THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Spark House #2

It’s great to be back at Spark House again. London Spark has finally broken up with her boyfriend. And now fun London has come out to play with her sisters, Avery and Harley. Celebrating out on the town. When a handsome stranger walks up to the table with eyes only for London, she tells him she has a boyfriend.

London doesn’t even have time for love. She handles the business aspect of Spark House and isn’t so keen on it, but it’s been a family business for a long time. London really enjoys the creative side of things. And with her Etsy shop going strong she already barely gets any sleep.

Luck or fate? When London takes a meeting with a huge media company that wants to sponsor them and their green ineciatives. But London isn’t big on meetings. Her anxiety overwhelms her to the point that she is nervously making origami stars again. All the time. So going to meet with these people has her in a state. But once she gets going, it’s not so bad.

Until a gorgeous man in a gorgeous suit walks in looking stunned. London thinks he looks familiar but can’t place him. He, however, has no problem placing her.

When Jackson takes over the account so he can spend more time with London, his team is shocked. This is not the Jackson they know. He doesn’t have relationships or work directly with the client.

But oh the spark between these two. What’s the answer to not mix business with pleasure? Put someone else in charge. But these two have painful past experiences and aren’t exactly spilling them all at once.

There was so much stress going on for London. Her anxiety, her sisters whom she loves but isn’t happy with Avery not willing to hire help. Jackson comes with his own baggage and a woman who thinks he belongs to her. Sparks will fly in all directions.

I loved the first book and I loved this one too. It’s nice once in a while to read a love story.

NetGalley/ May 10th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin





Death by Tart Attack by TAMAR MYERS

Magdalena Yoder is accused of murdering her ex-husband in this delightfully quirky cozy mystery set among Pennsylvania’s Amish-Mennonite community.

On page one and I’m already laughing. Magdalena Yoder is not only the mayor of her town, she is it’s the richest resident. And she is funny! Oh does she make you laugh.

When her kind of ex-husband shows up planning to build a giant theme park based on the book of Revelations, Magdalena is incensed. They are a quiet community and don’t want some Disney version of the Bible bringing thousands of people to their quiet community.

Aaron Miller is not a good man. Not even close. But he owns the land and this could be ugly.

As he is showing his plans to the public community he bites into a tart and that’s the last thing he does. Obviously he’s been poisoned, but by who? Who baked the tart? Who would want him dead?

Suspicions fall on Magdalena of course and she isn’t going to stand for that. She is going to solve this murder and clear her name. But will the secrets bubbling below the town’s perfect facade mean the end of her?

Magdalena is one of the funniest characters in the cozy world. I could listen to her all day.

Another really good read.

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Severn House Publishers







Our Little World by Karen Winn

Coming of age in the ’80s. So much angst. So many secrets and misunderstandings that go with having a sibling in your school who you think is so much more than you are. It’s a dangerous thing and can end in lifelong emotional trauma.

Bee and her sister Audrina are 12 and 11. A new family has just moved into their cul-de-sac with a cute boy named Max and a little sister who is four named Sally.

It’s July and it’s hot and the lake is the place to be. Someone’s mom is always willing to haul them to the club pool or to the lake.

When Sally goes missing while at the lake, everyone looks suspicious to Bee. And her relationship with her sister is going from close to really far apart.

I enjoyed reading about the complexities of being and having sisters. There is always one who feels less than and that would be Bee. In her mind, her sister is the star and she is the nobody.

There was so much emotional trauma and heartbreak in this book that it was hard to read. I didn’t have an issue with all of the darkness, but I would have appreciated some balance with light.

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Dutton Books

THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY

Such a good mystery here!

From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Guest List comes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide…

Jess is ready to leave London. She has no money, and now, no job. She reaches out to her half-brother, Ben, in Paris, and he doesn’t seem overjoyed to have her come and stay for a bit, but he says yes and gives her the address, promising to pick her up at the station.

Ben is only half listening to Jess on the phone. He’s about to break a major story!

But Ben never shows up. Jess makes her way to the apartment building and wonders just how well he is doing to be living here in this huge space. She rings the bell but no one answers so she sneaks in and picks Ben’s lock. The apartment is huge but sparse and the cat seems to have blood on his fur which goes along with a spot on the floor.

When she discovers his phone and wallet, she is worried. So, she starts knocking on the doors of the other apartments. She finds a mixed bag of weirdness! Six apartments are in the building. As she knocks on their doors the reception she gets is one of shock and rudeness. Except for one seemingly nice guy. But no one admits to knowing Ben or where he may be.

The longer he is gone, the stranger things become. There is a little old lady living in a shed in the backyard. They call her the concierge. There is a socialite living in the penthouse with her husband. There is a timid and odd girl with a loose woman living with her. There is a drunk. And there is Nick, seems nice. Knew Ben in school and Jess feels that even he is hiding something.

