Mystery, Thriller

The Truth Behind the Lie by Sara Lovestam

The Truth Behind the LieThe Truth Behind the Lie by Sara Lövestam

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely not what I expected (in a good way)!

I wasn’t overwhelmingly drawn to the cover of this book (which sadly can sometimes be a deterrent for me). But once I started reading, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

Man is trying to make money while he’s living off the grid. Advertises himself as a private investigator. Woman with missing child who doesn’t want to involve the police. Perfect combination. As they investigate the whereabouts of the missing child, we found out that things are not really as they seem.

I very much enjoyed the main twist at the end of the book and thought it was cleverly executed. I will say there were some pieces of the story that I felt lacked relevance. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really understand the very last line of the book and how it tied in to the rest of the story. As this is the first in a series, I’m thinking it may be further explained in future books, but it felt somewhat randomly placed in the context of this book.

As the book is set in Sweden, there were a few cultural elements that didn’t really translate for me. And I had a hard time envisioning the geography given my lack of Swedish knowledge. But it didn’t take away from the book for me.

Overall, this was a quick read and was enjoyable. I would recommend it to thriller/mystery readers.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Sara Lovestam, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

The Murder ListThe Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The cover of this book automatically drew me in. I love a good murder mystery. And this one unexpectedly was overwhelmingly more of a courtroom drama.

I enjoyed the plot of this book. A married couple, one a defense attorney and one a law student working for a prominent district attorney are on opposite ends of the fence during a high stakes murder investigation. It was interesting to see the investigation from both sides of the fence as most books primarily are written from one perspective or another.

I struggled a bit with the format of the book. While I generally enjoy books that alternate between past and present events, I felt like the way this book was written caused the story to be a bit disjointed. Until closer to the end I had a hard time seeing how the past and present timelines related and I felt like it was a bit confusing.

I also felt like the ending was a bit too abrupt. I would have appreciated a bit more closure.

Overall, this one was good but not great.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Forge Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery, Thriller

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

The ArrangementThe Arrangement by Robyn Harding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the story here. The idea of a young art student struggling in New York City and becoming a sugar baby to make ends meet was something I haven’t seen before.

Was the book the most exciting from beginning to end? No. It was actually on the basic side in terms of how the story unfolded. But it was a very fast read and kept my attention the entire time.

If I had to compare the two, I did like this one more than Robyn Harding’s last book Her Pretty Face. And although I saw the ending coming from a mile away, I still liked the thought the author put into the story’s final twist.

Overall, this was a successful thriller but nothing mind blowing. I would recommend it to my thriller readers out there. It’s worth the time investment.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Robyn Harding, and Gallery Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Horror, Mystery

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit when I saw that this book was 700+ pages, I was kind of intimidated. I generally am not a fan of long books because they tend to be long for the sake of being long. However, one of my favorite things about this book was the journey. The order in which information was given to the baby took me as the reader on a ride from start to finish and I was constantly trying to figure out what would happen next.

I thought the story was extremely unique. A boy goes missing for 6 days and when he reemerges strange things start to happen in the town. But it took me forever to figure out what the strange things had to do with each other, which held my attention.

I will say that toward the end, the story started to get a little too weird and convoluted for my taste, and I did have some unanswered questions in the end that I wish I had more clear cut answers to. I would say that the first half of the book was a 5 star read but the second half ended up being closer to a 3 star read. So I’ll split the difference and give the book 4 stars overall.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Stephen Chbosky, and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery, Thriller

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Thirteen (Eddie Flynn, #4)Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I requested this book from the publisher, I had no idea that it was the 4th book in a series. But it honestly didn’t matter. While there were some minor references to earlier books in the series, it could have served as a stand alone.

I found the concept of a serial killer sitting on the jury of a murder trial unique and interesting. It reminded me of a mixture of John Grisham’s Runaway Jury and an episode of Criminal Minds.

I thought the way the story progressed was perfection, with lots of build up. I will say that I wasn’t entirely shocked by any of the “surprises” along the way, but the story came together in a way that made sense while addressing all the loose ends.

Overall, this was a strong mystery/thriller and I enjoyed my first read from Steve Cavanagh. I would highly recommend.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Steve Cavanagh, and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to review.-

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