Genre: Thriller

Book Review – The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

October 25, 2014 Dani Dani's Reviews 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Good Girl by Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Pages: 355
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


two-half-stars

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will." 

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

“I’ve been following her for the last few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I’ve never spoken to her. I wouldn’t recognize the sound of her voice. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

Meet Mia/Chloe. Mia was kidnapped by a stalker with the intent to extort money from her very wealthy and prominent father. Chloe is the girl who returns to her family while Mia remains trapped by her own subconscious after the horror she faced.

The Good Girl relies heavily on cliché; It has a pretty, little rich girl who loathes her wealth and status, a kidnapper with a conscience, a dickish detective with a heart of gold, and totally aloof, distant parents that Mia detests with little foundation. I never grew to care for Mia – not when she was cold and crying in her captor’s lair, and not after a shell of her former self had been returned to her family. I never disliked or feared her kidnapper, but I took larger issue with him sprouting a conscience after abducting someone.

“But there’s the gun. She sees it. And in that moment, things change. There’s a moment of recognition. Of her mind registering the gun, of her figuring out what the fuck is about to happen. Her mouth parts and out comes a word: ‘Oh.’”

“Oh” precisely sums up my reaction to this book. It didn’t get scary psychologically and the suspense built within one chapter would quickly diminish with the frequent chapter breaks that not only change point-of-view narrators, but also had temporal shifts before and after the kidnapping. The result was jarring and confusing, not mysterious.

I think the largest problem this book had was me as a reader. I just recently finished two awesomely creepy books about missing women: Gone Girl and The Collector. On the heels of those 4-star works, this novel didn’t stand up. It was conventional and predictable, even in the midst of its “major” shocker (which I won’t spoil for you).

If you’re looking for a genuine thriller about a kidnapper, check out the oldie but goodie Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. Want something about a rich girls who you don’t hate, go for Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Murder (Mayhem #2) by Sarah Pinborough

October 15, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Murder (Mayhem #2) by Sarah PinboroughMurder by Sarah Pinborough
Series: Mayhem #2
Published by Jo Fletcher Books on January 6th 2015
Pages: 400
Genres: Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Mayhem, Murder, The Language of Dying

In this gripping sequel to the acclaimed Mayhem, author Sarah Pinborough continues the adventures of troubled Victorian forensics expert Dr. Thomas Bond. Haunted by the nerve-shattering events he endured during the Jack the Ripper and Thames Torso Killer investigations, Dr. Bond is trying to reestablish the normal routines of daily life. Aiding in his recovery is the growing possibility that his long-held affections for the recently widowed Juliana Harrington might finally be reciprocated. He begins to allow himself to dream of one day forming a family with her and her young boy.

Soon, however, a new suitor arrives in London, challenging the doctor's claims on Juliana's happiness. Worse, it seems the evil creature that Dr. Bond had wrestled with during the Ripper and Torso Killer investigations is back and stronger than ever. As the corpses of murdered children begin to turn up in the Thames, the police surgeon finds himself once again in a life-and-death struggle with an uncanny, inexorable foe.

About Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and YA author. In the UK she is published by both Gollancz and Jo Fletcher Books at Quercus and by Ace, Penguin and Titan in the US. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies and she has a horror film Cracked currently in development and another original screenplay under option. She has recently branched out into television writing and has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has an original series in development with World Productions and ITV Global.

Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, and has three times been short-listed for Best Novel. She has also been short-listed for a World Fantasy Award. Her novella, The Language of Dying was short-listed for the Shirley Jackson Award and won the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.

Mayhem Series

Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

Mayhem (Mayhem #1) by Sarah Pinborough {PurchaseMy Review}

I thoroughly enjoyed the creepy atmosphere of Mayhem, the first installment in this eerie Victorian series. A thrilling combination of horror, suspense and historical fiction (think Sherlock but much, much darker!) It was easily one of my favorites of the year and I’m definitely eager for more from this author.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

September 30, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Broken Monsters by Lauren BeukesBroken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Published by Mulholland Books on September 16th 2014
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Shining Girls, Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing

three-half-stars

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes's new genre-bending novel of suspense.

