Review: Bellevue Square

Bellevue Square Michael Redhill
Bellevue Square
Author: Michael Redhill
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Literary | Psychological | Suspense
Synopsis from Doubleday

Thank you to PRH Canada for this free arc in exchange for my honest review.

Review: What would you do if you learned you had a doppelgänger, everyone has seen her but you and she may be on a murderous rampage? In Bellevue Square Jean Mason has just seen her twin, Ingrid Fox at a possible murder scene of her friend, Katerina. Katerina was tasked with getting Ingrid to meet Jean at the Bellevue Square park. Jean’s husband is sceptical of all her time spent chasing down Ingrid and thinks she is reverting back to needing mental intervention and medicating again.

A bizarre plot twist leaves Jean hospitalized under the care of a psychiatrist. She is diagnosed with autoscopy and undergoes surgery, medicating and observation. The story sort of lost me from this point on and the ending felt strangely unfinished.

Bellevue Square is short listed for the Giller Prize. This is my first Redhill book and while I enjoyed his writing – he has a penchant for literary fiction, unfortunately this book is not for me. I never connected with the plot and characters and struggled to get through it.


Review: Most Wanted

Most Wanted Lisa Scottoline
Most Wanted
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: September 12, 2016
Fiction | Suspense
Synopsis from St. Martin’s

Review: This is my first Lisa Scottoline book and it won’t be my last! The premise of Most Wanted is one of the freakiest I’ve ever read – a loving couple uses a donor to become pregnant and learns he may be a serial killer. The laws protecting donors’ identity prevent Christine and Marcus from learning whether the man in custody is their donor, number 3319, Zachary Jeffcoat.

What would you do if you learned the child you are carrying has a fifty percent chance of harbouring disturbing mental traits? Would you love your child any less or feel differently than if they were born with a physical disability? These are the questions Christine and Marcus ask themselves. And their answers to these questions create a rift between them sending Christine down a dangerous path behind Marcusses back. She decides to go straight to the source and visit Zachary Jeffcoat in maximum security prison.

Jeffcoat doesn’t seem like a serial killer – he’s handsome, charming and smart and professes his innocence. Christine wants to believe this man, the biological father of her baby is innocent but the evidence is stacked against him. When another murder unfolds Christine digs deeper getting mixed up in a multilayer plot with twists and turns. Can she save her marriage and uncover the real serial killer?

This is a fast-paced thriller facing moral and ethical delimmas that will keep you turning the pages, or in my case listening every spare moment.

Review: The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones Sheena Kamal
The Lost Ones
Author: Sheena Kamal
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Thriller | Suspense
Synopsis from William Morrow

Review: I am fairly certain that I am a bit biased in my review of The Lost Ones because I live in Vancouver, which is the primary setting for this stellar debut. When you know the references about the city you live in it’s easy to get caught up in the action and fully invest yourself in a book and that’s what happened to me right from the start.

Nora Watts’ has an ugly past. She was brutally attacked and left for dead and pregnant with a child she never wanted. Fifteen years later Bonnie has run away and her adoptive parents reach out to Nora to help find Nora’s biological daughter. The police are little help and Nora sets out on her own to find Bonnie. She discovers the men in sedans watching her are not the cops and what seems like scare tactics upfront quickly lead to a dangerous chase from the rainy streets of Vancouver to its harsh winter counterpart in the interior.

Nora struggles to piece together the ties binding a teenage runaway to a group of thugs and the voice she heard fifteen years ago when she was left for dead resurfaces. The connection is bigger than she ever imagined and filled with conspiracy, betrayal and life and death. The first book in the Nora Watts Series proves it’s weight as a debut suspenseful thriller.

Review: From The Mixed Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler E.L. Konigsburg
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Author: E.L. Konigsburg
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 2007 (originally published in 1967)
Genre: Fiction | Middle Grade | Classics
Synopsis from Simon & Schuster

Review: From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a testament of timeless literature and it’s no surprise sealed itself a Newbery Award and still a favourite among both children and adults fifty years later.

I immediately fell in love with Claudia and Jamie. Their plan to run away and take up residence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and learn alongside the visiting school groups exudes creativity and yearning for knowledge alongside their financial savviness and street smarts sucked me into this unique story.

The brief afterward is every bit as good as the story itself. The comparisons between then and now are thought provoking and nostalgic.

This story is good old fashioned literature at its finest and a book that should be on every child’s bookshelf.

Review: The Stolen Marriage

The Stolen Marriage Diane Chamberlain
The Stolen Marriage
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Historical | Mystery
Synopsis from St. Martin’s

I won a copy of this arc in a giveaway sponsored by Goodreads and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions are my own.

Review: The Stolen Marriage took me completely and utterly by surprise in a very good way. To be upfront I didn’t know anything about this book and thought I was going into a thriller / suspense story. Instead I was fully engrossed in rich history, intrigue and mystery flanked by elaborate characters and complex topics significant to World War II and southern living.

Tess and Vincent grew up as neighbors in Little Italy, Baltimore, Maryland and always knew they would marry. Engaged and planning their wedding, Vincent was busy carving out his medical career while Tess finished up her nursing studies. A weekend away with her girlfriend lands Tess inebriated, in bed with another man and pregnant. Scared, ashamed and her future with Vincent derailed, Tess sets off to seek financial support from Henry but Henry proposes marriage to provide a family for his unborn child.

Tess never imagined the life she would sign onto upon accepting Henry’s proposal. Moving to a small town in the south where she is seen as trapping Henry, Tess lives under the watchful eyes of Ruth and Lucy, Henry’s mother and sister. She’s not welcomed into their lives nor accepted and she’s in a loveless marriage with a man who isn’t attracted to her.

What lies ahead are deception, secrets, compassion, morality and surprising plot twists. While this isn’t a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, it is poignant and captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.