Siracusa by Delia Ephron
(Blue Rider Press, 2016, 304 pages)
First of all, yes, Delia Ephron is Nora Ephron’s sister. Secondly, this book sells itself as something of a mystery and while it is, in a sense, I was a bit disappointed because I feel like it gave away most of the mystery pretty early on. Told from the perspective of four different people (the partners in two sets of couples) we see the story unfold through four lenses that are biased in their own unique ways. It’s clear that not all the relationships survive but we don’t fully understand why until the end…
For more context, here is the Goodreads summary:
New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities, past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming.
Conspiracy by De’nesha Diamond
(Dafina Books, 2016, 320 pages)
This story is full of twists and turns. You start out thinking it is about sex trafficking and then follow the life of the girl, a victim whose boyfriend is selling drugs. When the drugs turn up missing, murder and mayhem lead to the chase to uncover the twisted conspiracy to hide the development of a human military weapon.
Cross Kill by James Patterson
(BookShots, 2016, 113 pages)
Alex Cross and his partner encounter a shooter that Alex is sure he killed over a decade prior. Alex is now on a mission to recapture the notorious Gary Soneji. Suspenseful and hard to put down.
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
(Mulholland Books, 2014, 442 pages)
supernatural; dreams; bizarre puzzle pieces
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
(Mulholland Books, 2014, 442 pages)
Artsy serial killer in Detroit.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
(William Morrow, 2015, 416 pages)
Karin Slaughter has a two popular series (Will Trent and Grant County) but this is one of her stand-alone novels. If you enjoy thrillers, it really delivered with lots of suspense and a great plot. My only criticism was the ending, it felt like it was tacked on and tied up a little too easily.
“More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.”
Cross My Heart by James Patterson
(Little, Brown and Company, 2013, 419 pages)
Detective Alex Cross loves solving crimes, but he loves his family too. His children, wife, and Nana Mama are his pride and joy. He would do anything to protect them from danger. While Cross is hot on the trail of multiple crimes, he is unaware that someone is after him. The assailant is busy plotting to abduct his family members one by one as he works to commit the perfect crime. Patterson paints vivid images of the family that has been uprooted due to renovations on the family house. Cross receives images on his cell phone depicting gruesome murders of his family members, which causes him to lose control. However, things are not as they appear and the story ends with the reader dangling to find out what has really happened to the Cross family.
The Shining by Stephen King
(Anchor Books, 2013, 659 pages)
The Shining is a story of a man named Jack Torrance who is a recovering alcoholic. As the means to support his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, he has taken a job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel which is tucked away in the Colorado Mountains. As the snow sets in, he and his family are cut from the rest of the world. Jack has to keep his mind clear to keep from going stir crazy and doing the unthinkable. But will he??
Stephen King did terrific job with this novel. The story was so descriptive to the point that it left nothing to the imagination and that is what scared me the most. I felt as though I was right there inside the Overlook Hotel watching as the events unfolded.
Not only is this a gripping story but also the characters are well developed and it was easy to understand why they reacted to certain situations the way that they did. I felt the way he portrayed the relationship between Danny and his parents had a very powerful effect on the story as a whole. It made the events that much more disturbing and bothersome.
This book was part of the SCC library’s book club and had it not been for that reason I would have not picked this book up to read. I am not a fan of horror books. That being said, I am not disappointed that I was brave enough to read a story that had me on edge from beginning to end. Stephen King is an amazing storyteller and I would recommend this book to anyone who gets a thrill from spooky stories with nail biting suspense that makes you hear and see things that aren’t really there… or are they???
River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014, 336 pages)
Lucy Sheridan grew up in Summer River, but it’s been thirteen years since she was last there. As a teenager she was sent away by her aunt after being dragged out of a wild River Road party by Mason Fletcher. Mason, the boy she had a crush on, was several years older and didn’t seem to be interested in her.
After her aunt’s fatal car crash, Lucy returns to close up her house for the family. The town has blossomed into a trendy weekend getaway. Mason now runs the hardware store for his uncle. When Lucy stops in to pick up supplies she rekindles his interest. He and Lucy team up to uncover mysteries surrounding a dead body found behind her aunt’s fireplace, but someone sets the house on fire before they uncover anything. Lucy uses her forensic genealogist mind to try and identify who is responsible for several mysterious events.
Tail Spin by Catherine Coulter
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008, 403 pages)
Rachael Abbott is out driving when she witnesses a plane crash. She arrives at the crash site in time to save the wounded pilot who was transporting a renowned psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is suffering from a medical condition that causes him to spurt out revealing information about his patients, many of whom would kill him for his betrayal. Rachael tries to conceal her true identity from the pilot, not realizing he was FBI agent Jackson Crowne.
Set in a scenic Appalachian town, a place where Rachael grew up, the FBI find themselves without the modern conveniences of cell phones and forensic labs. Crowne knows there is more to her story than Rachel is letting on.
Coulter tells a riveting story, full of suspense and romance, as she reveals the true identity of the assassins.