ARC Mini-Review: Thriller Edition 3

THE LIST NEVER ENDS! But seriously, if you love thrillers, I am the girl for you because it is my go-to genre. All I seem to do is read thrillers – and I love recommending them!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for continuing to feed my addiction … and here are some more of my thoughts:

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff: Genetics Make It Unique

Mother Knows Best book cover

Mother Knows Best

by Kira Peikoff

Published August 10, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
ISBN: 1643850407

Data from Goodreads

There’s only room for one mother in this family.

Claire Abrams’s dreams became a nightmare when she passed on a genetic mutation that killed her little boy. Now she wants a second chance to be a mother, and finds it in Robert Nash, a maverick fertility doctor who works under the radar with Jillian Hendricks, a cunning young scientist bent on making her mark—and seducing her boss.

Claire, Robert, and Jillian work together to create the world’s first baby with three genetic parents—an unprecedented feat that could eliminate inherited disease. But when word of their illegal experiment leaks to the wrong person, Robert escapes into hiding with the now-pregnant Claire, leaving Jillian to serve out a prison sentence that destroys her future.

Ten years later, a spunky girl named Abigail begins to understand that all is not right with the reclusive man and woman she knows as her parents. But the family’s problems are only beginning. Jillian, hardened by a decade of jealousy and loss, has returned—and nothing will stop her from reuniting with the man and daughter who should have been hers. Past, present—and future converge in a mesmerizing psychological thriller from acclaimed bestselling author Kira Peikoff.

TW: death of a child

Was this book perfect? No. But it was intriguing and I actually really enjoyed reading it. The genetics element of the story was really well done and I found myself considering the scientific implications of it all. I also liked Jillian’s character, solely because the author did not compromise in her characteristics. However, when the story became a thriller, it was quite generic. The multiple perspectives were okay, but Abby was definitely annoying to read about. The ending was also extremely convenient and I wasn’t a fan of it. Despite these negatives, I did find this to be a unique story and got through it very quickly. For those reasons, I’m giving it 3/5 stars.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Waters: Eerie AF

The Dead Girls Club book cover

The Dead Girls Club

by Damien Angelica Walters

Published December 10th 2019by Crooked Lane Books
ISBN: 1643851632

Data from Goodreads

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

This was a very unique thriller because there was a sense of horror/magic element with the presence of the Red Lady character. The story also shifts from past to present, which I’ve always liked. The story only gives us one perspective, but it allows us to see the deterioration of the character’s mental state; even though I didn’t like the MC, I thought this was done quite well. The tension helped make plot elements of the story work (even if they were quite far-fetched). The ending did let me down because the motive just wasn’t that strong for me. However, I still enjoyed reading this novel, so I’m giving it 3/5 stars!

The Three Mrs. Wrights by Linda Keir: Interesting Revenge Story

The Three Mrs. Wrights  book cover

The Three Mrs. Wrights

by Linda Keir

Published September 29th 2020by Lake Union Publishing
ISBN: 1542019702

Data from Goodreads

Mr. Wright has everything. All that’s left to give him is what he deserves.

Lark has good things coming: a career as a board-game designer and a whirlwind romance with a handsome investor. Trip is so compassionate and supportive, he’s almost too good to be true.

Jessica has always been cautious, but she can’t resist Jonathan. The brilliant TED-talking visionary has big plans for his inspiring medical start-up. Now Jessica is invited to be part of the team—and to partner with the founder outside the office.

Holly has settled into a comfortable life with Jack, her husband of nearly twenty years. They’ve raised three children, they own a beautiful home, and they’ve founded a worthy charity. She’s proud of building a marriage that has endured—she just doesn’t want to look too closely at the cracks.

Lark, Jessica, and Holly are three strangers with so much in common it hurts. Their one and only is one and the same.

The charming Mr. Wright’s serial lies are about to catch up with him…

I will say, I was pleasantly surprised by this thriller! It had an interesting premise, and was written quite well. We have 3 rotating perspectives, with three very different storylines; this helped me differentiate between the characters. I also liked the inclusion of excerpts from a Ted Talk – it kept me wanting to know more! The story does take a while to build up, but I appreciated that the author had a methodical way of explaining things to the reader. The last 20% of the book is where things really ramped up with the revenge plot I was hoping for – I only wish this had been delivered sooner! If you are looking for a well-developed story with slower pacing, this might be one to check out.

The Vow by Debbie Howells: Disappointing and Silly

The Vow book cover

The Vow

by Debbie Howells

Published October 15th 2020by Avon Publishing
ISBN: 0008400164

Data from Goodreads

Two weeks before her wedding, a stranger stops Amy in the street and warns her she’s in danger. Then that night, Matt, her fiancé, doesn’t come home. Desperate, Amy calls the police – but when Matt fails to emerge, she’s forced to call off her wedding day.

Then another man is reported missing, by a woman called Fiona – a man meeting Matt’s description, who was about to leave his fiancée for her.  He was supposed to be moving in with her – but instead, he’s vanished.

Amy refuses to believe Fiona’s lover can be her Matt – but photos prove otherwise, and it soon becomes clear that Matt has been leading a double life. As the police dig deeper, two conflicting, yet equally plausible stories emerge from two women who allegedly have never met.

The wedding day never happened. But the funeral might.

TW: domestic abuse

Oh dear, where do I even begin with this one? What started as an interesting premise quickly devolved into a mess. The major problem for me was with the writing style: it was extremely clunky, with lots of telling (and no showing), and highly repetitive. The author literally holds the reader’s hand throughout the book, as if we are incapable of determining things ourselves. The characters were also not well-developed and I didn’t like any of them. The plot was not unique and it was quite a predictable story. My biggest issue with this novel was that there was absolutely no point to it – and by the end, I simply didn’t care. I also had an issue with the way the author addressed domestic abuse; I don’t think it was done very well. All in all, I did not enjoy this book.

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