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My Progress:


13 / 30 books. 43% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:


35 / 51 states. 69% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


29 / 50 books. 58% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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50 / 52 books. 96% done!

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

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My Progress:


29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge


16 / 40 books. 40% done!

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11 / 25 books. 44% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

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My Progress


17 / 26.2 miles (2nd lap). 65% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

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30 / 100 books. 30% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:


74 / 104 books. 71% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress


50 / 52 books. 96% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress


84 / 165 books. 51% done!
Friday, October 07, 2016

So-So Psychological Thriller Compelling, But Lacking (With a Giveaway!)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

From the outside, Zoe Whittaker's rags-to-riches life looks absolutely perfect.  The 29-year-old is the brand-new wife of an influential Wall Street tycoon, she's living in a sparkling Tribeca penthouse, her closet is stuffed with chic designer clothes, and the only work she does is volunteering for a prestigious, well-funded charity for orphans and foster kids.  No one knows Zoe's past, that she, herself, was abandoned as an infant.  No one knows about the terrible things she did as a young adult, the things that propelled her to assume a false name and flee California for the anonymous streets of New York City.  There are other things no one knows—that Zoe is bored with her charmed existence, that she's secretly searching for her birth mother, and that she's feeling stifled by her adoring but controlling spouse.

When a series of suspicious events rocks Zoe's carefully-constructed world, she knows the game is up—after five years, her turbulent past has come calling.  Someone is determined to take revenge and they won't stop until she's dead.  How can Zoe protect herself without revealing the dark secrets she's never told anyone?  If the truth comes out, her glamorous life is over.  With a killer tracking her every move, everything Zoe's ever wanted and everyone she's ever loved are in the utmost danger ...

You all know I love me a good psychological thriller.  The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti is a psychological thriller, but is it a good one?  Well, it's tense, fast-paced and compelling.  A page-turner for sure.  The plot's twisty—it's also far-fetched, with some big plot holes.  Zoe's not a warm narrator, nor a particularly sympathetic one.  It's tough to care much about her.  That disconnect made The Vanishing Year less than satisfying.  Overall, though, the novel is compelling, just not anything really spectacular.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris; The First Wife by Erica Spindler; and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, sexual content, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Vanishing Year from the generous folks at Simon & Schuster.  Thank you!

*****

If you're interested in winning a signed copy of The Vanishing Year for yourself, fill out the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight: Echoes of Family by Barbara Claypole White

Things have been a little turbulent at my house lately and a heavy, 400+ page family drama just hasn't been something I can handle.  I wanted to at least spotlight Echoes of Family by Barbara Claypole White, though, as it sounds like something I would be interested in reading when life calms down a bit.  Here's the synopsis from the back of the book (mine is an uncorrected proof):

Marianne Stokes fled England at seventeen, spiraling into the manic depression that would become her shadow.  She left behind secrets, memories, and tragedy; one teen dead, and her first love, Gabriel, badly injured.  Three decades later she's finally found peace in the North Carolina recording studio she runs with her husband, Darius, and her almost-daughter, Jade ... until another fatality propels her back across the ocean to confront the long-buried past.

In her picturesque childhood village, the first person she meets is the last person she wants to see again: Gabriel.  Now the village vicar, he takes her in without question, and ripples of what if reverberate through both their hearts.  As Marianne's mind unravels, Jade and Darius track her down.  Tempers clash when everyone tries to help, but only by finding the courage to face her illness can Marianne heal herself and her offbeat family.    

I always find books about mental illness fascinating.  That, combined with the family secrets thing makes the premise of this book intriguing to me.  If you agree, be sure and grab yourself a copy next time you're at the bookstore or library.  If you've read Echoes of Family, what did you think?

(Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the ARC and to Barnes & Noble for the cover image.)
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Homecoming by Kate Morton

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The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King



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