Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

Mildred (Frances McDormand) lost her daughter seven months ago. She was raped and murdered and her killer has not been found. Mildred feels like the sheriff and his department have stopped investigating. Mildred decides to rent the three billboards just outside of town and write the sheriff a message. Needless to say the sheriff is not happy. He and his fellow deputy try to convince her to take them down. But Mildred can’t be swayed. She will do whatever it takes to find her daughter’s murderer.

I really enjoyed this movie and the performances. Wasn’t a big fan of the ending but overall it was good. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell both won Academy Awards for their performances in this movie. Also starring, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Abbie Cornish. Rated R


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Wish Upon

Clare’s dad, Jonathon (Ryan Phillippe), finds a box with Chinese writing on it. He thinks Clare (Joey King) will like it and gives it to her on her birthday. Clare and her two friends are always getting bullied at school, especially by the most popular girl, Darcie. Frustrated one night, Clara is holding the box and wishes that Darcie would rot. The next day, she finds out that Darcie is in the hospital actually rotting. Clare thinks it is a coincidence and keeps making wishes. But every time she makes a wish, someone she knows dies. Now Clare has to find out how to break the curse before it is too late.

I actually really liked this movie. It had a good concept and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. And if you are a Stranger Things fan, Barb is in it! Rated PG-13

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The Mountain Between Us

Ben (Idris Elba) and Alex (Kate Winslet) are both stranded at the airport and are in desperate need to get back to their respective lives. Alex decides to charter a plane and invites Ben along. Once in the air, we find out that Ben is a doctor and Alex is a journalist. As they are flying, the pilot has a heart attack. They next thing they know, they have crashed into a snow covered mountain. As the days go by and rescue hasn’t happened, they decide to embark across the mountain. They have to depend on each other to survive. Will these two strangers make it or are their fates already decided?

I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t read the book first. There were differences between the two that irritated me.  Of course, it was still enjoyable because Idris Elba is in it. Rated PG-13

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The Good Widow by Liz Fenton

Jacks has just received devastating news. Her husband, James, has died while in Hawaii. Except he is supposed to be on a business trip in Kansas. And he wasn’t alone. Jacks doesn’t know what to do with this information. She thought for the most part their eight year marriage was good. As the weeks past and she grieves, Jacks gets a visitor. His name is Nick and he claims to be the fiance of Dylan, the woman who was with James.  He wants to go to Hawaii and retrace their steps to see if he can get closure and he wants Jacks to go with him.

Jacks decides to go. As they start to retrace their steps, Jacks is shocked about all the activity they did. Jacks starts to really think about their marriage and isn’t sure if she ever knew James. Nick is having a hard time too. Jacks and Nick start to grow closer and after they leave Hawaii they start a relationship. Jacks really starts to fall for him and couldn’t be happier. But were the deaths in Hawaii really an accident or is something more sinister going on?

I really liked this book. It held my interest and kept me wanting to find out the truth. It had a good twist and I am excited to read more by these authors.

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Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Olivia is coming home for Christmas. The only reason is because she has to be quarantined for seven days after providing medical assistance to Haag victims. Joining her in quarantine are her mother, Emma, her father, Andrew, and her sister, Phoebe. They are going to the family estate, which has limited cell service and is in the middle of nowhere. To add to the stress of quarantine, Andrew has found out that he has a son from a previous relationship that he knew nothing about and Emma has just been diagnosed  with cancer.

Olivia also has a secret. She is in a secret relationship with one of the other doctors. And when you are there treating patients, there is a no touch policy, which they repeatedly violated. And now he has the Haag. This Christmas is already stressful without all of the secrets. But when the biggest secret actually shows up at the house, no one will ever be the same.

I enjoyed this book. There was one thing I didn’t like in the end but I guess it was good for the story. You don’t really like the characters but you don’t hate them and they redeem themselves as the story goes on.

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I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Ella is on her way to a conference for florists in London. She is taking the train and is bored. She notices two teen girls, Anna and Sarah, and eavesdrops on them. They are soon joined by two older boys, who have just been released from prison. Ella keeps her eye on them and wonders if she should try to contact their parents, since she overheard their names and where they are from. Ella decides she is being a prude and does nothing. The next day on the news, Anna is reported as missing.

A year later, Anna is still missing and there are no leads. Ella had come forward at the time and the two guys were never found. Ella lives with the guilt that she could have done something.  Now she is receiving anonymous notes in the mail telling her she is being watched. Ella thinks it is Anna’s mother sending the notes. She hires a private investigator to find out what is happening. Also, around this time a new documentary about the disappearance is aired. This brings some new clues to light. Will Anna’s disappearance finally be solved?

This was a good psychological thriller. It kept me guessing until it was revealed what really happened to Anna. I eagerly am waiting for the next book by Teresa Driscoll that comes out in March, The Friend.

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The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Bianca St. Ives has spent her whole life running heists with her dad. But this last one has not gone as planned. The money is missing from the vault and Bianca is the only one left of her team besides her getaway driver, Doc. She has to get out before midnight. She manages to escape with the help of a stranger named Mickey. As they race to the meet up point they find a road block. The next thing they know the truck with Bianca’s father and other associates is blown up.

Five months later, Bianca is getting on with her life. She is working at her security firm, Guardian Consulting, in Savannah, Georgia. She isn’t 100% convinced her dad is really dead but she hasn’t heard from him. She has hired Doc to work at the company and to monitor her dad’s secret email that clients can contact him on for jobs. When a job comes up Bianca decides to take even though it could be a trap. While on this job, Bianca runs into Mickey again, who’s name is Colin Rogan and works for the government. It soon becomes clear that this is a trap. Now the good guys and the bad guys are after her because they think she knows where her dad is. But he’s dead, isn’t he?

This was a different route for Karen Robards. It was more a spy thriller than romantic suspense, which Robards is known for. I liked it. It is the first in a new series. The next one due out in 2018 is called The Moscow Deception.