Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen #truecrime #booktwitter #bookreview

Overview

The shocking true-crime story of two orphaned sisters who arrived at a health retreat as patients – but only one would ever make it out alive… An extraordinary and gripping account of the starvation doctor from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If You Tell.

In 1911 two British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, read a brochure about a revolutionary fasting treatment that promised a lifetime of good health. The sanatorium in the village of Olalla, west of Seattle, was surrounded by a beautiful forest, sparkling waters and fresh air. The sisters agreed it sounded perfect and exactly the restorative holiday they needed.

But within a month of arriving, under the supervision of Doctor Linda Burfield Hazzard, Claire and Dora began to realise the frightening truth – they were not patients but prisoners at the isolated sanitorium.

Starved and on the edge of death, the sisters made several desperate attempts to escape. But only one would ever make it out alive.

Chilling and harrowing, Starvation Heights is a story of two vulnerable sisters, and how they were manipulated by a cunning and dangerous doctor into believing that her monstrous treatments would ‘cure’ them. Will totally hook fans of The Five and The Devil in the White City.

Review

It is hard to believe that this occurred in America and continued to occur for years! Dr. Hazzard starved her patients and kept them prisoners to obtain their wealth.

This is a case that was not brought to light until 2 citizens of Britain were brought under her care and one of them died. These were wealthy sisters and it is amazing what Dr. Hazzard did to these women. And they were not the only ones!

I learned a great deal about the victims but there was not a lot about Dr. Hazzard and her background. I wanted to know more. She was a fascinating woman. And how she came up with this plan is beyond comprehension. The author does not cover this and I just wanted more!

Stacey Glemboski is an excellent narrator. Very matter of fact!

Need a good true crime you just won’t believe…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this audiobook from the publisher for a honest review.

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January Escapes and Escapades #escapesandescapades #januarywrapup #wrapup #bookreviews #booktwitter

Well! I always HATE January. It is the longest, coldest month of the year. But, this year…I had a fantastic January!

I went to my first ever Fiber Festival. I spent way too much money but boy did I have a blast! Being a new knitter…DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES…this was a treat for me! Look at all this amazing yarn!

Plus it was in Oxford, MS. Which means a visit to…you guessed it…SQUARE BOOKS!

Now…on to the Escapes

I had quite a few five star reads this month….CHECK IT OUT!

The House in the Pines
Picture in the Sand
The Villa
The Blackhouse
My Darkest Prayer
A Chance Inheritance
All The Dangerous Things
The Three Alice’s if Alix St. Pierre
The Nazi Conspiracy
Just the Nicest Couple
The Backup Plan
The Murder Book
Within These Walls of Sorrow
A Quiet Retreat
Little Follies
Spurred to Justice
Perfect
What Lies in the Woods
The Love You Save
Starvation Heights

Lots of great books were read and enjoyed! What did you read and enjoy in January? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks for stopping by!

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The Love You Save by Goldie Taylor @harlequinbooks #memoir #booktwitter #bookreview

Overview

A Zibby’s Most Anticipated Book of 2023*
*One of The Root’s Most Anticipated Books of January*
*A Good Morning America Best Book of January?*
*An Essence Must Read Book of the Year*

“The Love You Save will console and inspire countless people.”—J.R. Moehringer, New York Times bestselling author of The Tender Bar

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings meets Educated in this harrowing, deeply hopeful memoir of family, faith and the power of books—from acclaimed journalist and human rights activist Goldie Taylor

Aunt Gerald takes in anyone who asks, but the conditions are harsh. For her young niece Goldie Taylor, abandoned by her mother and coping with trauma of her own, life in Gerald’s East St. Louis comes with nothing but a threadbare blanket on the living room floor.

But amid the pain and anguish, Goldie discovers a secret. She can find kinship among writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. She can find hope in a nurturing teacher who helps her find her voice. And books, she realizes, can save her life.

Goldie Taylor’s debut memoir shines a light on the strictures of race, class and gender in a post–Jim Crow America while offering a nuanced, empathetic portrait of a family in a pitched battle for its very soul.

