Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Friends Reads, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Whisper Man by Alex North @CeladonBooks @alexnorth @about_thethrill

Hot supreme diggity dang! We are busting out a groove here and boogieing to the beat of excitement with this Traveling Friends group read. We all had a such a hard time putting this one down once we started reading it. It’s one fabulosity read.

Brenda’s review

Alex North does some mighty fine footwork here with this creepy, unnerving, and captivating dark, suspenseful thriller.  It has all the elements here to make this a spooky and compelling read for me. There are some supernatural overtones here that send my imagination into overdrive with some unexplainable elements to this story. That dark and twisted thriller mind of mine had me a little unnerved here while reading this story.   It’s a police procedural with a glimpse into a dangerous and broken killer. It has well-layered characters with complicated and compelling relationship between father and son. I loved the dynamics here between the characters.  

Alex North does such a great job here with Jake who stole the show for us.  It’s not easy to pull off a creepy, story with a child character being the centre of it and he nailed it here for us.  We loved the eerie feeling going on here with the whispering but never felt disturbed by it. The story is entertaining and fun yet just enough dark and twisted.  Just the way I love it! 

I highly enjoyed the time I spend with this spooky story and the characters along with my Traveling Friends!!  I highly recommend it. 

Norma’s review

Suspenseful, a little bit spooky, & definitely full of heart!

THE WHISPER MAN by ALEX NORTH is an engrossing, fast-paced, tense, dark, and eerie novel that had me fully immersed in this story right from the very start. What and who “The Whisper Man” is and represents in this tale is downright brilliant, unnerving and definitely has this creepy and spooky vibe resonating throughout this novel. The following rhyme definitely gave me the chills.

If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. 
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.

Although I wouldn’t necessarily say that this novel creeped me out though or scared me out of my wits but it definitely had an underlying spook factor with the supernatural overtones to the story. I found to be quite absorbing and appealing.

ALEX NORTH delivers an atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistibly unsettling thriller here that thoroughly entertained me. The little boy in this book definitely stole the show for me! He was the shining star and I loved his character so much!! He reminded me so much of the little boy in the movie The Sixth Sense.

The story is told in short chapters from alternating perspectives of Tom Kennedy, Jake (his son), DI Amanda Beck, and DI Pete Willis. I was never confused once and I absolutely loved the short chapters as it definitely helped to keep the pacing high to easily hold your attention. 

Lindsay’s review

Intense. Haunting. Addictive. Engrossing. Chilling.

Seven-year-old Jake and his widowed father, Tom, move to Featherbank. A new town for a new start after the passing of Jake’s mom. Featherbank has a past filled with secrets. Jake seems connected to some of these long buried stories and secrets of the small town. Not long after moving to Featherbank, a young boy goes missing which stirs up old memories of a serial killer who once lived in there.

This was a spine-tingling, heart-pounding, sleep-with-the-lights-on story! I am not one for reading scary stories (I’m a big chicken!), but this was so engrossing that I became addicted to the novel from the very start. I couldn’t put it down once I began this shocking and unforgettable journey. The frightening parts were not gory or over-detailed, but simply created an extreme feeling of tension and nervousness that I couldn’t shake. The characters were fantastic! I was invested in them from the first chapter. The changing narratives was perfectly executed and added multiple layers to this mesmerizing novel. Simply put, the writing was excellent! I look forward to what Alex North comes out with next.

We read this one along with our Traveling Sister Kim! Check out her review here

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: An eye-catching, relevant, eerie, sinister, brilliant, intriguing, suspenseful, and extremely fitting representation to storyline. This cover definitely caught my attention and I love it! 
Title: Appealing, creepy, suspenseful, significant, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly and meaningfully into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, suspenseful, engaging, captivating, and fluid. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing! 
Plot: Chilling, sinister, suspenseful, unsettling, moving, riveting, fast-paced, clever, absorbing, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. 
Ending: Spine-tingling, rewarding, and thoroughly satisfying!
Overall: An excellent read that had me thoroughly engrossed and immersed in this tale from start to finish! And learning that this story was inspired by the author’s own son who told him he was playing with “the boy in the floor” was quite clever and in itself frightening. I highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Celadon Books for gifting us and our Traveling Sisters a copy of this book. It was an absolute pleasure reading and discussing this book in our group.

