Review: Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 3, 2018

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MGD

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

This is a love story. This is a tragedy.

This is a book about a break up so bad that when you put the pieces of the love story back together, what you get is murder.

Mike understands that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us complete.

But he and Verity are different. They have found each other and nothing and no one will tear them apart.

It doesn’t matter that Verity is marrying another man.

It’s all just part of a plan: you see, Verity and Mike play a game together, a secret game they call ‘the crave’, the aim being to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and only Mike.

Verity’s upcoming marriage is the biggest game she and Mike have ever played. And it’s for the highest stakes.

Except this time in order for Mike and Verity to be together someone has to die.

Review:

You know what I’ve never realized until I started this book? That the majority of psychological thrillers are told from a woman’s perspective, it’s rare but not unheard of for the lead to be a man. That’s probably something obvious that most of you have noticed before, but it was a lightbulb moment for me. Maybe that explains my utter fascination with this book, Mike’s backstory and depressing past were so interesting to me, it was such a unique experience reading about a damaged man compared to reading about yet another woman who may or may not be paranoid/delusional/insert your choice here.

This book will definitely not be for everyone, Mike has a very unique voice and the bulk of the novel is almost like a stream of his consciousness, which can be slightly tedious at times, but I found it to be oddly intriguing. I never tire of getting to see inside the mind of someone toeing the line between insanity and sanity, so this one was right up my alley. I also liked that it was told solely from his POV and laid out in a linear fashion, there were no crazy timeline jumps. It’s also just divided up into three parts with no actual chapters, just another little quirk that I appreciated.

I don’t wanna touch the plot, the blurb is sufficient and entices you enough I think, so if it interests you I say that’s enough to give it a shot! Plus, have you seen Gillian Flynn’s endorsement?! That’s what sold me, she called it nasty and I couldn’t agree more. This is not a pretty little love story, it’s downright ugly and disturbing, again right up my alley!

Our Kind of Cruelty in three words: Slick, Seductive, and Twisted.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Go Ask Ali by Ali Wentworth

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Harper

Genre: Non Fiction, Humor

Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Ali Wentworth offers her hilarious and unique advice on surviving the absurdity of modern life in her third collection of laugh-out-loud comic vignettes.

Ali Wentworth’s first two books, Ali in Wonderland and Happily Ali After, were lauded by readers, critics, and fellow comedians alike. Entertainment Weekly included Happily Ali After on its “Must List” and hailed it as “hilarious. . . . Her glass isn’t half full—it’s “empty and cracked,” while Cosmopolitan praised it as “razor-sharp.” Chelsea Handler called Ali in Wonderland “truly hilarious,” and Kathy Griffin christened it, “Chicken Soup for the Vagina.” Alec Baldwin has described Ali as “funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth,” and Jerry Seinfeld has raved, “Everything that comes out of Ali Wentworth’s mouth is funny!”

At once endearing and hilarious, thoughtful and far-fetched, this third collection offers Ali at her wisest and wittiest as she delivers tips, pointers, and quips on a host of life’s conundrums and sticky situations, including the funny, sometimes embarrassing yet unforgettable situations that have shaped her inimitable world view as a wife, mother, actress, comedian, and all around bon vivant. Thoroughly entertaining, Go Ask Ali is packed with thoughts and musings from “the girlfriend you want to have a glass of wine with, the one who makes you laugh because she sees the funny and the absurd in everything” (Huffington Post).

Review:

Do you have a friend that always makes you laugh, no matter what? Whether you go to her/him for advice and wind up going from miserable to laughing so hard you’re crying after a single conversation with them or maybe they’re just the type of person who is on the spot funny and always has the best quips and one liners. My point is, I think we all have at least one of those types of friends and reading Go Ask Ali was like one long, hilarious conversation with said friend.

This book is a mix of advice from Ali and tidbits from her life, little stories about her family, marriage and childhood delivered in a self deprecating and laugh out loud funny manner, seriously I really did laugh. (Multiple times) As funny as Wentworth is, she really does give solid advice, her delivery is just blunt and straightforward with a little snark thrown in on the side. It’s written in a really laid back and conversational tone that makes it seem like a pretty effortless read, I read it in a couple of hours and barely even noticed the time, it was just fun.

