The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley #Review @GalleryBooks

beloveds

Betty Stash loves nothing and no one more than she loves Pipets, her childhood home. Every inch of House (as she calls it) is precious to her—perhaps a bit too precious, as we learn in the beginning of the book that she has been recently diagnosed as an objectophile. As the oldest daughter, she expected to be the one to inherit Pipets. After the death of her mother, Betty learned Pipits was to be inherited by younger sister Gloria. She is enraged, thinking it yet another example of “beloveds”—beautiful, lucky people—having things work out perfectly for them at the expense of someone else. Betty is determined to have Pipets for herself, however, and has no problem doing whatever it takes to make that happen.

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What I liked:

Betty’s obsession with the house was oddly captivating to read about. Her need to be on the grounds or in the house itself was pretty creepy sometimes, especially as you see how brazen she becomes about it.

This novel isn’t a true gothic, but it definitely puts off a gothic vibe at various points in the story, which I really enjoyed.

A portion of the story takes place in London, at Betty’s former residence. I don’t want to spoil what happens, so I’ll just say that the issues she has with her downstairs neighbors—a couple she considers to be another pair of “beloveds”—perfectly illustrate how increasingly unhinged she has become. When things come to a head, her extreme narcissism convinces her she did nothing wrong, and her neighbors were to blame for everything.

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What I didn’t like:

Gloria and her husband Henry—despite Betty’s increasingly bizarre behavior—never once seemed to suspect that she was up to no good. Henry clearly wanted Betty to leave many times, but it was always more indicative of his discomfort at having her around when he had (very briefly) dated her in the past, or simply wanting to be alone with his wife and baby.

Gloria was completely clueless about Betty’s bitter resentment of her, which felt like a bit of a stretch because she’s a psychodynamic psychotherapist. Shouldn’t she have noticed something was off about her sister?! And yet—despite some pretty big red flags that should have screamed Betty was involved in certain incidents—she never once suspected a thing.

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What disappointed me:

The ending felt premature. A highly significant thing happened; a twist I didn’t expect that literally made me gasp aloud. I hurried to go to the next page, excited to see what would happen now, only to realize I’d reached the end of the book.

Perhaps other who read it will feel that it was a natural end point. I can see how it works as an ending, but it didn’t work for me. I felt there were more than a few loose ends that prevented it from having a truly satisfying ending.

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Final thoughts:

Cool premise for a story, but the cluelessness of Henry and Gloria and the abrupt ending dampened the enjoyment I felt in reading other portions of the book. Still, I’m giving the book 3.5 stars because it kept me reading despite any dissatisfaction I felt at times.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Gallery Books via Netgalley.

 

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Author: Maureen Lindley

Title: The Beloveds

Genre: Thriller

Expected Publication: April 3rd, 2018 by Gallery Books

Rating: 3.5 stars

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About The Beloveds

An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.

Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.

Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.

Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.

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Nest by Terry Goodkind #Review @terrygoodkind @skyhorsepub

Nest cover

I’ve never read Goodkind before, but I sure picked a helluva book for my first. Just… WOW.

Imagine what your life would be like if you were able to know someone is a cold-blooded killer simply by looking into their eyes. What would such an ability do to your life as you know it? How would you manage to stay alive while being hunted by killers for the rest of your life? Would you let your life be taken from you, or would you fight to stay alive and save the lives of others by killing the killer you can so easily see? This is the life Kate Bishop suddenly finds herself living, and she knows she has to fight for survival, lest she meet the fate of others who had the same ability. With the help of Jack Raines, Kate begins to learn the skills she needs in order to survive. Soon, Kate will have to fight for her life, or face a horrific death, because the killers are coming.

Nest is like Criminal Minds, in a way. Gritty and disturbing at times, but far too engrossing to stay away from for long.

What I liked best about this book was the unique ability of the protagonist. Being able to know someone is a killer, simply by looking into their eyes? How brilliant is that?! Kate’s ability extends a bit further than that, actually, but I won’t go into that in this review. Suffice to say that, even among people able to do what she can do, Kate is special in a way that even Jack Raines—who knows a great deal about such abilities—can’t explain.

I hated to reach the end of the book, because there was so much more I wanted… no, NEEDED… to know. And there was a certain loose end left dangling that is just begging for a sequel, in my opinion. You know… for people like me, who want NEED to know what happened next!

As I said in the beginning, this is the first book by Terry Goodkind I’ve read… but it certainly won’t be the last.

I received a digital review copy of this book courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing.

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Author: Terry Goodkind

Title: Nest

Genre: Thriller

Published: November 15th 2016 by Skyhorse Publishing

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible


About the Book

#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes.

Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her.

Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn’t sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her.

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide bestselling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human.


About the Author

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Author Terry Goodkind
Terry Goodkind is a contemporary American writer and author of the best-selling epic fantasy series, The Sword of Truth, creator of the television show The Legend of the Seeker, and writer of the self-published epic, The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus (a prequel and origin story of the first Mother Confessor). He has over 20 million copies in print and has been translated into more than 20 different languages, world-wide.
Author photo and bio via Goodreads.

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No One Knows by J.T. Ellison #Review @thrillerchick @GalleryBooks

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

I was completely blown away by this book! No One Knows is full of twists and turns you never see coming, and just when you think you have the Big Mystery figured out, something unexpected happens and you’re back to square one all over again.

I spent most of my time wondering about every character that Aubrey interacted with, looking for clues that indicated whether they were good or bad people. I wondered which ones were to be trusted, and which ones were working an angle. I thought about it while I was reading it. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading it. I was never able to figure it out, and that’s a very good thing! I spent four days completely wrapped up in the mystery of Josh’s disappearance, and what might have happened. And when the Big Reveal finally came—I was absolutely stunned.

5 stars is the highest rating I give, but the highest praise I can give any book is to declare that it is a Book Worth Reading, and this one is most definitely deserving of that title. If No One Knows isn’t already on your wish list, trust me… it needs to be there. You won’t be sorry.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Gallery Books via Netgalley.

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Author:  J.T. Ellison

Title:  No One Knows

Genre: Thriller

Published:  March 22, 2016 by Gallery Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

About the Book

With the same page-turning suspense as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison’s No One Knows is a “riveting…skillfully plotted” (Publishers Weekly) thriller that questions if the narrator’s husband really has returned from the dead—or if she’s merely losing her mind.

Aubrey Hamilton has been mourning her missing husband for five years, despite being even while she was considered the prime suspect in his murder. But when he is officially declared dead, there are still more questions than answers: Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered, or did he run away? And who is the new, mysterious and strangely familiar figureman suddenly appearing in Aubrey’s life? And has she finally lost her mind after years of loneliness and confusion?

No One Knows is an evocative mystery that explores the complex darkness within all of us, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins.

About the Author

Author J.T. Ellison
J.T. Ellison

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning literary television series, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Visit JTEllison.com for more insight into her wicked imagination, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter @thrillerchick, and Instagram @jt_thrillerchick.