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!
NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press
You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!
When Charlie gets an invitation to the G.O.D. Game, his friend Peter accepts for him. And soon their little band of misfits and computer hackers are all playing.
At first, things seem all right. G.O.D. is saying all the right things. But from the beginning, Charlie is suspicious and not really wanting to play along. When the game begins commanding they do bad things, they all want out, except one. But remember the only way out is death. But does it have to be their own death?
At first, I thought this was going to be like the television show, God Friended Me. It was not. It’s not like Stranger Things, or any other show it’s currently being compared to.
There were some good undercurrents going on. The AI believed it was God. The chaos with the Trump controversy. Can one person make the entire world bend to his will? Are we only in it for ourselves? Under the story, there were good pieces you could pick out underscoring our lack of compassion and lack of any moral compass. If the AI got all of its knowledge from watching us, we are in for a sad state of affairs.
NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press
When we first meet Ailsa Rae, she is dying. She has lived with a heart condition since her birth and is waiting for a transplant. She has a blog and has blogged about her experience as a patient on the organ registry. She has also had a best friend, boyfriend and a fellow patient in Lennox.
Just as Lennox dies, a heart becomes available for Ailsa. And this is the story of how she learned to live instead of existing.
Months later, she is doing well physically but not so much emotionally. It is going to take a bit of time to stop feeling fragile and stretch her limits. She has ups and downs and uses her blog to ask her followers advice in poll form. She’s missed out on so much and now she needs to learn to be healthy and alive.
I loved her mum. What a woman she is! And she has always been there for her only child. Now they both have to figure out what their new roles and lives will be.
Her new heart is strong and thumping along and it makes itself at home in her chest, she must learn to not only protect it but to listen to it and claim it as her own.
A good story. There were a few discrepancies, but all in all a good story.
NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press October 29th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin
In this second book with time spinner, Xanthe is back in her own time and modern-day Marlborough. She is still missing Samuel and wonders if he thinks of her.
Helping her mother in the shop and buying new stock, getting involved in the town and planning a special event for all of the shops.
While looking through the mountains of stock in the shop, Xanthe clearly hears something singing to her. An old and dented chocolate pot. When she holds it she immediately gets a vision of Samuel in danger. Knowing she must go back to the seventeenth century to save Samuel gives her some pause. Her mother is crippled, events are coming up and lo and behold the ex Marcus is in town.
This time Xanthe will learn what it is to be a Spinner of time. She will face a powerful foe and fellow Spinner. While Xanthe travels to put things right, This man wants power and he is willing to kill to get it.
No one does the slip time better than Paula Brackston. This is a series I hope will continue. The characters are so engaging and the mystery must be solved so you are turning pages to the very end. And now we wait.
NetGalley/ October 22nd, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2
From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.
Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.
Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?
She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.
When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.
Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?
This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!
NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the internationally bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.
Lola/Leah had it all. Or so she thought. A tragic love story, a new love along with a great career, but while her eyes were elsewhere, her lover hops into bed with the boss and the boss has destroyed the business leaving Lola/Leah with no job, no boyfriend, and no place to go.
Although her mother is Jewish, she rebelled against her parents and the faith early on and led her own non-believing life. She has taught her daughter that religion is a cult and she should make her own rules. But Lola/Leah is broken. And curious about her faith.
When she enters a program for newly practicing Orthodox Jews, she finds it hard and rewarding. She knows this is how she wants to live her life. And when love finds her, the same people who showed her the path will try to push her out of it.
There was a lot of writing in this book. A bit too much. But the story. The words. A lot of them hit too close to home. Oh, how we love to convert someone to a believer or bring back a lamb that has strayed. But we still think we are better than you. I was humbled by this book.
A beautiful and powerful look at true faith and love. Well Done!
NetGalley/ September 24th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .
Dr. Sarah Haywood has a lot on her plate. A teaching job concentrating on Christoper Marlowe, 2 young children, a husband who has shacked up with another woman, and a boss who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Professor Hawthorne is a nightmare of a boss. Always one step ahead of any accusations of impropriety and not afraid to blackmail his female staff into sex for your job scenario.
Sarah is at a loss to figure out a way to keep her job and not have to sleep with her boss. Which is getting more difficult as he is sabotaging her work and reputation. Sarah is at her wit’s end.
A seemingly unrelated incident happens to her early on. She is witness to an attempted kidnapping of a little girl. She never thought that the little girl belonged to a very powerful man who is very grateful to Sarah. In a very secretive meeting, Sarah meets a man with a lot of money and a lot of power, who doesn’t like to owe people. In his mind, Sarah has saved his daughter and now he is in her debt. So he offers her a one time deal.
Will she take it? Would you? One name. Gone Forever. Would you? No chance of blowback. No chance of anyone finding out. Would you?
This was definitely a thriller! At first, I was a bit upset with Sarah. She was rather all over the place, but I looked at what she was. An educated woman being jerked around by not one but two men. While holding down a full-time job and with 2 children under 10. Being passed over for promotion for not trading sex for favors.
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/ September 10th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press