Someone We Know
August 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

Small town secrets and lies cause trouble for everyone in Someone We Know.

When Amanda is found dead in the trunk of her car submerged in a lake, Detectives Webb and Moen immediately suspect Amanda’s husband, Robert. Robert had reported her missing weeks earlier—but was he just covering his tracks? During the autopsy, Amanda is found to be pregnant. While investigating, the detectives find Amanda was cheating on her husband and vice versa. Whose baby was Amanda carrying? Did her husband, one of her lovers, or the lovers’ wives kill her?

In a parallel plotline, sixteen-year-old Raleigh has an unusual hobby. He breaks into his neighbor’s homes to snoop and send prank emails from their computers. Raleigh doesn’t see it as a problem because he doesn’t take anything. However, when his parents learn of his hobby, they take him to an attorney who explains the number of laws he broke. Raleigh vows to never do it again. His mother, Olivia still feels guilty. She sends anonymous apology letters to the two houses she knows he invaded. One of the letter’s recipients takes it upon herself to determine the author and quickly finds Olivia highly suspicious. The other recipient is Robert.

The parallel stories entwine perfectly in Someone We Know. As everyone’s secrets unravel, the suspense is kept high propelling the reader forward until the tense conclusion. I really enjoyed the perfect pacing of this novel. Poor Olivia is tasked with being the whole neighborhood’s conscience. In this town, filled with murderers and adulterers, it is a heavy burden. However, it is fun to be peeping inside by reading their stories. 4 stars!

Thanks to Pamela Dorman Books and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes)
March 7th, 2019 by diane92345

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes) is the story of small town Minnesota life over the past fifty years seen through the eyes of a local journalist. The title refers to the name one of her readers called her, a “radical hag”, plus she felt that if she added recipes it would encourage people to read her column.

A homespun Minnesotan newspaper columnist (think Garrison Keillor) suffers a stroke and is in a coma. While hospitalized, her newspaper begins to publish reprints of her prior articles along with the audience’s response.

I really wanted to like this story. However, it seemed extremely slow and nothing much happened that you didn’t see pages before it occurred. It is possible that I have just read too many thrillers to appreciate a literary fiction book that so heavily emphasizes characters over plot. Therefore, I’ll give Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes) 3 stars for fans of that genre.

Thanks to University of Minnesota Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Literary Fiction Tagged with: , ,