Tag Archive | thriller

Cry of the Innocent: A Faith Clarke Mystery. Julie Bates

Cry of the Innocent: A Faith Clarke Mystery. Julie Bates

Cry of the Innocent: A Faith Clarke Mystery by [Julie Bates]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

I enjoyed this, the historical side really made me feel there with the characters, exactly what makes a book for me. I love the details of the day to day stuff, the food, the chores, the realities of life as a woman, as a slave, as a child. The divide between those who have wealth and those who don’t. Looking at this from today’s perspective its awful, but back then it was the norm and people just had to get on with it.
I liked how Olivia struggled with the conundrum of slave owing and being a Quaker. Its not as simple as just setting them free, I didn’t realise she would need permission from the Governor to do so. And that she would need a good reason before it would be granted.

The story itself is almost basic, someone gets murdered in Olivia’s property. She needs to find the culprit for a number of reasons, she and her slaves could be held responsible, especially as she is in substantial debt to the victim, the scandal could affect her tavern and thus income, which is already finely balanced. The slave girl, Stella, widely thought to be responsible is just a child and badly abused and she doesn’t think Stella could have done it, but knows as she’s a slave no-one else will really look to help her.
What starts off simply gets more complex and involves far more folk in what seemed like a simple murder, and Faith gets put into danger for her sleuthing. The more she looks into it the more reasons and motives others have for the murder, and the more danger she gets placed in. She can’t just leave it though, she’s become in danger either way.

Stars: 4. The story weaves together through into a fascinating snippet of history, a fictional tale that probably played out in similar ways over and over in real life ;-(

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Love you to Death, Reily Garrett.

Love you to Death, Reily Garrett.

Love You To Death: FBI Romantic Thriller (Moonlight and Murder Book 6) by [Reily Garrett, RE Hargrave]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romantic Suspense

I really enjoyed this. I think much of that comes from having read some of the earlier books, I’m familiar with the characters and how the team works. The only issue I had was that Dylan was a major romance lead when its only been months since his love was killed. I find it difficult to believe someone can fall in love again so quickly – but that’s just me, its not an issue for everyone of course, and didn’t spoil the story.
I loved Dylan in the last book, Deadly Interception so was pleased he’s the male focus of this one.
Taylor is ambitious, fresh out of probation and working along with her dog Magnum, she’s been given the job of looking into cold cases of missing girls. Out in the woods she gets a terrific break ( and OK its fiction right, so go with it. Strange things happen even in real life) when the latest would be abduction goes wrong and the victim escapes. She meets Dylan with Amelia, the victim, and another man, both helping but also very suspicious of the other, especially Dylan. We know his background but Taylor doesn’t so she’s immediately wary of both.
Gradually the team become involved, Taylor is wary but can’t deny the results, and her supervisor Trenton seems to know and approve of them all so goes along with it. It beings her right into danger several times, and I enjoyed trying to work out along with her so was behind this. There are some interesting clues, some I missed at first of course, that always seems to happen….I’ll get better one day at finding them. I’m in awe of how authors think of all these thinks, think of how to set up little signs that aren’t obvious until it all comes together. Reading I love, writing had never been my forte though! I just don’t have that kind of imagination.
I was still puzzled by the motives though, even when the person behind the abductions was revealed, and then there’s a lead in to the next book which shows that its actually not all over yet. They have one of the major players captured but it looks very much like there is another, so of course the motive is yet to come 😉
Trenton seems to be involved in the next story, I hope he’s the male lead. He’s kind of on the fringe of the group right now, but has some good talents and connections and could give much to them.
As always the dogs ( and Keiki’s drones) play a major part, and I love that they’re brought in that way. Dogs in real and fictional crimes don’t get the recognition they deserve very often!

Stars: Five for this one, a really gripping and entertaining read. I look forward to more on this story.

Arc via Netgalley and publishers

Forgotten Creek, A Winston Radhauser Mystery 10, Susan Clayton-Goldner

Currently just 77p on kindle!!

