Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is insanely good. The book has a twist that will change you world and open yourself to a new way of thinking. This is one of the best well rounded stories that I have read in some time, everything fits and it does not feel forced. The big twist is explained and all the loose ends are tied up so well. What is cool about the big twist is if you pay attention and open your mind you can figure it out, I was back and forth on what was coming guessing some parts but not all. I’m going to be vague on my plot details because this book is best not knowing too much. This book will be compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because you get the big twist and still have a lot of book left to explain it. This book is a book that was hyped early for reviewers to read, and I’m glad to say it has earned it’s hype. There are parts of this story that will stick with you for a while. It is being marketed as a Horror but is more of a psychological thriller with elements of horror, it leans to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs in mixing genres. The story is great you will have a couple character’s where you switch to loathing to loving them because they are so misunderstood. Trigger Warnings: child abuse. I was lucky to get selected to read The Last House on Needless Street early by Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is published on September 28 2021, right before October which is the perfect reading month for this book.

The Plot: In a boarded up house on the end of Needless Street bordering the woods lives a large man Ted who is haunted by a controlling mother, Lauren his teenage daughter that goes away for weeks but no one ever sees leave, and Olivia the bible reading house cat that will not be messed with. live a quiet unobserved life until a new neighbor moves in with and agenda to get into the house and open up the secrets inside.

What I Liked: Olivia the bible reading cat has so much character i liked being in that character’s head. The twist is pretty great I couldn’t put everything together but it was a great twist that was explained really well. I love full circle story telling and this is a great example of how it works and every secret is revealed and all connected. The different perspective story telling we get the views of 6 to seven characters who are all unique and I was never confused as to who’s head I was in. This story is dark but the humor which is mostly provided by Olivia the cat is great and served as a good break on the heavy. The afterword was interesting and unique since it went into detail how Catriona Ward came up with this story and how she made some choices. I was hooked from the start with this book because Ted the main perspective is so guarded. This story is dark but it has a lot of heart to it, there is a great I understand now moment. I liked what was done with the street at the end.

What I Disliked: I did feel that the wait was too long to find out what went on with Ted and “the dates”. I thought the book could have had better cover art, for how awesome this book was.

Recommendations: I haven’t been this surprised by a novel in a long time. Do yourself a favor and check this book out. Stephen King says”The buzz…is real. I’ve read it and was blown away. It’s a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end.” I have a feeling this is going to be a book people will be buzzing about. I haven’t liked a book this much in quite a while. The book is really fast paced and a great read. I rated The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward 5 out of 5 stars, I will definitely be checking out more books from this author.

Book Review: August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe

August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe is a mind trippy horror that involves past trauma and dreams that can effect reality. The novel was fast paced and has some scenes of horror that will get under your skin. This book reminded me a lot of the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell meets the villain from Joe Hill’s N0S4A2. This book has a lot of fun pop culture references, and little bits of odd humor. I liked and cared about the main character John or Johnny still being tormented by a mistake he made as a scared kid that represses in his living dreams. This book is pretty brutal and not for everybody with trigger warnings of rape, abduction, and child abuse, book doesn’t go into crazy detail but enough to unnerve the reader. I want to think Glenn Rolfe who reached out to me on Goodreads and asked if I would like to read his book. I want to think Flame Tree Press and netgalley for providing the book to me. August Eye’s by Glenn Rolfe was published on August 17th 2021.

The Plot: When John was a teenager he saw his friend Ethan get abducted into a van and was so terrified about it he repressed it. John now has these dreams where he is a young teenager with two other boy’s one with out eyes called August and anther boy called One Eye who has you guessed it one eye, they play in a graveyard land. The dreams scare him but also comfort him in some way. In real life John has a job which he hates, a great wife, after 2 failed pregnancies their relationship remains strained, his best friend is Pat a 16 year old neighbor kid with a mohawk. The dreams start feeling more real when his dream starts getting scary and in real life John sees a van that terrifies him and feels like it is watching him.

What I Liked: I looked the talk about different books both nonfiction and fiction. I liked the moment of wicked humor. John was a great character that I could identify with, a man trying to good but sometimes royally screwing up. August and the twist with his character was really good. The climax was done really well and was a satisfying ending. The dream scenes were my favorite and always interesting. I loved all the pop culture references to the 90’s during the flashback and the modern day pop culture.

What I Disliked: The plot line between Sarah and John and the tries for pregnancy, never felt like it belonged in this story. I wanted something that dealt with John’s repressed trauma, and tied it in to the story better. I do not like the cover art for this, it should have been spiders coming out of eye holes in my opinion.

Recommendation: I recommend you checking out August Eye’s if you are in need of a good horror that will trip your mind a little bit. The trigger warnings of rape, child abuse, and abduction will keep some away but if you can stomach those things then this is a solid horror with a heart. I rated August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: August 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, August was a crazy month, finally getting settled into my first house.  I read 5 books this month. I read 2 books over 600 pages, 1 graphic novels, and 1 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 2 book from a book series the third book of the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Fold and Star Wars: The High Republic series book 2 for adults the Gathering Storm . I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and one 2 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is the Second novel in the High Republic (which take place 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope) books for adults. This novel takes place mere months after after the event in Light of the Jedi. All those character that were given brief intros in Light of the Jedi, are finally able to be fully realized character that you can get behind. We follow Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann as our main Jedi characters the villain is the same except more brutal and powerful, there’s only one new character of note Ty Yorrick a former Jedi that as avoided the order at all cost is confronted by one of the order. This book has a good flow and was quite a page turner. The book has some moments of epicness, but the main plot takes care place at a fair, and I’m sorry there is nothing too epic about that even if the fair is more like the World’s fair. This book has been my favorite of the Star Wars High Republic books so far.

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 11. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 by Stan Lee is a lot of long form spiderman tales with the most beautiful artwork to date. This volume contains the small first run of The Spectacular Spiderman which only ran 2 issues. One of the book is black and white pencil drawings that are just beautiful with Peter Parker looking closer to what he looks like today. The big issue in this volume is the return of the Green Goblin, which has been building up for sometime, and leads to a big finish with the Green Goblin being the only enemy that knows Peter Parker’s true Identity. The other notable issues are the battle of the two Vultures, and an epic Mysterio which was my favorite two parter issues so far in the series. We get to find out what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, and how they died. Mary Jane gets a perm, and it is not pretty. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 collects issues of The Spectacular Spiderman (1968) 1-2; The Amazing Spider-Man 62-67 and Annual 5.

Two Star Reviews:

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, those are the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve, Red’s sister, really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character.

Book Review: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. For an over 500 page book, this book reads fast, and saw no obvious places to shorten it. For a horror novel I would call this book epic, in scope and scale and what it adds to the genre. I will say this book is out there and I do see some readers get confused at where the novel goes but I loved every second of it. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

The Plot: Two prologues start off the story, A serial killer who is obsessed with numbers goes to the electric chair, he wonders about the one that got away as he rides the lightning, and something mysterious happens. A boy is found covered in blood by a hunter looking like a ghost by a hunter, but it is no ordinary boy. Then we meet the Graves family Nate a police officer in Philadelphia, Maddie an artist that loses herself in her art, then becomes afraid of it, and Oliver a 15 year-old that is so sensitive to peoples empathy he can’t breathe upon feeling so much pain. Nate gets a offer from his father and man he hates and is dying of cancer, through his lawyer Nate gets the family home for a dollar. Nate is unsure about this but thinks it will be better for Oliver to get out of the City and into the country. Nate takes a job with Game and Wildlife since that is the only job available. Nate is still haunted by nightmares of his father in the house then, starts seeing his ghost. Maddie starts being more and more horrified of her art, Oliver makes friends and dangerous enemies. The Graves family doesn’t know that a storm is coming, and what it can bring.

What I Liked: This novel is crazy and so unpredictable that I love every second of it. The writing is really good and descriptive, this novel goes to some crazy places but I always felt I can visualize what is going on. This novel had really good side characters that were small but made an impact, and made me care for them talking about Jed, Caleb and Fig. I liked the clever name changes in products. Oliver was my favorite character, I liked his heart and how brave he was. The plot goes to crazy places but in the end everything did make sense, with the rules Wendig did set up. The horror and gore elements really worked and gave me some pretty horrific visuals in my head. The father and son relationships are pretty heartbreaking and well written, for horror novel you might tear up a little as one character works out his demons with his father and reaches closure. The cover is cool that was my big callout with The Wanders, how plain the cover was for so excellent of a book.

What I Disliked: I disliked really minor stuff, I would want to see how Oliver gets off the mountain during the blizzard, he’s far from where he has to be and the person that rescued him we don’t know where he was, and some how Oliver makes it in time. The finale was the only part that was truly hard to visualize, one thing needed more description.

