Review: The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James

I can’t even begin to tell you how much of a fan I am of Simone St James! I have read every single one of her books and she is absolutely an auto buy author for me. I had her latest novel pre ordered for MONTHS in advance. I am just a massive fan girl. Her books (especially the more recent ones) are the perfect mix of murder, ghosts, horror, and gothic. I can’t say enough good things about her books just read them if you haven’t already! Especially the newest books like The Broken Girls and The Sun Down Motel.

I didn’t think a book could top The Broken Girls and then along came The Sun Down Motel. I loved them both for different reasons and then this book came along! Besides being a massive St James fan girl, the thing that drew me to this book was the setting! This book is set in Oregon and there is something about the Pac NW that really works for murder books!

Since I live in Oregon (which has been home to its fair share of serial killers) I was eager to see my state come alive under St James’s pen. Clear Lake Oregon (which is where the book is set) is both a fictional place and a real place if that makes sense. There isn’t a coastal town, or any town for that matter that is called Clear Lake as it is in the book, but there is an actual mountain lake called Clear Lake (which is stunning by the way and a must see if you travel to Oregon!). But even if it’s a fictional town, the accuracy and the haunting feel of the Pac NW was captured perfectly in this one and added so much to the atmosphere!

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Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

I have had this book on my TBR for years. Like years. Every Halloween season, I tell myself that I am going to pick this one up. It’s on all the ‘most scary’ book lists and I have heard such great things about Sarah Waters. Not to mention this book features all the creepy things that I love best in the gothic—a family fallen from grace, a crumbling old mansion, a haunted house. I mean all the things that make the gothic what it is can be found in this book or at least promise to be!

Well this year was finally they year for me to read this one. My sister and I picked this book to read for the month of October, every October we pick a couple of creepy books that we have had on our TBR and do a buddy read for the month and this was our pick. At over 450 pages, I decided to also download the Audible version too, I mean Simon Vance narrates and he always does a great job.

My sister has read other books by Waters and absolutely loves them so I had high hoped for this one and I was fully ready to be scared to death and up all night reading this one. So imagine my shock when I was literally bored to tears. This is my first and only DNF of the year and I couldn’t be more shocked. I went into this one fully ready to devour it!

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Special Feature: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I used to consider horror as ‘not for me’ books. I was never really into scary movies and horror was just a genre that I never really considered picking up. Until I started exploring the book community a little more. Then I realized that I have actually been a fan of horror in one way or another for quite a while.

When I think of horror, I think of the classic slasher films from the 1980s—-the Halloween movies and the like. Come to find out horror can be lots of things……ghost stories, haunted houses, vampires not just slasher books or films. Well I have been reading horror for a long time if that’s the case! So when I saw this book was coming out, I got super excited!

I recognized the name Grady Hendrix who put out The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires last year and I have that one on my TBR as well. So I knew that book had received a ton of praise and this one has been all over the blogosphere and my social media platforms! My book club is going to read it this fall so I am holding off reviewing it until then but let me tell you—it’s hard to wait! I may have a review up before the fall because it just sounds so good! If you love horror and thrillers then you won’t want to miss this one!

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Review: The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon (Audible Edition)

I read my first Jennifer McMahon book when I was on vacation a few years ago. The Winter People was so good and I immediately went out and bought more of her books! She has such a unique voice and I love the gothic/creepy vibe so much and I love that she is from Vermont and sets all of her books there. I can feel her pride and love for Vermont in all the books I have read by her.

When I saw this book was coming out, I couldn’t wait. It sounded eerie and I loved that mysterious cover so much. I haven’t listened to any of her books before so I thought this would be a great book to start with. My book club even picked it as our May read and we were all super excited to read and discuss it.

For me personally, I don’t think this book was as strong as some of her others but overall it was a haunting ghost story with a creepy connection to the past. I also loved the narrators. The historic narrator wasn’t my favorite at first (she was really wispy) but within a few chapters I started to really enjoy her soothing voice, but the modern narrator was great!

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Review: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (Audible Edition)

This is my very first Riley Sager novel and I can’t believe it took me this long to read one of his books. I have seen a number of his books on my social media and I know that many of his books have book Book of the Month selections, but I have to be honest none of them really grabbed me. Until this one.

I love haunted house stories. I binged The Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix and have been looking for something to read that would be similar to those shows. I have of course read some haunted house novels but I wanted something with a little more substance to it and this one seemed to fit the bill.

It was a Book of the Month pick last year and I ordered it but put off reading it after my sister said she didn’t love it. She thought that Sager didn’t write believable female characters. That sounded off putting to me, but when the mood struck me to read a haunted house novel this was the first one that came up. And I am incredibly glad that I ignored my sister.

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