Audiobook Review, Thriller

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

For Better and WorseFor Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I honestly almost didn’t read this book (too many darn audiobooks dropped from the library at one time) but I’m so happy I did!

What would you do if you found out the principal at your child’s school was accused of sexual abuse of a student? For Better or Worse explores the answer to this question when husband and wife Will and Natalie find that their son’s principal and their close family friend has been fingered as the source of one child’s molestation claims. Natalie and Will take matters into their own hands to right the injustice in this fast-paced thriller.

This was a really good book. I never really knew where it was headed so it constantly kept me on my toes. While the content was at times difficult to listen to/stomach, it was realistic and therefore mildly terrifying. I don’t know how people can hurt children. Just my two cents. It’s so disturbing. I enjoyed the fact that the author toyed around with using a criminal defense attorney as the main character and watching her struggle with what is morally right and wrong. At times I felt she even empathized with some of the criminals she defended which was an interesting element to the story.

While I thought the ending was clever, I found it to be a bit far fetched which was the only disappointment for me. Perhaps it is realistic and I’m just naive, but it was difficult for me to imagine the ending unfolding in real life in the same way that it unfolded in the book.

The audiobook was enjoyable and and easy listen.

Overall, just a solid thriller with some interesting plot elements. Would recommended to any thriller lovers. I look forward to reading other works by Margot Hunt in the future.

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Audiobook Review, Thriller

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth KillingThe Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four words for this book: So. Incredibly. Messed. Up.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Peter Swanson reminds me so much of Karin Slaughter. Or Karin Slaughter reminds me so much of Peter Swanson? There’s a little bit of a chicken or the egg situation going on here, but either way, their writing styles are so similar and I love them both.

I just recently finished Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson and it was fantastic, but I think The King Worth Killing is better. It’s kind of hard to describe this book because it’s very convoluted and a complete mind f*ck. In a nutshell, man meets woman on plane. Man jokes with woman that he could kill his wife. Woman nudges man to go through with it. A bunch of really crazy stuff happens. We don’t know who to trust. Sheer chaos…

The best thing about this book was the unexpected. There were so many times when I thought the book was headed in one direction only to be rerouted 180 degrees at the drop of a dime. Peter Swanson did such a fantastic job keeping the reader on their toes while not creating too much confusion that it was hard to follow. All of the characters are just purely awful people doing awful things to each other. I don’t think you’ll find a likable character in this book, so if you’re looking for a good-natured protagonist, this is the wrong book for you.

I listened to this book on audiobook. One more reason it reminded me of Karin Slaughter is likely the fact that they share a narrator. Kathleen Early is a superb audiobook narrator who performed Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls as well as The Good Daughter. She also narrates a portion of The Kind Worth Killing and she does such a great job keeping a sinister edge and suspenseful tone throughout the book.

Overall, great read for a thriller. It is pretty graphic and disturbing so not for the faint of heart or queasy of stomach.

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Mystery, Thriller

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3)The Suspect by Fiona Barton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let me start off by saying, I love Fiona Barton. Both The Widow and The Child were such amazing books that really solidified my love for Barton as an author. So when I saw that The Suspect, book #3 in the Kate Waters series, was coming out, I had to read it.

I have grown to love “The Reporter” Kate Waters and her sidekick, “The Detective” Bob Sparks. I think they make such a winning pair. So when two young girls go missing during a trip to Thailand and are later found dead, Kate and Bob are on the case (because the Thai police sure aren’t…). And imagine Kate’s surprise when her son, Jake, is investigated in connection with the murders. What happened to the girls? Who killed them, and why?

I was pleased to see that the characters of Kate Waters and Bob Sparks were kept consistent. I continue to enjoy their relationship and the development of each character throughout the series. But, I have to say, this was not my favorite book by Fiona Barton. While I did enjoy it at a high level, I struggled through some of the details. There were times when I felt like it was somewhat long and drawn out, waiting for something to happen. And there were times when I felt like the “whodunit” answer was pretty obvious, not leaving much to the imagination.

All of that being said, I’ve read several reviews from others and I seem to be in the minority, so please don’t let my opinion sway you away from this book. If you’re a Fiona Barton fan, I think you should definitely give it a try and see if you experience something different. Perhaps I had hyped this one up too much in my mind (which always seems to lend itself to a let down).

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Mystery, Thriller

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

A Beautiful Corpse (Harper McClain, #2)A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Out March 12th! Pre-order on Amazon here!

I keep wavering between 4 and 5 stars for this book so I’m going to go ahead and give it 4.5 stars.

Had I known this was the second book in a series before I requested it from NetGalley, I probably would have read the first book, The Echo Killing, before reading this one. While you don’t have to read The Echo Killing to understand what is going on in A Beautiful Corpse, it would have been helpful to learn the characters’ back stories. There are a lot of characters and while I ended up getting them all straight, it took me a little bit longer that I imagine it would have had I read the first book.

A Beautiful Corpse is kind of your run of the mill mystery novel where an investigative journalist gets closely involved in a homicide case. Harper is constantly sticking her nose in the investigation in order to be the first to get the story, even if it means pissing off the police along the way. There are multiple suspects and Harper must use her reporting skills to crack the case before it is too late.

The concept of this book was honestly nothing special (now hear me out before you throw rotten tomatoes at me). It was your typical dead body, multiple suspects, detective novel with an investigative journalist cracking the case before the cops can figure it out. It’s nothing new in the mystery/suspense genre. However, Christi Daugherty’s writing elevated the book for me. I really connected with Harper as a main character. I felt like she was real and believable, and had a determination and toughness that I respected. There was a perfect amount of suspenseful tension that kept me reading from start to finish, waiting to find out “whodunit.”

But, the best thing about this book is that, although it could serve as a stand alone novel, the way the author ties events from the first book into the second book and leaves the it open-ended on a pretty intriguing cliffhanger is what impressed me. It actually had me pretty bummed that I hadn’t read the first book (and probably won’t go back to read it since I already know the outcome). But, I will definitely be up for reading the next in the series when it eventually comes out just to see what happens next.

Overall, this was a fantastic novel if you’re into murder mystery/detective/whodunit types of books. But, I would highly recommend reading The Echo Killing first to get the full experience.

-I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Christi Daugherty, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery, Thriller

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger DiariesThe Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve ready by Elly Griffiths and it won’t be the last. The Stranger Diaries is an exciting book about Clare Cassidy, a high school English teacher, whose life is flipped upside down when one of her closest friends is found dead. To make matters worse, a noted is found by her body with a quote from R. M. Holland’s “The Stranger,” a story taught in Clare’s English class every year. As the story unfolds, the killer appears to get closer and closer to Clare. But, who are they? And what do they want?

I really enjoyed this book and read it really quickly. I was captivated by the writing style of Elly Griffiths and the format of the storytelling. It had a gothic quality that was lovely, similar to a book I read recently called Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb to which I also gave a positive review.

The Stranger Diaries has all the potential and makings of a 5 star read. It had excitement and tension. The multiple perspective-style writing was done extremely well. It had a ghost story quality that would be perfect for a late October read. And the writing was just plain, old good! Unfortunately, in the author’s quest to create a lineup of suspects and throw the reader off the murderer’s trail, there were a bunch of story lines created that didn’t all get closure in the end. I felt like there were a lot of loose ends left untied which is the reason I gave it 4 stars instead.

All in all, it’s a good story with a ton of positive qualities. The only place it fell short for me was creating too many subplots in an attempt to throw the reader off the scent and later leaving the reader wondering how those subplots were related/were relevant/ultimately turned out.

-I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Elly Griffiths, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to review.-

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