Review: Dark Circles by Caite Dolan-Leach

Dark CirclesDark Circles by Caite Dolan-Leach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Olivia Reed is a fairly successful actress on the brink of middle age. When she has a very public meltdown in Manhattan, captured by the paparazzi of course, her manager, Jess, suggests some R&R.

Jess picks out a Wellness Center in the Finger Lakes region of New York for Liv to attend. A Wellness Retreat sounding more palatable than Rehab, Liv agrees to go.

Thus, leaving her sweet little dog, Richard, with Jess for the time being, Liv heads off to the House of Light. How bad can it be, anyway?

Liv is unsettled when not long after her arrival, a body is discovered in the water near the House of Light. After some discussions with another retreat member, Ava, Liv learns that this isn’t the first young woman to have been found in similar circumstances near this location.

In fact, young woman with connections to the House of Light seem to ‘commit suicide’ with shocking regularity.

No one seems to believe the House of Light is connected with these mysterious deaths, but Ava does. After hearing all of the evidence Ava presents to her, Liv is not so sure.

Liv decides to investigate on her own and start a new project, a podcast that will look into these deaths, all of which happen to fall on pagan holidays. Coincidence or not?

This book follows Liv’s time at the Center, as well as her investigation into the women’s deaths and the production of her podcast, Vultures. Full podcast episodes are also included.

I’ll admit to being a little nervous going into this one. From what I had read, it was receiving mixed reviews and even though the synopsis contained a lot of buzzwords for me, it’s always hard to tell which side of the fence you are going to fall on. Hit or miss?

Luckily for me, this was a hit. I really enjoyed my time with this story. I was totally invested with Liv. Loved her as a main character.

Even though the narrative is a slow burn that never quite hit bonfire proportions, I was completely captivated!!

I did actually end up listening to the audiobook and loved it as a medium to take in this story. The podcast sections were freaking fantastic. Completely realistic and fascinating.

Additionally, I loved Liv. I know that some Readers will not be into her, but I like this type of main character. What can I say? I like characters that are flawed. Maybe they drink too much, maybe they’re a little selfish or rude, but they’re always interesting and they have a lot of room to grow.

The House of Light, or HoL, as Liv calls it, has a very distinct cult-like vibe. This was super interesting. I always think I am going to enjoy books revolving around a cult and I often am disappointed.

This one was probably one of the most interesting books that I have read involving fictional cult-like activities. Many of the aspects of HoL reminded me a lot of Scientology, which was even mentioned in the book; the fact that the two were similar.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It’s the type of story that is going to sit with me too. Very well done by, Dolan-Leach. A little long-winded, but a super fun journey nevertheless.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to picking up more from this author!

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Review: On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass

On a Quiet StreetOn a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

A twisted neighborhood drama, thick as a bird’s nest with secrets, I had an absolute blast reading On a Quiet Street.

Nova Glass delivered a super-compelling, twisted narrative that dragged me in from the very start and never let go. I was so impressed with this!

The exclusive neighborhood of Brighton Hills may look tranquil, but behind the scenes it is anything but.

Cora thinks her husband Finn is cheating, Paige, after losing her son, is angry and combative, Georgia is afraid to leave her house; and these details just brush the surface of what is happening on this one quiet street.

Our narrative cycles through these three perspectives and fills in all the gaps as they’re lives twist and blend together, ultimately leading to one shockingly intense conclusion!

Y’all that’s all I really want to say about the details of this story. It behooves you to go into this one knowing as little as possible, with no preconceived notions of what is going to play out.

I’ve read from Seraphina Nova Glass before, her 2020-release Someone’s Listening, and I really enjoyed it, but this book is next level.

I thought the pace of the reveals was absolutely perfect. There wasn’t one single chapter where I wasn’t learning some new facts that steadily progressed the plot.

I really enjoyed all of the characters as well. I found them to be relatable and realistic.

Sure, taken all together, it may seem a little over the top, but when I really thought about it, the things they were experiencing are actually somewhat common, such as infidelity, grief and loss of identity.

I started to become attached to this trio of women. They weren’t perfect, but when it really counted they formed a kind of alliance that to me was uplifting. They found strength through one another and I appreciated that journey.

