Category Archives: Psychological Thriller

#Review My Dark Vanessa by Katie Elizabeth Russell

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

“[An] exceedingly complex, inventive, resourceful examination of harm and power.” —The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

“A lightning rod . . . brilliantly crafted.”—The Washington Post

A most anticipated book by The New York Times • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Marie Claire • Elle • Harper’s Bazaar • Bustle • Newsweek • New York Post • Esquire •  Real Simple • The Sunday Times • The Guardian 

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

I found this book because of BookTok and a new account that I just started following and man, am I ever glad I did. I told Twinsie Tenise that this account was made for us and I really can’t wait to read more books that this TikTok account recommends.

I haven’t devoured a book like I did with this one in such a long time, it was a nice change. Before I start with my review, please read the blurb if you have triggers. I don’t have any that I know of, so I went into this blind and holy crap, what a ride it was. So please please please read with caution.

This is not a romance. The author made sure to not label it as such either. I’ll also note that as of right now from what I can find anyway, that this is the first and only book this author has written. I really hope she plans on writing other books because there’s something about her writing style that I’m seriously in love with. It reached a deeper part of me that not many authors have been able to reach. I’m also an emotional reader but it takes a lot of work on the author’s part to bring out those emotions in me. This author did just that.

The book travels through past and present. We learn about Vanessa as a 15 year old girl and then again about her as a thirty-something year old woman. It takes us through her life with and without Strane. I don’t want to give away too much but if you like disturbing but beautifully written books and don’t care if it’s a romance or not, I highly recommend this book!

#BookPromo #Freebie Victim of a Delusional Mind: A Dark and Disturbing Thriller (Private Investigators Troy and Eva Winters Thriller Series Book 1) by K.J. North

Tragedy enters the quaint coastal town of New Haven, Oregon when the recently released convict, Ross Conrad, vows to make good on a ten-year-old threat. Private Investigators, Troy and Eva Winters take on the case when they realize their good friend, Jasmine, is the object of his delusional obsession.

When the threat becomes deadly and Jasmine turns up missing, Troy and Eva go on the hunt for Ross and his captive. The chase leads them from the Oregon coast to the dense forest of Puget Sound, Washington. Following clues and evidence of bodies left behind, Troy and Eva must find Jasmine before her time runs out.


Editorial Review:
“Husband-and-wife private investigators Troy and Eva Winters split their time between their investigation work and their more leisurely pursuit as innkeepers on the coast of Oregon. They
befriend a new guest, Jasmine, and when they learn she’s on the hit list of a newly released
criminal, the tension soars. Well-drawn, immensely likable characters and an outstanding sense
of place mark this intriguing, fast-paced thriller.” Angela M., Line Editor, Red Adept Editing


Private Investigators Troy and Eva Winters Thriller Series books are listed in chronological order below:
#1 Victim of a Delusional Mind
#2 Dead Man’s Money
#3 Every Last Drop
#4 Her Kill List
#5 No One Heard Me Scream

Private Investigators Troy and Eva Winters Deadly Motives Series are listed in chronological order below:
#1 Killing Rebecca
#2 Quiet Kill

#BookPromo #Review Under Her Care: A Thriller by Lucinda Berry

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Child comes a shocking thriller about the disturbing complexities of a mother’s love and the deadly consequences of unravelling family secrets.

On a humid summer day in Alabama, a mayor’s wife turns up brutally murdered under a railroad bridge. Standing next to her body is fourteen-year-old Mason Hill, the autistic son of former Miss USA Genevieve Hill. The locals are quick to level their verdict on young Mason: he did it.

The town detective calls in local autism expert Casey Walker to consult on the case. At first, Casey tries to keep an open mind. But the more time she spends with Genevieve, the more her unease grows, and she suspects that Genevieve is doing more than just protecting her son.

Casey’s misgivings surrounding Genevieve’s story only intensify when she meets Savannah, Genevieve’s nineteen-year-old daughter. Savannah, as it turns out, has some disturbing secrets of her own. But as Casey dives ever deeper into the Hill family dynamic, her search for the truth leads to another shocking murder—one that shatters her understanding of the human condition in ways she never imagined.

