Review: Sunburn by Laura Lippman

About Sunburn

Hardcover:304 pages
Publisher:William Morrow (February 20, 2018)

A Bustle, Entertainment Weekly and PopSugar Most Anticipated Book of 2018.

“Every time Laura Lippman comes out with a new book, I get chills because I know I am back in the hands of the master. She is simply a brilliant novelist, an unflinching chronicler of life in America right now, and Sunburn is her dark, gleaming noir gem. Read it.” -Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman returns with a superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals and cold-blooded murder.

One is playing a long game. But which one?

They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other dangerous, even lethal, secrets.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each others lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?

Something or someone has to give.

Which one will it be?

Inspired by James M. Cain’s masterpieces The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce, Sunburn is a tantalizing modern noir from the incomparable Laura Lippman.

Purchase Links

HarperCollinsAmazon�| Barnes & Noble



Most of you know I’m an avid crime fiction reader, it’s my go to genre so I’m slightly ashamed to say this was my first Laura Lippman book! Looking through her back catalogue I can see she writes exactly the kind of books I love so I have NO idea how she’s been off my radar thus far. I’ve seen many others say that Sunburn is not typical for her, but I loved it and her writing is so nuanced, so dang good that I won’t be missing out on her books in the future.

Polly is a mysterious woman with a plethora of secrets in her past, you know little about her for a long time, Lippman methodically peels back the layers of her character until you get to the core. Adam also has a mysterious past and the same goes for him, you slowly but surely gain information about his history and you’re just never totally comfortable trusting either of them. Unreliability at it’s best! There are quite a few points of view, but not too many in my opinion, each served a particular purpose and were there for a specific reason, not just as filler. The characters were complex, interesting and so shady, right up my alley.

Many will say this is a slow burn and I totally agree, but it’s also a slow unraveling of a tangled tale that I was never quite sure of. Not sure of who to trust, not sure what their true motivations were and definitely not sure of what would happen next. I never did figure things out ahead of time, the ending totally surprised me, completely unexpected and wholly satisfying.

Sunburn in three words: Subtle, Hypnotic and Unpredictable.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About Laura Lippman

Since LAURA LIPPMAN’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than fifty awards for crime fiction and won almost twenty, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Connect with Laura on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Review: Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes


Release date: March 1, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.


Do you like books that keep you up late at night because there is just NO way you can put it down until you find out the truth? What about books that are relentlessly paced with short chapters that end on mini cliffhangers leaving you reading chapter after chapter until you realize you’re finished? Or what about books that are full of thrills and excitement but also have a domestic suspense vibe chock full of secrets and lies? If you answered yes to these questions then please allow me to introduce you to the work of the fabulous Caroline Mitchell! Over the past two years she’s become one of my favorite authors, I can always count on her for an original storyline and some serious heart pounding moments and Silent Victim may be her best book yet.

This is told from several viewpoints and flips between 2017, 2013 and 2002 but everything is laid out clearly, there is no confusion but just loads of intrigue. The premise of this hooked me instantly, Emma killed her teacher years ago, but she didn’t mean to and she’s been living in fear ever since. When she digs up his grave and finds it empty things start to go downhill, fast. That’s as far as I’ll be discussing the plot because this went in SO many unexpected directions that I don’t want to reveal much. The tension is insane and the guessing game was endless, I was doubtful and distrusting of everyone at some point and the ending left me gasping for breath. Another hit from one of my auto buy authors, if you haven’t read her books yet they’re all highly recommended by me.

Silent Victim in three words: Nerve wracking, exciting and Menacing.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Only Child by Rhiannon Navin @rhiannonnavin #BlogTour

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK

Release date: March 8, 2018

Publisher: Mantle

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


We went to school that Tuesday like normal.

Not all of us came home . . .

Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken nineteen lives.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the close knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach’s father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice — while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing.

Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward — as, sometimes, only a child can.

I’m honored to be the stop on the blog tour for Only Child today!


The whole story is told through the eyes of Zach, a seven year old little guy and it begins on the day a gunman opens fire at his elementary school. I have three small kids, 9, 6 and 3 and my two oldest have participated in multiple lockdown drills. I remember when my oldest daughter came home from kindergarten talking about what to do if “a bad guy comes to my school mommy, we have to hide in the bathroom and stay super quiet.” That chilled me to my core but unfortunately that’s the world we live in. The world I’m raising my gorgeous kids in. It’s terrifying. I was a senior in high school back in 1999 when Columbine happened and I remember how scared and confused I was, how I couldn’t comprehend such a tragic event. All of that to say, I knew this would be a difficult book to read, I knew I would be emotional but I also knew it would be important and I’m extremely glad that I did read this because the author handled everything with grace and compassion.

Zach, what a special little boy he is, he has a piece of my heart. Seeing the entire story through a child’s eyes really brought a simplicity to things, kids are so pure and innocent. Children can often be pushed to the side when adults are dealing with grown up problems and that is what broke my heart the most. I wanted to scoop this little man up and take all of his worries away, that’s how realistic he seemed and his voice? Unbelievably accurate, I felt like I was listening to my daughter talk to me.

I could honestly discuss this book for hours, but I’ll finish up and say that I really feel like this is a vital read for everyone. It’s ripped from the current headlines, and it’s every single parents worst fear. Navin did an amazing job at handling the issues in a sensitive and realistic way, this is truly a special book.

Only Child in three words: Compelling, Moving and Timely.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan


Release date: February 27, 2018

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.

Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?


I don’t know if there’s a mother on the planet that hasn’t felt like they lost a piece of themselves at some point since having their children. It’s SO incredibly easy to throw your heart and soul into being a mom, it’s a gigantic responsibility and one most don’t take lightly. Along the way it’s far too easy to put yourself last in order to keep your family functioning happily and you don’t even notice until you’ve been doing it for years, decades even. That is the crux of Maggie’s problem, she has lost herself and it takes her husband leaving her for her to even realize it.

I could completely relate to Maggie even though she’s a bit older than me, she’s a normal, everyday wife and mom who doesn’t even really know what makes her happy. She knows what drives her kids and her husband, but herself? The last time she followed her dreams was when she married her husband decades ago. Pagan created such a realistic character in Maggie, she was warm and kind and also insecure and unsure of her place in the world and lacking confidence in a major way. Who can’t relate to that?! She also had a dark sense of humor at times that I loved! The way the whole book unfolded was so true to real life, you know those books where a woman gets divorced then moves someplace new, falls in love and gets a second chance at happiness super quickly? This isn’t that book and I so appreciated that, it’s an extremely well written and accurate portrayal of what a woman would do after her life is shattered.

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties in three words: Honest, Relatable and Hopeful.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz


Release date: February 13, 2018

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


They called themselves “the lucky ones”

They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night — was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.


I want to start by mentioning that this isn’t a traditional mystery/thriller, yes there’s definitely a mystery to be solved but if you’re looking for a book that is intense with lots of heart pounding moments it’s not this one. However, it’s extremely well written and makes for a compelling read but I think future readers should be aware that it fits better under a romantic suspense genre.

There was something dark about this, a gothic feeling both in the mystery of Allison’s past, the romantic elements and the setting. The bulk of it takes place at her childhood foster home in a house on the edge of the sea in Oregon called The Dragon. There was a sinister vibe that the author created with her creepy imagery that I really liked. The romance also had a dangerous edge, it’s borderline taboo one of those that you almost feel naughty just reading about. And of course the mystery itself was intriguing and dark, there was definitely a hint of menace once all was revealed.

There was quite a bit of moral ambiguity surrounding all the pieces of this one, should you make the choices that you know are right or should you go after what feels right? It deals with the gray area, there is no black or white here and gave me much to ponder which is always the sign of a well written book. Recommended for mystery fans that don’t mind romance and borderline creepy relationships.

The Lucky Ones in three words: Wicked, Dark and Gloomy.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About the Author:

Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer.





