Tuesday, 11 June 2019

#BookReview The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin @GrandCentralPub

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TRADE PAPERBACK - 1538715716 / 9781538715710
ELECTRONIC BOOK - 1538715732 / 9781538715734

Available wherever books are sold June 11, 2019

From the bestselling author of Girl Last Seencomes "a spine-tingler" (Booklist) of a psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jessica Knoll.

Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.


Out of all the books I've read by Nina Laurin is this the one I had the hardest time reading. Both What My Sister Knew and Girl Last Seen are great thrillers, while this took forever for me to get into. Now, I think it's because I right from the start felt very, very annoyed with Claire, the main character. And, the more I read the less I liked her. What kept me going was the fact that I wanted to know what the heck is going one and if Colleen really committed suicide. The best part was the last 1/3 of the book when you got Claire's husband Byron's POV as well. Now the story starts to make more sense, and I started to understand more about those weird chapters when someone is stalking Byron's wife that were interwoven with Claire's chapters.

The Starter Wife is not my favorite Nina Laurin book, the last part of the book did make the reading worthwhile, although I found the ending very abrupt. I found it particularly hard to read the book because of my dislike for Claire (for God's sake she doesn't even like cats), but if the Laurin had that in mind when she created the character. To make her as unlikable as possible, well then she succeeded. I would, however, recommend starting with the author's first two books before going for this one. They are way better!

I want to thank the publisher for providing a free copy for an honest review!

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

#BlogTour Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge @Tr4cyF3nt0n @crmcgeorge @orionbooks

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Six people went in. Only one came out...

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case?


Now You See Me is the first book I've read by Chris McGeorge. I do own Guess Who and plan to read it (hopefully soon). What appealed to me about this book was the fabulous blurb. What happened to the five people that went into the tunnel and then disappeared? Matthew was the only one that got out of the tunnel (and the dog Amy), but he says that he doesn't know what happened to them and he was unconscious. Not that the police believe him. Now he needs a miracle and what he does is reaching out to Robert Ferringham. Robert has also lost someone mysteriously. His wife disappeared some years ago. And, now Robert gets the first clue to what happened to her. Because Matthew knows something about Robert wife Sam. Could Robert find out the truth about what happened to Sam, and will he help free Matthew?

I LOVE reading mystery books and Now You See Me felt like just my kind of book. Missing people and a village that has pretty much condemned Matthew, despite no bodies ever found and lacking evidence of him being the murderer. Why is everyone so hellbent on it just being Matthew, especially the police chief? And, who is the young woman that is stalking Robert? Personally, I liked the first of the book the best, when everything was still a mystery. And everyone in the village was introduced as Robert tried to figure out whom to trust. As for the ending, well I found that part less interesting and sadly not that thrilling. And, I think it's because I just felt that I had hoped to be truly surprised. I was not shocked about the truth's that were revealed. Rather, it felt pretty much logical how it all was connected. You know "aha" kind of moments followed by "that makes sense". Yes, it's a satisfying ending, no loose threads. I just can't help wish that had been some really surprising twist. However, I read a lot of thrillers and mystery books and I feel nowadays that it's hard to be surprised. I do recommend reading the book and I look forward to reading Guess Who and see if that book will rock my socks!

Sunday, 9 June 2019

#BookReview I'm Traveling Alone & The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjørk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A six-year-old girl is found in the countryside, hanging lifeless from a tree and dressed in strange doll’s clothes. Around her neck is a sign that says “I’m traveling alone.”

A special homicide unit re-opens with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. Holger’s first step is to persuade the brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Kruger, who has been living on an isolated island, overcome by memories of her past. When Mia views a photograph of the crime scene and spots the number “1” carved into the dead girl’s fingernail, she knows this is only the beginning. Could this killer have something to do with a missing child, abducted six years ago and never found, or with the reclusive religious community hidden in the nearby woods?

Mia returns to duty to track down a revenge-driven and ruthlessly intelligent killer. But when Munch’s own six-year-old granddaughter goes missing, Mia realizes that the killer’s sinister game is personal, and I’m Traveling Alone races to an explosive—and shocking—conclusion.


I honestly think that Norwegian crime novels are the best. I just love reading/listening to crime books set in Norway and now I have one more favorite series. I'm Traveling Alone is the first book in the Holger Much & Mia Kruger series. I listened to the Swedish version of the book and I was hooked. The case with the dead children is both eerie and sad. And both the main characters made a great impression on me, Holger who has not recovered from his divorce 10 years previously and Mia who dreams of reuniting with her dead sister. She actually planned on doing it at the beginning of the book, but Holger came to her in the very last minute. So, this case is a respite for her before she ends it all...

I recommend this book warmly!

The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjørk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a troubled teenager disappears from an orphanage and is found murdered, her body arranged on a bed of feathers and surrounded by candles, veteran detective Holger Munch and his team are called in to the scene. Star investigator Mia Kruger, on temporary leave while she continues to struggle with her own demons, jumps back on the team and dives headfirst into this case: just in time to decode the clues in a disturbing video of the victim before she was killed, being held prisoner like an animal in a cage.

Meanwhile, Munch’s daughter, Miriam, meets an enticing stranger at a party—a passionate animal rights activist who begins to draw her into his world and away from her family.

Munch, Kruger, and the team must hunt down the killer before he can strike again in this sophisticated, intricately plotted psychological thriller by the newest phenomenon in international crime fiction.