Profoundly moving, exquisitely rendered and ultimately uplifting, The Love You Save is a story about hidden strength, perseverance against unimaginable odds, the beauty and pain of girlhood, and the power of the written word.

Review

Memoirs have always been a staple in my reading. I grew up reading biographies from our little school library. So, sometimes I need a good memoir for a change of pace. This book hit the spot.

I had never heard of Goldie Taylor. She is on my radar now! She really pulled herself out of trauma and hardship with ALMOST no help.

Her story is told in a very matter of fact manner. she really does not discuss her feelings nor does she do the “Woe is me” bit. She just tells it straight out. I enjoyed this aspect. It let the reader decide how they wanted to feel about the situation. And let me tell you…I had a lot of feelings pushing through. I wanted to reach through the pages and pull her out!

Goldie’s escape from her reality was books and writing. This resonated with me on so many levels!

Need a good memoir about a strong child which overcomes…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this book from the publisher for a honest review.

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What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall #booktwitter #audiobook #audiblebook @Macmillanaudio

Overview

They were eleven when they sent a killer to prison. They were heroes . . . but they were liars.

Kate Alice Marshall’s What Lies in the Woods is a thrilling novel about friendship, secrets, betrayal, and lies—and having the courage to face the past.

“Clever and deliciously dark.”—Alice Feeney, bestselling author of Rock Paper Scissors

“Shines an incisive light on the secrets of a small-town community…Great writing and boldly drawn characters bring a terrifying tale to all-too-vivid life.”—Kirkus, starred review

Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.

And they were liars.

For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be.

“What Lies In the Woods is a gorgeous fever dream of a novel about the dangers lurking in the hearts and imaginations of little girls. Kate Alice Marshall deftly charts a winding path through her creepy woods, doubling back and changing course to build a labyrinth of secrets and lies in which I was delighted to lose myself for hours. Hands down, it’s the best thriller I’ve read in a long, long time.”—Chandler Baker, bestselling author of The Husbands

Review

Naomi was attacked in the woods when she was just 11 years old. Her two friends, Olivia and Cassidy were there and witnessed the attack. They all helped send the serial killer to prison. Now, the serial killer is dead and Naomi has returned to try and finally find peace. But, that is not at all what she discovers.

Naomi broke my heart in so many places in this book. She truly wants to do the right thing but she has to know what actually occurred. And even though the attack happened to her, she has no recollection.

I can honestly say, this plot is rocking it! I am not going to give it away but I may never walk through the woods with the same perspective I have now. It is amazing what secrets will do!

I love this narrator, Karissa Vacker. She made these characters come alive! Her voice is perfect for all the drama that takes place in this novel.

Need a book which has more twists and turns than a tornado…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Perfect by Suzy England #booktwitter #bookreview @suzy_england

Overview

Rebecca Albright has it all: a beautiful home, a spot on the New York Times Bestsellers list, and a successful husband by her side. From the outside looking in, her life is perfect.

When her debut novel rockets into an overnight success, Rebecca becomes a media darling. Travel, press, and book business devour her life, driving a wedge into her marriage. Family secrets unravel, and their union begins to fall apart.

When her ex-husband, Kelly Glass, suddenly comes back into the picture, behaving like the man she always dreamed he would be, Rebecca has a choice to make.

Review

Rebecca has a bestseller on her hands. She is busier than ever, traveling promoting and now a possible movie deal! She is taking Will for granted or is Will just jealous. It definitely is putting a strain on their relationship. Can their relationship survive all the hurt and damage?

This is a romance, but it is not your typical romance. It is really about how people make mistakes and it changes their lives. No one is perfect! You either grow and learn or you fall into a hole and struggle to get out. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few relationships in this novel which are front and center.

It is also uniquely formatted. This did take me a little bit to get the gist. The italic format in this novel is Rebecca’s bestseller. It parallels her life and her love with Will. When Will finally reads it…HE IS NOT HAPPY! This send him into a downward spiral and he almost loses Rebecca over it.