This would be perfect to read on a road trip or a plane ride, except fellow travelers may think you’re a little crazy when you snort with laughter, but whatever. A really perfect summer read, I mean just look at that cover!

Go Ask Ali in three words: Sarcastic, Feisty and Witty.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 15, 2018

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.

Review:

Calling all Real Housewives fans, line up ladies, because have I got THE perfect juicy summer read for you! If you’re a fan of any reality TV shows I have a feeling this book will be for you actually, it’s like getting an insiders look into the making of a reality show with the added bonus of a murder mystery, I mean is there anything better?! Not to me, and this will be one of the most talked about books this summer, I have no doubt about it, so mark your calendars.

It took me a little while to keep the cast of characters straight here, you’re thrust right into the action and keeping all the players and their over the top personalities and complex lives separate took a bit of time. The beginning is also setting the stage for what’s to come later, so be patient to start and the reward will come later, and believe me, it really does! You hear from Brett, her sister Kelly and Stephanie, Brett’s ex BFF and man do they have a lot to say. These are women with strong and loud opinions, bad ass entrepreneurs, boss bitches, exactly the type of women who dominate shows like RH, but their fictional show, Goal Diggers has a female empowerment edge that eschews traditional roles and this book had a lot to say about current social issues, especially those effecting women today. Sure, reality TV isn’t the classiest setting for feminism, but it’s sure as hell makes for an entertaining read!

This was juicy and a little campy, Knoll has an acerbic wit and her pop culture references were so on point and hilarious. She created a cast of characters that were, at face value inspiring, strong women but underneath the surface they were actually all hiding some pretty dark secrets. They’re they type of people that you love to hate when you watch reality TV and in the end I can’t decide if I really liked any of them, but that didn’t stop me from being fascinated by them. They are cutthroat and super driven and will do all sorts of messy and shady things to get what they want, again how could I not be entertained?! Plan to pack this in your beach bag this summer and prepare for some drama…

The Favorite Sister in three words: Biting, Dramatic and Edgy.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Saturday Shoutout: Q & A with Mark Tilbury @MTilburyAuthor

Happy Saturday everyone, I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your weekend. I have a Q & A to share today with Mark Tilbury, I recently read his latest release, The Key to Death’s Door and LOVED it! Here’s a little information about the book:

Blurb:

If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light that lets him to go back to the past, Lee finds himself reliving the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.

Q & A

1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.

I tend to write in the afternoons. I’m pretty useless at doing anything in the morning except drinking coffee! I sit in a room with the curtains closed and music on to drown out any possible distractions. I target 2,000 words a day and try to keep going until I reach it. Not that it always happens that way – sometimes the muse decides to have a day off, and I just have to walk away and leave it alone.

2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?

I started with poems and adventure stories when I was about eight or nine. I was naturally quite good at English, and one particular teacher encouraged me to write. I loved creating my own worlds. It was my way of being in control in a world controlled by adults. Make them do what I wanted for a change!

3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?

Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Tom Sharpe. I’ve tried to take a little something from each of them and mould it into my own style. Koontz’s description, King’s natural way of talking to his audience and Tom Sharpe’s humour

4. Anything you can tell us about current projects?

My latest novel, The Key to Death’s Door is being published by Bloodhound Books on 16th April. Teenager Lee Hunter nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically. As time passes, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

I’ve also just finished the first draft of a new novel which has a working title of The Hunter of Lost Souls. Without giving too much away, it’s about a woman who is attacked and left for dead after her assailant is disturbed by a man walking his dog. As she recovers, the headaches and nosebleeds begin, and she soon realises she has been left with an ability to see into the mind of her assailant.

5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.

I nearly always start with a character. He/she speaks in my head. Something completely random. Peter King in The Liar’s Promise said, ‘What doesn’t kill you will make you wish it had.’ That was interesting enough for me to really take notice. Think about who would say such a thing? Where could they fit into a story? The stories themselves are usually random ‘what if?’ ideas. In the Liar’s Promise it was – what if a young child remembers a past life in which she’d been murdered, and the killer is still at large? Then it’s just a case of matching story to character and seeing where it leads.

6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?

Liam Truman from The Abattoir of Dreams. Gutsy, stood up for what he believed in, took no crap. Someone I really admired. He held onto hope for all he was worth, even when facing death. The only character in one of my books who made me cry when writing him.

7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?

Readers can e-mail me using this address mark@marktilbury.com or send me a message on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor

8. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Three months. I’ve written six so far, and each one has come in around that time, regardless of length.

10. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?

Lee Hunter in The Key to Death’s Door. He’s more of a follower than a leader, but he’s never afraid to take part or test himself. Fortunately, I’ve never experienced any of the horrors Lee does in the book, but I imagine it’s how I might react if I did.

11. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?

I’ve been extremely lucky to have received a lot of compliments about my books, but for me it’s the ones who say they wouldn’t normally read this type of book, but they are really glad they did. It’s as if I’ve converted them, and that, for me, is so rewarding.

Huge thanks to Mark for joining me today!

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

THEN

She was fifteen, her mother’s

golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW

It’s been ten years since Ellie

disappeared, but Laurel has never given up

hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.

Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.

And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?

Who still has secrets to hide?

Review:

There is something about the manner in which Lisa Jewell weaves a tale, the style of her writing has a mesmerizing quality that makes her books true page turners. Just to be completely honest and upfront I do want to say that I did see several of the big twists coming from a mile away. For whatever reason I wasn’t bothered in the slightest though, there was something compelling about Then She Was Gone regardless of my being able to accurately predict several things.

Missing children stories always get to me on a personal level and when the case is years old, it’s even more heartbreaking. Laurel lost more than just her daughter Ellie, her marriage crumbled and her relationship with her two other children suffered as well. Devastation after devastation for this poor woman and I couldn’t help but hope that she would find some small bit of peace in her life, I felt awful for her and can’t imagine not knowing what happened to your child.

This was an emotional thriller, Jewell writes fascinating characters with complex histories that you can’t help but be interested in. If you’re a fan of the author already, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, it’s a fast paced engaging read with a really strong plot and the kind of book you’ll want to read in one or two sittings.

Then She Was Gone in three words: Intriguing, Spellbinding and Addictive.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: A Home at Honeysuckle Farm by ChristieBarlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperImpulse

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

A family secret

One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever…

A second chance

Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. So, when Alice learns her beloved Grandie is ill, she knows this is her last chance to heal the family rift.

A forever home?

But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense.

Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again?

I’m so pleased to be helping close down the blog tour for A Home at Honeysuckle Farm today!

Review:

When I curl up with a new Christie Barlow book I just know I’m about to have an enjoyable read, every single time she nails the perfect combination of elements that I crave in lighthearted fiction; a relatable and fun protagonist, a pretty setting, an interesting storyline and a hint of a mystery and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm delivered on all fronts.

Alice was they type of character that I wish was my own friend, she’s sweet and funny with a huge heart and an endearing personality. Her mom and grandfather have a very strained relationship for reasons unknown to her and this is where the secretive, mysterious aspect comes into play. Often times in women’s fiction I feel like attempts at plot twists are super obvious, but Barlow always manages to surprise me. Besides Alice, the village of Brook Bridge was chock full of amazing secondary characters, a truly charming and delightful group of people.

I’m such a huge fan of Christie Barlow and I could gush over this book all the live long day, but I’ll spare you and just say that if you want a read that will make you smile and keep you entertained, look no further.

A Home at Honeysuckle Farm in three words: Warm, Sweet and Happy.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

She loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website www.christiebarlow.com Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page Christie Barlow author

Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: July 17, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Review:

I want to start by saying that I think this book will be extremely divisive, it’s uncomfortable, bold and full of shocking scenarios, and very over the top. BUT, it worked really well for me and there was an originality to it, I really haven’t read anything like it before and it’s not a book I’ll soon forget.

This alternates between a mother, Suzette, a woman who desperately wants to connect to her daughter, and Hanna, a seven year old girl. While obviously I could relate more to Suzette, Hanna’s point of view was far more compelling to me. She’s a creepy little girl and I wasn’t quite sure if she was a super clever little actress, skilled in sophisticated manipulation or a child with some serious mental issues who needed professional help in the worst way. Many of her chapters were chilling, a glimpse inside the mind of a child who behaves in abhorrent ways is the type of stuff nightmares are made of!

