Ryan Francis has it all—great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child—and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret—which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life—Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.
When he arrives at the woman’s home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead—and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.
Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer—but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.
From the very beginning pages of The Request, we can tell that Ryan is in for some difficult times ahead, and the past is about to come back to haunt his present.
With friends like Blake, who needs enemies? There is so much wrong with Blake’s request and the demands he is making, but Ryan is too caught up in it all to unpack them. The fact of a woman blackmailing him at the same time confuses it all, but definitely kept me turning the pages.
There is something a little off about Amanda, although we can’t pinpoint what is wrong with her, other than possibly being overwhelmed with being home all day every day with a new baby.
Will she figure out the dark secrets Ryan is hiding, and will Ryan be able to deal with Blake’s demands while fending off the blackmailer?
Issues of trust/mistrust and dark secrets combined with technical issues like social media hacking kept me intrigued throughout. A compelling story that was intense and suspenseful. 5 stars.
For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.
Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.
When Bree receives a desperate call from her sister Erin, she is determined to help her with whatever trouble she is facing. But despite their family’s violent past, Bree cannot foresee what does come to pass: Erin is murdered. Cross Her Heart brings together moments from the past and the present as Bree determines to find out who has killed her sister.
Many possibilities lead the reader down several pathways, following red herrings and trying to sort out family issues. The little town of Grey’s Hollow has more than its share of troubled individuals, from addicts to criminals in many forms.
I liked Bree’s way of dealing with issues, and I enjoyed the family drama unfolding in a peaceful setting, despite the trauma of Erin’s death. A friendship is brewing between Bree and former detective Matt Flynn, who will be a larger-than-life figure in her life.
As the first book in a new series featuring Bree Taggert, this one roped me in to a cast of characters that would stay and be part of her ongoing life. 5 stars.
On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine sets off for a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York. It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns.
Is her husband lying when he says he has no clue where she is? Could Shannon have split on her own, overwhelmed by the pressures of her life? Or is she the victim of a sexual predator who had been prowling the area and snatched her before she knew what was happening.
True crime writer Bailey Weggins, on assignment for the website Crime Beat, heads north from New York City to report on the mysterious disappearance. An anonymous tip soon leads Bailey to a grisly, bone-chilling discovery. Every town has its secrets, Bailey reminds herself, and nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. She keeps digging for answers until—when it’s almost too late—she unearths the terrifying truth.
From the first page of Such a Perfect Wife, I was pulled into the story of a missing jogger in the lovely town of Lake George. Having read other books with reporter Bailey Weggins as the main character and first person narrator, I was rapidly turning pages to see what she would discover next. I liked the way her mind worked, and how we learned her processes through her internal monologues and the conversations she had with the missing woman’s family and friends.
Just when we thought there was nothing to connect one suspect to the murder because of a link to other murders, suggesting a serial killer, something unexpected tipped Bailey off…and put her in grave danger. A heart-pounding tale that kept me glued to the pages and earned 5 stars.
Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.
In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head—that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?
As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone?
A page-turner that kept me in its grip, The Look-Alike reminded me of every favorite thriller of mine. A story with many possible suspects, intense moments that kept me glued to the pages, and characters that felt like real people.
I liked Sienna’s voice and how she stood by her family, even those who were difficult, like her mother, and her brother Brad who seems to have betrayed her.
I had to work through it all for a while, sorting through the clues and setting aside the red herrings, but in the end, the reveal was perfectly orchestrated and allowed for Sienna to put the pieces together. Definitely a five star read.
***My ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.
Laura is devastated when her husband dies, leaving her and their almost grown-up daughter, Tilly, alone. When the insurance company refuses to pay out, Laura is in danger of losing the house and has no choice but to seek help from elsewhere.
Oak Leaf Farm, a community that lives just outside of town, seems to be everything that Laura and Tilly need, so when this self-made family offer Laura the lifeline she’s been looking for she gratefully accepts.
But all is not right on the farm and when both Laura and Tilly are drawn to the community’s handsome and charismatic leader, mother and daughter find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines…
When a ready-made family and community are offered to Laura and Tilly, red flags appeared, reminding me that such an apparent solution could be anything but the answer they need.
Each of the community members offer apparent friendship and help, but it didn’t take long to realize that the fear Laura is beginning to feel is probably warranted.
The Family offered up many plausible twists and turns, so that by the end, I knew that there were so many evil possibilities that I couldn’t stop reading. 4 stars.