Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

“Never talk to strangers. If someone ever tries to take you, fight with everything you have. Scream as loud as you can. (He’d never told her what to do if the man was too strong and there was no one to hear her screaming.)”

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★★★

Touchstone | 2016

Opening Hook: Tediously attention-grabbing.

Main Character: I see dead people-ing it.

Plot Twisty-ness: How twisty can it be when everyone is a goddamn psychic?


I don’t know why I keep trying books with psychic characters, because I never like them.

Also, apparently this could technically be considered part of series called The Hollows, but I have zero experience with Lisa Unger or that series, so perhaps that’s why I’m not as jazzed about this book as other people have been.

This does read like a standalone for all intents and purposes, though.

Basically what you have here is a twenty-something who is a developing psychic, so she goes to live with her grandmother, who is an experienced psychic, to get her psychic abilities up to snuff. While she’s doing her psychic-training she starts to hear a persistent noise – squeak, clink – and her psychic grandmother is all, “that’s your psychic gift telling you to start doing psychic shit,” so she gets onto the case of a missing child, who has some psychic connections in her own life.

Basically, everyone is a goddamn psychic.

surprised mind reading GIF

I’m not sure how a town full of psychics hasn’t been able to find the answer to “where’d that kid go?” but they haven’t and everyone is distressed; marriages are falling apart and life is just generally terrible.

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Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

“The words I’ve heard in the past few days are ones I never expected – new, untried, untested. Casket. Body. Funeral. Viewing. Embalming. Autopsy. Severed. Seven-inch non-corrosive steel blade. Homicide.”

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★★★★

MIRA | 2018

Opening Hook: Broken bones, broken dreams.

Main Character: Shouldn’t keep blood secrets when your sister works with DNA.

Plot Twisty-ness: Are coincidences considered twists?


Okay, okay, OKAY. Y’all know I love me some J.T. Ellison.

It all started with her Taylor Jackson series a damn decade ago (ugh, that makes me feel old) and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. I love tough women writing tough women. It’s a thing.

Ellison’s move from series writer to standalones started with Lie to Me, which most people loved, except for yours truly.

What can I say? I’m a picky fucking reader.

I had a few issues with the pacing of Lie to Me (the second half sucked the life out of it) and with the ending (“it was all for nothing, just a giant misunderstanding” doesn’t really work for me. That’s not a twist,) but I’m happy to say that I liked Tear Me Apart a lot. I didn’t love it. It’s not the best thing I’ve read this year, but it’s a good read. It’s not a waste of your time, at all.

And we all know how much I hate wasting my reading time.

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Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

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★★½

HarperTeen | 2018

Opening Hook: Rich people get lit (on fire.)

Main Character: A copy of a copy of a copy…

Plot Twisty-ness: Kiddie-rollercoaster levels.


I was really hoping this was going to be a sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got one out of two from that list.

Depending on what’s important to you – the atmosphere or the thrills – you’re either going to love this or not.

Immediately upon starting this, I got a Revenge meets Gossip Girl meets Riverdale vibe. It’s got that “spoiled teens with no adult supervision in the Hamptons” thing going on.

It’s very rich versus poor. The pool owners and the pool cleaners. The Haves and the Have-nots.

The novel opens with a bang, so to speak, when the Haves suffer a tragedy the year prior – the Garrison estate goes up in flames, killing four members of the family. The only survivor is their teenage son, Tristan. The town is straight shooketh, casting blame and suspicion on the members of the Have Nots, because of course, the poor people want to kill the “elites.” Right, ‘Murica?

the kingsmen laughing GIF by Collider
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Mystery & Thriller Releases for Summer 2018!

Summer officially started last week! Do you feel it – the unbearable heat? Do you hear it – the sound of mosquitos eating me alive. Awww, summer.

The stepkid – hereby referred to as “15” for the purposes of my blog – had his last exam and is leaving on Saturday for an extended visitation with Crazy Pants, the bio-mom.

…and to me that means FREEDOM!

mel gibson braveheart GIF

*slowly starts to paint face blue*

I’m kidding.

I whine sometimes, but being a stepmom is really not that bad compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard in my support group. (It’s still a hard thing to do, hence the support group.) But, the kid is pretty clean and polite and doesn’t think I’m an evil twat, so I think I’m doing okay.

I will say, I’m glad the older one moved out because cis-teenage 👏 boys 👏 are 👏 fucking 👏 gross👏. My clean/organized neurosis couldn’t take it anymore.

It’s all progress and winning in my life right now…you know, except for the stuff that isn’t. But, I have a good feeling about this summer *knocks on wood.*

Some people can’t wait for summer because it means the beach and amusement parks and camping and whatever the hell else extroverted, outdoorsy people do. I can’t wait for summer because it means quiet and a warm breeze coming through my bedroom window while I sit around in no pants (apparently you have to wear pants around stepchildren) reading the summer’s hottest books.

And what might those books be you ask? Well, I’m happy to tell you.

Here is my list of the new mystery & thriller books coming your way this summer. Get your TBR ready!

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Review: The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino, #1) by Loreth Anne White

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★★★★½

Montlake Romance | 2017

Opening Hook: Protect your lady-bits

Main Character: Sex-addict realness

Plot Twisty-ness: Procedural B+


I’m telling you right now, this book is the motherfucking shit.

Not even an exaggeration, honey.

And it’s the shit for one reason. Yes, it’s got murder. Yes, it’s got sex. Yes, it’s got a psycho serial killer. Yes, it’s hitting that fine line in the level of detail. Yes, it reads like real life honesty. Yes, it’s got gore. Yes, it takes place in C to the A to the N to the A to the D to the A…

Hold on, did I spell that right? *goes back to check* Yep.

CANADA!

But listen to me readers and lovers, without Detective Angie Pallorino as a lead character we would be sitting at a three-star rating. That’s just the truth.

Was there anything astonishing about the storyline? Not really. It’s interesting, but at the end of the day, it’s a police procedural. Extra points for taking place in Canada and getting my patriotic-self a little hyped about that, because I’m always reading books that take place in the UK or the US – and quite honestly I’ve had just about enough of the United States at this CRAZY Trump Juncture.

I’m pretty sure serial killers obsessed with religious bullshit has been done to death.

But do you know what’s not done to death?

Serial killers obsessed with religious bullshit who are being hunted by Angie Pallorino.

Alison Brie Kiss GIF by GLOW Netflix
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