I am a huge fan of Lisa Gardner so I was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest book, Before She Disappeared.
In Before She Disappeared we are introduced to Frankie. She dedicates her life to searching for missing people when everyone else has given up. Her latest case brings her to Boston where a young Haitian immigrant Angelique vanished a year ago. Frankie takes a job behind a local bar that comes with accommodation (as well as a rather feral room mate). She starts to look into the case despite a luke warm reception from the missing girls family and hostility from the Boston PD, and soon realises there is more to this case than just a runaway teenager.
Before She Disappeared was a great read that I raced through. The story was interesting with lots of red herrings scattered throughout and I enjoyed the way it seemed to change pace, one minute it is quite slow and the investigation has almost stalled, the next we are in the middle of a gun chase. Whilst the background of the story is quite bleak, as with all of Lisa Gardner’s writings there are elements of humour throughout, and it’s a testament to the skill of the author that the two can sit side by side.
It is a standalone book that was very character focused. I really liked the main character of Frankie, of course she is flawed. An ex-alcoholic with a past that haunts her, she acts with little regard to her own life, yet there was something about her that I really warmed to. Her interaction with other characters shows different sides to her from the tough investigator, to the caring friend.
I very much enjoyed this book and although this is currently a standalone I do hope we haven’t seen the last of Frankie Elkin.
To find out what others thought of Before She Disappeared don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour.
I am a big fan of Noelle’s series (find my reviews here of Dead Inside and Dead Wrong) and so I was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for the third in the series Dead Perfect.
Dead Perfect starts where the previous novel Dead Wrong ends with Kate being stalked by an unknown assailant. When a body turns up in the local park it soon becomes clear that there is a link to the stalker. The body has been mutilated and redressed to look just like Kate. DC Maggie Jamieson is determined to find the killer before he can strike again and at the same time keep her friend Kate safe from the Living Doll Killer.
This was another page turner of a novel from Noelle that I really enjoyed. I really like the style of writing in this series, the chapters are quick and compelling which builds up the atmosphere as the killers creepiness escalates. I did sort of guess the perpetrator early on, but the actual motive and story was a mystery until the end. It was definitely not something I saw coming and was quite out of leftfield.
The character of Maggie is still pretty annoying unfortunately. I am no expert at policing but I would be surprised if they let someone investigate a crime that they are so close to. Maggie made a few dodgy choices I thought but then who of us doesn’t! She is however tempered by a great cast of supporting characters (and a couple of cats) that all bounce off each other as the story zips along.
Dead Perfect does follow on from the previous novel but I think there is enough background in it to read as a standalone. However I would recommend starting this series from the beginning especially if you like your stories gripping and scary from the outset.
To find out what others thought of Dead Perfect make sure you visit the other stops on the tour:
Through The Wall tells the story of two neighbours Lexi and Harriet. Lexi lives with her partner Tom and is trying for a baby. Harriet is a musician who lives next door and spends her time throwing wild parties in at attempt to move on from the ex-boyfriend that she is fixated with. Despite living next door and being able to hear every conversation, the couple are practically anonymous to each other. However one day Harriet spots Tom in a lift, and realises that he looks like her ex, and gradually her obsession grows.
This was another book that had been on my tbr pile for a while and has only just made it to the top. Through The Wall was a two headed take on a tale of female obsession. It did take me a little while to get into it, but once I did I found it an interesting read. It isn’t a fast paced thriller, instead it was a slow burn character study that swaps between the main two viewpoints to give us an insight into two different women linked by their choice of home. This intense focus on just the two characters heightened the tension within the book as the two characters lives began to collide.
I didn’t particularly like either character, Lexi I found especially annoying, she came across as very needy and her obsession with having a baby was her entire focus. However Harriet was more interesting, and as her back story unfolded and we found out what had happened to her previously you started to understand her actions a bit.
I found this a good read, with nice short chapters that flicked easily between Harriet and Lexi. This was a story that covered obsession, jealously, revenge and ultimately betrayal, all against the backdrop of a world where someones social media belies the truth behind their feelings and lives. I look forward to reading others by Caroline Corcoran.
I am continuing to work my way down my TBR pile, and the latest to reach the top was Ask Me No Questions by Louisa De Lange. Firstly I do have one issue, the title. You can imagine how annoying it is trying to read, when someone finds it hilarious to ask every thirty seconds, what are you reading? Ask Me No Questions… You can imagine the reaction.
Anyway, Ask Me No Questions opens with an article about a married couple who were murdered by their neighbour leaving behind their twin girls. As children twins Thea and Gabi were inseparable, however as adults they haven’t spoken in 15 years, until Gabi is viciously attacked and Thea reappears. DS Kate Munro is investigating the attack and believes that it is personal. However in order to find out why it happened she first needs to try and unpick the secrets that both the twins are keeping.
This was an interesting story that started off relatively simple but was soon twisting and turning as we slowly uncovered what happened on the night of the attack. Overall I enjoyed this story. It was an interesting premise, and there were lots of red herrings and plot changes that kept me guessing. I did find myself getting a little confused between the characters at times, as the story flicked back and forward between present day and past but it all came together in the end.
I liked the character of DS Munro. To start with she seemed rather clinical and cold yet I soon found her tenacious attitude quite refreshing. Yes she made some rather stupid decisions and clearly had an alcohol issue, but I actually enjoyed the way the story focused very much on the case in hand rather than there being lots of detective back story that is often the case in detective novels, it made a nice change.
Ask Me No Questions was a good read that I enjoyed and would definitely look out for the next in the series.