Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier ~ A Dark, Twisty Tale #PsychologicalThriller #AudiobookReview @JenniferHillier

Author: Jennifer Hillier

Performed by January LaVoy

Released on Audible: June 2018 by Macmillan Audio

Category: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Audiobook, Review

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This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

Fourteen years ago the community of Sweetbay was rocked when sixteen year old Angela Wong went missing, never to be seen again. Now all these years later her remains have been discovered near her best friend, Georgina (Geo) Shaw’s childhood home where Geo’s father still lives. Geo and Angela, along with Kaiser Brody, now a Detective with the Seattle PD, were as close as friends could be in high school. Until Calvin James came on the scene. His presence changed, not only the dynamics of the trio but also their lives. What Geo carries with her from then on will affect her for years to come with devastating consequences.

Calvin, also known as the Sweetbay Strangler, is on trial for Angela’s murder as well as the murder of three other women. Geo is giving evidence because she  was complicit in disposing of Angela’s body. She will begin a five year prison sentence as Calvin gets life.

Her fiancé doesn’t know what she’s done. He’ll soon find out. Geo looks down at her hands, folded neatly in her lap. Her diamond engagement ring, a three-carat oval with an additional carat of smaller diamonds encircling the centre stone, is still on her finger. For now.

The story is told in several parts, past and present, the first covering Geo’s time in Hazelwood Correctional Facility. The descriptions of life behind bars is probably very near the truth, if not totally, and it was chilling. The repercussions of her relationship with Calvin are still reverberating through her life, as she finds out just as her sentence is over and she is released. Once a successful business woman with a lifestyle to match, she is now unwelcome in her old neighbourhood.

It’s a dark story with layer upon layer waiting to be peeled back. The characters are well defined and most definitely flawed, showing how one decision taken can cause such a deep impact on so many people. I couldn’t make up my mind about Geo, why she let things go as far as she did. But then she was only 16 and in a situation that I can even imagine, as well as being manipulated by someone she thought she loved. Even so, some things do stretch belief. There are several unexpected twists which kept me guessing.

A Jar of Hearts is well written and detailed, all about secrets, lies, friendship and evil. It’s only just before the final reveal that things start falling into place and you realise the clues were there…

Great narration by January LaVoy.

Book links~ Amazon UK | Book Depository | Waterstones | Hive 

About the Author

Jennifer Hillier writes about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. Born and raised in Toronto and a proud Canadian, she spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all her books are set.
She loves her son, her husband, the Seahawks, and Stephen King. Not equally, but close. She’s the author of six novels, including JAR OF HEARTS, which won the Thriller Award, and was shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards.
Her newest psychological thriller, LITTLE SECRETS, was published on April 21, 2020 from Minotaur Books.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter

#GuestPost by Harold Benjamin #author of Judenrein, a Jewish Dystopian @judenreinbook #Thriller #NewRelease #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I have a guest post from author Harold Benjamin, whose new book Judenrein has recently been published. First of all, here’s what the book is about…

Zack Gurevitz has had a checkered past. A Yeshiva boy, turned Green Beret, turned junkie, excommunicated by his one-time faith and now the potential savior of people he doesn’t even like. As a white supremacist movement stealthily takes the reins of power in America, it is again the Jews who are made out as scapegoats. Stripped of wealth and citizenship, they are made to live in 21st century ghettos that hark back to a sinister and murky past that many had thought would never return.But things are about to get much worse. With the revealing of a planned terror attack that will place the blame firmly at Jewish feet and condemn millions to death, Zack is contacted by Jewish leaders in Detroit, begging for his help. Reluctantly he agrees and before long he is mired in a conspiracy that will have far reaching consequences for his country, the Jewish population and even his own sanity.As the clock ticks down, can Zack find a way to avert a looming disaster? Who is behind the conspiracy? And can he really trust anyone?

Now over to Harold…

Contemplating the Reality of America Becoming “Judenrein”

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The Taking of Annie Thorne by @cjtudor ~ ‘I know what happened to your sister’ #AudiobookReview #FridayReads

Author: C.J. Tudor

Performed by Richard Armitage

Released on Audible February 2019

Category: Mystery, Thriller, Psychological, Horror, Audiobook, Review

One night, Annie disappeared.

There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst.

And then, after 48 hours, she came back.

But she couldn’t – or wouldn’t – say what had happened to her.

Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what.

I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same.

She wasn’t my Annie.

I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

Life hasn’t been particularly kind to Joe Thorne. He was a loner as a youth, content to spend time with his young sister, until he became involved in the local gang lead by a cruel bully, Stephen Hurst, which was really when things began to go wrong for Joe. A schoolfriend’s tragic death, his sister’s disappearance and then the traffic accident that left him with a shattered leg, and that wasn’t the worst of it.

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Missing You by Harlan Coben ~ Will Kat Get A Second Chance? #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Suspense

Author: Harlan Coben

Published: April 2014 by Orion

Category: Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Book Review

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It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Two devastating events that happened around the same time, eighteen years previously, had a powerful effect on NYPD Detective Kat Donovan. Her father was murdered and her fiancé broke off their relationship without explanation. She hasn’t had another relationship since that meant anything to her. Kat’s friend Stacy bought her a subscription for a dating website, something she knew Kat would never do on her own. Feeling slightly obligated Kat trawls through the profiles and is stunned to see a picture of her ex fiancé on one of the profiles. Eventually, feeling she has nothing to lose, Kat makes contact.

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When You See Me by Lisa Gardner ~ A Thrilling and Tense #PoliceProcedural #Thriller @LisaGardnerBks #FridayReads

Author: Lisa Gardner

Published: January 2020 by Penguin Random House

Category: Police Procedural, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Book Review

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FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.

When You See Me is a combination of two series and brings together Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane and FBI Agent Kimberly Quincy in a thrilling and tense ride with three strong, interesting and totally different female characters. Computer geek Keith, who has a passion for true crime and a tentative relationship with Flora, also joins the team. Several chapters from an as yet unnamed character whose suffering is slowly revealed are interspersed throughout the narrative.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin #Historical #CrimeFiction Based on True Events #Mystery #Thriller

This week’s Throwback Thursday is The Axeman’s Jazz, the first of a series of historical crime fiction, based on fact. I listened to the audio which was released in January 2015.

My Thoughts

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Low Country Punch by Boo Walker #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Throwback Thursday this week features Low Country Punch, an audiobook I listened to in 2015, narrated by RC Bray.

My Thoughts

TA Reddick is a Federal Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami. He and his partner are working an undercover drug ring and just getting ready to meet for a cocaine exchange in a multi storey garage. When they meet the two sellers TA recognises them as Diego and Robert Vasquez. Robert is a cop and a good friend of TA’s who had saved his life the year before. In the ensuing shoot out, Robert is killed and TA’s partner is injured. Diego Vasquez escapes. 

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The Boy From The Woods ~ Now A Man with a Mysterious Past #CrimeFiction from @HarlanCoben #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Harlan Coben

Narrated by Steven Weber

Released on Audible: March 2020

Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Audiobook, Book Review

Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods.

He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde.

Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him.

Over thirty years ago a boy, thought to be around six to eight years old, was found living in the Ramapo Mountain Forest. How he survived no-one knew. The boy didn’t know his age, name or where he came from. He doesn’t remember his parents or any other adults and no-one came forward to claim him. But he did have a friend.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Two Nick Bracco Thrillers (A Touch of Deceit/A Touch of Revenge) by Gary Ponzo #AudiobookReview

I really enjoyed listening to these books which were released by Audible in 2013 and performed by RC Bray. 

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

My Thoughts

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The Stranger by Harlan Coben ~ What a tangled web we weave… #Mystery #Suspense #BookReview #FridayReads

Author: Harlan Coben

Performed by Eric Meyers

Category: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Audiobook, Book Review

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The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price leads a contented life in a well-to-do neighbourhood with his wife, Corinne and his two boys, little knowing his world was about to be shattered by a stranger.

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