Review: The Dark Corners of Night (UNSUB, #3) by Meg Gardiner

38726283

★★★★★

Blackstone Publishing | 2018

Filed Under: A demented, twisted murdery pretzel


Alright listen, I know this rating is not coming as a shock to many of you. If you have been paying any attention to my reviews and posts, then you know this one novel truth (pun intended) about me: I FUCKING LOVE MEG GARDINER. I cannot control my bias when it comes to her books, apparently. I love all of them. I think they’re all the best things I’ve ever read until I read the next one. She’s a fucking BRILLIANT writer and I want to be her when I grow up. That’s just the way it is. I’m not sorry.

But I understand why you might want to take my reviews of her work with a grain of salt. Honestly, I can’t even tell at this point how much my opinion has been influenced by total infatuation. My critical style seems to completely malfunction when I read her books. Or, there’s just nothing to be critical of. Who can say? It’s all so subjective.

But there it is. I’m putting it all out there for you before I start writing this review.

I’m a total Gardiner fan girl and so far she can do no wrong in my eyes.

i love her premiere GIF by America's Next Top Model
Continue reading “Review: The Dark Corners of Night (UNSUB, #3) by Meg Gardiner”

Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

41837243. sy475

★★★½

Dutton | 2019

Filed Under: The entitlement of the rich.


If I had never read Final Girls or The Last Time I Lied, would I be giving this a higher rating?? Maybe. Please don’t look at my less-than-enthused review as a reason to not read this book, because everything Sager writes is a book to read, imho.

However, this third novel by Sager is just not as strong an offering as his previous two. Again, just my fangirl opinion.

I truly do love Sager. He and I should obviously be best friends because we like all the same things. And he’s built a writing career around paying homage to those favourite influences in the most satisfying way for me as a reader.

Lock Every Door is Rosemary’s Baby meets the United States poverty gap and healthcare. There are some elements included in the plot that are a bit misleading – is it a ghost story? Horror? Is there something satanic going on? But Sager takes that part of Rosemary’s Baby and flips it on its head to create commentary about U.S. healthcare and income inequality.

Now there’s a horror story, she says in Canadian.

That’s all I’ll say about that because I don’t want to get into spoilers.

Continue reading “Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager”

Review: White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1) by Danielle Girard

52394909. sx318 sy475

★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2020

Filed Under: Get winter tires.


If you’re sick to death of this extreme heat, which I always am even before it starts, then this snowy thriller is the perfect read to cool off this summer. How’s that for a goddamn tagline, huh? I should do this shit professionally. Someone pay me. Oh, and today is the official pub day!

Alright, so I was offered this book by the author, Danielle Girard, in exchange for a review. These authors know what they’re getting into when they ask me to review their books, so I’m always honest even when it’s negative, and I don’t feel bad about it.

Fortunately for all of us, I don’t really have too much to say that’s negative about this first instalment in the Badlands series… except like two things… three things… four things… Okay, whatever, we’ll count them up at the end.

charlotte ritchie hannah GIF by BBC
Continue reading “Review: White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1) by Danielle Girard”

Review: The Janes (Alice Vega, #2) by Louisa Luna

45303369. sy475

★★★★

Doubleday | 2020

Filed Under: Doing underwear yoga.


I loved Louisa Luna’s first book, Two Girls Down, with a fiery passion that tingled my loins. Ew, don’t say loins.

But for real, I loved that book. It was one of my top five reads of 2018. So I was totally on board for a sequel because Alice Vega is one of the most bomb-ass female characters in crime fiction right now. That’s not an exaggeration.

I love her aloof, serous and damaged personality. I love that she does yoga in her underwear for breakfast and will do full body tackles of men twice her size without hesitation for lunch. She takes no shit, doesn’t play nice and has no tolerance for bullshit. Plus, she’s smart AF and every time she gets herself out of a tricky pickle I am mildly aroused. What I’m saying is, I want to be her when I grow up.

i love her premiere GIF by America's Next Top Model

Her relationship with quasi-partner, retired detective Max “Cap” Caplan, is sexually tense at the right levels, but also romantic and sweet in an honest way – nothing mushy or easy, or even overly dramatic that would make me hope they both die alone.

Continue reading “Review: The Janes (Alice Vega, #2) by Louisa Luna”

Review: The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan

36039670. sy475

★★★

Spiderline | 2017

Filed Under: Too much soda.


Okay, so this wasn’t exactly a grab-you-by-the-tits kind of thriller. If that’s what you’re expecting, temper your expectations accordingly. This is slower, but eerie, like a guy walking behind you – he just gives you the creeps but it’s not like he’s done anything but be a man alone on a sidewalk.

It’s just the vibe.

Depending on your mood, this is either going to hit you as slow and boring or as a slow-burner that is chilling and twisty.

For me, when I read this, it was slowwwwwww like watching a sloth cross the street, which in any other circumstances I would love to do because sloths are my favourite.

sloth eating GIF

That said, I feel like it’s totally on me being in a bad headspace for a slow-burning thriller considering I’ve been stuck in the fucking house since mid-March. I can’t do slow or boring or any combination therein. I need my thrillers to be genuinely thrilling, mysterious and wild if I’m going to forget I’m looking at the same walls every day, all day. HOW MANY MORE WALKS CAN I TAKE MY DOG ON? We’ll find out…

Listen, I’m very grateful for all the people doing the front-line and essential work. But also, I’m getting cabin fever so let me express that, thank you and fuck off.

