#5Books: Book recs and is saying goodbye ever easy?

Book recs for the week ending 21 Jan

This past Friday I said goodbye to such a wonderful, vivacious, never-let-anything-get-you down colleague at work. She’s backpacked her way through — sometimes I think — most of the world, and has been ever ready for the next adventure — but would like to stay longer in Australia. She’s from Poland, and yeah our visa rules are getting tough too. Sighs.

But I hate saying goodbye. If it’s someone I loved having to work with it’s even harder, and even if it’s someone I haven’t worked well with, there’s a whole different level of uncomfortable. And then it’s different if I am the one leaving. I just really do not do goodbyes well. SOBS. I will miss her!

Here’s an entirely different question: having colleagues on your facebook is one thing, but having someone higher up than you, even if you had a good relationship with them, — would you include them on your FB? I’d feel super conscious of what I’d be posting and even though it’s all checked when you apply for a job, I’d like to think there’s a space that work has no part of online at least.

Anyhoo, it’s been an introspective day.

Here are some book recs to me and you out of the introspectiveness:

Mine

The baby in the nursery is not your baby.

Waking up after an emergency caesarean, you demand to see your son.

But it’s someone else’s child.

No one believes you – not the hospital, not your father, not your loyal husband.

They say you’re delusional. Dangerous.

They suspect you want to steal another baby.

All you know is that you must find your own child before he’s out of reach forever. And you’re a doctor – you would know if you were losing your mind. Right?

Sparse blurb that hits all the right everythings and makes you wonder how exactly a doctor ends up with someone else’s child. If that’s the truth. Unreliable narrators are all the rage, and not in a good way but every once in a while I do see ones that make me go: Oh, this is going to be good! What I liked here that it’s totally playing with your perceptions of an unreliable narrator and then tells you she’s a doctor. Aren’t we supposed to trust them implicitly?

Jar of Hearts

A compelling story of murder, betrayal, and the secrets of the past—a new breakout thriller in the vein of The Luckiest Girl Alive and The Good Girl.

At 30 years old, Georgina, known as Geo, is a rising executive when her world comes crashing down. Her high school boyfriend has been identified and arrested for a series of serial murders, including Angela, Geo’s best friend in high school. Angela disappeared without a trace at 16 and her body has just been found. Now Geo is under arrest for helping her then-boyfriend hide her best friend’s body. And it’s one of her other close friends in high school, Kaiser Brody, who arrests her.

While Geo is sent to prison for her part, Calvin escapes from custody and is on the run. At 35 years old, Geo is about to be released from prison to try and start over. But someone has started killing people and dumping their bodies in her old neighborhood, with some of the markers of the missing Sweetbay Strangler—her old boyfriend Calvin. Is these killings some kind of message from Calvin? Are they some of revenge? Is she herself now in danger?

Everything turns on what really happened that tragic night back when Geo and Angela were 16 years old. Everyone thinks they know the truth, but there are dark secrets buried deep within other secrets, and it may be too late for anyone to survive the truth.

Jar of Hearts is a compelling edge-of-your-seat thriller, that grabs readers from the very beginning and holds them rapt, as the truth of both the past and the present is skillfully unfolded, until the very last page.

Oooh, what did Geo do? Or didn’t do? Maybe? So do we know all the players in this mystery? Calvin seems set up to be the bad guy of sorts, but that’s too easy an answer I think. I just finished a disappointing book with a bad guy that made me sigh tiredly. He was predictable and not at the same time, but it kind of smacked of the author trying too hard to be …. twisty? It was anticlimactic and I hated it. This blurb though brought that to mind, so here’s hoping this is not like that.  

Providence 

A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he’s suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and “fit in” with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.

When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity–but he’s soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.

Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two.

So Caroline Kepnes wrote YOU, which had one of the more creepier blurbs I’ve read. I talked myself into and out of reading it a couple of times, but I wasn’t in the head space to actually read that book. This  one is absolutely nothing like that because an uncontrollable power?!?! Is Jon the killer the detective is search for? I almost feel like this is an intense Beauty and the Beast scenario. Can I also just say: does this cover mesh with this blurb?

Bring me Back

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

I might have be reading too much domestic noir, because the first thing I thought was that the husband did it, and his fiance just found out. Which might actually lead to some GREAT interaction but… I think that’s the easiest answer. It might be the sister? The blurb doesn’t mention the kidnapper after that first line sooooo why count on a mysterious someone as your bad guy, without actually building up this bad guy in the blurb?* (*Yes, I’m over thinking, but you’ve seen my blog and the amount of crime/mysteries I read right?)

