Posts Tagged ‘Suspense’

Walking Heartbreak
Sunniva Dee
Publication date: December 17th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Don’t judge me.

I am not what you see.

I am the opposite.

—Nadia’s lipstick note on Bo’s mirror.

Indie-rocker Bo Lindgren is worshiped for his looks and musical genius. It’s been lonely at the top since his ex left. Bo will never take a girlfriend again though, because he doesn’t have the chops to love. He knows he’s poison, a heartbreak waiting to happen for anyone he allows too close—like his ex. Bo screws his way through the fangirls until he’s sick of it all. Until the dark gaze of Nadia Vidal appears in the door to his dressing room.

Saved from an arranged marriage by Jude, the love of her life, Nadia eloped and got married at nineteen. But now, two years later, life is wilted, dead, and not what anyone should have to endure.

Nadia, with her secret-keeper eyes and instant understanding of who Bo is, attracts and fascinates him without even trying. The ring gleaming on her finger should keep them apart, but morals can’t always resist destiny.

When brokenhearted meets heartbreaker, whose heart is really at stake?

Goodreads / Amazon

WH Obsession is music

EXCERPT:

BO

Her moods flow in gentle waves. The coffee of her irises swims with sadness then lifts into whiskey gold with the twang of my guitar. Left to ourselves in the back lounge, our silence is sinuous, laced with stories from my hometown, Skala, and Nadia’s anecdotes from growing up in a cult. But when we’re quiet, my fingers itch and find my guitar. Toy with strings and enunciate emotions she tries to conceal.

Sometimes, my riffs turn to ballads while lyrics splash out in patches of color in my head. Sometimes, when Nadia curves a hip to get comfortable, my gaze float to her waist and shifts to her chest. The game of my chords turns loaded, adding a steady, slow beat, the way I do to make her climb when we’re together.

Without words, she still hears my hunger. Watches my fingers work metal strings with a need that becomes X-rated. And she sits up. Joins her legs and lowers her chin to her knees, demure, secretive, hiding behind her hair in shyness and not understanding that she’s sexier than ever.

All these females. So many women and vixens with a past, a present, and a future—a full life I never wanted to be a part of. But now, I crave to bury deep under the skin of a single girl who is not single.

It’s been a while since I spoke last, so my voice rasps deep when I say, “You kill me.”

“I don’t want to kill you. Do you know the person you are? How talented you are? You deserve so much, Bo, you don’t even know, and the last thing you need is dead weight like me.”

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Author Bio:

Sunniva was born in Norway, the Land of The Midnight Sun, but spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece—Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in California, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah. Sunniva has a Master’s degree in Spanish, which she taught until she settled in as an adviser at an art college in the South.

Sunniva writes New Adult fiction with soul. Sometimes it’s with a paranormal twist, like in Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love. At other times, it’s contemporary, as in Pandora Wild Child, Leon’s Way, Adrenaline Crush, and now Walking Heartbreak.

Sunniva is the happiest when her characters take over, let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep you on your toes until the end of each story.

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26252833Goodreads.com Description: “Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished.

Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.

Can love survive in a world without music?”

About the Author

a1hm3tlmn-l-_ux250_James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.

Find James online at…

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

My Review

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

James Morris’ Melophobia was an excellent, well-written suspense story.

The setting for this speculative tale is our world, Los Angeles, with an alternate history. Morris’ Los Angeles is clean and devoid of real music. The colorful Venice boardwalk doesn’t exist. There are no footprints or handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese theater. Muzak rules the day.

Morris painted a world that seemed perfect on the surface. In reality, it was a world which lacked rhythm and spirit. What an intriguing tale.

There were great quotes throughout Melophobia about music. One of the best ones was “… music’s considered a doorway to sin. Excitement’s a disease. A calm society is a productive society. A safe society. And a damned boring one.” It really sums up the type of world the characters lived in.

Outside of an excellent plot, Morris created complex characters. My favorites were Rowan, a creator of Muzak, and Merrin, part of the morality police force. Rowan was strong and creative, a person feared by society. He had his beliefs and would not waver from them regardless of what it might cost. Merrin was determined, but needed to find her strength. I love how she discovered the truth while questioning years of rhetoric she’d been fed.

