Sunday, December 30, 2018

Odd Child Out

Fiction by Gilly McMillan.

This story begins with a teenaged boy running through an isolated dockside area after midnight, seemingly being chased by someone he thought was a friend. But all is not as it seems here...

The story unfolds slowly but this novel was definitely interesting. A good thriller!

I also read recently by this author: The Perfect Girl

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Fiction by Harriet Lane.

The tag line on this novel was intriguing: "You don't remember her-- but she remembers you." And the beginning of the book was also very interesting: Nina, an artist with a teenage daughter, sees the pregnant Emma out pushing a stroller and immediately recognizes her as someone she knew long ago. Nina begins to watch Emma and slowly insert herself into Emma's life. But why?

The story was good through most of the novel but I felt like it began to fall apart a bit by the end. I felt like the plot was not really resolved properly and the ending was too abrupt. Still, most of the book was really good.

I also read by this author: Alys, Always

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Time To Stand

Fiction by Robert Whitlow.

This was a great story about a current issue, the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

It's timely for me to think about this issue right now; as a shooting in my own hometown mall just took place over Thanksgiving and is blowing up my Facebook news feed with friends on both sides of this issue. It's a hard thing, and I feel for everyone involved.

A Time to Stand is a fictional account of a white policeman shooting an unarmed black teenager in a small Georgia town, and I feel like the author does a pretty good job of showing both sides of the story truthfully. It definitely gives you something to think about.

I also read recently by this author: Chosen People.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nine Perfect Strangers

Fiction by Liane Moriarty.

This novel starts out as a character story: several different people (nine of them of course; hence the title) embark on a ten-day "cleanse" at a health resort in rural Australia. Then things begin to happen and the book gets really interesting.

This is a really good story by an author I love!

I also read recently by this author: Truly Madly Guilty

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Unforgiven

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

Maggie Fraser is in prison for a murder she says she didn't commit. When she finally gets out and tries to start a new life, she feels like the stigma of crime is still following her. And maybe it is...

This was a good thriller!

I also read recently by this author: Cast Into Doubt

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Perfect Girl

Fiction by Gilly MacMillan

In this story, a seventeen-year-old named Zoe and her mother Maria are trying to rebuild their lives after a tragedy. Maria has married a new man who doesn't seem to be aware of their dark past, and she'd like to keep it that way. Zoe calls their new life the Second Chance Family. But of course, secrets can catch up with you...

This was a very exciting thriller!!

I also read recently by this author: What She Knew

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Stormchasers

Fiction by Jenna Blum.

I don't know anything much about stormchasing, except what I gleaned from watching the movie Twister twenty years ago. Generally I figured that stormchasers must be crazy people, to be honest. It was interesting to learn a bit about the subject in this story.

In this book, Charles and Karena are a pair of boy/girl twins in their thirties with a history of obsession with storms, although in different ways. He loves chasing them and she is terrified of them, and the two are estranged. Karena longs to find Charles and repair the rift between them, but it seems that Charles may not want to be found.

This was a great story about these characters and their complicated relationship. along with some excitement from the stormchasing. Good book!

I also read by this author: Those Who Save Us

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Lost Innocents

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

This was an exciting thriller that begins with the kidnapping of an infant and his 15-year-old babysitter. There is also a young couple with a three-year-old who have had some legal troubles that they hope are over.

The story was very good and I liked the characters a lot. There were several surprises!

I also read recently by this author: Cast into Doubt

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Chosen People

Fiction by Robert Whitlow.

This is, like other books by Robert Whitlow that I've read, a Christian legal thriller. It's complex but very good.

The story is about a young Israeli lawyer who lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She works in international law and gets involved in some interesting business involving terrorism in her homeland.

A very exciting book!

I also read recently by this author: A House Divided

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Party

Fiction by Robyn Harding.

This book gave me a little bit of Oh-No-I-Can't-Look Syndrome. * 

At the beginning of the story, Jeff and Kim's daughter Hannah was turning sixteen and she was having a sleepover in the basement with a few friends. Well, that should be okay, right?

Except Jeff thought it was okay to give the girls a bottle of champagne to share. And Hannah thought it was a good idea to pilfer her parent's vodka and hide it under a sofa cushion.  AND every guest had apparently been tasked with bringing some kind of alcohol or drugs.

It did NOT turn out to be okay.

The story was pretty good, but I had some trouble reading about these people and the bad things that just kept happening even though it seemed like they could have tried harder to avoid them. The ending was not what I expected either. Still, it was interesting.

*That's when you know a main character is making a major error in judgement that's going to have huge and terrible consequences.(see  Saving Grace by Jane Green)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cast Into Doubt

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

This story starts out with a convenience-store robbery and then shifts to a woman babysitting her preschool-aged grandson while the child's parents go on a cruise for a much-needed break. Almost immediately the second storyline becomes absorbing enough for the reader to forget the first, until they intersect once again... But the connection is not quite what you think.

