Bring Her Home

Author:  David Bell
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare….

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

Ope’s Opinion: Wow!  This is my first David Bell book – I can’t wait to start reading his other books now! 

This book will grab you from the very beginning.  The chapters are short, so I kept thinking one more chapter…. One more.  It read really fast and the story was great.  I thought I knew who did it, then some thing happened ( no spoilers ), so I figured I was wrong.  Well, I was right, it just threw me off for a minute.  

There was a bit of the story about two thirds of the way through that I felt was a wild goose chase and didn’t add to the other part of the story.  The end revealed some things I was not expecting ( this is good ), but everything came to a conclusion.

The Silent Patient

Author: Alex Michaelides
Publisher: Celadon Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Borrowed from a friend

Goodreads:  Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

Ope’s Opinion:  It took me a little while to get into this story.  There were two story lines you knew where going to cross at some point, so it was a little confusing at the start.  Once I got into it, it moved really fast.  The short chapters kept the pace going.  

There were definitely some unexpected twists in the story – maybe not completely believable, but it is fiction!

The ending felt a little rushed, not exactly what I expected and sort of odd.  You have to read it to understand – I don’t want to give anything away.

 

Stranger in the Lake

Author: Kimberly Belle
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Source: Emer at Harper Collins

Goodreads: “Spellbinding. Another outstanding novel by Kimberly Belle, masterfully written to lure you in and never let go.” – Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

Look for these other pulse-pounding thrillers by Kimberly Belle:

Three Days Missing
The Marriage Lie
Dear Wife 

Ope’s Opinion: Kimberly Belle can write the perfect amount of character build up and suspense for me.  The more of her books I read, the more of them I want to read.

This one started out as what “seemed” to be a simple who done it mystery.  All the characters were introduced, there was already one murder in the past and another one just happened.  So who did it?  Who is hiding secrets? Or should I say who isn’t hiding secrets?

About half way through the pace starts picking up and the tension starts to really build… oh, the fun of reading this part – at this point make sure you have time to finish it!  You will not want to put it down.

The ending told you all you wanted to know.  And made me want her next book!

 

This is How I Lied

Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Mystery
Source: Emer at Harper Collins

 

Goodreads: Gudenkauf proves herself the master of the smart, suspenseful small-town thriller that gets right under your skin.” —Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny

Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…

Twenty-five years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa—discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.

For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.

Ope’s Opinion: Heather Gudenkauf is one of my authors that I automatically say, yes, I want to read her books.  She draws me in from the beginning with characters that are real and you want to follow their stories.  

There was more creepiness in this book then I usually read or care for, but it really did have to do with the story – it wasn’t just thrown in there to give you chills.  This was not as intense as some Gudenkauf’s books, but still kept my attention and drew me to the end.

I thought I knew who did it, then I changed my mind – should have stuck with my first guess, but wasn’t sure until the end.

Last Day

Author: LuAnne Rice
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Brittany Russell at Amazon

 

Goodreads:  From celebrated New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss.

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.

Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight goes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?

Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . .

Ope’s Opinion:  The story was good, if you could get through all details and the wandering off the who did it part.  Every time I thought we were getting closer to who committed the murder, the author wandered down another memory lane.  There was also a lot of repeating of facts and reminders of the first murder that happened years earlier.    

So if you are the kind of reader that reads fast or can skim past the unnecessary parts, this would be a good read for you.  The detective goes down a long road to find his answers.

The ending was strange – there were plenty of answers.  The  last few chapter were peculiar.

An Equal Justice

Author: Chad Zunker
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  Inside a prestigious law firm, a rookie lawyer is pulled into a dark maze of lies and violence.

An ambitious Stanford graduate, David Adams has begun a fast-track career at Austin’s most prestigious law firm. It’s a personal victory for the rising superstar—a satisfying reversal from his impoverished and despairing childhood. Now he has the life he’s always wanted: an extravagant salary, a high-rise condo, a luxury SUV, and no limit to how far he can go in the eyes of the top partners.

