Thursday, May 4, 2023

Remarkably Bright Creatures

Book: Remarkably Bright Creatures
Author: Shelly Van Pelt

After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.-Goodreads

Review: Based on the synopsis for this book, I was expecting a friendship and mystery of sorts between Tova and Marcellus, the octopus. I'd classify this more as fiction, with the main characters being Tova, a stoic woman who cleans the aquarium and mourns her missing son, and Cameron, a 30-year old whiny man-child who was abandoned by his mother as a child. Marcellus, the best written character in this story, was a side character-an absolutely amazing side character who deserves all the stars, I just wish there was more of him. 

Kudos to Ven Pelt on her first novel, it's well written and as mentioned above, Marcellus is the chef's kiss. I just could not stand Cameron and wanted to throat punch him every time I had to read a chapter from his perspective. I think his character could have worked if he was in his late teens and/or had had a traumatic childhood. 

Overall, enjoyed this and will read the next book by this author. 

Grade: 3/5 

Love On the Brain

Book: Love on the Brain
Author: Ali Hazelwood

Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project - a literal dream come true - Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school - archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas... devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?-Goodreads

Review: The positive? I like the STEM focus of this book, it's unusual to see a love story between a neuroscientist and engineer. Bee was very quirky and a unique heroine. I liked the relationship she had with her sister. The not so positive? Levi had no personality and I did not find their relationship believable. Also, and I realize this is nitpicking, but I live in Houston exactly where this book takes place and it's clear the author did zero research into the area. My husband used to work onsite and most of my friends and neighbors do as well. No one (NO ONE) refers to NASA as "the center." No one can get onsite without a badge or going through security. There is no graveyard close to JSC. You cannot see the Houston skyline from here. Bee's wardrobe was not dress code appropriate (these are all things that happen or are referenced in the book). Please, research an area if you are writing about it. 

Grade: 2/5 


Book: Creep
Series: Creep #1
Author: Jennifer Hillier

If he can’t have her . . .

Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behavior. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, riddled with guilt when they weren’t, she knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she’s finally engaged to a kind and loving investment banker who adores her, and she’s taking control of her life. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won’t let her walk away.

. . . no one else can.

Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex video that would surely get her fired and destroy her prestigious career. Plans to make her pay for rejecting him. And as she attempts to counter his every threatening move without her colleagues or her fiancé discovering her most intimate secrets, a shattering crime rocks Puget Sound State University: a female student, a star athlete, is found stabbed to death. Someone is raising the stakes of violence, sex, and blackmail . . . and before she knows it, Sheila is caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with the lover she couldn’t resist—who is now the monster who won’t let her go.-Goodreads

Review: This was a creepy novel with almost all unlikeable characters and I couldn't stop turning the pages. Professor Sheila Tao is a recovering sex addict who had an affair with her grad student. He does not take it well when she breaks things off. To top it off, Sheila is engaged to Morris, a recovering alcoholic (the only character I liked although he's written almost in caricature form) who knows nothing about her addiction. This definitely went in a direction I was not expecting. Really enjoyed it!

Grade: 4/5 

The Fix

Book: The Fix
Series: Amos Decker #3
Author: David Baldacci

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.

Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack.

Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.

But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent.-Goodreads

Review: I keep reading this series because I love the idea of the main character. This was a weird read in that I actually felt like Amos was written by a different author and very different from the other books but I really enjoyed the mystery here. 

Grade: 3/5 

Do Not Disturb

Book: Do Not Disturb
Author: Freida McFadden

Quinn Alexander has committed an unthinkable crime.

To avoid spending her life in prison, Quinn makes a run for it. She leaves behind her home, her job, and her family. She grabs her passport and heads for the northern border before the police can discover what she’s done.

But when an unexpected snowstorm forces her off the road, Quinn must take refuge at the broken-down, isolated Baxter Motel. The handsome and kindly owner, Nick Baxter, is only too happy to offer her a cheap room for the night.

