Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Girls With Razor Hearts - Suzanne Young

I listened to the first book in Suzanne Young's YA series 'Girls With Sharp Sticks last year (my review). I quite enjoyed it and happily settled in with the newly released second book, Girls With Razor Hearts.

Mena and some of her friends discovered the truth about the  experiments and violence at their school, Innovations Academy, in the first book. They escaped and are now on the hunt for the Corporation, determined to take it down and free the girls still at the Academy. (Now, I am deliberately leaving out a few details in order to prevent spoilers.) They head to another school, hoping to make contact with an investor's child that reportedly attends this institution.

I had to shut down my default pragmatic thinking. I could see flaws in their plan (and had suggestions on alternates!) But without that flawed scheme we wouldn't have the plotlines that lead to ever increasingly dangerous places and people on the way to the final aha! So, my advice? Just go with it. And take note that the words futuristic and dystopian are good descriptors of this series.

I liked the cast of characters I met in the first book. And Mena is a great lead. You'll have no problem knowing who to dislike and suspect - although there are some that I'm not sure about. Are they working with or against the girls? The friendships between the girls are well depicted. And a blossoming romance is well done and well paced.

Gentle readers, there are some 'darker' matter in Girls With Razor Hearts. Some of it may be triggers for certain readers and listeners. I will say that the phrase..'but he's such a nice guy' was powerfully used.

GWRH does explore a number of  themes - bullying, sexism, classism, abuse and more. Perhaps a few too many more as I started feeling overwhelmed with the issues, feeling like they were taking precedence over the plot.

I did choose to listen to Girls With Razor Hearts. I was so very glad to see that Caitlin Davies was also narrating this second book. She did a great job with the first book and continuity is important with series. Her voice has created mental images of all the players. She uses a well enunciated, almost clipped, naive voice for Mena that is just right for the character and plot. Davies provides many different voices for the other players (including males) that make it easy to differentiate who is speaking. Her voice is clear and easy to understand. She uses her voice well, interpreting and presenting anger, fear, action and more. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of Girls With Razor Hearts.

While the girls found some answers in this second entry, there are still more questions and more 'baddies' to chase down. We'll see what book three brings!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Giveaway - A Mother's Lie - Sarah Zettel

Maybe a giveaway would brighten up your day a wee bit? I hope so! I've got a copy of Sarah Zettel's new book, A Mother's Lie (releasing April 7/20) to giveaway to one lucky reader!

What it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"A compulsive family drama about a mother's desperate search to reclaim her daughter from the horrors of her own past, perfect for fans of Then She Was Gone.

Beth Fraser finally has her life together. She's built a successful career in the tech sector, has a bright fifteen-year-old daughter, and she's completely erased all evidence of her troubled past. At least that's what she thought.

Dana Fraser always wondered why she's the only kid with two backup phones, emergency drills, and a non-negotiable check-in time every single day. When a stranger approaches her on the street claiming to be her grandmother, Dana starts to question what else her mother has been hiding.

Soon Beth's worst nightmare is coming true: Dana is in grave danger, and unless Beth is willing to pull one last con job for her parents, she may never see her daughter again." Read an excerpt of A Mother's Lie.

"Sarah Zettel is an award-winning author. She has written more than thirty novels and multiple short stories over the past twenty-five years, in addition to hiking, cooking, stitching all the things, marrying a rocket scientist, and raising a rapidly growing son."You can connect with Sarah on her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read A Mother's Lie, enter to win a coy using the Rafflecopter form below. OPen to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends April 11/20.

Friday, March 27, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #306

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
I'm going to forgive JP Delaney for his last book. His newest novel - Playing Nice -  comes out in July and looks pretty good. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So...both images are child related. The swing would be used by an older child, while the crib suggests much younger. The tagline on the UK cover gives you a definite idea about what you'll find inside. I'd be likely to pick up the UK book based on that. The red title font says suspense. The US cover is...nice. On first glance I might have thought women's fiction. And the tones used are...nice. Well, I'm going to go for the thrill this week and say UK cover for me. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Playing Nice?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Maker March with DK Canada

It's Maker March with DK Canada! If you're like me, I find myself gravitating towards books and my craft stash during this time of self isolation and social distancing. Books and creativity - what better to try and escape for a wee bit. DK Canada has some great ideas for Maker March - and beyond.

What one caught my eye? Knit Step By Step: Techniques, Stitches, and Patterns Made Easy by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore. I'm determined to master more than just the basics in knitting.

