ARC REVIEW : THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

In the early 2000s, a string of abductions rocked the small upstate town of Reine, New York. Only one girl survived: Alex Salerno. The killer, Ken Parsons, was sent away. Life returned to normal. No more girls would have to die. Until another one did.

It’s been twelve years since Kira Shanks was reported missing and presumed dead. Alex Salerno has been living in New York City, piecemealing paychecks to earn a livable wage, trying to forget those three days locked underground and her affair with Sean Riley, the married detective who rescued her. When Noah Lee, hometown reporter with a journalistic pedigree, requests an interview, Alex returns to Reine and Riley, reopening old wounds. What begins as a Q&A for a newspaper article soon turns into an opportunity for money, closure and—justice. The disappearance of Kira Shanks has long been hung on Benny Brudzienski, a hulking man-child who is currently a brain-addled guest at the Galloway State Mental Hospital. But after Alex reconnects with ex-classmates and frenemies, doubts are cast on that guilt. Alex is drawn into a dangerous game of show and tell in an insular town where everyone has a secret to hide. And as more details emerge about the night Kira Shanks went missing, Alex discovers there are some willing to kill to protect the horrific truth.

review

Alex is the girl that got away from being a victim of a serial killer. She was abducted by the killer but got rescued before she could be raped and killed like the previous victims of the killer. She moved away from her small town soon after the incident, after another girl – Kira Shanks – went missing and Alex became old news. She’s now back for what she thinks is a legit interview but turns out to be wild-goose chase by a lazy college student for a paper about Kira Shanks’ case.

This student claims that the guy caught for killing Kira Shanks is pretending to be mute and mentally unstable just to escape punishment. He also tells Alex that detective Riley, the same guy who had rescued Alex is trying to get Kira’s apparent Killer Benny saved. Alex who had an affair with the much older and married Riley after he rescued her when she was 17, gets the excuse to meet the guy again. She admits to still having feelings for him. But he is dismissive of her and that spurs Alex to dig up the truth.

Alex is a mess. She tends bars, walks dogs and sells pills for a living. Even therapy didn’t help her. She’s also very erratic, impulsive and unpredictable. Her motives for investingating the Kira Shanks case all by herself were shaky at best. At first, it looks like she just wants to reunite her ex-lover. Then she claims that she’s doing it for the money offered to her. Detective Riley takes her to the mental facility Benny is living in to meet him. She’s indignant that a criminal gets to live in a facility akin to a hotel. But a few pages later she talks about how looking into Benny’s eyes made her feel that he was innocent.

Honestly, even though Alex’s character kept giving me whiplash, and was treating other characters with disdain, I still felt for her. She was like a wary stray puppy to me who just needed some affection.

It was the storytelling, fast pace and the plotting that made it a very enjoyable thriller to me. The author kept it realistic.

The environment the author created was made for a perfect thriller. I didnt know what to expect. Even the ending was bittersweet. But I finally read a psychological thriller and mystery that kept me on my toes after a long time. I believe that it would make a great film adaptation!


review

★★★★★

Publication Date: 3rd December, 2018.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links – Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository

ARC REVIEW: LITTLE LOVELY THINGS

A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.

Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire’s symptoms overpower her while she’s driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom-her car, and her precious girls have vanished.

The police have no leads and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.

Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by an unthinkable tragedy. Played out in multiple narrative voices, the novel explores how the lives of those affected fatefully intersect, and highlights the potential catastrophe of the small decisions we make every day.


This was not an easy read…

Claire, a medical student and a mother of two, gets afflicted with an allergic reaction to a double dosage of vaccine while driving her two daughters, and it’s so bad that she has to pull into the nearest gas-station to go to the bathroom, on the verge of vomiting and passing out, leaving her two daughters sleeping in the car. That’s the last she sees of them because the couple of Moira and Eamon, Irish travelers come across the kids, and Eamon impulsively decides to abduct the girls.

This was such an intricately weaved tale, with complex characters. It was fascinating to read the point of view of the couple who abducted the kids too. Moira, in particular, was a destructive character with multiple layers. Then there was Jay White, a Native American with a supernatural sense of insight. There preternatural themes playing throughout the book, with dreams playing a major role. But it was the interplay of guilt and blame between Claire and Glen that really stuck with me. None of the characters were perfect, Claire the least. In fact, I was frustrated with Claire more than any other characters. But I also felt so much compassion for her!

The writing was sublime and subtly descriptive, if at times too unorthodox, which might not be for everyone, because it did disrupt the flow of my reading at times. But Maureen Joyce Connolly is definitely a debut author to look out for.


★★★★☆


Publication Date: 2nd April, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links – Amazon| Goodreads | Book Depository


ARC Review : A Postmodern Love By Nick Totem

*I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in return of an honest review.*


Have you ever fallen in love and then had not just your life but your conception of life altered forever? Come and find out more in A POSTMODERN LOVE, a contemporary adult novel–romance, noire, psychological suspense.

In the end, a man is shot through the heart. Another man is driven to the edge of madness. Caught between them is Lana Fauves, a beautiful, intelligent woman, but one who is haunted by her past and the loss of her true love, a musical genius. In this fast-paced novel—romance, thriller, and noire—Thomas Wilde, a doctor and veteran of the Iraq War, will stop at nothing to win over the woman he has desperately fallen in love with. But amid the machinations of the modern world, will he find true love, or only heartache, deception, and murder?


A Postmodern Love slowly snuck up on me.  The prologue packs quite a punch. But the story itself takes time to build. I had a difficult time investing myself at the initial parts before the story slowly wielded its magic and began to engage me.

Obsessive love was the main theme here. And the protagonist who’s the narrator of the book is an obsessive person by nature. He makes it clear in the very first few pages where he gets infatuated by Lana the minute he lays his eyes on her. He even talks about a girl he was obsessed about back in college.

Thomas Wilde is a doctor who also served in the Iraq war. He quite possibly suffers from PTSD as nightmares about one tragic event from his time there keeps haunting him regularly. But when he meets Lana, it’s her mysterious beauty that begins to haunt him.

Lana was the most fascinating character. She’s written as a Femme Fatale to the T. You don’t know what’s going through her mind right till the end. The author quite cleverly keeps the readers wondering about her just as the protagonist.

The on and off relationship between Lana and Thomas only helps to exacerbate his infatuation for her. There are genuine postmodern elements of relationships at work here. On one hand, you can see Thomas willingly let his blind love for Lana leading him towards a point of no return. On another hand, you actually witness how Lana plays him perfectly. I didn’t like any of the characters but they were all intriguing. There is a depth to this book that I particularly enjoyed.

On a side note, I was distracted by the many grammatical errors which I hope won’t be in the final version.

My inability to empathize with the main characters created an emotional disconnection in me. But I would still call this psychological thriller an absorbing piece of storytelling


My Rating: ★★★☆☆


Publication Date: 29th January, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)
You can find this book on – Goodreads | Amazon

ARC Book Review: The Found Child by Jo Crow

* I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley for the purpose of honestly reviewing the book*


One mother’s life will change in the blink of an eye—and there’s no going back.
Elaine’s worst fears become reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer. She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. But while awaiting test results to see if she’s a possible match, Elaine learns a shocking truth about her son; a truth that threatens to send her back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once before; a truth that pushes her already fragile mental state to the breaking point.
Even as the family faces this new crisis, a ghost from Elaine’s past emerges to jeopardize everything she’s built. But is the threat real, or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues to unravel, she can’t trust anyone—not even herself.


The Found Child is a psychological thriller/suspense through and through. You don’t know what’s happening and who to trust for majority of the book. This book is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for your mind.Read More »