eyes on you

Watching You – Lisa Jewell

Contemporary women, family life, suspense, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Joey and her husband move into a new neighborhood after getting secretly married at a beach and had a glorious honeymoon. As Joey explores the new town, her eyes are drawn to Tom, a man who was very physically attractive. She grows close to him to the point of obsession. That obsession led to him being a murder victim and everyone in town is a suspect, including her.

This is a classic who did it with a twist. I loved the plot that led up to the climax and the transcripts of the police reports makes the novel feel so realistic. Even though they wouldn’t be publicized, I loved the chilling aspect. I couldn’t get enough of the plot nor the characters. There are some plot twists but overall, pretty suspenseful as promised from the synopsis and after reading. I suspected the novel to produce another chilling suspense fictional novel. Jewell has a knack for interesting suspense fiction. I do recommend this novel or any of her novels. I’ve read three of her works and found myself loving her work and her writing.

copy and paste onto new wife format

The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Interpersonal relationships, love triangles, suspense, marriage, psychological, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Emma is getting married to Richard, someone she fell deeply in love with and he fell for her too. She is taking all the necessary steps to become his wife. Vanessa is recovering from a divorce and trying to get over Richard. Vanessa finds out that Richard has a new wife on the way, and this makes her curious about the new bride of his. Emma gets ready to leave to get married but before doing so she is confronted by Vanessa who tries to warn her about Richard. Emma dismisses until she decides to investigate the incident that Vanessa refers to. After some digging, Emma has an epiphany that his ex-wife isn’t as crazy as she seems. Both meetup to discuss plans of how to confront Richard, but some truths are scarier than a psychotic fiancée, their connection to each other.

I was intrigued by the synopsis and the title of the novel, so I had to buy this book. The plot was very interesting, and the character’s connection is quite fascinating. I wasn’t expecting the novel’s plot to have a darker side in which this does. The character’s intertwined fate and interactions make the novel very thrilling and suspenseful. The chapters are sometimes alternating between perspectives, but the reader has to put the pieces together of whose perspective it is, was it either Emma’s or Vanessa’s perspective. There were enough breadcrumbs to follow along and to see how the story would play out. Overall, I did find this novel very enjoyable.

woah…

Bring Me Back – B.A. Paris

Thriller, suspense, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Finn’s girlfriend, Layla went missing at a rest stop and twelve years later he told everyone she disappeared. He did not tell the entire truth. She is still out there lurking somewhere but has not been found. Finn moved on with his life and getting married to Layla’s sister, Ellen. One day they receive Russian dolls and they don’t think much of it. Later on this escalates to more Russian dolls and menacingly threatening letters. Finn reaches out to the person sending the dolls and threats only to find that sometimes the truth is unbelievable.

This novel was found in the 6$ section of a Barnes and Nobles. I was curious as to why such a good book is there. I honestly think this book should have been sold at full price and more popular because this was a good thriller suspense novel. I hadn’t expected the plot twist at all. To safely say, I wasn’t expecting this plot at all. The reader should find out the plot twist. The characters and their interactions greatly aided the plot. The creepy Russian dolls scared me though. I mean them being left with a note was really intense… Overall, great novel, highly recommend this.

a different kind of evil lurks

Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

Mystery, thriller, suspense, fiction.

Rating 11/10

Georgina remembers the exact day her friend was murdered and how she was somehow an accomplice with her boyfriend, Calvin, whose been known to be an infamous strangler murderer. Fourteen years later her friend’s remains, Angela, was found and Georgina is sentenced to five years in prison and so was Calvin. Georgina serves her time and faces the consequences of her actions. Five years past and she is released but a few days prior to her being released, a mother and child was found murdered behind her childhood home. Her old friend, Kaiser, slowly pieces the story together as another mother and child was murdered. He speculated it was the father of the children but quickly realizes that the murderer is a different sort of beast and Georgina is in grave danger.