Recommendations: Read this book if you want to expand your horror reading beyond just a haunted house. This book dips into science fiction by way of the supernatural and it is a wonderful thing. I knew when I read The Wanders in 2019 I knew that book would be in my top ten of books for the year, and I see The Book of Accidents the same way. I rated The Book Of Accidents by Chuck Wendig 5 out of 5 stars. I have already go asked which one did I like better The Wanders or The Book of Accidents? My answer is The Wanders not by a mile but I can say with no doubt the Wanders and the quest element really spoke to me.

Wrap Up: July 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, July was a crazy month, I moved into my first house, it is out in the country where only one internet provider reigns supreme, so it took me and my family a month to get internet.  All other services were decently fast so if you missed me and my reviews that’s what I was doing.  I read 6 books this month. I read 2 horror, 2 graphic novels, and 2 new releases thanks to netgalley . I started 1 new series and read 2 from a book series. I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and two 3 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah is a tearjerker about two of America’s harshest times The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.  Really blown away by this book. This Historical novel uses real events and puts here character’s through tragedy and triumph.  This novel can easily get compared to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, but teaks it giving it a new perspective what if Tom Joad  was a single mother with kids.  The perspective changes everything the character of Elsa want to breakdown but is strong for her and her kids.  This is a novel that you will want to thank your mother after for all that she has sacrificed for her children’s happiness.

Four Star Reviews:

Surviving the Night by Riley Sager is a twisty thriller that takes you on a ride with a serial killer.  The twist keep coming and coming, some I could foresee but others will change the way you read this novel, making you go, What! Just happened!?!.  Every character in this book has a major change of how the reader perceives them.  He ending is non-stop the last 150 pages are on the edge of your seat as the twists keep coming.  The climax is very satisfying, I saw the final twist coming for a while but the actions after that were very satisfying.  The flaw of this novel is the beginning was hard to get into, it takes a little time for this book to get into rhythm, but when it does it is really hard to put down.  A big thanks to Netgalley and Dutton publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Surviving the Night.  Surviving the Night is published on 7-29-21.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian is a period piece in the mid 1600 America. It was you typical divorce stories husband beats on wife, she tries to divorce him and gets called a witch and has to defend against being a witch; so not typical at all.  This novel will have you scream at characters, that I’m sure are accurately portrayed but so one sided and biased.  The novel is set when the husband was king and they referred to the wife as the helpmate, it was not a partnership.  This novel can be seen a feminist, it’s a fight for equal rights and to have a woman with strong ideas is not a bad thing.  The trials are the best part of the book.  The story is at it’s core simple but the way the story is told is what makes it so interesting.

Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6 by Stan Lee is getting Spiderman in the larger story arcs.  Spiderman has had minor stories arc like turning in his costume then having to use a spare, injuring his shoulder and being in a cast, or poor Aunt May being sick and weak for a couple issues. The villains have lasted only two issues until now. Spidey fights Doc Oct. and Kingpin for 3 – 4 issues.  The main villains are Kingpin, who was just introduced in Amazing Spider-Man issue 50 and is in 5 issues in this volume, Doc Oct, Mysterio, and Allister Smythe and his Spider Slayer.  Peter Parker’s love life takes a turn where he has to choose Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane Watson.  This volume sees a death of a minor but important character, and introduces Gwen’s father Captain Stacey and Robbie Robertson who are all important to Peter Parker / Spiderman’s legacy.

Three Star Reviews:

Falling by T. J. Newman is an okay thriller on an airplane. The novel does feel authentic like you the reader are getting insider information on how the flight crew works. The author was a former flight attendant and Falling is her debut. This book has moments of thrills but it felt pretty formulaic too me. I would say this book is Airframe by Michael Crichton meets a decent James Patterson thriller. I think if you read this novel it should be on a plane, because that will amp the fear, and you couldn’t help wonder what goes on behind the door of the flight deck. You will come out respecting your fight attendants and the job they have to do. I think this book is getting over hyped, it is good but not great. Thanks to Netgalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for giving me access to Falling early. Falling by T. J. Newman is published on July 6 2021.

