Nerd Girl Loves Books

Book recommendations and short reviews just for you!



Mission in Malmo (Inspector Anita Sundstrom #9) by Torquil MacLeod

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a pretty good mystery/thriller set in Sweden. It’s book 9 of a series, but can be read as a stand alone. I’m sure I missed some nuances regarding the characters and their interactions, but there was enough information to provide me a good idea of what was what. The story is told in two different time periods. The first part of the story is told in 2006 while the main character, Anita, is a detective in the Criminal Investigation Squad. As one of only two women in the unit, the women are thought of as less capable and are treated unequally, especially by Chief Inspector Erik Moberg. The team is tasked with tackling the aftermath of an armed robbery at a cash handling facility in Malmö. The raid left one security guard dead and there was no sign of the stolen millions. The team eventually thinks they’ve solved the crime, but aren’t able to convict who they believe is the mastermind of the operation.

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The Hunter by Jennifer Herrera

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a contemporary mystery/thriller with paranormal aspects. I was creeped out by the paranormal aspects of the book, but I’m a big chicken. I think readers that aren’t a big chicken like me will enjoy it. A great deal of the book is devoted to the private life of the main character and the family dynamics with her uncles and brother, as well as her estranged husband. I felt the family issues were distracting and took me out of the mystery elements of the book. A closer look at the book could tighten this part of the story up and make the transitions less jarring.

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Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this YA mystery/thriller set in an all-boys high school, Urban Promise Prep School, in Washington D.C. Principal Moore is an activist that started the school and based his strict program discipline, called the Principal Moore Method, claiming it turns boys into men. Principal Moore claims that almost all boys in his school go from trouble youth to college-bound men because of his method and school. But when Moore is murdered at school, his school and method come under strict scrutiny. Three boys serving detention that afternoon are targeted by the police as prime suspects. All three state that they are innocent, and it’s clear they need to band together to find the real killer before they are arrested and lost in the system.

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The Hiking Trip by Jenny Blackhurst

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a fun and twisty mystery/thriller set on the West Coast Trail in Canada. Maise lives an unhappy life in the UK. She plans a trip to hike in Canada, but her friend flakes on her. Maise goes anyway, and while waiting to board the bus to the trail, she meets brother and sister Ric and Sera. They instantly click and decide to hike the trail together. The first couple of days go well with lots of fun antics, but then things go bad. Really bad. Twenty-five years later a woman named Laura is shook when she hears a body was found near the trail and police suspect it’s Sera. Laura is afraid the secret she’s been keeping will come out, and odd things start happening making Laura suspect someone is determined to make her spill her secrets.

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The Club by Ellery Lloyd

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a fun and twisty mystery/thriller set in the glamorous world of an exclusive club for celebrities run by brothers Ned and Adam. The clubs are set up so that the celebrities can behave however they want inside them, with the assurance that nothing will ever get leaked to the press. The book is set over one weekend during the grand opening of the brother’s latest club located on an island off the coast of England.

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The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

This was a pretty good mystery/thriller that involves two best friends and their summer at a high-end holiday home in a small town in Italy. Emily is a successful author of a cozy mystery series going through a painful and expensive divorce. She has recently recovered from a mysterious illness and is going through a bad case of writer’s block. Her best friend Chess is a successful self-help author and influencer.

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The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good contemporary fiction/mystery/thriller set in India. Geeta’s dead-beat husband left her five years ago. She didn’t kill him, but everyone thinks she did. Since then, she’s taken out her nose ring (become a widow) and made a life for herself selling hand-made jewelry. The inhabitants of her small village scorn Geeta, gossip about her, and the children are afraid of her. While this would make some women sad, Geeta relishes in her freedom.

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Queen of Nothing (Reina del Cartel, #1) by Santana Knox

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a good first book in the reverse harem, enemies to lovers, dark romance series. I haven’t read many dark romance books, or any cartel books, so this is all new to me. I enjoyed the author’s world building which made it easier for me to understand the setting and circumstances of the characters.

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Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an intense YA mystery/thriller about six friends headed to spring break that get trapped in an RV in the middle of nowhere by a sniper intent on learning one of their secrets. The story is told from the perspective of Red. Her mother, a police officer, was executed on the job 5 years ago and her father succumbed to alcoholism. This, as well as having little to no money, set her apart from other teens. Her best friend Maddie and a few others, however, have her back and make sure that she’s not left out.

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