Knit Step by Step will take you from those basics - Tools and Materials to Techniques, to Projects and finally Stitch Patterns.

What I really, really like about DK books are the full colour pictures that accompany the information. And in this case, it's the actual items that would be employed in knitting. The information is laid out in a clean, attractive way that lets you read one piece at a time.

Very detailed, close up, well contrasted images are used to showcase the various stitches. These are really easy to follow. And then we arrive at the place I've never gotten past - harder stitches and patterns.....The key is not to panic! Just pick one to try and give it a go. That's what I'm doing - Fair Isle patterns are still aways off for me. But when I am ready, Knit by Knit has great, detailed info just waiting to be explored. Hint - make sure you check out the stitch pattern glossary at the back - this is where I picked the stitches I wanted to try.

And there are some projects included - there's a nice (easy!) baby blanket I'm going to make.

Knit Step by Step is a great resource for new and experienced knitters. Another great book from DK!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Over the Counter #443

What book caught my eye this week? (Not over the counter and under the scanner though!) I'm behind on my Momo! (I had a border collie and just love that face!)

Find Momo across Europe: Another Hide-and-Seek Photography Book by Andrew Knapp.

From Quirk Books:

"Momo is a border collie who loves to hide. And you can play hide-and-seek with him as he travels across Europe with his best friend, Andrew. Join them on their stops in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, the UK, and more. No passport required!

Momo is a bandana-wearing, headtilting border collie who loves to tuck himself into beautiful photographs taken by his best buddy, Andrew Knapp. The duo’s first books—Find Momo, Find Momo Coast to Coast, and the children’s board book Let’s Find Momo!—explored landmarks and little-known places across the United States and Canada. Now they’ve embarked on a European adventure, and you’re invited to go along!

See if you can spot Momo concealed in picturesque neighborhoods, among ancient ruins, around castles and cathedrals, at legendary landmarks, and in off-the-beaten-path locations that only these seasoned travelers could find. It’s the Grand Tour of Europe you’ve always wanted to take—with Momo’s cute and happy face waiting for you at every destination."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson

Eight Perfect Murders is the latest from author Peter Swanson.

From William Morrow Books:

"Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape."

My Thoughts:

I've enjoyed previous books from Peter Swanson and was looking forward to this latest. I thought the premise was excellent. A series of murders based on a list compiled by a bookstore owner? The possibilities are many! I enjoyed seeing what books made the list of eight. Swanson's choices and the exploration of why each title was picked was made for bibliophiles. (But only if you've read the books - otherwise there are spoilers galore)

I initially liked Kershaw, but as the book progressed I began to dislike him. Why? Well, unreliable narrators make for interesting reading. Things can change rapidly was truths and untruths are added to the mix. But in this case, they felt clunky and convenient to me. And rapidly really didn't happen here. Lots of downtime that just felt like filler in between murders. And I thought he was a bit of a git.

But, I did keep reading until the end and Swanson did come up with a nice twist. But it wasn't enough to make me love the book. I must admit to being disappointed given how much I've enjoyed previous works. So, just a middle of the road three for this reader.

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Conspiracy of Bones - Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs has just released A Conspiracy of Bones - the 19th entry in her long running Temperance Brennan series.

I was a few books behind but it was easy to catch up in the opening chapter. A quick recap of what's going on in Tempe's life had me up to speed - and ready to see what was next in store for this forensic anthropologist. A lot, as it turns out....

An unidentified corpse missing many parts - but has Tempe's phone number in his pocket, a new boss who despises Tempe (the feeling is mutual), missing children, conspiracists and their theories, the dark web and more. And on top of it all, she's been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.

The book starts out strong and I was caught up from the opening pages. And it only gets better as it progresses. Honestly, there was no way to predict where the plot was going to go. I actually stopped listening at one point to go online and see if some of the plot devices actually happened. Frighteningly, the answer was yes - MKUltra is a fact. Each new piece of evidence and every revelation only intrigued me more. And just when I thought I had the ending figured out - there were three or four additional chapters that changed the outcome I had predicted. I really enjoy being surprised.

I've always liked Tempe as a character. She comes across as believable. Love interest Ryan makes an appearance as well - another long running character and relationship that adds another layer to the books. I also like Tempe's mom - her bawdy one liners make me laugh and I picked up some computer knowledge from her explanations. But the supporting player I really like is ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell. He's irreverent, loud and a bit obnoxious. But he's a dogged investigator and he and Tempe make a formidable team. He too has some great lines.

