The Reunion by Samatha Hayes

Book Description:

Published: February 9, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

They were all there the day your sister went missing…Who is lying? Who is next?

Then–In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom. Eleanor never came back.

Now–The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…

Review –

Have you noticed that there seems to be an abundance of children going missing crime/psychological thrillers on the market at the moment, and wasn’t convinced that author would be able to put an original spin on a well used subject, but somehow she does.

The book begins with the disappearance of teenager Eleanor, while spending the day at the beach with her brother, sister and their friends. Fast forward twenty one years and her family are still no closer to knowing what happened to her all those years ago. Dad, Patrick is now suffering from Alzheimers, and daughter Claire decides that a reunion of friends and family could help her dad with his memory issues. As the group of friends are reunited they find themselves plunged into a further nightmare as shocking secrets are slowly revealed.

If I’m honest I thought the first half of the book was very slow, the time is spent introducing an array of characters and building on the mystery and suspense surrounding Eleanor’s disappearance. None of the characters were extremely likable, but that said it did not stop me enjoying this book. The author manages to ramp up the tension by creating characters that are almost impossible to trust.

The Reunion has some great twists and misleading clues to make this an intense and a heart pounding  read. If I had anything negative to say it would be that a few things were left unanswered by the time I reached the end, but never the less it still made for an intriguing read and I gave it five stars!

 

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

Review –

FIVE STARS !!!!!!

Just finished listening to this book and my heart is pounding so hard I feel like it’s going to come through my chest.

The author’s story is told from two perspectives, neither of which we are sure is reliable. There’s Adele, the beautiful, fragile wife of psychiatrist David. She loves her husband – “I will never fall out of love with him. I won’t give that up. I can’t” – and hopes their fresh start in London will mend both the cracks in their marriage and a past about which we get only hints. Then there’s Louise, a single mother who only discovers that the man she meets and kisses in a bar, David, is going to be her new boss when he’s given a tour of her workplace, along with his wife.

Louise is easier to warm to: friendly, kind, hideously embarrassed by her actions but still drawn to David. But she has her own secrets – what are the origins of the night terrors that send her wandering through her home? And why is she getting to know both David and Adele without explaining what she’s doing to both parties? “I don’t want it to stop. That’s the honest, unpleasant truth. I want to have my cake and eat it.” She’s not as straightforward as she seems.

Adele, meanwhile, is more intriguing with every chapter, as her past is slowly revealed, and glimpses of the truth at the heart of her marriage are given (at one point, David is described, brilliantly, as “a walking Agatha fucking Christie plot”). “The past is as ephemeral as the future – it’s all perspective and smoke and mirrors. You can’t pin it down, can you?… The truth is different to different people,” muses Adele.

“Questions, questions, questions,” ponders Louise. “It seems that ever since David and Adele came into my life I’ve been filled with questions. They’re like weeds in water. Every time I think I can swim away another one tangles around my legs to drag me back down.”

When the first of the author’s  twists is revealed, it is fantastically creepy, if not entirely unexpected. The second twist turns the creepy factor up to eleven and is a total wrong.. #WTFthatending indeed – the sort that makes you go back to the beginning to check if it all pans out. And it does.

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

You HAVE to put this book on your TBR list.

 

From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford #1) by Ruth Rundell

Book Description:

Published: June 26, 2007

Dazzling psychological suspense. Razor-sharp dialogue. Plots that catch and hold like a noose. These are the hallmarks of crime legend Ruth Rendell, “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world” (Time magazine). From Doon with Death, now in a striking new paperback edition, is her classic debut novel — and the book that introduced one of the most popular sleuths of the twentieth century.

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead, brutally strangled, her body abandoned in the nearby woods.

Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, feels baffled — until he discovers Margaret’s dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume breathlessly inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon. As Wexford delves deeper into both Mrs. Parsons’ past and the wary community circling round her memory like wolves, the case builds with relentless momentum to a surprise finale as clever as it is blindsiding.

Review –

This is the first book in the Inspector Wexford Series by Ruth Rendell and the second I’ve listened to, the other being Not in the Flesh, number twenty-one in the series.

While the story line was good and the characters interesting, Inspector Wexford, seemed flat and just so-so and because of this I found myself wanting  the book to hurry up and end. If the Inspector couldn’t get excited about what was going on around him, why should I?

I’ve decided not to read any other books in this series.  There are just too many GREAT books waiting on my TBR list.

