Thursday, August 26, 2021

Where the Truth Lies - NetGalley Review

 Published August 3rd and a debut novel for Anna Bailey. Three stars for me and not sure I would recommend unless someone is looking for specific themes that are included.

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and Atria Press for my honest review.*

A small Colorado town. A missing girl. Highly questionable values of the townspeople. Unreliable police officers. And secrets - everyone has secrets.

There was a lot going on in this novel. Many, many POVs and NOW and THEN timeframes. And multiple POVs in a single chapter. I'm not gonna lie, it was confusing without headers on each section knowing which view I was reading. At least the differing time frames had headers. I found it hard to get into the story because of the points of view changing all the time. I could see this being an effective novel in an audio version with multiple narrators.

Once I got to about the halfway point, I was better able to get into the story and want to see what happened and how everything ended with most of the characters. None of the characters were really likeable, but I always have a hope of redemption. And I did appreciate the ending.

I did struggle with the aspect of blatant racist attacks and homophobic actions in small towns in this day and age. Almost like reading about the living conditions of some families - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Educated by Tara Westover. It's hard to think about the mob mentality a group has while attacking a person with law enforcement joining in instead of trying to stop it. And the pastor egging everything on. Maybe it is my naivete thinking this doesn't happen in the US.

Dark Roads - NetGalley review

Released August 3rd and I am a bit behind on a couple of reviews. This was my first read by Chevy Stephens and I will probably read more. Four stars from me rounded up from 3.5.

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my honest review.*

Hailey is going through some life changing events and living along the Cold Creek Highway where girls have gone missing for decades. And in her mind, the only way to escape the events is to live off of the grid. Then Beth shows up looking for who killed her sister.

It was interesting to read about all of the prep work that Hailey did before she ran into the woods and it was a stark contrast for how Beth stumbled around. Some parts were a little far fetched throughout the novel, but I think that part of reading is being able to suspend reality a bit. There did seem to be a lot of falling, wrecking, and possible head injuries and that were only addressed two or three times by medical personnel.

I read the eBook a bit and listened to the audio version. Both versions were enjoyable. First book I've read by Stephens and I'm sure I will read more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Guilt Trip - NetGalley Review

 Publish date is August 3rd, so I am a little late on this one. Jones is a phenomenal story teller!

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my honest review.*

Secrets and a destination wedding... It sounds like a book I've read before, but I would definitely hit this party again! Messy secrets that could destroy any family - what is better than this for a novel? The misdirection is fantastic throughout the unfolding of the story and you never know who to trust. Jones is the queen of the misdirection and I wasn't expecting anything that happened. 

Four stars!

Just One Look - NetGalley Review

 This debut was released July 27, but I am just a bit late in reviewing, but I did enjoy this novel.

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and Random House Publishing and Ballantine Books for my honest review.*

Who wouldn't want a chance to snoop into someone else's life AND get paid for it? But then we also get to see the dark side of this snooping through Cassie when she moves into a slightly manic stalking phase.

Cassie's back story unfolds tantalizingly slowly and the reveal was a bit of a shock, but helps explain quite a bit about her frame of mind. Or does it?

It was hard to like any of the characters, but the story was so intriguing to me that I was able to keep with it and did enjoy it. A few twists and plot lines that didn't seem to fit immediately, but the final reveal was gratifying. And the plot flowed well. And for some reason, I did not really spend any time wondering why Cassie was doing what she was doing. Well, maybe a couple of times. She does let the alcohol control things to an extent.

Four stars from me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Body Over Troubled Waters - NetGalley Review

Another great addition to the new'ish series about Scumble River. A great cozy mystery series! Five stars!

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for my honest review.*

I love this series! I love the update where the author jumped a few years and brought the original series into current times. I really enjoyed the first part of the series before the jump, but it is easier to read the series being in "current" times, in my opinion.

Skye is back to work full time after her maternity leave and feels like she is able to take a few liberties with the principals in the school district realizing how important she is to the running of the schools. This also makes me happy because it seemed like Skye would be a doormat in some instances in past books. And I feel like she is growing past that. Makes my heart sing! When the superintendent is found dead, Wally and Skye have to investigate.

It is nice for a series like this one to have characters that come back in every book. They all become old friends themselves. It's also nice to know how Skye and Wally think things through, but everything is not given away to fast that the mystery is solved immediately. I really enjoy the series and the pace of the books and this cozy was a solid addition to the series.