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As the biggest Megan Goldin fan, I can truly say that her thrillers never disappoint. Goldin writes perfectly paced, heart-racing novels that keep you turning the page until 2am. Stay Awake is no different. I spent a whole day straight entranced in these pages searching for answers side by side with Liv.

The Plot

Liv wakes up with a bloody knife and no memory of the last two years. She tries to go home, but strangers now live in her apartment. She’s lost her purse and her phone and only has a wad of cash in her pocket. What happened? Is Liv running from herself or someone else?

The Verdict

It is difficult to describe the plot of this novel without spoiling too much, so you’ll just have to be content with that short and sweet description. This thriller holds many secrets as you race beside Liv to find the answers to all your screaming questions. I enjoyed feeling Liv’s confusion and pain as she experienced trauma based amnesia. Often, thrillers with amnesia as a plot line can be trite and repetitive. Goldin writes in such a way that you never say “Oh my gosh… this again? Get on with it.” I have read plenty of thrillers that made me want to scream that phrase to the heavens. Not this one.

Megan Goldin
Megan Goldin

Goldin manages to take tropes from the thriller genre and make them fresh. The police duo in the novel is your standard hard-ass seasoned detective and hardworking female up and comer pairing, but they are endearing and fresh in their own right. Goldin spins all the tropes we know the genre writers rely on and makes the reader turn the burning pages with intrigue and not sighs of boredom.

Should You Pre-Order?

Goldin is a master of her craft and I highly recommend pre-ordering this one today. This will be a buzzworthy book during its release on August 9, 2022. Pre-order it now and be surprised when it shows up on your doorstep in six months and race to devour it within 24 hours. I promise that’s exactly the way it’ll go for you.

Cover of The Escape Room with a quote by Lee Child

If you can’t wait for this release, satisfy your Megan Goldin thriller cravings with my favorite title from her repertoire, The Escape Room. This novel follows a set of co-workers who participate in an escape room as a team building exercise. And then it all starts to go wrong…

Megan Goldin is a master of her craft and I cannot recommend her enough. Both Stay Awake and The Escape Room earned stunning five star ratings from me. Check them out right now! Don’t waste any more time!

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

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Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

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The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel

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“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”

The Plot

Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.

The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.

The Verdict

This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.

When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Read it yourself by clicking below!

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Book Reviews

Did She Do It? Stacy Willingham’s “All the Dangerous Things” Asks Us Just This

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One year ago, Isabelle’s life crumbled when her baby was abducted from her home. Her marriage to her husband, Ben, is destroyed as they try to navigate the fallout.

The Plot

Even one year after the abduction, Isabelle seeks answers. She is still doing appearances at true crime expos to get information on the attendees, thinking the abductor will be there one day. Abductors usually revisit their crime and Isabelle swaps her appearances for the event guest list, never taking any money for her talks.

Some think that Isabelle killed her own baby as evidence from the case says the perpetrator came from inside the house. Isabelle hasn’t slept – not fully – since Mason was abducted. Her therapist is worried that she may be having hallucinations. Is Isabelle the killer or is she on a quest for true justice?

The Verdict

I absolutely loved the complication of not knowing whether Isabelle was a reliable or unreliable narrator. This was my favorite aspect of the novel. It made me question everything that Isabelle had to say and the actions she executed.

Isabelle is a character that, as a mother, I really felt for. I wanted to believe that Isabelle was innocent, but I was hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to find out. Stacy Willingham is the master of a story that winds all around, waiting for you to find the truth.

If you are interested in reading Willingham’s first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, check out my review here.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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