ARC Review: The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

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Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear.

Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I am not an avid reader of “Christian fiction”, so I was a bit wary, even though the synopsis sounded very interesting. However, I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I was getting into a slump whilst reading The Night Women by Sara Blædel, but then I picked this one up and finished it in just a couple of days! The writing is so pleasant, it reads like a dream 👌🏼

There are two main points of view: Ellie’s and Grayson’s. Ellie’s sister, Mac, disappears, leaving a trail of blood on her boat. Ellie is worried sick and thinks her sister might be hurt. Grayson, a Coast Guard, is following a lead on stolen cocaine and is convinced that Mac is involved and that she faked her own death. Besides these two, there are occasional POV of other characters as well, which shows us what is happening on all sides of the story.

She pressed her ear to the latch and heard the faint trickle of water. No amount of screaming would lift her voice out of this deep hole, so she didn’t waste her strength.

I really liked the main group of characters that we follow, they were a joy to read about. Oh, and I finally found a character who thinks in tricky situations and doesn’t just act out of their overwhelming emotions. Thank you, Colleen Coble, I love me a smart character🙌🏼

This story involves drug trafficking, terrorism and assassinations, and that makes for a super gripping story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Also, a lot of current themes and issues we’re facing right now are mentioned, which just makes the book even more real and relatable, in a sense.

I’ve never really met anyone who tugged at my heartstrings.” He kissed her palm again, then moved up to her wrist. “Until now, that is.” He lifted his head and reached for her at the same time she moved toward him. His lips covered hers with a gentle yet masterful touch, and she was lost.

Throughout this year, I have barely read anything with romance in it and, to my surprise, this is a mystery with romance!! Oh my, I really missed reading about people falling in love – and now it’s all I want to read… Additionally, this is very good romance. No insta-love, no mental abuse, no manipulation, none of those tropes! The only “trope” that is present here is the “girl who doesn’t realize how beautiful and amazing she is” – but there’s a reason behind that! It was just so wonderful to read about the couples in this, I’m so happy I picked this up 😍

I did find an issue with consistency, namely regarding a character’s eye color. Most of the time, she has “golden-brown” or “amber” eyes but, out of nowhere, someone mentions her “blue” eyes. I won’t hold that against the book though since this is an ARC and I’m sure they corrected the mistake. Also, we’re human! But I did notice it, so I thought I should mention this tiny lapse.

One of my favorite parts of this story was the secrets that were revealed, stuff from the characters’ past. I’m always a sucker for a good book with tragic backgrounds and shocking revelations, and this was no exception, loved it!

I also loved the setting, it takes place in Lavender Tides, which is a coastal area. This makes for a wonderful background, full of houses right by the water, giving us summer vibes. This book is downright refreshing – in every sense of the word!

In conclusion, I am now a fan of Colleen Coble’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I might pick up the first book in this series, which follows one of the great characters I met in The House at Saltwater Point. I hope my review gets you pumped to pick it up, it’ll be out in the US in just a couple of days! 🎉

4 4/5 stars

Have you read any of Colleen Coble’s books? Which one(s) do you recommend?

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The House at Saltwater Point and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

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Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blædel

The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blædel

Goodreads rating: 3.55

Pages: 312

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Nordic Noir

Date published: February 3rd, 2015 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago.

Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago.

As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

My review

After a bit of a disappointing read (by a Portuguese author), The Forgotten Girls came to the rescue – a breath of fresh air! This is the seventh book in the Louise Rick series, which I have read completely out of order. I started with the ninth and latest book, The Lost Woman, which I really liked, and now I’ve gone back in time to read the previous books.

So the book begins with a rather stressful and intense prologue, in which a woman is running through the woods, escaping from someone. Then, she is found dead. As you can probably guess, I was hooked right from the beginning – which is why it only took me a couple of days to finish it. This could easily be read in one sitting though, it’s incredibly gripping!

The plot is amazing and very well thought-out. Blædel combines a creepy and cold atmosphere with asylum-related shenanigans. AND she also writes lovely characters that you end up caring for – what more could you want? I don’t know about you, but there’s something about asylums and institutions of the sort that just gives me chills, so they’re the perfect addition to a crime book.

In comparison to The Hypnotist, I enjoyed this one better. Why? Well, mainly because, as I mentioned in my review, The Hypnotist should be shorter than it is. The story drags on for too long and it’s a very descriptive book. However, I was pleased to see that The Forgotten Girls is not like that. In my opinion, a crime book should be short and sweet and straight to the point. Otherwise, you kind of distract the reader from the crime and whodunnit, don’t you? Is it just me who thinks so?

