Wednesday, June 10, 2015

EENY MEENY by M. J. Arlidge


From the publisher:
EENY MEENY opens with a compelling and terrifying premise. A young couple wakes up trapped in an abandoned diving pool without food or water. There's no escape. Instead there is a loaded gun with a single bullet, and a phone with enough battery life to receive one message: to walk free, one of them must kill the other. When other pairs are given the same orders in increasingly twisted ways, the brilliant but damaged Detective Inspector Helen Grace finds herself racing against time and confronting dark chapters of her own past.

I must begin by saying this isn't my usual reading fare. When I want a good story, I tend to gravitate towards women's fiction or romance. But I am grateful I took advantage of the opportunity to read and review this psychological thriller/murder mystery, the first in the new series featuring Detective Inspector Helen Grace

Kawasaki-riding Helen Grace is a hardcore heroine, complex and flawed. Cool as a cucumber and one hundred percent dedicated to her job, she is fascinating if not exactly lovable. Over the course of the story, it becomes apparent to her that the serial killer's victims are all linked to her in some way. And once she realizes this, she is willing to sacrifice everything to bring the murderer to justice. 

Filled with graphic descriptions and heartbreaking outcomes, this book is not for the squeamish. At times I had to set my Kindle down just to give my mind a rest from the horror of it all. But I couldn't stay away long and sat up late the night I started the book because I couldn't wait to find out the ending, which caught me completely by surprise - and left me hungry for the next installment of the series.

Five stars. Recommended especially to fans of the genre!

NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

IT'S YOU by Jane Porter


In IT’S YOU, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way after a terrible tragedy. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

I loaded this book onto my Kindle just prior to boarding a plane headed from Atlanta to LaGuardia with a connecting flight onto Bangor, Maine. I find it difficult to read while I'm sitting in a moving vehicle, whether auto or an airplane, but with a couple of hours in between flights, I looked forward to getting started on the latest from Jane Porter.

Then weather happened, and what was supposed to be a two-hour layover turned into a twelve-hour ordeal. I am convinced that this page-turner kept me from losing my mind, or worse. This seamlessly woven tale spans several decades, from World War II until the present. Told from the points of view of Ali and her father's crusty friend, Edie, the book explores themes of friendship, love and loss. As in real life, terrible tragedies occurred, leaving the victims reeling and questioning their reasons to go on. But time, family and friends have healing powers, and in the end they - and we - are left with hope.

I couldn't have had a better traveling companion during that long day in New York City. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Five extremely satisfied stars.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.