The Bomb Maker

A bomb is more than a weapon. A bomb is an expression of the bomber’s predictions of human behavior–a performance designed to fool you into making one fatally wrong move. In The Bomb Maker, Thomas Perry introduces us to the dark corners of a mind intent on transforming a simple machine into an act of murder–and to those committed to preventing that outcome at any cost. A threat is called into the LAPD Bomb Squad and when tragedy ensues, the fragmented unit turns to Dick Stahl, a former Bomb Squad commander who now operates his own private security company. Just returned from a tough job in Mexico, Stahl is at first reluctant to accept the offer, but his sense of duty to the technicians he trained is too strong to turn it down. On his first day back at the head of the squad, Stahl’s three-person team is dispatched to a suspected car bomb. And it quickly becomes clear to him that they are dealing with an unusual mastermind–one whose intended target seems to be the Bomb Squad itself.

As the shadowy organization sponsoring this campaign of violence puts increasing pressure on the bomb maker, and Stahl becomes dangerously entangled with a member of his own team, the fuse on this high-stakes plot only burns faster. The Bomb Maker is Thomas Perry’s biggest, most unstoppable thriller yet.

This is nowhere near my usual type of thriller, but I just finished watching Mindhunter: Unabomber on Netflix and that first sentence in the blurb intrigued me because it reminded me that the mail bombs were designed to hit in the most normal of ways, doing something a person would never think twice about doing. So I am curious as to how this book goes into the mind of the person – or organisation as the case may be.

So how has your week been? Mine got busy and then ended on a sad note, but you know it’s good getting back into the swing of things! 

17 Comments

  • Awe, sorry about your co-worker moving. I’ve always been cautious when it comes him having co-workers in my FB. But the field of work I was in, was probably why too. As law enforcement, we have to keep everything private so our info isn’t out there for just anyone.

    Jar of Hearts and Bring Me Back are two that I am really looking forward to reading! Mine is new to me, I like the sounds of it too. ☺

    • Verushka says:

      It’s been a quiter week than usual, I must admit. Hopefully she’s doing okay. In regards to FB, I am always very cautious putting anyone from work on it — only peers, never anyone else. Also — Mine I think could be scary if done well!

  • Ah it is hard to say goodbye to a coworker you like. I was never FB friends with people at work that were above me. Always felt weird. Anyways, I am excited for Providence!!

  • Wow, I’m super curious about Jar of Hearts and Providence. And I don’t think the blurb and the cover mesh at all. In fact, I probably wouldn’t consider it on the cover alone. I’ve about had it with unreliable narrators. It’s not that I don’t think it can be done well, it’s just that I’ve not had the best luck with the ones I’ve read. Sorry your friend is leaving and I hope you guys can stay in touch.

    • Verushka says:

      Those two are good aren’t they? For me, Providence just doesn’t jive with Kepnes, so I’m very curious about how she does it. I hear you re; unreliable narrators — it’s become more hit and miss recently for me too.

  • Angela says:

    Ooh, Mine sounds super tense! I want to know who is actually right!

    Yeah, it’s hard to say goodbye to coworkers, I mean, you spend so much time with them! I’m not friends with any coworkers on FB, though, and definitely not my boss!

    • Verushka says:

      YES! The blurb is perfect in making you believe she oculd be wrong too. FB is such an problematic area I think — you want to be friends with people at work, but unless you’re UBER close, you wouldn’t want them on your FB necessarily. But everyone is different too I guess.

  • Rebecca says:

    Oooh, Mine and Bring Me Back look positively scrumptious and inviting. I love those kind of mind-f*** books. And I love your recs!

  • Daniela Ark says:

    good coworkers are so hard to find so I can only imagine how hard it must have been. And a big fat NO for me as far as having a supervisor on my FB. ugh… I made my hubby promise to find a way to make sure our babies were never changed at the hospital! [one of my worst nightmares!] Both of them have birthmarks they inherit from him so that’s how we did it 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    I agree…it’s a no for having people at work who supervise you on facebook as friends. I would worry about everything I posted.

  • I don’t like goodbyes either. They’re just so hard.

    Interesting question about Facebook. I’ve only accepted friend requests from two of my current colleagues and they’re what I would consider to be equals. I don’t think I’d ever accept one from anyone higher ranked than me. If I did, I’d probably never post on FB again because I’d feel too self-conscious.

    Another week of great book recs. The Bomb Maker really stands out for me, mainly because I’ve been really into thrillers lately. I could see myself reading this one.

    • Verushka says:

      Family or friends, I hate goodbyes too! Your review of Need to Know really made me look forward to the sorts of Thrillers that Bombmaker and Need to Know are. I’d been into them ages ago, but I think I overloaded on them there a bit.

  • AngelErin says:

    I can’t wait for Bring Me Back! The other books sound great as well. I don’t think I’ve heard of any of the others before, but I’m going to add them on goodreads for sure. 🙂

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