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Crime

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I wanted to like this contemporary mystery/thriller more, but it fell a bit flat for me. I liked the main character, detective Elise King, who is on medical leave as she battles cancer. She spends her day watching tensions rise between the local small town residents and the weekenders that invade the town each weekend. During a musical festival two teenagers suffer a drug overdose and are hospitalized and one well-liked elderly man disappears. Elise discovers his body a couple days later and she finds herself suddenly brought back to work and in charge of the investigation.

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Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a dark and gritty contemporary fiction about a 17 year-old girl in Oakland, CA struggling to take care of herself and older brother. It’s based on the true story of a young girl that was sexually abused by a group of police officers. The abuse was difficult to read at times, but it’s an important story to read and is further evidence of how broken the system is at times.

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The Maid by Nita Prose

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a good contemporary mystery/thriller. Molly Gray is not your typical young woman. She has trouble reading the intentions of others and struggles with social skills. Until now, her grandmother helped her navigate the world by creating simple rules that Molly could live by. It’s those rules that kept her going when her beloved grandmother died.

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Sparring Partners by John Grisham

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a collection of three short stories by Grisham that don’t have anything in common other than the law. I enjoyed the first story, “Homecoming”, the best because we once again visit Ford County and Jake Brigance. It’s not the courtroom thriller we are typically treated to in this setting, but it was great to read about the familiar characters that I’ve come to love. This time Jake is helping an attorney from Clanton, Mack Stafford, that notoriously, and allegedly, stole client money, left his unhappy marriage and children, and fled to parts unknown, never to be heard from again. Hearing that his ex-wife is dying, Mack returns to apologize and try to form a relationship with his daughters. The story is heartbreaking and uplifting and will make you yearn for more stories from Ford County.

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Watch Out For Her by Samantha M. Bailey

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is an ok mystery/thriller centered around a family and their babysitter. The mother, Sarah, is wound tight and doesn’t trust easily. Her husband hires 22 year old Holly, the daughter of one of his club friends, to babysit their 6 year old son. Initially things go well, but Sarah’s suspicions start to build until she eventually learns something about Holly she can’t overlook. The family moves across the country to start over, but Sarah finds hidden cameras in their rented house and then starts to receive ominous texts from someone, possibly Holly. As the mysteries mount up, Sarah is determined to get to the bottom of it all.

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Never a Duke (Rogues to Riches #7) by Grace Burrowes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

This is a good historical fiction romance mystery book. I haven’t read many books with these components and it was a nice change of pace. This is book seven in the series. I haven’t read any of the previous books but since this is a stand alone story it isn’t necessary to read the others. There is also plenty of exposition that explains a lot of the backstory of the characters, so I didn’t feel lost.

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Free: Two Years, Six Lives, and the Long Journey Home by Lauren Kessler

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good non-fiction book that takes an in-depth look at the difficulties people released from prison face once they are released. The author focuses on six individuals that were incarcerated as minors and follows their journeys as they are released and attempt to integrate back into a society that most of them barely recognize.

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Dream Town (Archer #3) by David Baldacci

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a really good historical fiction mystery/thriller. I must admit, I read the first book in this series One Good Deed and did not enjoy it very much. In fact, I couldn’t even finish it! This really surprised me, because I normally really enjoy David Baldacci’s books. I’m so glad that I revisited the series because this book was so good.

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Or Else by Joe Hart

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a good contemporary mystery/thriller. Novelist Andy Drake returns home to care for his sick father. He re-connects with Rachel, a childhood friend, starting an affair that gives her a break from her emotionally abusive husband. After several months, Andy receives an anonymous note telling him to break it off with Rachel, or else.

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