Tag Archives: suspense

Split Second by Catherine Coulter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Split Second by Catherine Coulter

I decided to read a book from a series that I haven’t read in a while and it honestly is like meeting up with dear friends I haven’t seen in a while. What a welcome surprise! Split Second by Catherine Coulter is actually the 15th book in the FBI series, but I read the others before I started blogging and reviewing books.

Let me just say if you like murder mysteries and police procedure novels, these are all really, really good. They remind me so much of Criminal Minds and that is a good thing! FBI agent Dillon Savich is a computer whiz and when you add his skills in logic to the logic skills of his wife, FBI Agent Lacey Sherlock no criminal is safe.

The stories, though, go much deeper than just the crime fighting. You get to delve into the hearts and minds of so many of the characters in Coulter’s writing. She has a way with words that pulls you in and allows you to connect with Savich and Sherlock, as well as the other agents with whom they work.

In Split Second Savich stops a robbery in a convenience store close to his home, but something about the scene feels off to him. Meanwhile, there is a killer on the loose who meets women at bars, takes them home and then garrotes them with wire. All of this at the same time that Agent Lacy Carlyle’s father passed away, with an ominous message just before he died. Bringing all of these stories to full circle takes so much skill in writing and Coulter handles it all with the flourish that is a trademark of her writing.

This is a great addition to this series and one that I highly recommend!

Catherine Coulter’s FBI Series in order leading up to Split Second:

  1. The CoveA (1996)
  2. The MazeA (1997)
  3. The TargetB (1998)
  4. The EdgeB (1999)
  5. RiptideC (2000)
  6. Hemlock BayC (2001)
  7. Eleventh Hour (2002)
  8. Blindside (2003)
  9. Blowout (2004)
  10. Point Blank (2005)
  11. Double Take (2007)
  12. Tailspin (2008)
  13. KnockOut (2009)
  14. Whiplash (2010)
  15. Split Second (201)
  16. Backfire (2012)
  17. Bombshell (2013)
  18. Power Play (2014)
  19. Nemesis (2015)
  20. Insidious (2016)
  21. Enigma (2017)

Omnibus Editions:

  1. The Beginning. 2005. (containing The Cove & The Maze)
  2. Double Jeopardy. 2008. (containing The Target & The Edge)
  3. Twice Dead. 2011. (containing Riptide & Hemlock Bay)
  4. Second Shot. 2014. (containing Eleventh Hour & Blindside)

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. 

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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.”

Every Last Lie

I am a fan of Mary Kubica’s work. After I read The Good Girl, I could hardly wait to get my hands on all of her novels, so when I was given a chance to preview Every Last Lie, I jumped on it.

Clara Solberg’s last conversation with her husband, Nick, is about what to bring home for dinner. She wishes she could change that. She wishes she hadn’t sent him out. She wishes she had gone herself. Because Nick never came home after wrapping his car around a tree with their four-year-old daughter in the backseat. Thankfully, Maisie’s car seat saved her, but nothing could be done for Nick.

Every Last Lie. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Left with her four-year-old daughter and four-day-old son, Clara’s life is turned upside down as she tries to piece together the last few weeks of Nick’s life as strange things emerge one after another and make her question everything. Was Nick’s death a suicide with their daughter in the car? Was he having an affair? And then as Maisie begins to awaken screaming about the “bad man” in the middle of the night, Clara begins to wonder: Did someone kill him?

The novel moves back and forth between Clara’s point of view in the present situation and Nick’s point of view in the months leading up to his death. It is a good story, but I didn’t really feel much of a connection to either of the main characters. There is more development of Maisie than of either Clara or Nick, so it is difficult to feel much for either of them. And Clara is so busy with theories that she never grieves for her husband, making it difficult for the reader to grieve him.

That being said, Kubica’s writing style is still, in my opinion, top-notch and I plan to continue reading her novels. I just wish there had been a little more unfolding of the characters. I do recommend Every Last Lie, however, if you want true psychological thrills, read The Good Girl. It is amazing!

3 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!

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!

 

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Miniaturist

Yes, I am a librarian/media specialist. And yes, I buy books for the media center all the time (you can read about that process in this post). And yes, I LOVE to read but very rarely do I have the time to read at work. I am usually helping students with computer issues, teaching kids and adults how to use computers to do exactly what they want (sounds strange for high school students and teachers to need that help, but you’d be surprised), helping students find the right book to read and a myriad of other tasks.

So if I ever take out a book during the day and take the time to stop and read, it is a REALLY good book and it has bewitched me, body and soul as Mr. Darcy so eloquently put it.  The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is one of those books. I could not get enough of it. I could not put it down. I read every spare minute. So what had my attention, you ask?

When Petronella “Nella” Oortman turns 18, her mother arranges for her to marry Johannes Brandt of Amsterdam, who is in his late 30s, to save their family after Nella’s father drank away most of their money and then died, leaving them nearly destitute. Nella met Johannes a couple of times before the marriage but basically knows very little about him.

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

When she arrives in Amsterdam, she is met at the house by his sister Marin, who in most aspects is the head of the house, Otto, a former slave from Surinam who was freed by Johannes and Cornelia, the maid. The fact that Marin takes the lead of the house is damaging to Nella’s already low self-esteem. Add to this a husband who is rarely home and does not interact with his wife when he is there and Nella cannot figure our where she belongs in this new life she is supposed to forge.

When Johannes presents her with a miniature replica of their home as a wedding gift, she is not only confused by the gift that she sees as a toy but also angry that he would think so little of her as to believe she would be interested in such an expensive waste of time and money.

However, when Marin gives her the name of a miniaturist in Amsterdam and money of her own to pay for the items, she decides to hire out pieces for the house. When she receives the items that she ordered, she also receives pieces that she did not order and that seem to mock her life and her situation. Nella, furious, sends word to the miniaturist not to send anything else.

But as Nella’s life becomes more complicated, the miniatures keep coming and seem to not just mock her life, but to foretell it. While terrified of what the miniaturist will send next and yet terrified that no more will arrive, Nella sets out to get her life, her marriage, and her house in order, just as the walls seem to be falling down around her.

Detailed and intriguing, this novel deposits you smack in the middle of a macabre world of 1860s Amsterdam where the citizens are encouraged or maybe somewhat commanded by the Church to spy on their neighbors and to turn them in for anything that the Church deems impure, even the “idol worship” of gingerbread men and dolls, not to mention the “wickedness” of money, though no Priest would ever turn down a quickly palmed bribe.

This beautiful work is a rich tapestry of history, intrigue, love, hatred and family and exactly to what lengths people will go to protect those they love and seek vengeance against those believed to have inflicted harm or wrongdoing against them.

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Burton first saw the dollhouse owned by Petronella Oortman (above) which does actually exist in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and decided to tell a fictional story about its owner. And I am so very happy that she did.

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!

Check out all the books I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

The audio version of The Miniaturist read by Davina Porter is also available.