Book Reviews

The Holdout by Graham Moore

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.

As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.


My Review:

I have to admit I wasn’t too sure about this book. While I absolutely LOVE psychological thrillers, legal thrillers are not my cup of tea. But this book was such a happy surprise. It was so much more than just a courtroom drama.

This story begins with a black teacher accused of an affair with his white 15 year old student. There is enough evidence to convict him. Or is there? Surprise….

Ten years later the twelve jurors meet again for a reunion. There is another murder. More secrets. And more surprises.

Moore just kept the reader guessing. Who dunnit? You’ll have to read it to find out. AND there are three deaths or murders(?) to investigate. It’s one of those kind of books. And I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read a thriller.

Book Reviews

In the Midst of the Flames by JP Robinson

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

As the fires of the Great War rage across the European continent, the Steele family is caught in the midst of the inferno.

Estranged from his wife Malcolm wonders if he can ever find forgiveness for his betrayal as he begins the long journey home.

Leila desperately searches for a way to escape her past life as a spy—and the German agent who has been sent to kill her—as she struggles to prove her innocence.

Determined to save his family, Thomas risks everything in a high-stakes political gamble, bringing Britain to the brink of obliteration, as spymaster Robert Hughes plots his downfall.

Will everything be reduced to ashes?Or does God still walk with those who, through faith, step out into the midst of the flames?


Review:

This book had several stories- I believe 4 – and it jumped back and forth between them. This is ok in theory except the reader had no idea how these stories connected until at least half-way to two-thirds through the book (unless I missed it earlier). Because of this the book seemed very fragmented and choppy. Once the stories all came together and everything made sense then it was a really good book but it took a long time to get there.

There were a few of the story lines that I really did enjoy. Where Will stayed with Burkhard’s family was beautifully written. That part alone could’ve been a short story.

I gave In the Midst ⭐⭐⭐/5 because of the hard to follow storylines. There were several times I was going to give up on the book but I pushed through and in the end I’m glad I did.

A special thank you to JP Robinson for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review..

Book Reviews

The Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/ 5


Synopsis:

This book begins with a young journalist purchasing an antique typewriter (what’s that?) & she finds a bunch of letters stuffed inside. The letters were written between two sisters & exchanged during WWII. She then goes to Germany to find out what happened to the sisters because the letters had suddenly stopped.

The book then takes us on a journey throughout the sisters lives. One married a German officer. Does that also make her a Nazi? That’s what her sister is trying to find out. The other fights to be a journalist in a man’s world while moving throughout Europe. 


Review:

I personally love any kind of historic book so Thynne had me hooked from the beginning with just that alone. But the story and presentation was so unlike any I had ever read before. And I’ve read a lot of books – and historical fiction books. Readers in The Words were shown both sides of WWII which I think is so interesting. It really made you think about how people must have felt that had loved ones living in Germany. And there were so many small little twists to the story that I didn’t see coming! Normally I read about 7-10 books at a time and read 5 chapters in each book cycling through each one. By the 2nd time I got to The Words I couldn’t put it down and I stayed up all night to finish it. I loved it that much!!!

Thank you so much to Random House for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I recommend you grab your copy today (or at least preorder it). Copies download/ship on January 21st.

I definitely recommend The Words I Never Wrote and I’m going to be grabbing some more books by Thynne too. Have you read this book yet? What did you think?

Book Reviews

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/ 5


Synopsis:

Charlotte Gleason grew up having all the dresses, hats and jewels she could want. When she and her maid/BFF was sent to NYC so she could marry a man she’d never met she realizes it’s her chance for an adventure. Adventure is something she’d never had the chance to have. She swaps places with her maid Dora and they both set off for lives they never expected.


My Review:

I thought this book would follow along an expected storyline but happily it didn’t. As I read there was several surprises throughout. Even the ending gave me a surprise.

Another thing I enjoyed was having some recognizable names thrown into the book. Mrs. Astor and the Vanderbilts were both guests at parties. Their personalities, their homes and even how respected they were in NYC society was talked about. I love when a historical fiction brings a book to life like that.

Overall I’d definitely recommend this book. It was a clean read, which I love. The characters referred to God and to scriptures, even to their lack of faith and how to regain it. At the end everything was all tied up, except one thing – one of the men AND his family was just left hanging!!! Which is why I left a star off. What happened to him and this other family that we readers came to know and care about? I’d still definitely choose another book by Moser though. I absolutely loved her writing style.

Let me know what you thought about Masquerade