annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Mystery, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: What Happened That Night by Sandra Block

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 5, 2018

Summary:

One moment Dahlia is a successful Harvard student. The next, she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. Her life veers into a tailspin, and what’s worse, her memory of the attack has been ripped away, leaving a cold rage in its wake.

Now, years later, Dahlia is a tattooed paralegal suffering from PTSD, still haunted by that night. Until one day, a video surfaces online, and Dahlia sees her attack for the first time. Now she knows what happened to her. And she knows who to blame. Her rage is no longer cold, but burning, red hot.

And she is about to make everyone pay.

Review:

Sandra Block does it again! I’m in awe of her writing! I’m in awe of the care with which she handles sensitive subjects! I’m in awe of her delivery!!

“What Happened That Night” is the search for vengeance by a character that you’ll champion from the first few pages. A fire was burning in my own soul for Dahlia!

I felt her need to make others pay….and it had me flipping those pages wickedly!

I cried for her. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Such an amazing ending!

A Special Thank you to Sandra Block for handling this vicious subject as wonderfully as you did. Giving Dahlia this voice; I loved it! Absolutely loved it!

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab. Little Black Lies is her debut, a finalist in the International Thriller Awards, and The Girl Without a Name and The Secret Room are the other books in the Zoe Goldman series. Her latest stand-alone novel What Happened That Nightcomes out in June 2018.

 

Live Interview:

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: The Lucky Ones by Kiersten Modglin

E47319DC-5D19-4EBE-A387-AAD51C53464DReviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 17, 2020

Summary:

They were supposed to die.

Five years ago, the residents of the Gerbera subdivision in the small town of Fallen Oaks were brutally murdered in their beds. The only survivors, now called The Fallen Oaks Five, were children—practically strangers at the time, forever connected by the weight of all they witnessed.

Now grown, the anniversary of their families’ deaths approaches and the Fallen Oaks Five receive letters of warning: the killers are still out there and they aren’t finished with them.

In a race against time and murderers who remain both faceless and nameless, the Five must return to their old homes in order to piece together the events of a night they’d all rather forget. Their old town is riddled with secrets, and every person they come into contact with is a suspect. With everything at stake, can the Five solve the mystery and finally learn the truth about the night that cost them everything? Or will they find themselves victims of a fate they should’ve succumbed to years ago?

 

Review:

Boom! Kiersten Modglin starts “The Lucky Ones” off so quickly it’s like you’re off to the races!! I had to know what was going on with the “Fallen Oaks Five”!! My need-to-know felt like front line news!!

Of Course, The story was “mind boggling – Kirsten Modglining”!! The twists and turns were at every corner in this small town!

Kiersten has a gift! She leaves you breathless! Always a shocking ending! And, you will always need to finish her novel in one sitting….

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

 

 

 

 

book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Serena’s Favorites, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: The Nanny’s Secret (A Locke Industries Novel) by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 16, 2020

Summary:

Olivia Mendes has a secret.
With her new position as a nanny for the prestigious Locke family, she’s learning just how powerful secrets can be.

Orrick and Iris Locke, owners of the billion-dollar security company known as Locke Industries, are beautiful, mysterious, and seemingly perfect. When she enters their home, Olivia quickly discovers everything is not what it seems. The Lockes’ elusive empire is built on dark and terrifying truths and with Olivia now a part of their lives, she has no choice but to play her role.

As she finds herself digging deeper into the Lockes’ web of lies, Olivia begins to question everything she’s learned. When the family’s insidious nature is revealed, her loyalties will be put to the ultimate test.

In this installment of the standalone LOCKE INDUSTRIES SERIES, The Nanny’s Secret may be the one to destroy everything…

 

Review:

Holy thriller !!!!! I was truly shocked at the spine-tingling ending of this fantastic novel!!!

Kiersten Modglin is the queen of twists and “The Nanny’s Secret “ is no exception.

You are instantly trapped in the tangled web of secrets from the beginning of this page-turner until the riveting ending!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:


Kiersten Modglin is an award-winning author of bestselling psychological suspense novels. Kiersten lives in the rural Midwest with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her ‘The Queen of Twists.’ A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.

