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May 15, 2022

Two Terrific Thrillers to Move to the Top of Your TBR List

by Donna Huber

I enjoy the traditional beach reads that are hitting shelves already but I really love reading gritty thrillers in the summer. I recently read two that are just terrific and would be great for summer reading. If you haven't picked them up yet, you will want to move them to the top of your to-be-read list.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

My Wife is Missing by D. J. Palmer

book cover of domestic thriller audiobook My Wife is Missing by DJ Palmer
May 2022; Macmillan Audio; 9781250854698
audio (11h 8m); ebook, print (384 pages); domestic thriller

The king of domestic thrillers is back with another page-turner of a story. If you love the unreliable narrator trope then this is the book for you as My Wife is Missing has not one but two unreliable narrators. Truly, you don't know who is fully telling the truth or is just telling their version of the truth.

Natalie and Michael Hart, along with their two young children, take a family vacation to New York City. Michael went out to pick up pizza for dinner and when he returns to the hotel room his wife and children are gone. All that is left behind is his son's favorite teddy bear.

From this opening, we are sent on a story that twists this way and then turns that way as we get glimpses of what happened before Natalie's disappearance and the present search. 

We know upfront that Natalie isn't going to be a reliable narrator as she is suffering from severe insomnia which has gotten to the point of hallucinations. A fact that Michael stresses in a play for sympathy and support in getting his wife back.

This story is like an old painting being restored. Each chapter strips away a little of the reader's impressions revealing a bit more of the truth. The pacing of the story is perfect. We are given just enough time to solidify our own ideas about why Natalie ran to feel the shock when another piece of the puzzle is revealed. 

I loved this book. The characters are great. While I sided more with Natalie, I did feel for Michael at times. He is as much of a puzzle as is why Natalie disappeared. I did not want to put the book down and the audiobook would make a great listen for a long road trip.

Buy My Wife is Missing at Amazon

What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

book cover of thriller What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline
March 2022; G.P. Putnam's Sons; 978-0525539674
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); psychological thriller

A family is driving home one evening after a busy day when armed men attempt to carjack them. One of the gunmen is startled and fires a shot, hitting one of the family members. The men get skittish and start to run off, but the gunman turns the gun on his partner, killing him. Is this just a random carjacking gone wrong?

What seemed like a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time quickly becomes much more complicated when the carjackers are identified as members of an organized crime syndicate. The Bennetts are quickly whisked away to a safe house, their only option for safety is the witness protection program.

The pace of the story is slower than what you would expect for a thriller but it really works for this story. If you are tempted to put it down because it feels too sedate, just keep reading. It is like a snowball. It slowly picks up speed until it reaches the tipping point and then it is a rush to the end with everyone looking for answers as to why it all happened. I read this book in just a couple of days because I didn't want to put it down.

The characters are interesting but really unique. The story is more about how they deal with the stress of having their lives upended and then discovering that it might not have been as random as they first thought. While it is obvious that the Bennetts are the focus of the story, I really liked the FBI agent assigned to watch them. Dom seems like a secondary character that has a lot more to say and I would definitely pick up another book with him as the main character.

You will really get sucked into What Happened to the Bennetts, making it perfect for a vacation read. Whether you have a trip planned this summer or just need a mini-mental vacation from life for a few hours, this is a book you will want to add to the top of your TBR list.

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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