Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Book Description:

Published: March 5, 2019

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .

Review –

I absolutely love how Peter Swanson writes in your face psychopaths and mentally unstable people who may or may not be reliable. Truly, he’s brilliant at it.

I found the fact that he shined a bright light on these characters and put the crazy front and center so  refreshing. There’s no beating around the bush about who’s not playing with a full deck. And I was totally happy about that.  In fact, I hated when I had to take a break from listening to do something mundane.Then our of nowhere comes a  major plot twist that  left me reeling.Some may see it as a  pure gimmick, but I thought it was genius. 

This is a psychological thriller, but with just a  bit suspenseful. It’s a story of perversion, cruelty, and deceit. The author skillfully uses it all to keep readers off kilter and breathless to the very last page.  

I have loved every Peter Swanson novel I’ve listened to and I can’t wait for his next book. Mr. Swanson, write faster!!

Five stars.

 

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Incandescent (Knights Rebels MC #1) by River Savage

Book Description:

Published: August 9, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

Phoenix ‘Nix’ Knight thought pulling his club out of the illegal shit his Pops got them into was difficult.

Until he meets Kadence.

Kadence Turner has no business lusting over a student’s father, especially the president of the Knights Rebels MC. Nix is crass, obnoxious and dangerously sexy and for some reason, Kadence can’t seem to hate him for it. The bossy biker breaks down her defenses, but unlike the old Kadence, the woman she is today won’t give in without a fight.

The tension is undeniable, the attraction fierce. A man that wants what he wants and a woman that will fight him every step of the way.

Review –

Kadence Turner had a rough relationship three years ago that left her scarred (literally, she was involved in a fire) and hurt and unable to open up to people, but now she is finally taking control of her life again and facing her future as a new single woman. Kadence is not a people’s person and she is shy (although sassy and witty too) and would rather stay in and read a book than go out to bars.

But this all changes when she meets Nix. Phoenix Knight is the President of the Knights Rebels MC and father of Zayden, one of Kadence’s students. When the kid gets in trouble and Miss Turner organizes a reunion with the parents of the two kids who were part of the fight Nix comes in the room all scary and hot and Kadence can’t help but feel interested in him.

What starts as a fun chase and a one-night stand ends up to become so much more, because Nix is capable of making her feel alive again and not ashamed of anything that has happened to her in the past. She is to him, the strongest woman he knows.

But of course, things couldn’t be so easy. In the middle of the love story we have to deal with not only one, but two crazy exes, although luckily only one of them is dangerous, the other is just a bitch and a terrible mother. I don’t want to spoil the end so I’m just going to say that Kadence’s life is in danger a couple of times, but everything turns out alright.

If you aren’t into seriously hot sex scenes with glorious dirty banter, then you should find yourself another book. But, if that lights your fire, grab a copy and clear your schedule!

 

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Book Description:

Published: February 2, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blue blood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.

Review –

This is a historical novel set in London and Malta during the second world war. The story is, Cleave discloses in an author’s note, inspired by the lives of his grandparents: his maternal grandfather served in Malta, and his paternal grandmother drove ambulances during the blitz. But below the surface of this novel, the author explores the ways that external events beyond the individual’s control influence the private lives of the characters, with either devastating or transformative consequences.

Generally, I’m not a fan of novels about war or set in periods of war, but once I started this one I was hard pressed to hit the pause button.  The characters were diverse, complex, but a bit flat. I wish the author would have spent more time fleshing them out, especially Tom and Hilda.

With Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Cleave cements his reputation as a skillful storyteller, and a sensitive chronicler of the interplay between the political and the personal. As one character observes: “Who knows what takes more courage – to die in battle, or to live in vain? It cuts all of us in two, I suppose.”

I gave it four out of five stars.

Dolan’s Cadillac and Other Stories by Stephen King

Product Description

Stephen King’s unparalleled imagination is in full force in this collection of four unabridged short stories originally found in the classic, Nightmares & Dreamscapes. An all-star cast of readers bring to life these timeless stories from the darkest places, including the tale Dolan’s Cadillac: soon to be a feature film starring Christian Slater, Wes Bentley, and Emmanuelle Vaugier.A widowed husband spends seven years plotting revenge for his wife’s murder in Dolan’s Cadillac. A school teacher discovers her students are not what they seem in Suffer the Little Children. In Crouch End, a woman fears that supernatural events may have led to her husband’s disappearance. And in Rainy Season, a young couple is forced into the ultimate battle of Man vs. Nature when torrential rain turns deadly.

Rob Lowe, Whoopi Goldberg, Tim Curry, and Yeardley Smith lend their voices to this haunting collection of classic stories that no Stephen King fan should be without

Review- My favorite story from this collection was Rainy Season, partly for the story itself but most of all because of the actress doing the audio adaptation, Yeardley Smith(the voice of Lisa Simpson). Somehow her high-pitched, child-like voice added even more terror to the story of the plague of toads devouring a young couple who just happened to be in Willow, Maine on the wrong day.  My least favorite story was Dolan’s Cadillac. I thought it was too long and a bit slow and I could care less how big dirt moving machines  work or how long it takes to cut a grave for a Cadillac in the hard desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.   The two other stories, Crouch End and Suffer the Little Children were a pleasure to listen to. If you’re a fan of Stephen King give this collection a try and see what you think.