Tag: #5starread

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Review

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Guys, I finally finished a book! I’m actually getting to do a review! I picked The Stranger Diaries for my monthly challenge. The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge prompted me to read a book nominated for an award in 2020. The Stranger Diaries won the 2020 Edgar Award for best novel. It deserved it.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder, but most of the time it is a work of fiction. She is a high school English teacher that specializes in gothic horror. Clare’s life collides with her favorite novel when her friend is murdered. When Clare turns to her diary to document her feelings, she discovers writing that isn’t hers. Suddenly, she finds herself living in a horror novel.

The Stranger Diaries is what I wanted The Broken Girls to be. For instance, it incorporated a haunted school, a horror novel, and a murder mystery. Each element brought great depth to the story.

Above all, I loved the inclusion of multiple points of view. It had Clare’s point of view, her daughter Georgie’s, and Detective Sergeant Harbinder’s point of view. Even with multiple points of view I couldn’t single in on one suspect. There wasn’t a character that I didn’t suspect.

I didn’t expect the ending. It wrapped up so well. The friendship that developed between Clare and Harbinder was great. The Stranger Diaries was a well developed mystery with a lot of depth. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it until now. It is definitely underrated!

My Rating: 5/5

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The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

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I think I am beginning to burn out on fantasy. My mind is begging for something new. So when Dutton Books gave me the chance to review and arc of this thriller I jumped on the chance.

Eve Taggert’s daughter is found murdered and she need to find who did it. Sometimes it is better not to know the answers. Sometimes you have to face horrible truths. Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, justice is rough cut. It isn’t always left to the justice system. Eve learned that from her crude, cunning mother. Eve tried to find a life for herself outside of her mother’s trailer, but sometimes, in the face of tragedy, you return to your roots.

A thing I noticed that I found different than most thrillers is that it actually deeply discussed grief. Grief will completely change your life and this does a great job depicting that. We watch Eve spiral into her grief. She lost everything that she had worked hard for and she wants to make the person responsible pay for it.

Eve digs up the town’s dirty little secrets, but the truth shatters what is left of her world. I did guess the person behind the murders, but I did not guess how it would end. It left me speechless. I read this in a day. If you love thrillers you need to read this!

My Rating: 5/5

Thanks again to Dutton Books for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to pre-order The Familiar Dark click here. You can use the code MARBAM10 and take 10% off your order of $25.


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