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe--and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

If Lauren Beukes's internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

“…everyone will see what they are supposed to see.
They will bring all their eyeballs, and all their minds will open like doors, and then maybe they will all be free too.”

Detective Gabriella Versado’s new case takes priority over all: the top half of a young boy is found fused together with the bottom half of a young deer. This is not the only strangely mutilated body found but what is also found are doorways drawn in chalk that seems to have some connection with the deaths. Broken Monsters alternates the story-lines of Detective Versado, Layla, her 15-year-old daughter, Jonno Haim, a new to Detroit journalist, Thomas Keen “TK”, a homeless man and Clayton Broom, the man responsible for the atrocities appearing around Detroit. Each of these individuals will each play their own important role in bringing a stop to the darkness that threatens to consume the city.

Broken Monsters was one of my most anticipated of the year after The Shining Girls was a favorite of mine from 2013. Her writing style continues to impress and captivate and her ability to come up with unique (albeit twisted) stories will keep me picking up her novels. Broken Monsters easily takes your typical crime thriller beyond your preconceived notions and injects it with a horrid deformity. It’d normally be brutal enough, a story dealing with the murder of a young child, but Beukes gives her serial killer an alter-ego/dream that is consumed with the intent to change the world by making his presence known by creating these ‘monsters’. In an attempt to explain this dream, the story took an unexpected supernatural turn that inevitably provided no explanation at all leaving me unsettled and with an overabundance of questions. A horrific yet well-written crime thriller, Broken Monsters will undoubtedly leave you disturbed.

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Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen King

August 15, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 11 Comments

Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen KingMr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
Published by Scribner on June 3rd 2014
Pages: 436
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

three-half-stars

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

‘Life is a crap carnival with shit prizes.’

Bill Hodges is a retired detective that spends his days now sitting in front of his TV, stroking his gun and contemplating suicide. He remains haunted by the unsolved cases he left behind, most especially one where someone ran down a group of innocents waiting for a job fair to open. When Hodges receives a letter from the individual that supposedly committed the crime, it manages to revive his sense of purpose and gives him a new reason to live. This time he’s determined to prevent him from acting out his next heinous crime.

Mr. Mercedes isn’t exactly horror, but it’s certainly horrific. It’s best identified as a crime thriller and lacks the anticipated supernatural aspect that is usually key to King’s stories. It feels more akin to something James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett would have written but Mr. Mercedes still manages to possess that certain something that is most definitely ‘King’.

What’s most impressive about this well-written bad guy is we’re given his identity from the very start and yet the story still manages to be full of surprises. The story occasionally has a scene from the point of view of Mr. Mercedes himself, Brady Hartfield, that will leave you unsettled, to say the least. This guy is one seriously twisted bastard that is not only murderous but is incredibly smart which is one distressing combination.

“Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?”

Even for those of you who have not read It (myself included, because, fuck you clowns) will still likely be able to recognize the references to the cult classic. Add to that is the ice cream truck on the back cover of the book that is parked in a puddle of blood while more blood rains down so you figure the ice cream truck is NOT a good thing even though everybody loves the ice cream man. Well, not anymore my friend. I actually heard the ice cream truck drive by my house while reading this, no joke, and I almost had a small aneurysm. So thanks, Stephen King, for ruining ice cream for me.

Mr. Mercedes may not be what most have come to expect from King, but who honestly knows what to expect from that man anyways? It’s no less thrilling and no less of an enthralling page turner. Highly recommended for fans of crime thrillers and for those that don’t love ice cream.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl {PurchaseMy Review}
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith {PurchaseMy Review}
The Coffin Dancer (Lincoln Rhyme #2) by Jeffery Deaver {Purchase}

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Early Review – Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

August 12, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 9 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Dangerous Boys by Abigail HaasDangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Published by Abigail Haas on August 14th 2014
Pages: 336
Genres: Mystery-Contemporary, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Dangerous Girls

four-stars

Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Caitlin Kasprov drags one Donnelly brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Caitlin is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

 

‘A heartbeat, a split-second’s whim, that’s all it takes to change your life forever.
But what happens when you get it wrong?’

