Review: Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

to fear.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Review:

If you’re searching for a book to give you all the feels and one that will also restore your faith in humanity my friends then look no further. I’ve become a super fan of CRH over the past few years and this is my favorite of hers to date. Well, of the ones I’ve actually read because have you seen her backlist?! Impressive. But seriously, this is a special book and one that I won’t soon forget.

The driving force behind what makes a CRH fantastic is the incredible characterization, no doubt about it. She also has an incredible knack for telling stories about unlikely friendships that will tug at your heartstrings like no other and this was no exception. Raymond is a teenaged kid who I wanted to mother myself after just a few pages, this kid 😍 He is not your typical boy, he’s more mature and self aware than many adults, the kind of kid that would make every parent extremely proud, except for his own parents, which is such a shame. Millie lives in the same building as Raymond and the relationship between these two was beautiful and just so so special. What could a ninety year old and a sixteen year old possibly have in common? You’ll have to read yourself to truly understand, but the short answer is they have just enough in common to forge an amazing bond.

Yet another one of my favorite things about CRH is her ability to address current societal issues head on, but at the same time she’s not pushing a personal agenda or shoving things in the readers face. She’s exploring problematic issues in a sensitive and respectful manner and she always makes me think. As always this would be ideal for a book club or a buddy read, there is much to discuss, I know I’ve been dying to talk about this one with someone since I’ve finished! (If you’ve read it please let me know) Highly recommended by me, really to anyone who just likes a really well written and engaging story!

Have You Seen Luis Velez? in three words: Moving, Encouraging and Special.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 30, 2019

Publisher: Inkyard

Genre: YA

Blurb:

Has heartbreak broken her for good?

Dumped by her boyfriend the summer after senior year, teen love and relationship columnist Lu Charles has hit a wall with her writing. The words just won’t come to her like they used to and if she doesn’t find a topic for her column, she’ll lose her gig at hip online magazine Misnomer, and the college scholarship that goes along with it.

Her best friend, Pete, thinks she should write through her own pain, but when Lu overhears another couple planning a precollege breakup just like hers, she becomes convinced that they’re the answer to cracking her writer’s block. And when she meets them—super-practical Iris and cute, sweet Cal—and discovers they’re postponing their breakup until the end of the summer, she has to know more.

Have Cal and Iris prolonged their own misery by staying together, knowing the end is in sight? Or does the secret to figuring out all this love business—and getting over it—lie with them? One thing is certain—if Lu can’t make a breakthrough before summer is over, she can kiss her future goodbye.

From the acclaimed author of Let’s Get Lost and North of Happy comes a touching exploration of love, relationships and the pain of breaking up.

Review:

I used to read a ton of YA and then I just sort of naturally moved away from it over the past few years. I think as I got older I found myself struggling to relate to the characters but when I saw the title of this one I just had to try it, I mean how catchy is it?! I’m really glad I did because even though I still can’t totally relate to a teenager anymore (maybe because I’m old enough to be a parent to a teenager now? 👵🏻) I found myself able to remember how it felt to be a teenager and that worked out well for me.

Lu is the main character and everything is told solely from her POV and man did she frustrate me! This wasn’t a bad thing though, I actually found myself more invested in her story because I was hoping she would wake up and quit being so damn whiny and although she didn’t have this huge, life changing moment where she suddenly matured, she did undergo enough personal growth that I was happy. Also, that’s way more realistic anyway, who all of the sudden grows out of the teenager angsty melodrama overnight? I sure didn’t, maturity (especially emotional maturity) is a gradual process that can’t be rushed.

Besides Lu there were some other really great secondary characters that I really liked and I’m sure that helped with my frustrations with her. My favorite was her best friend, Pete he was a wise and stable presence in her otherwise chaotic and dramatic life and brought some much needed levity to the story. As I mentioned earlier, this one brought me right back to the time when I was a teenager dealing with my first heartbreak and I have to credit the author for that. It’s not always easy to bring me back to older emotional memories while I’m reading and I had no problem remembering how I felt and what that time period in my life truly felt like.

Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak in three words: Bittersweet, Cute and Relatable.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: April 23, 2019

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

She can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

Gwen Proctor escaped her serial-killer husband and saved her family. What she can’t seem to outrun is his notoriety. Or the sick internet vigilantes still seeking to avenge his crimes. For Gwen, hiding isn’t an option. Not when her only mission is to create a normal life for her kids.

But now, a threatened woman has reached out. Marlene Crockett, from the remote town of Wolfhunter, is panicked for herself and her daughter. When Gwen arrives in the small, isolated rural community, Marlene is already dead—her own daughter blamed for the murder. Except that’s not the person Marlene feared at all. And Gwen isn’t leaving until she finds out who that was.

