Mini Reviews #8 The Missing Girls & The Last Weekend

MINI REVIEWS (3).png

Hello! We’re back with a Mini Reviews post, this time, though, I really liked the books. Both were great mysteries.

71bsJZwIZiL.jpg

Buy Here

When a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for Detective Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer. No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit; her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered. This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial-killer. As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart. Robyn can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

The Missing Girls is the third installment in the Robyn Carter series and I’m glad to say I liked this one better than the second book (not quite as much as the first one, though). I really like how Caroline Wyer plots her stories and the focus on the investigation as well as her relationship with her ex-boyfriend’s daughter. The case was quite intriguing and there were lots of suspects. I couldn’t wait to know more. The story featured a good and satisfying ending, too. I like Robyn more and more as the books progress, but I also want to know her team a bit more. I feel like I don’t know them as well as in other similar series and I’d love to!

On the other hand, and I know it’s not anyone’s fault, but if every review keeps saying that the ending is totally unexpected, for some people, it will be the opposite. I don’t want to say anything more about that.

Netgalley, Bookouture, 2017

35020329.jpg

Buy Here

Every year for a decade, five college friends spent a weekend together at the atmospheric Chateau du Cygne Noir. Then, tragedy struck. Ten years later, Laurel Muir returns to the castle for the first time since the accident, hoping to reconnect with her friends and lay the past to rest. When a murderer strikes, it rips open old wounds and forces the women to admit there’s a killer in their midst. The remaining friends make a pact to unearth the truth, but suspicion, doubt, and old secrets threaten to tear them apart. Unsure who to trust, Laurel puts herself in harm’s way, risking it all for friendship and long-delayed justice.

I admit that when I started this book, I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. In fact, I almost DNF’d after only one chapter. I wasn’t in the mood. A group of friends received a mysterious letter and I found those first introductory scenes quite repetitive. However. I read some great reviews, so I gave it another chance. By the end of the day, I had already finished it. The premise was very “Agatha Christie” and the moment those women arrived at the castle, I was completely on board. I enjoyed their interactions and I was super intrigued. Who had pushed Evangeline? What had happened this time? Were the two events related? I’d love to discuss The Last Weekend!

The ending was satisfying and I finished the book feeling really happy and relieved that I had kept on reading. I would surely recommend this cozy mystery for those who’re looking for a quick and smart whodunit.

 

Advertisements

Review: I Know A Secret by @tessgerritsen @TransworldBooks

32938170

Buy Here

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death. Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets? One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him. But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

While I definitely haven’t read all Rizzoli & Isles books, I read a handful of them many years ago (checking Goodreads I couldn’t even remember which ones) and watched some episodes of the TV show. I remember really liking the books (and the show, although it was really different) and so when I Know A Secret popped up on my radar, I couldn’t resist.

This is one of those books that you could easily read in a sitting. I know I did! I had plenty of time to dive into a gripping story and I Know A Secret proved to be fast-paced, full of dialogue and simply unputdownable. If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining book that keeps you completely engaged, look no further, because this is it. Tess Gerritsen really knows how to grab you from the very first page.

The case was intriguing and featured all those ingredients we look for in a serial killer novel: the mysterious connection between the victims, a dark secret from the past, a mysterious woman who’s hiding something, and a couple of likely suspects… What more could you possibly ask for?

The plot was well-crafted and I never lost interest, the pages flew by. And while I’m perfectly aware that this is not a book that you could label as “original”, I believe it’s a great mystery nevertheless. I was so wrong about my suspicions… you can’t even imagine. And it had also a psychological angle that I quite enjoyed reading about.

So would I read the next in the series? Absolutely. Rizzoli’s family was another favorite storyline and I can’t wait to know more about Maura and her complicated life.

ARC, Transworld Books, 2017

Review: Good Friday by @LaPlanteLynda @BonnierZaffre

35421942.jpg

Buy Here

On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation. ‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force?

Last month I fell in love with the Tennison. Back then I had only read one book but I knew I would become an absolute fan of the series. Now I’ve read all three and I can honestly say I can’t wait for book four. I love how Lynda La Plante crafts her stories and it feels like I’m part of Jane’s team and I’m helping her investigate. This third installment, Good Friday, is about a bombing, a deadly explosion caused by the IRA. Unfortunately, Jane Tennison was there when it happened and she’s now part of the investigation: she has to protect a witness… and herself.

I love the way the characters come to life in La Plante’s books. Given that most of the guys are chauvinistic bastards (what did I expect, it’s the 70s!), she manages to make some of them stand out, and I’m almost rooting for them to become better people. Jane is lovely, I love how she’s not the typical badass detective (yet!), as she’s still kind of innocent and makes mistakes. But she has lots of potential. She sees things others don’t. And, unlike some of her colleagues, she cares.

The relationships are not the most important part of the story, but I nevertheless loved Jane’s interaction with both Church and the nurse, as well as Stanley. As for the personal storylines, Jane bought her first flat, got a new flatmate and she also became a bit infatuated with DS Dexter, although I was kind of wishing she didn’t. However, I really liked how it all turned out and I hope the next book is as equally engaging as this one.

