Tag: #mystery

“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell

“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell

Narrated by Helen Duff

Ellie was beautiful, smart and had the whole world in front of her. Then she disappeared. The police had nothing to go on and the uncertainty tore her family apart. Her father has remarried and seems to be moving on, as have her brother and sister. But Mom is stuck. Ten years later and Laurel is still obsessed by the loss of her daughter and refuses to give up hope. Then she meets Floyd and suddenly she feels alive again. Soon she also meets his daughters and Poppy, his youngest, takes her breath away because of the ways she reminds her of Ellie. As their relationship develops, so does the mystery surrounding Poppy.

This was a fascinating story to listen to. I think Helen Duff did an excellent job of voicing the characters and letting the story create the drama. The author created some very unique characters in this book and developed them in a way that feels natural. When we first meet Laurel she comes off as rather pathetic for the way she is still drowning in her grief. But when she starts to participate in life again we see a totally different side to her. This story incorporates flashbacks to Ellie as a teenager and I found the contrast of how Laurel related to Ellie with how she relates to Poppy made her a very complex character. Floyd is handsome and charming and is devoted to Poppy. There something mysterious about him though that made me a little nervous for Laurel during most of the book. The plot here is unique and took me by surprise at the end. This book is a great choice for a mystery lover or someone who likes family drama. I highly recommend!

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

Advertisements
“The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchinson

“The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchinson

Narrated by Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster

Goodreads blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding.…

My thoughts: I was expecting this book to be really creepy and scary. But it turns out there’s a real story here and that story is very psychological. The Gardener almost has two personalities. At times he is very kind and considerate of the girls and yet he is holding them captive for his own pleasure. He is up in arms when he finds out one of his sons is abusing the girls but granting them their freedom doesn’t even occur to him. The story is told alternately by the girl Maya and by the FBI agents. I found Maya to be a very intriguing character. Her relationships with the girls and the Gardener are very complex. The twists and turns make the story very compelling. I think the choice to use two narrators was good one for this story and I enjoyed listening to both of them. Overall, I think this story is unique and very well written and narrated. I really enjoyed this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading and Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Blue Murder” by Colin Watson

“Blue Murder” by Colin Watson

Kidnapping, murder, dirty movies. It’s just another day in the charming town of Flaxborough. A group of reporters are in town in pursuit of a story and manage to disrupt market day by nearly running over a police officer. They have taking over a local boarding house and the housekeeper is sure they are up to no good. Then the reporter of the group is kidnapped and it’s up to Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Love to return a state of order to Flaxborough.

I have to say I was disappointed by this installment in the series. The story just fell flat for me. Inspector Purbright barely appears in the first half of the book and there is no trace of the lovely Miss Teatime. I had the feeling that the author was just forcing himself with this one. So that’s it folks, just an average story, not up to the quality of the previous ones.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3 star rating 3 stars

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“The Whisperers” by John Connolly

“The Whisperers” by John Connolly

Charlie Parker Series Book 9

Narrated by Holter Graham

Charlie has been asked to look into the suicide of a young soldier recently returned from Iraq. The father thinks maybe it wasn’t a suicide but Charlie doesn’t really expect to find much. He agrees to look into though. As he begins to look into the young man’s relationships he uncovers a smuggling operation run by the ex-military men that he served with. Goods are moving between Maine and Canada and Charlie suspects the usual, drugs. But as the men in the group start to die it become apparent that something very dark is going on. This is about much more than drugs and if Charlie can’t stop it soon more lives will be lost.

John Connolly just continues to deliver gripping, thrilling stories with this series. The plotline is unexpected and there is nothing formulaic about this book or any others so far in this series. I continue to marvel at the author’s creativity. Louis and Angel are back in this one, but so is The Collector, a totally creepy guy that somehow seems to hover halfway between being human and inhuman. This story has a lot of PTSD in it since the guys involved were a specialized force in Iraq. I found that aspect a little bit challenging to get through but primarily because while I was listening to this a Vietnam vet in my family died, so it felt very close to home. I wouldn’t let that scare you away though, I think the topic is dealt with in a thoughtful way while at the same time highlighting the impact that participating in war can have once you return to “normal” life.

I only thing I was a little disappointed with was the narration. Not the narrator himself because he has a great voice and a great delivery. I just had a hard time picturing Charlie with his particular voice. I think that previous narrators in this series have fit my image of Charlie Parker better, that’s all. Otherwise, this was a great listen and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

Clay Edison is a deputy coroner whose last case earned him a suspension. But things are going great with his girlfriend and he’s back at work. Then that middle of the night call comes. There’s been a shooting in an East Bay neighborhood and there are multiple victims, including a Jane Doe. Clay decides to take on identifying Jane, which will turn out to be quite a project. While this is going on, his brother is released from prison and shows up for Thanksgiving with a big surprise.

I think this series is a great collaboration from the Kellermans. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Clay but he quickly grew on me. I loved how the story was not limited to the investigation but brought in the challenges of Clay’s personal life as well. My favorite character though, may well be Clay’s girlfriend. She is so supportive but at the same time has a way of keeping him rooted in reality. I like that this story has a real life feel to it. That being said, the story is full of twists and mysteries and action enough to satisfy any mystery lover. The fact that this story is set in California is just a bonus for me. Definitely check this series out.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

Narrated by Dion Graham

Joe King Oliver used to be an NYPD detective, and a good one too, until somebody set him up to take a fall. Then he was a prisoner and what he experienced in Rikers Island would change him and his life forever. Years later, Joe is a private detective with a teenage daughter, an ex-wife, and a wounded soul. Then he gets a letter from the woman who helped set him up and he decides it’s time to find the person who orchestrated his downfall and set things right. Along the way there’s a kidnapped young girl to find, an ex-con comes to his assistance, and his daughter’s life is put in danger. The question is, can Joe connect all the dots before more people get hurt?