I really really really enjoyed this thriller. I didn’t expect the plot twists at all. I was shocked at who the real murderer was. This book really kept me on my toes as well as made me binge read to find out. I love these types of mystery thrillers with unexpected plot twists. I simply could not put this novel down at all. I had tried my hardest but could not resist. The story telling was regularly paced and very colorful and insightful. The characters felt very genuine and unique that aided the plot to create believability. I had thought something else were to have happened but got another ending that was just as good and satisfactory. Sinister and dark, certainly not for the faint of heart. This book filled my dose for some good mystery thrills I wanted.

bones

The Bone Labyrinth: A Sigma Force Novel – James Rollin

Excavations, archeology, scientific world, voyages to the other world, special operations, military science, action, suspense, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Lena goes to Croatia, to an archeological site where she found the bones of a Neanderthal woman in a closed off chapel. Inside that site, there are artworks as well that depict society and the evolving brain that was humankind. The site is attacked and ransacked, leaving her and a few survivors straggling to get out of the cavern and questioning why the bones of a Neanderthal woman and to destroy the cavern. Commander Grey Peirce is on the case to go rescue and help. Whereas Monk and Kowalski are to talk with Lena’s twin, Maria, about their work. Maria explains that they wanted to know the mystery jump that happened that caused homo sapiens to be very smart and changed their ways of life. She and her sister think it’s a union between homo sapiens and Neanderthals. There’s so much danger that comes with this research because there are others hunting the same answers as Lena and Maria as well as wants them dead. This will take Sigma into the history and evidence of bones of human ancestors.

This was really intriguing and very adventurous. I enjoyed it so much, but it was a bit of a slow read for me personally. At the time of reading this novel I didn’t know that this was a series and I had read another book before this one and not know it was a part of a series. I plan to find out the first book of the Sigma Force series to read in order hopefully in the future. Overall, loved this indepth slow burn of a novel that kept me on my toes as well as kept me leaning towards reading rather than doing anything else. The author really panned out everything in the novel and made it very easy to read to understand the plot narrative.

messages from the other side?

If It Bleeds: Mr. Harrigan’s Phone – Stephen King

Fiction, suspense, novella.

Rating 6/10

Craig worked for Mr. Harrigan and received cards, four times a year, each containing a scratcher. Craig read to the old man and did certain chores for him and he was paid decently, to Craig at least. One day Mr. Hannigan dies, and Craig inherits some money from the old man and when the old man was buried, beforehand, Craig put Hannigan’s phone into his empty pocket. Whenever Craig missed him, he would call the phone to hear his message. Sometimes leaves a voicemail. A week or so later, Craig endures being bullied and calls Hannigan’s phone to tell Hannigan what happened. The next day, Craig’s bully dies mysteriously. Craig doesn’t think much of that and continues with his life. While interning as a journalist, he finds out his old high school science teacher was murdered by a drunk driver, so Craig as a way to cope with the unjust loss, calls Hannigan once more. A day after that phone call, the drunk driver committed suicide in the treatment home. Craig now understands what had been going on and comes to terms with the truth.

This novella was alright and too tame of a genre coming from a horror novelist. I was expecting something worse like a zombie situation, but just coincidental deaths caused by possibly a ghost didn’t sate my craving for horror. There was a little suspense, but not a lot. I would hope the rest of the novellas that are inside If It Bleeds are more spectacularly horrific because I came for horror. I might be somewhat judgmental and highly critical but at least there was some brutal details of how the two people died mysteriously. I’m sure that some of King’s writings are not as great as other works he has written and published.

up and up we go

Elevation – Stephen King

Literature, suspense, fiction.

Rating  9/10

Scott has run into an unusual issue that he would prefer kept under tabs, so he goes to the retired doctor and friend Bob. He tells Bob that he had been losing weight like crazy, Bob doesn’t believe him at first but then sees for himself as Scott puts himself on the weight scale. Bob tells Scott that this is unusual and to go seek professional assistance for this issue, but Scott doesn’t want to. Life goes on as usual; the new neighbors opened a new diner and live next door to him. They always walk their dogs unleashed and they don’t pick up after their dogs either. He goes to confront one of them and it ends badly. They think he is a homophobe like the rest of the town, but he isn’t. Time goes on and he continues losing weight and tries to eat large quantities of food thus creating an image for him in the town as the fat man. There is a turkey trot that everyone attends including his neighbor and her wife. He bets her a wager and in a plot twist way he helps her win. She sees that and still wants to go for the wager he waged if he won. For her and her wife to come to dinner. That is when he tells them of his condition and at first, they speculated something was going on. He was losing weight but, in a way, that gravity is losing its hold onto him. He doesn’t want to be seen by professionals but see where this goes.

This was a weird short novella that I read that was strange. I assumed that King was going to possibly do a plot twist of the guy having a disease or cancer, but King surprised me. Just unusually tame genre. Scott was just a ordinary man who kept losing weight and didn’t bother to go see other help besides a select few, nothing too dramatic. However, the situation itself always should be a concern but the guy was so relaxed about it besides the little concern. I wasn’t expecting something so tame from King. Of course, this is a novella and the shortness does warrant a quick pace but seriously tame. I honestly love this novella and even though I was expecting something worse but still a wonderful novella. I do recommend this novella for those who want a quick read that is tame. I have to say this was the tamest piece of work I’ve ever read from King.

witness protection mystery?

Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

Mothers and daughters, violence, identity, family secrets, mystery, detective, police procedural, suspense, fiction.

Rating 7/10

Andrea is at a local diner, having dinner with her mother, and having a long day already. Suddenly a man comes in and shoots at some people that sit in a booth next to hers. The attacker sees Andrea and her mother and tries to shoot them. Laura, Andrea’s mother, tries to come between her daughter and the shooter telling her daughter to run away and for the shooter to shoot at herself. The shooter sees Andrea’s work uniform and begs for Andrea to use her gun, but Andrea is frozen in spot. She watches her calm mother take out the shooter. After that ordeal, her mother gave her instructions to move out and let Laura be alone. Andrea becomes so confused and tries to understand what had gone wrong as well as trying to understand why her mother was skilled in what she did to the shooter. A day later, Andrea sees a hooded man circling around her mother’s house and goes inside. Being extra precautions Andrea follows behind and hopes her mother isn’t home. Unfortunately, her mother was home and the intruder were about to do some serious harm to her mother. Andrea did what she could only do was protect her mother by calling the police and knocking the man out. Her mother tells her to take the makeup bag, gave specific instructions, and run away to never come back until her mother calls her to tell her so. When Andrea comes across the storage unit and sees a past that Laura never told her daughter about. Andrea is left to try to put the pieces of what happened to her mother and the truth of her mother on her own while on the run.

This novel was alright and was decently paced. I never had read anything like this before and I had my doubts that this novel as going to be good. I was a little wrong but the novel like I said before was decent. There was no cliché besides the whole hidden identity, but the author had kept it refreshed and gave the novel some depth. There are timeline switches going from the point of view of Andrea in the modern timeline and her mother’s perspective. That has clear and distinct to the switching perspectives that add onto the storyline to create clarity of the plot. I found this novel to be as good as the reviews this book had. I hope to read more of this author soon once this quarantine is over and social distancing is gone. I miss going to the library.  

Heart Warming Teenage Romance

This Heart of Mine – C.C. Hunter

Young adult, romance, heart conditions, mystery, suspense, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Leah wears her heart on her back, quite literately carries her heart around on her back. She needs the artificial heart to live due to the heart condition that left her without a heart. One day, she gets a call that changed her fate, she got a heart waiting for her. Matt finds that his brother was found in the woods dead, presumed suicide. Matt doesn’t believe this news and his mother doesn’t want the heart donated but Eric was a donner either way. Matt sees Leah arriving and puts the pieces together, she is going to receive his brother’s heart. Eventually their fates will become intwined to figure out what really happened to Eric while slowly falling in love with each other along the way.

I don’t cry when I read books but this one made me use a whole box of tissues because this was a rollercoaster of emotions. Beautifully written and the author had really freshened up the usage of the dying teenager trope with some mystery and added a lot of drama. To be honest, I have read this book a few times and had to buy it because I couldn’t wait for the library to have the book due to others borrowing the book. This book caters to not just only young adult readers but new adult as well as adult because of some of the themes. I can’t stress enough how much I love this book. Anyone who’s into mystery romance should give this book a read.

Dark Truths

The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Thriller, mystery, psychological, domestic, Suspense, fiction.

Rating 8.9/10

Rowan got caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was put in prison for a murder she didn’t commit. The story told through letters to Mr. Wexham, she asks for help in clearing her name. She tells him how she got to the present circumstance. Rowan saw an advertisement for a live-in nanny that came with good pay and benefits. She decides to send her resume and plan to meet Sandra and the kids she would be taking care of. The kids and other people warned her of the haunted stories of the house. In these letters, she provides details of what occurred during her time at the Heatherbrae House. The truth comes out and unnerving.

This novel was intriguing and fast paced. Nothing that Ruth Ware had written before and I love the style of letters rather than just traditional forms of storytelling. This was fresh and enjoyable. However, the idea of a woman being in the wrong place at the wrong time was a bit of an overused cliché. Overall, I enjoyed the novel and hoping to read more Ruth Ware novels.