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Thursday, September 17, 2015


Blind Shuffle

The second in a series featuring Rusty Diamond, former street magician turned Las Vegas headliner, who got into a sticky situation and retired to the Eastern Seaboard.  

The novel opens with Diamond flying to New Orleans, hoping to make amends with Prosper Lavalle, his former mentor, and Prosper's daughter.

On arrival, he discovers that Marceline has been missing for a week.  Diamond is determined to find her.

It was OK, just not exactly my kind of book. 

NetGalley/Diversion Books

Mystery/Noir.  Oct. 20, 2015.  Print version:  266 pages.


The Prettiest One 

Hot topic for novels lately:  women with amnesia.  Caitlin finds herself covered in blood and no memory of the past 7 months.  The first couple of pages had me interested, but as the novel developed, I found myself less and less able to suspend disbelief.  While I kept reading to discover which of the two men Caitlin would choose, I didn't find it all that easy to identify with any of the characters.  

Reviews of this one appear to be at the extremes, great or awful.  

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer

Mystery/Crime.  Oct. 1, 2015.  Print version: 402 pages

Little Girl Gone  (Remember Mia)

Poor choice of title as it only aids the comparisons to Gone Girl.  (Oh, they have changed the title!  It is still Little Girl Gone on Goodreads, but Amazon has Remember Mia, a better choice.

Brief synopsis:  When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory.
Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible…
Another woman with amnesia!   

The good:  The book gives an interesting account of postpartum psychosis and the importance of early parental attachment.

The bad:  Way too much time on Estelle's postpartum difficulties, and the book is quite long.  It is difficult to read the details, and I had to put the book down several times.  Cutting some of this section would have given plenty of information about Estelle's mental state and moved the novel along at a better pace.

Also problematic, deciphering what is spoken aloud and what is being thought;  sometimes this is clarified by italics, but not always.  Since Estelle is so confused and has no memory of certain events, knowing the difference between what is thought and what is said becomes even more important.

And it is only around half-way through the book that you get an idea about what really happened, even if there are some clues--so you have to suffer the anxiety of reading Estelle's psychosis for way too long before even getting to the meat of the story.  Serious editing would have condensed the length, avoided reader burn-out, and resulted in a better paced story.

NetGalley/Harper Collins/Avon

Mystery/Thriller.  Sept. 24, 2015.  Print version:  400 pages

(Just checked and this was published in July and is being republished in Sept. with fewer pages--343 as opposed to 400.  It may make a big difference in the quality of the novel!  New cover as well.)


  1. Amnesia is a hot topic! It seems like every two or three books deals with the subject these days. I have read another of Hankins' books and enjoyed it, so I was curious to see what you thought of The Prettiest One.

    Hopefully the new version of Remember Mia was be better, given the title change and the editing (assuming since page count is down). I admit to having an interest in books that deal with characters who suffer from postpartum depression given my own history with it (although I didn't have the psychosis kind). I don't know about this book though. I am on the fence about whether i want to read it.

    1. I really thought I was going to like the Hankins' book at first, but then it got a little hard to swallow all the circumstances.

      If the new version has cut the first half of the book considerably, it will help Remember Mia. The postpartum psychosis portion was interesting and well done, but so depressing that having it take about 200 pages was agony. I'd wait and see what reviews are under the new title, which has fewer pages and has perhaps been further edited.

  2. I think I already have Remember Mia. But have not read it yet. The whole women with amnesia is a current theme. Isn't it funny how those things happen? I'll keep your thoughts in mind when I ever get around to reading Remember Mia. Glad they changed the title. Note to publishers - 'no girl or train or gone in titles'. LOL

    1. It is strange how a particular theme will appear in so many books at the same time. If you have the Remember Mia title rather than Little Girl Gone, I hope the editing makes a difference!

  3. I'm quite intrigued with Little Girl Gone and I'm glad they've a new edited version. It definitely doesn't sound very appealing from what I've read your thoughts and I hope the edited version will be better.
    I agree amnesia seems to be the hot topic for thrillers nowadays. :)

    1. Any book about a missing child is hard to read, having so much about Estelle's confusion and malevolent thoughts makes it harder. Estelle is hard to like, even though you know she is suffering from a psychosis and not responsible for her thoughts and behavior.

  4. Another amnesia book? That's funny. How many is that? Five? Six? Talk about an overused plot device. :)

  5. Wow it sounds like they really re-did the marketing on this one. I like the story line of this one (even if it is another amnesia story-line! :)

    1. They really have re-marketed it, and it is probably a much better book with the editing!