2019 Book #79 – The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

51+pKU74twLTitle: The Witch of Willow Hall
Author: Hester Fox
Date finished: 10/19/19
Genre: Gothic romance, suspense, magic stuff
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Pages in book: 368
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also I’m reading this book as part of my October Bookish Bingo Reading Challenge, checking of the “a spell goes wrong” box since Lydia does a spell that goes wrong, even if she doesn’t mean to. I’m also reading this book for my Bookish 2019 Reading Challenge: 52 Ways to Kill Your TBR checking off line #1 – a book you bought (requested) for the cover. Since I’m using this checklist to check off some of my previously requested NetGalley titles, I hadn’t bought any of them but so I changed bought to request. And I had originally requested this book in large part based on the cover – I think it’s so pretty and intriguing.

Even though I mostly requested based on the cover for this book. I also thought the story line sounded really interesting too. Plus I’m trying to read as many spooky books as possible for this month so it was a perfect fit for me to read this one. I’m glad I got to read it too – I really liked it. There were definitely a lot of pieces of the book that I didn’t care for but overall I really liked it! Lydia as a character had a lot of layers but she was a bit too much of a doormat for me. And I loved the whole journey to her discovering she was a witch and her long dead ancestor and what not but I wished that it had happened a little earlier in the book. This was definitely a good read for October – it was super spooky and creepy. I thought it was really captivating, I didn’t want to put it down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. At the same time the pacing was a little slow for me. Overall I really liked the book but it wasn’t my favorite. Great read for October though!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #29 – The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley

616KJc+oqsLTitle: The Beloveds
Author: Maureen Lindley
Date finished: 4/16/18
Genre: Thriller, suspense, fiction, scary
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.

Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.

Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.

Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.

My rating:  1.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I’m not going to go on too long but I didn’t care for this book. I think I’m just too literal of a person to really have appreciated everything that went on in this book. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try it yourselves I’m just saying I didn’t like it myself. Betty’s character was a whack job and really there was no closure and no resolution at all, she just keeps on being crazy and trying to kill her only remaining family. I just could not get into the character or the story line. Its well-reviewed on Amazon so don’t let my thoughts discourage anyone!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #82 – The Visitors by Catherine Burns

51QVQtl5CMLTitle: The Visitors
Author: Catherine Burns
Date finished: 9/22/17
Genre: Fiction, suspense
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Pages in book: 304
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces.

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door…and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side….

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Marion Zetland, an old maid who lives with her brother in their deteriorating house left to them by their mother. Marion seems to be mentally challenged, having had a lot of trouble with her schooling and while she dreams of having a family she never seems to develop beyond adolescence. Having been raised by her pervert of a father and her nut of a mother, its no wonder that she ends up a little worse for the wear. She spends all her time at home, mostly daydreaming, while her brother spends most of his time in the cellar with “the visitors.” Marion tries not to think too much about the women who live downstairs, but when her brother John ends up in the hospital she has to become involved with these women for the first time. And as Marion is forced to come to terms with what her life has become, she questions how her devotion to her brother has led her down the wrong path.
Overall I liked this book ok. It was interesting and there were some good plot twists in the story. There were some wordier parts to the story that I found quite dry but past those the story was good. I just felt so bad for everyone involved, even including Marion who I probably shouldn’t have felt so bad for. Her childhood sounded awful though and its no wonder she developed so poorly as a person. She was a bad person if you think about it though, its hard to sympathize with her and yet she was able to go out and start a new life for herself. The story, while suspenseful, was just very sad. Other than that it was ok though. It was interesting enough that I would recommend it but eh it wasn’t my favorite.

The bottom line: I thought this book was fairly good. There were some pretty good plot twists in the story. Overall it was just very sad and pretty wordy in some parts. Was an interesting story overall but not my favorite.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #64 – The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

51TG3KmYm6LTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author: Michelle Richmond
Date finished: 7/30/17
Genre: Fiction, thriller
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Pages in book: 433
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . 
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
And then one of them breaks the rules.
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Jake and Alice, a newlywed couple who are new members of The Pact. The Pact is a secret organization whose goal is to help its members have strong and lasting marriages. Founded by a woman in Ireland whose first marriage failed but was determined for her second marriage to succeed, The Pact is a complex series of rules and punishments which seem outrageous but each member of the group seems to be happy in a hypnotized / cult kind of way. And once Alice and Jacob start getting into trouble they realize that there is a lot more danger with being a part of this group than they first realized.
Overall this book was ok. There was some interesting pieces to the book and it was a creative idea. And there were definitely some good plot twists included. I wasn’t super thrilled with the ending though. I just felt like there was a lot of build up for a weird and kind of anti-climactic ending. It was still good so I would recommend but it wasn’t my favorite.

