Review: Perfectly Nice Neighbors by Kia Abdullah

Perfectly Nice NeighborsPerfectly Nice Neighbors by Kia Abdullah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfectly Nice Neighbors is an A++ Legal Thriller featuring major Neighborhood Drama from Kia Abdullah.

This is my second novel from Abdullah and I have given both 5-stars. I think it’s fair to say, I’m a huge fan!

As far as Thrillers with a Legal bent go, I don’t read a lot of them, only a few a year, but the ones I read, I do tend to enjoy. I feel like Abdullah brings such substance to her stories though, they almost go above and beyond.

In this story we follow two families. Salma, Bil and their son Zain, who are the new family on the street, and Tom, Willa and their son Jamie, long-time neighborhood residents.

It is important to note, Salma’s family is Bangladeshi, while Tom’s family is white. Also, please note, each family has a dog and the dogs are also involved in the drama.

You have been warned now about these two aspects. In other words, you may read things in this book that will make you uncomfortable. You may read things in this book that will make you angry, or emotional, but I promise, you’ll walk away with a lot of thoughts and it will be memorable.

Basically, Salma and Tom get into it. They get into it deep. This is a neighbor feud for the freaking record books. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.

As events escalate, the tension really amps up. I was squirming in my seat. It feels very unsafe, like a ticking time bomb, but how far will the battle be taken?

Y’all, I am always down for the drama. But this is a different sort of neighborhood drama than I’m used to. This was on a different level than most.

I appreciated how quickly Abdullah got to the action. She didn’t waste a lot of time on build-up. We meet Salma and her family, basically as they’ve just moved into their new home. It seriously takes no time at all for the event that leads to the initial confrontation to take place.

After that, each subsequent run-in just digs both families into their position deeper and deeper.

The snowball keeps rolling until the point where I was feeling emotionally drained. I don’t mean this as a bad thing, because hey, at least I was feeling something.

In fact, one of the things I love most about Abdullah’s stories is that she sets her Readers up with space to do some critical thinking. The way she frames her stories, it explores both sides, instead of hammering home with one character’s perspective. It’s so engrossing.

I feel like her style is a great platform for Readers to have some real self-reflective, as well as shoe-on-the-other-foot, moments. It feels written with such intention and what’s not to appreciate, and respect, about that.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy tense neighborhood dramas that explore current societal issues. I know this won’t work for everyone, but for the Readers who do end up enjoying it, I think they’ll walk away feeling like they’ve had a memorable reading experience.

Thank you so much to the publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to see what Abdullah comes up with next!

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Review: In a Quiet Town by Amber Garza

In a Quiet TownIn a Quiet Town by Amber Garza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In a Quiet Town is the latest release from one of my auto-buy authors, Amber Garza. I have read all of Garza’s published works and have enjoyed them all.

There’s just something so addicting and entertaining about her style of tense Domestic Dramas. There’s always a bit of mystery and intrigue, as well as interesting explorations of different familial relationships.

In this story we meet Tatum, a mother of two grown children and wife to a pastor in a small California town.

At the beginning of the story, we learn that Tatum has recently reconnected with her estranged daughter, Adrienne. Years ago, Tatum’s husband basically disowned Adrienne because she wasn’t living up to his lofty expectations.

Adrienne was happy to get out from under the thumb of her overbearing father and has been living her own life ever since, recently working as a bartender.

Tatum has missed having her daughter in her life and has started secretly visiting her at the bar. She was delighted when Adrienne seemed open to them reconnecting.

Tatum has become a regular at the bar, going in once a week on a night she knows Adrienne will be working. One night though, Adrienne isn’t there and none of her coworkers have seen or heard from her.

Tatum knows something is wrong. Adrienne is not the type of girl to just not show up at work. Plus, she knows it is the night her mother visits. She would have called in. Something must have happened to her.

As Tatum starts searching for Adrienne, she doesn’t find a lot of help. The police seem to think she has just run off for space, or whatnot, but Tatum knows that’s not true.

