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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

June 8, 2022

Can You Solve the Mystery in These Two Twisting Thrillers?

by Donna Huber



Do you like being able to solve the mystery before the characters or are you just along for the thrilling ride? These two thrillers had a lot of twists and turns making it almost impossible to guess what happened. One had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and the other had me singularly focused on the story.

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

1414° by Paul Bradley Carr

book cover of audiobook thriller 1414° by Paul Bradley Carr
April 2022; Snafublishing; 9781737589754
audio (11h 52m), ebook, print; thriller

1414°
is the melting point of silicon. It is an apt title as the female characters want to burn down the patriarchy of Silicon Valley.

This book definitely had me wondering - does the end justify the means? Three females are tackling the misbehaving males of tech companies. Each approaches it in their own way, but they aren't really making any headway in getting justice. They each operate in some gray areas, but how great of lengths are they willing to go to topple the patriarchy?

Lou McCarthy is a journalist and exposes the men's deeds on the pages of the local paper. But the men still win. First, she lost her apartment and now she has lost her job. And the men come out smelling like roses. In the instance of her apartment building, they compensated homeowners with relocation money. However, none of the tenants in the building were actually owners so they didn't see a dime.

Helen Tyler is the woman companies hire when the men get the bad publicity from people like Lou. Why would she help these despicable men? She knows it is highly unlikely that the victims will win against them but she hopes she can balance the scales a bit by financially compensating the victims.

And then there is the shadowy figure known as Fate. She is definitely pulling strings to make sure these men pay for real.

When two men who Lou exposed and Helen has been hired to fix their company's image wind up dead, these three women are brought together to burn it all down. But is that enough if nothing better arises from the ashes?

Now, 1414° is not necessarily a story that will have you on the edge of your seat but it is definitely full of twists and turns that keep you guessing. I listened to the audiobook, which is wonderfully narrated by Emily Lawrence, and I found that I really had to pay attention. The characters aren't upfront about who they are, what they are doing, or how far they are willing to go. It is important to pay close attention to the details if you want to figure out the end game.

Though it is slower-paced in some ways than your typical thriller, it definitely held my interest. As the dangers these women face become more intense I found myself more and more singularly focused on the story and felt that the pace was also speeding up.

If you enjoy intricate stories with complex characters, then this is a book you should pick up.

Buy 1414° at Amazon

The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer

book cover of domestic thriller The Perfect Daughter by DJ Palmer
April 2021; St. Martin's; 978-1250267924
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); domestic thriller

When I read My Wife is Missing last month (read my review), I remembered that I hadn't read last year's domestic thriller The Perfect Daughter so I moved it to the top of my reading pile. It was so good so if you too missed it, make sure you add it to the top of your summer reading list.

When I was a teenager, I devoured books about troubled teens - those who were depressed, suicidal, runaways, etc. So this book was kind of a throwback for me and it brought on some feelings of nostalgia. 

Penny has dissociative identity disorder (DID), you might know it as multiple personality disorder. She's the adoptive daughter of Grace and has two older brothers Jack and Ryan. Her adoptive father recently died from a heart attack. Penny's biological mother Rachel has reached out to her and she goes to her apartment. The next thing she knows she is in a prison mental hospital with no memory of how she got there.

Grace is convinced that Penny did not murder Rachel and hires an attorney who she was in a car accident with a while back and has been coming into her family's restaurant. Ryan, who is reeling from his father's death, has dropped out of college to run the restaurant - he harbors a lot of anger for Penny and believes she did it. Jack, who has just started college, is probably the closest to Penny growing up and has decided to make a movie about Penny's life. It's also his way of helping with her defense.

The chapters either focus on activity surrounding Grace - her visiting Penny at the mental hospital, her meeting with the doctor and lawyer, her trying to uncover new evidence to prove Penny's innocence - or on Jack - his chapters are mostly of him "talking" to Penny about the movie he is making and memories he has of them growing up. We get a lot of background info on Penny through Jack. Then there are a few chapters with Penny and Dr. Mitch sprinkled throughout. We get to meet Penny's alters and found those scenes very interesting.

The Perfect Daughter definitely had me on the edge of my seat. Was Penny faking her DID? Did one of her alters kill Rachel? There are a lot of red herrings and twists and turns about what might have really happened that night. The memories we see from Jack also make you wonder if she isn't a borderline personality sociopath like the first doctor at the mental hospital thinks. The reader isn't sure what to believe at any given moment.

I will warn you that there is a pretty descriptive scene involving an injured cat that I found quite disturbing. I was listening to the audiobook at that point and I wanted to cover my ears it was so upsetting. I'm not sure if needed to be quite so detailed.

I didn't see the ending coming and it was a little too Jerry Springer-ish to feel believable but it did have the shock value such a reveal required.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is tied with Saving Meghan (read my review) as my favorite DJ Palmer book. 

Buy The Perfect Daughter at Amazon


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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