#travelingsistersread #travelingfriendsread

Posted in Reviews

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger @lisaunger @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa

Lisa Unger nails it here with The Stranger Inside. It is now available and we are pretty excited about this one. There was a bit of dancing going on for The Traveling Sisters after we got over our shock from that brilliant twisted twist! This is one we highly recommend you run to your device or to your local book store and snatch this one up as fast as you can. Lock yourself in a room because you won’t want to be disturbed once you start reading this one. You will be dancing with us in no time!!

Norma’s review

Holy Shooty Balls!!  Suspenseful, tense, & compulsively readable!

THE STRANGER INSIDE by LISA UNGER is an engrossing, fantastic, tension-filled, dark, and thrilling novel that was absolutely unputdownable.  I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining book. I was fully immersed in this story–I don’t think my mind wandered even once while I was reading this book. 

LISA UNGER delivers a vividly descriptive, atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistible thriller here that I absolutely loved and was thoroughly impressed by.  The characters were extremely interesting, compelling, and definitely held my full attention.

The storyline was one that I found myself totally drawn into.  I was questioning and pondering the actions and reactions of our characters here to a point where I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat on pins and needles in anticipation of how it was all going to play out.  I was fully engaged and invested in this tale and the ending left me with shivers and goosebumps!          

Brenda’s review

WaHoo! Hot diggity dang that was good!!

The Stranger Inside is a unique, clever and compelling character study into good people who do bad things. From the start I was drawn into the minds of our main characters, Rain and Hank and their behaviour. Both are dealing in different ways with the childhood trauma they endured involving each other. An avenger killer is unmasked from the start. It’s all about the reveal after that as Rain revisits their memories from their past. The lines are blurred here between right and wrong not only for the characters but for me as well. I found myself questioning vengeance and justice.

Lisa Unger creates an original killer here and I was feeling disturbingly empathic for our characters. I was on a bit of a roller coaster of different feelings here while reading this one and was questioning those lines between right and wrong. It all about the reveal here and I was on the edge of my seat. The tension builds at a rapid speed to that clever dark and twisty reveal. I loved the way this all came together with insight, compassion, danger and tension. I highly recommend!

Lindsay’s review

An engrossing, suspenseful, tension-filled, pulse-pounding, addictive novel!

Rain Winter is a stay-at-home mom who resigned from her high pressure career as an investigative journalist when she had her daughter, Lily. Though she loves being home with Lily, she finds herself drawn into a new murder case that could be linked to past cases.

I was hooked from page 1! The way this book is narrated is brilliant! The tension builds as each chapter progresses. I loved the characters! I really enjoyed the motherhood side of the story from Rain’s perspective. I could strongly relate to her character being a stay at home mom who feels the pull back into the career world. 

This was my first book by this author, Lisa Unger. I was extremely impressed! I adored the writing! The pace and flow were excellent which kept me fully engaged in the story and invested in the characters from start to finish. This has easily earned a spot on my 2019 Favourites list!

Thank you to Harlequin for sending our copies to read and review! There are going on our favorite shelve!

From Stephanie’s review

The Stranger Inside is an intricately layered psychological thriller that will keep you riveted from start to finish. It’s a story of survival, the impact of survivor’s guilt, and the lingering impact of childhood trauma and violence at the hands of a monster. The book is absorbing, suspenseful, and utterly compelling. More than anything, it will leave you questioning what exactly is justice in the face of evil and does evil deserve their fates. Check out Stephanie’s Novel Fiction here

#travelingsistersread #BookReview


Posted in Reviews

Good Girl, Bad Girl (Cyrus Haven, #1) by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham

Brenda’s Review

Good Girl Bad Girl was a monthly group read for the Traveling Friends Goodreads group and one that left us all excited for what comes next for these characters.

WaHoo!! I feel like a hot, hot mighty fine new series is in the frying pan here. I am all for our new damaged duo here with forensic psychologist Dr Cyrus Haver and good girl bad girl Evie who Cyrus fosters and I really want to see more of them. They are an unlikely pair but as good together as peppers and onions.

Good Girl Bad Girl starts off as a slow-burn as we get to know our main characters. The pace becomes faster and faster and the action ignites with the tension increasing at a rapid pace until we get to that explosive ending.

