Audiobook Review, Mystery, Thriller

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Miracle CreekMiracle Creek by Angie Kim

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an interesting and unique thriller! I feel like I’m always harping on my thriller authors out there because the story lines have become stagnant and tired. Untrustworthy husband this. And devious, backstabbing wife that. I’m always looking for that plot line that hooks me on something completely different. And Miracle Creek delivered.

Let’s talk HBOT. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A treatment strategy whereby patients are placed in a sealed chamber which is pressurized with high levels of oxygen. The theory? Provide high levels of oxygen to damaged tissues in the body to promote healing. Which is exactly why the patients in this novel were taking part in HBOT….. until the chamber exploded, tragically killing some of those who were inside. What follows is half courtroom drama and half whodunnit to determine who set the fire which caused the explosion.

I really enjoyed the thought Angie Kim put into this book. All of the loose ends tied together extremely well which showed just how well planned the story line was. I have to admit that I figured out the “who” very early in the story so wasn’t incredibly surprised when the arsonist was exposed. But I did not figure out the “why” or “how.” They were both completely unexpected with a good twist for the reader.

I also appreciated the multifaceted relationships described throughout the story. Patients and their family members. Patients and other patients. Family members and other family members. The HBOT owners and the patients. There was a lot to unpack.

I did feel like there was a little bit of a lull in the middle where I found the story to be a tad repetitive, and I did feel like the ending took a really long time to fully unfold. There was a point where I wanted the story to just “get there” in terms of giving away its secrets because it felt a bit drawn out. But that’s really the worst thing I can say about this book. Overall, it was a great read and I would recommend to any thriller lovers looking for a unique story line.

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Mystery, Thriller

I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

I'll Never TellI’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Out June 1st! Pre-order from Amazon here!

Oh how I adore Catherine McKenzie. Last year when I read her novel, The Good Liar, I fell in love with her writing style. She writes captivating thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat with lots of twists and turns. So when I saw her next book, I’ll Never Tell, was coming out I jumped at the chance to review it.

Twenty years ago at Camp Macaw, teenage Amanda was brutally attacked on the camp’s “Back Beach” and was left for dead. Fast forward to present day and the five adult children of the camp owners (the McAllisters) descend upon the camp to memorialize their parents who tragically passed away. But they will be in for a surprise when their parent’s will is read, forcing them to revisit that awful night of Amanda’s attack and come to terms with their own pasts.

This one reminded me a ton of Riley Sager’s fabulous The Last Time I Lied with the sinister summer camp feel. It also had an Agatha Christie-esque whodunnit style; one mystery, multiple suspects.

There were two things I really appreciated in this book:
1. The family dynamics were expertly crafted. There were a ton of layers to each of the relationships in this story (and there were a lot of relationships to unpack). It ended up giving the book more of a “slow burn” feel for me than your typical thriller/mystery but I was never bored. I was always waiting to see what happened next.
2. The way the story unfolded was perfect. Catherine McKenzie released the right amount of information at just the right times, peppering teasers throughout for the reader while not giving away all the secrets at once.

This is definitely a solid summer mystery for all you mystery lovers out there. It would make for a fantastic fireside, marshmallow-roasting, lake-swimming, trail-hiking summer camp read!

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Catherine McKenzie for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery, Thriller

The Last Thing She Remembers by J.S. Monroe

The Last Thing She RemembersThe Last Thing She Remembers by J.S. Monroe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out May 28th! Pre-order from Amazon here!

This is a book that I fear is going to be grossly underestimated. I have to admit that I haven’t seen this book all over social media and hadn’t heard of it before the publisher sent me a copy to review. But, I always find that when publishers send me books that I haven’t requested, I discover some of my favorite authors so I thank them for that.

The Last Thing She Remembers was such a pleasant surprise. A fast paced, mysterious, twisty thriller that kept me on my toes from start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed J.S. Monroe’s work.

The story begins when a young woman shows up on Tony and Laura’s doorstep with no recollection of who she is, where she came from, or why she is there. Tony and Laura take her in and try to help her regain her memory. What follows is a crazy roller coaster ride of stuff that had me guessing all the way until the end. There are quite a few surprises along the way that any thriller-lover would enjoy.

I will say that you kind of have to suspend reality in a few parts of the book because there were a few things that happened that were a tad too coincidental for me to believe. This is definitely not a story that could actually take place, but not many thrillers are.

Bravo to J.S. Monroe on a successful novel. I hope this one gets more publicity and chatter on social media as publication date gets nearer because it is worth the book-reviewing community’s attention.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, J.S. Monroe, and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the opportunity to review.

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Audiobook Review, Mystery, Thriller

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Watch Me DisappearWatch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Watch Me Disappear is my book club’s May pick. And I sure hope I can remember all the details by the time we meet up on May 29th because I read this one so far in advance of our gathering!

I really loved the concept of this book. Wife and mom, Billie Flanagan, goes hiking in the woods alone and disappears. A year later, her husband Jonathan and daughter Olive are coming to terms with the fact that she’s probably dead. But suddenly Olive starts having visions of her mother and she starts to question if her mom could still be alive. As they dig deeper into Billie’s past, they will discover a web of deception and trail of lies.

Janelle Brown did such a good job keeping me guessing for the duration of this book. I never knew what was coming next and loved the ride. There was maybe a small portion in the middle that lulled a bit, but it quickly picked back up until the end.

The relationship dynamics were really strong between the characters, and I enjoyed the twists toward the end. The epilogue was particularly well written and tied together all of the loose ends and questions that were outstanding.

Overall, I was a fan of Watch Me Disappear and can’t wait to read other works by Brown in the future.

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Mystery, Thriller

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

The Night BeforeThe Night Before by Wendy Walker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Out May 14th! Pre-order from Amazon here!

Wendy Walker, you have a new fan in me! This is the first I’ve read from this author and it won’t be the last.

The Night Before is about a woman who struggles with relationships. We’ve all been there, right? After a devastating break up, she moves back to her childhood town to live with her sister as she mentally recovers. She decides to give online dating a try. Again, we’ve all been there, right? I met my husband on match.com seven years ago so I can totally relate. But when she doesn’t come home from her first online date, her sister will panic and desperately search to find out what happened the night before.

The thing that really struck me about this book is how well the story unfolded. Wendy Walker did a fabulous job of releasing information to the reader at just the right times and places along the way so as not to reveal too much information but also to keep the story moving and exciting. While I found it a tad unbelievable that the main character would have revealed so much personal information on a first date with a stranger, I decided to look past it for the sake of entertainment. Who knows, maybe people are more open that I am with their personal information on first dates?!

I really enjoyed the story being told from different perspectives. It’s somewhat common in the thriller genre, but it worked really well here. And I appreciated the timeline changing from past to present and back. It added a lot of mystery to the story line and kept me guessing. There were plenty of twists in this book and I would say about 50% of them surprised me and 50% of them I saw coming. But the ones that surprised me were really shocking and unexpected.

I can’t say much more without giving away key plot elements, so I’ll just leave it at that. This is a really solid thriller that I think a lot of people would enjoy. It is exciting, shocking, twisted, and clever. I look forward to reading future works by Wendy Walker.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Wendy Walker, and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to review.-

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