NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Lake House by Kate Morton

4.0 out of 5 stars -- Complicated mystery with satisfying "all ends tied up" conclusion. A good story.

I enjoy Kate Morton, but one irritant in this novel was when there were constant teases where a character discovered something in an "ah ha" moment but did not share it with the reader. Dangling chapters and alternating time periods with multiple narrators made it hard sometimes to pick up the thread of the narrative.

I was able to figure out the secrets and solve the crime well in advance of the modern day police detective in the story, but the author does attempt to surprise -- mostly by avoiding giving important details in a straight line narration. The characters were interesting, but as usual, the reader just wonders why communication was so bad between them that all this took so many years to get answers because of all their secrets.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for the e-book ARC to review.

Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

Liar Liar: DI Helen Grace #4 

(Detective Inspector Helen Grace)

4.0 out of 5 stars -- Ah that feeling -- when you just finish a great story and only want more -- more of the characters and another great suspense thriller to capture your interest and enthrall you for a couple of hours. That's how I feel after finishing this 4th book in one of my new favorite series.

DI Helen Grace is a very complex and interesting woman. In this case, she is investigating a series of arsons that have left several dead women in the ashes of burnt out houses. An excellent police procedural, the reader follows Helen and her team as they try to put the disparate pieces of this puzzle together to stop a killer without conscience. Red herrings abound, and I was stunned by the denouement and revelation of the killler and the motives.

I cannot wait for the next one (LITTLE BOY BLUE) -- and I hope  NetGalley will provide me the e-book ARC to review. If you like strong female lead protagonists and lots of action with supporting characters who add to the depth of the story within, you will like this series.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Doll's House by M.J. Arlidge (#3)

The Doll's House: A Detective Helen Grace Thriller
 (DI Helen Grace Thriller Book 3)

4.0 out of 5 stars -- The third suspense thriller featuring Southampton DI Helen Grace is another winner in the series!

Part police procedural and part mystery, this novel  focuses on the hunt for the person who has abducted and killed 3 women -- and now has possibly taken a fourth.  The women share common traits, most specifically they have dark hair and blue eyes. In addition, each of the bodies discovered on the isolated beach has another commonality -- a bluebird tattoo. Helen knows that the man they are desperately seeking must be linked in some way to all four of the women and she and her team are out pounding the pavement and knocking on doors trying to find the latest victim, Ruby, before she too becomes another. 

The reader has the benefit of the points of view of Helen, Ruby, and glimpses into the psyche of the man behind these crimes. In addition, Helen is still dealing with her personal problems and work issues with her subordinates and superiors. It is important that you read the first two in the series before opening this one as Helen's character develops and we get more insight into what makes her tick with each book. I like the fast pace and the characters --  the story line is good, and the investigation methodical. If you haven't tried Arlidge before, I'd recommend this series if you like an entertaining thriller that's not too gory.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group NAL for the e-book ARC to review.  I am looking forward to reading #4 -- Liar Liar.

Previous books in series
Eeny Meeny
Pop Goes the Weasel 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Conqueror's Wife by Stephanie Thornton

From Edelweiss - the ARC I have been holding my breath to read!!
Wow, those were some vicious times...

3.0 out of 5 stars -- Brutal historical fiction

Alexander's reign was marked by blood -- and there are far too many deaths to recount during his saga of endless war and battle to conquer the lands that became his empire. This novel centered on the women connected to Alexander -- and there were many who were there for him during his lustful drive for power. But, he was a man, not a God, and even in death, he left behind those who wanted to secure that role of conqueror for themselves.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't really like this book that much, and I grew weary of reading the unending saga of torture and execution. I did not care for any of the women who were connected to him, not even the ones whom the author decided to cast in the role of champion. Most of the time I was aghast at the senseless deaths, the treachery and the betrayal. The narrative shifts in point of view between the main women -- Thessalonike (sister), Roxana (wife), and Drypetis (warrior). Also heard is the voice of Hephaestation -- Alexander's best friend, fellow soldier, and lover. All of them held in thrall to Alexander the Great.

I've read the authors previous books and loved them, but this is one that I should have passed up as I am left without redemption or satisfaction for all that befell the people who blindly followed the ruthless leaders. I had so looked forward to the release of this new book but am left disappointed in the outcome.

Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publilsher for the e-book ARC to review, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Way too much description of mutillation of humans and animals for my taste. Perhaps it is historically accurate, I don't know, but it was just not for me. I am glad that I forced myself to finish it -- but I note that it took me 10 days rather than a few hours to get through -- and that speaks volumes for someone who is as prolific a reader as I am.