It’s all about our main characters here for me and I love the dynamics between Cyrus and Evie. Their dynamics brings some heart and soul to this disturbing thriller. Both are broken, vulnerable in their own way and flawed with a dark, tragic childhood. Circumstances have brought this unlikely pair together and they find themselves bonding over trying to solve a crime they shouldn’t be. Both have different intriguing abilities to see into people’s minds that complement their fascinating and complicated relationship.

There are two mysteries here that are weaved together so well. There is a lot going on here with the crime to the story. My head was a little rattled after finishing this one and I am so glad to have had some friends to discuss this one. I highly recommend for group reads.

I am waiting not so patiently to see more of what’s in the frying pan for these characters. Please hurry Michael Robotham and give us a hint.

*************************

Norma’s Review

Gritty, gripping, & thrilling!

GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL (Cyrus Haven #1) by MICHAEL ROBOTHAM is a suspenseful, intriguing, dark, disturbing, and slow-burn mystery/thriller that immediately drew me in. I was totally invested in this story and couldn’t put it down.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM delivers a complex, character-driven, multi-layered, compelling, and mysterious story here with fascinating and great characters.

I absolutely loved the dynamics between our two main characters here with Cyrus and Evie. Both characters were extremely compelling and quite fascinating to read. I especially enjoyed Evie’s character and was definitely intrigued by her special ability.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: A suspenseful and intriguing looking cover that definitely enticed me to read this book.
Title: Suspenseful, intriguing, and my curiosity was definitely piqued in finding out the meaning behind it. Who is the good girl? Bad girl?
Writing/Prose: Well-written, compelling, captivating, clever, and compulsively readable.
Plot: Unpredictable, gritty, gripping, unsettling, dark, fascinating, thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: An explosively satisfying conclusion!
Overall: I was totally intrigued and fascinated here with the characters and the mystery to solve. Would recommend!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior @HazelPriorBooks @BerkleyPub

Norma’s review

Enchanting, sweet, & heartwarming!

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by HAZEL PRIOR is a feel-good, delightful, up-lifting, lighthearted, and lovely story that completely entranced me.

HAZEL PRIOR delivers an engaging, humorous, entertaining, enjoyable and beautifully written tale of music and love here that is told through alternating chapters between Dan and Ellie. 

I absolutely loved Dan’s endearing, quirky, fun, innocent & loveable character and thought that he definitely stole the show. He was the highlight of the book for me and I loved how selfless, caring, carefree, giving, creative, and loving he was.

I was thoroughly entertained and invested in Dan and Ellie’s relationship and was rooting and hoping for the best for both of them.

Brenda’s review

Ellie and the Harpmaker is an entertaining, uplifting eccentric escapism with unusual likable characters. There is nothing new to the overall plot of the story.  It’s all about the tone to the story. The quirky personalities of the characters drew me into the story right from the start. At times their peculiarities seemed a little extreme yet fun.

Hazel Prior creates an oddly charming and enchanting fairy tale feeling story that is full of heart.  I loved the warm friendship here between our main characters and watching their relationship blossom through kindness and quirky moments.   I highly recommend for when you are in the mood for a quirky, feel-good story.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Not all that creative of a cover design but I do actually quite like the color schemes and the simplicity of it which is an effective and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: A simple and unimaginative title that represents the storyline quite effectively.
Writing/Prose: Lovely, engaging, captivating, humorous, and readable.
Plot: Fun, quirky, endearing, charming, lighthearted, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: Heartwarming, uplifting, and a feel-good ending that left me feeling such warmth and love for these characters and this book.
Overall: This book was such a breath of fresh air to read and one that is packed full of heart. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for gifting the both of us an advance copy of this book.

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware @SimonSchusterCA @RuthWareWriter #travelingsistersread #BookReview

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was a highly anticipated book for The Traveling Sisters and was one of our more lengthy group reads we have had.  Some of us couldn’t wait to get their hands on this one and start reading it right away while others took a bit before diving in. This lead to such a fun discussion as we all added in our thoughts as we read it.  So did it live up to our anticipation? YES!! We highly recommend!!!

Norma’s Review

Creepy, suspenseful, & mysterious!

