Book Reviews · Mystery · suspense · Thriller

Book Review | Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

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Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

Published by Lake Union Publishing on September 19 2017

Genre: Mystery // Thriller // Suspense

Format: Ebook

Source: Netgalley

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Synopsis

At forty-five, Hannah Smith is at a crossroads. That’s her spin on it. The reality is she’s divorced, jobless, and moving back to her family home in Iowa to keep an eye on her mother, who’s slipping into dementia. Her return stirs up the same unnerving sense of disconnect Hannah has felt since childhood—always the odd girl out, the loner outshone by her two older sisters. Hannah knew the feelings of hurt would come back. But she never expected fear. Because when her mother looks into her eyes and whispers, “You’re not my daughter,” Hannah is beginning to believe it’s not just the rambling of a confused woman.

It’s the truth.

Now Hannah’s following the trail of a family mystery to the dark coast of Big Sur, where years ago a lie was born—and buried. As frightened as she is to unearth it, Hannah knows this is the last chance she has before her past—and all its terrible secrets—are lost forever

Review

When I finished Half Past I just knew that I had to write a review for it as soon as humanly possible. It was just that good.

Upon first going into the book I had deja vu moments of Miranda’s Warning by Heather Day Gilbert, (Which was fantastic and you can check out my review of it here.) which for me was awesome because it made me feel like I was going to love it. And I did. Also I just wanna say that I did not expect half of what happened in Half Past to actually happen! There were many times throughout the book that I was taken by surprise.

In Half Past, Hannah is the name of the female lead. She’s unsure of so much and is just looking for answers to who she really is. With father long dead and her mother, Dorothy, in an old folks home with dementia it really adds to her challenges. Overall Hannah was an amazingly developed character, and I found myself able to identify with her on a lot of her issues. Which is something that I really love in books. I feel like if I can’t make a connection with the characters on some level than I really am not able to immerse myself in the read.

As for the other characters throughout Half Past I found them amazing as well. Everyone had their own voice and style, so it didn’t feeling like I was reading from one general perspective.

Something else that I really enjoyed was how Half Past was broken down into sections based on where Hannah was. It’s really different from what I usually see in books and I quite liked it. Also I thought that it was really cool that the Hippie era was involved in the uncovering of Hannah’s past, because that’s so different and it’s just something you don’t see.

The whole mystery that gets uncovered threw me for a loop. I like not being able to predict what’s going to happen next, and that was the case here. It kept me hooked throughout with all the unexpected twists and turns.

But let me warn you, if you read this book have tissues available. The ending got me so good. I had just come out of Target, and I thought why not finish it now? I sat in my car in tears. TEARS!  There I have warned you. LOL.

But in all seriousness, this was an amazing book. I loved every minute of it, and when I wasn’t reading it I found myself thinking about it. Stone’s writing style is great and I am going to be checking out more of her work in the future.

So, on to the rating. I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is hands down one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I would really recommend this book to anyone, because I feel like its appeal isn’t too specific. I think that men and women of all ages would really enjoy this.

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Book Reviews · Mystery

Book Review | Miranda Warning (A Murder In The Mountains #1) by Heather Day Gilbert

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert

Published by WoodHaven Press in 2014

Genre: Mystery

Format: EBook

Source: Amazon

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Synopsis 

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.
This novel is written from a Christian worldview.

Review

This is yet another book that I wish I had picked up a long time ago. It had been sitting on my kindle shelf for the longest time, and I have no idea why I hadn’t read it already. It was just that good.

Throughout this Miranda Warning you’re following Tess Spencer on her journey to uncover the mystery surrounding a strange note that her elderly friend Miranda had received. But that’s not even the half of it.

From the beginning the book is gripping. It grabs you and pulls you in for the ride ahead. There are unexpected twists and turns all the way til the end that will keep you guessing.

Yes there is a several romantic elements throughout, but it’s not over powering the mystery side of Miranda Warning.

I think that something I really enjoyed about this book was the characters. They weren’t flat. They felt like real people that I could relate to, and they make me want to pick up the next book just to see what happens next in their lives. Saying that, it wasn’t just the main characters that were of high quality, but the supporting ones as well.

This is one of this rare cases where I have nothing bad or negative to say regarding a book. The plot was great, the pacing was great, the characters were amazing, and the book made me feel. That’s how I always know it’s good, when the book evokes emotion from the reader.

If you enjoy a great mystery with amazing and relatable characters that always keep you on your toes, then you will most certainly love Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert. I just can’t help but give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
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