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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Widow's House by Carol Goodman

The Widow's House is Carol Goodman's 12th novel.  I've read all except for her three YA novels (Blythewood series) and the literary fiction novel that precedes this one, River Road.  I've reviewed most of them for the blog, and if you click this link, you can read those reviews.  Many of Goodman's novels have a literary theme or connection.  In this novel the main characters are writers/novelists, one of whom is a former composition professor at the local college while the other two are his former students.  This is a creepy, atmospheric, suspenseful mystery.  Goodman's story sucks you in from the beginning right through to the tense, pulse pounding ending.  It's a page turner that you won't want to put down.
Jess Martin is a famous writer, whose follow up to his stunning debut is about a decade overdue.  Clare is his wife, an equally talented writer, who has given up writing in order to take a steady job as a copy editor for a publisher.  The Martins a…

Get Out (Movie)

A Series of (Un)Fortunate Reviews' guest reviewer, Miss Shayne, has returned for the summer!  Her first review of the summer is for the movie, Get Out, which will be released soon on DVD.
Get Out directed by Jordan Peele is a mystery/thriller movie about Chris, an African American man, meeting his girlfriend Rose’s parents at their country estate for the first time. Upon arriving, Rose’s family seems unaccustomed with how to act around African Americans, so their conversations with Chris seem forced. At first, Chris assumes they are just trying their hardest to make him feel comfortable, but because they are hyperaware of his race, they go overboard.
Things start to get even stranger when Rose’s brother insists on having a physical MMA-style fight with Chris while eating dinner. Chris also notices the other African Americans that work for the family act strangely. To top things off, Rose’s mother insists on hypnotizing Chris in an attempt to get him to quit smoking. Chris refuses,…

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry is the debut novel by Australian writer Jane Harper.  Set in Australia, it's an expertly written mystery that doubles as a tense coming home novel.  Compared to the last book I read, Everything We Keep, The Dry features much stronger, organic writing.

When his childhood friend, Luke Hadler, butchers his family and then kills himself, Aaron Falk, now a successful federal agent, returns to the rural, farming town that literally ran him and his father out in the middle of the night over a decade ago.  Aaron is determined to stay for the funerals and be gone the next morning.  Meanwhile, the only people welcoming him home are the parents of his deceased friend Luke and his childhood friend, Gretchen, who is now a mother herself.  The whole town, save for the handful of residents who have moved there in the interim since the Falks departure, makes it clear that Falk is not welcome and regards him askance while the Deacon family openly regards him with hostility, only too happy …

Crimson Peak (DVD)

Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, and Uncle Bobby from Supernatural (a.k.a. Jim Beaver).  This is a suspenseful, dark, Gothic, horror movie.  While there are some scary ghosts thrown in for good measure, the meat of this story is a twisted family drama crossed with a serial killer thriller set in 1901.

Edith Cushing is a feisty lady and aspiring writer living with her father in upstate New York just after the turn of the century.  However, the family's idyll comes to a brutal halt shortly after Edith crosses paths with and falls for Sir Thomas Sharpe, a British baronet seeking capital in the U.S. for some contraption he hopes will revolutionize red clay mining or some such.  Sharpe travels with his sister, Lucille, who at first appears distant and cold.  Time reveals Lucille's distance to be something subtly off--and slightly more sinister--with her character.  Right from the get Edith's pa knows there's something not …

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

So many things to say about this book, you guys.  So. Many. Things.  I was conflicted while I was reading this book because on the one hand if some soap opera drama went down, this review was going to be one long rant.  On the other hand if nothing happened, then I would have been disappointed because I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop in this novel from the second chapter.   And if nothing ever dropped, I would have felt cheated.

I'm just going to warn you now.  I may sound like an unhinged bookworm in this review because of the drama that goes down in this book.  If you watch a lot of soap operas or telenovelas or if you read a lot and have an overactive imagination, then many of the plot developments will be predictable but no less polarizing.  The epilogue, you guys, is a big, fat, heartbreaking cliffhanger.
Everything We Keep is Kerry Lonsdale's debut novel.  It's been out a while, and I think Lonsdale may have already released her second novel by n…