Review: Those Girls by Chevy Stevens #bookreview @ChevyStevens #bookblog

Blurb

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.

This time there’s nowhere left to run.

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

My Thoughts

This was a fantastic read. Right from the very beginning it pulled you in to the awful situation those poor three sisters faced. It’s unimaginable, and then come across those two boys!

The writing pace was fantastic. I basically didn’t want to put this one down. I was in that story with them and although it was horrific and hard to imagine, the author did a wonderful job of making feel so very real. I always find it slightly annoying that I can’t say what I want to say, especially about the ending because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it had my heart pumping and a few tears falling.

I think if you’re looking for something that’ll get your heart rate going, then try this. But be warned, it does have triggers relating to rape and violence so if that’s something you generally avoid you may want to consider it, or have a support person you can talk to about it.

My first read from this author and most definitely not my last!

I rated Those Girls: 5/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

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Review: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline #bookreview @LisaScottoline #bookblog @HachetteAus

Blurb

Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

My Thoughts

I have to admit, just reading the blurb sucked me right into this one.  I was definitely thinking, how would I act if I found out I might be carrying a serial killers child? The writing really was excellent. I forget I was reading a book and fall into the story so many times. I would have read it quicker if I wasn’t at the end of my semester and had exams and assignments to finish off!

Christine’s husband gave me the shits (aussie slang for annoyed, lol) but I also empathised with him at the same time which is extraordinary, because it would be quite easy to just write him of as a self-fish tool. However, the author did a spot on job of really diving into his feelings, thoughts, and behaviours when it came to not being able to biologically contribute to their growing child.  I was glad he came to his senses in the end and was able to enjoy what the future has to bring for them both.

When it came to Christine, the paralegal, I have to admit I groaned because I thought that seems so unlikely.  There’s no way that would happen in real-life. But I found that part quite…exciting. I like the pace change it gave the story and it actually ended up not being as cheesy as I thought and I really loved the memorial scene! Did I enjoy the DNA outcome at the end?  I actually wish it had of went the other way, I would have really liked to see how they would have handled it and what it would have meant for their relationship. But, I guess that’s more of a personal preference rather than a story flaw so I can’t take away any stars for that.

For me, it was an excellent read. It’s the second book I’ve read from the author and I think I can almost say that she’s a favourite (think I need to read 3 to give a definitive answer, ROFL) but I’m so super impressed!

Have you read it? What did you think?

I rated Most Wanted: 5/5 stars

Happy Reading!

Nat

Review: Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter #bookblog #bookreview

Blurb

Terror stalks a small Virginia town.

FBI rising star, criminal profiler Evelyn Baine, knows how to think like a serial killer. But she’s never chased anyone like the Bakersville Burier, who hunts young women and displays them, half-buried, deep in the woods. As the body count climbs, Evelyn’s relentless pursuit of the killer puts her career – and her life – at risk. And the evil lurking in the Burier’s mind may be more than even she can unravel.

Terror is closer than she thinks.

The Bakersville Burier knows he’s got an FBI profiler on his trail. He knows who she is and where to find her. And he’s biding his time, because he’s planned a special punishment for Evelyn. She may have tracked other killers, but he vows to make this her last chase. This time it’s her turn to be hunted!

My Thoughts

Once upon a time I was an avid lover of profiling.  One of my fav shows is Criminal Minds. However, I grew up, I went to university and learned about human behaviour and now I’m anti-profiling. Really, it’s the equivalent of fortune telling!

That’s not the say that I didn’t enjoy this read because I did. The story was very well paced, the characters (while not spectacular) were interesting, and I did enjoy some aspects of the killer. However, the profiling the main character did was so ridiculously weak, it made me a touch angry. There’s no denying that the author did an awesome researching researching, blah. And I do have to say that the main character was hard to like.  Her incident (I won’t say what so I don’t spoil it) was weak and not very believable. I’m usually the first to say, hey it’s fiction the author has the right to put in whatever she wants, but with so much ‘fact’ it just felt un-natural and would have been better to leave out I feel.

If you enjoy Criminal Minds and like shows, then you may just enjoy this one.

I rated Hunted: 3/5 starts

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: An Evil Mind by Chris Carter #bookblog #bookreview

Blurb

A freak accident in rural Wyoming leads the Sheriff’s Department to arrest a man for a possible double homicide, but further investigations suggest a much more horrifying discovery – a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims all over the United States for at least twenty-five years. The suspect claims he is a pawn in a huge labyrinth of lies and deception – can he be believed?

