Sunday, March 12, 2017

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My second book by Ms. Di Maio, and it was better than her first, in my opinion. She expertly weaves two stories and two time periods. The 1940's story of Della Lee in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula Lee and the present day story of journalist Mick Anders and Dr. Paloma Vega who are brought together in the little border town of Puerto Pesar, (Port of Regret) where Della and Eula were brought up and where tragedy seemed to guide their lives. While this book might be considered romance, I really love the lighthearted way in which the author treats romance. It takes a back seat to the story of the the heartbreak of Della's life and the connections that Mick uncovers between Paloma, her grandmother, and Della Lee who is released from prison to return to Puerto Pesar after 70 years in prison. The story shows how the two stories mirror each other and you will find yourself wanting to know more about these connections across the decades. Thank you Camille for the lovely shout out in your acknowledgments. It was so unexpected and a thrill as a fairly new blogger. Thank you Ann-Marie Nieves of Got Red PR for the ARC hard copy of this book for my shelf. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Isn't this the most beautiful cover?

Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinsborough, was a bit of a disappointment for me, but here's my review:

I was thinking this was going to be 2017's Behind Closed Doors and while there was much I liked about this thriller, the paranormal twist with the dreams just lost me. Louise is a single mum in London and her life seems to be going nowhere. She meets a guy in a bar, they hit it off, share a kiss and she thinks that's the end of that. When she arrives to work at the psychiatrist's office she finds out the guy she kissed in the bar? That's her new boss! Things get more odd when Adele, the wife of David (the doctor Louise works for) befriends Louise. Louise begins to carry on a sort of double life. This tale is twisty and psychotic that just when you think you've figured things out, you'll be knocked sideways with yet another revelation. As I said, I liked the story, but could do without the supernatural dream stuff. Thank you to Flatiron Books for the Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Lay Death at Her Door, by Elizabeth Buhmann, was another mixed bag for me. Here's my review:

Kate Cranbrook is a liar. She tells us that almost at the beginning of her sordid tale. This was another rather twisted psych thriller that I wanted to like, but a few things just seemed too far fetched to me. Kate was attacked and raped back in college and her boyfriend was murdered. She sent her attacker to jail, but it turns out Kate sent an innocent man to prison, AND she knew that he was innocent! Now, many years later, the man is getting out of jail when DNA evidence comes to light. Kate is put on the spot, having to come up with a tale that maybe she couldn't see her attacker. There's much more to Kate's story and that of her father, Pop, and it may or may not be tied to their early life in Kenya. It just seemed than we can imagine and that's where things started to unravel for me. I don't mind disliking the main character, but things need to be plausible.  

The Girl In the Ice by Robert Bryndza, my review:

I am huge fan of British mysteries and police procedurals. I am always drawn to a messed up, wounded protagonist (think Harry Hole in Nesbo's series), sort of the under dog type and Det. Erika Foster falls into that category. She's just come back to the force after months on medical and psych leave due a botched investigation where her husband and several other cops ended up dead, and it might be in part to her screw up. The author has gotten a great cast of characters on board for the  subsequent books in this series. A young girl is found dead under the ice of a pond at city garden. Her father is a member of parliament, but as Erika's investigation continues it seems there may be connections for human trafficking and the Russian mob. Of course Erika doesn't want to make a wrong move or accusation and so she must work even harder to find out what the connection is before another girl turns up dead. I cannot wait to read #2.  

We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter, my review:

Amazingly this work of historical fiction is based on the author's own family. I read a lot of WWII and Holocaust based stories and this will definitely be in my top 15. I was completely tied up in the lives of the Kurc family. The story begins around the Seder table in Poland 1939 with war on the horizon. We follow three generations of this Jewish family that are torn apart and end up on different sides of the globe. One couple ends up in Siberia at a work camp, another couple works in the Polish Underground, a daughter passes herself off as Aryan with fake papers later hiding her parents (they manage to escape the ghetto) at the farm of a Polish couple who are Christian, one son makes it to Palestine working as a doctor, and another son makes his way all the way from warn torn France to Brazil via ship. They all manage to survive and come together in the end. An important and poignant tale of the darkness of human spirit and the triumph of survival.

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