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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway: The Ashes by Vincent Zandri (Horror, Thriller)


Greetings Friends!

Today I am participating in a blog tour stop for the Horror/Thriller book The Ashes by Vincent Zandri.


Rating:


Genre:  Horror, Thriller
Release Date:  November 2016

Synopsis:  


HORROR IN THE DARK WOODS

It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started, but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.

HORROR IN THE DEPTHS

Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?


About the Author:



Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as "gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called it "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!"  Zandri's list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. 

An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times.  He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri's, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the "Best Books of 2014." Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the "Best Books of 2016."

A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular "lit blog," The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.

You can connect with him on:

FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE

Review:


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

While this is the second book in the Rebecca Underhill trilogy, and while I had not read the first book, reading it out of order did not affect the experience.

I went into reading this book thinking it would be more of a thriller; however, this is very much a horror story, and if you don't like blood, gore, violence, and a freaky villain who isn't quite entirely human, it will definitely be hard to read. I wasn't prepared for how dark and horrifying the story ultimately unfolded. It became one of those situations where when you think it can't get any worse, it does. While well written with great tension and pacing throughout, the creep factor of the villain was too much for me at times, and coupled with his disturbing nature, I had to take some breaks because it was definitely draining. I kept hearing things, looking around to make sure nothing was in the room with me, and quickly realized that the fear of the Bogeyman really doesn't ever go away.

I had issues with the decision-making of the main character, Rebecca, given her prior experiences, and questioned much of her action or inaction. The story is driven less by the characters and their development and more by their conflicts, so in a sense, this made her come across as the stereotypical horror heroine. She doesn't listen to those gut reactions that we as the reader are screaming at her to acknowledge. Although in the beginning this effect makes the book super fast paced and gripping, it gradually made me apathetic about her overall survival. Additionally, without giving anything away, I did not like the direction that the children's story took. I felt that in the end it was a bit too gratuitous and I personally didn't want it to go as far as it did.

This was a shocking and intense look into the mind of a monster that I won't soon forget. Read with caution and leave the lights on.


Book Excerpt:



Albany Police Department
South Pearl Street Precinct

The old homicide detective sits behind his metal desk surrounded by the cold quiet of the early morning, staring forlornly into the radiant screen on his department-issued laptop. He’s been using the laptop, which is integrated with the department’s web server, for years and years now, but he still fondly recalls the days when his desktop supported only a telephone connected to an old fashioned landline and beside that, an IMB Selectric typewriter. And how could he ever forget the old two tiered Inbox/Outbox?
He glances at his inbox and the two dozen or so new emails that have come his way since he last checked it the previous evening. He scans the emails for their importance, relegating most of them to routine, until he comes to one marked, “URGENT: Serial Murderer Hanover Escapes Custody.”
The detective, whose name is Nick Miller, is a tall, wiry, white-haired man. He has been on the force for more years than a man should be. Or so he’s been told countless times by his peers inside the department. But he’s a widower who can’t seem to get over the fact that his wife is gone, even years after her untimely death on an operating table after suffering a burst aneurism. It also explains why he’s sitting behind his desk, suffering from the pangs of a whiskey hangover, on a quiet Sunday morning.
He opens the email.
“To Whom It May Concern,” reads the department wide message. “The former cellmate of New York State registered sex offender and convicted murderer, Joseph William Whalen, has escaped from the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, New York while en route to a routine medical review at an upstate facility. Lawrence Frederick Hanover, 69, Caucasian, was convicted on several counts of murder in the first degree and is considered extremely dangerous. Both guards who were assisting with the transfer were killed during an apparent violent exchange with Hanover, aka Skinner, or The Skinner. His present whereabouts is unknown.”
 Miller exhales, sits back in his swivel chair.
The email originates not from the FBI but from the state police, most notably, the Rensselaer County Division. He recalls Whalen as the maximum security inmate who, not long after his release, attempted to abduct and kill the same woman, Rebecca Underhill, whom he’d abducted back when she was a little girl in 1977. Her twin sister, Molly, was also the target of his attacks. Although Molly has since died, Rebecca, still lives in the area with her son.
The email comes with several pictures of Hanover, including his most recent mugshots and psychiatric facility photo records. The small, bald, scraggily faced little man doesn’t seem like he could hurt a fly much less another human being. But Miller wasn’t born yesterday and he knows that even a little man can kill as efficiently and quickly as a big, monster of a man. Perhaps even more quickly and efficiently.
Sitting back up, he scans the rest of the email.
“While state police have issued state-wide APBs and launched a task force to hunt for Hanover’s whereabouts, we are asking that police cooperate in every way possible to ensure the quick, efficient, and otherwise discreet apprehension of the serial murderer. All communications should be delivered directly to this office via the email/phone number listed.”
Once more Miller sits back.
“The quick, efficient, and otherwise discreet apprehension of the serial murderer,” he whispers. “Somebody fucked up and that somebody doesn’t want the press to get ahold of this story.”  
Sitting there, alone in the quiet office, Miller feels a distinct and very unpleasant chill run up and down his backbone.
“What would a schooled Statie or FBI pathologist have to say about this rather delicate situation?” he whispers quietly to himself. “That a killer as skilled and hungry as Hanover is gonna slip up and be found sleeping in some crappy hotel somewhere? That they can then slip him back inside his rubber room at Mid-Hudson Psychiatric, like he’s some two-bit bank robber?” The detective laughs aloud. “I’ll tell you something right now. If the Skinner doesn’t want to be found, then no way in hell he’s gonna be found. Simple as that. He didn’t escape to be free. He escaped to kill, to butcher, and that’s all.”
His bloodshot eyes once more focused on the laptop screen, the old detective shifts the curser so that it clicks on the Action Taken box beside the open email. He clicks on Saved Mail.
Closing the laptop lid, he finds that his hands are shaking. He opens the bottom desk drawer, pulls out the bottle of Jack Daniels stored inside it. Pouring a generous shot into his empty ceramic coffee cup, he drinks it down.
“Skinner,” he whispers. “Who will you flay next? Whose flesh will you feast on?”     





