Behind Every Lie – Christine McDonald


I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Eva Hansen is a young woman living in Seattle, WA with her fiancé Liam, a property developer. While her mother lives nearby, they seem to have a formal, sometimes strained relationship for reasons that are initially unclear to the reader. The book opens with an apparent murder – Eve, presumably covered in blood, flees the scene and is struck by lightning, later waking in the hospital with no clear memory of the incident – only vague images and sensations that waft through her subconscious, leading her and you, the reader, believing she may be responsible for her mother, Kat’s, death. The police too, find Eva to be their main suspect. But what really happened?

The story then shifts into the days/years prefacing the event, telling the tale from both Eva’s & Kat’s perspective. You see what appears to be a loving relationship between Eva and fiancé Liam, and you learn of some strife in the past lives of both Kat and Eva’s aunt Lily in their younger years, including Kat’s escape from a dangerous ex-husband. As the story progresses and more is revealed, even as Eva questions her sanity, with vague memories resurfacing in her head. The story picks up speed in a hurry rushing to a wild conclusion, even as you struggle to figure out how all of the pieces are going to fall…

Told in past and present glimpses into the lives of three women, their story gradually comes to light and just when you think you understand the events of that long ago night….another curveball or three are tossed in that have you frantically turning the pages to get to the very last page. Impossible to put down until the last page is turned!!

Follow Me – Kathleen Barber

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. This review will also publish to my blog,, a few days before publication.

Audrey Miller is the girl next door, with her eye catching beauty and outgoing personality, as well as her success as an Instagrammer. Followed far and wide by those wishing to connect to her exuberant lifestyle, she’s created quite a fan base. But some of those fans are not as harmless as the others…

Audrey decides to make a big move, from NYC to Washington DC after she receives a job offer from a DC museum looking for a social media manager. Upon her arrival, she connects with a friend Cat, who resides in DC and the two renew their friendship. Unbeknownst to Audrey, someone else has been awaiting her arrival as well.

As Audrey settles into her new apartment and job, she finds herself the unwelcome recipient of unwanted attention, and unannounced visits from her landlord’s grandson. Then one night, she hears noises at her bedroom window, and sneaks out to see an individual running away. Flowers appear, in her favorite color. She also finds herself dealing with the subtle advances of a colleague, and the booty calls of an old lover. And then she meets Max, a friend of Cats, whom she falls head over heels for. But someone isn’t happy…

Told from the perspectives of the various characters, including a stalker identified only as Him, we gain depth into the individual quirks of each character as well as the moments that drive them. I would almost call this a young adult read, particularly as it relates to the dangers of social media posting, and how much is too much.

I found this to be a quick, engaging & enlightening read, with a gentle reminder – do you really know who your friends are??

A Cold Trail – Robert Dugoni


Tracy Crosswhite & husband Dan O’Leary have returned to Cedar Grove for a short stay while their Seattle home is renovated, with their two-month-old daughter, Daniella, in tow. While difficult for Tracy after the death of her sister, she and Dan do want their child to know her parent’s roots. With nanny, Therese, present as well, Tracy is still trying to decide if she wants to return to detective work or become a stay-at-home Mom. While police work is in her blood, she worries of the inherent danger of the job. Dan, meanwhile, is assisting a client with some legal issues pertaining to his business in Cedar Grove.

While out on a date night, Tracy runs into retired Cedar Grove police chief, Roy Calloway, who appears to be back in uniform. Puzzled, Tracy stops into to see him the next day and learns that active chief Finlay Armstrong has been sidelined after the house fire that had killed his wife, Kimberly. The fire has been ruled arson. An autopsy has revealed that Finlay’s wife died of blunt force trauma to the head. She also learns that Kimberly had been writing a book about the murder of teen-ager Heather Johansen, which had been attributed to the murderer that had killed Tracy’s sister Sarah all those years ago. This is complicated by the fact that Finlay Armstrong had dated Heather all those years ago. After a discussion about the case, Roy asks Tracy for her assistance with the murder investigation.