Full of sketchy characters, hidden rooms, secret doors, and a whole lot of lies and liars. Everyone has something to hide and some are willing to kill to keep their secrets safe.

This was quite the puzzle! And I love that. Thrilling with nonstop action. Just my type of read.

THE YOUNGER WIFE by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Younger Wife

Sally Hepworth is back with another thriller of a tale!

This book is about two sisters. Tully and Rachel Aston. Both have issues they cope with in different but not especially healthy ways. Their adored mother has just moved into an Alzheimer’s facility. Forgetting things, even those closest to her. But there are some things she won’t forget.

Father, Stephen is getting married again. But he may want to get a divorce from his current wife, Pam,the one he placed in a care home.

When he springs Heather on the girls at a lunch, they are stunned. She’s almost the same age as them. And they are sure she is a gold digger. And to be fair, she is very full of secrets herself. And she has her own reasons for marrying the daddy.

As Rachel is cleaning out her mother’s things she finds of all things a hot water bottle full of a lot of cash and a slip of paper. Tully. Fiona Arthur. And this is enough to send Rachel and Tully digging through their mother’s life and figuring out maybe their father is a monster.

Even Heather isn’t quite sure if he is or isn’t. But at the wedding, it’s all handled quite nicely for them. But was it? Was he a monster or was this a misunderstanding? What a wicked ending!

I am looking forward to her next puzzling mystery!

NetGalley/April 5th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





What Happened to the Bennetts by LISA SCOTTOLINE

Your family has been attacked, never again to be the same.
Now you have to choose between law…and justice.

The story:

The Bennett family is a typical suburban family. Dad, Jason, owns his own court-reporting business and does well. Mom, Lucinda, is a photographer. They have the required two children. A boy, Ethan, and a girl about to be sweet sixteen, Allison.

Coming home from a lacrosse game for Allison, the family is being followed way too closely on a dark road. When they try and speed up the vehicle slams them against the guardrail. Two men jump out with guns drawn, demanding the car. Jason willingly hands over the keys when suddenly their little dog jumps and one of the men shoots Allison. While Jason and the family are now in shock and trying to stop their daughter from bleeding out on the road, they hear another gunshot and watch in horror as one man kills the other, drops the gun, and leaves.

Finally, at the hospital with Allison in surgery, they are met by the FBI. This was not some random car-jacking incident. These men are organized crime members and the boss now believes Jason killed his boy. It’s witness protection for all of them now. Except for Allison.

As events unfold quickly, they realize they have no other choice but to go with the agents. Their entire lives were upended in one act of violence. But was it random? Jason is getting a strong feeling that not everyone knows everything.

As the family begins to go through their own private hell, Jason makes the decision to put their lives in their own hands. And after some shocking, and yes, I mean shocking, news, he goes rogue.

That is all I’m going to say about that. Scottoline has never heard of the shallow end of the pool. Nope, she throws you straight into the deep end and yells, “Swim!”. And that panicky, oh my gosh I’m going to die here, feeling begins on page one and ends on the final page.

If you have ever seen her in person you know this woman has more energy than anyone I know. It shows in her writing. The tension never lets up and after finishing the book I am now suspicious of everyone I know.

Always a pleasure to read this author.

xx Patricia





Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake

In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past–a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.

This story begins in the present with siblings, Byron and Benny dealing with their mother, Eleanor Bennett’s death. Once very close, the siblings have barely spoken since Benny walked out the day she tried to explain who and what she was to her family.

Neither of them wants to be sitting with their mothers’ long-time friend and lawyer listening to what their mother has left for them. Recordings of a story. Of her past and how they all came to be what they are now. A story that starts on an island and goes to London and California. A story of a girl who loved the sea. A girl whose drunken father sold her to a horrible excuse of a man. A girl who runs into the sea in her wedding dress to escape.

It is also about friendships, race, and betrayal. About long-held secrets and even a secret child. And of course, the black cake. Their inheritance. The cake they will share with their sister when they find her. Full of misunderstandings, secrets, and injustices, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. What a joy to have read this debut novel!

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by Ballantine Books




JOAN IS OKAY by WEIKE WANG

Joan Is Okay

Joan is Chinese-American. At 36, a doctor at NYU. She has met her parents expectations and she works all the time. Taking all the shifts she can.

She thinks a lot and a lot of this story is played out in her head. There were not a lot of ups and downs. The book was interesting to a point and then it was just flat. It felt like a disconnect with the character.

After reading it, I wasn’t interested in reading it again. It just didn’t feel personal at all.

NetGalley/January 18th, 2022 by Random House