Forgotten Creek, A Winston Radhauser Mystery 10, Susan Clayton-GoldnerCurrently just 77p on kindle!

Forgotten Creek: A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #10 by [Susan Clayton-Goldner]

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Another winner from Susan. It kind of feels automatic now to me that I’m going to be thoroughly engrossed in one of her books. As a reviewer though I do take reading seriously, and even though I’ve loved past books I still rate each on their own merits. If I don’t enjoy one I will say so. Fortunately that doesn’t happen here 😉

So once more Radhauser is hunting for a killer, a race against time as it seems an open and shut case, and of course as always the media and the local bigwigs are pressing for a resolution. It helps them too that the alleged killer is one of the homeless….
We have that same kind of pressure here in UK, where the news media are baying for blood, casting blame everywhere if there’s not a suspect found asap. I’ve always worried about that, about whether the real killer could get away due to that pressure, and the wrong person be convicted.
Radhauser is determined Corndog is innocent, but his partner MacBride isn’t. His boss Murphy is being leaned on by the Mayor, who no doubt is being led by press and of course votes…its easy to see how things get muddled, how its simple to take the obvious solution and not look harder. Thankfully Radhauser goes with his gut, bends the lines to the fullest, even puts his job on the line in his search for the real killer.

Along the way we learn a lot about homeless folk, and here in UK we have same issues sadly. Its awful, horrible, to think of people living in tents in freezing weather, sleeping on benches, in doorways. What do we do? Make rules to force them elsewhere rather than try to solve the problem. It’s a good job there are folk like Radhauser and sister Elizabeth who see the person, not just the tag of “homeless”. Its a fate that could happen to any of us.
Radhauser’s search takes him cross country, digging out old files, asking hard questions. We meet folk connected to suspects and victims, and learn more backstories. Some of them are heartbreaking, and for parents dealing with the loss of a child, well, I just can’t imagine that kind of grief. He has to be really careful in how he approaches them.

When the answers begin to show up Radhauser knows he’ll have to have an iron clad case. Its going to be a really tough sell to his boss to get the warrant to search for evidence, even if his boss wasn’t convinced they already have the killer. Radhauser needs to find every scrap of evidence he can, motive, opportunity, connections to what they already have, to make his case for that warrant.

I loved that we meet Kendra and Caleb again, I was so pleased for them. I can’t recall which book featured them, but it felt like meeting old friends and being pleased how their life worked out.

Stars: Five, another brilliant read, engrossing trying – and failing – to work out who was the real killer. That came as a huge surprise.

ARC supplied by author

Deadly Interception, (Moonlight and Murder 5), Reily Garrett

Deadly Interception, (Moonlight and Murder 5), Reily Garrett

Deadly Interception (Moonlight and Murder Book 5) by [Reily Garrett, R E Hargrave]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers.

Well, book five in the series and the gang is growing. Hands up here, I’ve only read book three before, but each book can be read as a stand alone. TBH though, I think if you’re a thriller reader I’d say start at the beginning, part of the fun in this story was being back with characters I felt I knew from book three, so if you know ALL of them 😉

Reily’s wring is fun, lots of snarky humour, not that artificial forced stuff, but almost throwaway lines that really hit the point. And the dogs, I adore animals and the dogs here are perfect, fit the story so well. ( and why do I feel the bore of four eyes on me, my girls mentally saying to me “ but we’re perfect too!” Dogs are good at the guilt trip)

Each person in the gang has their own talents and connections that are integral to the plots, and for me Keiki’s drones are amazing, but the dogs win out….again! The teamwork and camaraderie is what makes these reads such fun. I’m not a huge thriller reader, and I’m sure there’s bits I missed here, clues that passed over me but its a satisfying read. As an occasional thriller reader I don’t want to get bogged down in detail or read stomach churning gore scenes. Reilly gets it right, adventure, fun, scares, just the right amount of dangers, the dogs and a bit of tech to help get the bad guys…. and a background of romance. Perfect for me.

