Category: Thriller

“The Whisperer” by Karin Fossum

“The Whisperer” by Karin Fossum

Blurb:

How did a lonely, quiet woman come to kill a man—or did she?

Ragna Riegel is a soft-spoken woman of routines. She must have order in her life, and she does, until one day she finds a letter in her mailbox with her name on the envelope and a clear threat written in block capitals on the sheet inside. With the arrival of the letter, and eventually others like it, Ragna’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel into a nightmare—threatened by an unknown enemy, paranoid and unable to sleep, her isolation becomes all the more extreme. Ragna’s distress does culminate in a death, but she is the perpetrator rather than the victim.

The Whisperer shifts between Inspector Sejer’s interrogation of Ragna and the shocking events that led up to her arrest. Sejer thinks it is an open-and-shut case, but is it? Compelling and unnerving, The Whisperer probes plausible madness in everyday life and asks us to question assumptions even in its final moments.

My Thoughts:

This story had me intrigued from word one. For at least half of it, I had no idea where the story might be going but I certainly wanted to find out. As Detective Sejer questions Ragna over a period of days, her story begins to be revealed. At first glance, she appears to be just an ordinary person who lives alone, goes to work and is very introverted. But then things start to get weird. Ragna becomes convinced that she is being stalked and it certainly seems to be true, but is it? This is very much a psychological thriller which takes you deep into the mind of abnormal psychology. Ragna is a character that I couldn’t help feeling sorry for because of her disability but at the same time I was suspicious of her. I also really enjoyed the calm and almost sedate style of Detective Sejer. He skilfully gains her trust and draws her out of her shell. The winter in Norway setting added to the thrill and mystery of the story. This is one I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Find it on Amazon

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.



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“Truth and Lies” by Caroline Mitchell

“Truth and Lies” by Caroline Mitchell

Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden

Blurb:

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims – but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

My Thoughts:

Let me just start by saying how much I enjoyed this narration. I think she did a great job of bringing the various characters to life and keeping the story moving. As for the story itself, I was totally intrigued by Amy and her story. When she finds out who her real mother is it could have gone a lot of ways, but she managed to keep the job in focus and do what needed to be done to solve the case. It’s an interesting battle of the psyches of these two women. There is a lot of abuse in the story as it unfolds but I found the domestic abuse situation to be fascinating in the way the author presented what was occurring but also how the person involved was rationalizing the whole situation. I don’t want to give anything away but there is a lot of thought provoking psychology going on in this book. I took to Amy’s character right away. She is so driven to live up to what she thinks is expected of her that I found myself cheering for her through most of the book. She is very vulnerable at times during the story but she’s also tough and determined not to let her circumstances undermine her future. To top it all off, there is a cat in this story who “saves” the day and I just can’t resist a good cat character. If you’re looking for a good listen, definitely check this one out.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Find it on Amazon


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“The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

“The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

Blurb:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

My Thoughts:

Hang on to your sanity people, this one will definitely make you question what is real, what is ruse, and what is the truth. Rowan, I found to be likeable but a little rough around the edges. Her childhood had been rough and she seemed to be having a little trouble gaining traction in her adult life. She sees the opportunity at Heatherbrae House as a chance to put the past behind her and start a new life. But her new life quickly takes some very dramatic turns and will leave her questioning her own sanity. This is the best psychological thriller I have read in a long time. The twists are sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic but always leave you guessing. The characters are great, with even the baby having a distinct personality. Alone in this isolated house with three young children it doesn’t seem possible that the things that happen are really happening. This house if full of mysteries and secrets and the author teases them out in a delicious way. However, nothing will prepare you for the ending when the final truths are revealed. You really must read this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Find it on Amazon!



