Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Accident by Linwood Barclay

Synopsis: Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself—and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

My Thoughts: My first Barclay and I'm not sure what I really think about his writing.

What I Liked: Linwood Barclay certainly had me wondering throughout the entire book. Amongst a cast of questionable characters, Barclay masterfully crafted a whodunnit that even stumped me.  Not that I'm queen of figuring out whodunnits but often times I'm more right than wrong. So with the conclusion of this book I was (pleasantly) surprised that I didn't see it coming. I also enjoyed seeing how so many plot threads came together. There was a time towards the beginning of the book that I had my doubts that he could pull all of them together but he certainly did it.

What I Didn't Like: I didn't like that Barclay used the recession as a reason for "purportedly" good people to turn to a life of crime. Most of us have been effected by the down turn in our economy but very few of us have turned to a life of crime. It seemed a bit absurd that so many people in such a small suburban area would have done this. In addition, his back and forth flipping from first person narration to third pulled me out of the story. I would have liked if it stuck to one or the other even though the way it was written made it easier to determine whose view we were reading at any given time. Also, the first 1/3 or so really dragged for me...it did pick up but I wouldn't consider this a thriller. It's a slow build and not a fast paced roller coaster ride. One last thing, I had a bit of an issue with the whodunnit. I did enjoy Barclay stumping me but I thought the actual perpetrator was a bit hard to swallow. I liked the wow of it but it seemed a bit far fetched.

In a Nutshell: Despite that I had some issues with the book I will probably seek out more Linwood Barclay books in the future.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Return to Me by Christy Reece

Synopsis: Posing as an underage teenager, Samara Lyons is out to trap an online predator. Smart, fiery, and fresh off a broken engagement, Samara is up for the challenge. But this challenge might not be so easy. Her boss, Noah McCall, head of a private international corporation called Last Chance Rescue, can’t disguise his raw, physical desire for Samara—and she’s going crazy battling her own feelings toward him...

My Thoughts: Despite a fabulous first book in this series, Return to Me didn't have any sophomore blues and more than lived up to it's predecessor.

What Worked: As always, I'm all about fabulous characters. Noah far surpassed my expectations. Having been intrigued by him in Reece's first book in the Last Chance Rescue series, I had high expectations and he delivered. If you like a tortured hero, Noah McCall is not to be missed. Even if the rest of the book wasn't to my liking his back story was worth the read.

What also worked was the gritty suspense. It's dark and nail biting. The myriad of emotions Reece put me through was amazing. I hated the bad guy. I loved Noah. I cheered on Samara. I chuckled at Eden giving Noah a hard time. I think my heart stopped when it looked as if Samara was going to....nope not going to go into too many details. You'll have to read the book to see what I'm talking about but be warned, human trafficking is not necessarily in everyone's comfort zone.

What Didn't Work: As much as I love Noah I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that he was a douche canoe several times towards Samara. If I wasn't so taken by him and his back story his attitude would have turned me completely off instead of just frustrating me. In addition to Noah's flaws, Samara just wasn't Eden (the heroine from the first book). I couldn't help but compare the two. I know I shouldn't have but I did and so I put it on the table for you. I'm sure your experience with the book will be different than mine but as it directly effected my enjoyment, and my star rating, I had to mention it.

In a Nutshell: A Fabulous Romantic Suspense and a new favorite author makes Christina a happy girl! I can't wait to read the next book. Ethan is sure to be amazing. I mean, Noah amazing!