Lisa Scottoline’s Newest Thriller Releases Today!
Unraveling Oliver is an outstanding, captivating, and unforgettable psychological dark thriller. It’s hard to believe that this book is Liz Nugent’s debut novel. Unraveling Oliver is an intriguing, superbly written and brilliant read.
Oliver Ryan was severely neglected by his father. He was left at a boarding school until his college years. He would watch from the school window the house his father lived in with the family he was supposed to be part of. His father paid for his boarding school, but that was the extent of his care. Oliver would watch his father from the window interact with his half brother, but never him. Did Oliver become evil because of his upbringing or was he born that way?
The book begins with Oliver Ryan beating his wife, Alice, into a coma. Everyone was shocked that a famous writer of children’s books, could be so viciously violent, especially to a person he supposedly loved. Alice was a kind, loyal wife, and a great supporter of Oliver’s writing. She was the illustrator for all of his books.
Every chapter in the book is narrated by either Oliver or a significant person in his life. They tell the story of what he was like as a child, a teen, a husband, and finally a famous author. Oliver’s life literally unravels for the reader. When I read about the treatment, he received from his father as a child; I felt sorry for him. But that changed after high school. When Oliver attended college, he had his first taste of freedom, and he loved it. He learned very quickly that he could use his charismatic charm to his advantage. Except for his father’s approval, Oliver got whatever he wanted. Oliver was a polite; handsome man and was able to use his desirability to manipulate people. In a word, Oliver Ryan was irresistible, and he knew it.
As Oliver’s evil deeds began to add up, he hid his true self. Not even Alice knew who her husband really was. That would all change, though, when his past caught up with him. Don’t miss reading this extraordinary and engrossing book. I highly recommend it.
Thank you, Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!
~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover
Mary DiNuzio was happy to assist a man whom she has known for years, with a legal matter. Simon has been discriminated against and fired from his work. His child was fighting for her life, in the hospital. Simon couldn’t afford to lose his job. However, apparently, his rising medical costs were affecting the company’s insurance rates and bottom line. The company was losing money. So, to address the problem, Simon was let go. Mary DiNunzio was furious over the injustice. She readily agreed to represent Simon. But, since she wasn’t planning on charging a fee, she needed to run it by her partner, Bennie Rosato. After hearing the story, Bennie told Mary to drop the case. There was a conflict of interest, and ethically, it was wrong for Mary to represent Simon. But, Mary DiNuzio couldn’t do that. Simon was practically family. And, if she didn’t help him who would?
Mary and Bennie were not only partners but friends as well. Together they made a fierce legal team, but that was all about to change.
I had a difficult time getting into this book. The first half of the novel was repetitious. The second half, however, was quite interesting; crafted with clever twists, turns, and surprises. If you enjoy legal thrillers, this book is worth checking out.
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
~3.5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover
The Good Mother by Sinead Moriarty- 5 stars (lit fic)
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond- 5 stars (thriller)
The Truth We Bury by Barbara Taylor Sissel-4 stars (thriller)
Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes-4 stars (hist fic)
The Truth We Bury is a fascinating, well-written and captivating thriller.
The locals of Wyatt, Tx were in an uproar. One of their own, Becca Westin, had been brutally murdered, and the person of interest, AJ Isley, was nowhere to be found. Shea Gallagher was crushed. She was supposed to be marrying AJ in two weeks. But, after Becca, her bridesmaid, was found stabbed to death in his apartment, how could she possibly go ahead and have a wedding? Although mounting evidence was pointing to AJ as the murderer, Shea still believed her fiancee was innocent.
Lily felt strongly that her son, AJ, would never intentionally hurt a woman, especially, one as sweet as Becca. However, her son had not been himself lately. After fighting in Afghanistan, AJ came home a changed man. He was edgy, unstable, and paranoid. And, although, Lily believed her son to be innocent, she also knew that this was not the first time AJ was a suspect in a homicide investigation.
Lily was racked with guilt. She loved her child as much as any mother would, but her relationship with AJ had never been a close one. Maybe if she had been honest with AJ about her past, his life would be different now. Lily, however, was not the only one who kept secrets. Others were keeping them also, damaging secrets, even more so, than her own.
I recommend reading this engrossing and riveting novel. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.
~4 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover
The Marriage Pact is a fast-paced, riveting psychological thriller.
Alice and Jake were newlyweds, and after receiving encouragement, from influential people, joined the Pact. It was very exciting, cryptic, and new. The Pact was a secret society that followed and enforced a set of rules that guaranteed successful marriages for their members. At first, the Pact sounded wonderful. Alice and Jake were all for having their marriage last forever.
When Vivian had come to their home carrying the Pact contract, Alice and Jake should have escorted her out the door. But since she convinced the couple that there had never been a divorce within the Pact, Alice and Jake signed the papers. It wasn’t until Alice and Jake broke some rules that their torture began, and their life started to spin out of control.
I found the storyline captivating, and although the book is a work of fiction and the punishments over-the-top, parts of the Pact reminded me of various cults. The book is fascinating, the characters complex and likable and the dialogue realistic. The Pact is an entertaining novel, engrossing and thought-provoking. This is the first book that I have read by this talented author, but it will not be my last.
Thank you, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
~5 out of 5 stars ~Review by Peg Glover
Everything We Left Behind is a fascinating story that captivated my attention from the very start.
For six years, after surviving an attempt on his life, James Donato from California lived in a dissociative fugue state. His brother, Thomas, assisted him in starting a new life. He set James up with a new identity, as Carlos Dominguez, an artist living in Mexico. Carlos, having no memory of his prior life as James, and no recollection of Aimee, the love of his life, married a Mexican woman. Although Carlos is now widowed, he’s content living with his two sons in Mexico; that was, though, until, Aimee showed up in his life, cracking his dissociative fugue state.
Carlos’s world comes apart when he learns that he is James Donato, a man from a crooked, untrustworthy family. Carlos is petrified for his family’s safety. James will have no memory of his life in Mexico, his children or Natalya. Carlos’s real fear, however, is what the Donato family will do to his sons. The family member who tried to kill him is due out of jail, soon. If James doesn’t know that he has sons, how will he protect them?
Carlos knows that his time is running out. The increase in vivid dreams and headaches are positive indicators that his true identity is trying to break through. So, Carlos starts to write his life down in excruciating detail for James. Carlos desperately wants James to know just how much Natalya and his sons mean to him.
Everything We Left Behind is about a man searching for who he is, letting go of what is no longer his, and finding acceptance and happiness in life once again. The story is told from both James and Carlos’s point of view. I was so engrossed in the character’s lives that I couldn’t put the book down. I loved everything about this novel and highly recommend giving it a read.
Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!
~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover