Recent Reads – June 2022

Innocence by Dean Koontz

This bestselling thriller is mystery, suspense, horror, and a touch of hope all wrapped up in an attractively grotesque package. As the layers are unwrapped, anticipation keeps the reader there. 

Abandoned at six years old and left alone again as a young man, Addison Goodheart hides himself from the world. He lives under the streets and comes out only at night — wearing a hood and mask. He is not a danger to people. People are a danger to him. The mere sight of him drives ordinary citizens to violence. 

Here, when I was seen, my capacity for love earned me no mercy. Quite the opposite. When they saw me, men and women alike recoiled, but their fear quickly gave way to fury. I would not harm them to defend myself, and I remained therefore defenseless.  ~ Addison Goodheart

He spends six years alone, and then one night, in the library, he meets Gwyneth. She is a young woman with her own reasons for staying hidden. Strangely, he finds her beautiful, though she paints herself to resemble one of his biggest fears. They form a twisted bond. She is not allowed to look at him and he cannot touch her. 

In the end, they have even more in common than Addison had thought. That which makes them different allows them to love even more deeply and survive what would lie ahead. 

One of the amazing things about Koontz is his ability to take something that seems as if it would not have anything to do with the plot and blend it in perfectly. For example, in Innocence, he includes a chapter on dogs and as you read this book that is not really about dogs, you will not only understand why it is there, you can appreciate the chapter as it stands alone. 

Personal note: Innocence is even better than Watchers, which is unbelievably good. 

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott – Hardback edition

A young woman is murdered and one in a group of so-called “friends” did it. But who, and why? Did a woman do it out of jealousy?  What reason would one of the guys have for ending the life of a beautiful girl? 

Elliott captures the dark side of friendships and all of us have had similar personalities in our lives at some point, but how many of us accept them over the long-term? Hopefully, not many. 

When I read a book, I want to like somebody and it is best when that somebody is the hero/heroine. Unfortunately, I don’t care much for Kate Channing.  And yet – it is the author’s description that brings me to that conclusion and that is well done. 

Jealousy. Greed. Deception. Hate. The French girl wasn’t an angel, but in the end, I found her to be the most likable, though she died early on in the story. 

Elliott is a good writer. One sign of this is that I could not put the book down until the killer was found. 

Personal note: I am not especially attractive, but I have never hated someone for their beauty. I suppose my blah feelings for the book have to do with that. Of all the people I might have liked to get to know, it was the most disliked that I liked. 

Why? Because she did not just go away.

Where The Forest Meets The Stars by Glendy Vanderah

After traumatic experiences, a couple moves to the country to start their lives again. Then a young girl enters their lives. She comes out of the forest, dirty and bruised. But she’s not “just” an abused child. Ursa is special and she has come to witness five miracles. 

Mysterious, suspenseful, and feel-good. 

Personal note: I don’t have the book in front of me because I loaned it to my daughter. Actually, I pushed it on her. In other words, Ursa’s story deserves to be spread around. 😉

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