Category Archives: Mystery

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt that is now aching almost incessantly in her mind. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her.   -GR

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The American Girl by Kate Horsley

American GirlFrom a bright new talent comes a riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident, and the journalist determined to break the story and uncover the dark secrets a small town is hiding.

On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes—the French family with whom she’s been staying—have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance.

Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes—or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder…?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she’s drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn’s blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.

Haper Collins – 3 Stars

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Love is Blind

Young Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure loses her sight and her father builds her a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis begin an occupation of Paris and her and her father and flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

The book has many delightful sensibilities. A charming read I thoroughly enjoyed. -Cindy Rowe

3 Stars

Liars Inc. by Paula Stokes

Summary: A dark and twisted psychological tale that will keep readers guessing, perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl. Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

Opinion: Pretty soon all populist fiction is going to start sounding the same – like plots were all manufactured using the same 3-D printer, with a super-contrived ending thrown into the mix to add something other books didn’t have. While a growing number of authors is competing to dazzle their readers with the one-from-under the-sleeve-ending that you honestly never saw coming, few are laying out the plots in meticulous fashion to lure the reader into the beating heart of a true mystery. Liars Inc succeeds where many similar genre books on the subject will decidedly fail. I like this book and have to say I enjoyed reading it and passing it on to friends who will be just as entertained as I was about trying to guest what happens next. –Lisa Stark

3 Stars

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train is an interesting thriller than has a distinctive touch of Hitchcockian flare. Readers will be easily drawn into its twisty plot. This is a fascinating read that will hold your attention through the duration of the book. In a world of recycled plots, where ever book tries to be more clever than its kindred predecessor – this book is no startling monumental achievement, but it does hold up reasonable well to the discriminating mystery-sleuth reader who enjoys begin teased and puzzled by an intriguing mystery. Paula Hawkins has created a memorable debut novel. – Greta Hurst