Category Archives: Book Review

Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty
By Liane Moriarty
Flatiron Books, 9781250069801, 2017, 560pp.

The Short of It:

What could go wrong at a barbecue? Plenty.

The Rest of It:

This is the second Moriarty book I’ve read, the first being Big Little Lies. As much as I liked Big Little Lies, I think I enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty a bit more.

Both books open with the knowledge that something bad has happened. In this book, this “incident” takes place at a neighborhood barbecue. Just your everyday, neighborhood barbecue with a few neighbors and a couple of mutual friends. As the story unfolds, the chapters count the reader down to the event itself. This method of storytelling creates a lot of tension in the best way possible. I could not turn those pages fast enough and the book stands at 560 pages so that’s telling you something.

The story mostly focuses on three couples, Erika and Oliver, Clementine and Sam, and Tiffany and Vid. These couples are vastly different from one another. Their views on marriage, children and social gatherings are flaunted for all to see as the tension builds between them. All presented in the most delicious, dishy way. Erika and Clementine were tossed together as kids but do they even like one another? Vid and Tiffany are over-the-top with their lifestyle and a bit flashy but what harm could a little barbecue cause? It’s just a meal among friends. Clementine and Sam have their own issues to deal with so why are they always roped into other people’s problems?

The storytelling feels so personal. Almost voyeuristic. When the details of the incident are finally revealed to the reader, you immediately wonder how they will survive it. How will each couple deal with the information they have in front of them? The not-knowing makes it even more of a page-turner.

Friends, this was a good one. Plenty of tension, good story, suspenseful without being unrealistic and characters who come full circle. This is one of those complete package reads. For me, a perfect read.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Safe Place

The Safe Place

The Safe Place 
By Anna Downes
Minotaur Books, 9781250264800, July 14, 2020, 368pp.

The Short of It:

A surprising read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Rest of It:

The cover hints at something sinister going on and yet I could not for the life of me figure out what until very late in the story. It kept me guessing and I really enjoyed how it all unfolded as I eagerly turned each page.

Emily is a young, struggling actress who works temp jobs just to get by. One morning she shows up to work only to find out that she’s being let go. She can’t make the rent, her bank account is depleted and now this. What she doesn’t know is that Scott, the boss who just decided to let her go, has other plans for her.

He offers her a live-in position caring for his wife and daughter at his home in France. Included in the deal is a car, a bank account with plenty of spending money and a beautiful place to call home. This is the answer to Emily’s dreams and after a few weeks with the family she discovers that she loves this family and has really grown attached to their young daughter, Aurelia.

As the story unfolds, Emily becomes concerned. Something isn’t right and there seems to be many secrets that Nina and Scott are keeping from her. At one point in the story I was seriously creeped out!

I really enjoyed The Safe Place. I read it in just a couple of sittings because the story starts with a bang and right out of the gate you want to know what’s going to happen next. I am loving these kinds of reads during these COVID times. If you need a quick, riveting read to get you through the day, pick this one up.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.