The Owl Always Hunts at Night is the sequel to I'm traveling Alone is just like the first book a great crime novel. Miriam Holger's daughter gets caught up with an animal rights activist group that will draw her away from her family and may put her in danger. Meanwhile, Holger and Mina try to find out who could have starved and killed a young girl and put her on a bed of feathers in the woods.

As with the first book did I listen to this one and I really love the Swedish audiobook version. The next book will I listen to in English and it will be an interesting change. I think if you like Scandinavian crime novels is the Holger Much & Mia Kruger series a must read. I quite like Holger, Mia and the rest of the crime-solving gang and I'm looking forward to listening to The Boy in the Headlights.

I recommend reading this book after you have read I'm Traveling Alone!

Friday, 7 June 2019

#BookReview The Invited by Jennifer McMahon @FreshFiction @doubledaybooks

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it's too late . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home--wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks--she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie's descendants, three generations of "Breckenridge women," each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.


Helen and Nate think they have found the perfect spot for building their dream house. What they don't know is that the area is said to have been cursed since a witch was hanged in 1924. At first, life there seems harmonious. They are working together, but slowly things start to happen, for instance, tool and other things go missing and one day there is a strange bag outside there temporary home. Could it really be that the place is haunted...?


#BookReview A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum @GrandCentralPub @FreshFiction

A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and The Women in the Castlecomes a riveting literary novel that is at once an epic love story and a heart-pounding journey across WWI-era Russia, about an ambitious young doctor and her scientist brother in a race against Einstein to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?

Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.

Grounded in real history -- and inspired by the solar eclipse of 1914 -- A Bend in the Stars offers a heartstopping account of modern science's greatest race amidst the chaos of World War I, and a love story as epic as the railways crossing Russia.


Russia, 1914. Miri Abramov and her brother Vanya have been raised by their grandmother after their parents' death years before. There is unrest in the country and the Jewish communities are especially at risk. Miri Abramov is now one of few female surgeons, while Vanya is a physicist who dreams of solving the final puzzle concerning Einstein's theory of relativity. Now an eclipse is coming and this could be the answer to solving the puzzle. However, with Russia at war, it is unsure if Vanya will be able to take the photographs he needs to confirm his theory. But, he will not give up and together with Miri's fiance he sneaks away from the army in hopes of taking photographs of the eclipse...


Wednesday, 29 May 2019

#BookReview Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse @SagaSFF @FreshFiction

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.


In STORM OF THE LOCUSTS, the sequel to TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, Maggie Hoskie must not only save her friend Kai, but she must also stop a mysterious cult from flooding the world. Maggie sets out together with allies to find out the truth about the White Locusts and find Kai. The question is, does Kai really want to be saved?


Tuesday, 28 May 2019

#BookReview Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg

Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One look at Baby Doe and you know she was meant to be a legend! She was just twenty years old when she came to Colorado to work a gold mine with her new husband. Little did she expect that she’d be abandoned and pregnant and left to manage the gold mine alone. But that didn’t stop her!

She moved to Leadville and fell in love with a married prospector, twice her age. Horace Tabor struck the biggest silver vein in history, divorced his wife and married Baby Doe. Though his new wife was known for her beauty, her fashion, and even her philanthropy, she was never welcomed in polite society.

Discover how the Tabors navigated the worlds of wealth, power, politics, and scandal in the wild days of western mining.


At the end of 2017 did I read the fantastic The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg. I recommend the book warmly btw. So, I was really looking forward to reading Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor. Now, I had never heard of Baby Doe Tabor before I read the book and that made this book extra interesting to read. I always like to learn more about real people.

Rebecca Rosenberg is a fabulous writer and I enjoyed getting a view into the often dangerous life of miners. Baby Doe or Elizabeth McCourt Tabor that was her real name married Harvey Doe. This was not a love match, she needed a husband with money to help her family. Together they traveled to Colorado to work in a gold mine that belonged to Doe's family. To say that they lived a happily married life is an exaggeration. Love would come later, with a totally different man. A man who would leave his wife for Baby Doe. Horace Tabor a mining millionaire.

Now, I don't want to give away too much of the story. I purposely didn't check up Baby Doe in Wikipedia while reading the book because I don't want to read anything that would spoiler the book. It's much more fun that way. Now, I found this book just didn't click with me the same way The Secret Life of Mrs. London. And, I guess it all boils down to the fact that I found Baby Doe's life just not as interesting as Mrs. Londons. I found in the end that what I did like the most was the small cameos by Doc Holliday and Oscar Wilde. As for Horace Tabor, he was just not a man that intrigued me, a self-made millionaire who had a tendency to risk a bit too much. For some reason, he just didn't fascinate me.

Now, the book is absolutely read worthy. My problem was more the subject then the writing. And, when you fail to connect with characters or/and the story, then it's hard to enjoy a book, despite the writing. However, if this book seems to be just your thing, then I say, go for it!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 27 May 2019

#BookReview The Au Pair by Emma Rous @EJRous @BerkleyPub

The Au Pair by Emma Rous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.


The Au Pair is the kind of thriller that started off good and as the story progressed just kept my interest all the way through to the very end. Emma Rous has written a truly engrossing thriller, perfect for readers that love family secrets. What really happened to Seraphine and Danny's mother on the day they were born? Why did their mother kill herself? Could the nanny know something? And what happened to the nanny?

This dual storyline book both explore the past, with the young nanny in the focus as she starts working for Seraphine parents. In the present time is Seraphine trying to come to terms with her father's death as well as the mystery of her mother's death many years before. But, sometimes, the truth can be deadly...

I found The Au Pair to be an excellent thriller and I can't wait to read the next book by Emma Rous.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!