A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot
This book is a mystery/romance by Kendra Elliot.
Mercy Kilpatrick was born into a “prepper” or survivalist family. They prepare for TEOTWAWKI or “the end of the world as we know it”. A secret drives her and her family apart and she’s moved away from her home of Eagle’s Nest Oregon and become an FBI Agent. Her job has brought her back to Eagle’s Nest to investigate murders of preppers. Local law enforcement Chief Truman Daly is helping Mercy investigate.
On some level I knew survivalists/preppers existed but it was interesting to read about how much they actually prep. From food to shelter to having communities of people with certain skill sets to ensure their survival was fascinating. I wish it had sparked some sense of prepping in me, but I’m afraid all it sparked up was anxiety. Though not enough anxiety for me to stop reading, of course.
Mercy is a great strong character. I loved that she was strong enough to move away and take care of herself after being shunned. Having her come back to her home despite that only made her more strong. Even though I didn’t enjoy Truman’s name (last name as first name is kind of a pet peeve of mine) I enjoyed his character, he was a great compliment to Mercy as he challenged her without being an ass about it and was lovable. His backstory made me like him even more.
You could see a tiny spark between Mercy and Truman from the start but it was not the main theme of the book. Finding the killer and Mercy’s relationships came first and I liked that a lot.
I have loved every book I’ve read by this author. Her writing draws me and and her characters are down to Earth and realistic. This book was no exception.
4 Stars. ∗∗∗∗
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
I am not even sure where to begin on this one. Having just read a psychological thriller I enjoyed so much I wanted to kind of stay within the same genre. This one kept popping up in my recommendations on Amazon. The cover is so simple and creepy that I finally gave it a go. Boy was I not disappointed.
Kidnapped girls, marked with butterfly tattoos and hidden away in a secret garden. This book is so completely disturbing because it could actually happen. Or could be happening right now and nobody would be the wiser.
The girls are taken and the kidnapper who is known by the girls as the Gardener tattoos them and makes them live in his Butterfly Garden. They are literally living inside a greenhouse within another greenhouse on his estate. The story is told by one of the survivors after the Garden is discovered. It alternates briefly between her and the FBI agent. Even though the content was disturbing, I was captivated. I couldn’t put it down. Reading about these girls and the bonds they had together when they had no choice but to live their lives out in this garden was fascinating. I couldn’t help putting myself in their shoes (or wings). The Gardener was obviously sick and twisted but it was hard to hate him, he cherished them and wanted to preserve their beauty. It was depraved and intriguing. Definitely a must read. 4 stars!
Exhume by Danielle Girard (Dr. Schwartzman , #1)
Psychological Thrillers are hit or miss with me usually. I either hate them or love them. This one, I loved. I’ve never read this author before. This was my choice for the August 2016 Kindle First read.
The one thing I can say that bothered me was the fact that Dr. Schwartzman was mostly referred to as “Schwartzman” through most of the novel. I am not even sure why it bothered me but it did. I found myself calling her Anna a lot of the time.
Anna is the ME in San Francisco where she ended up after leaving a psycho husband. Sort of Sleeping With the Enemyish but without the fake death. She is called to investigate a murder of a woman that’s her spitting image. This is the start of a series of events and I had no idea how the story was going to end up. I kept guessing and kept getting it wrong.
Anna or ok, fine, Schwartzman, was a very likable woman and you couldn’t help but root for her. She was strong and cautious and at times didn’t always make the right choices, however, I think that made her more real. The ex-husband. Wow a total and complete narcissistic psychopath.
Overall this book was enjoyable and fast paced, I had to know what happened and read every chance I could get. 4 stars on this one.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I thought I was going to hate this book. Spoiled little rich girl goes to her family’s private island every summer of her life and behind the family lies secrets? I didn’t even think I’d care about them. I have to admit that at first I didn’t even know it was a mystery and once I started reading I had to keep going because I needed to know what this big secret was and I’m glad I did.
Cadence was well written and easily likable. The author’s unique way of using metaphors to describe how certain things affected her particularly caught my attention. I mean look at this quote. How can you not feel this?
“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.”
It made her more real to me and less like a spoiled, bratty, teenager. The fact that she was going through normal teenage experiences just like any other just made her that much more interesting to me.
The flow of this book was sort of choppy and weird however; it made the story somewhat poetic. Ms. Lockhart was really trying to get her point across and I think she nailed it. I’m also a fan of short chapters because I cannot stop mid-chapter.
As I was reading I felt like I was inside Cady’s head and I felt myself imagining I was her trying to piece together this tragic accident and summer via post it notes and random pieces of paper taped up on a wall? Seems insane and yet totally something I could see myself doing. I was there with Cady as this story unraveled and was completely shocked at the outcome. It’s always refreshing not to guess the story before the last page and with this I was absolutely surprised.
This is definitely a 4 star book for me. I am very glad I splurged and bought the hardcover for my bookshelf.