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Friday, June 30, 2017

#allthebookreviews : Flesh and Bone and Water by Luiza Sauma @scribnerbooks @luizasauma @jessicamapreviews

Flesh and Bone and Water
by Luiza Sauma
Scribner Books

Final June book for #allthebookreviews!  PHEW!  For our first month, we did pretty dang good!  Lots of books and lots of reviews!  We both received surprise copies of this from Scribner Books and when Scribner Books sends you something, YOU READ IT.  See our thoughts below on this atmospheric, debut novel from someone you should keep your eye on!

Goodreads Synopsis:

From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, a seductive, dazzling, atmospheric story of family, class, and deception set against the mesmerizing backdrops of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon River, and London.

André is a listless Brazilian teenager and the son of a successful plastic surgeon who lives a life of wealth and privilege, shuttling between the hot sands of Ipanema beach and his family’s luxurious penthouse apartment. In 1985, when he is just sixteen, André’s mother is killed in a car accident. Clouded with grief, André, his younger brother Thiago, and his father travel with their domestic help to Belem, a jungle city on the mouth of the Amazon, where the intense heat of the rainforest only serves to heighten their volatile emotions. After they arrive back in Rio, André’s father loses himself in his work, while André spends his evenings in the family apartment with Luana, the beautiful daughter of the family’s maid.

Three decades later, and now a successful surgeon himself, André is a middle-aged father, living in London, and recently separated from his British wife. He drinks too much wine and is plagued by recurring dreams. One day he receives an unexpected letter from Luana, which begins to reveal the other side of their story, a story André has long repressed.
In deeply affecting prose, debut novelist Luiza Sauma transports readers to a dramatic place where natural wonder and human desire collide. Cutting across race and class, time and place, from London to Rio to the dense humidity of the Amazon, Flesh and Bone and Water straddles two worlds with haunting meditations on race, sex, and power in a deftly plotted coming-of-age story about the nature of identity, the vicissitudes of memory, and how both can bend to protect us from the truth.

My Thoughts: 

Andre, the son of a surgeon, who lives a life of privilege with two maids, Rita and Luana.  They take care of him, his younger brother and their father - especially so after the death of their mother.  Andre's father works all the time and is rarely home.  And Andre finds himself drawn more and more to Luana as he gets older.  Then one day she disappears and he takes off to travel the world, before settling into London.  Three decades later, he starts receiving cryptic letters from Luana and it shakes his world upside down.  

Written in alternating sections of Andre's past to his present day situation with his family, the author builds us a world that transverses racism, classism, the power of a first love, miscommunication and cultures across the world.  Admittedly, I struggled to get into the story line and thought about putting it down, but something compelled me to continue on and I'm glad that I did.  Luiza Sauma is someone to watch out for in contemporary literary fiction.  I did NOT expect the story to head in the direction that it did and it definitely gave me cartoon surprise eyes.  While this type of read is not my typical genre and felt a bit slow - this was just a personal preference and being picky.  Her writing style is beautiful and the story was fantastic.  I felt transported to Brazil, the Amazon, London and the like.   If you like atmospheric, contemporary reads with soul, you will love this book.

Big thanks to Scribner for this surprise copy.  That cover is gorgeous and the story is beautiful.

Jessica's Thoughts:

I received a surprise copy of FLESH AND BONE AND WATER by Luiza Sauma from Scribner right before release. I dove right into it without knowing the synopsis. It was a quick read at just under 300 pages- so beautifully written! Sauma proves that you don't need a long novel to have well-developed characters, landscape, and deception. 

Andre is a Brazilian teenager whose father is a successful plastic surgeon - they live in a life of privilege and wealth with multiple homes they shuttle between. At the age of sixteen, tragedy strikes, when Andre's mom is killed in a car accident. In the wake of her death, Andre, brother Thiago, and their father (with their help in tow) to Belem. Belem is a city in the jungle at the mouth of the Amazon - the overwhelming heat only heightens their volatile emotions and they decide to move back to Rio.

Thirty years later, Andre is a successful surgeon living in London with his family. Having recently separated from his wife, he develops a drinking problem and can't make the recurring dreams stop. Then one day, he receives a letter from Luana, the daughter of his family's former maid, bringing to light more memories that he had been trying to repress. 

