Monday, April 27, 2015

No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill

Stephanie is desperate - she's got very little money, no real job prospects, and nowhere to go. Her latest rental was a place she jokingly called "the cell," so the room for rent at 82 Edgehill Road is a bit of a dream come true. Sure it's a little rundown and the landlord something of a creeper, but it's well within her budget and spacious to boot. And the ad said women only, which sets Stephanie's mind at ease at least a little bit. 

But when Stephanie begins to hear and see things that are beyond explanation, she knows she has to get out of the house on Edgehill Road. Even when the landlord refuses to refund her deposit, she gives herself until the end of the weekend to find a friend who will let her crash. But making it through the weekend is a tougher order than she thought it would be. 

You can probably tell by my reviews and reading taste that it takes a lot to shake me up reading wise, but Adam Nevill did manage to do so with No One Gets Out Alive. Holy moly did it freak me out! Honestly, I was reading LATE at night and had to force myself to set it aside with just 150 pages to go because I thought it might actually give me nightmares.

Stephanie's story is bleak and dark. She's young and fairly well educated but has had to leave school because of lack of money. Her parents are both gone and her stepmother was a step monster she was glad to leave behind, so there's really no one she can turn to in her time of need. And this is a time of need if ever there was one!

The landlord at Edgehill Road immediately rubs her the wrong way but she takes the room anyway, that's how desperate she is. But even she has her limits - and weird noises in her bedroom, a crying neighbor, and a complete lack of sleep as a result are it. Things only get worse the longer she's in the house, which does turn out to be both haunted and extremely dangerous.

And then the story takes a turn. A really unexpected turn, to be honest. And it's fabulous!

As much as I enjoy horror, haunted houses are by far my favorite but it's usually a lot of same old same old. Any time an author can surprise me they get super major points in my book and Nevill gets LOTS of points for this one. LOTS! Even I was a little concerned, though, that this one was going to end up being just a bit too dark for my taste given what goes on at Edgehill Road, and it very likely will be for some readers, but this beast of a book ended up being an almost one-sitting read for me and even when it was majorly creeping me out I could not put it down. Well, except for my own sleep's sake, as I mentioned above. But I did literally pick it straight up as soon as I woke up. Didn't even shower or start my day until I was done!

I could probably go on and on fangirling over this one but let's recap real quick:  No One Gets Out Alive is a unique spin on a haunted house story that kept me up all night and freaked the crap out of me. Yeah, this one's definitely one I happily recommend for horror fans and the 4th entry on my 2015 favorites list!

Rating: 5/5

No One Gets Out Alive is out tomorrow in the US.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Releases 4/28/15

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill

Depth by Lev AC Rosen

The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw

Charm by Sarah Pinborough

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl

Black Run by Antonio Manzini

The Children Return by Martin Walker

Early Warning by Jane Smiley

Mirrorworld by Jeremy Robinson

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari

Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen

The Vorrh by Brian Catling

The Silence that Speaks by Andrea Kane

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Gathering Prey by John Sandford

Grave Consequences by David and Aimée Thurlo

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Rogue by Julie Kagawa

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

New on DVD:
The Gambler
Inherent Vice
Accidental Love
The Boy Next Door

New reviews at
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

It's Saturday, what are you doing? I'm reading! Mike's class just happens to coincide with the Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon and while I'm not certain I can do all 24 hours, I can definitely commit to 12 :) So here goes.

I'm pairing this a bit with cleaning out my e reader. First up are:

Dark Screams v 2 edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Dark Screams v 3 edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

(These shouldn't take long, the two Dark Screams anthologies are about 200 pages combined and Loki is close to that. I'll add more to the list as the time goes by.

And for the opening meme ('cause I just woke up):

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Colorado - just outside Denver, to be specific

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Right now, Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

No clue, this is a totally spur of the moment thing for me.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Hm, I'm a total book junkie whose backlog of TBR titles is getting out of hand. I prefer physical books to e books, so my e reader gets seriously neglected when I pick new reads. Hence my attempt not only to take advantage of my husband being away by taking part in the read-a-thon but my focus (at the start at least) on e titles in particular for the day. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is my first Dewey's read-a-thon and I am most looking forward to seeing how many books I can read before the end of the day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

Hi, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Susan M. Boyer's third Liz Talbot mystery, Lowcountry Boneyard.

The disappearance of Kent Heyward has been all over the news of late. And when Liz is hired to dive into the investigation, she's both apprehensive and excited. Kent, a twenty-three-year-old working in advertising, recently graduated from college. She also recently announced her relationship with FIG head chef, Matthew Thomas, something her upper crust parents have been less than keen about. Given the circumstances and lack of evidence otherwise, the police have determined that Kent left of her own accord. But her family disagrees. Now it's up to Liz to either find the evidence to support the police department's determination or find the missing heiress.

