Author Archives: Propensity to discuss

About Propensity to discuss

Reader. Reviewer. Researcher. Genre Faves: Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, YA Lit, Sci-Fi, History, Realistic Fiction

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Ellery “Ellie” Hathaway has a few secrets. Some would destroy her career in the small, low-crime town of Woodbury, Massachusetts where she works as a police officer. Some would destroy the life she has made for herself over the past 14 years. Because 15 years ago she was not Ellery Hathaway, she was Abby Hathaway, who was abducted on her birthday and is the only survivor of serial killer Francis Michael Coben.

Now 28, she believes that the three people who have gone missing close to her birthday over the past three years are the work of someone who knows who she is. Someone who is taunting her, but the Chief of Police and the one detective on the force don’t see any connection – not even the Ellery connection – because they don’t know her secret.

Agent Reed Markham, however, does know her secret. He knows almost everything about it because Reed Markham is the agent who found her alive all those years ago. He is now all but washed-up after his last case; a case that he blew, leaving a little boy dead. But when Ellie calls him for help, he goes to her, but not officially. Ellery doesn’t concern herself with his mistakes. He saved her once. She is willing to put her hope in his hands to save her again before another person is taken during The Vanishing Season.

To be a relatively short novel, Schaffhausen included a good bit of information. The back story of Ellie and the Coben case is skillfully woven in among the details of the current case, giving just enough information to help lead the reader to a few details without giving away too much at one time.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Ellie and Reed are both damaged. Ellie is damaged by the Coben case, obviously, and Reed by all of the cases on which he worked. They not only damaged him but is marriage as well. As he put it “I did not cheat on my wife with any live women…I saved the best parts of myself for the job.” So when I read about both of them I immediately had a strong desire to help them, keep them both safe, and see that they were both better at the end of this case. You’ll have to read the book to see if that happened.

This is a really good book by a new author and I look forward to any future books by her. Have any of you read it? If so, what do you think?

Book Details:

 

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Advertisements
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Wow. This was not at all what I was expecting, and it was really, really good and quite intense. Lane and her mother Camilla lived a very unhappy existence right up to the point When Camilla ends her own misery, sending Lane to live at Roanoke, the place her mother described as a nightmare.

It is at Roanoke that she meets her cousin Allegra, who looks so much like Lane and her mom, and also where she learns that all the Roanoke babies are girls and they all either leave forever or die very young at Roanoke. It is the Roanoke Curse. Ten years later Lane is one of those who left, but she is called back because Allegra, who would never leave on her own, is missing.

The chapters alternate between “Then,” which is about Lane’s time at Roanoke and “Now” which is ten years later, as well as brief excerpts from the thoughts and lives of other Roanoke girls. Through past and present, the stories of Lane, Allegra, and their grandparents (the grandfather who is doting and caring and the grandmother who is inattentive and aloof) come to life.

Lane knows something bad has happened to Allegra, there is the Roanoke Curse, after all, but she must muddle through her own issues which have shaped her past and continue to damage her present and, most likely, her future. Having known only bitterness and hatred from her mother, Lane has no way to understand, much less accept love and kindness, unless she can break the curse that has plagued their family for three generations.

This book, though not for the faint of heart, is extremely well-written and quite intense. Lane is emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized even before she comes to Roanoke where secrets are what hold the family together. And oh the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive. This story will shock most, but it really is a story of exactly what it takes to break the ties that bind in order to heal. I highly recommend this book.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging for Books in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

After reading Stillhouse Lake (my review) I ordered Killman Creek to be delivered on the day it published. Reading the second book in the series did not disappoint!

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read Stillhouse Lake this review has a couple of spoilers about that book.

This story begins 12 days after the previous book’s end with Gwen, Lanny, and Connor on the run again, but this time they are being helped by Sam. Knowing now that she was betrayed by someone she trusted, Gwen finds it harder to believe she can keep her kids safe.

She has decided that she will no longer hide or run from Melvin and those who want to find her for him. This time she is hunting them and him. She also realizes that in order to become the hunter she has to get Lanny and Connor safely tucked away with the only other people in the world she trusts: Javier and Kezia. The only drawback is that they are at Stillhouse Lake, so close to where their lives fell apart again 12 days before.

Once she has them settled (as much as they will settle without her) she and Sam head out to hunt for those who want to see her dead at the hand of Melvin Royal.

With the unofficial help of an FBI agent with whom Sams has a history, they begin tracking Absalom, whom they now know is not one person, but an entire network of people. And most of them are not only dangerous, many of them are deadly.

This conclusion to Stillhouse Lake did not disappoint. Even so, there were many times that I was so angry with some of the people involved. I was angry with almost all of them except Gwen at one point or another in the story. I wanted to knock some sense into their heads, but every reason that I had for being angry at them, they were not doing anything that others in that situation would have done. With all of the adults, their actions and reactions were justifiable and with Connor, it was extremely understandable, but that didn’t help me not get angry at them.

Once again Rachel Caine has given us a very well-written, very well-researched and very realistic novel that is sure to please readers who liked Stillhouse Lake.

This is not a series that you should read out of order. There are just too many things that you need to know from Stillhouse Lake to understand Killman Creek.

If you haven’t read Stillhouse Lake, I highly recommend both books but be warned, these are not for the faint of heart. There is a good bit of grit and gore in both books, so if you are sensitive to those things you may want to find another series. (click here for suggestions) But if you can handle it, read these books! They are well worth your time.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales is in a state of total confusion after she finds out that her husband has died in a car accident in Hawaii because he was supposed to be on a work trip to Kansas. Up until this point, Jacks thought she had a pretty good marriage. Sure there were issues, but every married couple argues, right? They had been together for 8 years and she had never once considered that he might have an affair. There has to be some mistake. James has to be in Kansas. The shock is compounded when she finds out James wasn’t alone. He was having an affair with a woman named Dylan, who also died in the accident.

Unable to deal with both the betrayal and the death at the same time, she is just vulnerable enough to accept the offer of Dylan’s fiancé Nick to go with him to Hawaii to try to discover what they had been doing there and to try to gain some semblance of closure.

While in Hawaii she and Nick are able to find out things they didn’t know and they also find some solace there. Jacks’ sister Beth just wants her to come home to heal, but Jacks knows she has to see this through if she is ever going to feel normal again.

With a twist that you may see coming and one that you may not see, this is a good book that I really enjoyed.

Jacks is a loving, caring, and sacrificing person that I truly hoped would find happiness again. I felt she deserved it and the more I read, the more I liked her and the more I pulled for her.

Nick is also devastated by the loss of Dylan and is so good with Jacks, making sure that she is comfortable and is able to handle everything that comes her way. He becomes her rock and together they are great at helping each other through a very difficult time

If you are looking for a good book and a quick read, check out The Good Widow. Not only the writing and the plot, but also the descriptions of Hawaii will make you want to jump on a plane, go there, and do all the excursions that are described. I love reading about new places and this was no exception. Beautifully descriptive and quite well-written.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson

The day before Faith Winters’ 13th birthday Faith and her sister Kim headed to their family’s cabin and as Kim entered she was stabbed, but she was able to tell Faith to run. Faith ran, hid, and escaped, but the killers also murdered their father, Faith’s best friend Anna, and Anna’s mother. After bumbling the case, the local police ruled it a murder-suicide committed by their father, but Faith knew she had seen someone else there. A man she calls “Rat Face” because that is how he looked to Faith.

Ten years later Faith is in a mental facility. Her therapist believes she is suicidal, the police think she is crazy, and everyone else sees her as a drunk and a danger to herself and others. Faith just knows that every waking minute is spent reliving that horrible day.

Henryka Vasilyeva (Henry as Faith calls her) is a Federal agent who has been tasked with checking into Faith’s claim that she saw the killer. Even though the case is officially closed with the local police, Henry believes there is another murder that has similarities and she is willing to investigate further.

Just days before the anniversary of what Faith calls “Death Day” she is released from Brookstone Mental Hospital and sent back to Marshfield, where it all took place. There is no way for Faith to escape her past here, even more so since her psychologist mother has written a best-selling tell-all about Faith called “The Girl Who Lived.”

Leaving a bar in a drunken stupor she catches a glimpse of Rat-Face, though no one believes her because of the alcohol. Over the next few days, she is certain that the killer is watching and terrorizing her, but since everyone has read her mother’s book they all believe that she is extremely close to going insane.

With no one to trust, Faith believes she has to take matters into her own hands, which always gets her into precarious situations and she knows that time is running out for her one way or another.

This is a good book with a very interesting plot. I could immediately connect with Faith and felt deeply sorry for her. While she does some pretty risky things that always backfire on her, I don’t blame her for that, which is unusual for me. I generally want characters that are somewhat aware of what will happen if… However, with the scope of what Faith has encountered, that would go against her psyche as she is far too damaged to think beyond the here and now.

There is quite a large twist to this novel and I certainly did not see it coming. Grayson does a really good job of keeping you guessing about whom to trust and who the real villains are and that is one of the reasons that I really recommend this book.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell (Ella Marconi Series)

Paramedics Jane and Alex are called to the scene of a car accident and find the driver, Marco Mikesner, afraid to even open the door. He finally does and, though uninjured they convince him to go to the hospital. He is clearly paranoid and they both suspect he needs to talk with a psychiatrist.  The hospital is very busy and he is sent to the waiting room. Just before Jane and Alex are to sign off for the day they are sent to the metro train station where they find Marco dead under the wheels of a train.

Ella Marconi and Murray Shakespeare get the case are being hurried along by their new interim boss to rule it a suicide, but they don’t feel that it is and are both seriously irritated with the new boss, and for more reasons than just this.

As they continue to investigate and talk to people about Marco, things begin to get more and more confusing and they become much more convinced that Marco did jump in front of that train. But did he fall or was he pushed? And if he was pushed, then by whom? But no matter what the new boss says, Ella will see justice done.

