When I Was You by Amber Garza
When I saw that author Megan Goldin was publishing another book this summer I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Her 2019 novel The Escape Room was one of my favorite suspense reads last summer and I became an instant fan of her writing style. You can read my blog tour post featuring The Escape Room HERE.
The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen
Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.
In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.
Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.
Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.
January 7th, 2020
Book of the Month Club December Selection
I wasn’t sure I was going to pick a book this month from Book of The Month Club, as I had read a couple of choices already as ARCs and the rest of them weren’t really calling to me. I have been taking a break from thrillers and thought this one might fall into that category too.
Then I started reading reviews from my most trusted #bookstagram sources highly recommend Long Bright River. I decided to go for it! and I am so glad I did!
(*You can get your first Book of the Month Club book for just $5 when you use my referral link HERE.)
Long Bright River alternates between past and present and shares the lives of Mickey and Kacey, two sisters who each are involved in the opioid crisis in very different ways. When Kacey goes missing, Mickey starts unraveling the clues of her disappearance while also bringing us back in time to share how each of them got to the places they are in.
This book was thought-provoking and sometimes was uncomfortable to read, which is a good thing in my opinion! It is part mystery and part family drama, which I think is why it worked for me so well…because we really get to know these women and their stories. I had a hard time putting this one down and can’t stop thinking about it now.
Author Liz Moore
The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware
(August 2019 Book of The Month Selection)
“When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.”
August 6th, 2019
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was one of my highly anticipated summer reads. I have really enjoyed her writing in the past and the Woman in Cabin 10 left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The summary of the book sounded right up my alley and I was intrigued by the idea of it being written in letter format.
I found that the story was a slow build and didn’t totally engage me right away but I stuck with it. I think Ware is a fantastic author who really knows how to keep you guessing and The Turn of The Key had all the elements of a Gothic tale…a faraway vacation home, a nanny, a garden and house filled with secrets, mysterious characters, and haunting happenings.
Unfortunately, I struggled to connect and kept waiting for the mysteries to unravel. When they finally did, they felt like they were really crammed into the last few chapters of the book and many of them just seemed unbelievable. I am not sure if it is just me and maybe I am just thrilled out”, but this one just didn’t deliver as I had hoped. All in all, this one was just okay for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
“Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?”
July 30th, 3019
I have been rough on this genre lately. I don’t think I can recall the last thriller that I read that I wasn’t somewhat disappointed with. I don’t know if I have just read too many or that many of them all blend together for me.
St. Martin’s Press Blog Tour:
I am part of the St. Martin’s Press blog tour for The Escape Room by debut author Megan Goldin and so I wanted to read it with fresh eyes. I avoided reading a lot of other reviews beforehand and went into it without a lot of expectations either way.
My Reading Experience:
The Escape Room ended up being so enjoyable and fun to read! It is mysterious but also filled with lots of character building and backstory, and is so different than anything I have read lately. I am a big fan of the show Billions(anyone else?!) and I love getting immersed in a world that is nothing like my day to day life.
Wallstreet Executives Go On A Team Building Retreat…
The Escape Room introduces us to the fast-paced world of Wall Street and four financial executives that are participating in a team-building retreat…escape room style. Things go very very wrong and we are taken back and forth from the present to the past to see how this all unraveled. This was the perfect summer escape reading. It kept me guessing but it was also a very fun reading ride. I definitely recommend this one for your end of summer reading list.
More about Megan Goldin…
Author Megan Goldin worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism, and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. The Escape Room is her debut novel.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of this book and for inviting me along on this blog tour. All opinions are my own.
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
“Beth Murphy is on the run…
For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.
As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.”
Dear Wife is a thriller that keeps you guessing, has plenty of twists and was definitely a page-turner. We are introduced to a missing woman/a woman on the run, and the people who were “left behind”, including a husband and a police detective who is investigating this case.
For about 75% of this book, I was very engrossed in this storyline and the main characters. I was interested in learning more about each of these characters and I enjoyed the multiple points of view narrative. Belle definitely succeeded in keeping me guessing until the end, but unfortunately, I felt disappointed. I felt like I had put a lot of energy into a person and storyline that didn’t end being flushed out. It is hard to share this review without giving away the plotlines and/or spoiling it for anyone so I am trying to be vague.
I will say that I often feel this way with thrillers so I may just be the wrong kind of reader for some of these types of books. I am a person that likes in-depth characters and knowing the backstories on them.
In order to create the “thrill” in this sort of genre, there is usually a big switch up which does usually surprise me but often makes me feel underwhelmed with the story as a whole. I can see why this will work for many readers and the style of writing is definitely engaging and fast-paced.
Thank you to NetGalley and Park Row for an advanced copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
“What happened to Amanda Holmes?
Twenty years ago, she was found bludgeoned in a rowboat at the MacAllister family’s Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with the crime.
Now, after their parents’ sudden deaths, the MacAllister siblings return to camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate the camp occupies. Ryan needs to sell. Margaux hasn’t made up her mind. Mary believes in leaving well enough alone. Kate and Liddie—the twins—have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when all is said and done.
But it’s more complicated than a simple vote. The will stipulates that until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can’t settle the estate. Anyone of them could have done it, and each one is holding a piece of the puzzle. Will they work together to finally discover the truth, or will their secrets finally tear the family apart?”
June 1st, 2019
Women’s Fiction, Mystery/Suspense
I’ll Never Tell is a well-crafted mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I’ll Never Tell follows the MacAllister family on a suspenseful journey to bring closure to an unsolved murder of a former camper that took place 20 years ago. This time of year I need books that are easy to get into and also keep me hooked and this was a great fit.
I am always drawn to books that are based at a summer camp setting (I also loved The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager!) and McKenzie was able to bring me right there with the perfect description of summer camp life. The sights, smells, and memories were on point.
McKenzie’s character development which sometimes is lacking for me in this thriller type fiction was really well done. Although the characters and family were quite dysfunctional, I connected with them and could see their perspectives. I enjoyed how the story jumped back and forth between present day and “that night” and the alternating narrators helped move the story along at a great pace. If you are looking for an engaging and quick summer read, this would be a great one to add to your list!
AND, if you are a prime member you can read this one for FREE right now on your Kindle device or reading app!
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.