Unfortunately, the Baxter Motel isn’t the quiet, safe haven it seemed to be. The motel has a dark and disturbing past. And in the dilapidated house across the way, the silhouette of Nick's ailing wife is always at the window. Always watching.

In the morning, Quinn must leave the motel. She'll pack up her belongings and get back on the road to freedom.

But first, she must survive the night.-Goodreads

Review: Quinn has killed her husband in self-defense and makes a run for it. She gets stuck in a bad snowstorm and ends up at the Baxter Hotel, where things aren't what they seem. This book was a fun ride. It definitely took a turn I wasn't expecting. It reminded me of 'Woman in the Window' in some respects but overall, enjoyed it!

Grade: 4/5 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Memory Man

Book: Memory Man
Series: Amos Decker #1
Author: David Baldacci

Amos Decker's life changed forever--twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect--he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare--his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.-Goodreads

Review: I read the second book in this series awhile back and finally got around to reading this one. Amos Decker is a fascinating main character but this book was incredibly repetitive (He can't forget anything..we must have been told this at least a hundred times). The actual mystery just demonstrated all of the cops and detectives Decker works with are incompetent and the motive for the killing of his family was completely unbelievable. 

Grade: 2/5 

These Hallow Vows

Book: These Hallow Vows
Series: These Hallow Vows #1
Author: Lexi Ryan

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.-Goodreads

Review: This book was such a fun read. It's been awhile since I read a YA urban fantasy book and this really hit the spot. Light, engaging and fun. Brie was a great heroine (snarky, interesting, complicated) and can't wait to read the next in the series. 

Grade: 5/5 

The Night Swim

Book: The Night Swim
Series: Rachel Krall #1
Author: Megan Goldin 

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.-Goodreads

Review: Another winner by Megan Goldin! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about Rachel Krall, a crime podcaster who is working a rape trial. Detailed, engaging and disturbing. I will say that this is marketed as a thriller and I definitely would not classify it as such. It's more of a slower paced mystery. 

Grade: 5/5

There Are No Saints

Book: There Are No Saints
Series: Sinners Duet #1
Author: Sophie Lark

I loathe Alastor Shaw.

The city of San Francisco thinks we’re rival artists.

In truth, we’re predators battling for hunting ground.

We never chased the same prey. Until the night we both laid eyes on Mara Eldritch.

Shaw wants to use her as a pawn in his twisted game.

I’m fixated on her for a different reason…

She makes me feel things I never thought I could feel. Want things I never wanted.

Only she can make me lose control.

I don’t know if I should protect her at all costs… or destroy her before she ruins me.

Mara knows I’m no saint. But she has no idea she’s dancing with the devil…-Goodreads

Review: A serial killer falls in love with a woman he almost kills. She, in a completely unbelievable twist, ends up falling in love with him. I can suspend disbelief at times but the plot of this just didn't work for me. I kept rolling my eyes reading it. I was interested enough to read a summary of the next book so I could see how it ends. 

Grade: 2/5

The Escape Room

Book: The Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?-Goodreads

Review: I absolutely loved this book. Narrated in two timelines, in present day we follow a group of colleagues who are locked in an elevator for an escape room 'teambuilding' exercise. Believe me when I say they are all horrible, horrible, people. In the past timeline, we follow one of their co-workers as she describes her rise and eventual fall in the world of corporate finance. 

This was completely entertaining and many of the topics discussed about corporate America (including prioritizing work above all else, misogyny, unequal pay for women, backstabbing co-workers) will resonate with anyone who has worked a corporate job. As someone who just left corporate America after 20+ years, I feel like I've met all these characters in real life (albeit not so evil LOL). I thought the pacing of the book was good and it was extremely entertaining. Some things definitely stretch the imagination at times but I still loved it. 

Grade: 5/5 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Inhuman Acts

Book: Inhuman Acts
Author: Brooke L. French

A deadly, incurable disease creeps silent through Chattanooga. And its victims aren't random.

When inexplicable human rabies cases appear in Tennessee, disease ecologist Letty Duquesne jumps at the chance to trace the virus back to its source. But the closer Letty gets to finding the outbreak's origin, the further someone will go to stop her.

With an unwanted promotion threatening to take Letty far from the fieldwork she loves, this outbreak feels like her last chance to make a difference. It's not something she can ignore, especially now. The spillover of zoonotic diseases to the human population is on the rise and violent animal attacks—like the one that killed her sister—are becoming all too common.

Something in nature has gone very wrong.

Local authorities would rather she go home, but Letty can track a source animal like no one else. With the help of disgraced detective Andrew Marsh, Letty follows the virus's epidemiological trail. But her every move is watched. And the source animal is closer than she thinks.-Goodreads

Review: Inhuman Acts is the first book published by Brooke L. French. I absolutely loved Spillover by David Quammen and one of my best friend's is an epidemiologist at the CDC (she works on ebola outbreaks), so I was excited to read a book about a disease ecologist trying to contain human rabies cases. This was well researched and absolutely fascinating. Letty is a smart, likeable main character and I could see this expanded into a series. 

Fabulous from start to finish!

Grade: 5/5 

Stay Awake

Book: Stay Awake
Author: Megan Goldin

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.-Goodreads

Review: One Goodreads friend rated this 5 stars and another 2 stars so I was excited to start this one and see what camp I was in. I'm happy to say that this Momento type book, about a woman who wakes up in a taxi covered in blood with no recollection of how she got there, worked for me. I enjoyed almost every page of it, even when Liv was making dumb decision after dumb decision. 

Grade:  4/5

The Investigator

Book: The Investigator
Series: Letty Davenport #1
Author: John Sanford

Letty Davenport, the brilliant and tenacious adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport, takes the investigative reins in the newest thriller from #1 bestselling author John Sandford.

“Sandford fans rejoice! Davenport next generation has arrived and Letty is exactly the kind of cool-eyed, smart-mouthed, lethally dangerous heroine we’ve been waiting for.” --Lisa Gardner, author of One Step Too Far

By age twenty-four, Letty Davenport has seen more action and uncovered more secrets than many law enforcement professionals. Now a recent Stanford grad with a master’s in economics, she’s restless and bored in a desk job for U.S. Senator Colles. Letty’s ready to quit, but her skills have impressed Colles, and he offers her a feet-on-the-ground investigative work, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.

Several oil companies in Texas have reported thefts of crude, Colles tells her. He isn’t so much concerned with the oil as he is with the who is selling the oil, and what are they doing with the profits? Rumor has it that a fairly ugly militia group might be involved. Colles wants to know if the money is going to them, and if so, what they’re planning. -Goodreads

Review: I read the Prey series many moons ago and was excited for this new series. Letty is essentially Lucas 2.0 and almost "too perfect" but I thought the investigation, while dragging at time, was pretty interesting. 

I look forward to see where this series takes her. 

Grade: 3/5 

There He kept Her

Book: There He Kept Her
Author: Joshua Moehling

They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong.

When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he's been keeping in his basement for more than two decades, and he'll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.

Personal tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff's deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home.-Goodreads

Review: In a small Minnesota town, two teenagers break into an old man's house to steal his prescription medication and things go wrong almost immediately. One of the missing teenagers is the niece of Ben Packard, a sheriff deputy who recently moved back to the small town. 

While marketed as a thriller, I would classify this as more of a police procedural (as we know exactly who the bad guy is from the first few pages). Packard was a strong lead with an interesting backstory and I liked how the investigation unfolded. I assume this will become a series at some point, I'll definitely read the next one. 

Grade: 4/5 

Little Fires Everywhere

Book: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town - and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost . . .-Goodreads

Review: This is a soapy saga about Mia, a free spirited artist and her teenage daughter, Pearl, who move to a master planned suburban community in Ohio. Ng is a talented writer who writes engaging stories and this was definitely a page turner, however I disliked almost every character in the book. That isn't always a bad thing but here, I felt Ng shoved Mia's "perfectness" down the readers throat repeatedly and I just had an undercurrent of annoyance reading this.  I get it, we, the readers, are supposed to love her. I was very turned off by her parenting style and the big reveal as to what she did as a college student did nothing to change that. Elena is also an unlikeable character who does despicable things. I don't like, I didn't hate this by any means but it was disappointing. 

Grade: 2.5/5 

Monday, May 1, 2023

People Like Her

Book: People Like Her
Author: Ellery Lloyd

Followed by Millions, Watched by One

To her adoring fans, Emmy Jackson, aka @the_mamabare, is the honest “Instamum” who always tells it like it is.

To her skeptical husband, a washed-up novelist who knows just how creative Emmy can be with the truth, she is a breadwinning powerhouse chillingly brilliant at monetizing the intimate details of their family life.

To one of Emmy’s dangerously obsessive followers, she’s the woman that has everything—but deserves none of it.

As Emmy’s marriage begins to crack under the strain of her growing success and her moral compass veers wildly off course, the more vulnerable she becomes to a very real danger circling ever closer to her family.

In this deeply addictive tale of psychological suspense, Ellery Lloyd raises important questions about technology, social media celebrity, and the way we live today. Probing the dark side of influencer culture and the perils of parenting online, People Like Her explores our desperate need to be seen and the lengths we’ll go to be liked by strangers. It asks what—and who—we sacrifice when make our private lives public, and ultimately lose control of who we let in. . . .-Goodreads

Review: Lloyd excels are writing unlikeable characters and this book was no exception. In this installment, she tackles lifestyle influencer Emmy 'mambare' Jackson. This was sharp, well crafted and really shows the "person" behind the curtain with these 'influencers.' Just like reality tv, most of these people have PR firms behind them to help craft their online personas. I finished this and immediately started to unfollow certain people on social media. 

Overall, I loved this (as well as the creative title, can be interpreted a few ways). However, if you are someone who needs to like the main character (or even a side character), there is no one like that in this one.  

Grade: 5/5 

The Club

Book: The Club
Author: Ellery Lloyd

Everyone's Dying to Join . . .

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members' clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group's CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that's before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.-Goodreads

Review: Rich celebrities, an exclusive club where anything goes and the workers who make it all happen. This was a quick, soapy, enjoyable read. I think this would translate very well to a mini-series or movie. 

Grade: 3/5 

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life ... as only a dog could tell it.-Goodreads

Review: I'm a sucker for all things dog related and this book was no exception. Even though I already saw the movie before reading this, I absolutely loved it. Fantastic from start to finish. Loved the narration from Enzo's point of view. 

Grade: 5/5 

The Younger Wife

Book: The Younger Wife
Author: Sally Hepworth

A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.

Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.

With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.

Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses in all of them?-Goodreads

Review: I enjoyed this book about an a*hole surgeon who plants to divorce his wife, who is suffering from dementia, to marry a younger woman. Throw in his concerned daughters who have issues of their own, and this reminded me of a slightly watered down Liana Moriarty book. Overall I liked this but was left wanting 'more' from the plot. 

Grade: 3/5 

All the Dangerous Things

Book: All the Dangerous Things
Author: Stacy Willingham

One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust... including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.-Goodreads

Review: I recently finished (and loved) 'Why We Sleep? Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams' so it was intriguing to read this book were the main character suffers from insomnia. Her memory lapses and behavior seemed well researched and realistic. 

This is a slower 'thriller' per say with two timelines, one from Isabelle's childhood and present day, where her son was abducted and she's struggling (to put it mildly). I equally liked both timelines and while I found the book mostly predictable (there was one element of the abduction I didn't see coming), I thought the story was well crafted. 

Grade: 4/5