Tag: #bookreview

“The Silent Corner” by Dean Koontz

“The Silent Corner” by Dean Koontz

Jane is on a quest but it’s getting her in big trouble. After her husband’s apparent suicide, Jane is convinced that he was murdered and she begins to research suicides throughout the country. What she learns is that the suicide rate is on the rise and many were people who had no risk of being suicidal. Jane suspects there is a mind-control conspiracy behind all this and when someone enters her home and threatens her 5 year-old son she is convinced that someone with massive resources is trying to silence her. Her search for answers will take her across the country and force her to do things she would never have thought possible. Her FBI career and her life are under threat but Jane is determined to find answers and justice.

This book is thrilling and creepy and scary and just a delicious read. I immediately connected with Jane and was completely swept up in her mission. I really liked how the author was able to add so much depth to her character. She is not just one thing. In this story she is and FBI agent, but she is also a mother, and a concerned citizen. Her ability is balance all the aspects of her life, while at the same time being chased by assassins is remarkable. Of course, I would expect nothing less than a complex character from this author. Along the journey, Jane gets help from a whole cast of other characters, among whom the good guys are as good as the bad guys are bad. This is also one of those books that will make you pause for a moment and consider how close we are to having the type of technology described and whether or not we really want it. This is a big book but it’s worth every minute. There is never a dull moment.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Emma in the Night” by Wendy Walker

“Emma in the Night” by Wendy Walker

Three years ago sisters Emma and Cass disappeared from their home. Now, Cass has returned insisting that Emma must be found. FBI investigator Dr. Abby Winter and Leo Strauss were on the case when the girls originally disappeared and have been called back to lead the search for Emma. Cass has a wild story about the girls being taken in by an older couple and kept on an island. Her mother thinks she has lost her mind, Dr. Winter thinks her story is true but only to a point, Agent Strauss is keeping an open mind and considering all sides.

This is a fascinating twister of a story which relies heavily on the psychology of the people involved to unravel the truth. I immediately liked Cass but as the story moves forward I found her to be a very complicated character. The story line alternates between what’s happening today in terms of the search for Emma, and Cass’s remembering what has happened in the past. The whole story comes out in bits and pieces which kept me reading because I really wanted to know what had actually happened. The ending was a surprise. I found the story to be well written and worth the time. I recommend this one if you like mysteries and psychological twisters.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Ross Poldark” by Winston Graham

“Ross Poldark” by Winston Graham

Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall after fighting in the war in America. He finds his father dying and the house in disrepair. Jud and Prudie, the caretakers, have apparently spent more time drinking than maintaining. Ross also learns that Elizabeth, the young lady he was in love with and hoping to marry on his return, has become engaged to his childhood friend Francis. He retreats into his grief and focuses on restoring his home to a livable condition. His cousin Verity visits him on a regular basis during the first few months and is the only bright light in his life during the time. While at the fair one day he rescues a young girl from a mob of boys and upon finding out the dire circumstances of her life, takes her home to work for him as a kitchen maid. Demelza manages to charm her way into the good graces of Jud and Prudie and becomes invaluable to the household. Meanwhile, Ross is raising capital so that he can reopen one of the mines on his property and dealing with events that affect the safety of his tenants and the well-being of his extended family.

I found this book to be a glorious family saga. This one is first in a series and definitely starts it off well. I found Ross to be a bit on the dark side and the beginning and it took me a little time to really start to like him but as the story unfolds his true character begins to shine. Jud and Prudie are great as the supporting cast. They are the kind of characters that frustrate Ross frequently but for whom he has a great fondness because of their loyalty. Demelza is like a little firecracker in the family when she appears. She’s so full of life and everything is a new discovery to her once she moves into the Poldark house. This story is rich in characters and environment as well. It has the sense of being a real depiction of what life was like in Cornwall in the late 1700’s. This first book spans about 4 years in the life of Ross Poldark and I’m very excited to see what will come in book 2. I highly recommend this for lovers of good stories.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance – Audiobook Review

“Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance – Audiobook Review

Narrator: J.D. Vance

“Hillbilly Elegy” is the story of J.D. Vance’s life growing up in Ohio and Kentucky. His family originates from the Appalachians and still carry their Hillbilly character. In the process of telling his personal story, the author exposes the reader to the intricacies of the Hillbilly culture. The author discusses how various public policies have affected this working class population, the effects of drug addiction on the families and children in particular, and how the economics of the region have impacted their lives. The story is tragic and hopeful at the same time, and brings awareness to a portion of the population that is largely ignored or forgotten.

I was drawn to this book because I have always had a curiosity about the Appalachian culture. The story is well written and flows in a natural way. The author did a great job of narrating the story and I found the narration to be consistent and well produced. There are some great characters in the author’s family and the story kept me fully engaged throughout. This is a great biography and would also be interesting to readers who want to learn more about the culture.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Gambrelli and the Prosecutor” by Laurence Giliotti

“Gambrelli and the Prosecutor” by Laurence Giliotti

Gambrelli is a Detective Inspector for the French police. He’s happily married and his children are grown. He’s a little bit irascible during an investigation but he tries to fair and thorough. When he receives a call informing him that he has been summoned to the Island of Q to investigate a murder, he wonders why since the island is not in his jurisdiction. Then he finds out that Prosecutor Bertrand has been arrested for the crime and he only trusts Gambrelli to investigate. Now the Prosecutor and Gambrelli have been at odds several times in the past so this could present some challenges. Nevertheless, the case is intriguing and Gambrelli approaches it with his usual eye to detail. Along the way he must deal with mistresses, a jealous sister, thugs and a smuggler, but Gambrelli always gets his man, or woman.

