Over the last couple of weeks, I have read a variety of books, three of which were thriller/suspense/mystery books. I enjoyed all of these, although they were very different from one another.
The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson, Erin deWard (Reading)
Published May 4th 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press, Dreamscape Media
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
When Rose Yates’ husband is found dead, an accident from mixing alchohol and prescription medication, she comes to the attention of Detective Colin Pearson. He is sure that Rose killed her husband as that is the method one of her characters uses to kill someone in one of her books. As he begins to dig into her life, he also finds out that a teenage boy disappeared from her town twenty years earlier and has never been found. Rose fled the town and to Colin, that is because she is responsible for his disappearance and probably his death. Rose and her son, Max, reluctantly return to Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin to try and deal with their loss and start living again. Max does not have it easy and I felt terrible for him and the bullying and teasing he was subject to. Who killed Riley Yates, or was it murder at all? What happened to Caleb, twenty years ago? Why did Rose flee Whitefish Bay?
I enjoyed this fast paced suspenseful story, up until a point. There were hints along the way of family secrets, instability and lies about what happened twenty years earlier and Carter Wilson fed us that information along the way, so I easily figured out what happened then. The rest of the story, what happened to Rose’s husband, was not as easily figured out. When we find out what happened and why, it was a bit of a shocker. There is a showdown between Rose and her sister Cora that had my heart beating wildly. The final twist was excellent, but then, the story just ended. I know, maybe it is just me, but I like to know that things are tied up and it didn’t happen. I guess we just have to decide for ourselves what happened to Rose and Max. The audiobook was narrated by Erin deWard . She has a pleasant voice to listen to and her expression, emotion and tone were wonderful. This was more of a dramatic reading than a performance, which I enjoyed as she didn’t try to sound like all the various characters. There is nothing I like worse than a female doing terrible male voices. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Danger in Numbers by Heather Graham, Eva Kaminsky (Narrator)
Published March 23rd 2021 by Harlequin Audio, MIRA
I don’t set out to find books that have cults as part of the plot, but this is the third one I have read in the past month. Having said that, this was a thrilling, twisty read with tentacle into the past. When a body is found at the side of the road in the Florida Everglades, Amy Larson, a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has a feeling that this is just the beginning. FBI agent Hunter Forrest, is called in due to his knowledge of cults and ritualistic killings. When young women begin to disappear, especially those who are marginalized, the investigation picks up, until Amy herself is in danger.
This is my first book by Heather Graham and I know I will watch for more, especially as I understand that this is just the first of four in this series. Amy was a strong female protagonist who did not wait around to be saved. Hunter is intelligent and determined to save people from cults, but he never overshadowed Amy. They worked together well and make a great team. My only disappointment was the relatively quick romantic liaison. It would have been better to sizzle on the back burner until further along in this series. All the secondary characters add to the story’s depth and not all are as they seem. The story has settings both in the past and present, but they flow together well. There were several twists and extremely tense moments that had me switching back and forth between the audiobook and the ebook. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. With lies and secrets, people in town sneaking around and people pretending to be something else, it took awhile to get to the final climax, but I enjoyed every moment of this one. The epilogue was not a cliff hanger, but it does set up the next story in this series. I recommend this one to those who enjoy an action packed thriller, police procedural or cult based story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay, Narrated by Cady McClain and Jon Lindstrom
Published March 2nd 2021 by Minotaur Books, Macmillan Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
After reading so many excellent reviews of this book, I had to give it a go. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Cady McClain and Jon Lindstrom. These performers/narrators added a lot to my enjoyment of the story. Their expression, voice and pace had me feeling part of the story. Having both male and female voices always adds more to a story for me. Most of the Pine family is found dead in Mexico, all except Matt, one of the sons who is in University and Danny, the oldest son who is in prison for murder. Danny’s father and sister never believed in his guilt and this trip to Mexico is a ruse to get some information that may help to vindicate him. The opening of this book is a punch to the gut when the family is found. Matt spends the rest of the book trying to find out who killed his family, because that is what it was, even though it was staged to look like an accident. Matt works with an FBI agent, Sarah Keller, who is investigating a money laundering operation and she believes this murder might have something to do with that. Will they find out what happened to the family?
This was a roller coaster ride with twists and turns throughout. There are several points of view in this book. We hear Matt’s and Sarah’s in the present, but the past we get the POV from other family members as well as from a documentary called “A Violent Nature” which was trying to show that Danny Pine was not guilty. As the mysteries were investigated and secrets were shared, it became apparent to this reader that all the lies over the years had contributed and caused the murder of the Pine family. The characters were well-developed and made you care about them. I was actually rooting for Danny and hoping that they would find something to get him out of prison. It broke my heart to see what Matt was going through. I can’t imagine losing my family in that way. I did not guess the final reveal, it threw me for a loop, but was amazing and fit perfectly. I am thinking this might become a series with Sarah Keller being the main character based on the epilogue and I would certainly read the next one. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy a twisty, thrilling mystery story that makes you think right to the end.