 

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Mystery, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: What She Found by Emerald O’Brien

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: March 26, 2020

Summary:

After her recent separation, Tabitha Weaver is holding her life together by a thread. Luckily, her six closest friends have the perfect cure for heartbreak: a weekend in the countryside complete with relaxation, a blind date, and all the wine she can handle.

But it isn’t long before their night at the secluded rental house goes sour. The drinks flow a little too freely and lingering tensions arise before they’re interrupted by frantic knocking at the door. The stranger claims to have been in an accident, and though her head is bleeding, she refuses to let them call an ambulance.

With Tabitha distracted by her new beau, another friend leaving to check out the scene of the accident, and the rest of the group busy feuding, they lose track of the stranger’s whereabouts. It isn’t until she wakes up with a hangover that Tabitha finds a note on her dresser: Don’t stop until you find it.

Tabitha disregards the note, and the evening, and returns home believing the weekend is behind her. But when the strange woman is reported missing, the police start circling—the group must reexamine their accounts of what happened that night. And the discrepancies in their stories cannot be overlooked. It doesn’t help that the police have discovered clues to suggest foul play.

As the evidence mounts against them, loyalties are tested. Tabitha is desperate to find the truth about what happened to the woman.

Which of her friends is lying? Who can she trust?

Review:

“What She Found” proves to be a story that I found myself fully invested in! Unputdownable! With an ending I did not see coming…A mile away!

Emerald O’Brien offers generous amounts of shock value! She puts twists in this story that appear like a blind curves in the road!

I loved all of the friends! The drama! The baggage! The secrets! The Stranger!!

The goosebumps I consistently got!

Be Sure to Grab “What She Found” and be prepared to be Wow’d!

5 Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Serena’s Favorites, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: The Request by David Bell

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 30, 2020

Summary:

When a man agrees to do a favor for a friend, he gets more than he bargained for as he becomes embroiled in a woman’s murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of Layover.

Ryan Francis has it all–great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child–and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret–which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life–Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.

When he arrives at the woman’s home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead–and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.

Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer–but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.

Review:

Oh my goodness, I could not put this riveting page-turning thriller down….
I was on the edge of my seat for practically the entire book.
David Bell captures you instantly and keeps that grip until the very  last page with “The Request”. 
All of the twists and unexpected turns were exhilarating. I never saw that ending coming !!!! 
The complex characters were extremely well developed.
This is definitely a “must read”!!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

book review, Fiction, magical fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery, Serena’s Favorites, suspense, Uncategorized

#BookReview: Crescent City Moon: Crescent City Series: Book 1 by Nola Nash

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Things put underground in New Orleans don’t often stay there. Even things that should – like bodies, and secrets.

How do you fight an enemy you can’t see that can kill on a whim? In 1820s New Orleans, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Zéolie Cheval discovers the mangled body of her father murdered in his bed and a maniacal voice haunting the recesses of her mind. When the priest sent to comfort her is killed while the house is swarming with police, Zéolie becomes entangled in a web of mystery that takes her from the French Quarter, to the Ursuline Convent in the Ninth Ward, and deep into the Louisiana swamps.

Officer Louis Saucier, who is losing his heart to Zéolie and his grip on logical reality, helps her find the pieces to her puzzle. The mother superior of the Ursulines offers assistance from a mediumistic nun and a voodoo priestess, blurring the lines between the spiritual and the supernatural.
After opening the family crypt to find it uninhabited, Zéolie realizes that her father lied about her mother’s death – amongst other things. Now, Zéolie must to come to terms with magic she inherited from her grandmother and the price that comes with it.

Step inside the magic and mystery of the 1820s French Quarter to see if an unlikely menagerie can help Zéolie take down a murderous maniac while she shields the officer she loves. Can she harness powers she didn’t know she had? Or, will she make the ultimate sacrifice?

Review:

Holy Wow ! What a powerful and haunting novel!

