Little Comfort

⇒ Hester Thursby is small in stature but big on moxie! She’s multitasking life and staying one step ahead of an unknown predator in this well-paced thriller! ⇐

**Many thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books, and the author for the opportunity to read and review a free ARC of this book.

by Edwin Hill

SmellRating4

(4.16 stars – Goodreads rating)

Publish Date: August 28, 2018, by Kensington Books

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 304 pages

#Little Comfort  #NetGalley

Little Comfort (Hester Thursby Mystery, #1)… and as much as Hester fought for independence, nothing frightened her more than the thought of being abandoned.

Hester Thursby may be small in stature, but she’s big on moxie! When she’s not working at Harvard’s Widener library, she’s a people-finder and she’s working a case for Lila who is searching for her long-lost brother. But how easy can it be to find a missing person (or a person in hiding) with not only a long-eared basset hound in tow, but also her new charge – three-year-old Kate, the little girl who was practically abandoned by her mother. Eventually, this case becomes more than expected when Hester makes a new acquaintance who suddenly becomes her biggest fan.

He’ll uncover your dreams, your demons, and your very core. And he’ll use all of it to get whatever he wants.

The story is well paced, had a great setup for both a mystery and a thriller, and great character development for the most part. There were a few stereotypical assumptions that grated, but Hill called them out himself. My only lasting gripe is that Hester’s character didn’t seem consistent throughout. She came off as a bit wishy-washy, behaving in ways contrary to the confident, dauntless personality we are initially introduced to.

Little Comfort is the first in a series with a second Hester Thursby mystery expected in 2019. After this mystery with its unconventional, feisty protagonist and its unexpectedly twisted reveal, I’d be down to read more about Hester’s adventures.

Buy Little Comfort here on August 28th!: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


About the Author

EDWIN HILL

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Edwin was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and spent most of his childhood obsessing over The Famous Five, Agatha Christie, and somehow finding a way into C.S. Lewis’s wardrobe. His parents were fond of taking his sister and him on month-long family camping trips across the U.S. and Canada, and one of his best memories is of finishing a copy of The Seven Dials Mystery while the rest of the family visited Mount Rushmore. Growing up when VHS tapes were new meant that watching AlienJawsThe Shining, or Halloween whenever he wanted seemed luxurious, and still does today. Like Hester Thursby, he watched these movies – and others like them – a lot.

After attending Wesleyan University and graduating with a B.A. in American Studies, he headed west to San Francisco for the original dotcom boom. Later, he returned to Boston, earned an MFA from Emerson College, and switched gears to work in educational publishing, where he currently serves as the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a division of Macmillan Learning.

(Bio taken from Edwin-Hill.com)



 

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Bring Me Back

by B.A. Paris
Rating: 
(3.91 stars – Goodreads rating)

To Be Published June 19, 2018, by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller

Format: Kindle Edition

Page Count: 384

bring me backI knew she would never have wandered off, not at night, not when it was pitch-black because, as I said, she hated the dark.

Finn doesn’t know what happened to Layla, his girlfriend, that fateful night during their vacation to France. But he knows more than he told the police. Layla disappeared without a trace and Finn narrowly avoided being charged with foul play.

Twelve years later, Finn has done his best to move on – finding new love with, of all people, Layla’s sister Ellen. They’re engaged to be married and looking forward to a new chapter in life. Then a Russian nesting doll shows up in their front yard, Finn gets an email from a stranger, and everything begins to spiral out of control.

I wasn’t going to be able to come out of the darkness and into the light. I was going to have to spend the rest of my life in subterfuge, hiding my true self away from the world.

I recommend this book to lovers of mystery, suspense, and psychological thrillers – especially those that appreciate a twisty ending. Suspense lovers will appreciate it as every character comes under Finn’s suspicion as he attempts to keep his carefully constructed life intact.

He’ll think he’s luring me, but it will be me doing the luring.

Bring Me Back was an enjoyable read that I sped through in one sitting. It captures the attention and leads you by the nose to an unexpected (though not entirely plausible) ending.

**Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.


About the Author

B. A. ParisTwitter

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B.A. PARIS grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. Behind Closed Doors is her first novel.

 

(Bio courtesy of Macmillan)


 

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Bad Man

by Dathan Auerbach
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

(3.94 stars – Goodreads rating)

To Be Published August 7, 2018, by Doubleday

Genre: Fiction / Horror (ish) / Mystery / Suspense

Format: Kindle

Page Count: 320 pgs (Kindle version)

badmanThey’d seen flyers for Eric here and there over the years… they never really looked. No one ever does.

When I think about what makes a good horror story, one of the most important components is the atmosphere. Auerbach sets us up in a small Floridian town and then strips us of all sense of security and comfort. He surrounds his characters with grief, poverty, and suspicion, and therefore creates a perfect setting for this creepy tale that weaves real-life horror with a little something extra.

Eric has been missing for five years and no one has any answers as to what could have happened to him. His big brother, Ben, was the last one to see him and seems to be the only one committed to still searching for him. When Ben takes a job at the same store where Eric went missing, strange things begin to occur that convince him that someone does know what happened to Eric and they’re trying to reach out to him. But is it to help him or to stop him from asking questions?

The Bad Man will leave you guessing. The unreliable narrator, the creepy store setting, and Ben’s shady coworkers and friends all manage to introduce more questions as you read than they answer. I found the book to be quite engrossing; however, the ending was wholly unsatisfying in that there were several strings left hanging that made even the epilogue seem incomplete.

I would recommend this book to lovers of horror and mystery that don’t mind a story that leaves you with lots of questions at the end. This one isn’t tied up with a neat little bow. And if you don’t mind filling in the blanks for yourself, this is definitely the book for you.

