Blog Tour: The Last Act by Brad Parks @Brad_Parks @FaberBooks

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Former Broadway star Tommy Jump isn’t getting the roles he once did; as his final run as Sancho Panza draws to a close, Tommy is getting ready to give up the stage, find a steady paycheck, and settle down with his fiancée. Cue Special Agent Danny Ruiz. An old school friend of Tommy’s, now with the FBI, Ruiz makes Tommy an offer that sounds too good to refuse. All Tommy has to do is spend six months in prison, acting as failed bank robber ‘Pete Goodrich’. Inside, he must find and befriend Mitchell Dupree, who has hidden a secret cache of documents incriminating enough to take down New Colima, one of Mexico’s largest drug cartels. If Tommy can get Dupree to reveal where the documents are hidden, the FBI will give him $300,000. More than enough to jumpstart a new life. But does he have what it takes to pull off this one final role?

My review:

As soon as I read the blurb, I knew this book and I would instantly become best friends. How awesome does the plot sound? I would buy tickets for a movie based on this plot right now. As you can see, my expectations were quite high, which most of the time is pretty dangerous, as over-hyped books tend to end up disappointing me. However, THE LAST ACT was the exception to that rule. This book was simply amazing and will be among my favorite thrillers this year, for sure.

Although the beginning part was kind of slow-paced, I was still dying to know what would happen when Tommy accepted the FBI’s deal and went to prison as an undercover agent. What a dangerous idea… would you guys accept it? Once he was in prison, I literally couldn’t stop reading and ended up devouring the rest of the book in a sitting. And what a thrilling experience…

First of all, plot-wise, THE LAST ACT was fantastic. It doesn’t only start with an intriguing premise, but the storyline develops as realistically as you would expect (after all, this is a thriller!) and it features some of the most shocking twists I’ve read this year. I believe my jaw dropped more than once and you know how much I love to be surprised.

Some of you would assume that just because this is a thriller, that characters are not that important. Well, then you would be absolutely wrong. Actually, what surprised me the most about THE LAST ACT was how attached I became to Tommy and how much I wanted his plan to end well. He was a great character, super likable and smart. His fiancé Amanda was also fantastic and I LOVED how feminist this book was. I’m not going to say much more about this, but you’ll know what I mean once you read it.

This is the kind of thriller that I would recommend to everyone. I honestly can’t see anyone not enjoying this fast-paced, thrilling and shocking adventure. If you read it, please DM so we can discuss all the crazy stuff that happened!

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Review: The Buried Girl by Richard Montanari @RRMontanari @LittleBrownUK

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When New York psychologist Will Hardy’s wife is killed, he and his teenage daughter Bernadette move into Godwin Hall, a dusty, shut-up mansion in the small town of Abbeville, Ohio. Meanwhile, Abbeville Chief of Police Ivy Holgrave is investigating the death of a local girl, convinced this may only be the latest in a long line of murders dating back decades – including her own long-missing sister. But what place does Will’s new home have in the story of the missing girls? And what links the killings to the diary of a young woman written over a century earlier?

 

 

My review:

I read the first book in the Byrne & Balzano series a few years ago and I loved it, although I haven’t continued reading it (I’m planning to!). When I found out that Richard Montanari had released a standalone book and I read the blurb, I knew I couldn’t miss this one. In the end, THE BURIED GIRL was an amazing mystery and a deeply atmospheric novel set in New York and rural Ohio.

The book is divided into different parts and the story spans maaaaaaaany years, from the 1600s to 2019. At first, I was hooked because of the many intriguing elements: a spree of crimes happening every 25 years… 7 vices 7 virtues…. Ritualistic killings… Fires… It had me at the prologue. And another ingredient I love: it’s one of those books where everything is linked and nothing happens by chance.

THE BURIED GIRL is a complex book: there are many storylines and characters to keep track of, which I usually enjoy. But somehow, this time it wasn’t hard to follow at all. I loved Will Hardy and Detta, but my favorite character was probably Ivy, she was brave and fierce and I love this kind of characters who are willing to do anything for the case.

Let me warn you: this is not a whodunnit, you know from the beginning who the killer is. Still, there’s something quite intriguing in here, and I read this in barely two days, dying to learn what the hell was going on and how everything was going to connect in the end. That Will Hardy was a massive movie geek, like me, was another great addition.

THE BURIED GIRL was such a creepy story… and a damn good one! It kind of gave me The Craftsman vibes.

Did you know of this book? I feel like THE BURIED GIRL has gone unnoticed and it’s a pity… totally recommended. 💙

Mini Reviews: Verses For The Dead & Beartown

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Hello and welcome to the new mini-review post! Today I’m writing, again, about two books that have nothing in common. I guess this is the theme now. Read them both and enjoyed them, although Beartown was a better story hands down. Verses For The Dead was quite entertaining, though.

