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December 3, 2021

3 Suspenseful Books to Read

by Donna Huber

I have a collection of books today that I'm loosely gathering under the category of suspense. There are definitely elements of suspense in all three. The Bone Cay leans more towards mystery, Outback Creed is a solid thriller, and The Hitwoman Owes a Favor is packed with humor.

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The Bone Cay by Eliza Nellums

The Bone Cay
December 2021; Dreamscape Media; 9781666523768
audio (8h 31m), ebook, print; mystery

I picked up this audiobook at Netgalley because I was in need of an audiobook. I haven't read anything by Eliza Nellums before but she is definitely going on my list of authors to read. 

The opening of The Bone Cay is very atmospheric - I loved it. I've been watching The CW's Nancy Drew and I had to keep reminding myself that I was not reading a book about the Drew Crew. 

In addition to the suspense of a major hurricane rolling in and a man and his stepdaughter getting stranded with Magda at Whimbrel Estate, there is also a mystery. Some of the storm damage unearthed an old cistern and inside it, there's a trunk. Inside the trunk is a body.

Magda is the caretaker of Whimbrel Estate which functions as a museum to Floridian poet Isobel Reyes. Magda is a bit obsessed with Isobel. Even though a major hurricane - like "storm of the century" major -  is heading towards Florida, she refuses to leave the Key West home. She wasn't planning to come down with the flu nor does she has the provisions for two unexpected visitors. Something didn't feel right about the man and his stepdaughter, but Magda knows him as he's a local handyman and she really can't turn them away during the storm.

I loved Magda, even though her obsession kind of bugged me. But she is a really great character.

The plot was terrific. The suspense was perfect - will they survive? kept me turning the page. And the mystery of bones in the trunk was intriguing. Altogether I didn't want to put the book down. I was bummed when my phone battery ran down and I had to wait for it to recharge to get back to the story (I really wish the Netgalley app was available on more devices).

I don't usually like listening to suspense/thrillers as audiobooks as I usually get distracted and miss key points of the plot. But this audiobook was really well down. Nancy Peterson did a great job as the narrator. The cast is small so it wasn't difficult at all following the story. 

I highly recommend this book.

Buy The Bone Cay at Amazon

Outback Creed by Jonathan Macpherson

Outback Creed
November 2021; City Beach Books; 9780648321354
audio (4h 33m), ebook, print; thriller

This is another audiobook I picked up at Netgalley because I need something to listen to while I cleaned the house. The audiobook is short so I thought it would be a good choice because I knew once family started showing up for Thanksgiving I wouldn't have much opportunity to listen to a book. 

I haven't listened to too many audiobooks set in Australia, but I didn't have any trouble with the accent. But I did have trouble following the story. The plot is a bit intricate and I had trouble keeping track of who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. It is also a fast-paced story so even though distractions were minimal it was easy to miss things.

This book is a solid thriller. It starts off with a boy being chased by a wild dog in the outback of Australia. But that is the least of his trouble as he is drawn into a high-stakes conspiracy. Tom McLaren is a lawyer sent to the outback in hopes of getting the aboriginal community to sign over their land to a mining company. When he rescues the boy from the dog attack, he too is drawn into the dangerous game. Abductions, corrupt cops, and crooked politicians follow.

I think this would have been a great story if I had read it myself. There were definitely some heart-stopping moments. I did love Steve Shanahan's Australian accent.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, then you will want to check out this book.

Buy Outback Creed at Amazon

The Hitwoman Owes a Favor by JB Lynn

The Hitwoman Owes a Favor
February 2021; Indie; ebook (172 pages)

When I did my Holiday Shopping Guide, I realized I had not read a Hitwoman book this year. And when a new book in the series comes out every few months, I realized I was quickly falling behind. Since I had a credit at Amazon for some shipping plus the gift card for giving blood, I thought I would treat myself. That meant I had to figure out what the last book in the series I did read (thank goodness for Goodreads) and then I discovered The Hitwoman Owes a Favor buried on my Kindle. WooHoo!

It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and I was not caring for the book club book I was reading so I decided to put it aside and again treat myself to a fun read. The Hitwoman Owes a Favor did not disappoint. I loved it. Maybe it is a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I really enjoyed reading this book. Almost all of the characters make an appearance and when Maggie's whole family shows up hilarity is sure to ensue. 

It was the perfect read to end a busy holiday with. It is a fun, quick read. There is definitely some suspense among the laughs. Maggie's psychic friend Armani declares that Maggie is going to die. Now Armani's predictions are usually accurate, however, they don't always play out the way you think. But this time it looks very likely that this prediction is going to play out just the way you think - with Maggie dead. 

She agrees to help an old school friend find her husband. Trouble is everyone is looking for him - the cops, the mob, even Whitehat's organization. So if Maggie finds him who will she turn him over to? Any choice has dire consequences.

I know we are entering the busy holiday season, and you might be looking for a way to escape for a few hours. This book would be a great one to pick up.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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