Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


Leave a comment

47 Meters Down

Mandy Moore plays Lisa, who is on a tropical vacation with sister Kate, in Mexico. Lisa is down on herself after her recent breakup with Stuart, who she believes got bored with their relationship. Kate and Lisa meet two young men who invite them to go shark cage diving. Although Lisa has never been diving and has never been a risk taker, the men tell her the guy who runs the boat will take them out anyway.

Although highly reluctant and scared, Lisa lets her sister talk her into it, especially when Kate tells her that someone who takes pictures in a shark cage isn’t “boring” like Stuart said. The men go down first and get see sharks circling the cage and then are brought up. Next it’s Kate and Lisa’s turn. They too get to see sharks circling the cage, but after a bit, Lisa has had enough and asks to be brought up. When they go to bring them up, the wench breaks sending them straight down to the bottom of the ocean, trapped in the cage, at 47 meters down.

They only have enough oxygen to last about twenty minutes and cannot communicate with the boat at that depth. To make matters worse, the way the cage landed blocked the entrance to get in and out of the cage.

This movie was extremely intense and offered a few jumps along the way. My one takeaway from this movie was that I sure as heck am never going to go diving, let alone shark cage diving, ever. Rated PG-13

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Quincy Carpenter lives in NYC and works as a food blogger. She believes she has moved on from her past and is content in her relationship with live-in boyfriend, Jeff. You see, Quincy is what the media has dubbed a “final girl,” or a person who is the sole survivor of a mass killing. Pine Cottage was a rental Quincy and her college friends stayed at in Pennsylvania one weekend for a birthday celebration but it turned into a bloody massacre when everyone was slaughtered, except Quincy. Quincy had been saved that night by a cop named Coop, who was searching the woods for a missing person and shot the assailant. Coop has been looking out for Quincy ever since.

Quincy’s life is about to be turned upside down when she learns that Lisa Milner, another final girl who survived a killing at a sorority in Muncie, Indiana, has committed suicide. And then the only other living final girl, Samantha Boyd, who went off the grid after the Nightlight Inn murders, wants to talk with Quincy. Sam doesn’t believe that Quincy has really moved past what has happened to her and wants her to unleash her pent up anger.

The reader, nor Quincy, know much about Sam or her motive for contacting Quincy. And to be honest, the reader can’t really even trust Quincy, who claims to have no recollection of what happened at Pine Cottage. This of course is one of the hallmarks of psychological thrillers; that is, a narrator who you can’t quite trust.

It kept my interest throughout, although I am a bit jaded because I’ve read so many of these psychological thrillers. Authors now seem to be so intent on including a shocking twist that sometimes is stretches believably a bit, and I feel that has what has been done here. However, overall, readers who can handle creepy and dark plots will like this one.


Leave a comment

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

Rachel Jenner is talking a walk in the woods with her son, Benedict, and their dog, Skittles, when Ben asks to walk ahead to ride the rope swing. Wanting to give him a little freedom and independence, she lets him go ahead. When she arrives at the rope swing, it is still in motion and Ben is nowhere to be seen. Unable to locate him after calling out and searching the area, she phones the police.

DI Clemo is assigned the case and requests Emma Chang to act as family liaison officer. Rachel is at her wits end and really only has her older sister Nicky for support.  Nicky is dealing with her own familial issues and has a secret she has kept from Rachel.

Despite massive search efforts and following up on leads, the more time passes, the less likely they are to find Ben alive. The media is attacking Rachel, suggesting she is at fault for letting her son run ahead. And social media has been crucifying her to the fullest extent as a terrible mother. But, it might take the only person who really knows her son, Rachel, to find him.

This is the second book I’ve read by Macmillan (see review for The Perfect Girland they are both strong contenders in the trending psychological thriller genre. The story unfolds between Rachel’s point of view and through DI Clemo’s, as he is seeing a therapist as a result of the Benedict Finch case. Although I am getting a bit burnt out of this genre, I would happily recommend Macmillan’s books to anyone who can handle a dark, twisty plot and child abduction.


Leave a comment

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Shortly after his wife goes missing leaving her purse at home, Tom learns that Karen was in a bad car accident where she drove into a pole. Although she wasn’t seriously injured, she has no recollection of the accident or what prompted her to drive into that pole.

A dead body of a man is found in an abandoned restaurant with gloves left at the scene. The police believe those gloves belong to Karen, but she lies in front of the police and Tom. Tom loves Karen and wants to trust her, but he also has secrets of his own she has yet to learn. And likewise, Karen has a history of a former life that she rather stay in the past.

Karen’s best friend and neighbor Bridget is watching all this activity going on from her big window across the street. She seems unusually interested in their lives. And she might know more than she is letting on about what happened to the dead man and why Karen ran into that pole. As the police launch their investigation, Karen swears that someone has been in their house, as things aren’t as she has left them. But, who would terrorize her and why? And has her past come back to haunt her?

I don’t know if I am just getting burnt out of the psychological suspense genre or the last few books I have read haven’t been that good. While this does have a decent twist at the end that readers won’t see coming, Lapena’s book is not nearly as good as her debut, The Couple Next Door.


Leave a comment

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Even though it is a dangerous route, teacher Cass Anderson cuts through the woods during a storm on her way home. She sees a woman pulled over and wonders if she needs help. Cass pulls over, but when the woman makes no attempt to get out of the car or signal for help, she drives away. The next day, Cass learns that the woman who she saw pulled over was murdered.

Feeling guilty for not trying more to help, Cass doesn’t tell her husband Matthew or best friend Rachel that she had seen the woman before she was murdered, and now she is starting to get crank phone calls, who she believes is the murderer trying to spook her. What’s more is she seems to be forgetting all kinds of things, and her husband believes that she is paranoid and may be suffering from early onset dementia, which is what killed her mother.

Cass also learns that the murdered woman was actually an acquaintance named Jane, and she is swears the killer is still out there and after her next. And who can she trust if she can’t even trust her own mind?

Paris set the bar high with last year’s Behind Closed Doorsand her second novel disappoints as readers will be frustrated with the protagonist’s behavior. Hopefully her next book will be back to form.


Leave a comment

The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward

After a car crash killing his sister-in-law leaves his niece and nephew motherless, Diego Navarro, the playboy Prince of the Mediterranean island of Marazur, returns home to attend to his family, even though his brother and father never trust him with the family business.

While his brother is knee deep in business and dealing with the loss of his wife, Diego hires an English nanny named Rose Walters to care for the children, to whom he is immediately drawn. They share a few tender moments, but Rose knows that crossing the line with Diego would cost her not only her job, but may also hurt the children in the process. And their lives are worlds apart: he is a Prince; she is the hired help.

When Diego capitalizes on an opportunity to prove his loyalty and save the family from scandal, Rose questions his intent and makes a sacrifice to help the family she has come to love, even if it means letting go of Diego.

In some ways reminiscent of a much lighter The Sound of Music, Alward (Somebody’s Baby) has crafted a fairy tale romance that doesn’t require gratuitous sex scenes to capture heartstrings.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | September 1, 2017


Leave a comment

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Teenage Zoe is a child prodigy and a gifted pianist, as is her stepbrother Lucas. In the middle of their recital, a man storms in screaming in anger. You see, Zoe was the driver in a car accident that killed three people, and now her secret is no longer safe. The enraged man is the father of one of the people killed in the accident who has just learned of the concert and where Zoe now lives.

After serving her sentence in a juvenile detention center, Zoe and her mom, Maria, moved to Bristol to start their “second chance life.” This is where Maria met Chris, her new husband and Zoe’s stepfather, and had baby Grace. Maria never told Chris about Zoe and her past. The outburst at the concert puts into place a chain of events that begins with murder.

The story is told from the perspectives of Zoe, Tess (Zoe’s aunt and Maria’s sister), and Sam (Zoe’s solicitor from the car accident trial). Sam and Tess are having an affair, which only complicates matters when Zoe reaches out to Sam after the murder. Tensions build as the perfect family is torn apart, and both Zoe and Maria learn that they aren’t the only ones keeping dark secrets.

Another winner in the psychological suspense genre to add to your bookshelf that is not for the faint of heart, especially in regards to domestic violence.