The Searcher by Tana French

The Searcher by Tana French is an adult standalone novel about a retired cop who moves to a small town in Ireland to get away. 

Retired detective Cal Hooper moved to a remote village in Ireland in the hopes of putting aside the cop part of his brain that always has him looking for trouble. But it turns out that small town living has intricacies all its own and Cal will have to use a whole new set of instincts to get by. 

When a local kid from the “wrong” part of town starts showing up at his house, Cal must break out his detective skills one more time. What do they say about trouble? Don’t go looking for it unless you want trouble to find you. And trouble has certainly found Cal. 

I liked this quaint little mystery, even if I wasn’t overly thrilled with the ending. Cal is a very likeable guy and he fits in well with the rural, nosey citizens of the town. I liked his polite, solitary, yet analytical nature. And his relationship with Trey is handled really well, built up throughout the story. 

This story/mystery builds really slowly but I didn’t actually mind it because it goes with the vibe of the town and it’s citizens. 

Though I sort of saw the twist coming and I didn’t necessarily like the ending, I don’t really see how it could have ended any other way and that, in a sense, was satisfying. 

This one gets 3.5-4 stars from me. 

That’s all for now!

-M-

Eight Perfect Murders

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is an adult mystery/thriller about a man whose blog post has inspired a string of murders.

Years ago, bookseller Malcolm Kershaw created a list of eight perfect murder, novels where murder crimes were basically unsolvable. Now, years later, someone is using his list as a guide to go on a killing spree.

When an FBI agent shows up on his doorstep, Mal is shocked to learn that his list is still being read, let alone used to kill people. What’s even stranger is that Mal seems to have a connection to some of the people who have been murdered.

Could the killer be someone he knows? And how will Mal hide his own secrets when his past comes back to haunt him?

Now, I don’t know if I just wasn’t paying attention to this audio book or what, but I just wasn’t captured by the story. A thriller is supposed to keep you on the edge of your seat and I just never felt that.

I found a lot of the book pretty predictable, I basically knew who the murderer was from the beginning. The only surprise for me happened toward the end and by that time, I really wasn’t invested in the book.

I also found Gwen’s character to be lost halfway through the book, which was a shame. I wish she was “written out” differently. The author really makes you think that she is going to have a large, arching role in the story and halfway through she all-but disappears.

This was by no means a bad read, but I just wasn’t grasped by the story. This one gets only two stars from me today.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Verity

Verity by Colleen Hoover is an adult romantic thriller with a few twists and turns.

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer. She’s published a few books but flies under the radar, just the way she likes it. When her mother dies after a long illness, Lowen finds herself in financial trouble. But she may just have a way out when the chance of a lifetime finds here.

Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, hires Lowen to finish writing his wife’s series when she has an accident and can no longer write. Hesitantly, Lowen accepts the job and travels to the Crawford’s home to go through Verity’s study in the hopes of getting in the authors head.

But she does more than get a glimpse of the woman Verity used to be, she finds a spine-chilling autobiography the woman wrote before her accident. Inside are horrible, psychopathic details of a woman who looked perfect on the outside but was a monster within.

As Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy grow, she becomes torn about what to do with the manuscript. She doesn’t want to hurt Jeremy but something isn’t right and Lowen needs to know the truth.

This was one book I could not put down. I had so many theory’s about what was happening and I was truly surprised by the ending. This book didn’t keep me up at night but there were several chill-factor moments where I found the tension building in my chest. Always a plus for this kind of book.

One of the things I did find disappointing was Lowen’s sleepwalking. I really thought the author could have done something more with this. It almost wasn’t even needed for the story. **Spoiler–don’t read the next sentence** Honestly, I wanted Lowen to subconsciously be the one writing the manuscript during her sleepwalking episodes. It just felt like a missed opportunity to me.

Overall, I thought this was a really good, fast-paced read. It gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Dead Voices

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden is the second book in the Small Spaces series.

After escaping the maze and the smiling man, Ollie, Coco and Brian have found comfort in each others company. They just want to forget about what happened to them and move on. So when Ollie’s dad gets a free ski vacation from work, they all pack their bags and think nothing of it.

A snowstorm strands them at an all but abandoned ski lodge, they can’t help but worry. The power goes out and as night settles in and the lodge gets colder, the trio start hearing strange voices and seeing odd shapes in the dark. When a strange ghost hunter shows up, things get even weirder.

Ollie, Coco and Brian may have thought they left the maze behind them but just because they want to be left alone, doesn’t me they will be. Can the three of them find their way out of trouble once again?

Oh my god, my heart was racing, I got goosebumps… I did not want to read this one at night. I seriously felt like I was reading The Shining for kids. That being said it was fantastic just like Arden’s Small Spaces.

In the first book, the narrator was primarily Ollie but in this one it alternated between Coco and Ollie and I think this was a really smart move. Coco brought a really fun, calculating aspect to the story and I just loved her confrontation with the main evildoer in this book. Ollie had first shot, Coco second, guess it’ll be Brian’s turn in the next book. Ollie and Coco are very different so seeing how they each think adds a nice layer to the story.

I like how there are so many twists and turns to these stories. That the answers are there all along but aren’t necessarily “visible” or don’t make sense until later in the story.

This was a spooky read and great one for 5-6th graders who want to read something scary. This one gets 5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Vanishing Season

The Vanishing Season is the conclusion of The Collector series by Dot Hutchinson.

There are some cases that stick with you and there are others that you never stop working. For FBI agent Eliza Sterling and Brandon Eddison a recent child abduction case will test them in every way possible.

When eight-year old Brooklyn Mercer goes missing the hunt gets personal when the clues lead to a trail of abductions going back more than thirty years, including Brandon’s own sister, Faith, who was abducted decades earlier.

As the pain and trauma of the past plagues Eddison, Eliza is determined to solve the case at all costs but the closer she gets to an answer the higher the emotional toll on all the team.

It’s a race against time and for Eliza and the rest of the CAC team…. it’s more than personal.

I really enjoyed this entire series. How we start off with Inara and Vic and how the story was viewed more from the victims point of view, then how we shift to getting the cases from the perspective of the agents.

One of the things that struck me as unique about every book was the narrative. I loved how these stories were told; that something rang similar in each of them but the narrators brought their own personality/perspectives/traumas to the story. I thought this was really great and allowed the reader to witness these crimes from another perspective; to see how the personal and the professional overlap.

I also thought that The Vanishing Season was a fitting ending for the series as a whole. Faith is brought up from the very beginning of the series and finally, her case is being brought to the surface. The team has also come a long way since the beginning of the series, so it was nice to see that acknowledged here.

This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-