So, life has been in the way a lot over the last few months. Nothing bad, just a lot of travel for work and a little for vacation. Then catching up on all the things at home when I have been here.  I’ve read a lot, but the blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit. I miss it.  I am planning to get back on track, with full reviews. But in the meantime, I’m going to give you a quick rundown on books I have recently finished and a few thoughts on them all.

I should warn you, lots of fluff, escapism reading lately.  Nothing deeply profound, and that is OK.  I don’t apologize for that.  Read what catches your interest!

So, here we go:

The Dublin Murder Squad series, books 1-5, by Tana French.

I forget how I chose the first one, but I was entertained enough figuring it out that I wanted to read the next one. What makes these unique? It isn’t one set of characters the whole way through. A major/minor character in Book 1 was the focus of Book 2. Someone from Book 2 was the main character in Book 3, and so on. That keeps things fresh and interesting. All the books are set in and around Dublin, so there’s a good bit of Irish slang. But if you aren’t familiar, you can still figure it out. Mystery lovers, check these out.


In a Dark, Dark Wood by  Ruth Ware

screenshot75Another mystery, set in the UK. What I liked about this one? The story was told from current time and in flashbacks, so it takes a bit to get to the crux of the story. I also didn’t figure out exactly who did it until close to the very end, and then it was how?. I liked it enough that I was immediately on a quest for another read from Ruth Ware and frustrated I couldn’t find it in local bookstores. I finally downloaded from Amazon.


Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, by Sara Hepola

screenshot76If you’ve ever wondered if you have a drinking problem, this book will make you seriously think about it and evaluate a life of complete sobriety. If you don’t have a drinking problem, it may still make you think about it. This memoir is one that is honest and at times brutal. But it is authentic and true. You can’t help but admire Hepola for overcoming her demons. It wasn’t easy. It surely wasn’t pretty, but she decided to get sober, and lived to tell the tale.


The Couple Next Door,  by Shari Lapena screenshot74

One wall separates you from your baby. She’s sleeping, and you and your husband are going home every half our to check on her. You have the monitor with you. So everything is fine, right? I mean, you just checked on her thirty minutes ago. Then you go home for the night, and the crib is empty. Someone has taken your daughter. This is how The Couple Next Doorbegins. An entertaining mystery of what happened to baby Cora, everyone is under suspicion. And just when you think the story is over, it isn’t. There’s a twist. I enjoyed this one.


The Perfect Girl by  Gilly MacMillan screenshot77

Seventeen year old Zoe Maisey has paid her debt for a tragic, terrible accident that left three classmates dead. She and her mother have started over in what is called a Second Chance Life. The story starts at a concert performed by Zoe and her step brother, Lucas, both musical prodigies. After a disastrous encounter that brings Zoe’s past back to haunt her, the perfect Second Chance Family is thrown into tumult. Six hours later, Zoe’s mother is dead. This story weaves together Zoe’s past and present as we learn more about what happened, how people deal with tragedy, and, ultimately, incredible moral choices.


The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

A family torn apart by the death of one twin daughter relocates to a remote Scottish island in the hopes of rebuilding themselves anew. But strange things start happening when surviving twin, Kirstie, insists she’s really Lydia, the twin who died. Sarah and Gus’ marriage is in shambles, and their guilt and Kirstie’s increasingly disturbing behavior threaten to tear them further apart. As distrust in each other, and themselves, grows, they fight to simply survive. There was a twist to this one I didn’t see coming, and I told friends I need them to read this book so that we can talk about it. I also stayed up way too late reading it, so this is another one that mystery and psychological thriller fans will enjoy.


The Girls by Emma Cline

This one reads like the Manson Family member who got away. I had a bit of obsession with the Manson family when I was younger- I couldn’t understand his hold over The Family, so I was really excited to read this one. And I was pretty disappointed. It wasn’t bad. Just meh. I was expecting something more from it than I got. It’s still entertaining. I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t.

So that’s it- a sampling a few of my recent reads. Back to regular postings in the next week or so. And all images courtesy of Amazon.