Book Reviews – The Island by Mary Grand / The Night She Disappeared by Kevin O’Brien

Hey, everyone. Today I have two reviews to share. I received copies of both books from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Island Blurb

The Island – where everyone knows everyone, and secrets are impossible to keep…

‘Be careful, you don’t know them as well as you think. Remember – anyone can kill.’

Juliet has returned to the Isle of Wight from years abroad to visit her sick father and to be reunited with her three sisters – Cassie, a professional musician who seems to have lost her way in life, Mira, who is profoundly deaf, is married to the local vicar but their relationship is falling apart, and Rosalind, glamorous and charming but now deeply unhappy and secretive about her life.

As Juliet’s father lies dying, he issues her with a warning. There is a killer on the loose, and they may be closer than she can ever imagine. He anxiously tells Juliet that he confided a family secret in son-in-law Rhys, and now regrets ever saying a word.

Days later, as the clock strikes one in the morning, a man comes out of Rhys’s church, walks along the path, and is run down by a car driven by an unidentified person. When the finger of suspicion points to Juliet, she realises the only way to clear her name is to uncover the secrets her family has been keeping from her for years. But with a killer on the loose, danger is getting closer all the time…

My Review

Juliet is a young woman who returns to her home on the Isle of Wight after her father’s tragic accident. She arrives just in time to hear his last words and they leave her with more questions than answers. He hints of a past murder, warns her to be careful, and asks her to look after her mother and sisters, saying she is the strong one.

He also tells her he informed the local vicar Rhys who happens to be married to Juliet’s sister, Mira.

She soon discovers her three sisters, Cassie, Mira, and Rosalind, along with their mother, are keeping secrets. And Rhys’s unusual message at the funeral leaves Juliet with even more questions. But before she can question him, he’s killed by a hit and run driver.

Who killed Rhys? And was it only coincidence that it happened on the twenty-first anniversary of another hit and run killing on the island? Despite her family’s wishes that she leave it alone, Juliet begins to investigate.

Grand weaved in enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing the killer’s identity. While I did figure it out, it wasn’t until near the end of the book, which is a plus for me. The author also did a wonderful job at describing the island which puts the reader in the middle of the action.

There were several instances of word echoes, otherwise, I would have rated this five stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Preorder from Amazon.

The Night She Disappeared Blurb

Some nightmares you can’t forget
From the depths of sleep, Seattle TV reporter Anna Malone awakens to her phone ringing. She rarely drinks, and this hangover is brutal. Why can’t she shake the feeling that something terrible happened last night? And why can’t she recall any of it?
 
But even worse
What Anna does remember: an awkward restaurant meal with her married lover, Russ Knoll, and his unsuspecting wife, Courtney. Russ’s phone call reveals that Courtney is missing, and as days go by with no trace, he comes under police scrutiny. Anna’s in the spotlight too, thanks to a TV rival with a grudge. Anna’s not proud of her affair, but she and Russ aren’t bad people. They’re certainly not the killing kind.
 
Is the one you can’t remember . . .
Anna already suspected that Courtney—a successful, charming author—might have a darker side. Is she truly missing? Perhaps the sudden disturbances in Anna’s life aren’t accidental after all. But no scenario that Anna imagines can compare to the twisted game unfolding around her, one chilling piece at a time . .

My Review

Mixed feelings about this one…

Anna Malone is a popular news reporter for a Seattle news station. She’s more or less forced into doing a show featuring local author Courtney Knoll, who is deaf. The problem? Anna has been seeing Courtney’s husband, pediatrician Dr. Russ Knoll, for the past eighteen months.

Russ has promised Anna his marriage to Courtney is over. But is it?

Courtney is conniving and she uses people to further her career and gain attention. She also uses to disability to garner sympathy. The night before the interview is scheduled to air, Courtney insists on Anna, Russ, and herself going out to dinner together. She immediately begins ordering drinks for Anna, who overindulges, then proceeds to drop hints that she’ll never leave Russ and that she knows about his affair with Anna.

Anna wakes up the following morning with the hangover from hell and unable to remember anything after they left the restaurant. When Courtney disappears and presumed dead, Anna struggles to remember what happened.

Throw in a cast of characters—Anna’s cameraman George and his neurotic wife. Sally Justice, a rival talk show host who is determined to cast blame for Courtney’s disappearance and possible murder upon Anna and Russ. There’s Sally’s daughter, Taylor. Anna’s long-lost brother turns up. Coupled with the fact someone had been stalking her in the months prior, it’s hard to tell who’s to blame.

This one kept me guessing until near the end. The storyline is compelling, the plot well done. However, I have a couple of issues.

I had a hard time relating to Anna. Who would like the “other woman” even though Courtney was manipulative? I also didn’t like the fact Anna kept so many secrets from the police, but when you’re hiding a secret like she is, it’s understandable. I thought she’d redeemed herself, but in the end, I wondered.

I also thought things wrapped up a little too conveniently and a bit unsatisfactory for me. No matter what my feelings were toward Anna, Courtney ended up smelling like a rose.

This was my first time to read anything by Kevin O’Brien, but I’m not opposed to reading some of his other works. I give this one four stars.

Thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Preorder from Amazon.

19 comments

  1. I’m glad you gave Kevin’s book a read. This was definitely not my favorite of his works (he has SO many good ones), but I did thoroughly enjoy it. My favorite is Only Son, his very first release, followed by No One Needs to Know, and You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone.

    That’s so odd that The Island also had a deaf character. It does sound like an intriguing story. I love a good mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. What are the odds?

      I did make comparisons. The characters were complete opposites. One used her deafness to her advantage, the other accepted it and moved on with life.

      Thanks for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

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