Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every DoorLock Every Door by Riley Sager

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Out July 2nd! Pre-order from Amazon here!

Lord… I don’t even think I can do this book justice with a review. What can I write that will explain how I felt after finishing? I was just taken on an absolutely phenomenal ride by Riley Sager.

Let me first start by saying that I fell in love with Sager after reading his first two novels, Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied. I feel like sometimes authors who come out with a smash hit tend to let me down when I read their sophomore novels. Well The Last Time I Lied did anything but disappoint. And reading Sager’s junior novel, Lock Every Door, I’m officially bowing down to a master of thriller/mystery/horror.

I honestly did not think I would get my hands on this book as it’s one of the most sought after books of the summer. So huge thank you to Dutton for allowing me the opportunity to review.

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When I started reading this book, it slightly reminded me of The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (another author I adore). Jules is dead broke. She gets fired from her job. She stumbles upon her live in boyfriend cheating on her (in the act) and finds herself couch surfing with a friend and with nowhere to live. Life’s not going very well. Until she finds an ad in the paper looking for an apartment sitter at a highly prestigious New York City apartment complex… getting paid $4,000 per month. She cannot believe her luck and good fortune. Until things start to get weird. Which is where I’ll stop this synopsis because you really need to experience it for yourself.

As the book went on, it reminded me of the Oscar-nominated movie Get Out. If you’ve ever seen the movie, you’ll understand what I mean when you read the book.

Things I’m Raving About:
1. The juxtaposition between poverty and wealth. Sager played with this concept in several different ways throughout the story and did it in a way that didn’t get preachy but highlighted the differences in the lives of those with money versus those who struggle financially. I felt Jules’s helplessness and hopelessness as she worked to get herself out of her current financial situation.
2. How everything tied together. There were so many little details placed strategically throughout the story that wouldn’t even strike you as being relevant. But Sager surprised me dozens of times by looping back to things that happened several hundred pages earlier and perfectly tying up all the loose ends.
3. The uniqueness of the story. I honestly had no idea where this story was headed. I kept trying to guess as I always do with thrillers. And let me make a pretty bold statement… I feel confident that you are NOT going to see the major twist coming. It threw me completely off my game in the best way.

Things I’m Not Raving About:
1. Nothing
2. Nothing
3. Nothing

There is so much more I want to say but for the sake of brevity I’ll just say that I’m confident Sager has another smash hit in Lock Every Door and I think readers will be raving across social media for months to come.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Riley Sager, and Dutton for the opportunity to review-

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Audiobook Review, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart, #1)The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Warning! Warning! Dark and disturbing material ahead!

One of my fellow book lovers posted about The Killing Lessons on Facebook and I quote, “I’m only an hour and half in and convinced the dude who wrote this is a serial killer (sure he’s a lovely man but no one writes like this without having done it himself.)”

Intriguing!

And what do I do? Immediately add it to my TBR.

So here I am a couple months later having just finished, and I have to say I agree! What a disturbing, psychotic, and horrifying story. It reminded me a lot of an episode of Criminal Minds on steroids.

This book is not a “whodunit” like most mystery novels. The “who” is divulged within the first few pages when a woman and her son are brutally murdered by a team of two sadistic men. And they aren’t their first victims. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Detective Valerie Hart attempts to track down the serial-killing duo before another victim succumbs to their psychotic games.

I have to say, call me a weirdo. I liked it. The content was difficult to stomach at times, but the thought Saul Black put into the story was commendable. Despite multiple subplots, the story flowed extremely well and kept me engaged. And the narrator of the audiobook created the perfect amount of tension to keep me on the edge of my seat waiting for what happened next.

The one negative for me was the length. I feel like I say this a lot, but I don’t mind length if it is purposeful. In this case, I felt like a few parts dragged on and could have been slightly more succinct. But overall, that’s the only thing I can complain about.

If you have a strong stomach and don’t mind stories that live on the dark side…. or, if you’re a Criminal Minds fan, this is a book for you!

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Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like MeSomeone Like Me by M.R. Carey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Thank you to Orbit Books for the giveaway copy. If you don’t read and review books you win in giveaways, you should. Do the right thing. End rant.

I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars which I’ll round up to 4 stars on Goodreads because… well… no half stars allowed. Come on Goodreads… give a girl some options please!