Continue reading “Review: The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan”

Review: Of Vengeance by J.D. Kurtness

43317755

★★½

Dundurn | 2019

Filed Under: Self-awareness via murder.


*shakes fist* THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SO GOOD! I’m disappointed that I’m disappointed in this story.

Of Vengeance starts with an unnamed female narrator telling the reader she sees a cold-blooded killer every day when she looks in a mirror.

Oh really?! Do go on….

She recounts her life, starting at the age of 12 when she discovers that she really likes murdering terrible people after accidentally killing the worst bully at her school. It’s like a revenge fever dream that might have popped into your head for the briefest of moments when you think back to that time Andrew put a basketball under his shirt and said: “Look, I’m Krystin!” because you were a chubby 12-year-old.

But what do I know?

new girl girls GIF
Continue reading “Review: Of Vengeance by J.D. Kurtness”

Review: City of Windows (Lucas Page, #1) by Robert Pobi

41150389. sy475

★★★★½

Minotaur Books | 2019

Filed Under: Excuse me, sir, your glass eye is upside down.


Okay, listen up! You want to read this book.

If I could tie you up for completely non-sexual sexual reasons, and force you to read this, I wouldn’t because I am a strong supporter of consent. But you should still read this, regardless of if I am exerting my will over you or not.

I’m going to go full Stefan right now and say this book’s got everything! Blood, guts, impressive sniper shots and lots of action. There’s a retired FBI agent with one eye, a prosthetic leg, five foster children, dead old rich lady flashbacks and a dope ability to solve crimes using mathematical algorithms that he does in his head just by looking at things. Seriously, he mental-MacGyver’s the fuck out of some crime scenes.

It’s like borderline dumb but also really cool, so I’m not mad about it.

There’s a terrible blizzard, right-wing anti-government bad guys that I love to see get bitch-slapped, lots of striking political commentary and current-as-hell themes tying the whole thing together.

Booknerds, you have to hear the words coming out of my metaphorical mouth right now: Robert Pobi is a firecracker writer!

proud schitts creek GIF by CBC

I’m beating myself up that I’ve not read him sooner.

Continue reading “Review: City of Windows (Lucas Page, #1) by Robert Pobi”

Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

36388243. sy475

★★★★

Ballantine Books | 2018

Filed Under: Basic bitch googles body burial.


What can I say? I fucking liked this. But it’s going to be a love it or hate it kind of book for readers because it’s different and crammed with multiple genres and plot elements. So, if you read it because I gave my elusive stamp of approval and walk away thinking I must have been high, then one: you’re right. and two: I’m also high right now.

Please don’t lose trust in me, but this worked for me. I readily admit that might have a lot to do with the audiobook quality because that shit was fucking FIRE.

robin williams cooking GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The author narrates the audiobook, and at first I was like that’s kind of weird, but then I found out she’s an actress who has been in things like Downton Abbey (never watched it, don’t act surprised.) So, seriously, try the audiobook if you’re looking for maximum entertainment from this novel, because Catherine Steadman burns it down.

Continue reading “Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman”

Review: Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

42118856

★★

Grand Central Publishing | 2019

Filed Under: German sausage.


I can’t believe I waited 13 years for the author who inspired my love of writing and reading and serial killers, to reenter my life only put me to fucking sleep.

I’m so sorry Mr. Harris, but girl what is you doing?

After such an extended hiatus, one would think the brilliant creator of Hannibal Lecter – arguably the greatest villain of all time – had come out from hibernation because he had a story that just needed to be written and shared.

After reading the blurb, I thought that was clearly the case here because the summary is straight fire so I needed this book immediately! ASAP. Pronto. Gimme!

Beneath an unoccupied Miami Beach mansion that used to belong to Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, there is rumoured to be millions of dollars worth of gold. Two men are in a race to get to the gold first. Don Ernesto, a Colombian mob boss, and Hans-Peter Schneider, a depraved “business” man who kills women and sells their body parts to wealthy buyers to satisfy whatever their particular sexual fetish is.

Continue reading “Review: Cari Mora by Thomas Harris”

Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

‘Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.’ 

★★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2019

Filed Under: Corporate team building at its most murdery


Let me introduce you to my favourite revenge thriller of 2019. I mean, so far because it’s only July, but whatever. It’s not like my TBR is a cornucopia of revenge tales. Pretty sure it’s mostly serial killers.

The Escape Room is balls-the-walls wild, while still being grounded and realistic. I think that’s why I liked it so much – it was the perfect combination of over-the-top moments that exist just to be fun, mixed with a true-to-life high finance setting and realistic themes of suicide, loss, financial struggle and degrees of sexism.

The author took things that are honest and real, and that most readers will be able to find some thread of connection to, and kicked it up a notch with fantastical plot elements.

This debut novel is a tale of revenge that’s going to 100% fire you up to enact vengeance on your enemies. I’m looking at you, dude in my office who complained about the memes at my desk!

Continue reading “Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin”