Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Middle of the Night - Riley Sager

I've seen his name and I've read the reviews (all very good) but...I've never read or listened to one of Riley Sager's book! Big mistake.

I just finished listening to Middle of the Night, and I absolutely loved it! 

It was thirty years ago when Ethan and his best friend Billy had a sleep over in their tent. But when Ethan woke up the next morning...Billy was gone...and never found.

Ethan is back at his parent's home and his memories and guilt are lying heavy. But is someone playing games with him? Signs of Billy, things that only Ethan could know and more...

The book is told in a then and now style that I always enjoy. We're with Ethan as he explores the past and tries to figure out what is going on now. There's a cast of supporting players that knew Billy and they may have some answers. The path to final answers takes a twisted path. One that I really enjoyed.

There was a great Stranger Things and Stand By Me feeling to Middle of the Night.

I often find that I become more immersed in a tale by listening. That was absolutely the case with Middle of the Night. The narrator was Santino Fontana and he was perfect for this tale. His voice was clear and easy on the ears. He enunciated clearly. He provides voices are perfect for each character - male, female, old and young. He captured the plot and presented it wonderfully.  Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt.

Monday, July 22, 2024

Margo's Got Money Trouble Rufi Thorpe

I'm seeing and hearing some great things about Rufi Thorpe's new book, Margo's Got Money Troubles. (And I really like the cover!)

Margot finds herself pregnant - something that wasn't planned - but she is not unhappy with becoming a single mother.

The reader/listener is alongside Margo as she treads on the path to adulthood, parenthood and all that comes with that. The need for money is right up there as well.  

Margo has some family support behind her, others in front, holding her back. She does find a legal job, but again, she is ostracized. Now this might sound like a heavy book. And it is, raising some questions about societies' role in someone's life, when she's paddling as hard as she can. There are lots of light hearted moments that had me laughing out loud. At other times, really angry at those who are putting road blocks in her way. 

Thorpe has created such a wonderful protagonist - and she's so easy to like. And you'll be cheering for her all the way.

I chose to listen to Margo's Got Money Trouble when I saw who the reader was - Elle Fanning! Her voice is absolutely for Margo's voice! She's captured the essence of who Margo is. Her inner dialogue is so well depicted. Her voice is pleasant to listen and she enunciates well. I thing she's really done a great of presenting Thorpe's work. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of Margo's Got Money Trouble.

Friday, July 19, 2024

A Talent for Murder - Peter Swanson

What would you do if you thought your husband wasn't quite who you thought he was?

That's a bare bones description of Peter Swanson's latest book - A Talent for Murder. Swanson starts off the book with a surprising prologue that had me hooked,

What would you do? Would you tell your bestie? To the police? Confront your husband? Follow him? Or .....

I'll let you find what Martha decides to do. But it's not quite black and white. There are a number of sentences that had me going back to re read if I had read it right. Swanson gives more than one surprise. I really enjoy twists and turns that keep me guessing.

One thing I would liked have seen are chapter headers to identify who was speaking. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Don't Let the Devil Ride - Ace Atkins

Don't Let the Devil Ride is Ace Atkins' new novel. And what a ride it is! Atkins hits the ground running and the action, twists, turns and more just never stops.

The starting point? "A Memphis woman hires a PI to find her missing husband, only to discover that he is involved in a dangerous web of international intrigue - and she and her children are now at risk. Hell is empty…and Addison McKellar’s husband is missing."

There are many characters and each is given a voice. I really liked Addison, but my hands down favorite was legendary Memphis PI Porter Hayes. I swear the music from "Shaft" started to play in my head. (In a good way!)

The narrative bounces from plotline to plotline in each chapter - a style that always keeps me up late for just one more chapter. At first, I thought it was a bit far-fetched, but I changed my tune as the seemingly disparate elements started to weave themselves together. 