Fight Club 2 By Chuck Palahniuk Is a very meta tale told in graphic novel form. The first book was written as a novel, but the follow up was written as a graphic novel. This follows the film Fight Club over the actual novel. I prefer the film but this novel fall in too much fan service and too meta. Palahniuk brings everyone back, Angel Face, Robert Paulson, and even Chloe. Each character is brought back with a surprising twist. I liked some of the ideas brought on but others fall flat. The ending is way too out there and meta it is a bit of a cop out. The art and how the story uses the visual to tell that story is one of the best but the story just was just okay.

Book Review: Falling by T. J. Newman

Falling by T. J. Newman is an okay thriller on an airplane. The novel does feel authentic like you the reader are getting insider information on how the flight crew works. The author was a former flight attendant and Falling is her debut. This book has moments of thrills but it felt pretty formulaic too me. I would say this book is Airframe by Michael Crichton meets a decent James Patterson thriller. I think if you read this novel it should be on a plane, because that will amp the fear, and you couldn’t help wonder what goes on behind the door of the flight deck. You will come out respecting your fight attendants and the job they have to do. I think this book is getting over hyped, it is good but not great. Thanks to Netgalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for giving me access to Falling early. Falling by T. J. Newman is published on July 6 2021.

The Plot: Airplane Pilot Bill has picked up a flight to the disappointment of his wife Carrie who will miss his 9 year-old Son’s first baseball game of the season. After Bill leaves his family is kidnapped my Sam, who wants Bill to gas his passenger’s and crash the plane. Bill is in flight when he finds this out, the terrorist warn there is a mole on the plane that will let the terrorist know if anything is wrong. Bill confides in Jo his lead flight attendant that has been with him since the beginning of his career. Jo agrees to help, she also conveniently has a nephew that works for the FBI, she text him about the situation. Bill must think of something while not letting his co-pilot know, Jo must think of a way to keep her and the passengers safe from a gas attack, and the young FBI agent must save bills family.

What I Liked: I loved Jo the flight attendant so, so, much, she did remind me a lot of Nana Mama from the Alex Cross series, they could me cousins, but she is the stand out character. I liked the bad guys were bad but they were trying to make a point about there country and the war that we pulled out of despite our alliance to the Kurdish people. I like how fast this novel starts, and it was very easy to read. I makes you think and see plane travel a little differently.

What I Disliked: Some of the flashbacks were not needed at all and didn’t add any insight. I was waiting for another twist, but it didn’t happen. The plot was fairly straight forward. The biggest piece was we were missing the thoughts of a passenger to elevate the fear, we have action from the passengers but not thoughts, and they were needed badly. The action was a little hard to follow.

Recommendations: I think that falling is a run of the mill thriller, but I can see that reading it on a plane will ratchet up the thrill of it, so if you read this book I would recommend it on a plane. This book is getting over hyped right now I read it based on recommendations from Don Winslow and Lee Child. Falling is author T. J. Newman’s debut and I saw some decent characterization, so I will read the next novel from T. J. Newman. I rated Falling by T. J. Newman 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Survive the Night by Riley Sager is a twisty thriller that takes you on a ride with a serial killer.  The twist keep coming and coming, some I could foresee but others will change the way you read this novel, making you go, What! Just happened!?!.  Every character in this book has a major change of how the reader perceives them.  He ending is non-stop the last 150 pages are on the edge of your seat as the twists keep coming.  The climax is very satisfying, I saw the final twist coming for a while but the actions after that were very satisfying.  The flaw of this novel is the beginning was hard to get into, it takes a little time for this book to get into rhythm, but when it does it is really hard to put down.  I have read all 5 of Riley Sager’s novels; I look forward to them every summer.  He is the king of summer thrillers.  Sager’s writing hooks me in by taking a horror trope and making it into a thriller, he as explored slasher, summer camp horrors, creepy apartments, haunted house and now a psycho-like road trip.  A big thanks to Netgalley and Dutton publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Survive the Night.  Survive the Night is published on 7-29-21.

The Plot: Charlie is leaving school, she can’t handle the pressure of school and her roommate and best friend getting murdered by a serial killer.  The Campus Killer has killed a victim every year and Charlie’s roommate was murdered two months ago.  What makes it worst is the last conversations was a fight late at night between friends saying words they will regret the next day but there is no next day.  Charlie saw or thinks she saw the killer or at least the last person to see her alive, but cannot seem to make out the face.  Charlie has breaks in reality like she’s in a movie, and she can’t know if this is reality or a movie.  She post a ride share flyer and is approached by Josh a handsome stranger who is a little bit older. She agrees but once she’s in the car, she feels that something is not right, and that Josh might not be who he says he is, he might be a killer, or is it all in her head?

What I Liked: I liked that I was surprised of the direction this novel took, there were point where I thought I knew were it was going then thrown a curve ball.   The novel was all about finding your own power and not being the victim.  The non-stop back half of this novel is so fast paced an intense, I loved almost every minute of it. I liked a lot of the movie references being a movie buff and having seen most of the movies referenced.  I enjoyed the 90’s references especially Nirvana.  I liked the twist and how character’s actions were explained after the fact.  Charlie took a while to warm up to but I did root for her at the end. Marge the waitress was my favorite character.  I liked the final twist in the prologue that explained the events we witnessed.

What I Disliked: The beginning took a while to get into; I thought it was too much exposition, right at the beginning, which gave me a detachment to Charlie at first.   I saw one of the major twists coming really early about the Campus Killer’s identity, It was a man I wish I’m wrong about who this is, but I was right.

Recommendations: Nobody writes thrillers like Riley Sager, you have to experience this intense novel.  The only drawback is a really slow beginning but man is this book setting you up for a fast-paced ending.  I rated Survive the Night by Riley Sager 4 out of 5 stars.  My ranking of every Riley Sager novel from highest to lowest is: The Last Time I Lied, Home Before Dark, Final Girls, Survive the Night, and Lock Every Door.

Book Review: The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette

The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette is a fantastic science fiction thriller with a clever ending you will not see coming. This book is The Wanders by Chuck Wendig meets Contact by Carl Sagan. A really good mix of the apocalypse with alien involvement. The characters are unique only a couple are annoying, by most in a quirky sort of way. The plot moves pretty fast and the more you find out is pretty interesting, every chapter digs more into the mystery. The finale is was really clever in what it means, I was kind of disappointed in the direction it was going but the book has a twist that totally redeems its self. I really hope people read this book, this has been my favorite new science fiction since The Wanders and Recursion. I don’t think it is on the same level as those books but was very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I read this book curtesy of Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books. The Apocalypse Seven was published on May 25 2021.

The Plot: Robbie wakes up in his dorm after at Harvard after a hangover, to find everything in his room changed, he’s in the right dorm but everything is different. It is so different he can not find another living soul on his floor. He here’s faint crying from a distance it is a blind woman Carol calling for her seeing eye dog. She says she can’t hear anything, and Robbie looks out side to see a vast forest and no other species around. They start finding various people and finding signs temperature changes, tornadoes, and roaming wolf packs, that the earth as they know it doesn’t exist. They call it the whateverpocalypse because it is so random, but will they survive it? They feel watched but can’t see who is watching?

What I Liked: I liked how funny parts were, it makes the novel really flow. I liked the mystery of what happened to 7 random strangers and how it kept building with every chapter. I liked liked how Carol who is blind was written through sounds and feeling, which made for intense scenes with the wolf pack. I love loved the ending, I was setting myself up for disappointment but the final twist was great one that changed everything. I liked that we met the puppet master and he was not who anybody was expecting. I liked how Robbie became the reluctant leader. I loved Win and how tough she was.

What I Disliked: The character of Toure was a bit much at times. I wanted to see more of Paul’s encounter’s with the wild. There were a couple of moments where you have to suspend disbelief and science a lot, I was able to do that and still enjoy the book, I know some people can’t and this might not be the book for you.

Recommendation: I think this was a fun little book, with good storytelling and fun characters. The ending is fantastic and such a good twist. I had a lot of fun with this book. I rated The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette 5 out of 5 stars. The rating was between 4 and 5 with the fun level and twist pushing it to a 5. This is my first Gene Doucette but I will check out other works in the future.

Book Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is a uniquely told mystery because it is told in reverse, but you still don’t know all the facts making it very compelling. There are some big twist that will make you change your whole theory of what is going on. The writing was good with just enough description to let you visualize what is going on. The narrative is told at three different times by four different people in the story, at first this is a little dizzying, but then starts to fit in to place. The way the story is told makes it brilliant, if it was told the normal way it would still be good but they way it is told makes you question and doubt everything. This is my first Mary Kubica and I was blown away I have heard her name mentioned in mystery but didn’t expect to be this blown away and frankly jealous that I did not think of this brilliant way to tell a story. The finale is heart ponding and the villain gets what they deserved. This book does have LGTBQ characters. There are trigger warnings of extreme child abuse that could ruin this book for some. I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin trade publishing for giving me an advanced reader’s copy of Local Woman Missing. Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is published on may 18th 2021.