Vincent is giving away ten Kindle e-copies of The Ashes!

Terms & Conditions:

 By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

 Ten winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.

 This giveaway ends midnight May 31.

Good luck!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Vincent Zandri and Pump Up Your Book.  It was a pleasure providing a review.

I hope you enjoyed this feature and be sure to check out other blog stops on the tour here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads


Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.  If you're interested in participating, find out more on the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is Favorite Summer Reads!  The weather is heating up, so let's chat about the books that remind you of summer and/or are your quintessential summer reads!

So in no particular order, here are my selections:


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour


While I have some problems with this book, the road trip aspect coupled with the playlists just screamed summer! Told in traditional narrative, there are also scraps along the trip that work to enhance the story as well. This is the quintessential young adult contemporary book.

Following Amy's father's sudden death, Amy's mother has decided to relocate family from California to Connecticut and just in time for Amy's senior year. Accompanying Amy on this cross country trip is Roger, the son of an old friend of Amy's mother. She hasn't seen him in years and is less than thrilled to be driving around with him. Slowly, but surely, she develops a crush on him and begins to come to terms with her father's death. 


The Ruins


This is summer gone wrong!  And it's a great book to pick up if you want to dip your toes into the horror genre, but aren't looking to be totally freaked out. 

Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine. Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.


The Martian


This one for me is a great summer read because of its fast paced action and adventure. I could not put this book down!  

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. 

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


To All the Boys I've Loved Before


Summer is a great time to read contemporary and this is such an adorable series that screams summer even though it doesn't take place during that time. This series is so adorable for not only the romance side of it, but also the family dynamics presented within the families. The final book was just recently released, so now is the perfect time for binge reading!

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. 


The Da Vinci Code


I love this one for it's fast paced adventure. Plus all the places you get to visit while running around with Professor Langdon is reminiscent to me of summer vacations spent traveling to historic sites with family.

And given that used bookstores receive a plethora of this book every year, you're sure to find a good copy for relatively cheap!


So those are my favorite summer reads, what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments, so I can add to my summer reading TBR!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite SFF Cover Art


Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.  If you're interested in participating, find out more on the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Cover Art!  This is a crossover topic with the BooktubeSFF Awards, and while nominees have already been selected for each category, this is simply a chance to talk about the covers of those SFF books that you just absolutely love!

I don't have a lot to say about each cover because to me the artwork speaks for itself, so in no particular order, here are my selections:


The Martian




This one just beautifully captures the atmosphere and mood of The Martian perfectly!




I love how this cover beautifully captures the magic and majesty of the story.


His Majesty's Dragon


Image result for his majesty's dragon series

Image result for his majesty's dragon series

I really like the simplicity and beauty of these covers as they span the series, including the extension of the design on the spines.



228665

Image result for The eye of the world cover

Each cover in the series reflects that epic nature of high fantasy.  I included the entire painting, which wraps around the book and would look great framed on a wall.  Every time I pick up these books, I spend almost the same amount of time looking at all the details of the art as I do reading the book!


Throne of Glass


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This is the UK cover and is a huge upgrade from the original US version.  It truly captures how much of a badass Celaena comes across to be. 


There are so many more that I love as well, but these are definitely some of my top picks at the moment.  What are some of yours?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review: The Grumpface by B.C.R. Fegan (Children's)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review for a new children's book that will be released on May 1.

I was graciously contacted by the author and a copy of this book was sent to me for free in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.  All thoughts, opinions, and feels are my own.



Rating:


Synopsis:


The Grumpface begins in a small village that sits beside a dark forest. Dan, the hero of our story is an optimistic, young inventor who suffers the unfortunate trait of being clumsy. Working day and night on his inventions, he hopes that his efforts might gain the attention of Bella, a flower girl whom he secretly admires.
When it comes to his attention that Bella has no more roses to sell, he decides to brave the dark forest in order to find her one. The only problem is that the forest is inhabited by a grumpy creature known as the Grumpface, and this creature is not known for his kindness to lost travelers.

It doesn’t take long before our poor hero is confronted by the Grumpface who quickly challenges the young inventor to three tasks. If he is able to pass even a single challenge, he will be freed, if not, he will remain forever in the forest.

Dan readily accepts the challenges and, having a bag of small inventions with him, tries desperately to put them to good use in each of the challenges. Unfortunately, the more he tries, the more spectacularly he fails. However all is not lost. Each time the clumsy inventor fails the task, the Grumpface struggles more and more to maintain his grumpy composure.

Every parent will be acquainted with their own little ‘grumpface’ now and then. This story stands as a small piece of hope – that no matter how ingrained the grump, there will always remain in every one of us a smile or a laugh just waiting to come out.

For more information:



About the Author:



BCR Fegan is an Australian author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults. He is inspired by stories that resonate deeply with our desire for adventure, yearning for magic, and search for meaning.

You can connect with him on his website.


Review:


I can really appreciate this story for its homage to classic fairy tales.  A cursed villain, the Grumpface, stands in the way of our intrepid hero, Dan, obtaining a rose for his love interest and must accomplish one of three tasks in order to become free.  This is a great way to introduce young readers to the structure of a traditional tale; however, while the couplet rhyme scheme (AA/BB/CC...) read well, it began to feel hemmed in by that structure and overly played out.  Creating a rhyming story is certainly a way to keep listeners engaged and interested in the story, but often less is more and I think the story would have benefited from this idea.  

I enjoyed that Dan was a fairly well developed character with flaws that ultimately unknowingly assisted him in breaking the curse for the Grumpface, but I was surprised at how Belle, the love interest, is relegated to that singular role.  She is the object to be desired and won over rather than seen as offering friendship or as a partner to solve the tasks, which could have added a modern approach to the conventional story.  The illustrations are bright, appealing, and add a layer of comic relief to Dan's misadventures.  Overall, this was a skillful story with a positive message about perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude.   

Many thanks to Bryce Fegan and TaleBlade Press for sending me a copy.  It was a pleasure providing a review.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Blast: Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory (Cozy Mystery) + GIVEAWAY!


Greetings Friends!

Today, I have another book blast featuring the cozy mystery Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory, the second book in the Bay Island Psychic Mystery series.


Synopsis:

  

A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight.

Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder.

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

For more information:


Book Excerpt:

“Stop the car!”
Bee Maxwell slammed on the brakes, skidding to a stop on the sand-covered shoulder. Without loosening his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, he turned a glare on Cass. “Are you crazy? What’s the matter?”
Cass released her hold on the dashboard and shot him a grin. “We’re here.”
A hand the size of a baseball mitt fluttered to Bee’s chest, with all the drama of a true diva. “You nearly gave me a heart attack because we’ve arrived at our secret destination?” Gritting his teeth, he shifted gently into park. No way would he jam the shifter into gear, even though she could tell he badly wanted to. The black Trans Am was his baby, always to be treated tenderly. Cass, on the other hand, was a different story. Bee looked about ready to throttle her. “Wouldn’t it have been easier to just tell me where we were going?”
Stephanie Lawrence poked her head between the seats to stare at Cass. “Not that I want to agree with Bee, but really, Cass, you could have just told him where to go. Then maybe this maniac wouldn’t have nearly put us through the windshield.”
She shrugged. “I didn’t think he’d agree to take me if I told him where we were going.”
Bee waved a hand in dismissal and glanced out the window, as if realizing for the first time where they were.
The old, supposedly haunted Madison Estate perched in the center of the highest ground on the island, amid dried-up beach grass, trees long since devoid of leaves, and garbage from whatever kids were brave—or stupid—enough to ignore their parents’ warnings. Thick, grey clouds gathered overhead, lending credence to the haunted stories Cass had heard since childhood.
A dainty shiver ran through Bee’s bulky frame. “Well, if your destination has anything to do with that house, you can just count me out.”
“But it’s perfect.” She opened the door and shot him a quick grin over her shoulder.
“Hey. Where are you going?”
Ignoring Bee’s protests, Cass climbed from the car. She closed the door behind her, effectively cutting off any further arguments. Bee happened to be deathly afraid of ghosts. Not that he believed in them.