The bottom line: Eh, this book wasn’t my favorite. There were some interesting pieces and some good twists and turns but overall it was weird and slightly confusing. And I felt like it could’ve been a better twist ending.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #11 – The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

51tjxzmou3l-_sx320_bo1204203200_Title: The Devil Crept In
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Date finished: 2/12/17
Genre: Fiction, horror
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.
That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen…the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Stevie, a 10 year old boy with some very serious mental health issues. He has episodes where he sees things that aren’t really there, resulting in manic episodes and full blown violent tantrums. One such example mentioned early on in the book was when Stevie was over at his cousin Jude’s house and thought his own fingers were snakes so he stuck them in the garbage disposal and chopped them off. But when Jude disappears, Stevie is sure he sees a monster lurking and he’s sure that the monster has taken Jude. Only problem is no one believes him. So he sets out to rescue Jude on his own. But is 10-year-old schizophrenic Stevie really any match for the danger lurking in the shadows? And when Jude suddenly reappears on his own, can Stevie believe that the danger is really passed? Or are Jude’s worsening anger issues a sign that the real danger is yet to come?
Overall I liked this book. There were some dry parts to it but I thought it was extremely scary and a great tension-filled novel. Reading this for me was very much like watching a horror-movie, where you’re screaming at the TV “Don’t go into that abandoned house!!” I liked reading from the two different characters points of view, and I loved how well the author portrayed Stevie’s mind-set. The reader begins to doubt (as Stevie does) how reliable these things are that happen to Stevie. And as the horrors unfold, what is real and what isn’t? And the reader so accurately can feel Stevie’s frustrations over not being believed, it really is a novel that will dig into your mind. There were some slow parts as I already mentioned but if you’re looking for a scary read I would give this one a try!

The bottom line: This book was pretty good, and it was definitely scary/creepy! There were a few slow points but other than that it was really good. I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #6 -The Road by Cormac McCarthy

217yaugoepl-_sx302_bo1204203200_Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Date finished: 1/21/17
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: September 26, 2006
Pages in book: 254
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

My rating:  2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (January). This book is about a man and his son, who are traveling after some sort of apocalypse in the US. They are trying to make it to the shore, from what I cal tell because its so cold everywhere and they’re trying to get south to somewhere warmer. There is a lot of danger on the open road, like people trying to kill and eat you, lack of food, lack of clean water, and the never-ending cold. The man and his son face many obstacles, at a number of times even death, but the most important thing is that they have each other. But the father is sick and his end is drawing near. Will he be able to find a way for his boy to stay safe even after he’s gone?
Overall I have to admit I didn’t like this book that much. To be honest I had a lot more questions than answers with the plot line and that tends to bother me. There were so many things left to the reader’s imagination, which may appeal to some readers but does not appeal to me. And the book was just so sad. The lives of the characters were so tragic and everything felt so hopeless. And I didn’t like how open the ending was. It just felt so random what happened in the last couple pages and I didn’t understand exactly how it came about. The book was interesting and was even a little thrilling with the danger of it, it just wasn’t my type of read.

The bottom line: I didn’t care for this one. I had so many questions even when the book was over. It was an interesting read just not for me. I would recommend to those who like post-apocalyptic fiction.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #114 – My Girl by Jack Jordan

