Book Review: Contrarian (Lars The Hitman #2) by Lucas Sterling

Book Details:

Author: Lucas Sterling 
Release Date: 
25th October 2022
Series:
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Format: E-book 
Pages:
Publisher: Nurrebbul Productions
Blurb:
Everyone has a secret. But some are deadlier than others… 
Former Homeland Security Agent Lars Christopherson is not what he seems. Despite his impressive skills and impeccable record, Lars has a dark side few are aware of. And those who discover his secret rarely live to tell the tale… 
Frederic Ulrich is a man with a mission… A skilled agent of Germany’s BND intelligence service, he is determined to right a wrong from his past, and shut down a deadly Hungarian crime ring once and for all. 

When these two unlikely allies are forced to work together, they quickly uncover a sinister threat – a vast criminal conspiracy, poised to unleash environmental chaos on the United States. To stop this monstrous terror plot, they’ll have to put their differences aside and work together. 
But trust is hard to come by in the shadowy world of espionage and crime. And sometimes, the only way to stop a monster is to become one…

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Contrarian by Lucas Sterling is a fast-paced ride on an action-packed thrilling adventure undertaken by the two protagonists of the story. This book has so many things happening (in a good way) that it kept me engaged and at the edge of my seat with each and every page I turned.

I loved the characterisation in this book, the concept was amazing, and the writing completely complimented the story flow and made it a really quick read. Over all, I enjoyed this book a lot, especially the mind-bending twists and turns and the ending.

I’d recommend this book to all mystery, thriller and espionage readers, especially those who like elaborate conspiratorial mysteries set in diverse locations.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: Driveway Detailing Warrior: DIY Money-Saving Guide to Sports Car Detailing at Home on a Budget by S.L. Lucas

Book Details:

Author: S.L. Lucas
Release Date: 
11th August 2022
Series:
Genre: How-To Guide, Non-Fiction, Instructional
Format: E-book 
Pages: 260 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Psst, did you know that a filthy car could be a disaster for your love life?
It’s true; a survey revealed that 51% of those polled would end the first date early if their date showed up in a dirty car, and 23% have finished a relationship because of their partner’s filthy ride!
Tragic!
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, S.L. Lucas serves up ten inspirational in-depth chapters full of sage advice, money-saving DIY detailing projects, the odd heart-warming story and occasional fruity language.
TO HELP YOU:
Understand why you need not pay sky-high pro detailer’s prices to bring out your motor’s beauty and how to keep her in stunning tip-top condition at a fraction of the pro detailer’s cost.

Learn the pro hacks and techniques on a journey of discovery where you’re empowered with the know-how to bring your beast back to her former glory with the power of home detailing on a budget.
Transform your Sports Car back to her former alluring beauty yourself, turning her into the glorious envy of friends and neighbours.
From the book’s beginning you’ll understand why you need to embrace the Driveway Warrior spirit. You’ll learn how to DIY detail your ride Driveway Warrior style and how to use the power of home detailing on a budget to thrive in your endeavour to create the ultimate DIY detailed street weapon…

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Driveway Detailing Warrior: DIY Money-Saving Guide to Sports Car Detailing at Home on a Budget by S.L. Lucas is an amazing book that will provide its readers with an in-depth insight into home detailing on a budget, something that would save you a LOT of money and would provide you with the satisfaction of having done it yourself.

This book talks about the Driveway Warrior spirit which to me seemed like a great concept and almost like an ideology. Through ten chapters, the author takes the readers through a rigorous procedure of how to not only take care of the care but also how to maintain it. This book is every car lover and owner’s dream come true!

I would recommend this book to all car owners, car lovers and enthusiasts.


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


Book Review: The Billionaire’s Conspiracy (Janusz Soltani #3) by M.J. Javani

Book Details:

Author: M.J. Javani
Release Date: 
28th March 2022
Series: Janusz Soltani (Book #3)
Genre: Espionage, Action Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Format: E-book 
Pages: 307 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
TO PROTECT EVERYTHING HE LOVES, HE MUST DEFEND TRUTH
The time is the present. A group of anarchists is planning to attack the White House. They are supported by a rapacious billionaire with a secret agenda. Across the Potomac River, someone is systematically killing members of a private intelligence company. Known as Unit 81, this group is not subject to the debilitating political correctness that shackles the federal bureaucracy.

A trusted liaison points the finger at the Russians. But all is not as it seems. When the Unit’s top operative, Janusz Soltani, discovers the truth about their enemies, his wife is mysteriously kidnapped. Time is running out to rescue her from a horrible end.
Fans of Robert Ludlum, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor will enjoy this action-packed series.

Author MJ Javani has created a compelling conspiracy thriller that becomes more engrossing with each chapter.”

BestThrillers.com

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murder, mystery, mayhem… this book has it all!

The Billionaire’s Conspiracy by M.J. Javani is the third instalment in the Janusz Soltani series. It is an action-packed thriller that leaves the reader at the edge of their seat for most of the book and throws them completely off-guard right towards the end, reeling them back with a twist in the gut – well, at least that’s how I really felt!

This book is a complete package for espionage thriller lovers and occasional readers of the genre, such as myself, as it has so much to offer right from an elaborate conspiracy to well-built characters walking a tight rope full of tension and suspense. The thrill seeker in me relished the action sequences and the out of the box twists that the author had in store around every bend throughout the novel.

I enjoyed reading this book thoroughly and would recommend it to all thriller, mystery and espionage fiction readers. And also to those readers who are looking for a new series and/or a new author to explore.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Hip Set by Michael Fertik

Book Details:

Author: Michael Fertik
Release Date: 
19th September 2019
Series:
Genre: Noir Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 200 pages
Publisher: Skiddaw Books
Blurb:
Oscar Orleans is a Congolese refugee in Israel. He’s also the only Hebrew-speaking liaison to the African refugee community living in Tel Aviv’s worst slums. When his old friend Inspector Kobi Sambinsky of the Asylum Unit calls him early on Shabbat morning, he knows something is wrong. A young South Sudanese immigrant has been found murdered in the city’s most iconic waterfront building and no-one can quite place his origins.

