Book Review: H_NGM_N by JC Gatlin

***I got a free copy, and I’m choosing to give an honest review***

Every murder has a story.

Every story begins at home.

Tampa newscaster Tori Younger is saddened to learn her childhood friend, Brooke Martin, hung herself from the old water tower in their hometown. Tori hasn’t spoken to Brooke in years and doesn’t feel comfortable returning to attend the services. Then cryptic text messages from Brooke’s cellphone change her mind.

Attending the funeral, Tori confronts a past that still haunts her and questions the text messages haunting her now. Her investigation leads to a fact she suspected all along: her old friend didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. There’s no shortage of suspects either: Brooke’s angry husband who instigated a fight the night she died; Brooke’s high school principal who denies rumors they were having an affair; and a town sheriff who shares a stormy past with Tori and is blocking her investigation at every turn. The only witness appears to be Brooke’s five-year-old daughter who hasn’t spoken since the tragedy and continually draws the same graphic picture of the night her mother’s body was discovered hanging from that old water tower.

Tori knows one of them has Brooke’s cellphone and is texting her from it. Others are convinced it’s Brooke reaching out from the Great Beyond. Either way, someone from her past is playing a deadly game of Hangman.

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I loved this murder mystery. The opening scene was very chilling. Brooke is arguing with her drunk husband, yet she’s scared that someone or something’s outside, staring at her through the kitchen window. The author did a great job of providing red herrings. I was shocked by Brooke’s killer!

My favorite lines: 1) The barking stopped. The room turned silent. Dark. 2) “Fate is fate. You can’t escape it.”

I loved the rhythm of how the author’s sentences flowed. I really liked Tori and her cameraman’s friendship. They made a cute duo as they tried to figure out the clues to who was sending Tori cryptic text messages from Brooke’s cell phone. I was confused though why hardly anyone questioned why the young daughter Darla was drawing two silhouettes looking up at her dead mom, instead of just one.

I would have given the book 5 stars, but I deducted a star for formatting issues. Weird indentations between words every other paragraph in my ebook.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier

***Thanks NetGalley for providing a ARC for me to give an honest review***

Solving the case will avenge her sister–unless the killer finds her first.

It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.

Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth–and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.

When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.

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I loved this murder mystery. There were so many red herrings that I didn’t guess the correct serial killer until the very end. The suspense had me sitting on the edge of my seat. The author did great with character’s voice. I felt so bad for Claire losing her older sister that I wanted to give her a hug.

The author was also great with setting and description. I’ve never stepped foot in Maine, but I could picture every spot vividly. The story flowed nicely, and the mystery of who was the killer, taunting Claire and the other detectives had me intrigued.

After awhile, it got old seeing that every character, male and female, were having blonde hair and blue eyes. I think I might of smiled when a brunette male was finally introduced.

Noah and Claire were cute together. There was sexual tension even though she was trying to fight it. My favorite scene was when Noah was taking pictures at Claire’s crime scene. She blew up, rightfully so, because he wasn’t authorized to do so. He could’ve contaminated evidence.

The story had a good ending. It opened the door for another book in the series with a new case to solve.

I recommend this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby