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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

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40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

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27 / 40 books. 68% done!

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15 / 40 books. 38% done!

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10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

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My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

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26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Thursday, March 11, 2021

It's Compelling, That's Why!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since the tragic death of her toddler, Ellie has been spiraling.  She's drinking too much, making reckless decisions, and acting out against her billionaire father.  One night, after too many cocktails, she literally stumbles into a handsome, successful real estate developer named Martin Cresswell-Smith.  His interest and gentle kindness are exactly what Ellie needs.  After a whirlwind courtship, the two are married and headed to Martin's native Australia, where they're heading up a multi-million dollar venture to build a luxury resort at Jarrawarra Bay, New South Wales.

Ellie's excited for this much-needed fresh start, but it's not long before her fairy tale life Down Under starts to dissolve.  Not everything about Martin and his building project is what it seems.  When the developer is brutally murdered, suspicion naturally turns to his unstable wife.  Did Ellie kill her new husband?  If so, why?  

Everyone in Jarrawarra Bay thinks Ellie murdered Martin.  Detective Senior Constable Lozza Bianchi isn't so sure.  She saw evidence of Ellie's fear of Martin firsthand.  Didn't she?  Can the widow be believed or is Ellie Cresswell-Smith manipulating everyone around her, including the police?  Lozza's already on thin ice with the department, but she will not stop digging until she knows what really happened to Martin.  The truth is far more sinister than even she imagined...

I'm always down for a compelling psychological thriller and In the Deep by Loreth Anne White sounded like just the ticket.  Was it?  There's no doubt that this is an engrossing novel.  It kept me on an uneven keel throughout, making me wonder who was telling the truth, who was hiding something, and who I could trust.  While I saw some of the plot twists coming, a couple caught me by surprise.  I like a mystery/thriller that keeps me guessing—and this one did.  Ish.  However, In the Deep is dark, violent, and disturbing.  It gave me more than one nightmare.  Not gonna lie, I kept asking myself, "Why am I reading this?"  It's compelling, that's why!  Bad dreams be darned, I wanted to find out what really happened between Ellie and Martin.  Still, the characters are an unlikable bunch who pretty much get exactly what they deserve.  Lozza is the only one I cared about, so I was disappointed that she didn't get more page time.  On the whole, then, I give this book props for being an unputdownable page-turner.  It loses points (at least for me) for being full of unlikable characters and for being too dark and depressing.  If this book is any indication, White's style is just too much for me.  I'll be giving her books a wide berth in future.    

(Readalikes:  I've seen White compared to Robert Dugoni, but I've only read one book by each of them so I'm not sure how apt the comparison is.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, blood/gore, sex, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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