Melophobia is a book about hope, possibilities, and what happens when people take something innocuous and make it evil. I highly recommend this novel, and I look forward to reading more by Morris.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

Have a great weekend!

Keep reading. Keep following.

 Goodreads.com Description: “Sophia Turner has the life people dream about. An amazing career, great friends, and two adorable godsons. She’s turned her life in the direction that she’s felt it was always meant to go, away from the life she once led. Everything was perfect in her eyes.
Until one night changed it all.
Jeremiah Stewart has lived life on the edge since tragedy struck him at a young age. He pushes the odds every time he goes into a burning building for reasons he won’t divulge. He was perfectly content remaining a recluse.
Until she changed it all.
Jeremiah and Sophia made a vow to only ever be friends. A vow that was broken in the blink of an eye. An arrangement was the resolution, but for how long, neither wanted to know.
Will Jeremiah and Sophia be able to stick to only an arrangement? Or will one of them want more, causing their friendship to go up in a blazing inferno and allowing them to both continue living Beautifully Masked.”

About the Author
A.M. Guilliams was raised in a small town located in Southern Virginia and even though she moved to the city in her early twenties, she’s still a country girl at heart. She loves being in the outdoors, traveling to new places and spending time with her family. As a teenager A.M. Guilliams played around with writing, but it wasn’t until 2013 that she decided to put her criminal justice degree to work and publish her first Romantic Suspense Novel Beautifully Tainted. If you can’t find her in the writing cave, she’s probably enjoying her time with her the man of her dreams for the last thirteen years, two daughters, and son; or throwing the ball around in the river for the family German Shepherd, and Chocolate Lab. Oh, let’s not forget her ferret.

Find A.M. Guilliams Online:

Website: https://amguilliams.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/NMuoQF

Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/oj2AmR

Facebook Author Page: http://goo.gl/DGcLLU

My Review

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

For Mature Readers: 18+

Beautifully Masked was a beautiful romantic suspense story about secrets and the damage they can cause.

The story line was intriguing and the characters well-developed. Jeremiah, my new book boyfriend, was the total package—good looks, great manners, and a smooth way with a special woman. He was unrelenting in his pursuit which I loved.

I admired Sophia. She had great strength and was intelligent. I loved the fact she wanted to protect those around her from her less than admirable history. Unfortunately, our past has a way of catching up with us when we least expect it.

This was the second story I’ve read where family members masqueraded as villains. I loved Guilliams quote about family:

“Blood didn’t make someone family. A life worth living is a life worth fighting for. Everyone was brought into your life for a reason.”

I enjoyed Sophia and Jeremiah’s story. Ms. Guilliams, if you’re reading, please write more. I need to know where their story goes!

Rating

5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)


This is the third book in the Beautifully series. The other two books are about Matt and Emily, secondary characters in this installment.

Goodreads.com Description: “Does running from the past help? Does becoming someone else even for a little while make the pain go away? Join Emily and Matt in their journey to find themselves and possibly each other.

Needing to get away from everything and everyone Emily Jackson decides to let fate decide where she should go. Spinning the globe and landing her finger, fate decided that Maine was where she would end up.

Two years later, Emily has become the new her. She keeps everyone at a distance for her own personal reasons. No one knows the real her. No one knows the pain she holds inside. She’s created a mask and walls that were necessary for her survival. It’s all a front though. She just can’t confront those demons. It’s too hard. She has made a vow to herself to never let another living being in. The pain isn’t worth the connection and bonds that would be formed. Until the new detective arrives.

Matt Anderson needs a change. The tragic events of that day haunt him constantly and he can’t take it anymore. He decides running away is the only way to get away from the constant reminders that consume him. He decides the further away the better and spins the globe. Maine it is then. A new place, new faces, and a new job are exactly what he needs right now.
The moment their eyes meet, both Emily and Matt feel the instant connection, but they both decide that they need to ignore it to protect their sanity and hearts. They avoid each other at all costs. But Fate has other plans. Fate brings them together on a night that could’ve had a bad ending.

Can Emily and Matt let go just a little to see where things could lead as more than friends? Can they let go of their demons long enough to realize that what they need most could be each other? Or will they continue to live beautifully tainted?”

