There is nothing better than a good Irish brogue warning but Cal has no intention of heeding it. He is a retired, divorced ex-Chicago cop who has run away to remote Ireland and is intent on living a quiet life remodeling the rundown house he bought. HIs biggest worry should be the rooks waking him early or if the little village store has the cookies he likes but instead he falls shoulders deep in a mystery of a missing boy and mentoring a teen who has nothing to lose. Before he knows it his quiet life is gone and the townspeople don't like him poking his nose where they feel it doesn't belong. The audiobook was magic to the ears and would make a perfect companion on a long road trip. 4 1/2 happy ears!
You have to love an author who blasts books with unreliable narrators in a book with unreliable narrators. A psychologist and his new wife haved moved back to his home from the city. He rents space in an old home where Annie listens to his patients secretly through the air vents upstairs. He is keeping secrets and then goes missing during a storm and his wife is frantic. Then the book flips on a dime and becomes something much more sinister. A Stephen King book on steroids that plays mind games with you and you happily go along with it - brilliant. Fans of smart thriller with yes, unreliable narrators will enjoy this twisted tale. 4 stars
Seventeen year old Chloe has had some bad luck - her heart failed. She has also had some great luck in the form of an organ donor just when she needed it. Ever since the heart transplant she feels differently and is living life more fully. She has secretly taken up surfing, parties a bit with a new set of friends and has a serious crush on her gorgeous surfing instructor. It is all in secret as is the strange dreams and feelings she keeps having that she can't explain. When Kai vanishes after she explains about her heart she needs answers. Could it be her new heart is reaching out to her in dreams or are they cellular memory? An interesting concept of science and the unexplained. For young adults but plenty of adults will enjoy this debut. 4 stars
A snarky smart story of an alternate history of Salem witchcraft. Three sisters who one by one run away to New Salem from their abusive father and the lack of any future. June, Agnes and Bella were estranged but now must help each other survive the coming storm. New Salem is a different place now that all witches and witchcraft have been eliminated after trials and burnings. Women are becoming excited about their voice and the Suffragists are gaining in popularity. The Eastland sisters might disprove that witches are all gone. One sister will become a nurturing mother, one is a skilled Librarian in love with someone unsuitable and the youngest is a rebel with a new cause. The women of New Salem look out for each other as all have suffered at the hands of the all powerful men. Now, the new witches of Salem will add their voices and demand to be heard. I loved how the author used fairy tales, actual history of Salem and the Women's Movement to create a story of women in power rising up. 4 stars
3 1/2 stars
An artist who has recovered from a brutal attack when she was young finds herself near the scene of the crime when she moves from London to the countryside. She wants to find the rambling old house as wonderful as her husband does but she can't shake the feeling that someone is watching her or that something bad happened there. She has no memory of the attack that left her missing an eye and with severe head injuries and that makes her an unreliable witness. Is she going mad or is there reason to be afraid? This thriller is very intense with many possible suspects and a lot of background stuff that muddies the water. It will appeal to all those lovers of scary, beware of the woods, British thrill rides.
Jake is back this time defending a sixteen year old boy accused of killing a cop. The sixteen year old and his fourteen year old sister witnessed the brutal beating and near death of their mother at the hands of her boyfriend, the cop. It didn't matter that they had been abused and threatened and that they believed he had killed their mother and wouldn't hesitate to go after them next. It only mattered that this boy shot a police officer in their small town and they are treating him like an adult. Jake is pushed to defend him and now finds his practice in near financial ruin because of it. It is hard not to like a Grisham book - he is like the Nicolas Sparks of legal drama. There is always an interesting legal battle, his defenders are always the underdog but good-hearted and there is almost always a happy ending. This one is no different and a solid legal drama. 4 stars
This is an orgin story of Cleveland told in a manner that is reminiscent of Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed with the wit of Mark Twain. Big Son is larger than life figure who clearly overshadows his younger brother, Medium Son (Meed). Meed is a coffin maker and is there to chronicle his brother's many tales but he clearly wants to make more of an impact on the world. The dialect takes a bit of getting used to and there were some very funny stories but I wasn't able to follow the thread of the book easily. If you are looking for a slice of Americana, this slim debut will deliver. 3 1/2 stars
This is one of those stories that you think is going in one direction and then bam! it gets flipped on its head. Picture a Brooklyn family of four on their way to a remote Long Island estate eager to pretend this luxurious rental house is theirs. It is quiet, the pool is heavenly and as they drink and relax they think - this is the life. Enter the couple that really owns the house who return late that night instead of heading to Manhattan due to a huge power failure that is sweeping the city leaving them no choice but to return their Long Island home. Soon the two families begin to believe things are more serious than they originally thought. This feels like a social experiment gone wrong as we take an intimate look at two families that couldn't be more different trapped in a potential apocalypse. Masterfully written and increasingly tense, it will leave you with your mouth hanging open wondering what just hit you. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy of the book. I listened to the audio and the narration was perfect. 4 1/2 stars
This book is hard to pinpoint to one genre - it is mildly historical, fantasy that you hope is real, mysterious, includes a deep unusual romance and is utterly heart-breaking. Adeline makes a deal with the devil during a frantic escape in 1714 France - she will live forever but there is a catch. No one will ever remember her. She survives a multitude of close calls and tolerates her regular visits from Luc - the human form her parole officer god takes. Then one day in New York in 2014 she hears what she has longed for centuries to hear - I remember you. To give anything else away would be to deny you, dear reader, the pleasure of discovering Addie's incredible life and loves. I have always enjoyed Victoria Schwab's young adult books but this one took a chunk of my heart forever. Adults, young adults and even bookshop cats will devour this as will fans of Pete Hamil's FOREVER, OUTLANDER, Michael Haig and Paula Brackston's adventures in time travel. Please give us more Addie. 5 stars
1634 on a sailing ship bound for Amsterdam is a crew and passengers besieged by tragedy from the start. Aboard the ship are wealthy and powerful Dutch nobles and their families, a secret cargo that is heavily guarded by musketeers and a detective held in the brig on his way to prison or worse accompanied by his friend and self-appointed bodyguard. There is also a devil in the shadows. Soon, the crew and some of the passengers believe that the ship has been cursed by the devil known as "Old Tom"as lights from a ghost ship appear and bodies start turning up. This is a sophisticated mash up of historical mystery, high sea adventure and a good amount of the supernatural. The result is a complex storyline filled with political intrigue and an array of unusual characters. Fans of Wilbur Smith's early Courtney stories, Ted Bell and Hillary Mantel will appreciate this. 4 stars
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