In Au Pair, twins Seraphine and Danny are born and the same day their mother throws herself off a cliff saying they took my baby. The twins have an older sibling, Danny, who was also a twin. His brother, Theo, fell off the cliff two years earlier.
Year later, their father is killed in a tragic accident. While going through his papers, Seraphine finds a photograph dated with her birthdate of both their parents, Edwin, but only one of the twins. When she asks Edwin if he remembers which twin is pictured, he doesn’t know but that his au pair, Laura, took the picture.
Seraphine decides to find Laura. However, when she eventually finds her, she won’t talk.
The Au Pair is a suspenseful thriller with a laid back southern gothic vibe. The reader is compelled to keep reading to find out what really happened on the day of Seraphine and Danny’s birth.
The style of alternating chapters of Seraphine’s current search for answers and Laura’s experiences in the month leading up to the births is a great way to ratchet up the tension. The conclusion is excellent too. Overall, the Au Pair is recommended for all thriller and romantic suspense fans. 4 stars!
Thanks to Berkley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: gothic, Jan 8 2019
Cuckoo is an atmospheric gothic mystery set in a rural English house, where even the heroine doubts her sanity. Is she hallucinating? Are ghosts present or is it her memories coming back of her horrible childhood?
Caro is a starving artist in London when she is informed her stepmother has died. Caro and her older sister Steph will inherit the entire estate once it leaves probate. Steph, now a wealthy New Yorker, gives her share to Caro. Caro, soon to be homeless in London, decides to move into her old family home to clear out her stepmother’s paperwork and personal items. While in the house, a snowstorm forces her to stay inside where her memories of her hateful stepmother during her childhood return with a vengeance.
Cuckoo is reminiscent of golden age mystery writers like Mary Roberts Rinehart with her Had I But Known school of naive and trusting narrators. Caro total lack of faith in herself and continual bad choices began to annoy me around the midpoint. Basically, the clues were all there in plain sight but Caro just ignored them all. I did enjoy the dark English folk and fairy tales sprinkled throughout the book. I googled some of them and they are real—no wonder the English have such stiff upper lips if this is how they entertain their children!
If you enjoy slow-burning gothic reads with most of the action in the unreliable narrator’s head, you will enjoy reading Cuckoo. For me, the annoyingly dense heroine and an obvious twist makes this a 3 star read for me.
Thanks to the publisher, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: gothic, Nov 29 2018
Accomplished dual mysteries wrapped in an artful gothic atmosphere. Go to My Grave tells the story of two parties that went horribly wrong.
“They were terrified. Every last one of them.”
Donna and her mother spent their last dime opening The Breakers, a bed and every meal (rather than just breakfast), on the Galloway coast. Kim decides to have a surprise tenth anniversary party there with her husband Sasha and his six cousins. Little does she know that Sasha and his cousins spent another harrowing weekend there 25 years earlier.
When someone begins leaving hints of what happened at the long ago birthday party, the cousins start to fall apart. Their pledge of keeping it in a box, stitching their lips and going to their grave with it clearly forgotten.
Alternating between telling the tales of the anniversary party and the birthday party 25 years before, Go to My Grave has some extremely creepy atmosphere. There are several possible endings for each tale making the mystery intriguing. Some of the slang used was unique. Neither my Kindle nor I could figure some of them out.
Overall, Go to My Grave is a first-rate gothic mystery for the windy fall days around Halloween. Perfect for mystery fans who want a touch of dread in their books. 4 stars!
Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: family drama, gothic, Oct 23 2018