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“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

My Thoughts:

Phone calls from a toy telephone, those are really creepy. It’s remarkable how this young boy can keep his wits about him when it happens. This is another winner from John Connolly. I found this story very easy to relate to. I am getting a little concerned about the direction Parker’s daughter Sam is going in. I’m very interested to see how her story is going to play out. Charlie and his friends Louis and Angel are facing a different phase of their lives with Angel’s health scare and I really like how Mr. Connolly is incorporating the realities of life into these main characters. He is allowing his characters to age and I don’t find that very often in detective fiction. This series has become more than just a group of whodunits for me, the characters have become like family as I’ve worked my way through the stories. This is the last one for a while as the next book in the series will not be released in the US till October. And as always, Jeff Harding is the voice of Charlie Parker and gives us another excellent performance.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

Narrated by Xe Sands

Blurb:

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.

My Thoughts:

This story is a real brain twister. Angela and Jason are excellent characters who seem to have a great relationship until Jason is accused. As the story moves along we learn more and more about these two and the twists and turns in the plot are a constant surprise. The ending was one I did not see coming. It was very interesting to watch the changes in Angela as the story continued. She begins as a person who is a victim but becomes more and more empowered as the drama unfolds until she is one who is shaping the story’s direction. The narration of this book is excellent. If you like psychological thrillers then I’m sure you will enjoy “The Wife”.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

Narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis

Blurb:

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

My Thoughts:

Twisted! That’s what this story is. There are so many unexpected turns that I wasn’t sure who to believer in until the end. I was immediately drawn to Alice and her vulnerability and cheered her on as she grappled with her fears in order to help her nephew. Louise, I didn’t like much because she just seemed to be so selfish and unconcerned about her son or her sister. But the psychology between these two sisters is way more complicated than it at first appears. And then you add in Louise’s husband and Alice’s neighbor and the drama just keeps building. I also really liked how the author was able to incorporate Alice’s neighborhood into the story in a way that it almost became a character in itself. Finally, the narrator’s voice was perfect for this story. She did a great job of relating the different characters and bringing them to life. Very compelling listen!

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator—he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund’s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…

My Thoughts:  Book 15 in the Charlie Parker series and my admiration and respect for him continues to grow. There is so much depth to John Connolly’s characters in this series that I just drown in their world every time I listen. Jeff Harding’s excellent narration just adds to the mystery and thrill of the story itself. Rather than try to review this book, because I loved every minute of it and have no critiques, I just want to say thank you to John Connolly for creating this series which has given me so much pleasure. I have just started listening to book 16 and am on pins and needles waiting for book 17 to become available in the U.S. After listening to this book, I am very excited to see where Mr. Connolly is going to take the character of Sam, Charlie’s daughter. I will never regret the day I picked up my first Charlie Parker novel.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

 

“The Murderer’s Son” by Joy Ellis

“The Murderer’s Son” by Joy Ellis

Blurb:

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer.

Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes.

Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder.

But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland Constabulary soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye. He has no memory of the first five years of his life and has a rather unusual obsession with his mother….

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you gripped until the shocking ending.

My Thoughts: Once again Joy Ellis had me guessing for 9 1/2 hours as I listened to this book. I really find her to be a master of plot twists in the 2 books I’ve listened to so far. And hats off to Richard Armitage for being the voice of these stories. At times I get so lost in the story itself that I hardly realize I’m listening, it’s more like the narrative is just unfolding in my mind. The characters continue in this book to grow in complexity and depth. Jackman and Evans have a very unique working relationship and seemed to be a little shocked themselves that they work so well together. I think Jackman has more confidence in his leadership role in this one but at the same time manages to appreciate the individual strengths of his team members. Evan, in working with Jackman, seems to have finally found an opportunity to shine and at times seems to carry the investigations forward. In the first book, I struggled a bit with the setting in Fenland but after listening to this book the place is starting to grow on me. I can’t wait for the chance to read more in this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing Star Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

 

“The Night Window” by Dean Koontz

“The Night Window” by Dean Koontz

Blurb: A visionary young filmmaker hunted for sport across a vast Colorado ranch by the celebrated billionaire at the heart of a monstrous cabal . . .