While this was definitely a thriller it almost read like a horror novel at some points, Stage created a really creepy atmosphere in the Jensen home, one full of uneasiness and dread and undercurrents of a dark danger. She’s a gifted writer and her ability to write two distinct narratives was excellent, if you’ve read this I would LOVE to discuss it!

Baby Teeth in three words: Controversial, Twisted and Wicked.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Blog Tour: The Last Friend by Harvey Church @HarveyChurch1 @CarolineBookBit #TheLastFriend

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: January 9, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life

Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.

The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand

When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.

The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance

And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.

What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?

Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Last Friend! I read and really liked this book late last year and am so pleased to be sharing some more with you guys today.

The Last Friend – Harvey Church
Character Spotlight
– Special Agent Mike Klein –

| Who is Special Agent Mike Klein

Klein is an old-school investigator. He began his career investigating missing people, kidnappings, abductions, ransoms, etc.. But with funding constraints, his unit has shrunk. He’s now overworked, hitting the mid-point in fifties and eyeing retirement.

He believes in the justice system, the rule of law, and that makes things difficult for him in the case of Elizabeth Glass and the many other young girls who have gone missing in The Last Friend.

| The Inspiration for Klein’s Character

Once, while I was out of town with my family, I dined out at a restaurant. Nothing fancy, just a regular place, and it was packed. At the next table, there was a trio of older men. One of them was the most handsome older man I’d ever seen – strong jaw, penetrating eyes, the kind of tan and weathered look that belongs in a Western Romance. At this man’s worst, he’d look better than me at my best. As we all do, I started wondering what this man did for a living. In my mind, he was an investigator. The only reason he was dining at this restaurant was because the owners had kidnapped kids from across the country and forced them into working for them, and this special agent was going to lock the place down once his crème brûlée arrived. (Okay, I might have had wine, on an empty stomach, but that was honestly how Klein’s character came to me).

| The Creation of Klein

Er, see above?

I’ll add that bringing the old guy from the restaurant into my novel involved giving him traits that—oh, wait, I get to talk about that next…

| About Klein’s Character

So, as I was saying, adapting the good-looking old man to the novel wasn’t as easy as I thought. Was he married? What’s his past? What does his office look like? And, most importantly, how do these things reveal themselves when Klein is a secondary character to the grieving father (Donovan) and his missing daughter’s last friend (Monica)?

To compensate for Klein’s secondary role in the Last Friend he is the secondary character of another novel I’ve written (The Last Night) as well as one in development for a summer 2018 publication. The summer 2018 novel gets more into Klein’s head as he tidies up some loose ends from The Last Friend, particularly that opening chapter…

| Does he have any similarities with anyone ‘real’?
If so .. tell us more!

If anyone ever asked me what Klein and I have in common, the answer would be: nothing. We are polar opposites in terms of our nicotine addictions, our calm and collected way of dealing with injustice, our beliefs in the ‘system,’ our views on politics, how we dress, and what’s important to us. That’s not to say or suggest that special agent Mike Klein is an idiot (because it’s probably the other way around), but we’d probably not cheer for the same football team. And if we were ever seated at a bar together—okay, we share an appreciation for single malts, which is a start, I suppose—we’d probably disagree about things like fiscal policy, which Netflix show to watch next, and whether David Hasselhoff is going to make a comeback as Michael Knight.

| What do you like most about your character?

He’s fearless and certain about everything he does. Klein doesn’t make mistakes. Plus, he’s the type of guy that offers hope that a better world exists outside of all of the horrible things that happen around us.

| What do you dislike about your protagonist’s character?

Klein’s inflexibility doesn’t allow him to see shades of grey. For Klein, everything is a black and white problem. In The Last Friend, that’s not a big problem—a young girl was kidnapped and her captor should suffer. But in The Last Night, things aren’t so black and white, and that causes issues for Klein.

| Would you and Klein be friends ‘in real life’?

I think it’s good and smart to be friends with people who can save your life, and Klein could definitely do that. But he probably wouldn’t cheer for my favourite teams, and he’d likely try to stiff me for the tab if we went out for drinks. Plus, I bet he enjoys golfing, and I can swear and throw things out of frustration in the comfort of my own home, without having to pay inflated green fees, thank you very much. So, no, Klein and I likely wouldn’t be friends.

| What’s Next?