This was an exciting thriller!

I also read recently by this author: Stolen in the Night

Monday, November 26, 2018

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Fiction by Rick Riordan.

We listened to this story over Thanksgiving weekend on a car trip. (Yep. All eleven-plus hours of it. IN THE CAR. And when the story was over we still had an hour of driving to do. Family fun at its finest.)

The story was good, but nowhere near as good as the first Harry Potter book, to which I've heard it compared. It was very imaginative, and a fun rendition of what Mount Olympus and the Greek gods might be like if they were real, but the characters felt less believable to me than I'd like. Also I had some trouble with the stark paganism of the whole thing, as a modern Christian, which sounds weird, I know.

So, the book was good enough, but I don't want to pursue the series.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Spark of Light

Fiction by Jodi Picoult.

This book was quite a page-turner, as well as being the good character story I'd expect from Jodi Picoult.  It's about a shooting at an abortion clinic, which is rather a terrible subject, but this author specializes in making such things readable and accessible.

This was a really good book; my only little problem with it was that I felt a few (less important) things were left unresolved at the end.

I also read recently by this author: Small Great Things

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sweet Little Lies

Fiction by Caz Frear.

Cat Kinsella is a police detective in London with a conflicted past. When she was eight, her family had been on holiday in Ireland when a teenage girl disappeared, and Cat is sure her dad knew something about it. So she passive-aggressively ruins her relationship with dad over this incident but never confronts him about it (weirdly, I thought). Then it all comes up again when she is working on a murder case, although you get the impression that it's all come up for Cat many times before...

This story was interesting and I was surprised by the ending, but I wouldn't say I couldn't put it down.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Man From St. Petersburg

Fiction by Ken Follett.

This story, set just before World War I, was an interesting character novel, in addition to being an exciting spy thriller.

I also read recently by this author: The Key to Rebecca

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Key to Rebecca

Fiction by Ken Follett.

This is a spy story set during World War II. It was pretty good, but not as good as others I've read by this author. I think this is one of his earlier novels.

I also read recently by this author: Night Over Water

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Last Mrs. Parrish

Fiction by Liv Constantine.
This thriller started out interesting; it was about a terrible girl called Amber who was plotting to steal another woman's husband while pretending to be her friend. I was enjoying the story, hoping Terrible Amber would get what was coming to her, and then came an exciting twist in the middle!

It's a very good novel by a pair of sisters who are co-writers. Read it!!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Lord Edgeware Dies

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

As always, an excellent mystery from Agatha Christie.

I also read recently by this author: Peril at End House

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Stolen in the Night

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

In this exciting thriller, a very nice family is camping at the lake when one of their daughters is cruelly abducted and murdered. The killer is caught and sent to the electric chair, and the family tries to move on.

Except what if they'd executed the wrong man?

I also read recently by this author: Sisters

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist

Fiction by Dorothy Gilman.

Number thirteen in the Mrs. Pollifax series, this fun mystery takes the reader to Jordan on a secret mission.

I also read recently by this author: Mrs, Pollifax and the Lion Killer

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer

Fiction by Dorothy Gilman.

This is the direct sequel to Mrs Pollifax, Pursued, and number twelve in the Mrs. Pollifax series.

Just like the other books in the series, this is a fun read with exciting things happened in exotic places: in this case, Africa.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Summer Girls

Fiction by Mary Alice Monroe.

This was nice light read about three half-sisters who visit their grandmother at her beach house in South Carolina.

I enjoyed reading it. It's the beginning of a series, apparently, but I'm not sure if I'll follow up with the next book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

In this exciting story, Alex makes a discovery after her parent's death: she has a sister she had never known about before. Her lawyer offers to find the girl for her, but warns that she may not like what he finds....

I also read recently by this author: Missing Child, I See You

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dear Mrs. Bird

Fiction by A.J. Pearce.

I loved this book! Just an adorable Plucky Gal in 1940's Britain Story. The only problem I had was the cover; I may be unfairly prejudiced against this particular shade of mustard, however. I would  have used a black and white photo with red accents I think.

But I digress.

This is apparently the author's first novel. I really enjoyed it!

Friday, October 26, 2018

I See You

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

At the beginning of this story, Hannah and Adam are pretending to be Anna and Alan, a regular couple. They are living "off the grid" in a crowded city, trying to make ends meet on small salaries at jobs they can find without references.

But then their secret identities are compromised by a chance event, and the reason they are hiding may get blown wide open!

This was an exciting thriller with several surprises.

I also read recently by this author: Missing Child