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Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Book Description:

Published: August 19, 2014

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

The last book I read by author, Sandra Brown, was in 2012 and I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to pick up another.

I found this one on Overdrive, which is a virtual library membership that is free. I placed it on hold and when it became available it came into my que.

The blurb doesn’t do the plot justice and is a bit misleading.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau is rescued by a big, tall, good-looking(in a dangerous way)man who refuses to tell her his name. Events occur that lead her to believe that he may be responsible for her head injury and unconsciousness when he found her on a secluded running trail. The weather turns bad and he is prevented from taking her back to town so for four days she is his “guest”  in his cabin, although sometimes she feels like his captive. Her marriage is not in a good place and she feels drawn to this dangerous man with the gravelly voice and the night before he is able to drive her back to town they have mind-blowing sex.

The police who have been leading the search for her believe that her husband, who they discovered is having an affair with her business partner and best friend, is guilty of murdering her but haven’t found concrete evidence to prove it.

There are many  twists and turns and we learn that things are not as they seem on all fronts and I won’t give away anything by saying that the feelings generated by the chemistry of the man, later named as Hayes, and Emory are akin to a roller coaster. One minute they are arguing  and being distance and the next there is more hot sex. Ninety-nine percent of the sex is implied and I think that made the book more erotic than if the author had laid everything out. This was an audio book and the narrator, Jonathan Davis, did a marvelous job and gave Hayes a sexy,hot, gravelly voice that I would listen to even if he were reading a phone book!

The identity of the person responsible for knocking Emory unconscious came as a total surprise to me and it made the ending even better.

This is a wonderful who-dun-it with sexual undertones and I highly recommend it.

 

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The Sect by Courtney Lane

Book Description:

Published: December 11, 2014

WARNING: This book contains pretty much every dark theme there is. Not recommended for those with any triggers or sensitivities to violence, dubious and/or absent consent, and deviant sexual acts.*****This is NOT a romance and it is not a story of “true love”.

Keaton Mara ran away from a life that had become a nightmare to live on the streets. While the location she now calls home is a dangerous place, she is protected by an unlikely friendship.

The streets provided her with the education she could’ve never earned from the prestigious university she attended. Regrettably, the term ‘educated fool’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Due to meeting a man with whom she shares a captivating chemistry with, her judgment is clouded, resulting in a fateful decision.

The consequence of trusting the prepossessing stranger results in her being stolen away to a place unknown. Her deceptive new surroundings are just as beautiful as the people who reside there. She discovers that it’s a place where the culture of sex without limits or morals is their religion.

Keaton quickly begins to realize that the beautiful scenery serves to hide a very dark truth. The seductive and enigmatic man–who lured her there–desires to save her soul. His intentions are sinister, because saving her soul is synonymous with breaking her.

Because Keaton believes her soul was brutally stolen from her many years ago, she thinks he can’t save (or destroy) something she no longer has.She…was…wrong.

Review –
First of all, I have to say that I have read other books with much darker themes than this one, but that it not to say that this one might trigger something in some people.
This is a story of a girl who left home to get away from a bad situation and hid in plain sight on the street, with a disguise and the help of an ex-military man, Jeff, who also called the streets home.
One day she is taken, although she went willingly, compound out in the middle of no-where resembling a religious compound. There she is groomed as a sex slave and her defiance gets her punished severely several times. One of the men that beats her send her mixed signals, like one days he’s all friendly and the next beats her to near death. Regardless, she has feelings for this man.
Eventually the compound is raided and several are killed but the man Keaton has come to rely on, gets away,
There are many twist and turns and the ending is not what’s expected so if you like a good mystery with a LOT of explicit sex thrown in you should try it.
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314 by A. R. Wise

17204692Book Description:

Publication Date:December 24, 2012
Alma Harper has been trying to forget what happened in Widowsfield 16 years ago. She has a good life as a music teacher now, and might rekindle her relationship with her one true love. However, the number 314 haunts her, and threatens to bring her back to the day that her brother disappeared. When a reporter shows up, just days before March 14th, Alma realizes that her past is coming back to haunt her. What happened on March 14th, at 3:14, 16 years ago? No one but The Skeleton Man can remember.
Review –
This was an excellent “keep you on the edge of your chair” book and I love it when the ending surprises me. The author did an awesome job keeping me hooked and wanting more. I will be adding him to my “authors to read” list.