I was drawn in by Nola Nash from the first page of “Crescent City Moon” all the way to the very last paragraph of the last chapter.
Zeolie, Solene, Mama Nell and all the other colorful characters in this fantastic novel were haunting with the captivating tales of New Orleans and Voodoo Priestesses.

Many of the spine-tingling scenes left me with an eery feeling looking around to see that there were no unexpected folks in the room with me.
I am anxiously waiting for next release in this mysterious thrilling series.

5 Stars.

book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Serena’s Favorites, suspense, Thriller, Uncategorized

#BookReview: What She Found by Emerald O’Brien

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 26, 2020

Summary:

It was supposed to be the perfect getaway, but a knock at the door could ruin their lives.

After her recent separation, Tabitha Weaver is holding her life together by a thread. Luckily, her six closest friends have the perfect cure for heartbreak: a weekend in the countryside complete with relaxation, a blind date, and all the wine she can handle.

But it isn’t long before their night at the secluded rental house goes sour. The drinks flow a little too freely and lingering tensions arise before they’re interrupted by frantic knocking at the door. The stranger claims to have been in an accident, and though her head is bleeding, she refuses to let them call an ambulance.

With Tabitha distracted by her new beau, another friend leaving to check out the scene of the accident, and the rest of the group busy feuding, they lose track of the stranger’s whereabouts. It isn’t until she wakes up with a hangover that Tabitha finds a note on her dresser: Don’t stop until you find it.

Tabitha disregards the note, and the evening, and returns home believing the weekend is behind her. But when the strange woman is reported missing, the police start circling—the group must reexamine their accounts of what happened that night. And the discrepancies in their stories cannot be overlooked. It doesn’t help that the police have discovered clues to suggest foul play.

As the evidence mounts against them, loyalties are tested. Tabitha is desperate to find the truth about what happened to the woman.

Which of her friends is lying? Who can she trust?

A gripping psychological suspense for fans of Kiersten Modglin, Meghan O’Flynn, and Abigail Haas. If you liked Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, you’ll love What She Found.

Review:

WOW!!!!!

Emerald O’Brien has written an action packed, powerful mystery with “What She Found”.

I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting anxiously to find out whodunnit…… of course I was wrong…….

The friendship between this group of friends was complicated and so many deep deceptive secrets showed up throughout the novel!!!

There were so many twists in here that I was literally shaking my head at the end and actually read the ending twice!!!! I had to let it sink in and was just “wowed” again!!!!

I would highly recommend that you read this haunting page turner – you will not be disappointed.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, suspense, Thriller, Uncategorized

#BookReview: The Mother-in-Law by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 17, 2020

Summary:

There’s something strange about Loren’s new mother-in-law…

When Loren meets Jack, she’s sure he’s the man she’s been waiting for—a perfect husband and a father for her young daughter. Shortly after their wedding, their plans to start a life together are put on hold when the couple receives word that Jack’s father has died.

In an effort to appease her new husband, Loren invites her mother-in-law, Coralee, to stay with them while she grieves. When strange things begin to occur just after her arrival, Loren questions how much she knows about the woman she invited into her home.

One calculated move after the next, Coralee attempts to drive a wedge between Loren and her new husband. Jack believes his mother’s strange behavior is just further proof she needs their help, but Loren isn’t so sure. As Coralee’s actions become increasingly sinister, Loren is pushed to her breaking point and she realizes she must do whatever it takes to get rid of her mother-in-law for good.

What she doesn’t know about her new family could kill her…

Review:

I was totally and utterly shocked by Kiersten Modglin with her page-turning novel “The Mother In Law”.

The beginning was mysterious and draws you in instantly.

The twists in this novel were unexpected but that is one of Kiersten’s talents and she did not disappoint with this one.

The complex relationship between Loren and Jack was intriguing. Coralee the mother-in-law was powerful and intense.

I would absolutely recommend this; as well as, her other books.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery, suspense, Uncategorized

#BookReview: Diamonds, Teak, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #1) & Lenses, Lust, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #2) by A.M. Ialacci

Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Lenses, Lust, and Murder Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Summary:

When Allie Fox became a private investigator, she envisioned herself solving crimes and keeping her hometown of Carteret County a safe place. Instead, to her great regret, she’s found herself trailing cheating husbands and tracking check kiters. All that changes when her autistic brother, Ryan, discovers a body near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Now, Allie is diving headfirst into the investigation.

