Here and Gone by Haylen Beck Review

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Synopsis: Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

My Thoughts: This book reminded me of a movie called Breakdown, starring Kurt Russell. The plots of the book and the movie are similar and both were successful in creating a lot of tension and suspense. This story is every mother’s worst nightmare…to have your children taken away and the blame put on you.

The writing style was very reader friendly but it read like a movie adaptation…there was a lot of telling instead of showing. The pacing was good, the story moved along with every page. The characters were decent but none of them stood out to me.

Overall, this was a good thriller but not one that will be memorable…there was nothing “special” about it.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: “Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

My Thoughts: Wow!!! This book blew my mind! A fun adventure from the first page to the last, my jaw dropped several times while reading this. There were many unexpected moments that I never saw coming. This is the kind of story you want to go into blindly because the revelations make it amazing.

This is the epitome of a thought provoking book…I can’t stop thinking of the plot and all of the things that are presented in the story.

The protagonist, Jason, is very likable and I was rooting for him throughout the story. His wife Daniela was a bit less well known…you only saw her through Jason’s eyes but it was clear how much he adored her.

I appreciated that the author didn’t need to use gore or vulgarity to make the story impactful.

This story crosses several genres…science fiction, suspense, mystery, thriller, romance, and even has some horror aspects. I truly believe that this is the kind of book that would appeal to a large audience of readers.

This book was amazing and I recommend it to everyone. It will live on my favorites list.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Missing by Lisa Harris Review

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Plot according to Goodreads: Nikki Boyd Enters the Deadly World of Counterfeit Drugs to Find a Missing Woman.
Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.
Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts readers right into the action in this fast-paced thriller that will have them turning pages long into the night.

My Thoughts: The cover of this book really intrigued me so I was excited to read it. This was an enjoyable thriller/ police procedural story with some big surprises. The story read like a movie, it was very easy to picture and kept me turning pages to see what would happen next. I had a few problems with the story though…there were a lot of characters and it was difficult to keep everyone straight. I also didn’t like that there is the story line of the main character’s missing sister that ran parallel to the main plot. I hadn’t read the first book so I was a bit in the dark when it came to that story line. I also didn’t find that story line particularly interesting. The author gave a bit of new information as far as that part of the plot went but it was left open for the next book.

Overall, this was an average thriller worth reading but it didn’t stand out.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

 

Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso Review

Spoilers to Centralia ahead.

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Goodreads Synopsis: Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe–new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust–including his own senses.

My Thoughts: I read the first book in the Jed Patrick series, Centralia in May and thought it was good but not great. This book was much better in my opinion. The story is full of action and through the entire book, the reader is unsure who to trust (as the main character, Jed is). There is a great twist towards the end of the book that I never saw coming. I’m not always a fan of government/ military thrillers but this was really enjoyable.

The author is a very good writer, the writing style was extremely easy to fall into and the pacing was perfect. I flew through the book and didn’t want to put it down. My only problem with the book was that the daughter, Lilly in the book is 8 years old but many times seems much older than that.

This is a Christian fiction story and the subject of faith and trust in God is prevalent. I enjoyed that it was part of the story but don’t feel like it would be too much that a non-believer wouldn’t enjoy it.

Overall it was a great story and I’m interested in seeing if the series will continue. I own several other books by Mike Dellosso (the cover art is amazing on his books) and look forward to picking them up soon.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

 

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.

Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.

A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

My Thoughts: At first I was a bit wary of this book because of the writing style but after about 20 pages, I was hooked. This book kept me guessing until the very end.

Nora, the main character, is definitely an interesting person. Because she is telling the story, you never really know if she’s reliable or not. The author is very good at showing her emotional decline after he sister’s murder. Nora reminded me a lot of Libby Day from Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places…damaged and unlikable.

There are many twists and turns, which I love, and most were unpredictable.

The book is fairly short at 219 pages but it is very dense…there were no moments when I felt like it dragged. I would much rather read a shorter book that packs a big punch than a long book that drags on and on.

I would definitely recommend this one to all of the thriller lovers. It was a great story!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Penguin Publishing company in exchange for an honest review.

Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller Review

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Plot According to Goodreads: Freedom Oliver has plenty of secrets.  She lives in a small Oregon town and keeps mostly to herself.  Her few friends and neighbors know she works at the local biker bar; they know she gets arrested for public drunkenness almost every night; they know she’s brash, funny, and fearless.

What they don’t know is that Freedom Oliver is a fake name.  They don’t know that she was arrested for killing her husband, a cop, twenty years ago.  They don’t know she put her two kids up for adoption.  They don’t know that she’s now in witness protection, regretting ever making a deal with the Feds, and missing her children with a heartache so strong it makes her ill.

Then, she learns that her daughter has gone missing, possibly kidnapped.  Determined to find out what happened, Freedom slips free of her handlers, gets on a motorcycle, and heads for Kentucky, where her daughter was raised.  As she ventures out on her own, no longer protected by the government, her troubled past comes roaring back at her: her husband’s vengeful, sadistic family; her brief, terrifying stint in prison; and the family she chose to adopt her kids who are keeping dangerous secrets.

My Thoughts: I had no interest in reading this book when I first saw the cover, but I read the synopsis and thought I’d take a chance (I’m glad that I did). This story follows Freedom, who is in the witness protection program and has a slew of issues. Freedom was the kind of character who I really disliked in the beginning of the story but as it progressed and I began to understand her, she grew on me.

The story has many facets and subplots that all merge together. It explores a religious cult which was extremely interesting and chilling. As a reader I went through a range of emotions, from anger to frustration, to fear, and sadness.

The story touches on religion, which often frustrates me in secular fiction, but the author handled it very well and I was pleased with the way things were presented.

Overall, this was a fast paced, action packed story that was enjoyable to read.

My Rating: 4 stars

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange of an honest review.

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton Review

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Plot According to GoodreadsOn 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness
Where nothing grows
Where no one lives
Where tears freeze
And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby’s father.
Traveling deeper into a silent land.
They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.

My Thoughts: With the temperature here in Pennsylvania averaging around 5 degrees the past few days, I thought it would be appropriate to pick up a wintry read. This really fit the bill. This book is very atmospheric, you feel as if you are riding in the truck with Yasmin and Ruby across the icy roads of bitter cold Alaska. I flew through the book as the pacing was perfect. The suspense builds slowly and, although not extremely surprising, it had a satisfying ending.

The setting was perfect and caused me to Google the places in the book, which led me to watch some episodes of Ice Road Truckers, as it features some of the places described in the book (the Dalton Highway, Coldfoot, and Deadhorse).

My main issue was the main character, Yasmin. As a mother, I was appalled at the danger she put her daughter in, even with the warnings of many people. There were several times that I was extremely frustrated with the choices that she made. I also felt that the author allowed her personal beliefs in regards to a certain issue to seep into the book a bit too much for my taste.

I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves suspense and is in the mood for a chilly read.

My rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.