#BookReview: The Stranger In The Mirror

W O W. You think you know what you’re getting into here. Standard amnesia plot. Person with no memory makes new ones, person from their past finds them and reveals their former life, conflict ensues. Right?

Well, yes.

And then… We go back 4 years. And we get tossed into a mind so sick, so twisted, so utterly narcissitic, that it is a massive shock even as the sisters Constantine play it pretty straight in the actual narrative.

It was a solid book before the trip back in time. More character drama than true mystery/ thriller, but it worked for what it was. Several compelling storylines and conflicts through this section really drove the reader to want to know more. And then we travel back in time and begin the race to the finish. ๐Ÿ˜€

Very much recommended.

This review of The Stranger In The Mirror by Liv Constantine was originally written on July 24, 2021.

#BookReview: A Thin Disguise by Catherine Bybee

Solid, But With A Glaring Error Early. As a romance between an amnesiac assassin and an undercover FBI agent, this story works great. As a continuation of this new Richter series (which is apparently a spinoff from the First Wives series, though I did not know that until perusing the reviews on Goodreads for this book), this works quite well. As a forced-proximity romance, this is actually fairly inventive, as the leading couple is not alone in the house… *and* there are cameras and sensors (almost) everywhere to boot!

But there is one *blinding* in its glaringness issue that needs to be mentioned, even though it isn’t objectively strong enough to remove a star over (though I know some who would likely 1* the book on this issue alone). And that issue is the very moment the assassin becomes an amnesiac. When she is shot on a crowded Las Vegas street in a drive by shooting with a “silenced” weapon. That nobody hears.

Why is this so glaring?

Because I know from both handling firearms and speaking/ listening to others who do that suppressors – they aren’t actually called “silencers”, for one – don’t actually silence a weapon, unlike what happens so often in Hollywood. Depending on several factors such as barrel length of the gun (usually shorter, in drive by situations), temperature, humidity, etc – all of which would be known and factored by professional hitmen/ security / assassin types – a suppressor *at best* takes a gun shot from sounding like you’re standing beside the speakers at a rock concert to sounding like your is using a chainsaw to cut down a tree on the other side of the fence you are standing beside.

In other words, for the shot not to be heard by *everyone* nearby – inside or outside – is so implausible that it brings the reader out of the story if they know the realities of these devices *at all*.

And since Bybee herself noted during the discussion of her Canyon Creek series that she knows her way around a shotgun, it is implausible that the author is not aware of these issues directly. Which makes them being written this way even worse. Though again, because it was a singular point in the book and not a recurring problem, it isn’t a star-deduction level error.

Ultimately, this is a quite solid book for what it actually is, and I’m still very much looking forward to seeing where this series goes from here. (And I’ll need to go back and read the book this series spins off from, since I bought it years ago and have yet to read it. :D) Very much recommended.

This review of A Thin Disguise by Catherine Bybee was originally written on May 27, 2021.

Featured New Release Of The Week: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

This week we’re looking at a fun tale that showed a fairly large set of steel balls in both its writing and its ending. This week we’re looking at You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

As always, the Goodreads review:

Misery Loves Company. McKinnon gets bold, trying to tell one cohesive story from three separate primary perspectives – and largely having it work. The ending itself isn’t quite as mind-bending as her 2020 release Sister Dear, and perhaps elements of it are in fact fairly well established much earlier in the text. But it also isn’t *quite* so predictable as some other reviewers make it seem, as many of the actual details aren’t really known until McKinnon actively reveals them. And then that ending. Mind-bending? No. But showing that McKinnon has balls bigger than many male authors? Absolutely. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

And in quite possibly a first for this blog (which will actually be repeated in about a month… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), we have a surprise! This week’s Featured New Release is ALSO a Blog Tour! After the jump, an excerpt followed by the publisher information! ๐Ÿ™‚
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon”

Featured New Release Of The Week: Memories In The Drift by Melissa Payne

This week we’re looking at a book that I’ve been talking about for weeks, one that made me cry unlike any this year. This week, we’re looking at Memories In The Drift by Melissa Payne.

Here, the Goodreads review below really does sum up my thoughts on the book quite well. It is a very well told, very visceral look at memory loss and pain, and it is so gut-wrenching it will leave you breathless. Truly one of the best books I’ve read this year for that very reason.

Prepare To Cry. Holy hell y’all. This book is one of the more tragic and yet also visceral books about memory loss I’ve encountered to date, bringing you into the mind of the person more than any other I’ve yet encountered. And it is also the one that made me *BAWL* unlike any since Barbara O’Neal’s 2019 WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS. Which was over 300 books ago for me. If you’re looking for a great story and a good cry, you’ve found one here. And just to be crystal clear, it isn’t like the things that make you cry are hidden – in both cases I picked up on them about a quarter ish of the book before Payne actually explicitly revealed them. And yet the execution on the actual reveal was so gut punching both times… wow. Very much recommended.