Connect with Tiffany

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


Release date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Historical Fiction


Alaska, 1974.

Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.


Normally I fly through books at a rapid pace, devouring them in a day, (two at the most) but it took me over two weeks to read this one. It’s not what you think though. I didn’t struggle to stay engrossed, I wasn’t uninterested in the story but rather I wanted savor each page, each word of this gorgeously written book. I’ve been slowly coming out of a reading slump and this book was the one constant that I could pick up and totally lose myself in. I was almost dreading turning the final page because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

This book already has close to 100,000 reviews on Goodreads so I’m sure that you’ve seen at least one before, so I’ll keep this brief. If you loved The Nightingale read this, I liked it even more and that’s one of my most loved books. If you like atmospheric stories where the setting is a character of it’s own, read this book. If you like stunning imagery, deeply developed characters and reads that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, read the book. It will probably make you cry though so fair warning. Seriously, don’t miss this one it’s phenomenal.

The Great Alone in three words: Captivating, Thought provoking and Evocative.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry


Release date: January 30, 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA


Doesn’t matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It’s over.”

When Drix was convicted of a crime—one he didn’t commit—he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves—Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence—and each other to finally get what they deserve.

I’m so excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Say You’ll Remember Me today! Check out TLC Book Tours for the full schedule.


Can we talk about that cover?! It’s gorgeous, I may have spent an inordinate amount of time staring at it, there’s something about those shades of purple 😍 Now that I got that fawning out of the way…

I don’t read all that much YA anymore, I have absolutely nothing against it, there was a time when I almost strictly stuck to the genre, but I’m at a point in my life where I can’t always relate to the trials and tribulations of teenagers. But sometimes I hear good things about an author or a particular book so I make an exception and I am SO glad that I did because not only did McGarry make me relate to her beautifully crafted characters, she made me fall a little in love with them.

This is told via alternate perspectives that flip back and forth each chapter, one is from Ellison, the daughter of a politician who lives a privileged life and then Drix, a kid who had the odds stacked against him from day one. They couldn’t be more different from each but I adored both and was impressed by how the author gave them both separate voices that rang true to that of a teenaged kid from their particular background.

This was a topical book that dealt with many issues that are relevant to youth today that managed to convey some fantastic messages in a nonjudgmental way. Parts of this broke my heart a little and then there were some surprises in the end with some intensity that I wasn’t expecting, I loved the highs and lows!

Say You’ll Remember Me in three words: Sweet, romantic and emotional.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About the Author:

Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

She is the author of the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series. Say You’ll Remember Me will be released in 2018.

Katie loves to hear from her readers.


Connect with Katie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Review: Girl Unknown by Karen Perry

About Girl Unknown

Hardcover:304 pages
Publisher:Henry Holt and Co. (February 6, 2018)

Explores emotional danger with relentless, surgical accuracy.
Tana French,New York Timesbestselling author of The TrespasserandInto the Woods.

David and Caroline Connolly are swimming successfully through their marriages middle years raising two children; overseeing care for David’s ailing mother; leaning into their careers, both at David’s university teaching job, where he’s up for an important promotion, and at the ad agency where Caroline has recently returned to work after years away while the children were little. The recent stresses of home renovation and of a brief romantic betrayal (Caroline’s) are behind them. The Connollys know and care for each other deeply.Then one early fall afternoon, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David’s university office and says, I think you might be my father. And the fact of a youthful passion that David had tried to forget comes rushing back. In the person of this intriguing young woman, the Connollys may have a chance to expand who they are and how much they can love, or they may be making themselves vulnerable to menace. They face either an opportunity or a threat but which is which? What happens when their hard-won family happiness meets a hard-luck beautiful girl?


Full of intrigue and incident keeps us guessing until the very last tragic page. Liz Nugent, bestselling author ofUnraveling Oliverand ofLying in Wait.

Compulsively readable, with surprises until the very last page. . . . A chilling tale about a family under threat from one of its own. Jessica Treadway, author ofLacy and I Will I Know You?