The only clue is his unusual name, Kinga, which he shared with another refugee from eight years earlier, and a controversial political figure in South Sudan’s most dangerous warring faction. Kobi and Oscar must venture into the heart of Tel Aviv’s Sudanese underground, Israel’s hyper-violent Russian mafia, and a mystery that has been dormant for years near the shores of the Dead Sea.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hip Set by Michael Fertik, the New York Times best-selling author, is a smashing new noir thriller that would take you on a rollercoaster ride of suspense and fast-paced action through the rich settings of Tel Aviv and would leave you wanting more.

I loved this book because the writing flowed so well and had such an amazing literary quality that it did not feel like the author’s first noir thriller but more like a nuanced piece of work by an expert. The characterisation was rich, relatable and realistic – the three Rs that made this book a complete package for me.

Other things that I appreciated in this book are the vivid settings of Tel Aviv that transported me right in the middle of a place I’ve never been to (and would most definitely like to visit someday, especially after having read this book), the African refugee situation that the author has explored in this book and thus provided a very different side of Israel to the readers and, last but not least, the amazing concept of the book (which was totally mind-blowing!)

I would strongly recommend this book to all thriller and mystery readers and to those readers who like reading about different cultures, places and settings. This book delivers on so many fronts that I am sure it will have something or the other to offer to all its readers.


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


Book Review: Neighborhood Watch by Kevin Patrick Kenealy

Book Details:

Author: Kevin Patrick Kenealy
Release Date: 
10th March 2022
Series:
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 415 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
When the Caseys move into affluent Ridgeport, Ill, searching for a better life for their newborn Scott, they are surprised to find a book entitled Ridgeport Welcomes You: Procedures and Guidelines for Happy Living. The book contains rules and ordinances that citizens must abide by to live in happy neighborhoods. Although mom Loretta Casey is hesitant to live by Ridgeport’s strict rules, all that changes when she meets her neighbor Sue Ellen Norris.
Sue Ellen serves on the Neighborhood Watch Committee, overseeing the town’s safety, and Loretta becomes engrossed in Sue Ellen’s addictive personality. But as Loretta’s son Scott and Sue Ellen’s son Matt grow, they discover that Ridgeport is not as perfect as their moms make it out to be. As Scott and Matt form their band of friends, their journeys into the neighborhood woods prove to be much more than just a place of refuge.

Kevin Patrick Kenealy is in his eighth year teaching AP Literature, English, and journalism high school students. Before that, he wrote for Chicagoland newspapers, where he had the privilege to interview several famous people, including Barack Obama, former Illinois governors Jim Edgar, Rod Blagojevich, and Pat Quinn. He has also published two poetry books, 20 Something and Faith Journey, and the horror novel Life and Death.

“Superb characters headline this chilling, slow-burn crime tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Thoroughly enjoyable with just the right amount of suspense.”
Readers Favorite

“This gripping story of a sinister small-town secret will keep you on the edge of your seat! It’s completely unforgettable.”
Reedsy

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Neighborhood Watch by Kevin Patrick Kenealy is a thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful new read that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat till the very last page!

I loved reading this book because it had so many dark and delicious twists and turns that it kept me guessing the entire time. the writing was good and flowed very smoothly throughout the book making it a surprisingly quick read (especially given the length of the novel.) The characterization was good too and very well developed and I was able to relate to almost all the characters, primary and secondary alike.

I’d strongly recommend this book to all suspense and thriller fiction fans as it has a lot to offer to its readers.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons

Book Details:

Author: Natasha Simmons
Release Date: 
7th June 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The baby is quiet. Too quiet.
When Madeline checks on her seven-month-old daughter, she discovers the reason for the baby’s silence. Abigail is dead. Madeline is soon living every mother’s worst nightmare among a cacophony of sirens and police interrogations.
Accusations and old resentments can’t stay contained under the pressure of guilt, tears, and the horror of picking out a baby-sized coffin. A line is drawn through Madeline and Brian’s marriage, and a battle begins.
But defining heroes and villains is as difficult as untangling the truth from the impossible web Madeline and Brian have created to protect themselves. Abigail’s killer isn’t the only monster hiding in the shadows. And among the dark secrets, everyone will crumble under the consequences.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons is a very well-written psychological thriller that will make it impossible for you to put down the book for even a second.

As much as this book was emotionally taxing, I loved reading it. The tension throughout the book, right from the first chapter, was wound so tight, that it was impossible to put it aside and do anything else. And that is the best way any author can write a psychological thriller novel, so I am really glad that I read this book. The writing was good, the concept was brilliant, the characterisation was very well developed and the tension and pacing were completely on point.

The story did have its dark moments, but it was to be expected given that the author had been honest about a child’s death in the blurb itself. So be prepared for some reader’s emotional damage (as I like to call it) but unless it is a trigger for you, you shouldn’t worry about it because the book after all is a dark psychological thriller.

I would strongly recommend this book to all thriller readers, especially all dark psychological thriller readers and fans of the genre.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Wrecked by by Nick Stephens

Book Details:

Author: Nick Stephens
Release Date: 
30th April 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 141 pages
Publisher: Reading Between the Lines pub.
Blurb:
Sam has been stuck on this deserted island for some time. How long? He has no idea. He was just about to give up on trying to survive when Desmond crashd ashore. Unfortunately, not only does Desmond not offer any hopes of rescue, he appears to be insane. Sam must survive the island and Desmond while he attempts to remember who he is and how he got there.

Desmond found himself stranded after his plan for murder goes awry. Perhaps Sam will learn more about himself as he uncovers the truth about Desmond. Perhaps he will find himself descending into madness. Wrecked is a thrilling novel full of suspense, twisting and churning like the rough tides of the open ocean.
Will Sam survive long enough to piece together his past, or will the island, and Desmond, destroy any shred of hope he has left?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wrecked by Nick Stephens is a brilliantly written psychological thriller novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading right from the very beginning until the last page!

This book had a really good concept and the execution was spot on. The characterisation was great and I was able to feel a connection with Sam, the main character, and wanted to see how things would turn out for him. And boy, I was not expecting the end to be the way it turned out to be! Absolutely loved the way the book ended. The tension and suspense ran tight and high throughout the book and I really appreciated it as it made the book an un-put-down-able read!

I would strongly recommend this book to all psychological thriller readers. This book has a great premise and an amazingly written plot that’ll blow your mind!