As usual in this series, there are also the issues facing the paramedics. Jane is secretly involved with a new man, but her husband’s new wife is convinced that they are seeing each other again so she is harassing Jane daily, even going as far as to file a complaint against her with Human Resources. Alex’s 14-year-old daughter Mia, meanwhile, hates the rules that he has to keep her sage and has told him she wants to live with her mom. The mom who walked out when Mia was three and has had no contact in the last 11 years.

As I have written reviews on the other books in this series (see my reviews of Frantic, The Darkest Hour, and Cold Justice HERE and Violent Exposure HERE) you can tell that I really like the characters. Ella Marconi is a get-to-the-bottom of things person who also has an amazing empathy for the people her job brings into her path. Unless they cross her – then all bets are off and I really like that combination and have a bit of that in me, as well.

Detective Shakespeare has someone new in his life and it has certainly changed him for the better. He is much less surly and angry. The fact that the new boss angers him as much as he angers Ella goes a long way toward making him much more likable. Maybe there’s hope for him yet.

As in the rest of the series, Caroline Lee is the narrator and I am more than a little in love with her narration. She does an amazing job changing tone, pace, cadence, and sound for each character so there is no doubt who is talking. I cannot say enough about how much I love listening to her. She is my all-time favorite narrator. And the Australian accent certainly adds to that.

I highly recommend this book. If you have read the others, this one is just as well written. If you have not read them, you may want to start at the beginning of the series, but it is not imperative as all of the detective work and the paramedics’ stories are stand alone for each novel, there are just references to personal situations from previous books, but you would not get lost starting anywhere in the series.

Book Details:

Books in the Ella Marconi Series:

  1. Frantic
  2. The Darkest Hour
  3. Cold Justice
  4. Violent Exposure
  5. Silent Fear
  6. Web of Deceit
  7. Deserving Death
  8. Tell the Truth

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert. A Propensity to Discuss review.

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

No one really likes change. There is such a fear that comes with the unknown. A fear that can, and usually does, increase when negative factors (whether real or imagined) are involved.

When the very poor, predominately minority school district of South Fork loses its accreditation and the state gives those students the right to be bussed to the affluent, non-minority district of Crystal Ridge tensions mount and that fear is expressed very loudly and very negatively by many Crystal Ridge residents at a highly publicised meeting.

Camille Gray is a supermom who serves on every committee, organizes the annual Crystal Ridge 5K charity run, takes care of her husband’s and kids’ needs, and is seriously worried about a “commitment to education” that the South Fork parents obviously do not have. Voicing this at the meeting and adding that If they did, their district would not have lost its accreditation. Not only that, but there are obviously a different set of values in South Fork if you look at the number of students who don’t graduate. She is then shocked and hurt that because of these comments the media is using her as a sound bite for racism at Crystal Ridge.

Anaya Jones has been hired as one of Crystal Ridge’s 2nd-grade teachers for the next year. She and her mother are at the meeting as her mother is determined to get her 11th-grade intelligent and athletic son, Darius, into Crystal Ridge. Anaya is guilt-ridden about taking the Crystal Ridge job when her father spent his career teaching in South Fork. But South Fork may not even survive the next school year, and she needs the job.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Paige Gray, Camille’s daughter, ends up in Anaya’s class and Camille is the ever-present room mother. Awkward can only partially describe the first meeting between Anaya and Camille. Anaya is bothered when Paige also tends to shun a new student, Jubilee Covington, whose white parents Nick and Jen adopted from Liberia. But when she finds her brother Darius hanging out with Taylor Gray, Camille’s oldest daughter, her anger is too much to control and she lashes out at him about it. When Darius calls her a racist, she is livid.

So it goes for the year, with Camille’s seemingly perfect life crumbling around her, Anaya’s emotions threatening to cause her to go over the deep end, and Jen’s fear that she is terrible as a mother. As these three work on their own issues and try to resolve things in their own fierce and protective ways one thing is clear:

Each will do whatever it costs them to protect the ones they love. But how high will that cost be? And how much are they willing to sacrifice? Because before it is over, each will sacrifice more than they ever imagined.

If I could encourage you to read one book this year, No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert would be it.

The messages about living in this world with people who are different from you are phenomenal…As Dr. Phil says “No matter how flat you squish a pancake, it still has two sides.” There are definitely two sides to what is happening in this book, but neither side is willing to admit that. Why should they? They have done nothing wrong. They have just been misunderstood or wrongly judged, right? It is so difficult for us to find fault with our own actions, understandably, but the people in this fight can see very clearly where others are at fault but see no wrong in themselves.

This book is amazing. I rarely give 5 stars, but this one takes them all. The characters are so well-developed and I befriended all of them very quickly. With a voice that speaks to every side, every angle, including the difficulties in adopting a child of another race with issues stemming from being raised in an understaffed orphanage, Ganshert very powerfully addresses each issue. Truly this is a book that should be required reading for everyone who has ever come face-to-face with a person of another race.

According to the author “This book both excites me and terrifies me. I put my heart on the page in a way I’ve never done before…which is…well…scary!” Trust me, Ms. Ganshert, you have absolutely no reason to worry. It is obvious that you put your heart into this book. That is evident on every page.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging For Books in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”