Stars: Four, an absorbing read, just the right amount of danger for me, lightened with some terrific snarky lines.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Wild Sign, An Alpha and Omega Novel. Book 6, Patricia Briggs

Wild Sign, An Alpha and Omega Novel. Book 6, Patricia Briggs

Wild Sign: An Alpha and Omega Novel: Book 6 (Alpha & Omega 6) by [Patricia Briggs]

Genre: Sci-fi and fantasy

Well, Patricia Briggs is by far my favourite author – in any genre. Her books are as fresh now as when I first read Moon Called back in Sept 2010!! I had to look that up, can’t believe it was so long ago…I’ve re read bother the Mercy Thompson ( Hauptmann) and the Alpha and Omega ones many times now. I discover things I’d missed in earlier reads each time, there is so much detail and subtle clues.

As these books have advanced in series I’ve noticed they’ve become closer, with characters from each series making cameo appearances in the other. Of course Bran, Charles and Samuel have always featured in both, and the more major secondary characters take appearances and get referred to, but now even the plots seem to be connected, and get referenced to in each story. I love that connection.

So having done my fan-girling about PB and these fab stories what about this book.
I made sure to read in daytime only, as one review mentioned parts verged on horror – and I’m a complete wimp. I get nightmares from the slightest things, My kids laughed when I couldn’t even watch The Mummy with them 😉
However I needn’t have worried, its got mo more “horror” in that the MT one with the Hardesty witches, and as usual everything here fitted the story line perfectly.

What I love is that its not just Charles and Anna, but others that creep in, and along the way seeds are sown for characters, plots in later books. With the story overlaps now, that could be in either series, its become a kind of game for me, trying to see people and events that may become more. One of my favourite “newish” characters from the MT series, Sherwood Post, makes an appearance here, not in person but as a character that’s been involved in the current plot in the past, and some of the mysteries about his past have come forward. I’ve a fleeting thought from this book of who he might be really, given he’s lost his memory and no-one knows – apart from Bran, who may know, but is saying nothing. That man is a real enigma.

Of course there’s the usual slow burn plot development, where things seem relatively simple, but turn out to be anything but, and Anna, Charles and Tag are in real danger. We’re introduced to yet another new supernatural entity, well two really, one is a group rather than one ..person? Creature? I wonder if the new group will take a greater part in later stories? I get the feeling by now that when PB introduces someone or something new its for a reason. Sherwood is a great case, he crept in fairly innocuously and yet he’s become a major, essential character in recent books. As a fellow one leg amputee I have a kind of feeling of kinship with him…though sadly wolf changing is beyond me. Leah features more here, usually she’s just the cold, unfeeling person in the background, the Alpha’s Mate who hates Mercy. PB did what I thought wasn’t possible, made me feel sorry for her.

Its a cracking read, and reminds me its been a while since I revisited the whole series. Over Xmas I reread all the Mercy novels and had a fabulous immersion into that world, so I think its time for an Alpha and Omega immersion, my favourite way to read books like this, allowing me to get totally lost into that world for a while.

And the end..what can I say about that? Nothing, sadly, without spilling too much, but its incredible, unexpected, though again the clues were set in earlier books from both series. Its not a cliffhanger, just a huge surprise ending. Bittersweet in that some folk are very happy and others will be very sad, and of course it makes me wonder whats going to happen about this new development..

 

Stars: Five. Another riveting, drama filled suspense from Patricia Briggs. A fantastic read, bring the series forward and setting openings for future plots. Thank goodness, what would I do if PB stopped now??

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Two Wrongs, Rebecca Reid

Two Wrongs, Rebecca Reid

Two Wrongs by [Rebecca Reid]

Genre: General Fiction ( Adult), Mystery and Thrillers, Women’s Fiction

Sigh…women’s fiction. Again. C’mon guys, its 2020 not 1820, men read books like this, men write books like this, lets get rid of this genre please?