But after the shocking suicide of a fellow associate—one who, in his final hours, offered David an ominous warning—he feels the pull of powerful forces behind the corporation’s enviable trappings. The suicide leads unexpectedly to David’s discovery of a secret enclave of the city’s homeless, where he can’t help but feel an affinity to these outcast souls. Nor can he ignore the feeling that they hold the key to the truth behind a dark conspiracy.

When one of his new street friends is murdered, David’s clear doubts about his employer start shifting into a dark reality. Now torn between two worlds, David must surrender all that he’s achieved to fight for a larger cause of justice—and become his firm’s most dangerous acquisition.

Ope’s Opinion:  This book felt very simply written.  The short chapters made me think – I’ll read just one more chapter, so it went fast.  I was surprised to find out this wasn’t his first book.

I did enjoy how we were introduced to a few different people in the first few chapters.  You knew they were eventually going to cross paths, but it was interesting to see where each one started out.

The whole theme of good viruses evil was throughout this book.  You could see where it was going to end and it did end where I thought it was going to.

Pretty Guilty Women

Author: Gina Lamanna
Publisher: Sourcebook Landmark
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone.

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated.

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can’t shake her reputation or her memories, and she’s planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle.

Lulu’s got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back.

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they’re not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

Ope’s Opinion: I picked this book up on a whim at the  Book Expo 2019.  I had not read this author before and didn’t know much about the book.  The synopsis sounded cute and thought it would be a fun read. 

The introduction to each character at the beginning of the book was clever.  It gave you insight to each person, their relationship to the wedding and a little background, so you could understand them.

There wasn’t a reliable narrator – which was frustrating.  Who was really telling the truth? The murder seemed to be a side story.  The relationships are at the center of this book.

The ending and epilogue left me with more questions then it answered – not really satisfying.

The Birthday Girl

Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Mystery
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz, all of Ellie de Florent-Stinson’s secrets come to light in one eventful evening full of twists, turns, and surprises.

Before she became a glamorous fashion designer, Ellie de Florent-Stinson was a trailer-park teen about to turn sixteen. But a night of birthday celebration doesn’t go exactly as planned and descends into a night she’ll never be able to forget.

Now, on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career; and a dazzling circle of friends.

Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside–Ellie is keeping many secrets. And hiding those skeletons has a cost, and it all comes to a head the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert–where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, ex-wives and ex-husbands congregate, and the glittering facade of Ellie’s life begins to crumble.

Beautifully paced and full of surprises, The Birthday Girl is an enthralling tale of a life lived in shadow and its unavoidable consequences.

Ope’s Opinion:  This might have been a 3.5, but you would have to take the “f” word out and put in more creative descriptions.  I almost quit reading this book a couple of times.  I read a couple of reviews and they encouraged me to keep reading.  I was glad I finished it in the long run.

It took a long time to get involved in the story.  Some of the background was needed to understand how everyone ended up where they did, but I wanted it get there faster.  Switching from past to present felt like two different stories until closed to the end when they collided and it was brought to a nice clean end.

Only Ever Her

Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Ope’s Opinion: I thought this was going to be an intense read about a missing person.  Instead it was a slow moving story about a small town with characters I had a hard time caring about and it was not intense at all.   Some of these characters were really strange. 

My biggest frustration in mystery books is when I can’t figure out who the guilty party is because they are not in the book until  the end.  If the guilty person isn’t someone you care about or doesn’t effects the other characters, it makes it hard to care. The ending of this story was not very satisfying.

 

Out Now

Do you enjoy reading a family drama
with a mystery at the core of it?
Then pick this one up today!

Goodreads:  Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

From the bestselling author of The Family Next Door comes a new page-turner about that trickiest of relationships.

Thank you Kristin of Kritters Ramblings  for sharing this book with me.