Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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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 Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Running away from her past, Amber has the perfect plan to get the life she deserves.  She stages a run in with Daphne Parrish at Daphne’s gym where she “accidentally” drops a magazine about Cystic Fibrosis.  The disease is an issue close to Daphne’s heart since she lost her sister of CF.  Amber constructs a false story suggesting she lost her own sister to CF as well.

Although they make an unlikely pair since Daphne comes from the rich society of Bishop’s Harbor along the Long Island Sound and Amber claims she comes from a small Nebraska town, the two become fast friends. They are so close that Amber becomes almost like the sister Daphne lost. When Amber loses her real estate job, Daphne is there to help by getting her a job at her husband’s prestigious Manhattan company.

As Jackson Parrish’s new assistant, Amber starts dressing differently, wearing more revealing and stylish clothes and not the mousy attire she used to sport. Amber believes that she can seduce the handsome and powerful Jackson and convince him to leave Daphne. Amber will finally get the luxurious lifestyle that is owed to her, and Daphne, who doesn’t appreciate what she has, will be left with nothing. However, things rarely go according to plan.

This was a page turner I couldn’t put down.  The characters’ actions are dark and shocking, but you’ll want to keep reading to see what she’ll do next and how it will all end.


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The Second Sister by Claire Kendal

Ella Brooke is still not over her sister Miranda’s disappearance. The ten year anniversary is coming up and Ella has promised her nephew that she will look into his mom’s disappearance. The police have just returned a box of Miranda’s things and Ella is determined to find a new clue. While moving Miranda’s dollhouse to her house, Ella discovers a note. It is the first solid clue to help Ella out. She is also determined to see serial killer Jason Thorne. A newspaper article is claiming that Thorne might have seen Miranda before her disappearance.

Ella is also reconnecting with her first love, Ted and a new man, Adam, who happens to be a doctor at the institute Thorne is living. As Ella continues to investigate, the pieces start to come together. And when she meets with Thorne, she finally gets the clue that will solve this mystery. But in getting the answers she so desperately seeks, will Ella meet the same fate as Miranda?

This was a very suspenseful thriller. I was trying to figure out the ending the entire time I was reading and just couldn’t. And rest assured we do find out what happened to Miranda. I am definitely going back to read Claire Kendal’s first book, The Book of You.


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I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Stalking and preying on women comes to the London Underground in Mackintosh’s sophomore novel. Zoe Walker and her adult children who still live at home all take the tube to work as any normal Londoner. Zoe reads a report in the news about a women that was assaulted on the tube and vaguely remembers seeing the victim’s photograph in the back of the London Gazette in the advert section.

Strangely, Zoe sees another news report about a woman who was murdered who she has also seen in another advert in the paper. The adverts only point to a website called findtheone.com that requires a password to gain entry. What is most terrifying is when Zoe sees what she swears is her own picture in the paper. Her partner convinces her that although the picture bears a likeness, there is no way it is her. Still, she questions if she is the next victim.

Zoe reports this to the police who don’t take her complaint seriously. However, deputy Kelly, who had been demoted to the underground task force after beating up a rape suspect, inserts herself into the case. This is not only her chance at professional redemption but also an opportunity to bring justice for victimized women, an issue close to her heart after her twin sister was raped on a college campus years ago.

My only complaint is about the twist at the very end that appears in the Epilogue. It seems too contrived as if it was added mostly for the shock value. Even so, that final twist doesn’t detract from another solid novel of psychological suspense.


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Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

Liza is a successful author whose books haven’t been selling as well as they used to. Now, she has just one month to finish the thriller that will put her back on the best seller lists. Liza’s been distracted though – she’s been trying to have a baby with her husband, but he’s been very distant. And he becomes even more so when his best friend Nick goes missing. So Liza escapes into her writing. Her new character, Beth suspects her husband of cheating, while she’s at home caring for their new baby. Feeling very angry and betrayed, Beth tries to catch her husband in the act, and almost before she knows what’s happened, she’s throwing his lover into the river. Soon, events in Liza’s life take an eerie twist, as they begin to mirror events in the book she’s writing, and it becomes difficult to distinguish reality from fiction.

As far a psychological thrillers go, this one was just ok. The author does a great job capturing Liza’s emotional state, but it was difficult – for me anyway – to connect with her at all. There were twists in the story to be sure, but don’t expect any big gotcha moments. I just couldn’t help but feeling like I’ve read this story before.

 


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Odd Child Out By Gilly Macmillan

Detective Inspector Clemo from Mamillan’s What She Knew is called in to investigate the case of Noah Sadler, a teenage boy who fell into a canal and is now in a coma. After attending his father’s photo gallery exhibit, Noah, diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his childhood best friend, Abdi Mahad, sneaked out at some point during the night. No one knows what they were doing near Bristol’s scrap yard and canal, and Abdi refuses to speak.

Could Abdi be involved in some sort of fowl play that caused Noah’s fall? Tensions are already high in Bristol between residents and the immigrated Somalian population, which includes Abdi and his family. Steven Sadler, Noah’s father, is a photo journalist who has exhibited his work taking pictures of the inhumane conditions of Somalia and some of the refugee camps where Abdi had stayed. Was there something Abdi saw in one of the photos that may have set him off?

As Clemo digs into the investigation, he is confronted with Emma, his former girlfriend and ex cop, who is now working for the media and will do anything to get the story out to the public, even if it jeopardizes the case.

Although mildly entertaining enough, MacMillan’s latest isn’t really a standout in an already crowded psychological suspense genre and pales in comparison to her previous books.


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We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Catherine West is forty-two and rich. From her father’s estate Catherine receives a huge monthly allowance, so money is never an issue. But she very much wants to be in love and get married. She meets William at an art show and can’t believe that he actually knows her family from when he was a kid. He had lived in Switzerland for years and is now back in New York. They start seeing each other and Catherine couldn’t be happier. He soon moves in with her and life is perfect. Except for Catherine’s family. Her dad died years ago, her mom has dementia and her sister is too needy.

When they become engaged, Catherine wants her mom to meet him. But every time Catherine mentions William, her mom doesn’t want to talk about him and when she does it is negative. Catherine tries to find out why her mom doesn’t like William, but she just won’t tell. And then Catherine finds out that the money from the estate has run out and she is about to lose it all. William assures her they will be fine but Catherine is still upset. And then she starts noticing things about William that are making her second guess this whole relationship. If only she can get her mom to tell her why she dislikes William. Is he her future or should she let him go?

This was just okay for me. I figured out the twist about halfway through so it was not a shocking ending for me. And I was not a big fan of the characters. I will try her next book, The Goddesses. Hope the characters are more likable and I don’t guess the ending.