This is a fun story in the cozy mystery category. The action begins on the Island of Q and continues in Paris. Gambrelli is a wonderful character, very well developed and very likable. There is also a really nice supporting cast of junior detectives, difficult superiors, his endlessly patient wife and of course, the really bad villains. The story has some very interesting twists and will keep you guessing as to who the actual murderer is until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond

“The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond

Marriage can be a lot of things, but none are the kind of thrill ride that Alice and Jake find themselves on when they join the Pact just after the honeymoon. Alice’s client, Finnegan, recommends them for membership in this organization whose mission is to improve marriages. What The Pact is not so up front about is the “the manual” has to be followed strictly and punishment for a violation may be swift and severe. When Jake and Alice start meeting other members they begin to have second thoughts about joining the group. But very soon, they discover that getting out is not an option…

This story had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I loved Jake and Alice right away, both as individuals and as a couple. As they get deeper involved in The Pact their resiliency and love for each other just keeps growing. The Pact tries to control every aspect of the members’ marriages but Alice and Jake are not OK with that and will not allow their brutal system of punishment to break them. I found this story so creative and engaging that I read it in record time. One note of caution: there are a couple of brutally violent scenes in this story that some readers may not be comfortable with. Overall, I loved this story for its great characters and creative story line.

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Lying Game” by Ruth Ware

“The Lying Game” by Ruth Ware

How much damage can a lie do? Can it alter the course of your life? Four women are about to find out. Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isabel met while at boarding school in Salten. Kate’s father was the art master at the school. The girls like to play the Lying Game amongst themselves and they were inseparable. Now grown, some with families, Thea, Fatima and Isabel find themselves being summoned by Kate with the simple message “I need you”. They rush to Salten and there they find out that a body has been found buried in the beach. Unfortunately, they know way too much about it but have maintained their lie for so long that it could destroy their lives if it becomes known.

This psychological thriller was a roller coaster ride of a story. My emotions were all over the place. The characters felt so real it was like I was reading about people I already knew. I found the story to be complex enough to keep me engaged and guessing. The story moves back and forth between things that take place in current time and during the time when the girls were in school, so it has the feel of coming at the mystery from both ends at the same time. I will be adding Ruth Ware to my favorite author list because I enjoyed this one so much. Highly recommend this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“On Edge” by Andrea Peterson

“On Edge” by Andrea Peterson

We all experience anxiety to some degree, and some amount of anxiety is helpful to decision making. But what happens when anxiety becomes disabling? In “On Edge”, Andrea Peterson tells us her story of struggling with anxiety, the ups and downs, the treatments that have worked or failed, and how she has come to terms with it. In addition to her personal story, she has interwoven the science behind what causes anxiety, what eases anxiety, and ways to cope with it. This book is a fascinating journey into the mental process that is anxiety and the many ways that it manifests itself in our daily lives.

I really enjoyed this book. The author has thoroughly researched every aspect of the topic, with chapters focusing on medications, alternative treatments, anxiety in children, and how anxious parents can avoid creating anxious kids. I like that in every chapter she tells a part of her story but then talks about the science that relates to that aspect of her journey. The book is very well organized and presents even the more difficult scientific pieces in an easy-to-read format. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who lives with anxiety, no matter how severe, or to someone who wants a better understanding of a friend or loved one’s anxiety experience. Anxiety is here to stay but understanding it can make it easier to cope with.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“In A Different Key” by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

“In A Different Key” by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

The Story of Autism

“In A Different Key” presents the history of autism from the first diagnosed case to the status of research and the community today. The movement to create awareness of autism and learn more about its causes and treatments has been largely parent-driven and this book walks the reader through all of it. From the triumphs to the tragedies you will come away with a greater understanding of what autism is, and is not, and the challenges faced by the caregivers who live with it every day.

The authors have done a very thorough job of collecting the stories of autism families and autism science and presenting them in an easy to read format. Chapters are broken down by decades with some focusing on the scientific research aspect and others focusing on the work that parents were doing to find treatments for their children. There are successful stories and not-so-successful stories, but all of them help to further the readers understanding. The writing in this book is so approachable that at times it almost reads like a novel. Anyone who has even a passing interest in the subject of autism should read this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Mindset” by Carol Dweck – Audiobook Book Review

“Mindset” by Carol Dweck – Audiobook Book Review

Narrated by Marguerite Gavin

Are you having trouble feeling successful? It might be because of your Mindset. In this book the author discusses the differences between the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset. I found this absolutely fascinating and easy to relate to. The author has written in a very approachable style making the psychological concepts easy for the casual reader to understand. There are tons of real-life examples of how the Mindsets play out in people’s lives used throughout the book and different chapters focus on sports, business, teaching, etc. Included are snapshots of well-known people who have struggled with a Mindset or used one to reach their full potential. There are some great insights for the average reader on how to change your Mindset in order to help reach your goals. I also really appreciated the amount of focus the author placed on how to foster a healthy Mindset in children, whether you are a teacher, a coach, or a parent. Finally, I found Marguerite Gavin’s narration to be really enjoyable to listen to. Psychology buffs should really enjoy this book.

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

Happy Reading!

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