The case is immediately handed over to the FBI, but this time they’re forced to ask for outside help. Ex-criminal behaviour psychologist and lead Detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD, Robert Hunter, is asked to run a series of interviews with the apprehended man. These interviews begin to reveal terrifying secrets that no one could’ve foreseen, including the real identity of a killer so elusive that no one, not even the FBI, had any idea he existed … until now.

My Thoughts

Well, like always the writing was great. Good character development, although I did think that the “bad guy” was a little too cliche’. Way too similar to Hannibal Lecture, if you ask me, and that sort of annoyed me because every time we saw him, it was like his superiority was being thrown in our faces. 

It was definitely a different read from the authors previous books.  I think to have done that in the middle of a series, was annoying as a reader. The first two chapters I was thinking, wow this is different. Like real different. By the end of it, I don’t know if it was a good different though.  I didn’t like that Garcia wasn’t in it, or the other regular characters.  And even Hunter himself, didn’t seem like his usual self.  I was shocked towards the end, with “the shooting” but other than that, i didn’t come across any twists or surprised so that was disappointing. Overall, it was ok, definitely not the best in the series.

I rated An Evil Mind: 3/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight #bookblog #bookreview @kimmccreight

Blurb

An idyllic suburban town. A devastating discovery. Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever.

At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she wound up among the fallen leaves. But among the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town’s local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried so hard to bury. But the history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation unravels a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale’s white picket fences.

Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could have ever known. That the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us.

My Thoughts

This review is a tad late! But only because I’ve reached that time of semester where everything is due!

This was an enjoyable book overall. This sounds morbid, but this is the second book this year I’ve read where the victim is a child and it’s been a change from the usual adult victims. I did find that story a little on the slow side in the first 1/3 of the book.  I was distracted by the different styles of writing; Molly’s diary entry, Molly’s psychologist scenes, Jenna’s diary entry’s, Molly’s newspaper entries, and the regular chapters… I thought the story could have done without Molly’s journal entries, they didn’t add enough to the story to actually be there for me.

I picked who the babies mother was very early, which was a bit of a disappointment because you want that surprise.  I was surprised with the second big twist that was more towards the end ( I don’t want to say too much to spoil it. I’ll just say it takes two to make a baby…). That actually got a verbal response from me, and some anger! Which is what you want as a reader. For that, I gave an extra star.

Couldn’t stand Barbara. She got on my nerves, and was pretty damn awful to her daughter.  So as you can see, it’s a story that gave a lot in terms of plot line interest, an emotional and verbal response, and an interesting victim.

I rated Where They Found Her: 4/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Am I Guilty? by Jackie Kabler #bookreview #bookblog @harpercollinsUK @jackiekabler

Blurb

Everyone thinks I did it…maybe I did.

Gripping, exciting and emotional, this book will grab you from the first page and refuse to let you go until the final chapter!

I never thought it would happen to me…
 
One moment I had it all – a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home, a fulfilling career and two adorable children. The next, everything came crashing down around me.
 
They said it was my fault. They said I’m the worst mother in the world. And even though I can’t remember what happened that day, they wouldn’t lie to me. These are my friends, my family, people I trust.
 
But then why do I have this creeping sensation that something is wrong? Why do I feel like people are keeping secrets? Am I really as guilty as they say? And if I’m not, what will happen when the truth comes out…?

My Thoughts

A bit late with this review. I’m being snowed under with assignments at the moment.

Now, I really loved the premise with this book. I haven’t read one like it, so I was excited. However, I just couldn’t get into this one. I can’t entirely pinpoint why that is. The writing was excellent, it flowed well, the characters were developed well, and I actually liked the twist. Didn’t see it coming, and I liked that it felt a little… wicked. I won’t say anything else because I don’t want to give it away. However, at times it felt like words were put down and didn’t really go anywhere. It was a little slow. I didn’t gel with the characters, in fact I found them a little annoying at times. Almost as if the author tried to do too much, without a lot of scene change.  I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. But it just didn’t strike to give it anymore than three stars. For that to have happened, I really need to mesh with the characters; I need to get lost in the story with them.  It would have also needed to elicit some physical responses, so gasps, tears, laughter etc. but it didn’t.

I definitely look forward to reading the next by this author, because let’s face it, we don’t always gel with every character we read but there’s always the chance next time. I definitely don’t want to miss out of that chance!

