Category Archives: Mystery/Thrillers

Mystery/Thriller Reviews # 1: Behind Her Eyes & Before I Go to Sleep

Who doesn’t love a good twist? They work when they are done well. Like really, really well. The ending for thrillers can make it to break it for me. For instance, The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle was intriguing and a page turner for sure but the ending was underwhelming. It was clichéd and frankly, dare I say – even a little offensive. I usually don’t have high expectations for thrillers but I pick them up frequently to get out of reading slumps. Works every time.

Behind Her Eyes and Before I Go to Bed have many overlapping elements, and they are set in London with a female protagonist. I gave three stars to Behind Her Eyes and a sad two star rating to the latter. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough was unputdownable… is that even a word? Louise is a single mom. She makes out with a mystery man from the bar one night and turns out, he’s her new boss. Married boss. Oops. Any review of Behind Her Eyes you come across on the internet will mention the crazy ending and yes, the ending is indeed crazy. It’s unbelievably bonkers.

S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Bed sounded so promising. The biggest issue I had with this book was that I wasn’t compelled to pick it up, but I desperately needed to know the ending. It took me about a week to finish. Christine, the victim of a “hit and run case”, wakes up every day not remembering who she is, a twenty something trapped in a forty something body. I admit I enjoyed the bits that talked about memory and Christine’s journal, the whodunnit element. But as I said, I wasn’t compelled to read it. I’d still recommend these books though: they were properly creepy.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (Review)

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⭐⭐⭐

Lets play a little (bookish) game of two truths and a lie:

1. I will read anything Ruth Ware writes.

2. I am running out of space on my bookshelf.

3. I don’t buy pretty covers.

If you guessed right, #3 is the lie! 😂 The Lying Game is a psychological thriller that had me on my toes the entire time. I was hooked within the first sentence. Ruth Ware’s writing is absolutely fantastic. I fell in love with the eerie, mysterious tone and setting of her debut novel ‘In a Dark, Dark Wood’ and the sense of dread and claustrophobia in her second novel ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’. I felt that the plot in Cabin 10 wasn’t the greatest but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Lying Game is about Isa Wilde and her three friends who share a secret, one that comes back to haunt them seventeen years later. It ticks all the right boxes for me: girls boarding school, small town, gossip, mystery and tension. I had a few problems with the main characters though: I didn’t like any of them. Isa is an emotional mess and she’s constantly putting her 6-month old daughter in danger. Thea never seemed to have grown up. Fatima’s character felt like forced diversity. Despite that, I got on board with the slow-burn plot. Ruth Ware is filling the Gillian Flynn hole in my heart.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Review)

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What a delightfully cozy read! After having conveniently forgotten the ending of the movie adaptation (it’s been a while since I watched it), I decided to pick the novel up. It was a much needed respite after some intense books!

Now, if you know anything at all about the synopsis, you’re most likely thinking “Cozy? Respite? It’s a ghost story!” Yes. Books of a gothic nature are right up my alley. I loved how Diane Setterfield referenced classical gothic books in the novel like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Women in White, and Turn of the Screw. The characters in the story are really bookish and I, nodding along, enjoyed every bit of that.

Margaret is a bookseller and amateur biographer. One day she receives a curious letter from a famous author named Vida Winter, who is nearing her deathbed. Margaret is invited to stay with Vida Winter and write her ‘true’ biography, as the author was previously given to inventing various life stories and telling confusing origin tales to the general public. What follows is a story filled with intrigue, suspense, scandal and ghosts! So much yes.