Torn between mothering and assisting, Tracy finds herself interested in the case, and agrees to assist, much to her husband’s dismay. It’s in reviewing her sisters old high school diaries that Tracy inadvertently finds her first clue. As Tracy begins her present day investigation, another murder is linked to the case – but how do these pieces fit together – and why? Meanwhile Dan’s case uncovers some pretty interesting information that may somehow tie his case into Tracy’s investigation. But the deeper Tracy digs, the more unsettled a killer gets – and that killer will do anything to keep his 25-year secret safe…

I have loved this series since I first discovered it, and this latest addition is no exception! Reminiscent of JT Ellison’s Taylor Jackson series, this series delivers with great characters, a believable mystery, plenty of suspense and a fabulous heroine in Tracy! I couldn’t put it down! Robert Dugoni has been added to my ‘must read’ author’s list!!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. This review will also publish to my blog on its publication date of 4 Feb 2020.

Good Girls Lie – Karin Slaughter


Ash Carlisle is a young girl traveling from England to Marchburg, VA to start her sophomore year of high school at the prestigious all female “Goode School”. Having recently lost her parents to suicide, she is fulfilling her father’s wishes for an appropriate education to meet the terms of her inheritance. Upon her arrival to the school, she is immediately singled out by Becca Curtis, a senior, despite her best efforts to keep a low profile.

As Ash slowly makes the acquaintance of her instructors and her roommate, she attempts to make herself a place at the school, all the while trying to keep a low profile. Her introspection as she settles in gives you snippets of information and clues into her past life – an abusive father, an emotionally absent mother, the death of her young brother when Ash was 6 years old. Then, a teacher dies of apparent natural causes – and shortly thereafter, Ash’s roommate is found dead after having fallen from the bell tower, but no one knows if it was suicide or murder…and Ash finds herself under scrutiny…

There is so much more I could relate to this review, but not without giving spoilers into a mind-blowing novel, with a jaw dropping finish.. In fact, now that I’ve reached the end, I feel compelled to go back and start again to see what nuances I might have missed! If you’ve ever read anything by Karin Slaughter, you already know that she delivers in spades, and this book is no exception! A MUST read!!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Their Last Breath – Sibel Hodge

Since joining Netgalley, I’ve been given the opportunity to read more than a few British authors, and have much enjoyed these adventures ‘across the pond’. This newest one, by author Sibel Hodge, did not disappoint, and I will absolutely be reading her again!

It’s 0335 when retired Detective Sargeant Warren Carter answers his phone to hear a former supervisor in his ear, asking for an early morning meeting. Still fearful about his deception from another case being discovered, he’s sure he’s been found out, but the meeting is actually for something quite different.

Superintendent Caroline Barker advises him of a structure fire that had occurred earlier that AM. Inside the building were six women who had been found chained to the wall, and all but one was deceased. With one of the bodies was a warrant card that held the logo of their police department. She then asks him to come out of retirement to help her investigate the possible connection. He accepts and becomes the acting investigator for the Police Anti-Corruption Squad.

Flash to a refugee camp in Syria, where a young woman, Hayat, is hoping to barter for a trip to England where she can work and live in safety. She secures a ride out of the camp, but her journey is just beginning…

Meanwhile, DI Becky Harris is investigating the deaths of two people – seemingly random murders – stumbled upon by Gillian, the wife of the homeowner, returning unexpectedly. More interesting to Becky is that the killer chased Gillian into the street, where she was struck by a car – and who was Gillian’s husband with?

As each investigation continues, Becky begins to suspect that they are somehow connected. Her commanding officer, decorated DCI Munroe, disagrees and continually attempts to refocus Becky’s attention elsewhere. But Becky is not deterred and connects with DS Carter to share her concerns, and the two together bring down a house of police corruption and human trafficking that reaches to the highest level.

Told from the perspectives of Warren, Becky & Hayat, this is a novel of human trafficking, abuse and perseverance, and it will resonate with you long after the final page is turned. I loved it!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

The Shape Of Night – Tess Gerritsen


Ava, a food writer, fleeing from a situation that shames her, has left Boston for the summer and has rented a home in Maine. The house, Brodie’s Watch, was built in 1861 by a sea captain, Jeremiah Brodie, who later perished in a shipwreck. But his home still stands as a sentinel to the sea, with renovations ongoing in hopes of an eventual sale.