Up next for Klein is the novel, The Last Night. In this one, Ethan Vernon’s wife was taken away from her home in an ambulance in the middle the night. Except she never made it to the emergency room. When Ethan starts doubting himself, he searches the other hospitals, always with the same result: your wife’s not here. At his wits’ end, he calls emergency services and learns that no ambulance was ever dispatched to his house in the first place. In fact, Ethan himself becomes a suspect in what he believes is a massive cover-up, only to come face-to-face with a truth he might rather never know. Guess who is in the middle of this mess? Yup, special agent Mike Klein.

About the Author:

Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.

His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.

For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.

He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.

Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick!

Don’t forget to sign up for his email list at AListHarvey.com

Harvey Church Online:

Website:harveychurchmysteries.com
Twitter:
twitter.com/HarveyChurch1
Instagram:www.instagram.com/hashtag_harv/

Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepherd

Goodreads|

Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.

Review:

I’m a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars, both the books and the show (the books were better, duh) but I haven’t read anything else from Shepherd since the final installment of that series and that was quite a few years ago, so naturally I was very excited to read one of her adult novels to see if she could still reel me in with something with a bit more maturity. While overall this was an entertaining, easy read it didn’t have that bite, that sharpness that I need in a “grown up” thriller.

There WAS plenty that worked for me here, I absolutely love books about books and this one alternated Between Eliza’s POV in the present and chapters from her debut novel, The Dots. To begin I was equally invested in both narratives but as the lines between fact and fiction started to get fuzzy, I found myself more interested in Eliza’s book rather than her story. I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem per se, but I didn’t expect to feel like that nonetheless.

I really think that my main issue is that I’m far too seasoned in terms of reading true, gritty thrillers to be surprised by this one. This would be perfect for a YA audience or anyone who is wanting to branch out into thrillers who isn’t as jaded and picky as me. It would also be ideal for anyone who is looking for a lighter suspense read with no gore or graphic details, this focuses more on paranoia and the unknown than violence. Shepherd is a solid writer and does write page turners though, I’m sure the right audience will love this but unfortunately that’s just not me.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

They say you never forget your first love. What they don’t say though, is that sometimes your first love won’t forget you…

A police interview room is the last place Angela expected to find herself today. It’s been hours, and they keep asking her the same inane questions over and over. “How do you know the victim?” “What’s your relationship with Mr. Parker?” Her ex’s wife has gone missing, and anyone who was close to the couple is a suspect. Angela is tired of the bottomless questions and tired of the cold room that stays the same while a rotating litany of interrogators changes shifts around her. But when criminologist Novak takes over, she can tell he’s not like the others. He’s ready to listen, and she knows he’ll understand. When she tells him that her story begins a decade before, long before Saskia was in the picture, he gives her the floor.

A twenty-something young professional, Angela claims to have no involvement. How could she? It’s been years since she and H.P., Mr. Parker that is, were together. As her story unfolds, it deepens and darkens. There’s a lot to unpack… betrayal, jealousy, and a group of people who all have motives for retribution. If Angela is telling the truth, then who’s lying?

Review:

Our Little Secret is the ultimate binge worthy book, you can’t help being drawn into an intoxicating, dark web of intrigue, betrayal and obsession. It opens with Angela being interrogated by Detective Novak about the disappearance of a woman named Saskia. Angela seems genuinely puzzled as to why she’s being questioned, Saskia is only her first love, HP’s wife. But underneath the surface there is danger lurking and Angela is the quintessential unreliable narrator.

There was a quiet intensity to this book, Angela takes her time telling the story of how her and HP met and fell in love back in high school. She’s has a captivating presence and I was hanging onto her every word, there is something about her that makes you feel sorry for her one minute and then the next you’re wondering if she’s entirely sane. She’s highly complex and endlessly fascinating, I would love to read more about her honestly. This is definitely a slow burn but I was at no time frustrated or bored, I was still very eager to find out what was really going on. The ending was perfect, chilling, dark and ultimately satisfying, recommended as the perfect weekend binge read.

Our Little Secret in three words: Subtle, Manipulative and Smart.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.