Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle – Review

Hello and welcome! Today I’m going to be reviewing Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle. This was a good thriller, but I was also disappointed since it was pretty obvious who the bad guy was.

Book: Three Days Missing

Author: Kimberly Belle

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: the call that comes in the middle of the night.

When Kat Jenkins awakens to the police on her doorstep, her greatest fear is realized. Her nine-year-old son, Ethan, is missing—vanished from the cabin where he’d been on an overnight field trip with his class. Shocked and distraught, Kat rushes to the campground where he was last seen. But she’s too late; the authorities have returned from their search empty-handed after losing Ethan’s trail in the mountain forest.

Another mother from the school, Stef Huntington, seems like she has it all: money, prominence in the community, a popular son and a loving husband. She hardly knows Kat, except for the vicious gossip that swirls around Kat’s traumatic past. But as the police investigation unfolds, Ethan’s disappearance will have earth-shattering consequences in Stef’s own life—and the paths of these two mothers are about to cross in ways no one could have anticipated.

Racing against the clock, their desperate search for answers begins—one where the greatest danger could lie behind the everyday smiles of those they trust the most.


*Thriller. This is every parent’s worst nightmare: getting a visit from the cops in the middle of the night telling you that your child is missing. And that’s what happens to Kat Jenkins. I liked how the plot was instantly tense from the beginning, even if it was a little slow, and created a lot of anticipation as the clock ticked and Ethan still remained missing. It was also interesting to see how Stef and her family fit into the story. It made me want to continue reading, to find out what happens, even though I was pretty sure I knew the identity of the kidnapper.

*Characters. I really felt so much for Kat, and I actually grew to like Stef, even though at first she annoyed me. Kat’s fear and emotions were so real and I understood her struggle and frustration with everyone. Stef’s role in the matter, combined with her anxiety and struggle to connect with her son, were also very interesting and heartfelt to read. I also really liked Lucas and his loyalty and love for Kat and Ethan. He truly is Kat’s brother in ever way but blood.


*The reveal of the kidnapper. It was really disappointing because the moment the character was introduced earlier in the book, I knew it was them. So the reveal was pretty underwhelming. But, it was still interesting to know why Ethan was taken and how everything had gone so horribly wrong.

*Ethan. I actually liked Ethan and his relationship with his mom, but it kind of annoyed me that he had such a high IQ. Lately, it seems like most thrillers that involves a kid, is about a kid who is “different” or really “smart” or unlike other kids. It’s starting to become cliche at this point, and I don’t see why Ethan couldn’t be a regular kid. And even if he had a high IQ, it didn’t need to be mentioned so many times.


I liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The characters were interesting, the plot build-up was great, and even though I knew who the kidnapper was, I was still a little thrilled by the ending.

One sentence summary: An interesting thriller with great characters and an underwhelming reveal.

Overall, 4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chat with me

Have you read Three Days Missing? What did you think? Have you read any other books by Kimberly Belle? Do you find it annoying when the main kid in the story has a high IQ or is “unlike other kids”? Chat with me in the comments below!

The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden – Review

Welcome back friends! I hope you are having a great day! Today, I’m going to be reviewing The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden. This was an okay thriller, but I didn’t really like the characters, and I found some the twists unbelievable. I was given a free copy of this book by Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Book: The Victim of the System

Author: Steve Hadden

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: Twenty-two years ago, Ike Rossi’s life was shattered when his parents were murdered. He surrendered his football scholarship and returned home to find their killer and raise his sister. Now, the crime of a local ten-year-old genius, Jack Cole, threatens to unearth old wounds.

When Ike meets Jack inside the Pittsburgh courthouse, he doesn’t see a murderer but instead a boy who’s been victimized by a system that’s left them both without justice. Despite knowing the case will resurrect the painful demons of his parents’ unsolved murders, Ike agrees to clear Jack’s name. The court of public opinion and the district attorney have an airtight case. Worse, taking Jack’s side thrusts Ike into the crosshairs of the most powerful family in Pittsburgh, the Falzones.

Now, with only days before the trial, Ike confronts the Falzones’ crumbling empire to find the shocking evidence that could save Jack. At the same time, he races to decipher a series of cryptic clues from Jack’s dead father that could hold the key to his son’s freedom. But each step closer to the truth draws them further into danger, and as three fractured families collide, Ike is forced to choose between saving Jack—and saving himself.