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


Book Review: Villains (The Reeve #2) by Ian Lewis

Book Details:

Author: Ian Lewis 
Release Date: 
20th December 2021
Genre: Alternate History, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery, Speculative Fiction
Series: The Reeve (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 380 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Beldenridge—a city of aging grandeur adrift in complacency—is reeling in the wake of violence perpetrated by the Wojiin, a legendary foe once thought to be extinct. Now mutated horrors lurk by shadow of night, and opportunistic villains rise to fill the gap left by the perceived abandonment of Beldenridge by Logan Hale, the city’s highest peace officer. Though Logan knows the Wojiin will return, he’s beleaguered by the ignominy of failure and a loss of purpose. To recover, he must not only confront himself but the malevolence that runs like an insidious undercurrent beneath everything he fears.

Just when Lucy is feeling unworthy of happiness, a silver lining presents itself. She lands her dream job as a travel writer. Follow aspiring author Lucy as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery with her best friends by her side. Witness as she blissfully immerses herself in French culture while hitting all of Paris’ hot spots for her new job. Laugh along while she helps throw an epic murder mystery birthday bash. Most of all, join Lucy as she transforms her self-doubt to self-love, ending a tragic year with the surprise of her life.
Will Lucy finally leave David in the past or will he continue to haunt her dreams?

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Villains by Ian Lewis is the sequel to From Legend and the second book in The Reeve series. I absolutely loved this book! It was undoubtedly un-put-down-able!

I had been waiting on this book since I first read From Legends by the author and finally having read this book I am now looking forward to reading the next one! The characterisation in this book was great, and I loved Amelia, the main character. I think the settings in this book felt even better than in the last books and I loved the detailing. The monsters were big and scary and truly dreadful and I enjoyed reading every bit of this book.

I would recommend this book to all readers of Fantasy, Suspense and Alternate History mixed with Speculative Fiction, as I am sure they will definitely love this book and the series!


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


Book Review: Reflections Of Destiny by Benzon Ray Barbin

Book Details:

Author: Benzon Ray Barbin
Release Date: 7th September 2020
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 148 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Cheating death is becoming an art.
Enauria, a battle-tested heiress and expatriate, journeying between Earth and beyond on a personal vendetta only she understands.
Jaye DiVista, a top government assassin, willing to risk everything to rekindle a love with Arlene Asariel.
Enauria has a plan to thrust Jaye and his colleagues through an interstellar campaign. Can Jaye and Arlene derail Enauria’s grand scheme?
Reflections of Destiny is a science fiction and fantasy thriller. Magic collides in a futuristic landscape where an ensemble cast takes part in gunplay, dogfights, and eyes gaze at every sand in the hourglass.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reflections Of Destiny is a fun sci-fi fantasy thriller novel that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

This book is well-written, had a cast of versatile characters and an interesting and entertaining story that kept me hooked from the first page to the very last.

The characters are very relatable and I liked the secondary characters too because they added a lot to the story. There was a very interesting and important romantic sub-plot that drove the story with a powerful force raising the stakes and thus, making the story more interesting.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to all fantasy and sci-fi thriller readers.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Audiobook Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: 14th September 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Contemporary
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 18 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Blurb:
The Delaney family love one another dearly―it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?
This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killer on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?

The four Delaney children―Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke―were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups. Well, that depends on how you define success. No one in the family can really tell you what Troy does, but based on his fancy car and expensive apartment, he seems to do it very well, even if he blew up his perfect marriage. Logan is happy with his routine as a community college professor, but his family finds it easier to communicate with his lovely girlfriend than him. Amy, the eldest, can’t seem to hold down a job or even a lease, but leave it to Brooke, the baby of the family, to be the rock-steady one who is married with a new solo physiotherapy practice . . . which will take off any day now.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door. She says she chose their house because it looked the friendliest. And since Savannah is bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend, the Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents’ marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was so perfect… till the last 4 hours ruined it entirely!

I love Liane Moriarty’s books because she is an excellent writer who can create genre-defying plots and build super amazing and realistic as hell characters. In fact, whenever I take a fiction writing class, I always ask my students to read any of her books to study her characteristics and notice the techniques she uses. And this book was no different, at least on the character front. 

The characters in this book are near perfect and they are what brings so much life into this (almost) amazing story. The only thing that totally ruined it was the ending… and the flimsy motivations… and the superficial stakes. 

Why, Liane? Why?

I feel so outrageously angry that the author botched up the ending for no more reason than a stupid girl’s hunger. I mean WTAF!! I get it she was being starved, but shouldn’t Savannah take revenge from her mother who starved her? Or her father who was partially responsible? Or her big-time brother who never took her seriously? 

Why the hell does a person take such a meticulously planned revenge on someone whom she visited only for a brief period in a day 20 years ago? I mean… seriously????

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks And Sarah Pekkanen

Author: Greer Hendricks  and Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: 9th January 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio 
Blurb:
When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing. 
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Listen for the truth between the lies.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Woah! You will not know what hit you in the face when the big reveal is unravelled!

The book begins with a run-of-the-mill plot where you assume that a good chunk of the book is going to be about stalking in a revenge drama, but then the author leaves and omits certain details that make you question whether that is the case or not because you cannot be certain!

And then, after many twists and turns you realise that you have been wrong, or more likely mislead, but who cares! Because by then you are so taken aback that the entire plot was a set-up – for the readers! I know I shouldn’t be liking it as much because it is borderline wrong to mislead readers to this extent, but what the hell, Riley Sager and Alex Michaelidis use it all the time – and not quite this effectively I must add. I applaud Hendricks for plotting such a clever book because this kind of thriller cannot be written, it can only be plotted and I respect the author for it!

I’d recommend this book to all thriller buffs!

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Trigger Point by Douglas Misquita

Author: Douglas Misquita 
Release Date: 14th January 2021
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Suspense
Series:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 401 pages
Publisher: Pencil
Blurb:
Smuggling himself into Europe despite an Interpol Red Notice? Possible. Avenging a German BKA officer? Easy. Evading special ops teams hunting him for the secrets he possesses? Impossible. 
Things are about to get more… interesting for Luc Fortesque.
An escaped terrorist threatens a landmark dialogue between Muslims and Christians. More terrifying is the theft of a bioweapon from a secret vault operated by the Holy See. That the damaging news is not public hints the weapon will be detonated. 
With cataclysm imminent, the world’s oldest espionage agency – the Vatican’s L’ Entity – must get to Luc Fortesque first, hoping he might possess the cure.