So, having got that off my chest once again, what did I think of this book? Well, puzzlement mostly.
Puzzled by how Chloe gave up what until now had been her dream, to just fall in with Zadie’s plans, abandoning all the uni stuff she’d looked forward to, making friends, learning, throwing herself into the life. Zadie has a certain allure sure, but its clear Chloe is just a plaything for her, a toy to be picked up and put down when she loses interest. Then there’s the puzzle of Max, he seems a nice-ish guy, albeit a somewhat amoral one. What does he see in Zadie, other than having been childhood friends? Why does he stay so close to her? I’m puzzled by Chloe’s decision at the party, puzzled by her obsession over the next 15 years about what actually happened, when in her heart she’s already decided. For a long while I was puzzled too by why Rav kept so close to Max, going out of his way to stay involved with him, telling Chloe its for work, yet arranging dinner parties with him when he knows how she feels about him.

Chloe was like a puppy in her adoration of Zadie, blowing off Lissy and others attempts to befriend her, absorbing Zadie’s views on people, taking them as her own even though they are contrary to ones she’s always held. She irritated me, her willingness to just ignore what was happening until of course it all goes wrong. Even then she made some weird decisions, considering what she was worried had happened.
I didn’t like Zadie, she just felt truly selfish, an unpleasant person. She had no thought about her actions on others, it was all about what she wanted, when she wanted it and tough if that affected anyone else. I could see she was unhappy underneath and clearly had problems, but she was so selfish, so much a user of people. It didn’t matter what Chloe wanted or needed, Zadie came first in her own mind, all the time, every time. Can you excuse people’s selfishness, unpleasant actions, just because they have issues? For me the answer is no.
Max was something of an enigma, he seemed to just go along with whatever Zadie wanted, just clean up after her, indulge her, but it didn’t seem that he actually loved her. They had a curious relationship. I don’t think he cared enough to put himself out for her, yet she seemed to feel he adored her.
Rav, I didn’t think he took Chloe’s feelings seriously enough, her fears over Zadie at the time, but then neither did Max. Then over the years he just keeps quiet, even when she’s still obsessing and wondering. You’d think he’d say “ for heaven’s sake either let it go or track her down”. He just seemed to turn his head away, in the same way he ignored Chloe dislike of Max and continued to arrange nights out for them. Strange guy.

It seemed weird the events that happened and the followup – quite jarring, and I did understand for Chloe it felt unfinished but…its been fifteen years and she’s still got that same obsession that she had with Zadie at university. It just felt odd. Twenty year olds do obsess, but surely by now she’d have either tracked her down via a PI or something or let it go. Chloe’s view of their friendship doesn’t really fit how outsiders would view it, or even Zadie herself. Chloe thinks they are friends, equals, yet its all Chloe that makes the running, the sacrifices, and Zadie that makes the decisions. Its a very unbalanced relationship.
Then all of a sudden its disclosure time, Chloe tries to force the issue, takes an action I really couldn’t go along with but the consequences, wow, I did not expect that! I didn’t necessarily believe the same things as Chloe did, but I certainly didn’t see that revelation coming. The ending is somewhat ambiguous, but after all the shocks and revelations I finally found common ground with Chloe, time was needed. Lots of time to absorb what happened, for everyone.

Stars: Three, I didn’t really like any of the characters, for me that tends to be a real problem and affects how I feel about the story. The only nice person was Lissy, and she’s very much on the fringes of the story. There are shocks and revelations at the end but overall it seemed to drag for me, I just found the whole mystery of Zadie overdone, I wanted to know what happened, but when we finally did it was almost an anticlimax in the face of other actions.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

River Running Backwards, (A Winston Radhauser Mystery 9), Susan Clayton-Goldner 

River Running Backwards, (A Winston Radhauser Mystery 9), Susan Clayton-Goldner 

River Running Backwards: A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #9 by [Susan Clayton-Goldner]

Genre: Mystery and thrillers.

