The Watcher by Jennifer Pashley

The Watcher by Jennifer Pashley is the first in a new crime fiction series featuring Kateri Fisher. Fisher has just moved to a new police force in a small, rural town in upstate New York. She has a past that she wishes to forget but is reminded of daily through the physical scars that she wears. Assigned to desk duty for months, her first “real” case involves the murder of the town’s outcast, Pearl Jenkins. The prime suspect is Pearl’s son, Shannon, who has become entangled with two men, both of whom are mysterious in their own right. From the beginning to the end, Pashley weaves a tale that is never quite what we expect as Fisher attempts to thread together the scattered pieces of the Jenkins’ family’s life.

Pashley is a gifted writer who captivates and enthralls her readers with her effluent prose. While The Watcher is one heck of a good crime story, the core of the book is about the characters who brilliantly are brought to life. I have not read a crime fiction tale this good in such a long time that The Watcher soars to the top of my favorites this year.

Death at High Tide: An Island Sisters Mystery, Book 1 – Welcome to #MurderousMondays

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After so many noir reads, I needed a lighthearted mystery to keep me company. Death at High Tide was exactly right for good night’s read. Plus, I love reading the first book in a new series, don’t you?

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Cats, Corpses and Creepy old inns set the stage for this delightful cozy from Hannah Dennison. When Evie’s older husband dies of a heart attack, Evie is devastated. Her sister flies in from America to help Evie sort out the paperwork only to find that Robert, the husband, was hiding one secret after another, including the deed to an old inn on a often deserted island. Evie and her sister decide to check out the inn only discover hidden agendas, hidden secrets and a vicar who talks to animals!

Seriously, as strange as the description may sound, Death at High Tide checked all of the boxes for a wonderful cozy mystery. Evie and her sister make the perfect amateur sleuths despite the fact that I wanted to slap Margot, the sister, every other page. The characters are all properly suspicious and the deaths continue to mount until the very end of the tale. It was all rather wonderful! Because it was the first in a new series, I had hoped to have a better connection with the sisters than I did, but perhaps that was more me than the writing. Despite that tiny worry, Death at High Tide is a perfect cozy mystery that will keep you engaged from beginning to end!

Thank you to #Edelweiss, #MinotaurBooks and the author, Hannah Dennison, for my copy of this fun tale.

 

#MurderousMonday: Glass Dolls D.E.White

I almost hate to use the phrase “Murderous” during this horrific crisis we all are experiencing, but for those of us who adore thrillers we love what we love and crime fiction, for me, is at the top of the list. Welcome to Murderous Monday here at Macsbooks.

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It’s always exciting to discover new authors, those whose works we’ve never read before, and this week I did exactly that. D.E. White has been writing books for quite a while but took a turn in style and genres with their latest book, Glass Dolls. From the very first page until the shocking conclusion, I was hooked!

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Detective Dove Milson is no stranger to horror. Four years ago her niece was abducted and believed to be killed by the infamous Glass Doll Killer. Dove was held captive and gravely injured in the pursuit. Now she has transferred to a new unit, the Major Crimes Team, where her first case appears to be a copycat of the glass doll murders. As crimes begin mounting, they all point toward Dove and her family. Dove knows that she has to solve the crimes before her family all lies dead or goes missing.

When I read the synopsis for the book my first thought was this was going to be so “over the top.” I mean, seriously, her first case is a replica of the one that she just left behind? Her family is the target of every single crime that crops up? But nooooo, I was wrong. White’s deft and creative writing skills anchor the story line solidly in reality and the plot itself is absolutely believable. The characters are very real; their thoughts throughout the book often mirrored my own. The plot twist is touted as being “shocking” and it absolutely is but, as you know, I despise twists that are ridiculous. This one was not. There were signs throughout the book that hinted at this twist if the reader pays attention – which apparently I did not!! I definitely was surprised by this one. Bottom line – this is a terrific piece of crime fiction and a great thriller as well.

Thanks to the author, #Netgalley and #JoffeBooks for my copy of this exciting read!

 

#MurderousMondays – The Look-Alike and When You See Me

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I’m doing my best at “beating the backlist” which includes some amazing crime fiction that earlier got erased from saved files. Just because I failed to review them in time does not make them less than stellar suspense thrillers. I hope you’ve either read them or will be enticed to do so after today.