But it may already be too late. A trap has been set. And it’s poised to snap shut on everyone Gwen loves. Her stalkers are closing in. And in a town as dark as Wolfhunter, it’s so easy for them to hide…

Review:

This is the third book in a series so if you haven’t read the first two yet don’t read this review because there will be spoilers for the first two books! I obviously won’t spoil anything in this installment but just wanted to give you guys a heads up just in case.

After the way the last book ended I wasn’t sure exactly what would be next for Gina and her family, there was no big cliffhanger ending or a bunch of loose ends, which meant that this one could go in basically any direction. Well, I loved the direction that Caine went here, and while this had a slightly different feeling than the previous books, I still enjoyed it immensely. Gwen still finds herself and her kids in danger, maybe not as imminent as in the past, but being stalked and threatened by people online is no walk in the park. So while things aren’t quite as tense as usual, there is definitely still an element of danger lurking and that great tension that the author is so good at creating.

Per usual I won’t be diving too deep into plot details because it’s best for it to all unfold for you, but I was really pleased by how things ended and also the journey to get there. There is something exciting about the possibilities ahead for these characters that I’ve come to really like and care about that makes me super anxious to see play out in book four and yes, there will be a fourth book! So far it just has a title, Bitter Falls and no synopsis but who cares?! I’m in! I can totally recommend this series thus far, it’s fun, fast paced and entertaining and I can also vouch for the audiobooks, they’re excellent!

Wolfhunter River in three words: Entertaining, Fast and Exciting

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

How far would you go to protect the ones you love…when they may not be yours to protect?

When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever.

Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. But now, as Josh struggles to find the paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, he begins to wonder whether there were more troubling reasons for Grace’s reluctance to make their family official.

As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…

Tightly paced and brimming with tension, Her Secret Son is a heartbreakingly honest portrait of a family on the edge of disaster and a father desperate to hold on to the boy who changed his life. 

Review:

I think my expectations for what this book would be weren’t accurate at all and it unfortunately made this one not the best for me in the end. I always talk about how having the right expectations about a book before picking it up helps me SO much and I really wish I would’ve known before I started this that it’s not a thriller at all, the authors last book, The Neighbors was a thriller and I stupidly assumed this would be as well. At best I would say this is a suspense, but really it’s more of a family drama with a mystery. All of that to say, had I known all of this beforehand I think I would’ve enjoyed this one more so take my thoughts knowing that my expectations affected my opinions.

Through the first half of this one I was totally sucked in, it begins when Grace dies and Josh is left to pick up the pieces. I loved the premise, the idea that after his girlfriend dies he begins to find out there is much that he didn’t know about her past and how the secrets she was keeping would effect their son as well. When Josh began to search for answers I was invested, I too was interested in what Grace had been hiding and how this would all make it harder for him to become Logan’s legal guardian. I wouldn’t necessarily say this was fast paced, but it was steady and engaging enough to keep me flipping the pages.

The second half of the story is where things started to fall apart a little for me. I can’t say too much for fear of spoilers but the direction it took was far fetched and a touch dramatic. I was still on board though, I figured the ending would be strong and it would all make sense for me but then that ended up being a little off for me as well. Was it surprising? Sure, but in a ridiculous way that just didn’t sit well with me. Look, it wasn’t incredibly stupid or anything, it just didn’t totally make sense to me, that’s all. I will say the author is a great writer and I’ll definitely be reading anything else she comes up with next, I just don’t think this was the right one for me.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Because of You by Helene Fermont @helenefermont @BOTBSPublicity #BecauseOfYou

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 15, 2018

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

How desperate are you to get the one you love?

When Hannah and Ben meet at a friend’s party, he knows she’s The One. But Hannah’s in an intense relationship with Mark and planning to return to her native Sweden to embark on a teaching career.

Desperate to make Ben fall in love with her, rich spoilt heiress Vanessa sets in motion a devious string of events that ultimately changes the course of four people’s lives indefinitely.

Hannah is the love of Ben’s life, yet Vanessa will stop at nothing to claim the man she is convinced is her destiny.

Because of You is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny.  

Review:

I haven’t read a good, epic story of a life in way too long and I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed them until I started reading Because of You. It was so completely different from the books I’ve been drawn to as of late. It was an emotional, yet sometimes dark journey alongside Hannah Stein. The novel follows her during the majority of her adult life,  and the reader experiences all the highs and lows of her life right beside her.