I would definitely recommend this to Readers who enjoy a great, twisted neighborhood drama. This one definitely delivers that vibe 100%.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I had so much for with this one and am definitely looking forward to reading more from Seraphina Nova Glass!

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Review: My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer

My Wife Is MissingMy Wife Is Missing by D.J. Palmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

On the first day of their NYC-vacation, Michael and Natalie Hart split up for what is expected to be a brief period of time.

While Michael runs out to pick up take-out pizza for the family, Natalie stays back at the hotel with their two children, Addie and Bryce, to get settled in.

When he returns, Michael spots Bryce’s teddy bear just outside the door to their room. That’s certainly strange as the young boy is beyond attached to the stuffed toy.

Entering the room, Michael is surprised his family isn’t there. Surprise turns to confusion when he notices the only bag in the room is his own. Where is his family?

Michael raises the alarm to hotel staff and then the police. As he is unable to reach Natalie by phone and has no other explanation, Michael fears they’ve been kidnapped.

After viewing hotel camera footage though, it appears Natalie left quite willing, of her own volition; just her and the kids. Michael is so confused, why would she do this?

These opening scenes set the tone for the entire novel. It’s intense and fast paced. Through alternating perspectives, as well as past and present timelines, the full depth of Michael and Natalie’s relationship is revealed.

It’s clear that the couple were having problems prior to their ill-fated trip to NYC. Natalie doesn’t trust her husband at all and Michael, well, he has his issues.

Due to stress and struggles within their relationship, Natalie has been suffering severe insomnia. Michael uses that fact against her, claiming she is not in her right mind. Frankly, it’s not entirely clear if she is or not.

I love an unreliable narrator and I would say that Natalie falls into that category. In spite of her insomnia though, it’s really through Natalie’s perspective that the truth of this story begins to be revealed.

I really enjoyed my time reading My Wife is Missing. Palmer has a signature over-the-top style. His books are always a wild ride, never failing to keep me engaged.

I loved how quickly this one kicked off and it really never let up. Towards the end I was flying through, I had to know what the conclusion was going to be. It turned into this sort of intense cat and mouse scenario, although at times it was hard to determine who was the cat and who was the mouse.

I have read all of Palmer’s novels, in order, as they’ve been released and in my opinion each one has been stronger than the last. We love to see that sort of upward trajectory with an author’s work.

He always keeps me guessing, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see what sort of insanity he throws at us next!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I appreciate it so much!!

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Review: The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The Younger WifeThe Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Heather is a young interior designer, who upon first meeting her new client, physician, Stephen Aston, is impressed with the man’s patience with his wife struggling with dementia.

He treats his wife with such care, always including her in the meetings regarding the project and seeking her input, in spite of her struggles. Heather can’t help but warm to the gentleman.

Stephen is also quite taken with Heather. She’s young, beautiful and is always kind and open with him.

Stephen’s two adult daughters, Tully and Rachel, are taken aback when their father confirms to them that he is now in a relationship with Heather. What about Mom?!

Heather is younger than the two girls. She must be after Dad’s money, what could they possibly have in common?

Stephen pushes his daughters to get to know Heather and frankly, they’re a little curious about her themselves, so they agree. That’s what I will leave you with. Well, that and the fact that this is a bit of a murder mystery…

I listened to the audiobook for The Younger Wife and definitely recommend that medium. There are different narrators for the various perspectives and it made me feel like I was actually part of the action.

The drama level is a bit reality television, but who doesn’t love that as a bit of a guilty pleasure?

I found the drama to be completely addicting, but more than that, this story turned out to be grander than the petty squabbles I anticipated given the set-up.

From the vague description of the narrative given above, you may think this will go a certain way, but Hepworth actually gave me something unexpected. I was impressed with that.

Also, Hepworth loosely explores some powerful real world issues in this that I think would make it an excellent choice to read with friends, or a book group. There’s definitely plenty of topics to discuss while reading this one.

Thank you to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

This is the second novel I have read from Sally Hepworth and it’s definitely safe to say that I will happily pick up anything else she writes!!

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Review: Blood Will Tell by Heather Chavez

Blood Will TellBlood Will Tell by Heather Chavez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blood Will Tell is the sophomore effort from author Heather Chavez. Her 2020-debut, No Bad Deed entertained me from the very start. I really enjoyed it!

