review: It Takes One by Kate Kessler

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{Source: GoodReads.com}

Thank you to Redhook Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!

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Can you tell how I felt about this book?

This was just… juicy. Not only was it legit creepy, but the romance was toe curlingly sexy and sweet and the main character was actually pretty cool. Like, I could picture myself enjoying her company. Weird, right?

It Takes One by Kate Kessler is about Audrey Harte, a psychologist returning home after almost a decade away. You see, when Audrey was thirteen, she and her best friend Maggie killed Maggie’s abusive father. He deserved it, and the two girls also deserve a medal… however, as it goes in small towns, neither were very popular after that and their friendship withered and died.

When Audrey returns, she runs straight into her old crush Jake, and a very inebriated Maggie. After she and her former best friend get in a slight tussle, Audrey’s convinced things can’t get any worse.

Oh, but they can, poppet. They can. Maggie is murdered, and all suspicion falls on Audrey. Because, why not right? It’s as if people think she’s a psycho just for dispatching a violent rapist.

ANYWAY.

Most of the book deals with the psychological ramifications of Maggie’s murder, the events of the past, Audrey’s struggles with her family and home town, and the race to find out who killed Maggie, and why.

Gritty, raw and intimate, It Takes One is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dark and engrossing mysteries.

 

 

 

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review: Sharon Tate by Ed Sanders

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{Source: GoodReads.com}

Thank you to Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!

One of the most upsetting things I have ever read is the recounting of the murder of Sharon Tate, with her killers sharing that she begged to stay alive long enough to have her baby (due to be born in just two short weeks), offering herself as a hostage, and crying “Mother, Mother…” as she was stabbed to death. Could anything be more horrifying? Could anything be more heartrending than this young woman, pleading for a shred of mercy for herself and her unborn child?

And she was given none. Even by the press in the wake of her death, Sharon was treated like a beauty queen, not a person. As her husband said to journalists, “Yes, Sharon was beautiful. Maybe the most beautiful woman in the world. But did you ever write how good she was?

I was hoping to find a glimpse of this Sharon in E Sanders’ biography. However, I’m sad to say I didn’t. The book offers brief glimmers of the Sharon that friends and family knew, but unfortunately it’s mainly a rambling ode to Hollywood gossip, the 1960s, Roman Polanski and his relationship with Sharon and of course, the Manson Family murders of Tate and her friends.

Perhaps I was expecting too much. After all, nothing will bring Sharon back to tell her own story. Nothing will ever fill that gaping ocean of grief and never-to-be-knowns. But still, I wish. I wish to know something of that woman so many people loved.

review: Find Her by Lisa Gardner

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Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. It’s appreciated as always!

Stellar cover, just saying that off the bat. I love a good cover. (And is it just me, or does that look like Daisy Ridley?)

I also love a good Lisa Gardner mystery, and this is her at her very, very best. Electrifying, creepy, raw and full of real, honest emotion, Find Her is Gardner at her peak powers, weaving an unputdownable tale with the finesse she’s famous for – and rightly so.

In this book, Gardner’s Detective D.D. Warren is back – having suffered a fracture to her arm during a raid on a suspect’s home – and ostensibly relegated to desk duty. But of course, D.D. being D.D., there can be no desks. Only action. When a man is found dead by terrified neighbors and D.D. meets the young woman – the bound, naked woman – who admits to killing him, she’s at the cusp of one of the more complex cases she’s ever encountered.

The suspect is none other than Florence Dane, kidnap victim, survivor, and perhaps… a vigilante? D.D. is desperate to find out the truth, but when Florence herself disappears, it becomes clear that something far more sinister is going on. It’s up to D.D. to find out the truth.

The novel switches back and forth from past to present, recounting the horrifying and nauseating details of Flora’s captivity (Gardner is a master at revealing just enough to make you feel slightly sick), while also following D.D.’s footsteps as she races against time to find Flora and other missing girls. Flora is a wonderful character, full of grit, guts and glory, full of doubts and regrets, full of the weight of her own mind. And as always, D.D. is the funny, whip-smart and ballsy detective, anxious to do anything she can to bring the baddies to justice.

On a more serious note, the book echoes the Ariel Castro case, and brings back haunting memories of those women escaping from that house – it also evokes memories of Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart and the Fritzls – people kept away, in the dark, away from the land of the living. It’s devastating.

I won’t reveal anything more about the plot, because the joy and excitement is in the discovery. Just trust me – read.this.book. It’s one of Lisa Gardner’s best – how can she possibly get any better? – and in the end, it’s just a damn good read. I couldn’t put it down, not even for a second. Highly recommended.