Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Nowhere Girl By Susan Strecker

Title: Nowhere Girl
Author: Susan Strecker
Published: March 2016, Thomas Dunne Books
Format: ARC e-book, 304 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher 
"The day Savannah was killed she was fifteen minutes late to meet me." So begins bookseller favorite Susan Strecker's second novel of twin sisters and the murder that left one twin behind.

Savannah was the popular bad girl skipping school and moving quickly from one boyfriend to the next, so when she didn't meet Cady as promised, Cady wasn't surprised and the truth was Cady was already a bit mad at her. When Cady suddenly becomes short of breath she realizes Savannah is in trouble, but within minutes Savannah is gone.

Years later Cady, now a bestselling author of suspense, spends her time interviewing killers, hoping each interview will help her understand what happened to her sister. Despite Savannah's death, the bond Savannah and Cady share has never been broken. Savannah still comes to Cady, but the clues her sister sends don't add up until a chance encounter while researching her latest novel provides a missing piece of the puzzle.

My thoughts: This is the second book I've read by Susan Strecker and I have to say, I am hooked on this writer! I love the way she is able to craft her tales, writing such a page-turner that had me guessing right up til the end.

One of the things I loved most about this particular book is that everyone is suspect...there wasn't anyone that was introduced that I wasn't suspicious of by the end of the book, until the final reveal! That was clever plotting and great writing to be able to pull that off - and it certainly kept me on my toes and frantically flipping pages to find out just what had happened and who was responsible for Savannah's death.

I loved all the characters - loved how they were all flawed. This makes them so much more believable and relatable, especially Cady. And I love the seamless weaving of the present with the past...this really enhanced the storyline and made all the pieces of the puzzle come together to pack an effective punch in the end. 

I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author - so far I've really enjoyed her first two books. She is an author not to be missed!!!  


#FRC2016 Book Spotlight: The Witch House of Persimmon Point by Suzanne Palmieri

Title: The Witch House of Persimmon Point
Author: Suzanne Palmieri
Published: October 2016, St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threating to destroy a legacy she holds dear, she gets more than she bargained for. Over the course of one harrowing weekend, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she's ever believed about herself.

In 1890, Nan, the Amore family matriarch, was sent away to America with little more than a baby and a rocking chair, quickly finding work on the sprawling estate of the wildly eccentric Green family. This new life is one she wanted: loving and free with a family that understands and shares in her magic. But when tragedy strikes, destroying the mansion and the precious lives inside, Nan is left alone and pregnant with Reginald Green’s child. With nothing more than the deed to the property, she builds a house from the rubble and a new, pragmatic life. It would become a haunted life that would lead to other haunted lives. It would become a house both terrible and wonderful. It would become known as “The Witch House.”

An unforgettable family saga in the Gothic tradition, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch House of Persimmon Point is her most powerful novel yet.

What readers are saying

"Palmieri's Gothic style novel has witty, carefree and interesting characters who have secrets they will protect with their last breath. The fast paced plot is full of many layers and unexpected turns, but they never overwhelm the main storyline." - Romantic Times, Four Stars

“This dazzlingly shadowy tale of how the past always seeps into the future will leave readers tormented by mystery.” – Popsugar
“It's rare to find a novel that sends shivers up your spine. The Witch of Persimmon Point not only leaves you spooked, it'll give you chills whenever you see it on your bookshelf.” –


The Witch House of Persimmon Point  by Suzanne Palmieri is one of  BookSparks "Fall Reads" reading selection picks.

Follow the #FRC2016 hashtag on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other fall books! Also, be sure to check out the BookSparks Facebook page for the #FRC2016 #Shelfie Grand Prize Giveaway and other fun links.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review: Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison (audio)

Title: Field of Graves
Author: J.T. Ellison
Series: Taylor Jackson, #8
Narrator: Joyce Bean
Published: August 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours 7 minutes
Source: Publisher

With FIELD OF GRAVES, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison goes back to where it all began…

All of Nashville is on edge with a serial killer on the loose. A madman is trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse and the cops trying to catch him are almost as damaged as the killer. Field of Graves reveals the origins of some of J.T. Ellison's most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find the killer before he claims yet another victim. This dark, thrilling and utterly compelling novel will have readers on the edge of their seats, and Ellison's fans will be delighted with the revelations about their favorite characters.

My thoughts: J.T. Ellison is still a relatively new author to me, having only read one other book of hers so far - her stand alone, No One Knows, which I absolutely loved!!! When I saw this one coming out, I knew I wanted to read it, but I was a little hesitant when I saw it was the 8th in the series - but rest assured as it actually works as a prequel to the series...perfect for me who likes to read series in order!!!

I loved this book and now I cannot wait to go back and start this series from the beginning. Yes, this book technically is listed at book 8, but it really works as an introduction to not only Taylor Jackson, but how her team came together. It also introduces us to Dr. Samantha Owens, the medical examiner, who has her own series - another series that I will definitely be looking into! And we learn how Taylor and Dr. John Baldwin wind up together...I really like their backstory - they each have their own demons and I think their is much more to tell there.

The case that Taylor and her team are called to investigate is complex and keeps you guessing as the team races to solve it before another college student is killed. I loved getting to know the individual team members and hope that they all become familiar faces as I continue on with the series.

J.T. Ellison is definitely going on my new favorite author list and that she has a few series plus she writes stand-alones is a big plus in my eyes!!! I can't wait to continue on with both these series and I also know she co-writes with Catherine Coulter on her FBI series - so many good books just got added to my tbr list - where do I start first???

Audio thoughts: I love when I find a new series that I can listen to and that I like the narrator! I've listened to Joyce Bean before and enjoy her narrating skills and this was no different - she does a great job with the voices, giving each character their own unique voice and her pacing is spot on. Being that this is the 8th book in the series, I checked and am happy to see that Joyce has narrated all prior books - that makes me one happy camper!!! I really dislike when the narrator changes mid-series and now I don't have to worry about that :)

Books in this series:

     1.  All the Pretty Girls
     2.  14
     3.  Judas Kiss
     4.  The Cold Room
     5.  The Immortals
     6.  So Close the Hand of Death
     6.5  Blood Sugar Baby
     7.  Where All the Dead Lie
     7.5  Whiteout
     8.  Field of Graves 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Title: Dear Amy
Author: Helen Callaghan
Published: October 2016, Harper Paperbacks
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher
Fans of Jennifer McMahon, Mary Kubica, and early Gillian Flynn will love this chilling, tightly-spun debut novel of psychological suspense about an abduction that stirs memories of a twenty-year-old cold case.

As a thirty-something Classics and English literature teacher, working at a school in Cambridge, Margot Lewis leads a quiet life. In her spare time, she writes an advice column for the local newspaper. But she can’t help feeling that she’s the last person who should be doling out advice, because her marriage has failed.

When one of Margot’s students, fifteen-year-old Katie Browne, disappears, the police immediately suspect she’s been kidnapped. Then, not long after Katie goes missing, Margot receives a disturbing letter at the newspaper offices. The letter is supposedly from Bethan Avery, a fifteen-year-old girl who was abducted from the local area twenty years ago…and never found. In the letter, Bethan states that she is being held captive and is in terrible danger. The letter ends with a desperate plea for her rescue.

The police analyze the letter and find it matches a sample of Bethan’s handwriting which they’ve kept on file since her disappearance. This shocking development in an infamous cold case catches the attention of Martin Forrester, a criminologist who has been researching Bethan Avery’s puzzling disappearance all those years ago. Spurred on by her concern for both Katie and the mysterious Bethan, Margot sets out—with Martin’s help—to discover if the two cases are connected. But then Margot herself becomes a target...will she be next?

Riveting to the final page, this is a masterful, sophisticated, and electrifying debut.

My thoughts: As many of you know, I have quite a thing for psychological thrillers lately, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to read this one when it was presented at the Harper Blogger Presentation last Spring. I couldn't wait to start reading it and boy oh boy, did this keep me on my toes!

This is a smart, cleverly written, multi-layered thriller that will have you scratching your head as you try to figure out just what is going on. So many times, I had to go back and reread sections because I was confused - but in a good way! I kept thinking I was missing something as I was reading, and I do admit, it does jump around a bit - and that does take a while to get used to - but once I got used to that, I found myself totally engaged and hooked. I needed to find out what was going on and how this was all going to end...and golly gee, was I sure off the mark with my guesses!

The emotions that the main character, Margot feels are incredibly palpable - I felt as if I was experiencing all that she was in real time with's not often that that happens when reading a thriller. And yet, at the same time, I often questioned whether Margot was a reliable narrator - yes, it's one of those is she/isn't she, but trust me, you don't want that to deter you from picking up this book. 

This book definitely didn't head in the direction I first thought it would and I'm glad...that's what I love about this genre! And I love that I keep finding new authors to read within this genre as well. Helen Callaghan has given us a smart, twisted debut novel and I look forward to seeing what comes next from her!


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