Book Review: The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Published by Dutton on July 3, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: First to Read

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Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

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Book Review: The Burning, by S.O. Esposito

The Burning, by S.O. Esposito
The Burning by S.O. Esposito

Published by Misterio Press, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 351

Source: author

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Alice Leininger seems to have the perfect life. She’s happily married, has two beautiful children, a close knit group of friends, and a cause she cares deeply about. But beneath the surface, her world of safety and comfort is unraveling. The periods of lost time she’s kept secret—even from her husband—are happening more frequently. She certainly doesn’t remember leaving her Sarasota home at three-thirty in the morning to burn someone alive. Now she sits in a Florida state mental institution, awaiting judgement on whether she’s fit to stand trial on charges of murder and arson. While a psychologist works to help Alice face her past, her future depends on the answer to one question: How far did she go for justice?

*This book is recommended for mature audiences. While there are no explicit scenes of graphic or explicit violence, it does touch on themes of trafficking and sexual assault.

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Book Review: Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Published by HQ on June 19, 2018

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

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Book Review: Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Published by St. Martin’s Press on July 17, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, horror, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

From blazing new talent Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth is a story about a perfect-looking family, and a darling little girl who wants nothing more than to kill her mother.

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Book Review: Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Published by Doubleday on June 5, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: paperback, 273

Source: publisher via Goodreads giveaway

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For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship.

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Book Review: Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited  on April 16, 2015 (first published December 12th 2012)
Series: Arkane, #3
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 256
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A desperate race to find the Ark of the Covenant – and save the world from a devastating Holy War.

Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.

ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…

The third novel in the bestselling ARKANE series, EXODUS is a pulse-pounding thriller for fans of Dan Brown and James Rollins. Filled with puzzles, adventure and excitement, it also asks serious questions about the nature of religion…and the beliefs that lie at the very heart of humankind.

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Book Review: Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda by Cameron Poe
Published by BookBaby on April 16, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, thriller
Format & Length: paperback, 434
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The most sought after commodity in the world is power, and when money is no object, power is up for grabs. Desiring autonomy, one small nation develops an unlikely plan to procure a nuclear-powered submarine. If all goes as intended, the Middle East will destabilize and the OPEC Alliance will crumble. Yet as money might buy power, there’s no guarantee that it buys loyalty. So when the submarine breaks the ocean surface it doesn’t travel to the Middle East, it sails for Russia, in an attempt to return the nation to its Soviet roots. Alerted to the possibility of the theft of a Russian sub, the CIA must foil the plan for acquisition without alarming the rest of the world. A step behind and suffering from department infighting, the CIA watches in disbelief as the single most powerful weapon in the world rises from the ocean floor. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the commander of the vessel has no intention of honoring his contract. Scrambling to prevent a world-wide disaster, CIA operatives in coordination with the US Navy launch a daring and risky plan to quietly thwart a rogue submarine captain before he can obliterate Moscow and take control of the country. Those who volunteer for this mission risk their lives. Those who don’t risk the safety of the entire world.

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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 vs. Movie: Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews

Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Published by Scribner on June 4, 2013
Series: Red Sparrow Trilogy, #1
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller
Format & Pages: hardcover, 431
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In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carré comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrowdelights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.

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Review: Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Published by Flatiron Books on March 13, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 272
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My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

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