Now, y’all watch out! This book just might make you cry!

Need an all around good story…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the author for an honest opinion.

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Spurred to Justice by Delores Fossen #harlequinintrigue #booktwitter #bookreview @harlequinbooks

Overview

A lawman confronts his past

And a predator in the Texas heat…

A taunting text from a serial killer gives FBI agent Nolan Dalton only minutes to save the next victim. Former cop Adalyn Baxter—and Nolan’s ex-girlfriend—receives the same message. That’s just the beginning of a cunningly orchestrated plan that unearths a shocking secret about Nolan. As the Texas lawman struggles to come to terms with his past and protect Adalyn, a madman’s end game could bury them both.

The Law in Lubbock County

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Discover more action-packed stories in The Law in Lubbock County series. All books are stand-alone with uplifting endings but were published in the following order:

Book 1: Sheriff in the Saddle

Book 2: Maverick Justice

Book 3: Lawman to the Core

Book 4: Spurred to Justice

Review

Nolan and Adalyn have been lured by The Grave Digger to his next victim. These two join forces to try and stop this madman. But the further they get into his background the more Nolan’s background comes to light. Nolan’s family kept a big secret!

If y’all follow me at all, you know romantic suspense is one of my guilty pleasures. I have read a couple by this author. All of her books are fast reads with pretty good characters. I have not read the others in this series and I may have to get them just because these are great travel books.

I loved Nolan Dalton. He and Adalyn have a great connection. I did feel the story is rushed in places. And…this is just my personal opinion, I wish the author could have come up with a better name for the villain. “The Grave Digger” is used way too much.

Need a quick, intense, romantic suspense…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Little Follies by Carolyn Korsmeyer @brwpublisher #mystery #booktwitter #bookreview

Overview

A visit to Krakow intended to test a new relationship turns out to be fraught with danger when two Americans encounter a man pursuing a dark ambition in the waning months of the last millennium.

Adam Kasper is a historian delving into the archives of an old museum; traveling with him is Joan Templeton, a journalist. Although they have come to Poland together in hopes that their new romance might flourish, Adam’s work is all-consuming, and Joan finds better company with Rudy Vander Lage, a lecturer at the university who is coping with widowhood. By chance, they cross paths with Pawel Radincki, a man of unstable mind who hopes to transform his life by means both criminal and occult.

Adam’s obsession with his research leads him to commit a serious breach of academic protocol. Although their relationship is disintegrating, Joan decides to help him with a bold and risky plan, and she enlists the aid of Rudy. Neither realizes that the risks they take will stymie Pawel’s plans and put Joan’s life in danger. Theft, murder, and magic propel the plot, which reaches a climax at the turn of the millennium, when relationships are realigned and follies laid bare.

Review

Adam is a historian and Joan is a journalist. They have traveled to Poland for Adam’s research. But their budding romance is collapsing. And when Adam decides to break the law, Joan has his back. But this puts her life in severe danger.

I really enjoyed this setting of Krakow. I loved all the churches and places Joan visits on her meanderings through Krakow. But, I was not a big fan of Adam. This is probably by design of the author. He is distant and very engrossed in his work. When he and Joan start to fall apart in their relationship, I was definitely on her side!

The mystery itself is a bit confusing in places but once you figure out what is happening you can’t stop reading!

Need a good mystery with a bit of mysticism and a great location…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel for an honest review.

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A Quiet Retreat by Kiersten Modglin #audiobook #audiblebook #booktwitter @dreamscapeaudio

Overview

It all begins with a simple invitation.

For five authors, it’s meant to be the start of a restful week, filled with free food, drinks, and like-minded company. But shortly after their arrival, things take an unsettling turn.

Broken property, missing items, and strange noises are just some of the odd occurrences that have each member questioning their companions. As suspicions mount, the authors are pitted against each other.

Whom can they trust in a house full of strangers?