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Erica Spindler has become of my favorite suspense authors. While she began her writing career in the romance genre, she has quickly made a name for herself with her crime fiction series and her stand-alones, which are the ones I love most. Now she is back with The Look-Alike, a can’t put down thriller that will have the reader doubting their own sanity. Let me also state, up front, that I admire any author or publisher who remembers to put a hyphen in the wordd look-alike!

Sienna Scott, our primary character, has led a bizarre and rather sad life living with a mother who a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. She literally lives a life in constant fear and paranoia. Sienna’s father has done everything he can to protect Sienna from her mother including shipping Sienna off to London to keep her from “shattering” after Sienna discovers a fellow college student dead on campus. However, now Sienna is back home, with her mother, where she begins wondering if, in fact, she was the target of the killing so many years ago. The victim could have been Sienna’s exact “look-alike.”

Spindler weaves a tale of suspense that will leave you doubting your own sanity as much as Sienna and her mother doubt theirs. The Look-Alike is filled with twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end – but, never once do the surprises appear staged for shock value, Rather, they are the perfect course for a case like to take. Who is telling the truth? Who is really behind the murder and how much paranoia is real and how much is being exacerbated to make Sienna and her mother off balance. Fabulously written, this is a thriller that I highly recommend to all who enjoy crime fiction, thrillers and suspense.

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I have come to adore Lisa Gardner’s writing and the characters from her various series. Now, in When You See Me, Gardner has brought together the most-loved characters of two of series together: DD Warren, Kimberly Quincy and Flora Dane. Detective series just don’t get much better than this!

Earlier in the series we were introduced to Flora Dane who spent over a year as a captive of a deranged killer. Now bones have been discovered in a remote area of Appalachia that suggest the killings are associated with Flora’s kidnapper. FBI agent Quincy, Det Warren and Flora go to the site in hopes of finally putting to rest Dan’s abductor once and for all. What they find is a crime far larger than they bargained for.

When You See Me is an extremely well written, tense thriller. We’ve come to know these characters through other reads and feel a connection to them, their quirks and their flaws so much so that it is very easy to become fully engrossed in the danger that is lurking in the dark, rural mountains. As mentioned, this is part of a series – two actually – and I do not recommend reading it as a stand-alone. I started the series in the middle with the introduction of Flora Dane and have since gone backward to catch up and to read the Profiler series which includes Agent Quincy. When You See Her feels more like a conclusion to a story-line that should be followed, rather than a place to begin. I know that many of you already follow Gardner, as do I, and if you haven’t read this one yet, it is a must read for her fans. For others, at least go back to Find Her and start the series there. You will be glad you did.

 

Murderous Mondays in the New Year – A Madness of Sunshine @NaliniSingh

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Have you ever been so caught up with the characters of a book that you miss you once you’ve finished? I have been walking around for a week trying to figure out what I’ve misplaced, who I haven’t contacted, what I’ve left undone, only to realize that what I’m missing are the people and places in A Madness of Sunshine! What a marvelous story and even better characters!

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Will is a cop with a past that is dark and tumultuous. Once a rising star in the metro force, he now has been relegated to a very small hamlet by the ocean. There he simply wants to be a ghost, do his job overseeing petty crimes and live out his days in quiet. Ana has come home after fleeing the village and vowing never to return. Her childhood was traumatic and one that she wanted to leave behind her forever. Now, she has returned to forget the new life she has made. She, too, longs to be a ghost, to be left alone in solitude. Neither gets what they want when a beautiful young girl goes missing and rumors begin to tie her disappearance to hikers who vanished 15 years before.

While the premise of the story may seem, on the surface, like one we have read before, what sets this story apart from the rest is the location, the rugged New Zealand West Coast and its beautiful Maori people, and the incredible character development. I’ve read more than my fair share of crime fiction and come across plenty of down and out cops but few have reached out and grabbed me like Will did. There was something about the flaws of all of the characters, the major and minor ones, that made them more real, brought them to life, had them haunting my dreams. Has them in my head even now. A Madness of Sunshine is what all crime fiction should be.

Apparently this is a departure in genres for this author and I can only hope that we see more of this type of writing from her. If you haven’t already read A Madness of Sunshine you will want to add it to your must-read list, I promise.

Thank you to @Edelweiss for my copy of this incredibly book!

 

 

You Are Not Alone #MurderousMondays

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An Anonymous Girl by these authors is one of my books that I’ve recently read so when I saw You are Not Alone, I jumped on it quickly and read it from start to finish even more quickly! You are Not Alone is a slow burning suspense filled thriller that kept me enthralled from the very first chapter to the last.

