Home (Myron Bolitar #11) by Harlan Coben

Book Description:

Published: September 20, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?

Harlan Coben delivers a thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Review –

There is something very special about reuniting with a cast of characters you haven’t read about for some time. Myron Bolitar and Windsor Horne Lockwood III, (Win) are two of my favourite characters in all of fiction,(next to Harry Bosch) and we haven’t seen them (besides brief appearances in Coben’s YA Mickey Bolitar trilogy) since 2011’s Live Wire. That is a very long time to wait.

Home brings these characters back, alongside the classic cast: Esperanza; Big Cyndi, Myron’s parents. Heck, even the kids wh0 starred in Coben’s YA series play a vital role in proceedings, and it’s great to be reunited with Mickey, Ema and Spoon. Their presence adds a cool continuity to things. So, sure; this book is for the fans. The readers, like me, who clamour each and every year for a new Myron novel. But there’s plenty here for “non-Myron” fans to enjoy. If indeed there even are such people out there.

There’s a big mystery here, and there are surprising twists (unleashed rather late in proceedings, admittedly, but no less effectively than in other novels) but it’s the emotion of the characters that really lifts Home above the rank and file. The heart and soul of this novel are the twin families coping with the loss of a child, and the extremes parents go to in order to protect them.

Ultimately, it’s just great to be back with Myron and the gang. The novel’s ending is possibly conclusive – – with a real lump-in-the-throat moment –(with 28 minutes left tears formed in my eyes and at 19 minutes left they started to fall) – so who knows when we’ll see these characters again? In many respects, I wish I’d taken my time with the novel and truly savoured it. Instead, I smashed through it in almost one sitting. That’s the true evidence of Coben’s class: his books are so gripping, you can’t put them down or turn them off.

Five stars *****

 

Cell 8 (Grens & Sundkvist #3) by Anders Rosalind and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description :

Published: January 3, 2012

Format: Audio

Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens of THREE SECONDS returns in a riveting mystery that centers on perhaps the most controversial subject in the modern criminal justice system: the death penalty.
In Ohio, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. The victim’s father hungers for revenge, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.

Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout harassing a woman, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz for aggravated assault, but when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that spans from Sweden to the United States and reveals a startling connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases.

Featuring a multilayered plot with a killer twist, CELL 8 takes readers on a gripping, page-turning journey that explores the devastating repercussions of the death penalty as well as the fallout from the conflicting desires for public justice and private retribution.

Review –

This was a first time listen to this author’s work and I loved it. I will definitely  be trying to find the others in the series.

This is a heart-wrenching story of a man named John who was seventeen when he was convicted of murdering his sixteen year old girlfriend although he claims he didn’t do it.  Several years go by and now  he sits waiting for his day to be executed.

One of the main prison guards feels compassion for the young man and believes in his innocence and so with several others they fake the man’s death (really cool the way they did it) and send him on his way to Sweden with a fake identify. There he lives peacefully, marrying and having a son, until one night on his job he kicks a man in the face and almost kills him. He is arrested and little by little they find out that he is none other than a convict from Ohio who everyone thought was dead. 

This is where things become political and finally he is extradited to the United States and put to death. THEN there is a GIANT surprise twist and we find out the identity of the real killer and what was put into motion all those years ago come to fruition. 

Fantastic book.

Five stars *****

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Separation Games (The Games Duet#2) by C.D. Reiss

Book Description:

Published: January 3, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

These are the unbreakable rules in the game.
Stay collected. Compartmentalize. Think your next move through. Never let your heart dictate your tactics.

The heart is impulsive.
The heart makes bad decisions.
The heart doesn’t see the long game.

Because the heart may have decided to get Adam back, but when the endgame comes, the heart’s going to be the first thing to break.

Review –

This book takes up where the other left off.

Adam  has discovered that by breaking Diana sexually and making her submit to him, he now doesn’t love her in the same way. He has never been able to love a submissive.

The tables have turned and now Diana is the one trying to put their marriage back together and Adam is the one walking away.

This installment is mostly told from Diana’s point of view. I felt for her on so many levels, her desire to get back what was once hers and now out of her reach. I felt her pain, but I also felt how strong she was and how determined she was to put it all on the line in order to finish the game she started. Only Adam and his sadistic dominance could satisfy her and she HAS to get him back.

Towards the end of the book we get to see things from Adam’s POV and see what was hiding in his heart and thoughts and once again he held his position of perfection. A man who is out to right his wrongs once and for all no matter the costs. I simply adore EVERYTHING about him.

Adam tries to use sex to keep Diana at arm’s length while Diana uses sex to communicate where her words fail. The sex (and there’s a lot of it) is electric, inventive and off the charts HOT, and you will  never look at LEGOS the same way again.

The end of Adam and Diana’s journey is almost like a drop after sub space as you process everything. Aftercare is a must!