Accepting an off-the-books mission, former DEA agent, Raymond Garrett, intends to put an end Colombian drug lord, El Fantasma. But El Fantasma has a mission of his own for Garrett.
Treachery and corruption infect the highest reaches of religion and government, and Fortesque and Garrett must confront their past to be truly free of it.
If they survive the confrontation.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Trigger Point: A Luc Fortesque adventure thriller by Douglas Misquita is a heart-pumping rush of adrenaline that will definitely leave you asking for more.

I have one word for this book, and that is – Wow. I am not a huge fan of Indian authors but author Douglas’ book totally blew my mind. It was jam-packed with high octane action taking place in beautiful and exotic settings and well-built characters. And to top it all off, the writing was simply amazing! This is a well-written book, with strong characterisation, great pacing, high tension and brilliant concept. This book had so much going on that I simply couldn’t put it down even for an hour!

If you’re looking for a fast-paced and action-packed book with amazing locations or settings this you should definitely read this book! I’d highly recommend it to all readers.

You can watch the video for the review of this book on my IGTV channel here:

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: From Legend (The Reeve #1) by Ian Lewis

Author: Ian Lewis
Release Date: 8th April 2019
Genre: Alternate history fiction, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery
Series: The Reeve (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 252 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Sober, serious, and driven, Logan Hale is the highest peace officer in Beldenridge, and he knows his city better than anyone: the labyrinthine streets, the vaulted architecture, and all the dark corners where tales of mutations and a vicious enemy still linger like hushed secrets. Logan is quick to dismiss these accounts as part of a storied past with which he’d rather not contend, but when a suicide investigation leads him to believe there’s something more sinister at hand, he questions whether that near-forgotten lore isn’t the stuff of legend after all. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From Legend by Ian Lewis is the first book in the alternate historical series The Reeve.

The first thing I loved about this book is the cover art! I absolutely loved it and once done with the book I was really happy (and grateful) that the high expectations set by the cover were fully delivered by the author in this book. I enjoyed this book tremendously and the many elements it had to offer to a speculative fiction lover like myself. I loved the writing, the world-building, the characterisation as well as the fast pacing and high tension throughout the story.

I liked how the author interweaved the alternate historical settings with fantastical elements and used old lores, legends and fables to build intrigue as well as the perfect atmosphere for keeping the reader on edge. I would highly recommend this book to all readers who like reading speculative fiction, fantasy as well as alternate history and also to those who are looking to explore a new author or a new series. This book would be a really good pick for most readers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

RMFAO October’20 Buddy Read Book Selection

So we are planning to have a buddy-read over at RMFAO, my Goodreads Book Club.

It will be a month-long buddy read and we have some really great book options to select from. For the month of October, we’ve picked books released in 2020 that’ve been garnering the attention of the online book community. For this list of books, please see below. We have a poll on RMFAO’s homepage and anyone who is a member fo the group can vote there.

We will select the book with maximum votes and in case of a tie, we will have both the books with maximum votes as our BOOK OF THE MONTH and will read it (or them) in the month of October. As it is a month-long buddy read, you can join us anytime throughout October, the only requirement is to finish the book before the end of October.

We will be discussing the Book Of The Month throughout the month of October on a separate dedicated thread in the group itself but will be maintaining a spoiler-free policy till at least we reach the ‘more than half the month’ mark. After that even spoilers would be welcome as most of the readers tend to finish the book by then.

Here are the options to choose from:

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
  2. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
  3. Sisters by Daisy Johnson
  4. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  5. A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende
  6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. Things In Jars by Jess Kidd
  8. If It Bleeds by Stephen King
  9. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

And here’s the RMFAO Goodreads Poll:

Poll
Which book would you like to read for the month of October?
(Please vote only if you plan to join the Buddy Read. Don’t worry about the book, we’ll be more than happy to provide you the ebook if you really want to participate in the read with us.)
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/widget/207332-which-book-would-you-like-to-read-for-the-month-of-october-please-vot

Everyone is welcome to join and anyone can participate at any time during the month of October.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews

Author: John Mathews
Release Date: 25th January 2015
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 72 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Blurb:
Two criminals are responsible for an innocent man getting sentenced to life for murder. An inept defense attorney and a crooked prosecutor are the other players in this case of egregious American corruption. 
The four of them have been lured into a trap in an abandoned warehouse. Someone wants vengeance. This is a story of vigilante justice for the wrongfully convicted. Marked doors lead to four locked rooms, one where each of them will have to pay a price for what they have done. What will they be required to do in order to survive? 
This riveting crime thriller puts the American justice system in public view and will keep you guessing until the very last scene. A dark masked figure watches…waits…and wants revenge.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews is a surprisingly amazing read! I usually don’t expect much from a novella unless of course it is written by authors like Stephen King, but this book turned out to be an absolute delight.

This novella is jam-packed with high tension scenes, mind-boggling manipulative games, fast-paced action and clever twists and turns – all this in just 72 pages! And for me that itself was the best part. This book was an intense yet quick read and kept me on the edge the entire time.

This book was able to accomplish what a lot of lengthy mystery and thriller novels fail to achieve and so I would definitely recommend this book to all thriller lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads & Amazon

Book Review: First Gear (Sadie Hawkins Mystery #1) by Patricia C. Lee

Author: Patricia C. Lee 
Release Date: 4th August 2020
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Detective Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 374 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Recently divorced, petite and feisty Texan, Sadie Hawkins, struggles to get her newly established logistics business off the ground. When the opportunity to haul antiquities, including a mummy, drops into her lap, she jumps at the chance, despite the tight timeline. But when her cargo gets stolen and a fresh corpse mysteriously replaces the mummy, Sadie is arrested for theft and suspicion of murder.

Out on recognizance thanks to her lawyer ex-husband, and not willing to watch her business sink farther in debt while the police search for clues, Sadie yanks up her Dan Post boots and does some investigative work on her own. Stymied by her lack of success, she reluctantly enlists a few members with specific skills from Streetsmart, an organization made up of rehabilitated young adult offenders and managed by her best friend Tanya.