It begins when Hannah is just a teenager getting ready to move from her home to London for a gap year. It seems from the start that she’s led a charmed life, she has doting and kind parents and a good relationship with her brother, Peter. Hannah comes across a bit sheltered and pampered in the beginning, and I found myself wondering just how much I would be able to relate to her. I shouldn’t have worried because as the story progresses and Hannah matures, she becomes a woman that practically anyone could relate to. 

I’m reticent to reveal too much about the plot as I really enjoyed going along with Hannah on her journey. She experiences so much throughout her life, and Fermont is not afraid to discuss difficult subject matter. There is divorce, death, grief, loss, epic love, pain, heartbreak, rape, abuse, illness, honestly anything you can imagine that a person may experience in their lifetime. This book had such a genuine and authentic feeling to it and I think it’s partly because all the situations Hannah has to endure are ones that many people have gone through themselves. 

Besides Hannah, there is a wide variety of characters, some you will fall in love with and adore, and others that you will hate. Again, this is no different than the types of people we all encounter in our lives, making it all the more relatable. Since it spans decades of her life, she meets a varied and colorful cast of characters along her way.

I was very invested in Hannah’s life and eager to see where she would end up. As much as I wanted to see how it would end, I was sad to say goodbye to Hannah and her friends and family when it was all over. This is a story of love, friendship and family. A story of one woman’s fascinating life experiences and how she copes with all the pain and loss that comes with simply living life. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Review: By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank #ByInvitationOnly

About By Invitation Only

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 23, 2019)

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.

Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard -working Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank—a mesmerizing Lowcountry Tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth, and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not.

Review:

DBF is one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for years, I’m not sure what took me so long because this one was really fun! Southern Fiction is fast becoming one of my favorite sub genres and I can see why the author is a fan favorite, this was full of southern charm.

This flips back and forth between Diane and Susan, with a few chapters from Susan’s daughter, Shelby as well. When Shelby and Diane’s son Fred get engaged two very different worlds collide. Diane is a country girl through and through and Susan is the total opposite. She’s extremely wealthy and snobby and when the two families meet for the first time, let’s just say it was funny to watch but a nightmare for them both I’m sure. Fred’s family was lovable from the beginning and Shelby’s was again, exactly the opposite but by the end I sort of liked her. There are enough amazing, likable characters with Fred’s extended family and friends that it was actually pretty fun to dislike her.

One small, unique touch from the author was that every chapter was headed with a little snippet of dialogue between the characters that sets the tone for what’s next and I found it to be a really charming little touch. I’m not sure if this is the authors usual style, but either way it was appreciated. I can totally recommend this one to add to your summer reading list, just beware, you may find yourself craving some sweet peach tea and biscuits a few times!

By Invitation Only in three words: Endearing, Funny and Spirited.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Debbie Zammit

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Review: Mine by Courtney Cole

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Thriller

Blurb:

Tessa was prepared for the hurricane. Lindsey was the storm she didn’t see coming.

When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt.

With a hurricane barreling toward Florida and Ethan stuck on a business trip, Tessa finds herself imprisoned in her own home with a choice to make: Does she ride out the storm until she can confront Ethan in person, or does she take matters into her own hands?

Increasingly restless and desperate for revenge, Tessa resolves to act. And when she lures Lindsey over a few hours later, there’s no turning back.

What ensues is a battle of wills between two well-matched opponents, blinded by love for the same man but driven by demons of their own. Like storm-ravaged Florida, neither woman will be the same when the skies clear. 

Review:

I love a good revenge story and while the basic premise of this is nothing new, I liked the idea of a wife and the mistress being stuck together during a hurricane, I mean what could possibly go wrong?! While this wasn’t a bad read by any means it was over the top, melodramatic and utterly implausible, so if you have a difficult time suspending disbelief, this isn’t for you. However, if you like Lifetime movies, train wrecks, and soap operas, you may like this one.

There was a lot to like about this one, it was incredibly fast paced and gripping right away to start, I found myself sucked into the lives of Tessa and Lindsey immediately. I was captivated in the same way as when I’m watching a cat fight during an episode of the Real Housewives so make of that what you will. The writing was also solid, no doubt that the author is talented and I also liked the whole locked room vibe of both women being trapped together. Beyond that though I did struggle, it was just so far fetched and unbelievable, I was especially not impressed by the ending and found it to be both unrealistic and unsatisfying. As you can see, I’m torn here, I can’t say I actively liked or disliked this one. Super helpful I know, but if you truly like books that read like a made for TV movie then this will probably be fine.

