its long-buried secrets. Once in the mountains, however, they learn that discovering the camp is only the first step in a mounting journey of fear. For as they uncover old bones, they expose the real truth of what happened, one that is far more shocking and bizarre than mere cannibalism. And when those ancient horrors lead to present-day violence on a grand scale, rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson is assigned the case...only to find that her first investigation might very well be her last.

Nora Kelly is approached by a historian who is also has an ancestor that was a part of the ill fated Donner party. He asks Nora's help in locating the "Lost Camp" where he believes that the bones of 11 members the party that was lost in a winter storm and had to resorted to cannibalism in order to survive, can be found. Along with the bones of the party there is also the good possibility of twenty-million dollars buried in the vicinity in ten-dollar gold coins. I found this to literally be a riveting story that I just couldn't put down. These are two of my favorite authors so I had high expectations going in. I really liked the character of Nora Kelly and found myself feeling sympathy for Corrie...the young, rookie FBI agent that was trying so very hard to earn the respect of her superiors while working to solve the mystery of several people of the same family that had disappeared over the years Strangely they were ancestors of a family that were part of the Donner party. In the beginning it was a little hard to see how these two stories were going to come together but they blended beautifully in the end. Anyone that is interested in history and archaeology will love this series.

Sep 12, 2019, 11:34pm

>23 Carol420: Carol I'm so glad to hear that book was not a disappointment. I enjoyed Nora in Thunderhead and was excited when I heard she was finally getting her own series, so I can't wait to read it now.

Sep 13, 2019, 5:49am

>24 ColinMichaelFelix: I really liked it. Even Agent Pendergast makes an appearance at the very end.

Sep 16, 2019, 6:37am

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault - Cathy Guisewite

As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle. With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades' worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedom from all those things that hold us back).

I loved the Cathy comic strip. There were so many things in this book that I really could relate to...and there were so many things that I have friends that do the very same things that Cathy did in the same situations. The entries were funny, they were sad sometimes, and they were all thought provoking. Those readers younger than 55 will see what they will almost mostly have to look forward to...those of us older will just smile and nod...since we've probably been there and done that.

Sep 16, 2019, 11:50am

The Institute - Stephen King

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.” In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extra normal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

I thought for a long, long time before even rating this book. I am a die-hard Stephen King fan...read every word that he's ever written and he has written many...nearly 600 pages in this one alone. I liked it but I liked his scarier offerings more. I will have to say that it's not Stephen King at his best but it's far, far from the worst either. It is a book that I believe readers will really like or really not like. You might say that it's a "character study" between the people that think everything they do is for the good of others and those that will try to stop them. King has never had any difficulty going overboard off the beaten path into the realm of the unlikely... but for this one,you must just leave your disbelief at the door. I'm a big fan of King and a "not at all fan" of one of the guys he makes digs at...so I'll give him the 4.5 rating.

Edited: Sep 18, 2019, 1:10pm

The Secrets She Keeps - Michael Robotham
4.5 ★

A psychological thriller about an unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family? Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls. When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever.

An engrossing, psychological thriller focusing on two women and the dark places their relationship leads. We learn the story of how the women's lives come to overlap as Meg’s marriage and Agatha’s life both unravel. What starts with a gradual glimpse into the two women’s worlds, soon escalates into something much more sinister. It was a story that I just had to find out what happens. Michael Robotham certainly knows how to tell a suspense filled tale.

Sep 19, 2019, 10:26am

The Last Hostage - John J. Nance

High above the Rocky Mountains, a routine airline flight becomes a midair standoff as 130 passengers listen to their captain relate the unprecedented demands of an unseen hijacker. Federal and state officials must hunt down, arrest, and indict the murderer of a young girl, and do it all in eight hours--or the airplane will be blown out of the sky.

From the first page to the end the author grabs and holds your attention. Nance can spin a tale, that causes nail-biting confusion and still manage to construct an ending that is logical and makes perfect sense. The book was written 1998 so it's comforting to know that what happened here would be nearly...and the key word here is "nearly"...impossible to happen today.

Sep 19, 2019, 2:37pm

Sticks & Stones - Madeleine Urban - Abigail Roux
Cut & Run series Book #2

Six months after nearly losing their lives to a serial killer in New York City, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through something almost as frightening: the monotony of desk duty. When they're ordered to take a vacation for the good of everyone's sanity, Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia, hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them the chance to explore the explosive attraction they've so far been unable to reconcile with their professional partnership. Ty and Zane, along with Ty's father and brother, head up into the Appalachian mountains for a nice, relaxing hike deep into the woods...where no one will hear them scream. They find themselves facing danger from all directions: unpredictable weather, the unrelenting mountains, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose, and the most terrifying challenge of all...each other.

