Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

On the surface, the small village of Beckford is just a sleepy little town beside a river. But the river has always held some secrets, and has long been the source of a strange fascination for Nel Abbott. Nel is a single mom who grew up in the village, and she’s been working on a book about the river and its sordid past – the drowning of witches, the Drowning Pool, the suicides. When Nel herself is found in the river,  her estranged sister Jules returns to the village to care for Lena, Nel’s teenage daughter, whose best friend was also recently found in the river.  Jules finds herself caught between her duty to Lena and her memories of the past, as the mysteries of the two women’s deaths are unraveled.

In Beckford, Ms. Hawkins has created a creepily atmospheric little village where virtually everyone could have “done it”.  Although uneven in spots, there’s enough intrigue in the story to keep you reading. You might need a character chart though. There are a lot of people in the story – all of them unreliable, and it gets tricky at times to keep track. Definitely well worth reading if you enjoy the psychological genre.


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Murder on the Orient Express

Daisy Armstrong was kidnapped and murdered in 1930. Of the two kidnappers only one was brought to justice. Five years later, Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) finds himself on the train, Orient Express. He is headed back to England for a case and was able to secure last minute passage on the train. While on the train a fellow passage, Ratchett (Richard Widmark), asks Poirot to be his bodyguard. Poirot declines and the next day Ratchett is found dead in his cabin. Now it is up to Poirot to solve the murder before the train arrives and the murderer gets away.

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and this is a great movie to go along with the book. It is fun trying to guess who did it and even more fun when you find out. This one is being remade with Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, and Penelope Cruz. It will be out this November.

Also starring, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins, and Michael York. Rated PG


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Wedding Planner Mystery

Carnegie Kincaid (Erica Durance) is a struggling wedding planner. She is trying to keep the business afloat,  and knows that pulling off her friend’s wedding will go a long way in helping her business. Unfortunately, during the rehearsal, after an argument, one of her bridesmaids gets into her cousin’s car and has a fatal crash.  What started out as a simple accident turns out to be an attempted murder.

With the cops looking at her and her business on the line, Carnegie decides to start looking into the murder. With many unanswered question about some family business, Carnegie is having trouble adding it all up.  To top it off,  Aaron Gold (Andrew Walker), an annoying investigative reporter keeps showing up. On the other hand, the families handsome lawyer is taking an interest in her. With so much on the line can Carnegie solve the murder and give her friend the wedding of her dreams?

I loved the characters in this movie, and even though I always feel that they could build up the characters more, I feel they did a wonderful job.  If you are looking for a family fun mystery, this is the movie for you.  Rated TV-PG, Hallmark Movie Original.

 


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Elle

Michèle is at home letting her cat in when a masked man pushes his way into her house and assaults and rapes her. Michèle doesn’t report the attack and carries on with her life as though nothing has happened. She slowly starts suspecting her co-worker might be her attacker but doesn’t have proof. Then she starts to receive texts from the intruder. Now more suspicion, Michèle turns to her married neighbor for comfort. But when the intruder comes back, will Michèle get her revenge?

This was a very intense, keep you guessing kind of movie. I can see why Isabelle Huppert won the Golden Globe for Best Actress. I think I liked this movie. I am still trying to decide! And I am not sure I even liked Michèle. But if you like a good thriller and don’t mind reading subtitles, then I would recommend this one. Rated R


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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens does great “woman in peril” stories, and this book is no different. Lauren and her daughter Sophie tell this story in alternate chapters. Lauren’s POV also covers the history of what happened to bring them to the present day.

Lauren was married at 19 to a seemingly great guy, Andrew. It didn’t take long for him to prove that wrong, becoming abusive, possessive and an alcoholic. Lauren takes 6-year-old Sophie and runs away one night. Something happens when Andrew goes out to look for them, and he is out of the picture.

Years later Lauren thinks he is stalking her when she finds things moved around in her house. Meanwhile, daughter Sophie is secretly meeting with her dad. He was a good father to her before they left and mom had shielded her from the worst of his behavior. Sophie also meets a boy and is a typical teenager, making stupid choices, lying to her mother and being moody. Lauren has made a new life for herself, running her own cleaning business and dating a nice guy.

Andrew swears to Sophie that he isn’t stalking her mom. But if not him, then who?

I found the danger in this book was not as ramped up as in previous Stevens books. What I really enjoyed were the characters, especially the relationship between Lauren and her teen daughter Sophie. It seemed like a very realistic portrayal of the mother/daughter dynamic. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.


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Always Watching by Lynette Eason

“He’s mine,” she whispered. “He’s mine and you can’t have him. Go away.”

Wade Savage is a very popular psychiatrist and radio personality who keeps receiving gifts from some anonymous person.  When he fails to acknowledge the stalker’s attention this angers his stalker. Things escalate to the point of the stalker trying to take his life and harming a bodyguard that he was unaware he had hurt.

Olivia Edwards owns Elite Guardians and was hired by Wade’s father to protect his son. When Maddy, one of her partners, gets attacked and has her throat slit, Olivia steps in to protect their client, which is turning out to be a challenge.  Wade doesn’t want a bodyguard until his daughter gets threatened. Wade is also a gentleman and has a hard time letting Olivia put her life on the line.  Their unexpected mutual attraction only adds to the fray.

Will they catch the stalker before they succeed in taking his or his daughter’s life?

I really enjoyed this book. I am a total fan of books that keep you on your toes with a little suspense. It is also what I consider a clean book, no heavy romance scenes, no gory word pictures, etc. Lynette Eason is a Christian writer yet doesn’t get into religious politics.

 


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The Girl on the Train

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a lonely woman, who every morning rides the train into the city for work. Megan (Haley Bennett) is a married woman, who works as a nanny for her neighbor and is seeing a psychiatrist. Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) is a new mom, who was the mistress to her new husband. Three very different women who should have nothing in common but are all linked.

This was a really good thriller and very close to the book. Even though I had already read the book and knew what was going to happen I still really enjoyed this movie. I don’t want give away too much of the plot so if you haven’t read the book you can enjoy all the twists. Also starring, Luke Evans, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Laura Prepon, and Edgar Ramirez. Rated R