Eventually, she meets a man claiming to be Adrienne’s fiance. This comes as a complete shock to Tatum. Why didn’t Adrienne mention she was engaged?

Then again, they have just rekindled their relationship, perhaps her daughter felt it was too personal to share.

Regardless, Tatum is just happy that someone else is as distraught about Adrienne’s disappearance as she is. At the end of the day though, can she really trust this guy?

They begin working together trying to figure out where Adrienne is. As the intensity builds, it becomes clear that she didn’t leave of her own volition and could still be in terrible danger. Can Tatum find her before it’s too late?!

As always, I was immediately drawn in by Garza’s characters. From the start, I wanted to know more about Tatum and enjoyed learning about her life and family.

Garza excels at creating believable mother-child relationships. Sometimes I will be reading along and a quick line, or thought pattern, will give me chills or bring me close to tears. I always love the relationships she builds within her stories, because they aren’t always easy.

This one actually made me uncomfortable at times because it felt so real. There is a strong religious aspect due to Tatum’s husband being a pastor, which played a large role in Adrienne’s estrangement.

While I don’t have a lot of that in my background, and can’t really comment on how it would impact a family dynamic, the circumstances put forth in this novel seemed very believable to me.

I liked how Tatum, even though she was a mother of grown children, felt like she was still learning about herself, growing and coming into her own.

Part of her growth was due to the love of her children and her unwillingness to give up on Adrienne. I found that character growth really powerful. It was nice to see that just because she was a well-established adult, her life didn’t have to remain static. She could make changes.

It did get pretty intense. By about the halfway point, I was yelling at the book while reading. Particularly any scene involving a man. I wanted to smack them all.

Please note, that’s not my general demeanor, but these guys deserved it.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a tense domestic drama blended with a nice mystery. Bonus points, if you enjoy reading about mother-child relationships. Also, if you have enjoyed any of Amber Garza’s work in the past, you should definitely pick this one up.

Thank you so much to the publisher, MIRA, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I will continue to pick up anything from this author and am already anticipating the next release!!

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Review: Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney

Good Bad GirlGood Bad Girl by Alice Feeney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good Bad Girl is the latest release from the Queen of the Twist, Alice Feeney. I’m not ashamed to start this review by saying I am a Feeney-Fangirl. I love her stories.

As for this one, I have been anticipating it all year and am so happy to report, it did not disappoint.

I loved the tagline of this book’s synopsis: Sometimes bad things happen to good people, so good people have to do bad things. From the moment I read that I wanted to know more.

Like the tagline, the book itself delivered that kind of intriguing teaser, chapter after chapter. This story does follow multiple perspectives and initially, I’ll admit, to having moments of slight confusion.

I didn’t let that bother me though. I trust Feeney’s process and knew all would be revealed in good time. I just sat back, relaxed and let the story flow over me. It was amazing.

This follows 80-year old, Edith, currently residing in Windsor Care Home, but it wasn’t by her choice and she’s not happy about it. Patience, a care home worker, is Edith’s closest confidant, but she’s harboring secrets of her own.

Edith’s daughter, Clio, gets most of the brunt of her mother’s anger about her current living situation and with Mother’s Day upon them, that should make for an interesting visit.

Frankie, a librarian at a prison, is also saddened with Mother’s Day approaching, but for reasons of her own. Her only daughter left home in anger a year ago and she hasn’t seen her since.

After a murder at the care home, things begin to really heat up for our characters. People on the run, confrontations, incidents with the police, it’s non-stop action and eyebrow-raising reveals until the very end.

As mentioned above, initially the number of perspectives did seem like a lot, but they were all interesting. I never minded learning more about each specific character.

Additionally, discovering the truth behind how all the perspectives were connected was just so fun. There were a lot of different layers to the drama.

