The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

(Forgive me cleaning out my 2019 book reviews, half of which I had written and never posted.)

Read for the August theme (a female protagonist in danger) of the 2019 ONTD Reading Challenge | The Neighbor on Goodreads 

This book seems like an odd misstep in the Detective DD Warren series. I’m not one to get mad that I couldn’t solve a mystery or see twists coming, but this one went beyond being literally unpredictable. The intentional misdirection was obvious and it didn’t feel fun to read, just frustrating. The mysterious details ended up feeling more tedious than ominous. 

The Neighbor deals with a missing mother, whose four-year-old child was the only possible witness to whatever happened, with a registered sex offender down the block as a complicating factor. There is something clearly weird going on with the father and the missing mother, and it takes a very long time to figure out what. 

The resolution was…fine? There were some deus ex machina factors on the way to the ending that kind of made me roll my eyes. I read this series for the page-turning thrill and mental junk food of it all, which I didn’t get as much with this one as with previous books, but I will still pick up the next one in the series.

Recommend? No, skip this one, unless you’re a completest about series.
To Read: The rest of the D.D. Warren series.

Hide by Lisa Gardner

(Forgive me cleaning out my 2019 book reviews, half of which I had written and never posted.)

Read for the August theme (a female protagonist in danger) of the 2019 ONTD Reading Challenge | Hide on Goodreads 

Hide is the second book in Lisa Gardner’s DD Warren series, which is my current reading guilty pleasure. This installment is basically a Law and Order: SVU episode in book form, which means I enjoyed it immensely. This one involved the case of an underground bunker filled with mummified remains of young girls. 

It was actually adapted for a TNT Mystery Movie Night starring Carla Gugino. While Gugino is infinitely more charming than I find DD to be, the TV movie missed some of the twists and turns that made the book version of the story interesting. If you, like me, have watched all of the SVU episodes possible, go ahead and seek it out (I think it’s on youtube?) but otherwise, the reading experience is more enjoyable.

I can’t recommend this series enough if you’re in a reading rut and want a page-turner.

Recommend? Yes.
To Read: The rest of the D.D. Warren series

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Read for the April theme (“Sure, Jan,” Read a Book with an Unreliable Narrator) of the 2018 ONTD Reading Challenge | Rebecca on Goodreads

Rebecca was great. Unfortunately, after attempting to read it last year, the library waitlist grew so long (and I started therapy, got a new job, and moved into a house) that I didn’t finish until March of 2019. Even once I got my waitlisted copy, it took a couple of weeks for me to really get into it. Once I did, it just flowed. Unlike reading A Turn of the Screw, none of the language or phrasing gave me pause. I loved the concept of Turn, but the style was not my favorite. Rebecca, being slightly newer, had less of a stylistic barrier.

It’s definitely a story that builds up the dread and I want to read more of du Maurier’s books to see what other worlds she creates. I also want to branch out to the movie and tv-movie versions – the Masterpiece Theatre version has Charles Dance and Diana Rigg, which is definitely intriguing. Also, there’s supposed to be a Netflix remake with Lily James and Armie Hammer attached, but IMDB currently shows it in pre-production without any dates attached.

Back to the book, though – there’s a reason it’s regarded as a classic. I don’t think it breaks new ground in telling truths about the ~human condition or anything, but it’s a really fun, atmospheric mystery. It’s haunting in the best, most realistic way.

Recommend? Yes, definitely.

Discovered while reviewing: Meg & Dia’s “Rebecca

To Read: The Winters by Lisa Gabrielle, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (to which Rebecca has drawn comparisons), Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
To watch: Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), Rebecca Mini-Series (1979), Masterpiece’s Rebecca (also available on Netflix DVD)