The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

The_Good_Liar

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie; release date April 3, 2018; published by Lake Union Publishing; ISBN 9781542047098

Three women. One fateful October morning. A tragedy that will tie them together through secrets, lies and betrayals. Cecily, running late to a meeting, arrives at the building in which her husband works just to watch it explode. Franny, witnesses the tragedy on television, losing the mother she has just started getting to know. Kate, thousands of miles away in Montreal, watches the one year anniversary memorial on TV, desperate to hide her past.

Another fast paced and engrossing read by the awesomely talented Catherine McKenzie. She craftily creates a story from breadcrumbs masterfully left within the pages you read, each woven together, chapter by chapter. Each morsel divulging a tiny glimpse of what is to come. You can feel it, just within your grasp, tantalizing, suspenseful, irresistible.

As with her previous novels, and The Good Liar is no exception, Catherine’s writing is so personal, probing and guaranteed to touch a nerve in the reader. It’s as if she writes from experience and ultimately this is part of the charm and appeal of her books. In my humble opinion, this is why so many readers, me included will always keep coming back for more.

Other great reads from Catherine McKenzie include:

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing a digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Advertisements

Buzz Books 2018: Young Adult Spring/Summer by Publishers Lunch

BuzzBooksYA_SpringSummer2018

Buzz Books 2018: Young Adult Spring/Summer by Publishers Lunch; release date January 16, 2018; published by Publishers Lunch (BUZZ BOOKS); ISBN 9780999137383.

With the end of the school year fast approaching, your kiddos will surely be looking for things to do on those long, hot summer days. They might even trade screen time for these, and many new and amazing titles coming out this spring and summer. The list below are just some of my favourites from Buzz Books 2018 Young Adult Spring/Summer compilation.

The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis; release date May 8, 2018; published by Amberjack Publishing; ISBN 9781944995614

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne; release date May 1, 2018; published by HMH Books for Young Readers; ISBN 9781328948939

Legendary by Stephanie Garber; release date May 29, 2018; published by Flatiron Books; ISBN 9781250095312

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein; release date June 19, 2018; published by HMH Books for Young Readers; ISBN 9781328764645

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen; release date March 20, 2018; published by Viking Books for Young Readers; ISBN 9780451478733

Furyborn by Claire Legrand; release date May 22, 2018; published by Sourcebooks Fire; ISBN 9781492656623

Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn; release date March 13, 2018; published by Jimmy Patterson Books; ISBN 9780316471602

Thank you to NetGalley and Publishers Lunch (BUZZ BOOKS) for providing a digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Buzz Books 2018: Spring/Summer by Publishers Lunch

BuzzBooks_SpringSummer2018

Buzz Books 2018: Spring Summer by Publishers Lunch; release date January 16, 2018; published by Publishers Lunch (Buzz Books); ISBN 9780999137345

With so many great new books coming out in the next few months, it can be difficult to choose what to read. That’s why Buzz Books is always my go-to for figuring out what to look out for. Their latest edition is another great collection of excerpts to help you in your search; I have included a list (with links to their respective Goodreads blurbs) of those titles that were standouts to me.

Our House by Louise Candlish; release date August 7, 2018; published by Berkley; ISBN 9780451489111

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center; release date May 15, 2018; published by St. Martin’s Press; ISBN 9781250149060

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton; release date April 3, 2018; published by Thomas Nelson; ISBN 9780718084257

A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen; release date July 10, 2018; published by Viking Books; ISBN 9780735221314

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins; release date August 7, 2018; published by Berkley; ISBN 9780451489395

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson; release date April 3, 2018; published by William Morrow; ISBN 9780062427052

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams; release date July 10, 2018; published by William Morrow; ISBN 9780062660343

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage; release date July 17, 2018; published by St. Martin’s Press; ISBN 971250170750

The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi; release date April 10, 2018; published by William Morrow; ISBN 9780062678195

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. Lipska; release date April 3, 2018; published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; ISBN 9781328787309

Thank you to NetGalley and Publishers Lunch (BUZZ BOOKS) for providing a digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased opinion.

The Child by Fiona Barton

The_Child

The Child by Fiona Barton; release date June 27, 2017; published by Berkley Publishing Group; ISBN 9781101990483

The bundled up skeleton of a newborn baby is found at a London demolition site. As Kate Waters, reporter at The Daily Post, works to put the story together, she unearths a decades old mystery with three unsuspecting women at the heart of it. Angela gave birth to a baby girl forty years ago, kidnapped from her hospital room. Emma is house bound and struggles with anxiety, a result of a secrets she has kept buried. Jude, Emma’s estranged mother, craves an improved relationship with her daughter but is unable to let go of her obsessions. What are their stories and how are these three women connected? But most importantly who is the ‘Building Site Baby’?

What can I say, except that I loved The Child! Fiona Barton has created within its pages an intricately woven web of characters, each with their own trials and tribulations. Each hiding dark secrets. As the story came together, I found myself playing detective, jotting down notes, potential clues and constantly guessing, inferring the likely outcome. Did I have an inkling of what the twist would be? Yes, probably about halfway through when I mused to myself, “Hmm, wouldn’t it be interesting if…”, but it didn’t take away one bit from my enjoyment of the story’s progression and found the resolution to the mystery very satisfyingly written.

