Whisper Man
August 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Frank Carter, the Whisper Man, has been in prison twenty years for kidnapping and murdering five young boys in rural Featherbank. His m.o. was whispering through each child’s window before luring them to their death. And now the whispering has begun again…

Did Frank have an accomplice all those years ago? What happened to the last child’s body? Is the nightmare reoccurring?

The less you know going into the Whisper Man, the more terrifying and disturbing it will be. The atmospheric plot seems like a cross between a hazy dream barely remembered and a horror movie. If you enjoy horror movies, I think you will like this thriller. 4 stars!

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

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

The Murder List
August 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Jack is a defense attorney in Boston. As an experienced litigator, he is on The Murder List. The list is a list of attorneys from which the state picks the person to defend accused murderers.

Rachel is married to Jack. She is also a third-year law student scheduled to intern with Jack’s arch-nemesis, Assistant District Attorney, Martha Gardiner. Rachel’s first day begins with a murder case. The victim, Tassie, is found dead under her kitchen table with no obvious wounds.

In alternating chapters, Rachel’s previous career working for Senator Rafferty is described in flashback. Unfortunately, I wasn’t captivated by the flashbacks and skimmed most of them to get back to the “meat” of the story. Until the surprising twist in the story, which forced me to go back and read them more carefully.

The Murder List is crafted carefully to fool the reader and fool me it did. And I love that! All the clues were hidden in plain sight. Only my assumptions prevented me from seeing them. Because of the excellent twist—hiding just slightly under my radar, the originality of the plot, and the clear tying up of all the loose ends in the final chapters, I give this book 4.5 stars! It is highly recommended for all thriller readers.

Thank you to Forge Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

The Warehouse
August 26th, 2019 by diane92345

A thinly, really thinly, veiled stab at Amazon is located in The Warehouse.

The Black Friday Massacres drive people to shop increasingly online. The Cloud (ahem, Amazon) picks up the slack and becomes the world’s biggest employer. It opens modern factory towns, called MotherClouds, worldwide where workers use their money to pay for rent and food.

In the distribution centers, drones make deliveries easy. However, automated watches and shelves make the pickers’ jobs untenable and injuries common. Enter industrial spy, Zinnia, who is trying to determine if the Cloud is faking its “fully green” environmental policy to grab valuable government incentives.

I have a nephew and a niece who used to work as pickers at Amazon. They had talked about the inability to reach the bathrooms during breaks and the hectic work schedule required to avoid getting fired (though both eventually were let go). In addition, my job went on a tour of the Amazon warehouse in town. I’m part of the County’s Purchasing Department but it appears anyone can request a tour. I have seen all of the moving shelves (currently just on wheels—not automated bugs like in the book but I’m sure someone is testing the bugs at some other Amazon warehouse). I have seen the frantic pace of the pickers and boxers.

Maybe it is because I knew too much about Amazon, but I didn’t like The Warehouse. There wasn’t much new to me and I think the author could have pushed it to a more absurd level. This book felt like it was projecting only about a year into the real Amazon’s future. I had some high hopes but this was a miss for me. However, I am still giving it 3 stars because the writing was good and the characters seemed genuine.

Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

American Magic
August 26th, 2019 by diane92345

What if magic is real? But kept hidden by a group as mysterious, and rich, as the Illuminati? When one member turns rogue, the lid is off American Magic.

Okay, I admit it, the plot sounds lame—except when you are actually reading it. The author manages to do a Dan Brown on a seemingly absurd plot like The DaVinci Code and makes it believable. Once you are over that hurdle, the same one the main character surmounts, American Magic is an exhilarating thriller. If you don’t mind some magic, I highly recommend reading this DaVinci Code-like thriller. I can already envision which actors will play Ben and Mack on the big screen. 4 stars!

Thanks to Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Polygamy: An Early American History
August 24th, 2019 by diane92345

Beginning with the Spanish Franciscan priests attempting to baptize Native Americans, Polygamy: An Early American History tours polygamist practices in the New World.