Because of this, I was definitely looking forward to this new release. Could she keep up her stellar, fast-paced writing and over-the-top level of intrigue?

YES!!!

In Blood Will Tell our focus is on sisters, Frankie and Izzy. Frankie has always been very protective of her little sister, Izzy, and both girls acknowledge that Frankie practically raised her.

Their father has a chronic illness and with their parents often focused on that, the girls sort of circled in their own little orbit. They would keep secrets from their parents, as they didn’t want to trouble them, or worry them. In fact, even as adults, they’re still doing that.

Over the years, Izzy’s choices have been continuously reckless. Her drug and alcohol use certainly hasn’t helped matters.

Their most troubling night involved events that happened five-year ago, when Izzy and some friends partied in the woods just outside of town. Six of them arrived, but only five left. One of the girls there that night, Rachel, has been missing ever since.

Izzy drunk and disoriented ended up getting in a minor accident that night in their mother’s car. As always, she called Frankie for help.

After Frankie managed to arrive for a rescue, Izzy was a mess and couldn’t recall exactly what had happened. Based on some troubling evidence that Frankie found, and a bit of Izzy’s rantings, Frankie had a sinking suspicion she knew what happened.

Now when an Amber alert goes out and Frankie’s vehicle matches a description given by witnesses, she fears the worst.

She knows she didn’t just kidnap the teen girl, Marina, but it is possible that Izzy could be involved. She’s the only other person with access to Frankie’s truck. With fear in her heart, Frankie sets about investigating what happened to Marina.

Alternating between this present case, and the events of the infamous party night, 5-years earlier, the truth behind Rachel’s and Marina’s disappearances is revealed. We also gain a full understanding of the sisterly relationship; how intertwined they are with one another.

There’s something about Chavez’s writing that feels so addictive. She gives you just enough in each chapter to keep you vigorously turning pages. The drama is always high and this sisterly relationship was giving me all the twisted family dynamics I crave.

I really felt for Frankie. Izzy was a lot and Frankie’s dedication to her felt like it was extreme at times, but when I sat and thought about it, it really wasn’t.

The lengths I would go to for one of my siblings knows no bounds; blood runs thick. I found their relationship, overall, to be quite believable. There were other aspects of this that were more far-fetched than the sisters loyalty.

At the end of the day, I don’t mind over-the-top plots. In fact, that’s generally what I’m here for. I read to escape and this was a great one for me!

Thank you so much to the publisher, William Morrow & Company, for providing me a copy to read and review. I had a lot of fun with this and look forward to seeing what Chavez comes up with next!!

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The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris ApartmentThe Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

After getting herself in a bit of a sticky situation at work, Jess does what any young woman would do and flees the country.

Luckily, she has a brother, Ben, who lives in Paris. Although they have never been close, when she calls him to see if she can stay with him for a bit, he doesn’t necessarily say no.

On the night she is set to arrive in Paris, Jess even has a couple of interactions with Ben via text. This is great, he’s definitely not going to turn her away.

When she arrives at the beautiful apartment house, however, she discovers you have to be rung in. She’s unable to reach Ben at that time.

After some tense moments, she is finally able to secure access without his help, but once inside, he is still no where to be found.

Ben is supposed to be there. She just heard from him. It’s late at night, where could he have gone to and why wouldn’t he tell her?

Ben’s absence isn’t the only thing confusing Jess. What is with this apartment house? It is absolutely stunning. How can Ben afford this?

Jess settles in and decides to wait it out. Ben will come back in his own time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen and things in this house are starting to creep her out.

All the other residents are odd AF and seem to be hiding something from her, but what?

As Jess digs deeper in, she realizes she needs to be afraid. Something is not right here and now she may be next on the chopping block. If that doesn’t leave you intrigued, I don’t know what will.

Y’all, this book was so much fun!! I listened to the audiobook and as it is a multiple-POV story, there are various narrators for the different roles; making it a freaking blast to listen to!

With her signature style, Lucy Foley delivers a fast-paced, multi-layered Parisian Mystery here. The twists just keep on coming. My jaw was on the floor for half the book.

