Monday, May 18, 2020

Adult Book Mini Reviews-- The British Mysteries

  • I read both of these books on audio.  I've been in the mood for mysteries lately... and only mysteries.  It's like my brain can't concentrate and slow down unless it's to figure out who is the killer and why.  But during times of stress, I always just go with my gut & read what my brain is feeling-- or a reading slump could come along quickly.
  • Here are 2 of the Mysteries that I've read recently and some thoughts:

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Goodreads Synopsis:

She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.

Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?

Who still has secrets to hide?

My Thoughts:

A daughter (Ellie) goes missing and 10 years later her mother is just marking time.  But the case is about the heat up-- they finally get some answers about Ellie.  That's not enough for Laurel though-- she wants to know all the answers to what happened to her daughter.

Meanwhile, life starts finally moving forward for Laurel.  She meets a man who completely sweeps her off her feet.  Everything is changing.  Then, she meets her new boyfriend's daughter-- who is alarmingly mature for an 8-year-old... and looks exactly like Ellie!!

I loved how this story started off by grabbing me right away!!  I was hooked and intrigued as to why this really happy, seemingly perfect girl could be a presumed runaway.  I felt so sorry for Laurel, but she was also so broken that she wasn't a very good mother to her other children.  I was happy when she started getting something to live for, but I was also VERY suspicious.  Floyd (the new boyfriend) definitely felt too good to be true.

I really liked this one and would be giving it 5 stars if it tried to be a little more surprising in the plot. As it was, it’s pretty easy to see where it was all going and none of the reveals shocked me to any degree. But given the way it’s written, maybe it’s not supposed to be a shocking thriller. Maybe it’s just supposed to be a sad story with some hope sprinkled in?

I liked that this story went deep.  It was really layered and full of characters that felt real.  And it was completely satisfying in the end.

OVERALL: I definitely recommend this one.  It wasn't SUPER twisty, but it was such a good and unique story.

Date Published: 4/17/2018
How I got this book: Library
Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster

My Rating: 4.5/5

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window... 

My Thoughts:

The Whisper Man is about child abductions that are taking place now that seem to be similar to a serial killer that was caught years ago.  It follows the detective who had a hand in catching The Whisper Man and is now working on the new case, and a man who is recently widowed and is moving to get a fresh start.

There was something about this book that felt short-story-ish to me.  Would it have worked better as a short story??  Maybe.  The lack of build-up made me doubt the need for so many pages.

It's not that this book isn't good or that I didn't enjoy it.  Because I did enjoy it, but I was hoping for something truly creepy and twisty.  There was a twist (or 2), but they were revealed so slowly that I didn't have that shocked & stunned feeling.

What I did really like in this book was the character development.  I loved that the 2 narrators had complete stories that felt full and alive.  I loved little Jake.  He was one of those interesting little kids that seem like little adults-- wise for his age, knowing more than you'd think a 5 year-old should know.

OVERALL: I loved the idea behind this book, but thought it would've worked better as a short story.  There wasn't enough happening for it to be as long as it was.  I still really liked it, but was hoping for a SHOCKING twist that never came.

Date Published: 6/13/2019
How I got this book: Library
Publisher: Penguin Books UK

My Rating: 3.5/5

Have you read either of these books?? Thoughts?  Share with me!!


  1. I have not read either of these, but I do have The Whisper Man to hopefully check out soon. I'm a big fan of mysteries in general, but it does seem like the genre I'm mostly gravitating toward these days as well.


    1. It's like the only thing I can really do right now!! The Whisper Man was good, but maybe because it was on audio is why I didn't completely love it?? I mean, the narrator was okay, but it didn't have the build-up I was expecting.

  2. We heard good things about Then She Was Gone.

    1. Then She Was Gone was really interesting!! I definitely recommend.

  3. British mysteries are SO my thing. I haven't read either of these, but I will keep an eye out for them...

  4. I've been really curious about Then She Was Gone, so I'm happy to see you enjoyed it, and that the narration was good. If you're only in the mood for mysteries, I recently read The Mountains Wild and it was FANTASTIC. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  5. These mini reviews are really so cool! Thanks a lot for sharing your expressions regarding the book. They are vital for each of us!