Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Good Goodbye

The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley

Cousins Arden and Rory share an indescribable bond; it's almost as if they are one. Only they know how deep the connection and how dangerous and obsessive it's become.

Both girls lie unconscious in hospital beds, badly burned in a mysterious dormitory fire, clinging to life. Arson is suspected and one life has already been taken. Their parents pretend to show solidarity while animosity and tension fills the air. A once successful business venture between Arden's mother and Rory's father is floundering, creating a financial crisis.  Jealousy, indiscretions, and regrets permeate the rooms where Arden and Rory's lives remain in limbo.What these parents don't know is that their troubles are minor compared to the secrets their children never revealed. Those secrets are ready to explode and shatter a once happy, peaceful existence.

Author Carla Buckley artfully tells a story that begs the reader to decipher each and every clue until the very end of a compelling story. How much do parents really know about the challenges their daughters face to be popular and fit in? What's it like to feel the shame of a learning disability? How far can you bully someone you love until she reaches the breaking point?  All of these relevant topics including a love triangle, and a child's burning desire to live up to unreachable standards, come together to create another engaging book by a talented author.

Much like her previous mystery, The Deepest Secret, ( reviewed under Mystery in February of 2014), this novel requires the reader to pay close attention to details. Perhaps the ending is just a little too compact, but overall, you'll find this suspense thriller a perfect addition to your 2016 "books I want to read".

Friday, January 8, 2016

Secret Sisters

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

It's a place she never wanted to see again. But as the heir of her grandmother's small hotel chain, Madeline Chase had no choice but to return. It was somehow reassuring to think that  the horrific, painful memories from eighteen years ago were safely hidden in the farthest corner of her mind. But now as she looks at the charred ruins of  the abandoned hotel, she realizes that was wishful thinking. It was here that Tom, the hotel's caretaker, attacked her when she was just twelve-years-old. Madeline and best friend, Daphne, her "secret sister' vowed never to reveal what they knew about the assault. The authorities had their man..He could never hurt her again....

Now Tom lays dying from an apparent fall, and his last words make it quite clear that someone knows all about those secrets the two young girls thought were hidden forever. After all these years, could they have accused the wrong man? An eerie unknown presence begins to follow Madeline making her believe that Tom was not the victim of an accident after all; he was murdered, and she may be the next target.

As panic sets in, Madeline contacts Jack Rayner, the head of security for the small hotel chain she's inherited from her grandmother. Along with reunited friend, Daphne, and Jack's friend, Abe, the four set out to find out the truth about the man who was the true attacker. The deeper they get into the mystery, the more dangerous their determination to unveil the facts becomes. Add in the mutual attraction between Madeline and Jack, and the plot becomes one of intrigue and smoldering passion, A winning combination.

Rich in character development, Krentz combines spine-tingling suspense with enough romantic sparks to satisfy the reader who is looking for both . If you haven't read this author before, her other novels may interest you.  Often writing under a pen name (Amanda Quick, being one) she is a talented writer who has the ability to cover different genres with ease.

Start the New Year with a sizzling mystery sure to please.