The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti – Blog Tour Review.

 

Blackbird Season_cvr

About the Book

In a quiet town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a school playing field. As journalists flock to the scene, one of them catches a teacher, Nate Winters, embracing a female student. The student claims that she and Nate are having an affair, sending shock waves through the close-knit community. Then the student disappears, and the police have only one suspect: Nate.
Nate’s wife, Alecia, is left wondering if she ever really knew her seemingly loving husband. Nate’s co-worker, Bridget, is determined to prove his innocence and find the missing student. But both women will have to ask themselves do they really know what Nate is capable of?

My Review

The last time I received a book by Kate Moretti ( The Vanishing Year) it came with a lily in a gift box. The Blackbird Season arrived with a handful of black feathers.
I love watching birds and I can’t even begin to imagine a scene where 1000 birds are dead on a school playing field. When the press descend on the area they witness something that manages to take their focus away from what they were meant to be investigating. A teacher and student embracing. When the student then disappears Nate is in danger of losing his family, career and his good name.
When I first started to read the novel I disliked one of the characters, Alecia, immediately. She was Nate’s wife and I should have had sympathy for her but I found her cold and unapproachable. By the time I had finished it, the only character I liked was Bridget. She was the only one who showed any compassion to the student Lucia. It takes place in a town that has nothing left to offer. The mill, which was the main employer had closed and it was no longer a close-knit community. All of the students who were in Lucia’s group were desperate to escape and live their life elsewhere.
I couldn’t work Nate out, was he an innocent Mr Nice Guy who the students could turn to for support or was he somebody who had an unhealthy obsession with his students. My inclination was to go with the latter, if only because of his social media habits.
Bridget, however, grieving the loss of her husband wants to know the truth but knows she needs to maintain her integrity by keeping some distance. She understood a teenage mind a lot better than Nate did.
All of the teenagers were believable. They made me think of a pack of animals circling their prey, looking for a way to cause humiliation or harm. Even though Lucia didn’t make life easy for herself I did feel sorry for her. She did have an intimidating personality though.
I enjoyed reading the previous book The Vanishing Year and even though this book is different I think I prefered it. The author is skilled at creating characters that are difficult to like and in keeping her reader gripped. There were a few times that I thought  knew what happened and then something else would be revealed. Just a little at a time, to keep the reader guessing.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Blackbird Season_blog tour2

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti – Guest Post and Review.

519xoz7-eel-_sx347_bo1204203200_

Today,I am delighted to publish a guest post by Kate Moretti author of The Vanishing Year. I have only read one of the books that she wants to read and she is in for a treat! My review follows at the end.

Six Suspense Novels I’m Dying to Read This Fall

Something about the cooler weather makes me actively seek the books that scare the dickens out of me. These six are the ones I have on my nightstand, just waiting to keep me awake half the night, jumping at every little noise.

The Kept Woman, Karin Slaughter
I love Karin Slaughter. I start one of her books and I know I’m in great hands, that the plot will twist completely unpredictably and I’ll be lost down a rabbit hole for the next two days. I can’t wait to read this one! The Kept Woman is part of the Will Trent series, about a murder at an abandoned construction site. Because this is a Slaughter book, it’s not just a murder. It’s a murder and a kidnapping, and OF COURSE Trent’s past is linked to the current crime, so this one promises to be emotionally gripping with a whiplash pace.

Good As Gone, Amy Gentry
All I have to say is this: a 13 year-old girl goes missing and eight years later comes home. This might sound ripped from the headlines but what if the girl who comes home isn’t the girl who left? Dum-dum-DUM! The premise grabbed me immediately and I bought the book without question. Plus, what a GORGEOUS cover.

The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena
I live in the suburbs. We sometimes have neighborhood parties. This book is what the domestic suspense genre is all about. I can literally see this happening to me, and it’s terrifying. A dinner party, a missing baby, a neighborhood turned upside down, all your friends suspects. Pass me a cup of coffee (or tea!) and a blanket. I’ll see you tomorrow!

The Trespasser, Tana French
Three words: Dublin Murder Squad. Yes, please. I love, love, love these books. I was hooked with In The Woods, and Cassie stole my heart in The Likeness and I will read them all sight unseen. No one does depth of characterization, twisty plots, and atmosphere quite like Tana French. If you read (or write!) suspense, French should be required reading. The Trespasser brings back Antoinette Conway, from The Secret Place and gives us a not-what-it-seems lovers tiff/murder. I can’t wait for this one!

You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
I read everything Megan Abbott writes. She can do teenagers like no one else and every book of hers sets my nerves on edge. Atmosphere is her middle name. You Will Know Me is set in the world of Olympic-track gymnasts and the sacrifices that must be made to protect your child, your life’s investment, your community, even your marriage.

Arrowood, Laura McHugh
I loved The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh’s award winning debut. Her writing is so beautiful, so evocative. Arrowood promises to be a worthy follow up: gothic mystery, creepy old house, twin girls (Hello, twin girls, not creepy at all). A book about family secrets, murder, and a hint of ghosts? Yes, yes, yes. Perfect reading for Halloween!

About the book

Zoe Whittaker appears to have a charmed life. Newly married to a rich and attentive man, she has the best of everything. But five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Because back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. When an attempt is made on her life, Zoe fears that her past has caught up with her. But who can she ask for help when even her own husband doesn’t t know her real name? Zoe must decide who she can trust before she, whoever she is, vanishes completely…

My Review

When this book arrived I was very intrigued. Not every book comes wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a box with a single flower.
Zoe has rebuilt her life after a terrifying experience during her teen years. Her childhood has been very much on the poverty line, and she struggled with her memories of how she left it all behind. She has changed her identity and having no family, apart from her birth mother who she had never met, hoped that her past stayed that way. But she became aware that she was in danger, more so when she makes attempts to find her birth mother. With no idea who to turn to her life starts to fall apart.
There are plenty of twists in this novel. You are aware that she is in danger but she is also vulnerable with the loneliness in her life. The friends that she had were aggrieved that she had lost touch when she married and her husband is absent much of the time. She had no independence at all, a devoted husband who wanted to rule every aspect of her life even as far as choosing all her clothes. The only person who she feels that she could rely on is Cash, a reporter who chose to help her but by doing so increased the level of danger.
I had an idea of which way the story was going to go but the outcome was much more complex than I expected. I don’t want to give spoilers so won’t say more but this novel is a quick and entertaining read which demonstrates that you shouldn’t assume anything.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

58164543-1316-404a-8936-c5e3e307b3d3