THE CHILD by Fiona Barton


Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★


The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…


THE CHILD is an intriguing mystery surrounding the discovery of a decades old baby skeleton at a construction site. Given the premise, I figured it would also be an emotional read, and it was that. The story is told in alternating perspectives of four women, the investigative reporter (who we first met in THE WIDOW) and three others whose lives will be upended by the discovery.

Journalist Kate Waters is looking for her next big story when the baby’s remains are found. Kate’s investigation leads her to the unsolved disappearance of a baby from a maternity ward in 1970. Could they be related? Kate wants answers not only for her story, but also for the grieving family who’s been in limbo for over 40 years. I think Kate’s character has grown over the course of two books. She sees the humanity in this story, and not just a sensationalized headline for her publication.

I enjoyed Fiona Barton’s first novel, and THE CHILD I liked maybe a bit more. I loved how all the pieces came together in this haunting family drama. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and women’s fiction. Unsettling and touching.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

THE RED HUNTER by Lisa Unger (Audiobook)


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★


What is the difference between justice and revenge?

In this buzzworthy new thriller by New York Times best-selling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house – one that, unbeknownst to her, has an ugly history and may hide long-buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past – and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course – because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.


“While seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself.” This chilling quote (originally from Douglas Horton) plays heavily in Lisa Unger’s latest book THE RED HUNTER. The paths of two women – strangers – whose lives were altered by brutal attacks eventually collide in this suspenseful, atmospheric thriller. The puzzling question is how will their troubled stories intersect?

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, even though the tension put knots in my stomach! That’s a good thing, right?!?  Zoey, Claudia, and daughter Raven, are complex and flawed characters who easily pulled me into their stories. There are many layers to their haunting mystery, and hold on for a nail-biting ending. This is a stand alone novel, not part of The Hollows series, so no prior backstory knowledge needed.


Audiobook • 11 hrs, 5 mins • Julia Whelan, Narrator

I listened to the audio version which was narrated by Julia Whelan. Great performance! She did well with both the female and male characters, and her performance added to the suspense. One thing to watch out (or listen out) for are the time jumps in the story. A couple of times I was a bit confused as to what was going on, then realized that it was a flashback. Not a big deal as the story progressed and I got more familiar with the characters.


Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne


Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Source: Penguin’s First to Read Program
Rating: ★★★★★


Praised by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, and sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, The Marsh King’s Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.

At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.

Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature — fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too…until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. The police commence a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King— because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.


Wow, wow, wow. I was riveted by this book, completely glued to the pages! THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER was more than just gripping psychological suspense; it was also a compelling blend of literary fiction and unique coming of age story.

This book tells the unusual life story of Helena Pelletier. She’s a wife, mother, and small business owner, but at one time her life was very strange, and growing up she didn’t realize it. The father whom she adored was actually a monster, a cruel psychopath who kidnapped her mother when she was a teenager. The three of them lived in an isolated cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, completely cutoff from the rest of the world, until Helena was twelve years old. Now, after spending many years in prison, her father has escaped, and the only person cunning and skilled enough to track such as man is Helena herself.

Helena’s story alternates between the present as she hunts for her father, and the past when they lived alone in the marshlands. Moving between the two time periods bumped up the suspense. I was equally fascinated by both! As the reader, you already know that Helena will be separated from her father, but how? What was their life like before she knew the truth? What was it like for Helena to join the “real world,” and eventually be compelled to hunt him after his escape? My need for these answers made this a read-in-one-sitting situation!

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER is a beautifully written book and a nail-biter at the same time. I loved it. Helena, her mother, and their haunting story will stick with me for a long time. Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Penguin’s First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.