As I mentioned, I chose to listen to A Conspiracy of Bones. Having read physical copies of the previous books, I noticed a big difference. I really, really enjoyed the audio version! The reader was Linda Emond and she was fantastic. She has a very versatile voice. Her voice has movement, rising and falling as she narrates. I've never watched the television show Bones, so I didn't have a preconceived notion of what Tempe's voice should sound like. Emond's voice was perfect and will for me always be the voice of Tempe. (I hope she reads forthcoming books) The voice for Slidell was spot on as well - loud, with a down home accent that was just right. When they're talking, you could believe there are two people speaking. She did a good job with Ryan's French accent as well. I found by listening to this one, I took in more. I heard the humor in Reich's writing. Yes, there are lots of funny lines in such a 'deadly' book. Her voice is pleasant to listen to and easy to understand. And as I always say, I feel more drawn in to a tale when I listen. See for yourself - here's an audio excerpt for you.

PS - make sure you listen to the author's notes at the end!

Friday, March 20, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #442

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

UK cover
India cover
I've enjoyed B A Paris's previous books and have added The Dilemma to the old TBR list. The UK cover is on the left and the cover from India is on the right....and the US/Canadian cover is down below! The Dilemma is already released over the pond and comes out in June in N.A. Well, we do have a dilemma don't we? Ha! Both covers are quite bold in design employ a black font for the title and it comes down to colour preference. I do like the gold/saffron color but the petals are somewhat lost being the same color. They stand out more against the blue. The Canadian/US cover image fits the book, having read the synopsis. Hmm, choices, choices...I'm going to go with the India cover this week as I like the color and simplicity. What about you? Which cover do you prefer. Any plans to read The Dilemma?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.
Canadian/UK cover

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Over the Counter #442

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the counter and under the scanner? Well, this week's offering came from a newsletter.......

Beware of .... Bites of Terror: 10 Frightfully Delicious Tales by Liz Reed and Jimmy Reed.

From Quirk Books:

"Tuck into these darkly funny horror stories served as an utterly unforgettable graphic novel of hand-sculpted dioramas.

The Cake Creeper cordially invites you to a delicious and diabolical feast . . . where he’ll serve you a slice of tasty terror. Enter the world of Bites of Terror, a gleefully macabre anthology of cautionary tales. Meet an ice-cream cone who regrets a wish granted by a sinister salesman, a quarantined strawberry trying to escape a deathly mold outbreak, and a widowed watermelon dying to regrow her husband from a seed. In the tradition of Tales from the Crypt and other classic horror comics, Bites of Terror presents a tasty combination of horror and humor that reflects the human condition."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Maker March with DK Canada

Well, it's officially March Break - plus a couple of extra weeks for some. If you're looking for something to keep everyone busy, DK Canada has some great books for Maker March - check out the selections here.

Which one caught my eye? Bake It - 150 favourite recipes from best-loved DK cookbooks. The book is recommended for 10-14 year olds, but honestly - who doesn't like to create in the kitchen? Fun for all ages I say - and a treat to eat!

Now, that cover doesn't lie - inside are some recipes for sweet treats and breads and rolls (my downfall!)  The first section deals with some good basic knowledge - kitchen equipment, terms, methods and techniques used. The layout is wonderful - info boxes, clear, easy to understand information - and what I love about DK books - full colour, detailed pictures to illustrate all the above. A glossary at the back also details terms used.

The subject headings are Creative cakes, cupcakes and muffins, Celebration Cakes, Pastries, pies and tarts, Creative cookies and tasty treats, Classic crusts and No-bakes. Something for everyone's tastes -sweet and savory. A handy index at the back is another way to search.

Each recipe has a difficulty rating of 1-4 cupcakes, time needed, ingredients, servings and equipment needed. I loved this bit - each step of the recipe is numbered - and accompanied by colour photos detailing the step. I'm in awe of some of the ideas for cakes - the pinata cake was a neat idea.

At Gramma's house? Well, so far my kitchen has turned out a gluten free zingy lemon cake, an apple crumble and some variations on a basic cookie recipe using chips, dried cranberries and blueberries. The soda bread requires no yeast or kneading and is made and baked in an hour. At Christmas I'll have to remember that there's a gingerbread house recipe - the templates for the house are also at the back of the book and just need to be traced. There are many more just waiting to be made.

I really thought this was a great collection of recipes, wonderfully laid out, with ideas that will appeal to everyone. There is no nutritional info listed for the recipes.As well, some recipes are British based and call for self rising flour, but it is easy to make your own at home. Check out the sneak peek below.