While trying to maintain her business from going under and making sure Tanya never learns of her collaboration with Streetsmart, Sadie endeavors to uncover the truth, the whole time wondering if this crime is some form of retribution to an event in her past. However, when she is framed for the real thief’s murder, it appears not even her accomplices in Streetsmart will be able to save her now.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First Gear by Patricia C. Lee is a start to a new detective fiction series that revolves around the female protagonist, Sadie Hawkins.

I’m generally not a huge fan of detective fiction genre, but I like a good detective mystery and given that this was the first book in the series, I had no inhibitions to dive right in. The story was good, the characterisation was okay – the characters were likeable, though not overly relatable, the narration was decent and the ending was good.

The best thing about this book was that it was a surprisingly quick read, which says a lot about the writing style of the author.

Knowing that first book in any series is generally meant to set things up for the next books, I’m willing to cut this one some slack and recommend it to mystery lovers, especially those who like reading detective fiction.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 22nd May 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 170
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications
Blurb: Serena Aisling has made it to the top as a high-powered executive all on her own merit. No thanks to her millionaire father who’d abandoned her at birth to be raised single-handedly by her mother. She has come a long way, so she’ll be damned if she allows him to have a hand in her career by dangling the CEO position of the Mäkelä Group in her face.

When Serena’s company coincidentally assigns her to spearhead a revolutionizing project run by the same corporation, she ends up working alongside the innovator himself—tech guru, Matias Mäkelä. The savvy, self-made millionaire is moody, ill-tempered, arrogant, and a giant thorn in her side, yet she can’t deny that he’s irresistibly handsome and stunningly
delicious.
A malicious traitor very close to Matias is divulging company secrets, and they must work together to uncover and shut them down before it’s too late.
When Serena uncovers the culprit, fearing Matias will not believe her, she keeps the discovery to herself and acts on her own, landing herself in hot waters with Matias. Waters so hot and flaming that she ends up tangled in his sheets, intoxicated with a desire that threatens to engulf her in an uncontrollable fireball of ecstatic delights.
As untold discoveries, secrets, and schemes unravel, Serena and Matias find themselves on a wild and unending tide of colliding together before being ripped apart again.
Will their feelings for each other be enough to survive the diabolical intrigue that threatens their very lives? Or will they crash and burn?

Book Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard is a contemporary romance thriller with good action, nice plot and some decent steamy bits.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the romance genre a bit, aside from my usual gothic dark reads and the contrast is refreshing to me as a reader as well as a writer. This book had good writing and that was the main reason I was drawn to it. The plot is a bit full of cliches and common tropes of the genre, but as I always say, when done well, even the common tropes become interesting.

I liked the cast of characters in this book. I rooted for both, Serena as well as Matias, and was glad that I read this book. I’d definitely recommend it to romance readers and to those people who like to read lighter thrillers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Author: by Louise Candlish
NarratorKatharine McEwanJonathan CowleyJayne EntwistleAndrew FallaisePaul FoxBillie JD PorterMoira Quirk
Release Date: 11th June 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 24 hrs and 32 minutes
Publisher: Penguine Audio 
Blurb:
From the internationally bestselling author of Our House, a new addictive novel of domestic suspense that dives into the world of suburban neighborhood drama and asks, “Could your neighbor make you angry enough to kill?”

Lowland Way is the epitome of the suburban dream. Every house and yard is carefully maintained for maximum curb appeal, and everyone knows one another and gets along. One homeowner, Sissy Watkins, runs a successful B and B from her house. Two brothers and their families live next door to each other. It’s the picture-perfect neighborhood.
When Darren Booth and his girlfriend, Jodie, move in across from Sissy, it doesn’t take long for them to begin making trouble. They’re loud, rude, messy, and don’t play by the community rules. They blast music at all hours and have started an unsightly renovation on their house. Before long, guests don’t want to stay at Sissy’s B and B, and everyone is fed up with the new neighbors.
An all-out war is brewing on Lowland Way. When a person is killed, accusations start flying. Someone is dead, and everyone has something to hide….

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was a legit BOMB
that…
is…
until…
the…. 
………. END!

I mean WTF happened there???

I had to read the last 3-4 chapters THRICE to be sure that I listened to it correctly and didn’t actually miss out a chapter or two!!!

The book just ended abruptly! The saddest part is that is was such a delicious and sensational story right until the last third of the book and then god knows what happened!

I am so effing disappointed!! 😦

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Author: Riley Sager 
Release Date: 3rd July 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Books 
Blurb:
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings—massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my 2nd book by Riley Sager. I can imagine why my big expectations weren’t met by this book – because I read the 3rd book by him before this one and now reading a previous work feels like reading a weaker book so I only ended up liking this book. It was a great read though, entertaining for sure and fast-paced. I enjoyed the entire bit about camping as I’ve never been to a camp so it was a welcome side-plot.

I think I am only disappointed with the ending – I was hoping for a scandalous reveal or bomb-shell climax (which I was blind-sided by in Lock Every Door.) That was what was missing in this book. The entire thing about the asylum was really, really good and by that point, I was sure that the author is going to pull out something big in the end, but sadly it was an okay-ish ending. I’m sure a lot of people will love the ending as it was good from a thriller book’s perspective, but I guess in my case the author penned the 3rd book so well the 2nd one seems a bit bland in front of it. So I am not sure now if I should read Final Girls, their first book. Though I am sure as hell going to be reading the next one by Sager as I’m sure it is going to be good!

If you haven’t read anything by Riley Sager yet, then follow the chronological order of the books. That way you can enjoy the building momentum in each book and will be blown away by their awesomeness individually rather than comparing their best work to the previous ones.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Earth Angel: : Hell Hath No Fury When an Angel Gets Mad By Chris H. Stevenson

Author: Chris H. Stevenson 
Release Date: 23rd April 2020
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 229
Publisher: Aisling Books 
Blurb:
Angels…
Death Stalkers…
Real or imagined…
Twenty-one-year-old Daryl Victoria and her fiancé, Dean Fowler, a rookie detective who has been working on a serial killer case that involves the murder of five high school girls, are parked in their car for some frolicking when a carjacking goes wrong. Both are gunned down.

