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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

Two New Release Novels Due November 1

The Prisoner by B. A. Paris

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publish Date: Nov 1, 2022; 304 pages

Thanks to #netgalley and #stmartinspress for the advance copy of #ThePrisonerNovel by #BAParis for review. The opinions are my own.

I've been meaning to read a book by this author for ages and ages, so I'm glad I got this one to nudge me into reading the others that are actually on my shelf! If this is indicative of her style, I'm definitely in for more!

The story starts with the death of Amelie's dad and her move to London. After a rough start she makes a few female friends, has a place to live, and gets a job. On a business trip with her very wealthy boss to Las Vegas, he suggests a business proposal which entails them getting married for a short time - and he suggests it in such a way that they both would benefit.

Ameilie agrees and her life spirals out of control afterwards. She and her wealthy husband are kidnapped and held prisoner. Plots and secrets and trouble ensue. I thought the build up was strong and even agreeing to the business / wedding proposal sort of made sense. The kidnapping and prisoner section had some plot issues, but I was still engaged. The ending though. Everything aligned all too perfectly and it was a bit too tidy. Kind of a rushed Hollywood ending. The book would make a good beach or weekend read for a thrill ride but nothing too deep or complex.

COYER challenge #6/54

They Believed They Were Safe by Cordelia Frances Biddle

Genre: General Fiction

Publish Date: Nov 1, 2022; 208 pages

Thanks to #booksirens and #vineleavespress for the advance copy of #theybelievedtheyweresafe for review. The opinions are my own.

This book took me a bit to warm up to. It's a dark story with a twist, but that isn't what bothered me. I found the writing style a bit confusing throughout and especially at the beginning where I wasn't quite sure what was happening. After a couple chapters I settled into the story, though I was still bothered by the odd writing style. The book is short and gets to the point once I got used to the style. There are POV changes which put me inside the heads of the characters and is maybe the most interesting part of the story.

For the first time in a long time, I wasn't sure who to "root" for. None of the characters are particularly likeable though Mabel, as the protagonist, is perhaps the easiest. 1962 and she's a young college girl moving to a small college town in Massachusetts where she boards with an elderly (60 something) couple. Mabel arrives with some sort of secret or tragedy that is hinted at, but I don't remember ever learning what it was - bothersome. The older couple is portrayed as welcoming but pretty outdated and Ruth White (the wife) is determined to help Mabel overcome her perceived lack of appropriate background by mentoring her in the "proper" way to do things. The quips and advice from Ruth actually made me chuckle a couple times. We spend quite a bit of time in the husband's mind, learning his amorous thoughts about Mabel. Then, there's the young constable she's 'dating' and not sure about. To round out the cast, Clarissa finally shows up; Ruth White's best girlfriend for 60 years, and yet they don't know each other at all.

This all sets the scene(s) for a Shakespearean comedy of errors in a very classic mess of misunderstandings (no comedy here!). It's easy to see how each person's misconceptions are fed by their own desires - Mabel is looking for a friendly father figure, so responds to Henry with open friendliness which he chooses to interpret as desire, etc. etc. The ending. Well, I never saw it coming and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Just desserts? Hmmmm.

Trigger warnings for language, sex, and rape.

COYER challenge #9/54

Which one will you read? Have you read a new release recently that you're recommending to EVERYONE? Tell me what it is......

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