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Shay, our main character, witnesses a brutal suicide at the subway station. She tried to stop the young woman from jumping in front of the train but was unsuccessful. The only thing left of the crushed young woman is a necklace which Shay absentmindedly puts into her pocket. That necklace will lead Shay into a world of women that is, at best, inexplicable. Have they become her salvation and pathway to a new and beautiful world OR will these women lead her to jump in front of the subway herself? Written with such artful nuance, the reader will remain unsure until the very end.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It doesn’t publish until 2020, but it is one to add to your TBR list now. It’s a fascinating read that you will not want to miss.

#netgalley  #Edelweiss  #YouAreNotAlone  #@greerkh @SarahPekkanen

Lying Next to Me @Gregg_Olsen

 

Murder monday with textcover159593-mediumNo matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothingD5KO2IEUUAIQIwJOne of my favorite quotes is “believe nothing that you hear or see, even salt looks like sugar.” I thought of that quote often while reading Gregg Olsen’s latest thriller, Lying Next to Me. Absolutely nothing was what it appeared to be  – nothing.

Adam and his wife Sophie, along with their 3 year old daughter, have rented a cabin on a lake. Next to them is another couple, Kristin and Connor Moss and on the other side, a grandmother with her grandkids. On the second day of the trip, Adam takes his daughter out in a row boat to go crabbing. While on the water, he sees someone abduct Sophie who is sitting on the shore. An elderly walker also sees Sophie being abducted. The grandmother and her grandkids arrive home to see Adam and his daughter frantically rowing toward shore and calls 9-1-1. The Moss’ couple. sees and hears nothing. But what really happened that morning. What did anyone truly see or hear? They all experienced the same thing, right? Right!?

Admittedly, I adore Gregg Olsen. I’ve read everything he has written, including his true crime novels. When it comes to crime – real or fiction – I think no one does it better. Lying in Wait is a tense, stay-awake-to-finish thriller that had me hooked from the very first line. While I suspected who might have done it – but wait – there’s no way they could have done it – it was a locked room mystery and too many variables and too many unsolved questions as to why. Until the answers were there before us in the end and then … just WOW. This is a suspense novel that makes you really hate everyone while at the same time hoping that at least one of the bad guys isn’t as awful as you think they might be. There is a child involved, surely someone is good. They have to be! In the end, I sat staring at my Kindle and wondering about what I had just read while knowing that is exactly how I like my thrillers! Leave me in awe. Leave me in wonder. Leave me speechless and Lying in Wait absolutely did just that!

Obviously I highly recommend #LyinginWait to anyone who enjoys a great crime novel. I also encourage you read Olsen’s other work. It’s all fantastic. Lying in Wait will be available May 21 at amazon

Thank you to #Netgalley, #Thomas&MercerPublishing and #GreggOlsen for my copy of Lying in Wait.

MurderousMondays – The Night Before @WendyWalker

“Twelve hours earlier, she was…
Hopeful.
Excited.
Safe.   

Now she’s gone.

Murder monday with textcover147361-mediumLaura is no stranger to trauma. As a teenager she learned first hand that love stories can have very unhappy endings, endings that sometimes end in death. She has spent a lifetime trying to cope with that reality, of overcoming the thought of being “bad luck” or choosing the wrong kind of man. Now she has gone out on a date with someone she has chosen off of an online dating site and has vanished. Is she really “bad luck?” Or could she possibly be a murderer who sets the luck into motion?

I absolutely love psychological thrillers that can keep me guessing until the last page of the book and, if I figure out the who did it, the why has me stumped. Wendy Walker does this to me every single time! She always surprises me, not only with the ending but with multiple surprises throughout. The Night Before is the story not only of Laura, but of her sister, Rosie; Rosie’s husband Joe and their best friend since childhood. They were raised in a small town where they were constantly together, knew each other intimately, knew each other’s every secret – or so they thought. With Laura as a very unreliable narrator, we are left with the others to fill in the gaps and soon we learn that nothing, at all, is as it appears. So many secrets, half-truths and lies that will affect their lives forever. Who, if anyone, is telling the truth?

This is a creatively told story of relationships, friendships, small towns and abuse and how each of those things shapes us into who we ultimately become as adults. Nothing about The Night Before is predictable so be prepared to buckle up for a twisty, amazing and thrilling ride. This is one suspenseful tale that you will not want to miss! 

