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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Review: Find Me by Alafair Burke #ATBR2022

Find Me
by Alafair Burke
narrated by Kathleen Early

Thank you Harper for these gifted books!


Publisher: Harper/Harper Audio
Publish Date: January 11, 2022
Audiobook
8 hrs 57 min
Series: Ellie Hatcher #6
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Some pasts won’t stay forgotten....

She calls herself Hope Miller, but she has no idea who she actually is. Fifteen years ago, she was found in a small New Jersey town thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Doctors assumed her amnesia was a temporary side effect of her injuries, but she never regained her memory. Hope eventually started a new life with a new name in a new town that welcomed her, yet always wondered what she may have left behind - or been running from. Now, she’s leaving New Jersey to start over once again.

Manhattan defense lawyer Lindsay Kelly, Hope’s best friend and the one who found her after the accident, understands why Hope wants a fresh beginning. But she worries how her friend will fare in her new East Hampton home, far away from everything familiar. Lindsay’s worst fears are confirmed when she discovers Hope has vanished without a trace - the only lead a drop of blood found where she was last seen. Even more ominously, the blood matches a DNA sample with a connection to a notorious Kansas murderer.

With nowhere else to turn, Lindsay calls NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher, the daughter of the cop who dedicated his life to hunting the Kansas killer. Ellie has always believed there was more to the story of her father’s death 20 years earlier - and she now fears that Hope’s recent disappearance could be related.

In pursuit of answers, the women hunt for the truth beneath long-buried secrets. And when their searches converge, what they find will upend everything they’ve ever known.

My Review:


Welcome to the sixth book in the Ellie Hatcher series. I never would've even known as I don't think she played much of a part in FIND ME, and this book is focused on Lindsay and Hope.  So, I *think* you could read this as a standalone!

This is my second Burke book and FIND ME is just as binge worthy as The Better Sister was!  Burke has a way of writing that keeps you interested in the storyline.  I listened to the audiobook and found the narrator to be fun and was impressed with the quick roll over from accent to accent! For some reason this really stood out to me.  

FIND ME is definitely a plot driven book with many characters.  I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on the entire plot to be honest and wasn't particularly thrilled with the ending.  I did enjoy the courtroom drama parts and found Lindsay's tenacity quite enjoyable.  For Hope being the missing woman, I felt particularly nothing for her. 🤷  I dunno, y'all, something just didn't seem "seamless" here.  However, this was a fun, binge of a read and I'm really glad I listened to this while running errands, etc.  If you like light thrillers that are plot driven, this is definitely a book for you.  

★★★

Jessica's Review:


This is my third book by Burke and I’ll always be amazed at how well she can craft together a suspenseful thriller each time. FIND ME is actually book six in the Ellie Hatcher series, which I wasn’t aware of until I read a few reviews upon finishing the book. So if you’re a fan of her series, then this is one you’ll definitely want to pick up, and that also makes it quite apparent that you don’t need to have read the series in order to enjoy this book!

In the thriller genre, the amnesia plot can be overdone and feel extremely repetitive and very predictable. I’m happy to report that this wasn’t the case with FIND ME. While some things didn’t completely work for me as a reader there were still plenty of twists and pieces that I hadn’t seen coming. I was entertained from start to finish and I felt that the pacing was perfect to keep you flipping those pages and there weren’t any lulls. Definitely recommend and will be looking for my fourth book by Burke very soon!

3.5 stars


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Blog Tour & Review: The Secretary by Britney King

The Secretary
by Britney King

Publisher: Hot Banana Press
Publish Date: January 20, 2022
Kindle Edition
242 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Psychological Thriller

The job comes with a lot of perks. A mysterious new boss is one of them. His deep pockets don’t hurt.

In her first week, Gillian finds a note on her desk with two boxes and a question: Will you have dinner with me?

Check yes or no.

It was easily the best night of her whole young life. 

The second note arrived looking very much the same, only different.

Do you have what it takes to be in my world?

Gillian has been asked to handle a lot of tasks in her work.

But covering up a murder might be the strangest one yet.

Check yes or no. 

She can check yes and face prison time. Hypothetically.

No, and she finds out why the job was vacant in the first place.

Tautly paced, The Secretary is an unnerving and electrifying psychological thriller about illusion, passion, and the dangerous places ambition can take you. Full of enough tension and twists to make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat, it keeps you guessing until the very last page.

My Review:


Did you like this book?  Check Yes or No.

