JAR of HEARTS By JENNIFER HILLIER

Jar of Hearts

“Jar of Hearts grabs you by the throat! The perfect blend of riveting characters, chilling details, and gasping twists in this standout thriller will keep you frantically reading until the explosive end.” – Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it

The Book Blurb tells you a good overview. But the devil is in the details and there is more than one devil in this thriller!

Geo is secretly relieved when the police come for her in her shining office tower. Rich, respected and engaged to the head of the company. She has built her life on the events of that fateful night with Angela and Calvin but she never forgot. She knew the day would come when she would have to answer for her part in her friend’s death.

And she did. Kind of. But when she returns to her hometown not everyone is happy to see her. And then the bodies start coming. And all she can think is Calvin is back. But she is so wrong and so was I!

This was a don’t stop reading until it’s over book. Brilliantly twisted and the plot twists just kept coming!  I will definitely be in line for the next book from this author!

NetGalley/ June 12th 2018 by Minotaur Books

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ISLAND of the MAD By LAURIE R. KING

Island of the Mad (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #15)

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

A June summer’s evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend’s beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks–with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes–Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can’t say no.

The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet he seemed to be improving–or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family’s jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps?

The trail leads Russell and Holmes through Bedlam’s stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini’s Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas..

It didn’t take much to have a woman parked in an insane asylum back in 1925. Standing up for yourself, would be called hysteria. Being gay or wanting to be independent or a million other reasons that showed just how few rights women had.

When Vivian, the aunt of Mary’s friend, goes missing after a week-end at her half-brother and guardian’s home, it becomes a race to find Vivian before her greedy and mean brother can.

From the dark gloominess of Bedlam to the beauty and freedom of Venice, they follow their clues. Sherlock and Russell are so good because they have entirely different ways of investigation and those two ways gel quite nicely.

With a lot of help from some famous and even not so famous people they may have come up with a plan that will protect Vivian and let other women live their lives on their own terms.

Very well Done!

Netgalley/ Bantam  June 12, 2018

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

The Echo Killing (Harper McClain #1)

When a murder echoing a fifteen-year-old cold case rocks the Southern town of Savannah, crime reporter Harper McClain risks everything to find the identity of this calculated killer.

A city of antebellum architecture, picturesque parks, and cobblestone streets, Savannah moves at a graceful pace. But for Harper McClain, the timeless beauty and culture that distinguishes her home’s Southern heritage vanishes during the dark and dangerous nights. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Not even finding her mother brutally murdered in their home when she was twelve has made her love Savannah any less.

Her mother’s killer was never found, and that unsolved murder left Harper with an obsession that drove her to become one of the best crime reporters in the state of Georgia. She spends her nights with the police, searching for criminals. Her latest investigation takes her to the scene of a homicide where the details are hauntingly familiar: a young girl being led from the scene by a detective, a female victim naked and stabbed multiple times in the kitchen, and no traces of any evidence pointing towards a suspect.

Harper has seen all of this before in her own life. The similarities between the murder of Marie Whitney and her own mother’s death lead her to believe they’re both victims of the same killer. At last, she has the chance to find the murderer who’s eluded justice for fifteen years and make sure another little girl isn’t forever haunted by a senseless act of violence―even if it puts Harper in the killer’s cross-hairs…

Once I started reading this I did not stop until the end and I still wanted more! Go ahead and strap yourself in for a non-stop action filled ride!

Harper is a character that is easy to fall love. Driven, smart, and daring, she does what it takes to get the job done and has no problem bending the rules here and there.

When the newest murder looks exactly the way her mothers did, down to the 12-year-old daughter finding her mother, Harper believes her mothers killer is back and she is determined to stop at nothing to find the killer.

As we followed her investigation there are quite a few red herrings in here, but in the end, well Wow!

I really hope this is not the last we see of Miss Harper McClain!  Well Done!!!

Netgalley/Minotaur Books   March 13, 2018

  • There is also a Book Giveaway on Goodreads for this book!

 

The Black Painting by Neil Olson

The Black Painting

A literary mystery about an old-money East Coast family facing the suspicious death of its patriarch, and the unsolved theft of a Goya painting rumored to be cursed.

