Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker

Known to the public and Chicago Metro as 4MK (the fourth monkey killer), a serial killer has unleashed havoc on the city by abducting young women and sending their ears, eyes and tongue to their loved ones before eventually killing them. His MO has been the same: he cuts off these parts in particular to represent the Japanese proverb of see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. Not many people know that there is a fourth monkey that represents “do no evil,” and this is why he has been given the nickname of 4MK.

When a man is hit by a bus, killed, and had been carrying a package with an ear, Chicago Metro detectives Porter and Nash believe they go their man. But there is still a missing girl out there they need to find before it’s too late.

Besides the ear, the 4MK left behind a diary chronicling his dark upbringing. The book alternates chapters between the race to find the missing girl and their journey into 4MK’s past.

I absolutely loved this book because it was super suspenseful and kept you guessing. The ending wasn’t fully resolved, which is a perfect set up for a series. However, it is important to note that the distributing details of graphic violence might not be to everyone’s taste.


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Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Two sisters go missing outside of a Kmart in Pennsylvania while their mom is inside, and they are supposed to be waiting in the car. Video surveillance shows Kylie Brandt and her younger sister Bailey leaving the car and being greeted by someone they might have known. Witnesses say that they got in the car and left, but other than that, there are no real leads.

Single mother Jamie Brandt has the support of her Aunt Maggie, who has hired private investigator Alice Vega from California. Vega has a reputation of finding missing children, and she teams up with ex-cop Max “Cap” Caplan. Their plan is to use Cap’s relationship with local police enforcement to join their efforts.

Their investigation brings them to a previous cold case of a disabled adult who disappeared years prior. Could this be related to the girl’s disappearance, or is it an empty trail they are following?

Two Girls Down was a decent thriller that I would recommend. There was no crazy twist at the end and although everything wrapped up smoothly, I would love to see Alice Vega make a reappearance in Luna’s next book. It is awesome to see a female lead in such a kick-ass, take no prisoners role. Also, there seems to be a budding romance between Vega and Cap that could be developed further.

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Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

New mom Anna is still reeling from the deaths of her parents when she receives a card in the mail. It’s the one year anniversary of her mother’s death, and with just a few short words, Anna’s world is turned upside down once again. The police concluded that Anna’s parents deaths were suicides, but this card implies that they were murdered. Desperate for answers, Anna contacts the police. And then things get dangerous.

Along with multiple twists and great pacing, Mackintosh has created characters that you genuinely care about. Despite the dark themes of the story, the author’s research skills and sensitivity really shine through, while at the same time creating a tension filled roller coaster ride of a thriller. Definitely put this one on your TBR pile.

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The Shut-In by James Patterson

Twenty-something Trisha suffers from a disease that causes her to be allergic to the sun. This means she never really levels her Philadelphia studio apartment. Everything she needs she can be ordered online. She even works from home. And she has a way to explore the outside world through Amelia, a drone she sends on flights through her neighborhood.

When Amelia spots a woman murdering a homeless person near an abandoned part of the city, Trisha immediately reports what she saw to the police. Since Amelia had crashed, there is no actual recorded footage of the murder, and the police have a hard time buying her story. Trisha isn’t going to give up and determines to capture the woman terrorizing the city with a new and improved drone, but might end up putting her own life at risk.

Although I’ve read many Patterson novels (and some of his nonfiction too), this is the first of his Bookshots I have read, and I must say that I was thoroughly entertained. Highly recommend for a quick read that captures your attention until the very end. Please note that this book has only been made available as an eBook or eAudiobook by the publisher.

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Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Paul has planned the “best day ever” for his wife, Mia. Their children are with a sitter for the weekend, and Paul is taking Mia up to their Ohio lake house before the tourist season is in full effect. In fact, he even has a special surprise in his glove box for Mia, which he’ll present at exactly the right moment.¬†Sounds like an idyllic weekend for a typical, suburban couple, right?

The reader is about to learn otherwise. Told from Paul’s perspective, we begin to learn about his growing resentment of Mia, his infidelity and how his abusiveness has a long history. For Paul, the driving force keeping them together is money. Mia comes from a rich New York family and in the event of her untimely death, Paula would benefit greatly.

Mia, however, isn’t the naive woman Paul believes her to be, and she has plans of her own for their “best day ever.”

I enjoyed this fast-paced read. The author didn’t go for the shock value with an implausible ending, so I appreciated the realistic ending, and if you are okay with an unlikable protagonist, this book would appeal to most.

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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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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

It’s been ten years since Lindsey last saw her abusive ex, Andrew. Lindsey and her daughter, Sophie, escaped one night when Andrew was passed out drunk. He tried to follow them but ended up causing a car accident that killed another woman. He has spent the last ten years in prison, but now his sentence is over.

Lindsey wants nothing to do with Andrew, but he seems intent on making their lives miserable. She believes that Andrew has been in her house, touching her things, but without any evidence, the police can’t arrest Andrew. Unbeknownst to Lindsey, Sophie has been writing her dad in prison, hoping to get to know him. To her, he seems sorry and she is starting to trust that he means it.

But Andrew continues to stalk Lindsey, suggesting he knows a secret that she has been harboring since that fateful night. This puts them back on the run.

The story goes back and forth in time, from present day to the events leading up to Lindsey’s escape. There is a twist I didn’t see coming, that amped-up the suspense. I have been a big fan of Stevens since her first novel, Still Missing. While this isn’t as good as her earlier books, there is enough here to entertain most readers.