Posted in Beach Read, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Police Procedural, Psychological Suspense, suspense, Thrillers

Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen

Publication Info: Published May 21st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer. I read the Kindle edition through Amazon’s Prime Reading

Summary: Adam Warner is out on the lake with his three year old daughter, Aubrey, when they witness a shocking scene on shore. Adam’s wife, Sophie, is suddenly attacked and hauled off by a strange man. Panicked, Adam rows to shore as quickly as he can but by the time he gets there, the man is gone–and so is his wife. The only witness to the crime is a nearsighted old man. Sophie is soon found dead on the beach.

Besides the cottage Adam is in, there are two others rented out. In one is a grandmother, watching her two very active grandsons. She was busy inside at the time of the incident. The other is rented out by a married couple, Kristen and Connor. The woman says she didn’t hear anything and the man was sleeping off an alcoholic binge.

The police investigate and, of course, the suspicion falls on the husband, Adam. But, Lee, one of the officers knew him from childhood. Adam found her after a she was abducted as a young girl and she just knew he couldn’t have done it. Adam was one of the good guys.

As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that more than one person may have had a motive for killing Sophie Warner, and that the motive for the murder is far more complex than it first appears.

Comments: Lying Next to Me is an engrossing, rapid-fire tale of murder and deceit. The reader is led to a conclusion about the murderer and then just knows there is more to come. And there is — in a stunning conclusion.

There was one part at the end that didn’t quite ring true, but it was about a secondary character and not important to the overall plot.

Recommended for readers of Mysteries, Psychological Suspense, Thrillers, Suspense and those looking for something for a long flight or the beach.

My Goodreads rating: 4 STARS

Posted in Crime Fiction, Mystery, Police Procedural, Psychological Suspense

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

Publication Info: Published March 13th 2018 by Minotaur Books. Hardcover edition courtesy of my local library. Other editions available for purchase from online and local retailers. This is the first book in the Harper McClain series.

Summary: Harper McClain is a newspaper crime reporter in Savannah, Georgia. Like newspapers all over the country, the one she works for is struggling. Each day Harper’s job is on the line as she struggles to get the scoop for page one, headline grabbing stories. The Echo Killing

One evening, while grabbing a quick bite at a local diner, she gets a call from her photographer partner, Miles. There’s been a homicide in a wealthy community. The details of the story are vague as the police process the crime scene, but one fact shocks Harper: the deceased woman was found by her twelve year old daughter.

Harper’s own mother was murdered in exactly the same way as this woman when she was the girl’s age–and she was the one who found her mother. It left Harper psychologically scarred. The case was never solved. Determined to not only write this story but possibly solve her mother’s murder, Harper risks her career and her life.

Comments: I can’t wait for the second book in the series! Harper is an engagingly flawed main character with real-life issues. Although the main plot line is resolved satisfactorily in The Echo Killing, there is a “stay tuned for the next installment” sort of cliff hanger at the end of this book. Christi Daugherty was a crime reporter in Savannah and other cities, and is the author of several well-reviewed young adult novels. She definitely knows how to write an attention grabbing story.

Highly recommended for readers of General Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Police Procedurals and Psychological Suspense.

Posted in British, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Police Procedural

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Publication Info: Published January 8th 2019 by Random House. E-book pre-pub edition courtesy of NetGalley. Other editions available since publication including Kindle and Hardcover. This is the debut of a new mystery series, DCI Jonah Sheens #1.She Lies in Wait

Summary:  At the start of this book, a young girl exploring in the woods finds a finger bone in a hollowed out area by a beech tree. It turns out to be part of the skeleton of Aurora Jackson, a 14 year old girl who went missing thirty years ago.

When Aurora went missing, she was camping with a group of older teenagers, one of whom was her sister. The teens were questioned at the time of the disappearance, but they all stated they didn’t know anything. It was obvious that something went on in the woods that night, but with the teens all sticking to the same story and no body, the case went cold.

Although he didn’t know them well, Jonah went to school with all of the campers. He has momentary thoughts of taking himself off the case, but decides there isn’t any conflict of interest. However, as secrets start to emerge, Jonah finds himself hoping that some things never come to light.

Comments: I liked She Lies in Wait. I thought the main storyline was tightly plotted with a believable ending. There were enough clues dropped about Jonah’s past and present life to give some options for character development in future books in the series. There were some side plot-lines that I found distracting because they weren’t fully resolved and I wondered why they were even in the book, but all in all, this was a good start to a new mystery-detective series.

As a side note, I thought the author had some very astute observations about bullies and abusers.


Posted in Mystery, Police Procedural, Thrillers

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Summary: Casey Duncan and her best friend, Diana Berry, are both victims of violence. After feeling guilty for shooting her heartless, immoral, mobster-connected boyfriend and hiding the weapon, Casey becomes a homicide detective who harbors a secret wish to be punished. Diana has an abusive, remorseless ex-boyfriend who continues to taunt her.

After both women are attacked in separate incidents, Diana begs Casey to consider disappearing. She knows of a secret town and she has a contact number.

The town of Rockton is tucked away in the northern Canadian wilderness. The conditions are primitive compared to the outside world. Basic supplies are flown in, but residents are expected to use their skills to contribute to the community. The Rockton council accepts Casey’s application because they need a detective to solve a murder. Casey will only go if they include Diana. Reluctantly, the council agrees.

As Casey works to solve the murder, she learns that no one is quite who they appear to be, not even her best friend.

Comments: While I ended up enjoying City of the Lost, I almost didn’t finish it. It starts out well enough, but then it lags for a good 100 pages or so. I kept putting the book down to go do something more interesting, like opening the refrigerator or checking the weather report. Once I got past the draggy section, the pace of the book picked up considerably and I found myself reading more eagerly. Ultimately, I enjoyed it enough to put the second book in the Rockton series,  A Darkness Absolute, on my to-read list.

3 ½ out of 5 books.

3.5 out of 5 books