Pieces of her (Karin Slaughter)

pieces

Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.

When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.

Laura is hailed as a hero for her actions at the mall but 24 hours later she is in hospital, shot by an intruder, who’s spent decades trying to track her down.

What is Andrea’s mother trying to hide? As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?

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This was another audiobook I could not put down. I listened to it in just three sittings, and still wish that there was more. I listened while I worked, commuted, snuggled the cat, cooked, folded laundry … nothing was more important than finishing this story.

I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughter. I only started reading her work around a year ago, but I have quickly fallen in love with her style, and her stories have drawn me further into the thriller genre. I will devour any book she puts out.

Pieces of Her switches perspectives and time periods, between the 1980s and 2018. I was thoroughly engrossed and emotionally invested in Slaughter’s characters. This book was heavily reliant on a fast-paced plot to drive the story. There was much less graphic violence than the other standalones this author has published, and I would easily recommend it to someone new to her, or to the genre.

There were a few points in the book that brought out some light-hearted humour to balance out the heavy tone predominant throughout the chapters. I liked the author’s references to pop-culture references. When Andi first is on the run, she can’t think straight and so falls back on tv and movies as her aliases. Hence, her proclamation that she came from the town of Mystic Falls.

I will definitely be picking up the next audiobook as soon as Karin Slaughter released a new book!

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Not a Hero (Sons of the Survivalist #1)

Sons of the survivalist #1

In the Alaska wilderness, four streetwise boys became men—and brothers

Now the crazy ex-military survivalist who plucked Gabriel and three other boys from an abusive foster care home has died. But the sarge leaves them a final mission–to revive the dying town of Rescue.

Gabe is done with being a hero.

Wounded in body and soul, the retired SEAL simply wants to remain holed up in his isolated cabin. He sure doesn’t want to be chief of police in some defunct town. But he has his orders.

Audrey needs a place to hide

After the Chicago librarian discovers a horrendous crime, she wakes to an assassin in her bedroom. Injured and terrified, she flees, covering her trail every inch of the way. New name, new ID. New home. As Audrey learns to survive in Rescue, she begins to fall for the town…and the intimidating chief of police who protects it.

Can the shy introvert and the deadly police chief find a life together?

Despite the discord in town, Gabe is finding his own peace…with the quiet young woman who seems to have no past. She’s adorable and caring and so very lost. But how can he trust someone who lies to him with every breath she takes?

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Not a Hero is the first book in a new series by Cherise Sinclair. It is set in Alaska and features 4 alpha male hunks who stumble across their true loves.

It is the first book of Ms. Sinclair to not feature BDSM (to my knowledge). I have always been a huge fan of hers and every series or standalone that she has written to date.

This one wasn’t a hit for me though.

Audrey is every book nerd’s alter ego I think. She goes from quiet, shy, introverted librarian with little self-confidence and social skills, to a kickbutt survivalist at the heart of her newfound community in Rescue, Alaska.

Gabe was also a great character, but I didn’t warm up to him as much. He is extremely measured and controlled. And not that dominant personalities have a stranglehold on those traits, but it reminded me of Ms. Sinclair’s Dom characters so much that I found it difficult to separate him from the lifestyle.

It just felt like something was always missing in this story, and I am pretty sure that it was the BDSM. Maybe it is because I am so used to this author writing alpha male kinkster heroes that I couldn’t accept it wasn’t meant to be in this series, or maybe it is the author who cannot separate her characters from that mindset, but I couldn’t quite fall into the rhythm of this love story.

I still plan on reading the following stories, although I hope the author keeps writing her existing series as well! Maybe you will like this book more than I did 🙂

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No Place to Run – a review

No place to run is the second novel in Maya Banks’ KGI series which features a post-military career family of 6 boys who start their own consulting business together, covering everything from outsourced government jobs, to private hostage rescues and corporate security.

Here’s the blurb:

KGI 2

Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She’s spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam’s child. Now she’s resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he’s the one in danger.

Now he’s her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

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I found this second novel to be very different from the first. Possibly because a lot of pages in The Darkest Hour were devoted to establishing the characters and KGI’s business, the story felt more emotionally intimate between the characters and you see the softer side of them, as their missing family member returns home after a year in hell.

But in No Place to Run, the introductions have already been made. There are more pages available to devote to the plot and plenty of action. Gunfights, knife fights, helicopters and grenades galore.

I really admire Sophie. She has been on the run for five months, pregnant the whole time, and is at the end of her ability to protect herself and her unborn child. But when she arrives in Sam’s arms, she doesn’t turn into a silly little fool. She keeps thinking and playing the angles, trying to figure out the safest path forward.

I don’t blame either Sophie or Sam for not immediately trusting each other with everything that has happened. I actually really liked that the author kept true to the natural feelings of distrust and reluctance between the characters, despite their mutual attraction. It felt more realistic and allowed the reader to see a different side of the Kellys than was established in the previous instalment.

The boys were all super sweet and devoted to Rachel in book one. This time around, you get a small sense of what it would be like to be standing on the other side from them, during certain scenes told from Sophie’s perspective. They are certainly an intimidating and formidable force!

I’m glad that I choose to re-read these novels this week and will be posting the review for the third – Garrett’s – shortly. If No Place to Run sounds to your taste, you can try it out by reading the first chapter and a bit on Amazon.

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