Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: “The Breakdown” by B. A. Paris

breakdownTitle:  The Breakdown

Author:  B. A. Paris

Synopsis (from bn.com):

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

You won’t be able to put down B. A. Paris’s The Breakdown, the next chilling, propulsive novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors.

 

My thoughts:  The “Buy 2 Get One Free” Psychological Thriller Bay at my local Barnes & Noble is getting me into a lot of book buying trouble recently!  Phew.

I saw this title on in that bay, saw that it was by the same author as Behind Closed Door (Amazing read, get your hands on it now!) and knew I had to give it a try.  I was most definitely not disappointed.

I thought this was an amazing read!  Fast-paced, psychological thriller that I literally couldn’t put down, finished it in one day – no doubt!

B.A Paris is a master at seriously playing with the reader’s mind and own sanity while reading her books.   About a quarter of the way through the book it was messing with my mind, half way through I was pretty sure I was the one who was losing my mind, and by the end I was just plain . . . “no way, are you kidding me?, no way” talking to the book!

I must admit some of it I did have a bit figured out about half way through given it’s rather predictable, but the way it is written worked great for me!

I was in a bit of a reading slump and this most definitely pulled me out.

Great read, fast-paced thriller . . . you won’t be disappointed.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Psychological thriller, Thriller

Book Review: “Shot in the Dark” by Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mystery #17)

shotinthedarkTitle:  Shot in the Dark

Author:  Cleo Coyle

Series:  Coffeehouse Mystery #17

Synopsis (from bn.com):

As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi fixes a date for her wedding, her ex-husband is making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these match-ups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.

The corpse is an entrepreneur who used dating apps with reckless abandon—breaking hearts along the way. The NYPD quickly arrests one of the heartbreaker’s recent conquests. But the suspect’s sister tearfully swears her sibling was framed. Clare not only finds reason to believe it, she fears the real killer will strike again.

Now Clare is “swiping” through suspects in her own shop—with the help of her globetrotting ex-husband, a man who’s spent his life hunting for coffee and women. Together they’re determined to find justice before another shot rings out.

 

My thoughts:  Anyone who has read this blog even for a minute knows that I am an avid coffee drinker and the Coffeehouse Mystery series is one of my favorite cozy series . . .  love it.   In fact, it is one of the only cozy series I am actually fully caught up on . . . oh sooooo many series that I am behind.

I love the setting of this series . . . in my mind it is an amazingly beautiful, quaint coffeeshop . . . it is warm, cozy, and I so wish I could visit this shop EVERY DAY!!

I also absolutely love the characters . . . every single one of them are fun, quirky, and each have their own unique personality that I love visiting over and over.

Now all this being said, all the techno computer dating app stuff that was the premise of this story just wasn’t my gig in that it just didn’t interest me, but it didn’t ruin it for me.

Now Cleo Coyle, dear author, can we have another book set in the Washington DC café?  Or better yet, how about a spin off series about the DC café? Yes, yes, yes!!

Overall, a wonderful addition to one of my favorite series!  Keep up the great work.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cleo Coyle, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Charlatans” by Robin Cook

charlatans

Title:  Charlatans

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

Newly minted chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital Noah Rothauser is swamped in his new position, from managing the surgical schedules to dealing with the fallout from patient deaths. Known for its medical advances, the famed teaching hospital has fitted several ORs as “hybrid operating rooms of the future”—an improvement that seems positive until an anesthesia error during a routine procedure results in the death of an otherwise healthy man. Noah suspects Dr. William Mason, an egotistical, world-class surgeon, of an error during the operation and for tampering with the patient’s record afterward. But Mason is quick to blame anesthesiologist Dr. Ava London.

When more anesthesia-related deaths start to occur, Noah is forced to question all of the residents on his staff, including Ava, and quickly realizes there’s more to her than what he sees. A social media junkie, Ava has created multiple alternate personas for herself on the Internet. With his own job and credibility now in jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe—before any more lives are lost.