One aspect of this I found especially interesting was how a lot of this has to do with individuals, who are in a vulnerable position, having decisions made for them. Then it sort of unpacked the circumstances and the repercussions of that.

The relationships involved in these scenarios, while over the top here, were actually quite relatable and believable. Particularly those pertaining to an aging parent, or to the early stages of motherhood.

I feel like Feeney did a great job bringing that level of substance to her signature style of twisty-Thriller. The added element to it all was the murder mystery at the heart of the story. That was so fun to try to figure out.

Overall, I think Feeney delivered with this one. It’s a real page-turner. If you have patience with it and let the perspectives fall into place, I think you’ll be able to enjoy it as much as I did.

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

At this point, I will pick up anything Alice Feeney writes. I have never been disappointed. Her perfect record continues!

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Review: None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

None of This Is TrueNone of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lisa Jewell’s latest Psychological Thriller grabbed my attention from the start and held it all the way through. This was absolutely addictive!!

When I first heard about this, I could hardly believe it. A story that follows two women turning forty-five, and I am turning forty-five this year. It can’t be coincidence…

I just knew I was going to love it and per usual, I was right. Not only did I love it, I freaking loved it. This will definitely be on my Favorites of the Year list.

An added treat was Buddy Reading it with my beautiful niece, Lyss. I definitely recommend it for Buddy Reads or Book Clubs. There’s a lot to discuss.

This story follows two women, Alix Summers, a popular podcaster, and Josie Fair, an unassuming woman, whose profession is so inconsequential, I can’t recall it.

Alix and Josie bump into each other for the first time in the bathroom of a local pub, coincidentally on the day they were both turning 45. They were birthday twins!

Shortly after, they bump into each other again outside of the school that Alix’s children currently attend, and Josie’s attended years ago.

As they are chatting, Josie, who has listened to Alix’s podcast, pitches an idea to her. Alix should do a podcast focusing on Josie’s life.

Josie tells Alix that she is on the brink of making some very drastic changes and she’d like Alix to document the process.

Even though Alix finds Josie’s vibe unsettling, she admits there’s something fascinating about her. She is intrigued.

Unable to resist temptation to dig into Josie’s life, Alix accepts her offer and begins to record the podcast, inviting Josie to her home studio for interview sessions.

From that point on, the women’s lives become entangled. It doesn’t take long for Alix to suspect that Josie is so much more than she initially appeared. Josie is a smart woman, who happens to be hiding some very dark secrets.

Josie infiltrates Alix’s life so deeply, she eventually ends up living at her house. Alix hardly knows how any of this happened and then suddenly, Josie’s gone. That’s when Alix’s real nightmare begins.

I was completely swept up in the lives of these two women. I loved the back and forth, learning about their past and present circumstances. Their dynamic, as well, was fascinating.

Right off the bat, I was intrigued and I felt like I was being misdirected in some way. The path the story took, I was never quite sure who I could trust.

As the story progresses, it’s like a veil being pulled from your eyes, but I still couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was so twisted!

I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fast-paced and tense Psychological Thrillers. Bonus points if you have enjoyed Jewell’s work in the past, or love stories that incorporate a podcast, or true crime, element.

For the record, I thought Jewell nailed the podcast turned True Crime documentary angle. Additionally, her use of mixed media, with the sections from the Netflix series, was amazingly well done; round of applause.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was an absolute blast to read. I cannot wait to pick up more from this author!

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Review: Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

Gone TonightGone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Gone Tonight is the latest solo-release from beloved Thriller author, Sarah Pekkanen. I have had this one on my radar for a long, long time and she did not disappoint.

I listened to the audiobook and was so impressed with how it was able to hook me from the very start. I was intrigued, I was invested, I wasn’t able to put it down!!

In this story we’re following a mother and daughter, Ruth and Catherine, respectively. Catherine feels like she knows her mother almost as well as she knows herself. It’s always been just the two of them against the world.

