BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SILENT WOMAN”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is a new book on my shelf:  The Silent Woman, by Minka Kent.

Book Beginning:

Jade

I fan to the end of my drugstore paperback and read the last page first.

Surprises have never been my thing.  I’m here for the journey, every last titillating paragraph of it, but I need to know how it’s going to end first.

***

Friday 56:

She comes back a moment later, the magnum gripped tight in her manicured hand, and tops me off anyway.

***

Synopsis:

Newlywed Jade Westmore has finally found her forever in husband Wells, a charming, successful, and recently divorced architect—only there’s one caveat. Behind the gates of their elysian estate, hidden from street view in the caretaker’s cottage … lives Wells’ first wife, Sylvie.

Three years ago, the original Mrs. Westmore suffered an unfortunate accident—and hasn’t uttered a sound since. Not a physician, psychologist, or world-renowned specialist has been able to elicit so much as a word from the silent woman … until now.

On an ordinary Tuesday while Wells was away—despite instructions to never disturb the fragile woman—Jade visited her isolated predecessor bearing a peace offering: a bouquet of white lilies. Only she wasn’t expecting Sylvie to have something for her as well: a slip of torn notebook paper with a single word scrawled in shaky black ink.

That word? Run.

***

Would you keep reading?  I’m intrigued.

***

 

REVIEW: EVIL WOMAN, BY JULIE MULHERN

When Ellison Russell Jones returns from her honeymoon, she’s ready for a restful summer.

But while she was away, an older woman was murdered in her bed. And the police have questions only Ellison and her friends can answer.

She gets to be a sleuth. A real one! But with a new husband, her mother in the hospital (targeted by the murderer?), her sister as a house guest, one too many animals, and a full social calendar, Ellison can’t catch a break, much less a killer.

She’d better focus, or she may be the next victim.
 
 
 

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When Ellison comes home from her honeymoon, she and her new husband hope to enjoy a peaceful time together. But along the way, an Evil Woman has struck, and both Anarchy and Ellison are searching for a murderer. Someone who killed an old woman and attempted to kill Ellison’s mother.

Nothing could be more tempestuous than a quest like this one, but, as always, the author gives us an adventure to follow as we try to find the answers. I couldn’t stop turning the pages! 5 stars.

***
 
 
 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BLOWBACK”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is a new book by James Patterson:  Blowback.

***

Book Beginning:

Johannesburg, South Africa

It’s a brisk autumn day in June in one of South Africa’s largest cities, and thirty-year-old Benjamin Lucas is enjoying an off day from his South African Diamond Tour.  He stands just under six feet, with close-trimmed dark brown hair, and has a muscular physique from hours in the gym he likes to keep hidden by wearing baggy clothes.

***

Friday 56:

He says, “I did not come here to be lectured by you, woman.  Take us to where you plan, and I will make my phone call.”

***

Synopsis: 

US President Keegan Barrett has swept into office on his success as Director of the CIA. Six months into his first term, he devises a clandestine power grab with deadly consequences.

Barrett personally orders CIA agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to execute his plan, but their loyalties are divided. The CIA serves at the pleasure of the president, yet they’ve sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

When the threat comes directly from the Oval Office, that’s where the blowback begins.

***

What do you think?  Do the characters remind you of political figures in our lives?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE FALL GIRL”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Fall Girl, by Marcia Clark.

***

Book Beginning:

i emptied the last bag into the pit and stared down at the tangled heap.  The pale pink cashmere sweater, the engraved leather briefcase, the cowskin pillows—every gift he’d given me, and everything I’d worn, read, or shared when we were together.

***

Friday 56:

Mia rested her head on her hand again, her expression weary.  “Um…I don’t know.  Late.”

***

Synopsis:

When Charlie Blair left Chicago behind—and her old life as Lauren Claybourne—for a gig in the Santa Cruz DA’s office, things were supposed to be easier. Or at least nothing that a couple of Xanax and a tumbler of vodka couldn’t handle. The plan had been working, until the murder of a local bail bondsman Shelly Hansen.

Enter: hot-shot prosecutor Erika Lorman, she of the stellar record and unfailing touch with juries, a veritable legend in her own right. Fresh off the prosecution of celebrity chef Blake Steers, the newest resident of California’s penitentiary system and perhaps its most high profile, she’s thrust back into action alongside her new co-chair from the windy city and ready to do anything to put criminals behind bars.

But as the fevered search for answers intensifies and the hunt for a killer continues, secrets from the past threaten to undo not just the case—but Erika and Charlie, too. Expertly plotted and relentlessly paced, The Fall Girl will keep readers guessing until the very end.   

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

 

REVIEW: DAISY DARKER, BY ALICE FEENEY

Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart. Now after years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in her crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. When the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

But at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide goes out and all is revealed. As seen on the TODAY show and picked by Book of the Month, Daisy Darker’s family secrets and Alice Feeney’s trademark shocking twists will keep readers riveted.

 

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As the astonishing and mystical story unfolds, Daisy Darker reveals the horrific dysfunction of a family that might seem ordinary on the surface, but the darkness in them all comes out in stunning ways as their evil is revealed.

