Dark Roads

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens -- a suspenseful, sinister read. Chevy Stevens is an author you don't want to miss!

Book Review

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chevy Stevens, Dark Road book cover

(From the publisher) For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.

When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens book cover on e-reader, set amidst other open books

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchasesThank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Reader’s Thoughts

I love Chevy Stevens, and this book was another success for me! It’s always fun finding a local author and reading a book set in British Columbia is an absolute treat. Stevens does a great job creating atmosphere and transporting readers to this rough and gritty town of Cold Creek. While the Cold Creek Highway setting is fictional, I immediately caught the references to the Highway of Tears. This added a lot of authenticity to the story.

The story starts off really strong with a prologue written from the perspective of a murdered girl. This creates an immediate sense of urgency and eerieness woven into the pages. But the plot isn’t necessarily what you’d expect from a book about a serial killer. Much of the story is built upon the tension existing within the complicated small-town history. This creates a lot of character-driven (rather than action-driven) suspense. A good chunk of the book is also focused on surviving the elements, as Hailey disappears into the wilderness.

In terms of characters, the girls were well done. They are resilient but also genuinely flawed. Though to be honest, it was really the character of Vaugh who I won’t be able to shake off any time soon. From the start, he’s introduced as someone who is creepy and manipulative. The relationship dynamics between him and the girls is unsettling, to say the least! Ick! Therefore, in terms of thrillers, it had me hooked right from the start.

Dark Roads was suspenseful and sinister and had a great twist at the end. Chevy Stevens will always be a go-to author for me and if you enjoy psychological thrillers, then I definitely recommend checking this story out!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

Jaime Jo Wright's best book yet! On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor. A haunted manor, lost confederate gold, hidden codes -- this ghostly tale has it all!

Book Review

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ghosts. Confederate gold. Haunted houses. Secret codes. Kidnappings. This story has it all.

And honestly? I think it’s Jaime Jo Wright’s best novel yet!

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor has all of the components of a traditional Wright story. (Check out our review of Wright’s The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus.) Its dual-timeline features two strong, female characters who are each wounded by their past and searching for their own set of answers. Individually, the two timelines are well developed with strong mysteries of their own. But they also come together beautifully! The mystery of Foxglove Manor weaves itself across the decades to create a suspenseful and haunting read.

If you like eerie, historical stories (Brontë sisters, anyone?) this is one you won’t want to miss! Be sure to keep reading for the rest of my review!

About On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor:

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor book cover

1885: Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.

Present day: Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

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Unknown Threat

Book Review

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Looking for an action-packed but completely clean read? A story with a little romance, a little faith, and a fast-paced plot? Look no further than Lynn H. Blackburn’s newest novel, Unknown Threat!

About Unknown Threat:

Unknown Threat book cover

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he’s not convinced she’s up for the job and she’s not convinced he’s telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

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The Last Flight

Book Review

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

What was the last book YOU read in one sitting?

The Last Flight by Julie Clark kept me hooked from page one until the very last line! It was the sort of story where I had to rewarm the bathwater three times because I needed to read just one more chapter! This book was a thrilling, non-stop adventure. (See my full review below!)

About The Last Flight:

The Last Flight by Julie Clark book cover

Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns bright and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move.

What he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish. A plan that takes her to the airport, poised to run from it all. But a chance meeting in the airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision.

The two women switch tickets, with Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico crashes, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

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Find You First

Find You First by Linwood Barclay -- I couldn't read quick enough. This fast-paced story had me on the edge of my seat.

Book Review

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About Find You First:

(From the publisher) Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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The Last Thing He Told Me

Book Review

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

About the book:

The Last Thing He Told Me book cover

(From the publisher) Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, and a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

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A Gambling Man

A Gambling Man -- "Well set, and with interesting and likable characters, A Gambling Man was 400 pages of entertainment."

Book Review

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Easy to read and packed with adventure, I always enjoy Baldacci’s stories. And A Gambling Man was no exception!

About A Gambling Man:

A Gambling Man book cover

(From the publisher): Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon. Aloysius Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno. A stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.

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The Agatha Christie Mystery Challenge

The 52 Book Club's Agatha Christie Challenge

She’s called the Queen of Crime. And with over 70 mysteries to her name, it’s little wonder why. Agatha Christie has long been a favourite author over here at The 52 Book Club. (She was our author of the year on our very first challenge!) Her mysteries include favourites like And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our very first author challenge — the Agatha Christie mystery challenge!

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21 Book Covers With Women Facing Away

21 Book Covers featuring women who are facing away

The 52 Book Club’s annual challenge is made up of fifty-two fun and unique prompts. Every year, three of these categories are randomly drawn from suggestions made by our 52 Book Club Facebook group members. And one of the 2021 challenge‘s winning categories was “a cover with a woman who is facing away.”

This cover trend has been fairly popular over the past couple of years — particularly with historical fiction. Taking a quick browse around a library or bookstore will produce countless options for this category. But, if you need some inspiration, here are twenty-one covers to get you started!

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Book Review

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s December 1926 and Agatha Christie has disappeared. For eleven days, England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt. And then, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, she reappears — claiming amnesia.

Was it an elaborate stunt to promote her newest book? A hoax? A “fugue” state? Or something more? While we may never know the truth of those missing eleven days, Marie Benedict explores one of the many possibilities in this carefully crafted work of historical fiction.

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

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