And I can’t explain with enough words how great this was and how happy the development through the whole book made me and those few last chapters in particular * SWOON*

Five Stars *****

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The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 14, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

Review –

There is nobody, and I do mean nobody, who writes the kind of books Karin Slaughter does. Her novels are heavily plotted with twists and turns we never expect and never predict. She creates characters readers love to love, and love to hate. She writes about real people, not some glossy type of imagined characters. With her brand of talent she makes the reader feel enriched after having finished her stories. Slaughter’s latest novel,The Kept Woman,  is saturated with all of these elements which makes it one of her most engrossing thrillers yet.

I’ve read all of the Will Trent series(this is number eight) so I know that background and all the characters very well, but the author does give a hint of background for the characters that it also could be read as a standalone.

The story line is full of high tension, nerve-wracking situations, relentless investigations and an ending you don’t anticipate. For these and other reasons you really need to check out this book. You will definitely not regret it.

I always try to read a Karin Slaughter novel in January and so I’m extremely glad I slipped this one in before the end of the month. Now, I can’t wait for the next book !

 

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The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind—or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her… or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

Review –

I don’t have any personal experience with bipolar disorder, so I can’t say whether or not Crawford does a fair job of presenting what a person who suffers from it is feeling. She does spend a lot of time exploring Dana’s mental illness, however. Dana reflects about her first manic episode, when she was in college. She felt invincible, forgoing sleep and food, convinced she had tuned in to some larger power. When her boyfriend found her perched on top of their building, convinced she could fly, she was admitted to Bellevue.

Dana is aware of her illness and knows that her judgement will be skewed. She can feel herself getting worse and knows she only has a short time before she needs to get help to regulate. But the mania also makes her feel sharper and smarter, and she’s desperate to find Celia’s killer–even if it’s her–before that evaporates.

Dana was the last person to see Celia alive, or so she thinks and what Celia told her and showed her made her mad enough to kill her, but did she?

The grainy picture Celia showed her from her phone was of Peter and his “tart”, who Dana thought  was his secretary, but pulled that out when she met her.  So, who was he now seeing?

Dana discovers that Peter had an affair with Celia, dumped her and now had another woman he was bedding. Did Peter kill her to keep her from telling Dana, not knowing she already had?

So many questions and Dana has no answers but she knows she is a prime suspect and she must prove her innocence before she has a mental break.

Sadly, the break comes first.

Adding balance, half the text is told from the point of view of Jack Moss, the detective assigned to Celia’s case. We get to view Dana’s world from an outsider looking in, and it kept the novel from feeling too dreamy or detached.

Detective Jack Moss’s second marriage has ended and he has a soft spot for Dana because he saw her twenty years ago when she was first admitted to Bellevue. He is a kind man, with a son from a first marriage who he doesn’t really know and now he is a new grandfather. I liked his character very much.

The killer was a surprise to me and I love that fact and I thought the ending was perfect.

If you like suspenseful thriller be sure and pick up this one or add it to your TBR list.

Five stars !

*I love the name of this book and you find out what exactly it means early on.(another reason to read it)

 


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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: August 2, 2016

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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First of all, I want to say that I gave this book five stars ***** and it deserved more.

It got a LOT of hype and some readers didn’t like it and some loved it. I’m in the latter category. It deals with a subject whose depth you can not comprehend unless you are a part of it. Thank my lucky stars, I was not ever, nor do I think I will ever be a part of it. 

I would love to tell you everything about this book but I can’t because it would give too much away and I want you to read it or listen to it. I want everyone to read or listen to it. Men and women.

This book broke my heart because I was rooting for the man I thought was “perfect”, but I guess if something looks perfect it’s too good to be true. Love can hurt and love can heal but one person can’t do both.

The blurb makes it sound like a “love triangle” is involved but it’s not. That is not the point, or the focus. Whatever it is you’re thinking this book is, just trust me — it’s so much bigger than that. Seriously, trust Colleen. I did.

This book is now at my top favorite books of the year. I was unable to stop listening for long periods of time and other times I HAD  to stop listening. My heart couldn’t take it and I needed more Kleenex. I know that this is one of those profoundly beautiful and unforgettable stories that will stay with me for a long time.

I highly recommend it to everyone!

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Book Description:

Published: February 2, 2016

 

 

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff—the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Review – 

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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Although this book is technically a young adult book ( and I highly recommend it to ALL young adults because they must know what can happen when the person in charge of a country has no respect for human life – they see things like this on television and movies but most of them don’t care enough to learn the truth behind he images) I, as an adult, found it haunting, captivating, heart wrenching and hard to believe. 

I don’t want to give too much away, but all of the main characters in the book do not survive and it broke my heart . I had the audio version and had to turn it off in some places while driving because of the tears forming in my eyes.

