Monday, February 26, 2018

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

In 1974, teenager Leni Allbright finds her life upended again when her father, Ernt, decides to move the family to Alaska because he's inherited some land from a Vietnam War buddy. The Allbrights are not prepared for how harsh and alienating the wilds of Alaska can be. Ernt is also unstable and violent because of his time as a prisoner of war. As he abuses Leni's mother, Cora, Leni begs her mother to leave Ernt and escape with her, but Cora refuses time and time again. Will Leni and Cora be able to survive living with Ernt in such a hostile environment? While I enjoyed the descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and how one prepares throughout the year to survive the winters, almost all the characters were depicted as very black and white (i.e. good or bad) and the storylines were simplistic and at times resolved too easily.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Killer Choice by Tom Hunt

What would you do to protect the one you love? When Gary Foster finds out his pregnant wife, Beth, is diagnosed with a brain tumor and that a clinical trial in Germany might help her, he feels powerless, because there is no way they can afford the $200,000 cost. When a local criminal anonymously approaches Gary, offering to give him the money if Gary kills someone for him, Gary agrees--but complications arise both with the deal and in his personal life. In Killer Choice, Hunt has written a fast-paced read that's hard to put down, as long as you can buy into the premise. Great for readers of Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, and David Rosenfelt's standalone novels.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

In this third book in the "You" series, Louisa moves to New York City to work as a companion for the Gopnik family. Agnes Gopnik is the second wife of Leonard and, as an immigrant from Poland, does not fit in well with wealthy New York society. Louisa is there to help her feel more comfortable and arrange all her appointments and engagements. With a stepdaughter and housekeeper who really dislike Agnes, Louisa's job is not easy. Louisa is also missing her boyfriend, Sam, who is still living in London. Their attempts at a long-distance relationship are not going well, especially when paramedic Sam gets a new attractive partner named Katie. The big question is whether Louisa will find happiness and fulfillment in her life. After a lackluster second book, Moyes delivers another novel with unforgettable characters and storylines.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

When a few female senior citizens are murdered in their homes, the neighborhood that the victims resided in goes on high alert. Octogenarian Bernard and his friends decide to take action and make sure that the older single women are not alone by having a single man in the group move in with them until the perpetrator is caught. While Amy, an artist in her 30's, begins to create paintings about the crimes. Another neighbor, teenager Maddie is home alone a lot with her younger brother since her mother abandoned the family. Maddie also has doubts that the man the police are targeting is guilty since she knows him as a customer at the restaurant where she works as a waitress. In The Other Side of Everything, Owens explores the aftereffects of a series of crimes through these three characters and their intersecting lives. As suggested by the publisher on the flyleaf of the book, give to readers who enjoy Megan Abbott and Laura Lippman's standalone novels. Also, the wonderful yet not well-known The Long and Faraway Gone is a great alike.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

When a old colleague named Angelo Morelli contacts Ruth and asks her to come to Italy to consult on an archaeological dig, Ruth decides to stay for a couple of weeks and make it a vacation for herself and her daughter, Kate. Ruth's friend, Shona, and Shona's son, Louis, accompany them on the trip. Staying in Angelo's grandfather's home in a small Italian village allows Ruth to work, but also do fun things with Kate and get to know people in the community. When a local resident dies and it looks like he possibly was murdered, Ruth finds herself involved in the case. Someone is also making it clear to Ruth and Shona that they are really not welcome in the town at all. In this tenth book of the Ruth Galloway series, Griffiths puts Ruth and her circle of friends in a new locale and it's, as usual, a pure delight. It will be published in May.