Book Review: Happiness is a Collage, by Gita V. Reddy

Happiness is a Collage, by Gita V. Reddy

Happiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy

Published by author on August 4, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, short stories

Format & Length: e-book, 204

Source: author

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This collection of fifteen stories leads the reader into a world that is at once Indian and universal. The stories explore love, life, loss, and relationships.

A painter derives inspiration from a long lost love. Every night after going to bed, a woman scours a vast desert for her missing husband. A young woman strides through two worlds. A son experiences the miracle of his father’s immense love. An actor’s wife struggles to keep her husband from slipping into his reel life. And a busy professional tries to factor in pregnancy and motherhood into her hectic life.

Among those traversing this space are a henpecked billionaire, a homeless boy, a middle-aged wife dealing with infidelity, and a seeker finding solace with a lion and a deer.

Happiness is a Collage follows the author’s well-received collection, A Tapestry of Tears.

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Book Review: The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)

Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 464

Source: Netgalley

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Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, the book follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’ catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.

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Book Review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Published by HarperPaperbacks  in December 1992 (first published December 19, 1938)

Series: Hercule Poirot, #20

Genre(s): fiction, classics, crime,  mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 243

Source: purchased

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Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense–creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters–brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to audio. In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder–and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons–one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive–and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.

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Book Review: Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper's Golden Shoes, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes by Keira Gillett

Published by author on July 1, 2016

Series: Zaria Fierce, #3

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, middle grade

Format & Length: e-book, 300

Source: author

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“Nothing can save you now, Princess.”

How can anyone be tricked twice? Isn’t there even a saying about that? Zaria Fierce is determined to get things right this time and with the Drakeland Sword in her possession she’s ready to take on trolls, dragons, and whatever else may come… but first she and her friends are going to have to figure out just how much trouble they’re in at home.

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Book Review: No Mercy, by Joanna Schaffhausen

No Mercy, by Joanna Schaffhausen

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Published by Minotaur Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: ebook, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.

No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

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Book Review: An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published by St. Martin’s Press on January 8, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

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Book Review: Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on December 4, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery

Format & Length: e-book, 480

Source: Netgalley

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From the instant #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “eerie and fascinating” (USA TODAYThe Thirteenth Tale comes a richly imagined, powerful new novel about how we explain the world to ourselves, ourselves to others, and the meaning of our lives in a universe that remains impenetrably mysterious.

A body always tells a story—but this child’s was a blank page.

Rita reached for the lantern on its hook. She trained its light on the child’s face.

‘Who are you?’ she murmured, but the face said as little as the rest of her. It was impossible to tell whether, in life, these blunt and unfinished features had borne the imprint of prettiness, timid watchfulness, or sly mischief. If there had once been curiosity or placidity or impatience here, life had not had time to etch it into permanence.

Only a very short time ago—two hours or not much more—the body and soul of this little girl had still been securely attached. At this thought, and despite all her training, all her experience, Rita found herself suddenly in the grip of a storm of feeling. All the old rage at God—for not being kind, for not being fair, and finally for just not being—swept her up all over again and she felt tears of anger on her face. She took the child’s hand in hers—the perfect hand with its five perfect fingers and their perfect fingernails—and the words fell out of her that she had not known were there:

‘It should not be so! It should not be so!’

And that is when it happened.

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Book Review: Purgatorium, by J.H. Carnathan

Purgatorium, by J.H. Carnathan

Purgatorium by J.H. Carnathan

Published by author on June 9, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 346

Source: author

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When his watch resets to zero, his morning starts again. A handsome, young urban professional awakens inside his cavernous high-rise apartment. He is an emotionless drone of a man content with his self-structured regiment and amazing wealth, and he is totally oblivious to his abnormal lifestyle. Every day lasts an hour with the time always ending right at 60 minutes, giving him only 5 minutes to stay at one specific time zone in his structured routine. He keeps reliving the same day over and over, barely able to remember anything from the day before and unable to maintain mental order as he stumbles through his strange existence.

One day, his routine is interrupted when seven strangers separately appear. Everything slams to a halt as they tell him that his physical body is in a coma and his consciousness is currently in a purgatory-like realm. As his body lies in a coma, his mind has been living a lavish lifestyle at a price: his sinful memories and his autonomy.

After finding out his life support is coming to an end in eight hours, he must now run a race to get his life back. He must rely on this group who seem to tender on truth and violence to get him to the finish line on time. He just needs to remember who he is and come to terms with what he has done if he’s ever going to decide if he is a soul survivor ready for a second chance at life or a lost soul bound by no redemption.

The clock is ticking, and if he is going to survive, he’ll have to face his demons and outthink the clock that has constrained him for so long. For each minute that passes teeters the fine line between his life and death.

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Book Review: The Darkness, by Ragnar Jónasson

The Darkness, by Ragnar Jonasson

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

Published by Minotaur Books on October 16, 2018 (expected) (first published October 15th 2015)

Series: Hidden Iceland, #1

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: Netgalley

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Ragnar Jonasson burst onto the American scene with Snowblind and Nightblind, the first two novels in the Dark Iceland series, and the praise was overwhelming. Now he launches a new series featuring a completely new sleuth, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police department.

When a young woman, an asylum seeker from Russia, is found murdered on the seaweed covered rocks of Iceland, Hulda starts to ask questions. But it isn’t long before she realizes that no one wants her to investigate this murder. She eventually must decide whether solving this case is worth losing her life.

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Audiobook Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King's Daughter, by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

Published by Penguin Audio on June 13, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: audiobook, 09:59:16

Source: library

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The Marsh King’s Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.

At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.

Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature—fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too . . . until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. The police commence a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.

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