Mystery

The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan

The Dead HouseThe Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Expected publication date: May 1, 2018

Are you looking for a book that is part ghost story and part romantic love story? I wasn’t either. But I found one, and it was actually pretty good. The first half of the book really centers around relationship building among various characters, and it takes a while for the spookier aspects to develop, but once they did, I felt like I was at Girl Scout camp again, hearing a scary story in front of the campfire. Except I didn’t have S’Mores… Sad. I think I need S’Mores. Back to the review…

Billy O’Callaghan paints the picture (see what I did there?) of a talented artist who purchases a run-down cottage overlooking the ocean. After a housewarming party-turned-seance (who brought the darn Ouija board?… Haven’t we learned yet that these things only bring trouble?), strange things start happening at the beautiful cottage. Things will never be the same.

This book was short in length at a little over 200 pages, and almost felt more like a short story to me than a full fledged novel. The author’s writing style was extremely enjoyable, with philosophical notes throughout. Combined, it made for a quick and easy read. I literally flew threw it in several hours.

With the weather warming up, if you’re looking for a good fireside ghost story, this is your book.

-This advance release book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade Publishing, and Billy O’Callaghan for the opportunity to review-

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Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

Obscura by Joe Hart

ObscuraObscura by Joe Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expected publication date: May 8, 2018

Blast off! This book literally transported me to another world. Okay, well not literally, but you get the idea. Part science fiction and part murder mystery, Obscura follows the life of Dr. Gillian Ryan as she pursues a cure for Losian’s Disease, a crippling neurological disease that causes extensive memory loss. While her daughter is struggling with the disease, Gillian receives an offer she can’t turn down, continued funding for her research in exchange for assistance with a classified NASA mission. However, things are not as they seem! Joe Hart’s writing is fantastic, and I genuinely felt like I was walking in Gillian’s space shoes the entire time. Gillian is a likable character, and a true badass! I could feel her passion, helplessness, excitement, and every emotion in between as the story progressed.

I can’t even tell you how many times throughout Obscura I said, “I did not see that coming!” One of the best things about this book is the element of surprise. When you think you have things figured out, you don’t. I couldn’t put this one down (at the expense of my accounting class… oh well), and even chancing car sickness to read in the passenger seat during our long drive from Northern Indiana to Tennessee.

I will be highly recommending this one to family and friends. Even if you’re not a huge fan of science fiction. You don’t have to be, to be honest. The mystery is enough to get you hooked! Just make sure you don’t get lost in space!

-This advanced release copy was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Joe Hart for the opportunity to review-

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General Fiction (Adult), Thriller

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

The Good LiarThe Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Out April 3rd, 2018!

We all keep secrets, some larger than others. If I learned anything while reading this book, it is that lies (either spoken or as a result of omission) can spiral out of your control, sending your life on an unexpected trajectory. Catherine McKenzie takes you into the lives of Cecily, Kate, and Franny, three women whose lives we’re impacted by a tragedy in Chicago one year ago. As the story unfolds, their lives intertwine in ways that are unimaginable.

I was captivated from the very beginning with this story. Told from the perspective of each main character with the change of every new chapter, the story evolved in a way that surprised me and had me hanging on for more. Even more interesting was that all of Franny’s chapters we’re written in the form of an interview transcript or a magazine article. We never actually learned about Franny from her own perspective, but exclusively on an impersonal basis through her interactions with others. It was an added element to the story that I quite enjoyed.

Furthermore, I tend to read a lot of suspense/thriller style novels with strong female leads. I generally find that I see the “surprises” coming with most novels, but The Good Liar was an exception. Although there were parts that weren’t entirely shocking, there were times I was caught completely off guard, even down to the last page! There is nothing worse than reading a great book, only to be disappointed in the ending, and this book did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anybody looking for their next thriller.

-The advance release copy was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Catherine McKenzie, and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to review-

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Thriller

The Camera Lies by A.B. Morgan

The Camera LiesThe Camera Lies by A.B. Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a wild ride! While filming the story of Matthew Hawley, convicted of murdering his wife, for his true crime TV series, Konrad Neale finds himself in a twisted reality of deceit, lies, and scandal. The Camera Lies kept me interested conceptually as the story flipped between filmed interviews of Konrad and Matthew, and the twisted celebrity life of Konrad as his life gets intertwined in the murder mystery. Jam packed with sex, stalking, and all things sinister, I found myself not wanting to put this one down.

The real “pro” for this book was the main character. Konrad was likeable, and I found myself rooting for him all the way through. However, at times I found the book overall lacking emotion during parts of the story that were really tragic. And, I found the story to be somewhat predictable and lackluster in terms of shock value. However, overall, it was a quick read and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. It held my attention throughout, and had me wanting more.

Would definitely recommend A.B. Morgan’s The Camera Lies to those looking for their next suspenseful thriller.

-The book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley, Bloodhound Books, and A.B. Morgan for the opportunity.-

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Mystery

The Silent Girls (Detective Anna Gwynne #1) by Dylan Young

The Silent Girls (Detective Anna Gwynne #1)The Silent Girls by Dylan Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book in the Anna Gwynne series, The Silent Girls was an enticing mystery full of twists and turns. After 18 years spent in prison, new information surfaces that exonerates accused killer Neville Cooper, dubbed “The Woodsman,” for the assault and murder of Emily Risman. Shortly after Cooper’s release, a young girls goes missing, and the police fear The Woodsman has struck again. Anna Gwynne, acting Detective Inspector of the cold case unit, and her team are asked to re-examine the case of Emily Risman in the hopes that The Woodsman’s newest victim can be found.

The relationship between the members of the cold case unit and the unit investigating the newest disappearance was an interesting addition to the story. It had the reader questioning the appropriateness of police investigation tactics, and delved into the world of police corruption.

The Silent Girls had me guessing up until the very last second. Dylan Young does a fantastic job of providing enough information to keep the reader hungry for more, while at the same time keeping the reader on their toes. There is also an element of mystery that the author provides the reader at the conclusion of the story, leaving the reader itching for more. As this is the first in a series of books set to feature Anna Gwynne, I will be keeping my eyes open for the release of Young’s second book.

-This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review-

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