Tag Archives: Psychological Thriller

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.

 

How could someone she trusted have done something so heinous? A Propensity to Discuss Review. The Life I Left Behind.

How could someone she trusted have done something so heinous?

Melody Pieterson was strangled and left for dead. She woke from a coma in the hospital with no memory of what happened to her and no idea who was to blame. But her neighbor and friend, David Alden was arrested and convicted of the crime.

How could someone she trusted have done something so heinous? A Propensity to Discuss Review. The Life I Left Behind.

She has spent the last 6 years living a life of suspicion and foreboding. Terrified of everything outside the walls of her house, she has become less than a shell of her former self, and when David is released Melody’s fears take her to an even deeper level of terror. Her life can absolutely be summed up as “The life I left behind.”

How could someone she trusted have done something so heinous?

Less than 6 months after David’s release, Eve Elliot is found in the same place where Melody had been found, holding a necklace exactly like the one Melody had been holding.

Eve knows exactly who hurt her. But she won’t tell. He made sure of that. Eve Elliot is dead. All because she believed in David Alden.

The story, told from Melody’s point of view and Eve’s voice, moves back and forth from the past to the present and keeps you guessing right up until the very end.

I love a good mystery, throw in some psychological thrills, great character development and you end up with a book that is hard to put down. And Collette McBeth has done just that with The Life I Left Behind! Definitely a 5-star book!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

I felt as though I knew both Eve and Melody when I finished this book and I miss them both. This one was such a great read that as soon as I finished it, I ordered McBeth’s first novel, Precious Thing. I am hoping it comes in the mail today!

I’ll keep you posted!

Have you ever read a book that you liked so much you ordered more from that author immediately? If so, which ones. I’d love to know!

 

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

 

 

Pretty Baby

Since the day I finished reading Mary Kubica‘s The Good Girl, I have anxiously awaited a second offering from this author. The wait was not in vain. Pretty Baby offers twists and turns much like her first novel and keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out the ending. Trust me, you won’t.

Mary Kubica. Pretty Baby. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Mary Kubica. Pretty Baby. A Propensity to Discuss review.

In Pretty Baby, you hear 3 completely different points of view:

Heidi Wood

The main character, whose thoughts and conversations are almost always about others. She very rarely talks about herself or how she is feeling. Heidi is a compassionate person who has a deep-rooted need to save anyone or anything in need.

With Heidi’s mindset, it was only a matter of time before Willow will be brought into the Wood’s home, along with her infant baby girl, much to the chagrin of her husband and ever-moody 12-year-old daughter, Zoe.

While there is something about Willow and the baby that seems a little off, a little strange, Heidi ignores that fact and becomes immersed in infatuation. For all of her need to be the caretaker of people and things, her own desire for a large family was taken away from her by cancer. As her attachment to the baby, Ruby, grows, her willingness to ask questions and seek the truth from Willow wanes until there is no possibility that she will ever seek the truth.

Chris Wood

Chris is Heidi’s husband and his thoughts are mostly about himself and his marriage as it affects him, but very rarely about anyone else. He is a good person at heart, but he doesn’t share Heidi’s need to right every wrong. Although he loves his wife, Chris also grapples with the question of whether his wife worries more for people she does not know than for him.

Fearing for his family, Chris is angry, and yet very accommodating to Heidi. As days go by, the tension escalates, with Willow refusing to answer any questions about her past, Heidi refusing to press her for fear she may run, and Chris feeling an urgent need to know in order to protect his family.

Willow/Claire

Willow’s thoughts and conversations take you from the present to the past, showing you all the issues that have shaped her 16-year life. It has not been an easy life, to say the least, but she is a resilient girl who definitely fits Heidi’s profile as someone who needs to be saved.

Mary Kubica. Pretty Baby. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Mary Kubica. Pretty Baby. A Propensity to Discuss review.

If you are looking for a really good psychological thriller along the lines of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins, this book is for you. Although I do feel the need to point out that there are issues of child abuse and if that is something you cannot handle in a book, stay away.

So now that I have finished the second of Mary Kubica’s books, I am anxiously awaiting her next. Hopefully, she won’t keep me waiting long.

 

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!

The Good Girl

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.” ― Mary Kubica, The Good Girl

The Good Girl. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Girl. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The daughter of a prominent Chicago judge and a well-connected socialite mother, Mia Dennett is a good girl. She teaches art at a high school in a very low-income area. She has an on-again, off-again boyfriend. She is mostly self-sufficient. She goes about her life working to help others. Just your basic good girl. To her father, however,  she is somewhat of a disappointment. After all, she is only a school teacher in (Heaven forbid) a very low-income area.

Mary Kubicas debut novel, The Good Girl, is told from three different points of view from the present and the past:

Mia Dennett

Alone in a bar, having been stood up (again) by her boyfriend, Mia meets a man who intrigues her. He is handsome, attentive and seems to have all the right things to say. When the conversation leads to more than just friendly chatter, Mia accepts the offer to follow him home. Captivating, handsome and there at just the right time, Collin makes his move to get Mia alone with him. While she believes the encounter will lead to a satisfying one-night-stand, Collin’s plans are much different and much more sinister.

Eve Dennett

The socialite. The wife. The mother. From planning elaborate parties to business dinners for her husband, Eve is the consummate prominent judge’s wife. A pretty face, always carefully tailored and put together, Eve is devastated when Mia goes missing. However, she has an image to uphold. Working diligently to find her daughter, Eve puts all of her hope and faith into Gabe Hoffman’s abilities to do his job well and finds herself relying on him more and more each day.

Gabe Hoffman

Surly detective assigned to the case of the missing Mia Dennett. Detective Hoffman does not fit in with the social standing of the Dennetts, however, he is extremely aware of how politically important solving this case will be for his own career. He also knows that Judge Dennett is known for his cut-throat attitude and how important it is that the case is solved quickly and with as little detriment to the judge’s career as possible.

Mary Kubica. The Good Girl. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Mary Kubica. The Good Girl. A Propensity to Discuss review.

After all, the judge’s career is so much more important than anything else that may come along.  “What did you want?” she asks. What I wanted was a dad. Someone to take care of my mother and me, so I didn’t have to do it myself.”  ― Mary Kubica, The Good Girl. This novel is told from the present, when Mia has been located, but flashes back to Mia’s life while she was being held prisoner by Collin Thatcher as well as the story of Mia’s childhood. 

In the realm of psychological thrillers, this book ranks at the top of the heap. The ending will have you questioning everything you thought you had figured out. Trust me, there is no way you will see the ending! It is amazing!

As for the audio version, of The Good Girl, it is performed by Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, and Andi Arndt. And it is performed amazingly well! I would absolutely listen to this book again.