When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
At the heart of this tense and at times times darkly comic novel is the relationship between two brothers bound by a terrible crime. Paul and Mikey are on the run, apparently from the press surrounding their house after Mikey’s release from prison. His crime – child murder, committed when he was a boy. As they travel, they move from one disturbing scenario to the next, eventually involving themselves with a bizarre religious cult. The power between the brothers begins to shift, and we realise there is more to their history than Paul has allowed us to know.
Here in the US, September 29th has been designated as National Coffee Day, and that sounds to me like reason to celebrate. You may be able to score a free or discounted cup of joe at your favorite coffee shop, and what’s better to go with it than a nice coffee-themed book…. (fewer calories than a nice chocolate-themed donut! 🙂 )
All Detective Leroy Meriwether wants is to coast to retirement and restore his ’65 GTO, but Billy Howell will change all that.
Howell, a well-liked local business owner, disappeared in 1991, the presumed victim of a boating accident. When his skeleton is discovered in a shallow grave on Saint Simons Island, Leroy’s considerable but underutilized talents are put to the test.
Initially, the cold case investigation goes nowhere. But the hardheaded and persistent detective is soon bedeviled by a ‘high class’ problem: too many suspects…Howell’s wife, his estranged teenage son, his bookie, his clients and the shadowy ringleaders of a nineties drug-smuggling operation.
Leroy gets closer to the truth and runs afoul of his boss. Trumped-up sexual harassment charges lead to his suspension, but Leroy continues to pursue the investigation at his own peril.
The murderer is determined his twenty-five year-old secrets must never be discovered.
Ahoy Maties! Were you aware that September 19th has been designated International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Here’s some pirate (never pirated!) fiction to help get you in the mood…
I don’t know what the weather might be like where you live, but in the greater Chicagoland area, we are experiencing a heat wave. It’s much hotter, and more humid, than I am happy with! I can dream about going somewhere cooler, but I’ve about used up my vacation time for this summer. (Those of you who are regular readers might have noticed that I’ve been absent a lot over the past month or so.) I can read about someplace cooler though, and live vicariously through a story’s characters as they don their sweaters, add an extra blanket to the bed, or trudge through the snow. With that in mind, here are some cold-weather titles I’ve come up with. These are all new to me, so if you’ve read one, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
Genre: Romance, Fiction
My Rating: **** (4 stars)
First of all, I have to say that I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Liz Bennet my favorite Austen heroine. I was a little nervous that a modern retelling of the story, complete with modern language, would be a disappointment. The author has done a wonderful job, though, of keeping the dialog as modern as possible while giving the narration a more classic feel. The story itself provides the same type of contrast, as it is easy at times to forget that this is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, yet at other times it feels so familiar that you know just what will come next.
Cassandra Campbell as narrator does a good job of differentiating the Bennet girls’ voices, and is pleasant to listen to. Pleasant that is except when she’s doing Mrs. Bennet’s voice, but I think that is to be expected. 🙂
While some of the situations that the girls find themselves in do seem over-the-top, I enjoyed the story, and Ms. Campbell’s performance of it.
NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.