51op6mfruvlTitle: My Girl
Author: Jack Jordan
Date finished: 11/28/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller
Publisher: JJP
Publication Date: July 4, 2016
Pages in book: 226
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Paige Dawson: the mother of a murdered child and wife to a dead man. She has nothing left to live for… until she finds her husband’s handgun hidden in their house. Why did Ryan need a gun? What did he know about their daughter’s death? Desperate for the truth, Paige begins to unearth her husband’s secrets. But she has no idea who she is up against, or that her life isn’t hers to gamble – she belongs to me. From the bestselling author of Anything for Her, Jack Jordan’s My Girl is the new chilling thriller that you won’t want to miss.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Paige Dawson, a woman who has been broken by the hands life has dealt her: her only child murdered and her husband’s suicide. Paige spends all her time in a  drug and alcohol induced fog, not wanting to face reality in any way. She has multiple people who care for her though and who want her to get better, including her father, brother, and her husband’s parents. Paige starts having odd things happen to her, little things that at first she blamed on her drinking. But when every picture of her family has her husband’s face cut out of it, she starts to wonder if someone else has been in her house or if she’s truly just going mad. After the police have to get involved on two of her more recent drinking stints (including her driving into her husband’s gravestone and trying to kidnap a young girl in the department store), Paige is forced to get better or go to jail. Its around this time that Paige discovers she has alcoholic hepatitis, and if going to jail wasn’t enough of a motivation then keeping herself from dying is and Paige moves in with her brother for a few days while she transitions into being sober. And its there that Paige discovers a long held family secret that could destroy her.
Overall I really did like this book. Once I started it was impossible to put down, so it was good that it ended up being a quick read. Paige reminded me a lot of the main protagonist in The Girl on the Train, though the story lines weren’t exactly similar.  This book did get pretty dark and scary so I’d just like to forewarn the reader of that. There is a great twist in the story though that I didn’t see coming and while it was definitely creepy enough to turn my stomach it was also surprising enough that I gasped. This is a great thriller/scary read and I would definitely recommend reading it!

The bottom line: This was an awesome psychological suspense read, the only reason it didn’t get a higher score is it was just a little too dark/creepy/scary for me. There is some sick stuff that goes on in here. If you’re looking for a good thriller though I would most definitely recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #109 – The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

51WGFB7KW6L._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Island of Dr. Moreau
Author: H.G. Wells
Date finished: 10/18/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: 1896
Pages in book: 157
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

Ranked among the classic novels of the English language and the inspiration for several unforgettable movies, this early work of H. G. Wells was greeted in 1896 by howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous. They wanted to know more about the wondrous possibilities of science shown in his first book, The Time Machine, not its potential for misuse and terror. In The Island of Dr. Moreau a shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick, stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau, confronts dark secrets, strange creatures, and a reason to run for his life.
While this riveting tale was intended to be a commentary on evolution, divine creation, and the tension between human nature and culture, modern readers familiar with genetic engineering will marvel at Wells’s prediction of the ethical issues raised by producing “smarter” human beings or bringing back extinct species. These levels of interpretation add a richness to Prendick’s adventures on Dr. Moreau’s island of lost souls without distracting from what is still a rip-roaring good read.

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (October). This book definitely wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own but I have to say it was absolutely the perfect thing to read during October. I found it to be very creepy and gave me the goosebumps thinking about these creatures that Prendick encounters on the island. It was only 157 pages so it was a quick read. Basically Prendick finds himself lost in the middle of the ocean on a dingy and he gets picked up by a boat with a man named Montgomery aboard. Montgomery is Moreau’s assistant and he’s returning to the island after picking up some supplies. Prendick gets ditched on the island too and even though Montgomery is very hesitant about letting him stay, he doesn’t really have much of a choice.
Prendick encounters many different kinds of people on the island, though there seems to be something a little off about each one and he finds himself wary of these creatures. Turns out Dr. Moreau had been performing vivisection on various animals over the last 10 years on the island and had managed to mold different animals together to take on a human-like form. I guess my issue is that I can’t imagine what these beasts would have looked like and how they possibly could have resembled a human even in the slightest.
MV5BMjI0OTY1NDY5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjkwODg0NA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_I mean none of the creatures in the photo look even remotely human to me. And Dr. Moreau spoke some about combining the different animals brains together. I’m not a scientist or anything but I feel like that wouldn’t really be possible. I don’t think you can take 2 separate brains and mash them together and have them work. I think with humans they are able to replace certain lobes of the brain but they use another human brain I’m pretty sure, I don’t think you can graft brains across different species.
I thought this was an interesting book though and it was a great October read. Its also a literary classic so I would recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already!

The bottom line: I liked this book fine. I don’t think I loved it but it was a short easy read and was appropriately creepy for the month of October.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #56 – Lightning by Dean Koontz

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Title: Lightning
Author: Dean Koontz
Date finished: 6/12/15
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Publisher: G Putnam Sons
Publication Date: 1988
Pages in book: 355
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying.
Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. But just as lightning illuminates, darkness always follows close behind.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge, #3 on the list I set for myself at the beginning of this year. One of my friends (technically my best friend’s mom and my mom’s best friend) wanted me to read this book to try something new and to see if I would like something a little darker/scarier. She originally wanted me to read something by Stephen King (if I remember correctly) but gave me this book instead since it is one of her favorites and not quite as scary as Stephen King. Being delinquent in my duties as reviewer, I have had the book for probably close to a year and so earlier this year I thought it would be a good encouragement to put it on my TBR reading challenge listing.
So this story is about a lady named Laura and I’m going to spoil it for you, time travel. Laura has a “guardian” who pops in and out of her life at important moments, saving her from dying over and over again from the moment she’s born right up until the end of the book pretty much. Laura goes through life not knowing that she’s really living in an altered timeline since Stefan (the guardian) keeps jumping across the time stream to fix things for her. Living in ignorance, Laura grows up and forms relationships and sustains significant losses in her life, all the while surviving as best she can. Eventually though, she comes face to face with Stefan and he asks her to help him save the world.
Overall this was not my favorite book. The book itself was good enough but it is not my usual style/genre of book and I had some trouble getting into it. There was a lot of complicated discussion on time travel and I (like Laura) got a massive headache trying to keep track of the paradoxes of people traveling through time. Also the main character lived through such heavy losses through her life, it was depressing. And poor Chris going through this experience as an 8 year old. I don’t think I found it too scary necessarily, but it was darker than I usually like and I had trouble connecting with Laura. I would probably try another book by Koontz in the future to see if it was just this plot I wasn’t a huge fan of. I want to thank my friend Sandy for recommending this book to me. I am trying hard to expand my horizons and try books that are outside of my comfort zone and this book definitely fit the bill! Thanks Sandy!

The bottom line: I don’t think I would encourage or discourage readers to try this book. It was a good book just not my style.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #33 – Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

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Title: Cat Out of Hell
Author: Lynne Truss
Date finished: 4/18/15
Genre: Fiction – Not really sure what genre
Publisher: Melville House
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Pages in book: 162
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

For people who both love and hate cats comes the tale of Alec Charlesworth, a librarian who finds himself suddenly alone: he’s lost his job, his beloved wife has just died. Overcome by grief, he searches for clues about her disappearance in a file of interviews between a man called “Wiggy” and a cat, Roger. Who speaks to him.
It takes a while for Alec to realize he’s not gone mad from grief, that the cat is actually speaking to Wiggy . . . and that much of what we fear about cats is true. They do think they’re smarter than humans, for one thing. And, well, it seems they are! What’s more, they do have nine lives. Or at least this one does – Roger’s older than Methuselah, and his unblinking stare comes from the fact that he’s seen it all.
And he’s got a tale to tell, a tale of shocking local history and dark forces that may link not only the death of Alec’s wife, but also several other local deaths. But will the cat help Alec, or is he one of the dark forces?

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the #ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I checked out this book from the Simsbury Public Library. I saw this book in a recent BookPage publication I think and a couple other places so when I saw it at the library I thought I would give it a try. To be honest I thought this book was going to be a funny book. It wasn’t especially. Looking back I think there were some parts that were either funny or were supposed to be funny. Overall I found the book to be scary though. Like horror movie scary. Cats that can talk and can kill you just by hissing at you? If that’s not the stuff of horror movies then I don’t know what is.
That being said, the story line was very interesting. The book was only about 160 pages so it was short and well-paced. The story was fairly easy to follow. A lot of people died though. And I am a pretty big fan of cats so the idea of murderous talking cats was more than somewhat unpleasant to me. The story line had a good flow though from one section to the next and I honestly just loved the Sherlock Holmes and other literary and cultural references. Very good book.

The bottom line: Not what I expected but I have to say it was interesting. A bit like a horror movie. But sometimes kind of funny.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page