What I Read in April | www.designbysydnee.com

What I Read In April

What a month of reading! I didn’t read as much as I usually do but of the 4 I read lately, I loved EVERY SINGLE ONE. Read on for my reviews!

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

From Goodreads: Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape.

My review: You’ll go into this story thinking you know everything from the start. There’s a big reveal, and I mean B.I.G, very early on so I had no clue on how it would go from there. Henrietta (Hen) and Lloyd have dinner at a neighbor’s home one night and after a house tour, Hen notices an item on their mantle that triggers memories of a murder from years earlier. Are they living next door to a murderer? Matthew, the neighbor and alleged murderer, knows that she knows! Omg, I was stunned with the ending! So good!
What I Read in April | www.designbysydnee.com
Side note: I had to include the message my daughter made out of Legos in the photo above. She’s the sweetest!
The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland*

From Goodreads: A chilling suspense story of wounded hearts and dark secrets.

Washed up on the beach, she can’t remember who she is. She can’t even remember her name. Turns out, she has an idyllic life – friends and family eager to fill in the blanks.

But why are they lying to her? What don’t they want her to remember?

When you don’t even know who you are, how do you know who to trust?

My review: Mia washes up on shore and doesn’t know how she ended up there. Plus, she has no idea who she is! I’ve read other similar novels with the amnesia premise so it’s definitely not a new concept. However, I was eager to turn the pages to see how this was going to play out. I can say the ending was definitely unexpected! Ms. Boland’s writing is so good! This was a very quick and easy read for me.
The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

From Goodreads: From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

My review: I’ve read a few books that center around the mother-in-law. You either love her or you hate her. If you love her, there would be no novel, ha! Diana, the MIL, is found dead and everyone is unsure if it was suicide or murder. Even though this is touted as a thriller, I thought it centered more on family dynamics (in a good way since I usually find them slow). I thought all the characters were relatable and the storytelling was engrossing. I was eager to find out what happened to Diana but also sad since that meant the storytelling would come to an end!
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner*

From Goodreads: A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

My review: I mentioned this book in my Friday Favorites post the other week. I was so excited when I was offered a chance to read the latest from Lisa Gardner. Even though this is a book in a series, you don’t have to read the others to know what’s going on. Having said that, I’ve enjoyed Ms. Gardner’s other novels so I’m familiar with some of the characters, namely Sergeant D.D. Warren and Flora. Flora is a kidnap survivor and has been working with the Sergeant as a Confidential Informant. [You should read Find Her and Look For Me if you want the backstory on Flora – highly recommend both!] In this novel, chapters alternate from 3 female characters: D.D., Flora, and Evie. Evie is accused of killing her husband. There’s a 6 degrees of separation thing going on with these characters even though Evie is a new character in this novel. Flora believes Evie’s husband was the man she met when she was out at a bar with her captor one night many years ago. With that connection, these 3 women try to figure out the truth. Highly recommend!
What I Read in April | www.designbysydnee.com

*Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copies.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.


23 Replies to “What I Read In April”

  1. I liked the three of these I read a lot. I have not read The Girl From the Sea but just added it to my list – it seems like something I’d like! Thanks for joining us!

  2. i’ve only read one peter swanson book and i enjoyed it so i have a bunch of his on my list. i’ve never read a sally hepworth or lisa gardner book! will have to check both authors out.

  3. Okay, I had to skim your review of Before She Knew Him because I’m reading it now and like to know as little as possible! I really liked another book by Shalini Boland and I can’t recall the name at the moment! LOL! But I will have to add this one to my TBR…sounds right up my alley!

    1. I read one other book by Boland (The Perfect Family) and thought that was good. Her books aren’t very memorable but they’re good in the moment, if you know what I mean!

  4. I’ve already the books in the D.D. Warren series with Flora in them and they are so freaking good and I love having two, strong woman front and center in a series. Find Her kinda destroyed me because I seriously felt like I was with Flora and she went through so much. I have not read Never Tell yet and it’s on my TBR. Before She Knew Him is currently sitting on my nightstand and I’m eager to dive into it.

  5. I just added Before She Knew Him to my to read list. The Mother-In-Law was already on my to read list. I’ve enjoyed the other Hepworth books that I’ve read. I’m so behind on the D.D. Warren series. It’s good to know that Never Tell can be read as a stand-alone.

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