Happy September 17! It is a big day for me. I was born on this day in 1969. A fun fact is that I have two male cousins born this same year. One two months before me and one two months after me. New books that are out today are A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier and Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd. Strangers She Knows is the final novel in the Cape Charade series which includes Dead Girl Running and What Doesn't Kill Her. The novellas in the series are Hard to Kill, Families and Other Enemies, and Hidden Truths.
Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd returns us to the Yearning Sands Resort in Washington. Kellen Adams Di Luca married the man of her dreams, Max Di Luca and then collapsed after her wedding. That pesky little bullet in her brain needed to be removed. She has finally returned home to find her ten year old daughter, Rae turning into an adolescent with temperamental outbursts (Verona feels Max deserves every single bit of it after what he put her through). Before life can return to normal, they learn that Mara Philippi was in Cape Charade and left a witness alive to give Kellen a deadly message. Max decides to have the three of them decamp to Isla Paraiso. It is an island that can only be accessed by boat or helicopter with no electricity, no wi-fi and, much to Rae’s dismay, no cell phone tower. While exploring the attic one rainy day, Kellen and Rae uncover the diary of Ruby Morgade. Ruby’s father built the elaborate home they are living in on Isla Paraiso. Reading the diary proves to be a bonding experience for the Di Luca’s family. Unfortunately, there family time comes at an end when the psychotic Mara finds their isle paradise. Mara has a game she wants to play with Kellen and there can only be one winner.
Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd is the third book in Cape Charade series. Each book in this fast paced series can be read on its own since the author provides a recap (just enough to catch you up, but not too much as to spoil the other books in the series for new readers). Kellen Adams Di Luca has gone through so much in the last few years. She is denied her wedding night and honeymoon when the bullet in her brain shifts requiring immediate surgery. Kellen does survive the surgery, but she has a long recovery. She returns home still weak and with one hand that is refusing to cooperate. The therapist recommends piano lessons which is torture for Kellen and everyone else in the family including Luna, Rae’s dog (everyone’s a critic). When Mara resurfaces and is determined to get revenge, Kellen is not strong enough to go after her on her own. The family moves to the remote Isla Paraiso with a cook, Olympia Paolerio and the two islands caretakers, Jamie and Dylan Conkle. The family explores the island thanks to the three bikes Max had shipped in for them and they get reacquainted. The pacing in the first half is more laid back (feel the island vibe) with the second half ramped up like a person after drinking three espressos in a row. Kellen is trying to survive a maniacal killer. You can feel the suspense, tension and pain. Rae is still her fearless and intelligent self but now puberty is hitting (her poor parents). She manages to get into scrapes even on an island. I like how Rae is still a young girl at times who needs her parents. Max and Kellen are just beginning their marriage and they have no privacy. They are learning each other’s quirks and foibles. It was interesting to learn more about Mara. She is a complex woman and her upbringing explains a lot. I really enjoyed the addition of Ruby’s diary. I thought it enhanced the story as added depth and interest plus gives us a second mystery. I enjoyed the various references to Harry Potter and Hogwarts. Strangers She Knows is one of those books that you will not be able to put down. I am sorry to see the Cape Charade series come to an end. Strangers She Knows is a riveting suspense with a mad murderer, a temperamental tween, a remote refuge, panicked parents and an explosive ending.
Strangers She Knows is out today and available through Amazon (Amazon UK) and other major retailers. Thank you for joining me today. I am off to relax and enjoy the day. Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Listening to Love by Beth Wiseman. May you have a joyous day. Take care and Happy Reading!
KrisThe Avid Reader
|That's my nightmare!|