LEAVE NO TRACE by Mindy Mejia {Review}

Leave No Trace
LEAVE NO TRACE by Mindy Mejia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mindy Mejia’s latest novel is part mystery/part survivalist story, set in and near Minnesota’s wilderness area called the Boundary Waters. A boy named Lucas disappeared with his father in this place, and a decade later at age 19 he makes a rather violent reappearance. Where has he been for 10 years, and what happened to his father?

Unwilling to communicate with authorities, Lucas is sent to a mental health facility, where he’s assigned to Maya Stark, a young speech therapist, in hopes she’ll make a connection with him. Maya is struggling with her own troubling secrets and personal issues, and on top of that Lucas proves to be a very difficult patient.

I’m left with a lukewarm feeling towards this book. I was drawn in by the unique premise and loved the survivalist aspects of the story and the wilderness descriptions. I did keep wondering how the pieces of the puzzle would fit, and I liked the twist that brought everything together.

On the other hand, I felt like this book was too slow paced to be a suspense/thriller. I struggled to become invested in the characters, and Maya, in particular, I never cared for. She wasn’t that interesting and her actions were downright unethical. I also never understood why a 23-year old speech therapist with little experience would be put in charge of a high-profile, dangerous patient.

I adored Mindy Mejia’s first book, and though LEAVE NO TRACE didn’t thrill me as much, I will definitely keep an eye out for her next novel.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley & Bookish First in exchange for an honest review.

A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS by Linwood Barclay {Review}


Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★½


The New York Times bestselling author of NO TIME FOR GOODBYE returns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can…


A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS is a creepy, twisty, and addictive thriller. One night professor Paul Davis stumbles across a colleague attempting to dispose of two bodies along a desolate road; eight months later, Paul is still suffering with the trauma. To lift his spirits, his wife buys him an old-fashioned typewriter in hopes that he’ll start writing again. But, poor Paul, late at night he’s the only one who can hear the typewriter’s keys tapping away on their own, and he’s convinced it had something to do with the double murder eight months ago.

I flew through this book it was so good! The mystery of the noise downstairs had me freaking out. I would be terrified to think my typewriter was possessed. This was a suspenseful, multi-layered mystery, and all the parts came together skillfully. One particular twist toward the end had me floored. Wha??? I had to reread it a couple of times to make sure it really happened. Weeks after reading this book, I’m still stunned! Wow. This is the first book by Linwood Barclay I’ve read, and I’m already a fan.

THE EXES’ REVENGE by Jo Jakeman {Review}


Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★


A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who’ve all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him…

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.


I love a delicious tale of revenge, especially when the villain is as deserving as the one in THE EXES’ REVENGE. Phillip is an abuser, control freak, and master manipulator. He continues to make life miserable for his exes and current girlfriend, until finally the three women reach the tipping point.

THE EXES REVENGE is a gripping dark domestic thriller. It’s entertaining, fast paced, and hard to put down, though also rather disturbing at times with the instances of domestic violence. The things that Naomi, Imogen, and Ruby went through put my stomach in nervous knots. Some of the things they did made me want to scream, but the tremendous stress they were under made me empathize with them.

This is an impressive debut novel from Jo Jakeman, and I’m eagerly anticipating her next book!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.