See How They Run & The Deep End

I read these two, very different books on my Kindle when I couldn’t sleep the other night.  The first,  See How They Run by Tom  Bale concerns Harry and Alice, a young married couple , and their infant daughter Evie.  Harry and Alice are terrorized and their daughter’s life threatened by masked men in the night in their own house.  The men are looking for someone, Edward Renshaw, a man unknown to them.  At first, relieved the event is over and no real harm done, the couple assume they can put it all behind them.  But strange events and people who are not who they seem start popping up in their life.

Soon Alice is on the run with Evie and Harry is wanted for questioning in their disappearance.  An exciting thriller with twists and turns and double crosses to keep you turning the pages.  When you suspect everyone and everyone has an agenda, who can you trust?    I loved the sense that every story has two sides and you don’t really have a way to know who is telling the truth and who is lying.  Fast paced enjoyable read.

The Deep End was fun, quick, perhaps not quite cozy due to some of the subject matter, read.  It is essential to this story to get yourself in the 1970s mind-set.  Swinging singles, wife swapping “key” parties, and the country club life style all feature heavily into the story.  Ellison is a woman in an “open” marriage.  Open in the sense her husband sleeps around and they are just waiting for their child to grow up to divorce.   She is a successful artist and  he can’t quite handle it.

There is murder obviously, but also blackmail, sex clubs, jealousy, and fraud.  I grew up in the 70s and quite enjoyed the setting and the story line.  Ellison shows growth through the course of the book and becomes a protagonist you really want to root for by the end.

 

 

Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen

22930914  I received a free ebook of this title, Dying for Christmas, from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

Jessica is being held captive by a blue-eyed stranger for the 12 days of Christmas.  Each day he provides her with a present to unwrap usually connected to some horrific story of his past.  He embarks on some horrifying and some disgusting tortures for her and alternates between moments of seeming concern to deep cruelty with whiplash speed.

Jessica has secrets of her own.  What does she know that no one else does?  Her connection to her kidnapper and other characters we meet is revealed mainly in the second half of the book, a before and after effect.  It is difficult to say much  more about the plot or even some of the literary devices without giving away some key twists.  Jessica as a character is easy to feel sympathy for at the start of the story.  She is in the hands of a deranged man, her family doesn’t really seem to understand her, and neither does her live-in boyfriend.

The other principal character is Kim, the police woman looking for Jessica in the midst of her own domestic crisis.  She seems unable to learn the hard lesson that sometimes you really can’t have it all.  I found her a pretty unsympathetic character, but she was a good counterpoint to Jessica as the story unfolds.  Fans of The Silent Wife, Girl on the Train, etc.  will probably like this one.