Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake #3) by Rachel Caine

Book Description:

Published: April 23, 2019

Format: Audio/Audible

She can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

Review –

Wolfhunter River is Rachel Caine’s third book in her Stillhouse Lake series (after Stillhouse Lake and Killman .

Gwen Proctor is an amazing character—flawed, brave, vulnerable, fierce, and utterly protective of her children. I found the first two books in this series absolutely spectacular, tautly plotted and full of action and suspense, and they provided a disturbing view into the heart of evil and how it can spread.

I found that this book took a little longer to build up steam, and once it did, there was so much going on and so many things were tangled together that the plot even got a little muddled. It felt like in trying to build on the intensity of the first two books, the author thought she had to triple the suspense. Fortunately, there is still a lot of character development, and we learn more about Sam’s life before he and Gwen met.

This book might be more of a standalone than the first two books were, but I’d still recommend you start reading the series from the beginning. Caine sure does love to keep you guessing about how the plot will unfold! I’m not sure if she intends to keep writing about Gwen, but I hope she does, because she’s definitely full of possibilities.

If you’re a fan of creepy, well-written, suspenseful thrillers, I’d encourage you to pick up this series, starting with Stillhouse Lake. You may find yourself wondering just how you’d react if faced with the same situations Gwen was, and whether you’d be a total badass like she is.

 

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The Ruins by Scott B. Smith

Book Description:

Published: August 1, 2007

Format: Audio

Craving an adventure to wake them from their lethargic Mexican holiday before they return home, four friends set off in search of one of their own who has travelled to the interior to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins.
After a long journey into the jungle, the group come across a partly camouflaged trail and a captivating hillside covered with red flowers. Lured by these, the group move closer until they happen across a gun-toting Mayan horseman who orders them away. In the midst of the confrontation, one of the group steps inadvertently backwards into the flowering vine. And at that moment their world changes for ever…

Review –

This is the second time I have listened to this book but since I knew the story it didn’t shock me as much. It is creepy, suspenseful, and terrifying. You know the minute the vines have been crossed the outcome will be very bad and very bad doesn’t begin to describe the end of the story.

Our neighbor has a chain link fence and we have a wooden one and some sort of VINE is growing through his fence and through the slats of ours and every time I rip them down they grow right back. That bought this book to mind so I decided to listen to it again.

If you haven’t read or listen to this you might want to give it a try.  There is a movie but I didn’t even bother to watch it when it came out in 2008 (it so doe not stick to the book)

Five stars.

 

 

 

 

The Night Bird (Frost Easton #1) by Brian Freeman

Book Description:

Published: February 1, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

Review –

Just finished this book and loved it. This is a “first read” of this author and I WILL be reading more.

It’s a murder mystery involving a serial killer targeting patients of a psychiatrist who helps people overcome bad memories by totally erasing them. So, would you let someone mess with your head to get rid of a horribly bad memory? I don’t have any memories that horrible so I say “No”, but I can see where it might be a good thing for those with debilitating memories. 

Frankie Stein (hokey name, but in this storyline it works) is the psychiatrist and several of her patients are being reprogrammed to kill themselves or others by someone who hates her because she let a guilty man go free. 

She is married but the marriage is slowly falling apart and she has a hateful sister. I felt bad for her and hope that she may reappear in future books with a brighter story.

The character of Frost Easton is a new favorite of mine because of his human-ness. He’s kind, caring and has a brother who is a chef but owns a food truck and a sister who was murdered. He rescued a cat when it’s owner died and hence inherited the house of said cat. He can live there for as long as the cat is alive. He’s a police homicide detective, who in the book, works mostly alone, rarely calling for back-up unless it’s a dire situation. This to me was the most unrealistic part of the book, because in real life that just doesn’t happen.

The story is fast-moving, action packed and filled with surprises.  It was a great read and I look forward to the next installment of the Frost Easton series.

 

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Book Description

August 1, 2014

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

Review –

Everyone has been talking about this book being THE READ OF THE SUMMER and after finishing it, I can see why.  

I had the audio version and there were four narrators, each doing a magnificent job. The story is told in a BEFORE and AFTER period of the kidnapping and in the voices of Eve, James, Colin, Mia and Detective Hoffman which makes it seem as if you are listening to a play. The characters are all multi-faceted and not what they seem on the exterior. The author does a superb job tying everything together and supplying a twist at the end that I didn’t I see coming. 

This book will stay with me for a long time and I hope the gossip is true about it being made into a movie.   Can’t wait!!

