Review: The Lion Tamer Who Lost by @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Orenda
Genre: Contemporary

The Lion Tamer Who Lost is the newest book by one of my favorite authors, Louise Beech. Ever since I read How To Be Brave, I became a fan of Louise’s writing and I’ve loved all of her novels (The Mountain In My ShoeMaria In The Moon). However, I think this one might be my favorite yet!

I love Louise’s books because although her novels aren’t my usual go-to genre (contemporary, literary fiction), I can’t help but become completely captivated by the way she tells her stories and the beauty of her characters. Her books are always beautiful, poignant, and magical. I would recommend them to anyone.

This time, the protagonist is Ben, a young man who’s in Zimbabwe trying to forget about his relationship with Andrew. We know something went wrong and we know Ben is suffering, but we don’t understand why. And then, slowly, we begin to learn about Ben and Andrew’s relationship by revealing their past from both points of view. I believe this structure worked really well because there were some details that you didn’t fully understand until you read them later.

I found Ben’s story heartbreaking and I became so invested in his relationship with Andrew that I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what would happen to them. I also enjoyed the family dynamics, especially when we finally discover more about Ben’s father and why he behaved the way he did. I’m not saying I liked him, because I didn’t, but he had some redeeming qualities, as well.

Finally, let’s not forget the lions!. The Zimbabwe setting and the lion sanctuary scenes were incredible: I will never forget Ben’s interactions with Lucy. At first, I wasn’t sure of how well the two settings would work, but I soon realized I loved reading about both present and past, which doesn’t happen often. That’s the power of a great book, I guess.

A truly unforgettable story.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

BUY HERE

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Review: A Steep Price by @robertdugoni @AmazonPub

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I’m so happy every time I have a new Tracy Crosswhite book to read! My affair with this series began back in 2014 and I don’t think it will ever end. Robert Dugoni is one of my favorite authors and I hope we can continue enjoying his books for a very long time.

This time, the book had two different cases, one where Tracy (and Kins, although he wasn’t featured much) investigated the disappearance of a young Indian girl. And the other, where Faz and the new team member, Gonzalez, dealt with a case about drugs cartels and the shooting of an activist. Honestly, I found the two cases equally exciting and although maybe at first I was more interested in Kavita’s disappearance, the truth is that the Little Jimmy case started getting more and more complicated and at some point, I had no idea of what was going on. Which is always great.

I loved that Faz and Vera had bigger roles in this book, as did Del in the last installment. But I missed Kins, obviously. He’s my favorite. Also, Tracy in this book is pregnant and trying to conceal it, although she’s not having much success with that 😉 When I reached the ending I was momentarily scared because it all felt very “happy ending” and I was afraid the series had ended, but then I read there’s another book coming out in December, so… Thank you!

The Tracy Crosswhite books by Robert Dugoni are always smart mysteries with a strong focus on the procedural as well as the characters. And this one was no different. I definitely liked it better than the #5, which was my least favorite out of the six. I have to admit though, even if there’s one book in this series that I don’t enjoy as much, I still like them way better than others. My love for Tracy is strong!

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: The Death of Mrs Westaway by @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I admit I haven’t read any of Ruth Ware’s previous thrillers, although I do own her first novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood. However, as soon as I read the blurb, I knew that I had to make The Death of Mrs Westaway a priority. And in the end, I was glad I gave this a chance: it was a really good gothic mystery, and I’m excited to read more of Ruth Ware’s books in the future.

The Death of Mrs Westaway reminded me of Agatha Christie, Rebecca, and, surprisingly, Kate Morton. The big house, the lost diary, and the disappearance in the past meant that this novel had all the ingredients to win me over. And the truth is, it did. I really enjoyed it. I found the premise quite exciting – a young woman who is mistaken for another but sets out to get an inheritance anyway- and there was this “locked room” aspect that made it more interesting because you knew someone in the house was hiding more than one secret.

The mystery was well plotted, and though I didn’t find it particularly shocking, I nevertheless thought it was quite good and it left me satisfied. I liked the relationships between the characters and enjoyed the author’s evocative writing and the tarot storyline, so I believe The Death of Mrs Westaway is a solid mystery for any fan of the genre. Still, I have to say to say there was one chapter where anyone could’ve guessed a detail that took the main character a couple of LONG pages to realize. I was anxious, but she finally reached that same conclusion. Thank god 😉

I hadn’t read any of this gothic mansion mystery books for a while, and I realized how much I miss them, so I am really happy that this book reunited me with the genre.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Jar of Hearts by @JenniferHillier @MinotaurBooks

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Jar of Hearts was a truly addictive book, no one can deny that. This was a mystery novel that I feel could be enjoyed by most fans of the genre. It has all the ingredients to pull you in and it’s well-written and with a great mystery, so don’t hesitate to buy it.

I don’t know why I thought this would be a different kind of story, but it was actually about Geo, a 30-year-old woman who goes to prison for being an accessory to the murder of her high school best friend, Angela Wong. Georgina’s boyfriend was convicted for killing Angela and now there are other crimes that connect to Calvin James…

Stories set in prisons have always been among my favorites so I absolutely loved everything about Geo’s life in prison and what she had to do to survive. At the same time, the mystery in the present was great and I liked Kaiser’s character, so it was a pleasure to follow his investigation. The flashbacks of the night of the first crime were first focused on Geo, Angela and Kaiser’s teen lives, and while they weren’t my favorite part, they were necessary so you could understand more about their personalities and the relationship between the trio.

I wasn’t really sure of how Jar of Hearts would end, and once I realized where the story was going, I admit I thought it was really smart. Did you see it coming? All in all, this was a gripping thriller that it’s perfect for the summer and could easily become a best-seller. Ideal for fans of thrillers and serial killer stories.

To be honest, the only thing that bothered me about Jar of Hearts was that the main character thought that anything that does not involve penetration is not actual sex. Let’s not be like that, please, it’s 2018 🙄

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Seventh Street Books, Prometheus
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

First of all, although I want to read the first books in a series, it is not necessary that you’ve read the previous books in order to enjoy A Stone’s Throw. It was my first time following Ellie Stone’s adventures and I must admit that I’m already a fan!

Although I could never enjoy living in the 60s because of how women were treated, I really liked reading about Ellie’s investigations and the battles she had to fight because of the time she was born. She has a great sense of humor and although not everyone appreciates it, I sure did!

The mystery was well-done and one thing I found exciting is that Ellie wasn’t a detective, like Tennison or The Craftsman’s Florence, but a journalist. I’ve loved all journalist-focused stories that I’ve read in recent years and this was no exception. It reads like a traditional procedural but the perspective is quite different at the same time.

If you enjoy mysteries set in the past and fierce heroines, you will surely enjoy this new installment in the Ellie Stone series: A Stone’s Throw.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

BUY HERE