Overall rating: 3/5 (I really should just split the difference and go with a 2.5 but I round up anyway so 🤷‍♀️)

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

Review:

I’ve read quite a few LL books and she never disappoints! I love her style of writing, her use of humor and snark and her ability to create fun, relatable characters that you like instantly. This is the first in a new series following a group of new friends living in NYC and I’m so excited to see where things are headed next.

From the first chapter I was hooked, Naomi meets two new potential friends in the most bizarre way, think the opposite of a romantic meet cute, except it is kind of cute. Anyway, it was a solid way to reel me in and get me invested in these women and their lives and their friendship may have been unlikely but it feels fun and genuine. On the romance side of things is the good old enemies to lovers trope, why do I love this tried and true storyline so much?! I think it’s because if it’s executed well there’s always amazing chemistry and witty banter and LL has that down pat. Oliver was exactly the kind of leading man that I like, charming and smart, a little reserved but you just know there’s more to him than meets the eye.

I got serious Christina Lauren vibes from this one and that’s a huge compliment from me cause I’m obsessed with them, but with less sex. That appeals to me though, I like all the sweet parts in a romance novel and don’t really need the steam. This isn’t totally clean but it’s pretty damn close, so keep that in mind depending on your personal preferences. Overall a fabulous read, I think it’s her best yet and I can’t wait for the second book!

Passion on Park Avenue in three words: Witty, Sassy and Amusing

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Dear Lily by Drew Davies @bookouture @Drew_Davies #DearLily

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 17, 2019

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Dear Lily, 

It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance. 

On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened… 

I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?) 

I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to. 

Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister. 

Love, 

Joy x 

A beautiful book-club read for anyone who has ever hit rock bottom, longed for a fresh start, or needed to heal a broken, aching heart. 

Review:

Every once in awhile I stumble across a book that is like a breathe of fresh air, and that was the case with this gem. It was beautifully unique and extremely touching and way more emotional that I was expecting, I just adored it!

The entire story is told via letters from Joy to her sister Lily and I really enjoyed the intimacy this structure provided. At the start Joy leaves her whole life back in England to take a new job in Denmark, it’s clear she’s looking for a fresh start after some big changes in her life and you slowly find out what she’s been through throughout the book. I connected to Joy immediately, she was raw and vulnerable in her letters to Lily but she was also incredibly funny and I got a real Bridget Jones vibe from some of her humor.

This really had it all, it was funny and charming, warm and wise and also heartbreaking at times. Joy was quirky and relatable and you can’t help but want the best for her, I was cheering her on the whole way. Totally recommend this one as a mostly feel good novel, it is sad at times but it’s ultimately uplifting and sweet.

Dear Lily in three words: Warm, Delightful and Touching.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Kensington

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more. 

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. As a former client of her father’s, Rory becomes reluctantly involved with the killer—though he continues to insist he didn’t murder Angela. Now he wants Rory to do what her father once promised: prove that Angela is, in fact, still alive.

As Rory begins reconstructing Angela’s last days, another killer emerges from the shadows, replicating those long-ago murders. With every startling discovery she makes, Rory becomes more deeply entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell—and in The Thief’s tormented mind. Drawing connections between past and present is the only way to stop the nightmare, but even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . . 

Review:

Every single time I start a Charlie Donlea book I’m reminded why I still love thrillers. He someone manages to breathe fresh life into the genre with each book and as someone who has been having a super hard time finding a thriller to blow me away, I appreciate this so much. His books just feel really skillful, the kind that have an impeccable attention to detail but are also twisty and gripping so the pages fly by at a rapid pace.

I love a well written story that alternates timelines and perspectives and there’s plenty of that here. Rory is the present day character and she’s a forensic reconstructionist which is such a fascinating occupation and one that I really never gave much thought to before reading this book. She begins looking into a cold case that her late father was somehow wrapped up in and then you also hear from Angela back in the late seventies. There’s also a couple of more POV but I won’t mention them for fear of spoilers, but they came together and all made up a super compelling storyline that I seriously could not put down.

Donlea is one of those authors who does the best job of leading the reader down one seemingly straightforward path only to take a sharp left (and then maybe a right) turn just when you think you know exactly what will happen next. There are so many intricate plot points that even if I figured out some, I never quite pieced everything together and I really enjoyed the ride regardless of what I already knew and also what I didn’t know.

As much as I found myself racing through this is does have more of a slow burn feel than his previous books and the suspense builds gradually but I found it to be gripping nevertheless. I just love his books and am a firm fan, though this may not be my absolute favorite book from him, it’s still a really solid read and most definitely worth adding to your TBR.

Some Choose Darkness in three words: Entertaining, Compelling and Addicting.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.