Find You in the Dark
June 21st, 2018 by diane92345

Find You in the Dark is a great concept bogged down with poor plotting and characterization.

Martin Reese has a secret. He likes to determine where serial killers bury their victims, dig them up, photograph them, rebury the bodies and then leave anonymous snarky messages for the police telling the bodies’ location. His obsession leads him to marry the sister of one victim and stumble onto a recent victim. As the recent victim’s killer stalks Martin so does Detective Sandra Whittal. She believes Martin has a more serious motive for his obsession than providing closure for the victims’ families.

Even with such a great premise, this book fails on evoking suspense. The first half drags with only the last 10% having any sort of page-turning momentum. Also, none of the characters feel like sympathetic genuine people. Therefore, Find You in the Dark earns only 3 stars.

Thanks to Atria and NetGalley for an advance copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Bring Me Back
June 19th, 2018 by diane92345

Bring Me Back is a good twisty thriller!

Twelve years ago, Finn stops in a French picnic area to use the rest room. His girlfriend, Layla, stays in the car. When Finn returns Layla is gone. Fast forward to the present and Finn is engaged to Ellen, Layla’s sister. When Layla is seen by an elderly neighbor, the plot starts swirling into the twisty rollercoaster read I expect from this author. Layla’s body was never found. Could she have returned? Is she leaving Russian nesting dolls to terrify her sister? What happened between her and Finn the night she disappeared? How do Finn’s anger issues fit within the story?

I loved the buildup to the conclusion of Bring Me Back. Just when I thought I had figured out the finish, a final twist caught me off guard. Recommended for thriller lovers and fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Providence
June 18th, 2018 by diane92345

Meh…Providence is not a place I enjoyed visiting.

While a junior in high school in Providence Rhode Island, Jon is kidnapped. His best friend and possible love of his life, Chloe, is heartbroken. However, she and his parents eventually assume he is dead and move on with their lives.

Four years later, Jon wakes up. His only clue to what happened is a note from his former substitute teacher and captor, Mr. Blair, in a beaten-up paperback copy of The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft. The note states.

“You were in a medically induced coma. You are free. […] You have power. […] We did good work down here, Jon, and it will be interesting to see the way things play out. You’re welcome, Jon.”

Six years later, Eggs is a Providence police detective looking for the cause of a rash of heart attack deaths in young adults. His department believes they were natural deaths but Eggs is obsessed. Eggs and his wife, Lo, have an institutionalized son, Chuckie.

Providence is a fantasy in the vain of the 2012 film Chronicle and perhaps Stephen King’s Carrie. While it contains the love story of Jon and Chloe, it is not strictly a romance like the author’s most popular book, You. I didn’t read You so I had no previously conceived ideas for this novel. Judging by other reviews, if you loved You, you will not like Providence much.

My biggest issue with Providence is with the characters. None are sympathetic. Poor Jon had all his problems thrust upon him but as a reader I truly didn’t care what happened to him. Chloe is so indecisive that I felt like slapping her. Her high school friends after Jon’s disappearance feel like 80s movie stereotypes (the popular girl, the jock, the art girl). Eggs’ feeling toward his son do not seem genuine but are obviously a plot device.

Another issue is the plot slows to a crawl in the middle of the book. If I wasn’t reading a review copy, I would have put it down or at best skipped to the ending.

Some readers seemed to enjoy this book. To me, it seemed derivative, slow, and populated solely with unsympathetic characters. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it except to hardcore Lovecraft fans. 2 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, Random House-Lenny Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers, Paranormal, Romance Tagged with: