Sep 112019
 

What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs Banner

 

 

What She Never Said

by Catharine Riggs

on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

Synopsis:

What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs

How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.

Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.

Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said:

“Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.”
Publishers Weekly

What She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.”
—Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series.

“A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.”
—T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page.
—P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

5 stars

Where do I begin because there is so much to say?! But I am apologizing in advance because this is going to be a very vague review so I won’t let too much slip.

This is the second book in the Santa Barbara Suspense series, however, it read well as a stand-alone but I will be reading the first book soon.

Being a retired RN and having worked within the elderly community, I was instantly drawn in from the first page, as the synopsis states the setting is Shady Acres, an elite geriatric facility where the patients are called guests. But there is someone who is assisting with suicides. Or is it murder? And who is in and what is this group within the complex that are members of “The Goodnight Club”?

This book was so engrossing that I finished it in one sitting, which is very rare for me. I literally could not put it down as there were so many aspects that I had to know how it ended.

Shady Acres has just been sold to a huge conglomerate company that their bottom line is first money and second, their image and lastly the patients. Right before the sale, Ruth Mosby, VP of Operations has found pink post-its with a guest’s name and date of their death but hasn’t told anyone about this. She is more concerned about being named the new Director.

Since the sale, more patients have died especially those that are destitute. Not only are the patients dying, but a nurse has also been found murdered in the parking lot, which it is rumored that he was the complex’s drug dealer.

Ms. Riggs has created characters that pull the reader into their lives wanting to know what their dark secrets, betrayals, guilt, depression, past traumas, substance abuse, regrets, shame, and more, which is why I just kept turning the pages.

The suspense did not let up and had me guessing as to who were the leaders of this exclusive group, “The Goodnight Club”. Who was “The Angel” carrying out the passing of the residents? Who was “The Ambassador” or the go-between and who was the “leader” that passed the pink post-it notes getting the word to those above her/him.

Is The Angel an empath for these aging people that want to die with dignity, or is there a serial killer working amongst them?

Totally engrossing!! Chilling!! Will have you on the edge of your seat!!!

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 377
ISBN: 1542042135 (ISBN13: 9781542042130)
Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

RUTH MOSBY

ONE

Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.

At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?

Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.

I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.

“Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.

“Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.

I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.

“Morning, Ruth,” he calls.

“Morning, Zach.”

Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.

“No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”

“Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

“Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.

“I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.

“I would, but I have to work.”

“Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”

I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”

I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”

“Construction begins next week.”

“I wish I could, but . . .”

Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.

“I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”

“Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”

“I work in a life-care community.”

“Same thing.”

“No, it’s not.”

His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.

“I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”

“But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”

“At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”

“You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”

“Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.

Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”

I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.

“Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.

Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.

“That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.

***

Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Catharine Riggs

Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On:
www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!



 

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Aug 302019
 

THE STARTER WIFE by Nina Laurin
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
ISBN-10: 1538715716
ISBN-13: 978-1538715710
Pages: 352
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: Signed TPB
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. “Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

My Thoughts

I had added this title to my GR TBR shelf back on May 23, 2019, after seeing many comments about it in some of the Facebook book groups that I am a member of. There was a giveaway for it in another group that I am a member of, Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers and was notified I was a winner. YES!!!!

Eight years ago, Byron Westcott, Professor of Literature, lost his wife, Colleen to suicide but her body was never found. Even though he was considered a possible suspect at the time, the police announced they were closing the case due to lack of evidence that it was anything other than a suicide. Friends of the couple, right before Colleen’s death, saw that she was not emotionally stable and appeared to be either overindulging with alcohol and/or drugs.

Claire Greene is touring the college for her MFA and meets Byron and is instantly attracted to him feeling that it is love at first sight, even though there is a 20 year age difference. Six months later they are married and on all accounts, believes she has a perfect life. Until recently things just aren’t the same. She then receives a phone call from a woman, that she believes is Colleen and she is now on a mission to find out what happened to her.

But soon after, Claire is exhibiting the same delusions and paranoia that resembled what Colleen experienced the last few weeks of her life.