**Many thanks to NetGalley, Doubleday Books, and the author for providing this ARC for me to read a review.**


About the Author

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Dathan Auerbach was born in the southern United States and has lived there for most of his life. He is the author of Penpal.

(Biography taken from Bad Man)


 

The Missing Hours

by Emma Kavanagh
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

(3.74 stars – Goodreads rating)

To Be Re-Published February 27, 2018, by Kensington Books

Genre: Fiction / Crime Fiction / Mystery

Format: EBook

Page Count: 320

#themissinghours #netgalley

missing hoursWe rarely know the people around us, only what they show us of themselves.

When Dr. Selena Cole mysteriously vanishes from a playground leaving her daughters stranded, DC Leah Mackay takes the case but struggles to find any clues to help solve it. Twenty hours later, Selena is found alive but has no memory of where she was or how she got back home.

…whatever filled in those missing hours, at the end of them is a mother kissing her cildren. And so everything is well. Right?

That same day, Leah’s brother, DS Finley Hale, is assigned the murder case of an associate who has been dumped unceremoniously on a mountain lane. Finn, too, finds any clues hard to come by.

What follows is a procedural whodunit with ping-ponging points of view between the brother and sister detectives who learn that more than one of the suspects in each case have crisscrossing ties to each other.

What at first appears to be just a creepy missing-persons case ends up dragging us into the shadowy world of kidnapping for ransom with each character becoming a suspect in crimes that are as much of a mystery as the perpetrators.

There are always cases that speak to you, pulling themselves out of the pile and grabbing hold of your consciousness.

Kavanagh does a great job of revealing the truth in bite-sized morsels as we read along – totally caught up in the secrets of each person we meet. However, at times it was hard to follow the characters’ awkward trains of thought as they shifted from past to present and back again in the same unbroken paragraph.

However, as any novel reader will tell you (especially connoisseurs of mysteries and thrillers), if your pulse starts to quicken as the action begins to climax, then you’ve got to give the author kudos for that. And mine did (Hint: Great “chase” scene!).

I enjoyed this book and did not find it predictable or overly familiar. Kavanagh’s placement of the Cole Group’s case files helped with that. The individual kidnapping cases kept us wondering about their relevance and about a possible next victim. The ending felt a bit unsatisfyingly abrupt – even after the surprising resolution, but it did not take away from my overall appreciation of this well-written crime fiction novel.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Get it here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Half Price Books


About the Author

Emma KavanaghGoodreads

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Emma K. & Kensington Books

Emma Kavanagh is the acclaimed UK bestselling author of Falling and Hidden. Born and raised in South Wales, she is a former police and military psychologist. After completing her PhD, Emma began her own consultancy business, providing training to police and military across the UK and Europe. She taught police officers and NATO personnel about the psychology of critical incidents, terrorism, body recovery and hostage negotiation. She has run around muddy fields taking part in tactical exercises, has designed live fire training events, has been a VIP under bodyguard protection and has fired more than her fair share of weapons. She is married with two small sons and considers herself incredibly privileged to get to make up stories for a living.

(Bio from Kensington Publishing Corp.)

 

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The Child Finder

by Rene Denfeld
Rating: 
(4.04 stars – Goodreads rating)

Published September 5th, 2017 by Harper

Genre: Fiction – Mystery/Thriller

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 274


TCF
Have you ever been lost? ❞ ❝Oh yes, she answered… Once upon a time, before I can remember.

Naomi is an investigator who has found over 30 missing and/or abducted children and she is working on locating two more. At the same time, she is also piecing together the missing parts of her own mysterious discovery in the frozen woods of Oregon.

What I Liked: 
– The underlying mystery. This was a deceptively simple story, but the “creep” factor was boosted up to triple digits. The atmosphere of the book is about as potentially terrifying as the antagonist ultimately turns out to be.
– Naomi. The main character wasn’t anything cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill, or typical. At times, you wonder if you can even trust her. But you want to stick in there with her. You want to see her succeed – not just in her job – but in her life. Plus, you get the sense that the answers to her personal mystery are locked up inside her and you want to stay around to witness when it all unfolds.
– The supporting characters. Denfeld does a great job of placing a full cast of eccentric people around our main character, and she makes us care about all of them. Q: How is that possible in a book that is less than 300 pages? A: Skilled writing.

This is something I know: no matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.

What I Didn’t Like 
– I didn’t like the uncomfortable feeling that I felt as “Snow Girl” told her story. No spoilers, it’s just that portions were very hard to read even though much of it was left to the imagination. And, apparently, my imagination went to some very dark places. I was sickened, angry, and distraught. BUT that’s exactly how I was supposed to feel. So, yeah, I didn’t like that feeling; however, it was necessary and Denfeld did an amazing job at conveying the disturbing mood present during those parts of the book.

What I Wanted More Of: 
– I wasn’t ready for the story to end. I, like one of the characters in the book, wanted to know what happens to everyone after the mystery is solved. I want that story too. Could this possibly become the first book in a series for Denfeld? Well… she’s very enigmatic about her writing plans so we may not know that until a release date is announced. Denfeld does have a new book scheduled for release on or around October 15, 2018 called The Strawberry Palace, but that one is categorized as a romance, so it’s probably not the sequel I’m hoping for. However, I sure would love to spend more time with Naomi and her friends.

**Triggers for sensitive readers include allusions to sexual abuse and violence against children. However, Denfeld is very sensitive to these subjects and doesn’t exploit them just for the sake of a good story.

In the years since, she had discovered the sacrament of life did not demand memory. Like a leaf that drank from the morning dew, you didn’t question the morning sunrise or the sweet taste on your mouth. You just drank.


Get it here: Amazon ; Kindle ; Barnes and Noble