Book Review: The Book of Cold Cases

Book Review: The Book of Cold Cases

Thank you to Berkley for having me on the blog tour for The Book of Cold Cases and for providing me a free digital copy of the book! All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect – a rich, eccentric 23-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases – a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

My Review:

The Book of Cold Cases is my favorite by Simone St. James yet! It was spooky, mysterious, inspiring, emotional, and all other manner of good things. It was perfectly balanced and paced and just an all around great book!

This one is a combination of past and present times lines. When books are set up this way, sometimes one timeline stands out over the other. Or, my least favorite, one gets most of the focus. Neither of those scenarios was the case with The Book of Cold Cases. The present timeline gets built up enough in the beginning that when the past timelines begins, you need to know what happened to make sense of the plot in the present and both timelines equally play a part in the story and are well balanced.

I also got a lot of female empowerment from this book, which I really enjoyed and I liked that the main character Shea, while not exactly thriving, wasn’t the typical drunk and unreliable narrator. Beth was equally strong. Unconventional, but strong! I loved them both.

I felt like the plotting in this novel was very well done, and while it felt very readable, by the end I was so impressed with how intricate and detailed it all ended up being. I liked St. James’ first two books, but I loved this one! This is the one that has made me a die-hard fan! Can’t wait for whatever she comes up with next!

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

5915C6B4-7942-48D9-9560-13C99F7C4B5BThank you to Berkley books for providing me with a free copy of The Sun Down Motel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

My Review:

This book has been getting a lot of hype, early readers are loving it!  I can tell you that I am right there with them, The Sun Down Motel is a very fun read and definitely deserving of all the attention it’s getting!

My favorite part of this novel is the setting, so much revolves around the motel and I felt like it was a character in it’s own rite. St. James included The Sun Down Motel in so much of the story that it took on it’s own ominous personality. That alone makes this a very unique book and one that I think will stick with me for a long time.

The only critique I have is about a little redundancy in the dual story lines.  Viv in 1982 is chasing the path of a serial killer, then Carly in 2017 followed a lot of the same leads trying to find her aunt so at times it felt like reading some parts twice.

However, this was a very enjoyable read for me overall. I was pulled in right from the start with the chapters alternating between past and present. The ghosts were creepy (though I was not scared by them) and everything came full circle very nicely. I recommend this to anyone who likes a mystery or ghost story,.  Very well done!

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

IMG_0601I liked this book more than I thought I would and it was the perfect Hallow-read!  Rooms chapters are uniquely divided up into sections based on rooms within an old country house owned by the dysfunctional Walker family. Richard Walker has passed away and his estranged family has returned to the house to settle his affairs.  His ex-wife Caroline has a terrible drinking problem, his daughter Minna has de-reailed her life and his son Treton has never been the same since an accident.  As the walkers go through their deceased father‘s belongings they are beginning to find out secrets kept from each other and secrets their father kept from them.   All of these goings on are watched with interest by the ghosts that haunt the house. Things get interesting when Trenton begins to hear the ghosts’ voices.

First of all,  I have to admit I am a sucker for a gritty dysfunctional family and the Walkers fit that bill beautifully!  Their lives and interactions with each other were realistic and believeable albeit snarky and hateful.  I enjoyed getting to see the secrets come to the surface and examine the family dynamics.  I also liked that the story is told in alternating points of view between the Walkers and the ghosts living in the house.  Learning more backstory about why the ghosts were there really added to the spooky factor of this book. Dark and smart, Rooms was hard to put down! I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars.