The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike

Thriller, Psychological Drama, and Mental Illness. It sounds like a recipe for staying up past your bedtime!

Erica Spindler is a master at twisty, mental thrillers.

Ten years ago Sienna Scott was taking a shortcut from the library at college. Wearing a white coat with the hood pulled low, she could barely see for all of the snow coming down. Until she sees the red that shouldn’t be there, and a dead girl wearing the same coat as Sienna.

Sienna’s mother has had mental health issues since shortly after Sienna’s birth. Paranoid delusions, fear of someone hurting her child. She has been locked up in her own house since Sienna left and is getting worse. But what if they really are out to get you? Are you still paranoid?

Sienna is still dealing with the thoughts she has that the girl’s death was meant for her. She just can’t shake that feeling and when her mother agrees with her, the seed is planted.

Shortly after the murder, she was sent to London to live with her aunt. Her father afraid she would turn out like her mother, asked her half-brother to look after her after his death. Since Sienna has been gone so long, he has mainly been taking care of her mother, but now he needs help and Sienna returns.

This was one crazy ride! I suspected everyone at some point. Compulsively readable, a cast of great characters and a great ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

New Releases for the New Year!

Great Book Releases on the last day of the year!

The Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart debuts today!

Sealed Off by Barbara Ross debuts today!

The Beautiful Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn debuts today!

Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower debuts today!

And do not forget Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison which came out yesterday!

Our last day of the year for reviews. But don’t worry because January starts out with a Bang!

xx P)

THE KILL CLUB by WENDY HEARD *BLOG TOUR*

The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

Today is our stop on the Blog Tour for The Kill Club by Wendy Heard! Here is a little taste!

THE CEILING ABOVE the crowd sparkles with strings of golden lights. They twinkle just bright enough to
illuminate the faces. I adjust a microscopic issue with my toms and run my fingers through my bangs,
straightening them over my eyes. The guys are tuning up, creating a clatter of discordant notes in the
monitors. When they’re done, they approach my kit for our usual last-minute debate about the setlist.
Dao humps his bass in his ready-to-play dance, black hair swishing around his shoulders. “Dude, stop,”
Matt groans and readjusts the cable that connects his Telecaster to his pedalboard.
“Your mom loves my dancing,” Dao says.
“You dance like Napoleon Dynamite,” Matt retorts.
“Your mom dances like Napoleon Dynamite.”
Andre raises his hands. “Y’all both dance like Napoleon Dynamite, and so do both your moms, so
let’s just—”
I wave a stick at them. “Guys. Focus. The sound guy is watching. We’re three minutes behind.” I
have no patience for this shit tonight. This all feels extra and stupid. I should be doing something to help
Joaquin. His dwindling supply of insulin sits at the front of my brain like a ticking clock.
The guys get into their spots, the distance between them set by muscle memory. Andre leans
forward into the mic and drawls, “Arright DTLA, lez get a little dirty in here.” His New Orleans accent
trickles off his tongue like honey.
The room inhales, anticipates, a sphere of silence.
“Two three four,” I yell. I clack my sticks together and we let loose, four on the floor and loud as
hell. I’m hitting hard tonight. It feels great. I need to hit things. My heart beats in tempo. My arms fly
through the air, the impact of the drums sharp in my joints, in my muscles, the kick drum a pulse
keeping the audience alive. This is what I love about drumming, this forcing of myself into the crowd,
making their hearts pound in time to my beat.
Dao fucks up the bridge of “Down With Me” and Andre gives him some vicious side-eye. The
crowd is pressed tight up against the stage. A pair of hipsters in cowboy hats grabs a corresponding pair
of girls and starts dancing with them. I cast Dao an eye-rolling look referring to the cowboy hats and he
wiggles his eyebrows at me. I stomp my kick drum harder, pretending it’s Carol’s face.
The crowd surges back. Arms fly. A guy in the front staggers falls. A pair of hands grip the
stage and a girl tries to pull herself up onto it.
Matt and Dao stop playing. The music screeches to a halt.
“What’s going on?” I yell.
“Something in the pit,” Dao calls back.
Andre drops his mic and hops down into the crowd. Dao and Matt cast their instruments aside
and close the distance to the edge of the stage. I get up and join them. Together, we look down into the
pit.

