Book Review: Greenwich Park

It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another book review. I read this back in July and had originally scheduled this post for early next year since the book releases on January 4, 2022. However, I decided to go ahead and post my review.


Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read a lot of psychological and thriller fiction and most of the time, I’m able to figure out the villain’s identity long before the end of the book. Not so with Greenwich Park. While I had several suspects, the author wove a tangle of events that kept me wondering.

Helen lives a life many people would envy—a lovely Victorian home, a husband with a great career, and her first baby on the way. But all is not well in paradise. When Helen arrives at her first prenatal class, she’s disappointed that her husband won’t be able to make it. Neither will her sister-in-law and brother, who had agreed to attend the same classes.

So, she finds herself alone. In comes Rachel, a single mother-to-be with an outgoing personality and an unconventional way of looking at pregnancy. The two strike up a friendship and soon Helen begins to see Rachel everywhere—when she’s at lunch with her friend Katie, in a local pub, in the park.

Then Rachel shows up on Helen’s doorstep, saying she’s in trouble, and begging to stay the night. One night turns into two weeks and there’s no indication Rachel intends to leave. Helen suspects she is stealing from them and later asks her to leave.

But when Rachel turns up missing, the police begin asking questions. What did happen to her and who is responsible?

This book is a slow-burner. I admit after the first two chapters, I wondered if I’d like it. But once I moved on, I became engrossed and found it to be an extremely satisfying read. Greenwich Park is Katherine Faulkner’s debut novel, but I can see her becoming a successful author.

Thanks to Net Galley and Bloomsbury Publishing for a free ARC.

Book Review: The Weekend Escape

As you probably know, I love a good thriller. When I read the blurb for The Weekend Escape, I was intrigued. Thanks to Net Galley, I was fortunate enough to pick up an advanced reader copy. The book releases on October 8, but it is available now for preorder at a bargain price of .99.


A deserted island, a vicious storm, a murderer amongst friends…

It was meant to be a fun reunion, a chance for six friends to reconnect and relive the adventures that brought them together in the first place. But from the moment they arrive on their island home for the weekend, Lyndsey, Sonia, Bobbie, Amanda, Juliet, and Val realise that their paradise is filled with peril, and there are consequences when you try to outrun the ghosts of your past.

As everything starts to fall apart, and the friends begin to turn against one another, deep, dark secrets are revealed, and an unimaginable horror is unleashed. They came seeking adventure, but now they’ll be lucky to leave with their lives…

My review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Could have been five stars, but…

A weekend adventure on a nearly deserted island. The accommodations are “less than ideal.” The weather turns fierce. All the makings of a good thriller.

Ten years after high school, six friends, Lindsey, Bobbie, Juliet, Amanda, Sonia, and Val, agree to meet up for a weekend of adventure. As is often the case they drifted apart, but Juliet is determined to get them back together.

The book begins with them abseiling down a deserted lighthouse. That’s when the first near tragic event happens resulting in an injury to one of the women. Then another one turns up missing. It appears someone doesn’t want them around. But who and why?

Will they be able to get off the island alive? With no cell phone service and a broken radio, they’re not even able to call for help.

The action was fast paced. This is one book I didn’t want to put down. Although my suspicions proved correct in the end, the author threw in enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.

I was ready to give this five stars until the end. It’s a matter of personal preference, and I can’t say too much without giving it away, but suffice to say I’m a reader who likes things wrapped up.

Five stars for the story, one star for the ambiguous ending for an overall rating of four.

Book Review: The Night She Disappeared

This is the second book I’ve read by the same title this year, both new releases.


On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.

One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”

Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?

My Review

Tallulah Murray is a nineteen-year-old unmarried mom who still lives at home with her divorced mother, Kim. Tallulah juggles being a mom to Noah while attending college in hopes of becoming a social worker. The baby’s father, Zach, moves in with her, and they try to be a family.

Sophie Beck is the author of several detective stories. She and her significant other, Shaun, move from London to Maypole House, a private boarding school for 16-19 old students, when Shaun becomes the new head teacher.

The story begins with Tallulah and Zach go out for a rare night out, leaving Noah in Kim’s care. When they don’t return home, and don’t answer their cell phones, Kim fears something is wrong. Although both are very young, they are devoted to their son and wouldn’t leave him. Zach’s mother is nonchalant about the entire thing, but Kim decides to investigate on her own.

She learns they were last seen attending a pool party at Dark Place, a historical estate owned by the family of Scarlett Jacques who is also enrolled at the same college as Tallulah. Several people saw them there, but everyone said they planned to call a cab to take them home. After twenty-four hours, Kim calls the police to investigate. The trail goes cold.

The story is told in three timelines—the events leading up to Tallulah’s and Zach’s disappearance, the night of the pool party, and Kim’s subsequent investigation, and present-day when Sophie moves into the cottage at Maypole House.

Shortly after Sophie’s arrival, she finds a sign reading, “dig here,” near the edge of the woods behind her cottage. She uncovers a clue that might lead to what happened to Tallulah and Zach.

The book is more of a slow burn than a page-turner, but it kept my interest. And each tidbit or clue the author dropped was wrapped up nicely—with a surprising twist at the end.

A special thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for an advanced reader copy.

Book Reviews: The Edge of Fear @MauraBeth2014, Twelve Years Gone – K J Kalis, Survive The Night – Riley Sager

Hey, everyone. Time for another book review Tuesday. Today I’m sharing my reviews of three recent reads. The first by an author I’ve read before, the others by “new to me” authors, although one of them is quite popular.

Because of the length of this post, I’m skipping the blurbs. I guess you could call these “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” The last book isn’t really ugly but it just seemed weird to me. Nonetheless, let’s start with the good.

Earlier this year, I read Maura Beth Brennan’s The Edge of Memory. I enjoyed it and was eager to read the sequel.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Edge of Fear is Maura Beth Brennan’s second novel and a wonderful sequel to The Edge of Memory.

Hattie (Harriett) is now married to Eli, a local artisan. They have a three-year-old daughter, Lily. Her life is better than she ever imagined, but she begins having inklings that something is about to happen to destroy her happy family.

Then the unthinkable does. Hattie’s ex-husband, Frank, kidnaps Lily and holds her for ransom. After one attempt at giving him the money goes awry, weeks happen without any contact. That’s when Hattie decides to take matters into her own hands. She’s determined to find her daughter at all costs.

With the help of her best friend Celine, the two women set off on a journey to find the kidnapped child. What follows is a page-turning adventure as they trace Frank’s footsteps.

The character development was superb, the action well-paced, and the ending… Well, I won’t give it away.

If you haven’t read The Edge of Memory, this book could easily stand alone. For those who have read it, you’ll see familiar characters—beloved Agnes and of course, Celine. You’ll also meet new ones whom you’ll come to like, and I hope will appear in future books.

A resounding five stars for this one.

The next book I discovered through a BookBub promotion. Suffice to say, I’m glad it was free. This is probably the longest review I’ve written, so bear with me.

My Review

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The premise sounded great. A teenage girl goes out for a hike and never returns. Twelve years later, her family wants answers. Enter Emily, a former Chicago Police detective turned private investigator. She’s contacted by the mother of the missing girl and decides to travel to the small town of Stockton to investigate.

First, I’ll comment on the writing. There are numerous word echoes throughout the book. A couple of examples – the word truck was used five times in one paragraph and a sixth time in the preceding one. The name Angelica was used sixteen times in three pages. Even in an eighty-three-word author’s note, Kalis used the book’s name twice. Was it not possible to say, “this novel” or “this book?”

The author also mixed up a character’s name. Benny became his father Bucky for a couple of pages. Totally confusing.

The book also has redundancies. How many times do we need to know Emily wasn’t sure if she was going to take the case? Was it not clear Cameron was upset over the death of some of his cattle? Or that Kathy wanted to get out of Stockton but was too scared to do anything about it? Despite all that, I kept reading.

The solution was fairly predictable, but the book had several loose ends. I thought there could have been a lot more tension toward the end. There wasn’t. After building up to the fact the sheriff wasn’t on the up and up and was wary of Emily’s presence, he more or less disappeared. The unusual behavior of a local veterinarian wasn’t explained. Why throw those things in if you aren’t going to do anything with them?

Then came the unbelievable ending. I won’t say more because I hate spoilers in reviews, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Guess I should have paid more attention to the word vigilante justice in the sub-title.

On the positive side – I liked Emily’s sidekick Mike, a computer nerd who helped her out of more than one tough situation. There was also her dog Miner, aptly named for the number of holes he digs in her back yard. One line I found amusing: “All the dog needed was a hardhat and a headlamp.”

Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good and I feel I’m generous in rating it three stars (actually 2.5 rounded up to three). The use of beta readers, critique partners, or an editor would have been helpful. I won’t bother with any more books in this series or by this author.

I received an ARC of Survive The Night through Net Galley.

My Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m still trying to come to grips with the mixed feelings I have about this book. Hate it? No. Love it? Absolutely not. Somewhere in between, for sure. I will say this was my first time to read anything by Riley Sager, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Charlie Jordan is a theatrical student at a small New Jersey college. Her roommate and friend, Maddy, was murdered by the campus serial killer. Charlie feels responsible because she left Maddy to walk home alone from a bar. Maddy never made it.

Trying to fight the guilt, Charlie decides to go home to Ohio, leaving behind school and her boyfriend Robbie. Because both her parents died in an auto accident, Charlie doesn’t drive, so she posts a note on the campus’s drive board, hoping for a ride. Along comes Josh who offers to take her there on his way home.

They set out around nine at night. As they enter Pennsylvania, Charlie realizes something is amiss with Josh. Is he even who he says he is? Before long, she’s convinced he is the Campus Killer, and Charlie is in for a wild ride.

The book kept me turning the pages because I wanted to learn the outcome. However, Charlie lives her life in the fantasy world of movies, something like hallucinations, so it’s hard to determine what’s real and what isn’t. She makes several stupid mistakes, beginning with accepting a ride from a total stranger. Her poor decisions were based largely because of her guilt over Maddy’s death.

As I got further into the story, it wasn’t hard to figure out the killer’s identity, although the author did throw in several twists to keep readers guessing. A plus for that. But overall, I’m left with a somewhat dissatisfied feeling. Again, I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I might consider reading this author again, but judging from this one, the books don’t merit the big price tag. My consolation is the fact I did receive a free advanced reader copy from Net Galley.