Friday, March 13, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #304

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

Canadian cover
UK cover
I really enjoyed Kate Eberlen's debut novel, Miss You. (my review) I'm looking forward to her forthcoming release, If Only. Now that's the Canadian title. In the UK, the book is titled Only You. I'm always curious as to why a title is changed from country to country. Now, on to looks. The style of both books matches the previous book. I find the Canadian cover visually more interesting. It's colorful and looking closer, there are pictures in the letters, giving hints about the story inside. The UK cover is rather bland and I'm not keen on the colors used. So, easy choice for me this week - Canadian cover. What about you? 
Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read If Only - or Only You?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Over the Counter #441

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under the scanner? It was the subtitle of Ladysitting by Lorene Cary that caught my eye - at the end of of her century.....

From WW Norton Books:

"Lorene Cary’s grandmother moves in, and everything changes: day-to-day life, family relationships, the Nana she knew—even their shared past.

From cherished memories of weekends she spent as a child with her indulgent Nana to the reality of the year she spent “ladysitting” her now frail grandmother, Lorene Cary journeys through stories of their time together and five generations of their African American family. Brilliantly weaving a narrative of her complicated yet transformative relationship with Nana—a fierce, stubborn, and independent woman, who managed a business until she was 100—Cary looks at Nana’s impulse to control people and fate, from the early death of her mother and oppression in the Jim Crow South to living on her own in her New Jersey home.

Cary knew there might be some reckonings to come. Nana was a force: Her obstinacy could come out in unanticipated ways—secretly getting a driver’s license to show up her husband, carrying on a longtime feud with Cary’s father. But Nana could also be devoted: to Nana’s father, to black causes, and—Cary had thought—to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Facing the inevitable end raises tensions, with Cary drawing on her spirituality and Nana consoling herself with late-night sweets and the loyalty of caregivers. When Nana doubts Cary’s dedication, Cary must go deeper into understanding this complicated woman.

In Ladysitting, Cary captures the ruptures, love, and, perhaps, forgiveness that can occur in a family as she bears witness to her grandmother’s 101 vibrant years of life."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Other People - C.J. Tudor

I have been a big fan of C.J. Tudor since the release of her debut novel, The Chalk Man. Her third novel, The Other People, is another fantastic read!

How's this for an opener - you're trying to get home on a rainy night. The car ahead of you is slow moving, rusty and sports some questionable bumper stickers. But the last thing you'd expect to see is your daughter's face in the back window, mouthing the word 'Daddy.' This is what happens to Gabe. The car, with his daughter inside, eludes him. He finally arrives home at last - only to find his wife has been murdered. And now, for the last three years, he's driven up and down the highway searching for that car, a clue, a memory - anything.

Uh huh, you're hooked right? I was! Putting an 'everyday' person into an untenable situation is one of my favourite scenarios. The possibilities are endless with an opener such as this. And C.J. Tudor has come up with some crackerjack plotlines. Each new entry led down another rabbit hole - the dark web, a mysterious man who also drives the highways, calling himself the Samaritan, a rest stop waitress who knows more than she lets on, a girl in a coma and... The Other People.

The story unfolds from numerous viewpoints and flips from past to present. I expected to be able to piece together what the end outcome might be, but was happily unable to. We all love a good twist at the end right? Well, Tudor provides more than one! She's blended a great mystery/thriller with a touch of supernatural and it makes for addictive reading. Read an excerpt of The Other People.

I can't wait for book number four! There's also a nice blurb from Stephen King on the cover..."If you like my stuff, you'll love this."

Friday, March 6, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #303

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

Canadian cover
UK cover
Oh, I adore Jenny Colgan's feel good tales. Her latest - 500 Miles From You - arrives in a few months and is most definitely on my must read list. The Canadian cover  is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. The title takes top billing on the Canadian cover, while it's the author on the UK cover. I prefer the blue background of the Canadian cover to the pink?salmon? of the UK. The image on the Canadian cover denotes the distance and that it's city vs nature. Distance is also achieved with the UK cover, but not as well IMO. An easy choice for me this week - the bolder feeling Canadian cover. What about you?
Any plans to read 500 Miles From You? Which cover do you prefer?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Follow Me - Kathleen Barber

I loved Kathleen Barber's debut novel Are You Sleeping. (my review) Social media was a large part of that book and this latest, Follow Me, does as well.