Thank you Harper Collins UK for my ebook copy in return for an honest review. I really appreciate it.

I rated Am I Guilty?: 3/5 stars.

Happy reading

Nat

Review: UNSUB by Meg Gardiner #bookreview #bookblog @meggardiner1 @DuttonBooks

Blurb

A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?

My Thoughts

Anything serial killer, I’m drawn to. So when I heard others talking about this book I reserved, reserved, reserved at my local library.  I loved the catching front cover and the title. My husband on the other (super anti-Criminal Minds) did not and teased me mercifully, lol.  But the story itself was fantastic, I enjoyed such a rich and in depth villain, and something I haven’t seen before.  I imagine it’s difficult to come up with something fresh and riveting and this killer was certainly that. 

I enjoyed all the characters, which I find is something a rare thing. Usually, I can’t stand at least one. But not in this book. Everyone was pretty individual, and brought they’re own special something to the story.  I gasped with Fletcher, I won’t say anything more so as not to spoil it for you. But when a book makes you break the book world into reality that’s a big star on its own for me.

And that ending… Definitely wants me getting into the next book in the series, pronto!

If you love serial killer reads, lover masterful description, thought, and appreciate creative juices creating a stellar story line, then you may love this one.

I rated UNSUB: 5/5 stars

Happy reading

Nat

Review: Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell @DredaMitchell #bookreview #bookblog @bloodhoundbook

Blurb

Home Is Where The Nightmare Is

Beautiful double room to let to single person 

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to uncover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth…

This room has already claimed one victim?

Is it about to take another?

My Thoughts

Okay, I’m going to get this out of the way. I had an expectation for where this story was going to go and I was excited for that. So when it didn’t play out like that, I was disappointed (laughing). And to be honest, I’m still disappointed!

But in saying that, I was really impressed where the author took this because I didn’t expect it. It was a pretty good twist and something I feel was quite original.  I was pretty irked by Jack myself, his obnoxiousness was nicely done, so much so, that he annoyed the s*#t out of me! Martha’s character was cleverly crafted, she was quite sly and seemingly ‘normal’ despite that fact that she was with Jack. Lisa’s character felt very three dimensional; I liked her, could relate to her in a few levels, and her reactions and behaviours fitted the story line and believable.

It was something a little different which is refreshing. I thoroughly recommend you give this one a go and see if you can tell where it’s going, unlike me!

I rated The Spare Room: 4/5 stars

Happy reading

Nat

Review: The Hundreth Man by J.A Kerley #bookblog #bookreview

Goodreads Blurb

Bizarre messages carved into the flesh of two corpses in Mobile, Alabama, launch a special unit devoted to solving psychotic crimes. They’re also launching Detective Carson Ryder into a nightmare with only one weapon-his own terrifying past.

My Thoughts

This is the first book in the Detective Carson Ryder Series, and unfortunately for me, I can’t say that I really enjoyed it all that much.  It was dreadfully slow. I found it got bogged down in “police office politics” too much.  It also annoyed the heck out of me how Ryder’s partner referred to him as “Cars”. I mean, that just didn’t sound natural to me. It would have made more sense if he had called him Ryder. The twists were missing, and the murderer felt very tame.  Compared with one of Chris Carters books, this was very placid. Wasn’t any real wow factor for me which was a shame because I love series like this. But I think it’s a tricky crowd to write for now because there are some really good authors with similar series so you really have to think above an beyond what everyone else is writing to make yours stand out. Although the writing was simple to read and flowed well, I can’t say anything else positive about this one unfortunately.  However, I will continue on with the series, in hopes that grow on me because there’s always a chance.

I rated The Hundredth Man: 2/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review:Look Again by Lisa Scottoline #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops―the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Her every instinct tells her to deny the similarity between the boys, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she’s a journalist and won’t be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth. And she can’t shake the question: if Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up? She investigates, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing her own life―and that of the son she loves.

My Thoughts

Unfortunately this one just didn’t grab my attention.  I found it quite difficult to get through until after halfway.  It felt like it dragged a lot, too much background noise.  I couldn’t get close to Ellen, because she annoyed me if I’m honest.  I didn’t come across any twists, anything surprising, I didn’t feel any overwhelming emotions reading it.

Now this isn’t to say the writing wasn’t excellent, because it was.  I just didn’t jel with this one, but you might. Definitely give it a go.

I rated Look Again: 3/4 stars

Happy reading

Nat