Review: Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline #bookreview #bookblogger

Blurb

Twenty years ago, in an upscale suburb of Philadelphia, four teenagers spent a summer as closest friends: drinking, sharing secrets, testing boundaries. When a new boy looked to join them, they decided to pull a prank on him, convincing him to play Russian roulette as an initiation into their group. They secretly planned to leave the gun unloaded–but what happened next would change each of them forever.

Now three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer. The guilt–and the lingering question about who loaded the gun–drove them apart. But after one of the group apparently commits suicide with a gun, their old secrets come roaring back. One of them is going to figure out if the new suicide is what it seems, and if it connects to the events of that long-ago summer. Someone knows exactly what happened–but who? And how far will they go to keep their secrets buried?

My Thoughts

You know, I found this book hard to put down. Every turn of the page just kept you wanting to read more. I really enjoyed the differences in characters.  They each had their or personality and they were all very unique. I was so shocked when the actual shooting happened. I gasped out aloud. I. Did. Not. Expect. That. To. Happen.  I actually had to put the book down for a few seconds and come to terms with what I had just read. And that, to me, is a fantastic sign of a briliant read.

The pace was also a real winner. Another reason why you just wanted to get through it as quickly as you could. I really loved that the other did go back to the past and come back in choppy sections, but rather devoted half the book to the past, and allowed us to really get to know the characters before the incident, and the the second half of the book saved for them all grown up.  And wow, I didn’t see that end coming.

And I felt so so awful for the poor mother having lost her son, having had to endure the past regarding her relationship with her husband and what he had done. Your heart really ached for that poor little mother-son household. How unfair that any of that had to have happened.

I’m definitely a Lisa Scottoline groupie now. And I’m looking forward to my next read from her. Have you got any recommendations on what I should read of hers next?

I rated Someone Knows: 5/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

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Review: These Hidden Things by Heather Gudenkauf #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’ golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It’s Brynn–shy, quiet Brynn–who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her. But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden

My Thoughts

At first, I was confused by all the people we were introduced to with their first chapters. I thought, geeze I’m going to get everyone mixed up… But I didn’t. In fact, I was completely thrilled that everyone was included and I got to see this story from all their perspectives because it was a fantastic read! Without giving anything away, I thought the baby abandoned at the fire station was someone else’s until it was revealed, and I gasped. Yep, I got that physical response that I yearn for when I read. I cried in it. Another physical response. I berated characters. Felt like I was in the story with the characters, and finished it as quickly as I could with the workload I have at the moment.

The timeline for this was fantastic, it flowed so well, that you could definitely finish it in a setting if you didn’t have a pesky life to worry about.  Allison’s labor… WOW didn’t see that coming. BAM! And the ending with Brynn… my lips are sealed! But I think if you haven’t read this one, you’ll definitely need to give it a go because it’ll touch a couple of emotions that’ll have you sitting on the edge of your seat over.

My only complaint about this book was the cover. Had nothing to do with the story in my opinion, LOL.

I rated These Hidden Things: 5/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Body Count by Burl Barer #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

He Seemed So Normal . . .

By day, Robert Lee Yates, Jr., was a respected father of five, a skilled helicopter pilot who served in Desert Storm and the National Guard, and a man no one suspected of a deadly hidden life. By night he prowled the streets where prostitutes gathered, gaining their trust before betraying them with a bullet to the head.

On August 26, 1997, the decomposed bodies of two young women were discovered in Spokane, Washington. Within months four more women were added to the mounting death toll.

In 2000, Yates pleaded guilty to thirteen murders to avoid the death penalty. But in 2001 he was convicted of two more murders and is now on death row in Washington State, waiting for the day when he will die by lethal injection.

Updated with the latest disturbing developments, award winning author Burl Barer’s real life thriller is a shocking portrait of one man’s depravity.

