Tag Archives: Psychological Thriller

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss

Can you ever really be “Safe with Me” by K.L. Slater

If you want more twists than this, you’d better grab a bag of pretzels.

After first reading Liar and now Safe with Me, I really have to wonder about K.L. Slater. Her mind is undoubtedly warped. To be able to conceive of and pen such depraved tales takes more psychological configurations than I’d imagine exists in the minds of half of the patients in mental institutions in Britain.

Anna Clarke is mentally unstable. She seems to be stuck at around the age of 13 or 14, which makes sense because that was her age when a very traumatic event changed her life forever.

When, as an adult, Anna witnesses an accident and stops to help, she realizes that the woman, whom she learns is now going by the name Amanda Danson is the woman who caused her suffering 13 years before. Anna knows she must see justice done and make sure that this time Amanda pays for her crime. In the meantime, Anna becomes obsessed with the accident victim, Liam, his well-being and the relationship she believes is forming between them.

Anna is delusional at best and with the mindset of an illogical 14-year-old believes that she can explain away anything she has done wrong and that everyone else is at fault. Even while forcing herself into the lives of Liam and his grandmother, Ivy, Anna comments “Some people assume a shared situation authorizes them to be immediately familiar.” She is scornful of others who feel this way, yet she is completely blind to the fact that she is the one who is doing just that to Liam and Ivy.

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss review.

Also, anyone who pays her any attention, other than Liam, is seen to be obtrusive and untrustworthy and, in Anna’s mind, those people only want to bring ill-will to her. When in reality that is her behavior, not the intentions of others.

When I first began listening to/reading Safe with Me, I really didn’t like Anna at all, but I had to continue because it is sort of like a series of train wrecks – you can’t stop watching (or, in this case, reading) because you want to find out just how bad the situation will become. That is when Slater has you hooked and drawn completely in. There is no way you can stop reading. You have to know just how crazy Anna really is.

This is a really, really well-planned and well-executed story of mental illness wrapped up in a psychological thriller full of twists and turns. I highly recommend this in both print and audio versions. I switched back and forth on this one.

Lucy Price-Lewis does an amazing job with the voices and characterizations of Anna, Amanda, Mrs. Peat (Anna’s neighbor), and the other, unnamed character. So much so that you know without a doubt whose point of view is shared with each chapter. And Slater writes in such a way that you never see the twists before they have thrown you for a loop.

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

 

Book Details

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. 

 

Advertisements
Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Room (Movie)

After spending a little bit of time in my new retired life (thanks or not to syringomyelia), I have to admit I have been a little bored. I am trying to keep busy and have been cleaning my house and getting rid of clutter. But cleaning isn’t my favorite, so I have decided to take it a bit at a time and have (syringomyelia required) rest breaks.

During one such break, I watched the movie Room. Yes, I have read the book and it is still one of my favorites! So, what about the movie?

Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblayare trapped in Room, which is a sound proof storage shed in the backyard of a man who kidnapped Ma when she was 17. Jack, who just turned 5, has never seen anything beyond Room except through a skylight through the ceiling. He watches TV, but those things shown are not real. The only real things are Ma and Jack and what is inside room, like Tub, Bed, and Wardrobe.

When “Old Nick” comes to visit Ma, Jack has to stay in Wardrobe and sometimes Old Nick brings Sunday treats, but only the things they need, nothing extra. Ma, whose real name is Joy Newsome, knows there is more out there and she wants nothing more than to get Jack and herself back to her real home.

Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

This movie was so very close to the book that I knew exactly what was going to happen. Bummer, right? NO! It was absolutely wonderful. Even though I knew the plot, even though I knew the outcome, it was still so amazingly created and acted that I felt I was seeing/hearing the story for the first time. Brie Larson won an Oscar for her role in this film. Yes, it was that good. However, the Academy missed the mark on Jacob Tremblay because he also should have won an Oscar for his performance. He was masterful as 5-year-old Jack!

I very rarely say this, but here goes: Whether or not you have read the book which was written by Emma Donoghue see the movie! But if you haven’t read the book, you really should, because both are top of the line in my opinion. Both the book and the movie are not to be missed!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

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

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. 

The Good Daughter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

I have said it before and here it is again: The absolute biggest problem with reading a Karin Slaughter book is finishing and having the agony of waiting for the next one! That being said, The Good Daughter follows true to form.

Rusty Quinn was a man of many words and many beliefs. First and foremost he believed that everyone had a right to a fair trial, which is why he defended the vilest of the vile, always knowing that his family was shunned in their small town because of his cases. And then it all came crashing down around him.

Twenty-eight years ago two men came looking for Rusty but instead found Gamma, the wife he adored, and his daughters Sam and Charlie. The night left Gamma dead and Charlie and Sam fighting for their lives. The events, told this time from Charlie’s point of view, detail what happened to her mother and her sister and how she ran as fast as she could to escape.

Charlie has been running ever since.

Fast forward 28 years to a horrifying shooting that rocks the small town and Charlie finds herself right in the middle of it, peeling the scabs off of the wounds that had never really healed. Head-strong, willful, deeply angry Charlie throws herself headlong into making things right. Rusty, as usual, is the only one ready to defend the girl at the center of this egregious crime again putting his life in jeopardy.

Once again, Karin Slaughter has managed to write a novel that is both grisly and beautiful, lurid and poignant. A book about hatred and healing, fear, and misunderstanding. A book about the power of forgiveness and the desperation of hate.

As with most of Karin Slaughter’s books, the audio version of The Good Daughter is read by Kathleen Early who, as always, brings something specific to every character, even if it is in just a subtle way. She does a superb job of relaying the anguish, the love, the hurt and the hate in a way that leads you straight into the mind of each and every character. I could listen to her read all day and all night. Especially if it was a Karin Slaughter novel.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly Five out of five stars for writing. Five out of five stars for the audio. But beware, once you begin, you are opening your heart for one huge emotional ride!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

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

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. 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A mystery and a bookstore. What more could a thriller-reading bibliophile ask for? Well, according to this book, a lot more. Like 3 mysterious story lines all coming together at the end to explain, very feasibly, why a young man who spent almost all of his time in the Bright Ideas Bookstore decided to hang himself in the one place he felt most at home.

Around Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Lydia is beginning to lock up for the night when she finds Joey, one of the “BookFrogs” (sad and lonely people who spend all of their free time in the bookshop) hanging from the rafters. Added to the horror, she finds a picture of herself at 10 years old in his pocket.

Having been hiding from the world in plain sight for the last 10 years, she is shocked to see that someone has made a connection between her and “Little Lydia.” Twenty years ago Little Lydia’s picture in Life magazine shocked a nation and since then she has done everything she can to free herself from her past.

But Joey’s death and the items that he left for her in his room at the boarding house send her reeling back to an unsolved case that has haunted her for 20 years. As she works to unravel the clues that Joey left, her own past unexpectedly comes crashing in around her.

Matthew Sullivan’s Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a look into the lives of so many people, including the BookFrogs and will make you take a serious look at the lonely people that we encounter daily, and at the lives that one individual life can touch. Soulful, sometimes heartbreaking, and a bit mesmerizing, this book is a really good read.

An audio version of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is also available.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

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

This post may contain 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!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I received this book free from NetGalley 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.”

Into the Water. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

In case you’ve been living in a cave with no access to electricity or social media, you have probably seen all the promotions about Paula Hawkins newest release, Into the Water. But does it live up to the hype? After listening to her first novel The Girl on the Train (read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher), which I really liked, I was very excited to read her second novel.

Into the Water is read by Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, and Imogen Church, a rather lengthy cast, as there are quite a few characters who make this book twist and turn and throw you for loop after loop. While it started a bit slowly, it did pick up the pace and there were a couple of turns I truly did not see coming. And then I listened to the ending three times because I just absolutely could not believe what I was hearing!

Into the Water. A Propensity to Discuss review.

For over 300 years the Drowning Pool has claimed many lives of Beckford women, whether they were accused a witchcraft and sorcery, adultery or to leave the world of their own accord, and Nel Abott has researched them all for the book she plans to publish.

When Nel dies falling into the “Drowning Pool” that has fascinated her all of her life, her sister must return to the town she ran from so many years before and swore she would never again set foot. This suicide, only months after a teen girl’s suicide at the same place leaves many in the town worried and many quite satisfied. Nel’s daughter knows it was suicide, but her long-lost sister stands at odds against the 16-year-old niece she has never met and swears that Nel had to have been pushed.

