THE NESTING by C.J. Cooke

This novel was crazy good – -suspenseful, set in a unique and beautiful place (Norway), and it kept me guessing again and again.

Here’s the overview:

Description

The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway—in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady. . . .

Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.

If you like suspenseful thrillers, this is one for you.

And now I want to go to Norway.

Thanks for my review copy!

INVISIBLE GIRL by Lisa Jewell

Ring the bells, everyone, because LISA JEWELL HAS WRITTEN A NEW BOOK AND IT’S AWESOME!

Lisa Jewell is an amazingly talented suspense writer, often focusing on families and usually taking place in England. I love her books, her plotting, her pacing, her characters.

This book is no exception!

Here’s the overview:

Description

I absolutely loved Invisible Girl—Lisa Jewell has a way of combining furiously twisty, utterly gripping plots with wonderfully rich characterization—she has such compassion for her characters, and we feel we know them utterly… A triumph!” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone returns with an intricate thriller about a young woman’s disappearance and a group of strangers whose lives intersect in its wake.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

I read this book straight through the day I got it from Net Galley (months ago) and I loved it!

Highly Recommended!! Thank you for my ARC kindle copy.

For My Ears: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Oh my goodness — now that I’m commuting again (though shorter than in the past due to less cars on the road due to COVID shutdowns) I’m listening to audiobooks every day. I listened to this one in August/September and it was a doozy. Naratted by several apt actors (Caoilfhionn Dunne, David McFetridge, and Lesley McGuire), it tells the story of a family and the secrets they hide.

Here’s the overview via Amazon/Audible:

From the international best-selling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.  

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it. 

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life – wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax. 

For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouncement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre” (Sunday Mirror).

So this is the kind of story that starts off with a bang. You fall into the dark hole of it and you never are able to climb your way out.

I have to be honest and say that while this was superbly plotted and well-written I HATED the ending. Hated it. Almost cried from frustration and upset. Still can’t stop thinking about it. So – it’s good. Really good. It just didn’t make me happy (and I like happy).

Let me know what you thought! I got mine with an Audible credit.

Spotlight on JUSTICE GONE by Nicholas Lombardi

A few weeks back, author Nicholas Lombardi sent me the scoop on his new, award-winning book and I think my mystery/suspense readers might like to take a look!

WINNER OF FIVE AWARDS!

2020 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD

NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD

2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD

Best Legal Thriller of 2019

SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS

Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers

“The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.” Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den.

“One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.” The Eclectic Review

“The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.” Crime Review

An act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, and ignites a relentless witch hunt.

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

About the Author:

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian). In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years. Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net. His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya .His latest novel, Justice Gone, was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police. Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Visit his goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_J

Access Point by Tom Gabbay

Author Tom Gabbay sent me a mobi of his new thriller, Access Point. Mr. Gabbay is well-known for his Jack Teller spy series. This was an almost sci-fi story — about a woman accessing her dead roommate’s memories in order to solve her murder. Creepy and suspenseful, I couldn’t help but think how this kind of stuff could be possible within the next 10-20 years!

Here’s the overview:

Wouldn’t we all want a second chance at life?

When young American art student Mia Fraser is brutally murdered steps away from her London house she shares with computer genius Ula Mishkin, it leaves the socially inept scientist heartbroken. When it becomes clear that Detective Sarah Boyd is making no progress in solving the crime using traditional methods, Ula creates a software program that allows her to reach into her dead housemate’s memory in order to reveal the identity of the killer. Entering the dead girl’s life through the echo of her memory, Ula learns that sometimes the past is best left undisturbed.

This was super suspenseful! I liked it but will admit that I sometimes struggled to figure out whose mind I was in – real time or memory time – and the chronology of the story. Chapter headings would have helped me, and it’s possible they are in the final edition (I read an ARC).

Thanks for sending me your new read, Mr. Gabbay!

Recommended to those who like a suspenseful story that borders on science fiction.

Partners in Crime Blog Tour for Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin

I’m here today to share with you a new Christian crime novel: Closer than She Knows by Kelly Irvin as part of the Partners in Crime blog tour!