My Thoughts

True crime is one of my favourite genre’s to read. Maybe even my 1st preference.  I’ve always been fascinated by crimes and criminals, and I guess that’s what lead me to my career/profession.  For me, the main point I like to get from a true crime book is that the victims were people. Human beings. Capable and worthy of love, and who had people in their lives who made and impact and feel their loss. And from this book I got that. Which was respectful and oh so sad.  It’s awful that women with addiction and who prostitute are treated or are thought of an throwaways. That breaks my heart.  Everyone has a story, some aren’t as ‘rosy’ as others, but at the end of the day, we’ve all got beating hearts, we all deserve love, respect, and compassion. Yet these, poor women, 11 in total, were unlikely to get any of that because of what they did to survive.

This was the first book about Robert Lee Yates Jnr, that I’ve read. Although, I loved and appreciated the way the author treated the victims, that was almost all I liked about this book.  It was pretty wordy throughout, which interrupted the flow.  I did, at times, have trouble getting through each chapter especially when quotes from forensic or behavioural science professionals were added to the book. I can appreciate that the author perhaps wanted to show his research, but it really made the book drag and felt quite out of place.

But again, I really appreciate that this telling of Yates crimes was focused on showing us that the victims were people telling us about their lives and interviewing those who loved of knew them.  The reporting of their horrible murders were done so respectfully, and I didn’t feel like the murderer was given the spotlight, which was excellent.

So although it was a bit of a struggle for me, there was the respect and compassion for the victims that I really admired.

I rated Body Count: 3/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all. Powerful and dramatic, Keep Quiet will have readers and book clubs debating what it means to be a parent and how far you can, and should, go to protect those you love.

My Thoughts

I actually finished this one a few weeks ago but forgot to put my review up!

I actually really enjoyed how this one started. Father son issues that are complicated by a tragic event. I’ve hit a dog once, after I was unable to stop on a busy highway and it was awful, so I can’t only imagine how it would feel to hit a human being. So I really empathised with both Jake and Ryan. Can’t say I agreed with Jakes actions though, to hide the fact. I’ve always stuck up for the hit and run driver, because it’s completely normal to be in a fight or flight mode in this type of situation. Once the shock has worn off, the driver will turn themselves in, yet people make out that they’re monsters for not stopping. No. They’re humans. It actually makes a lot of biological sense.

There were parts of this story that were a tad slow, I liked when the mysterious man and the basketball game showed up, he was a good twist. I liked the way the author took the story, actually and the ending… I never would have guessed that. I found Jakes wife to be pretty hypocritical, with her secret and I found it hard to be on her side after that to be honest. She was probably one of my least favourite characters. I’m the the story ended the way it did. I feel like all the questions were answered for me, and overall it was a great story to read.

I rated Keep Quiet: 4/5 stars ⭐️

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Mixed Blessings by Danielle Steele #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

Diana Goode and Andrew Douglas are a California couple who seem to have it all, and after their wedding, Diana teases that she will make a baby on their honeymoon. But long afterwards, she is still not pregnant. As they wait out each month with anticipation, only to be disappointed, they are forced to question just how much they are willing to go through to have a baby, and at what cost to their marriage. Charlie Winwood, having grown up as an orphan, dreams of a house filled with children, but his bride — fun seeking actress Barbie Mason — has other ideas. Their marriage is strained, but Charlie is convinced a baby will solve it all. Pilar Graham, a prominent attorney in her early forties, astonishes her friends by marrying Judge Brad Coleman, a man in his sixties and the father of two grown children. Pilar begins to wonder if some day she will regret not having a baby with Brad, but it will not be easy for them as they encounter the world of high-tech medicine and the bittersweet rewards it brings.

My Thoughts

I have been a fan of the movie for years and years. I love all the Danielle Steel movies to be honest which makes is so strange that I haven’t read the books! Now after reading the book, I can say that I loved both versions. Of course, the movie has a time limit so I can always understand why books a something different to the book. But I loved the movie that much already, that when I read the book and loved the whole story even more because there were bits in there that didn’t happen in the movie. What a treat!

Now I haven’t actually read a Danielle Steel book before. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to read. The writing was smooth, the pace right, and the characters developed nicely. If I had to choose my favourite couple story, it would be hard. I enjoyed them all to be honest. But it I HAD to choose, then I would probably choose… Pilar and Brad’s.

If you’ve seen the movie, I recommend reading the book now!

I rated Mixed Blessings: 5/5 stars 🌟

Happy Reading

Nat