Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Psych Thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
On a normal morning in June, Kate is walking her dog, Shadow, along the Reach when he runs in to the water to retrieve something. Soon after, Kate’s three best friends from boarding school in Salten, Isa, Fatima, and Thea receive a three-word text- “I need you”. The three don’t hesitate in returning to Kate, and to Salten. That message is never sent unless it is an emergency. They have a feeling that they know what the emergency is about. The Lying Game, a game that they played during their time at Salten, has never ended. It is a game with a myriad of rules, and it landed them all being asked to leave Salten in the fifth-year due to the scandal surrounding the disappearance of Ambrose, the art teacher- and Kate’s father. It is the lie surrounding this that the girls cannot let go of, and the one that may get them arrested…or worse. If you’re going to play The Lying Game, you must be ready to face the consequences.
I don’t know where Ruth Ware comes up with these stories, and I don’t care, as long as she keeps putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, whatever)! I can’t believe that I am saying this, but The Lying Game has just surpassed In a Dark, Dark, Wood as my favorite Ware book! It was awesome, like binge read awesome! The characters were all so well developed, that they were easily imagined. The descriptiveness of the Reach and Salten was phenomenal. I could see it very clearly, with minimal effort. Her writing, as always, was sophisticated and lovely. Much like In a Dark, Dark Wood, this one grabbed my attention from the beginning, and it did not let up until it was over. This is the experience that I look for in a great psych thriller, and I definitely got it with The Lying Game. If you’re looking for that, as well- Go. Read. Now!!
Author: Fiona Barton
Genre: Psych Thriller
Jean has people coming to talk to her from all directions. Everyone wants to know the truth, the truth about the crime that her husband was accused of committing. She has kept quiet up until this point, being the good wife. The wife who stands by her husband, no matter what, and defends him to everyone. The wife who does as her husband asks. Her husband is dead now, though, and Jean doesn’t have to keep her silence. She can say whatever she wants to say. What truth is she going to tell everyone, though?
This is a book that I was really looking forward to, from the time that I read the description and picked it up. Sadly, for me, it did not live up to my expectations. Told in alternating points of view, it gives the reader the story from the perspective of three different players: the widow, the reporter, and the detective. The characters could have been a bit better developed. They seemed to be lacking sound depth. The plot line was pretty good, and had great potential. I just had a hard time getting in to the story. It never quite grabbed me in the way that I want a psych thriller to. My expectations may have been a bit high going in to it, as it was compared to a couple of my favorite psych thrillers, but I was honestly ready for I to wrap up by the end. However, it has some great reviews on other sites, so don’t let me deter you if it sounds fantastic to you!
Author: Barbara Copperthwaite
Genre: Psychological Thriller
The Oak family appears to be the ideal, picture-perfect family: Melanie and Jacob have been together since high school. They have one daughter, Beth, who appears to be a lovely young lady, and a dog. They live in the same small town that Mel and Jacob grew up in, have a nice little home, and seem to be doing well for themselves. Everything seems great…that is until Beth turns up missing. When she is found, she is on the verge of death from a near fatal head injury, and lying in a frozen creek. She was supposed to be at her best friend’s home that night, why was she out on the marsh? Everyone knows everyone in this town, so why does no one seem to have any idea of what happened to Beth? Melanie becomes more and more frustrated with the police’s seeming inaction, and decides to try to get to the truth on her own. What she finds may be more than she bargained for.
This was a pretty entertaining psychological thriller. It was told from alternating viewpoints, but was done very well so it was not at all hard to follow. There were some fun twists along the way, to keep it interesting. It was easy to get a bit frustrated with Melanie at some points, as she seemed to be a bit daft at times, but I could get past that for the most part. I was able to figure out the major twists before they were revealed, but that is the case a lot of times as I read a lot of psych thrillers, so I don’t take much credit away from the book for that. The main characters were fleshed out fairly well. There were a lot of secondary characters, so it would have been a bit difficult to give them all a ton of attention, but enough was given that they were easy to visualize and give a voice to. The setting was well descripted, so it was easy to visualize while reading. Overall, I would say that this was a well written thriller; definitely above average. I would give this author another read.
*Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Thriller/Psych Thriller
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Someone is dead… Was it murder, an accident, or somewhere in between? Welcome to the Pirriwee Peninsula in the suburbs of Australia, where everyone knows everyone, or so it would seem. Jane, a young mother to five-year-old Ziggy, has just moved here to start over. She is young enough that she is mistaken as a nanny. She befriends Madeline, who is as outspoken as they come, has a teenage daughter whom she fears that she is losing, and a son in Ziggy’s class. Her ex-husband and his wife have also moved to the Peninsula, and have a daughter the same age, in the same class. We also meet Celeste, a beauty to behold, with rambunctious twin boys, a wealthy corporate husband, and a mind that is constantly running in circles. With them, along with the rest of the cast, we learn that it’s the little lies, that could have the largest impact.
This is the first of Liane Moriarty’s novels that I have read. I admit that I, initially, picked it up because I wanted to watch the miniseries, and I won’t watch until I have read the book. (Yes, I am one of those people!) I am very glad that I picked it up! This book reminds me of a cross between Pretty Little Liars and Desperate Housewives- It was delicious! Once I got in to it, I didn’t want to put it down. The characters are all well fleshed out, with very individual personalities that allow the reader to decide to love or hate them (or somewhere in between). It really took me until very close to the reveal to decide what the answer to the actual mystery was, but I didn’t see the twist coming! I will definitely give another of her books a try in the future.
As we say goodbye to 2016, and usher in 2017, I can honestly say that it has been a good year in the book world! We have had some amazing books published this year, and some awesome new authors have emerged. We have also suffered some great losses. It was a wonderful reading year for me, personally, as well. I think that I read more this year that I ever have in a single year before, and I was introduced to some wonderful new authors that I look forward to reading much more from in the future.
I have taken the majority of this week to try and determine what was actually my best of this year, and I had a very difficult time with it! I had to break it down in to categories, because I wasn’t able to pick just one!
Favorite Overall Read of the Year: There was a tie in this category!
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Blood Curse by Quincy J. Allen
Favorite Thriller of the Year: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Favorite YA of the Year: Looking for Alaska by John Green
Favorite New Author of the Year: J.D. Spikes
I’m looking forward to an awesome new year with all of you!! I hope you all have a wonderful new year!! As always, thanks for reading!!
Author: P.J. Mayhair
Genre: Horror/Psych Thriller
Jeremiah really wants to helps the girls that he finds. They should be more clean, more pure. There’s only one problem, he keeps killing them in the process. His latest target, Rachel, may be the perfect girl. Jeremiah believes that she may be just the woman that he has been looking for, that is until she turns the tables. Suddenly Jeremiah may become a victim of his own madness.
I’ll start this review by saying that the premise for this book is fabulous! This is a story that I don’t think that I have heard written in another way, so it was fresh, and I love that. That being said, Mayhair is a relatively new author, and that shows a bit in this book. The story jump a bit in some places, so it could have been helped a little more editing to even out the flow a little more. It also could have used another round of proofreading. Overall, though, I would definitely say that it was an enjoyable read. I really look forward to seeing what will come out of this young author in the future. He has a great mind!
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Crime fiction author Leonora (Nora, as she now goes by) is taken aback to be invited to the hen of an old school friend, Clare, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years. She is really debating as to whether she is going to go, but decides that she will go if another of their school friends whom she has kept in touch with goes as well. When they arrive, they soon begin to regret their decision as they are thrust in to a glass home in the middle of the woods, in an unfamiliar area, with people that they do not know. Nora decides to go for a run, and meets Clare in the drive as she is returning to the house. While in the car, Clare informs her of the reason for her invitation. This drags up many old memories and hard feelings that make Nora want to bolt from the house immediately, but she doesn’t have her own vehicle, and she would have to contend with Clare’s new BFF who is just a touch on the insane side! She, instead, joins in the party and drinks and drugs her way in to dealing with the weekend. Throw in one home invasion, one murder, one car accident, and one bout of amnesia (Nora’s), and you have the rest of In a Dark, Dark Wood.
I will admit that this book began just a bit slow for me. It took me a couple of chapters to really get in to it. Once I did, though, I didn’t want to put it down! I had to know what happened. Ware’s writing in this novel has been compared to Christie, and I guess that I can see where they were coming from in some areas of her writing- she placed the characters in a contained space where it would be difficult for them to escape, etc. She has her own style, though, and I really enjoyed it. The suspense was drawn out, and had me changing my mind about who I thought the murderer was until the last couple of chapters, which is rare for me. That was incredibly enjoyable. If you’re looking for a fun psychological thriller, I would recommend this one!