Silent Patient
March 4th, 2019 by diane92345

Silent Patient is a spellbinding whipsaw of a thrill ride where you won’t see the end coming!

Alicia kills her husband who she appeared to be head-over-heels in love with. She is arrested, tried, found guilty and taken to a mental health facility. Throughout the ordeal, Alicia refuses to discuss her motive or to talk at all for six years.

Her therapist, Theo, tries to break through Alicia’s silence. His story is told within the Silent Patient. Alicia’s diary entries are also provided. I enjoyed Alicia’s viewpoint the best. However, the shocking ending is the best part of this tale. This psychological thriller is highly recommended for domestic thriller fans. 5 stars!

Thanks to Celadon Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Murder Pit
March 3rd, 2019 by diane92345

The Murder Pit is a witty take on Victorian London with frequent humorous potshots at the Holmes canon that also contains an intriguing mystery. If you ever wanted more humor in, say, the Hounds of the Baskervilles, this book is for you!

Arrowood is a consulting detective for the poorer residents of London. Perennially jealous of the money and fame of his contemporary, Sherlock Holmes, Arrowood insists his method of studying people—rather than footprints—is more effective. He just needs one big case to make him as well known as that other consulting detective.

The Barclays engage Arrowood’s services complaining that their daughter’s husband won’t let them see or talk with her. They are concerned that Birdie has been harmed or is being held against her will on the husband’s rural farm. Birdie is slow and her husband, Walter, has served time for blinding a man in a fit of rage. Despite Arrowood’s concern with the Barclay’s authenticity, Arrowood and Barnett, his scrappy Watson, investigate and find an unusual case indeed.

The Murder Pit is the second entry in the series but can be read as a standalone. It is an enjoyable and humorous dive into lower class London and the Holmes canon. Arrowood’s appetite and marital problems seem genuine. Barnett doesn’t always agree with Arrowood but continues to protect him from physical harm.

Overall, the unusual setting, superb characterizations and witty banter make the Murder Pit an excellent mystery choice. 4 stars!

Thanks to Mira and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books Tagged with: , ,

Wedding Guest
March 1st, 2019 by diane92345

In the Wedding Guest, Alex Delaware and Milo are back in the 34th police procedural in their series.

A scantily clad woman is found garroted and posed on a toilet during a wedding reception. The venue is a seedy former strip club, which fits in with the reception’s theme of Saints and Sinners.

LAPD Lieutenant Milo calls his friend and LAPD consulting psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware to assist with interviewing the wedding party, guests and staff. The victim has no id and none of the wedding party or event staff recognize her. The bride seems more upset about ruining her special day that assisting the detectives. Assorted other weird family members from both sides of the wedding aisle are introduced. Could any of them have killed the victim? Or was she a former employee of the defunct strip club? Milo and Alex investigate.

As always, it is always pleasant to spend a few hours with Alex and Milo, along with their family and friends. My sole complaint was I missed the usual stories of Alex’s clinical patients. While not one of the best in the series, the Wedding Guest is still an enjoyable mystery well worth the reader’s time. 3 stars.

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Lost Man
February 19th, 2019 by diane92345

The Lost Man is the new excellent standalone thriller by superstar author Jane Harper.

Nathan and Bub find their middle brother, Cameron, dead of dehydration in the middle of the Australian desert. What is puzzling is that Cameron walked away from a perfectly running car filled with food, water and a working radio to wander miles in search of a mythical stockman’s grave stone.

The police suspect suicide. But Cameron was the always smiling middle child. How could this have happened—especially to him? As older brother Nathan begins to investigate, family secrets emerge.

Overall, the Lost Man is a brilliant thriller with a surprising, at least to me, conclusion. It is highly recommended to all thriller readers. 5 stars!

Thanks to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Death in the Stocks
February 18th, 2019 by diane92345

Death in the Stocks is the first Superintendent Hannasyde mystery written in 1935.

Arnold Vereker is found locked in the village stocks and stabbed to death. Superintendent Hannasyde has a multitude of suspects since everyone seemed to dislike him and no one has an ironclad alibi.

