Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Don't You Cry

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

From the author of the New York Times bestseller everyone is talking about THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica returns an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession.

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

I finished this book a week or so ago. I was needing a day to let this book settle in my system, but I still am just blown away by it and I really struggle to find the words for this story.

This book was an absolute mind-fuck. I was so completely twisted and turned around, trying to understand what was happening, what was real. I kept coming back to this book over and over. I’d read for a bit, put it down so I could get something done, and then I’d have my nose right back in it because even when I wasn’t reading, it consumed my thoughts.

Quinn and Esther are roommates and when Esther goes missing, it causes Quinn to question everything in her life. Quinn is described as being a bit of a slow learner, but I personally didn’t see that in her character at all. I felt more like she was a young girl just trying to find her way, and constantly being compared to her over-achiever sister. Which is how she stumbles on Esther, who happens to be looking for a roommate. The two have a great friendship and Esther sounds like the person you’d love to have as your roommate. But are things always what they seem?

When Esther goes missing, Quinn starts finding out more and more about Esther. About her last roommate, secret letters, shredded pictures and documents. Who is Esther Vaughan?

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan town, Alex stops a bewitching girl sitting in the diner he works at. A strange friendship is born between the two. Alex is incredibly smart, but taking care of his alcoholic father consumes his time and money. So while Alex did have a scholarship to a great college, he couldn’t take it because of his father. As a reader, your heart breaks for Alex. From the moment I read his character, I felt he deserved so much better than what he had.

Overall, I loved this story. It hooked me in from the first page. That said, I did feel like the ending was somewhat anti-climactic. I’m unsure if I like that or not, simply because the ending is such a shock to begin with. I’m torn on if I feel like I wanted more from the ending or if I’m happy the way things were. Either way, this story will leave your jaw hanging open at the end because the end is more insane than anything your mind could ever conjure up on it’s own.

 

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Dying Breath by Heather Graham

DyingBreath

Dying Breath by Heather Graham

Buried alive… 

As a teenager, Vickie Preston survived an attack by a serial killer. That was the first time she saw a ghost. Now the city of Boston is being terrorized—someone is kidnapping women and burying them alive, but cruelly leaving a glimmer of hope for the authorities by sending a clue about their location. Vickie is pulled into the investigation when her name is mentioned in one of the notes. And as a historian, she has the knowledge to help uncover the graves the killer known as the Undertaker is choosing. But she also has another, unique lead: the spirit of one of the victims is appearing to her in dreams.

Special Agent Griffin Price is on the case for the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI’s special unit for paranormal investigators. He feels particularly protective of Vickie, since their shared past is connected to the threat that currently surrounds them. With the killer accelerating his plans, time is running out for more victims hidden around the city. Vickie is becoming closer with Griffin, but she’s getting too close to the danger, and every breath could be her last.

The Krewe of Hunters are back!!! (Insert me screaming with excitement here) Seriously, this is probably my favorite all-time series. I just cannot get enough.

Our story starts with 17 year old Vickie Preston babysitting baby Noah for the Ballantine family. What Vickie doesn’t know is that an escaped prison convict is hiding in the house. Until Dylan Ballantine gets her out of the house. But Dylan is a ghost…

This book will probably rank as one of my favorites from Heather Graham. It got my adrenaline running from the very beginning. Vickie later becomes a bit of a history buff and while Griffin was initially the officer who helped Vickie in the past, now he’s part of the Krewe of Hunters. I really enjoyed them as a couple, even when their feelings for each other wasn’t realized. I think of all couples that I’ve read, I felt like these two are some of most compatible I’ve seen. I know that might sound strange, but I feel like if I met Vickie and Griffin in real life, I’d want to set them up together.

Another facet that I love about all Heather Graham books that really shone in this book was the history. The reason Vickie is so vital to this investigation is that she’s a total history buff. She’s also incredibly intelligent. So as the Undertake is giving out clues, Vickie is busy solving the puzzle.

