Tag Archive | women’s fiction

Book Review: The lie by CL Taylor #guestpost #amreading #thriller

Today I have a guest post by Sophia Rose.

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The Lie by CL Taylor

Rating: 4 

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30170265-the-lie

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Haunting and compelling, this psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Daughter.

Jane Hughes has a great boyfriend, a job in an animal shelter, and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been…but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier, Jane and her best friends set off on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, but it rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of her friends. Ever since, Jane has tried to put the past behind her and lead a normal life. But someone out there knows the truth about what happened-and they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

Review:

I’ve been in the mood for spine-tingling chills and a complex twisty plot.  The blurb captured my attention and into it I dove hoping to be thrilled by a satisfying and intense mystery.  Eventually, the book gave me that, but it started out slow before it really got rolling.  What I think helped me connect with this book was when I realized it was actually not just a thriller, but an interesting blend of women’s fiction and thriller.

As I said, it started off slow.  There was twice the intro and set up because of the way the plot was structured which explains the pace.  This is one that flips back and forth between a past and present story line, but with the same character perspective narrating both.  The present is with Jane Hughes the quiet, put together woman with a nice cottage, lovely boyfriend, and satisfying job at the animal shelter who is now receiving messages from someone she thought was dead.  The past is with Emma (she changed her name to Jane to start over) and her three friends who go on the adventure holiday of a lifetime that turns into a nightmare.

Once in a while, I come across a book that blends some elements that make for an interesting read and take some getting used to.  In this one, the author melds women’s fiction into a thriller story.  There is definitely a suspenseful and even atmospheric thriller layer to the plot.  Danger is very present and people are terrified for their lives.  I guessed after the person and motive behind it all, but the truth was only obvious near the end when the layers were peeled back bit by bit.

Planted in the center of all this is a story of four women who claim a friendship.  They are drawn as regular people with regular people foibles.  I didn’t care for any of them when the book started and I only started warming up to some of the characters much later.

As four college friends set out on their holiday, there are certain dynamics in place.  Not ideal all around, but a decent group.  As their situation becomes drastic and beyond their previous experience, it all shifts.  Under the pressure they experience, they are all tested and it was interesting to see how it all turned out.  It reminded me of real life friendships that may or may not last.

In summary, this story took me places that I just never imagined when I picked it up and I would definitely give this author’s books another go.  I would recommend this for those who don’t mind the blending of thriller with women’s fiction.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Details
Genre: Thriller
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Published:  6.7.16
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Sellers:  Amazon

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Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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Edisto Jinx @hopeclark #southernlit #mystery #whodunit #edistojinx

I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Edisto Jinx (The Edisto Island Mysteries)

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Synopsis

Every August, it seems that a tourist falls prey to the Edisto Jinx. The locals are sympathetic but would rather Callie left well enough alone. While her friend says that the spirits are busy causing mischief, Callie is not convinced.

In a town that thrives on tourism, an investigation with the words “serial killer” in the mix makes all the town businesses nervous.

Whoever or whatever that is causing havoc in the community soon turns their attentions to Callie. Can she find out what is going on before it’s too late?

Opinion

C Hope Clark did it again! Great story. And unlike with the main character from the Lowcountry Bribe series, I love Callie!

Once a Boston city PD detective, Callie is still dealing with the loss of her husband, a teenage son more mature than his years, and the trauma she endured in the previous months (read Murder on Edisto). Meanwhile, she is having a difficult time ignoring what appear to be crimes happening in the community. It seems like the unfortunate death of a tourist is more than just an accident that should be dismissed casually. Callie trusts her gut feelings when no one else wants to even talk about it. The author Clark does a fabulous job creating such a multi-dimensional character that I could feel Callie’s angst and frustration.

The secondary and tertiary characters were painted just as effectively. Some of my favorites were

  • Seabrook, the reluctant sheriff, thinks that Callie is looking for problems. At what point will he take her seriously? If at all?
  • Alex is the young whipper-snapper journalist. She wants to make a name for herself in the community but will she have what it takes to step on the toes of town leaders and make some serious waves?
  • Sopie is the kooky, sage burning, self-proclaimed psychic and yoga instructor. She is so positive that it was almost nauseating. She believes in the spirits and cautions Callie against angering them. Can she burn enough sage to calm the spirits and bring harmony back to Edisto?

Overall, this story has the right mix of conflict between the characters as well as suspense. While I might not have liked all the characters, they were developed enough that I understood them as people. They seemed real to me. I could relate to them in the sense that I know people like them. I thought the story moved along at an even pace. Most importantly, all my questions were answered and the conclusion was satisfactory.

Should you buy? Yes! This is a great beach read with colorful characters and an engaging story line. It is the second in the series, but still a standalone book. The author does not give away much about the first book, but your interest will probably be whetted enough to want to buy Murder on Edisto too. And I am waiting for the next book to find out what else might happen in Edisto 😀

Amazon Product Details
File Size: 933 KB
Print Length: 294 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (October 1, 2015)
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

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