The dialogue is short, snappy and adds to the overall feeling of the book. I quite enjoyed Don't Let the Devil Ride and was a bit surprised by some of the other reviews. I was with S.A. Cosby on this one. "An instant Southern noir classic". See for  yourself - read an excerpt of Don't Let The Devil Ride

Monday, July 15, 2024

Storm Child - Michael Robotham

Storm Child is the fourth entry in Michael Robotham's Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac series. 

Quick catch up if you've not read the first three books. Cyrus is a  psychologist and is the person who found Evie as a child, hiding in a house of horrors. Evie doesn't remember much of her early years - until now...

Robotham has added clues about Evie over the course of the first three books. But fans of this series thrilled to know that this new book does give readers answers at last! But at what cost to Evie?

I really these two characters - Cyrus's slower pace and thinking before acting is the exact opposite to Evie's scattergun approach. They play off each other well. And the care is there between them. I've become invested in both of them.

Robotham's plotting has been wonderful in each entry. This latest could have been torn from newspaper headlines. The plot has a satisfying finish, but I thing there is still much in store for Evie and Cyrus. There are a few questions left...

This latest entry is also available in an audio format. The narrator is Joe Jameson. He has also narrated the other three books. I appreciate the continuity in bringing back the same reader. Jameson has created the perfect voices for the lead characters. Cyrus's voice is calm and controlled. It's in a lower tone that draws in the listener. The voice for Evie is spot on. She says what she's thinking. You can hear the walls she's put up, the chip on her shoulder and the attitude that hides her insecurity. There are a number of supporting players and again, the voices are perfect. Jameson's reading is clear and easy to understand. His presentation of Robotham's work is perfect. Listen to an audio excerpt of Storm Child. 

Storm Child - Michael Robotham

Storm Child is the fourth entry in Michael Robotham's Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac series. 

Quick catch up if you've not read the first three books. Cyrus is a  psychologist and is the person who found Evie as a child, hiding in a house of horrors. Evie doesn't remember much of her early years - until now...

Robotham has added clues about Evie over the course of the first three books. But fans of this series thrilled to know that this new book does give readers answers at last! But at what cost to Evie?

I really these two characters - Cyrus's slower pace and thinking before acting is the exact opposite to Evie's scattergun approach. They play off each other well. And the care is there between them. I've become invested in both of them.

Robotham's plotting has been wonderful in each entry. This latest could have been torn from newspaper headlines. The plot has a satisfying finish, but I thing there is still much in store for Evie and Cyrus. There are a few questions left...

An easy five star read. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Storm Child

Friday, July 12, 2024

Known to the Victim - K.L. Armstrong

Okay, suspense fans! You need to read Known to the Victim by K.L. Armstrong.

Amy Gibson's mother was murdered by her boyfriend. It took years and a lot of love from her brother Oliver to get Amy where she is now. She is a speaker and hosts a popular true crime podcast that focuses on crimes against women committed by their partners. 

When Oliver is charged with an unthinkable crime, it's Amy's turn to defend him...because there's no way he did what they're saying...right?

This is such an addictive read! Just as you think you're on the path to one answer, the direction changes - and again and again. I loved having no idea as to how things are going to finally finish up.

There are two main characters - Amy and a P.I. named Dean. Both are strong personalities and they slowly earn the respect of the other. 

I honestly couldn't book the book down! I needed to know the answer! See for yourself - read an excerpt of Known to the Victim.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Granite Harbor - Peter Nichols

Peter Nichols' latest book is Granite Harbor.

The cover appealed to me - the lone figure on the somewhat iffy jetty. For me that man is Alex. This is his first murder case as both a parent and detective. This is also frightening to Isabel - a single mother to Ethan.
 
I liked how Nichols unfolded his plotting. Each character has a voice, their thoughts explored, and the possibility of what they might know, hold back or/and more. This includes the killer. Definitely unsettling...

The social fabric of Granite Harbor is also explored from all ages. Don't be overwhelmed by the wealth of details. Around the halfway point things get grisly. I quite liked the slow burn of this one. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Granite Harbor.