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We Begin at the End, Every Last Fear & Sparks Like Stars

March 01, 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous

WE BEGIN AT THE END by Chris Whitaker
The small Californian coastal town has seen much pain beginning with the hit and run accident that left a young girl dead and a local teen in prison for years. Vincent is out of prison and his best friend, Walk is now the Chief of Police wanting to believe in the best of his friends and trying to keep the peace any way he can. The murder of another of their friends leaves Vincent looking at going right back into the cell they just let him out of and Walk trying to do right by the victim's kids, the self-proclaimed outlaw Duchess Day Radley, and her young brother. Suddenly, everyone's sins past and present are coming to light. The tension ramps up dramatically and it feels like every character is just one errant lit match away from flaming out. Raw, violent, and gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Your heart will melt and bleed for the tough-as-nails-on-the-outside Duchess, innocence personified Robin, and the kind heart of Thomas Noble. I can't wait for another book by this author. For any reader of soulful character-based thrillers the likes of Tana French, Jane Harper, and of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING. I also listened to the audiobook which had perfect narration but the language does not make this a kid-friendly listen.  5 stars 

EVERY LAST FEAR by Alex Finlay
One sitting, heart-pounding thriller joy! There is so much happening in this story at such a fast pace that you would think the author has no time to have us become invested in these characters or even take a breath before the next chaotic turn of events. But care we do, especially about Matt who has already been through so much having his older brother convicted and sent to prison for the murder of his girlfriend and the years of having the bandaid ripped off at each news story, parole hearing or false lead. This latest heartbreak is the loss of the rest of his family while on a last minute vacation to Mexico. You, lucky reader, get to piece together whether it was a tragic accident or something more sinister. A dedicated FBI agent feels there is more to the story than Matt just having incredible bad luck. A tight, well-constructed mystery sure to delight fans of DEFENDING JACOB, Lisa Jewell, Karen Slaughter, Lisa Gardner and the other Killer Queens. Where other thrillers quietly seduce you in a slow tango, this book pulls you in like a screaming hard rock band at a rave. Be prepared for a full night reading. 4 1/2 stars 

SPARKS LIKE STARS by Nadia Hashimi
In 1978 a young Afghan girl lives a life of privilege and beauty in Kabul where her father is a trusted advisor to the President. In one night of terror it is all taken away. She sees her family gunned down but she is spared as a soldier grabs her and brings her to the home of an American woman and her mother. These two women rescue Sitara and get her out of Kabul and to the states where they raise her. Years later, Sitara now named Aryana after her sister, will come into contact with the soldier who was responsible for her family's demise and her escape. She realizes that she must face her grief, fear and answers to the questions that have plagued her since that night, so she travels back to Kabul. This is an amazing story that you hope is based on true events because it is an amazing story of survival, love and family. This is a journey of extremes - the violence and anguish of Kabul mixed with the determination to find answers and the love and compassion from those that came to her aid. The writing is soulful and takes your breath away. Recommended for any reader of nonfiction accounts of immigrants brought here by war as well as war inspired historical fiction.  5 stars

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