Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Book Reviews - Three Thrillers, One Not

For this round, I had three thrillers I loved. Then, there was a book whose best quality was the cheesiness of its cover.

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The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz was quite the twisty thriller. Ten years ago, Lindsey's best friend Edie died in what was ruled a suicide. Ten years later, Lindsey is not convinced that is what happen. She decides to revisit that night, the people, and the happenings to try to discover the truth. The problem is that her memory of that night is foggy, so it's not a straightforward project. It also means she has to reconnect with people she hasn't seen in sometime. Perhaps my favorite part of the mystery was the role of technology. Ten years ago, technology looked quite different. To revisit it requires some work, but again Lindsey wants resolution, so she does all she can to uncover the truth. I really liked how this one built story and suspense which was revealing of a lot of truths, as well as (once believed) lies. There is also a big twist at the end as Lindsey fully pieces that night back together that really makes the story. Overall, this one hit that Lifetime movie-esque thriller spot that I am always here for and dig. Thanks to Goodreads for the advanced copy (which is the first time I ever won one their giveaways), so I could check this one out!

Read this book if - You want to read a Lifetime movie. You want a thriller that waffles between the past and present to piece the story together.

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward was an intriguing read. The story begins with a killing, and it's then a backtrack to figure out what the heck happened revolving primarily around a marriage. On the outside, Maddie and Ian appeared to have a happy marriage, however the story reveals that this might not have been the case. The story of what happened is pieced together primarily through Maddie's point of view with additional insight from therapy sessions, her therapist, and her husband. One of the things I didn't realize going in was that this was an unreliable narrator. Realizing this later in the story meant that some of the twists hit me harder. Regardless, this definitely built suspense as you were only really hearing one perspective on what was happening in the marriage, and it wasn't one you could totally trust. For me, the other interesting dimension was the setting. Given it took place in my hometown (Kansas City), I was reading about drama happening in places I know. It made for a unique angle to read! My only critique was at times there just a little too much happening. I know, I know, that's the point of a thriller like this. However, in trying to inject intrigue and mystery through plot developments it made it a bit too complex. Overall though, this was one that will keep you guessing about what is truth and what isn't until the very end. Thanks to Harper Collins/Park Row Books for the ARC hook-up to get a peek at this one that will definitely have people talking!

Read this book if - You like your thrillers told by an unreliable narrator. You want a thriller built out the mystery of what was really happening in a relationship.

Freefall by Jessica Berry was one heckuva thriller! Told in alternating chapters of narration, it is the story of a mother and daughter. The story begins with Maggie finding out that her daughter Allison has been in a private plane crash with her fiance and is presumed dead. Maggie is shocked by the news, but it is also quickly revealed that she hasn't seen or talked to her daughter in years. Part of the mystery is then coming to understand why this estrangement happened. Meanwhile, Allison actually has survived the plane crash. Part of the mystery for her is understanding how she ended up on that plane. In addition, she's navigating surviving in the wilderness. The story is overall about Maggie piecing together, as well as Allison sharing, how she ended up where she did. Much of this involves her fiance who is the CEO of a pharmaceutical company because he's got a whole heaping helping of secrets of his own. Y'all, this was my kind of thriller. I loved that it was layers on layers on layers of drama and suspense. At each turn, there were more secrets and lies, and it kept me reading. I also loved how while Maggie and Allison were telling parallel stories, there were unexpected moments when there arcs intersected. The alternating storytelling also really worked for me, especially because I listened to this. Having bits of each of Maggie and Allison's stories kept me needing to know what was going to happen next, and I was so captivated as those twists were revealed!

Read this book if - You like thrillers told through two voices. You like a thriller with twists on twists on twists, as well as complex drama on complex drama with just a bit more complex drama.

Ice Princess by Nicholas Walker was a book I picked because I read back to back to back thrillers. I wanted this to be full of cheesy 90s ice skating infused drama, and it wasn't that. Instead, it was the story of Samantha and Alex, ice dancing partners. Samantha has been sent to an all girl's boarding school and is taking some time away from skating per her parents' orders. Only thing is she wants to keep working with Alex, so they have to figure out a plan. So, that's what then transpires. Although y'all have to admit, the cheesiness of this cover is at least peak nineties.

Onto the next ones y'all!