Time After Time
June 23rd, 2019 by diane92345

Take one part Benjamin Button, one part Age of Adaline, and one part a history of Grand Central Station. Stir together and you have Time After Time.

Joe is a leverman in 1937 in New York’s Grand Central Station. When he meets Nora, a confused young lady without either luggage or coat, he offers to walk her home. Along the way she vanishes. A year later, they meet again. She is still wearing the same tattered blue dress. Once Joe and Nora discover the restrictions of Nora’s universe, they begin to fall for each other. But Nora doesn’t age and Joe was already ten years older than her in 1937 making their future together uncertain.

I liked the three main characters of this novel: Joe, Nora, and most of all Grand Central Station. The history of the Station drew me in even more than the plot. As a frequent reader of thrillers, Time After Time seemed to move at a snail’s pace in the middle third. However, that may just be me. I also didn’t enjoy the ending of Joe and Nora’s love story. For literary or historical fiction readers, the pacing will probably be fine. In the author’s Q&A at the end of the book, the author explains that most of the story is based on true stories merged together. If you are a fan of historical romance, this is a good choice. 3 stars!

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

Posted in Historical Fiction, New Books, Romance Tagged with: , ,

First Mistake
June 21st, 2019 by diane92345

Why wait for Reese Witherspoon’s stamp of approval? If you don’t snap up this jaw-dropping domestic thriller immediately, that would be your First Mistake.

Alice had the perfect marriage with Tom and their daughter, Sophie. They were starting an interior design company together. Then he died.

Now, Alice is married to Nathan. The company she owns is doing great. Nathan’s help with the finances is vital allowing Alice to focus solely on the designs.

Alice and Beth’s daughters attend the same school. Beth and Alice become best friends. Ten years earlier, Beth’s lover left her and their daughter for another woman so the two women bond over their shared losses of their daughters’ biological fathers.

As with the author’s first thriller, The Other Woman, First Mistake starts out slow. But once the dominoes of Alice’s life start falling, the surprises don’t stop until the startling conclusion. If you like domestic thrillers where nothing is as it seems, you must read this book. It has great characters and the best plot twists I’ve seen for a while. 4.5 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Man of the Year
June 19th, 2019 by diane92345

What happens when the Man of the Year begins to suspect his wife is cheating on him?

Dr. Robert Hart has it all. His job is rewarding—both emotionally and financially. Robert’s latest marriage, to Elizabeth, is happy. His son, Jonah, has turned his life around and is once again succeeding in college. He is named Sag Harbor’s Man of the Year. But then Jonah’s struggling college roommate, Nick, takes up residence in Robert’s guest house for the summer.

Robert slowly begins to believes his wife and Nick are having an affair. His response begins with insignificant lies that soon spiral out of control.

Told in first person by Robert, Jonah and Elizabeth alternately, Man of the Year is an addicting tale. It is an engaging tale of paranoia but just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. If you like domestic psychological thrillers, this is a good example of the genre. 4 stars!

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

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

Girl without Skin
June 18th, 2019 by diane92345

Girl Without Skin is a graphically violent tale of murder and sexual abuse set in the capital of Greenland.

Danish reporter Matthew Cave tries to escape the memory of the car crash that killed his wife and unborn daughter by moving to Greenland. As a journalist, he is assigned to report on a Viking mummy found in a nearby ice crevice. The mummy is left in the remote location overnight with a police guard. When Matthew returns in the morning with his photographer and the police, the mummy is gone. In addition, the policeman has been cut open from chin to groin and his organs taken from the scene.

Matthew’s editor suggests there was a similar crime in 1973. After some research, Matthew discovers that four Inuit men were cut open, flayed and their intestines dumped next to their bodies. Immediately before their murders, two of the men’s daughters went missing and were never found.

Girl Without Skin is a blood-tingling trip to icy Greenland amid the clashing cultures of its Danish and Inuit residents. The book contains three main characters: Matthew, Malik his photographer, and Tupaarnaq, the recently released convicted murderer of her entire family. All three are fully built characters with believable actions and motivations. The plot is compelling and may result in a substantial loss of sleep. Overall, it’s a masterly novel although I would have preferred more dialogue in the flashback scenes. The use of the diary of the investigating officer to chronicle the earlier crimes forces the author to rely too often on description rather than observation to tell the tale. The harrowing conclusion almost makes up for this flaw with an astonishing twist that I didn’t foresee at all. 4 stars!

Warning, this book is not for all readers. There are many explicit scenes of rape. The murder methods are described in such detail that the book may be distressing for some readers. The killing of a seal is so disturbingly depicted that it may make some readers instant vegetarians. Seriously, this book is on a different level from most thrillers and its imagery stays with the reader well past the end of the book. It is definitely not a good choice for underage readers.

Thanks to Text Publishing and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Kingdom of Lies
June 17th, 2019 by diane92345

Kingdom of Lies is an eye-opening look into the shadowy world of cyber hacking. However, much of the story has already been told by other media.

Individual stories of hacking make for compelling reading. The stories are told from both the criminal and victim’s point-of-view. However, they never lead into a real conclusion. Also, while labeled as true stories, so many details were changed that is impossible to know what is true and what is fiction.

I was so excited to read this book. I love reading about both black and white hat hackers. Perhaps that is the reason this book didn’t work for me. This book didn’t go into enough detail for me. Each of the stories could have been expanded into their own full-blown books with beginnings, middles, and endings. Instead the stories within Kingdom of Lies, and even the entire book, just stopped with no conclusions drawn.

I realize the author is a journalist and so used to the inverted pyramid of most important to least important fact. However, none of the stories were related to some overall lesson or plot point. I read a lot of non-fiction and that is the point of most of it. Kingdom of Lies is just a slice of individual or company’s life. Also, there are many television shows and online articles that would be a better way to get the same information that can be gleaned from this book. Overall, I can’t give Kingdom of Lies more than 2.5 stars.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for granting my wish for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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