Tag Archives: Psychological Thriller

Review: The Stowaway

The Stowaway

The Stowaway
By James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250263650, September 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Gruesome, but oddly entertaining.

The Rest of It:

Two years ago, Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, sat on a jury for one of the most depraved cases ever to pass through the hallowed halls of City Hall. ~ Indiebound

The set-up is very good. Maria’s role on that jury comes back to haunt her and her family as they are vacationing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Maria and her fiancé are trying to put the events of the past behind them while getting a little R&R with Maria’s young children in tow. But things suddenly take a dangerous turn on the ship when people turn up dead. People, mostly, young children. How can this be? Could the man on trial, Wyatt Butler have a copycat?

Maria spent a lot of time reviewing the evidence of that case. All the gruesome photos of Butler’s young victims. Plus, her background in Psychology gives her enough info to know how these serial killers work, but could there really be a copycat on board? Why? What is he after?

This book is a classic example of being trapped with no place to run. It’s a ship but there are only so many places to hide and Maria’s knowledge of the case and what this killer is capable of keeps the story flowing at a breakneck pace. I really enjoyed this one. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down for long.

But…

It’s gruesome. The crime scenes are very graphic. It seemed somewhat tolerable only because the killings are not in real time. As readers, we only hear of the aftermath but it’s children, which is a bit hard to swallow. Many of you warned me about how graphic it was but it was done well-enough that it didn’t keep me from frantically turning those pages.

If you need something a little different, something that is hard to put down and you don’t mind the graphic nature of these killings, then I highly recommend it.

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

Review: The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods
By Harlan Coben
Grand Central Publishing, 9781538748145, March 2020, 384pp.

The Short of It:

Eagerly anticipated this one but it just didn’t work for me.

The Rest of It:

The Boy from the Woods is the first Coben book I’ve read and as you probably know, he has many. I was curious about his books after watching and enjoying several Netflix shows based on his books. I mean, I could not get enough of them so when I realized he had so many books available, I decided to try his new one.

The story centers around Wilde, a boy who was literally found in the woods many years ago. As an adult, he’s close to Hester, an abrasive but witty lawyer who also happens to be a popular TV personality. Wilde was a good friend of Hester’s son who died in a car accident so he is more like family than an old friend.

In this story, a girl goes missing. Her classmate is worried about her and since that classmate is Hester’s grandson, she becomes involved as does Wilde, who is kind of a rogue detective of sorts. There is a lot of back and forth about the girl who is missing and then another classmate goes missing. What is going on here? Are the two cases related?

This was a disappointing read for me. The characters are one-dimensional but my main issue was the dialogue. It was so stilted and unnatural. You say this, I say this. You say this, I say this. Plus, the plot was so ridiculous. Before the big reveal, I almost gave up on it because I just didn’t care what happened to any of them.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one. I heard good things about it so maybe those readers are die hard fans because I tried to enjoy it and was so looking forward to it but it was choppy and just not good in my opinion.

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