THE TURN OF THE KEY by RUTH WARE is a compelling, dark, twisted, and haunting mystery thriller that immediately sucked me in and had me totally absorbed within this tale.

Right from the very start there is this intense sense of foreboding that definitely makes this quite the gripping book to read…..it is a slow-burn and the intensity level slowly increases as the story progresses. I absolutely loved the creepy modern gothic vibe going on here and RUTH WARE definitely knows how to deliver an atmospheric, vivid, and hair-raising suspenseful novel that I found to be quite appealing, enjoyable and entertaining.

My only real gripe here that I have though is that I don’t always feel that she follows through with some aspects to the storyline. Not sure if she knowingly doesn’t follow through with some things or if it is part of her signature technique to be a little bit vague. I’ve noticed this style of writing in almost all of her books and sometimes it has bothered me and others not so much. This one it didn’t bother me as much.

I absolutely loved the format of this novel which was written in an epistolary format (letters).  The tone was set right at the very beginning and I thought it followed through right to the very end.  I also thought RUTH WARE did a fabulous job with the creepy sounds and the ominous atmosphere with the setting of Heatherbrae House.  I was a little bit freaked out and scared which definitely left me a little on edge while I was reading certain scenes. 

Brenda’s review

Yey Happy!  Tell me a story!!

I am sure I have already told you!!

Unlock Happy, turn the key, isolate yourself and let this creepy and smart house entertain you for for a few hours. Happy the home app that families can’t live without creates a unique setting here with an isolated Gothic estate turned luxury smart house.

Ruth Ware creates quite the entertaining gripping page-turner while building suspense and weaving in some dark history to the estate with modern conveniences. She kept us on our toes, trying to figure out if new technology was good or evil here. Something sinister was going on for sure and I enjoyed this one from start to finish.

Lindsay’s review

Gothic and suspenseful.  Atmospheric and addictive.  Twisty and mesmerizing.

A nanny hired to watch over four children in the remote countryside in Scotland.   An old mansion house upgraded with all the latest technology. Unexplainable happenings.  Unmanageable children. Add all of these together and you get the perfect formula for a brilliantly spellbinding gothic mystery thriller – that’s exactly what this novel was!

Rowan is a nanny who is hired by the Elincourt family.   I loved every part of Rowan’s flawed character. There were so many layers to her background and personality – I enjoyed following her through this eerie and mysterious journey.

I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books.  Her writing always pulls me into a trance of feeling as though I am right there with the characters.  I loved the haunting and engrossing atmosphere throughout this story. The pace and flow were perfect – kept me intrigued and curious from start to finish.

Thoughts from some of our Traveling Sisters

I tell you what, there is no way I would have spent numerous nights in this house like Rowan did. I was completely creep out as nightfall hit each evening. Things were happening and they appeared to be supernatural. Given the history of this home, there is no doubt that is what would be running through my mind if I were staying there. Add to it this “smart house” with all the amazing, yet creepy features. That would drive me mad in itself. If I were Rowan I would be concerned that my employers were watching my every move, meaning that someone else could be too. For Kim’s full review on her blog

I loved the Gothic elements and the spooky atmosphere of Heatherbrae House, which got my heart racing and made me jump every time a branch brushed the side of the house in the wind whilst I snuggled up under the covers reading. Remote, isolated location – tick! Spooky old mansion – tick! Unreliable narrator – tick! Slight supernatural elements that give it some extra creep factor – tick! It’s all there for the taking, which makes this one of my favourite reads by the author yet – although I think I said that with the last few books as well. Ware is a masterful creator of the perfect setting for a spooky mystery: be it a boat, an old beach house, and English manor house or a house in a dark wood. A few paragraphs, and she has teleported me right into the story, which makes her one of my favourite authors today. I recommend that you read it and judge for yourself! Heidi

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, ghostly, suspenseful, ominous and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. I have an absolute love for Ruth Ware cover designs!
Title: I was immediately intrigued by the title of this book and definitely enticed me to read this book. 
Writing/Prose: Haunting, engaging, vividly descriptive, and readable.
Plot: Suspenseful, appealing, eerie, menacing, gripping, perfectly-paced, absorbing, ominous, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: A cryptic and satisfying resolution. 
Overall: I was immediately interested in this tale and thoroughly enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery, the characters and the storyline. Would recommend!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Passengers by John Marrs @BerkleyPub @johnmarrs1 #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #thepassengers

The Passengers by John Marrs is now available and it’s one not to miss!!! The Traveling Sisters were all left cheering for this one once we finished. There might of been some dancing going on!! So…..