I am a long time King fan and will continue to read whatever she throws out into the reading world.  Her stories are binge worthy and just thrillery goodness from start to finish.  Sadly, The Secretary didn't quite work for me as well her past books have... but this was bound to happen considering the volume of her work that I have read.

At just 242 pages, your fingers will FLY through these pages.  I am instantly enthralled with Gillian and her terrible decision making but if she made good ones then the story would not have been as much fun. *wink*  And I do love that King incorporated the silly notes we used to get as kids where we had to check yes or no if we liked someone... however, put this in a "professional" setting from the main man, the big boss himself... well, I'm not sure if that wouldn't be the first red flag.  And then she "volunteers" for the what and the why and the HOW?! Yeah, that's a hard pass for me - hahahah but I hold nothing against Gillian, though I wanted to shake her repeatedly at times.

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and the fast pacing.  However, I do think that's happened at an incredibly too fast of a pace that there were parts that needed expanding.  I wanted more about Ellis, about the company, about Gillian and her past. If you a quick popcorn thriller of a read you can devour in one short sitting, grab yourself a copy and go into it for pure entertainment.

★★★


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Review: The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler

The Mirror Man
by Lars Kepler

A huge thanks to Knopf Publishing, Abby of @crimebythebook and PRH Audio for these gifted copies.


Publisher: Knopf Publishing
Publish Date: January 18, 2022
Hardcover
400 Pages
Series: Joona Linna #8
Genres: Thriller, Crime Fiction, Nordic Noir

In the latest internationally best-selling installment of the Killer Instinct series, Detective Joona Linna is on the trail of a kidnapper who targets teenage girls and makes their worst nightmares a reality.

Seventeen-year-old Jenny is abducted in broad daylight and taken to a dilapidated, isolated house where she is chained and caged along with several other girls. Their captor is unpredictable, and as wily as he is cruel: he foils every one of their desperate attempts to escape . . . and once caught they rarely survive their punishment.

Five years later, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and the police are scrambling to find a lead among the scant evidence. But Detective Joona Linna realizes that this murder has an eerie connection to a death that was declared a suicide years before. And now when Mia, a seventeen-year-old orphan, goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they are dealing with a serial killer—and the murderous rampage has just begun.

As the police close in on the killer, Mia and her fellow captives are plunged into ever greater danger, and Joona finds himself in a seemingly impossible race against time to save their young lives. 

My Review:


Joona Linna is BACK! Installment 8 in the series brings us more bloodshed and horror - more action over suspense and I am here for every single bloody drop.  I was lucky enough to be able to speak with the authors (if you didn't already know, there are two authors that write this series and they're married!) earlier today on Knopf Publishing's IG Live - head over to their page and check it out if you like! 

One of the things discussed was the way Linna finds a connection with the villains in the stories - that there is that humanity we get a glimpse of that makes these killers relatable to some extent... like a balance to the flaws in Linna as well.  These are my favorite things about this series honestly.  So... welcome to THE MIRROR MAN.  He's kidnapping teenage girls and keeping them in cages.  Any punishment doled out is extreme, graphic and brutal (personally I live for these kinds of things so yay!).  Just wait til you understand the full meaning of.... haha, almost fooled you eh? No spoilers here!  

The only thing that stopped me from the full 5 stars is I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the reveal re the villain.  I absolutely cannot say more as I don't want to ruin anything but I'd like to see a character like this just NOT be a villain for once.  However, keep in mind that it's just my own personal preference and maybe a source of reading so many thrillers and is absolutely not a slight on the authors.

Fast paced and bloody brilliant, if you're a fan of nordic noir, crime fiction and amazing heroes/villains, then I absolutely recommend this series. If you're like me and like to read series books in order, fear not - these can definitely be read as standalones.  So go get your thrill on.  You know you want to.

★★★★

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Review: Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins #ATBR2022

Reckless Girls
by Rachel Hawkins

Thank you St. Martin's Press for this gifted book.


Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: January 4, 2022
Kindle Edition
320 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

My Review:


Color me tan and pour me all the wine - Oh, Susannah - don't you cry for me Meroe Island! Do I sound messy... well, welcome to last fourth of this binge popcorn thriller of a read.  POP POP!

My second Hawkins read and, even if this one didn't quite do it for me as well as The Wife Upstairs did, I can plainly say that I will always pick up Hawkins.  Always.  There's just something about her writing style that just pulls me right in.  The obsessive need to know what's going to happen next.  The moderate to quick pacing with short chapters - I mean, once you pop, you just can't stop! 

4 people head to what is supposed to be an isolated island, clear of people and only full of history and potential creepiness set in a gorgeous beach with much to explore.  But, to their disappointment, two other people are already on there.  Things escalate when a seventh person shows up later and then right towards the end, we take a sharp turn left at Albuquerque.

I really enjoyed the "locked island" feel of this thriller.  Getting to know each character and their backgrounds was educational and you find yourself not rooting for any of them... and yet, I was also extremely fascinated with them.  Just taking off on a whim, taking chances, falling so easily in love and friendship. The creepy, suspenseful feel was engaging and I loved the tone.  There were even a surprise or two that I don't know how I didn't see coming but I do love it when that happens.  But allllll of this leading up to an end I just couldn't compute? And an epilogue that was unnecessary and all too often done. A solid 4 star for me right up until this ending.  One of the rare times I think I would've preferred an ambiguous ending.

★★★

Jessica's Review:


A stunning cover for a fun little binge read thriller! I haven’t picked up Hawkins’ other book yet but after reading RECKLESS GIRLS I’ll have to bump it up the TBR for the year. This has all the qualities of a locked room thriller but it’s on a shored boat and an abandoned island instead.

This was a pretty quick one overall but I feel like the pacing might be a little on the slow burn side for some thriller fans. I’m a little confused as to why the synopsis calls it gothic suspense because I wasn’t getting that vibe at all. I would consider this more of a popcorn thriller, just super quick to get through and plenty going on to keep your attention.

Plenty of drama, twists, and all on a remote island with a dark past – because what kind of abandoned island would it be if there wasn’t some dark history behind it? The mix of characters all have their own secrets and all is slowly revealed while quickly jumping between POVs. A solid introduction to the author for me and I’ll be looking for more in the future. All in all, a good start to the year!


3.5 stars



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Review: Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung

Cursed Bunny
by Bora Chung
translated by Anton Hur


Publish Date: July 15, 2021 (first published 2017)
Kindle Edition
187 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Short Story Collection, Horror, Sci-Fi, Magical Realism

Cursed Bunny is a genre-defying collection of short stories by Korean author Bora Chung. Blurring the lines between magical realism, horror, and science-fiction, Chung uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society.

My Review:


I have gone from not wanting to read any anthologies/short story collections to saying f*ck it, let's do this sh*t.  I can't remember which Bookstagrammer posted about this but it caught my attention and I just HAD to get it... even if I did swear off all things *BUNNY* a while back. 🙄 But alas, here I am and even better that I get to support a Korean author! Full transparency, I had no idea this was a short story collection until I started reading it. 😄

The opening story was NOT what I was expecting and I instantly knew this was going to be a quite unique collection and then story after story after story, I was mesmerized... even in the ones that I didn't like as much as the others (as often happens in collections/anthologies).  And I LOVE that Chung brings us a mix of genres: horror, sci-fi, magical realism.... YES PLEASE.  But each story, whether horrific or fable-like, holds a lesson to be learned.  I believe Embodiment was my favorite in this collection - and this particular story expresses the stigma around unwed mothers.  I honestly can't stop thinking about this one, y'all. 

Throughout the stories, I definitely had that Korean feeling of "han", which is hard to describe but touches on resentment and rage.  Consider Parasite and Squid Game in terms of social commentary and that is basically what is sprinkled throughout this entire read.

Turns out, I was right, some people really are pieces of shit. #iykyk 💩

And I'll leave you with this: "Once you experience a terrible trauma and understand the world from an extreme perspective, it is difficult to overcome this perspective.  Because your very survival depens on it."

★★★★


Review: A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham #ATBR2022

A Flicker in the Dark
by Stacy Willingham

Thank you to Minotaur Books for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Minotaur
Publish Date: January 11, 2022
Hardcover
368 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren't really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.

My Review:


I just LOVE a good debut novel, don't you?  Let me introduce you to Willingham and her baby, A FLICKER IN THE DARK.  In this suspenseful thriller, we meet Chloe - who at 12, saw her father arrested as a serial killer. Not traumatizing at all, right? But she's finally happy.  Successful career, planning her wedding - couldn't get any better! But then murders start again that are similar to her past and the memories come rushing back to her.

Overall I found this to be a fun read.  I think as a person who reads a ton of thrillers, this wasn't something completely new to the genre.  However, it's a storyline I always have fun reading.  Feel me? I did find that I figured out the mystery quite early on ...  but the author did have me questioning myself a couple of time! 🤣 As such, I don't have a ton to say about this read other than that I enjoyed it and am always impressed with a good debut.

Grab your fishing rod to catch all the red herrings and enjoy seeing if you can figure out the mystery before it's revealed.  Isn't that the most fun of thrillers?  And even if you do figure it out, how the author splays out the story can make all the difference.  I am liking Willingham's writing style and eager to see what else she comes out with as I most definitely will be reading it.

★★★☆

Jessica's Review:


Imagine being a twelve year old girl, already trying to navigate life and find your place, then add the stress of numerous teenage girls disappearing in your town. What could make it worse? Well, your dad being arrested as the serial killer that was tormenting your community. This is Chloe’s reality and the life she desperately wanted to leave in her past. Can you ever truly leave something so horrible buried away?

Fast forward to the present day, 20 years later, she's successful and preparing for her wedding when eerily similar disappearances start happening. All the memories begin rushing back and now she must figure out if this is another killer or if she is being consumed by her paranoia and trauma and only imagining these parallels.

The paranoia and suspense that follows brings us on a fun ride filled with red herrings to try and throw you off the trail. While I did figure out the mystery fairly early on I still enjoyed it from start to finish. A FLICKER IN THE DARK is a solid debut for Stacy Willingham and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next. 

3.5 stars


Monday, January 10, 2022

Review: Wrong Girl Gone by Audrey Wilson

Wrong Girl Gone
by Audrey Wilson

Thanks so much to the author for this gifted copy.

Publish Date: April 18, 2021
Paperback
273 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Suspense

It's late in the summer of 1989 and the body of twenty-two year-old Jay Elliot Larson is about to be discovered on the bank of Kawanee River.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

As a young mother living in her small hometown of Jasper, Mississippi, Joy lives paycheck to paycheck with her son, Jerry, and alcoholic husband, Carl.  After enduring years of Carl's abuse, Joy reaches her breaking point when she discovers a large stash of money he's been keeping from her.  With the encouragement of her twin sister, Joy takes the money, packs up Jerry, and goes on the run, determined to get as far away from Carl as possible.  But Joy is not alone.  Someone is following her.  And it's only a matter of time before Joy will have to fight for her son... and her life.

My Review:

One of the best things about the Bookstagram community is just how much we all tend to support each other, and by virtue, those that we know.  Dana @danafraedrich reached out about her friend, Audrey, whose debut novel, WRONG GIRL GONE, is right in the wheel house of books that I read.  We all know how much I LOVE a good debut novel!

Wilson's novel speaks greatly on domestic violence and the somersaults of emotions women go through when in a less than desirable situation.... especially when a child is involved.  While it may look like an easy decision on the outside, or maybe people just see and believe what they want to, the internal struggle never goes away.  Joy is determined and when she finally does go... well, there's secrets other than her own she'll have to grapple with as she trudges along.

This is moderately paced and kept my interest from beginning to end.  I do have one small gripe and that is when names are too similar - in this case, the two male adults that are prominent are Carl and Clay.  Maybe it's my pea brain but I felt confused for a while in the back and forth on who was who.  I know, I know, it's such a small thing but it has always irked me.  I also felt that some things felt just a teeny bit amiss and I would've liked a tad more background to really engage with the characters.  HOWEVER, as a debut novel, impressive!  

I would absolutely pick up Wilson's next release.  She's a delightful inspiration and I encourage you to pick this book up and indulge in your domestic suspense needs.

★★★★


Friday, January 7, 2022

Review: One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

One of the Good Ones
by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

Thank you to Inkyard Press/Harlequin Books for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publish Date: January 18, 2022
Paperback
352 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

My Review:


What a powerful and poignant read.  My first into the sisters Moulite's writing and I will certainly be looking forward to more from these two.  In this young adult, contemporary read, we are faced with Kezi, who died following an arrest during a social justice rally.  The authors take us into the days before and after through the POVs of four different characters.

The authors do a sensational job of touching on such important topics such as racism, internally, outwardly and systemic, grief, coming out, Black history and police brutality.  There's a LOT to unpack within this story.  But with these very serious tones, we also get a balance of joy, which is something I feel is necessary these days.  That while the heavy subject MUST be addressed, so should the joy that is within.  I hope that I'm making sense here as proper/better words seem to allude me at the moment.

I will say that I was NOT a fan of the twist for several reasons but I'll keep my mouth shut so as to not spoil anything for anyone.  However, after reading the Authors' Note, I understand better as to why they took the story the direction that they did. This is why I always say to read these notes as they may make a difference in how you see the story after you first turn that last page.

The title is powerful enough in what it stands for and how society and the system works... how people see each other... but I have to agree with the authors.... "shouldn't being human be enough"?  Yes, it absolutely should be.

