Reading lately

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag

Synopsis - California, 1985. Four children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre. Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He’s using a new technique—profiling—to develop a theory of the case. As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves—or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

Thoughts - This was my first book by Ms Hoag and I just added a few more to my TBR list. It was a great page turner with well developed characters. I have been watching Netflix's Mindhunter and it is about the birth of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit which is prominently featured in this book.

Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

Synopsis - Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years… Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

Thoughts - If you like Hallmark and Lifetime movies you will love this book. I do not.. so this was a big miss for me. Too cheesy and predictable.

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

Synopsis - Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city. There they find the body of a man. He is dead. And he is smiling. The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life… But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own. When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move. And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

Thoughts - It took me a while to get into this book.. it took a while to understand the main character Detective Waits. There were two stories happening simultaneously.. things did start to come together around the half way point of the book and I did eventually enjoy it.. Not sure if I'd read more books by the author though.

Milady by Laura L Sullivan

Synopsis - She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures. I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story. But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong. So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing. I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free. It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interesting.      

Thoughts - I haven't read much about the Three Musketeers and I had never heard of Milady but this was a fun read.. there were a few throw the book across the room moments but all in all a fun historical tale. 

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Synopsis - In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept.

Thoughts -  I like to try to squeeze in a light contemporary read here and there between all the crime thrillers and historical fictions. And unlike the slightly cliched Sweet Lake this one was sweeter and funnier. It dealt with mental health, friendship and having starting a new chapter in your life when you thought you had so many more pages to go. It wasn't an amazing read but it did what I had need it to do.. lighten things up without being to airy.

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Jennifer said...

These books sound good!

Effortlessly Sophisticated

Jeanie said...

I love seeing people's book lists. Some seem a good fit, others not, but always interesting. (I'm with you on that book like a Hallmark movie. I like the holiday ones but the rest not so much! Too formulaic.) Since mysteries are a big favorite of mine, I might add a couple to my list.

Kelly said...

Most of these sound pretty good, but I think I'm most drawn to the first. I've heard of Tami Hoag, but don't think I've read any of her books. I'm also curious about The Smiling Man, but want to look and see if it's part of a series. That could be what made it harder to get into at first. (I'm all about reading series in order for the character development)

Polyester Princess said...

They say never judge a book by its cover but, unless I've read any good reviews or am recommended certain books, I'm afraid that's what I often do. I've seen books by Tami Hoag in the charity shops, but was afraid they'd be too dark for me. I'm tempted to try one, now that I've read your review! xxx

Emmylou said...

Oh my gosh! When I was wee one (my parents didn't care what we read:D), I used to read Tami Hoag's romance novels. I think it's from the Loveswept brand (like Mills and Boons). This book sounds like such a great read. Thanks for the heads up:)

Veronica Lee said...

Gotta check these out. I've just finished reading "The Art of Racing In The Rain" by Garth Stein and really loved it.

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. I am a readaholic and always looking for more books.

Ruth Josey said...

I know I've read something by Tami Hoag before and I believe I enjoyed it. I've been given a LOT of books, so I'm reading through those, a lot of which are by David Baldacci....not a huge fan but they're OK. I love a good mystery or drama but I don't consider him an amazing writer. I think when I have to go back to buying books, I'll have another look at Tami Hoag. I also think I'd be interested in Milady. I've listened to a few Three Musketeers stories and really enjoyed them. LOL! "Throw the book across the room moments" - I have had those too! Thank you so much for the honest reviews! Right now I'm reading a book (picked up at the airport because one of the freebies I'd been given was just too bad to make it all the way through and I left it in the seat pocket of the plane for some poor, unsuspecting soul) called the "Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris. Excellent reading. And I finished a wonderful one called, "The Blue Between Sky and Water" vy Susan Abulhawa. Definitely want to pick up more by both of those authors.


bill burke said...

Your book reviews sound great especially the first one by Tami Hoag. Great summaries too, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day and week.

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I haven't read any of these, but I'm going to check out a couple of them!


Stefanie said...

What a great mix of genres you've read here. I really like that you did read different kinds of books.

Jodie's Touch of Style said...

I love seeing what you are reading Hena. I have just started a new book, but I'm going to add a couple of these to my list for when I'm done.

BLovedBoston said...

Sadly Sweet Lake would be the one that would totally be up my alley! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Laura B said...

Milady sounds interesting! I've never read anything about the Three Musketeers, but I do like historical fiction!

R.ChamberofBeauty said...

This book sounds interesting. I would love to keep this book on my reading list.

Have a happy Monday <3
Love <3

Debbie said...

i am not a reader, i would imagine your followers who do read will enjoy and appreciate your reviews. i am always on the fence about the hallmark movies...i wish the acting were better and as you said, a little less cheesy!!!

awhite said...

Oooh Milady sounds amazing- I loved watching the BBC's Musketeers and Milady de Winter was such a cool (if not infuriating most of the time) character!

Le Stylo Rouge

Carole's Random Life said...

You have read a really nice variety of books. It sounds like they were mostly good, except for that Hallmark one :) I bet that I would like the Tami Hoag book the most out of the group.

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

I love the variety of books you have here. I've only read one of Tami Hoag's books but I really enjoyed it.

karen said...

I'm like you, I like to balance heavy with light, or different genres so I have options. It's a lot like my knitting projects. I've been on a non fiction kick but I'm ready for some fiction!!

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

Very interesting books. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Red Rose Alley said...

It's so nice that you read a lot. Milady sounds interesting. I've always liked this era. I must start reading again! Children's books are my favorite. : )


jeanne christine said...

Aahh I definitely to get back to reading!


glamorous without the guilt said...

So many good recommendations gonna watch them soon

Have a nice day
Kinza Khushboo
Glamorous without the Guilt
Bloglovin | Glamorous without the Guilt

Reckless diary by Anya Dryagina said...

it's weird, I haven't read anything on your list, even though I read a lot

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

A friend of mine actually just recommended Evvie Drake Starts Over. I need to add it to my reading list.

Sparkles and Lattes said...

I have been watching Mind Hunter too and the books you mentioned that is similar to the premise of it, I need to read it.

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