REVIEW: LIE TO ME, BY J. T. ELLISON

 

They built a life on lies…

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

 

My Thoughts: Lie to Me opens with Ethan’s narrative, with him walking into the kitchen and finding a note from his wife. From that point on, everything he thinks is true turns out to be either a lie or a product of someone else’s lie. Which is it? When even the friends who had been so supportive to both Ethan and Sutton begin to distrust them, pointing fingers of blame, and then when it looks as if Ethan has done something horrific…we realize that nothing is at it seems.

At this point, the story switches to Sutton’s narrative. She is hiding out and has created a new life. But why? Did she set everything in motion, or is there another nefarious presence behind it all.

An anonymous third narrator drops little clues along the way, but we won’t discover the truth until almost the end. Then the pieces fall together and form a malevolent picture.

I could not stop reading until the last page, and even then, a final bread crumb was tossed at the reader. Definitely a 5 star read for me.***

REVIEW: GOOD ME, BAD ME, BY ALI LAND

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

My Thoughts: In Milly’s first person narrative voice, we see the world around her from her perspective, and it is a sad, emotionally devastating world.

Living in the foster home of a psychologist named Mike, one would think she would have the best care and treatment available to her, but early on I could tell that Mike had his own agenda, and he could also be clueless about his own family. His wife, Saskia, is remote and probably narcissistic, and his teenage daughter Phoebe is able to hide her feelings, her attitudes, and her behavior. Not just in a typical teenage way, but in a hurtful, pathological way.

Milly, on the other hand, proves to be adept at her own secret agenda, and as more time goes by, we see her behavior ratchet up to an extremely manipulative level as she hears her mother’s imaginary voice guiding her and reminding her that she has to make her own wishes come true.

What will Milly do to secure her future? How does Phoebe’s behavior backfire on her? And how, finally, does Milly have the last word? A chilling story, Good Me, Bad Me captured me and held me hostage for the duration. 5 stars.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “EENY MEENY”

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 acquisition:  Eeny Meeny (e-book), by M. J. Arlidge.   It is the “dark, twisted, thought-provoking” (#1 New York Times bestseller Tami Hoag) international bestseller—first in the new series featuring Detective Helen Grace.

 

Beginning:  Sam is asleep.  I could kill him now.  His face is turned from me—it wouldn’t be hard.  Would he stir if I moved?  Try to stop me?  Or would he just be glad that this nightmare was over?

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56:  Mark hovered in the doorway, unable to step inside.  His head pounding, he was assailed by wave after wave of nausea—the sheer busyness of the room made his head spin.  He was tempted to turn and run, but he knew he had to face the music.

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Synopsis:  Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense….

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What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?

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