I would say for me, there were certain perspectives that I did find more interesting than others, which caused this to lag a wee bit sometimes.

Overall though, a super fun read. I love the way Foley always brings a sort of classic-format to very modern mysteries. It’s so appealing to me.

Personally, I hope Foley just keeps doing what she’s doing. This is her lane. It works so well. She is absolutely freaking fantastic at whipping up a high velocity, tense, atmospheric, drama-infused mystery and I am so here for it!

I’m already highly anticipating her next release. Whatever it may be. I want it.

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Review: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

The House Across the LakeThe House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Casey Fletcher is a NYC-based actress, who having grown up in the industry, is used to a lot of drama.

Unfortunately for Casey, after suffering a personal tragedy, she makes a mistake many people have made before her. She turns to the bottle to numb her pain.

Initially, she’s still able to function somewhat, but she’s spiraling fast, head-first into the NYC pavement. Luckily, the paparazzi is there to capture her descent for the whole world to see. ((read with heavy sarcasm))

Casey’s mother, in an ill-advised effort to help her daughter, ships her off to their Vermont lake house, because we all know being secluded in the middle of nowhere on a lake will make you quit drinking.

Frankly, Casey could use a break from the city anyway, so she doesn’t put up much of a fight. Her mother thinks since Casey doesn’t have a car there, she won’t be able to get alcohol, but the friendly neighbor who is making her grocery runs keeps her fully stocked.

At the lake house, Casey struggles just as much as in the city. It is the last place she was with her husband and the root of her misery.

Drinking her days away, Casey is obviously not in a good head space. She struggles to concentrate on anything, or remain focused, that is until she begins to utilize the family binoculars.

Across the lake is a massive modern home recently purchased by an uber-wealthy couple, Tom and Katherine Royce. Tom, a successful businessman and Katherine, a stunning former model, give Casey plenty to focus on.

After a shocking encounter on the lake brings Casey and Katherine together, the two women begin a tentative friendship. The more the women chat and get to know one another, the more clear it becomes to Casey that all is not well in the Royce household.

Not long after, Katherine suddenly vanishes. Casey, having witnessed some very suspicious behaviors from the couple before, thinks violence may have been involved. She doesn’t believe Katherine just up and left of her own volition.

Casey becomes obsessed with revealing the truth, but at what cost?

Y’all know, I have been itching to get my hands on this release and it did not disappoint. With his signature-style, Riley Sager has spun another web of intrigue so delicious even Alfred Hitchcock would be giving it two thumbs up!

I loved the modern-Rear Window vibes and the setting was fantastic. Having Casey being on her own, in the house that literally haunted her just by being there, it felt so claustrophobic and unsettling.

It can be tough sometimes being on your own, but Casey being alone at that house was taking it to a whole new level of isolation. Sager paced out the reveals of the before perfectly, in my opinion. It kept me so interested.

I also really enjoyed, not just Casey as a main character, but all her interactions and musings involving the Royces. They certainly kept her mind occupied, at least for a little while.

There were additional side characters, two men in particular, that added a lot to the story as well. They were also residing on the lake at the time that Casey was there and I felt they both added in their own way to the drama unfolding. One was a solid presence, who it felt good to have around, the other, I wasn’t so sure about.

The ending of this is completely over-the-top and caught me by surprise. It’s definitely one of his more memorable conclusions. Trust me when I say, it’s a wild ride.

We started in one direction and ended in another. It was jolting and f*ing enjoyable as heck!!

I really had a phenomenal time reading this. I know that not every Reader is going to love Casey as a protagonist as much as I did, but I found her relatable and even charming in her own clunky way.

This was my most anticipated release of the year and I’m so happy that I was given the opportunity to get to it a little early. Thank you so much to the publisher, Dutton, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

The House Across the Lake is releasing on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Preorder now, as you won’t want to miss this!!

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The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

The Resting PlaceThe Resting Place by Camilla Sten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

The Resting Place is the second novel I’ve read from Camilla Sten. The first was The Lost Village, which I read in early-2021 and gave 3.5-stars, not rounding up.

While there were aspects of that story I enjoyed, overall I would say I had been hoping for a lot more. I’m happy to report, The Resting Place gave me more.

This story is about Eleanor, who suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness. As in, she is unable to recognize facial features.