One thing I really enjoyed was how I did not predict how the case would unravel or how the story would end. The Portuguese edition is 300 pages long and I only had a suspition at about page 230. And it wasn’t even right!!! I love that, there’s nothing worse than a predictable book, am I right? Especially a crime book!

There were quite a few moments that made me laugh or chuckle – these characters are everything, I love them all! I also think Louise’s motherly worries are endearing, I liked seeing that part of her and not just the badass detective side. Also, she has such an awful but interesting and intriguing past, and I’m dying to find out more about it in the next books!!

Fun fact: Sara Blædel will be at a book signing here in Lisbon next week and I CANNOT tell you how excited I am to go there and meet her!!

Overall, this book is really freaking good. It’s disturbing. It’s gripping and addictive. It doesn’t drag on, it’s straightforward. It’s everything I want in a crime/thriller book and, for that, it deserves the highest rating!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Have you read this book? What about the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Forgotten Girls and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

The Hypnotist | Lars Kepler

Image result for the hypnotist lars kepler coverThe Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Goodreads rating: 3.65

Pages: 503

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime, Nordic Noir

Date published: June 21st, 2011 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.

It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

My review

It took me a while to read this one because a) huge book, b) I started it at the worst possible time, when all of my tests were happening, and c) I was already reading a bunch of books simultaneously. So, it’s been like two weeks, but I finished it – I actually read the last half in the blink of an eye!

In this crime novel, we follow detective Joona Linna as he tries to solve the murder of the Ek family – and then a child’s disappearance. Erik, the hypnotist, is called in to help solve the case, as the only witness is in a coma, and his testimony is the only way to get any clue as to who murdered the family. There are, essentially, two storylines, hence the size of the book. Throughout the story, we try to figure out whether or not they’re connected. The book is told in several points of view, which gives us a more thorough understanding of what exactly happened – something I’ve come to appreciate in books!

I found one of the characters to be insufferable – Simone. My god, she pissed me off. As for the other central characters, I thought they were fine, well-built even. Joona is that tormented detective figure we often see in crime fiction – although we don’t really see much of his past in this book. Erik is someone whose bad decisions in the past have tormented him and altered the way he now lives his life.

Mortui vivis docent – the dead teach the living.”

The plot of the book is rather intriguing. It definitely didn’t go where I thought it would. There’s sort of a plot twist right at the beginning, which is probably what got me hooked. It was not at all what I expected from the synopsis, so I just wanted to keep on reading.

Although I read a translation, as probably will you, I felt as though the writing flowed nicely. The only complaint I have is that I felt as though the book dragged a bit. I think there’s unnecessary information, and the only thing it does is just make the book even bigger. Other than that, I thought the book was great, not predictable at all (which is the worst in crime/thriller books!), and well-thought-out.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars


Have you read The Hypnotist? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Overall, I thought this was a good crime book, although it could be even better if it were a tad bit shorter. Will definitely continue with the series – I actually bought the second book recently, and showed it in a book haul 😉

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Hypnotist and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

The Kind Worth Killing | Peter Swanson

1200x630bbThe Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Goodreads rating: 4.03

Pages: 415

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime

Date published: February 3rd, 2015 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

My review

A few months ago I buddy-read Her Every Fear, also by Peter Swanson. Back then, I already knew people liked The Kind Worth Killing better, but I didn’t know it would be this good.

Going into it, I knew the basics of the story from reading and watching reviews but I had no idea this was where the story would go. I absolutely loved everything about this book, and I wish it was a bit longer so that we could get a glimpse at some of the characters’ lives in the future.

I thought about it constantly, turning the idea around in my mind like looking at a diamond from every possible perspective, looking for flaws or cracks, looking for guilt or second thoughts, and I found none. All I found was the renewed conviction that [character] was a monster that I needed to slay.

This book is quite the ride. The plot twists in it are absolutely delicious and unpredictable (with the exception of one of them, which I saw coming) – and when you think the author can’t surprise you anymore, here comes another surprise!

It is midterms time, but I absolutely devoured this book every chance that I got. It’s so addictive, all I wanted to do was find out what would happen next!

I was fascinated by her raw beauty while at the same time realizing that she would not age well. Her face, rounded and doll-like, would turn puffy, and her pinup body would sag. But she wouldn’t grow old, would she? I was going to kill her, wasn’t I?