Verses For The Dead by Preston & Child

40697525.jpgI had never read a book by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child before, but a friend asked me to join him, so I started this book not knowing who Pendergast really was. It was also the 18th book in the series, so I was quite worried I wouldn’t get anything. Turns out, VERSES FOR THE DEAD can easily be read as a standalone. Except for a couple scenes involving some recurring characters I didn’t know about, the book features Pendergast with a new colleague, so their dynamic as detectives was new for everyone. I found this novel to be a decent mystery that kept my attention and I was never bored. However, it wasn’t super unforgettable or fascinating in any way.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

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I’ve been trying to catch up with books that have been in my TBR forever and BEARTOWN was one of them. Everyone I’ve come across here loved it, so I figured I had to read it as soon as possible. I admit the novel captivated me from the very beginning because Fredrik Backman writes in such a particular way. I really loved his meaningful prose and the way he introduced all the characters and thoughts. The story told here is important (no spoilers), but there were some moments when I just wanted them to stop talking about hockey. Beartown is a small town where the only thing that matters is hockey, they don’t really talk about anything else. And even though this reminded me of Friday Night Lights in the best possible way, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as my favorite bloggers. However, I still think this is a sad yet compelling book.

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? 💙

 

 

 

Review: The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh @sternbergh

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Imagine a place populated by criminals – people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. All they do know is that they opted into the programme and that if they try to leave, they will end up dead. For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace – but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her – and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway, it’s simmering with violence and deception, heartbreak and betrayal, and it’s fit to burst.

My review:

I bought THE BLINDS months ago and I never seemed to find the time to read it, even though it looked amazing. So when I decided to buddy read a book with a friend, this was the first book I suggested. And it was a winner!

THE BLINDS has quite an interesting premise: a place in Texas whose residents do not remember parts of who they are. They are all criminals or witnesses, and this experiment is kind of a weird Witness Protection Program that erases the bad memories of the subjects. But what happens when the subjects begin to get killed?

What I loved the most about THE BLINDS was that all the information was revealed slowly, and there were new details about the experiment in every chapter. This is what I consider good writing: when an author manages to keep your interest and craft a special world without the need to dump all the details in the first page.

What’s more, this is a book full of twists. From the very first shock in the first part (MONDAY), there’s a new twist every few pages, one that makes you reflect on everything you think you know. I know I had no idea of what was exactly going on until THURSDAY came. Because THURSDAY was an explosive day, that’s for sure.

Overall, this is a smart and provocative story about memory, redemption, forgiveness and what makes us good and evil. It held my interest all the way through and I was quite satisfied when it ended. It might not have become a favorite, but it’s a great story and I will surely watch its adaptation when it comes out.

Have you read The Blinds? Don’t you think that it would be a great tv series? 💙

Mini Reviews: November Road & Two Can Keep A Secret

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It’s been ages since I’ve published a mini reviews post, so I guess it’s high time. I finally decided on reviewing two novels that have literally nothing in common, but I don’t think you will mind… (?) The two books featured on this post are a YA mystery and a historical fiction “romance”. But not quite. One I found entertaining yet predictable, the other was a quiet and delightful story.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

38225791.jpgI decided to read this book because it was the first book in the ScaredSuspenseBookClub and I kinda wanted to read something light yet  suspenseful. I thought this would perfect for that and I wasn’t wrong. Reading this book was like watching an episode of Pretty Little Liars or Riverdale and while I’m not always in the mood for those kind of shows, YA mysteries are consistently entertaining. However, from what I’ve seen, they’re not really shocking or surprising or maybe I’m just not reading the right ones. I admit I haven’t still read ONE OF US IS LYING, but I might in the future. TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET was super entertaining and I devoured it in practically a day, but it was nothing more than a fun and entertaining mystery that doesn’t really stand out among other similar books. While the twists were predictable if you’ve read other thrillers, I loved Ellery and Malcolm and the double point of view. I wish Ezra hadn’t been such a secondary character, though. I liked him. PS: I hate this cover.

November Road by Lou Berney

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I read THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE about five years ago and I really liked it. Two of my favorite bloggers (Renee & Steph) raved about his new novel, so of course I decided to read NOVEMBER ROAD, a book about the improbable relationship between a mobster and a bored housewife. First of all, I want to say that the cover is strikingly beautiful and I wish I had bought the physical edition instead. This is a weird book, in the sense that I don’t really know how to define it. It’s historical fiction, yes, because it’s set in the 60s, and I guess it’s also a romance, but not the cheesy and melodramatic kind. I guess NOVEMBER ROAD falls also in the literary fiction category, which is one that I admit I don’t usually read. Nevertheless, this was a quiet and beautiful novel whose characters were complex and interesting to read about. In addition, I found this book even more enjoyable because this next April I’m planning a road trip across the south and Frank and Charlotte visit some of the places that I’m dying to see. So much fun!

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? 💙