The Last Thing She Remembers is being at the airport. She can’t remember how she got there or even her name. She has her suitcase but there is no indication in it of her name or destination. Luckily, she finds a train ticket home in her pocket.
When she arrives at the train’s destination, she recognizes her home. However, when she knocks on the door, a stranger answers. The house’s residents, married couple Tony and Laura, insist they have owned the house for a month. But the traveler knows the layout of the house so the couple call their doctor thinking she has amnesia. The doctor tells her to rest. As the hospital is full, she stays with Tony and Laura. To ensure the best experience, it is best if the rest of the plot is unknown.
The Last Thing She Remembers is extremely plot driven. Character development is sacrificed a bit for the many twists and turns. Determining the final plot resolution is unlikely so this book would not be good for armchair detectives. However, the rollicking ride through one person’s life is great fun. As soon as I finished the shocking conclusion, I returned to the beginning to see if it was fair to the ending. And it was! I just didn’t see it during my initial reading. One off-topic comment, this book could only take place in England as no one will open a door to a stranger in California or most areas of the US. They certainly wouldn’t invite a stranger to spend a few days in their house. Overall, it’s a good thriller read especially for readers that enjoy a twisty plot and aren’t overly concerned with character motivation. 3.5 stars!
Thanks to Park Row and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: May 28 2019, psychological suspense
A compelling psychological thriller peers into Her Pretty Face and sees a bubbling cauldron of duplicity.
Frances’ son Marcus has ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder making him difficult to control. Recently accepted to an elite middle school, an offensive act makes both him and his mother pariahs. Kate’s son Charles is in Marcus’ class. When Kate defends Marcus, she and Frances become best friends.
Frances has something unpleasant in her past. In flashbacks, the story of the rape and murder of 15-year-old Courtney is told by her 12-year-old brother DJ. Courtney’s killer Shane was assisted by his young girlfriend Amber, herself abused by Shane. Is Frances really Amber? Does Kate have ulterior motives for her friendship? Why does Kate seem distant from her 14-year-old daughter Daisy?
Her Pretty Face merges both trepidation and anticipation for what is about to happen. It is recommended for thriller readers that enjoy a intriguing character study. It’s perfect for fans of Big Little Lies, where the sophisticated surface covers up a web of deceit. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Gallery/Scout Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jul 10 2018, psychological suspense
When does love and attraction turn into obsession?
Sam Grist is a college student in Kate Youngblood’s writing workshop. Kate is impressed with his writing style. She is also feeling a “strong river current” pulling her towards him. However, Kate is hoping to get tenure. Starting an affair with a student would not be smart and might even be career-ending. Her first crime novel was moderately successful but her agent hates her latest book. She needs the teaching job to support herself now that her husband has left her for a much younger woman.
Sam also has strong feelings for Kate. He stares at her with longing during class. Soon he starts following her and peeps in her windows. His obsession only grows from there.
Watch Me is a slow-burning thriller alternating between Kate and Sam’s point of view. At first, a reader feels sympathy for Sam’s love for Kate. It seems like a heartfelt student’s crush on his older college professor. But then Sam begins to go too far. As Sam’s history is revealed, his intentions begin to look much darker. The eerie atmosphere and Sam’s darkening worldview propel the plot forward even though the action doesn’t really start until more than a third into the book.
Watch Me is highly recommended to fans of character-driven psychological suspense. The relationship between Kate and Sam resembles the one between Agent Starling and Hannibal Lecter. It is obviously not healthy and will probably end badly but it is both a compelling and unsettling trip to that end. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, and NetGalley for the advance review copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, Romance Tagged with: Jan 23 2018, psychological suspense, student-teacher romance