Not just interested in the what, the author looks into the underlying reasons for the popularity of multi-wife families. In the 1600s, wars cut down many Native men forcing a maiden to become a second wife if she wanted children of her own. As animal skins were becoming a valuable trading tool, more woman were needed to process the larger kills. In ultra-religious Puritan settlements, men asked why polygamy was fine for Abraham and other Old Testament men but not for them.

While it reads like the textbook it probably is destined to be, there is a wealth of information to be gleaned from Polygamy: An Early American History. The use of contemporaneous sources, including some shockingly blunt talk about sex acts, is intriguing. It is definitely written from a pro-polygamy point of view. If the subject sounds interesting or you are a polygamist, give it a try. 4 stars!

Thanks to Yale University Press  and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Savage Appetites
August 23rd, 2019 by diane92345

Psychological archetypes and crime fiction are melded in the true crime tales presented in Savage Appetites.

The four tales here describe the mother of forensic science, who did not have a formal scientific background. Another tale describes a person fascinated by the Manson cult’s murder of Sharon Tate. The third tale focuses on the love between a woman and a convicted killer. The final tale shows how online crime websites may encourage fans to kill others.

Fixation is the link between the stories in this book demonstrating the archetypes of detective, victim, attorney, and killer. However, for me, the best part was the book’s excellent beginning. It describes the author’s trip to CrimeCon, a convention for true crime addicts. I thought the Con sounded wonderful. As a minor true crime addict (just watching documentaries—not committing actual crimes), it sounded like fun. However, as I kept reading the book, the author’s point-of-view began to change. It piled all true crime addicts in one crazy boiling-over pot. I truly do not think that every person that views Making of a Murderer on Netflix will go as far as obsession and even murder. I also didn’t like the author inserting her feeling about the people in the book. An author should make her case by showing the facts—not by shoving the point down the reader’s throat.

Overall, Savage Appetites is a miss for me and will probably feel the same for most true crime fans. If you are thinking of emulating a true crime documentary, this might be a good choice. 2 stars.

Thanks to Scribner Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Stolen Things
August 22nd, 2019 by diane92345

What is the worst thing that 911 operator Laurie can hear on the job? Her sixteen-year-old daughter calling in saying “Mama? Help me.” Welcome to the adrenaline-fueled ride of Stolen Things. And you are only in chapter two.

The twists never let up in Stolen Things. It is an exhilarating and compelling race to the finish. Don’t start this book in the morning before work unless you are willing to hide out in the bathroom to finish it before the end of the day. It is that good. It is recommended for anyone who enjoys thrillers especially set within a family. 5 stars!

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

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

Old Bones
August 21st, 2019 by diane92345

Parallel stories of the work of a new FBI Agent and the search for the Lost Camp of the Donner Party drive the engaging thriller, Old Bones.

Probationary FBI Agent Corrie Swanson is looking into a grave robbery and a recent death as her first real case. She believes there is a connection between the grave robbing and the recent deaths and missing status of the victim’s other family members. Is there a vendetta against the Parkins family? At the same time, Nora and Clive are running an archaeological expedition searching for the Lost Camp of the Donner Party.

I really enjoyed Old Bones. Corrie is a spin-off from these authors’ Pendergast series. It is hard not to compare this book to those excellent ones. Honestly, I don’t think that is fair. This book is captivating and gripping on its own merits. If you like female-led thrillers or have an interest in archaeology, you are in for a treat. 4 stars!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Chase Darkness With Me
August 20th, 2019 by diane92345

“People read and watch and listen to true crime because it restores order from chaos.” Telling the real stories of searching for, and sometimes finding, murderers that eluded the police, Chase Darkness with Me is true crime at its best.

A crime reporter decides to use targeted Facebook ads and crowdsourcing to solve cold cases. Through hard work, he finds some killers along with his crime-solving partner, Michelle. When Michelle dies, he finishes her book about finding the Golden State Killer. He starts a podcast. He looks for more killers.

The completely new method of using crowdsourcing to solve crime is detailed here. The last chapter is a handbook on how to do what he has done—chase criminals. If you are a murderino or a true crime buff, Chase Darkness with Me is going to be your favorite book of 2019. For casual thriller or mystery readers, the stories showing how the author catches criminals are surprising and fascinating. 4.5 stars!

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

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,