Wednesday, September 29, 2021

What I've Been Reading (Playing Catchup Edition #4)

Beneath Devil's Bridge by Loretta Anne White 

Summary from Goodreads:

"A true crime podcast yields new revelations about a shocking murder."

My Thoughts:

Loreth Anne White is fast becoming one of my favorite authors!  Last year I read and loved In the Dark by her (if you haven't picked this one up yet you simply must!). I jumped at the chance to read this book and wasn't disappointed in the slightest.  It just goes to show me how much I NEED to work on catching up on her backlist because wow!  She is an author that definitely deserves more hype than I see her getting.  This book had podcast elements to it which I really enjoyed.  I liked the fact that the book was focused on a crime that was supposedly solved from years ago.  I really enjoyed that the story was told from two different timelines - back when Detective Rachel Walczak was investigating the case and then in the present as podcaster Trinity Scott investigates what really happened all those years ago.  I found this book to be a really compelling read.  I wanted to know what really happened to Leena Rai and the why's behind it all.  I had my guesses on who might have been behind it, but even then I definitely didn't see that ending coming.  There's this one twist that just hits so perfectly.  I felt like I should have seen it coming but yet it smacked me straight in the gut in the best way.  Wow, she is such a talented author.  

Overall, this is a book that definitely deserves more hype in my opinion.  Readers who enjoy mysteries, true crime podcasts, and suspenseful reads need to pick this book up.  And then talk about it with others so more mystery readers can find this author because I need her to write ALL of the books!  Kidding....but kind of not because she's just so good!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A tense and suspenseful read that I just couldn't stop reading!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Summary from Goodreads:

"Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . . "

My Thoughts:

Bird Box was a really solid read but I think I slightly overhyped it in my head.  First, I did something I rarely do and watched the movie first.  I actually really enjoyed the movie and found it to be a fun reading experience comparing the differences between the two.  But I expected this one to terrify me just from hearing from so many other horror readers that it is one of their favorites.  Honestly, I did find the idea of not being able to see whatever was out there creepy but just not as terrifying as I hoped.  Maybe it is because I watch the movie first or maybe I just had it overhyped in my head.  That isn't to discount that I really enjoyed my reading experience.  I was just left wanting it to be a bit more.  More terrifying.  I wanted to be truly creeped out in the best of ways and wasn't.  I'm chalking it up to expectations.  I definitely plan on reading more by this author and the premise of this book is so unique.  I want to see what other twisted things he comes up with next.  And I think I will read the sequel to this book at some point as well.  But maybe I would just say to other readers to start here before you watch the movie.  That's all.

Overall, I enjoyed this book even if it didn't quite terrify me like I had hoped that it would.  Readers who want a horror based take on the end of the world should pick this book up for sure.  I also want to say that if you aren't sure on if horror reads are for you, that this book wasn't too scary and is one that I think many readers could handle.  Recommended!

Bottom Line: A book that I'm glad I finally pulled off of my own shelves after it sat on there for way too long!

Disclosure:  I purchased this book myself.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Monday, September 27, 2021

What I've Been Reading (Playing Catchup Edition #3)


A Fatal Lie by Charles Todd

Summary from Goodreads:

"In one of his most puzzling cases, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge must delve deep into a dead man’s life and his past to find a killer determined to keep dark secrets buried."

My Thoughts:

This is the first book that I've read in this long running series but not my first book by this author.  I've read and enjoyed a couple books in the Bess Crawford series so I jumped at the chance to read this one even though it's book #23.  It honestly didn't affect my enjoyment in the slightest as I really enjoyed my time with this book.  This book was a slow burn in the best of ways.  I love a good historical mystery that just pulls me into both the story and the time period that it is set in.  I found myself following along with Inspector Ian Rutledge as he struggled to figure out the identity of the dead man and then to also find the killer.  I loved the quiet suspense that was present throughout this book.  This isn't a mystery or book that is meant to be rushed through.  Instead, it is one to immerse yourself in and get lost within the pages.  I found it interesting reading and learning about Ian Rutledge.  There are some obvious things in his past that I was missing out on that I'm guessing that we would have learned more about in previous books.  I definitely plan on going back to the beginning of this series at some point in the very near future.  

