In The Dark @CaraHunter

“She opens her eyes to darkness as close as a blindfold”

Cara Hunter is back with her second, equally enthralling, psychological thriller In The Dark. It is rare for a second book to be just as good as, if not better than, the first but Hunter has succeeded with this twisty, very unexpected dark tale.


When a young woman and child are found in a basement and an old man suffering from dementia is found in a stupor upstairs, my first thoughts went to ROOM. I honestly thought this was going to be another version of “kidnapped girl, has child in captivity” story. WOW – I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried. In fact, despite the fact that I managed to discern bits and pieces of the story as I read along, there was no way – none at all – to have guessed the premise or ending of this book. The final page of this story, well, WOW, just WOW. In the past few months there have been a few books that have startled me with the endings, not just the ending but the very final page of the book, and this definitely one of those!

Of course, the lovable, yet extremely flawed DI Adam Fawley is back and I have to admit that I love this guy. I’m not sure what it is about this character but I really do enjoy reading about him and I’m even coming around to liking his wife, more so in this book than the last. The characters in this book, as the last, are very well created, they are incredibly believable. Boy, are they are ever believable! In The Dark, while a psychological thriller, still is a police procedural at heart and each piece of the puzzle is slowing and surprisingly revealed at just the perfect moment. The build up is slow but that is what makes the ending so fantastic! Have I said WOW? I think I have, but perhaps not enough. I really liked that ending! I think you will too!

If you haven’t read the first book, Close to Home, that’s okay. This works as a stand alone but it helps to have the back story on the Fawley’s. This promises to be a great series and if you like series, I absolutely recommend that you read both of these terrific books. In the meantime, pick up In The Dark. It’s available now in paperback and ebook. You’ll be glad that you did! Just don’t read in it In The Dark!

NOTE: The third in the series, No Way Out is due to be published in 2019 as well. I cannot wait!

Thanks to #Edelweiss, @PenguinPublishing and #CaraHunter for my copy of this terrific thriller.

Judgement #JosephFinder

Once there was a time when I only read legal, political and espionage thrillers. I cut my teeth on the sharp edges of the race against time, twist backs and back stabbing plot lines. I had to stop because the reality of these book was, in fact, too real. I begin seeing crooks and spies and murderers behind every tree and in every shadow. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love a really well written thriller now and again. Joseph Finder is one of the best writers of the genre and his latest, Judgement, a legal thriller had me captivated from the first sentence to the last.


In a departure from his long running series, Finder sets this novel primarily in the legal arena. Juliana Brody is a judge who rotates between civil and criminal cases. Currently, while dealing with a very heavy docket, the case taking up a majority of her time and attention is one dealing with a new start-up company, an employee who has been fired and who, in turn, has filed a sexual harassment case against the company. While the case is going through motions, Brody runs into a problem. This straight-laced, never does anything wrong judge has a one night stand and that one night stand miraculously becomes the newest lawyer for the very same start-up company over which Brody is presiding. Admittedly at this point I was a little incredulous but, you know, we have to have a plot and the rest of the storyline is amazing. So read on…. We soon learn that the one night stand black mailer is just a tiny pinpoint of the problems waiting for Brody if she doesn’t throw this case – and that is something she is not willing to do. As the stakes get higher, so do the threats and the thrills. Brody makes mistake after mistake that could very well cost her life and her career. Her allies are few and her enemies are mounting. It’s a race to see who will come out on top in the end – and with Finder, you never really know who what will be!

Finder is great at creating characters that are deep, flawed, realistic and relatable and he has done another fantastic job with those in Judgement. The plot, with the one exception that I mentioned, is so incredibly timely and realistic that I found myself reading between the lines in the newspaper and wondering who this story really was about. You just know it has happened or will happen! It’s too real not to be true. There is some courtroom drama if you like that in your legal thrillers, but not so much to bore you if you don’t. This is more of a cat and mouse, keep you on the run thriller with legal overtones than an actual “court room” legal tome.

If you like action packed, character driven, ripped from the headlines, heart pounding thrillers then this is the book for you!

Thank you to #Edelweiss, #DuttonBooks and #PenguinPublishingGroup for my copy of this thriller

The Burning Island @HesterYoung

The Burning Island is a fast paced, well written, slightly paranormal suspense novel that will knock your socks off!


