The Innocent Wife – Amy Lloyd

32187685  2,5 Stars

Women fascinated by men who are imprisoned for murder is a very interesting topic. When I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it. It started promising. We get to know Samantha, who gets infatuated with Dennis Danson. He is in prison for 20 years now and a lot of people fight for his release. There is no real evidence that he was involved in killing those girls. It looks like the local police was on a vendetta against him. There is also a documentary about Dennis on its way. He is getting famous through social media. It helps that he is handsome and charming. Sam starts to write to him and surprisingly he writes back. Finally, after lots and lots of letters and falling in love just by writing to each other, Sam decides to take a sabbatical and get on the next plane to meet Dennis in person. And then everything goes very quick.

The book started promising. The writing style was a bit rushed and it read more like a report than a novel. But it was interesting though. But then it somehow got boring. For some reason after Dennis’ release from prison the couple stays in Dennis’ old hometown in his father’s house. Sam does not understand why neither but somehow never questions him or make any attempts to leave or persuade Dennis to leave with her. She feels threatened by his former girlfriend and somebody is creeping around the house in the night. She is incredible passive. She is a very weird character and I got the feeling there was something wrong with her.

The story drags from this point. It started so promising but then it was all about the oh-so fascinating Dennis and the question if he is guilty or not. But the main problem is Sam. She is so whiny, so pathetic and such a drama queen. I am baffled that Dennis did not kill her on his first day out of prison.

When I started reading that book I was interested in what it was that women attracts to criminals. I think I got a hint of what it is. But it stayed at the surface. The initial crimes were just background noise and got never really explained. And I must admit I did not like where the story headed towards the end. Sam is not a very likable character and this conclusion was totally in character. But somehow I felt not comfortable with it. I don’t like that the author put her exactly in that crazy corner that most of us think those women belong.

 

I liked the idea of the story but the flat characters ruined it. The start was very good, it is decently written but failed to keep this strong storytelling all the way to the end.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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The Good Samaritan – John Marrs

35451741  5 Stars

That was a chilling read. Laura is one of the best -or better say worst- characters I have seen in a book for quite a while. As the blurb says, Laura works for a telephone helpline. But she is obsessed with dead and has her own rules to play by. But then she comes across Ryan. His wife killed herself while pregnant. In his grieve he looks for answers and soon he finds out that his wife did call the helpline quite a lot.

Ryan finds out about Laura’s role in his wife’s suicide. He begins to watch her and works out a plan. Soon they are in engaged in some kind of duel. They are trying to bring each other down and ruin their life.

This book is not a very fast paced thriller. Most of the time it is more of a slow burner. First we meet Laura and her way of handling things. Then the story is told from Ryan’s point of view. They are playing a cat and mouse game and Ryan is getting into it deeper and deeper.

This book is a dark and disturbing read. And also very sad. You will meet the most despicable character and you are watching the downfall of a man first hand. The author explains very extensive. That’s what takes a bit the pace out of it. But you are rewarded with a well crafted and very intense and complex story.

I enjoyed “The One” from John Marrs a couple of month ago and I liked it very much. This book is very different but as unique and brilliantly done as “The One”. I admire his talent to create such unusual storylines. I highly recommend this book if you love a good psychological thriller.

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

The Foster Child – Jenny Blackhurst

34751037  3,5 Stars

„The Foster Child“ is a disturbing psychological thriller about a creepy child.

Child psychologist Imogen Reid returns to her hometown after the dead of her mother. She has to build a new life for her and her husband. Something happened in her old job in London and they have to make a new start. One of her first cases is elven year old Ellie. Something is odd about the girl. She has a reputation to cause bad things to people who get cross with her. But Imogen takes a liking to that poor girl. She defends her and crosses the lines of what she is allowed to do – again.

There are a lot of creepy thinks going on and I found myself pitying Ellie and a moment later I was scared of her. I got an idea of what was going on while I was reading. It turns out I was almost right. But not entirely.

I think it is better not to know too much about the plot. A lot of the story is transported through the characters involved. And I think it is for the best when you just get to know them yourself. I had some problems with the main character Imogen. I found her extremely unprofessional. She is a complicated character and very changeable. I understand she had a troubled childhood (I would have loved to learn more about that and the reason) but I could not connect to her. Everybody in her surrounding is revolving around her but it is obviously not enough for her. She is very self-centered. For my taste the story stays too much at the surface. A lot of things don’t get explained deeper. And some characters are really plain.

