The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family UpstairsThe Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I have come to be a fan of Lisa Jewell after reading her books Watching You and Then She Was Gone. She is a wonderful storyteller and can write a great thriller.

I was thrilled (no pun intended) to read her newest book The Family Upstairs but I’ve got to say that although I liked the story, I was a tad underwhelmed overall.

The story was told from three different perspectives, and from the beginning seemed very disjointed. The three plot lines didn’t really merge until late into the book, and I found myself wondering where the story was headed for several hours. It all did end up coming together in the end, but by the time it did, I can’t say that I was entirely surprised or caught off guard by any of the “plot twists.”

I did think that the story itself was rather unique and not your typical domestic drama about some tragic nuclear family with issues. The complexity of the “family” in this case made for a different type of narrative that I quite enjoyed.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite novel by Lisa Jewell but I’ll continue to read her work going forward because she is a wonderful storyteller.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Lisa Jewell, and Atria Books 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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Horror, Thriller

The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Whisper ManThe Whisper Man by Alex North

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love. Love. Love.

I’m a thriller lover and unfortunately the genre is so saturated that it’s difficult to find something unique, surprising, unexpected, and creepy. The Whisper Man hit it out of the park on all accounts.

There were so many parts of this book where I found myself sincerely shocked by some of the twists which is generally not the case when I read thrillers. And the story itself was just disturbing enough to give you the heebie jeebies.

The characters were authentic and flawed in a way that felt so real. I felt their struggles.

I would love to see this book made into a movie. It would make a great film for the Halloween season.

If you like thrillers, go read this one now. You’ll thank me later.

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

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Audiobook Review, Mystery, Thriller

The Turn of the KeyThe Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I love Ruth Ware! There is just something about her gothic writing style that resonates with me and I enjoy everything she writes. I have to admit that my favorite is The Death of Mrs. Westaway and her newest unfortunately did not knock my socks off but I still enjoyed it.

One quick side note…. All of Ruth Ware’s audiobooks are narrated by Imogen Church and she is fabulous. Her voice and style go hand in hand perfectly with the spirit of Ruth Ware’s work. I hope she continues to narrate her stories in the future.

This story was a tad different from everything else I’ve read by Ruth Ware and frankly I’ve grown a tad tired of thrillers with a nanny as a central character. They seem a bit overdone right now. I did enjoy the ghost story quality to the story but wasn’t overly excited about the ending. It was a good book and I enjoyed it but it didn’t knock my socks off. Given how excited I was for Ware’s latest release, I was a little bit let down.

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Mystery, Thriller

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape RoomThe Escape Room by Megan Goldin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published on July 30th!

I absolutely love playing escape rooms. Usually whenever I have friends in town, I take them to The Escape Game Nashville which has come to be my favorite. So when I had an opportunity to review Megan Goldin’s The Escape Room and participate in her blog tour I was in!

I really enjoyed this book. Although I must admit that I was expecting more in the way of an escape room given the title. While there were some puzzles/clues along the way, the book was more about relationships and dynamics between coworkers in a high powered financial firm. And while I though Megan Goldin did a fantastic job developing the characters (they are all horrible people by the way), I was waiting for more escape room qualities.

Like I said, the characters were all horrible. Don’t get me wrong. They were written wonderfully, but they are not the kind of people that you would want as friends. They’re pretty despicable and it was interesting to see their relationships unravel when put in a high stress environment.

One thing that I probably would have changed is the prologue. Honestly, I think it gave away too much of the fun. I already had an idea in my mind of what was going to happen in the end, and I was pretty darn close. Had the prologue not been there, I think I would have been more surprised by the ending.

Overall, this was a strong thriller and I would recommend it for your summer reading TBR.

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

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