No Way Back – TJ Brearton

FBI Special Agent Shannon Ames has just transferred to the NY Office of the FBI, along with her most trusted colleagues, Charles Bufort & Jenna Reese. Shortly after team introductions are made, she is summoned to ADIC Tyler’s office, where they’re handed a priority case. A congressional aide to a NY State Senator has gone missing, after never making it home to DC from NY City. 

Kristie Fain was walking from her boyfriend’s apartment to Penn station when she is grabbed by two men and tossed into a van. The only evidence that something is amiss is a text she sent to her roommate about being followed.  As they start their investigation, a visit to the apartment she shares with her boyfriend Mateo, leaves them with more questions than answers, as he’s claiming to have just been assaulted by someone claiming to be police.  

As they re-trace her schedule, they learn that she was involved in a big dollar fundraiser for the senator prior to her disappearance. A visit to the hotel where the event, took place creates a more perplexing problem as they learn that the business has suffered a ransomware attack, and all the video from that night is encrypted and inaccessible.  Did something happen that night to provoke her kidnapping? 

A visit to the Senator’s office yields little. The fundraiser was touted as a success, with nothing out of the ordinary happening. Likewise, her roommate in DC, Rachel, has nothing significant to add, other than the fact that Kristie was planning to break up with Mateo. Attempts to ping her phone show it’s last position, where it was presumably discarded. Camera footage from NYPD, and a bystander give them their first glimpse of Kristie’s kidnappers – and a renewed sense of dread for Shannon and her team. 

As Shannon and her team frantically search for the identity of Kristie’s captors, the Senator has his own secret – one that might destroy his career – and Kristie’s life hangs in the balance…

This is my second Shannon Ames novel, and it will not be my last! She’s a strong, gutsy likeable character – and this is a thrilling who-dun-it that keeps you guessing, with an interesting look into the (fictional) gritty political world and its machinations, and the lengths some are willing to go, just to secure a vote. 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & Inkubator Books in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

The Younger Wife – Sally Hepworth

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his was my first ever novel by Sally Hepworth – and boy, oh boy, can I say that it will not be my last!!

Stephen Aston, a renowned and revered surgeon, meets the love of his life in young Heather Wisher, a woman half his age, and has decided it’s time for her to meet his adult daughters Rachel and Tully.  Still reeling over their father’s new love interest, especially with their mother, Pamela, recently placed in memory care due to dementia, the last thing Rachel or Tully want to do is meet Heather for lunch. Over their meal, the three women meet and attempt to engage in small talk, trying to find some common ground, before Stephen startles his girls with an announcement. 

As Rachel and Tully attempt to accept Heather into their lives, they find that it enriches their own relationship as well, having grown apart as adults. Each with their own lives and secrets that they’ve held for so long, the sisters find common ground as they struggle with these changes to their family. Heather, too, has a past she would rather forget, even as it influences her perceptions of things in the present.  And Pamela, despite her dementia, appears to have some secrets of her own, which exhibit themselves in short outbursts, jumbled memories – and an unexpected find hidden in an old water bottle – but what was it meant for? As Rachel, Tully & Heather begin to form a friendship, and the wedding grows closer, the reader will find themselves asking – is Stephen the doting husband and father that he seems to be? Or is he something else altogether? 

Told from the varying perspectives of Rachel, Tully & Heather, this book is impossible to put down, left me feeling a bit unsettled as I turned the last page – and continues to resonate even now…

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!