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 Last Anniversary 

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty 

I apologize for the month long hiatus, work got really busy, but I’m back with another book review!

This is  another book by Liane Moriarty. I am usually not much for romance novels, but hers are worth it, overall. 

This book mainly follows Sophie’s story, but we do jump to other character’s minds as well during the story. We learn that Sophie is set to inherit the house of an ex-boyfriend’s recently passed away aunt. While one family member is furious, the others are excited about her coming back to live on the exclusive family-only-after-dark island. 

Everything on their island revolves around the Enigma baby mystery. This baby that Alice and Jack just left behind when they disappeared out of nowhere. Everything from tours of the house to authentic, this is what the house looked like when left, to a yearly anniversary of the event.

Everyone in the family always debates  about what really happened, but don’t get out find out until they are forty and deemed mature enough to handle it.

The story follows Sophie and the residents that live there as they  go through character changes. The reader does learn the truth behind the mystery and the story drops off soon after that. After the truth is learned, loose ends are tied up.

This story deals with loss, depression, along with other topics that can’t be told without giving away part of the mystery. It was a good read, but it dragged on once the full truth was out and in the open.

A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark

Clark is at it again! I cannot get enough of her books. She is an amazing author and does a spectacular job at creating a suspenseful environment! In this novel, Jenny MacPartland is a single mom of two young children, whose father does not care much for them. The father, rather than providing for his kids and helping with expenses, comes to Jenny to ask for help with his own expenses, even when he knows she has very little. Jenny’s open heart makes her gullible to this as she feels unfair to not help out her children’s father. Knowing this about Jenny is important to understanding her reasoning and why she acts the way that she does.

Jenny works at an art gallery in NYC when the famous painter Erich Krueger, a landscape and portrait painter, holds an exhibit. She immediately falls in love with him. He seems perfect, and longs her for in the same way. It is a whirlwind romance, and before she knows it she is married and whisked away from her city life, to life with him in the country. Erich hides himself away in his cabin to work on his paintings in solitude to be able to work without interruption. Jenny accepts this, as he has accepted her children as his own and even got her ex to give over his parental rights. Erich is very peculiar about certain rooms in the house, rooms that may not be entered or touch because they are as they were when his mother left him forever. Jenny looks identical to his mother, adding to this odd attraction as everyone on the farm is astounded by this notion. As the days continue, Jenny is sending her further into solitude and soon, she has been disconnected from her own children as well at the hands of Erich. With lonely days streaming ahead of her, and hints of Erich’s mother’s ghost roaming the halls and property at night, Jenny sets out on her own adventure to uncover the truth about his past. When tragic events collapse upon each other, Jenny discovers a horrifying truth that threatens to forever change her future.

This was a captivating read and a true page-turner. Clark leaves clues throughout the story so that you can uncover the truth yourself, but there are parts that you do not see coming that will chill you to the bone. This novel does begin with a cut scene from further in the book, but it truly sets the stage for the novel and makes you begin to question everything that happens and if you really can trust what you hear and see. Falling in love can be tragically beautiful, or tragically dreadful for all involved.

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Ever wonder what it feels like to feel invisible to the world around you, even when you most certainly are around and surviving? Ever feel like you are making a mockery of your life, yet the downward spiral that you are on shows no end to stopping, and you have no motivation to stop it either? But then, one day, you notice something strange happen? And that strange thing, turns into multiple unusual happenings and eventually murder, that you then find yourself in the middle of? Welcome to the life of alcoholic Rachel.

Rachel is a divorced woman, who used to be married to Tom, and now lives with her best friend. Tom married Anna, whom he had an affair with and now has a child with. Rachel’s drunkenness leads to many blackouts and unrecoverable events, including phone calls to Tom, being in town, sending emails, etc.

Rachel rides a train into town every day to her job. On the train she looks out the window and where the train always makes a quick unavoidable stop, she sees her old house, where she used to live with Tom and Tom now lives with Anna, and next to that house is a home with a couple in it that she names Jess and Jason. She imagines their love to be perfect. One day she notices that the man that Jess is with isn’t the same man as Jason, and he isn’t being as gentle with Jess as he should be.

One day, Megan (Jess’s real name) goes missing. Rachel gets launched into the middle of the investigation because she was seen down the block from where Megan disappeared. She tries to tell the investigators what she saw from the train, but because of her drunken reputation, she isn’t reliable to them. A few days later, Megan’s body is discovered nearby in the woods. Rachel does her best to do her own detective work, much to the dismay of Anna, who is scared of Rachel and her constant harassment, but ends up only becoming more under suspicion herself.

By the end of the novel, more than Rachel’s secrets alone are revealed. The novel does go between Megan, Anna, and Rachel. But, at the top of each new chapter is a heading with which character it will be about. The mind-hopping between characters allows the reader to see the full story and able to truly understand the full story of everything. This book shows that anything can be skewed with only limited facts, including perception based on what you think you see and what you really see when people look very similar to one another. It shows that you can’t truly know a person or know whether or not to trust someone and that sometimes, trust comes from the most unlikely places.