I had two concerns going into Lowcountry Boneyard: first that it would be a bit too cute for my taste. I do love a good PI mystery, but I'm not a HUGE cozy fan. I mean I'm not opposed in general, but they are usually just too darn cute for me. My second concern was that with this being the third in a series I might be a bit lost. In spite of these, though, (suck up moment) I love what Henery Press is doing and have been interested in reading more of their titles so I figured it was worth a shot.

Fortunately, mystery fans, neither of these potential issues turned out to be issues at all. What I got from Lowcountry Boneyard was a super fun - and yes, a little cute - mystery packed to the brim with southern charm. There were indeed some references to previous cases, but nothing about this title was overly dependent on those previous installments - at least not to the point that it hindered my enjoyment anyway.

Liz is insanely likable and battling with an issue that pits her loyalty to home against her partner/lover - this made for a great subplot to the book and a little conflict as well. She's got a guardian spirit by her side to help her out (yeah, that was a little cutesy), but she's a good PI as PI characters go in my opinion.

The best part, though, is the strong sense of place. The series is set in Charleston, much of it focused on the fictional island of Stella Maris. Boyer spends such a great amount of time building the little details of Liz's life here that it not only feels like a real place, it feels as though it could be one of the characters.

Lowcountry Boneyard is a solid mystery and a great introduction to Liz and Stella Maris - it's sold me on this being a nice new PI series to add to my to read list as well.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Susan and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What You Left Behind by Samatha Hayes

The village of Radcote is still reeling from a recent spate of suicides when another teen is determined to have taken his life. DI Lorraine Fisher isn't there to investigate, however. Nope, Lorraine is on a much-needed vacation visiting her sister. They're to spend the week as a family seeing the sites and enjoying each other's company. 

But Lorraine's hopes for a quiet and work-free week are dashed when she catches wind that this latest suicide might be anything but. And when another suicide is discovered and her own nephew disappears, Lorraine knows she can't sit on the sidelines any longer. 

Samantha Hayes's latest is a return to DI Lorraine Fisher of last year's Until Your Mine, but it's a spoiler-free return.

The book begins with this latest suicide, which the reader is well aware is actually an accident. And it's a pretty jarring opening. The plot moves quickly forward with Lorraine's arrival in Radcote and Hayes setting the scene for a promisingly tense family reunion. Not only do we know that the house in Radcote is the same Lorraine grew up in, but that her sister's ownership of the house was something of a hoped-for source of contention on the part of Lorraine's mother. And that's not even getting into the actual atmosphere of the house when Lorraine arrives, with her nephew being relentlessly bullied and her sister newly separated.

Whew! Like I said, Hayes sets the scene for a tense reunion.

Even those who haven't read Until Your Mine (like me) are quickly made aware of the fact that Lorraine is a driven cop who's often at risk of putting her cases before her own family. What's more, it turns out she has very real reason to be concerned about the local investigation thanks to her work experience. She's not quite tough-as-nails, though her sister might tell you otherwise, but Lorraine thankfully does not take any crap.

In other words, she's a heroine I can definitely get behind!

Hayes throws a few red herrings out, but I don't think I'm wrong in saying that a seasoned reader is unlikely to fall for them. Fortunately Lorraine is such a strong character that she easily carries the plot, making What You Left Behind (aka Before You Die) a pretty fun read over all.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Threshold by G.M. Ford

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for G.M. Ford's latest, Threshold.

Mickey Dolan is going through what some might call a rough patch. The detective has recently been popped for excessive force on two occasions and his personal life is quite out in the open - like PSA open. So his boss assigning him a touchy case is something of a second chance. 

A local politician's wife has disappeared with their two children. The wife is said to be suffering from some mental health issues and has lost custody of the kids, but some think they could be hiding out at a local battered women's shelter. Unfortunately, Dolan soon learns that this isn't simple custody case at all. The wife and children allege that the politician has been abusing them but that the reports have been covered up because of his position. And the politician isn't going to let things rest. 

Threshold is a bit of an odd duck. Ford alternates clipped bits of story beginning with a potential hostage situation in a hospital but before the reader has much information about what's going on, the scene switches to Mickey Dolan. And the story continues to play out in this manner for the entire length of the book - Ford feeding the reader bits and pieces of two alternating story lines, inching them both forward.

Threshold is a quick read and even though I was confused for the first 50 pages or so, I have to admit my interest was piqued even early on. Readers who can stick it through these opening sections will likely enjoy the read as a whole. There's a second storyline involving a woman who has the ability to bring people out of comas. She was a somewhat more intriguing element to me than Dolan and his case, but combined their plots - and crossover - do make for an interesting and suspenseful read.

Rating: 3/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Authors

I've decided to jump on board with Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is: top ten all time favorite authors.

This was a tough one! I feel like I have about six solids and the rest were whatever the heck I felt like were my favorites in the moment. Oh, well.