Tag Archive | thriller

Book Review: The Sanatorium

The Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse

Le Sommet is a luxury hotel located deep in the mountains of the Swiss Alps.  It is also a converted tuberculosis sanatorium.  Elin Warner is a British police detective who is on a leave of absence from her job after an attempt to apprehend a murderer goes horribly wrong.

The Sanatorium

The hotel has recently opened after an extensive revisioning, fraught with conflict, protests, and the disappearance of the principal architect. 

Elin’s brother is getting married, and she would like to repair their estranged relationship, as he is the only family she has left.  Elin and her boyfriend head up for a week at Le Sommet, where her brother’s fiance works.  While they are there, the road up is wiped out due to an avalanche, and the funicular is stopped due to high winds.  And then, the murders begin. 

The police can’t get there, because all access is blocked.  But Elin can help, by beginning the investigation.  Does she have the nerve?

Sarah Pearse thriller takes the reader on a fast paced murder mystery with a series of twists and turns.  Don’t assume you know who did it!  She weaves the story of the hotel’s prior life as a sanatorium into her novel, making its history an integral part of the story.  Even though this isn’t a genre I typically go for, I was intrigued the whole way through!

3 stars.

 

Book Review: The Flight Attendant

I recently finished The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian.  It had been awhile since I’ve read one of his books, but I have liked them in the past, so I was game when this one came up as available at the library’s website.  I’m always looking for good audio books!

The Flight Attendant

Imagine being a flight attendant, traveling around the world and spending nights in fabulous cities all around the world.  Like Dubai.  Now imagine you have a bit of a drinking problem, and a bit of a memory problem to go along with it…  Cassandra Bowden’s love for drink, and her love for men lead her to the worst possible scenario.  She wakes up from a drinking binge in a man’s hotel room.  Only he’s dead, soaked in a pool of his own blood, and she can’t remember what happened… 

What would you do if you were alone, in a foreign country, in a dead man’s room?  Cassandra does the only thing she can think of…  She begins to lie. 

This novel leads the reader into a fast paced thriller as Cassandra tries to learn the truth of what happened before the FBI charges her with murder.  Only along the way, she does just about everything a rational person would not do, leaving the reader practically shouting, “you stupid, stupid woman!” 

The twist ending is interesting, although not truly believable, and the novel held my interest until the end.

3 stars. 

Book Review: Into the Water

Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins

The “Drowning Pool” has long been known as a place where women go to end their lives, as well as a place where men take women to end them.  It has acquired a life of its own, with stories stretching back hundreds of years.  This is a place where witches were taken to sink or swim, and where troubled women made their last troubled decision.

Into the Water

Jules is shocked to learn that her older, estranged sister has become the latest victim of the drowning pool.  She was not your typical troubled woman though; she had a career and a 15 year old daughter – Jules could not believe that her sister would have taken her own life.  And so soon after another tragedy; the daughter’s best friend had taken her own life at the pool just a few months before.

Was it suicide, or was it more sinister?  Hawkins’ takes the reader on a circuitous path towards the truth, examining the thoughts and motivations of each character in the small town, and making you realize that no one is truly innocent.  But was there even a crime?  This novel will keep you on the edge wondering if you will ever truly know…  Along the way, there is a path of healing, as Jules comes to terms with her memories of her sister, embraces her daughter, and makes a new start.

The author’s character development is superb, and the audiobook version was very well done, with different voices for each character.  Well worth the read.

4 stars.

 

Book Review: The Good Girl

Sometimes I pick novels because they are available at the library, and they look interesting. This was one of those. I read the description, checked it out, downloaded it on my I-Pod and then promptly forgot about it for several months.

So when I finally started to listen to it, I couldn’t remember a thing about why I had been interested…

 

The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica, is a thriller that documents the kidnapping and disappearance of Mia, the young adult daughter of a judge in Chicago. She is gone for several months before finally making her way home, safe. However, she has no memories of her time with her kidnapper.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards, through the perspective of Mia’s mother, the lead detective on the case, and Mia’s kidnapper. Time is divided into before and after Mia returns to her family. Little by little, the story of her disappearance and time in captivity is revealed.

There are a series of twists and turns, some you might expect and some you won’t.  I won’t give it away, but I’ll just leave you with this – you won’t guess the ending… An excellent keep-you-on-your-toes novel!