For a shorter novel, this really packs a punch and beautifully tackles some very present issues. Touching on class and race, taking the reader from Rio, to the Amazon, and all the way out to London. The characters and their relationships are well-developed and Sauma intertwines the elements of sex, power, and race between two completely different worlds. The secrets and memories that shape who we are and how they can bend to save us from the truth we don't want to face. 

I give this fiction read a solid 4/5 stars!

A big thanks to Scribner for a copy in exchange for my honest review!

#CJSReads REVIEW: Part of the Silence by Debbie Howells @debbie_howells @kensingtonbooks

Part of the Silence
By Debbie Howells
Kensington Publishing Corporation

Our last #CJSReads book for June! Phew!  See what Sam, Jess and I thought of this thriller below.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A blighted memory. A child who seems never to have existed. A watcher in the shadows. 

When they find Evie Sherman, battered and left for dead in a maize field, the young woman has no recollection of who she is. After three days in a hospital bed, the fog in her head begins to lift, and she remembers two names: her own, and that of her three-year-old daughter, Angel. Evie is convinced that Angel is in grave danger. But the police can find no evidence of the girl's existence. 

It's clear that Evie is having some kind of mental breakdown--or is it? Even in the depths of her amnesiac darkness, Evie knows her daughter's voice, her chameleon eyes, every precious hair on her head. So how can she be losing her mind? 
As Evie's grasp on reality slips away, she finds herself haunted by the same three-word warning, which she hears over and over: Trust no one. But whom is she being warned against? The police? The doctors and nurses? Or the mysterious figure who's been watching her, who knows all her secrets, has a hidden agenda--and perhaps their own twisted version of reality.  

My Review:

Charlotte is just ho-humming throughout her life - in between jobs, she's trying to figure out what she wants to do next. In a transient relationship with Nick, she drinks her way through her days just waiting for the next ball to drop. There's news of an attack and she doesn't give it much thought until she recognizes the girl... though for some reason, she knows her by a different name. From this point on, she puts herself into the investigation. Why is the girl who was attacked going by Evie, when her name is really Jen? Where is her daughter, Angel, and does she really exist? Evie/Jen doesn't remember anything and feels like she's losing her mind. Can Charlotte help figure out this mystery?

This was a bit slow for me at the beginning and quite frankly, I never could relate to Charlotte in any way. She quite annoyed me to be honest. And Evie/Jen with her woe-is-me attitude was a bit daunting as I felt this got quite repetitive throughout the book. This has that slow build up to get you to the final reveal. I was definitely intrigued as to whether or not Evie/Jen was just crazy or if she was being manipulated in some way... but I did find my mind wandering off quite a bit and not fully into the story - especially as I felt it was quite predictable and there was no shock value. Granted, I read a LOT of thrillers so maybe the obviousness of this one just didn't quite cut if for me. I've read one of Debbie's other books, The Beauty of the End, and liked that one a bit better. She clearly knows how to write a good thriller, but I had a few issues with this particular one. Notably, the actions of law enforcement - not a whole lot seemed very plausible and it took away from the story for me. 

Would I read more of her work, absolutely! If you're reading Howells for the first time, I would suggest you start with The Beauty of the End. Her style of subtle, slow burning thrillers will be good for those of you who prefer that over the slap you in the ass, fast paced ones that I tend to veer toward.

3 stars!

Jessica's Thoughts:

This was my first novel by Debbie Howells and I really enjoyed her writing style. PART OF THE SILENCE was described as, "haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about the distorted nature of reality, the unreliability of memory, and the enduring power of a mother's love." 

When Evie Sherman was found in a field, battered and left for dead, authorities soon discover that she has absolutely no memory of who she is. The only thing she does remember? Her daughter, Angel, and that she believes she is in grave danger. To her horror, the police can find no evidence of her daughter's existence. 

A local woman, Charlotte, hears of Evie's attack and thinks that she recognizes her from her childhood but not as Evie, as Jen. By no means were they close friends, but Charlotte remembered Jen being involved in a high profile kidnapping. One night, the child under Jen's care had disappeared and was never found again. Charlotte decides to contact the police and becomes a link to Jen's past to try to regain her memories. 

Even though early on in the book I was able to figure out the who/why, but that doesn't mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy the entire read. Howells does an incredible job weaving the story and bringing the reader on a journey. Is Evie losing her mind? Why is she constantly hearing "Trust no one" going through her head daily? Who is she warning herself about?

While I figured it out early, there were still great twists and it kept me tense the whole time reading! If you want a well-written, twisty, and suspenseful domestic thriller, then this is the one you'll want to pick up!

I give this a solid 4/5 stars!

Sam's Thoughts:

I had never read a novel by Debbie Howells before, so, when #cjsreads decided to add this novel to our June line up, I was excited to dive into the work of an unfamiliar author.   Part of the Silence had a beautiful cover and an intriguing synopsis involving a woman (Evie Sherman), with no recollection of whom she is, left for dead in a field and a daughter that she insists she has; however, there is no evidence of the girl’s existence.  As Evie goes deeper into her own mind and her obsession with “a daughter” intensifies, she must figure out whom she can trust and how she can protect the child she knows exists.

In the first few chapters, I was really interested to see who these characters were and how the plot would develop; it opens so vaguely that I was grabbed instantly.  Though, as I continued reading, one of the things I struggled with about this novel was the predictability and the actual characterization.

The novel is told through multiple perspectives; for the most part, the plot is described through the eyes of Charlotte (a local woman who knows Evie Sherman) from her high school years.  Jack, the police detective on the case, and, finally, a few chapters by Evie, narrates the remaining chapters.   There are also random entries from a diary of a girl named Casey.   I did like the multi perspective narration; I am always a fan of different character views.    However, I didn’t really care about what any of these characters had to say.  I found the Evie (sometimes known as Jen) character a little whiney, I found Jack to be randomly placed in the plot and I found Charlotte to be obviously off base.   These characters one-dimensional attitude gave a lot of predictability to the plot and I found myself easily able to figure this one out within the first 50 pages. 

For someone who is new to the thriller genre, this would be an entertaining read.  However, for someone more familiar with the genre, this one plays out like the same song and dance.

I gave this one a 2/5 stars. 

Big thank you to Kensington for these copies in return for our honest opinions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

#CJSReads REVIEW: Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica @marykubica @parkrowbooks

Every Last Lie
By Mary Kubica
Park Row Books

Another highly anticipated read for 2017 - Mary Kubica's writing style is exactly what I need and her ability to draw you into her characters rising her to the top of thriller authors.  A #CJSReads pick - see what we all thought (all 5 stars!!).

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us." 
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried. 

My Review:

Clara has a lot to deal with in life. She has a mother going deeper into the bowels of dementia, a 4-year-old daughter, Maisie, and a newborn son, Felix. She can do it all as long as she has her loving husband, Nick, by her side. Her world explodes when he gets into a car accident with her daughter and while he dies on impact, her daughter remains fairly unscathed. They tell her he was driving too fast and this is what caused his death. But Maisie keeps screaming about the "bad man" and reacts violently whenever she sees a black car. Why? Clara begins questioning what really happened as secrets begin to come out about the husband she thought she knew.

Ahhhh Mary Kubica, you sly genius, you. As usual, her books are told in alternating chapter format. She brings us Clara's present day view as she struggles to find answers and also Nick's view from the past, leading up the accident. Her fleshing out of each character is doing poignantly and you really empathize with both characters. While I felt the book was fairly predictable for the most part, I couldn't stop turning the pages. I needed to know if Clara was right and why Nick was holding secrets. This is a tale of marriage, grief, how your own mind becomes your worst enemy, familial relationships and acceptance. Kubica weaves a tale of a woman's grief spiraling out of control. I give her kudos for ending the book in a different way than the norm. It will be interesting to see how people react. For me, as a lover of thrillers and someone who is always looking to see if the twist is done impact-fully, it's nice to see something done a little bit differently. I truly appreciate the story for what it is. I can't wait to see what she brings us next.

5 stars!