It is the best historical fiction that I had read or listened to in a very long time and although the characters were not real  people, I’m fairly certain that out of the ten thousand  people crammed onto the evacuation ship there were stories just like the ones in this book. 

The sinking of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff is the single greatest maritime disaster in history yet, to many, the story remains unknown .It is a poignant, heart-breaking and should be on everyone’s TBR list.

For more information on  Operation Hannibal and this disaster check out the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Wilhelm_Gustloff

^Side Note:

I have not read Between Shades of Gray, by this author, mentioned in the blurb above, but I intend to very soon.

Five stars *****

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What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Book Description:

Published: December 31, 2012

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at a local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades old journal, and a window into her own past.

Clara Cartwright, eighteen years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara’s father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care—and Clara is committed to the public asylum.

Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara’s story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother’s violent act? Piecing together Clara’s fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices—with shocking and unexpected results.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

This story reminded me of the movie THE SNAKE PIT, based on Mary Jane offers-headphones-jpgmaxheight138maxwidth207Ward’s 1946 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, it tells the story of a woman who finds herself in an insane asylum and cannot remember how she got there.This story was riveting, chilling, and in parts very disturbing. It’s hard to believe that something like this could happen and probably did. Not only was she held against her will, but when her boyfriend found her and tried to rescue her, he was admitted as a crazy person by the administrator, and is later killed. She was pregnant at the time she was first committed and had the baby and it was taken away from her after a few weeks.

Clara, at first was sent to a “nice” home for “nervous invalids” but after the crash of 1929 her father couldn’t afford the payments so she was transferred to a pubic asylum.  The things she suffered there were hard to listen to and brought tears of anger and sadness to my eyes.. Not only was she held against her will, but when her boyfriend found her and tried to rescue her, he was admitted as a crazy person by the administrator, and is later killed. She was pregnant at the time she was first committed and had the baby and it was taken away from her after a few weeks. She was put in at the age of 19 and was imprisoned (because that’s what it was) for 60 years.

Only because of Izzy’s involvement in a museum project did Clara’s fate come to light and an ending that I won’t share here because you need to read this book for yourself. I will tell you that there is a HEA.

Amazing book!!!!!

Five stars *****

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The Lake House by Kate Morton

Book Description:

Published: October 20, 2015

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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This was a very long audio book, over twenty-one hours, but the narrators did a magnificent job of telling the story that the hours flew by.

I was completely caught up in this epic tale of the Edevane family and a suspected kidnapping, guilt, young love, and secrets kept for decades.

The story bounces back and forth primarily between 1933, the year Theo, an eleven month baby, disappears and 2003, when Sadie Sparrow, a disgraced police officer, takes on the Edevane cold case. We do learn of the history of the Edevane family and their beloved estate, Loeanneth, in the Cornish countryside, through the eyes of the grandparents of the three Edevane girls, Deborah, Alice and Clemmie. All is not as it appears to be and secrets are kept between the sisters for several decades, finally coming to light to reveal the piece needed for Sadie to solve the “crime”. Totally did not see the twist coming. Fantastic writing!

Love this book and look forward to listening or reading more by this author.

Five stars *****

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First Submission (Ranger Heat #1) by Caitlyn Lynch

Book Description:

Published: February 15,2016

Angry at her cheating boyfriend, Selina revisits an old haunt looking for distraction. She might have found a little more than she bargained for in the form of Brody, but the attraction between them is too sizzling hot to be denied!

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

The above is a very short concise blurb which, to me, doesn’t do this book justice.

Selina finds a receipt in her boyfriends jeans showing drinks at an upscale hotel, comforts him, and when he doesn’t deny the allegation, she leaves and ends up at a club she used to frequent BM (before Mark).

She dances, drinks a couple of beers and is hit upon by men, all of whom she rejects. Then along comes Brody and she can tell right away he’s different, by the way he’s dressed and his mannerism, she figures military. They kiss and eventually end up in a back room and have rough  hot sex. Brody senses Selina liked it rough and was very submissive. He’s only in this city tis morning so he asks her to come back to his hotel and she does. He assumes that she IS a submissive and he is a Dom so he’s anxious for the night to begin when he discovers she doesn’t realize she is a submissive so with her approval sets out to teach her the basics and in the morning Selina wakes up alone in the bed with a note that says “Look me up if you are ever in Savannah” and she thinks to herself “I wonder how far it is to Georgia?”  END

OMG!!! There is no way that I’m not reading the next one in the series. Brody is very hot, sinfully hot and Selina realizes that she’s been missing something in her relationship with Mark and I know she is going to end up in Georgia sooner than late.

Fast read, very steamy explicit sex scenes, not love scenes, just sex and I can see a great story line building into the second book. Can’t wait to start it.

Five stars *****

                               

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