There were four cousins in the Morse family: Kenny, the West Coast lawyer; James, the medical student; his seductive, hard-drinking sister Audrey; and Teresa, the youngest.

Summoned by their grandfather to his mansion, none of them had visited the family estate since a prized painting disappeared: a self-portrait by Goya, rumored to cause madness or death. Afterwards, the family split amidst accusations and suspicions.

Any hope that their grandfather planned to make amends evaporates when Teresa arrives finding him dead, his gaze upon the spot where the painting once hung. Teresa hopes to find the reasons behind her grandfather’s death and the painting’s loss, but to do so she must uncover ugly family secrets, and confront those who would keep them hidden.

Image result for the black paintings by goya

There is no doubt that Goya’s paintings are disturbing. And this mysterious and suspenseful book  was just as disturbing.

15 years after the theft of the supposedly cursed painting, the four cousins are summoned back to the house of their grandfather. When Teresa and Audrey arrive they find the man dead. His face a frozen mask of horror and fear.

Questions fly as they find out the boys had already met with the grandfather and now not only is the man dead, but his housekeeper is missing.

When the entire family descends on the manor we quickly see that they are a cursed bunch. Whether the painting actually was possessed by a demon or whether the fear was instilled deliberately these were some very messed up characters!

Teresa, who has some mysterious illness that we never found out exactly what it was, was probably the only innocent in the bunch however I felt the characters weren’t developed to the point that we knew or cared about any of them.

In the end it appeared greed was the motive for everyone’s actions and whether they were all stark raving mad to begin with or became that way later isn’t clear.

The tale is a fine idea, but the character development I felt was lacking.

Netgalley/Hanover    Release January 09, 2018

Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Don't Let Go by [Coben, Harlan]

Synopsis:

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

Harlan Coben is a master of this genre. His characters are one of the things that I love about his writing. They are all painfully human and real. Nat is a good one.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in a rental car, with a dead cop on the street. A dead cop who also was part of their high school group, Nat wants to know what’s going on and goes to the only real friend he has, Augie, whose daughter died with Nat’s brother.

Nat is completely clueless as to what happened but he knows people are dying and they all have one thing in common. You’ll have to read it to find out that one!

Nat is determined to find out what happened that night, no matter what the consequences. And trust me there are plot twists everywhere you look. As usual once I started the book I read it straight through while biting my fingernails.

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about Mr. Coben. I’ve read every one of his books and watched his ‘The Five’ on Sky TV. It’s also now available on Netflix and it is so good I’ve watched it three times.  How did I watch it on Sky when I live in the US? Well that’s when you have good friends who will Skype you and let you watch!

Great Sunday to read a Thriller and this a good one to start! Oh and guess who makes a guest appearance in this book? Yep! Myron!!

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient) by S.M. Beiko * RELEASE DAY*

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)

As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .

Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.

American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.

Roan is one of the most relatable characters I’ve seen in the YA world.

The author has built an entire world that we humans can’t see, but is full of magic,symbolism, and ancient powers and struggles. And Roan has a big role to play in this parallel world.

The characters developed very well during the story and I was glad to see this teenaged girl without some romance involved, fighting her own battles.

I think this is what good YA Fiction/Fantasy is all about!

Well Done!

Netgalley/ECWPress  Release is October 17, 2017

Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra

Little Secrets

Blurb

A town reeling in the wake of tragedy

An arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town’s courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside..

An aspiring journalist desperate for a story

The clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn’t nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one.

Little dolls full of secrets

In the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock’s daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town’s already fractured police force.

Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose’s attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.

This is a rather dark book. Rose is not a likeable character in the least. Actually none of them were. Not even the children.

Rose desperately wants to leave behind her small town and small-minded people. She thinks she is better than this. Mainly she whines about her position in life and assumes her best friend, Mia, feels the same way.

There  more secrets in this town and more downright bad people. I don’t think one of them had a redeeming quality at all.

When Rose decides to capitalize on the arsons and the dolls, it gets her just enough attention from the local rag to fuel her intense need to get out of the place. So what if she makes up a few “facts” or sets a few people up. But her actions will set a chain of events in place that do not end when the book does I’m sure.

Netgalley/Mira Books Release Date is October 17, 2017