The Drowning Girls – Paula Treick DeBoard

27069952  3 Stars

I am not sure if I liked this book or if I didn’t.

 

What I liked: the author did a very good job in showing who Phil managed himself into so much trouble. He makes one major misjudgment which is followed by a trail of lies. He got tangled in his lies until he finds no way to tell his side of the story any more. It is too late and to messed up. The story is told mostly by Liz but also occasionally by Phil. So we are also close to him and see how this all could happen.

 

What I did not like: the story is really predictable. As soon as I figured out where the story was leading I was almost annoyed. This again. It is no surprise that not everything in The Palms is so picture perfect when you look closer. The people who live there were all very stereotype. I just could not remember who was who. Who was which ones daughter? Or wife? I mixed them all up the whole time. Kelsey, the girl who gets obsessed with Phil, is quite cunning, maybe a little bit too much for a 15 year old girl. She is definitely troubled, but why that is so is never discussed. And Liz. She is a high school counselor. But I doubt that this is the right job for her. F.e. she gave a 14 year old girl, who came to her office for advice concerning birth control, just a leaflet. Shortly after the girl was pregnant. Well done, Liz. I also did not like a lot of things she did when she suspected Liz to be of harm to her family.

 

But the real problem is the ending. I seriously thought that there was something wrong with my ebook. I thought at least one chapter was missing. But obviously this is really the ending. The book just ends. There are still a lot of questions. I don’t have a problem with books with open endings. But this is no open ending. This is an ending in the middle of a chapter. Just a rough cut.

 

It was an easy read but I was happy when it was over. The writing is good but there is a lack of depth to the characters and the story itself. And there is this ending.

Beneath The Surface – Sibel Hodge

516pV7uAdKL 3,5 Stars

3,5 Stars

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the first half very much. But as soon as the main topic began to unfold I lost interest. I don’t like kiss-and-tell-stories. And I was not aware that this book was that kind of book. I expected something else or maybe a different handling of the topic.

 

In the first half we meet Holly. We get to know her and learn about her problems.  I liked reading the book although I was a bit annoyed by everybody telling her she was paranoid and a crazy drunk. But then the story turns into an action thriller. The exposure of the criminal doings of pharmaceutical companies became more important than telling a story. The author did a great job with her research and the topic is shocking and has to be revealed. But it did not work in this book for me. I don’t know how I can explain it. But I think telling this story, revealing everything, became so important for the author that she missed to form it into a harmonic story.

 

I am sorry to say that the book did not work for me. It felt like something was missing. I liked the writing and the first half was very well composed. But then it turned into a kind of story I don’t like to read. If I had known that I would not have requested it from NetGalley. But because this is just me and my personal taste I round it up to 4 stars.

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

The One – John Marrs

31422849 4,5 Stars

What a unique idea! What if you can find your perfect match by doing a simple mouth swap?  Doing this simple test and paying afterwards for the contact details and you live happily ever after?

 

A scientist found out that you share a special part of your DNA with just one other person on this planet. And this one is your perfect match. Almost immediately after meeting this person you feel the connection and fall in love with them. You just do this little test and the computer finds your other half. It sounds too good to be true. And actually it is. What if you perfect partner is a psychopath? Or the one is of the same sex as you although you were never attracted to the same sex before?

 

At first I was confused to all the characters appearing in alternating chapters. But soon you get to know them and theirs special situation. All of them were informed of their Match recently and all of them have to learn that there is not necessarily a happy ending waiting for them. They all encounter extreme situations. Especially in Jade’s case it is also quite melodramatic. Sometimes a little bit too much. It also shows how this scientific matching alters society. What if you are already in love and think you found your soulmate without taking the test? Everybody in your surrounding expects your relationship to fail because you are not proofed to be the perfect match.

 

There are a lot of interesting ideas in this book. As I mentioned, the situations are extreme and it is a little bit too melodramatic. But it is an easy read with a unusual story. I really enjoyed reading it.

The Child – Fiona Barton

32054095  4 Stars

Fiona Barton returns with her new book after her bestseller „The Widow“. “The Child” is a very complex and elaborated. I was not a huge fan of her first book, I thought it was OK. But she has a talent for creating unique stories with interesting characters. So when I read the blurb of this book, I thought I give it another try.

“The Child” tells a complex story. The skeleton of a baby is found on a construction site. Three women are affected by that. One of them is journalist Kate Waters, who we know already from “The Widow”. She takes an interest in this story and is determined to find out who this baby was. Slowly she untangles a dark and sad story.