Any who.. back to Someone Like Me. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It sucked me in instantly with a concept that was really interesting. Action packed from the start, the book begins with Liz being attacked by her ex-husband when an unexplained force comes over her that allows her to fight back with a strength and anger unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Can you say split personality? Meanwhile, Liz’s son has befriended a girl from school named Fran who has a dark and disturbed past. Liz and Fran’s stories come colliding together in a suspenseful novel by M.R. Carey.

What did I like about this book? One of my favorite things about the book was how the chapters were “numbered” with illustrations that coincided with the character whose story was being told. I thought it was a very clever way to identify the character whose story line was being told via pictures rather than words. I also really enjoyed the characters and felt like they were well developed. And the relationships between the characters were fun to see unfold.

What didn’t I like?

1. It was a tad too long and could have benefited from some editing.
2. The dialogue at times felt a tad juvenile and unrealistic. I had a hard time imagining real life people actually saying the sentences that were presented as dialogue between characters.
3. It took a little bit of a paranormal turn that I didn’t expect. And while it was an interesting turn, I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it stuck with a mental health angle rather than a paranormal angle.

Overall, a good book with some intriguing content. Definitely has some unexpected turns that are exciting but at the end of the day, not my favorite book in the world. I’ll put this in the “just okay” camp.

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Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

The AnomalyThe Anomaly by Michael Rutger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Wow! Wow!

This was my June pick for Book of the Month, and now I’m wondering why it took me 6 months to finally read it!

The publisher says The Anomaly is a mix of Indiana Jones and The X-Files which is accurate. But it is so much more than that. It reminded me of a cross between The Curse of Oak Island, National Treasure, and As Above, So Below sprinkled with archaeological elements straight from the walls of our natural history museums. If you’re at all fascinated by The Discovery Channel or The National Geographic Channel, you will love this book.

Nolan is seen as a joke in the scientific world. He is the star of the YouTube show, The Anomaly Files, which seeks to find exciting secrets about our life on Earth by uncovering anomalies never before discovered. He and his film crew are on a mission to unearth Kincaid’s cavern deep within the remote reaches of the Grand Canyon, an anomaly documented in the early 1900s that has never since been found. But they may be about to get more than they bargained for.

I wish I could say more about the plot, but I don’t want to give away even a tiny portion of the surprises. And there are so many of them. Seriously. So many times along the way with this book there were jaw dropping surprises that I did NOT see coming!

The science nerd in me loved the way Michael Rutger tied together all the mysterious elements of the story, and while it is in no way believable, it had that mystical quality that made you think, “even though this isn’t realistic, it makes enough sense fundamentally for me to love the concept.”

When I logged onto Goodreads to write this review, I noticed this book was denoted as “The Anomaly Files #1” and I instantly got super excited at the prospect of it being the first of a series because, honestly, I couldn’t get enough of the characters and the story. And to my excitement, after a quick Google search, I found that a second book is due to be published next year called The Possession (can’t wait!).

If you are looking for something utterly unique and different (i.e. not “vanilla”), you should definitely give The Anomaly a try! You won’t regret it.

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Horror, Thriller

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The perfect slasher/horror/thriller book for a creepy October night!

I purchased Riley Sager’s The Last Time I Lied a couple months ago as my Book of the Month subscription selection. I mega loved it! Arguably the best thriller I’ve read this year. And when I posted about it in my many Facebook book lover groups, the response was always, “Have you read Final Girls?” I hadn’t. But I knew I had to!

So here I am, having read Final Girls, and sad that it’s over because I absolutely devoured it! Riley Sager has this gift of creating characters and atmospheres that are so believable and relatable. And from a concept standpoint, it was like nothing else I’ve read. The story is about Quincy Carpenter, one of the three “Final Girls,” each of them dubbed with the nickname after having been the only survivor of their own murderous and bloody massacre. When Lisa Misner, one of the other living Final Girls is found dead in her home, Quincy’s life begins to unravel. Told in the present with periodic glimpses into the past, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

I was also kept constantly guessing. Sager has this way of leading you down several different paths and constantly second guessing yourself and what you think you know. The same thing applied to The Last Time I Lied. And I did not see the ending coming at all!

I would liken this book to a modern day Friday the 13th, but with more depth and detail. It is the perfect book to read during the Halloween season if you’re looking for a good “slasher” type book to creep you out.

My review for The Last Time I Lied here:

https://homesweethouser.com/2018/07/18/the-last-time-i-lied-by-riley-sager/

 

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