Featured New Release Of The Week: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes

This week we’re looking at a breakneck psychological thriller that also serves as a clarion call on an issue many are speaking of quite a bit over the last decade. This week we’re looking at Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes.

Trying to force myself out of the writing funk I’ve been in for several months now when it comes to these posts, I want to add at least a little bit to the Goodreads review below.

First, I love that Holmes frequently includes a reference to one of her friends’ books – usually released in the same year – in her books. This one is no different there, and the book in question (which you’ll have to read this book to find out) is in fact one that was also a Featured New Release on this very blog earlier this year.

Second, at least on the ARC copy I read Holmes includes a note at the end about a particular Easter Egg… which I completely missed. I remember getting the sense that it was a very random encounter – usually a good clue of an Easter Egg – but in my defense, I’ve read over 200 books since reading Holmes’ two releases last fall. (The Perfect Secret and The Patient, both of which included this same character, apparently.) Indeed, I actually thought that a more major character was the joining fabric potentially of all three books – and I would love to see future books including that particular character. Let me know which character you think I’m referencing here, I don’t want to give it away in this post. 🙂

Finally, this book really does go in depth with nearly all facets of sex trafficking, and while most of the worst of it is “off screen”, there is enough discussion in enough detail of enough facets that this book could in fact be very difficult to read if this issue has impacted you. But honestly, I think that in that case, you need to read this book arguably more than the rest of us. If only so you can write your own review and tell us just how close Holmes gets here. From the outside looking in, it seems that she captured the emotions and struggles quite well indeed, but this is something that I have no direct knowledge of and thus can’t know. So please, even if you think this book will be difficult for you, read it and write a review on Goodreads and Bookbub and let the rest of us know just how close – or, perhaps, far off – Holmes really was.

As always, the Goodreads review:
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#BookReview: The Perfect Secret by Steena Holmes

Among the Creepiest Book Villains I’ve Ever Encountered. Seriously, I can’t go into too much detail there without venturing into spoiler territory, but that is arguably the strongest selling point of this book. Literally only two books – of the thousand or so I’ve read in my lifetime – readily come to mind as being anywhere close to this level of creepy with their villains. (Though, disclosure: I typically don’t read creepy books and wasn’t really expecting that here.)

But while the ultimate criminal in this tale is super creepy, the book itself has a fairly tight cast and is a somewhat standard ish mystery. A multi-time convict gets another chance at life outside prison walls and is determined never to see the inside of them again. The story follows a present day investigation she winds up in the middle of as well as the last few years of her life from the moment of her last release from prison and joining up with the current timeline. Excellently paced, some of the creepiness is apparent early ish but I did not see the full details coming at all. Even then, the author keeps revealing surprises almost until the last sentence. Excellent work, and very much recommended.

This review of The Perfect Secret by Steena Holmes was originally written on October 4, 2019.

#BookReview: The Patient by Steena Holmes

Beat Down Of The Ages – With Avatar Ending. There is another Lake Union author whose books I *love* and who is known for writing about a particular idea and spinning amazing stories about it. Here, Holmes walks onto that author’s turf and absolutely *destroys* her. That is how much *better* than those other ones this book is – and remember, I *loved* those other books (indeed, I’ve rated all of them 5*). It *does* have an Avatar-style ending though, and it worked it well to allow for either a true standalone book or even the possibility of coming back to this world. Simply an excellent book, and if this represents a new direction for Holmes, I can’t wait to see what else she puts out!

This review of The Patient by Steena Holmes was originally written on October 18, 2019.