“Her Perfect Life” by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Genre” Mystery & ThrillersHer Perfect Life
Publishers: Forge Books
Pub. Date: September 14, 2021


Lily Atwood has a successful career as a TV reporter.  She is a loving single parent to an adorable little daughter. She has a fan base that has dubbed her #PerfectLily. The author makes sure the reader understands the pressure Lily endures by her fame of being “perfect.” However, Lily has a secret besides who is the father of her child.  She was 7 years old when her older sister, Cassie, disappeared as a college freshman. Even as a journalist, with sources, Lily hasn’t been able to find her. The chapters alternate between Cassie, Lily, and Greer who is Lily’s producer/assistant. The novel has potential but didn’t pull it off. The story was simply too far fetched. There are many twists and I did not believe one of them. Maybe for you but, not my idea of a good thriller.

I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Find all my book reviews at:


“The Wife Between Us” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Genre:        Mystery,  Thriller & Women’s FictionThe wife between us
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date:  Jan. 9, 2018

No real review here, just my thoughts as a reviewer. There was so much buzz about this book. And, it received such high ratings, which may be the reason why I was so disappointed in it. So many of my book blogger friends loved this novel, making me feel very alone in my opinion. Unfortunately, I thought this book was written on an eighth-grade reading level (please don’t hate me), which makes it a very fast read. The first part of the novel held my interest but, I figured out the twist just a few pages in, which was a letdown. I found the second half plain old boring. Women’s Fiction should have been a heads up for me. I don’t really care for that genre (even though I love the old women’s classics such as, “Wuthering Heights”). But, for me, today’s Women’s Fiction is very different and often dull. So there is no way I can recommend this novel. Maybe, as an easy read beach book with a decent but strained twist at the end, but that is as far as I can go. Still, many others loved it so you might want to ignore my thoughts and give it a try.

I received this novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Find all my book reviews at:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list…
Leave Me Alone I am Reading & Reviewing: https://books6259.wordpress.com/
Twitter: Martie’s Book Reviews: https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

“The New Neighbors” by Simon Lelic

Genre:          Mystery and Thrillers
Publisher:    Berkley Publishing Group
Pub. Date:    The New NeighborsApril 10, 2018

Mini Review

Why do I keep accepting Advance Review Copies (ARC) books that I suspect I will not like?  I am sure many other readers and reviewers will enjoy this novel.  For me, it is a real stinker.  Okay, I don’t think the first half of the book is so terrible.  A young couple in their twenties buys a home together.  The previous owner leaves them all his belongings.  This consists of cheerless junk and his dead stuffed pets, making the house downright creepy.  At first, I thought I was reading a haunted house story.  The author does a good job of keeping it spooky.  I also enjoyed the prose, which is an open journal that the couple is writing for each other.  Alternately, one would write a segment on what is happening to him or her in their weird home and then give it to the other to read and reply.  It did get a tad confusing; still, it is an interesting format.  I often chuckled on how the couple would see the same incident so very differently.  Think “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”

The reader knows in the first half that the woman has toxic parents.  She had a very abusive childhood.  In the second half, we learn how and why.  She escaped her parents in her teens by running away.  Now in her adult life the parental abuse begins again. Honestly, the abuse as an adult is hard to buy.  If I explain more it would be a spoiler. However, you need to know that this reviewer was once a court-appointed Social Worker who helped put abusive parents in jail.  I have worked in the trenches with many violent families.  I tell you this so you can understand just how illogical and far-fetched the plot became.  Additionally, it doesn’t take the reader long to figure out that they are reading a murder mystery.  Alas, the “who done it” is also unbelievable with predictable twists.  For all these reasons, I cannot recommend this book.  Still, you might want to give it a try.  As I said, I know many will gobble this one up.   Readers seem to love a page-turner that will keep them up all night.   I’m guessing the unrealistic feel won’t bother them.   Psychological thrillers are not my favorite genre.  But, I can enjoy a page-turner, only if they are intelligent as well as unsettling.

I received this novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Find all my book reviews at:


“Watch Me Disappear” by Janelle Brown

Watch Me DisappearGenre:        Mystery & Thrillers

Publisher:  Random House

Pub. Date:   July 11, 2017


This novel focuses on a close-knit family.  Often thought of as a perfect family (and we all know there is no so such thing), which consists of a father, mother and teenage daughter.  The mother has been missing for a year and is presumed dead.  The dad is convinced that his wife died on a weekend hiking trip that she went on alone, while the daughter holds on to hope that she is still alive.  Especially now that she has been having visions of her mom, which may be real or just a side effect from a brain trauma that will heal itself with time and medication.  So daughter and dad are at odds.  Except the dad has recently learned that his wife has been lying to him about other weekends when he thought she went hiking with a friend.  He wonders, for different reasons, that maybe his daughter is correct and his wife is still alive. So he and his daughter begin a hunt to find their missing loved one.  There are many similar novels out there but this one manages to succeed in feeling real, dad and daughter’s honest confusion, did she die, did she just leave us? A tough question to think about particularly while they are still dealing with their grief.   Did they ever know the wife/mom at all if she is someone capable of walking away from her family? The reader will meet a host of intriguing characters, you will meet a psychic, the missing lady’s ex-boyfriend who happens to be a hippy ex-con, a grandmother who never met her granddaughter and all of them add to the mystery of just who the wife/mother really was. Even though I guessed the ending of the story, I found the tale to be a page-turner with many twists. It is not the kind of book that keeps you up at night thinking about the characters still, it is a good beach read.  I have never really met a person similar to the protagonist, have you?

This is an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) book.  I received this novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Find all my reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4793025-martie-nees-record?shelf=read