The Whispers of War

The Whispers of WarThe Whispers of War by Julia Kelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the author of “The Light Over London” comes a new debut novel “The Whispers of War“.

Three childhood friends…
Two hostile nations…
One great war…

We’ll always be… just us three… A mantra the three girls have shared for ages since they have met at all-girls school. Years after the graduation, the three girls: German-born Marie, proud feminist, and homeowner Nora, and married matchmakers Hazel remained as close as sisters. When Germany invaded Poland, Marie’s relation to Nazi sympathizers put her life into great danger. While defending and standing by her friend’s side, Nora became dismissed from her job, but shortly after she has found a new calling by joining WREN. However, the biggest surprise came from Hazel, who decided to fight german discrimination and help fellow German-born individuals in her own way. The beginning of WWII has tested their friendship, taught each and one of them a greater life lesson, and changed their lives in different ways.

The novel covers the first year of the war (’39-’40), and it gives the reader a front-row view of London based British and german-born residents’ reaction to Hitler’s action and the beginning of the second great war. This is the time we see women starting to step up in their roles, voice and stand by their beliefs and opinions, and find their place in the world. A great story, a wonderful set of characters. Beautifully and tastefully written. Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel, and big thank you to Julia Kelly for a heartfelt story.

IMG_20200123_081416_546

View all my reviews

Two Girls Down

Two Girls Down (Alice Vega #1)Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Louisa Luna’s novel “Two Girls Down” covers every mother worts nightmare – the abduction of the children.

When two young girls are taken from the busy mall parking lot – the family hires Alice Vega, the private investigator. Alice has successful eighteen cases behind her back and Jamie’s family put all their trust in her. In the first days of the investigation, Alice enlists a former police officer, Max Caplan, and with his connection to the local police to help resolve the case. Alice and Cap, determined to reunite missing girls with their mother, follow on every tip, interview multiple suspects, untangle every web of lies and finally fall on the right track of girls’ abductors.

I enjoyed this book, although at times I found it slow, and Jamie’s character to be flawed and unlikeable. And finally, my biggest peeve – too many characters that had not much to do with the story and suspects that kept Vega and Cap running around like hamsters in a spinning wheel. The ending was appalling and not at all expected.

IMG_20200121_113041_501

View all my reviews

House on Endless Waters

House on Endless WatersHouse on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Flipping back and forth between the years of WWII and the present, this novel follows the lives of the Blum family and their hidden family secret.

Yoel Blum’s fame as an author brings him back to Amsterdam, his birthplace, despite the promise that he has made to his late mother – to never return to the place that caused his family a lot of sorrow. While in the city, Yoel and his wife decide to visit a Jewish Museum. During the tour, in one of the photos, Yoel recognizes his mother’s face. And the more he examines the photo – the more questions filled his mind.

In the spur of the moment, one photograph flipped Yoel’s life upside down. And just like that, piece by piece, with his sister’s and mother’s remaining friends’ memories and a little help of his own research, like a puzzle, Yoel builds a true picture of his past.

You have a mother, and you have a sister, and you have yourself. That’s it, nothing else matters.

The past and present timelines wove together so beautifully. The tragedy of Blum’s family left me devastated, however, their ability to forgive gives me hope in humanity. Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books publishers for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20200119_141655_121

View all my reviews

The Tenant

The TenantThe Tenant by Katrine Engberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit when I started this book I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. However, after the first chapter – I got sucked right into it.

The novel starts with the murder of a young girl, followed by another murder of her friend. Copenhagen detectives Korner and Werner were assigned to resolve the mystery of the double murder, and the more they looked into the past of the young girl – the more twisted it became: young pregnancy, affairs with older men, and more murders.

And the frightening (and in my opinion the best) part of it all – the murder was written a month before the victim’s death by her very own landlady. Shocker, I know! This little twist spiced up the storyline.

This book held my interest from beginning to end. I had a few issues along the way with the characters and plot, but none of those issues were enough to ruin the reading experience. Thank you, NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20200118_094114_671

View all my reviews

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird, #1)To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I began reading “To Kill a Mockingbird“.

This classic is about the small 1960s Alabama family: widower and father Atticus and his two kids Jem and Jean Louise ‘Scout’. The main plot of the novel revolves around Atticus’ criminal case: he is defending a black man who has been accused of insulting a young white girl. Besides the big trial, the novel covers other main topics of the 60s – race, gender, and social class. Our young characters Jem and Scout are raised by an open-minded father who teaches them the differences between love vs hate, good vs bad, kindness vs inhumanity.

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out of us.

Despite the unhappy outcome, the end of the novel brings closure and a lesson for the reader. It is sin to kill a Mockingbird, and sins do not remain unpunished for long.

IMG_20200107_080804_825.jpg

View all my reviews

The Paris Mysteries

The Paris MysteriesThe Paris Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Edgar Allan Poe’s writing is unique, I absolutely think he was ahead of his time. His novel composition style is very dark and detailed. I’ve enjoyed all his stories that I’ve read in the past, therefore when I saw a new deluxe publication of his works – I wanted to give it a try.

“The Paris Mysteries” edition includes three stories: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” and “The Purloined Letter”. All three cases are investigated by dazzling Chevalier Auguste Dupin. Some sections of the stories were graphic, which was very unusual for the 1800s writers, however, it made Mr. Poe’s stories to stand out.

I have mixed fillings about this collection of mysteries. I loved the writing and plots, however, I felt it was too short. I wish there was a lot of info provided for each case. Nevertheless, the new addition is an entertaining read. It’s perfect for first-time readers of Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Thank you NetGalley and Pushkin Vertigo publishing for a free and advanced copy of the book.