Maybe it is the shadow of Agatha Christie, who was writing at the same time, but Georgette Heyer’s mysteries seem overlong and rather stuffed with English upper crust commentary that seems irrelevant more than eighty years after they were published. Rather than reading Death in the Stocks, read one of the author’s excellent regency romance books for which she is famous. For a great mystery, read Agatha or Dorothy L. Sayers. 2 stars.H

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Alumni Association
February 15th, 2019 by diane92345

Alumni Association is a short novel that is more legal than thriller.

A closed military school is scheduled for demolition but the school’s alumni association is trying to register it as a protected historical building. However, the real reason for saving it is for the multiple uses of the tunnels hidden beneath the school. Beth, an attorney, is hired to represent the association.

There is a whole lot of plot in Alumni Association but it doesn’t hang together well.  The book seems choppy. Strangely, it seems both too long, with too many extraneous details, and too short to get to all the plot points in a more organic manner as some of the decisions didn’t seem believable. It also moves too slow to be a true thriller.  However, I did enjoy the lead character, Beth, so 3 stars.

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Such Good Work
February 14th, 2019 by diane92345

Such Good Work is the inspiring tale of addiction and recovery based on a true story.

Jonas works as an adjunct creative writing teacher in the US. When he isn’t being fired. And if he isn’t high on oxy or another opiate. When Jonas hits rock bottom, he makes the unusual decision to get a Master’s degree, and hopefully teach in, Sweden. He has dual citizenship so the paperwork is simple. Once there, he works with Middle Eastern refugees teaching them Swedish while also going to school.

This is autofiction, or a fictionalized autobiography. It is a story of overcoming addiction and replacing it with Such Good Work. It is recommended to literary fiction readers and those struggling with addiction issues. 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Literary Fiction Tagged with: ,

Watcher in the Woods
February 11th, 2019 by diane92345

A small hidden Canadian town is thrown into turmoil by a Watcher in the Woods.

Rockton is a small village of 200 concealed in the Yukon wilderness. Originally a refuge for 1960s activists, it now hides people fearing for their life. Dalton was born in the Yukon and is now the town’s Sheriff. Casey is the only detective and also Dalton’s live-in girlfriend.

When a US Marshall comes to town looking for his man (or woman), the town is roiled by murder and suspicion. In a place where everyone has a secret past, how will Casey discover who the Marshall was chasing and why?

The innovative setting of a clandestine town is the best part of Watcher in the Woods. After reading this book, I discovered this is the fourth in the Rockton series. I will look for the others as I enjoyed the town’s brief backstory presented here. However, Casey and Dalton, along with most of the townspeople, don’t seem to be fully-fleshed out. The author frequently tells, rather than shows, the reader their motivations. This may be because this is the fourth book but it forces me to not recommend this book as a standalone. 3 stars.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with:

Stalker
February 9th, 2019 by diane92345

A Stalker is loose in Stockholm and Detective Joona Linna is hunting him before he can kill again.

A serial killer is sending YouTube links to the Swedish National Crime Unit showing peeping Tom video of women right before they are murdered. What connects the videos or woman? Who could the serial killer be? Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the case.  She recruits Detective Joona Linna who then recruits Maria Bark, a hypnotist, to assist. As the serial killer continues to kill, the killing method is linked to an old case that imprisoned a possibly innocent man.

There aren’t many clues to be found in this lengthy but enthralling thriller. However, it is fun just to follow the case work of the Swedish detectives. Even though this book clocks in at over 500 pages, it doesn’t seem that long as you are reading it. Stalker is highly recommended for readers looking for a dark intelligent Scandinavian noir. 4 stars!

Thanks to Knopf and NetGalley for a copy that I wished for in exchange for an honest review.

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Forget You Know Me
February 8th, 2019 by diane92345

After what appears to be an emergency occurs, why would a friend ask another to Forget You Know Me?

Liza and Molly are best friends since childhood. But when Liza moves to Chicago and Molly marries and has two children, they slowly drift apart. They finally get together through Facetime for a girl’s night. When Molly steps away to quiet her daughter, Liza sees a masked man come into Molly’s home. When she tries to warn Molly, the man abruptly closes Molly’s laptop. Liza calls the local police who find no hint of an intruder. But why is Molly acting so strangely?

Forget You Know Me is about the lies people tell themselves and each other. It is a slow simmer of a tale. While I enjoyed it, the book moved a bit too slow for me especially in the middle. However, if pacing isn’t a concern for you, the plot is well worth reading. 3 stars.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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