This is a gritty story that takes the reader into some really dark places. That being said, I enjoyed it very much. Joe King Oliver is a great character. He’s obviously damaged by his experiences and doesn’t try very hard to hide it. He’s also a very thorough and effective detective. The bright spot in this story is his daughter. She is a typical teenager but she worships her father. I really loved the way the author wrote their relationship. Joe’s devotion to her equals her love of him and it was refreshing to see a teenager who had a good relationship with a parent. The same can’t be said for her relationship with her stepfather though. I found all the players in this drama to be unique and felt true to life. The story is written at a really good pace that keeps the reader engaged throughout. Overall, I think this is a well-crafter first novel.

The narration of this story really shines. Dion Graham has voice like honey and I kept listening as much for the sound of his voice as for the story itself. I will definitely be watching for this narrator on future books.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by George Guidall

Listening to this story was like a chocolate truffle melting on the tongue. This story is the most personal of the books so far in that the mystery Charlie is trying to unravel is that of his father’s suicide. This incident, obviously, had a huge impact on Charlie’s life and at this point in time he has lost his PI’s license and been working as a bartender. He decides to take a week off and travel to New York to try and determine once and for all what drove his father to take his own life. In the process, he opens up a hornet’s nest of secrets. He comes in contact with former colleagues of his father, revisits his own former home in the city and has a heart-to-heart with the rabbi who was there when Charlie was born.

I really enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about Charlie Parker’s life and family. Who could have imagined all of the supernatural events that surrounded Charlie’s birth? Only the mind of John Connolly. I have to also give high praise to the narrator for his excellent reading of this story. He really kept my attention throughout. This series continues to thrill and boggle my mind, and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

We all know Florence Nightingale and her contributions to the nursing profession, but was she also a detective? In “No Cure for the Dead”, Christine Trent presents Florence as just that. She has recently been appointed as director of a hospital for women in London. One week into her new job she finds one of her nurses hanging from the ceiling in the hospital’s library. The board of directors start to think that hiring her was a mistake, the police seem to think it’s a case of suicide, but when more strange things start to happen in the hospital Florence is convinced there is more to this story. With the help of her companion she begins an investigation of her own. Will she be able to uncover the culprit before more people are hurt?

This one really surprised me with its suspense and charm. “No Cure for the Dead” is the first in a new series from the author and I’d say it’s off to a great start. I really loved the Florence character that the author created and the personality felt true to life. I could see Florence Nightingale doing this investigation. In addition, there is a whole host of other fun characters from the daft old lady patient to the young boy who does odd jobs for the hospital, they were all believable and fit in with the story and the setting. The investigation has a lot of unexpected twists which makes it a very engaging mystery. I found that the author’s descriptions of London at the time really drew me into the story. Basically, I loved this story and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall

Circumstances have changed for Charlie Parker since he lost his PI’s license. Meanwhile, Angel and Louis are faced with a potentially fatal decision. Someone is coming after them by targeting their business interests and the people that they care about. Tracking down the person behind it all brings Louis back in contact with a key figure from his past and puts them all in danger. Louis and Angel are out-numbered and out-maneuvered until a faithful friend contacts Charlie to come to the rescue. The question is, who will still be standing when the smoke clears away?

Book 7 in the Charlie Parker series is different from the previous books in that the story focuses on Louis and Angel more than on Charlie. In this one we get to learn a lot about Louis and Angel’s history and their relationship with each other. We meet some of the characters at the periphery of their lives, like the mechanic that Louis saved from ruin and who is infinitely loyal in return. I really enjoyed the opportunity to understand these two pivotal characters better. I did however miss Charlie as he really doesn’t show up until the middle of the book, but I liked the role reversal here where Charlie is the back-up man instead of the lead. The story itself is one you really have to pay attention to as these guys have lived very complicated lives. I think the change of focus in this book really shows the creativity of the author and his skill at developing multiple characters simultaneously.  Finally, George Guidall, as narrator, has once again delivered a stellar performance.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

Narrated by Laura Aikman, Imogen Church, Daniel Weyman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred

From the author of “The Girl on the Train” comes another page turner of a mystery. Lena is 15 and her single mother has just been found dead in The Drowning Pool. This pool has seen several suicides in its history and everyone assumes that this is another in the line of women who have killed themselves by jumping in. Lena is convinced that her mother did not commit suicide and the policewoman Erin, recently transferred from London, also finds the idea of suicide to be questionable. As Erin begins to look into the case she finds herself uncovering all kinds of dark secrets that the townspeople are hiding.

This rural community is a treasure trove of psychological angst. It seems that everybody has a secretand some of them are barely contained. And I was so drawn into this story that I listened to the whole book, 11 ½ hours, in just 2 days. The structure of the story is similar to her first book in that it is told by several different people, sometimes in the present and sometimes in the past. I found this format a little challenging in the beginning because there is not much to indicate the transition from one character to another, except the change in voice. I found myself a couple of times getting distracted and missing the transition but was able to quickly get back on track. That being said I thought all the narrators were great. Their interpretation of the characters was excellent. The story itself is full of twists that kept me guessing till the end. There is some physical action in the story but the suspense really comes from the psychological aspects of the story. A couple of these people are really messed up and none of them seem to have truly functional relationships. Lena’s teenage angst mixed with the trauma of losing her mother is just perfectly written. Overall, I found this to be a riveting story with exceptional characters and a really top-notch narration. Don’t miss out on this one, whether in print or audio.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website