IMG_20200105_100351_862

View all my reviews

The Christmas Lights

The Christmas LightsThe Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Karen Swan’s writing style. most of her books have dual storylines that are always connected. The prologues are always intriguing and pull the reader into the story from page one.

This year our main characters are Signy and Bo. Besides coming from different eras and backgrounds, the two have one thing in common – they both have experienced a trauma that has made a big effect on their lives. An incident has changed Signy’s life when she was fourteen years old. But an awful event shaped the young girl into a wise woman who in the end, overcame her sorrow and found the way to move on with her life. And when Bo’s brother passed away in her arms, she found her escape in constant running mode from the typical daily life. However, everything has changed when wise and old Signy entered Bo’s life.

I love everything about this book, location, characters, and storylines. It covers infidelity, physical and emotional abuse, murder. This is not the typical happy go lucky kind of novel, but that’s what I love about Karen Swan’s writing.

IMG_20191229_124614_283

View all my reviews

Rebecca

RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Young, timid and naïve companion to a rich American woman meets a dashing and charming widower on the holiday in Monte Carlo. Shortly after meeting wealthy Englishman, she accepts his surprise marriage proposal, and after tying the knot and marvelous honeymoon in Italy, Maxim de Winter brings the young wife back to his ominous and gothic estate of Manderley. The married life in Manderley is everything young Mrs. de Winter has ever dreamed of, however, the shadow of recently drowner wife of Maxim beginning to weight on the new marriage.

Rebecca de Winter – a famous beauty with miraculous taste in fashion, devoted and loving wife and perfect hostess… Our young Mrs. de Winter has large shoes to fit, however at every step and turn her efforts are desperately crashed.

Rebecca is one of the quintessential books I ever read. Deception, misery, revenge, unhealthy relationships – this novel has it all! My advice to you – take a trip to gothic Manderley, you will not be left disappointed.

Screenshot_20191215-213659_Instagram

View all my reviews

The Wives

The WivesThe Wives by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Wives” is a thriller in the best tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, it’s the kind of book that’s nearly impossible to put down.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Seth live in a polygamy relationship. The only thing that all three women have in common is Seth. They have never met, live in different cities, have distinct hobbies and careers, they never contacted each other, and more than that – they do not even know each other’s names. However, this idyllic arrangement is about to hit an iceberg. Buckle up your belts – you’re in for a mystifying ride.

This novel is amazing suspense, it has everything: unreliable narrator, twisty turns, “what in the world?” moments. A perfect marriage/relationship/arrangement that is a lot more then meets the eye. The best part about this novel is the punches never stop coming. Even when I neared the end – BOOM another big reveal. I’m very good at predicting the ending, and with this book, I’ve made many assumptions, several guesses as to what is going on – and yet I was still so wrong! Thank you NetGalley and Graydon House publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel, and Tarryn Fisher for a hopelessly tragically perfect thriller.

IMG_20191214_100607_496

 

View all my reviews

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I EverNever Have I Ever by Lucy V. Hay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New mother, happily married and successful writer – three remarks that perfectly describe our feisty main character – Samantha. The story begins with her recent move from busy and noisy London back to her home town – Ilfracombe. The relocation went nice and smooth, her son Caleb and husband Mo seem to adjust and favor the new home. And so did Sam, until old ghosts started to make a fresh appearance in her new life.

Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done…

Seriously, if I would ever receive that kind of note, I would pack up my life and move far far away from a creepy place and weirdos that write such threats. But of course, Sam decides to stand her grounds and find and confront her bully. In order to do so, Sam must go down her memory lane, reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. What first sounded like a good plan – started to bring back the memories Samantha spend twenty-three years to forget.

Should the past be left in the past? And what sacrifices a woman can make to keep her family safe?

Well written, dark, disturbing, twisty, and unsettling. Looking forward to reading more from the talented author. Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20191203_120103_127

View all my reviews

The Other Daughter

The Other DaughterThe Other Daughter by Shalini Boland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Other Daughter” includes everything that vivid psychological thriller lovers, like myself, look for in the novel and thrive from.

Catriona’s life, like a domino effect, is crashing down at a rapid speed. In a state of shock, she makes a decision, that will change her life as she knows it. In the meantime, on the other side of London, Rachel is taking a two and a half years old Holly to a playhouse, not knowing that it will be the last time she will see her daughter.

Two devastated mothers, two timelines, one appalling story…

I love everything about this book. I will honestly admit that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. Phenomenal writing, very catching storyline. And the characters are outstanding. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20191123_095821_110

View all my reviews

The Secret Santa

The Secret SantaThe Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not a typical Christmas read, nevertheless, it is a pageturner!

The story is told from four main characters’ in an uneven sequence.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the king and queen of Aspen’s real estate, Henry and Claudine are prepared for their annual company Christmas party. This year, a famous pop star and potential client/buyer joins their holiday celebration. Calhoun’s annual Christmas party is famous around town for its very unique “Secret Santa” game. As guests enjoy themselves in a cozy little mention, they are slowly being trapped in the house by an unpredictable snowfall. And it’s all fun and games until a very specific object makes an appearance at the party. An item, that besides disturbing the mellow little party can also ruin the lives of its hosts.

An astonishing plot, with a phenomenal twist at the end, makes this novel a captivating read. I love everything about it: the location, the secrets, the characters. Big thank you Trish Harnetiaux for a thrilling ride across the pages of her newest novel, and NetGalley and Arrow publisher for a free and advanced copy of the book.

IMG_20191111_091329_925

View all my reviews