Title: No Time for Goodbye| Author: Linwood Barclay|# of pages: 338|Format: Ebook|4 stars

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Book Blurb (from GoodReads):

Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke one morning to discover that her entire family, mother, father, brother had vanished. No note, no trace, no return. Ever. Now, twenty-five years later, she’ll learn the devastating truth

Sometimes better not to know. . .

Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn’t over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous gifts, someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one’s innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer’s shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye.

Review:

The book has the enticing blurb that draws you to it. And it surpassed all my expectations. The book is narrated by Cynthia’s husband, Terry. He looks at the situation with no bias but has own fears with Cynthia. It is heart-wrenching to wake up to an empty house and your family gone! Poof!

The chapters unravel the life of Cynthia through Terry’s perspective. Things become weird when she receives notes, gifts, etc. around the 25th anniversary of their disappearance. Even though he has a mixed feeling about the whole incident, he investigates for the peace of their mind.

The ending took me by surprise and is very devilish. If you don’t have a copy of this book, you need to grab one immediately.

Title: Snakes and Ladder| Author: Victoria Selman|# of pages: 382|Format: Ebook|4 stars

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 Book Blurb (from GoodReads):

One killer on the loose. Another setting the rules. A profiler caught in the middle.

A serial killer is terrorising London, removing a body part from each victim and leaving in its place a single pink rose.

Dr Vernon Sange, a multiple murderer awaiting extradition, seems to know the culprit’s identity—but he’ll only talk to profiler Ziba MacKenzie, the woman responsible for putting him away. Though there’s something he wants in return from her. And time is running out.

With one killer whispering in her ear and another running rings around the police, Ziba must play a game in which only her opponent knows the rules, and the forfeit is death.

Review:

This is the 3rd in the Ziba Mackenzie series. But it can be read as a standalone book. The mystery is independent of Ziba’s life. But being a part of the series, it has shown Ziba’s character progresses with time and she’s trying to overcome the death of her husband. Ziba is intelligent and strong, but she has her flaws. The storyline is gripping and keeps you guessing until the end. I love Victoria Selman’s book because she writes simple yet a gripping story with a great twist.

Title: Eight Perfect Murders| Author: Peter Swanson|# of pages: 270|Format: Ebook|3.5 stars

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Book Blurb (from GoodReads): 

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape. 

Review: 

The book could have easily become a 5- star book (instead it did not, I will come to the reason later). ‘Eight perfect murders’ is perfect for Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot fans. The book is not just immersive but has the integral elements of a golden age mystery novel. There is an air of mystery about everything the book touches. The name of the bookstore where Malcolm worked was “The old devil’s”. I would not delve into too many details as it may spill some beans.

The reason I could not give 5-stars to the book because it has a lot of spoilers for the books in the list of eight perfect murders. Books like Murder of Roger Ackroyd, strangers in a train, has no mystery left in them. I wanted to read strangers on a train for a long time but never came around reading it. Now I have to read the book with that knowledge.

Title: Last Days of the night| Author: Graham Moore|# of pages: 371|Format: Paperback|4 stars

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Book Blurb (from GoodReads):

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history–and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society–the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal–private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem. 

Review:

This is my first book by Graham Moore. It was on my wishlist for a long time. So, when the book finally arrived, I was super excited. The last days of night is a legal thriller mixed with historical fiction. The book revolves around the famous patent case between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Their rivalry was not about the bulbs or its invention, it was a matter of sustainable and perpetual growth of business and society. Because the advent of light leaves a mark in history, along with its inventor’s name.

Paul Cravath, who at a very young age becomes a partner in a law firm and given the job of handling high profile case of Westinghouse vs. Edison. The books portrayed a quaint and grand New York city of the late 1800s. The posh areas of New York highlighted by the use of bulbs. Rest of the areas were not converted to the electrical source of light.

Paul Cravath with his intelligence, patience and perseverance moves with his case. The writing and the setting are stupendous. It will be an enjoyable walk down history.

Did you read any of the books? Please leave a comment to share your thoughts.