Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bachelor Girl

Title: Bachelor Girl
Author: Kim van Alkemade
Published: March 6th 2018 by Touchstone
Format: eBook, Paperback, 416 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Unlike others, I enjoyed this book up until the oversimplified ending that read as if Kim Van Alkemede ran out of steam when writing her own book. A book that took a fictionalized look at the life of Jacob Ruppert, the original owner of the New York Yankees, and his bequest to a mysterious woman 35 years his junior. Van Alkemede winds a fantastical tale of love, loss, and redemption when she literally throws everything possible into this book and hopes that she does not lose her readers along the way.

While trying to hold to the known truths of a secretive man, the author introduces Helen Winthrop, a bachelor girl, who is determined to work and live life on her own terms whether it is as young girl kissing a boy that her mother disapproves of or refusing to marry solely because it is what is expected. What Helen did not realize is that as she is trying to live her life, there are secrets kept from her that will ultimately change her trajectory and take her down a path that she is little prepared for yet knows, by a gut instinct, what is right.

While attempting to keep the shock factor alive, Kim Van Alkemede introduces characters and situations that try to keep the book all-inclusive, but also has the tendency to add the “was that really necessary” vibe that has bothered other readers.

After reading this book, you will have to do a brief dive on the man that was Jacob Ruppert and decide for yourself what his story was. No one knows for sure the relationship between Ruppert and Winthrop since her only public remark was that they were like father and daughter, yet curious minds want to know more, and thus was the jumping off point for this author.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Night Bird

Title: Night Bird
Author: Brian Freeman
Published: February 1st 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
Format: eBook, Audio, 364 pages
Genre: Police Procedural
Series: Frost Easton #1

This book creeped me out with the haunting screeching of the “Night Bird” through the speakers and into the minds of his victims.

Frost Easton is called out to the death of Brynn Lansing on the Bay Bridge. One minute Brynn was enjoying the drive when out of nowhere she starts screaming and trying to bat something away from her. Scrambling out of the car and in a state of panic, she falls to her death. When he learns of the circumstances surround her death, Frost is reminded of a similar death a few months earlier. What did these two women have in common? Turns out that they were both patients of Frankie Stein, a psychologist that uses questionable treatments in the field of traumatic memories and phobias.

Oh, that Frankie, she has a couple of secrets of her own, some of which she herself does not remember. Backed by the rules of doctor patient confidentiality, Dr. Stein cannot help Frost with his investigation, but she begins to wonder if a man that she had helped set free could be behind this. As she rushes blindly after her theories on who could be behind this, she reveals not only the truth of the Night Bird, but also the facts of her own father’s death.

Using the Kindle “add audio” to the book that I was reading, the narration came alive and scared the be-gee-bers out of me. Joe Barrett literally startled me in a couple of places with his haunting sing-song chants, creepy intonations, and sudden outbursts. If possible, switch over to the audio and you will not be disappointed.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Let Me Lie

Title: Let Me LIe
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Expected Publication: March 13th 2018 by Sphere
Format: eBook,Hardcover, 400 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

How far should you trust your own judgment? You sense things, you see things, they call it a “post-bereavement hallucinatory experience”. Logically you know what you are experiencing cannot be true since your parents are dead, that it is not rational to see your mother’s ghost standing across the street or to smell her perfume in your kitchen. So why is this all happening now, a year later, when it did not happen immediately after their deaths?

Anna’s father jumped off the cliff at Beachy Head, seven months later, in apparent desperation, her mother copied her husband’s suicide. Now on the first anniversary of her mother’s death, someone is playing a cruel joke and has sent Anna a note, “Suicide? Think again”. Is it possible the one or both of them had been murdered?

Anna’s partner, and once her therapist, Mark Hemmings is trying to convince her that it is just a hoax, but Anna isn’t so sure. Between her own emotions and the sleep deprivation that their daughter is causing, Anna’s head is swimming with possibilities, and fears, since she cannot get anyone to believe her, and the strange goings on, that confront her at every turn. This is where retired detective Murray Mackenzie steps in and takes it upon himself to unofficially investigate. With his wife in and out of a mental institution and her surprising insight on the case, Murray connects the dots in a way that has the reader scratching their head and thinking – that just might work.

As you read this book, you are certain how it is going to end. Psychology thrillers tend to lead you down a path that shifts and veers, but there are always truths that remain. Yet, the final truth in this book will have you going back a chapter or two to reread just to make sure that you did not miss something. Sure enough, I had. One misinterpretation of a sentence changed everything.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Title: The Story of Arthur Truluv
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Published: November 21st 2017 by Random House
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Genre: Fiction

I do not know what happened, I picked up this book to read the first couple of paragraphs and the next thing I know, I had read the book straight through. I do not know anyone that could walk away from this book without saying that they need an Arthur “Truluv” Moses in their lives.

Eight-five-year-old Arthur Moses is the kind of man that does not give up on others. When he sees someone in need, he lends a helping hand without thinking of himself or passing judgment. Sure Lucille’s wig might be askew or Maddy’s nose ring is troubling, but that is not for him to judge, Nola would not have wanted him to look down on anyone and so he will not.

Every day, without fail, Arthur gets on the bus and travels to the cemetery to have lunch with his late wife Nola where he keeps up a one sided conversation about his current adventures and their life together. As he travels to her headstone, he stops and listens in on Nola’s neighbors. He senses their stories and is fascinated by them even though on the rare occasion he learns more than he should.

Lonely, seventeen year old Maddy spends her lunch period at the cemetery. Her mother died when she was two weeks old, and though her mother is not buried there, Maddy would rather be in a cemetery than bullied at school or ignored at home by a father that has never bonded with her.

Retired schoolteacher Lucille lives next to Arthur, she never married since her one true love married another yet love may not be truly out of question when Frank reappears and the two, for a short time, rekindle what was lost.

In searching out something that resembles love, Maddy finds herself pregnant and with her father urging her to terminate it, Maddy flees her home and shows up on Arthur’s doorstep. With loneliness taking on may faces, the three friends form a family that allows each to live out their own dreams of love and family.

Throughout this book, the reader will find the most remarkable words of wisdom. Will share in new discoveries and most importantly will learn that family is not where you are born but where you choose to live. Of course you are going to shed a tear and have to put the book down to absorb what you have just read, but you will continue on just so you know that Arthur, Lucille and Maddy will be ok. That life has a way of continuing its circle and just when you have given up on humanity, Truluv will appear and give you purpose.