It features a few of the things I most love about thrillers: fucked up and flawed characters, secrets, suspense, investigation and stalking. Combine these into one, and add a good plotline, and chances are I’m going to LOVE the book!

I loved how everyone in this book was hiding something. Secrets always make me 100 times more interested and invested in the story. I love learning about a character’s dark past, I feel like it adds a lot to the reading experience.

I’d watched her for an hour one night, as she sat in her red leather chair, her legs tucked up under her, reading a hardcover book. While she read she absentmindedly twirled a long strand of hair in a finger. A cup of tea next to her sent up a ribbon of steam.

The fact that the story is told from multiple points of view makes it a much more thorough read. Not only do you see everything that happens, instead of what one of the characters sees/experiences, but it also enhances how one story can originate such different versions, depending on the person.

As always, Swanson’s writing read very nicely, and his books are quick reads, which I definitely appreciate during exams season 😋

As always, I was amazed by how the author was able to connect everything and bring back tiny details to wrap it all up. It is truly fascinating!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars


Have you read The Kind Worth Killing? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Overall I highly recommend that you pick up Swanson’s books – especially The Kind Worth Killing. So far, I haven’t been disappointed by his work, and I am DYING to get my hands on his new book that just came out!😄 Great writing, a solid plot and genius plot twists are some things that perfectly describe this book.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Kind Worth Killing and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

9781250087652Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

Goodreads rating: 3.97

Pages: 338

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime, Psychological Thriller

Date published: January 12th, 2017 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

How far does the apple really fall from the tree?

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

My review

Yet another amazing thriller – this year has been great in terms of reading!

Good Me, Bad Me is a psychological thriller in which we follow Annie/Milly, a girl who has had to change her identity. Why? Well, because her mother is a serial killer, and she has to testify against her. In the meantime, she is brought into a foster family and has to start a new life under a new identity.

Throughout the story, we see the repercussions of her mother’s actions on Annie – she is beyond traumatized, not only from being forced to watch the murders, but also from the mental and physical abuse her mother inflicts on her. She is in constant internal conflict, not sure whether she will turn out to be good or bad, like her mother.

There were quite a few times when I started laughing because of the dialogue. Some of these characters are really funny, especially the angsty teenagers. On another note, since there are tons of adolescent characters, the book deals with lots of important topics, including mental health and bullying, which I really appreciated.

The writing is hard to assess, since I read a translation, but my experience was very good. It flowed nicely and was easy to read. There are some gory descriptions, so beware of that when you go into it.

The plot is very strong, in my opinion. I had never heard of a similar plot until now – well, at least not that I can remember – and I was very invested it it. It’s a dark, gripping story that I didn’t want to put down.

The ending was great – it’s one of those endings that surprises you, but at the same time you kind of saw it coming. It makes total sense though, which is something that, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen.

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars


Have you read Good Me, Bad Me? What did you think about that ending? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Overall, I do recommend Good Me, Bad Me, especially if you’re into thriller/suspense and fucked up characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m certain you will too 😄

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Good Me, Bad Me and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

62a284_84e58a622fd844c697ff176ad240fa9fmv2_d_1803_2775_s_2The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

Goodreads rating: 3.89

Pages: 352

Genre: Adult, Thriller, CrimeMystery

Date published: January 9th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank… until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

My review

Well, here is another favorite! From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t get this story out of my head – I needed to solve this mystery… 🕵🏻‍♀️

The Chalk Man is a very gripping thriller that features a whole lot of fucked up characters. Each one has their own secrets, their own mistakes, and even if you don’t see it right away, absolutely everything is connected. It’s amazing, I don’t know how authors do it 😅

Never have regrets. You make a decision, and you make it for the right reason at the time. Even if it proves to be the wrong decision later, you live with it.

The plot is not a leading part of this book, I consider this to be a character-driven book. There are five central characters in this book – one of them, Eddie, is our main character and narrator. Eddie and his friends Hoppo, Gav, Mickey and Nicky are around the age of twelve in 1986, which means half (maybe more) of this book is about a group of kids and set in the 80’s. This makes it have a similar feeling to It by Stephen King, or the Netflix show Stranger Things. If you’ve seen either the movie or the show, you will most likely be reminded of them as you read The Chalk Man.

Never assume. Question everything. Always look beyond the obvious.

