Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Take Place In Another Country

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books That Take Place In Another Country.

 

 

Rum & Razors – I loved this book because it was set in the beautiful island of St.Thomas!

The Nightingale – a tale of sisters set during World War II in France.

Little Black Lies – a creepy mystery in the Falkland Islands.

The Dry – beautiful imagery of the worst drought in a century in Kiewarra near Melbourne, Australia.

Hidden – a hospital shooting in Welsh.

Behind Closed Doors – not everything is as it seems with this perfect couple in Britain.

Local Girl Missing – a mystery set in Oldciffe, United Kingdom.

The Sister – one of my favourite debut novels that was set in Britain.

The Book Thief – about a young girl trying to escape death during World War II in Germany.

The Husband’s Secret – a domestic thriller that ties 3 women’s lives together in Australia.

What is your favourite book set in another country? Have you read a book based solely on it’s setting? 

Let’s be friends! Goodreads & Instagram

Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea

This past Sunday was the Around the Bay 30 km Road Race in Hamilton, Ontario. Kevin and I are both big runners (him more so than I) and he took on his 3rd Around the Bay. Around the Bay was founded in 1894 which makes it the oldest road race in North America, even older than the Boston marathon! In 2006, the finish line moved into the FirstOntario Centre (the home of the Hamilton Bulldogs). It’s a perfect race for spectators because you get to wait inside and I got to spend some time reading Summit Lake.

Summit Lake

The finish line of the 124th Around the Bay Road Race

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student and daughter of a powerful attorney, was brutally murdered there. Now the town is reeling with grief, and the police are baffled.

At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the efforts to keep it quiet, hint at something far more sinister than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life and her secrets the more convinced she becomes that walking in Becca’s footsteps could lead her out of her own dark past.

I got hooked very quickly. The writing is simple and easy to follow along. The book opens with Becca’s death and you know that she is hiding a secret. It then follows Becca starting at 1.5 years before her death. The book alternates chapters between Becca’s past and reporter, Kelsey Castle. Kelsey feels connected to the case and feels that Becca’s secret is the key to finding her murderer.

There are some problems that I had with the novel. First, Kelsey walks into the town of Summit Lake and gets all of the documentation regarding the case. I have no idea why the police chief and one of the local doctors would give away documents to a reporter that relates to a open active case.

Second problem was the killer. No spoilers here, but I wasn’t impressed with who the killer ended up being. There was a clever twist that I didn’t guess at all, but I didn’t feel that I was satisfied by the ending.

I did enjoy Becca’s story more than Kelsey’s. I kept wanting the author to stay with Becca’s history instead of having to keep switching back to Kelsey’s. Becca’s story took place during her time at college and law school and I enjoyed all the drama that she got into!

3 calculators out of a potential 5. It was so easy to get hooked and I just wanted to keep reading and find out what happened to Becca. I didn’t enjoy who the killer was and how easy it was for Kelsey to solve the murder.

red_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculator

Let’s be friends! Goodreads & Instagram

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie is my third novel by Clare Mackintosh and for me, lies right in the middle of her other novels.

To be honest, I don’t remember too much of I Let You Go (Mackintosh’s debut novel). I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, but I’m in minority (I’m always in the minority!) since the average rating is 4.08. It is about a 5 year old boy who was killed in a hit and run and Jenna’s life was changed forever because of it.

I loved I See You! What an ending! I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I was being lead one way and then BOOM sharp turn and then I was being carried in another direction! It is about, Zoe, who is your typical commuter. She takes the train and subway to and from work. She leaves at the same time, gets on a specific car and doesn’t notice the people around her. What if someone is watching her?

Let Me Lie reminds me of I See You since it has a killer ending. I stayed up way too late on Saturday night flipping pages until I reached the end.

Let Me Lie2

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

Let Me Lie follows 3 people. Anna lost her mother exactly one year ago to suicide and six months before that, had lost in her father in the exact same way. In the last year, she had a baby and is struggling to live day by day. Murray is a retired police detective who is volunteering with the police department. He sees Anna’s parents case and does a bit of digging. He sees that the detectives assigned to the case may of ruled the deaths as suicides a bit too quickly. There is also the thoughts of an unnamed person. You have no idea who they are and if they are dead or alive.

It took a bit to get into the novel. You learn about Anna and you aren’t sure what to think about her. Should you believe her or can she not accept her parents’ suicides? I really enjoyed the Murray storyline about him and his wife, Sarah. It was a nice parallel that didn’t take anything away from the main story.

Mackintosh knows how to write a killer ending! I was flipping pages so fast that I needed to know what happened. There is a bit of an open ending, but I think it worked for the novel. The reader gets enough closure but there is still a hint of mystery.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Not as good as I See You (4 calculators), but better than I Let You Go (2 calculators). I would recommend to mystery fans as the ending is thrilling and twisty!

red_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculator

Let’s be friends! Goodreads & Instagram

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Photobombed by Heidi!

Pretty Girls is one of my favourite mystery/thriller novels! It is so intense and very, very disturbing! It won’t be for everyone and those that don’t like graphic novels should stay away.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenage sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Even though it was my second time reading Pretty Girls and I knew what happened,  I enjoyed it more than the first time. I liked picking up on the little details at the very of the beginning especially when Claire’s husband was killed and after the funeral.

The graphic violence was really hard to stomach and it makes for a hard read. Again this book may not be for everyone.

Slaughter did a great job showing the emotions that a disappearance can take on a family, even after 20 years. Each member of the family went through a different experience and sadly it didn’t always make them stronger. The pain that you feel for the two sisters, as well as their father, is so deep that you want badly for them to get closure.

5 calculators out of 5!! So happy that I re-read Pretty Girls and I strongly recommend it to mystery/thriller fans!

red_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculator

“You couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing about the missing teenage girl. Sixteen years old. White. Middle class. Very pretty. No one ever seemed quite as outraged when an ugly woman went missing.”

Let’s be friends! Goodreads & Instagram

Throwback Thursday – The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

I decided to start my own Throwback Thursday by reviewing a book that I had read exactly a year ago (give or take a few days). I will post my review from a year ago and provide my thoughts from today and see if I feel differently about the book.

Since I’m new to the blogging world, this allows for some of my older reviews to get posted and I can recommend (or not recommend) the books I have previously read.

I’m so happy that the book that I finished reading on March 21, 2017 was The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner (this was not planned)! This is the first book in one of my favourite series and features one of the creepiest villain that I have ever read about!

The Perfect Husband

Goodreads Review from March 21, 2017:

Lately I have been reading a lot of books about abusive husbands and their now ex-wives trying to escape them. When I first read the description I thought “Oh man, here we go again. Another abusive husband”. But wow, this book was so much more and I was terrified of this ex-husband!

Tess married a very handsome, thoughtful man who she thought was the perfect husband. Of course, he wasn’t. He was a psychopath. He killed 10 women in brutal ways and Tess helped put him in jail. Of course, he never thought his wife would be the one to lock him up, so he wants revenge. Tess knows that he won’t stop until he has killed her, so she is getting ready for the fight of her life.

I’m surprised that this series is about Quincy & Rainie, since we never meet Rainie and Quincy is a minor character. This story is all about Tess, JT (a man Tess has hired to train her) and crazy psychopath ex-husband Jim. I liked Tess, I tolerated JT and was totally freaked out by Jim.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time just waiting to see what Jim would do next. I would of liked more details about how Tess figured out who Jim really was and how they took him down.

Just a note for those thinking about picking this one up, it’s really graphic. What Jim does to his victims is not for the faint of heart and there is also a lot of graphic sex scenes.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the series is like!

Update from March 22, 2018:

I was just talking about this book last Sunday to my family! My dad asked me for some book suggestions and I recommended The Perfect Husband. He then made a joke about how my mom could of wrote the book because he knows he is the perfect husband! My mom was silent on the subject and my husband, Kevin, commented that she may not feel that way in a few weeks since he has begun his retirement!

I feel that Lisa Gardner wrote this novel as a standalone and then later developed the FBI Profiler series featuring Quincy and Rainie. I love Qunicy and Rainie and can’t recommend the series enough. Each book is so unique starting with The Perfect Husband.

My rating (4 calculators) remains the same for The Perfect Husband. Gardner did an excellent job scaring the heck out of me with Jim Beckett as the worst ex-husband ever. I didn’t love how the focus was on Tess and JT and would of preferred to see Tess planning to take down her husband when she discovered he was a murderer (instead of through flashbacks).

red_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculatorred_calculator

What book did you read a year ago? Have your thoughts changed on the book?

Let’s be friends! Goodreads & Instagram