The Woman in the Window

Woman in the WindowAuthor: A.J. Finn

Publisher: William Morrow

Release Date: January 2, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

I think Stephen King says it best when he described The Woman in the Window as unputdownable! 

Anna Fox has kept herself locked away in her house for almost a year, unable to be a part of the world outside. With a glass, or many more, of wine, spying on her neighbors, and watching old movies, her days are full.  Things get a little more interesting for Anna when the Russell’s move into the house across the street. A father, mother, and their teenage son seem like the perfect family until secrets start to reveal the dark truth.  When Anna discovers some of these dark secrets and tries to get to the bottom of what is going on, others think she is just being her crazy drunk self and dismiss her claims.  Anna starts to doubt herself and what she has seen along with her own past she fears she isn’t remembering correctly.  What is real? How much danger is she in?  Who can she trust? Who will believe her?  All questions that if not answered carefully might just get her killed.

It is a rare feat for a book to be optioned as a movie before it has even been released. The Woman in the Window lives up to the hype. Debut author A. J. Finn has done what few are able to accomplish, even after a long career of writing, create a spectacular thriller that will leave the reader on the edge of their seat until the very last page.  Anna is a deeply troubled, more so with every page turned, and her troubles are relatable in one way or another to all readers. I loved the way Finn brought about the dark past that is haunting her slowly throughout and didn’t just throw it all out at the very beginning.  As the story unfolds and the truth comes out, each character becomes more complex driving the story.  Finn put a lot of effort into crafting characters that were not only intriguing but also easy to follow. As each twist and turn played out I found myself giving a silent nod when it unfolded as I suspected.  I have to say this one pleasantly surprised me, the story flowed well and I really did have a hard time putting it down.  I recommend this to readers that love a good Alfred Hitchcock thriller and might just want to keep a light on at night.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

No Ordinary Girl

No Ordinary GirlAuthor: Cheryl Elaine

Publisher: AAH Publishing

Release Date: May 28, 2017

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Intense doesn’t even begin to describe this book. If you can’t handle graphic content, don’t even start, but those that do will be in for a story that is anything but ordinary.

Aimee was only looking for a night to celebrate with friends, what she got was more than she expected. Drugged and kidnapped, Aimee is taken by sadistic, evil, and cruel monsters, worse than any she could dream about. She is tossed into a container with others just as frightened as she is and left to figure out what kind of hell she has entered.  A game of cat and mouse quickly follows leading Aimee to run for her life and stay one step ahead of her tormentors.  Detective Johnson is trying to catch these monsters and using his instincts as a father to help him on the job. Aimee realizes she is not like all the others being kept and uses this to her advantage to stay alive and one step ahead.

While there is a warning that the book contains graphic content I wasn’t completely ready for what I read. Readers that enjoy intense graphic reads, as well as horror movies, will find this right up their alley. The characters were put in very difficult situations, physically, sexually, and emotionally. It can be very difficult to read about these situations but it can also be a way to drive the characters connections with readers.  Sadly, the world we live in today could find any of us in a situation similar to the one Aimee found herself in. How would we react? Would we find the inner strength we need to survive?  So many questions can be raised with each page read. The author did a good job finding that emotional connection in a very difficult setting and these characters have potential for more to come.

This book is recommended only for mature readers due to the graphic content and strong, harsh language.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man

Author: C.J. Tudor

Publisher: Crown

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A new thriller for a new year!

Set in a small English village in 1986, Eddie has a small group of friends that act as normal friends do, but not everything in their little town is as it seems. After Fat  Gav’s birthday part, someone gives him a set of chalk, which entices the group to start defacing places with drawings of chalk men.  Then one day a drawing of chalk leads them to find a body in the woods.  The only thing never recovered was her head.

Fast forward 30 years, Eddie still lives in his childhood home with a lodger named Chloe. Two of the group stayed there as well and the other two went off.  The police had named their suspect in the murder shortly after and he committed suicide, so case closed.  But when one of the group members returns to town and then winds up dead, all the members receive drawings of chalk men in the mail, indicating the killer may still be around.  And maybe he wants to finish things up with them!

So, this book was like doing a new jigsaw puzzle. It started off really fast like building the border.  But once that was built, you have to start putting the pieces together, which takes a little bit longer than the border.  But then, after most of the pieces come together, the remaining bits just fall into place and it quickly finishes.  The book really resembled this process.  I was hooked at the beginning with the freak carnival accident and then everything sort of slowed down to shape what was going on.  The remnants of 1986 brought back a few memories of the 1980s and how different life really was at that time.  There were a lot of things going on in this sleepy little town and it was really interesting how it shaped out.  Not a lot of character development, but there was a good amount of suspense buildup at the end that was not disappointing.  The ending is definitely creepy!

There is a lot of harsh language throughout the book, an attempted rape scene, improper student relationship, and several references to abortion. I recommend this book for mature audiences.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Brush with the Beast

A brush with the beastAuthor: Richard Sones

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: June 20, 2017

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An epic battle between the ultimate good and evil spread across the globe and through the heart of humanity to show what could happen if we believe.

