HER THREE LIVES by CATE HOLAHAN

Her Three Lives

“All human beings have three lives. Public, Private, and Secret” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A very appropriate quote to start off the book. This standalone thriller is the latest from Holahan and it’s a twisty one.

Greg is a recently divorced architect who met Jade, twenty years his junior and fell head over heals for her six months ago. His ex-wife, Leah, got the house and the grown kids so Jade and Greg are living in a rental while their forever home is built and with Jade pregnant they will all be glad when things calm down.

Jade’s public life is pretty good. She’s a media influencer and designer. She is in love with Greg, having a baby and living the good life. Only divorce after 25 years and two kids is not going to be a love fest. The kids hate her and the ex is a nut.

Jade’s private life is complicated. When one evening she and Greg are going out. She is still in the bathroom when she hears the doorbell and then hears screaming. Running out of the bathroom she’s met by an intruder. While Greg survives, the baby does not. Someone deliberately made sure the baby did not live.

As they try to piece together what happened and why, I kept thinking someone was trying to gaslight them. But who? And why? Greg goes into full security mode and installs cameras in every room, alarms, and trackers. He’s also very paranoid.

Jade’s secret life is not as bad as she believes it to be, but when you leave it off of your dating profile, it becomes something that could hurt you.

With the ‘help’ of Violet, Greg’s daughter, he begins to doubt Jade. Is she trying to kill him for money? Was she even pregnant and why is she visiting a prison?

Oh what a tangled web this was. These kids were just vile and their mother a loon.

So what did I think? It was a good idea for a book, but to me there was no sense of urgency and Greg was a pretty limp character.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 Grand Central Publishing

Margreete’s Harbor by Eleanor Morse

Margreete's Harbor: A Novel

Set in Maine’s coastal area during the late ’50s through the ’60s, this novel takes us through the lives of Margreete and her family.

Margreete is an independent woman who is slowly forgetting who she is and was. So when she accidentally starts a fire in her kitchen, her children know they need to do something. Margreet isn’t going anywhere as she flits through the book wondering what these people are doing in her house.

Her daughter Liddie and her husband and children move in with her to try and keep her in the house and out of a nursing facility. None of them are happy about it and soon we are dealing with an unhappy wife who just wants to play her cello, kids who are dealing with the turbulence that was the sixties, a husband who can’t be quiet about the Vietnam War and who cheats on his wife. All the while Margreete is fading into the background, almost forgotten herself.

Against the backdrop of all the craziness of the sixties, there were a lot of things happening in this book. But the one thing that wasn’t was communication. A very dysfunctional family dealing with a matriarch who doesn’t even know who they are. The question of when to let someone you love live a better life outside of their home is never an easy one. I felt so bad for Margreete and by the end of the book she was almost invisible.

NetGalley/ April 20, 2021 St. Martin’s Press






WHAT YOU NEVER KNEW by JESSICA HAMILTON

What You Never Knew

Meet the Bennett family. June, May and their mother. Imagine finding out that everything you believed about your family was a lie.

The book is told from the POV of May and June. One is dead and one is alive. June is all grown up now with her own family. When her sister dies, she finds out that the place they loved the most, Avril Island, which her family owned and where her father disappeared in a mysterious way had not been sold as their mother told them, but is still sitting waiting for her.

Feeling lost and looking for answers, June heads to the island. But not everyone is welcoming and there are as many secrets as trees. Things begin happening that are hard to explain. And the answers she gets are shocking.

The point of view May tells is rather disjointed, but then she is dead. I have to say the ending left me unsatisfied. The writing seemed a bit stiff. This is not anything like The Lovely Bones that it is compared to.

NetGalley Reviews/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books



THE GOOD SISTER by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Good Sister

Fern and Rose are twins. And as different as two people could be. Rose is married and seems to be happy with life except for the fact that she can’t get pregnant.

Fern is more of a free spirit but has severe sensory issues. The world and it’s inhabitants are a bit too extra for her.

But they both have secrets. Rose protected Fern from their crazy mother. Or did she?

Rose manipulates Fern into having a baby for her. And as soon as she is pregnant Rose turns into someone Fern doesn’t know at all.

I loved Fern. She has all these issues but she finds love with someone who understands them perfectly. But in the end, will she be able to stand up to Rose? Or will her mother actually save the day and expose who is the sociopath here?

That was some ending! Did not see that coming!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS by M.E.Hilliard

The Unkindness of Ravens: A Greer Hogan Mystery

A GREER HOGAN MYSTERY

Meet Greer Hogan. Librarian and murder mystery lover. A puzzle solver. A widow whose husband was murdered. Who would have thought in the smaller Village of Raven Hill she would again be stumbling over a body? In the library no less!

Unfortunately, the body is also a friend of Greer’s from school. Who in the world would want her dead? When Greer finds a cryptic note left for her by the victim, she decides this time she is not going to let it go.

There have already been a couple of deaths that the police say are accidents. But are they? Who are these people in this small village and what kind of dark secrets are they harboring?

Stirring up all kinds of trouble with her questioning, Greer is soon the object of the killer’s fury.

