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 Fourth Monkey – J.D. Barker

31125554  5 Stars

What a twisted and creepy book. It is a fast pace thriller which is highly entertaining and scary.

For five years the 4MK keeps the Chicago Police busy now. He punishes people who did something bad by taking someone they love. First he cuts of one ear, then he takes the eyes and at least the tongue. The sends the body parts in a white box with a black ribbon. The police is still without a clue who he is. Then one day a man is killed in an accident. Obviously he jumped in front of a bus. He carried a white box with a black ribbon. Inside is an ear. So there must be another victim suffering somewhere. But the killer is dead now. But that does not keep him from playing games with the police.

There was a kind of diary found with the body. In this book the 4MK describes his unbelievable bizarre childhood. At first you think it is a normal family but soon it turns out that this is a family of a very different kind.

The story is told alternating between 4MK’s diary and the police work. This book is not for readers who are very sensitive. It is quite drastic and there is a lot of blood. If you have no problems with that you will find a highly entertaining and very unique thriller. There is a little bit of humor, despite all this gruesome things happening all around. The book is very well written. The diary and this horrible family is almost too much, like a parody. It’s unbelievable that there would be a family like that. At least I hope there is not.

All together this was a very entertaining book. It’s full of surprises and twist and it has a unique ending. This book is really different to other thrillers. I enjoyed it very much.

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

Emily Carpenter – The Weight Of Lies

32195204  2 Stars

There are so many raving reviews about this book. I wonder if I read a different book. I really struggled finishing it because I found it so horrible.

There is enough said about the plot in other reviews. I just keep it short. The book begins strong. Although I disliked whiny Megan immediately I enjoyed reading it for the first chapters. But as soon Megan arrives on Bonny Island the story goes south. I got the feeling I was reading a YA book. The story was so unpretentious. Megan got to the Island to learn more about her mother and the story behind the real Kitten. She meets Dorothy, the role model for Kitten. But instead of talking they do nothing. Strolling around the island and eyeballing Koa, the handsome native guy who is working for Dorothy, that’s all she is doing. She is running in circles from each person to the next Dorothy doesn’t want to talk, Koa got his secrets, her mother Frances is not very talkative. But they all keep telling they have to talk. So just please do it! But no, not really. And Megan changes her opinion multiple times a day. The plot became extremely chaotic.

I also disliked the obvious love story. This was so YA book-like. Just awful.

The alternating chapters from the real Kitten book were way too short. I did not know what to make of them. I did not think they were necessary.

I must admit I somehow did not get this book. Knowing the end I just can’t see why Frances acted as a mother as she did. But then I did not bother to think about it all properly. I was just glad I finished it and I don’t have to deal anymore with the whiny and spoilt Megan, who acted defiant as a teenager and not as the 24 year old woman she was supposed to be.

I am disappointed by this book. I have no idea where all those good reviews come from. For me it was a totally chaotic story, very simple in its writing and more like a YA book than one for adults. I could go on for a while ranting about this book and chew on details I did not like. But I leave it at that. I am just sorry for the wasted time reading it.

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

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.

One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus

41P+Ljo-zJL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ 5 Stars

 

Wow, this was a surprise. I did not expect that I would enjoy this book so much.

 

I am not a fan of YA books. Usually I am not interested in kid’s problems and teenage stuff. When I found this book on NetGalley I was intrigued by the blurb and hit the Request button. I just did not think about the fact that students having detention means they would be quite young. Stupid me. But I am glad now that I requested it because I really enjoyed it. I was into the story from page one. The mystery about the sudden death of one of their friends is a classical whodunit. It is hard to guess what happened and the revelation at the end was a surprise for me.

 

It is really funny that I liked this book so much. It has a lot of high school stereotypes and the typical teenage love mess. But somehow it worked. I liked the characters and how they changed during the investigation. The story is only told through the 4 students who were in detention when Simon died. There is no insight into the police work. But the whole thing stays a mystery until the end. I could see some things coming but I did not guess the end. It is an easy read and a very likable book. I enjoyed reading it and because I am so surprised that I liked it so much I give it 5 stars.

I would llke to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Skitters – Ezekiel Boone

61onCCLXM6L._SY346_  3 Stars

This is the second book in the creepy spider trilogy. I liked the first book although it was full of frightening crawlies. This book takes of where the last one ended and it is build similar. We have again a lot of characters. The important ones from the first book of course but also again a hack of a lot of people we meet for one chapter and they all got a full background story. For this reason the book develops slowly. We see how the spider apocalypse develops and spreads over the USA.  I disliked these full stories for minor characters already in the first book. But here I found it quite boring. What’s happening is mostly interesting but it is a bit annoying to read 2 or 3 pages of information I don’t need. It slows the book down. In the last third it gets a little bit more interesting. The story begins to head to the end, the cliffhangers and makes me wanting to read immediately the last book.

 

I think this book is a typically middle book. It gives us a few more information and developments but for itself it would not work. I think it would have been better to put the story into one book, maybe with a lot more pages but just tighten it up a bit and just make  one single book. But this is marketing I suppose. Nevertheless the book does its job. I was a bit bored during reading and I skipped sometimes a few pages- But I also want to read the next book and learn what it is all about this creepy spiders.

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