I really do love the characters in the "Cut & Run" series. Ty and Zane are lovable on so many levels...plus they are really good agents which is played down somewhat in this one since they are on vacation in West Virginia, not out hunting down criminals. The book was well written and filled with adventure. Even had an encounter with a mountain lion...although the encounter with Ty's grandfather and the garden hose could have been more dangerous. Good series, but subject matter may be objectionable to some readers.

Edited: Sep 19, 2019, 3:38pm

Schedule for Group Read of The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis, #4 in the Wesley Peterson Series

Fri 20th Sept : Prologue, Chapter 1 - 4
Sat 21st Sept : Chapter 5 - 7
Sun 22nd Sept : Chapter 8 - 12
Mon 23rd Sept : Chapter 13 - 16, Epilogue

Sep 20, 2019, 6:44am

The House Next Door - Darcy Coates

I live next to a haunted house. I began to suspect something was wrong with the gothic building when its family fled in the middle of the night, the children screaming, the mother crying. They never came back to pack up their furniture. No family stays long. Animals avoid the place. Once, I thought I saw a woman’s silhouette pacing through the upstairs room… but that seems impossible; no one was living there at the time. A new occupant, Anna, has just moved in. I paid her a visit to warn her about the building. I didn’t expect us to become friends, but we did. And now that Marwick House is waking up, she’s asked me to stay with her. I never intended to become involved with the building or its vengeful, dead inhabitant. But now I have to save Anna… before it’s too late for the both of us.

The ghost story junkie in me loved the entire idea of this book. It's the first of Darcy Coates' books that has received less than 5 stars from me. While it was a great story in every haunted, goose-bumpy way...it went on way too long and there were some easily answered questions in the story itself that remained unanswered at the end. In spite of that I have to say that Darcy Coates is one of the best supernatural/ghost story writer that I have ever read.

Sep 20, 2019, 10:12am

The North Water - Ian McGuire

A ship sets sail with a killer on board . . . 1859. A man joins a whaling ship bound for the Arctic Circle. Having left the British Army with his reputation in tatters, Patrick Sumner has little option but to accept the position of ship's surgeon on this ill-fated voyage. But when, deep into the journey, a cabin boy is discovered brutally killed, Sumner finds himself forced to act. Soon he will face an evil even greater than he had encountered at the siege of Delhi, in the shape of Henry Drax: harpooner, murderer, monster

I've had this on my TBR list for quiet some time. Somehow it kept getting pushed back but it finally managed to make enough noise to get my attention...and I'm mostly glad that it did. I found that it was a riveting read while also being darkly brilliant. The ship has a crew that should have screamed TROUBLE to anyone with half a mind. Especially the Irish surgeon, addicted to opium that no one else would hire...and the most vicious and unpleasant of them all, Henry Drax. A man who has raped and killed a young boy just before signing on. With this motley crew, the ship set out to sail into the endless violence that persists throughout the story. We soon learn that bringing back seal skins is the last thing on this crews mind. Good adventure story with dramatic clashes between darkness and light and good and evil.

Sep 20, 2019, 5:34pm

>28 Carol420: The Secrets She Keeps sounds good. I've read several by Robotham and enjoyed them so I think I'll look for this one.

Sep 20, 2019, 6:01pm

>34 gaylebutz: I have read almost all, if not all, of his books and really liked them also.

Sep 21, 2019, 12:39pm

What You Did - Claire McGowan

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again. When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatized, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why? When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realities there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.

First of all the book is advertised as a “psychological thriller” ... however it is not a thriller. Those expecting it to be may be disappointed. The focus of the story is on three forty-three year old women, detailing how each of their lives are upended after a reunion weekend. I couldn't empathize with any of the characters. Their entire lives are built on lies and cheating. They are certainly old enough now to see where they were wrong back in the day...but they see nothing wrong with this. It's not often that I can't find something good to say about a book...even one that I didn't care much for... but not this time. I found the entire book boring and tedious.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 8:13am

Before and Again - Barbara Delinsky

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made―though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered. Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets.

I didn't care for the main character...Mackenzie...from the beginning. She was unsympathetic and uncaring and unbelievable. I did like her pets. Jonah, her dog, and the two black kittens. Maybe the book should have been more about them.

Sep 23, 2019, 5:24pm

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
3 ★

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity--and all contact with the outside world--the guests settle in and try to make the best of it. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead--it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm--and one another.

I was in the mood for a story set in a remote mountain lodge and all the guests trapped by a storm. I definitely got that. Some of the guests were likable and some weren’t so there was plenty of conflict as they talked and became suspicious of one another. I was surprised about who did it but the ending wasn’t completely plausible. Overall, a mildly interesting story.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 5:12pm

The Funeral Boat - Kate Ellis
Wesley Peterson series Book #4

When a skeleton is discovered on a Devon smallholding, DS Wesley Peterson, a keen amateur archaeologist, is intrigued by the possibility that it is a Viking corpse, buried in keeping with ancient traditions. But he has a rather more urgent crime to solve- the disappearance of a Danish tourist. Wesley finds disturbing evidence that the attractive Dane has been abducted. His boss Gerry Heffernan believes that Ingeborg's disappearance is linked to a spate of brutal robberies and that she witnessed something she shouldn't have. But is her disappearance linked to far older events? For it seems that this may not have been Ingeborg's first visit to this far from quiet West Country backwater.

This series so far, has always had a mystery from the past and a current one that the main story is built on. The characters become more developed in each addition and we learn more and more about them. They are all likable to various degrees...well, except for Steve...seems every police series has to have the odd bad apple. Along with a really good mystery we also have an archaeological aspect. This only adds to the content and ties the past and the present together. This is a great series for all readers that like a good murder mystery without a lot of violence or blood and guts.

Sep 24, 2019, 10:11am

The Magpies

When Jamie and Kirsty move into their first home together, they are full of optimism. The future, in which they plan to get married and start a family, is bright. The other residents of their building seem friendly too, including the Newtons, a married couple who welcome them to the building with open arms. But then strange things start to happen. Dead rats are left on their doorstep. They hear disturbing noises, and much worse, in the night. After Jamie's best friend is injured in a horrific accident, Jamie and Kirsty find themselves targeted by a campaign of terror. As they are driven to the edge of despair, Jamie vows to fight back—but he has no idea what he is really up against.

Jamie and Kristy are wonderful, completely likable characters. When the first few incidences happened I wondered who it actually was that was doing them and whether they were just coincidences. Then they started to get worse....and then much, much worse. It was impossible to predict what would happen next at any stage of the book. If you have seen the films "Fatal Attraction" and "Jagged Edge"...then be prepared for the same feeling of terror as those physiological films gave you. I was just wishing that Jamie and Kristy would get out while they still could. I have loved everything that Mark Edwards has ever done but this one may well be the best ever.

Sep 25, 2019, 9:34am

Unspoken Sarah Rees Brennan
Layburn Legacy series Book #1

Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

The story basically chronicles Kami's realization that her small and boring hometown of Sorry-in-the-Vale...gotta love that name... is a place she thought she knew very well...but has a hidden dimension. She finds evidence of animals being ritually killed in the nearby woods. That little surprise I could well have done without. She realizes that people are keeping secrets and she decides to investigate. Slowly, Kami's ordinary world is revealed to be strange, horrifying, and full of supernatural events and surprises. Sarah Rees Brennan did a phenomenal job with this enticing novel making it complete with mystery and mayhem,

Sep 26, 2019, 7:09am

River’s End – Nora Roberts

Olivia’s parents were among Hollywood’s golden couples—until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever. A monster with the face of her father
Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror—but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story. Now, assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance. Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history. He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart. But once the door to her past is opened, there’s no telling what’s waiting on the other side. For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again

Often I find that even novels clearly labeled as “romantic suspense” tend to be heavy on suspense and light on romance. While I am not a fan of romances…with ‘River’s End” Nora Roberts achieves a perfect balance that should appeal to fans of both genre. The reader can watch Noah and Olivia as they fall in love…yet experience the nightmare of the past that is always lurking in the background. The only real flaw…at least for me… was in the ending. Matters were resolved just a little too quickly. It would have been nice to have had a little more insight into the villain…but I think readers will enjoy the surprise.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 3:26pm

Past Tense by Lee Child
4 ★

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He takes the detour. At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly and a bit strange. As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge.

This story had a slow buildup of tension and creepiness that kept me reading. When Reacher and the Canadians finally come together, chaos and danger are rampant. Reacher acts in his typically vigilante way, which is a bit far-fetched but entertaining. And the Canadians weren’t too bad themselves. I don’t think I’d want to visit this town in New Hampshire but I enjoyed reading about it.

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