Category Archives: Mystery & Thrillers

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Loved Loved Loved!  A psychological thriller that kept me guessing until the very end.  In the tradition of “Gone Girl” and “Girl on the Train”, Final Girls uses the unreliable narrator trope perfectly to weave a story that is believable, thrilling and a fun ride. It calls to mind some of the great “slasher” films and has a gripping ending that I did not see coming.  I would advise anyone getting ready to read this to buckle up and allow yourself to get sucked into the world of the “Final Girls.”

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

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It seems like in the last few years there have been quite a few thrillers about young women with secrets.  Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, etc.  Books that keep you guessing until the very end, and Good as Gone is in that same tradition.  First of all, I loved the fact that this book was set in Houston, in a nearby neighborhood.  That extra descriptive bit allowed me to visualize the locations in the story made it feel like I was reading a true crime story as opposed to fiction.  The story begins when 13 year old Julie is kidnapped at knife point from her home, and the only witness is her younger sister Jane.  Their parents, Anna and Tom , search for years for their missing daughter to no avail, until one evening, the doorbell rings and they open the door to discover that Julie has returned to them on her own.  Or has she?  The plot progresses weaving in stories from the past.  Are they Julie’s stories, or has a con artist taken advantage of this emotionally fragile family?  And what does a Houston mega-church pastor (a la Joel Osteen) have to do with all of this?  This book had me up well beyond my bedtime to find out exactly what was going on.  Good as Gone hits all the marks for a great summer read.

Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard

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When I read the synopsis for this book, I certainly did not expect the level of tension that the author was able to build into this story. What I thought was going to be a road trip story centered around a marriage on the rocks, turned into something that felt almost like Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

Maggie and Mark, along with their dog Gerome, set out on a road trip to visit Mark’s parents in Virginia. Mark is hoping that this much needed vacation will allow Maggie to continue to heal from a mugging that happened to her. Maggie has become obsessed with “victim stories” and “bad news” leaving Mark considering having an affair with one of his university students. A series of storms along the drive lead Maggie and Mark to a far out of the way hotel where they both make realizations about not only themselves, but their love for one another.

Hannah Pittard masterfully built the suspense in this story to the point that I could not put this book down. As the tension builds, the person who you expect to break, isn’t the one at all.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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This book was crazy! It’s like the The Bourne Identity meets The Martian meets Doctor Who meets Schrodinger’s Cat. One of the best and most original books I have ever read. I completely tore through it. Not only is it a sci fi book, but it also looks at the effect that our choices in life have on us, and the endless possibilities those different choices create in the process. One of those rare science fiction books that offers an incredible look at the lengths we will go for what and who we love, even across the entire multiverse.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

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One of the grittiest female-centric books I have ever read. Elka, orphaned as a young child, is taken in by Trapper and taught the ways of survival in the wild and raises her up in a post apocalyptic world. After a trip into town, she realizes that Trapper is actually a wanted serial killer and she escapes him in fear. Along the way, Elka uses her skills that she learned from Trapper to survive the evil in the world, unlock her memories that she has stuffed down inside of herself, and understand the value of companionship in whatever form it takes. The pace of this book is outstanding as it builds to a horrifying realization by Elka, and highlights the shades of evil that many have inside of themselves. Excellent debut novel from an author I look forward to reading more from.