This book has quite a few negative feedbacks online. However, the audio version of this book has more positive responses than negative. I find this very interesting because I also listened to The Girl on the Train and loved it, but the people I knew who read the book didn’t like it. I actually have 2 friends who didn’t like The Girl on the Train book but listened to the audio and really liked it. So my suggestion here would be to start reading them and if you don’t like them, then listen to both of them. I really think it makes all the difference!

I highly recommend this book in audio form.

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 whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

 

A Madness So Discreet. A Propensity to Discuss review.

A Madness So Discreet

Perfectly sane, Grace Mae leaves behind the life of a wealthy socialite and enters a horror filled existence when she is banished to an insane asylum for a reason thoroughly out of her control. Feeling that she has nothing to live for and certainly nothing to offer, she closes herself and her voice off from those around her.

When she is pushed beyond the limit of what she can withstand, she strikes out and is sent to the dungeon where she meets someone who changes the course of her life forever. Enter a very forward-thinking doctor who uses the clues left behind at the scenes of murder victims to identify their killers. Grace, in her new-found life, the doctor believes, can help him.

From the first few pages of A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, I was completely mesmerized. I hated to put it down and when I had to, I could hardly wait to pick it up again. McGinnis did a remarkable job developing the characters for this story, as well as giving them social and moral dilemmas that show how they react to working for the right reasons, even if they may be morally or ethically questionable.

Add the rich history of the ethics, or lack thereof, in asylums in the late 1800s and you have a story that vividly brings to light what fate those with mental illnesses, those who were easily disposed of by their wealthy families, and those who were chronically ill had to face.  Throw in the beginnings of forensic science and several main characters that you come to know and love and you have one really great book on your hands.

This is an unputdownable, must read!

If you are interested in the audio version of A Madness so Discreet performed by Brittany Pressley, I do recommend this as well. I both listened and read because I did not want to be away from Grace for long periods of time!

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 whole-heartedly recommend these linked products! 

 

 

Behind Closed Doors anything is possible…

Unputdownable. I have used this term before, but boy, oh boy, just ask my family about this one! I had headphones in my ears at every opportunity this weekend so that I could get to the end of this book and see the characters safely to the other side! There was no way for me to let this one sit unfinished for any length of time.

Jack and Grace are the perfect married couple. Just ask Adam and Diane, they see it every time they share a meal with them. Jack is always so attentive to Grace, doesn’t let her lift a finger without his help. They reminisce about their trips and the way they met. Friends Esther and Diane would love to get to know Grace better, but she just seems to be joined at the hip to Jack. You never see her without him.

Grace always finds a reason to cancel plans to meet Diane and Esther alone for lunch. They never see her in town. She doesn’t have a cell phone or even her own email address. Add to the fact that she quit her job to be a stay at home wife and Esther just doesn’t believe the fairy tale is real. There is something that just doesn’t sit right in her mind.

Behind Closed Doors anything is possible...A Propensity to Discuss review.

Then there is Millie, Grace’s sister who is 17 years her junior and has Downs Syndrome. Esther and Diane are amazed that Jack is so excited to have Millie come to live with them. It is so unusual to find a man whose love is so unconditional. But Behind Closed Doors, something nefarious lurks.

Is the fairy tale real? Or is something sinister about? On reading/hearing the first two chapters, a feeling of ill-will hits you and you know that all is not as it seems. But there is no way of guessing just how evil one person could be.

The character development in this book is so rich and so intense that I found myself cringing and holding my breath. Torment comes in all shapes and sizes, in all manners of people. And if no one would believe the truth, where is a person to turn for help?

This one is an absolute must read! Or a must listen! I chose the audio version which was read impeccably by Georgia Maguire. She brings every character to life with amazing skill, variation, and inflection. You can almost see the characters in your mind as you listen. This is a great book to listen to if you have never tried an audio book before. With a run time of 8 hours 23 minutes, it won’t take a ton of time, but trust me, you’ll wish it went on for longer!

On a side note, I have seen this book compared to Gone Girl, but I have to disagree. While the psychological thriller aspect is much the same, there are characters in this book to whom you can actually relate and pull for and fight for and love. Not so with Gone Girl. So while the idea of someone pulling off a psychologically heinous act on someone else is there, this book has many more redeeming qualities. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Gone Girl, I just really LOVE Behind Closed Doors!

Interested in other psychological thrillers? Check out this post….7 Books And 2 Series That Will Keep You Up At Night

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 whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.