Megan Miranda – The Perfect Stranger

31443398   4,5 Stars

This is the second book from Megan Miranda. I really enjoyed “All the Missing Girls”. It was one of the most unusual books I have ever read. This book is different although you can recognize the unique writhing style. I really liked this one, too.

 

Former reporter Leah has lost her job. She just wants to leave her mistakes and misjudgments behind. When she ran into an old friend one night which offers hers spontaneously to move into rural Pennsylvania with her she is happy to agree. Leah and Emmy used to live together for a few months after college. Then the lost contact for 8 years but Leah always felt deeply connected to Emmy.

 

In this little town in Pennsylvania Leah does her best to blend in. But she has the feeling that somebody is stalking her. Then a young woman is found almost beaten to dead and soon afterwards a second body turns up in a nearby lake. Then Leah realized that she has not seen Emmy for days and can’t track her whereabouts. She reports her missing and suddenly has to face the fact that she knows literally nothing about her friend.

 

The author weaves a dark and complex story. There are a lot of flashbacks which explains what happened back in Boston with the story Leah wrote and what went wrong. Her characters are not very likable, especially Leah. She is sullen and secretive. But that did not bother me. I don’t have to connect or like the characters in a book. I enjoyed the slow building tension, how with every new piece of information the story became more and more mysterious and that everybody was so unreliable. And I also liked the ending.

 

I will definitely look out for Megan Miranda’s next book.

 

I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Merken

I Found You – Lisa Jewell

I Found YouI Found You by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second book written by Lisa Jewell. I liked “The Girls in the Garden” very much and I was very keen to read another book from her. I like her writing style. Her books are easy to read and well-constructed.

“I Found You” is a character driven book. The story is broken up into three different POV and the story begins to unfold slowly. There are some twists and you can see that the stories are overlapping and connected. The story is really complex but the excellent written characters give life to the whole thing.

This book is not really a thriller. There is suspense, a lot. I really wanted to know what happened and how it was all connected. There is a lot of background to the characters, a lot of talking and it took some time until you can see where all this is heading to. The pace was a bit slow but it was far from boring. It was quite the contrary.

Lisa Jewell managed somehow to make this tragic story an easy and enjoyable read. It is almost a “Cosy Crime”. I you don’t like very drastic thrillers and are in no need for a lot of cliffhangers you will find this to be the right book for you. I enjoyed reading it and finished it in only 2 sittings.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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The People At Number 9 – Felicity Everett

The People at Number 9The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb suggests something else, something…more. I read a similar book a couple of month ago, “Swimming Pool” which took a much darker road. This is a book about a middleclass couple which gets tangled in the glamourous and chaotic bohemian lifestyle of their new neighbors. This story is more character driven. There are no twists and turns, just domestic drama.

The book is about an unlikely friendship between two couples. Sara is charmed by Lou and even more by her flirtatious husband Gavin. Lou is chaotic and full of creative energy. Sara gets encouraged by her to fulfill her dream to become a writer. Sara is not a very likable character. She is an unsatisfied middle class woman with first world problems. She is self-centered and at the same time very insecure. She is nobody I would like to feel connected to (or admit it) because she felt so damn realistic.

There is not much happening in the story. It is about how this friendship developed. We see everything from Sara’s POV. She makes her life more and more about Lou and Gavin. She looks after their kids. She agreed to Lou’s idea to homeschool their children even most of the work is left for Sara to be done because Lou is too busy with her artistic life. Slowly Sara begins to see how one-sided this friendship is and how much she already sacrificed. But she hesitates to make a change. Too flattering is this friendship for her.

I found this book very enthralling. It has a good flow and I was interested all the time what was going to happen. Maybe I expected a little bit more. There is no crime, it is a dark family drama which Sara triggers because she is full of envy and never really appreciated her perfectly normal life until it is too late.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Anita Waller – 34 Days

34 Days34 Days by Anita Waller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

34 Days is a dark psychological thriller but it is also a family drama. One morning Anna leaves her husband for 35 years. She just cannot take anymore of his controlling issues and his violence. Within the next 34 days she changes her life completely. Nobody knows where she lives now except her daughter-in-law Jenny. Jenny also suffered from Ray and she has a plan.

I really liked the first half of the book and how Anna finally takes care of her life. Jenny takes care that her plan is working. She is a really cold blooded girl. But suddenly the book drifted apart and I wondered were the story is suddenly heading to.