This was a disappointing book. I liked the thriller aspect and the mystery of what Nick Falzone was trying to hide, and how the pacing picked up towards the end. However, I felt that some of the characters were unrealistic, the really minor romance aspect was predictable, and some of the twists at the end were really unbelievable.

Ike Rossi is a former, yet still famous, quarterback who is currently a private investigator. He also has a secret career as a formidable boxer. I was a bit skeptical of Ike and never really warmed to him. I liked his sister and Mac a little bit, but as the story continued, they became less involved in the story. I felt like the fact that Ike is famous, and apparently one of the best PIs (so much so that he frightens the Falzones), and also a tough unbeatable boxer was unnecessary. It seemed kind of convenient for him to be this super hero guy who never backs down and always does what is right. When he meets Jack, he has an internal battle because he wants to help him, but already has a prior contract. But he ends up doing the right and honorable thing and helps Jack out.

Jack was okay, I didn’t really care about him, and I was a little annoyed by the fact that he is “special” and very smart. His aunt, Lauren, really annoyed me. She is demanding, rude, and I absolutely loathed her when she yelled at Ike for refusing to take the job, and when he left later on. She had no right to do so, especially when he had a prior commitment, and it annoyed me that her self-centered (or well, it’s more for Jack) attitude, and little speech about “real commitment” was one of the reasons why Ike took the case. I really hated her character. The tiny romance aspect between Ike and Lauren did not help matters at all. It could have been eliminated, and the story would have been fine.

The Falzones were interesting, and I kind of liked Shannon. The dynamics between the two halves of the family and the increasing tension added to the suspense and intrigue.

The ending was okay, however, some of the twists thrown in did not make sense at all and they weren’t fully explained. The ending was going really great until those twists happened.

In the end, this was a meh thriller with disappointing characters, and some unbelievable twists.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

You can read a much more positive review here before deciding! Have you read The Victim of the System? What did you think? What was the last thriller that you read? Chat with me in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Wherever She Goes and Curious Minds

Hello my dear friends! I hope you are having a fantastic start to your week. Today, I will be doing two mini reviews, since I am behind and I’m trying to catch up. The books that I’ll be reviewing today are Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong and Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich. I was really disappointed by the former, while I liked the latter. Let’s get started!

2 stars | Goodreads

The mystery was really meh. I enjoyed Bree’s family drama more than the mystery, and that was honestly the only reason why I finished the book. The ending was so underwhelming, and I think the author was trying too hard. It felt flat, and I wanted to roll my eyes a lot. In the end, I gave it two stars because the family drama was interesting.

One sentence summary: An interesting family drama with a meh mystery.


2.5 Stars | Goodreads

This was a cute and easy read and I liked it. Emerson can be annoying, but he’s still very funny. I thought Riley was cute, especially when she tried to back out of Emerson’s plans every single time, but still managed to find herself in the middle of everything. The ending was good, had a bit of suspense, and some humor. The mystery was really meh, and pretty far-fetched for me, but it didn’t annoy me too much. This was like the book that you read, just for the sake of reading, and not really for the plot or characters. In the end, I gave this 2.5 stars rounded up to three.

One sentence summary: An easy and humorous mystery, with okay characters.

That’s it for today!! Have you guys read Curious Minds or Wherever She Goes? What did you think? Did you find Emerson funny, but also exasperating? Was Bree’s family drama more interesting to you than the mystery? Chat with me in the comments below!

Against Their Will by Carolyn Courtney Lauman – Review

Hi guys and welcome to another book review!! Today’s review is of Against Their Will by Carolyn Courtney Lauman. This is my first book review with Reedsy Discovery and I’m super excited!! Against Their Will is a captivating thriller with amazing writing, compelling characters, and an intriguing plot.


Book: Against Their Will

Author: Carolyn Courtney Lauman

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: A holiday drive to Florida ends tragically for Izzy and Maria when their car breaks down outside a rural North Carolina bar. Kidnapped by two brutally sadistic men, the sisters are held captive in a remote fishing cabin. As the men become increasingly unhinged, their savagery intensifies, propelling the young women into a desperate fight for their lives.

Decades and distance have healed their physical injuries, but Izzy and Maria’s once-close relationship has failed to survive in the aftermath of their nightmare. Estranged and living on opposite coasts, they rarely see or speak to each other.

Now, one of the kidnappers has been released from prison, vowing to exact his revenge on Izzy and Maria. As a hurricane rages around them, the sisters endeavor to repair their bond, confronting many hard truths in the process. Can they reconcile in time to defeat the demons from their past?