Everyone in town loved the victim, or so they’re saying. Yet Allie soon discovers many at the Cape have shocking secrets they would kill to keep hidden. As she closes in on the truth, a frightening attempt is made on her life. Can she unravel the clues to reveal the murderer’s identity before becoming their next victim?

Review:

I was absolutely intrigued by “Lenses, Lust & Murder”!! A.M. Ialacci drew a stunning landscape right from the start. The trip climbing up the lighthouse and its view were breathtaking!! Too bad there was a dead body at the end of it!!

Then the island was so fired up with excitement as the ferry came in with the FBI Agents, and the local agents arrived to both work with Allie Fox and bring a special “something” for Allie’s brother!

A genius Set-Up! Intense! This was a story I knew I was going to dig my teeth into!

The novel sustained its intensity right through to the very last alarming twist!

A.M. Ialacci is a force to be reckoned with in the Mystery Genre. I hope there are a lot more stories with Allie as our female sleuth!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

Diamonds, Teak, & Murder Date of Release: August 1st, 2019

Summary:

Upon the sudden deaths of her parents in a car accident, credit fraud investigator Allie Fox traded her fast-paced life in Chicago for a boatyard bookkeeping job in sleepy Carteret County, North Carolina. It is a huge transition, especially as she is now the sole caregiver for her younger autistic brother. But when the yard foreman mysteriously ends up dead at work, she can’t resist being pulled into the mystery.

Plenty of people had reason to want Ty Guthrie dead, but he had been kind to her as a kid, and even the sheriff’s department thinks there may have been foul play. Despite the possibility of alienating all of her co-workers and risking her livelihood, Allie becomes a consultant on the case to discover the murderer in their midst.

The deeper she digs, the more secrets she unravels, and the killer turns his sights on her, and even worse, her brother. At odds with law enforcement and the DA while a massive hurricane bears down on the coast, the only thing that matters is that her brother is in danger. With everything to lose and time running out, it’s up to Allie alone to stop the killer, or die trying.

Review:

Reading “Diamonds, Teaks & Murder” was truly riveting! I read it ridiculously fast!

This is a second impressive murder mystery written by A.M. Ialacci!

I loved being introduced to another one of her protagonists!  A.M. Ialacci truly gets you invested!  It was fun to be back  after reading her first book, “Sight in the Dark”.

Allie Fox was just as unstoppable at finding answers, as I was in finishing her story!

I was so wrapped up in her livelihood, and that of her brother; that I had to know what the outcome was going to be…and….What a surprise it was!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, suspense, Thriller, Uncategorized

#BookReview: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 1st, 2019

Summary:

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

(I know this is longer than I typically write, but this book really hit me in the feels)

I was completely dedicated to finishing “Woman on the Edge” in one sitting from the very first sentence!

It was spectacular!

I had chills!!

I had to know everything!!!

My mind was racing!!

Imagine a zipper being zipped up, that is how perfectly this story came together!

Nicole had a fierce, passionate drive to protect her daughter, Quinn. Wanting to protect a character while reading is so visceral!

My mind was spinning!

I was switching lanes constantly with Morgan! She was in trouble with the law, and for a long time I was cheering her on as she tried to prove her innocence and then boom!! Samantha Bailey had me completely stumped!! Even though I was connecting with Morgan, I would shift back and forth to contemplate her innocence!

My mind was swirling!

I loved that there was a solid Women’s Fiction story weaved between this Psychological Thriller that you will not miss, because it was so gripping in its own right.

The character’s were hugely developed.

Samantha Bailey’s Debut Thriller had me so absorbed…..I am still in a “‘Woman on the Edge’ Coma”!!

She has absolutely been added to my Top Author List!!

I read this novel with the same sense of urgency the subway trains rush in and out of their terminals!

I trust you will thoroughly devour it, as I did!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.