This was a good first book in the series. Greer is a strong female with a few soft spots. I would have liked to have heard more about her background and I’m sure we will.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

When the Stars Go Dark by PAULA McLAIN

When the Stars Go Dark

A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

The beginning of this book had me imagining all kinds of reasons Anna is hiding out from her own past and present. A Detective in San Francisco, it’s obvious that something has happened to make her leave the city and head to Mendocino, where she lived as a kid.

The day she arrives the first thing she hears is about a missing girl in the area. This is bringing up a lot of emotions and flashbacks from her time living here with her foster parents. A girl went missing then as well. And that crime is still unsolved. When another girl goes missing Anna realizes she may be exactly where she is supposed to be at the moment. With all of her experience and knowledge of predators, she can’t help but get involved.

There are some true crimes and names here that you will recognize. There is a lot about trauma and human nature. This one had everything. I’m sure I bit my lip at least twice. What I loved about this book was the rawness of the emotions. There was no attempt to pretty up the facts. They tore at your heart to the very end.

When you are brave enough to face your demons, then maybe you can reclaim your life.

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Ballantine Books



DEADLY EDITIONS by PAIGE SHELTON

Deadly Editions (Scottish Bookshop Mystery)

A Scottish Bookshop Mystery #6

Edinburgh bookseller, Delaney Nichols, is at the Cracked Spine Bookshop working hard as usual, when a mysterious person in a cloak brings her a note. The note is from good old Shelaigh O’Connor, who at age 70 is still causing trouble. This time Shelaigh has come up with a treasure hunt.

A treasure hunt that will net the winner a first edition of The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson! And that’s not all, the winner also gets her entire library and some cash. Delaney is definitely in the race.

After their first meeting of the group of treasure hunters, Edinburgh finds itself with several home invasions. Some look a lot like Shelaigh’s previous tricks. When they find a man dead, a man Shelaigh knew, people are suspicious. Until Shelaigh herself goes missing.

Is this part of the game? A red herring? Or has a killer taken her out of the game permanently? And could Delaney be his next target?

This is such a good series. I really enjoy the characters and the setting.

NetGalley/ April 6th, 2021 by Minotaur Books






DANGER IN NUMBERS by HEATHER GRAHAM

Florida State Police Agent, Amy Larson, never expected the sight she was about to see on the edge of the Everglades. Just off a remote road, but not far enough away that someone won’t see the horrible crime that has been committed and left for them to find.

This is some gory stuff going on here and it has the look of someone who has killed before. When the FBI jumps in with a similar case, we meet Agent Hunter Forrest. Yes, that is the name. He somehow has a lot of information on local cults and how they work and as we find out he also knows how to escape them.

There are plenty of suspicious characters. And none of them tell the entire truth, which leads one to think there is someone on the inside who they are all afraid of. But we never get enough information on that which could have been good.

This was not my favorite work by Graham. I didn’t feel I knew Amy at all and Hunter Forrest? That was predictable. What should have been a timely and thrilling story fell flat for me.

March 23rd, 2021 by MIRA

THE LOST VILLAGE by CAMILLA STEN

The Lost Village

I do love Scandinavian Noir! And this one is creepy, scary, and oh so gory! Once I started reading it I could not stop. Okay, I could, but I didn’t.

Alice wants to make a documentary. She’s low on money and equipment but she has a good friend who will put up some money if he can come along. An old friend/enemy has also agreed to come and Alice hated asking her but she is good and interested.

Alice has been a bit obsessed with the residents who just vanished from the old mining town. In 1959 the mine closed and that same year her grandmother’s entire family disappeared. Sure people came in and looked around but all they found were empty houses and in the square one dead woman tied to a pole and in the school, a baby crying. They took the baby and the town was just forgotten. But not by Alice.

When her small team arrives the place is deserted. It looks as if people got up from dinner and never came back. From the first night, they all can feel something isn’t right. They are not alone here. As things heat up they don’t even trust each other. Every one of them has secrets and one is a real shocker.

Reading this book was like watching the Blair Witch Project. You wanted to turn away but you wanted to know the who and why of everything. I loved every scary, gory moment of this one!

NetGalley Review/ March 23rd, 2021 by Minotaur Books

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines: A Novel

In this intimate debut novel, a woman returns to her small Southern hometown in the wake of her mother’s sudden death–only to find the past upended by stunning family secrets.

Lila Bruce Breedlove is going home. Home to Wesleyan, Georgia, having left as soon as she could, she isn’t looking forward to going back. While she and her brother, Henry, left and went on to make their own way up north, Abigail, their younger sister stayed. Which makes sense to Lila as Abigail was more like her mother.

Geneva, their overbearing mother has been found dead. Feet up in the muscadine arbor. The same arbor that Lila used as a hiding place as a child. But what in the world was she doing in there? Lila and Henry know they need to go home and find out what happened as well as deal with their past.

In a small southern town appearances are more important than the facts. And the facts that come out as they go about closing out their mother’s life are going to turn everything they ever thought they knew upside down.

Being from a small Georgia town, this could have been any number of people I knew. My own mother just died and good grief the things we found out! Ms. Terry understands this side of southern culture well. I was moved and I laughed as well.

Very well done!

NetGalley/  April 20th, 2021