I normally post my book of the month at the beginning of each month, but unfortunately I’m a bit late with this post, but as the old saying goes “better late than never”. I hope you are all keeping safe and well, along with your family, loved ones and friends.
The reason I haven’t been around for a while is I have been really worried about Mr book review café aka Andy, he got tested through work for the Corona virus and unfortunately the test came back positive, so as you can imagine first came the shock and then the worry! He’s doing fine and due to be retested later this week, but the most worrying thing about it all is that this virus is the silent killer, my husband has had no symptoms apart from a loss of sense of taste and smell, no cough, no temp so he had no idea he had it, so it doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily it’s spread.
As usual I’m digressing here, and now to the point of this post, my book of the month for March 2020. I read some cracking books in March, but if I’m honest the book I’ve chosen was always going to be a contender for my book of the month, and it’s already one of my top reads of the year so far.
How do I choose my book of the month?
I choose a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page. So without further ado here’s my book of the month for March….
The Memory Wood by Sam Llyod
I expected The Memory Wood to be a disturbing read, after all the plot is based on a child’s abduction,what I wasn’t expecting was a read that was harrowing, and ultimately heartbreaking, I must admit I finished this book with a lump the size of a golf ball in my throat. Sam Lloyd has written a book that’s compelling, and one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended. You can read my full review here….The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “never judge a book by its cover”, but I did and for some reason I thought Jar Of Hearts was a “romantic” read! So I never paid much attention to the book (my bad) until for some unknown reason I happened to read the book description and spotted the words “serial killer”, from then on in I decided I HAD to read this book, who wouldn’t after reading the book description? Unless you hate crime thrillers of course! Read on for my thoughts……..
This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years….
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.
To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.
How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?
Jar Of Hearts is the first book I’ve read by Jennifer Hillier and I’m impressed, I enjoyed this book in fact scrap that I loved this book. I enjoy a crime thriller that’s chilling, dark and twisted, and this one is definitely twisted but in the most delightful way. I should mention that there are some violent and stomach churning scenes in this book which won’t be to every readers taste, but the scenes never felt unnecessarily graphic. There are also quite a few mentions of domestic violence throughout the story, and they’re credible and therefore disturbing, but they also add a genuine sense of horror and trepidation to the story.
At sixteen Georgina “Geo” Shaw’s best friend, Angela Wong, disappeared without a trace. Angela was a victim of Calvin James, a Serial killer. The same Calvin who was Geo’s first her love, their relationship was turbulent and often volatile, and one that lasted until the night Angela died. Geo is the only one who knew what happened that fateful night, but it’s a secret she isn’t prepared to share. Even Geo’s best friend, Kaiser Brody a detective with the Seattle PD has no idea what happened. When Geo is arrested and convicted for her part in Angela’s disappearance it seems a fitting end, but then more murders take place, Is there a new killer at large? and has Geo “told the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”?
I love a character who evokes strong emotions in myself, and the author did that with Geo, on one hand I felt sorry for her, her relationship with Calvin was toxic and damaging, and yet as he was her first love it was easy to see how she was sucked in by Calvin. On the other hand there was the secretive Geo who during some scenes appeared cold and calculated and then I found my dislike of her growing. Each of the characters in Jar Of Hearts was well depicted, some more likeable than others, the dynamics between the three friends felt very credible, as to the relationship between Angela and Geo it’s a complex one, but it’s also a fascinating one. The relationship between Geo and Calvin made for an uncomfortable read, as the author reveals more about the couples turbulent relationship you can see the warning signs, you know something awful is going to happen, but as to the “what” you just have to read on to find out.
Jar Of Hearts alternates between Geo and Kaiser, told in the present Jennifer Hillier captures the past in flashbacks which slowly but deftly reveal a complex story of buried secrets shrouded in toxic relationships, abuse, and jealousy. There were so many aspects of this book I enjoyed, the pace is perfect, the writing concise, each chapter turns into just “one more”. Even though I worked out part of the story, (although it took me a while to get there I must admit!) It didn’t matter one iota as I was so immersed in the story, and the author still surprised me a couple of times which is always a bonus. Definitely one I would recommend to those who love a crime thriller with a dark heart and those who aren’t averse to some violent and disquieting scenes.