Its no secret by now that Susan writes the stories I want to read. I’ve been transported to book-world so many times reading her novels, taken away from the dross and issues of the real world. We all need that sometimes, right now especially, it takes a special author to be able to write that way.

Anyway, I think this book is my favourite. Other folk have “book boyfriends” who are drop dead handsome, well built, rich, well known etc For me its Radhauser – I have just the teeniest crush on him now, sorry Gracie, we’ll have to share 😉 I missed Gracie and the kids in this book, even though they were only at the end of the phone.

The story of his dead baby sister resonated with me. At 17 I had my first child who was still born, and he’s still a part of my heart. I so felt for Radhauser’s mum. That shock and grief, one moment a lovely newborn daughter, then she’s gone. The more I learned of events the sadder I felt for her, all those years can never come back.
I felt for Radhauser too, finding out that not only is his beloved uncle dying, the man who’s been a father to him since age of three, but that actually his parents are still alive. What a shock, and I understood his anger with his aunt and uncle, and of course his father, who abandoned him. That must have been so hard to take – yet I also understood why his aunt and uncle acted as they did when he was a child. When he was older? Well, we all do what we think is right, I think it was fear of losing him that kept them quiet, plus of course Radhauser’s tragic story when his first wife and son were killed. He’s had a hard life when it comes to tragedy.

We see him slowly start to unravel events, to pursuing what he feels is a wrongly held blame on his mum, and his determination not only to get her out of the home, but to find out who really killed his sister.
As usual the story twists and turns, there are suggestions it might be one person, then another, and slowly events start to knit together. Dealing with a 40 year old event presents issues with records, with memories, with relevant people maybe having died, but he’s steadfast and determined not to be put off. Along the way he learns more about his father, the man he is adamant he doesn’t want to acknowledge as a father, but gradually accepts has changed, regrets his actions, and is essentially a good man now. Its not just words either, his actions prove how much he wants to mean something to Radhauser.
Of course as usual the more he uncovers, the more danger he’s in, and there are some real surprises in store relating to the events of the past. I never see who’s the culprit, one day maybe…and once more I was totally surprised, and yet it all made such sense.

Its a very emotional read, I still feel for poor baby Hope, a life snuffed out that had barely begun, even though I know its fiction. Stories like this are rooted in reality, this one is fiction, but there will be many like in in real life. Man’s cruelty, reasoning of unreasonable actions never fails to surprise me.

Stars: Five, my favourite yet. I loved the personal connection, the more measured approach, without the usual hassle by Murphy to get results.

ARC supplied by author

Keep Her Quiet, Emma Curtis

Keep Her Quiet, Emma Curtis

Keep Her Quiet: The gripping new novel from ‘the queen of the unputdownable thriller’ by [Emma Curtis]

Genre: General Fiction ( Adult), Mystery and Thrillers

Wow, what a read, full of surprises I didn’t see coming. Some stories you can see way ahead whats going to develop but this one threw all the curve-balls….

Leo, what a narcissistic man, concerned only about himself. It made me wonder what Jenny ever saw in him. When she strays that one time she has no idea Leo knows the baby isn’t his and yet I felt it wasn’t so much for love of her he kept quiet but because he didn’t want to lose his cushy life that allowed him to be An Important Author. How much of that was down to his childhood, with a weird mother and a father who felt he’d had to give up his dreams of being an author to teach because of Leo. Who knows what shapes people, or whether they just are that selfish.
Jenny, poor Jenny. I don’t condone cheating but Leo must be a hard husband to live with, she had to do literally everything in their marriage, so the man could focus on his writing. He made that very clear, he was going to be a great Man, make his mark on the literary world and nothing would stop him. She strays just that once and that changes the direction of so many lives. I so felt for her, she had her life changed by things totally out of her control.
Then there’s Hannah, not much more than a child herself, yet abandoned by her family, abused by those she trusted and left to make her own way. She and Leo hatch a plan on the fly, trap each other into long standing events. In a way I understood her actions, and her later ones, though I found it hard to believe she would have acted that way. It proved to me really that however much I felt for her she was in her own way as selfish as Leo. Put herself above everyone else.
Then the later events of the book, well, once more we saw there was no end to Leo’s selfishness. He was callous in his musings about what to do, it was all about what worked best for him. At times it was incredible the way he casually went through possible scenarios, how he felt he’d had no choice, how he portrayed himself, even after these terrible actions, as a good guy, just doing his best in difficult circumstances.

