Book Review | The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson

the girl who lived

Official Description: Ten years ago, four people were brutally murdered.

One girl lived.

No one believes her story.
The police think she’s crazy.
Her therapist thinks she’s suicidal.
Everyone else thinks she’s a dangerous drunk.
They’re all right—but did she see the killer?

As the anniversary of the murders approaches, Faith Winters is released from the psychiatric hospital and yanked back to the last spot on earth she wants to be—her hometown where the slayings took place. Wracked by the lingering echoes of survivor’s guilt, Faith spirals into a black hole of alcoholism and wanton self-destruction. Finding no solace at the bottom of a bottle, Faith decides to track down her sister’s killer—and then discovers that she’s the one being hunted.

How can one woman uncover the truth when everyone’s a suspect—including herself?

From the mind of Wall Street Journal bestselling author Christopher Greyson comes a story with twists and turns that take the reader on a journey of light and dark, good and evil, to the edge of madness. The Girl Who Lived should come with a warning label: Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop. Not since Girl on the Train and Gone Girl has a psychological thriller kept readers so addicted—and guessing right until the last page.

GracieLynn Review:

I have read Christopher Greyson’s books before and I have to say that this book meets my expectations for him.  He’s great at character development; leaving out certain details until just the right time, and slowly building their profile with consistency.  This book was no different.

Our story started out with the main character, Faith Winters, in a psych ward.  On her birthday, she had witnessed her father, her sister and a friend murdered at her home cabin.  And not being able to cope with that at such a young age, she ended up needing mental health care.  Her hometown seems to think she should still be there.  With a personal alcohol addiction as her coping mechanism, a mother who used her story of being a witness as a catalyst for her writing career and lack of trust from those who know her best, Faith doesn’t have much to look forward to upon her release.  But she gets released and begins her new life on the outside.  Her goal to find the murderer (and prove that her father didn’t commit murder/suicide) is still number one in her mind, and she will go to whatever lengths necessary to find him.

As the story is told from her point of view, we get a look into Faith’s past.  She has an ax to grind and a negative attitude toward pretty much everyone she meets.  She comes across thoroughly as a jaded young woman, and I understood her snide comments, but over time as a reader, I was getting annoyed.

A few times in the story, she swears she sees the person who killed her father, but no one seems to be taking her seriously.  And I began to feel sorry for her, because as someone who has struggled with alcohol in the past, I realize the loss of trust people have in you, and how you just want to be taken seriously, especially when you’re in the right.  As the story progresses, you begin to wonder about the people in her life: the counselor, her sponsor, her “friends” at meetings, etc.  Almost everyone seems to be involved in some way, and she begins to question herself.  For that reason, I loved the suspense in this story, but I’m going to be completely honest: The ending was disappointing.  And because I can’t reveal who it is, I have to admit that I just don’t know if the person responsible would actually be capable of doing it.  I did see some signs throughout the book that made me suspect this person, but when it was actually revealed, I wondered what psychosis one would have to be under to commit such atrocities.

But I love the absolute ending where Faith gets her justice, and is able to move on, to actually LIVE.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley and Greyson Media Associates. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review | The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards (and I mean, THE Mark Edwards)

devil work

Oh, how I love Mark Edwards’ suspense novels!!  This one did not disappoint!  Sophie Greenwood is the main character who finally begins her dream job at a publishing firm, only to realize after she is hired that she has a connection with an employee’s family member.  She keeps it secret, thinking it has nothing to do with her current position, but as she begins to work there as a replacement for another employee who went missing, she begins to see that things aren’t exactly what they seem.  Workers seem to be keeping tabs on each other, a dear friend gets beaten up almost to the point of death, and she ends up getting locked in the building one night working late.

The story is told well through her perspective, and to give insight into what is really happening, it jumps back to her past which shares a lot of detail, but still keeps you guessing until the end. I had some ideas of who was behind a few of the events, but I only got one of them right!  And I don’t know about any other readers, but I couldn’t help thinking how I wanted to search the whole publishing firm building myself!

Bonus: As someone who has read multiple thriller novels by this author, I loved his nod to the draft of “The Devil’s Work” that the publishing company was reading and editing, as well as the reference to the neighbors, Lucy and Chris from his book “The Magpies”.  And he included a magpie in this book.  It felt like an inside joke between the author and his loyal fan base. 🙂

If you love suspense and reading about workplace craziness, this is a book anyone can relate to, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, Mark Edwards and Thomas & Mercer for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.  I will definitely read another book from this author and am anxiously awaiting it.

Book Review | The Girl Before by JP Delaney

the girl before

Cannot wait to see how the movie directed by Ron Howard turns out! This book was definitely psychological! From the very picky architect who “screens” applicants to stay in his intricately-detailed home in London to the quirky applicants themselves who take the chance to live there, this book was quite a ride.

Edward Monkford has specific (and I mean, specific) ideas for the tenants who reside in his pristine home, and only after the applicant meets the requirements is SHE allowed to stay. At the beginning of the novel, I thought it was odd at first, but as I read on, the reasons why he has such high standards begins to unfold, and to say that the owner of the home is narcissistic is an understatement.

The story jumps back and forth between Jane who lives in the home now, and Emma, who lived there before, hence the title. Similarities begin to emerge in their personalities, and interactions between the owner and others who notice the women living in the home begin to shed light on what is really happening inside of the four walls. I loved the suspense and the ending. I was annoyed with Jane at some points, because her strength seems to get stripped away as the book moves forward, however it is essential to the plot line. Some of it was predictable, but some of it wasn’t, and to me, that makes for a fun read! I would read from this author again.

Thank you to NetGalley, JP Delaney and the Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read this advanced reader copy.