This book is an easy and creepy read although it is a bit superficially. But it is entertaining. And Ellie is a remarkable character.

I received an ARC from NetGalleyin exchange for an honest review

Disturbed – Jennifer Jaynes

34884860  4 Stars

This was an easy and pleasant read. I did not find it very creepy, although there are gruesome murders and something sinister is going on. But from page 1 I was hooked. I don’t want to get into the story itself. Maybe it is better, when you just jump into this book.

 

As I said, it is an easy read. The pages just flew as I began to wonder what was going on. I figured the main twist out quite early because there were one or two clues which really pointed in that direction. But there was enough other things going on and I enjoyed it very much.

The Last Mrs Parrish – Liv Constantine

34043643  4 Stars

This was an easy and quick read and a real page-turner. I would not call it a psychological thriller. It is more a dark and twisted domestic drama and a romance gone wrong. There are a lot of psychological manipulations going on which made the read so entertaining.

 

I think I should not say too much about the story. I jumped into the book with not much of an idea of it and I that was good. At first I thought everything was going too smoothly for Amber and her aim to get between the married couple. But soon I sensed there was something else going on.

 

Envy, greed, betrayal, abuse, psychopaths – name it, you have it here in this book. It is a dark, twisted and disturbing story. I enjoyed reading it.

J.T. Ellison – Lie To Me

33258453  4,5 Stars

So this is indeed the closest thing to „Gone Girl“ I’ve read so far. Two twisted people fell in love and got married. They both tell us their side of the story. Ethan is first. Then, later Sutton tells us her side. But immediately you can sense that there is something else going on. Ethan sometimes hints at us that he is not telling everything. I must admit I somehow liked him. Then later, there is Sutton’s story. This reminded me very much of Gone Girl. But this book is different. It may have a similar kind of telling the story. But the story itself is different.

Ethan’s POV has the advantage that we learn through him what is going on. Sutton is missing. But why? What happened? Did she just leave, fleeing their marriage? Or did something happen to her? Sutton’s story is a bit flat. Her part lacked the tension and it was almost a bit boring. I will not give away too much of the story because I think it is better not to know too much about it. It is a very twisted story. At the end there are twists galore.

I had very soon an idea what was going on. It turns out I was right. But there is a lot more going on. As I said, there are many twists and developments. The story is very clever and complex. It lacks just a bit of tension. It is more of a slow burner. It would have been a great read if it would have been more gripping. But so it is “just” a twisted and clever plotted book which is highly entertaining.

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

In A Cottage In A Wood

34605390  4 Stars

I absolutely loved this one! I fell for it immediately. I was intrigued by the blurb but also wondered how this situation on the bridge was working. You just meet a woman who wants to commit suicide and she hands you over her cottage? But it did, actually.

So, one night after partying and an unpleasant one night stand Neve wanders the streets of London to find her way home. Home means her sister’s house, because Neve crashed there after she splits up from her boyfriend. She has a lousy job which she doesn’t like and which earns her not enough money to get her own place to live. So she is not in the mood to talk to a young woman she sees standing on Waterloo Bridge just in a dress in the freezing night. But somehow she does and so she witnesses her jumping into the Thames. Weeks later she learns from a lawyer that the dead woman gave her her cottage in Cornwall. And as it is, with a job she is going to lose, her sister and brother-in-law bugged by her and no place to live she decides to have a look at that cottage.

The cottage indeed is not what she expected. It is not very nice to look at, filthy and a bit creepy. So Neve finds herself stranded in this cottage in the woods and somehow the creepy atmosphere is getting her.

The book has its flaws. It is all a bit unrealistic and Neve is sometimes a pain in the a**. She is so chaotic and unfocussed. She acts without thinking things through. Everybody would consider that arriving in a cottage in rural Cornwall late in the evening without being able to drive a car would be not a good idea. But not Neve. She just jumps in. All the time.

The book is not a fast paced one. But it is an easy read and the pages just flow. It is a bit creepy but not in a supernatural way. There is definitive something going on and I would have freaked out much earlier and take the next train back to London. Strange things happen and because Neve is so chaotic she always things that maybe it was her own fault. There are a few things I would have done, like f.e. change the door locks. But I really liked the book. I enjoyed reading it. I figured out who was behind all this spooky things quite early but the author had still a surprise for me at the end. The writing is very pleasant and I think that was the main reason I enjoyed that book so much. There are some weird things happening in the story but the author managed it to sell it to me with her nice and convincing writing.

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