Oct Reading Wrap-Up

For the month of October I wanted to read suspense, thriller  and mystery books.  It just seemed appropriate for the Halloween season.  It was a fairly good reading monty with some books I loved and one that I could not finish.  Let's get started.

(There is an Amazon link to each book.  If you are interested in a bit more information just click on the link.  I am an Amazon Affiliate.  If you click on the link and buy anything at all I get a percent of the sale with no cost to you...thanks:-)
Here is a scale on how I rate my books.


(I started on one that had me intrigued from the start, the premise was fantastic but....)
"The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" by Stuart Turton.
Good Reads Rating 3.93 stars
430 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy

Here is a quote from the Amazon site,

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read, and altogether triumphant."―A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. (From the Amazon site.)
The book starts on a high. A man with memory loss running through the forest with one thought, Anna is in danger, and he has to save her. Then there is a scream, and a gunshot and a man thought to be a killer sneaking up behind him, placing an object in his pocket. Great set up for a mystery, right?
The protagonist takes us on a ride, not of his choosing, literally into the lives and bodies of many characters. The main character is trying to solve a murder from the past, and also attempting to prevent one from occurring in the present. He goes literally from body to body, experiencing events through the eyes and lives of others, all the while being pursued by "The Plague Dr." a very dangerous man.   Sound confusing?  I thought it was.
Overall this book got rave reviews. I found it repetitive and got to the point where I  did not care about the characters in the book; I just wanted it to end. I read over 300 pages of the over 400-page book. I gave it 2/5 stars. I did not finish it. 
My book is called "The Seven Deaths of Evely Hardcastle". 
 I am not sure why this one says 7 1/2 deaths?? 

"A Head Full Of Ghosts"
Paul Trembly
284 pages
Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
GoodReads-3.8 stars.

A Head Full of Ghosts is a story about the Barrett's a seemingly ordinary suburban family with two daughters. Marjorie is the oldest daughter, she is 14, and her younger sister is Merry.

An older Merry tells the story as she recalls the horrible events that occurred with her sister many years earlier. Her sister started doing very odd and scary things, and the big question being asked was, is she sinking into mental illness, or is she possessed? Her mother convinced Majorie had schizophrenia took her to psychiatrists.   Her father sought the advice of a priest because of his concerns that she was possessed.

In short, there were many nights Marjorie stood watching over Merry as she slept, a reality show was filmed about the plight of the family in real-time, and yes there was an exorcism.

It was a pretty good read. There were times I was anxious about Merry's safety. The book definitely held my interest. The one part I had trouble with were the blog posts. Merry had a blog that she referred to on rare occasions. I found the posts extremely difficult to read. The font was off-putting, and the writing choppy. I did not read the posts. For me, the blog sections lowered the book score.

I gave the book 3 stars out of 5

My Haunted House 
Angie Sage
133 pages
Childrens, Fiction,
Goodreads 3.7/5 stars
My Haunted House is a story about Araminta Spookie, who lives in a lovely haunted house. Her Aunt Tabby wants to sell the house, and Araminta does everything in her power to stop the sale. Araminta sets up booby traps and ambushes throughout the house with the hope of stopping anyone that may be interested in making a purchase.

The house itself is impressive, as are the personalities found in the house. Araminta has a suit of armor named Horace, and you will also meet a ghost named Edmund. The would-be buyers and sellers of the home come together for a sweet ending.

I would give this book
3/5 stars on my reading scale.
I felt it lacked a bit of depth but it was an ok read.

The Turn of The Key
Ruth Ware
336 pages
Mystery, Thriller, Fiction,
GoodReads gives it 4/5 stars
Quote from GoodReads
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

The Turn of the Key finds the protagonist Rowan in prison for the death of a child. The child was in Rowan's care when she died, and Rowan was her nanny, and thus, she was charged with murder. The story is told through a letter that Rowan is writing to an attorney. She is writing the attorney in an attempt to get her story out. She says she is innocent and wants the truth to be known. 
It follows Rowan as she gets this much-needed job, and describes the incredibly "smart house" she stays in and what I will call the bratty kids that are in her care. 
The house is so "smart" that is scary. The house controls everything. The house controls the lights, the locks, and the cameras that fill every nook and cranny of the house. You never know when you are being watched and at what moment the parents may speak to you over the intercom system. 
For me, this book was a slow read, and I thought the ending was lacking. Most of the reviews are solid 4s and 5s, but for me, it was a weak 3/5 on my reading scale

The Broken Girls 
Simone St. James

Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller
326 pages
Good Reads gives it 4/5 stars
Quote from the book jacket,

"Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . ."

The Broken Girls story line is told from two time periods. The first being from girls living in a 1950's boarding school. The second from the perspective of a reporter, Fiona, living in 2014. In both periods, there is a murder and also a ghost. The murdered girl's bodies are both found on school property, and so is the ghost.
I fell in love with the girls in the boarding school and their stories. I was saddened by the death of one of their classmates. I liked Fiona. I was intrigued by the story of her sister, who was killed and by her search for the truth. Fiona was in pursuit of truth not only in her life but in the lives of those who lived in the 50's boarding school. 
It is not a fast-paced book until you get closer to the end. It is a haunting tale that slowly and precisely brings you to the climax of the story. 
Things to look for in the story would include mysterious murders, ghosts, and connections from past to present. There is also a bit of danger, and that is when you will find the pace of the book quickens.
I really liked this book. I liked the plot, the characters, and the flow of the writing. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

My favorite book of the month..
A Girl Named Anna
Lizzy Barber
Mystery, Thriller, Fiction,

Quote from the book jacket
"Raised in a quiet rural community, Anna has always been taught that her Mamma's rules are the only path to follow. But, on her eighteenth birthday, she defies her Mamma for the first time in her life, and goes to Astroland. She’s never been allowed to visit Florida’s biggest theme park, so why, when she arrives, does everything about it seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives that same day—a letter addressing her by a different name?

Rosie has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes as the funds dedicated to the search dry up, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth herself. But can she find the answer before it tears her family apart?"
"If your whole life is a lie, who can you trust?"

I became a part of this book very quickly. I was sucked in by the story of Anna and her confusing and challenging home life. I was also intrigued by the other family's story, as told by Rosie younger sister of Emily's, who is in search of a daughter that had gone missing 15 years earlier. Both stories are told from the same period of time, and yes, they will intertwine. 

Anna is 18 when she is sharing her story. She tells of a mother who is extraordinarily controlling and harsh. What causes her to be that way? There is a reason. Anna remembers somethings from her childhood that don't fit the story her mother tells.

Rosie, on the other hand, tells the story of living in the shadow of her sister, who went missing 15 years before. The search has never ended for her sister, and the family is broken because of Emily's disappearance.

As the truth slowly comes to light, the book takes on a dark and dangerous storyline. You will meet an evil man that holds most of the responsibility for the tragedies that occur in this book. You will meet a woman so damaged from her past that you can understand why she did the things she did even if they were awful.  

This book actually made me cry. I cried for the damage and injustice done to others, and I cried for Anna.  

The ending was painful, but well done. As Anna said one word in the end, I gasped, and I understood where she was coming from, and I realized the pain of injustice does not just go away in a moment. 

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Maybe even a 5.

Don't forget to check out my book on Amazon

Happy Reading!


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