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Mini Reviews: Battle of the Intercalary Thrillers



Blurb from Goodreads:
When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can't believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.

But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee's dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she's stunned to find they don't believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.

Until the day the phone rings . . . 
My Review:
 
I cannot thank Rachel from Waves of Fiction and The Reader's Den enough for gifting and recommending this book to me.  I had expressed my dissatisfaction with thrillers lately in a recent review, and this one met everything I was looking for --  lack of an unreliable narrator, put me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I couldn't figure out what was going on, immediately.  I cannot stress the suspense of this one enough -- the author was an expert at building this suspense and revealing each and every piece of the story in time. I don't want to give anything away on this one except that it has similarities to Sleeping With The Enemy (but more terrifying, IMO) and Die For Me by Cynthia Eden and you have to read it! I was definitely freaked out while reading this and yet, there was hope.  Such a perfect read for my mood -- I could not put this down!!
The bedroom was dark, the only light coming into the room from the living room, but even so I was conscious of the scars.  He must have felt the scars, in the dark, as he ran his hands over my skin.  But he didn't say anything.  He must have felt them with his mouth when he kissed me, with his tongue.  He didn't say a word.  The strangest thing was that I felt it, I felt everything.  Normally I feel nothing but itching, discomfort, tightness, soreness.  The surface of my skin is dulled by the scars, lots of it is numbnerve damage, apparently.  When he touched me, I felt everything.  It was like having new skin.


Blurb from Goodreads:
Balanced on the razor edge of moral ambiguity, this sexy and seductive debut novel asks: How can you find out that the person you love is a killer…and continue to love him anyway? Perfect for fans of Karen Rose, Sandra Brown, and Erica Spindler.

On the night of her wedding to Rob, Ellie’s perfect world suddenly collapses. Her suave, charming, sophisticated husband is not the man she believed him to be. Could he really be a killer?

Ellie is rapidly swept into a lethal vortex of betrayal, lies, and uncertainty: Who is the man she married, really?

And how far will she go to protect him?

From Manhattan to the Caribbean, Rob and Ellie struggle to escape the grip of Rob’s former life - a life his employers are determined to ensnare him in for good.

When faced with a terrible choice—to become a murderess herself to save the man she loves, or to let him die—Ellie’s decision propels her into a whiplash-paced adventure, filled with cinematic twists and a startling sense of unease. 
My Review:
This books begins with the use of an audience surrogate - don't let this throw you.  Most of the book is told in the third person but it was done well and I never had problems with the POV. This one kept me guessing and even though it was dark -- it was also pretty romantic, which sounds like such a dichotomy but worked.  The description above is spot on in that this book asks the question of . . . how can you find out that the person you love is a killer…and continue to love him anyway?  Along the lines of this question, I thought of HeartSick by Chelsea Cain and You by Caroline Kepnes.  While all of these books are written very differently, they all ask that same question.  The ending was a bit unsatisfying in that a lot was kind of explained away even though the rest of the story took its time to reveal each and every little thing.  But I still really enjoyed this one and it was a fast read -- I started it thinking that it would take me a few days to read and I ended up finishing it the same day!
But then Ellie came along.  He walked her home after that first date.  Their conversation had rippled and spun, they found humor in the same things, discovered they agreed on all the important basics: Indian food, yes, indies over mainstream movies, coffee as an essential food group.  Of course, even as he engaged in the data mining that is part and parcel of early dating, he was aware that he was presenting a fiction, that even to this girl with whom he connected so easily, he must never reveal who he really was.  But still.  There was something that linked them.  By the time they had gotten back to her apartment building, he knew he didn't want to say good night.
I really loved the use of intercalary chapters in both of these books -- both books had alternating chapters of past and present, usually short chapters.  In both books, this really helped build the suspense while allowing the story to unravel.  I thought this was a great technique and executed perfectly in both books.  If you are in the mood for a great thriller that will put you on the edge of your seat the entire time, I cannot recommend Into the Darkest Corner enough.  Just Fall comes out next week on March 22, 2016, while Into The Darkest Corner was previously released, and I definitely loved both!

Comments

  1. In The Darkest Corner intrigues me most too. I'm in a bit of a thriller slump too, having not liked a single one I read as of late. Maybe I'll pick that one up. :)

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

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  2. Into the Darkest Corner sounds amazing! I read a really good thriller/mystery book the other day after a long time and it was so great and I've been craving more. I'll add this one to my list. I love me a good unreliable narrator! And a book that freaked you out? YES!

    Just Fall sounds interesting too, especially because of the romance aspect of it. I don't really like that the ending was a bit unsatisfying though.

    Great reviews, Eva! :)

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  3. I haven't heard of either of these books, but I just bought You by Caroline Kepnes and The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre. I've been wanting to get into more thrillers so I'll definitely check these out. Especially Into The Darkest Corner!

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed Into the Darkest Corner!! I thought it was a great suspense!

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  5. Into the Darkest Corner looks really good! I did a double take because I have an anticipated book called The Darkest Corner and thought that was it in a different cover, for a minute.

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  6. I think they both sound good! It's too bad the Just Fall didn't end so good b/c I think I figured out what was going on and it sounds like it could have been a really good story :) Perfect reviews!!!!!!

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  7. I love thrillers, but I have to read them a couple at a time. Preferably, in the Fall. Do not ask me why. LOL!

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  8. Oh, yay, Eva!! I'm so happy (and relieved) you ended up enjoying Into the Darkest Corner. I agree, the suspense was so thick I was on edge the entire book as well!

    I'm going to have to check out Just Fall. I read You which completely messed with my internal moral compass, but it was riveting. I don't think I'll be reading any of the sequels, though. One book inside Joe's head was enough for me.

    I still haven't got past the first page of Jane Steele. Work kicked my butt this last week and so the only "reading" I was able to do was my audio book.

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  9. These are both ones that sound lile ones i would love. I am so into unreliable narrators and past/present chapters. Glad you found a great suspense /thriller! Lovely reviews!

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