A clearing has formed around a brown-haired guy lying on the floor. Andre and the bouncer
squat by him as he squirms and thrashes, his arms and legs a tangle of movement. Andre’s got his phone
pressed to his ear and is talking into it urgently. The bouncer is trying to hold the flailing man still, but
the man’s body is rigid, shuddering out of the bouncer’s grip. He flops onto his back, and I get a good
look at his face.
Oh, shit, I know this guy. He’s a regular at our shows. He whines and pants muffled words
gargling from his throat. Some of the bystanders have their phones out and are recording this. Assholes.
The man shrieks like a bird of prey. The crowd sucks its whispers back into itself, and the air
hangs heavy and hushed under the ceiling twinkle lights.
Andre is still talking into his phone. The bouncer lifts helpless hands over the seizing man,
obviously not sure what to do.
I should see if Andre wants help. I hop down off the stage and push through the crowd. “Excuse
me. Can you let me through? Can you stop recording this and let me through?”
I’m suddenly face-to-face with a man who is trying to get out of the crowd as hard as I’m trying
to get into it. His face is red and sweaty, his eyes wild. “Move,” he orders me.
Dick. “You fucking move.”
“Bitch, move.” He slams me with his shoulder, knocking me into a pair of girls who cry out in
protest. I spin, full of rage, and reverse direction to follow him.
“Hey, fucker,” I scream. He casts a glance over his shoulder. “Yeah, you! Get the fuck back
here!”
He escalates his mission to get out of the crowd, elbowing people out of his way twice as fast.
I’m smaller and faster, and I slip through the opening he leaves in his wake. Just before he makes it to
the side exit, I grab his flannel shirt and give him a hard yank backward. “Get the fuck back here!” I’m
loose, all the rage and pain from earlier channeling into my hatred for this entitled, pompous asshole.
I know I should rein it in, but he spins to face me and says, “What is your problem, bitch?” And
that’s it. I haul back and punch him full in the jaw.
He stumbles, trips over someone’s foot and lands on his ass on the cement floor. His phone goes
clattering out of his hand, skidding to a stop by someone’s foot. “The hell!”
“Oh, shit,” cries a nearby guy in a delighted voice.
“Fucking bitch,” the guy says, and this is the last time he’s calling me a bitch. I go down on top of
him, a knee in his chest. I swing wild, hit him in the jaw, the forehead, the neck. He throws an elbow; it
catches me in the boob and I flop back off him with a grunt of pain. He sits up, a hand on his face, and
opens his mouth to say something, but I launch myself off the ground again, half-conscious of a chorus
of whoops and howls around us. I throw a solid punch. His nose cracks. Satisfaction. I almost smile.
Blood streams down his face.
“That’s what you get,” I pant. He crab-shuffles back, pushes off the ground and sprints for the
exit. I let him go.

My chest is heaving, and I have the guy’s blood on my hand, which is already starting to ache
and swell. I wipe my knuckles on my jeans.
His phone lights up and starts buzzing on the floor. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. It’s an
old flip phone, the kind I haven’t seen in years. The bright green display says Blocked.
Back in the pit, the man having a seizure shrieks again, and then his screams gurgle to a stop. I
put the phone in my pocket and push through the onlookers. I watch as his back convulses like he’s
going to throw up, and then he goes limp. A thin river of blood snakes out of his open mouth and trails
along the cement floor.
The room echoes with silence where the screams had been. A trio of girls stands motionless,
eyes huge, hands pressed to mouths.
The flip phone in my pocket buzzes. I pull it out, snap it open and press it to my ear. “Hello?”
A pause.
“Hello?” I repeat.
A click. The line goes dead.
A set of paramedics slams the stage door open, stretcher between them. “Coming through!”
They kneel down and start prodding at the man curled up on the concrete. His head flops back. His eyes
are stretched wide and unseeing, focused on some point far beyond the twinkling ceiling lights.
Next to him on the concrete lies something… What is it? It’s rectangular and has red and—
It’s a playing card.

