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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Meh Times Two

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With a new, but solid marriage, a lovely home in a safe, well-maintained neighborhood, and a stable bookkeeping job, life is comfortable for Karen Krupp.  She's not the type to involve herself in any kind of drama, so when she disappears—leaving behind her purse and cell phone—her husband is flummoxed.  He's even more confused when he's summoned to the hospital to find Karen alive but with no memory of where she's been.  According to the police, she was driving in the worst part of town, an area she had no reason to visit, when she crashed into a utility pole.  What was Karen doing there?  She can't remember and Tom Krupp has no idea.  

When a corpse is discovered near the place where Karen had her accident, the police believe it's no coincidence.  As they investigate, they find that everyone—Karen,Tom, and even Karen's purported best friend—are hiding something.  The more Detective Rasbach digs, the more disturbing the case becomes.  Can he figure out what Karen was doing on the night she crashed?  And what, if anything, she had to do with a violent murder?

I'm always up for an intriguing amnesia-based psychological thriller and A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena fits the bill.  Kinda.  While it's engrossing, the story is told in an odd, off-putting way, which distances the reader from the action.  The characters, even Detective Rasbach who is a recurring character in Lapena's novels, are not developed enough to be likable or unlikable.  In addition, the tale is melodramatic and predictable; I wanted more complexity from it.  All this aside, A Stranger in the House is still a compelling page turner.  I just didn't love it and, in the end, didn't find it to be a very satisfying read.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, mild sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


Despite Intriguing Premise, This One Gets A Meh From Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After her babysitter cancels at the last minute, Anne Conti reluctantly decides to leave her 6-month-old daughter at home and join her husband, Marco, at a dinner party next door.  Plagued by guilt and anxiety, Anne can't relax, even though she checks on the infant repeatedly.  During one of these drop-ins, the couple make a horrifying discovery—Cora is gone.  Who would kidnap a baby right out of its crib?  And why?  

With no real evidence of a break-in, police suspect the Contis of abducting their own child.  Anne suffers from post-partum depression and Marco's software design business is in trouble.  Did one of them snap under the added pressure of new parenthood?  As Detective Rasbach investigates, he uncovers a whole web of lies weaved between the Contis and their enigmatic next door neighbors, the Stillwells.  No one is telling the entire truth, so what really happened to Cora?  Can Rasbach wade through all the deceit and find out? 

I dig psychological thrillers with intriguing premises, so The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena seemed like a right-up-my-alley kind of novel.  While the story is intriguing enough that I wanted to keep reading, the characters in this story are a total turn-off.  The cast is almost wholly unlikable.  They're a desperate, selfish, cruel, and greedy lot, which made it impossible to care about them.  Add to this irritant a predictable plot and a depressing-as-all-get-out vibe, and The Couple Next Door becomes only a so-so read.  While I definitely wanted to know what happened to the baby, all in all this one didn't do a lot for me.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Our House by Louise Candlish)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, sexual content, violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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