Another aspect I enjoy about Tennison’s books is that not everything is about the “twist”. I think most of us were able to figure out who the bad guy was, but I didn’t care at all. I was so immersed in the story I just wanted to keep on reading. There are too many things going on. There isn’t just a case. There are various storylines going on at the same time and there isn’t anything simple about them.

Don’t miss this series if you’re looking for a police procedural that is both unique and thrilling until the very last page. These books are not just about the cases, but about police dynamics. I love it.

ARC, Bonnier Zaffre 2017

Review: Close To Home by Robert Dugoni

33870832.jpg

Buy Here

While investigating the hit-and-run death of a young boy, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite makes a startling discovery: the suspect is an active-duty serviceman at a local naval base. After a key piece of case evidence goes missing, he is cleared of charges in a military court. But Tracy knows she can’t turn her back on this kind of injustice. When she uncovers the driver’s ties to a rash of recent heroin overdoses in the city, she realizes that this isn’t just a case of the military protecting its own. It runs much deeper than that, and the accused wasn’t acting alone. For Tracy, it’s all hitting very close to home. As Tracy moves closer to uncovering the truth behind this insidious conspiracy, she’s putting herself in harm’s way. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust

So this year I’ve been blessed with not one, but two Tracy Crosswhite books! Can I ask for another one before the year ends? This is one of my absolute favorite series you guys!

I already told you that The Trapped Girl was probably my favorite out of all the Tracy books. It was simply amazing and it’s right there among my favorite reads of 2017. It was that good. So while I definitely enjoyed this fifth installment, Close To Home, I must say that I didn’t love it as much as the previous novels. Why’s that? I’ll get to it later.

It’s funny because I had just finished reading The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow and that was a brutal book. I needed something way different, something that wasn’t about drug cartels and despicable gangsters (I love those kind of stories, but I wanted a change). Imagine my surprise when I realized that Close To Home was all about drugs and dealers. Okay, it wasn’t all about that, it also had its personal storylines and a navy investigation, but it seems like I can’t stay away from that topic.

I said it before, but I love Tracy and Dan, and I love Tracy’s team: Kins, Del and Faz. This time, though, Tracy wasn’t exactly the main character, she let others take that spot. My favorite storyline was the one featuring Del and his investigation regarding the death of her niece. There was also another case featuring a hit and run that was connected to the Navy. I felt like watching an episode from NCIS. And be aware that there is a heavy legal-thriller feel, just like in My Sister’s Grave. As for new characters, we were introduced to Leah Battles and she felt like one of the main characters, as well. I liked Celia, too.

The reasons why I didn’t love this as much as The Trapped Girl -or My Sister’s Grave– were that: a) I’m not really interested in military stuff, and b) for the first time, I was able to figure out what had happened, something that I hadn’t experienced before when reading Dugoni’s books. I think it’s because I always believe that coincidences don’t exist in fiction and I was sure about something from the very beginning.

Still, Close To Home is a strong procedural featuring some of my favorite characters and Robert Dugoni’s books are essential for me. As soon as he releases the next one, I’ll be there.

Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer, 2017

Review: The Other Girl by @EricaSpindler ‏@StMartinsPress

34306090

Buy Here

Officer Miranda Rader of the Harmony, Louisiana PD is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from the town of Jasper, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to earn the respect of her coworkers and the community. When Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the brutality of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about that terrible night fifteen years ago. The night she’d buried, along with her past and the girl she’d been back then. Until now that grave had stayed sealed…except for those times, in the deepest part of the night, when the nightmares came: of a crime no one believed happened and the screams of the girl they believed didn’t exist. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop. Not just any cop—the one who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda.

I was sold the moment I read the blurb. It just seemed like my type of story: secrets in every page, a mysterious murder connected to the main character’s past… And a kick-ass female detective! I wasn’t wrong: The Other Girl was so much fun and enjoyable. I actually finished it all in a sitting, as it was one of those compulsive novels we all love to read.

The best thing about this book was that the plot was super engaging and addictive. I was so intrigued by what had exactly happened years ago that the pages seemed to fly by. I started the book and next thing I know I’m already at 50%. Talk about gripping stories! The present case was interesting as well because Miranda began to feel someone was planting evidence against her and then all her colleagues started to suspect her, including Jake, who was her partner and friend (and possibly something more).

There were some flasback scenes, but not too many, so if you aren’t a fan of those, I don’t think it’ll bother you that much. As for me, I really like stories about women who have escaped from an abductor,  and this time,  I especially enjoyed the psychology aspect of it all, the way no one believed Randi and thought she was just a no-good teenager from the wrong side of the tracks. Miranda was really affected by that night and wanted to prove herself worthy of trust and respect and I admired her for that.

Still, I don’t know about you, but I found the “who” to be so incredibly easy to guess that I couldn’t believe the story was actually going that way. In addition, the main character was supposed to be super smart but it took her like 70% of the book to realize something that I believe we all knew from the moment we discovered what this story was about. However, don’t let that prevent you from reading The Other Girl, because when it comes to the plot, I asolutely loved the way things turned out to be and the final explanation as to what had happened that summer night many years ago.

Looking forward to reading the next one by Erica Spindler!

Netgalley, St Martin’s Press, 2017