Like most of Lucinda Berry’s books, this one comes with quite the twist. I always look forward to Lucinda’s books. When I think she can’t shock me more than she already has, she throws me for a loop I never expect but appreciate just the same.

Under Her Care starts off with a murder. The mayor’s wife no less. The main suspect is an autistic boy. We meet Casey Walker, an expert on autism itself. She tries to figure out what’s going on and who exactly killed this woman, while finding out secrets she’s not prepared for in the least.

I really liked the chapters titled “Then” – They were creepy and unsettling.

Just like the rest of Lucinda’s books, I do suggest going in blind. It’s much better that way. Much like the rest of her books, this one keeps you guessing. I can never figure out did the crime and I prefer it that way but it is fun trying to come up with theories.

If you like the rest of her books, I highly recommend this one as well. What’s even better is that they’re all standalones, so you don’t have to commit to a series if you don’t want to.

#review #standalone #partofaseries Perfect Hideaway ( Mason Creek 23) by Bethany Lopez 

Being a retired military man and owner of my own security company made moving back home to help my dad an easy decision. He’s always been there for me, so I’d drop anything to be there for him. When my new superstar client needs to hide away from the paparazzi, I figure Mason Creek is the perfect place for her to lay low. Too bad that while I was protecting her, I wasn’t protecting my heart.

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59649964-perfect-hideaway

Amazon https://amzn.to/3877Epe

Review by Twinsie Dee

I was given this book by the author for an honest review

Melody was the newest country singer on the road and one night after a show she was getting dressed when a stalker barged in to her dress room and didn’t care how many lines he was crossing. It was then that her manager decided she needed a break and a safe hideaway til the crazy calmed down and he knew right where she needed to go Mason Creek where an amazing security team was located. Well it was being moved there but the owner was there and he was the best former military in the business. Enzo loved his job he had high profile clients all over and starting his business in California was the reasoning for that, so when he got a call from a friend that a country star needed a place to hide out that be safe he knew he was ready for that job. But when these two are together all day every day while Melody was out of Nashville and living under his roof, will they be able to keep it business casual or will feelings start to conjure up for them.

 

Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than forty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre. 

When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible. 

Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

 



#BookPromo After He Killed Me (Emma Fern Book 2) by Natalie Barelli

Emma’s friends are close. Her enemies are closer.

Emma Fern has won at life: she’s a prize-winning author and she’s blissfully happy with her husband, Jim. It wasn’t an easy rise to the top, but Emma knows you can’t achieve success without sacrifice. The trouble is, Jim knows that too.

As her literary triumph starts to fade into the past, Emma comes under pressure to write a second bestseller. But her big secret is that she didn’t write the first one. She’s a fraud, and the only people who ever knew the truth are…no longer a problem.

What Emma didn’t count on was Jim playing the long game too. He has his own secrets—and a dangerous plan that could derail her beautifully orchestrated life. Faced with the loss of everything that defines her, Emma is forced to take increasingly desperate steps.

She won’t go down without a fight. And as Jim should know, she won’t fight fair.

This is the second book in the Emma Fern duet and it was so much fun! As a writer myself, it was interesting seeing what could happen under desperate times between an author and their ghostwriter. I do reccommend going into this duet completely blind. Don’t read the blurb and just dive right in.

#BookPromo Until I Met Her (Emma Fern #1) by Natalie Barelli

She should never have said ‘yes’…

When Beatrice said she wanted to publish her next novel under Emma’s name, Emma couldn’t believe it. Why on earth would Beatrice Johnson Greene, the famous crime writer, not want to publish her new book as herself?

This time, Beatrice explained, she wanted to write something different, and publish it as an unknown author. She was too famous—and she needed Emma’s help.