Ruth loves her daughter Catherine with her whole heart and would do anything for her. Ruth was young when she got pregnant, and she gave up a lot for Catherine, but it was worth it. After all, a mother’s life is full of sacrifice.

As Catherine has aged, she has grown strong, smart and independent, just like her mother taught her. She’s now ready to spread her wings, move to a new city and get her first career-focused job.

It seems like everything is going her way, until it’s not. Secretly, Ruth isn’t ready for Catherine to be moving on. She’s willing to do what she has to in order to keep her daughter close to her. She knows it’s deceptive, but she also knows it’s for Catherine’s own good.

In her efforts to keep Catherine with her, Ruth has inadvertently opened herself up to her daughter’s scrutiny for the first time.

Ruth has always been secretive about her past. Catherine knows nothing about Ruth’s life before her, or even her own extended family members. Ruth’s recent behavior causes Catherine to dig, discovering she may not know her mom so well after all.

Y’all, I loved this! As mentioned above, I was hooked into this one from the start. I thought the plot was well-crafted by Pekkanen, keeping the Reader invested and on the edge of their seats.

I loved the character work. The way the truth of Ruth’s past was revealed was completely enticing. We do get Ruth’s past perspective to help that unfold and I was just as interested in those past sections as I was with the present perspectives.

I also really enjoyed being in the minds of both of these women, as they grappled with their present circumstances and the reality that they may not know everything about the one closest to them.

The way it was written you feel like you’re a fly on the wall, possibly with a piece of buttered popcorn, just watching all the drama unfold. It’s juicy and captivating.

In short, I love a book that captures my attention enough that I can read it in a day. That’s exactly what this one did.

I had such a fun experience with this one and would definitely recommend it to other Thriller fans, or people who enjoy reading about complicated family dynamics. If you end up enjoying this one half as much as I did, you’re bound to have a good time.

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

In my opinion, Pekkanen nailed this one. She should be proud!!

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Review: The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz

The Spare RoomThe Spare Room by Andrea Bartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Kelly loves Mike. Kelly thought Mike loved her. Kelly has sacrificed a lot for their relationship, recently moving from Chicago to Philadelphia for his job, leaving her job, friends and family behind.

As the Covid-19 pandemic puts the world in lock-down, Kelly and Mike’s relationship takes a turn for the worse. Mike suddenly requests that they pump the breaks on their upcoming nuptials.

Kelly is devastated and confused. She doesn’t know where she stands with Mike now. It’s uncomfortable and stressful being trapped in their tiny apartment together.

The only bright spot of this period of time is the friendship Kelly has rekindled with a girl she used to know in high school, Sabrina, who is now a successful Romance author.

Kelly confides to Sabrina about her current relationship issues and Sabrina comes up with a plan; a perfect escape for Kelly to clear her mind and reassess everything.

Sabrina offers Kelly the chance to go live with her and her husband, Nathan, at their palatial mansion in Virginia. They have a spare room, might as well put it to good use.

Kelly graciously accepts. She’s heartbroken to be leaving Mike behind, as it is still unclear about where they stand, but nevertheless, he doesn’t try to stop her. In a way, she feels she doesn’t have a choice.

Not knowing how long she will ultimately stay with the couple, Kelly packs just the necessities, including her cat, Virgo, and heads to VA.

Initially, things are awkward, but a few glasses of wine help and Kelly finds herself truly relaxing and settling in.

Both Nathan and Sabrina are gracious hosts, who seem truly happy that she is there. So happy in fact, that after a night of bonding over a great meal, drinks and some time by the pool, they end up opening up their relationship to her and a steamy threesome ensues.

Kelly can hardly believe her luck. She has never felt this way. She’s happy and falling hard. Mike, who?

There are some red flags though. The most disturbing is the fact that the couple’s previous partner disappeared under mysterious circumstances. When Kelly presses for information, she’s not satisfied with the answers she is getting from Sabrina and Nathan. What are they hiding?

