Two Books – Thrillers

I barely reviewed any books last year so needless to say I have a lot of catching up. Let’s get started with a couple of thrillers.

“Now we were here, all those years later, with our beautiful three-year-old daughter, and in July it would be the first anniversary of our separation. So much promised and so much lost. It hadn’t been a divorce because we’d never married. But we’d shared a child and a house and a life.”

The Unheard
By Nicci French
Source: Advance review copy
Rating: ★★1/2

Tess and Jason have separated and share custody of Poppy. While Tess mourns what could have been, given that now Jason has moved on and married someone else, she is getting on with her life and dating, Aidan. Things are going as best as they can but one day when Poppy returns from staying over at her dad’s Tess finds a disturbing drawing by Poppy and when she asks her about it, Poppy says, “he did killed her.”

Naturally that unnerves Tess and she tries to put together why Poppy drew this and after taking Poppy to see a psychologist, who indicates Poppy could have experienced some trauma, Tess decides it’s time to go to the police. Unfortunately a child’s drawing without any other evidence is hard to investigate and the police tell Tess there’s not much they can do which sets Tess on her own investigation.

I’ve enjoyed several of Nicci French’s books but this was not one of them. The fact that the police gave Tess so much of their time and effort just seemed ridiculous. While I appreciate that the character would be concerned about her daughter, rather than being a sympathetic character she just seems neurotic. Hopefully the next book I read by this author will have a better pay-off.

“Winter – Today. The murders took place on a hot summer night, but to Juniper it would always be winter in Jericho. Bitter and unforgiving as deep February, when frost edged the windows like salon on the rim of a glass. It seemed fitting, then, that it was dark and profoundly cold when Juniper pulled into town.”

Everything We Didn’t Say
By Nicole Baart
Source: Advance review copy
Rating: ★★1/2

The murders of Cal and Beth Murphy rocked the small town and Juniper’s brother became a suspect. Now there’s a crime podcast that’s brining up those murders again and Juniper is back in town. Along the way she also hopes to repair her relationship with her daughter and to get to the bottom of what happened that day.

But Juniper will find that most of the residents in Jericho aren’t quick to welcome her back. First, there’s her daughter who’s been raised by her parents and is now a teenager. Then she realizes that her former best friend will never forgive her for coming in between her and her boyfriend. The more Juniper questions and tries to get close to the truth, her safety is in jeopardy.

I found Juniper very frustrating because she didn’t quite seem to understand why her daughter would hold her at arm’s length. Not only that but the reason Juniper was returning to town in the first place was to help an ill friend, who is mainly absent from the story. I get she wasn’t the central character but it just added to more reasons that I found Juniper a bit selfish. The pace was quite a bit slow for me with this novel as well so it didn’t not end up being one of my favorite mystery/thrillers read last year.

Let me know if you’ve read these or if they are on your TBR. I hope you do enjoy them more than I did.

  1. January 17, 2023
  2. January 19, 2023
  3. January 19, 2023
  4. January 22, 2023
  5. January 28, 2023