My thoughts:  I have been in a terrible reading slump since February and believe me this latest book by Robin Cook certainly got me out of it!  What a great, exciting, page-turner of a medical drama!  Wow!

Fast-paced, great medical stort, page turner!  I am definitely guilty of pulling many of the infamous “just one more chapter” evenings on this one!

The end was good . . . but most definitely not the way I wanted the story to end!

If you are a fan of medical dramas . . . pick this up as soon as you can!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Medical Drama

Book Review: “Behind Closed Doors” by B. A. Paris

behindcloseddoorsTitle: Behind Closed Doors

Author:  B.A. Paris

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

 

My thoughts:  Oh my goodness . . . this book was amazing!  I literally couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple of hours.   This book was an incredibly fast read due to an amazing plot line . . . but I have to say the descriptions of emotional abuse in this book are incredibly disturbing – like disturbing to the point of feeling uncomfortable.

Its a bizarre mix of Stepford Wives meets Fatal Attraction.  At times the book was so disturbing I wondered if should stop reading . .  but it just drew me in.

The end was good . . . but without giving too much away .. . I wish it would have been even more satisfying.

Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book . . . definitely worth the read.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Psychological thriller

Book Review: “The Chemist” by Stephenie Meyer

thechemistTitle:  The Chemist

Author:  Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Synopsis:  Well I would love to say that this book was fantastic . . . but I just can’t.  The overall premise of the book was great in theory – ex US government employee goes underground the escape from her ex bosses in a tale of intrigue and suspense.

The book in my opinion was about 200 pages too long . . . just unneeded detail and wild jumps in plot lines to me.  500 pages was way too long for this one.

The book would have been so much better for me if the author would have simply focused on the  primary storyline of government intrigue rather than somehow going into this odd love story between two characters.

There were parts where they storyline really picked up the pace and I had great hope, but then it was gone.

Overall, an overly long attempt at great drama, interrupted by an unrealistic love story and a ridiculous amount of details.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Mystery, Uncategorized

Book Review: “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn

womaninthewondow

Title:  The Woman in theWindow

Author:  A. J. Finn

Synopsis:

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

My thoughts:  One word . . . WOW!  I thought this was an amazing read.  It has been a long time since I have read a book that I literally couldn’t put down . . . I kept trying to put it down to go do some housework and I kept picking it up.

Think Hitchcock meets Girl on the Train . . . although even better.

The psychological nature of this book was just spellbinding . . . creepy, mesmerizing.   The way the author crafted the writing, I could literally feel the main character spiraling out of control in her mental illness and drinking, getting more and more confused and isolated!  What a ride.

I will admit that I am not one who figures things out in books before they happen and I did figure out the interesting plot line about 2/3 through the book, was pretty much a no brainer.

People online were just raving about the ending of this book . . . I must admit it wasn’t my favorite, it was a bit anticlimactic to me.  The rest of the book made up for it in spades for me though.

Loved, loved, loved this book!

Do yourself a favor and jump on this one.

And remember,

Books Are Life

heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Mystery, New Releases, Thriller

Book Review: “A Just Clause” by Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mystery #11)

justclause

Title:  A Just Clause

Author:  Lorna Barrett

Series:  Booktown Mystery #11

Synopsis (from amazon.com): Just when things are getting back to normal in Booktown, Tricia and Angelica have their lives turned upside down by a shocking visitor from their past in this latest entry in Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling series.

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

My thoughts:  Well needless to say this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series – I mean come on what avid reader wouldn’t love a cozy set in a book store in a town that is entirely made of different book stores – HEAVEN!

I must admit that given that this was the first book where Tricia was back in her beloved bookstore after it burned down in a previous book – I really thought there would be some sort of big Grand Opening celebration as part of this book, but no such luck!

Overall this series is wonderful, set in a charming shop in a charming town.  The characters are lovely and this all leads to a wonderful series.

If you haven’t explored this series, I highly suggest you get to the library or the bookstore . . . go, go, go.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Uncategorized