Tuesday Tidbit: Recent Reads

I’ve never been a leisure reader, ever. I love a good movie, love reading little nuggets, and love listening to stories — but reading books was never a part of my normal every day routine (other than devotions and bible studies). The more we’ve traveled, the more I’ve found that I love reading on planes, especially when watching movies isn’t an option. I’m also a big fan of reading on the beach, which I feel that most people can relate to that one!

I have struggled to fall asleep quickly for years. I’m the type that will get in bed & over an hour later I’m still laying there wide awake. My mind is constantly going, tossing and turning, and it’s so hard to turn it off at night. I’ve found that reading truly quiets my mind and has been helping me fall asleep faster. What’s funny is that I love murder mysteries and suspense books, which you’d think would keep you up at night haha.

My friend KB and I started a little book club between the two of us — she’s also a murder mystery girl. Over the past few months we’ve read countless books, and I’ve really enjoyed each of them. If you’re looking for a good page turner, add one of these to your list!

The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena

This book truly had me guessing until the very end. Anne and Marco seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. This is a chilling tale of deception and unfaithfulness that will keep you guessing until the final page. I was consistently surprised by every plot twist. This book held my attention and made me want to keep turning the next page.

The Dry, by Jane Harper

This was one of the first books I read when I started getting back into reading while traveling & I loved the mystery imbedded in the story. Twenty years ago when Federal Agent Aaron Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Aaron and his father were saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and now Luke is dead. As Aaron reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them.

The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand

This was one of my favorites, full of twists and turns, and a lot of guessing of “who did it.“ On a wedding day, the maid of honor is found dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony. Everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. The police chief suspects the best man, the maid of honor, the groom's famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield - and no couple is perfect. This one is a must read if you love a murder mystery!

The Last Mrs. Parrish, by liv Constantine

Truthfully, this book wasn't my favorite. It’s a little dark & honestly made me mad (you’ll understand when you read it). Katelyn and I would text each other about how much we couldn’t stand the main character haha, it’s semi predictable but still a page turner. Amber Patterson is fed up, she’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She thinks she deserves more, a life of money and power like the one Daphne Parrish takes for granted. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring nature to insinuate herself into the family’s life, the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. There were so many twists and turns in the plot, full of dark secrets that keep you guessing.

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

This book was a page turner for me, I read it in less than 3 days and couldn’t put it down. If you’ve seen the movie, you already know that it’s full of suspense & keeps you on the edge of your seat! I loved reading this prior to the movie. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple. Their life-as she sees it-is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.

The Breakdown, by B. A. Paris

You won’t want to put this one down. This was easily one of my favorite murder mysteries that I’ve read. The story is so well written, so suspenseful and so full of twists, I may even read it again! Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside — this woman was murderd on the very night Cass passed her car. Since the murder, Cass has been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car, if she took her pills, even the alarm code. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman in the car that night, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt — or the silent phone calls she keeps receiving or the feeling that someone is watching her. I’m usually pretty good at guessing the plot, but this one had me guessing the entire time. I was completely surprised by the plot twist at the end!

Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell

This book was also fairly predicable, but still a good read. It’s been ten years since Laurel’s daughter, Ellie, disappeared and she hasn’t been able to let it go. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a coffee shop, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes her breath away, because looking at Poppy is like looking at her daughter. Why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl? This one keeps you guessing, and has a triumphant ending unlike some other murder mysteries!

Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins

I started reading this book on the way home from our girls trip in NYC. To be honest, I had a hard time following who was who due to the way the chapters were laid out. Each chapter was a different person’s point of view, and I felt like there wasn’t a strong character development in the beginning, so it was hard to follow. The storyline is really good, just pay close attention to who’s who in the first few chapters! A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged,

I’m currently reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn — so far it’s been a good build and I’m only about 40% into the book. Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived, and famously testified that her 15 year old brother was the killer. Twenty five years later, the Kill Club — a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes, locates Libby and pumps her for details & hope to discover proof that may free her brother. I will say, this book has some bad language, just want to throw that out so you’re aware if you decide to read it!

All of these books fall under the murder mystery / suspense genre. If that’s not your jam, you may not love these, and that’s totally okay! Feel free to share any other books you’ve loved, I’m all ears :)