Not having read The Widow (no I haven’t been living under a rock), Fiona Barton’s debut novel, I was a little hesitant to read her next novel fearing some overlap and although I did come across a few references to it in The Child and the fact that Kate Waters is in both novels, I was happy to learn that the two can be read as stand alone. Needless to say, I have put a hold on The Widow at my local library!

The Child is a gripping, fast-paced addictive read; the first book in a while that kept me awake reading way past my bedtime! With complex, well developed and totally likeable characters, sharp, relevant dialogue and numerous twists and turns, The Child is one of this summer’s best mystery thrillers.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Berkley Publishing Group for providing a digital advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Magpie_Murders

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz; release date June 6, 2017; published by HarperCollins Canada; ISBN 978-0-06-264522-7

I always find murder mysteries difficult to summarize because much of the enjoyment of reading them comes from the reader experiencing the story development firsthand, with no prior knowledge of the potential plot twists. One of the main reasons why I loved Magpie Murders so much was in fact the ingeniously unique structure of the plot itself and uncovering the delectable intricacies of Magpie Murders on my own. So I apologize in advance for the vagueness. You’ll just have to read it to find out what it’s all about!

Susan Ryeland, is a forty-something editor at Cloverleaf Books, a small independent publisher, and her plan is to spend the weekend with snacks, a bottle of wine and the manuscript of Magpie Murders, the latest instalment in the Atticus Pünd series, from bestselling author Alan Conway. Like Susan, the reader is soon transported to the sleepy English countryside of the 1950’s, where German detective Atticus Pünd is investigating two  mysterious deaths at Pye Hall, a stately home in the village of Saxby-on-Avon. Replete with a long list of suspects, all with secrets to hide, Atticus Pünd must work through numerous clues and red herrings to solve the crimes. But just as the murderer is about to be revealed, Susan discovers something very disturbing about the manuscript; something so unnerving as to change the course of her life.

Written as a novel within a novel, in Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz masterfully and seamlessly bridges the classic British murder mystery of yesteryear with the more modern detective crime story of today. Each mystery is intriguing and developed in such a way as to stand strongly on its own, yet the fact that there are similarities and parallels between the two make it even more appealing. I absolutely loved the whole idea of Magpie Murders, from the picturesque English country setting, the eccentric foreign detective, the suspicious and secretive (yet likable) characters, to the old-school mystery.

What a brilliantly and cleverly written tribute to the queen of crime Agatha Christie. Magpie Murders was so entertaining and engrossing that I was sad to see it end. My only complaint is that the Atticus Pünd mysteries referred to in Magpie Murders don’t actually exist in the real world. They would be so awesome to read!

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada and the HCC First Look program for providing a advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

300 Days of Sun – Deborah Lawrenson

300_Days_of_Sun

300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson; release date May 16, 2016; published by Lawsome Books; ISBN 9780062390165

Journalist Joanna Millard, having just lost her job and needing separation from her boyfriend Marc, travels from Brussels to Faro, Portugal. She spends her days taking language lessons and lazily exploring the history and natural beauty of this seaside town. She soon befriends fellow classmate Nathan Emberlin, who enlists Joanna to investigate a number of child kidnappings that have occurred in the area. As Joanna reaches out to the locals, she uncovers ‘The Alliance’, a novel written by Esta Hartford, which recounts an American couple’s experiences in Portugal during WWII. Although written as fiction, Joanna begins to suspect that the story of ‘The Alliance’ and the mysterious kidnappings are somehow connected.

So, I have to admit that when I first started reading this back in 2016, I gave up on it after only 100 pages. At the time I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind, and honestly found the writing to be slow and dry, and I just couldn’t get interested in the premise of the story. Fast forward to present day, I decided to give 300 Days of Sun a second chance when I found it would fit one of the Goodreads Seasonal Challenge tasks.

I’m so happy to have restarted it again. While the writing is still slow, and I didn’t really find it very thrilling, the descriptions of Faro, and the Algarve coast are so wonderfully vivid. I found myself engaged with the characters, almost imagining myself following in their footsteps, lazily enjoying the sun’s heat or exploring the historical beauty of Portugal.

The use of the two timelines, with Joanna and Nathan in present day Faro and the Faro of WWII depicted in ‘The Alliance’, works really well and adds a certain historical depth to the mystery. Both stories eventually converge, providing a satisfying tying up of loose ends.

300 Days of Sun has almost all you could hope for; mystery, espionage, history and romance and is really the perfect read for the lazy days of summer ahead of us.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lawsome Books for providing a digital advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

mynotsoperfectlife

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella; release date February 7, 2017; published by Random House; ISBN 9780812998269

Katie ‘Cat’ Brenner is living her dream life in London, or at least that’s what she wants her family and friends to believe when they see her Instagram photos. Everyone else’s life is perfect so why would they want to know about her excruciatingly long commute, horrible roommates and underwhelming job? When an unexpected change at work forces her to return to her family home in the countryside, Katie is forced to reevaluate her life, her priorities and along the way learns an important life lesson: not everything is as perfect as it seems.

Sophie Kinsella has such a knack for creating lighthearted and fun stories, with relatable and likeable characters. It’s one of the main reasons I come back to her books every time. With My Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella has captured perfectly the society we live in today, where the appearance of happiness, success and perfection is so much more important than the messiness and unglamorous reality of everyday life.

A fun, entertaining and (surprisingly) thought provoking read. I absolutely recommend to pick this one up from your local library or bookstore.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group (The Dial Press) for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.