About the Author:


Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children. When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

You can also connect with her on:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website


And now for the GIVEAWAY!



Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
This giveaway ends midnight April 30, 2017.

Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Lena Gregory and Pump Up Your Book for this exciting giveaway!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Want to Read More From


Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.  If you're interested in participating, find out more on the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is Authors I Want to Read More Of!  Let's chat about the authors that you have only read one or a few of their books and you really NEED to read more!

Here are my selections in no particular order:

Sheila Roberts


I recently came across this author through partnering with Pump Up Your Book to review books.  I'm not generally a fan of romance and accidentally got it in my head that this was a cozy mystery; however, I'm so glad that I did get a chance to review her latest book, Starting Over on Blackberry Lane, and discovered the sweet, charming side of the romance genre!  I absolutely loved this book and have been slowly collecting them from the beginning to start the series in order and really get to know all these ladies from Icicle Falls.

Robyn Carr


This is another author that I would not have sought out on my own because again I wasn't a fan of romance; however, I was contacted by the publicity team for the release of this book to host a review and I'm so glad that I gave it a chance.  I really enjoyed the story and enjoyed getting to know the people who created a tight-knit community for people to start over and make a place for themselves.  This author has several other series with lots of books in each one and I hear many positive things about any of them.  Once I can get through some other books on my TBR, I'll be checking more of hers out.


Agatha Christie


This book was one of my book club's picks last year and we really enjoyed it.  I ended up watching the 2016 BBC adaptation that has become one of my top five adaptations I have ever seen.  There certainly is a reason she's the queen of mystery and I look forward to checking out more of her masterpieces.

Sarah Jio



This story had a little bit of everything in it and was done really well, so you never thought that any one element was overpowering another.  An unusual snow storm sends one woman on a search to discover the truth regarding the disappearance of a three year old boy over 100 years ago.  I really appreciated how the past and present was interwoven throughout to connect the two women.  This was a very subtle historical fiction story and I look forward to reading more of her books soon, which seem to follow along in that same vein.

Lisa Genova


It's hard to say that I enjoy these books when they are so gut-wrenching in their portrayal of individuals dealing with such powerful medical conditions, but in Lisa Genova's skillful and careful hands, these stories become more than just words on a page.  I was so moved by each family's resolve and their commitment to each other even in the face of such devastating health information as well as the strength each main character.  It's hard enough reading about these illnesses happening to other people, but imagine being the one facing it every day, but Genova gives you that behind the scenes understanding in such an empathetic and respectful way.  I want to pick up more of her books soon.


So those are my picks for authors I want to read more of.  Are there any authors that you need to read more of?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (Thriller)


Greetings Friends!

This month my book club selected this book as our read and I can't stop thinking about it!  

I'm not sure even how to begin conveying my thoughts on this one because there are so many reasons it was so intriguing and addicting to read without giving away any of the spoilers that make this book so fascinating!  My only advice is to just go and read it!  


Rating:  


Genre:  Thriller, Suspense
Release Date:  January 2017

Synopsis:


Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.



About the Author:  



Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London. 

She was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.  
You can find her on:


Review:


This is an extremely difficult book to review because the most fascinating parts to discuss would ultimately spoil everything if I talked about them!  And we're friends and I don't want to ruin the experience for you!  This book is a journey and I want you to enjoy the one heck of a ride you will take by reading this.

I went into this book knowing there was a shocking ending that is so utterly twisted that you won't believe it, see it coming, nor predict it, and that's exactly what it was.  The social media marketing campaign surrounding the book included #WTFthatending.  And while it totally lives up to the hype, it undeniably drives reader curiosity.  I know there are many who hate it or felt let down by it, but I personally loved it because in my opinion, it defied the genre and created an interesting way to think about or rethink the very nature of psychological thrillers as we know them.  I think that in a lot of ways if you've ever read A Monster Calls you know that it becomes apparent that there are scarier things to face than the "monster."  And though these two books are in no way connected or similar, Behind Her Eyes lends itself to the incredible suggestion that ultimately there are far scarier means of inflicting psychological terror on people than through criminal actions.

The story is very readable and engrossing to the point of being addicting.  I thoroughly enjoyed the slow, simmering suspense that was built.  None of the characters are likable, as they are all greatly flawed and irritating due in large part to their horrible decision-making skills.  But just like them, you are driven to find out what is going on!  You want to know the truth, but once you get to the end, you'll only hear Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men screaming at you, "You can't handle the truth!"

I highly recommend this one, especially if you are looking for a thriller that takes things to a whole new level not yet seen before.  I look forward to rereading this one at some point in the future to slowly savor the incredible brilliance of it all over again.  Hopefully, you'll also have a hard time not thinking about it as well and you'll come on back so we can talk about it together!