Book Review: Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Published by Minotaur Books on June 12, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 320
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“Jar of Hearts grabs you by the throat! The perfect blend of riveting characters, chilling details, and gasping twists in this standout thriller will keep you frantically reading until the explosive end.” – Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

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Book Review: Workman’s Complication, by Rich Leder

Workman's Complication, by Rich Leder

Workman’s Complication by Rich Leder
Published by Rich Leder on September 7, 2014
Series: McCall & Company, #1
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, crime, mystery
Format & Length: e-book, 371
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Way Off Broadway Actress.
Murdered Private Eye Father.
New Day Job.

Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

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Review: The Liar’s Girl, by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Liar's Girl, by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard
Published by Blackstone Publishing on February 27, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense
Format & Pages: e-book, 336
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Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College-and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his four young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enrol in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed … and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer-and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess-but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to. The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all …

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Review: Sirens, by Joseph Knox

Sirens, by Joseph Knox

Sirens by Joseph Knox
Published by Crown Publishing Group on February 20, 2018 (expected)
Series: An Aidan Waits Thriller, #1
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 344
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“Razor-sharp urban noir…very special indeed.” — Lee Child

The breathtakingly propulsive and stunningly assured debut thriller, perfect for readers of Tana French, Don Winslow and Dennis Lehane

The mission is suicide.

Infiltrating the inner circle of enigmatic criminal Zain Carver is dangerous enough. Pulling it off while also rescuing Isabelle Rossiter, a runaway politician’s daughter, from Zain’s influence? Impossible. That’s why Aidan Waits is the perfect man for the job. Disgraced, emotionally damaged, and despised by his superiors. In other words, completely expendable.

But Aidan is a born survivor. And as he works his way deep into Zain’s shadowy world, he finds that nothing is as it seems. Zain is a mesmerizing, Gatsby-esque figure who lures young women into his orbit–women who have a bad habit of turning up dead. But is Zain really responsible? And will Isabelle be next?

Before long, Aidan finds himself in over his head, cut loose by his superiors, and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.

How can he save the girl if he can’t even save himself?

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Review: Lines of Justice: Aždaja, by Lee Sherred

Lines of Justice: Azdaja, by Lee Sherred

Lines of Justice: Aždaja by Lee Sherred
Published by Lee Sherred on June 26, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, crime, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 170
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Bound by honour. Driven by revenge. Two men with a score to settle.

Kosovo, 1999:

Sgt Dean Samson and his team of British soldiers are well aware of the dangers they’ll face and the things they’ll see in a country that has suffered years of oppression and ethnic cleansing. But nothing could have prepared them for Aždaja, a sadistic, mythical, serial killer with a penchant for vile humiliation and unimaginable torture.

Present day:

Since leaving the Army, Samson now a Police Officer, has struggled to erase his darkest memories of Kosovo. When he receives a devastating medical diagnosis, his nightmares come flooding to the surface, forcing him to face up to what he did….and what he didn’t do. With nothing to lose and no one to stop him, he’s at a crossroads. But is he prepared for what lies in wait? Will the horrors of Kosovo return with a vengeance?

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Review: The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Published by Penguin Audio on August 23, 2016 (first published July 14, 2016)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: audiobook
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How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

“Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp.  THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR lingers long after you turn the final page.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fool Me Once

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

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Review: Force of Nature, by Jane Harper

Force of Nature, by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Published by Flatiron Books on February 6, 2018 (expected)
Series: Aaron Falk, #2
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense
Format & Pages: paperback, 329
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Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – in just a matter of days she was to provide the documents that will bring down the company she works for.

Falk discovers that far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. But does it include murder?

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Book vs. Movie: Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Published by Harper Collins on November 1991 (first published 1934)
Series: Hercule Poirot, #10
Genre(s): fiction, classics, crime, mystery, suspense
Format & Pages: paperback, 256
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“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

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Review: The Vanishing Season, by Joanna Schaffhausen

The Vanishing Season, by Joanna Schaffhausen

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
Published by Minotaur Books on December 5, 2017 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 288
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Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.

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Review: The Bat, by Jo Nesbø

The Bat, by Jo Nesbo

The  Bat by Jo Nesbø
Published by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard on July 2, 2013 (originally published 1997)
Series: Harry Hole, #1
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 331
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Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl, who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect, and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop highly intelligent killer, who is bent on total destruction.

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