Friday, November 10, 2023

Thriller Quick Reviews

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding (2023)

Lee is homeless and living out of her car when she sees a woman throw herself into the ocean.  When Lee saves her, the woman is not as appreciative as Lee would have expected, instead telling her that she was trying to escape her terrible marriage.  Lee and Hazel begin a friendship that quickly turns into something more sinister.  I felt for Lee in this book - she's a chef who lost her restaurant, and everything else, during the pandemic.  On the run from a man she owes money to, she ends up in Washington, living out of her car and waiting tables in a diner.  When she meets Hazel, she thinks that by helping her she might finally find a way out of her situation.  The pacing of the story was good, and I enjoyed how the story went back and forth between Lee and Hazel's POVs, so we could see the same situations from both sides. I think some might find it repetitive, but it demonstrated very well how the characters were not quite who you thought they were.  The twists were good but not groundbreaking - nothing surprised me very much, but it did have a very "Dateline" feel to it.  4 stars

The Hike by Susi Holliday (2022)

Four hikers go for a day trip in the Swiss Alps, but only two of them will make it back - was there an accident or is something more sinister at play?  Sisters Cat and Ginny and their husbands are traveling together, seemingly with the hope of repairing some strained relationships, but we quickly learn that not all is as it appears.  The story is told in a dual timeline, the first as the group hikes their trail and the second as two of the four make their way to a police station, refusing to speak until their embassy rep shows up.  For awhile, we're not even sure who the two are, just that it's a man and woman.  I thought this was a clever format for the story, because it really kept me guessing.  The story is paced really well, as well, but other elements just didn't work.  None of the four are particularly great people, and it's hard to root for unlikable people.  As the story progressed and the twists kept coming, I found myself wanting to roll my eyes a bit as it became harder to believe.  Overall, though, a quick read with a unique setting and, if you can suspend your disbelief for awhile, an enjoyable one.  3.5 stars

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