Reading the entire book felt like a tennis match, I kept going back and forth with my thoughts on who was the victim and who could possibly be a suspect of nefarious acts. At every twist and turn in the book, and there were many, I would change my thinking as to what the real truth was. After reading the 4th page before the ending, I audibly gasped. I still had 3 pages to read!! And those final 3 pages left me stunned.

Without giving away spoilers, I finished the book with a few unanswered questions, which is why I gave it 4 stars!! I felt that the ending wasn’t satisfying, however, the suspense was so intense that I read this book in 2 sittings.

I will be checking out Ms. Laurin’s previous novels as I also saw many positive comments on those books.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
May 142019
 

TELL NO ONE by Barbara Taylor Sissel
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
ASIN: B07JFNS2CT
Pages: 343
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: eBook
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

Their desperate secret. Her desperate search. A shattering truth exposed.

Caroline Corbett wants nothing to do with her father, Hoff, a man who abandoned her as a young girl and then vanished from her life almost thirty years ago. But when her beloved aunt expresses a dying wish to see him once more, Caroline, despite her failing marriage and other personal troubles, drops everything to look for him.

Harris Fenton found the father figure he’d dreamed of when he turned eight and his mother married Hoff—but his disappearance four years later left Harris with scars he carries even now that he is a father himself. While he has a beautiful family and a great job, he’s hiding a shameful secret and a nightmare from his childhood.

Caroline’s search for Hoff soon uncovers a host of disturbing clues and draws a threat of violence. Her mind churns with memories of her troubled history, while Harris is losing the battle against his own demons. But for both of them, dredging up the past will be dangerous, and confronting the truth could prove life shattering.

My Thoughts

I am a HUGE fan of this author, having read the majority of her books so when she contacted me to see if I would like to read an eARC of her newest novel, the answer was an overwhelming YES!!!!!! And I will admit I also did a happy dance!!

As the synopsis states, Caroline Corbett sets out on a mission to find her father that she hasn’t had a relationship with for close to 30 years. The reason being is because his sister, her aunt Lanie who helped raised her wants to see her brother one last time before she passes and time is running out.

However, during her search, Caroline doesn’t realize that she has opened a Pandora’s Box on many fronts and there are some people who want to stop her from pursuing her search (sorry for being vague but don’t want to even let one smidgen of a spoiler to slip through).

Lies, betrayals, love, tenacity, fraud, bribery, murder, trust, bribery, inner demons, family, and a promise that spiraled out of control. And this reader felt each and every emotion that the characters felt.

Without giving anything else away, Ms. Sissel weaves and interweaves storylines that had me trying to guess how all the characters were connected. A writing style that is in all her books and I have yet to figure one out.

Her writing is fluid and descriptive, which allowed me to create such vivid imagery in my mind. Characters that are flawed but relatable. The story had me trying to read faster because I wanted to see how it all came together, but then, on the other hand, I didn’t want the story to end because I was invested in all of the characters. The suspense was taut throughout.

If you haven’t read one of her books, TRUST ME, you are missing out!

And like I say with every book that I read by this amazing author, I now have to try, to patiently wait for her next novel, which is always the negative after finishing one of her books. And in the meantime, I will ponder how this phenomenally talented author writes one book after another that is truly captivating.

Check out my reviews for her previous novels,

THE NINTH STEP , THE VOLUNTEER, EVIDENCE OF LIFE, SAFE KEEPING, CROOKED LITTLE LIES, FAULTLINES,THE LAST INNOCENT HOUR, THE TRUTH WE BURY, and WHAT LIES BELOW,

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Mar 182019
     

    DEAD IN A WEEK by Andrea Kane
    Genre: Suspense Thriller
    Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing
    Publication Date: March 19th 2019
    Number of Pages: 384
    ISBN: 1682320294 (ISBN13: 9781682320297)
    Series: Forensic Instincts, Zermatt Group
    Review Copy from: Author
    Edition: ARC TPB
    My Rating: 5

     

    Synopsis

    In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save Lauren from a brutal death.

     

    MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

    5 stars

    Caveat: I have read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Andrea Kane’s Forensic Instincts’ series dating back to 2012. You can see my past reviews by clicking on the title: THE LINE FROM HERE AND GONE, THE MURDER THAT NEVER WAS, and A FACE TO DIE FORA FACE TO DIE FOR.

    When I found out that a new book was in the works I patiently waited to get my hands on a copy thinking it was another book from the Forensic Instincts’ series. I soon realized that DEAD IN A WEEK introduces a new company, the Zermatt Group. Would this new group of characters, plot, settings, etc., be as great a read as her previous novels?

    And Andrea Kane did not disappoint her readers that love the Forensic Instincts cast since they did have a hand in solving the case that the Zermatt Group is currently working on.

    Aidan Devereaux founded the Zermatt Group 5 years ago, a covert operation, along with his team, Simone, Philip, and Terri. They don’t have boundaries, can’t be hired but they find cases that only they can solve using their experience and unlimited contacts around the world.

    And this case involves the kidnapping of an American young college student, Lauren, in Germany. Her father, Vance Pennington, VP of a highly secure technology company, NanoUSA, doesn’t even know that his daughter has been taken until Aidan pays him a visit. Not only is this information terrifying, but they only have 1 week to find her or the kidnappers will kill her if what they want isn’t delivered.

    I was very impressed with the details of this book with both the settings and the technology. The research had to have been meticulous, vast, and extremely thorough as the story takes place in different parts of the world.

    The story hooked me from the very beginning and didn’t let go. I found my heart pounding faster and harder as the days slipped by and the clock was ticking. At times, I even found myself holding my breath due to the action. A thrilling read that had me on the edge of my seat!

    The characters were amazing. And just a little hint…there was a familial connection to the Forensic Instincts.

    Now to answer the question, would this new group of characters, plot, settings, etc., be as great a read as her previous novels? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! I can’t wait to see what is next for both the Zermatt Group and Forensic Instincts!

    **Stop by tomorrow for Q&A with Andrea Kane**

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Jul 262016
     

    FAULTLINES by Barbara Taylor Sissel
    Published by Lake Union Publishing
    Publication Date: September 6, 2016
    ASIN: B01D04S0OK
    Pages: 304
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: ARC Kindle
    My Rating: 5+

     

    Synopsis: (via GR)

    It’s the phone call every parent dreads: in the middle of the night, Sandy Cline learns that her twenty-year-old son, Jordan, has been in a car accident. Her nephew, Travis, was also in the car, along with Travis’s girlfriend. All three are alive—but barely. The car was smashed against a tree along a remote and winding road, beautiful but deadly, in their rural Texas Hill Country town.

    In the wake of the car crash, the close-knit family is tested like never before. Jenna, Travis’s mother, blames Jordan—as well as her sister, Sandy—after reports surface that Jordan had been driving. As the young adults struggle to survive, tension between their parents escalates. But when trust is broken and a shocking family secret is exposed, it creates a perfect storm of harrowing consequences. Rumors in the small town spread like wildfire. When details of the accident are questioned, Sandy and Jenna wonder if their family has been destroyed beyond repair.

    As always, there’s much more to the story…if the family is to survive, they will have to come together to confront the terrible truth and overcome their pain. But are some betrayals unforgivable?

    My Thoughts and Opinion:

    Barbara Taylor Sissel has done it again!!! A “can’t put down read”!!

    I am a HUGE fan of Ms. Sissel, reading all of her novels, The Ninth Step, The Volunteer, Evidence of Life, Safe Keeping and Crooked Little Lies, and always anxiously awaiting the next book. This time, she gave me the great honor to read an ARC.

    Her writing is creatively masterful. She interweaves characters, whereas the reader doesn’t know how or what the relationships are, and when it is revealed, it’s astonshing. The cast in this book were very believeable and relatable.

    There were so many twists and turns, I found myself, at times, either gasping for air or holding my breath.

    A compelling, emotional, suspenseful read! An amazing and exceptional book! A page turner! This title is definitely in my top 3 of 2016 reads, if not the best.

    I highly recommend this book, and all her other books. Pre order!! However, once you pick it up, be prepared because you will be saying “just one more chapter”, and then find yourself having read many more. You will not be disappointed!!

    100x30 photo 715a7b0a-fc85-4ee8-a819-679fec1f28ed.jpg

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER
    This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    DISCLAIMER
    I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
    No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    ADDENDUM
    I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.