Let me be real with you for a minute: I’m so far behind in my Netgalley reviews.
Just so, so far.
I’m feeling pretty guilty about it.
Not to make excuses for myself, but I’m going to make excuses for myself: The last quarter of 2017 just got away from me.
It’s as if everyone in my family has birthdays and anniversaries in the same three months of the year, except for maybe four people – and that is not an exaggeration at all. I didn’t help matters by getting married in October. Stupid wedding. Then there’s Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas…
I had almost no time to read, and when I did, I was so stressed out I couldn’t do much more than drool as I watched Live PD back to back. Goddamn that Dan Abrams and those tight cashmere sweaters!
Anyhooters, here we are now… It’s March! WHAT!? January took eleventy years to get through and now it’s suddenly March? I was going to go on a diet and everything. LOL yeah, right.
I’m starting to feel the pressure of all those unread ARCs. My trigger finger keeps requesting more, bringing my stats down and it’s not a bookish good look for me. I need to buckle down and get ‘er done, so I’m going to be overly ambitious and announce I’m going to get 5 books off my list this month!
..Also, I really need to stop requesting things from the library. What is wrong with me?
To light a fire under my own ass, I thought I’d share this month’s book goals from Netgalley. Maybe if I put it out there into the blogosphere, the book gods will see fit to give me the time and space, and all the “yeah, uh-huh’s” I’ll need for ignoring my husband, in order to get through these works of art..
🔪The Next Girl (Detective Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach
Bookouture | April 2018
She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again…
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.
My Fucking Thoughts: First of all, let’s take a second to recognize Bookouture. This publishing company has pumped out some amazing new authors and stories in the last couple of years. They are doing so much for the crime fiction genre, giving new voices a chance. Honestly, if I see they’re publishing something I immediately consider reading it.
Second, this book piques my interest with a couple of my favourite things: a new series with a female lead and a missing persons case. Plus, that cover is striking!
🔪Murder on the Lake of Fire (Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1) by Mikel J. Wilson
Acorn | November 2017
At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned.
The mysterious death of a teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is soon followed by an apparent case of spontaneous human combustion. In a small town bursting with friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just beneath the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits him against artful private investigator Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome, smart and seductive, and he just might be the killer Rome is seeking.
My Fucking Thoughts: Honestly, it started with the cover. It’s snappy. Only later did I realize that both main characters are men so why the badass female on it? The synopsis gives me the impression that the plot is oddball – an ice-skater and spontaneous human combustion? It’s just so ridiculous, I need to find out what the hell the author is thinking.
I’ve read some good reviews, and some not so good ones. Something to know about me is that I love bad books. I love reading them – the stupid dialogue, the bad prose and the messed up plots. I love writing reviews about bad novels. Bad novels lend themselves to my best reviews, if I’m keeping it real. So, either this book is going to be awesome and unlike anything I’ve read before, or it’s going to be as ridiculous as a spontaneously combusting ice skater – either way, I’m in!
🔪Dark Game (DI Kelly Porter, #1) by Rachel Lynch
Canelo | January 2018
Kelly’s gut turned over as she realised the danger she was in. She heard no sirens. She knew that she was simply collateral. To these men who made a lot of money from the suffering of others, they’d have no problem snuffing her out.
After a scandal forces D.I. Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies.
Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…
My Fucking Thoughts: Again, the effing cover sucks me in. What is it about these anonymous bodies in random outdoor locations wearing trench coats that gets me going? Plus, this is a new series starring a female lead. This time she comes with a scandal (love it!) and sordid home turf (bonus!) The synopsis makes it sound as though we’re in for a twisted ride with three individual cases. I’m going to go out on a limb and say two, if not all three, are connected in the end. Expose those truths, Kelly!
🔪Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley
Simon & Schuster | March 2018
In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.
Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.
For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.
Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?
On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.
When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought…
My Fucking Thoughts: You get my attention immediately when you mention Dexter. Throw in digging up dead bodies and I’m officially intrigued by this seemingly different take on the typical crime fiction/serial killer thriller. Reviews from my friends on Goodreads have been mixed so far, but I’m purposefully getting my hopes up. I’m having Dexter withdrawals! Seriously. Michael C. Hall popped up in the movie Game Night when I wasn’t expecting him to be there, and I nearly peed myself right in the theatre. I audibly gasped and my husband asked if I was alright.
🔪Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1) by T.R. Ragan
Thomas & Mercer | October 2017
In this page-turner of a thriller by bestselling author T.R. Ragan, unlikely partners PI Jessie Cole and crime reporter Ben Morrison search for clues to a mystery buried in their own pasts—only to discover that sometimes the truth is better off buried.
Ten years ago, PI Jessie Cole and reporter Ben Morrison each suffered a tragedy that changed their lives—and now these two strangers are about to share a nightmare.
For Jessie, who makes her living finding missing persons, no case has consumed her more than the disappearance of her younger sister, Sophie. But left alone to raise Sophie’s daughter, she realizes that solving the case has become an unhealthy obsession.
For Ben, a horrific car accident resulted in scars both physical and emotional—and amnesia that has made his life a mystery. But curiously, out of his shattered memories, there’s one person he recognizes without a doubt: Jessie’s sister. He just doesn’t know why. Yet.
But Sophie isn’t the only phantom drawing Jessie and Ben together. An elusive serial murderer known as the Heartless Killer has reemerged from the shadows. His next move will cut even deeper into Jessie’s worst fears. And for Ben, what happens this time is going to be unforgettable.
My Fucking Thoughts: Look, I’m not even going to apologize for the number of times I’ve said “new series with a female lead.” I just won’t. I know what I like! I’m all about girl power. Add into that the private eye angle and you’ve got my attention. Seriously, there is nothing I love more than a sassy, witty female P.I. working with the law, and around it.
Speaking of female P.I.s, I feel like maybe I’m biting off more than I can chew here. Because as we all know, Jessica Jones comes back tomorrow and I obviously have to dedicate a fair bit of my life to binging that.
And now that I’m thinking about that too, it’s a miracle my husband and I ever do anything together.
Okay, so listen, if I don’t get all five of these read this month, don’t hold it against me. I’m doing my best here!
Stay safe. Be Kind. But, take no shit.
Happy Hump Day, Booknerds! ✌️🔪