Film Reviews, Film/Television

Movie Review: Primal Fear (1996)

  • Director: Gregory Hoblit
  • Starring: Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, and Frances McDormand
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Star Rating: ★★★★☆

So I’ve begun the journey of watching Laura Linney’s filmography since she’s one of those actresses that I’ve always enjoyed and inspired to emulate in my own acting journey and I finally got around to watching Primal Fear.

I realize the film is a popular one, garnering numerous awards, most notoriously for Edward Norton who got a supporting actor nomination for his first ever feature film role. But for some reason or other, I had never really heard about it or knew what it was about.

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Book Reviews, Thrillers

Book Review: YOU & BONUS: TV Review

  • Author: Caroline Kepnes23492630
  • Edition: Paperback
  • Published: June 15th, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
  • Star Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Goodreads

Wow, this book was… a lot to process to say the least. YOU is about a bookstore manager named Joe who falls desperately, madly, and scarily in love with Guinevere Beck. A young Brown student who finds herself in his crosshairs after passing through his shop. What makes YOU unique is that the entirety of the story is told through Joe’s point-of-view. His very scary, violent, and downright filthy POV.

** Spoilers ahead. **

If this book were written by a man I doubt I would have even picked it up to begin with. As it stands, I already felt disgusting and dirty reading parts of it. Kepnes is excellent at creating a sense of foreboding, a sense of utter disgust with what her centric character is doing. Seriously, once I finished this book I felt like I needed to jump in the shower immediately. (Partly because Kepnes made me read the phrase “pussy juice” about ten times). I have to give her credit for not writing Joe in a sympathetic light. I never felt as if she wanted asking her readers to like Joe, just to understand his motives and his delusions.

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Book Reviews

Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish

  • Author: Liv Constantine34043643
  • Edition: Hardcover
  • Published: October 17th, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
  • Star Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Goodreads

Before I get into this review I just want to preface it with two points:

  1. SPOILERS ahead! Please do not read this review if you intend to read the book and would like to do so spoiler-free.
  2. I really ended up hating a lot of things about this book so if you loved it you might want to pass.

I’ll begin with a few of the novel’s strengths before I delve into why I gave this book a one-star review. This book is a highly compelling read. Liv Constantine knows how to write in a way that draws the reader in. I devoured the entirety of The Last Mrs. Parrish in a day, I just wish it hadn’t left such an awful taste in my mouth. I was intrigued by the plot, although I have heard it is very similar to another book I own but haven’t yet read, The Wife Between Us, and I did get sucked into the novel enough that I wanted to see it through even though I had worked out each plot twist before they came to fruition. I knew that Jack was going to be abusive from the moment Daphne panicked when Amber spilled her coffee on the floor, and the moment perspectives shifted from Amber to Daphne, I knew that Daphne would have had a hand in setting Amber up with him. I think that the writing hid these truths enough to be shocking but I’ve read enough books and seen enough television to know plot devices when I see them.

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Book Reviews

Flash Reviews: The Black Witch & Lies

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  • Author: Laurie Frost
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Published: May 2nd, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
  • Star Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Goodreads

MY THOUGHTS:

Apparently, this book was at the centerpiece of a lot of controversy upon its release. I never heard about it but I wasn’t big in the book review circle at the time. By reading the few hundred pages I did, I can see why. The racial allegories in this are ham-fisted at best and offensive at worst, and it’s at its worst for a majority of the book.

Needless to say, I couldn’t finish this one – 600 pages of an MC that was constantly victimized/bullied, it was extremely repetitive and all the world building fell by the wayside and suffered for it, I wasn’t immersed enough to want to wade through all that angst and based on many of the other reviews I read, I really didn’t miss much.


 

  • Author: T.M. Logan33652433
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Published: May 2nd, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
  • Star Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Goodreads

I did finish this book but, I found it mediocre at best. It’s a great read if you’re hankering for a mystery and don’t have anything more pressing to read but I didn’t find it anything special and it doesn’t offer anything new to an already overstuffed genre.

The storyline was not engrossing to me but the pacing was snappy and quick (except the middle which was a bit of a slog). I didn’t find the characters super appealing, or the dialogue for that matter, and the ending seemed to come out of left field. Yet, I still found myself mostly entertained. It’s a very easy, readable story that you could easily consume on a lazy Sunday.

Thank you to NetGalley for these ARC’s in exchange for my honest opinions!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Her Name Was Rose

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. 

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

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Book Reviews

Review: I Know You Know

From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

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Book Reviews

Review: All These Beautiful Strangers

  • Author: Elizabeth Klehfoth
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 10, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological
  • Goodreads

In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.

Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.

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Book Reviews

Review: Believe Me

  • Author: J.P. Delaney
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 24, 2018
  • Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
  • Goodreads

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

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Book Reviews

Review: Girls’ Night Out

  • Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 24, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
  • Goodreads

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

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Book Reviews

Flash Reviews: The Marriage Pact & The Garden Party

the marriage pact

Title: The Marriage Pact
Author: Michelle Richmond
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
My Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

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