Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

REVIEWS! - MYSTERY THRILLERS
 
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I love a good mystery-thriller! I enjoy trying to workout the mystery on my own before I read what really happen, then there’s nothing quite like the thrill of a good thriller! This week’s review is all about the chase, the questions, and the anticipation of what will happen next with Mystery and Thrillers!

The line up for this mystifying thrill ride:

📚Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen’s An Anonymous Girl (2019 Adult Thriller)
📚Jon Ronson’s The Last Days of August (2019 True Crime Audio Book)
📚Jane Corry’s My Husband’s Wife (2017 Psychological Thriller)
📚Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You (2017 Mystery Thriller)

From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani


An Anonymous Girl 

By Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

 
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Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis:

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.  

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / IndieBound

Review:

 Before reading Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s An Anonymous Girl, I had read several reviews stating that it was ‘Overrated’ and ‘Not up to all of the hype’ everyone was giving it. Let me say, that if you, too, have read these reviews then please note that you should take them as a grain of salt and toss them over your shoulder! I wish I hadn’t waited so long to pick it up!

Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
Should a punishment always fit a crime?

An Anonymous Girl is a fantastic psychological thriller that will have you not only sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end, but will also have you questioning your own morals. Fans of Caroline Kepnes’s You will instantly gravitate to Dr. Shields’s subtly creepy obsession with Subject 52, Jessica Farris, and the hope that she “could become a pioneer in the field of psychological research.”

An Anonymous Girl is rife with mysteries and psychological conundrums. Just when you think that you have finally figured things out, Dr. Shields is not only two steps ahead of Jessica, but ahead of you, too! Minuscule details about doubt, passion and trust, add up to one final test for Jessica, and an ending that you’ll never see coming!

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


Audio Book Review

The Last Days of August 

By Jon Ronson

 
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Publication Date: January 3, 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Mystery, Journalism, Biography, Abuse

Synopsis:

In December 2017 the famous porn star August Ames committed suicide in a park in the Conejo Valley. It happened a day after she’d been the victim of a pile-on, via Twitter, by fellow porn professionals - punishment for her tweeting something deemed homophobic. 

A month later, August’s husband, Kevin, connected with Jon Ronson to tell the story of how Twitter bullying killed his wife. What neither Kevin nor Ronson realized was that Ronson would soon hear rumors and secrets hinting at a very different story - something mysterious and unexpected and terrible. 

In The Last Days of August, Ronson unravels the never-before-told story of what caused this beloved 23-year-old actress’ untimely death.

Purchase:

Audible Original

Review:

I thought the idea of this book was great and I loved that it was in a podcast formatting almost.  Everything was done really well, including the 'investigation,' but my biggest problem was that I felt the story, like August's life, ended too abruptly; there was no conclusion, no end other than what we know from the beginning: August is dead. I know that at the very beginning, Jon Ronson plainly and clearly states that this is not a murder mystery, but seeing how the whole story goes in that direction, I would have liked a better conclusion, one that didn't leave me feeling like I dangling off the edge of a cliff.

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚


My Husband’s Wife 

By Jane Corry

 
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Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Psychological, Suspense

Synopsis:

 When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start and leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe, a convicted murderer to whom Lily is strangely drawn—and for whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything.

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants.

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep twelve years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / IndieBound

Review:

I am 100% done with this book and I’m still not sure how I really feel about it. The writing was done very well, and made you think, but it also became dull and boring on more than one occasion, taking the thrill out of “thriller.” It’s definitely more of a crime-mystery than a mystery-thriller.

Jane Corry’s My Husband’s Wife was an interesting story that had many different components that needed to be there to make the ending workout in the way that it did. While reading it, I kept wondering why on earth a certain character was in the book at all other than to add some drama to the current scene. Turns out, that character ends up playing a pretty vital role in the end results. Another character I was just completely annoyed with the entire book and kept wondering when Corry was going to kill them off (I hoped and prayed, they annoyed me so much!) But turns out, they, too, were very vital to the end result, and to the title.

As a side note: I was also very surprised to see that this book was published back in 2017. I have seen it (I feel) EVERYWHERE lately and thought for sure that it was a new book within the last couple of months. When I realized that it came out in 2017 I was shocked. I am very curious to know why it took so long for me to notice it, and why it has been showing up everywhere I look now.

All in all, it was a good crime-mystery. It does drag a bit, but it was very complex and I do give props to Corry for that. I did constantly question which character was saying the title; you think you know, and then in next chapter you’re unsure again. If you’re looking for a thrill, put this one down, it’s not for you. But if you’re looking for a crime, this is a good one for you!

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚


Right Behind You
(Quincy & Rainie #7)
 

By Lisa Gardner

 
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Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Synopsis:

Lisa Gardner's latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Hertakes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash's older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah's older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah's big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

Review:

If you’re looking for a mystery thriller that will take behind the scenes with both the police and the the man they’re hunting, then Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner is a perfect fit!

I thoroughly enjoy reading mysteries when you get to see behind the scenes of both the good and the bad, and it’s not an easy task of the author to do this and still keep you guessing! Gardner did an amazing job of letting you be on opposing sides, but holding back enough information in the process to keep you guessing all the way to the end. Just when you thought you knew who it was or what was going to happen next, characters camouflage themselves just enough to stay hidden, the scene changed dramatically, and you’d find yourself just as confused as the profilers.

I really enjoyed Right Behind You! I had a very hard time putting it down, and even found myself dreaming of it, awaking to read for several hours in the wee hours of the morning. I only have two small complaints:

1) I wish there were a touch more to the epilogue. It was a great ending, but I wish there was a smidge more to it.

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2) The cover photo on my copy is misleading (see photo above for what my cover looks like). I know this probably comes off as trivial, but I am one that slightly judges a book on it’s cover. I tend not to read book synopsis before reading a book. I don’t like getting a prejudged assessment of the book I’m about to read. Instead, I like to make an attempted guess as to what I’m about to read based on the title and the photo on the cover. While this is not always the best approach, I find it fun to see if my thoughts based on these two things play into the actual story any. A truly great book art designer will give you a snippet into the book, and I feel this design did not. I get the broken glass/window, but the background photo looks like two dead bodies laying in a bush, which does not happen in the book. Maybe the legs are supposed to be Sharlah being chased by her brother, Telly? But then why are they lying on the grass? It’s just very confusing and not the best option. The cover for the paperback was was definitely a better choice (see cover to right), or even a close up of a camouflaged face… My preference, but then again that is what a review is.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed Right Behind You. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good police mystery-thriller. As for me, I look forward to reading Gardner’s other works, including the other six Quincy & Rainie books!

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


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Pair Them All With: Ouragan Pinot Noir

This Oregon Pinot Noir opens with aromas of rope cherry and spice, leading to a round palate of strawberry and a hint of vanilla, with a medium-ling finish of toasted almond, floral notes and silky tannins. Pair with grilled salmon, sushi and soft cheeses.

Website


Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.



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