Heather Graham always delivers and so do the Krewe of Hunters. This series has been one of my all-time favorites for a long time now, and it continues to be. Graham knows what works but always keeps things fresh and keeps readers on their toes the entire time.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

TheGirlWhoKnewTooMuch

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

This book had me in awe of the author. Talk about incredible writing! Amanda Quick literally takes the reader back in time to the 1930’s. Of all of the books I have read, this one truly transformed my entire surroundings into California, and the Hollywood scene, of the past. It was a remarkable experience.

Our heroine, Irene Glasson, is the rookie with a gossip paper. But her latest story about a dead actress connected to a famous actor has touched the wrong nerve with the wrong people.

One of the biggest factors that I enjoyed about this story is that while there are many twists and turns, I never felt confused or lost. In the past, I’ve somewhat stayed away from books considered in the historical genre because there is usually a language difference, on top of the names and locations maybe not being as familiar, thus making it harder for me to keep track of all of our players in the book. The fact that in this story, Irene Glasson isn’t even Irene Glasson, the above mentioned point is even more true for me.

I really enjoyed this story. It kept me on my toes the entire time. You aren’t really sure who is good and who is bad in this story. Someone you think is good can end up doing something entirely heinous and the bad ones are only worse.

If you enjoy historicals, or you enjoy Amanda Quick already, you will enjoy this story a lot. I have only read a few books from this particular author and I have always found myself transported back in time and I’ve loved it every single time.

Stalker, My Love by Zack Scott

Stalker,MY Love

Stalker, My Love by Zack Scott

An untraditional love story where fantasy clashes with reality, and happily ever after seems like an elusive dream.

Welcome to Pine Bridge, a small town rife with secrets. Personal is everyone’s business and passion is high.

With the disappearance of Rosalyn Ray, tensions soar and fingers point in every direction: the boyfriend, the best friend, the mother and the stalker.

Frustrated by the search going nowhere, Rhett Calloway makes it his mission to discover the truth and find the girl. Some people in Pine Bridge say he’s obsessed. Some say he’s dangerous. Some say he’s hurt Rosalyn. All Rhett knows is he’s loved Rosalyn since they were kids and he’ll do what it takes to see her again. 

So let me start with the basic “I really loved this book” thing and go from there. I try to find better ways to say it but lets just cut it down to brass tacks and that is that I loved the book.
One reason I enjoy books in the thriller genre, and especially books by good authors, is because it makes my mind work. If thrillers are done well, you should be feeling everything the characters are feeling and you should be tied up in knots because the anxiety, the pressure, the intensity should start to work on you.
I think one of the biggest reasons this book worked for me was that no character was really that great, in terms of me likability. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t find myself loving them either.. In some books, you get your hero or heroine and you love them so hard. But in this book, everyone had parts of them that you just couldn’t like. Because of that, it kept my suspicions raised on everyone. I was constantly unsure of what really happened, or what didn’t happen.
In this story, we see Rhett daydreaming from time to time, and this also adds another level to the story. His daydreams are so vivid, so natural. I wanted to point this out because I think we normally associate someone being obsessed with someone else as having a perverse nature. Now, Rhett is attracted to Rosalyn sexually but most of his idle daydreams are not about that. They’re more about interactions with her, or spending time with her. Its very different than what I expected. Rhett is seen as a threat, but in reality, he’s probably the most loyal to Rosalyn.
I don’t know if this author grew up in a small town, but he captured the small town life quite perfectly. You always have your town royalty, someone owing someone else a favor, someone always in your business. This setting, again, adds another level of suspense because while everyone knows everyone, everyone has something to hide. Now whether the reason is nefarious or not is debatable, but people still want to hide.
The last thing I’ll mention about this book was the end. I really admired how the author chose to do this, even though it wasn’t what I necessarily wanted from the book. I kept wanting more closure for some of our group, but the thing is, that isn’t real life. In the small town of Pine Bridge, things have never been what they seemed and to give the town a cookie cutter ending wouldn’t have been doing right by them. So while I may not have loved the ending, I think this story ended the way it should have.
If you enjoyed Megan Miranda’s “All The Missing Girls”, you will love this book. You’ll be questioning everything you read because, as the reader, you don’t know who to trust. You can trust everyone and no one. What you think is happening might be real, but it might not be. This author wove an incredible tale and I could honestly go on and on about all the different oddities and complexities that I loved but I don’t want to kill the book for other readers.