Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Claire Foy (The Crown) plays Sawyer Valentini, a young woman who is starting over in a new city but is having problems adjusting. She decides to see a counselor on her lunch break. She feels better after speaking to someone and signs some paperwork the therapist says is just their standard, boilerplate documents. She is waiting in the lobby to book her next appointment when she is called in back.

The next thing she knows, she is told that she voluntarily signed herself into a psychiatric ward. They took her phone and purse but allow her one phone call. She calls the police, who don’t take her seriously, since they receive those types of phone calls regularly.

She has no choice but to wait out her time, but her behavior gets her stay extended. One of the nurses that administers the medications is the man who was stalking her and the reason she left Boston. Of course, no one believes her. What will her stalker do her before she can get out (and if she can get out)?

This was pretty entertaining with a suspenseful plot to keep you interested throughout (plus an unexpected cameo). Recommended. Rated R


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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

Hilderbrand returns to the setting of all her books – the small island of Nantucket.

Zoologist Celeste Otis and Benji are to be married at the home of Benji’s parent’s, Greer and Tag Winbury, estate on the water. Celeste’s small, middle-class family includes only her father and mother, who is dying from terminal cancer, but made it to Nantucket to see her only child married. The whole family feels out of place next to the Winbury’s extravagant home and want to make a good impression on their future son-in-law.

The morning of the wedding, Celeste discovers her best friend and maid-of-honor, Merit, dead on the beach. At first glance, the death looks like an accident. However, as police Chief Ed Kapenash begins to interview the guests and major players in the Otis and Winbury families, secrets begin to unravel, revealing several suspects who have motive and could want Merit dead.

Lots of drama amp up the plot to make this another winner from bestselling author Hilderbrand.

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Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Finn lost his girlfriend, Layla, on their drive back to London from France. They stopped at a rest stop and when Finn came back from the toilets, she had disappeared. He had seen a car leaving in the distance and always believed that Layla had been abducted. After an investigation, and without any evidence, the police let Finn go.

Fast forward several years, and now Finn had formed a romantic relationship with Ellen, Layla’s older sister, and the two are engaged to be married. Both Ellen and Layla had a set of Russian nesting dolls growing up but one of Ellen’s had gone missing. Now a Russian doll shows up outside their house, and Ellen wants to believe that Layla might still be alive. Finn has been receiving anonymous emails that suggest that someone knows where Layla lives, but he hasn’t shared any of this with Ellen.

Finn’s behavior and short-temper often seems suspect, so readers will question whether he actually killed Layla. However, Bring Me Back has a twist you probably wouldn’t see coming that made this book a decent thriller.

I’ve read all of Paris’ books, but Behind Closed Doors remains my favorite.

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Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

Taraji P. Henson stars as Melinda, a college student, who meets Robert on campus. The two start dating, and shortly after, Mel’s mother dies, leaving her their house and several hundred thousand in life insurance money. Her older sisters had never liked Robert, questioning his intentions with Mel and suspecting he just might be after her money. Robert has spent his college career working on a battery that will recharge itself, which he believes will make them millions one day, and promises Mel a boat and the home of their dreams.

Fast forward to several years later and Robert is still working on his battery. Mel works two jobs to support them and has lost all of her inheritance from her mother. In fact, they’ve had to remortgage her mother’s house to try to keep up with bills as all of their income gets sucked into Robert’s battery invention.

Mel is completely burned out and can’t take supporting Robert financially anymore, so she asks for a divorce. Once the divorce is over, Robert’s battery business takes off and he has a new girlfriend. But Mel wants her old life back, all the things he promised her, and damages for all the years she supported him. And she will do whatever it takes to get it all back.

This movie was entertaining and kept my interest, but Henson’s acting is over the top, which might turn off some viewers. Rated R

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Rock Legend by Tara Leigh

PR Assistant Piper Hastings has been able to successfully avoid her ex, Landon Cox, for six years, even though her boss represents Landon’s band, “Nothing But Trouble.” That is, until she runs into him in his dressing room after a show. Their chemistry is undeniable, and she thinks she can have a sexual relationship with him, but won’t ever give him her heart again.

When she was in college, Landon left her with no explanation, like their love was meaningless. But seeing Piper again has ignited something inside him, although he doesn’t know if he can offer her more. After losing use of his grip from a drunken accident, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to play the drums again.

Piper has been tasked to take care of Landon until he gets better. This is a chance to rebuilt their relationship, but Landon may be too emotionally damaged from his troubled past to be good for anyone.

King’s (Rock King) sexy romance will appeal to some, but too many different conflicts (drug/alcohol abuse, guilt over an accident, misunderstanding about cheating and more) create unnecessary drama. Hopefully the author will reign in the plot in the next series offering, which will focus on another “Nothing But Trouble” band member.

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Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

It’s been a year since Anna Johnson’s parents committed suicide. First, her father took one of the cars from the dealership he owns and jumped off a cliff during hide tide. Several months later, her mom followed with the exact same suicide at the same cliff. Bodies were never recovered, and investigators believe that is because they were drug along the sea floor during the tide.

Anna now lives with her boyfriend Mark and newborn baby Ella at her parent’s house and has a stake in the family business, the business that her Uncle Billy tells her isn’t doing well. She receives an anonymous card on the anniversary of their death that says “suicide: think again.” She is worried that her parents might have actually been murdered, and as the threats ensue she is determined to get to the bottom of their deaths. That is, until, a new revelation shows that some secrets should be left buried.

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but this thriller from Mackintosh is a winner! There was a decent twist I didn’t see coming that made this one a stand-out. I have read all three of Mackintosh’s books and highly recommend any of them.

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Something In the Water by Catherine Steadman

Newlyweds Erin and Mark are on an extravagant honeymoon in Bora Bora. On their way to a diving excursion, they come across papers floating in the water and something knocking against their boat. The item is a duffel bag filled with diamonds, cash, a burner phone and USB drive. Near the location where they found the bag, Marc dives under to find a crashed plane of what he tells Erin are really bad people.

Mark had just lost his job in banking and this is why they had to cut their honeymoon short. Erin’s salary as a documentary film maker isn’t enough to pay their mortgage or finance the family they hope to start. With Mark’s banking knowledge, they believe they can sell the diamonds and deposit the money in a Swiss bank account without raising any suspicionsl, which means their financial troubles will be over.

But taking money that doesn’t belong to you comes at a price. Erin believe someone is watching her. Is it the owners of the money wanting it back? And as Erin goes back to working on interviewing three inmates for her documentary, the actions of one of her subjects may have the police digging into her personal life. And the more complicated their lives become in hiding the money, the more the lies begin to grow…can they even trust each other?

This page-turner isn’t necessarily a stand out in the crowded psychological thriller genre, but I certainty enjoyed it. Even though I hated the decisions of the characters, the different plot threads kept my interest throughout. Recommended.