When Nick Gooseberry has tried every method available to rid himself of back pain, he turns to the only option he sees left, The Order, a secret society that promises him relief from pain and so much more. With the power of The Order behind him, Nick works his way up the ladder of success to ultimately rule the world.  In a small town in Texas, Sarah Johnson has been trying unsuccessfully to get away from her past.  She thinks her boss is trying to help her, instead he is setting her up to go back to prison. While back in prison, she turns to the Lord and finds a way to escape. She finds out she is pregnant and attracts the attention of the Beast who takes her away to the other side of the globe and now she has to survive an entirely new prison.  After watching the death of his parents, Fanak grows up to become a terrorist driven with a thirst for revenge and a plan to take down the United States. He thinks everything he is doing are his own thoughts without ever realizing he is at the mercy of the Beast like so many.

A Brush with the Beast is a book that had several things I enjoyed and several I didn’t.  It is not for a young audience, a little bit of mature language and other mature content. The story flips back and forth between several different viewpoints. Most of the time this doesn’t bother me but for some reason it didn’t work as well for me here. I enjoyed the storyline with Sarah but everything else left me wanting to get to the rest of her story.  While each story line was supposed to tie in and bring the story full circle, by the end I felt a good portion could have been shortened.  Not everything with Nick’s storyline added up either. Everything with Sarah was intriguing and I felt a good emotional connection to her and everything that was going on while in her point of view.  Overall it was still an enjoyable read. I recommend this for a mature audience wanting to read about end times and what might come.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Top Suspense Thriller

Quite possibly our favorite category, suspense thrillers are the bulk of what we enjoy reading.  With so many choices, narrowing it down makes it extremely difficult.

firstborn

1. Firstborn by Tosca Lee

The sequel to the gripping novel The Progeny, Firstborn takes us right back to the action that kept us on the edge of our seat throughout the first.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I'm Found

2. If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock

The second book in the series but might just be Blackstock’s best book yet. A tight, suspenseful story that will leave you begging for more.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Deadly Kiss

3. Every Deadly Kiss by Steven James

If you have never read a Steven James novel, I suggest you start now with this one. It will keep you up at night and have you looking twice and double locking the doors.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crown of Souls

4. Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

In less than one ten-thousandth of a second, lives will be changed causing Tox and his crew to face their toughest mission yet and not all will survive.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath Copper Falls

5. Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

A riveting story that will leave the hairs prickling on the back of your neck to the very last page.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Missed You

6. Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

A wonderful debut novel that will leave the reader guessing at every turn and wondering if we ever really know the people we have in our lives.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

purgatory-road

7. Purgatory Road by Samuel Parker

Another debut novel that just begs to be read.

Read the full review here.

Top Supernatural Thriller

These books might not seem totally realistic, but they are still fun to read.  Here are our top picks for the year!

Realms of God

1. The Realms of God by Michael Livingston

In the exciting conclusion to the Shards of Heaven series, the timetable fast forwards 20 years with several of our favorite characters perishing.  Who survives?

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Delusion

2. The Delusion by Laura Gallier

When a small town becomes the center of a supernatural battle between good and evil, one young man must face the worst to find the best in everyone.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation

3. The Harbingers Series

Each of these books brings four top supernatural suspense authors together to create new thriller stories for our heroes!

Read the review for The Invitation.

Read the review for The Assault.

Read the review for Probing.

 

 

Death in the minds eye

Death in the Mind’s Eye by Rick Acker

A combination of a legal and psychological thriller, the perfect read for anyone wanting a book that will keep them on the edge of their seat.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Small Magic

5. Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey

Things are not always as they seem.  The living might be dead and the dead might be alive.

Read the full review here.

Probing

ProbingAuthor: Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt & Alton Gansky

Series: Harbingers Cycle 3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Our ragtag team of heroes are back to tackle the newest evil lurking around every corner, and dimension.

The third installment of the Harbingers series picks things up where the team left off. Bill Myers starts things off with Leviathan, where our team has been invited to Hollywood for a taping of a new reality show, Live or Die: The Ultimate Reality.  Things get a little too tense when they realize how much control the dark side has over those involved. Frank Peretti continues the story taking us on an amazing adventure with The Mind Pirates. The team has to deal with an enchanted pirate earring and an evil scheme at sea. Part three, Hybrids by Angela Hunt, gets even more chilling as the team encounters two children with black eyes and a pregnant woman who is no longer pregnant with no recollection of what happened to her baby. Our story concludes with The Village from Alton Gansky, where the team is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains to a town that is more mysterious than anything they have ever encountered.  And with this team, that is saying a lot.

If you are a fan of supernatural suspense you have probably heard of and read one or more of these authors. I don’t know whose idea it was to get them together in this way, but it works. Each book in the series gets better. You do have to enjoy the supernatural aspect to get into these books. While it is beneficial to have read both the previous installments, I wouldn’t say it is absolutely necessary. Each story is broken up with enough backstory that the reader can tell what is happening if they haven’t read the previous two.  Just like most of the works I have read by these authors, there is a lot written that we can’t explain and some of the events will make you scratch your head, but these characters tackle each situation they encounter and bring it to life for the reader. It is nice that there isn’t a lot of time between releases of each book; with each author only writing a quarter of the story, it doesn’t take them as long to get it out to the anxiously awaiting readers.  I do enjoy how each section is from a different character’s view point. Each author has done a fantastic job embodying their character and bringing in to life in a realistic manner. I don’t particularly care for a few of the characters, however it is in the way I’m not really supposed to care for them, which can actually make them more memorable and enjoyable.  I recommend this book to those readers who enjoy a supernatural suspense story by some of the best in the business. Putting these four together was a great idea and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.