Brenda’s review

Readers start your thrill ride and let the best passenger win.  Try to stay calm and strap yourself in. Its techno-thriller time!

John Marrs takes us on an entertaining, chilling action-packed, fast track ride to the unthinkable where technology and humans collide in more ways than one. This is one ride where the fear of death is more than the thrill and no one wants to finish this course.  

It’s all about the entertainment here and John Marrs knows how to rev up the tension here by adding quite the cinematic action.  The premise is brilliant and he creates some interesting moral dilemmas here. From the very first page, I was completing drawn into the premise of the story but was a little disturbed by our hacker’s intentions.  After a few chapters, I was intriguingly entertained and played along as I was reading. I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough to that explosive conclusion for the passengers.  

The Passengers is a fun read for group reads and it made for an entertaining, exciting discussion for The Traveling Sisters.  I highly recommend! 

Norma’s Review

Holy Shooty Balls!!! Gripping, chilling, & absolutely unputdownable!

THE PASSENGERS by JOHN MARRS is an engrossing, chilling, suspenseful, dark, disturbing, fun, easy, brisk, and highly compulsively readable psychological thriller that was another rapid-raced read for me. I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and thrilling book. Once I started reading it I was immediately hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I finished it in less than a day. 

The idea of driverless vehicles is a little bit scary as well as a little bit appealing to me. I’m not exactly sure if I would wholeheartedly be for it or inclined to actually get into one though as I love being a driver and find it quite relaxing. Although I guess I would be able to read if I was just a passenger though. But the idea of my vehicle being hacked would forever be on my mind though so I say nope…..let me drive!

I couldn’t stop thinking, holding, smelling, and reading this book. I even did something that I haven’t done in quite a while…..I peeked at the ending because I just couldn’t handle the suspense anymore or get to the ending fast enough…..and I thought I was reading it pretty darn fast as it was. Luckily my impatience of peeking at the ending didn’t spoil the fun or pacing for me!

JOHN MARRS delivers quite the impressive, clever, creative, exhilarating, thought-provoking, intense and well-written read here that was brilliantly executed. I am absolutely in awe of how creative and ingenious this story was. As each character is introduced and their secrets are revealed it is quite shocking and ratcheted up the intensity level tenfold. I was shocked more than once while reading this one which left me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. This was so darn good!!

Thoughts from some of our Traveling Sisters

Kim OMG this book is absolutely brilliant! How have I not read a John Marrs book before this? Where has this author been all my life?!  Seriously this book had me at the edge of my seat the entire wild ride. For Kim’s full review on her blog

Stephanie Reading John Marrs’ newest book The Passengers was like watching a blockbuster Hollywood movie: you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time with suspense “watching” the brilliant action scenes unfold (because Marrs’ writing is so realistic you feel as if you’re right there), experiencing the unexpected disasters and jaw dropping cliffhanger chapters―then that surprising ending! This would make an excellent film! As you can probably tell, I freaking loved this book, which I have to admit surprised me a bit because I’m not a techno-thriller/sci-fi thriller kinda girl, at all and almost didn’t pick this one up… oh, would that have been a mistake, my friends, since I binged this book in a serious way! For Stephanie’s full review on her blog

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Dizzying, fearful, futuristic, scary, deranged, intriguing, suspenseful and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and such a powerful, fitting, and effective representation to storyline that definitely packed quite a punch.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engrossing, intelligent, masterly, absorbing, compelling, and compulsively readable. 
Plot: Clever, intriguing, creative, shocking, intense, thought-provoking, suspenseful, riveting, brisk, absorbing, fun, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: Intense, shocking, flabbergasting, exciting, & wholly satisfying!
Overall: It was such an irresistibly fun and entertaining book and another winner added to my favourite reads shelf. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Everyone needs to read this book!!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our advance copies. It was an absolute pleasure reading this highly irresistible and fun novel!!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!