So I don’t know how to review this book. The first half is gripping but the second turns more and more into a family drama with a lot of unrealistic turns. I wondered why Anna who is obviously such a strong person did not left her husband sooner. The book slows down and becomes less gripping. I also recognized how convenient it was that Anna has enough money to make her life quite comfortable. And also of course a long lost love is waiting to be renewed. This is all too smooth. I was also not satisfied with the end. It took quite a while for this book to build up the scenario and suddenly it is all over. There were just too many secrets everybody kept from one another. It was very unrealistic.

After a good start it ended up very unsatisfying. 3 Stars

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Jenny Blackhurst – Before I Let You In

Before I Let You InBefore I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are tons of books with twists and turns at the moment. Not all of them are good and not all twists are really that surprising. This book has a lot of them and there is one surprise followed by the next. That’s the reason I can’t say too much about the story.

Karen is a psychiatrist. One day a young woman comes to her as a patient. She tells Karen things which are somehow connected to Karen’s personal life. Karen soon is convinced that this young woman is a thread to her and her friends. Karen has two close friends, Bea and Eleanor, and she was always the one who took care of them. And that is what she wants to do know, to keep her friends save from this strange young woman.

Karen, Bea and Eleanor are close friends for many years. Karen is the one who takes care of them, fixes problems. That’s her job in this friendship. When this young woman shows up and seems to know certain things, all Karen wants is to keep her friends save. But this starts a series of events which lead only downwards. It is about things you do although you know they are wrong, unethical and even embarrassing. Things you do but you don’t want anybody you know you did them and you even don’t want to admit to yourself.

This book really was full of surprises. I figured some things out but not everything. This is a twisted and disturbing read and I enjoyed it very much.

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Megan Miranda – All The Missing Girls

All the Missing GirlsAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is told in a very unusual way. The story is told backwards. This requires getting used to. And it is confusing. The characters do and know things which we don’t know why and how because we will learn about it in the next chapter because this chapter will be the day before. There are things which already happened but we don’t know about them and so we don’t understand sometimes why they act like they do.

I needed some time to get used to that. And I also did not get this concept at first. I kept asking myself why the author chooses to write this book like that. But the further I read I started to see how clever this was. Actually, I thought I should start reading this book again after finishing it to appreciate it even more. Afterwards you begin to understand why some characters lied and why they did what they did. It is really very clever but as well confusing. You have to read this book with your mind really on it and when you have time to finish it in few sittings. Unfortunately I read in during my holidays and I had not much time to read. So I have the feeling I maybe missed something or could not put it all together properly because I was not really concentrated on it. But nevertheless I can say this is a very unusual book. Not because of its story but because of how it is done. Just read it when you have enough time on your hand for it. It is worth it.

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Frances Vick – Bad Little Girl

Bad Little GirlBad Little Girl by Frances Vick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title „Bad Little Girl“ is very suitable for this book. But it also tells you too much about the story.

Claire is a teacher and Lorna is one of the pupils. Not her pupil, but she knows her. Lorna is an outsider and very shy. Somehow Claire keeps an eye on Lorna, even start to really care. She is afraid, that Lorna’s strange behavior comes from some kind of abuse. Claire lives a very quiet life, visiting her mother and doing her job. Claire talks to Lorna’s mother but she denies any abuse and tells her that Lorna makes things up. Of course Claire is sure, that that could not be true. After her mother dies, she somehow got closes to Lorna. One night Lorna is knocking on her door, telling her she has to take now to her cottage in Cornwall because she needs to be safe. Claire, confused, agrees. She is a good person and wants to do the right thing. It never occurs to her, that she is manipulated. For a short time, they both play mother and daughter in this remote cottage. But then Lorna gets bored.

The story is very predictable. I disliked Lorna immediately. She acted strange and I never saw the charms she obviously must have. The story also took very long to get going. Half of the book we see Claire living her life, caring for her mother and watching Lorna. It took a little bit too long until it got moving and something finally happened. A child being a sociopath is unusual but not unlikely. It is indeed quite an interesting subject. But the author failed to make Lorna interesting for me. I found it hard to believe that she charmed to adult women into taking care of her and doing almost everything for her. She was quite lucky to find not one but two women who were more than happy to play her mother because of their personal circumstances.

Well, it was an interesting story. But the pace was very slow and there weren’t many surprises. I liked the idea but I found it also quite unrealistic.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review

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