Friend Request by Laura Marshall

friend.pngLouise, a divorcee  with a 4 year old son Henry ,runs an independent business and is trying to get over her husband Sam who was also her high school sweetheart. Along with a high school reunion invitation she receives a  friend request from Maria Weston who disappeared 25 years ago and was believed to be dead. Louise holds a lot of guilt about Maria and has been haunted about the part she might have played in her death . But was Maria really dead as her body was never found and is she back to take revenge on all those who wronged her in high school ?

A chilling psychological thriller going back and forth between the current and past  timeline which helps build up the suspense. I just could not wait to turn the pages fast enough to know what was going to happen next . A great debut book which I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing  &  NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

monster.pngJazzie ,an 11year old,  walks home real upset because her mom didn’t come to her art fair as promised, but after arriving home she is greeted by a nightmare. She finds her mom brutally murdered with the killer still in the house. Scared Jazzie hides behind a chair till the killer leaves and hasn’t spoken a word since. Jazzie and her sister Jamie end up at Daphne’s equine therapy center Healing Hearts with Horses where a new intern Taylor Dawson seems to make progress with Jazzie. But Taylor is keeping some secrets of her own and has come to put an end to a monster that visited her dreams since she was a little kid.

An exciting continuation to the Baltimore series where old characters are revisited .You know who the killer is in the beginning but Karen Rose still makes it a thrilling suspenseful ride. The characters are well developed even the antagonist. I highly recommend this book to all Karen Rose fans.

Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group/Berkley  &  NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

 

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

sweetCat Kinsella is a police detective at the Met and is investigating a case of a dead woman Alice whose body is found not far away from her dad’s pub .Cat and her dad have a difficult relationship as she believed he has something to do with her friend Maryanne ‘s disappearance in 1998. When a connection is found between Alice and Maryanne Cat is determined to get to the root of both the cases.

The story goes back and forth between the past and the present narrated by Cat’s perspective. The characters were flawed and the book did have some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming . A police procedural more than a suspense novel with lots of personal and professional conflict for the protagonist. My only complaint was the book seemed  little too slow for me and so couldn’t get into it. 3 stars for me

Many thanks to Bonnier Zaffre& NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

dark.pngDark Water by Robert Bryndza is the third book in the British police procedural series featuring Erika Foster.

Following a tip by the suspects wife Erika and the narcotics team are in search of a huge stash of drugs in a quarry . Along with the drugs they also find a dead body of a seven year old Jessica Collins gone missing 26 years back. The case was mishandled way back then which ended with the lead investigator , Amanda Baker, losing her job over it but Erika and her team do not intend to drop the ball again on little  Jessica.

This is a great addition to the series with Erika Foster at her usual abrasive, no nonsense self. A complex plot with an ending that caught me by surprise. A must read  mystery lovers

Many thanks to Bookouture &  NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

The Party by Robyn Harding

partyThe Party by Robyn Harding is a book about the ramifications of one wrong decision on your life and the society around  you.

Hannah has a sweet sixteen sleepover party where she invites her four closest friends. Her parents Kim and Jeff think it’s going to be clean fun. Kim lays down the rules like any sensible parent no alcohol, no drugs and no boys . But the girls have different idea of fun and party. Soon in the middle of the night Kim is woken up by a panicked Hannah with her hands covered in blood and every parent’s worst nightmare comes true.

This book is not a thriller or a suspense but a fast paced family drama. Most of the characters were selfish , self-centered and unlikable but Robyn Harding did a good job presenting their perspective forward. 3 ½ stars for this contemporary fiction.

Many thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books &  NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

mariageThe Marriage Pact is a creepy psychological thriller by Michelle Richmond

Jake is a therapist and Alice,a musician turned attorney ,receive an invitation to join The Pact as a wedding present . On joining The Pact they receive a Manual that has a list of rules and regulations that they have to follow so as to keep their marriage happy and intact. If there are some infractions punishments are meted out ranging from mild to severe. The Pact is extreme and everywhere but once you join there is no escape from this cult like group.

The book started off real well and I enjoyed Michelle Richmond’s writing .The concept is interesting and it did keep me intrigued but fell short of my expectations. The story is narrated from only Jake’s point of view and leaves Alice’s perspective out of the picture. The part that really bothered me was Jake was portrayed as this perfect husband and Alice trying to prove herself worthy of his love. The ending was anticlimactic as well thus my rating 3 stars .

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Bantam &  NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

trappedThis is the fourth installment in exciting Tracy Crosswhite series by Robert Dugoni.

Tracy Crosswhite is called to investigate when a dead girl’s body is found in a crab pot. During the investigation, the woman’s identity is revealed to be Andrea Strickland who went missing a few days ago from a hiking trip with her husband.The story is narrated from interesting alternate views, Tracy’s investigation and Andrea’s journal. Tracy who is still haunted by her sisters murder takes this case personally and is driven along with her team to find Andrea’s killer.

This book started a little slow for me but it soon picked up pace and the story was interesting with some twists and turns. A thoroughly enjoyable fast read and looking forward to the next one in the series.

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer & NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

The Lost Children by Helen Phifer

lostThe Lost Children is a debut detective novel by Helen Phifer , featuring DI Lucy Harwin

On DI Lucy first day back from work she comes across a heinous murder committed in an asylum that has been closed down for many years. The asylum was a place for troubled children and horrible crimes were committed against them . It finally shut down after a scandal but somebody is bent on taking revenge against the people who ran that place .DI Lucy and her team are on the case and piece by piece the horrors that the kids went through in the asylum are slowly revealed.

It’s a great start to the police procedural series with believable characters. A few twists , fast read and will definitely look forward to more in the series.

Many thanks to Bookouture &  NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

 

The Beauty Of The End by Debbie Howells

beautyThis is my first book by Debbie Howells and it blew me away. This is a great psychological suspense novel that I finished in one day.

Noah Calaway is an ex-lawyer turned writing who gets a disturbing phone call from his estranged school friend Will that his ex-fiancée Alice Moon  has been accused of a brutal murder and is in coma after trying to kill herself. Noah decides to defend Alice as he cannot believe that she is capable of such an heinous crime even though her betrayal still hurts him. Meanwhile we are also introduced to 15 year old Ella who is dealing through a family situation herself. The two stories though confusing converge beautifully in the end as Ella holds an important key to solving the heinous murder.

Debbie Howells has a beautiful way with words and she has woven a complex story-line with great well developed though most of the times unlikable characters. The different timeline is interesting and the pace though slow at the start picks up real fast. A definite must read and will go back to read other books written by Debbie Howells

Many thanks to Kensington Books &  NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

 

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

 

stillhouseGina Royal leads a comfortable life with her husband Melvin and two kids. But it is all shattered one day when a drunk driver accidentally crashes into a neighbor’s garage and Melvin’s secret life as serial killer is discovered. Even though Gina is proved innocent of his crimes not everybody believes it especially the internet trolls who have labeled her Melvin’s little helper. Running for her and her kid’s life Gina finally becomes Gwen Proctor and settles down in a small town near Stillhouse Lake. But the peace does not last long as she starts receiving threatening letters and then bodies start turning up in the lake near her house killed exactly in the same way as Melvin killed his victims . Can Gwen ever escape the nightmare and keep her children and herself safe?

Let me start by saying that going in this book I did realize it was part of a series. The suspense was good and the characters well developed. The author did a good job of expressing the fear Gwen lives with and how far a mother will go to protect her kids. I just wish the book did not end in a cliffhanger as I will have to wait for the next book in the series to see where the story goes.

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer & NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.