Daryl takes a bullet in the face, and as a result of the damage, needs a corneal transplant. Dean has been shot through the lungs. They’ve been ordered to quit work, heal, and recoup. Dean suffers a nervous breakdown as the murders increase and he is powerless to help, coupled with his guilt of having placed his bride-to-be, Daryl, in harm’s way in a seedy little lovers’ lane.
Daryl finds out that her transplanted eye is causing what she thinks are hallucinations. She begins to see what she believes are glowing angelic escorts and rancid death stalkers who are following persons of the general populace. When these supernatural beings get too close, the person they’re following dies within a short period of time. She discovers there’s a mysterious formula to the manner and timing of the deaths. 
Daryl discovers that the donor for her new cornea was a 14-year-old gifted medium with some heavy duty clairvoyant powers. Only sparse information can be gleaned from the young girl’s mother since the daughter has died in her own mysterious way.Daryl’s good eye sees the normal world. The donor eye sees a totally different realm with its own rules. With the help of Daryl’s best friend, Abbey, they embark on a mission to use the gift and try and save lives. But Daryl has a better plan—she can stop the serial killer by using her, gift, brains and looks. All it will take is an ingenious trap. First, she has to find out how the killer is gaining access into the homes. Then she has to use herself as bait and stop this madman at any cost. WARNING: Contains cussing and adult situations

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Earth Angel by Chris H. Stevenson is an engaging supernatural mystery novel complete with an interesting concept and a well-written plot.

I liked reading this book more than I was expecting as I am not a huge fan of angels trope used in thriller stories, but this book was done well. The characters were good, though a couple of times I did think I wasn’t too invested in them, though in the end, I liked them just enough to see the book through. What appealed most to me was the concept itself and, thankfully, the book ended on a good note.

There are a couple of twists and turns sprinkled throughout he story and an emotional angle too that septs things exciting so over all it was a decent read.

I’d recommend it to all the mystery lovers who don’t mind the presence of supernatural element.

You can also read this review on Amazon

Book Review: Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff

Author: Kyra Radcliff
Release Date: 17th March 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 178
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Susan Johansen is efficient, ambitious and cool-headed in a crisis, which is exactly why her boss, Charles Dunlap, needs her. As the successful owner of one of the richest old money industrialist conglomerates in the world, he is under pressure of a different kind when his daughter Alicia becomes involved with internet entrepreneur Miles Middleton. 

With an ego as big as his bank balance, Miles has a reputation for a string of affairs and Charles doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near him. And so he enlists Susan, as a Trojan Horse, burying her deep within Miles’ business interests in the hope that she can sabotage his relationship with Alicia.

It isn’t long before the plan seems to be working and Miles is missing lunches, dinners and other dates with Alicia in favour of making money and sealing deals. But it’s when he takes Susan away on a business trip and tries to seduce her that she sees him for what he really is. But now that she is close to her goal, Susan suddenly has a crisis of confidence? Is she really still working for Charles or is she now pursuing her own agenda with Miles?

As he continues to get under her skin with his continuous attempts at seduction, Susan finds that she is more conflicted than ever. And the closer she gets to completing the assignment, the greater the chances are that Miles will discover her secret.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff was a heady romantic-thriller that successfully delivered what it promises – good romance and decent thrills.

The story had a lot of cliches, but overall the book was entertaining and purely for that, I liked it as I had been busy reading so many intense reads that I needed a breather and a break from my normal choice of dark fiction books. I was looking for something light and good and this book was exactly it.

I didn’t exactly fall in love with the character tees, but I ended up liking Susan, the female lead, who drove the story well and made the book worth reading. The writing was good and the plot very interesting.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Tech by Mark Ravine

Author: Mark Ravine
Release Date: 3rd February 2020
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Futuristic
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 463 
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Alexandra has just taken charge of her new team, a motley crew of screw-ups at the Arizona Field Office, the latest in a series of forgettable assignments. With a history of rebelling against authority and blunt speaking, she vows to change her ways and make this assignment work. 

Within minutes of her taking charge, she is drawn into a bank robbery case. She leads her new team to catch the robbers but discovers that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. The very next day three girls go missing. Before they could be trafficked out of the country, she races against time to rescue them. Soon, she begins to realize that all the cases coming her way are mysteriously connected. As she unravels the threads of a massive conspiracy, she discovers that a secret organization with immense power and authority is behind these horrific crimes. Forces within the FBI thwart her every move to discover the truth. Helping her navigate this maze is the shadowy Michael Patterson. But can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? Soon, witnesses disappear, suspects are killed, with her life and the lives of her team in lethal danger. Will she come out of this alive? Will she uncover and expose this cabal? As time starts running out, Alexandra Cassidy has to evade indictment and defy death in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Tech by Mark Ravine is a surprisingly good crime which kept me hooked with the several cases the main characters solved throughout the book.

This book was really engaging and had a lot of action, drama and situations going on that it was hard to put it down! This is my first book by the author, and seeing that there are a lot of detective fiction novels, I was a bit sceptical about it when I started reading the book but in no time the plot hooked me and then I was in for good.

The book is well-written, nicely structured and has good characterisation. I loved the female lead, Alexandra, and rooted for her in all the situations, right till the end. The secondary characters were good too and the elements of futuristic technology kept things very interesting.

I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy detective mysteries and crime thrillers and won’t mind the presence of unbelievable futuristic technologies.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Transference by B.T. Keaton

Author: B.T. Keaton
Release Date: 13th January 2020
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 394
Publisher: Ingleside Avenue Press
Blurb:
When everything you believe about civilization is a lie, the ultimate power is truth.
Eighty years from now mankind has discovered the secret of eternal life. Human souls can be moved from one body to another through the process known as transference. Control of this new technology has fallen under the dominion of Jovian, a powerful prophet and head of the Church which governs every aspect of existence.
Banished to a mining colony on a distant planet for lawlessness is Barrabas Madzimure, the king of thieves. Only when Barrabas faces execution does he claim that another man committed his infamous crimes decades earlier. The authorities are suspicious. Is he the Madzimure of legend and a potential threat to Jovian’s new world order, or just another victim of transference?
The story of a grim personal mission, Transference takes the reader on a heart-racing journey through rebellion, revenge, self-sacrifice, and the soul’s search for identity.