I rated this book 5 stars *****

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Switchblade by Michael Connelly

18360158Product Description:

Published: January 14, 2014

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch seeks justice for the forgotten in this original
short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael
Connelly

An anonymous tip puts Bosch on a case that has remained
unsolved for decades, the vicious stabbing of a teenage boy whose body was found
in an abandoned Old Hollywood restaurant.

Cold cases are often the
toughest: With no body, no murder scene, and no fingerprints, Bosch nevertheless
gets lucky when DNA evidence from the murder weapon points to a known killer.
But the DA insists that science alone is not enough – he needs the case to be
bulletproof before he’ll take it to court.

Determined to speak for those
who can no longer speak for themselves, Bosch has one chance to wrench a
confession out of a cold-blooded killer, or risk letting him walk free for
good.

In this gripping, never-before-published story by “master of the
crime thriller” (Huffington Post) Michael Connelly, Detective Harry Bosch
quenches his thirst for justice and shows why he is “one of the most popular and
enduring figures in American crime fiction” (Chicago Tribune).

Review –

This is an orginal story by Michael Connelly in E-book and audio form only.  I had the audio version and I was totally let down at the end. I knew it was a short story ( 50 minutes, give or take) but I at least thought that it would END but it left me hanging. This makes me think the author is using it as a vehicle to another full length novel and that’s fine but tell the readers if that is the case.  If not, why not add ten more minutes to the story and give it a final ending?

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At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

32767Product Description:

Published        June 14th 2005    in paperback

Long acknowledged as a master of nightmarish visions, H. P. Lovecraft established the genuineness and dignity of his own pioneering fiction in 1931 with his quintessential work of supernatural horror, At the Mountains of Madness. The deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries — and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization — is a milestone of macabre literature.

Review –

This was the first time that I had ever read anything by H.P. Lovecraft and I was really looking forward to it but I was HORRIBLY disappointed.  The author spent more time describing minutia that getting to heart of the story-monsters from long long ago.  I had the audio version and maybe it was the narrator’s voice that i found unpleasant  but I think it was a combination of that and the boring plot that will make me never pick up any H.P. Lovecraft book.

I wish someone would read this and tell me what they think.

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Rush: The Breathless Trilogy, Book 1 by Maya Banks

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Book Description

Publication Date:February 5, 2013
Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…
When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.
Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.
As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.
Review –
This also was offered as a free audiobook and as you know, I’m a sucker for a free book. This one was most interesting as it is ALMOST identical to FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY except with a bit of softness thrown in. With that said-the story was okay but once you’ve read the FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY series what else is there to say. Enough already.

I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (Half Moon Hollow #2.6) by Molly Harper

19166108Book Description:

 

Audible.com Release Date: December 5, 2013

It’s Christmas in Half-Moon Hollow and newly turned vampire Iris Scanlon-Calix wants to make Gigi’s first visit home from college as normal and special as possible. It’s taken months for Iris to work up the nerve to spend time around her baby sister after her vampire transition, so she enlists help from Jane Jameson and Company to keep her blood-thirst under control and assure Gigi’s safety. Gigi, on the other hand, has problems of her own, including the demise of her relationship with high school sweetheart, Ben, and a looming job interview with Ophelia Lambert, the scariest potential employer in the Hollow. And then there’s the small matter of the handsome, frustrating vampire who keeps appearing in Gigi’s peripheral vision, then disappearing before she can talk to him. Can the Scanlon sisters negotiate romantic problems, vampire politics, and Christmas cookie disasters and enjoy a relatively normal holiday?

Review –

This was offered as a free audiobook or else I wouldn’t  have read/listened to it. 

It was just okay. I enjoyed other books in the series much more.

 

 

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

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Book Description:

 

Published: 2001

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences-and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined. A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.

 

Review –

I make it a practice to listen to this audiobook at least once during the Christmas season.   I love it.  I think we have all felt like doing what Luther Krank attempted to do but we never do.  Cheers to John Grisham on a fantastic holiday charmer.

 

Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Book Description

Publication Date:October 3, 2009
Mark your calendar. It’s the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.
On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.
The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they’ve regretted, the hard choices and amends they’ve had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlmanhas written a novel that speaks to us all.

6558151Review –
 
 I listened to this book for the first time in  January of 2011  and I loved it. It’s about 12 women who get together every Christmas season for 16 years and exchange cookies. It tells of their relationships, their hardships, the deaths they have experienced, the births  they have experienced and the  love they have experienced in the last year.  As a bonus we get 12 Christmas cookie recipes given in detail.  I love to bake so I love the recipes and have tried a few, so  if you like the holidays and Christmas cookies you really should give this one a try.
 
I’ve made this one of my Christmas book traditions.