All By Myself, Alone

All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

This is Clark’s newest book, and it does not disappoint. This book comes with a slew of characters, all of varying degrees of importance. This book tells the story of the maiden voyage of a brand-new ship, being compared to the Titanic. But, like with the Titanic, tragedy is bound to strike. When someone dies, an investigation is underway, as well as the search for the Man with 1000 Faces who is rumored to be on the ship in search of the priceless emerald necklace. What first starts as a trip of a lifetime,  turns into a trip of disaster, begging the question, “Will you survive?”

This book has many characters that are introduced one after the other and at first it takes a little time to remember who is who. But once the book gets started, it is easy to follow. With each chapter, the viewpoint of the story shifts, allowing all sides of the story to be told. 

If you pay attention to the clues it is easy to decipher who committed the crimes, but it was a quick and easy read. I couldn’t wait to finish the book and can’t wait for her next one to be released!

The Body Reader

The Body Reader by Anne Fraiser

This book was an easy read and kept me fairly well-entertained. There were a few spots I had to go back and reread because I lost track or somethings didn’t make sense, but overall it was a good read.

This book follows Detective Jude Fontaine, a woman that was kidnapped and tortured before finally escaping from her captor. When she enters the real-world again she is in for a lot of surprises. Does she go back to work and is she strong enough to face the brutal world that she now knows so much more about? She works with a Detective Uriah Ashby, and even he doesn’t trust her sanity. At various times people are considering her a threat to the workforce and the way things are run. But when a killer is on the loose, there is no time to waste and everyone needs to try and work together. But will they catch the killer in time? Or will he get away? Fontaine gets caught in the crossfire in more than ways than just one and is starting to be a liability, a liability that potentially will lead to destruction of at least one person.

This book was okay, until closer to the end where it seemed to jump back and forth between a couple of possibilities before finally deciding upon a killer. Overall it was interesting and showed various points of view throughout the story. Sometimes following Jude, or Uriah, or even a random person that you don’t know the identify of until later.

Overall it was a decent read.

The Perfect Girl

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan

This book is the second book by the author Gilly Macmillan and while it is the first one that I have read, I will try her other book soon.

This book follows Zoe upon her release and chance to being again with her “Second Chance Life” with her mom, new step-dad, Chris, step-brother, Lucas, and new sister, Grace.

Zoe was convicted of killing three of her high school classmates after events at a party turned drastically wrong and her trial didn’t go as well as planned. But, all that aside, Zoe is ready to begin a new life in what her mother has dubbed her “Second Chance Life.” They have moved and started anew. They have to appear perfect.

On the night of her revival, Zoe and Lucas hold a piano performance. Both are piano prodigies. Before the performance has truly begun, Thomas Barlow has burst through the doors and caused a scene, leaving Zoe running for the doors and everyone else aghast. This begins a long night of secrets being revealed, secrets that Zoe and her mother kept hidden from Chris and Lucas to preserve Zoe and allow her to fully move on with a new life. By the end of the night, Zoe’s mother is dead. She is found in the shed and the police cycle starts over again.

All is not as it seems as each person is interviewed the following morning and everyone has secrets to hide. This book is told from multiple viewpoints including Zoe, Lucas, Tessa (Zoe’s aunt), Sam (Zoe’s lawyer from before and the man Tessa is cheating on her husband with), and Richard (Tessa’s self-hating, alcoholic husband).

When I first started reading and each character was introduced in his or her own section it sounded very much like a diary entry because of the groundwork that was working so hard at being laid. The descriptions of oneself and others sounded to contrite and awkward because it isn’t how we talk about ourselves. It sounded like the speaker was speaking straight to the reader,even though that isn’t the way the book was set up. It was set up to tell the story from the various viewpoints so that you saw the entire picture.

The story doesn’t end when you find out who didn’t because at that point there are still other loose ends of the other story versions that need to be tied up. It only gets confusing if you do not pay attention to the name at the top of the page of each new section. It is never the same character twice in a row, but it does pick up the story right where the last one left off, so nothing is missed.

Overall the story was an interesting one and I look forward to reading her other book.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer

The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

It has happened again. A book that I could not put down. I had to squeeze in time where ever I could to read this book, and I did between work and other commitments in a matter of 2 days. It was amazing. I love how cohesively these two are able to work together on this project of Under Suspicion novels. They have done an outstanding job.

We find ourselves with Laurie, again looking for another case for her new TV series. She now no longer has Alex as her host as he is diving back into his career. Instead she is left with Ryan as the new host. There are many problems that come with Ryan, mainly that she fears he is a favorite from Brett, without much consideration of her input for her new host. But, is he really that bad? You might learn to hate him, then again you might learn to love him, but don’t let Laurie completely jade your opinion of him from the get-go.

In this new book, Laurie takes on the case of “Crazy Casey” the woman convicted of being the “Sleeping Beauty” killer and killing her fiance, but not remembering a bit of what happened. She already served her time, but wants to use Laurie and her show to help clear her name. We have many important characters including Casey, Angela (her cousin), Paula (her mother), Charlotte (who we know from the last installment), and many people from Hunter’s family (Casey’s fiance that she was convicted of killing). All these people have different perspectives on what happened and why. Everyone has secrets to hide. When do they not? While reading, I had a hunch as to who did it early on, and my hunch was well-rewarded. I was correct, but I will leave it at that. All the clues are there. Read and tread carefully. There are also a lot of red herrings thrown throughout the book, that though they are important bits of information, if you look too much into them, it will throw you onto the wrong track. Alex is no longer involved in the case as he normally is when he worked on the show, but he is still involved. Oh, is he involved, but not how you think. By the end of the book, justice is served, as always.

In this book, since it is one of getting a new sense of justice for a client it takes a different spin than the previous ones where they are trying to prove someone else’s guilt and get the limelight off the innocent. There is a lot of character jumping, but this book wouldn’t be half of what it is if it were not for all those character jumps. It helps the reader to see the bigger picture and truly understand what is going on. No character jumps just happen, everything happens with some type of break.

One more side note on Alex, yes he isn’t “involved” in the case like he usually is, but he is involved. And, without giving too much away, by the end of the book, I despise his character, to the core.

Oh, and there will definitely be another installment with how the book ended, but Alex, justice better be served…