Overall, this is a book that I think that historical mystery fans and mystery readers in general will enjoy.  Just make sure that you go in with the correct expectations that this is a mystery and not a thriller that you will fly through.  Readers that enjoy slow burns and detective (inspector) focused stories should definitely give this book or series a try!  Recommended.

Bottom Line: A slow burning mystery that pulled me into its pages.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson 

Summary from Goodreads:

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... 

When body parts are found on the banks of the River Thames in Deptford, DI Angelica Henley is tasked with finding the killer. Eerie echoes of previous crimes lead Henley to question Peter Olivier, aka The Jigsaw Killer, who is currently serving a life sentence for a series of horrific murders. 

When a severed head is delivered to Henley's home, she realises that the copycat is taking a personal interest in her and that the victims have not been chosen at random. 

To catch the killer, Henley must confront her own demons - - and when Olivier escapes from prison, she finds herself up against not one serial killer, but two."

My Thoughts:

The Jigsaw Man is one of the best beginnings to a new police procedural that I've read so far this year!  This book is dark and won't be for every reader - I think the above summary should give you an idea of how dark this book really is.  The mystery is compelling though and despite it being a chunkier book I flew through the pages.  I just didn't want to set it down.  I really enjoyed the fact that the author showed the struggles that Henley had with balancing motherhood and her job.  The guilt that she felt at times when her job took her away from her daughter more than she wanted it to.  It was something that I definitely could relate to as a mother myself.  I found myself racing through this book eager to see how it would all end.  And that ending....all I can say without giving anything away is that I NEED the next book in this series ASAP.  So good!  I cannot emphasize enough how strong I found this beginning to a new detective series to be - it's one that I have been recommending over and over!

Overall, this is an author to watch and a must read for mysteries and thriller lovers like myself.  I wouldn't recommend this one though if you cannot handle gore or don't care for darker reads.  If you read and enjoyed The Chestnut Man though (I feel like that's a pretty good comparison with how dark this book gets), then definitely get your hands on this one.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: This book is very likely going to be on my top reads for 2021 - it was that good!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.  I ended up reading a print copy from my local library.  Honest thoughts are my own.

CW: Attempted rape

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Killing Kind by Jane Casey (thoughts)


Summary from Goodreads:

"He tells you you’re special…

As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.
He tells you he wants to protect you… 
Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…
But can you believe him?
Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again."

My Thoughts:

The Killing Kind was a suspenseful read that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.  It's actually a pretty thick book - my copy was 470 pages but I flew through it.  It's one of those reads that you don't want to set down because you just want to see what is going to happen next.  One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this book was that you didn't know who to trust.  Ingrid previously had a stalker - John Webster - who it seems like may be coming back into her life.  And as the summary above states - he is stating that he can help her because it does look like someone is trying to hurt or kill her.  Could it be John that is trying to insert himself into her life again or who is trying to cause her harm?  Or could it be someone else trying to hurt her possibly related to her job as she works in criminal defense.  Who can she trust?  Is there anyone?  These questions swirled around constantly in my head while I was reading this book.  It really helped to up the level of tension and suspense that was present throughout this book.  I was so caught up in this book that I just didn't want to set this book down.  I especially was intrigued by John Webster's character and what his motivations were.  This book won't be for everyone though - it deals with some difficult subject matter that won't be for every reader.  I will include content warnings below for the major ones but if you have specific questions just let me know.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am eager to read more by this author!

Read this book if you enjoy suspenseful, page turning reads that you don't want to set down.  I've read one of this author's book so far (book one in a long running series of hers) and this was a great reminder that I need to get back to that series.  This book would be a great place to start if you don't want to begin a long running series and want to give her a try with a standalone instead.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A book that I just couldn't stop reading!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Content Warnings:  Rape (this is on page somewhat so be warned that this could be triggering for some readers), suicide, stalking