Review: I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark

I’ve Got You Under My Skin
by Mary Higgins Clark

I've Got You Under My Skin

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 371

Read: Nov. 4 –9, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Source: Grandmother

 
Blurb: Five years after watching his father brutally gunned down, eight-year-old Timmy Moran is still haunted by a killer’s piercing blue eyes. His mother, Laurie, is troubled by the man’s threat as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn…”

As the producer of a true-crime television show, Laurie is no stranger to murder. Her new series will feature the twenty-year-old unsolved case of a socialite who was found suffocated in bed following a graduation gala for her daughter. The sensational murder made news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting with the cooperation of the fatal night’s surviving guests, Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands. But when filming begins, it becomes clear her subjects are hiding secrets … small and large.

And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too…


Review: Mary Higgins Clark is the epitome of murder mysteries. Her books are always so good! Entertaining, suspenseful, clean …. just good fun! This particular book was no different.

I went back and forth between all of the subjects throughout the entire book before the killer was finally revealed in the last few pages. The killer wasn’t even someone I had even given a second thought to! I thought I had it all figured out …. but nope! I wasn’t even close! That to me is what makes a perfect murder mystery. I shouldn’t be able to peg the killer early on in the book. Even though looking back on it, this person should have been more suspect to me … they weren’t. Wasn’t even really on my radar!

Apparently this is the beginning of a series, one featuring Laurie Moran continuing to find and produce her television show showcasing old unsolved cases. I didn’t realize that going into this one, but I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of Laurie’s story in the future!

So another backlist book that I definitely highly recommend! If you love a great murder mystery this one is definitely for you! Just Mary Higgins Clark at her finest!

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September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile 😦 September saw a HUGE reading slump…. I went from reading anywhere from 6-9 books to a whopping 3 in September…. October wasn’t that much better….. Here’s to hoping November is better 🙂

So I’ll do a quick mini-review round up of my September and October reads. It’s so impressive, I tell ya …. ::eyeroll::

Sate of the Onion
Title: State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
Read: Sept. 3-6, 2017
Pages: 325
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the first in the White House Chef Mystery series …. it was a fun read that I enjoyed! It was cute, but not cutesie …. if that makes sense? I definitely am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Where They Found Her
Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Read: Sept. 10-19, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Purchased New
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: So this one I found in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. I had my eye on it when it first came out because I had read and LOVED her previous book, Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I had high hopes for this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me right off the bat and I struggled to really get into it. And when it was all revealed in the end, it wasn’t as surprising as I had hoped for. So good, but not great.
Obstruction of Justice
Title: Obstruction of Justice
Author: Perri O’Shaughnessy
Read: Sept. 20-29, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Nina Reilly series. I have read and enjoyed the previous two so I was looking forward to this one! I enjoyed it and it definitely left me wanting to read the fourth book … if only they weren’t so long, I often find myself too intimidated by longer books these days….
Her Last Breath
Title: Her Last Breath
Author: Linda Castillo
Read: Oct. 2-5, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 5th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I read and LOVED the first 4 in 2016 and had tried to pick this one up shortly after I read the 5th, but realized that I was a little burned out on the series. In fact, I can recall feeling like the books were all too similar to each other. So I set it aside and decided I’d come back to it later. Apparently a year later I decided it was time …. I’m glad I waited because I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no trouble jumping right back into Kate’s life and I can’t wait to see where her and Tomasetti go in the future. I definitely recommend this series!
Pop Goes the Weasel
Title: Pop Goes the Weasel 
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Read: Oct. 8-13, 2017
Pages: 390
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Eeny Meeny,  back in January of this year and I absolutely adored it! So I had high hopes for this one, but I wanted to let it sit for awhile (series burnout is real!) … and while I did enjoy this one, it definitely didn’t grab me as fast as the first book did. It was gruesome and a roller coaster ride, but I felt like it was a letdown from the first book. Yet I still want to continue on with this series, so it wasn’t terrible either. A solid thriller.
Beautiful Storm
Title: Beautiful Storm 
Author: Barbara Freethy
Read: Oct. 6-25, 2017
Pages: 321
Source: B&N Serial Reads
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This book was October’s selection for Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads…. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, mainly because I don’t read a lot of romance. So I was a little unsure going into this one, but I was immediately intrigued by the storyline – the missing person’s case. If only it had been a little more on the intrigue and less on the romance (which really, wasn’t overbearing honestly…) it would have been a lot more interesting to me. So not something I would ever pick up on my own, but definitely a decent freebie read.
Winter Prey
Title: Winter Prey
Author: John Sandford
Read: Oct. 21-27, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I remember very clearly thoroughly loving the previous book in this series, Silent Prey, so I was looking forward to getting to this 5th book in the Lucas Davenport series. Why did I wait so long between books?!? I really enjoyed this book. It was so creepy and suspenseful. I know I’m only on the 5th book in the series, but other than #2 they’ve all been home runs for me! Definitely makes me look forward to continuing on sooner rather than later!

Mini Reviews … again!

I just keep getting more behind than ever in my reviews. One thing I’ve noticed is that when I had a really strong reaction to a book, I wrote out a full review…. these books, while (mostly) all pretty good, didn’t leave me with very much to say. So maybe I’ll just make this more of a habit – when a book really leaves me with something to say about it, I’ll do a full review. Otherwise, you’ll probably be seeing more of these mini-reviews 🙂 Anyhoo, on to the books!

Men in Blue
Title: Men in Blue
Author: W.E.B Griffin
Read: Aug. 4-9, 2017
Pages: 352
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts: This one was …. weird. I went into it thinking it was going to be a detective type story, but it’s not even close. The reader is presented with a murder within the first chapter but then it never followed the detective work to solving the crime. It was more a background history of the police department itself. This one just wasn’t what I was looking for.

Cross My Heart
Title: Cross My Heart
Author: James Patterson
Read: Aug. 7-10, 2017
Pages: 432
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I’m a sucker for a James Patterson novel. He’s usually something I pick up when I need a good, mindless read that I can knock out in a couple of days. This one fit the bill, but it also ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger. I hate those – bleed more money out of us, why don’t you? Just a pet peeve – finish the book in the book, don’t stretch it to a second book. Especially when it’s a part of a series anyway! Ugh.

Mistletoe Murder
Title: Mistletoe Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Read: Aug. 13-17, 2017
Pages: 240
Source: Purchased used
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This one was an impulse purchase at my favorite used book store. I read it in August because I needed it to fulfill a challenge callout in one of my Goodreads groups. And it was a cute book! It is billed as a cozy, but it’s not as “clean” of a cozy as I was expecting – which was a nice sigh of relief for me. I enjoyed it enough to go ahead and order the next two in the series from Paperbackswap!

Dirty Work

Title: Dirty Work
Author: Stuart Woods
Read: Aug. 19-22, 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Library book sale
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: These are no literary feats, but I enjoy a good Stone Barrington novel anyway! This one is the 9th in the series and a good fun read. I’m definitely looking forward to many more Stone Barrington adventures (and I’ve still got a lot ahead of me 🙂 )

Officer Down
Title: Officer Down
Author: Theresa Schwegel
Read: Aug. 23-27 , 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased used
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts: I’m still flabbergasted that this won an Edgar Award. I mean overall the book is not bad. But I just didn’t find it believable. My brother-in-law is a police officer and I didn’t find the main character, Sam, to be a very good representation of a police officer. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, but it fell below the mark for me.

Mortal Stakes
Title: Mortal Stakes
Author: Robert B. Parker
Read: Aug. 28-31, 2017
Pages: 328
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: Spenser is growing on me. I didn’t like him in the first book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the second book. This is the third installment and I once again enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading more of Spenser (and again, I have lots more of this series ahead of me!)

 

Review: The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

The Perfect Girl
by Gilly Macmillan

The Perfect Girl

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 464

Read: Aug. 1 –26, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads

 


Blurb
: Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same.

Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead. In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe’s former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.

Unfolding over a span of twenty-four hours through three compelling narratives, The Perfect Girl is gripping, surprising, and emotionally complex—a richly layered look at loyalty, second chances, and the way secrets unravel us all.


Review: I was excited to see this as August’s selection on Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads (especially after not being at all interested in July’s selection…). I had never read anything by Ms. Macmillan, but I do have What She Knew on my shelf. So I was eager to jump right into this one!!

Overall, I enjoyed the book. But I did have some issues with it. First, there was all this build-up to the climax and then I was ultimately let down. I mean, you have all these people telling the story how they saw it and then you just end it with a brief mention of an arrest and sentence … and that’s it? It was a little disappointing to me and I felt like there could have been just a little more to the story.

There was also the entire side story with Sam’s character – what was the point of him being mentioned at all? Ok, I take that back…. as Zoe’s attorney for her “incident” he definitely did deserve a mention. But beyond that it felt totally unnecessary.

I keep going back and forth wondering if the fact that I read this book in spurts every day with it being part of Serial Reads hampered my opinion of this one. Maybe then the flow of it would have felt a little more natural? I’m not sure. I’m still pretty sure that when you spend 95% of the book with the entire lead-up to the who-dun-it then you’re going to have a little bit of a let down no matter what because 5% is not enough time to wrap it all up without feeling rushed.

I never really felt entirely vested in any of the characters. Zoe was very off-putting to me. Chris was a slime-ball from the beginning. Tessa was irresponsible. Lucas was just kind of there. Richard was ridiculous. Sam was pointless. It was all one big cluster…. ha! I don’t know. I’m still scratching my head as to how I did enjoy this one so much. I did find it to be very readable. And I was very interested in knowing what happened to Zoe’s mom, Maria.

Either way, I did ultimately like this book and am definitely looking forward to reading more from Ms. Macmillan.

Mini Reviews

So somewhere along the line I’ve managed to get really behind on my reviews. I’m just going to do a quick round-up of these instead of full reviews.

The Night SeasonTitle: The Night Season
Author: Chelsea Cain
Read: July 7-11, 2017
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I had tried to read this one years ago, after I read the first 3 in the series. I remember putting it aside, not being able to get into it. I thought it was because I knew Gretchen wasn’t going to have any part in this book. But when I picked this one back up this time around, I flew through it. It was really good!

One False MoveTitle: One False Move
Author: Harlan Coben
Read: July 17-20, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I don’t know why I don’t read more Myron Bolitar. I always enjoy these books. And this one was no exception. I enjoyed navigating all the family secrets in this one with Myron. And that ending – it was not at all what I had expected! It definitely made me look forward to reading more Myron sooner rather than later!

Vengeance in DeathTitle: Vengeance in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read: July 21-26, 2017
Pages: 357
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: The last book in this series, Ceremony in Death, left me feeling a little bit flat. So I was a bit hesitant to pick up this one, but I’m sure glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I loved seeing more about Roarke and Summerset. It definitely gave a new perspective on them individually, as well as on their friendship. This book left me excited for more of these books (and there’s only a gazillion more, ha!)

Breaking CreedTitle: Breaking Creed
Author: Alex Kava
Read: July 28-31, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series. So when she introduced Ryder Creed and his dogs in the last installment of the Maggie O’Dell series, I was really excited to see a spin-off. And I thoroughly enjoyed this one. But it felt more like an extension of Maggie (not complaining – I love her character) than it did a new series with a new character. Maybe that changes in the next book. I don’t care either way, I enjoyed it and look forward to more from Alex Kava!!

Review: Presidents’ Day by Seth Margolis

Presidents’ Day
by Seth Margolis

Presidents Day

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 356

Read: July 13 – 16, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: TLC Book Tours
Blurb: Julian Mellow has spent his life amassing a fortune out of low-risk / high-reward investments. Now, Mellow has an even greater ambition – and to make that man do his bidding, in business and beyond.

His motivations are mysterious to everyone – from the puppet candidate he’s running to his own wife – everyone except for one man who lost everything when he took the fall for Julian Mellow’s dirty financial dealings, and has been looking for a way to strike back ever since. He’s the only person standing between the American people and a rigged election, between democracy and a new American tyrant.

Marigolds spans the globe to weave together a brilliant story of politics at its most venal, where blackmail and murder are part of the political process, where anyone’s life is up for sale, and where one man could bring the whole kingdom toppling.


Review: I enjoy a good political thriller every now and then, so I was excited to see this one come through my email. I was immediately intrigued by the concept – a rich man wanting to essentially “buy” the presidency …. hmmm… 😉 Moving on….

I found this book to be extremely fast paced from the beginning, that’s a must with any political thriller in my opinion. I felt like the storyline was incredibly relevant. Let’s be honest, American politics have been the butt of all jokes since Trump announced his candidacy. So the whole idea that a very rich man could buy the presidency doesn’t seem so impossible after all….

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a really good, solid political thriller. It’s timely and enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and will be anxiously looking forward to future books by Mr. Margolis.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

Review: Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway

Lacy Eye
by Jessica Treadway

Lacy Eye.jpg

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 339

Read: July 4 – 6, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Book of the Month Club

 
Blurb: Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally “coming into her own.” When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband’s murderer in jail.

But as those memories resurface, Hanna faces the question of whether she knows her own daughter – and whether she ever did.


Review: If you have never read this book, stop reading this.  There will be a few spoilers in this review. 

Still with me? Good. So here’s the thing…. Hanna is an idiot! Plain and simple. Anyone with half a brain would realize within the first chapter that something was seriously wrong with Dawn. First of all, no 20-something woman will call her mother “Mommy” that’s just not normal in my opinion. Also, it was painfully obvious that something was “off” with Dawn from a very early age, teachers mentioned this multiple times … and yet, they never sought any help for her. I know it’s difficult to see your children in any light other than perfection, but at some point in time you have to get your head out of the sand and face reality that perfection does not exist and that there may be something needing attention. I was just flabbergasted at how Hanna’s character was portrayed throughout the entire book. As a mother it was really discouraging for me to read and I can only hope that I would not ignore any of those warning signs in my own children.

Moving on … overall I enjoyed the book. It gripped me from the very beginning and I found it hard to put down. I was pretty well convinced that I already knew the truth behind the attack rather early on, so there wasn’t any great big surprise. But it was still interesting to see the psychology behind all the characters and the decisions they made. It was well written, and I enjoyed reading it. I just had the little problem with the naiveté of Hanna’s character. If it hadn’t been for that, this would most definitely had been a 5 star book for me.

So yeah, I’d definitely recommend this book. You probably won’t have any huge surprises along the way while reading this book, but it was still a good solid read. I’m only upset that I waited so long to read this one!