Charlotte “Charlie” Cates is a journalist who believes in facts. This is why she hasn’t fully accepted the “fact” that she is having vivid dreams and visions of children who need her help. After her latest adventure, saving a young boy who was near death in the Arizona desert, all Charlie wants to do is get away – from the dreams, the drama and the press who are hounding her every move. When she has the opportunity to travel to Hawai’i for work, she takes along her best friend, Rae, in the hope that she will relax and have some quiet time away. Of course that doesn’t happen. Of course. She’s writing a story about a volcanologist whose daughter happens to be missing. Haunting dreams begin appearing to Charlie as soon as she arrives on the Big Island.

Hester Young has created an eerie, atmospheric novel that grabs you on the first page and does not let you go until the very end. The story takes you from green sand beaches, to the crater of a volcano and into lush dense woods as we follow along with Charlie on her quest to locate the missing girl before it is too late. The suspense is palpitating, the horror quite real. Although there is a touch of paranormal in The Burning Island, it is so well written that I never once doubted the believability of the story. There are a few surprises but, again, it was how the story played out and not done for the shock factor.

The Burning Island is the third book in the Charlie Cates series, but it works very well as a stand alone. In fact, I didn’t know until I had finished that there were books before this one. I’m now the proud owner of those first two books. I love the character that Hester Young has created in Charlie and enjoyed her style of writing as well. I cannot wait to read Charlie’s story from the beginning!

Thank you to #Edelweiss, G.P. Putnam and Sons and #PenguinBooks for my copy of The Burning Island.


The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

My apologies for going MIA for a few days. In my real-life-non-reviewer world, I run a bed and breakfast. We purchased an abandoned, run-down, falling apart Victorian home two years ago and are rehabilitating it to its former glory. This week, we opened a new guest room but WOW did it take more work than anticipated. The BnB also had its first wedding of sorts so there was a ton of prep work for that as well. Loads of Fun but, sadly, no time for reviews. Now I’m back, at least until the holidays. 🙂


Camilla Way is a new-to-me author. I went into the book unsuspecting and was wowed by its gripping suspense.

The Lies We Told is the story of two families – one who has a daughter, Hannah, who never has been quite normal. In fact, she has sociopathic tendencies that worsen the older she gets. The second family has a son who is missing and his girlfriend is trying desperately to find him – hopefully before it is too late. The intersection of these two families is where our story lies. Each family has a dark secret that will affect the outcome of all of their lives. Their secrets have been buried for decades but what will the cost of revealing that secret be?

While the story itself was not always as plausible as I would have liked, the suspense was nail-bitingly fantastic! I stayed up late to read this one through to the end because I just had to know the “secret” and how these two families were intertwined. To say I was shocked at the reveal is an understatement – more so – I was shocked at the subsequent twist. This is one helluva ride from start to finish.

If you like mysteries, suspense and thrillers, this is the book for you. Camilla Way is definitely on my radar now and I cannot wait for her next book!

Thank you to PenguinPublishing – Berkley for this amazing read!


House of Gold by @NatashaSolomons

House of Gold is a sweeping saga of the Goldbaum family during World War One and the events leading up to the great war.


I am finding myself reading more and more historical fiction often for the actual history that is included in the books. Some of these authors have done extensive research on fashion, important families and, most importantly, the events of the era about which they are writing. Natasha Solomons’ House of Gold is no exception. Based on the Rothschild family, the Goldbaums are one of, if not, the wealthiest families of Europe. They are the bankers, financiers and confidants of the most influential politicians and land owners. Specifically, House of Gold follows the branches of the family in Austria, Germany, France and England just prior to WW1. The story primarily is told by Greta, from Austria, and her brother Otto. Greta is married off to a distant cousin in England. As the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand occurs, the branches of the family are severed with the families in Eastern Europe cut off from those in the west.

In the first portion of the book, Solomons delves deep into the opulence of this wealthy family – their parties, their castles, their travels throughout Europe in their specially designed train car. Once Greta is settled into England, we then extensively learn about the elaborate gardens and greenhouses created by both Greta and her mother in law. These garden descriptions are, in fact, based on the Rothschild’s famous gardens in Europe. Ultimately, however, the latter portion of the book covers the war and the division of the family. I was stunned at the great detail that Solomons took in her description of the war. I could read historical text after text and never quite get the emotional turmoil that she evokes with her recounting of these characters’ fate during the war. This portion of the book, alone, is reason enough to read House of Gold.

Overall, I found House of the Gold to be one of the best books in this genre that I’ve read. The details are well researched, the character development amazing. However, as with all historical texts or fiction, the author will bring with them their own slant to the events that they are telling. This particular book really pushed home the rise of anti-Semitism and, unfortunately, not everything was historically accurate from that perspective. There was a lot of anti-Russian sentiment brought into play that really did not occur in Europe in WWI but was more a part of the post WW1 era and leading up to, of course, WWII. It’s important to remember, always, that Russia was part of the western alliance during both world wars and suffered the greatest casualty count, greater even than that of France. This story would lead you to believe that Russia was the enemy to the west. Not so. I also did not realize before I read the book that it would be intricately  tied to the Rothschild family. Call me a crazy American, and I am, but I truly despise that particular family and its global machinations. Every time I would begin to sympathize with one of the characters, I would pull myself back again because it’s really the Rothschilds that are being described and I couldn’t care less what their fate might have been and, in reality, I know the ultimate end result and their role in the world today. IF the book had solely dealt with a fictional affluent family and there had been no reference to the Rothschilds, I would have enjoyed the book to its fullest. Again, it’s the crazy American in me and perhaps other people may not have a problem with this.

If you can read the book as a totally fictional account of a totally fictional family, then it is an amazing read. I did enjoy the book and I do recommend it, I just had to overlook a few elements in order to do so.

My thanks to Natasha Solomons, #Edelweiss and #GPPutnamsSons and #PenguinPublishingGroup for my copy of this fascinating tale.

Tell Me You’re Mine by #ElisabethNoreback

It’s publication day for this riviting suspense tale!


Tell Me You’re Mine is a slow simmering suspenseful tale of three women: Stella, a psychologist, wife and mother to a 13 year old boy and to a child that was presumed dead twenty years ago. Isabelle, who is seeking answers about her own very confusing life after she was harshly told that the father who recently died was not her biological father and Kirsten, Isabelle’s mother, who is desperately trying to hold on to her daughter while her life is crumbling to pieces around her. As the lives of these three women merge, we see how very fine the line can be between sanity and the brink of madness.

This is a debut novel for Noreback who does an incredible job of pulling you into the lives of these women. She craftfully creates a web of lies, deception, fear and insanity. As Stella becomes more convinced that Isabelle is her “dead” daughter, those around her fear she is on a brink of a breakdown. Stella has done this before, seen her daughter where she did not exist, and she is currently being investigated for having an unhealthy relationship with a patient. Perhaps she is losing her mind. As Isabelle looks for more answers, the questions she is asking and the independence she is seeking causes her own mother to crumble. As readers we, too, are forced to ask questions – who is sane, who isn’t, where should loyalties lie in situations like this and who is telling the truth.

I found the story very engaging and suspenseful. I felt Stella’s terror as she questions her sanity and wanted so badly for her to be correct about Isabelle being her daughter. I became enraged with her husband who questioned Stella’s version of the truth. I desperately wanted him to be stronger and believe her. Noreback does a terrific job creating these very dynamic, sympathetic characters. Ultimately, however, this is a suspense tale and the action packed ending will leave you breathless.

Admittedly, there were times that I felt the book dragged, or perhaps it was just that I was engrossed in the story that I wanted to know how it ended – who was telling the truth. Regardless, I read it in a day because I could not put it down. For me, that alone makes a book at least 3.5 to 4 stars. If I am that engaged with the characters then it’s a good tale – and this is.

I highly recommend it for mystery/suspense lovers and I look forward to reading more from this new author in the future. The book is on sale today at Amazon and your local book sellers. I’d love to hear from you if read it or have read it. Drop me a comment below.

Thanks to #Edelweiss, #ElisabethNoreback and #ThePenguinPublishingGroup for me advanced copy of this terrific book.