A brilliant computer hacker slipping through top-secret databases a whisper ahead of security trackers, gathering the facts to fight the all-powerful perpetrators of mass murder . . .

A pair of brutal operators, methodically shadowing their targets with every cutting-edge tool in the arsenal of today’s surveillance state . . .

A sequence of quiet heroes—everyday citizens—stepping up, stepping forward, intent on countering the advancing darkness . . .

A Vegas mob boss teamed with a homicidal sociopath, circling a beloved boy and his protectors, aiming to secure him as leverage against his fugitive mother . . .

And that fugitive mother herself, ex-agent Jane Hawk, closing in on the malevolent architects of ruin she has stalked as they stalk her, prepared to sacrifice herself to finally bring them down.

These are the people and circumstances of The Night Window, the thrilling new novel in Dean Koontz’s acclaimed Jane Hawk series. Replete—and then some—with the ingenious twists, the spellbinding action, the resonant themes, the sheer heart that have characterized Jane’s journey from the start, The Night Window follows its extraordinary heroine to her long-sought objective, in a stunning, unforgettable finale.

My Thoughts: This finale is definitely unforgettable, but will it be the end of Jane Hawk or the end of the Techno Arcadians? You’ll have to read to the last page to find out the answer. This story is so full of thrills and chills I had to take breaks to let my heart rate go back to normal. Jane is still on the hunt to bring down the Techno Arcadians but you can really tell in this book that the strain of the mission and the separation from her son are starting to get to her. She has a new partner in this installment as the computer whiz Ragnesh, formerly of the FBI, joins her for the final push. I’ve been surprised at how much I have enjoyed this series and my only disappointment is that this is the final installment. Dean Koontz’s imagination continues to surprise and thrill me and after reading this series I will definitely be picking up more of his books in the future. This book releases on May 14th so plan your book shopping accordingly.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Hanging Tree” by Ellery Kane

“The Hanging Tree” by Ellery Kane

Narrated by Kristin James, Brad Oxnam & Eric Stuart

Amazon blurb: What if you couldn’t remember the worst night of your life? What if you couldn’t forget it?

May 13, 1994.

On her 13th birthday, newly orphaned Evie witnesses a brutal attack at the hanging tree. She wakes the next morning on a bus to Los Angeles, dazed, bruised, and desperate to remember. Her best friend died that night – she’s sure of it. But there’s no body, no crime scene, and no witnesses. Twenty-three years later, the whole night is still a blur. The murderer, a faceless, nameless man.

Fresh out of a stint in juvie, Butch kills a girl, strangles her. Twenty-three years later, he walks out of prison a free man. But a haunted one, the ghost of his past at his heels.

When another body turns up at the hanging tree – a girl, strangled – Evie is certain her lost memory holds the key. Can Butch help her find the faceless man? Or is he hiding the darkest secret of all?

My thoughts: This is a definite discovery. The author kindly, at my request, sent me a copy of the audiobook version. I hadn’t read anything from Ellery Kane before so I wasn’t really sure if this would be something I liked. This story is another psychological thriller, this time with a psychologist as the lead character Evie. I have to say I was really impressed with this story. Evie has had more than her share of challenges in her life but still sees hope and promise in even the worst people she meets. But she is haunted by events from her past and a recent murder has started stirring it all up again in her mind. I found Evie to be a character that is easy to like but one who sticks to her principles. I also really like Butch. Even though he’s been in prison for many years for murder you can tell by his internal dialogue that he is really committed to making his new chance at life be a successful one. His loyalty to Evie is also impressive. There are several side dramas going on alongside the main plot with added richness to the story and gave it depth. The only thing I have an issue with is the narrator who voices Butch’s part of the story. It was dramatic but felt very forceful throughout and there were a few times when the intensity of the narrator’s voice felt overwhelming and I had to take a break. The story itself is great and I highly recommend you check out Ellery Kane’s books.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Where to find it:   Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Author’s website

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.