Its a gripping read, stunning the way shock after shock gets delivered, the way that one cataclysmic event had consequences that lasted years, that get wrapped in lies, falsehoods, actions beyond imagining. I really didn’t see so many of the twists, big ones and even up to the end, smaller ones. That letter shocked me.
There’s one true innocent at the heart of this who gets a life she really didn’t deserve. I so felt for her. What long standing consequences could come from her innocent actions.

I think what I always had in the back of my mind too was this is so far fetched and yet…we see over and over it actually does happen. There’s one particular story that sticks in my mind from a few years back that reminded me so much of the events here, how we can do unimaginable things for our own ends, to save face, how we can justify wrongdoings to ourselves, telling ourselves we had no choice.

Stars: Five. A great read, full of surprises. The characters were so perfectly written, I felt as if I was there with them, a voyeur in their lives. A read to treasure, to whip out on a dull day and lose oneself in.

Arc via netgalley and publishers

The Storm, Amanda Jennings

The Storm, Amanda Jennings

The Storm: The most gripping and chilling psychological suspense novel of 2020, exploring coercive control, lost love, and buried secrets by [Amanda Jennings]

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, New Adult

I’m not really sure why this is listed as New Adult, everyone in it is well past that except for Hannah’s son 😉 Anyway, I was expecting to love this, it sounded very intriguing.
I liked it, a lot but didn’t love it. Its one of those I’m glad I’ve read but won’t reread.
I didn’t really like any of the characters, except for poor Alex, he was the innocent victim in everything.

Nathan is obsessed with Hannah right from the start and manipulates his way into her life. He’s got money and uses it to carefully lure her in, not in an obvious way, but in more subtle ones once he susses that she’s not impressed by wealth. Her boyfriend Cam though….he’s stiff competition. Cam’s a fisherman, to Nathan its no contest but of course Hannah is in love and for her Nathan is just a good friend. And then something happens that changes everything.

Nathan goes from being a bit of a stalker to a total control freak. As events unfold I can actually see where his issues lie and they stem from way back in his life, to childhood and I did feel even the tiniest bit sorry for him. He knows way more than he admits, and what seems like heavy handed OTT control is his attempt to stop Hannah – his love, his life – from leaving. It made a hard life for her but she puts up with it for reasons of her own.

Then there’s Cam who I hated at first, for leaving when she needed him, but of course as events unfold it wasn’t that simple. I had guessed at some, though not all, some parts came as total surprise. I felt so sad for some of the characters, life in a fishing fleet is tough, harsh and death or life changing injuries never far away.
Its a classic story in a way of Teen ( imagined) Invincibility meets Real Life, and led to sadness all round. Alex was caught in a trap not of his making, Hannah was in a situation she felt she had only herself to blame, Cam did what felt right at the time even though he lost everything, and Nathan, well Nathan thinks he has the girl he loves but its only by controlling every bit of her life that he has her….A really sad group of characters, and even the ending holds a hint of more to come.

Stars: Four. A great read but not a re-reader for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Lake of Bad Dreams, (A Winston Radhauser Mystery 8), Susan Clayton-Goldner 


For UK readers this is currently just 81p, 99c in US. A bargain if you like crime novels, and i’m sure it will tempt you to get more from the series 😉 .

Lake of Bad Dreams, (A Winston Radhauser Mystery 8), Susan Clayton-Goldner 
https://amzn.to/308ZBk4

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

I love this series, and book eight is as fresh and original as book one was. Sometimes this far into a series books start to feel dull, plots repeat and the whole just feels like its time to stop. This though feels like there’s still lots more to come. It reminds me in a way of Patricia Cornwell’s novels. I used to read those avidly some years ago and recently was talking to th friend who introduced me to her books, returning the favour I’ve introduced her to Susan’s stories. Book one is currently free so well worth reading, if you like realistic crime stories you’ll be hooked and want more.

I’ve said before, if I was in the situation so many of Susan’s people find themselves I’d want a detective like Radhauser. He doesn’t just look at the obvious, doesn’t go for the easy solution but investigates all angles. He’s supported where its possible by Heron, the medical examiner for the police, but clashes frequently with his boss Murphy, who’s always wanting to wrap cases quickly, under pressure from the Mayor. I guess that’s where US and UK differ. Our policing is different, and Mayors have no say in police cases. I wonder if something will come of these clashes, Murphy seems to be more and more for the quick wrap up and praise for the force for doing so, rather than taking the time to find the real killer.

Its every parent and policeman’s nightmare, a school shooting, and as usual it looks clean cut. Radhauser isn’t so sure, and the more he investigates the less certain he is that Kristina Sterling was the shooter. Its a tough one because we just don’t know what is in another persons mind, what makes them do something like this. I’m so glad that are UK gun laws are so much more strict, we have occasions when knives are an issue, more than I’d like but the difference in killing numbers between a knife and gun is vast.
There are a number of possible suspects, and I was as usual trying to work out who dunnit. As usual I was wrong 😉 though I wasn’t really fixed on one person, I had no notion of the eventual person.

I love the contrasts between the horrific killings and the day to day minutiae, the way the police works, the stories each of the kids tell, Radhauser’s wife Gracie and their kids. The way he goes in to say goodnight to the horses each time he comes home for the night. I can smell the barn, that fragrance of horse, hay, shavings and feed that’s typical in a well run stable. The family and home provide that balance he needs to stay grounded, and Gracie really is a wife and mum in a million. Radhauser’s job, when he’s on a case like this, is long hours, days filled with sad stories, tragic families, and he needs Gracie and the family to keep him sane.

I was so sad at parts, and when Clive stand up to speak at Kristina’s funeral it had me in tears. A very emotional moment. Her parents were wonderful, and until now been a part of the town, valued and with so many friends. Now though, with the rumours seeping out, the bitterness and hatred directed at them is awful. Its very easy to believe though, as in real life folk want someone to blame and they were just There, a target for the anger that lurks beneath the sadness.
They forgot that Kristina’s parents were grieving too. They couldn’t go out, couldn’t get shopping, bombarded with hate mail and calls, and suffered from vandalism of their property. The crosses at school, how awful that must have been for them. Likewise organising her funeral, visiting her grave. No parent expects their child to die before them, and dealing with that is tough enough without having all this blame and hatred cast on them.
They really were in an awful place, grieving, wondering why this happened, convinced Kristina couldn’t have done this, but of course almost any parent would feel that way. The town has the girl judged, and her parents along with her though. How quick folk are to pass judgment, to blame the people they were friends with, who they respected, just days before. It made me think how tough it must be in real life for parents caught up in this scene.

Its another fantastic real life read, full of clues, motives and hints to keep the reader guessing at the culprit. There’s a twist at the end I really didn’t anticipate, that came as a shock, I’m still not sure how I feel about that. There’s good and bad possibilities I guess, caught up in this snippet. There’s one final, not twist, hmmmn, event I guess? I really liked that bit.

Stars: Five, once more Susan delivers a book to keep the reader hooked to the very end. A realistic story that at times was incredibly emotional.

Arc via author

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Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Book Junkiez

Book Information and Reviews.

Hit or Miss Books

Reviews for children's and adult books.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Writer's Life For Me.

Blog of Author Mishka Jenkins

Book Gossips

We are four cousins hailing from Australia. Love of books runs in our family and we have decided to share our exhilirating gossip sessions with you. Here you can find book reviews from multiple genres, bringing you the best of buzz worthy popular fiction.