Looking for a good book to read?
Here’s a few I’ve read.
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright
If you like stories about spooky houses, you’ll enjoy this book. The heroine, Kaine Prescott, is a widow who has tried unsuccessfully to convince California authorities that her husband’s death was murder. Hoping for a fresh start, she buys a house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But the house’s dark history intrudes on the present, prompting Kaine to dig into past owners of the house.
The story is told on two levels, Kaine’s present-day point of view and Ivy, a woman who lived a century earlier. In Ivy’s story, we see her determination to unravel the mystery behind a woman found dead near the house. But her search for answers draw her into peril by forces that are not so different than what Kaine is fighting. Although there are sections that make your heart pound a little faster, I wouldn’t say the book is “creepy.” I found it a clever exposition of a long-term problem.
Lady Jayne Disappears by Janet Davidson Napolitano
In Victorian England, Aurelie Harcourt is raised by her father while he’s imprisoned in debtor’s prison. Before his death, he anonymously wrote a serialized story of Aurelie’s mother, Lady Jayne, who disappeared shortly after Aurelie’s birth. The story becomes so popular that when he dies, Aurelie is left to finish the story to earn what she can. Left at the mercy of her father’s family, she attempts to uncover the mystery of her mother while trying to understand and fit in with this family that is so unlike her father.
The writing style of this novel is almost poetical. Indeed, more than once, I grabbed a pen and paper to copy down a phrase or sentence I didn’t want to forget. At one point, when asked why she writes, Aurelie expresses perfectly the reason I too write. “I do not write to escape the world, but to untangle and understand it.”
In another scene, Aurelie utters “the perfect prayer. God, give me exactly what I would ask for if I knew everything You know.”
This is a book to read slowly, taking your time to enjoy and the writing style. It even includes several unexpected twists that enhance the reading experience. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Escape: Intense, Book 1 by Glenn Haggerty
Like most kids in middle grade, Tyler Higgins wants to be accepted by the cool kids at school. But his desperation to be cool leads him to diss a real friend, and do other things he knows he shouldn’t. Which leads to all kinds of trouble, including being a witness to the disposal of a dead body, not to mention several other life-threatening situations.
Although this book is intended for middle grade readers, it kept my attention throughout. Glenn Haggerty knows how to torture his characters to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. With adventure that appeals particularly to tween boys, this is the first book in the Intense series. It’s followed by Run: Intense, Book 2 and the soon-to-be-released Chase: Intense Book 3. I hope to have Glenn as a guest in the next month or two to tell you more about Chase. If you have, or know of any middle-grade boys, be sure they check out Glenn’s first two books to get ready for the release of Book 3 in April.
Loose Ends by Jennifer M. Haynie
Alex Thornton is a contractor agent with the U.S. government. Fresh off a successful mission, she and her boyfriend, Jabir al-Omri, are called on to find the murderers of a shipping executive. But Alex demands honesty in their relationship. And Jabir is sworn to keep a secret that could destroy both Alex and the people she loves. Their investigation brings them to the attention of Hashim al-Hassan, a man set on bringing vengeance to Alex for deceiving him ten years earlier.
I generally don’t read spy-type thrillers because I can’t handle the tension. This book is no exception, but if you like Tom Clancy without all the monotonous details, I highly recommend Loose Ends. It is well-written with tension that often made me afraid to read the next chapter. The violence is there, but not too graphic, nor is it exploited. The main characters are likable and we see them trying to live out their Christian faith in jobs and situations that require lying and deceit. The villain(s) are worthy of our disgust and hatred, and some of the secondary characters provoke ambivalent feelings as the reader tries to decide whether to cheer them or boo them. The author also does a great job of creating sexual heat without being explicit.
So, if you like sweet romance, this is not the book for you. But if you enjoy a clean story with high tension, threat of danger and intrigue, you’ll want to read this book.
What books are you reading? Leave your recommendations in the comments.