REVIEW – The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The Maidens is good. It’s not GREAT, but it’s definitely a decent read that keeps you moving, with short, punchy chapters. There’s an interesting (and sinister) murder mystery, and a few major plot twists that will definitely shock some readers. Although I had the killer figured out pretty early on, another twist caught me off guard (and i’m honestly not sure how I felt about it, even weeks after finishing the books).

I think Michaelides is claiming his place as the author of some reliably twisty and compelling summer thrillers. If you’re a fan of darker, psychological mysteries, you’ll want to give this one a shot!

Thank you Celadon Books for the ARC!

REVIEW – Last Call: A Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

Last Call is a great read for fans of true crime – it’s a heartbreaking, gruesome tale of a man who preyed on gay men in the 80s and 90s. Last Call is incredibly well-researched and amazingly written – packing a ton of information into a relatively short book.

Elon Green focuses a lot on the victims of the Last Call Killer and less on the killer himself (this is relatively common among newer true crime books, and for good reason), and does so with great care and compassion.

Last Call might also be a good choice for those new to true crime, since it’s a shorter book and the murders are relatively recent, it’s easy to follow if you’re not familiar with the genre.

Thank you Celadon Books for the ARC!

REVIEW – Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

This book has so many layers – it starts off as an almost external examination of the relationship between sisters. There are surface observations of different families enjoying their vacations in paradise.

Then Alison disappears. And her body is discovered a few days later. The narrative shifts into a heartbreaking exploration of a family’s terror and grief. Most importantly, grief from the perspective of a little girl.

We move quickly into the (near) present. Little sister Claire is how an adult, but her sister’s mysterious death shapes her entire life. As she uncovers more details about her older sister, she also learns more about herself.

This does slow down a bit towards the middle and, at times, Claire is a very unlikable character, but the story is unique and compelling and complex. This will likely be a very popular pick for book clubs in 2020!

Thank you Celadon for providing me with a copy of this book.

REVIEW – The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Whisper Man is chilling, but it’s also very sad.

A good examination of father-son relationships and forgiveness, The Whisper Man offers up a slower-burning story that picks up speed towards the end. The last chapter is probably the most impactful and terrifying.

It’s a solid thriller with some interesting twists and an overwhelming sense of dread.

Thank you Celadon for the ARC!