Reading Wrap-Up {5}

by Emily Arsenault

I enjoyed this book very much. I’ve read a couple of Emily Arsenault’s books, and her characters are always complex and relatable, especially the two women in THE EVENING SPIDER. It combines true crime from the 1800s with a modern day ghost story. There are two young mothers living in the same house more than a century apart, a secret diary, a grizzly murder, and troubled ghosts trying to make contact. I loved the spooky Gothic atmosphere, and trying to figure out who was doing the haunting, and what became of the characters who originally lived in the house. I liked the ending. The author doesn’t come right out and say who the restless spirits are, but she gives enough clues to where I was satisfied. Makes you think. Great book! {Borrowed from the library.}

by Elizabeth Brundage

This book had a strong beginning, but unfortunately fizzled out quickly. It starts with a man coming home from work to find his wife murdered in their remote farmhouse, and their 3-year old daughter was the only witness. It then jumps back to tell the tragic tale of the family who owned the house prior, which made me think there would be a build up to something shocking – there were ghosts left behind, after all. No, after the initial reveal, the book had a hard time holding my attention. The pacing was slow, and there was a lot of talking about and describing characters. Unlikable characters for the most part. Definitely more of a character study than a thriller/ghost story like I was expecting. The ending was okay, but I was hoping for something a little more surprising. {Book of the Month Club pick.}

by Renée Knight

DISCLAIMER was one of my favorite books read last year, so I was excited to find this short story by the same author. At only 32 pages, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The story is told from the perspective of 9-year old Laura. Laura and her family return to a favorite holiday spot, only to find it’s not like she remembered. But, why? The author does a great job in building up suspense in a short amount of time, and the ending was not what I was expecting. A very good short story, well worth reading. {Kindle freebie!}

DISCLAIMER by Renée Knight

Publisher: Harper
Released: May 19, 2015
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★½

A brilliantly conceived, deeply unsettling psychological thriller – already an international sensation – about a woman haunted by secrets, the consuming desire for revenge, and the terrible price we pay when we try to hide the truth.

Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day…even if the shocking truth might destroy her.

DISCLAIMER was so good, probably my favorite book I’ve read this year. It’s the best kind of psychological thriller – dark and suspenseful, gut-wrenching, emotional, and surprising. Wouldn’t you be terrified to find a book written about you, especially if you had a terrible secret to keep? Past what the blurb says, I don’t think you should know anything about the plot before reading this book, so my lips are sealed.

The author created a cast of complex and flawed characters, and it was easy to experience the whirlwind of emotions that they did. It was hard to decide who to be angry with, and who to sympathize with. As pieces of the puzzle were revealed, I kept changing my mind over how I felt about certain characters, and then the big twist was revealed, and I was stunned. Everything changed again.

DISCLAIMER is a well-crafted, suspenseful mystery, and despite its dark theme, I was left with a glimmer of hope. Fantastic debut novel. Okay, so when does Renée Knight’s next book come out?!?