So, when Eleanor walks in on her Grandmother’s murder and comes face-to-face with the killer, she is unable to describe the individual after the fact.

The grandmother, Vivianne, was a real piece of work. She was not a nice lady and even though she raised Eleanor, she never showered Eleanor with the love that a mother-figure should.

She’s Lady Tremaine basically. That’s the vibe she was giving me.

Time passes and then Eleanor gets a call: Hey, hi, hello. So, your Grandmother owns this creepy manor home that she never told you about. It’s where you’re Grandfather died actually and guess what, now it’s yours. We need you to come to the house and work through some estate dealings. Okay? Great, byeeeeeee.

Eleanor agrees and travels to the property, tucked away in the Swedish wilderness, along with her boyfriend, Sebastian, her Aunt Veronika, and the probate attorney.

Once at the property, the interactions are tense. Eleanor’s Aunt definitely inherited the family gene of general bitchiness, so there are some uncomfortable moments.

Additionally, the property itself gives off an abandoned and haunted vibe. They’re told there’s a groundskeeper there, Benson, but they’re unable to locate him. That fact alone puts a dark cloud over the travelers.

It’s a confusing first day and what’s worse, there’s inclement weather coming in. Of course!

The Resting Place is told through past and present timelines. In addition to Eleanor’s perspective, you also get that of Anushka, who lived at the property decades before working as a housemaid.

Sten uses diary entries as a medium for telling some of the past perspective and I really enjoyed that aspect. There’s something about getting to read someone else’s diary that is just so darn intriguing.

There’s also some psychological tension created because of Eleanor’s prosopagnosia. The woman literally came face-to-face with a killer and survived. This killer was never caught. He or she could be anywhere, be anyone, and Eleanor has to live with that. How can she trust anyone?

In addition to the tension, this story is full, absolutely over-flowing full, of dark family secrets. The kind of secrets that are hidden from future generations. They’re that bad.

I love family drama and I love family secrets. I always enjoy watching people’s dirty laundry being aired. Call it schadenfreude, call it wicked, call it whatever you like, it’s just me.

My biggest complaint with this one is that I found it to be slightly confusing. After I finished reading, I was thinking about it quite a bit, discussing it with my dog, as you do, and I realized, I have a lot of questions.

Like here we were at the end, and I had numerous questions about the familial relationships, connections and the conclusion. I’m not sure if I just missed something along the way, or if the questions I have are questions that will arise for other Readers as well.

With this being said though, this is definitely a step up for me from The Lost Village. Which frankly, I like that for my relationship with Camilla Sten. We’re on an upward trajectory. I love that.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I’m excited to see what Sten serves up next!

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Review: The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold CasesThe Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

In 1977, in the small town of Claire Lake, Oregon, two men were brutally murdered. The events seemed to be random attacks. The men chosen simply because of convenience.

Both murders took place roadside, like the men had stopped to help a driver in distress and received the surprise of their lives. At both crime scenes, a taunting note was left behind, similar to the Son of Sam, or the Zodiac Killer.

Local heiress, Beth Greer, is reportedly spotted fleeing one of the scenes. She’s subsequently brought in for questioning and charged.

The feisty and eccentric 23-year old is ultimately acquitted and returns to the seclusion of her mansion.

In 2017, Shea is a doctor’s office receptionist by day, but at night she spends her time running a popular true crime website, Book of Cold Cases.

Shea, the survivor of childhood abduction, knows first hand the absolute horror of violent crime. It’s now her passion. It’s the monkey on her back. Her childhood trauma has shaped who she is as an adult. She’s built up a lot of walls. Honestly, it affects her day-to-day.

When Beth shows up at the doctor’s office for an appointment, Shea can hardly believe her eyes. The infamous Beth Greer, in the flesh.

It doesn’t take a true crime aficionado to recognize Beth. Everyone in the area is familiar with the Lady Killer case that shook Claire Lake in 1977.

This is Shea’s chance. She can possibly be the one to get the answers everyone wants. Was Beth rightfully acquitted, or did a heartless killer go free?

Shea is shocked when Beth agrees to an interview. She hasn’t spoken to anyone on the issue for years, why Shea? Why now?

