Book Review: While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

while you were sleeping

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

I now understand why there are so many conflicting reviews for this book.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING by Kathryn Croft is a psychological suspense/thriller that is fast paced and a page turner, with many red herrings and twists. It will keep you reading until the end, but it was not my favorite.

When Tara Logan wakes up naked next to her dead neighbor in his bed, she has no memory of how she got there or what happened. She dresses, runs across the road to her own home and decides not to say anything.

She has a husband, Noah, who has cheated on her, a teenage daughter, Rosie, who has a history of lying and stalking and her young son, Spencer. As the investigation into her neighbor’s death progresses everyone comes under suspicion for differing reasons. The picture of the perfect family is no longer perfect and Tara no longer knows who to believe. Besides the family, there are secondary characters that are creepy and questionable.

This is a well written plot that constantly keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat and the ending was a big surprise but it didn’t deliver. It just sort of fell flat for me and then it is the end very quickly. I also had a huge problem with the DCI working the case. He gives a suspect information and becomes involved with her, but then he is worked out of the story. If his purpose was just to deliver info, it wasn’t realistic and another way should have been considered.

Very interesting premise and plot, great use of plot twists, interesting characters, just not a good ending for me.

Thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Feature Blog: The Huntress/FBI Thriller Series by Alexandra Sokoloff

The Huntress/FBI Thriller Series:

huntress-moon #1      blood-moon #2

cold-moon #3    bitter-moon #4

 

I had always planned on doing a Feature Blog about this series and since I just posted my review of the fourth book in the series, Bitter Moon, I decided it might as well be now. I was lucky enough to be asked by Alexandra Sokoloff if I would be interested in reviewing her third book of the series, Cold Moon, many moons ago. Besides being the first book that I would seriously review for publication, it was also my introduction to Net Galley. I fell in love with both the series and the site!

If you are a reader like me, I could not start on the third book, so I went back and purchased the first, Huntress Moon and the second, Blood Moon. I am very happy that I did. This series, at least in my opinion, cannot and should not be read as standalones.

The characters, both main and secondary, are complex and three dimensional within the series. For me, that is one of Ms. Sokoloff’s greatest strengths in these stories. The plots are fast paced, intriguing and believable, but it is the characters that keep drawing me back. There is explicit violence in each book, but one of the main characters is a psychotic, serial-killer, vigilante so it is to be expected.

This is a must read series for me and I anxiously await the publication of each book. Ms. Sokoloff’s writing is superb. I recommend you start now. Four books is doable!

Book Review: Bitter Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

bitter-moon

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This is one of my “Must Read” series and I am always anxiously awaiting the next book. BITTER MOON (The Huntress/ FBI Thrillers, #4) does not disappoint! Alexandra Sokoloff has once again written an amazing plot and character study of a victim turned vigilante serial-killer and an obsessed and conflicted FBI agent balanced on the edge.

This fourth book of the series is told in alternating voices between Cara Lindstrom in the Past at age 14 and FBI Agent Matthew Roarke in the Present. In the past, Cara is sent to a group home after release from juvenile prison and as she begins to attend the local high school, she is once again confronted by her visualization and/or conception of evil she calls “It”. In the present, Roarke is on leave from his job and is trying to decide who he is and what he wants for his future. A cryptic call from a detective with unknown motives drags Roarke into Cara’s past and the still unsolved present day mystery of a sexual predator preying on young girls.

The two plot lines intertwine past and present without being confusing in any way. This in depth look at Cara’s past was extremely interesting. It was the turning point in her short life when she decides to no longer be a victim, but to actively seek out and destroy “It” in all its manifestations. Cara is one of my favorite characters. Victim, psychotic, seer, killer, predator. Every scene and situation makes me reconsider my feelings for her.

I recommend this series highly! I also feel this series should be read in order. The character evolution in both main and secondary characters grows with the series. There is graphic violence throughout the series, but I don’t feel it is ever gratuitous. Once again, waiting for the next book!

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

behind-closed-doors

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris is definitely be one of my favorite psychological thrillers this year! I find it hard to believe this came from a debut author. The author had me completely engrossed. I devoured this book in one sitting!

Jack and Grace appear to be the perfect couple. Jack is a successful attorney for domestic abuse victims who has never lost a case. Grace is the gracious hostess, superb cook, talented painter and gardener with green fingers. In the eighteen months they have been married, you never see them apart. The perfect couple or is it only a façade?

Grace tells her story alternating between the Past and the Present. She is a successful buyer for Harrods and has complete responsibility of her younger sister, Millie who has Down’s syndrome. Then she meets Jack. She is lonely and he is perfect in every way. He is attentive to both her and Millie. The two come together quickly and Grace soon learns after the marriage that Jack isn’t who or what he seemed. She must find a way to get away from him before Millie is due to live with them and he destroys them both.

Every single scene and narrative in this book shows how Grace, or any woman, can become isolated, controlled or abused both physically and mentally. You see the escalation and signs and keep praying for Grace to escape, but Jack is such a controlling and scary psychopath that you don’t know how she will do it. Her fear keeps you turning the pages because you just have to know what happens. I also loved that this author did not dismiss Millie as a stereotype.

Intense, psychological thriller is the perfect description of this quick, must read!

Book Review: Beautiful Maids All In A Row by Jennifer Harlow

beautiful-maids-all-in-a-row

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

Jennifer Harlow has written a serial killer that scared me to death with his control over himself and others, had me cheering for her main character, Iris Ballard’s strength and tenacity, crying for her loss and wishing that I had the next book in my hands right now. BEAUTIFUL MAIDS ALL IN A ROW is a definite keeper!

Dr. Iris Ballard was one of the top FBI profilers. She now teaches at a small college and uses an excessive amount of pills and vodka to hide from mistakes made two years ago. Right when she reaches a new low, Luke Hudson, her old partner shows up and offers her a chance to chase a new monster, “The Woodsman.”

“The Woodsman” has killed several professional women and never leaves a clue or trace to be followed. Control is his motivation. He makes contact with Iris in the hope of rattling her, but he also considers her his intellectual equal. Even when his identity becomes known, he is able to deflect his crimes on to others. All except Iris believe it is over. He has made everyone believe Iris is on the verge of a breakdown again. The game is on and Iris’ life could be on the line again.

This book was fast paced, chilling and one of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year. The characters could walk right off the page. “The Woodsman” made chills go up and down my spine. I am hoping Ms. Harlow continues with this series and soon!

Thanks so very much to Alibi-Random House Publishing Group and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was definitely my pleasure!