The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Liar's Girl

 

Just when you thought college was hard enough, imagine your boyfriend admitting to being a serial killer who killed your best friend.

Welcome to Alison’s nightmare 10 years ago. She is trying to put the past behind her, but one day 2 policeman want to speak with her and tell her that her ex, Will, wants to talk to her and only her. Turns out that there are murders happening in Dublin in the exact same way that Will killed 4 young women 10 years ago. Alison goes to see Will and ends up on a journey that puts her life in danger and brings up horrible memories of the past.

The concept of The Liar’s Girl intrigued me so much. It’s hard to image dating someone who turns out to be the city’s worst serial killer. And he evens admits to it too! It has ruined Alison’s life and even 10 years later she can’t come close to trusting another man.

The book is told mostly by Alison, but also by an unnamed man who is super creepy and most likely the serial killer. I liked how the book went back in time too and developed the relationship between Alison and her best friend, Liz, as well as Alison and Will. I found myself enjoying the past timelines more because you knew how things were going to end, but didn’t know how it got there.

Present day Alison’s perspective was a bit boring and had her working with the detectives to try to find the serial killer. I found myself getting a bit bored with the present day and wanted them to focus more on the past. I liked Alison as a main character, but didn’t love every move she made. I loved the creepy guy! I really enjoy reading it from the killer’s perspective and how he targeted the woman. The author did a great job making him super creepy and a true villain.

Even though by the end, you have a feeling on who the mystery man, there was still some suspenseful parts and some parts that I didn’t see coming at all! I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a mystery that balances both the past and present very well and doesn’t mind knowing who the bad guy is around the mid point of the book.

Thank you to Netgallery and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.

4 calculators out of a potential 5! The book loses 1 calculator for dragging the present day piece and having Alison make questionable choices (eg. trying to be a detective).

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My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Tea and book

 

Oh no, unpopular opinion time. To be honest, I didn’t like My Cousin Rachel. It took me forever to read it and I found the writing style to be overly detailed (I like simple!). With over 25,000 ratings on Goodreads, with an average rating of 3.9, I’m clearly in the minority.

My Cousin Rachel was first published in 1951 by Daphne du Maurier. Daphne du Maurier is most famous for her best selling novel, Rebecca, which I highly recommend! Since I enjoyed Rebecca so much, I wanted to her more of her novels and My Cousin Rachel seemed to be her second most popular novel.

High level summary – Philip Ashley was raised by his cousin Ambrose. Ambrose goes off to the south one winter and ends up marrying their cousin Rachel. After about a year of marriage, Ambrose gets sick and later dies. Cousin Rachel ends up visiting Philip after Ambrose’s death and instead of hating Rachel, Philip falls for her. However, in the back of his mind is always did Rachel kill Ambrose?

I didn’t like Philip. I didn’t like Rachel. I found myself getting bored and just wanting to know who was responsible for Ambrose’s death. Was it Rachel? Is she now going to kill Philip? Is Philip to blame?

I’m glad I finished the book, but the ending still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I still recommend Rebecca, but unfortunately not My Cousin Rachel.

2 calculators out of a possible 5. Just not a fan, but the novel did have qualities that had me wanted to stick it out.

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us

I normally rate books when I’m reading it and the ratings tend to change after certain twists or if I’m not feeling the book. After reading, The Wife Between Us, I felt that it was a 4 calculator novel. Upon further reflection, I think it needs to be moved down to a 3 (remember, there is no such things as half of a functioning calculator).

I devoured The Wife Between Us. I curled up on the couch and just keep reading. It was super entertaining and I enjoyed how there were a few mid plot twists. However, it turns out some of the twists weren’t needed. It turned the book too unrealistic and it makes the authors seem like they just wanted the plot twists to have more plot twists. Sometimes this works, but most often it doesn’t. Plot twists aren’t the only thing that makes a book great. Sure they can turn a great book into a must read, but they aren’t the only things that matter.

The description of the book reminds the reader that this book isn’t about a jealous ex-wife. I had to keep reminding myself that, because it sure sounds like it. You have an ex-wife who is obsessed with her ex-husband and his young new girlfriend. After about 50% of the book, you start to see the pieces fall into place and the novel turns into something more.

It’s hard to say what makes the book good without spoiling. I really liked the mid-plot twist and it got me flipping pages even faster. I had to know what happens.

A negative for me was that the villain of the novel, didn’t feel too much like a villain. The reader only gets the one side of the story so it’s hard to know the truth. Was the villain really a villain or are we expected to see them as a villain because that is the only side of the truth we are seeing.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. I would still recommend this novel because I had fun reading it. It was a quick read that had twists that I didn’t see coming. Some of the twists ended up being unbelievable and the book lost some of it’s magic because of it. Read it and go in assuming nothing.

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