Follow me can be taken literally as following someone down a hallway. Or....in today's age of online everything, your first thought might have been following someone on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Audrey Miller is an influencer on Insta, with over a million followers that eagerly await Audrey's next post. On the plus side, her social media savvy has landed her a dream job promoting an art gallery's exhibits. She rents an apartment unseen, moves a new city and reconnects with an old friend. And....lets all her followers know every step she's taking, every place she's been and more. Lots of followers for sure, but one of them has taken things to a new level - stalking.

Follow Me in told in three voices - Audrey, her old friend Cat and Him. We know the stalker is a man, but it could be any of the suspects Barber gives us to choose from - creepy guy at the apartment building, old flame, sketchy co-worker, new friend or random stranger. I honestly had no idea who the final aha was going to be. I was quite surprised by the final reveal. Barber does a great job of keeping the listener guessing.

I had a hard time liking Audrey and her somewhat narcissistic personality. Okay, maybe a bit more than somewhat. She's a bit of a user. But it absolutely works in this plot. There are a number of times she disregards the danger in front of her and blithely carries on - the equivalent of a movie 'don't go in the basement'. But again, integral to the plot. Good friend Cat has her own issues, but I shared her frustration with Audrey. And that brings us to the third voice - Him. Wonderfully (and frighteningly) drawn! His obsessions, delusions and stream of consciousness thinking are terrifying.

I chose to listen to Follow Me. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I always feel more immersed in a story when I hear it. I really liked that there were three narrators for Follow Me. And even more so when there are multiple narrators. The three for this book were excellent choices. - Corey Brill, Erin Moon and Emily Tremaine. Brill's voice for Him is suitably creepy and suited the unstable nature of this character. He interprets the plot very well and his tone and intonation reflects that. I'm not sure which woman read which part, but again they were both very well suited. Audrey's voice is strong in tone and captures the self centeredness of the character. The reader for Cat employs a softer voice that depicts the uncertainty of this player very well. All three were easy to listen too, were well enunciated and easily understood. Hear for yourself - here's an audio excerpt. 

Make sure you listen to the author's notes on writing this book - absolutely creepy. And the most alarming thing? This is completely plausible.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Over the Counter #440

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under the scanner? This one is for the Royal watchers in the crowd....

Our Rainbow Queen: A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and Her Colorful Wardrobe by Sali Hughes.

From Plume Books:

"A full-spectrum collection of photos of Queen Elizabeth II, paired with illuminating captions explaining each outfit, spanning nine decades of fashion and every color of the rainbow.

This riotously colorful book takes a photographic journey through Queen Elizabeth II's ten decades of color-blocked style. The photographs, which span the colors of the rainbow and a century of style, are gloriously accessorized with captions and commentary by journalist and broadcaster Sali Hughes, who gives fascinating context to each photo. Readers will learn how the Queen has used color and fashion in strategic and discreetly political ways, such as wearing the colors of the European flag to a post-Brexit meeting or a pin given to her by the Obamas to a meeting with Donald Trump.

With stunning photographs that span from the 1950s to today, and featuring brilliant colors ranging from the dusky pinks the Queen wore in girlhood through to the neon green dress that prompted the hashtag #NeonAt90, this must-have collection celebrates the iconic fashion statements of the UK's longest reigning and most vibrant monarch."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Holdout- Graham Moore

I like a good legal thriller so The Holdout by Graham Moore caught my eye. It ended up being more than that....

Maya Seale was the foreman on a contentious case - the murder of fifteen year old Jessica - by her teacher. The others jurors initially said guilty. But Maya swayed them - and he was found not guilty. Maya's experience  with the court cemented her decision to become a lawyer. Another of jurors has been investigating the case  since the 'not guilty' verdict. He's finally convinced a true crime series to make a documentary. A big part of it will be a reunion of  the twelve. All well and good - until one of them turns up dead - and Maya is the prime suspect.

Every one of those jurors has secrets, both then and now. Moore deliciously ekes them out, flipping from present to past and back again. Each of the jurors is given page time. Though Maya is the lead character, I found I enjoyed some of the supporting players more than I did her.

With some plot developments, you'll need to take a few grains of salt - which I happily did. The legal aspects of the case were interesting and underlined how truths - and lies - can be manipulated.

Moore provides lots of twists as the story progresses. I thought I had the ending figured out, but one last aha! was an unexpected surprise. You get two mysteries for the price of one in The Holdout. An entertaining, escapist read for me. Here's an excerpt of The Holdout.