Sunday, March 19, 2017

A few weeks ago Marty’s mom came to visit and, bless her soul, she brought me a bag of books! I was currently reading Behind Closed Doors, but knew that this one was going to be next as soon as I saw it. I’ve been on a mystery/thriller/suspense kick lately and after I read the description of this book, I couldn’t wait to read it.

Let’s get the rundown of it, shall we?

Oh, and please take a moment to appreciate this scene…. Sometimes as parents, getting away to read, if only for 5 minutes or just long enough to get into a comfortable position, that means hiding away in an empty kids’ room and hanging out on an Angry Birds bed with the entire tub of mixed nuts.
*Disclaimer: I was only okay with laying here because I had just washed everyone’s bedsheets, so I was confident with the cleanliness of the situation. You never know what you might be getting into with kids… 
BY: Fiona Barton

Published: April 24th 2016 by AntiStar
Genres: mystery, fiction, crime, thriller, suspense
Pages: 324
Format: Hardcover
Source: Given to be my a family member
Buy: Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore. There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…”

First Impressions/Cover? (Because we judge the covers even though we’re ‘not supposed to’)
This was one of the books in the bag that I was immediately drawn to the cover. I may have been a little biased since, as I said before, that I was reading Behind Closed Doors (and loving it) and that cover felt very similar….which, we all know has absolutely nothing to do the similarities of the stories, but hey….not everything we do has to make sense.

How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately or did it take you awhile to get into it? How did you feel reading it - amused, sad, confused, bored...? 
I got into this book from. the. very. first. page. and that is always awesome. This book had me on the edge of my seat from the get-go up until the very end. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that started that build up so early and really hung onto it throughout the entire book. Very suspenseful.  

What characters did you like best from the book? Why? 
I didn’t have a favorite character in this book. I felt I leaned more toward Jean’s character, like I got to know who she was more than the others, but didn’t favorite her. However, I will say that my opinion of her changed throughout the book. I gradually came to terms with the fact that I think she was borderline crazy. The author did a great job of really introducing you to each character though, leaving sort of a mystery behind each one.

Favorite/Insightful passages?
“The simple lies are the hardest, funnily enough. The big ones seem to just fall off the tongue.” – Jean

Was the ending satisfying (no spoilers)? 
I’m just going to be honest and say that when it comes to endings, I’m hard to please. Perhaps too much build up makes endings fall flat for me, or perhaps it’s because I have closed books before and just been so in awe that I just spend a few seconds with the closed book in my lap, blown away by how good it was and asking myself how I’m going to continue living my life and compare every book thereafter to it.
This book ending fell flat for me. I mean, I got the closure I needed but just wasn’t ‘wowed’ like I was for the entire rest of the book. I keep asking myself what kind of ending it was that I was hoping for, and I’m not sure what that would be. I felt like it all built up to the very last pages and then I was like “….that’s it?”

If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? 
Not really a question…but when reading the book, I saw her portrait on the back, and thought “Whoa….this looks like a sweet lady that would bake me some cookies, not write about  _____________.”  
So maybe I would ask her where her inspiration came from.

Final Thoughts:
I rated this book 4 starts on Goodreads, only because of the ending.
Despite my thoughts on the ending, I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys suspense and mysteries. I actually enjoyed this book as, if not more than Behind Closed Doors (which I will be leaving a review on soon). Even if the ending really is a dud, the rest of the book is well worth the read, and I will be looking out for more of Fiona Barton’s books

What's next? 

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