Over the course of multiple interviews, Shea unlocks doors to dark family secrets, long-buried memories and the truth behind the Lady Killer crimes.

Y’all, I had so much fun with The Book Of Cold Cases. It’s told with St. James’s deeply engrossing style, alternating between past and present timelines in order to build out the larger picture.

I really enjoyed learning about both Shea and Beth. The women were similar in a lot of ways, both having survived traumatic childhoods that ultimately shaped their lifestyles as adults.

I also enjoyed the Greer family mansion as the backdrop to a lot of the story. If these walls could talk, am I right!?

From the second Shea sets foot into Beth’s home, it’s like stepping back in time. Beth has essentially kept it as a time capsule from the 1970s, but why would such a wealthy woman choose to live that way?

Additionally, extremely mysterious and disturbing things occur there. Is this place legit haunted?

For me, the highlight was the relationship between Beth and Shea. In a way, it was like through their, I won’t call it friendship, but acquaintance, Beth was able to free Shea.

This might not make sense until you read it, but for me, that was the heart of this story. It was actually quite beautiful, even though their respective traumas were so dark.

St. James is such a compelling writer. She has an absolute gift for setting a scene and keeping you intrigued. I was captivated throughout my entire read.

The one, very minor, issue I had was that I wish it would have been more suspenseful for longer into the story. I don’t want to give anything away, so it is a little hard to describe exactly what I mean by this, but I’ll give it a shot.

I feel like certain aspects were revealed a little early, which sucked a bit of the mystery out. It does make sense that St. James chose to tell it that way though, as she is able to build other aspects of the Greer family lore/history only after the reveal is made.

Overall, I loved this. It’s intriguing start to finish, nuanced, with beautifully fleshed out main characters. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed any of St. James’ previous works.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and it definitely met my expectations!!

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Review: Sundial by Catriona Ward

SundialSundial by Catriona Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Rob does not have a good relationship with her husband. In fact, their relationship is so toxic that I had to take a break from this book only 10% in just to get away from it.

The couple have two young daughters. Callie, the oldest, favors her father, while Annie, the youngest, is definitely her mother’s favorite.

Rob struggles to understand Callie and her increasingly disturbing behaviors. Unfortunately, the older Callie gets, the more frightening her behaviors become. It even seems that Callie may pose a serious threat to Annie, something Rob cannot stand for.

Rob’s husband, Irving, doesn’t see the way Callie is. He doesn’t understand Rob’s concerns, not that she could have expected him to be on her side regardless.

Knowing she has to do something before tragedy strikes, Rob steals Callie away and heads back to Sundial, the mysterious property where Rob grew up, deep in the Mojave desert. What her parenting plans are for after that point seem ominous, at best.

After the pair arrives at Sundial, the focus shifts to exposing the history behind the property, about Rob’s childhood and the truth of who she really is. Through this, the Reader also learns how Rob’s own history could be influencing her current circumstances, as well as her daughter’s lives.

I was very intrigued by the past perspective. It was an interesting set-up and like nothing I have read before. I enjoyed the SF-feel of some the activities occurring during Rob’s childhood.

I do think it is important to note that Rob’s parents kept dogs on the property and I don’t mean as pets. I was hesitant once I discovered that because I am quite sensitive to any harm coming to animals in books.

I can get past it, as long as it is not too drawn out, or as long as it has a point within the larger narrative more than just shock value. In this story, there’s a point. There were a few places I had to skim read, but for the most part, it didn’t have too much of an impact on my overall enjoyment level.

There were times that I even wished the entire book was just the past perspective, but on arriving at the end, it became clear why there’s two perspectives. I was impressed with how Ward tied it all together, as well as the themes explored by doing so.

The ending was wild and crazy, but I liked it. For the most part, while I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this story, as there is literally no joy to be found within these pages, it’s definitely intriguing. Ward succeeded in keeping me uncomfortably interested the whole way through.

It’s the kind of story where you are desperate to know what the heck is going on. I won’t claim to understand the points Ward is trying to make here 100%, but I think I have enough of it to be impressed.

Unique from start-to-finish, this is definitely worth a pick-up for Readers with the stomach and mental fortitude to tackle such a story.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I think it is fair to say that I will pick-up whatever Ward throws at us next!

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