Thanks to @netgalley, @Wendy_Walker and @StMartinsPress for my copy of #TheNightBefore. It will be available on May 13, 2019.  

amazonWhat Marvelous Murderous books have you read lately? Tell us about it or link us up here so we can read your reviews. There is nothing quite like a good Murder on Monday! Have a great week book lovers! 

 

#MurderousMonday on a Wednesday #TheScholar

Murder monday with textYes, I know. It really has been that kind of week here at Macsbooks. I’m not sure what the attraction to the Midwest is right now but there are a LOT of travelers visiting the fair state of Indiana. If you’re ever this way, please do stop by The Wisteria House. I truly thought I had these posts ready to go without me, but sadly, I’m just not that coordinated and on top of things. Luckily for my guests, I AM on top of clean rooms and delightful breakfasts :)Whew! 

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The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan is the second book in a series featuring DS Cormac Reilly. As usual, I had not read the first book (I have now) before beginning this one and did not once feel lost or confused.

DS Reilly has been assigned to cold cases until the night his girlfriend frantically calls him. She has found a young woman in the street, the victim of an apparent hit and run. The dead girl is carrying an ID of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company and the company for whom Reilly’s girlfriend, Emma, is conducting research on the first successful artificial kidney. Reilly is certain that Emma cannot be involved so he takes the case, but as it continues to unfold, doubts into Emma’s innocence start to rise, complicating their relationship and eroding his reputation at work.

The Scholar is a multi-layered mystery with heaps of suspense and fabulous, complex characters. McTiernan is a marvelous writer who capably molds her characters into realistic people that often remind us of those we see every day. Never does she cross the line into hyperbole or drive Reilly into a farce of what a DS should be. He is flawed, but not the typical drunk, broken, woe-is-me copper who has become the stand-by for far too many police novels. Instead, he has real flaws like we all do. He makes mistakes like we all do and that creates a character who is far more relatable to the reader.

This is not a “fast paced thriller” but rather a well-done suspenseful mystery and when I say “well-done” I mean superb. I highly recommend both The Scholar which is due for publication in the US in May and The Ruin, which you can find at your local bookstore or library.

Many thanks to #Edelweiss, @DervlaMcTiernan and @Penguinbooks for my copy of #TheScholar

 

#MurderousMondays: The Thin Edge #PeggyTownsend

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It’s Murderous Monday here at Macsbooks and I am very excited about the book I have to share with you today! The Thin Edge is by a new-to-me author Peggy Townsend and it held me riveted to my seat from beginning to end! What a surprise and a treat!

Aloe Snow is a fallen from grace crime reporter in Bay area who is attempting to pick up the pieces and begin writing again as an independent reporter. She has acquired a rather interesting group of friends, a gay couple who own a bar and a trio of former (?) anarchists who gather around to discuss their glory days and guide young minds toward higher intellectual thinking. When of the trio’s son is found to be the likely suspect in a murder case, he asks Aloe to investigate further to prove his son’s innocence. What Aloe discovers could prove far more dangerous than any story she has followed before.

There are multiple story lines within The Thin Edge. There is the primary case of the murder itself which should prove straight forward but is anything but. The victim was married to a quadriplegic who was a former interrogator for US Special Intelligence Services. His care giver has a somewhat surprising past of his own and the victim has a myriad of secrets that are uncovered in layers. In addition, through her work, Corrine, the victim, came in contact with some of the city’s worst criminals and any one of them could have been her killer. As Aloe traces some of them down, she stumbles across a vigilante cult that is a dangerous as it is fascinating. To say that there is a ton of action and thrills in this book is a vast understatement. However, Townsend does a remarkable job at keeping everyone straight, fleshing out the characters, even the secondary ones, so that the reader never gets lost or confused. You will be invested in each one throughout and the conclusion will stun you. While I might have figured out the who, the how and why was astounding!! This was a top-notch psychological murder thriller with heavy emphasis on the psychology! I absolutely loved it!! I also should add that, while this is the second in the Aloe Snow series, I had no idea that it was a follow up until the end. It works very well as a stand alone. Of course, I adored this one so much that I’ve already got my hands on Townsend’s first book, See Her Run, and will have a review for you on that one soon. Have a marvelous week everyone!

So much thanks to #Netgalley, @peggytownsend and #Thomas&Mercer for my advanced copy of #TheThinEdge.

What about you? What murderous delights have you read this week? Let me know! Here is a link to The Literary Potpourri and their post for this Monday’s edition of their Murderous Monday. Be sure to check it out! It’s great!!