I must admit I am still not a huge fan although I enjoyed reading this book. I can’t put my finger on it what it is but something is missing for me. Barton’s writing style is beautiful but maybe a bit aloof. The story is also a slow-burner and goes into every detail. It is a character driven story and the main point is how Kate finds her way through this mystery. Unfortunately I had an idea how everything could be quite early in the book but I discarded it while going on further. But I was right; I figured the end-twist. Usually I am not so clever and I hardly think much about figuring out the end or the killer etc. while reading. So at the end the surprise for me was that my idea was right.

Despite my little nagging about the book I enjoyed reading it. It is an unusual story, the writing is good. It is unique. I like that. I enjoyed “The Child” more than “The Widow” and I am looking forward to her next book.

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

Last Seen – Lucy Clarke

33260180  4,5 Stars

Sarah and Isla know each other since they were kids. They are still close friends. They got pregnant almost at the same time. Sarah is married to Isla’s ex-lover- Isla is a single mother. Both bought beach huts on the English coastline where they spent their summers. All is perfect until one day the boys went swimming but only Jacob, Sarah’s son, returned. Marley, Isla’s boy, was never found and presumed drowned. Isla is desperate. But despite this happened on this sandbank she returns every year to to visit Sarah and her family and feel close to Marley. She loves remembering how happy her little boy was while they were at the hut. How he played with Jacob. But after a few years she senses little fractions in her friendship to Sarah. It seems as Sarah doesn’t want to share her family any more with Isla.

The book begins after Jacob disappears. He is 17 know and he did not come home after a beach party. Isla just left after the anniversary of Marley’s death. It is obvious that something happened between the two women.

The story is told alternating from Sarah an Islas point of view. We learn that everybody has secrets. Especially one of them has a huge problem with telling the truth. One lie leads to the next and soon there are many layers of lies which build up to a tragedy.

The author did a great job in creating a very atmospheric story. I loved the setting of this English sandbank and the little beach huts. Both women love their huts where they spent so many happy summers with their sons. Especially Isla loves to return to the hut because it reminds her so much of Marley. For me this was a dark and sad story. I felt especially sorry for Isla and poor Marley. Lies are told to protect somebody but mostly to protect oneself. But these lies destroyed two families. A little boy died tragically and another life was ruined.

The characters in this book are very realistic and strong. I felt with both women although I started to despise one of them while reading. It is a complex and clever story but also a slow burner. It is not a fast paced book but it is worth your reading time.

This was my second book from Lucy Clarke but definitely not my last one

The Good Widow – Liz Fenton

33852868  3,5 Stars

I expected this book to have more thriller elements. It is more about a woman comes to terms with the fact that her husband died in a car accident in Hawaii with his mistress.

I could criticize many thinks. The characters for example. I did not like Jacks, she is weak and obviously needs always somebody to take care of her. Her annoying and dominant sister. The dead macho husband James. Mousy Dylan. The pace is quite slow. There is also a love story (I don’t like chit-lit) and twist you can see coming from afar. But somehow and to my own astonishment, I enjoyed reading it. It is well written and easy to read. Maybe it was a mixture of me sitting relaxed in the sun and be reminded how I used to read love stories when I was a teenager. I don’t know. This book just flows and does not invite you to think too much about its story. It is just an easy summer read. You don’t really have to read it but it does not hurt you if you do. I could go deeper into its flaws but I think I just don’t. It was a nice and uncomplicated read.

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

 

The Roses Of May – Dot Hutchison

30109999  2 Stars

 

I really had a hard time reading this book.

A lot of reviewers were disappointed that this book was so different to “The Butterfly Garden”. I must admit that I read it exactly because of that. I was not a huge fan of the Butterfly book. It was a very creepy read with a lot of weird characters and a very unrealistic story. But at least it was entertaining. This one here was such a slow burner. I thought about quitting multiple times. It was just so boring. Nothing really happens. It is all repetition. Flower deliveries. Agents traveling back and forth. All the same over and over. And you can easily figure out who the killer is. The characters are also again very weird. I disliked them all and none of them felt actually natural. I never felt “the force of nature” Prya’s mum allegedly should be. I also disliked Prya herself. And I could have done without the “butterflies”.

It a very slowly developing book with a boring story. The characters were all too edgy and creepy. I am very sorry because NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a copy but I must honestly admit that I did not enjoy it. I think I will not read another book from this author. Her idea a good story is not my cup of tea.