After everything Beatrice had done for her, Emma could hardly refuse. But what was meant to be a favour has turned into a betrayal, and now Emma has done something terrible, something shocking, and the consequences are terrifying…

I’m not going to review this book because I do think you should go in blind. If you can help it, I also suggest not reading the blurb. I will tell you though that this book is about a regular woman who ends up being a ghost writer for her favourite author and well…you’ll have to read to find out what happens.y

#BookBlast #BookPromo – The Housekeeper: A Twisted Psychological Thriller by Natalie Barelli

She’s a liar. She’s a stalker. She’s in your house.

When Claire sees Hannah Wilson at an exclusive Manhattan hair salon, it’s like a knife slicing through barely healed scars. It may have been ten years since Claire last saw Hannah, but she has thought of her every day, and not in a good way. So Claire does what anyone would do in her position—she stalks her.

Hannah is now Mrs. Carter, living the charmed life that should have been Claire’s. It’s the life Claire used to have, before Hannah came along and took it all away from her.

Back then, Claire was a happy teenager with porcelain skin and long, wavy blond hair. Now she’s an overweight, lazy drunk with hair the color of compost and skin to match. Which is why when Hannah advertises for a housekeeper, Claire is confident she can apply and not be recognized. And since she has time on her hands, revenge on her mind, and a talent for acting…

Because what better way to seek retribution—and redress—than from within the beautiful Mrs. Hannah Carter’s own home?

Except that it’s not just Claire who has secrets. Everyone in that house seems to have something to hide.

And now, there’s no way out.

#Review – Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry

We forgive murderers, not pedophiles.

Not since Lionel Shriver brought us We Need to Talk About Kevin has a writer delved into the complexities of a disturbed mother/son relationship. Until now.

Meet Noah—an A-honor roll student, award-winning swimmer, and small-town star destined for greatness. There weren’t any signs that something was wrong until the day he confesses to molesting little girls during swim team practice. He’s sentenced to eighteen months in a juvenile sexual rehabilitation center.

His mother, Adrianne, refuses to turn her back on him despite his horrific crimes, but her husband won’t allow Noah back into their home. In a series of shocking and shattering revelations, Adrianne is forced to make the hardest decision of her life. Just how far will she go to protect her son?

Saving Noah challenges everything you think you know about teenage sexual offenders. It will keep you up at night long after you’ve read the last page, questioning beliefs you once thought were true.

So like usual, I didn’t read the blurb for this book and I’m glad I didn’t. I’d rather go in surprised and I definitely was.

Lucinda took a very tough subject and wrote it in a way that makes you question. What would you do in this situation? Would you help your child and give them what they want even though you would lose them in the process? Would you still love them even though they did something absolutely horrible and disgusting? It would definitely be a hard pill to swallow.

This book is about a 17 year old who is a pedophile. While his mother still loved him through it all, his father, not so much. We eventually find out why and like most of Lucinda’s books, I wasn’t expecting the twist. But it all makes sense now.

I don’t want to give too much away and like normal, I do suggest going into this book completely blind. It’s about a mother’s love and what she would do to help her child and give them what they want even though it hurts at the same time and would leave a gaping hole in its place.

This story was rough and it’s definitely a tough subject, so if you have triggers, please read with caution. I think the person I felt sorry for the most was Noah’s sister. She was completely innocent in all of this.

Now that I’ve finally caught up and read every Lucinda Berry book, I really can’t wait for her next release.

#Review Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry

Secrets never stay buried…

Growing up abandoned by her father and raised by a single mother, Celeste was determined to create the perfect family but even perfect families have secrets. Celeste’s days are filled with a rewarding career, a devoted husband, and her four-year-old daughter. Only Celeste knows the precarious house of cards her family is built upon until the day her daughter falls critically ill. Celeste’s world quickly spirals out of control as her secret threatens to destroy her marriage, family, reputation, and sanity. She’ll go to any lengths to protect her family—take any risk, break any law—anything except tell the truth.

“A natural fit for fans of Gone Girl-style narrators and fast moving plots— Closer Weekly

“A gripping psychological thriller…Read it in one sitting—Bookish Girl

Ok, so I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. Like normal, I just one-clicked and went in blind and man, am I ever glad I did. So first thing, IF you decide to read this book, I do suggest not reading the blurb and just diving right in. The ride and experience it took me on, was on a whole other level. I read one chapter yesterday and read the rest today. I haven’t done that in years. I haven’t WANTED to do that in years. It felt nice. Really really nice.

Now for the review.

We meet Celeste and David, who have a daughter named Rori. They’re a loving family but you can almost right away tell that something isn’t quite right. Celeste goes on about That Night and some of the thoughts she has toward her daughter, made me wonder what the heck was going on and why she would think those things toward her own flesh and blood.

Unfortunately, Rori ends up getting sick, really sick actually, and the doctors need to run some tests. And both of the parents. I had a feeling about one of the secrets that came out right away and I was right. I didn’t want to be right but I was.

Once those test results come back, things escalate from there. Rori is still extremely sick and things aren’t going too well for her parents either.

Something happens with Celeste and she ends up leaving. Now her reasoning for leaving completely makes sense. Did I want her to just man up and face the consequences? Yes. But I never actually thought that until now because again, I got it. It was frustrating to say the least but again, I understood. People can make rash decisions when trouble arises, especially if they think they committed a crime.

Celeste ends up moving to a new State and town and meets some amazing people. Fast forward a bit and she realizes she has to go home and come clean. So she does and man, I did not see it coming how this book ends. As a romance reader, it hurts, but as a psycholigical thriller reader, I get it. Do I like it? No. Not one bit. But one of the other things that come out, I predicted and I felt so bad for Celeste. Ugh my heart hurts just thinking about it.

Bottom line, I do highly suggest this book. It’s hands down my favourite of Lucinda Berry’s. Now on to the next one!

#Review The Secrets Of Us by Lucinda Berry

Dangerously addictive, The Secrets of Us is a pulse-pounding exploration of a disturbed psyche and the bond between two sisters desperate to escape a troubled past.

Foster sisters Krystal and Nichole have always been there for each other, so when Nichole is committed to a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her husband, Krystal drops everything to defend her.

Scarred by a hard upbringing, Nichole and Krystal managed to construct comfortable lives for themselves. Krystal became a respected lawyer, and Nichole was happily married to an architect—until Nichole starts raving that her husband isn’t her husband, believing that he’s an imposter.

Driven by fierce loyalty, Krystal starts asking questions, but she’s not sure she can bear the answers. Her investigation leads to the sisters’ dark shared past…to a horrible tragedy and a well-guarded lie that cemented their sisterly bond.

But that lie can’t kill the truth—the battered, gasping, clawing truth that’s coming for them both. Now Krystal and Nichole must both fight for the lives they’ve built before they’re consumed by the one they left behind.

First, I really can’t thank Twinsie Tenise for introducing me to this author. Her books are like nothing I’ve ever read before and I’m slowly making my way through her back list.

The Secrets Of Us was my first 2022 read and what a way to start the year!

We meet foster sisters Nichole and Krystal who unfortunately didn’t have such a wonderful childhood. With an overbearing foster mom with strict rules and another foster sister who made life difficult for them, Krystal and Nichole realized rather quickly that they only had each other.

The book starts out with Krystal finding out her sister Nichole was in the hospital after a tragic accident happened involving both her and her husband. We learn that it wasn’t an accident and was completely intentional but what we don’t know, is why.

This book is filled with twists and turns, the usual Lucinda Berry way, and I was chomping at the bit trying to figure out what was what. It’s a who dunnit type story and we can’t figure out who is telling the truth or not.

One of the things I love about Lucinda’s books, is trying to figure out if my theory is right and usually, I’m wrong. Which makes it even more exciting when the truth comes out.

As per normal, I don’t want to give too much away and I do recommend going into this book completely blind. I didn’t read the blurb. Just saw the cover and that it was by Lucinda and dove in. I suggest doing the same!

What a wonderful way to start a new year of reading.

The sisters went through so much and while Krystal was trying her hardest to protect Nichole, it almost cost her her life in the end. But why? Read the book to find out more as I don’t want to give anything anyway. Just know, that like most of Lucinda’s books, if you think you know, you probably don’t.