THE ELIZAS by Sara Shepard {Review}


Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★¾


New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars Sara Shepard makes her mark on adult fiction with this Hitchcockian double narrative composed of lies, false memories, and a protagonist who must uncover the truth for survival.

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.

Fans of Pretty Little Liars, S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 will be drawn to the drama of feeling like no one is on your side, the high tension of not knowing who you can trust, the hair-raising truths hidden among lies, and a faceless, nameless presence controlling Eliza’s life from the shadows.


THE ELIZAS is a dual narrative featuring Eliza, a young author who’s about to have her first novel published, and Dot, the main character in her book. Eliza is a troubled individual, both her past and present self. I found her irritating at times, but I understood her current paranoia. When she’s pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool yet again, her family is convinced it’s another suicide attempt, but Eliza thinks she was pushed in. Whose story is to be believed?

And then there’s Dot. This is a book within a book, as chapters from Eliza’s novel THE DOTS alternate with her own. I enjoyed this set up quite a bit, because it added to the overall madness of the situation. After a while it was hard to tell who was real and who was the character. Though some parts were a bit far-fetched, it was still a fun and strange read, especially if you love unreliable narrators.

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

THE SIXTH VICTIM by Tessa Harris (Audiobook)


Publisher: Kensington/Blackstone Audio
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Review copies from the publisher
Rating: ★★★¾


London’s East End, 1888. When darkness falls, terror begins.

The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. In desperation, even Scotland Yard has turned to them to help apprehend the Ripper. Her mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery”, attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get – because there may be more than one depraved killer out there.


A poor flower girl named Constance with the gift of clairvoyance is searching for her missing teacher on the streets of Jack the Ripper’s London in Tessa Harris’ historical mystery THE SIXTH VICTIM. At the same time, an upper crust lady enlists Constance’s help in finding her missing sister, fearing she may be the sixth victim of the deranged murderer.

This was an audio/eBook combo read for me. I enjoy Victorian mysteries, and this was a good one, definitely pulls readers into the dark and grizzly happenings of the time. Confusing at first, the book took me a few chapters before I felt comfortable with the characters and story, though overall I liked it. Constance is an intriguing and sympathetic character, and the perfect heroine for this new series.

The audiobook was performed by two narrators, Fiona Hardingham and Gemma Dawson. Their accents and inflections for the many characters helped make this an entertaining story. Eerie and gruesome!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley (eBook) and the publisher (audiobook) in exchange for an honest review.

EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica


Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★¾


New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date — one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.


I do love Mary Kubica’s writing, and in EVERY LAST LIE she presents an engrossing tale of a young mother named Clara facing her husband Nick’s secrets and deceit just days after he dies in a car accident.

There was one witness to the crash, the couple’s 4-year old daughter Maisie, who was strapped in her car seat and luckily unhurt. Clara begins to doubt the wreck was simply an accident when Maisie starts having nightmares about a “bad man” being after them. As she digs for clues, Clara finds that Nick was hiding some unsettling secrets, but were they enough to get him killed?

The story is told in alternating perspectives – Nick, in the weeks leading up to the crash, and Clara, in the weeks after Nick’s death. I liked that readers got to hear both POVs, which added to the suspense of what Nick might reveal and what Clara might discover. Not only is Clara dealing with her husband’s suspicious death, she’s also now the sole caregiver of Maisie and newborn Felix. So many anxiety-inducing elements in this story! Clara made some very questionable choices throughout, and I’m sure teetering on the edge of sanity didn’t help.

I guess I have two niggling complaints with the book. First, there were some loose ends and questions that I wanted answers to, and secondly, I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. I read another mystery that had a similar ending, and while it worked there, it didn’t so much with EVERY LITTLE LIE. Nevertheless, I still think this was an intriguing and well-written book, as much a character study in grief as a novel of suspense.

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