It’s hard to believe June has already come and gone! My reading list this month had some instant-favorites, some surprising hits, and (unfortunately) one book that I didn’t finish. The majority of my reads this month were psychological thrillers, with one classic detective novel and one Nordic Noir title in the mix as well!
First things first—a few statistics from my month in books:
Books Read: 6
Books DNF’d: 1
Pages Read: 2,162
Favorite Book of the Month: LIE TO ME by JT Ellison
Least Favorite Book of the Month: DARK SATURDAY by Nicci French (DNF)
And now, onto a roundup of my June 2017 reads!
CBTB’s June 2017 Wrap-Up
THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER by Sara Blaedel
Grand Central Publishing; 2/6/18
Review & Rating to come!
This book marks a departure for Blaedel, who is best known for her Louise Rick series. THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER is not a police procedural—it’s a character study, following a Danish woman whose estranged father passes away, and leaves his funeral home to her in his will. Set in Racine, Wisconsin, THE UNDERTAKER'S DAUGHTER will engage a new audience for Blaedel! I loved the quirky, engaging characters and family secrets of this book.
Read My “Book Preview” Here
THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Karin Slaughter
William Morrow; 8/8/17
CBTB Rating: 5/5
The Verdict: visceral, character-driven suspense
Somehow I'd never read a Karin Slaughter book before this one, which is a serious tragedy! Thankfully, I picked a fantastic book of hers to start with. THE GOOD DAUGHTER is visceral, gripping, and heartbreaking—a brilliant crime novel that examines the unbreakable bond of family and the lengths two women will go to uncover the truth about the brutal secrets of their past. Karin Slaughter doesn’t mess around; this book is gritty and violent, and totally compelling.
Read My Review Here
ARE YOU SLEEPING by Kathleen Barber
Gallery Books; 8/1/17
CBTB Rating: 4.5/5
The Verdict: a fresh take on psychological suspense
ARE YOU SLEEPING by Kathleen Barber seemed tailor-made for me from page one. This book incorporates unique storytelling elements and a podcast-inspired plot to deliver a truly original and engaging psychological thriller. This isn't the darkest book—if you're looking for a gritty crime novel, look elsewhere. But readers who want to be swept up in a purely entertaining story of family secrets dug up by a true crime podcast host will love this one! Highly recommended.
LIE TO ME by JT Ellison
Mira Books; 9/5/17
CBTB Rating: 4.5/5
The Verdict: twisty plotting & pure entertainment
This book really snuck up on me. A domestic thriller that’s a bit cinematic and over-the-top, LIE TO ME is purely addictive and fast-paced. Fans of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris will absolutely love this read. Following a picture-perfect couple (two authors - you know I love a good story about writers!), LIE TO ME examines what happens when the wife goes missing, and suspicion falls on the husband. This book is "popcorn reading" material in all the best ways.
THE BIRDWATCHER by William Shaw
Mulholland Books; 6/27/17
CBTB Rating: 4/5
The Verdict: a classic detective novel with a heart
I fully admit: I can tend to have a difficult time getting into classic detective novels. I have immense respect for the genre, it just often isn't for me. Well, William Shaw might just make a convert out of me. THE BIRDWATCHER is an atmospheric crime novel that blends a detailed police procedural with a cast of quirky, endearing characters. It’s most definitely a slow burn, so do keep that in mind, but it will more than satisfy fans of procedurals.
Full Review to Come!
THE OTHER TWIN by L.V. Hay
Orenda Books; 7/3/17 (UK) & 11/1/17 (US)
CBTB Rating: 4/5
The Verdict: an addictive thriller with a strong message
L.V. Hay’s thriller debut is equal parts commercially-appealing suspense novel and book that examines very relevant and sensitive issues. This book follows Poppy, who returns home to Brighton upon learning that her sister has (supposedly) committed suicide. But Poppy doesn’t believe her sister would take her own life, and begins her own investigation—which soon uncovers a secret blog, hidden relationships, and a whole lot more.
DNF - DARK SATURDAY by Nicci French
William Morrow; 7/11/17
Unfortunately, I could not finish DARK SATURDAY. I’ve read such great reviews for this book, and was so looking forward to it, but it just didn’t work for me. There’s a lot that makes this book intriguing, from its psychotherapist main character to the idea of finding justice for a young woman who was potentially falsely imprisoned for murdering her family. Unfortunately, I found the storytelling in this book to be quite choppy—I felt like I could never really let go and just be swept up in the story. This book is also part of a series, and I think I probably would’ve had a much better reading experience had I read the previous books! Sadly I set this one aside to focus on other books on my reading list. If you’re curious, I did post an excerpt of the book on my blog, which you can read here.
PLUS: Additional CBTB Posts in June!
Along with the above book reviews, here are the "extras" I had on CBTB this month!
Throwback Thursday Book Pick: THE BIRD TRIBUNAL by Agnes Ravatn
Recommending an old favorite that blends Nordic Noir with a domestic thriller plotline
New Release Tuesday: 6/17/17
My top 4 picks for New Releases from the (very busy) release day of 6/27!
Crime Festival Preview: Bloody Scotland 2017
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m heading to Scotland this fall for Bloody Scotland!! In this post, you’ll find an overview of the crime festival, plus a list of my most-anticipated author appearances.