Abigail Haas has done it again. Dangerous Boys is one seriously twisted and convoluted tale that will have you completely enthralled. Her stories will put you under a spell, desperate for answers to eagerly sought questions. In Dangerous Boys, there is Chloe, and the brothers Ethan and Oliver. The three become complexly intertwined, irrevocably changing the makeup of each other’s lives. A terrible accident occurs involving the brothers and only one brother makes it out alive. But who survived? And what was the sequence of events that led up to that moment? These questions will exasperate you, forcing you to willingly glue yourself to the pages. The one thing you should come to expect with an Abigail Haas book though is nothing is ever as it seems.

Dangerous Boys is a deceptively simple tale of a young girl fresh out of high school who has big dreams of leaving the small town behind and experiencing life. Her life is upended when her father divorces her mother and her mother is thrown into a deep depression, leaving Chloe to take care of her and thus forcing her to put her future on hold. The story alternates between the past before Chloe meets Ethan and Oliver, and the present, after the devastating fire. Piece by piece the story begins to form. Chloe and Ethan’s relationship, Oliver’s involvement, the jealousy and turmoil that takes place… all leading up to the accident that took the life of one of the boys.

What truly made this story shine for me was Chloe’s character. At first glance, she’s just a small town girl with big city dreams but her complexity was kept hidden and begins to blossom as the story progresses. Here’s a girl that has always done what’s right, has kept her grades up in hopes of achieving her dreams. As her life begins to crumble around her and her hopes become dashed, the regret and anger over her circumstances build. The introduction of the two boys into her life changes everything for her and breaks the mask she’s been hiding behind. We’ve all hidden behind a facade of sorts at one time or another and discovering that person that sees through all the bullshit to the very heart of you can be an enlightening and transforming experience.

Abigail Haas is a writer of mesmerizing mysteries that always keeps me second-guessing. A truly talented writer that I eagerly await more from.

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Classic Curiosity – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

August 9, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Classic Curiosity, Read in 2014 3 Comments

Classic Curiosity – And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 1939
Pages: 264
Genres: Classics, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hallowe'en Party

five-stars

“Ten . . .” —Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion on an island off the Devon coast by a mysterious host.

“Nine . . .” —At dinner, a recorded message accuses each of them of harboring a guilty secret. By the end of the meal, one is dead.

“Eight . . .” —Stranded by a violent storm, there is no hope of escape. Haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one, the guests begin to die.

“Seven . . .” —As suspicions are raised and accusations fly, secrets begin to surface. But who among them is the killer . . . and will any of them survive?

‘There was something magical about an island – the mere word suggested fantasy. You lost touch with the world-an island was a world of its own. A world, perhaps, from which you might never return.’

Ten people arrive at Soldier Island after receiving invitations from various acquaintances convincing them to make the trip. The island has been much talked about recently after some confusion over who owns it so everyone is intrigued to find out the answer to that question. Everyone seemingly has nothing in common with one another until an announcement booms through the house on the first night from a gramophone bringing each persons secret to light. By the end of that first night, one person has died. After a search has been conducted of the island, the rest of the guests come to the realization that they’re the only ones on that island and that the murderer must be among the nine remaining guests.

Agatha Christie is the prolific author known as the “Queen of Crime” and the “Master of Misdirection”. I have no idea what took me so long to pick up anything of hers, being such a long time fan of mysteries in general, but And Then There Were None was the perfect first choice.

Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two Little Soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

The guests find the above nursery rhyme that has been framed on the wall curious. As well as the ten little soldier figurines that stand on the dining room table. Each subsequent death results in the realization that the deaths are not only following the nursery rhyme (the first individual died after choking on what appeared to be cyanide) but with each death a soldier figurine is mysteriously removed from the table. While it seems unlikely that the murderer would have been able to plan accordingly in order to remain a mystery and still kill, following the nursery rhyme perfectly, the impossibility was expertly erased by the authors exhilarating storytelling ability. Each person begins to suspect one another until there isn’t anyone left to trust, even the reader is continually left in the dark as to the perpetrator. Just when you think you’ve caught on to what’s going on, Christie is bound to throw a wrench into your theories. I loved this book and loved the constant guessing game and will no doubt be picking up many more Agatha Christie novels in the future.

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Audiobook Review – Casino Royale (James Bond (Original Series) #1) by Ian Fleming

June 24, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 8 Comments

Audiobook Review – Casino Royale (James Bond (Original Series) #1) by Ian FlemingCasino Royale by Ian Fleming
Narrator: Dan Stevens
Series: James Bond (Original Series) #1
on April 13th 1953
Length: 5 hours and 5 minutes
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

In the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH.

The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond's fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.

Casino Royale is the very beginning of the infamous James Bond stories by Ian Fleming. As a member of the secret service, James has been instructed to beat Le Chiffre, a Communist agent, at the baccarat tables in anticipation that the Soviet agency will execute him for misusing funds.

I’ve always loved the James Bond movies and have meant to read the actual book for ages. The movies are chock-full of action scenes so it was quite surprising that the book didn’t quite measure up in that regard. Much of Casino Royale is spent at the baccarat tables, explaining in detail hands dealt and the likelihood of being triumphant. It was interesting but not incredibly entertaining. The sole action scene was a horrible and unforgettable torture scene that made me wish for more action of a less painful sort.

Such as the films, James Bond is quite infatuated with his women. In Casino Royale, the woman is Vesper Lynd, a fellow agent who was sent to assist him in his mission. These books are decades old, Casino Royale being published in 1953, so it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the material feels incredibly dated. Most dated is the attitude towards females. While not excusable, unfortunately, the mentality is on par with how things were in that era so in that regard it’s fitting.

“These blithering women who thought they could do a man’s work. Why the hell couldn’t they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men’s work to the men.”

It’s definitely not the easiest of things to overlook and I was cringing often, but surprisingly enough still managed to be of extreme entertainment and will be well-liked by long-time fans of James. The version of Casino Royale I read was the audiobook narrated by Dan Stevens who did a marvelous job.

 

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (George Smiley #3) by John le Carré {Purchase}
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan {PurchaseMy Review}

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Book Review – The Three: A Novel by Sarah Lotz

May 29, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Three: A Novel by Sarah LotzThe Three: A Novel by Sarah Lotz
Published by Little Brown and Company on May 20th 2014
Pages: 480
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed 'The Three' by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...

When four planes crash on separate continents with a child being the sole survivor in each crash except one, the day becomes known as Black Thursday and the survivors become known as The Three. A woman named Pamela May Donald survives long enough to record a message on her cell phone, a warning that many go on to believe is a message straight from God.

“They’re here. […] The boy watch the boy watch the death people oh Lordy there’s so many… They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us.”

Conspiracy theorists believe the children have been abducted by aliens or are possessed by the devil but the religious zealots are convinced that these children are representative of the four horseman of the apocalypse and that there is a fourth child that did survive and must be found. When these children are returned to their relatives, they indicate an unsettling change in these children but wouldn’t that be something one would expect after being the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash? The real question here is: Are they right to be worried about what’s going on with these children and their mental state or is it all just a product of the conspiracy theorists and their stories taking root in everyone’s minds?

The Three is actually written as a non-fiction book entitled “Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy” which is written by the fictional character Elspeth Martins. For those of you who have read World War Z by Max Brooks, The Three is written in a similar manner by using witness testimonies but also chat room transcripts, news articles and blog posts. The chapters bounce back and forth between various individuals associated with the survivors and tells the story of life following the crash, with constant foreboding of a bleak future for all involved. Normally, I would find this writing style and constant switch back and forth between various individuals to be jarring but each and every witness accounting was incredibly interesting and I was completely engaged, eager for the next detail of these peoples lives.

The Three is a compelling and well-written novel that showcases a unique style of writing that was completely absorbing. It unfortunately suffers greatly from an ambiguous ending. An ambiguous ending filled with so many unknown factors can leave the reader with an uneasiness that warrants contemplation well after the book is finished, and while The Three has in fact kept me contemplating, I don’t feel the author gave enough answers to formulate my own opinion of what was truly going on. I don’t expect (or desire) that a story have a perfectly wrapped up with a bow on top sort of ending but turning that final page and having more answers than questions should be a given. Regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed this mesmerizing novel and eagerly await more from this author.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

April 30, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Good Girl by Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Pages: 400
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

About Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a local shelter. The Good Girl is her first novel.

Gotta love a good mystery thriller. This is author Mary Kubica’s debut novel and it sounds promising!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Audiobook Review – Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

February 14, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 4 Comments

Audiobook Review – Dark Places by Gillian FlynnDark Places by Gillian Flynn
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Rebecca Lowman
on May 05, 2009
Length: 13 hours, 44 minutes
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Gone Girl

four-stars

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

‘The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.’

Libby Day is the sole survivor of “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas” when her mother and two older sisters were murdered with an ax. She was only 7 years old. After accusing her brother Ben of committing the crime he is sent to prison with no real possibility of ever being released. Twenty-four years later Libby finds herself struggling financially after the trust fund to which people donated to help her cause has dwindled down to nothing. ‘The Kill Club’ is a group of individuals obsessed with particular crimes from over the years and there are several enthusiasts who are obsessed with not only the crime but of the innocence of her brother, Ben. Deciding she’ll resort to anything just as long as she gets paid she begins investigating the deaths of her family and realizes that the money isn’t the only incentive; she truly wants to know what happened that night she was left an orphan.

Dark Places was a fantastically written thriller that was thoroughly engrossing. The audiobook has 3 separate narrators and each do a fantastic job of encouraging readers to continue this mesmerizing tale. The story alternates between snippets of Libby’s investigation (told in first person) and the rehashing of past events (told in third person from the POV of Libby’s mother and her brother, Ben) so that we’re slowly able to fit together the jumbled pieces of the puzzle. Did Ben truly commit the crime? Was he associated with the Devil? Was it actually their dead beat father? Or someone completely different? This is an incredibly alluring story that I could not put down. While clues are given and you think you’re starting to formulate, nothing is as it seems. That’s an easy enough statement to make in regards to any mystery thriller story but the answer to this one is truly unpredictable from anything I was expecting.

‘I am, I guess, depressed. I guess I’ve been depressed for about twenty-four years. I can feel a better version of me somewhere in there – hidden behind a liver or attached to a bit of spleen within my stunted, childish body – a Libby that’s telling me to get up, do something, grow up, move on. But the meanness usually wins out.’

Libby is a wonderfully jaded and emotionally hardened character that I couldn’t help but love. She’s perfectly imperfect and her flawed and bitter nature completely drew me to her. She’s earned every right to those emotions though and then some. Dark Places is full of extremely unlikable characters though and a few in particular did things that were completely unfathomable. The issues presented throughout this novel are often hard to stomach and were incredibly gruesome and disturbing. In specific there are Satanic animal sacrifices, excessive teenage drug use and teenage pregnancy and of course the less than pleasant mass murder by ax.

Dark Places is a prime example of simple choices that can have a catastrophic domino effect on anything and everything from that point on. Peeling back the layers of this multifaceted tale of suspense is a total thrill-ride, as long as you can stomach the terror this story is drenched in.

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