With tensions rising, the writers find themselves in the middle of their own mystery. Death, terror, and despair are common elements in their books, but at Black Hills Manor, the murders being plotted are their own…

Review

Five authors have been invited to attend a writing retreat. They each hope this relaxing vacation will get the creative juices flowing. But, as things start to mysteriously disappear and odd occurances begin to happen, tempers flare, no one knows who to trust.

There are quite a few characters. But, the author did a great job keeping them separate and believable. This can be tough. Nevertheless, each character has qualities which are easy to identify and keep them unique.

I especially enjoyed the setting. A creepy house that is set in the woods and it has a murderous past. I mean…what’s not to like! And the intensity just keeps building as you keep moving along. As a reader you just keep wondering what exactly is going on and when is it all going to explode!

I have read quite a few books by this author. Kiersten is a solid author with quite a few really good thrillers under her belt.

The narrator, Carly Robins, did a very good job, especially with all the voices.

Need a book which has a big secret…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt #booktwitter #bookreview #5stars @amandambarratt @kregelbooks

Overview

As superbly written as it is haunting in its truth.” –Kate Breslin, best-selling author of For Such a Time
“This tense WWII historical from Barratt (My Dearest Dietrich) follows a woman’s efforts to help her neighbors survive the Kraków ghetto. . . . Moving and effective, this inspirational finds light in the darkest of places.”–Publishers Weekly
Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.
Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.
Zodia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.
Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times.

“An unflinching tale that implores readers to stop and see, not a massive crowd of people, but individual hearts and souls. This book will linger in your heart and mind long after you’ve read the final page.” –Amanda Cox, Christy Award-winning author of The Edge of Belonging

Review

Hania has lost so much. She and her family have been forced to enter the Krakow ghetto. And her life just steadily gets worse. Hania is eventually sent to a concentration camp where it takes all her strength and fortitude to survive the Nazis and their cruelty.

This story is told from two different viewpoints, Hania and Zosia. Hania’s life has been turned upside down when her family is moved into the Krakow Ghetto. Zosia, is a friend who becomes a pharmacist inside the ghetto and does all she can to help Hania’s family and many more.

There are not enough words to describe this novel. Heart wrenching, terrifying, agonizing…just to name a few. I could not stop reading this…I know this sounds cliché…but honestly… I was glued to the pages. It is beautifully written. I loved how the author interspersed hope into this story. Along with the trauma and the horrible treatment, there are also good people doing what they can.

I believe I have already read my best book of the year. THIS ONE! I never pick the best of the year. But, I believe this one is it!

Need a book which will give bring on every emotion…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Murder Book by Thomas Perry @mysteriouspress #audiobook #audiblebook #bookreview #booktwitter

Overview

An ex-cop takes on a widespread criminal organization targeting midwestern towns in this new thriller from the author of The Old Man

When a sudden crime wave hits several small midwestern towns, the US Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization—but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can’t say no.

Initially brought in as a consultant to determine if the racketeering is severe enough to require an all-out investigation by the FBI, Duncan quickly finds himself in conflict with a syndicate far more violent than first suspected. As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a “murder book,” the notebook in which a detective keeps records, interviews, photos—everything he needs to build his case. But his scrutiny of the gang soon makes Duncan a target. And Ellen, too.

A thrilling and suspenseful tour of crime-addled midwestern towns, Murder Book is signature Thomas Perry, with characters you won’t soon forget, crisply-described action sequences, and breathlessly-tense plotting.

Review

Harry’s ex-wife, Ellen…the new US attorney, has asked him to investigate a new crime wave in the mid west. Harry takes this on with almost no hesitation. But, he soon discovers more than he expected. And he and Ellen both end up on the run!

I really enjoyed Harry Duncan. He is no nonsense and pretty dang smart. He is very unconventional and I enjoyed his unique ways of going about things.

This story moves quickly. And boy, does it get intense, especially towards the end. I loved the chase. I could definitely see this as a tv show!

The narrator, Peter Berkrot , is not my favorite. He tends to be overly dramatic and he speeds up in the exciting parts. But, this did not take away from the story. I did roll my eyes in places over his portrayal.

Need a good mystery…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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