The Books I Read In October

Last month was a good month for reading. I didn’t read any non-fiction but read some very good thrillers and a couple of coming of age stories.

Let’s jump right in to the reviews. I must be ready for winter based on all the dark, moody books I read.

If She Only Knew by (The Cahills #1) by Lisa Jackson This one is available to read and listen to on Kindle Unlimited and Scribd. I read and listened at Scribd. This was my first time reading Lisa Jackson’s work but won’t be my last. Marla Cahill wakes up from a coma following a car crash with no memory of who she is or who her family members are. She can’t shake the feeling she isn’t who people say she is. Even her own daughter tells her she is different now. The Cahills are all rich, greedy unlikable characters with lots of secrets but the suspense is so good you can easily ignore the selfishness. This has a quite a few twists and turns. You know from the beginning that the car accident was a murder attempt and that the family has a reason to keep “Marla” under control. The why is revealed as Marla starts to try and put her memories and life back together. 5 stars

White Out by Danielle Girard Also available to read and listen on Kindle Unlimited. I switched back and forth between both. This was also a new author for me. This book also has a plot involving a woman waking up from a car accident with no memory of who she is. Lily Baker has a past she may well want to leave forgotten and her past is linked to a young woman who was murdered and left in a dumpster. Small town Hagen, North Dakota detective Kylie Milliard could make lots of progress on the case, if only Lily could remember. I liked this book and the plot, but I liked Lily more than Kylie. I’ve seen reviews from other authors raving about what a strong bad ass law enforcement character Kylie is but she is not. She is not Dugoni’s Tracy Crosswhite or Melinda Leigh’s Bree Taggert. Kylie is far better than the officers she has to work with, but all of the law enforcement is painted as bumbling idiots. I only gave this 3 stars.

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand– I bought this in print from Thriftbooks. It took me a long time to read it but I finished it in October. This story is about the Levin family and their annual trip to stay on Nantucket for the summer with their grandmother. This year is different because the oldest sister is pregnant with twins, the middle is caught up in civil rights protests and finding herself, Jessie turns 13, and their brother has been drafted into the war. Mom has turned into a alcoholic because she has no other way to deal with the fear for her son’s safety. Her husband chooses to stay away and work most of the summer. The story is just a lazy, long winding of how each one is dealing with their current situation and something was missing for me. There was nothing here to make me care about any of these characters or care about their story and I wonder why I wasted my time to finish this story. This book has high reviews but just didn’t do it for me. 3 stars.

The Woods by Harlan Coben This has been on my Kindle forever. I finally decided to read it during our camping trip. The Woods seemed appropriate for a camp fireside read. I’m glad I finally read it. Paul Copeland is a prosecuter who lost his sister twenty years ago at a camp where they were all counselors. Some of the others were found murdered but his sister and another boy were never found. The missing guy turns up as a murder victim in present day. If he has been alive all this time, perhaps Copeland’s sister is? As he begins to investigate this matter, lots of family secrets come out. Another twisty story but fun too. 5 stars

Far Gone by Danielle Girard Read and listend via Kindle Unlimited. I couldn’t help myself. This is book two in a series with White Out. Even though I didn’t like Kylie, Lily was intriguing enough to read the rest of her story. This time Kylie is investigating the murder of a couple who were shot in their home. A drop of blood left at the crime scene has links to Lily and leads to more self discovery for Lily. Another story with twists and revelations that no one is who they seem to be. Beware that this one is pretty raw given the subject matter Lily is dealing with. 4 stars

Almost Dead – The Cahills #2 by Lisa Jackson May as well continue a good series. I read and listened via Scribd. If you haven’t read book 1, this might be a bit of a spoiler alert. Cissy Cahill (the teenage brat from book one) is all grown up now with a child of her own and a cheating husband. Her mother, the real Marla, has escaped from prison (her punishment for her role in book 1) and someone murders Cissy’s grandmother, the family matriarch. Cissy is a very likeable character this time as an adult. Marla clearly had an accomplice in her escape and it’s clear the accomplice is knocking off anyone with ties to the Cahill money, but who is this crazy woman? The suspense and mystery is good in this one, and quite a shocker when parts of the truth come to light. 5 stars.

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister I started this one but didn’t immediatley get drawn in so I left it and came back to it. Told from the point of view of Emmeline who lives on a remote island with her father. He taught her many things about survival and nature and scents, but he won’t tell her the truth about the scents on papers in bottles he keeps in their cabin or the machine he makes the scents with. After tragedy strickes and Emmeline is forced to live in the real world with other people, she begins to learn about who she is. In spite of the slow start, this is a well crafted coming of age story. Read and listened via Scribd 4 stars

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