Monday, December 29, 2014

Down River by John Hart

Adam Chase hasn't been back home to Rowan County, North Carolina in over five years.  After being tried for a murder and found not guilty, he left his hometown and moved to New York City to start over. Just when he thought he had left his past behind, Adam receives a mysterious phone call from his closest friend asking him to come back home and help him with a situation he refuses to expound upon. Adam finally makes the journey home after spending weeks trying to decide if he could ever face the demons he left behind. Within hours of returning, Adam is beaten up and is forced to confront family and friends he hasn't spoken to since he moved away.  To make things worse, crimes begin happening on his family farm and many citizens of the county immediately turn to Adam as the prime suspect.   

My Thoughts: 
Down River is the story of a sleepy southern town that is definitely not lacking in excitement. This "who done it?" novel is sure to keep you guessing.  John Hart, a lawyer from Rowan County where most of his novels take place, is an excellent storyteller and does a fantastic job keeping his readers in suspense as his stories unfold.   If you are in the mood for an easy mystery read, Down River will not disappoint! 

*Also check out Hart's novel Iron House

Monday, December 22, 2014

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies is the story of three very different women whose children attend the same preschool. One is a gorgeous, wealthy woman with the perfect set of twins. Another is an all around great mom who really seems to have it all together, except for the fact that her teenage daughter chooses to live with her father. And the third is a quiet (and a bit mysterious) single mother that just doesn't quite fit in. Circumstances throw the three together and they become fast friends as they help each other navigate the tricky social dilemmas of preschool moms.

From the beginning of the story we know that one of the characters will end up dead. The fun of the story is getting there. As Moriarty uses her wit and craft to attach you to each character you have to keep reminding yourself that someone is not going to make it. Ultimately it's a story that shows us that we all tell lies- big and little- to others and more often to ourselves.

I enjoyed the story very much. Just when you think the book is about to get predictable, a twist shows up in perfect timing. There are a few little mysteries that start from the very beginning and leave you searching for the answers throughout the story right alongside the characters. I thought the ending may have wrapped up a little too neatly, but in this age of constant trilogies it felt kind of nice to just read a book and let it end cleanly.