Book Review: Do Not Become Alarmed

Book Review: Do Not Become AlarmedDo Not Become Alarmed
by Maile Meloy
on June 6th 2017
Pages: 352
Published by Riverhead Books
Genres: Fiction, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

The sun is shining, the sea is blue, the children have disappeared.

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship’s comfort and ease. The four children—ages six to eleven—love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

The disintegration of the world the families knew—told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children—is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed.

Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and an insightful look at privileged illusions of safety.

My Takeaway  Do Not Become Alarmed was like a thrilling roller coaster ride! It starts with the families enjoying a relaxing vacation on a cruise ship…but things take a turn for the worse quick. I devoured this fast-paced, and exciting novel in 2 days but could have…

Book Review: Magpie Murders

Book Review: Magpie MurdersMagpie Murders
by Anthony Horowitz
on June 6th 2017
Pages: 496
Published by Harper
Genres: Fiction, Mystery/Crime
Goodreads

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

My Takeaway  “As far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat a good whodunnit: the twists & turns, the clues and the red herrings and then, finally, the satisfaction of having everything explained to you in a way that makes you kick yourself because you hadn&#8217…

Book Review: Into the Water

Book Review: Into the WaterInto the Water
by Paula Hawkins
on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 386
Published by Riverhead Books
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

My Takeaway  “Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.” Paula Hawkins, Into the Water I enjoyed Into the Water but felt it lacked some oomph. I am not going to compare Into the Water to her first blockbuster, Girl on a Train. The books are…

Book Review: Salt Houses

Book Review: Salt HousesSalt Houses
by Hala Alyan
on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Goodreads

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about  a  Palestinian family caught between present and past, between  displacement and home.

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children.

When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.

My Takeaway  “Atia remains too frightened to say anything that might unnerve him. What she knows about her husband, what she thought she knew about the man, has scattered like dandelion seeds beneath a child’s breath since he returned from the war.” Hala Alyan, Salt Houses…

Book Review: It’s Always the Husband

Book Review: It’s Always the HusbandIt's Always the Husband
by Michele Campbell
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 320
Published by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge ... and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

My Takeaway I gobbled up this novel in one day! Although, the first half of the story moved a bit slow (hardly any suspense), the second half moved at an enjoyable, faster pace. From the beginning, it is obvious the Whipple Triplets (as they are known in college) have drastically…