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Friday, April 24, 2020

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell (Psychological Thriller)


THE CARETAKERS
by
ELIZA MAXWELL

Genre:  Psychological Thriller / Gothic Fiction / Sisters Fiction 
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: April 14, 2020
Number of Pages: 317


Scroll down for the giveaway!







In the isolated estate she’s found the perfect getaway. But there’s no escaping the past in this chilling novel from the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl.

Filmmaker Tessa Shepherd helped free a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned for murder. When he kills again, Tessa’s life is upended. She’s reeling with guilt, her reputation destroyed. Worse, Tessa’s mother has unexpectedly passed away, and her sister, Margot, turns on her after tensions from their past escalate. Hounded by a bullying press, Tessa needs an escape. That’s when she learns of a strange inheritance bequeathed by her mother: a derelict and isolated estate known as Fallbrook. It seems like the perfect refuge. A crumbling monument to a gruesome history, the mansion has been abandoned by all but two elderly sisters retained as caretakers. They are also guardians of all its mysteries.

As the house starts revealing its dark secrets, Tessa must face her fears and right the wrongs of her past to save herself and her relationship with Margot. But nothing and no one at Fallbrook are what they seem.

“Suspense fans will be satisfied.” — Publishers Weekly

CLICK TO PURCHASE








This year is churning out some of my best reading experiences! WOW! THIS BOOK! This. book. Upon reading the last sentence of this twisted gem, my brain was left spinning, and my pulse was still pounding. My mind questioned what I had just read, while my heart screamed what are you going to read now? There is so much to unpack within a narrative that at first seems so disparate, yet the masterful storytelling packages everything up into a breathtakingly remarkable literary gift. 

While the synopsis definitely sets the stage, there really is no way to prepare yourself for the thrilling ride ahead of you. The unveiling of a tragic family saga created not just an unsettling and suspenseful read, but fashioned together a powerful character study on family dysfunction and the lasting pain of secrecy as well as an exhaustive exploration into the ramifications of choice. Oliver may have literally been locked up, but everyone is trapped inside a prison of their own making. Misunderstandings, assumptions, and a general lack of communication has a sinister way of compounding the negativity they feel about their decisions, especially when they can't be honest with themselves or others. The truth has a way of coming out no matter how much they try to deny it, and ultimately, each character is backed into a confrontational corner that finally gives complete access into their true motivations. It's an exercise of relief for both them and readers alike, creating moments that will certainly leave a lasting impact. 

 "Right and wrong. It's a nice idea, but a costly one."

Multiple perspectives, interrelated plot points, and alternating timelines are interwoven seamlessly to craft a hauntingly beautiful and multilayered tale of Gothic genius. Fallbrook stands as a decaying sentinal to unspeakable tragedy, damsels in distress demand action, a burdened protagonist seeks to find redemption, and horrific monsters in the guise of inhumanity, corruption, manipulation, and obsession haunt the lives and souls of everyone they touch. Fairy and folk tale elements sprinkle the narrative as cautionary reminders in the moral quest of good against evil.

"The weight of the truth, once given, is shockingly difficult to bear."

If you love stories that make you feel as though you are watching a movie, this will be a cinematographic treat. As a documentary filmmaker, Tessa finds herself constantly laying out the framing of scenes, which in effect, captures those visual moments for description onto the page that makes this a very meta experience. I especially enjoyed when Tessa is deliberating how to move forward after everything is said and done, hinting that she may try her hand at fiction with its "clear-cut version of good guys and bad...where you know who to root for, and you're never wrong." What an amazing way to cast doubt on the whole encounter: Fact is fiction, fiction is fact, and though the "truth" has been revealed, readers may still feel lied to. Perhaps some things really are best left buried, but I'm just not so sure that I have been convinced.

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful opinion.

As an aside, if you're looking for a well done series featuring people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes and their individual struggles to obtain freedom in the eyes of the justice system, I highly recommend THE INNOCENCE FILES on Netflix. I've been slowly making my way through the episodes since the series premiered on April 15. It was kismet that these two fell into my hands at the same time. Enjoy!





Eliza Maxwell is the author of The Shadow Writer, The Widow’s Watcher, The Unremembered Girl, The Grave Tender, and The Kinfolk. She writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British-cop-drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee.




THREE WINNERS!
ONE WINNER: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy 
APRIL 14-25, 2020
(U.S. Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

Many thanks again to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/14/20
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4/14/20
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4/15/20
Audio Review
4/16/20
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4/16/20
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4/17/20
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4/17/20
BONUS Post
4/18/20
Review
4/19/20
Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/21/20
Review
4/22/20
Review
4/23/20
Review
4/24/20
Review
4/24/20
Review

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2 comments:

  1. Fab review! You are right that fiction & truth are all tossed in the air! Love this book. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review. I really appreciate the fact that when a number of us review the same book, we tend to pick up on different nuggets of excellence. You shared your nuggets so well. :-)

    ReplyDelete