Excerpted from The Kill Club by Wendy Heard, Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Heard. Published by MIRA
Books.

551-06-Winter-Blog---Mystery-Thriller--900x337

Congratulations on Release Day!

Quite a few really good books coming out today! The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is one of those.

thedeadgirlsclub

deadgirls2

deadgirlsclub1

Remember Bloody Mary? Yep, it’s like that, but more!

shatterthenight

Another dark and scary read, Shatter the Night by Emily Littlejohn

releasegoldenhour

The beautifully written The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Check out Goodreads Winners for this year. Once again, I am rather disappointed.

Yesterday the postman brought this:

lovelettering

I had already finished the Kindle ARC from Kensington and was pleased to have a hard copy.

Books and Tea make a wonderful gift for anyone. Even my nephew loves tea and reading. I love that boy!

Enjoy your day and stay warm!

xx P

 

 

THE KILL CLUB by WENDY HEARD

The Kill Club

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

 

 

 

 

 

 

the last affair by Margot Hunt

The Last Affair

Love may be blind, but obsession’s a real killer.

From the title, I got the idea that this was going to be someone’s final affair. And it was.

Nora is married to a distant alcoholic and is miserable. She is sick and tired of her husband.

Josh is married to a psychopath. And he has had enough. So when he meets Nora and sparks fly, they both will begin an affair that will have deadly consequences.

So what separates this domestic suspense tale from all of the others I’ve read this year? Nothing. I figured out who was just plain crazy and who was obsessed very quickly. And the ending felt flat.

I’m not sure there was one redeeming character here. And there doesn’t always have to be, but for me, it was just okay.

NetGalley/ November 26th, 2019 by MIRA

THE LAST AFFAIR
Author: Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778309222
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: MIRA BOOKS
BIO: Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised
by Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
BOOK SUMMARY:
Gwen Landon—poster woman for the perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally
bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen
makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one
far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who
would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”
Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would
have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved in an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does
whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon's husband at a hotel in
Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth prove too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously
out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.
SOCIAL:
TWITTER: @HuntAuthor
FB: @AuthorMargotHunt
Insta:@margot_hunt

The Last Affair, Margot Hunt
Prologue

Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could
have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with
both a dining set and an outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of
cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it
covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped
awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set
for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an
ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The
paramedics had assessed the situation and quickly determined that the woman was
dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a
paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear
that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who
responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing
a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for
additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by
twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of
the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was
South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last
week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was
the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said.
He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A
strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats.
The overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was
intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so
that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said.
Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son.
The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been
eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of
that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the
grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth
quirked up in a half-smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only
been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen
Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. The husband said she hasn’t had any recent
conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,”
Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he
did.”
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
“What’s that?”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a
habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

 

 

 

 

 

ONE NIGHT GONE by TARA LASKOWSKI

One Night Gone

Told in two times, decades apart, by two women.

Maureen hasn’t had the best life up to now. With a drug addict mother, she has been fending for herself for a long time. Now she’s working as a carnival girl. Traveling from town to town. This isn’t the life she wants for herself. But it’s the life she has.

In 1985, they land at Opal Beach for the entire summer. In a town divided, Maureen is even outside the Townies group. But she makes a friend, falls for a wealthy family’s youngest son and believes she has found someplace she can put down roots.

But Maureen has misjudged the situation and one day she just isn’t there anymore. No one talks about it, but everyone knows about it.

Decades after Maureen, Allison Simpson is offered a house-sitting position for one of the wealthy couples in Opal Beach, after offering her husband and his girlfriend an umbrella while on the air doing the weather! Oh yes, our Allison has caught her husband cheating and isn’t afraid to air her dirty laundry in public. Even if it means losing her job. Which is a given.

Now she’s divorced, with no job and living with her sister. She has nothing to lose by digging into the local intrigue. And then odd gifts begin to show up at her door. Is Maureen alive? Does someone want Allison to investigate this?

What she quickly learns is these people have dark secrets and have no intention of letting her live to tell the tale!

Really good characters. Very human and scarily real.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by Graydon House/ Harlequin Mystery