January 8, 2020

Mother Of by Lauren Coffin

Following the arrest of her youngest son, caught burying a body in the woods near the home where she raised him, Meredith Mayes moves through the memories of her own life with disbelief. Her sense of loss is familiar: her husband and firstborn son died in a car accident ten years prior. These two events circle one another in her mind, enshrouding her as one grief reawakens the other.
The onslaught of a clamoring media is the noisy backdrop to the ferocious crush of her memories. With the arrival of her nephew, Curtis, she finds some measure of sanity, but he has trauma of his own to process. Neither of them can fully trust in the wake of what has happened, but together, they must work to find a way through.
The intrusions of the past and the immediacy of the present combine to make “Mother Of” a powerful examination of the choices we make, the lives we live because—or perhaps in spite—of them, and a heartfelt, gut-wrenching look at the soul of a mother coming to grips with the unthinkable.

When it comes to novellas, they can either be great or highly confuse you. When not written well, there can be too many descriptors and the story never progresses OR the story moves way too fast and doesn’t end up making any sense.

I was pleasantly surprised reading through ‘Mother Of’. It was written in a unique style with narrative, inner dialogue – moreso than inner monologue, and flashbacks. The use of font and verb tenses allows you to sort it out in your mind once you get used to it.

The story was intriguing, and I know it could probably be used to expand into a full novel, but I liked having a bite-sized version.

It's one that shows the struggle between love and morality. It really gives you something to think about.

If you’re a fan of crime novels or fiction in general – take an afternoon and check this one out. It’s quick. It’s interesting. It’s worth the read!

5/5 Stars

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January 3, 2020

The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz (Jane Hawk #3)

Jane Hawk -- who dazzled readers in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room -- faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime in this electrifying new thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling suspense master Dean Koontz. "I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead." Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane's enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was. Jane's ruthless pursuers can't stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

This was a truly creepy edition to the series and also massively heartbreaking.

I almost felt like I never knew what was actually happening while reading this book. It seemed like it was being set up for a dramatic turn, and while it did have that, it wasn’t the one I was expecting.

Then, there was the building dread around Jane’s son and the Washingtons.

I always enjoy finding out what the cryptic names of the books in this series mean. This one didn’t disappoint. It’s definitely nothing I would have guessed.

Finishing this one really makes you need to start the next one immediately.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “When you loved enough important qualities of a person, then you loved him or her, and you had better say it while time remained.”

“There was always a moment when iron will and a determined heart could no longer compensate for the fatigue of mind and muscle.”

“The sky was a sea of suns afloat in the eternal dark that only their light relented. The nearest sun of all, which warmed the earth, was hours below the eastern horizon. When it rose, it would reveal a world of wonders, a world on which had been lavished such natural beauty of such astonishing depth and complexity that an honest heart perceived meaning in it and yearned to know. In the night as it was now and in the morning light, there were men and women making music, writing poetry and novels, researching new medicines, fighting wars against malevolent forces, doing hard and honest work, raising families, loving, caring, hoping.”