The quote above sums up the way this story should be approached. No one is who you think they are – which is something I love in books – and everyone has deep, dark secrets. It’s a great cast of characters, all extremely fucked up.

The whole book has a cold and creepy atmosphere to it that reminded me of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. I remember having the same chilling sensation when I read that one, which I am rather fond of. I like it when thrillers transport you to an alternative reality in which you just get lost in the story and what’s happening, and you constantly have shivers because everything is so eerie.

Never have regrets. You make a decision, and you make it for the right reason at the time. Even if it proves to be the wrong decision later, you live with it.

There is a great deal of murder, religion/religious discussions, and also abortions, as one of the characters is a doctor who performs them. The fact that it is set in the 80’s means some of the prominent themes of this book are extremely controversial, as was the reality in said time period. There is also an emphasis on the dichotomy between Christian belief and abortions, as you would expect. There are also serious bullying and rape situations that occur in the story, so you should be aware of that before going into it.

Right at the end of the book, there is a huge and shocking revelation that completely blew me away, and made this story SO much better. Amazing, twisted ending!

Secrets are like arseholes. We all have them. It’s just that some are dirtier than others.

Amongst all the creepy happenings and descriptions, I actually found myself laughing a lot through this book. The characters are hilarious, they kind of have the same sense of humor as me, so that made me enjoy it even more. This book has it all!!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars


Have you read The Chalk Man? What did you think about the horrid ending? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I strongly recommend that you pick up this book, it’s an amazing thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. They’re not kidding when they say this is the thriller of the year 😄

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Chalk Man and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: The Lost Woman by Sara Blædel

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ecc66b567676f0fc96692fd498b958f6The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel

Goodreads rating: 3.77

Pages: 281 (Portuguese edition)

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Nordic Noir

Date published: Nov 7th, 2014 (Denmark)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Shot with a hunting rifle through her kitchen window, the woman is dead before she hits the ground. Though murdered in England, it turns out that the woman, Sofie Parker, is a Danish citizen–one who’s been missing for almost two decades–so Louise Rick is called on to the case.

Then the police discover that the woman, Sophie, had been reported missing eighteen years ago by none other than Eik, Louise Rick’s police colleague and lover. Impulsive as ever, Eik rushes to England, and ends up in jail on suspicion of Sofie’s murder. Unsettled by the connection, and sick with worry for Eik, it falls to Louise to find the killer in what will become her most controversial case yet…

My review

I picked this book up on a whim when I was at a bookstore one day and I ended up really enjoying it.

The Lost Woman is the 9th book in the Louise Rick series, and yet you can totally read it without reading the previous ones. Of course, you don’t get to see the development of each character’s background story, but that doesn’t really affect your reading – and you can always pick up the rest of the series after.

I thought the plot was very nicely crafted, and I loved the way the characters were connected, and how we got to delve into one of the main characters’ emotional past. Speaking of characters, I really liked the way Blædel wrote them, they were quite mysterious, which I appreciated. That aspect made it so that you didn’t really know who to trust, although the author did sort of hint at the culprit at one point (they acted a bit weird).

One aspect I really loved was how the author presented a controversial issue – don’t want to spoil it for you – that is still being discussed today, and is one of the main subjects in the book. You can tell the author did a lot of research, in order to realistically present to us how the issue is handled by different people and in different countries. I also loved the solving of the case, I thought it was very clever, and it made perfect sense, which doesn’t always happen in crime books, does it?

My only issue with this book was how the pacing was consistent throughout the whole thing – a very nice pace, mind you – but as soon as we started figuring things out, everything happened too fast. A lot was happening simultaneously and at an exhaustive pace, which threw me off a bit. And just like that, the book is over and you’re already reading the epilogue. I do enjoy a fast-paced book, but I hate it when it gets too fast towards the end, to the extent that it confuses the reader.

As for the writing, I can’t really rate it because I read a translated version (I have yet to learn Danish), but I did like the style of the narration that the translator presented.

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My rating

In conclusion, I quite enjoyed “The Lost Woman”, with the exception of that aspect I mentioned earlier.

Zuky, you might like this one!

I also think it’s a nice Nordic Noir book for people who, like me, are just getting into the genre, and don’t really have that much experience with this kind of reading.

Writing – translation –
Characters 4-01
Plot 4-01
Pacing 3-01

Overall

3.66 stars


Have you read many Nordic Noir books? Which do you recommend? Let me know in the comments down below ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Lost Woman and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