“[Girl Unknown] is must-read literary suspense, with dueling character perspectives and sly twists forming a gut-wrenching exploration of trust, manipulation, and obsession. Booklist (starred review)

Purchase Links

Amazon |Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


Imagine you’re already going through a difficult time in your marriage, a trying time that is putting your relationship to the test and then a teenaged girl shows up and announces that she’s your husbands daughter. That’s exactly what happens to Caroline and Zoe’s arrival is just the beginning of a series of events that no one saw coming, I sure didn’t!

While this was most definitely a mystery, it had a strong literary feel to it, the prose used by the authors had a sophisticated subtlety to it that gave it strong edge. I’m always fascinated by writing duos, I wonder how they actually wrote the book. This is told from dual perspectives, that of David and Caroline and I pondered whether each author wrote each distinct voice, but whatever method they used it worked excellently. You would never know it’s co authored, there is nothing disjointed, it’s actually incredibly smooth and the writing style is top notch.

The plot takes several unexpected turns but the twists weren’t the big, shocking gasp worthy type but rather the kind that unnerve you and get under your skin. They are still surprising, but there’s an air of refinement to how they’re executed that worked really well for me. I’m definitely a fan of the style and will be reading more from the author(s) in the future.

Girl Unknown in three words: Unsettling, Polished and Penetrating.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

Photo by Edmund Ross Photography

About Karen Perry

Karen Perryis the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. Together they wrote Girl Unkown.

Paul Perryis the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A recipient of the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, he teaches creative writing at University College, Dublin.

Karen Gilleceis the author of several critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland).

Connect with them on Facebook.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week:

Best Friends Forever was an entertaining, light mystery with chilling moments.

The Reunion was a fantastic psychological thriller that delivered the promised jaw dropping twist.

The Surrogate was a great audiobook and my new favorite Jensen book.

Look For Her was about a cold case, one of my favorite premises!

The Story of Our Lives was a lovely read about female friends with a clever structure.

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

I think I’m finally, slowly coming out of my reading slump, which is exciting! One positive from it has been that it made me reflect and reevaluate how I want to move forward. I still love book blogging and find it to be really fun, but I realized that I’ve been putting unnecessary pressure on myself to read all of the books! Super unrealistic and silly honestly because that’s just impossible. Most of the time it’s me having FOMO, which again is just stupid so I’ve decided to be more discerning in terms of the books that I commit to reading. I cannot do it all and I want to continue to enjoy doing this and not constantly feel like I’m under pressure to read. It’s all self inflicted, no one has made me feel this way for the record. With all that said, I’ll be refraining from posting reviews on the weekends unless I have a prior commitment just so I’m not constantly writing blog posts. So no huge changes, I’ll still be around, I feel like scaling back slightly will only have a positive impact on my life! Does anyone else do this? Curious what works for you all.. And how was your week?!

Review: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott


Release date: February 20, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free.


How well can you trust your own memory after ten years? That’s the question at the heart of this book and when I think back to a decade earlier I can’t remember all that much. I was pregnant with my first kiddo so I definitely have vivid memories of that time, but the rest of everyday life type stuff? Forget it. Kate can’t forget the week she spent in France with her five closest university friends, there was drama, turmoil and a neighbor went missing. But now her body has been discovered and the investigation has been reopened forcing Kate to recall painful memories that she would rather be left in the past. How well can she trust herself, they were drinking and again, it’s been ten years! I loved the unreliability this provided as everyone’s perception of that week didn’t quite fit together making it tricky to piece together the truth.

This is a slower paced novel, you should definitely be in the mood for a lighter mystery that doesn’t rely on crazy plot twists when you pick this up and I do recommend picking it up! Despite the leisurely pace I was hooked almost instantly, there were fantastic moments of doubt and plenty of evasion from the core group of friends that kept me entertained. What sets this apart is the deep characterization coupled with a strong writing style that gave me shades of Ruth Ware. I’ll definitely be eagerly awaiting her next book!

The French Girl in three words: Perceptive, Enigmatic and Dubious.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.