Goodreads.com Description: “What would you do when your past collides with your present?
Matt and Emily’s future depends on the connections with their pasts. Questions need to be answered. Conflicts need to be resolved.
They face tough decisions ahead and the relationship they long to have will depend on if they can handle each other’s pasts coming to light.
A blast from the past wants what was thought to be gone forever.
Secrets will be revealed.
Lives will be lost.
Can they overcome everything that’s thrown their way? Will they finally be able to live beautifully together?
Join Matt and Emily in their quest to find themselves and each other.”

Goodreads.com Description: “From the witch trials of centuries past, an evil awakens.

Inspired by Actual Events
Excerpt from the Journal of Clayton Stone – 1692
She was examined today without torture at Shadow Cove township on the charge of witchcraft. She said she was wholly innocent of the crime and has never in life renounced God. I watched as they brought her out. A poor, sickly thing, worn by her time behind the walls of her prison. Her bared feet and hands bound in leather, her clothing tattered to that of ruin. Despite such condition, her head was held high, her eyes meeting those of her accusers. She still refuses to provide her name so we remain unable to search baptismal records, nor has her family stepped forward to claim her as their own. We have no reason to believe she is anything but an orphaned child. I find myself unable to look at her directly in the moments preceding her trial. She is watching me though; with eyes of the deepest blue, she is watching me.

Thad McAlister, Rise of the Witch

When horror author Thad McAlister began his latest novel, a tale rooted in the witch trials of centuries past, the words flowed effortlessly. The story poured forth, filling page after page with the most frightening character ever to crawl from his imagination. It was his greatest work, one that would guarantee him a position among the legends of the craft.

But was it really fiction?

He inadvertently opened a door, one that would soon jeopardize the lives of his family.

She wants to come back.

At home, his wife struggles to keep their family alive. Secretly wondering if she caused it all…a deal she made long ago. A deal with the Forsaken.”

About the Author

As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.

I would never go down to the basement.

Never.

I had seen enough movies to know better, I had read enough stories to know what happens to little boys who wandered off into dark, dismal places alone. And there were stories, so many stories.

Reading was my sanctuary, a place where I could disappear for hours at a time, lost in the pages of a good book. It didn’t take long before I felt the urge to create my own.

I first began to write as a child, spinning tales of ghosts and gremlins, mystical places and people. For most of us, that’s where it begins—as children we have such wonderful imaginations, some of us have simply found it hard to grow up. I’ve spent countless hours trying to explain to friends and family why I enjoy it, why I would rather lock myself in a quiet little room and put pen to paper for hours at a time than throw around a baseball or simply watch television. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to do just that, sometimes I wish for it, but even then the need to write is always there in the back of my mind, the characters are impatiently tapping their feet, waiting their turn, wanting to be heard. I wake in the middle of the night and reach for the pad beside my bed, sometimes scrawling page after page of their words, their lives. Then they’re quiet, if only for a little while. To stop would mean madness, or even worse—the calm, numbing sanity I see in others as they slip through the day without purpose. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t understand. Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to people you’ve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and that’s when you know it’s good.
jd

Jonathan Dylan Barker holds a B.A. in English from Beaumont University and currently lives in Shadow Cove, Massachusetts where he is hard at work on his latest novel.

Find J.D. online:

Website: http://jdbarker.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therealjdbarker?_rdr=p

Twitter: @J_D_Barker

My Review

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For Mature Readers: 18+

If you read J.D.’s bio and got the chills, wait until you read this book!

Forsaken was the creepiest, freakiest story I’ve read in a LONG time. Seriously, the book gave me chills. That sensation didn’t leave when I clicked off my e-reader. The image on the last page gave me one of those shocking scares that lingers for a while.

Barker’s story was actually the second book I’ve read this year by a male author with similar qualities: 1) the main character is a man who is also an author, 2) the character had a wife with two children of the same sex (in this book, the second child had yet to be born), and 3) the setting is a small town. This book, however, was off the scale creepy.

Forsaken was a page turner focused on a witch trial in 1692. The author wrote her story and now strange, inexplicable things are happening to him and his family. Sorry, I can’t give you more than that without spoiling the story. And, this book deserves to be read without spoilage.

Personally, this is one of those stories that would make a good scary movie. There are witches, rituals, minions (not the nice ones), and a lot of freaky crap happening. Barker writes with such vivid details making the characters and scenery leap off the page.

The story, itself, was very unique and well-crafted. I’ve read my share of witch stories and I’ve even read about a few witch trials (I was actually fascinated by them in junior high). Never had I read anything where nightmares of the main characters came true. It was a story within a story.

And, the characters were so well-developed. Barker’s writing delivered thoroughly fleshed out personas. I felt I understood their motivations, their fears, and even their hopes.

I’m a big fan of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”, and this story was a modern version on steroids! I highly suggest not reading this book before bedtime. I did and always had to pick up something else to clear my mind before turning off the lights.

I loved the creep out factor in Barker’s book and can’t wait to read more by him.

Rating

5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

Goodreads.com Description: “The truth could cost her everything. Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand. Or is it? When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss. If only Ava could believe her own excuses. Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys. Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.”

About the Author

Laura McNeill has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. Center of Gravity is her first novel with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson.

This book is on my TBR and I will be posting a review! For now, I can tell you this is McNeill’s debut book. It has been well-received and I look forward to reading it. If you’re looking for an adult suspense story, pick this up!

Goodreads.com Description: “Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house. Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets—and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise—arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game…or if the game is playing him. Something’s rotten in Mortom. And this dead man’s game might not be all that Andy is doomed to lose.”

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

Just how far would you go to unearth clues in a scavenger hunt? That’s the prevailing question in Erik Therme’s Mortom. I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel. It was well-written with clearly developed characters.

The plot was intriguing and had me captivated from page one. Therme’s book revolved around three main living characters and one deceased. Even the dead character was interesting. All of the characters were well-defined and is easily understood. Andy was the obsessive-compulsive type who wouldn’t let anything stop him. Kate, his sister, was a peacemaker. She didn’t want to upset anyone and took it upon herself to constantly make amends. Craig, the deceased, was a misunderstood wannabe master mind. He had a very large chip on his shoulder, and there wasn’t anything anyone could do to remove it. Mary, the crotchety aunt, hoarded objects and secrets. I loved these characters and their personalities.

Therme provided surprise throughout the story right up to the end. I got a little worried when Andy discovered the rat. I was wondering if the rat was a symptom of a bigger issue (maybe a house of dead bodies). I’m glad my concern was for nothing. I enjoyed deciphering the clues right along with Andy.

Mortom did not have a cliffhanger ending, and there wasn’t an obvious hint of a sequel. I was left wondering what was next for Andy. He didn’t seem the type to just let the story end the way it did. But, for everyone else in the book, the story ran a successful course.

Good job Erik Therme! I highly recommend this debut novel to anyone who likes to read suspense. I look forward to reading more from him.

Goodreads.com Description: “Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever (if that’s possible) and what’s worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora’s archenemy, Marcie Millar. Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn’t been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something. If that weren’t enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.”

My Thoughts:

Everything isn’t as it seems in Coldwater. That cute boy isn’t a boy at all. He’s a fallen angel turned guardian angel. And, the boy you knew as a little kid isn’t human. He’s Nephili. And, little Nora Grey’s life is a lot more complicated.

Becca Fitzpatrick’s Crescendo is a page turner. We’re still learning about the Book of Enoch and the Nephilium. In this installment, we learn that there is a pending conflict between the fallen angels and the Nephilium. And, there is also a conflict between Nora and Patch.

Hope would have summed up Book One in this series. Misery is the one word summation for CrescendoCircumstances leave Nora and Patch miserable. A new character, Scott Parnell, is a tortured individual. You start out not liking him only to feel pity for him by the end of the story.

A crescendo is a steady increase in force or intensity. The crescendo in this installment is a shocker involving Marcie Millar, Nora’s enemy, and her dad.

Fitzpatrick adds suspense to the story of Nora and Patch. If you’re looking for a happily ever after, you’ll have to keep reading. Those types of endings are seldom found in the dark.

Goodreads.com Description: “A SACRED OATH A FALLEN ANGEL A FORBIDDEN LOVE Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.”

My Thoughts:

What if Pinocchio had been an angel who wanted to be a real boy? And, what if becoming that real boy required him to become a fallen angel? Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush explores that idea.

Hush, Hush was an interesting tale about a fallen angel nicknamed Patch on a quest to becoming human. If he had been human, Patch was the ultimate bad boy. He was tall, dark and very mysterious. The protagonist, Nora Grey, was his naive love interest. Nora didn’t believe anything without getting proof first.

Fitzpatrick intertwined numerous religious references in this story. The first reference is the Book of Enoch. In Hush, Hush the book is considered a myth amongst angels. But, Patch insists that it’s real. Well, The Book of Enoch is considered to be an apocryphal book. It makes obvious references to Christ. Some believe that the book was written by Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. For Fitzpatrick’s story, the Book of Enoch contains a ‘recipe’ for how an angel can become human. And, why would an angel want to be human? Because angels can’t feel things like pain or deep emotions.

The next reference Fitzpatrick mentions is the Nephilim. According to Wikipedia, “the Nephilim were offspring of the ‘sons of God’ and the ‘daughters of men’ before the Deluge according to Genesis 6:4”. This reference is even more important in Patch’s quest. The Nephilim are mentioned in the book’s prologue and even one of the character’s, who appears later in the book (Joseph). The Nephilim are part of that make-yourself-human recipe.

Finally, Fitzpatrick makes mention of Cheshvan, also known as Marcheshvan. This word translates as ‘the bitter month’. It is a month on the Hebrew calendar of darkness and decay with no significant days (according to aish.com). It’s an important month for fallen angels and their interaction with humans.

Hush, Hush is a different twist on the ‘girl meets hot guy’ plot. It gave a little food for thought along with entertainment. And, what will Nora and Patch do next? Keep reading. There’s another book in this series.

Goodreads.com Description: “Akin to Jennifer McMahon’s The Winter People and Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, House of Echoes is a debut thriller populated by achingly sympathetic characters, charged with psychological suspense, and rich with a small town’s strange history. A young New York City couple with a boy and a baby in tow, Ben and Caroline Tierney had it all…until Ben’s second novel missed the mark, Caroline lost her lucrative banking job, and something went wrong with 8-year-old Charlie. When Ben inherits land way upstate from his grandmother, the two of them began to believe in second chances. But upon arriving in Swannhaven, a town that seems to have been forgotten by time, they’re beset by strange sights and disconcerting developments…and they begin to realize they might have made their worst mistake yet. But what dark secret is buried in this odd place? And will Ben and Caroline figure it out soon enough to save their young family?”

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

House of Echoes, Brendan Duffy’s debut thriller, reminded me of the traditional suspense stories of Rod Serling. Anyone old enough to have watched “Night Gallery”?

Night Gallery This series featured interesting stories. Back in the seventies, they were considered scary, but without a serious rewrite and modern special effects they don’t cut it for today’s audience.  Unfortunately, Duffy’s story was lacking that element of modern day suspense.

I actually liked the plot and the characters. My favorite was Ben. He was a writer with a lot on his plate–a bipolar wife, a very quiet son who was a magnet for bad things happening to him, an infant son and a mansion to renovate. His character was strong throughout the book. Although he gave himself a mental beating towards the end, he really did put his family’s needs before his own. I didn’t know what to think of Caroline. Even without her condition, I think she would have been a ‘pill’ to live with. She was demanding and a bit of a princess. Her needs always came first. Then, you learn that her condition was exasperated by a cup of tea! Charlie was not a likable kid–too quiet and just plain weird. By the end of the book, I started to like him. He came clean with his dad. The poor kid was just too scared to speak up. Since he had no friends his age, he was willing to befriend anyone. The rest of the cast, the town residents, were throwbacks to the Stepford Wives. And just like those women, they all shared one thought and mission no matter how wrong it was.

The big drawback for me was lack of action. I was nearly sixty percent into the book before it started to really pick up. I kept reading because the story was good. Plus, it was a ‘thriller’ so it had to have a major climax. House of Echoes was reminiscent of the thrillers I read as a kid in junior high–I read above my age level starting in third grade. Those books were slow moving but you kept reading simply to find out how it would end.

I was surprised to find a moral at the end of the tale: A man doesn’t need everything. He only needs those things that he can’t live without. Want to find out what that means? Pick up a copy of House of Echoes. Just be prepared to take a while reading it. You’re not going to finish this traditional suspense story in a couple of days.  But, I think the ending alone gives the book merit.