Upon Ava’s arrival, she senses that the house has accepted her, and soon she thinks she sees someone standing on the deck of the widows walk. She searches the home for an intruder, but there isn’t one. She chalks up her sighting as a trick of the light but makes a mental note to research the background of Captain Brodie for her new book. After too much whiskey one evening, she heads to bed, and wakes suddenly after feeling something touch her breast and hears a voice say, “You are the one I’ve been waiting for…”. A search of the house again reveals no intruders. He again appears a few nights later, and Ava feels herself being drawn into his spell.

Curious about her experiences, but unsure who to talk to, Ava seeks out the advice of a ghost hunter named Maeve who. Listens attentively. She also assures Ava that she will research the news archives a bit to see if there is any history of tragic events that have occurred that could indicate a pattern, or a problem other than a ghost.

As Maeve digs deeper into Captain Brodie’s background, she learns some unsettling things – she also learns that all of the women who have entered and resided in the house have inexplicably died, and she fears Ava’s home may harbor a demon. Meanwhile, in Ava’s dreams, the Captain continues to visit, and the events that follow make him seem all too real, and Ava finds herself drawn to him and the house in ways she can’t explain.

Needing to know the truth about the ghost in the house, Ava turns to Maeve for help. Maeve assembles her team of ghost hunters in an effort to document Captain Brodie’s visits. Will they find a ghost or a demon? Or is it possible that a living killer in their midst may be responsible??

I was a bit curious to see how this stand-alone book would turn out after reading all of Tess Gerritsen’s early works. This seemed like a bit of a departure from the norm for her, so I was a bit ambivalent…that lasted only until the first few pages – then I was hooked!! I could not put the book down and read it in a day! I may have fallen under the Captain’s spell a bit myself! I really enjoyed this book, was sorry to see it end as I turned the last page, and I highly recommend it to any who love a good, paranormal who-dun-it!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Bomber’s Moon – Archer Mayor


Under the cover of night, an intrepid private investigator follows her prey and captures her money shot before calling authorities. Meanwhile, a creative thief breaks into a vehicle, finds the home address of the owner, and steals a computer, uncovering a secret that’s been kept hidden for decades. But when he attempts to collect on his newfound information, things quickly go sour.

Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team are at the scene of a murder in the small town of Bellows Falls. A petty thief/drug dealer has been found stabbed to death, last heard arguing with his buddy, Brandon. But Brandon says he didn’t do it – and Joe believes him – but who would want a two bot drug dealer dead…and why?

Rachel Reiling, daughter of Joe Gunther’s current love interest Beverly, has taken on a role as reporter for the local newspaper and is on the scene taking pictures. As her boss’s best hope for helping to bring the paper back into the mainstream, she is tasked with finding a story worthy of publication. He’s also put her in touch with Sally Kravitz, a local PI, in hopes that they will find a way to work together.

Sally has accepted a job to evaluate the Thorndike Academy, a renowned prep school. One of its Board members hopes to contribute a large sum for further development of the school and its grounds, but he feels as if something is amiss and asks for her assistance. Sally goes in as a temp worker in an effort to discover the truth.

All are seemingly random acts, but as the investigations into each crime unfold, they all seem to have a single connection…Thorndike Academy. But, as Sally & Rachel dig to find answers, someone wants a long buried past secret to stay hidden…

I have only read a couple of titles in this series, thus far, and I’ve very much enjoyed each of them with this one being no exception. I love Joe Gunther’s character, although It seems as if Joe took a bit of a back seat to the girls in this novel, so I’m hoping that means that we’ll see a lot more of Sally & Rachel – perhaps a series of their own??!! I have to say that I discovered this series solely due to Netgalley (Thank you, NetGalley & St. Martin’s press!!!) and hope to find the time to read the series in its entirety soon! Great books!!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.