Jessica's Thoughts:

This was my first Kubica book, and I've heard nothing but amazing things about her writing. I received a copy of her newest book EVERY LAST LIE and dove right into it without knowing much about it. I was not disappointed and I'm looking forward to reading her other books!

Clara Solberg's world completely changes in an afternoon when her husband and 4 year old daughter are in a horrific car crash. The crash killed her husband, Nick, while her daughter, Maisie, was completely unharmed. The crash was ultimately ruled as an accident, but in the weeks following the crash Maisie starts having night terrors about a bad man coming for them. This causes Clara to try and find out what really happened that day of the crash.

So many questions in her search for what happened to Nick. Who would want him dead? Why would they want him dead? Why was Maisie unharmed? As she dives deeper into the search for the truth, she uncovers twisted secrets and deceit along the way. 

Kubica writes in the alternating perspectives - Clara present day and then Nick in his last months leading to the car crash. I've always loved this style of writing because it answers questions as you go or explains events in a unique way. The characters were incredibly well-developed and Kubica does an incredible job weaving these stories and making the reader never stop guessing. I couldn't guess the ending even if I tried! So many new theories and an interesting look into the mind of a grief stricken widow. One thing I also liked about this story is that it was completely plausible. This event could definitely happen and nothing was too outlandish. That makes it have an eerie feel.

I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future! If you want a good psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, then this is the book for you.
I give this 5 stars! 

Sam's Thoughts:

Mary Kubica is one of my auto buy authors; everything she publishes, I always read and enjoy so I was thrilled when I discovered she had a novel being published this month!

Known for her psychological thrillers, Every Last Lie, follows the life of Clara Solberg after her world is shattered; her husband, Nick, is killed in a car crash with their daughter in the car.  Their daughter remarkably unharmed and the crash ruled an accident, Clara cannot help but question what happened.  Tormented by grief and obsessed with Nick’s death, Clara is desperate for the truth.  Who could have wanted Nick dead?  Why were they after him?  Who is the “bad man” that their daughter continuously refers to? 

The narrative is divided in true Kubica fashion through multiple viewpoints.  Clara, as she desperately hunts for answers and Nick, told through his last months before the crash.   Unlike her previous novels, I felt like this one really delved into the characters and developed them.   I had so many ideas throughout this reading.  I continuously was guessing, changing my mind and adding new theories into the mix.    Did Nick have an affair?  Was he attacked?  Did Clara have anything to do with this?  Did he fake his own death?  Is this a dream?  Is Clara in a psych ward?  I was constantly frustrated, and entertained, as Kubica weaved the plot

I think my favourite thing about a Kubica novel is the fact that her narratives are never outlandish or far-fetched.  The eeriness surrounding the plots is because they are so simple.  They are truly something that could happen to anyone. 

This is absolutely not a traditional thriller, this is not a rollercoaster ride with red herrings and doom around every corner, and it will not be for every reader, however, if you like a book that is eerily realistic that will keep you guessing, Every Last Lie is a brilliant choice!  I gave it 5/5 stars. 

Big thank you to Park Row Books for these copies in return for our honest opinions.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

#allthebookreviews: The Birdwatcher by William Shaw @william1shaw @mulhollandbooks @jessicamapreviews

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw
Mulholland Books
Releases TODAY 6/27/17 

British Crime Fiction at it's finest.  Come along for the ride and watch William South and Alex Cupidi figure out who killed South's neighbor and friend.  Think you can figure it out? I dare you to try.

See what Jessica and I thought about this novel below..... 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Police Sergeant William South has a good reason to shy away from murder investigations: he is a murderer himself. 

**Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

A methodical, diligent, and exceptionally bright detective, South is an avid birdwatcher and trusted figure in his small town on the rugged Kentish coast. He also lives with the deeply buried secret that, as a child in Northern Ireland, he may have killed a man. When a fellow birdwatcher is found murdered in his remote home, South's world flips.

The culprit seems to be a drifter from South's childhood; the victim was the only person connecting South to his early crime; and a troubled, vivacious new female sergeant has been relocated from London and assigned to work with South. As our hero investigates, he must work ever-harder to keep his own connections to the victim, and his past, a secret.

The Birdwatcher is British crime fiction at its finest; a stirring portrait of flawed, vulnerable investigators; a meticulously constructed mystery; and a primal story of fear, loyalty and vengeance.

My Thoughts: 

Sergeant William (Bill, Billy, what do you prefer mister?) South gains a new partner in Sergeant Alex Cupidi and she is no one to be trifled with. Together they discover the death of his neighbor and friend. In their search for the killer, the past comes back to haunt him as familiar faces from his childhood turn up - albeit dead. Evidence points to the obvious but South suspects more. Being pulled off the case, he turns to dangerous methods to solve this mystery as it becomes more and more personal by the day.

Alternating chapters from past to present showcase somewhat parallel mysteries in South's childhood and in the current day case. The author does a great job of bringing you in right from chapter one. The relationship built with Alex and her daughter, Zoe, is wonderfully written. I especially love the camaraderie between him and Zoe, as they bond while birdwatching - each a misfit in their own way. He empathizes with her struggling in her age's social circle as he did when he was her age. And while Cupidi struggles to make a name for herself on her first case, she not only has to prove herself to her team but to her daughter as well. Shaw builds these day to day human errors in an effortless way and you empathize with each character. 

A bit of a slow start in terms of the police procedure and mystery solving, he caters to the emotional side of the reader, feeding you morsels bit by bit until you want to bite the hand that feeds you. I was only slightly less than thrilled with the reasoning behind the murder as it seemed so atypical, but it didn't take away from my rooting for the unsung hero. If you love that European crime feel, this is definitely the book for you. I wish there was an epilogue to know how everyone turned out after some time has passed, but I'll let my mind wander... and sometimes isn't that even better? 

Did anyone else have the song "You Give Love A Bad Name" stuck on repeat while reading this? No? Just me? ;)

4 birdie chirps!

Jessica's Thoughts:

I had seen the description for THE BIRDWATCHER by William Shaw and it immediately intrigued me - "Police Sergeant William South has a good reason to shy away from murder investigations: he is a murderer himself." That's enough to pull me in!

This novel is set in the Kent marshlands, where William South both works and lives. South works for the police force as a detective, yet he gets anxious when he is asked to take part in a murder investigation. Not only will this interfere with his hobby as a dedicated Birder, but William is also a murderer. 

When he discovers that he knows the victim - his neighbor, Bob Reyner, who would frequently join him in watching birds at the reserve close by. Why was such a gentle, soft spoken man such as Bob Reyner killed so brutally? The nature of the murder reminds William of his childhood and violent past. We find out within the first couple pages why he labels himself as a murderer. 

To make matters worse, he is partnered with Alexandra Cupidi, a sergeant who just arrived from the Met to assist in the investigation. The main person of interest is someone from South's childhood - with the victim being the only connection to South's crime years ago. He must now work tirelessly to keep his personal connections to not only the past, but also to the victim, a secret. 

THE BIRDWATCHER is British crime fiction to its core. I really enjoyed the bleakness of the story - the characters, the location, and the murder. Shaw did a great job developing and creating the characters. William South is a diligent and methodical man, Alexandra is vivacious and troubled as she raises her teenage daughter, Zoe, on her own. The relationships between the characters are incredibly unique. 

If you're looking for a slow burn, police procedural, British crime fiction novel, then I'd highly recommend this one! I really enjoyed Shaw's writing style and I'll be looking for more from him. 

I give this 4.5/5 stars!

Huge thanks to Mulholland Books for these copies in return for our honest reviews!

BLOG TOUR & #CJSReads Review: The Child by Fiona Barton @figbarton @BerkleyPub

Happy Book Birthday!!  A #CJSReads pick - see all our thoughts below!

My Review:

During a demolition, a worker finds the skeleton of a baby.  Kate, a journalist, grabs at the chance to make this her winning story - "Who is the Building Site Baby?"  She finds one immediate connection, involving a baby stolen from a hospital shortly after its arrival into the world... leaving the parents (Angela and Nick) heartbroken and forever looking for her.  Could this found baby be theirs? Will they finally find closure after all this time?  Kate's investigation also leads her to Emma, whose past secrets are coming back to haunt her and her atrocious mother, Jude - who put everyone else in her life above her own daughter.  As Kate pieces things together, she realizes the puzzle is much larger than she had imagined.

Fiona takes us on our journey through various perspectives and there's no doubt she is talented in weaving her tale.  Her debut, The Widow, left me wanting a bit as I couldn't quite get involved or understand the main character.  However, The Child is extremely character driven and she immerses you right into each of their worlds.  You hate them, you love them... you FEEL for them.  Admittedly it's an extremely SLOW start.  I felt my attention wandering and it took me quite a bit to stay with the book... but I'm glad that I did because that PLOT TWIST at the end was such a surprise!  Emotionally redemptive and really pulling the whole story together in a completely unexpected way made me raise my eyebrows and my heart clap.  For those who love the writing styles of Gilly Macmillan, you will love Fiona Barton's work.  For those who need that faster speed, makes you binge type of read, this may be a bit too slow for your taste.  
3.5 full blown stars!

Jessica's Thoughts:

This is the year of anticipated sophomore novels! We had Paula Hawkins, BA Paris, and others coming out with their follow ups to their incredibly successful debuts, and that is no different with Fiona Barton. When I saw THE CHILD was coming out, I was very excited to win a signed ARC from Berkley!

In the middle of a house demolition the skeleton of an infant is found. Journalist Kate Waters jumps at the opportunity to cover this story - who is the building site baby? As she begins to investigate she comes across an incident involving a baby that was stolen from a hospital maternity ward decades ago. The parents, Angela and Nick, have been heartbroken and never gave up their tireless search for their child. She continues to dig deeper and her path crosses with Emma. Emma's past and secrets are beginning to resurface - to haunt both her and her mother, Jude. 

As Kate gets more and more into the story she begins to piece together all of the information, she finds herself in the middle of a web of secrets larger than she could have ever imagined. 

I will say, right off the bat, I was very intrigued by the skeleton being discovered and trying to figure out what happened. Meeting the other women along the way and see how everyone is intertwined. Fiona Barton tells the story in multiple perspectives (which is a favorite of mine). This had very well developed characters and the reader is completely immersed in them and their lives. However, it did get very slow - I found this one harder to finish but I'm so glad I stuck with it until the end because that final twist was so worth it! 

Overall, it was a great read and very character driven. It amazes me how well Barton was able to weave this entire story together and have it end the way that it did! If you're looking for a fast pace, page turning binge read, then I'd probably say to skip this one. 

I give this 4/5 stars! The ending brought it up from 3.5!

Sam's Thoughts:

The Child, by Fiona Barton, is a book that is topping many people’s TBR lists for summer. After Barton’s hit, The Widow, which hit shelves last summer, people were demanding a follow up. I, however, wasn’t a huge fan of The Widow (you can check out my review for that one here) but I figured I would give The Child a chance. Unfortunately, Barton’s sophomore novel didn’t really do much for me either.

In this novel, Kate Waters, the journalist from The Widow is back and on the pursuit of a new story when a baby’s skeleton is discovered buried in construction site. Several woman, including Kate who is after the hard hitting story are affected by this finding. Angela, still reeling from the disappearance of her baby girl years earlier, would love answers and closure to what happened to her child. Emma, a woman holding several secrets from her past, is drawn to the case with morbid curiosity. Emma’s mother, Jude, is trying to repair her broken relationship with her daughter, but is finding that difficult. As each of the women’s lives is disrupted a twisted maze of secrets are revealed.

So, it sounded okay but this novel moved at a snail’s pace. I am talking slower than slow. Glacier speed. Molasses dripping. You get my drift? The plot seemed so redundant and the characters were flat. I didn’t really feel like any of them had much development. I didn’t find anything particularly suspenseful or thrilling. It felt more like a family drama or contemporary women’s fiction.

Now don’t get me wrong, the last twenty pages or so of this novel were absolutely brilliant. I loved how Barton tied everything together and the final plot twist actually had me whispering, “well played!”

Was this book worth the read? I don’t really feel like it.

I would skip it. 2/5 stars.