As the tension mounts, Kelly starts to think she’s in over her head. Could she be the next one to disappear?

Y’all, this was such a tricky one to rate. It took me days and I’m still not sure I got it right. I waffled between a 2-star and 4-star rating.

Honestly, there were quite a few things about this story that drove me nuts. On the flip-side though, there was also great intrigue, tension and food for thought.

I did enjoy how quickly Bartz got us to the meat of the story. Within the first 10% of the story, Kelly is already getting herself to VA and settled in.

I like that the author didn’t waste a bunch of time with filler in the beginning. We’re all here to see what happens when Kelly moves into the spare room, after all.

I also enjoyed the sexual chemistry between the trio. That was a fun dynamic to watch play out.

It did take a long time to get anywhere though after the initial set-up. I was just hoping for someone to get murdered or something by the halfway point.

I was getting miffed at Kelly because she was making so many dumb choices and I started to dislike both Sabrina and Nathan. It was weird though because even through those negative emotions, I was addicted to this story.

I couldn’t stop reading. It had the suspense and messy drama I needed to keep me furiously turning the pages.

The second half was all over the place for me. There were some fun reveals and the tension definitely continued to grow, but it felt chaotic at times and not in a good way.

It got wilder and wilder as the story progresses, almost to the point where, I won’t say I was rolling my eyes, but I was close. Either way, I couldn’t stop thinking about it after.

If I were to describe The Spare Room with one word it would be, twisted.

Overall, I walk away from this happy with my reading experience. It was far from perfect, but there’s no doubt that I was entertained and compelled to keep reading.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was a memorable one!

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Review: The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon

The Revenge ListThe Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In The Revenge List we follow Frankie Morgan, a single-woman living in Portland, Maine, who works as a Project Manager for her Dad’s construction company.

Frankie has had some difficult times in her life, beginning with the hit-and-run accident that killed her Mom when Frankie was just a teen.

Since that time, things have snowballed. Now Frankie finds herself a barely functioning adult, filled with anger, guilt and growing list of regrets.

It doesn’t matter where she is, or who she is dealing with. Frankie has a short fuse and zero restraint when it comes to her reactions. There’s no take a deep breath and count to ten in her playbook.

After an explosive incident at work involving a very important client, Frankie’s Dad is fed up. Her temper is having a major impact on their family and their business.

As luck would have it, a woman he is friendly with leads a local anger management group. It is arranged that Frankie will start attending; required, not requested.

At her first session, one of the tasks is to create a list of people to forgive. People who have angered her in the past that she will now forgive. Even though she thinks it a little silly, Frankie goes along with it and records her list in her favorite notebook, the one with sunflowers on the cover.

In the events of the evening that follows, Frankie sort of forgets about the list. It was just an exercise, it doesn’t mean anything, but then the list goes missing.

Shortly thereafter, individuals on her list start getting injured in very bizarre ways. At first, after the first one or two, Frankie thinks it must be a coincidence, but three? And it’s starting to get closer to home?

Is Frankie losing it, or is someone actually targeting the people on her forgiveness list?

Desperate to get to the bottom of it before it’s to late, Frankie begins to investigate the harmful incidents. Things get wild and crazy from there. Trust no one.

I had a lot of fun reading this. I had been looking forward to it for a while, having really enjoyed previous works from Hannah Mary McKinnon.

I enjoyed the choices that McKinnon made in telling this story. For example, it felt refreshing to have just one-POV.

I feel like for the past two or three years, the vast majority of stories that I’ve read have featured dual, or multiple, POVs. And while I love that, I also liked getting the chance to just ride out this entire narrative with Frankie.

I felt like because of that choice, I genuinely got to know Frankie’s character and it felt important to hear it all from her. It gave great insight into the reasons why she was the way she was. It made her actions make sense.

In some ways, she’s not a super likable person, but I felt myself really empathizing with her and connecting with her. She’s like that friend who you love, but who always makes the stupidest choices and you just want to grab her by the shoulders and shake the heck out of her.

The best part about Frankie’s journey was watching the growth she made as a character. I wasn’t expecting much in that regard, but I loved how McKinnon gave her room to learn and change.

When you first meet Frankie she is bogged down in her anger. It literally feels like she is being crushed by it. It’s palpable. As she evolves over the course of the story, you can feel that weight dropping off. It was impressive to me how McKinnon was able to capture that feeling so well.

As far as the overriding plot went, I was super intrigued in the first half. I had no clue what was happening. Then there was a bit of a shift and I felt like the answer was then obvious, but I was still invested in following along with Frankie as she got the evidence she needed.

I would say it’s a slow-burn story, but the tension does continue to build throughout. Additionally, it gets bat-poop crazy at the end, so be prepared. Grab your popcorn and be prepared to yell at the book. I did.

And the ending!? Don’t even get me started. I mean, I can’t say anything, but like, Hannah!? Hannah Mary McKinnon!? What the?

It made me so devilishly happy, but also…

Overall, I had a fun time with this one, I really did. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I also feel like this one is going to stick in my head for a while.

Thank you so much to the publisher, MIRA, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait for more from this author!

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Review: No One Needs to Know by Lindsay Cameron

No One Needs to KnowNo One Needs to Know by Lindsay Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The residents of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side neighborhoods, are no strangers to drama. One might say, the bigger the money, the bigger the drama.

Looking for an anonymous place to vent and share their deepest, darkest secrets, as well as occasional search for advice, residents turn to an app; as you do nowadays.

It’s called UrbanMyth and the promise is that it is 100% anonymous. No matter what you post, no one will ever be able to link it back to you.

That sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

In this story, we’re following three different perspectives, Heather, Norah and Poppy; all women who live in the UES and have children at the Crofton School.

I don’t want to give any details of the drama that unfolds amongst these women, as it is really fun to watch the sh*tshow unfold right before you eyes. Just know, it’s high octane, 1% problems, with twist after jilted twist.

As the interactions between the women and their families are reaching a fever pitch, hackers break through the walls of UrbanMyth, tearing them down and exposing all users.

After the hack, as long as you have a person’s email address, you can find everything they ever posted on the app. When an UES-parent disappears, the local law enforcement find this hack quite useful.

Will any of our ladies be caught red-handed blabbing about their evil misdoings?!

It’s no secret that I love stories involving rich people drama, so No One Needs to Know had a really great shot of making me happy, and it did!

It’s such a quick, fun read, especially if you are also down for some secrets and drama. I loved the use of mixed media to tell the story.

Cameron included various posts from the UrbanMyth app, as well as correspondence involving the lead investigator of the UES-parent’s disappearance.

I also really enjoyed the anticipation of getting to the crime. I didn’t know for quite a while who, or what, the investigation was going to be into. There were so many different possibilities with all that was going on.

I thought once the crime/mystery was revealed, it was fun watching everyone scrambling around. I couldn’t tell if they were covering up something regarding that, or just other various secrets they were trying not to have exposed.

It was genuinely an addicting storyline.

Additionally, I found the conclusion to be immensely satisfying. Cameron knew just what I wanted in the end.

Overall, this is a great popcorn suspense, that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. Don’t expect to fall in the love with the characters, but if you enjoy being a fly on the wall watching people’s dirty laundry be aired, you should definitely have a good time with this one!

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

This is the first I have read from Lindsay Cameron, but I am definitely looking forward to picking up more of her work.

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Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

The SoulmateThe Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Soulmate is the latest release from the Queen of the Whiplash Reveal, Sally Hepworth. As I quickly rediscovered with this story, Hepworth likes to keep you shook.

In this story we mainly follow Gabe and Pippa, a married couple with a beautiful cliffside home. Unfortunately, that cliffside sometimes attracts people with unsavory intentions.

Gabe has talked people off that ledge more than once. In fact it has happened so often they’ve even received coaching from the local police on the proper steps to take when they encounter a possible jumper.

Because of this, when they spot a woman on the ledge one day, it seems almost natural for Gabe to go out and approach her. To try to help.

Pippa is initially watching her husband talking to the woman. She hopes he’ll be able to talk her back from the edge. Pippa turns her head, just for a moment and when she looks back, the woman is gone, Gabe’s arms left reaching into empty space.

As the inquiry into the woman’s death begins, it is revealed that Gabe actually knew her, unbeknownst to Pippa. What was said on the cliff that day? Did Gabe have a motive to push her? If so, what could it possibly be. Pippa is hurt, scared and confused. The couple has no secrets, do they?

I listened to this audiobook in one day. Once I started, I was quickly pulled into this web of ever growing secrets and reveals. It was impeccably told.

Hepworth drew me in from the start with a fascinating premise and an interesting couple. Pippa and Gabe were so glossy on the surface, but I just knew there was more to them both than was initially revealed. Boy, was I right!!

I love how Hepworth frames her stories. The pace and reveals are so much fun, you cannot help but be sucked into the lives of her characters.

This is the third novel I have read from this author and I have felt that way about every one of them. The plots are just so compelling, it’s almost impossible to stop. Every chapter leaves you wanting more; more answers, more drama, more revelations. It’s a whole experience.

I would absolutely recommend Hepworth’s work to anyone who enjoys twisted Domestic Dramas with enough scandals, lies and secrets to keep your head spinning.

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

I had a ton of fun reading this and look forward to whatever wicked web Hepworth is going to spin for us next!!!

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Review: Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon

Locust LaneLocust Lane by Stephen Amidon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The suburban town of Emerson, Massachusetts, seems like the ideal place to live and raise a family, but we all know that a lot drama goes on in such towns. It may hide below the surface, but trust, it’s there.

In Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane, the death of a young woman, Eden, opens up a crack through which the more unsavory sides of this town can be viewed.

After her body is discovered, it is clear that Eden was a victim of foul play. The police investigation into her death includes three local teens discovered to have been partying with Eden that night, Jack, Hannah and Christopher.

This narrative follows multiple perspectives of the adults in the town tied to Eden’s death. These include Jack’s Mom, Celia, Hannah’s Step-Mom, Alice and Christopher’s Father, Michel, as well as Patrick, a man who inadvertently ended up near the crime scene on the night in question. We also get the perspective of Eden’s Mom, Danielle.

This might sound like a lot, but it wasn’t difficult to follow. I think Amidon did a really great job of presenting all of these different perspectives in a distinct and important way.

Each one added to the building-out of this story. Sometimes I feel like, when there are this many perspectives, some are not as important, or interesting as the others, but that wasn’t the case here at all. In fact, I can’t imagine this story being told any other way.

I found the connections amongst the adults so interesting. Their relationships, whether mere acquaintance, friendship, or something more, had a very tight-web feel. Emerson is a small, wealthy town, and Eden was an unwealthy outsider. She didn’t grow up there like the rest of the kids. This definitely had an impact.

How could the truth ever come to light with the parents involved to the extent that they were?

The kids felt more like pawns in a game the adults were playing, as the parents scrambled trying to make sure their kids came out of this incident okay. Very little thought was given to the dead girl. Honestly, this felt real as heck.

I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed the narration. It was so well-done, truly bringing the story to life. I definitely recommend it. The story itself is super intriguing, but I felt the quality of the narration really took it to the next level for me.

The tone and feel of this story reminded me of a gorgeous blend of some of my favorite Crime Thrillers and Domestic Dramas. I’m thinking, for example, of books such as Take It Back by Kia Abdullah, A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson and Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda, to name a few.

If you enjoyed any of those novels, you should absolutely have this one on your TBR!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Celadon Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I was hooked by this story, beginning-to-end. This was my first Amidon novel and I’m looking forward to many more!!

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