★★★★


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Review: Gone To See The River Man by Kristopher Triana

Gone To See The River Man
by Kristopher Triana

Don't you just love it when your reader friends surprises you with a book that they say you MUST READ?  I certainly do so thank you, Tali @escapereality4now, for this horror novella - what a way to kick off 2022!


Publisher: Grindhouse Press
Publish Date: October 6, 2020
Paperback
Standalone
180 Pages
Genre: Horror, Novella

Super fans. Groupies. Stalkers.

These people will give anything for the idols they worship, be they rock stars, actors or authors. Or even serial killers.

Lori is just such a fanatic. Her obsession is with Edmund Cox, a man of sadistic cruelty who butchered more than twenty women. She’s gone so far as to forge a relationship with him, visiting him in prison and sending him letters on a regular basis. She will do anything to get close to him, so when he gives her a task, she eagerly accepts it.

She has no idea of the horror that awaits her.

My Review:


I have never understood the obsession with serial killers... ok, I should rephrase that as I actually DO understand it but not to the extreme of falling "in love" with them and wanting to do anything they wanted.  That's just a little.... extra. But hey, let's meet Lori - she's desperate to go find the River Man per Edmund's instructions.  Who's Edmund? Only one of the most prolific serial killers who brutally kills women - mainly Asian women. Meep.

This starts Lori on a journey that she has no chance of coming back from.  And she has to take Abby, her older sister who cannot take of herself on her own.  Strange things start to happen and she debates with herself whether she should continue ... until she reaches a point where there's absolutely no stopping her.  Along the way we get to learn about her sordid past and her relationships with her siblings, slowly peeling back the layers of her skin to get to the messy insides. 

Be careful what you wish for.  It just might come true.  And we all know that the truth hurts more than anything else.  Triana brings us on a very visceral journey that in only 180 pages really packs a stabbing.  I don't know if I expected more grotesque scenes or maybe it felt "tame" compared to some extreme horror novellas I've read lately.  But really I felt this was definitely a character study on Lori and her inner demons. Bless her little fucked up heart.

What a way to start 2022. 😈

★★★★





Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Review: Bloodlines: Four Tales of Familial Fear

Bloodlines: Four Tales of Familial Fear
by Christopher O'Halloran, Antony Frost, Carson Winter & Alex Wolfgang

Publisher: AFM Press
Publish Date: January 11, 2022
Kindle Edition
Standalone
Genre: Horror, Anthology, Short Stories

If you’ve ever dreaded a family dinner, felt terror at the blood pumping in your veins; if you’ve ever thought maybe the people you call kin just aren’t quite right—Bloodlines will hold you in its thrall with its literary daring, blood-soaked wit, and taste for carnage. From quiet horror to caterwauling bloodshed, this quadruple feature is fun for the whole family.

A trio of sisters take turns sharing a migraine that challenges their pain tolerance—and sanity ("Our Migraine," Christopher O’Halloran).

A man struggles with his inheritance when his absent father—and namesake—dies, leaving him with disturbing visions and an unwanted purpose ("Nos Da, Tad," Antony Frost).

A young ghost watches a sinister family gathering complete with a prettier, smarter replica of herself—then, makes sure it’s their last ("I Am Not to be Replaced," Carson Winter).

Following the death of his mother, the eldest of five siblings must uncover the true nature of his family’s strange, isolated existence while an apocalyptic event looms ("The Heads of Leviathan," Alex Wolfgang).

This is where the family tree meets the family plot. This is Bloodlines. 

My Review:


I saw the cover and HAD TO HAVE IT. What's scarier than your own family? 😉 Give me four novelettes of family fear and well, I'm SOLD.

These four stories center around family (duh) and these very different and fun horror tellings that will definitely have you side eyeing everyone around the dinner table... and then some. My favorite was the first story, "Our Migraine".  The concept and delivery was just *chef's kiss* and a fantastic start to this 4 story horror anthology. Bookended by "The Heads of Leviathan", which was so out there but a wonderful delivery for the final of the four.  The two in the middle, "Nos Da, Tad" and "I Will Not Be Replaced" were a bit more intricate in the lessons within.  

I don't want to say too much as I felt even the descriptions were a bit "telling" .. however, even when you think you know what's happening, each story takes a sharp turn and are brilliant in their own right.  Family horror is impactful in that each person can relate to some part and make you question just how far nurture can take you... 

I feel a bit stunted in writing this review as it's hard to not spoil it all but I found each and every story unique and wonderful.  

★★★★