The Plot: A girl escapes people that have been torturing her for 11 years, the girl is famous of a sort for missing. The novel jumps back 11 years to the day of the missing girl, and we know she is not the only one missing the mom and another local woman are missing as well. Then the novel jumps back even further to 11 years and 3 months, where the mom receives a threatening text message saying I know what you did years ago, you will be punished.

What I Liked: The plot and the way it is told add so much tension. The past will change you perception of the future, it was really cool how that was done. I liked the psychological aspect to the book on the toll of reintroduction of a girl missing takes on her and the family, having Leo, the younger brother of the missing girl be the narrator was great as we get in his head. I did like there was a lesbian couple that no one batted an eye at and trusted there kids with. The finale was tense you already know who the villain now you want to find out if they get caught or they do more destructive things. I was very satisfied with the ending and the turn of events.

What I Disliked: There was one plot twist about a cheating husband, an accusation, then we find one girl had an affair I was bummed that it wasn’t tied into the husband, and that the husband having an affair just went away in the story, I kind wanted to know if it was true, or the accuser was just paranoid. I liked having the perspective of Leo a young 14 year old, but he has some lines about love and sex that felt more like a 40 year old that has been through the ringer not a 14 year old virgin.

Recommendation: Read local Woman missing it is a really smart mystery, that takes the reader for a ride shows you all the suspects and slowly fill in the details of the past and the present. Be warned of the trigger warning for extreme child abuse and entrapment. If I had to compare the narrative style to another book I would say it was closest to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, as close as it is the two are very different and this book doesn’t have a perspective that you can not trust. I rated Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica 5 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be reading more Mary Kubica in the future.

Wrap Up: May 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, May was an good month for reading I got a little behind on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month out of 9 Local Woman Missing will be read next month as I am half way done with it, it is very excellent as well as a book I didn’t get to The Apocalypse Seven.   I read one graphic novels this month, 1 book in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 2 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 4 books published this year. I read another Stephen king making him the dominate the most books read by an author.

Five Star Reviews:

The One my John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets black mirrored showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman.

Four Star Reviews:

Later by Stephen King is a really fun ghost story, about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them is it a gift or a curse. I would say it is the Sixth Sense meets combined with a short story he wrote in if it bleeds Mr. Harrigan’s phone, this story went in another direction and it was good. Later was part of the Hard Case Crime series, that not really a series but more of a style of books. This is my fourth so far and favorite. I have read the three that Stephen King wrote and one by Brian DiPlama. Later is a good fun ride that gets exciting and a little gruesome. King will always create characters that you can connect instantly to and Jamie the lead is no exception. The pacing is fast I was able to read it in a day and had moments where I could not put it down.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is a tightly wound thriller at an isolated hotel with it’s own horrific past. The thriller gets off to a fast start with a murder. we later learn the significance of it and when it happened. This is a novel of a lot of twist that will mess with your head as to is behind all this. The setting is unique a former Sanatorium that treated female tuberculosis patients that is turned into a swanky hotel in the Swiss Alps. This book was on Reece Witherspoon’s book club which gave it some extra hype. The Sanatorium is a solid mystery, with easy to remember character’s.

Three Star Reviews:

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a collection of 6 novellas all featured in the town of Goblin. The town of Goblin is a little different with police that look and sound the same, the dead are buried standing up, and a witch live in the forbidden North woods. The stories are interesting and barely intertwined for it being in the same town. The most interesting things the police, the dead buried standing up, and the witch, are barely explored. The book focuses on the history of the town which is just okay but not nearly as interesting as the other things I had mentioned. The novellas are okay, there was only one really good one, one really predictable and the rest fall into the good category. I wanted the stories to come together more. The writing does some clever things but the pacing, and focus on the history of the town will try the patience of the reader. 

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living, which sounds a lot like Pixar’s film Coco. This is no Coco. There is a plague that wipes out all of existence except one person to our knowledge who is isolated the city of the dead shrinks to one city where all are connected in some ways. The story is more metaphorical than straight linear. The words written are beautiful, but man does this story get boring, the last person doesn’t seem to want to do really anything that makes sense. Mostly it’s wondering and you get to know her character through the people she knew. I thought it was an interesting story, but it could’ve been something more. The dead world was interesting and a metaphor for living your best life even if you’re dead.

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times