The characters are more than simply flawed. They each have the potential to kill one another without even hesitating. When we follow the story of what happens to them on one Halloween night shut away on an island we keep expecting to learn that everything is just a magic trick. That nothing is the way it seems to be. Just when we realize that it might really be happening, the truth of it all is more frightening than we could have possibly dreamed in our worst nightmare.

I held my breath in the final moments as the gruesome details emerged. An unforgettable horror tale that earned 5 stars.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “DAISY DARKER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney.

***

Book Beginning:

I was born with a broken heart..

The day I arrived into this lonely little world was also the first time I died.  Nobody spotted the heart condition back then.  Things weren’t as sophisticated in 1975 as they might be now, and my blue coloring was blamed on my traumatic birth.

***

Friday 56:

The rest of the evening is a blur at best.  I’m exhausted, but I never seem to be able to sleep these days, and the atmosphere in the house feels even more polluted than before.

***

Synopsis:  Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart. Now after years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in her crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. When the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

But at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide goes out and all is revealed. As seen on the TODAY show and picked by Book of the Month, Daisy Darker’s family secrets and Alice Feeney’s trademark shocking twists will keep readers riveted.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “PLEASE JOIN US”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  Please Join Us, by Catherine McKenzie.

***

Book Beginning:

The door to Athena’s apartment is open.

I’m both relieved and petrified by this.  Relieved because I’d been worrying on the frantic ride over about how I was going to get in without involving third parties—her doorman, the police.  And petrified because it means that Athena’s SOS message was real, that something actually is wrong, and she isn’t simply being dramatic.

***  

Friday 56:

She left, and I thought over what she’d said.  I hadn’t lied about where I was going, but I hadn’t told the full truth, either.  A networking conference, I’d said, and that was the reason I was here.

***

Synopsis:  At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.

Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.

Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?

***

Would you keep reading?  

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LONG GONE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is one of my newest books:  Long Gone, by Joanna Schaffhausen.

***

Book Beginning:

(Prologue)

When the other two didn’t come back for more than ten minutes, he went to look for them.  Grown men sometimes broke down and cried for their mommies in the box, and Sandra had priors.  She had kids. Paulie felt sure she’d crack easy.

***

Friday 56:

Frankie went to the full-length mirror that Maggie kept in the corner of their bedroom and studied himself in his sleeveless undershirt.  Normally he didn’t use the mirror.

***

Synopsis:  Chicago detective Annalisa Vega shattered her life, personally and professionally, when she turned in her ex-cop father for his role in a murder. Her family can’t forgive her. Her fellow officers no longer trust her. So when detective Leo Hammond turns up dead in a bizarre murder, Annalisa thinks she has nothing to lose by investigating whatever secrets he hid behind the thin blue line.

Annalisa quickly zeroes in on someone who had good reason to want Hammond dead: a wealthy, fast-talking car salesman who’d gotten away with murder once and wasn’t about to let Hammond take a second shot. Moe Bocks remains the number one suspect in his girlfriend’s brutal unsolved death, and now he’s got a new woman in his sights—Annalisa’s best friend.

Annalisa is desperate to protect her friend and force Bocks to pay, either for Hammond’s death or his earlier crime. But when no one else believes the connection, she takes increasingly risky chances to reveal the truth. Because both Hammond and Bocks had secrets to die for, and if she doesn’t untangle them soon, Annalisa will be next.

***

Would you keep reading?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE COUPLE AT NO. 9”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Today’s feature is one of my newest books:  The Couple at No. 9, by Claire Douglas.

***

Beginning:

(Saffy)

April 2018

I’m in the front garden, pulling at weeds that spill out from the borders of the driveway, like gigantic spiders, when I hear yells.  Deep and guttural.

***

Friday 56:

Tom announces he’s going to walk Snowy around the block to give them time to catch up and disappears out of the front door.  Why does she have the feeling he can’t wait to get away?

***

Synopsis:  When Saffron Cutler and boyfriend Tom move into 9 Skelton Place, they didn’t expect to find this.

Two bodies, buried under the patio over thirty years ago.

When the police launch a murder investigation, they ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose, whose Alzheimer’s clouds her memory.

But it is clear she remembers something . . .

What happened thirty years ago?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger? . . .

***

Would you keep reading?

***

 

REVIEW: THE HEIGHTS, BY LOUISE CANDLISH

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among warehouses in London. Its roof terrace is so discreet, you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there—a man you’d recognize anywhere. He may be older now, but it’s definitely him.

But that can’t be because he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.

With Louise Candlish’s signature dark and twisty prose, The Heights shows “the ferocity of maternal love” (Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You). “This cleverly constructed novel will keep readers enthralled until the last page” (Publishers Weekly, starred).

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When I read the last pages of The Heights, I was thinking “wow!” There were so many twists that I couldn’t even begin to imagine how it would all play out.

We meet the twisted and horrible character called Kieran, when he is foisted on the family by the school Lucas attends. The staff believe Lucas can be a good influence on him. As it turns out, Kieran leads Lucas and others down dark pathways. Just as there is a sense that he will also be corrupting Ellen’s daughter Freya, she makes a final desperate attempt to change things.

But before all of that comes about, Ellen and Vic collaborate to deal with Lucas’s death at the hands of Kieran.

I haven’t hated a character more than Kieran in a long while but seeing him through the eyes of the grieving parents added another layer to that emotion.

A great tale that I won’t soon forget, and it earned five stars, of course.

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