REVIEW: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BY ALICE FEENEY

 

Meet Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from.
Except one person.

Someone knows Aimee very well.

They know who she is and they know what she did.

When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is—but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

My Thoughts: From the beginning moments of I Know Who You Are, we follow Aimee Sinclair’s journey, wondering what secrets she is hiding…and what really happened to Ben.

Our narrative takes us back and forth in time, with Aimee as a kidnapped child whose caretaker is both cruel and kind, a crazy-making pattern of behavior that sets up a lifetime of anxieties.

I liked the pace that kept me turning pages and wondering what would happen next. For example, who is Maggie O’Neil really? What brought her into Aimee’s orbit, and why is she working so hard to ruin her? Does she have an accomplice? What do events in the past have to do with the terror in Aimee’s life now? A creepy, yet engaging read that earned 4.5 stars.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney,a brand new, highly anticipated, dark and twisted thriller.

 

 

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Beginning:  (London, 2017)

I’m that girl you think you know, but you can’t remember where from.

Lying is what I do for a living.  It’s what I’m best at; becoming somebody else.  The eyes are the only part of me I still recognize in the mirror, staring out beneath the made-up face of a made-up person.  Another character, another story, another lie.

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Friday 56:  “Take your clothes off,” she says.

I don’t want to.

“I said take your clothes off!”

I still don’t move.

***

Synopsis:  Meet Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from.

Except one person.

Someone knows Aimee very well.

They know who she is and they know what she did.

When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is—but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

In I Know Who You Are, Alice Feeney proves that she is a master of brilliantly complicated plots and killer twists that will keep you guessing until the final page.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts hook you?

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SERENDIPITOUS MONDAY: MEMORIES & IMAGES…

 

Lately, I’ve been sentimentally looking back at some of my previous places and spaces.  A favorite of mine:  this cozy room that felt like an apartment/getaway in my two-story A-frame house.

Note the mini fridge, microwave, coffee pot…and that white wicker bed tray.  I could stay in that room all weekend, if I wanted.  And since I was still working at my high-stress career, I often chose to do that.  My kids were grown, and while the two youngest took turns living in the guest house next door, they had their own private lives.

Except when they needed to use my laundry room.

When my daughter was in the guest house, she had colorful decor, and I enjoyed visiting there, too.  I loved the bathroom she created, with red-orange on the walls and playful images.

 

 

 

Later, when both “kids” had gone, I used it as a real guest house.  I bought some Coca Cola furnishings, which I took with me to my current residence when I moved.  The sofa/bed now resides in my guest room/office at the condo.

 

 

Sometimes the memories take me back, and while I’m enjoying my smaller space now, I do miss having those “kids” pop in from time to time.  Now they are scattered everywhere…except for my daughter, who is half an hour away.

My eldest son, who really enjoyed staying in the guest house when he visited, is coming in mid-May for a short visit.  We’ve had some good visits in my current space, too.  Watching Netflix and eating popcorn.

 

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Do you ever traipse down Memory Lane?  What fond memories and photos make you smile?

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I’m currently reading Someone Knows, by Lisa Scottoline, and really enjoying it.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW”

 

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is The Girl He Used to Know, by Tracey Garvis Graves, the compelling, hopelessly romantic novel of unconditional love.

 

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Beginning:  (Annika, Chicago, August 2001)

I run into him at Dominick’s, of all places.  I’m poking around in the freezer case, searching for the strawberries I put in my morning smoothie, when a man’s voice somewhere off to my right says, “Annika?”  He sounds unsure.

From the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of his face.  It’s been ten years since we’ve seen each other and though I often struggle to recognize people out of context, there’s no need for me to question whether or not it’s him.  I know it’s him.

***

Friday 56:  Around us, people play Frisbee on the grass, many of them barefoot.  A bee buzzes around Annika’s lemonade, and I swat it away.  When we’re done eating I open the board and we set it up.

***

Synopsis:  Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game—and his heart—to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

***

I am eager to jump right into this one.  What do you think?

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REVIEW: SUNSET BEACH, BY MARY KAY ANDREWS

 

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried—to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance—her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may—or may not—involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

 

My Thoughts: Sunset Beach takes the reader right into the setting, amongst a cast of interesting characters. Drue was my favorite, and her father’s wife Wendy was someone I loved to hate. The two had been friends as children, and then were not. Now, as her father’s newest wife, she is also the office manager, in a position to order Drue around with big yellow “SEE ME” post-it notes showing up frequently.

Coworkers Jonah and Ben brought unexpected flavor, especially as the twists in the story took us behind the scenes in some legal cases, with Drue following the clues to solving a murder.

An alternating timeline from the 70s revealed secrets from the past, and how the present day characters were connected to a mysterious disappearance.

I also loved seeing Drue’s joy at fixing up her grandparents’ old cottage, which she had inherited. Lovely memories brought out the sense of family and sentimental moments.

I liked how the story swept back and forth in time, culminating in some unexpected answers to some piercing questions. I couldn’t wait to keep turning the pages of this great 5 star read full of family, friends, loss, and mysteries.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MY LOVELY WIFE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing.  Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting…

 

 

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Beginning:  She is looking at me.  Her blue eyes are glassy, they flicker down to her drink and back up.  I look at my own drink and can feel her watching, wondering if I’m as interested as she is.  I glance over and smile to show her I am.

***

Friday 56:  The local news logo appears.  It is followed by that young, earnest reporter following Lindsay’s story.  His name is Josh, and I have been watching him every day since Lindsay’s body was found. 

***

Synopsis:  Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have our secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?

***

 

REVIEW: NEVER TELL, BY LISA GARDNER

 

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

My Thoughts: Never Tell offers another look into the world of Flora Dane and D.D. Warren, continuing in the aftermath of Flora’s captivity by Jacob Ness, a horrific monster, and trying to piece together any other connections to perpetrators who are still out there.

How could Conrad Carter be part of Jacob Ness’s world of evil? If Flora recalls meeting him while she was held by Ness, what, if anything, had brought them together? Could Conrad’s death have been a murder committed by someone else in that world?

Evie’s perspective, along with the alternating narrators, help us examine how she might have been involved in Conrad’s death, or at the very least, how she might have been covering up his secrets. D.D., Flora, and FBI Agent Quincy meet to examine the various aspects of the current murder with the hope of finding answers.

As always, I enjoyed the alternating viewpoints that swept between the past and the present, while each character tried to sort through how each event connected so intricately with various crimes in the past. A brilliant 5 star read.

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: IMAGES FROM THE PAST…AND THE PRESENT

More blog header changes!  In this newest one, I kept the lofty photo on the left…one of my favorite places to live, over the years.  My bedroom was in that loft, and I loved the look of my “resting place.” The brass header, the wicker pieces, and the framed 1920s image over the bed.

Downstairs, I loved the coziness of the fireplace and the wing chairs, like this one my eldest son chose for his photo op. My daughter loved curling up next to him, since his visits were rare back then…in the 80s and early 90s.

Here she is in my loft space. Up there, I had chairs, a TV, a stationary bicycle…and a view of downstairs.  Plus…I could see when the teenagers came home at night.  LOL.

And downstairs, by the sofa and desk, she is contemplating what will happen next.  The photos in the background:  compliments of eldest son.  The heart-shaped clock:  my daughter’s creation.

 

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A couple of years ago, my eldest son, who lives in Prague, visited Amsterdam…and the photo on the right side of my header was captured there.  A coffee shop with an interesting sign.

 

The middle image in the header came from my Bitmoji Collection…Unicorns are “unexpected treasures,” the tagline of this blog.

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I have probably displayed some of these photos in the past, but I loved bringing them together today to tell a different story.

What stories are you showing us this week?

Check in at A Web of Stories.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SOMEONE KNOWS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Someone Knows, by Lisa Scottoline, a riveting novel about how a single decision can undo a family, how our past can derail our present, and how not guilty doesn’t always mean innocent.

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

Nobody tells you that you’ll do things when you’re young that are so stupid, so unbelievably stupid, so horrifically stupid that years later you won’t be able to believe it.  You’ll be on your laptop, or reading a book, or pumping gas, and you’ll find yourself shaking your head because you’ll be thinking no, no, no, I did not do that, I was not a part of that, that could not have happened.

***

Friday 56:  He picked up the pace.  He didn’t know if he was walking away from something or toward something else, but he kept going.  He thought of the bottle he had hidden near the recycling, but he didn’t want to sneak a drink tonight.

***

Synopsis: Allie Garvey is heading home to the funeral of a childhood friend. Allie is not only grief-stricken, she’s full of dread. Because going home means seeing the other two people with whom she shares an unbearable secret.

Twenty years earlier, a horrific incident shattered the lives of five teenagers, including Allie. Drinking and partying in the woods, they played a dangerous prank that went tragically wrong, turning deadly. The teenagers kept what happened a secret, believing that getting caught would be the worst thing that could happen. But time has taught Allie otherwise. Not getting caught was far worse.

Allie has been haunted for two decades by what she and the others did, and by the fact that she never told a soul. The dark secret has eaten away at her, distancing her from everyone she loves, including her husband. Because she wasn’t punished by the law, Allie has punished herself, and it’s a life sentence.

Now, Allie stands on the precipice of losing everything. She’s ready for a reckoning, determined to learn how the prank went so horribly wrong. She digs to unearth the truth, but reaches a shocking conclusion that she never saw coming–and neither will the reader.

***

I love this author’s books, so I always believe I’m in for a treat when I grab one.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE NIGHT VISITORS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Night Visitors, by Carol Goodman, is a story of mistaken identities and missed chances, forgiveness, and vengeance.

 

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Beginning: (Alice)

Oren falls asleep at last on the third bus.  He’s been fighting it since Newburgh, eyelids heavy as wet laundry, pried up again and again by sheer stubbornness.  Finally, I think when he nods off.  If I have to answer one more of his questions, I might lose it.

***

Friday 56:  I’m about to tell him no, we’ve got more important things to do, but then I think of all the promises he’s seen broken.  “Absolutely.  I know a great hill.  Go pick out a sled.  There are a couple in the barn.”

***

Synopsis:  ALICE gets off a bus in the middle of a snowstorm in Delphi, NY. She is fleeing an abusive relationship and desperate to protect…

OREN, ten years old, a major Star Wars fan and wise beyond his years. Though Alice is wary, Oren bonds nearly instantly with…

MATTIE, a social worker in her fifties who lives in an enormous run-down house in the middle of the woods. Mattie lives alone and is always available, and so she is the person the hotline always calls when they need a late-night pickup. And although according to protocol Mattie should take Alice and Oren to a local shelter, instead she brings them home for the night. She has plenty of room, she says. What she doesn’t say is that Oren reminds her of her little brother, who died thirty years ago at the age of ten.

But Mattie isn’t the only one withholding elements of the truth. Alice is keeping her own secrets. And as the snowstorm worsens around them, each woman’s past will prove itself unburied, stirring up threats both within and without.

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Do the excerpts and blurb grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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