For Mother’s Day, my tiny human gifted me with books, via a gift card and her wonderful grandmother! I hadn’t spent it because I was waiting for something I really, really wanted to buy, but then the Memorial Day sale popped up in my email and Barnes & Noble was offering an additional 20% off on top of sales… so I ended up getting five really good sounding books I hadn’t known I wanted.
Redemption Road by John Hart: This book looks as if it follows a few different characters and perhaps the general narrative of a whole town, which is the kind of story I love when it’s done well. The blurb clues you into some dramatic sounding narratives: a boy plans to take revenge, a good cop gets out of prison, a body found on the steps of an abandoned church.. If Hart ties all these narratives together I think it could be amazing. I did read the first few chapters, and it seemed like maybe it was turning into a mystery rather than the “literary thriller” it promised, but I remain optimistic. It has a 4+ rating on GoodReads with a significant amount of reviews, so that’s usually a good sign.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena: I remember in 2016 when this book came out, I was seeing it everywhere. I’ve been a little burnt out on my usual fare lately, so I figured I’d give a try. It’s about a couple who attends a dinner party next door and leaves their child sleeping alone in their apartment. They check on her every half hour- but when they come home. She’s gone. The question is, whodunnit? I read the first few chapters of this too- the writing is nothing fancy, but it’s not bad. The action kicks off right away with a brief glimpse of the dinner party and the couple next door, before Anne and Marco return home to find their daughter missing. Detective Rasbach immediately suspects the Conti’s, meanwhile, the reader is hoping he’s wrong.
The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy: This is the only science fiction purchase I made. It caught my eye because I’d never heard of either the author or the book before. I feel pretty well versed in the SFF genre- maybe not because I’ve read widely, but I’m pretty well aware of any releases in the past few years. This has a decent number of reviews, but the overall rating is pretty low at 3.44. Usually that’s a good reason for me not to put it on my TBR let alone buy it, but the blurb gave me serious Fallout vibes so I had to go for it. It’s about an outpost set up on the ruins of St. Louis called the Sanctuary, and a rider coming in from the wastelands to bring them to a place where civilization is thriving. Fingers crossed it’s better than a 3 star read for me.
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon: This is historical fiction based on the true story of the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater in New York in 1930. I love all things Depression era. The speakeasies, the organized crime, the cars, the clothes, the style, the music, the influx of Italian and Irish immigrants trying to live the American dream.. I think no matter what angle you take, this time period presents an opportunity to tell some amazing stories. But mostly I’m excited for a trifecta of lying, cheating, maybe murderous women plotting (what I suspect is) the perfect revenge. I took a peek at the first few pages, and the writing is absolutely perfect for this time period, moody and yet elegant.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney: This book has got one of the best hooks I’ve seen in a long time:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
I sat down to read the first couple chapters and ended up reading the whole book. It’s a twisty turny insane ride. Is it far fetched? Yeah. Do I care? Nope. Full review up soon!