Many thanks to Reedsy Discovery for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Quote: I’m not sure if I’m just punishing myself by pushing away everything I used to love.

Izzy and Maria are best friends as well as sisters who are travelling from their home in Pennsylvania for a holiday with friends in Florida. On the way, their car breaks down, sending the girls to a dodgy bar in hopes of finding a mechanic to help them. What happens though, destroys their once close bond, and leaves the girls fighting for their lives.

I really liked Maria. She’s a fighter, someone determined to survive no matter what’s thrown at her. I didn’t really connect to Izzy, but the story doesn’t follow her life so we don’t really get to know her. However, both sisters fiercely love one another and are determined to survive the horror that they’ve been through. I also understood why they drifted apart, and was really hoping that they reconciled in the end.

Quote: I am angry with everyone and no one at the same time.

Billy and Frank were horrible monsters, and I was shocked by their crimes. However, they were real people, with terrible pasts that may have driven them to do what they did to Maria and Izzy. That doesn’t justify what they did at all, but it makes them real, and not just characters who are evil just for the sake of the story.

One thing that could be changed, maybe, was seeing their interactions with Frank’s sister or maybe some of their friends. The only reason Frank’s sister had any role in the story was to testify, but it would have been interesting to see how Billy and Frank acted with her or their friends when they were sober. Their past was interesting, but it would help make them more believable characters if we had an idea of what they were like on a normal day.

I loved how thrilling the story was. I couldn’t put the book down until I finished Part I, and even then, I was still wondering and very excited to know what happened next. I’m a big fan of criminal trials, and the legal aspect of the story made me love it even more. The second half was just as good as the first, and I really enjoyed it. The ending was great; sad, but still very good, and I liked how Izzy and Maria were strong despite everything. The writing was also amazing!

In the end, this was an incredible fast-paced debut, with great characters, and a captivating plot.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warnings: sexual assault, abuse, kidnapping, and explicit content

I’m so excited to have finally reviewed a book with Reedsy! I definitely recommend you give this book a try, and I really hope you enjoy it!

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall – Review

Hello my dear ladies and gentlemen! I hope you are having a great start to your week. Today, I will be reviewing They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall. This was great at parts and boring at others. The plot was interesting and the characters were definitely not what they seemed.

Book: They All Fall Down

Author: Rachel Howzell Hall

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary:

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.

Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico, with six strangers—an ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, a young widow.

Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses—and all seven strangers harbor a secret.

Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keeps the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents keep them suspicious of each other, as one by one . . . 

They all fall down


*Miriam. I really liked how Miriam seemed like an okay person who just did a few wrong things. But by the end of the book, I despised her and half wished that she would pay for her crimes, while I also half wished that she could get a second chance to learn from her mistake. She’s also a very unreliable narrator which made it hard to discern whether she was telling the truth, or she was sugar-coating or lying about whatever she said.

*Plot and Setting. The plot was okay. Slow at the start, but once things picked up, most of it didn’t slow down. There were parts which were boring, and others which were exciting. The setting definitely helped enhance the story and added an extra level of despair for the characters.

*Ending and twist. The ending shocked me, and I don’t want to spoil it by telling why. There was a twist that I did not see coming, and the way things ended was brutal but also realistic. A few people have said that this is like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but I haven’t read it, and I think that made me enjoy TAFD more since I wasn’t comparing the two.


*Characters and their pasts. I think this aspect was rushed and not done well, especially with Wallace. There was a lot of reveals happening at once, and a bit of info-dumping which helped increase the shock factor, but also took away from the thriller aspect because I spent a few minutes trying to process what I’d just read.

*Miriam’s POV. It was a bit annoying and hard to be in Miriam’s head the entire time because she constantly tried to portray herself as the victim, while she was also not what she seemed. The way that she also only cared about money and was really self-centered made it even worse.


I liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! Miriam can be annoying, the plot was at first slow and then a bit choppy, but in the end, the twist and revelations saved the book for me. After reviewing it however, I think I’m going to give this 3.5 stars rounded up instead of 4.

One sentence summary: An okay thriller with an interesting plot and an unreliable narrator.

Overall, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4

★★★★☆

That’s it for this book review! Have you read They All Fall Down? What did you think? Did you initially support Miriam too? Have you read And Then There Were None? Do you think that I should give Christie’s book a try? Let’s chat in the comments below!