Review: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

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

A Breath After Drowning is one of those psychological thriller books that I’m still excited to read. It is both a mystery and a psychological thriller at the same time, and it’s not about husbands and wives and marriages gone wrong. And I love that!

This is the story of child psychologist Kate Wolfe (great name!), whose sister was killed years ago by Henry Blackwood (even better name!). After one of her patients kills herself, Kate starts obsessing about another patient of hers, who shares a connection with Henry. But does she know what really happened all those years ago? Or could she be wrong about everything she’s believed in until now?

You know how I love cold cases or crimes from the past that they’re not what it seemed in the first place. I was addicted from the very first page, as Alice Blanchard has a really compelling way of keeping you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know more. Although the mystery doesn’t really start until about 40%, there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t want to keep reading.

My only issue with A Breath After Drowning was with the ending, which felt a bit far-fetched for my taste. It wasn’t predictable, as I had no idea of what had happened, but the conclusion left me a bit indifferent. I kind of felt like they wanted to tie up every loose end, no matter if some character’s motives or actions didn’t make much sense.

Despite my problems with the ending, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a solid thriller, an exciting one that fans of serial killer stories will undoubtedly love. And I’d definitely read Alice Blanchard again!

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

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Review: Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Happy Thursday everyone and sorry for my lack of posts/shares lately. It’s been a crazy month and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change soon, so apologies in advance if I’m not as active as I was before!

Last week I finished Wrong Way Home, a police procedural featuring DI Grace Fisher, a new detective for me. The case was so timely that it was almost scary, especially because of what has been going on my country. This is a story about the rape and murder of Heather Bowyer, a tragic incident that wasn’t solved back in 1992. However, now it seems like forensic techniques might be able to help… But what happens when there are two suspects?

I was intrigued from the beginning, and although I hated how Grace treated her younger colleague, I really liked how the team investigated together and the different strategies they followed to try to catch the killer. I didn’t care much for the romance between the two main characters, but maybe it’s because I don’t know them well enough. I know, I should’ve read the previous books! Still, I don’t think it was entirely necessary, as you can read this one as a standalone too.

I think my favorite part of Wrong Way Home, perhaps, were the chapters where you could “read” the podcast from Freddie Craig. Freddie is a young man who was born the day of Heather Bowyer’s murder, which was also the day of the fire, a night that Southend remembers really well. But is it possible that all these events are connected?

If you like police procedurals and mysteries, this is a solid novel that is both well-written and captivating. Was it a favorite? I’m afraid not. Would I recommend it? If you like the genre, for sure!

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

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Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @Orionbooks

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Trapeze / Orion Books
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I remember feeling a bit disappointed when I found out Sharon Bolton’s new novel was about witches. Whyyy? I love her mysteries! And it’s not that I don’t love stories about witches (I do!) but I thought it was a weird move. Nevertheless, when I read The Craftsman‘s blurb months ago, I didn’t even realize this was supposed to be *that* book. It seemed just like one of her standalone thrillers! It wasn’t until later when I started to read interviews, that I was reminded of that. However, this time, I was really excited, probably because the book looked creepy and amazing.

The Craftsman tells the story of a woman in 1999, Florence Lovelady, who attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, a convicted killer who buried children alive, someone that she helped catch back in the late 60s. The first part of the book is the funeral, and then we travel back to 1969 with Florence’s investigation of the crimes. Finally, the last part of the novel takes place again in 1999, and wow, it’s a wild ride! One of my favorite books so far this year, hands down.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t read The Craftsman quickly because I was traveling and I couldn’t carry it with me everywhere, but I couldn’t help it and still brought it with me to Amsterdam. I couldn’t put it down, it was too good. There’s something about Sharon Bolton’s writing, she grips me like no other! I was completely absorbed by Florence’s story and although you might think you know what happens later, it’s still a fascinating adventure.

Florence was a wonderful character, she totally gave me Jane Tennison vibes, probably because she was too a young policewoman working with men who didn’t take her seriously. She was a bit naïve but determined to catch the bad guy and obviously smarter than all the guys around her. Oh, and I loved Sharon Bolton’s portrayal of the women in this book and the sorority between them.

The supernatural angle it’s there, and it becomes more relevant in the last part of the novel, but to be honest, I actually loved it. I admit it wasn’t what I expected, and for a while, I was completely confused as I didn’t see the point in having witches in the story, but gradually, it all started making sense. And I can assure you it was a great finale. You all know that Sharon Bolton writes amazing endings and this is probably one of her best ones.

That last line…

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

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Review: What You Want To See by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books / St Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Everyone who reads this blog knows that last year I fell in love with The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka. So, so much, that it became one of my favorite books last year. The sequel, What You Want To See, was probably my most anticipated novel of 2018, and I have to say it was an amazing reward! And sure, you can read the book without having read the first one, but keep in mind that there will be tons of spoilers 🧐

Thanks to warnings from Stephanie and Chelsea, I didn’t read the blurb again (I had read it months ago, but had since then forgot it), because it practically tells you the whole story, and who wants to know the whole story in a mystery book? All you need to know is that this time, Roxanne is hired to follow a woman whose husband thinks is cheating on him. When that woman dies, things start to get complicated…

I don’t know how Kristen does it, but I flew through What You Want To See in a day in a time where I’m struggling to finish two books every week. Her Roxanne is magnetic and fierce and her writing is incredibly fast-paced and captivating, with a few hilarious remarks every now and then that make me love her even more. And again, as soon as I finished the book, I desperately wanted to read her next one. Another year??!?!?!

The case was perhaps more appealing in the first book (only because I love cold cases and this was totally different), but at the same time, I’m completely sure that Kristen Lepionka could write a book about the disappearance of a carrot and I’d still find it the most fascinating story ever.

There are many characters in this book, but it’s not hard to follow and, after all, you’ll be finishing in no time 😉. Of course, Tom is still my favorite -the dialogue at the end was perfection ❤- but the biggest surprise was that I even liked Catherine in this book! I love how the novel’s structure mostly focuses on Roxanne’s conversations with the different suspects and we get to see how she deals with her family as well.

What You Want To See is a classic PI novel in the best sense, and the Roxane Weary series is one of the best crime series out there.

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

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Review: Every Single Secret by @EmilyDCarpenter @LUAuthors @AmazonPub

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I will always have a soft spot for Emily Carpenter and her novels because Burying the Honeysuckle Girls was one of the first books I read when I decided to create this blog. Her second book, The Weight of Lies remains a favorite of mine because of its amazing setting, and Every Single Secret was another great read by her.

This is the story of Daphne Amos, a young woman who believes she has found her soulmate in Heath, a mysterious man with whom she has a lot in common. Both Daphne and Heath are mysterious individuals who keep their secrets hidden from each other. And that has worked pretty well for them until Heath decides to work on his issues while spending a week in an isolated house in the woods, being treated by psychologist Dr. Cerny.

Every Single Secret was a slow-paced book at first, especially during the first half. However, I was captivated by the creepy setting, as Emily is a truly great writer and she creates the most wonderful atmospheres. You know there’s clearly something wrong going on, but you don’t know exactly what. How I love that feeling!

Despite the slower first half, the last 30% of the book was super thrilling and engaging, and the reveals turned the story into a gothic psychological thriller with a modern twist. I won’t spoil anything here, but the concept behind the novel was so smart and fascinating that I have been thinking about it since then. Still, I have to admit I kind of wanted something else to happen, but I will keep it to myself…

Every Single Secret is perfect for fans of modern gothic literature and psychology. Don’t miss my interview with the lovely Emily Carpenter that will be published later this week 💜

P.S THAT cover!

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

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