Book Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Margot Hunt
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pub Date: 01/23/18
How well do you really know your best friend?
Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.
Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.
Margot Hunt’s Best Friends Forever is a deeply engaging, light mystery surrounding the unorthodox friendship between Alice Campbell and Kat Grant. Alice is a logician and former teacher turned children’s logic book writer, with a husband and two kids living in a modest household in Jupiter, Florida. On her way back from a family trip in New York, Alice meets Kat Grant, an extremely flamboyant, welcoming, and insanely rich construction empire heiress. The two women immediately hit it off and forge a friendship. Flash-forward to the present day, Alice is greeted by two detectives wanting to speak with her in regards to the mysterious death of Kat’s husband Howard. Howard was an abusive alcoholic, and a womanizing disgrace of a husband to Kat, so was his death a consequence of foul play?
Alice sits down with police and discusses her friendship with Kat, her marriage to Howard, and the background information that the police may find pertinent to the investigation. Afterwards, Alice is shunned and immediately ghosted by Kat and her family. Why has her best friend so able to immediately cut her from her life? Are the Grants hiding something? Alice quickly questions her friendship with Kat and everything she’s come to understand about the Grant family crashes into turmoil. How far will people go to manipulate the lives of others to get what they want?
Best Friends Forever is a fun read that is not only interesting, but also very easy to follow. It’s definitely not the most original story by any means, and I immediately knew how the story was going to unfold, but I kept churning through to the end. I just needed to know how it unfolded and if my suspicions are correct. Best Friends Forever intelligently portrays the depth of how low some people will go to prey on the weaknesses of others, while also showing the the facets of the human psyche. If you are ready for a light story for a rainy/lazy day, this book may be a good contender to pick up.
Book Title: UNSUB
Author: Meg Gardiner
Series: UNSUB #1
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 06/27/17
Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.
The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.
Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.
Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?
There comes a point in every bibliophile’s life where you find a book that is so unsettling, dark, and scary that it completely changes your perspective on how you view a normal thriller/horror read and how you view a masterpiece in action. Ladies and gentlemen, UNSUB is this masterpiece! Wow… I hope I can give this review any justice, but let’s see.
UNSUB initiates the story with father and police officer Mack Hendrix running a mission to capture San Francisco’s deranged serial killer, nicknamed The Prophet. The Prophet has been known to leave riddles to justify the murder and torture of people and has never been caught. Hmm… sounds like the Zodiac killer? Flash-forward to the present day, 20 years after Mack’s investigation has gone cold, young Caitlin Hendrix has followed in her father’s footsteps and has begun to pick up the pieces. After coming across a murder that is eerily similar to the plethora of murders done by The Prophet, the Bay Area police initiate a once-cold, now super-hot investigation for him. Caitlin’s life is completely engulfed in The Prophet’s sinister and wicked games, but can she crack the code and stop this sick and twisted madman before it’s too late?
As Caitlin gets closer and closer to the case, questions arise that need answers. Is this a copycat case? How and why has The Prophet returned after decades of tranquility? What do these riddles and clues mean? This killer tortures his victims before killing them, calls/contacts the victims’ families repeatedly to taunt and torment them, and speaks with the press—he has no conscience. What can Caitlin do that hasn’t already been done? Time is against her this time around and she needs to solve this case before it consumes her.
UNSUB is my first read by Meg Gardiner and I’m telling you now, Ms. Gardiner I AM AT YOUR MERCY. #queen #slay. I have never been so frightened by a book before—so frightened that I had trouble walking around my residence yesterday and ran to bed and shut the door! UNSUB is the type of book that not only resonates with any thriller book junkie, but will have a lasting impact on you. People are comparing this book to the tv series Criminal Minds, but I’ve never watched it. I can see people comparing this novel to The Saw Series, because it’s not only a crime-fiction horror, but also one big puzzle that you need to solve while reading. Forget about my 2017 favorite reads, UNSUB is the most intelligently written crime fiction novel I’ve ever read.