REVIEW

★★★★

Transference by B.T. Keaton made for a very thrilling story, with an unpredictable protagonist with a complex personality, coupled with a fast-paced plot-line made for a really compelling read. I was looking forward to reading this book right since the time I had a look at its blurb and to my great relief, the book was every bit as good as I had expected it to be.

The writing was really good and this book a very smooth and quick read. After reading this thrilling sci-fi, I am looking forward to reading more book by the author, hopefully soon!

If you like suspenseful and fast-paced sci-fi adventure stories then this book is definitely for you! It is totally worth it so do give it a read.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Sidney Sheldon’s The Phoenix by Tilly Bragshawe

Author: Tilly Bagshawe
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Mystery
Series:
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 432
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Blurb:
Thrilling and nail-biting, The Phoenix has all the trademark glamour, suspense and unexpected twists of a classic Sidney Sheldon novel.
A deadly enemy will rise again….
Ella Praeger has always felt like an outsider. So when she is called to join the ranks of The Group, a force for good operating in the shadows, her world shifts. She is gifted a purpose – and a dangerous legacy.
Years ago, The Group rid the world of one of its most powerful criminal masterminds. Yet when a child washes up on a beach in Greece, a mysterious symbol tattooed on its heel, it is a clear warning: impossibly, Athena Petridis has returned to reclaim her empire.
Ella’s connection to Athena is deeply personal. Thrown into an underworld of treachery and corruption, and haunted by the tragedies of her own past, Ella is reborn as an agent, chasing a villain risen from the ashes. But only one of them can fulfil their destiny….

REVIEW

★★

Sidney Sheldon’s The Phoenix by Tilly Bragshawe is the latest int he long line of books that have been written by Bragshwae in the vein of Sidney Sheldon’s novels. I’ve always enjoyed reading these novels as Sidney Sheldon is one of my all-time favourite authors but this time sadly it wasn’t the case.

I tried to really enjoy this book but a lot of elements prevented me from doing so – under-developed characterisation, weak plot-line, bad pacing, the overall predictability of the plot and the bad ending. There was too much going on and the protagonist felt too weak to be able to drive the plot by herself.

Overall, this book was a miss for me and therefore I won’t be able to recommend it to anyone. Hopefully, the author’s next book would be better than this one.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Tailspin by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
Release Date: 7th August 2018
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 432
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Blurb:
Rye Mallett, a fearless “freight dog” pilot charged with flying cargo to far-flung locations, is often rough-spoken, usually unshaven, and he never gets the regulation eight hours of shut-eye before a flight; but he does have a rock-solid reputation: he will fly in the foulest weather, day or night, and deliver the goods safely to their destination. So, when Rye is asked to fly into a completely fogbound Northern Georgia town and deliver a mysterious black box to a Dr. Lambert, he doesn’t ask why–he just ups his price.

As Rye’s plane nears the isolated landing strip, more trouble than inclement weather awaits him. He is greeted first by a sabotage attempt that causes him to crash land, and then by Dr. Brynn O’Neal, who claims she was sent for the box in Dr. Lambert’s stead. Despite Rye’s “no-involvement” policy when it comes other people’s problems, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the intrigue surrounding his cargo…and to the mysterious and attractive Brynn O’Neal.

Soon Rye and Brynn are in a treacherous 48-hour race to deliver the box before time runs out. With the hours slipping by and everyone from law enforcement officials to hired thugs hot on their heels, the two must protect their valuable cargo from those who would kill for it–that is, if they can trust each other.

REVIEW

★★★

A typical Brown book with an okay plot sprinkled with cheesy cliches, okay-ish characters, and somewhat unnecessary but totally steamy romance. I like the stories Sandra Brown creates, but the other elements kind of serve as a turn-off and often seem repetitive which kills most fo the fun. If you’re reading her book for the first time (any of her novels) then you’ll love them, just like I did, but if you continue on with other books they all will start feeling awfully predictable and repetitious.

Still, it made for a good quick read (I skimmed over a lot of romance and cheesy bits) which was nothing if not entertaining. I bummed down one star because I didn’t feel a connection to the main characters, which generally doesn’t happen in her books.

If you are new to the author, then do give any one of her other books a read. This one is not her best work, so read it only if you have already read one of her books and really like it (though it might feel repetitive, at least you won’t be judging all her books on this one alone.)

 

You can also read this review on Goodreads and NetGalley

Book Review: The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Author: Sandie Jones
Release Date: 
11th June 2019
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 304
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Blurb:

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: When Alice met Beth, her best friend, it was the icing on the cake. A friend without judgement, to celebrate with, commiserate with, Beth is the most trustworthy and loyal person that Alice knows. So when Nathan starts disappearing for stretches of time, Alice turns to Beth. But soon, she begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced…

REVIEW

★★

I have absolutely no idea what the hype about this book phenomenal is all about! Because of the rave reviews, I was expecting a spectacular thriller when I decided to read this book but when I started reading it, I kind of started to get the feel of an okay-ish book right from the beginning. But I continued on because in one of the many praising reviews I read that the book’s 2nd part is better than the 1st and that in the 3rd part everything comes together, so I ploughed on despite not liking the main character one A very predictable read. The writing was okay but the characterization was poorly done.

Though one thing I can say for sure is that the 2nd part of this book was way, way, way better than the 1st part which is a shame because the 2nd part is all about the secondary character, who BTW, came across more real than everyone else in the book. So the characterization was poor so was the originality. Even though I enjoyed one of the twists, the overall story was still below average.

The writing seemed immature and felt like it was someone’s debut novel rather than having been written by a bestselling and well-established author. Most of the scenes were either too cheesy or outright cringe-worthy. And there was no sense of structure to the plot.

Now, you might find this book an absolute hit if you read thrillers rarely, but if you’ve been an ardent thriller lover, you’d know the book for what it really is in the first couple of pages.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Netgalley

Book Review: Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

Author: Lucinda Berry
Release Date: 1st March 2019
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Dark Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 364
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Blurb:
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

REVIEW

★★★★★

HOLY–F**k!!! THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE

When I started reading this book it gave me an intense “Orphan” (movie) vibe, but then the plot started to change its track and I was like, “Okay… well, this is different, but nothing new.” But then somewhere around the last third of the book, I was completely and irrevocably mind-blown!

This book is AMAZING!!!

And the reality of how the author played with the reader’s mind using seemingly-normal characters and a seemingly-normal plot still continues to mesmerize me…

And I did NOT see that coming!!!

And that one line in the last pages of the book (where a man’s voice is mentioned) is still driving me insane! Was there really someone? Was it a supernatural presence? Was it just the broken psyche of the child? Or was it something else entirely?

OMG, I guess I have fallen in love with Dr Lucinda Berry’s intelligence and cannot stop thinking about how brilliant she is! For once, someone has dared to write about how complicated human psyche is and that some people are damaged forever and that there is absolutely nothing that can be done.

This book is full of triggers and can be dangerous if you are sensitive towards more than half of the things that is wrong with this world. But if you want to read a truly chilling work, then go for it.

Prose-wise, the author had completely re-defined the meaning of unreliable narrator for me. And it has completely changed my perspective on the subject.

This book is a gem for anyone who loves reading about sociopaths, people with psychosis and other troubled souls. This book is intense, dark and unforgivingly chilling. I loved every bit of it!

You can also read my review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: Recursion by Blake Crouch

Author: Blake Crouch
Narrator(s): Jon Lindstrom and Abby Craden
Date Of Publication: 11th June 2019
Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller
Series:
Duration: 11 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Blurb: A mind-bending new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and The Wayward Pines trilogy.
Barry Sutton is driving home from another long shift as an NYPD detective when the call comes in. A woman is threatening to commit suicide, and someone’s got to try to talk her down. Only as he stands on the rooftop, mere inches away from her, does he realize that the woman is infected with False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious disease that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. When Barry is unable to save her, he’s rocked to his core–not only by her death but the fear that he’s been exposed to this devastating illness.
Helena Smith is a brilliant but frustrated neuroscientist. If she could only get the funding, she’s sure she could build the ambitious device she’s long imagined–one that would allow people to preserve their most intense memories and relive them whenever they want. So when a billionaire entrepreneur offers to bankroll her project, she jumps at the opportunity–even if there are some strange conditions attached.
As Helena’s efforts yield stunning results, Barry investigates the mystery behind the woman he failed to save. He finds himself on a journey as astonishing as it is terrifying, ultimately revealing the true danger posed by Helena’s invention–and a plot that could bring about the end of reality as we know it.
Weaving together Barry’s story and Helena’s in ways even the savviest reader will never guess, Recurson is a brilliant science fiction thriller about time, memory, and the illusion of the present, built on our inability to escape the flashbulb moments that define us.

REVIEW

This is my 5th book by Blake Crouch and I loved all the four previous books and so obviously I expected a LOT from this one. So the moment I was able to I bought the audiobook and dove right in. But then the reality hit me hard like a patch of a dry concrete wall in the face…

What the actual f**k?!

I wanted to LOVE this book and I was so sure about it being good that the thought that it might not be good never even crosse my mind for a second. But as I started this book, it felt like slow torture and I lost interest in it in only about 2 hours.

Not sure if I’ll even try to listen to this one again as the lead characters were very, very bland and kind of felt like a poor replica of the other characters in Blake Crouches previous books. The concept, although felt like had a lot of potential initially, started to feel too abstract and I wasn’t able to go any further. I am a very impulsive person and that reflects in my reading tastes so if I have to commit to a book I better like it in the first hour of reading or listening otherwise I abandon it no matter how many good reviews it has because I hate wasting my reading time (as little as I have because of my writing) on trying to like books that my heart and mind seem to dislike. SO basically if a book fails to grab my attention within an hour or the first 50 pages then I don’t bother with it. And unfortunately, this was one of those reads.

You can also read this review on Goodreads 

Book Review: Why She Lied by Julie Coons

Author: Julie Coons
Release Date: 3rd March 2019
Genre: Psychological thriller, Dark Fiction, Crime, Adult, Suspense, Mystery
Series: 
Edition: E-book
Pages: 183
Publisher: Self-Published
Blurb:
Will she have to lose her child to save her child?
The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.
She needs answers…
To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.
To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.
FIVE YEARS LATER and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.
Someone from her past is watching…
Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.
Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?

WHY SHE LIED is a gripping psychological thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and buried secrets.

REVIEW

★★★★

Why She Lied by Julie Coons is a refreshing new dark psychological thriller with a great concept, a nicely executed plot and decent characterization. This book had just the right amount of complexity to make it an engaging read without being too overly complex.

Overall, this book was a gripping thriller. The characterization wasn’t exactly spot on, but I cared for the main character, Julie, enough to read through the entire book with interest. The layers of background made her a likeable lead and, although the flashbacks and some character traits felt redundant, I felt she was a decent protagonist. Though, again, I wasn’t able to connect or relate to her entirely for some reason.

The writing was good for most parts, though at times the narration felt redundant and there was more of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing.’ As it was on the simpler side, the reading was easy and the book, because of the tight pacing, turned out to be a surprisingly quick read even for a less-than-200-pages-book.

I liked this book and would recommend to all thriller lovers, especially the ones who love reading dark thrillers with layered and complex characters.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani

Author: Vahid Imani
Release Date: 9th February 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 300
Publisher: Stormtop Publishing
Blurb:
The shadows were closer than he thought …
Tehran in 1924 is the stage for a daring international showdown over the control of Persian oil fields. James Malcolm, a British operative stationed in Tehran weaves an intricate plot in hopes of installing a new loyal Persian king. A teenage boy’s accidental involvement becomes a distraction. When his plot is sabotaged, the fragile peace in Persia is threatened along with the boy’s life. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies, all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British.

REVIEW

★★★★

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani is an immersive historical suspense thriller that pulled me in right from the start to the very end. I really liked it because of the complexity of the plot and the ease with which it was laid by the author for the reader to read.

The writing is really good and the book is easy to follow, making it a relatively quick read. The characterization was also good and I was able to feel a connection to the protagonist, James, and was rooting for him throughout the book. The plot was the hero for me and the story felt very well fleshed out, especially the cultural details and the rich exposition.

The ending was apt and it made a lot of sense. I enjoyed this book through and through and would recommend it to all historical fiction fans and readers of mystery and thriller genre.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon