Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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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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Sting by Sandra Brown

Jordan Bennett has just been kidnapped. She is pretty sure it has to do with her brother and his boss, Billy Panella. Her brother, Josh, is going to testify against Billy and is under federal protection. They are both guilty but Josh turned first. Billy has vanished at the same time as Josh and there is 30 million dollars missing. Jordan has no clue where the men are or the money.

Shaw Kinnard and his partner have been hired to kill Jordan Bennett. But Shaw soon realizes that he is also a target. He changes the plan and kills his partner and kidnaps Jordan. He figures she knows where Josh and Billy are and he is thinking he can get more money from the brother if he has Jordan. But not everything is what it seems. The good guys and the bad guys might not be who you think.

Another good one by Sandra Brown. Had a little twist in the middle and the end. I guessed the middle twist but didn’t see that end one coming. I look forward to her next one, Seeing Red.

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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Susan Ryeland is an editor for a small publishing firm in London. One of their top selling authors, Alan Conway, has just turned in his newest book featuring the detective Atticus Pund. Susan spends the weekend reading the book. It is about a small town and one of the villagers turns up dead. And then another one. Atticus Pund is asked to look into the deaths and solves the case. Except Susan doesn’t know how it ends because the last chapter is missing.

Susan calls Charles, the owner of the publishing company, to find out if he has the missing pages. She doesn’t hear from him and when she goes into the office she finds out why. Alan Conway is dead. It looks like he committed suicide and Charles even has a letter that Alan had sent that is basically a suicide note. But Susan isn’t convinced. She starts looking into his “suicide” and finds the village he lives in is very similar to the village in his book. Susan starts to find that the characters are based on the villagers. She is even more convinced that Alan was murdered. Will she figure out this mystery before it too late and the killer takes her life?

This was a very good mystery. It is in fact two mysteries in one book, since we have the book Alan wrote and then the mystery of his death. I really enjoyed how this book was laid out. Sometimes Susan got on my nerves but overall I liked the characters.

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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.



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My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner works for a glamorous company in London. She is only slightly better than an intern but she doesn’t care. Her dream was always to get out of her little farming town and live in London. Her dream has come true. So what if she has to share a flat with two other people and her room is super tiny? Or that her commute is complicated and long. She is living her dream.

But before she knows it she is fired for something she didn’t do. She is forced to move back to Somerset and help her dad start his glamping business. He thinks she is just on a sabbatical to help him. When the glamping business become a big hit, Katie is surprised since none of her dad’s ideas every work out. While helping her dad, her ex-boss, Demeter,  shows up. Now she has to act happy in front of  Demeter and keep her dad from finding out her secret. As Katie continues her charade she realizes maybe Demeter doesn’t have the perfect life and that maybe Katie doesn’t have it so bad.

I love Sophie Kinsella books! This was a another great one with funny, cringe worthy moments and awkward but lovable characters. Can’t wait for her next one, Surprise Me, out in 2018.


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The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

Sarah hasn’t been married that long and is very much in love with her husband, Johnny. They have a beautiful home and live in a great neighborhood.  While Johnny is away at a conference, a fire starts at the house next door. Her house ends up catching on fire too. While watching all this happen, the neighbors soon realize that the baby next door is still in the house. Sarah is able to save her but nothing can be done about the two houses.

Now Johnny and Sarah are homeless and end up living in a rental. They stay in touch with the neighbors but Sarah soon realizes maybe the fire wasn’t an accident. She starts to question how well does she really know her neighbors. She even starts to grow suspicious of Johnny. Now Sarah doesn’t know who to believe or who to trust. Will she be able to trust the right person or will it cost Sarah her life?

This book was just okay for me.  I have been reading a lot of psychological thrillers lately and this one just wasn’t as good as some of the other ones. The story was good and I didn’t mind the characters but something was just missing. I will try reading her next book, The Twilight Wifeand hope for the best.

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Irene Glasson is on the run. After finding her boss’s body she flees to Hollywood. There she starts a new life as a reporter hoping the murderer never finds her.  She gets a tip about a famous actor and heads to the famous Burning Cove Hotel to meet her source. What she finds is her source dead.

Oliver Ward owns the Burning Cove hotel and values privacy, for himself and his famous clientele. Once a famous magician, Oliver stopped after a trick went wrong. He has never told anyone what really happened and wants to keep it that way. He allows Irene on the premises even though she is a reporter. He is intrigued by her and is going to keep a close eye on her.

Together they team up, not really trusting each other. But when there is a second victim, they are determined to find out who the murderer is before it is too late. And on top of that murderer, Irene’s past has caught up with her. Will she be able to stay in Hollywood and start a new life or will her life end before it really begins?

This a departure from Amanda Quick’s usual time period. It is set in the 1930’s instead of the normal 1800’s. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the change, but I should have known better. Anything Amanda Quick writes I am going to love. She always has great characters and stories.