Here’s the scoop!
Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin 
Synopsis:
A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.
Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.Until now.A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer.
Book Details:Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: June 9th 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785231862 (ISBN13: 9780785231868)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
This was an interesting and fun read. I will say that it had some “triggers” in it — abduction and murder “off stage” and discussion of substance abuse and suicide — but overall it was what I call a “clean read”. The Christian thread was fairly strong in this story — the characters discussed their faith and prayed often. The main characters boyfriend was a youth minister. And I chuckled at times when just about every character would say things like “How is this affecting your faith?” or “Have you spoken to your pastor?” They were a faith-filled lot in this story! Even though I guessed who the perpetrator was, I still enjoyed the story and I always like an uplifting ending and a mystery that is not gory!!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my e-copy!
Kelly IrvinAuthor Bio:Kelly Irvin is a bestselling author and two-time Carol Award finalist. She is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats.
Visit her Online:
KellyIrvin.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook 
But wait – there’s more!
GIVEAWAY:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harper Collins and Kelly Irvin. There will be 1 winner of one (1) CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS by Kelly Irvin (Print). The giveaway begins on June 22, 2020 and runs through July 26, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
Click to enter:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZjI0YmY4NGI1MjJkZDM3MDAyMmIxNWZhMzUxNTNkOjY3NA==/?

Harlequin Summer Reads Tour for Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

I’m thrilled to take part in the Harlequin Summer Reads tour with Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle. This was a suspenseful read and just perfect for the summer!

Here’s the overview:


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.

***********************************

Me again! If you follow me, you know I love a good, suspenseful read and I’m always particularly excited if I don’t “figure it all out” in the first half of the book! I did not figure this one out early and I enjoyed Ms. Belle’s writing, pacing, and plot-line.

Highly recommended for a fast, suspenseful read that is great for poolside!

Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!

About the Author:
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book
bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

From the Tour (please note that purchasing links are NOT affiliated with BBNB but have been sent from Harlequin):

Social Links:
Author website: https://www.kimberlybellebooks.com/
Facebook: @KimberlyBelleBooks
Twitter: @KimberlySBelle
Instagram: @kimberlysbelle
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimberlybelle

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WNX6ZZS
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stranger-in-the-lake-kimberly-
belle/1133065677
Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/stranger-in-the-lake-original/9780778309819?aid=0
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778309819
Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Stranger-Lake/Kimberly-
Belle/9780778309819
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stranger-in-the-lake
AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stranger-in-the-lake/id1477319023

For My Ears: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Before I stopped commuting due to COVID, I had the pleasure of listening to this fun YA murder mystery, written with multiple voices.

Here’s the overview of it via Amazon:

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

I enjoyed Pip’s pluckiness in solving this mystery and I also liked all the twists and turns in the plot. It kept my interest while navigating my rather dull commute and I often listened while working at my desk or over lunch.

You don’t have to be a teen to enjoy this one! I got mine with my Audible credit through Amazon.

Harlequin Blog Tour for: This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s This Is How I Lied, a suspenseful mystery featuring police detective Maggie O’Keefe (I hope it is the start of a series!).

This was a fast-moving and suspenseful read, focusing on the murder of Maggie’s best friend twenty years earlier.

Here’s the overview:

Description

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.

Check out these other riveting novels of suspense by bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf:

The Weight of Silence
These Things Hidden
One Breath Away
Little Mercies
Missing Pieces
Not a Sound
Before She Was Found

Me again!! I had not read any of Ms. Gudenkauf’s books before – I need to look them up! I recommend this one to mystery lovers, especially if you like a strong, female protagonist. The pacing was solid and the characters well-developed.

Thank you for making me part of the tour!

Author Bio:

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.

Buy Links: (provided by Harlequin; NOT affiliated with BBNB)

Harlequin

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @hgudenkauf

Instagram: @heathergudenkauf

Facebook: @HeatherGudenkaufAuthor

Goodreads

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

I just love Jennifer Weiner’s books and I was SO excited to get her latest BIG SUMMER from Net Galley! This was a great book and the perfect summer read. I loved the main character of Daphne, a plus-sized blogger, who lives in NYC with her loving parents and has tens of thousands of followers in her online life. She blogs fashion for curvy girls and is an “influencer”. Her former best friend from high school, Drue, is getting married and wants Daphne to be part of her day. However, things don’t go as planned and the story veers off on a different course.

While I loved Daphne, I have to say that some of her memories and experiences in the book, especially from when she was younger, are painful to read. Who among us has ever felt perfect? Daphne’s character voices so eloquently the struggle that still exists within her to accept and love herself unconditionally.

I just loved this one – a little romance, a wedding scene, the beach, a murder, mystery man, etc., etc. Keep it coming, Ms. Weiner!

Thank you, Atria Books, for my ARC!

Description

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “nothing short of brilliant” (People) Mrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

On a perfect summer night, as generations of Cavanaughs descend on the family beach in Cape Cod, the cute guy materializes and a family feud erupts. With rumors swirling about everything from a failing business to infidelity, it’s clear why Drue wanted Daphne by her side. When Daphne wakes up the morning of the wedding to find that her crush has vanished and that something terrible has happened to her friend, it’s up to her to dig deep into Drue’s past, to unpeel the layers of illusion, and to find out the complicated truth about perfect Drue Cavanaugh.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.