Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

Book Description:

Published: May 31, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

Review –

Before The Fall  starts off with a private plane being prepared to transport a TV executive, his wife and their two children; a couple who are friends of theirs; an artist the wife has befriended; the crew of the plane, and a private bodyguard employed by the TV executive. They are all flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York. It is a summer night and other than some mild fog, conditions for flying are good. Yet sixteen minutes after takeoff the plane plunges into the sea.

The rest of the book concerns how and why the plane crashed. Various theories are possible and Hawley takes us back into the past to see how and why these suppositions could be right. He holds the reveal of what actually happened to the very end of the book. But until those final moments it is anybody’s guess.

Going back and forth to the past and relating detailed back stories on each character bogged things down but I still gave the book FIVE STARS because even through the bog I couldn’t help myself and kept on listening.

There are numerous theories as to what or who caused the plane to crash. For awhile, Scott, was himself a suspect. It is not until the end that we find out who is behind the crash and it was so very plausible that I am very glad that I haven’t flown in years and now I don’t ever plan to do so!

Five Stars *****

 

 

 

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Book Description:

Published: September 29, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review –

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You need to know that Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows is related to her Grisha trilogy, but you can read this first book of the related series without reading the trilogy first.(I did NOT read the Grisha trilogy) The content is consistently mature and a better fit for more mature teen readers and adults.  Characters are complex, flawed, and sometimes responsible for despicable acts, such as plucking out a man’s eye in one gruesome scene. More bloodshed includes arena fighting in prison where a man is mauled to death and wolves are killed, a gang shooting where a boy is left for dead, a knife wound that nearly kills a main character, and more. Backstories of the main characters can be jarring, such as a recalled childhood scene of a character being buried in corpses on a barge, imprisonment and near-starvation, and characters being beaten and forced to work in brothels. No details are given about life in the brothels, but there’s some kissing and nakedness in other scenes.Readers will learn the backstories of these characters as the novel progresses, each bringing up themes of survival and overcoming loss. Though greed and revenge seem to motivate characters on the surface, there’s also an underlying desire for connection.

I’ve read reviews that raved about this book but for me it was a three and a half to four star book. It was entertaining and the narrators, and there were several, did a great job. I will read the next in the series, Crooked Kingdom, but only because I hate not finishing a series, not because I can’t wait.

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Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

Book Description:

Published: February 23, 2016

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in  Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets

Review –

Joe Goldberg is a man you definitely don’t want to add to your list of friends because he may decide he wants to kill you.

In this, the second in the YOU series, Joe has met Amy and fallen head over heals for her and he thinks she feels the same way until one day wakes up and discovers that she has left him and stolen first editions from a book store he runs. She goes to Hollywood to become an actress and Joe, obsessed as ever, follows her with a plan to kill her.

Once there he realizes it will be harder to find Amy than he though so while living his new life in California he meets and “falls in love” with Love, the daughter of a wealthy grocery store chain owning family. He determines that he wants to seriously spend the rest of his life with love and eliminates anyone who gets in his way and hides the bodies, hopefully where they won’t be found. BUT, will Joe be able to elude the authorities and stay a free man or will he trip up and get caught?

You’ll have to read the book to find out.  It is dark and funny at the same time and I can’t wait for the next installment because surely there will be a #3, right, Ms. Kepnes??????

Fantastic read!

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Deadline by Sandra Brown

Book Description:

Published: September 24, 2013

Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he’s privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson’s career–one in which he has a vested interest.

Soon, Dawson is covering the disappearance and presumed murder of former Marine Jeremy Wesson, the biological son of the pair of terrorists who remain on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. As Dawson delves into the story, he finds himself developing feelings for Wesson’s ex-wife, Amelia, and her two young sons. But when Amelia’s nanny turns up dead, the case takes a stunning new turn, with Dawson himself becoming a suspect. Haunted by his own demons, Dawson takes up the chase for the notorious outlaws. . .and the secret, startling truth about himself.

Review –

I found it very hard to become invested in this book because after the prologue it was very slow in most parts and it bogged down. It does have two serious twists that I did not see coming and that made up for the slowness but on the whole I rated it three out of five stars. I listened to it driving back and forth to another town about 100 miles away for several days in a row,(husband had surgery)so I was stuck listening or I would have pulled my hair out.

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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #4) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: January 20, 2009

It is the height of summer, and Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are celebrating their wedding anniversary at Manoir Bellechasse, an isolated, luxurious inn not far from the village of Three Pines. But they’re not alone. The Finney family — rich, cultured, and respectable — has also arrived for a celebration of their own.


The beautiful Manoir Bellechasse might be surrounded by nature, but there is something unnatural looming. As the heat rises and the humidity closes in, some surprising guests turn up at the family reunion, and a terrible summer storm leaves behind a dead body. It is up to Chief Inspector Gamache to unearth secrets long buried and hatreds hidden behind polite smiles. The chase takes him to Three Pines, into the dark corners of his own life, and finally to a harrowing climax.

Review –

Another great installment of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and again I had the audio version, thankfully, because there was a lot more French used in this story line.

We find out the back story of Peter Morrow, a beloved villager that makes his home in Three Pines and we can see why he is the way he is. His parents and siblings have to be the most dysfunctional people I have ever come across. We also learn more about the Chief Inspector and his father, who was reportedly a coward in the war (not true) but it shows the hurts that comes when people judge you and yours without knowing the whole story.

There is a strange child named Bean in the story and we never find out if “it”  is a boy or a girl, I thought that strange, but it doesn’t affect the story one way or the other. 

There is a murder of one the Morrow Family Reunion members and the who and how are a complete surprise.

I love this series and  it makes a very pleasant read or listen when the real world and it’s problems seem too dark.

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Bared To You (Crossfire #1) by Sylvia Day

Book Description:

Published: February 14, 2014

From #1″ New York Times “bestselling author Sylvia Day comes the provocative masterstroke of abandon and obsession that redefined the meaning of desire, and became a global phenomenon…
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…
He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…
Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.
The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Review –

This is another new series that I’ve started and it’s called Crossfire. 

It’s concerns Gideon Cross (owner of many things, one of which is the Crossfire Building. There he meets Ava and falls head over heels into a obsessive desire to control her. Ava can’t believe that a man like Gideon Cross would fall for her. You can read between the lines that this relationship is truly doomed from the beginning.  Ava was sexually abused by her step-brother for years and now lives with a gay model, whom she met in rehab/therapy.  She also has a serious jealous streak and low self-esteem issues. Gideon has many demons but we don’t know the story behind his wild dreams and his trying to rape Ava  while he was asleep and dreaming. He is going to counseling but it’s too early to see it’s going to help. At the end of the book it is agreed that they are working through their problems and will continue to try to make their relationship work.

 I had the audio version and it was HOT.    I love this book  and am now hunting for the second in the series.

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