Tag Archives: psychological thriller

Book Review: Social Creature – Compelling Debut Thriller

Social Creature

By Tara Isabella Burton

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First to Read and Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Lavinia is rich, wild and daring. Louise is living life on the edge in other ways. She works three jobs just to make the rent on her dinky apartment. When this unlikely duo collide with each other, Louise begins to lose all sense of self as Lavinia becomes a drug and alcohol Auntie Mame, encouraging Louise to live more and more on the edge until she becomes a permanent accessory of her mentor.

Soon Louise is going to all the “in” places and seeing all the chic people. Selfies are a must as well as extravagant food, drink and over the top and sometimes illegal activities. The more involved she becomes, the less she is herself. Both figuratively and literally.

When the sand castle friendship seems to be dissolving, how far will Louise go to keep up the charade of existence Lavinia has created for her? Do we really know who Louise is?

Burton has written a fabulous book of deception and debauchery. Are these two girls Thelma and Louise, just on a joyride through life until the end goes tragically wrong? Are they both cold and calculating – or is one of them manipulating the other to keep from living a lonely existence? The twists, turns and emotions of this novel make it a true page turner.

Like Louise it is fun to step into a world that most of us just read about on the internet or in tabloids. Most of us would not like to participate, but what if we had someone encouraging and paying for all of the craziness? Maybe we would give it a try. What if we got in too deep? My suggestion is to live this craziness through the pages of Burton’s engrossing novel.

Tara Isabella Burton brings her debut novel to life skillfully. With understated realities, the plot can take the reader places he will hopefully never go in real life. Her writing style creates a reality that is so alluring, we are drawn into the characters and story from the first page and held there until the last word is read.

I hope to hear much more from this author. Social Creature is a gem.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Watch Me – Must Read Psychological Thriller!

Watch Me

by Jody Gehrman

Professor Kate Youngblood is afraid she was a flash in the pan author. Her debut book was a rousing success that took her places she could have only dreamt about. But after a lackluster follow-up she doubts her ability to ever get that magic back.

The most she can hope for is to keep plugging away on her recent manuscript while teaching uninterested students how to master the craft of writing that she once owned. None of them really show much promise until Sam Grist comes along.

In him, Kate envisions a diamond in the rough that she can help polish to a brilliance that will reflect on her. She needs this to boost her self-esteem as well as give her job security. Without the worry of keeping her job, she can free her mind to recapture the magic she once had as a best-selling author with a dazzling new manuscript.

Sam’s writing is gritting and often violent. He plots more than novels, and if his story turns out the way he envisions it, Kate will play a starring role. Unbeknownst to her, he has been obsessed with her since he read her first novel. How far will he go to make his dreams come true?

Gehrman’s novel is written in alternating first person between Kate and Sam. This brilliant novel allows the reader to step instead each of the characters to experience their thoughts, needs and desires. It is easy to see how Kate becomes entangled with Sam as the lines between teacher and student blur. When Sam steps over the line, will Kate go with him willingly? Will she have a choice?

Watch Me is the most intense, complex, unforgettable psychological thriller I have read in ages. Gehrman expertly draws the reader in like a moth to the flame with the complexity of characters and page turning suspense. I literally read this book in less than 48 hours because I could not put it down.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review