Published by Annick Press on September 11, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: the Publisher
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth? Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it’s particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite. But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records. Lena is desperate to know what happened to him, but it’s as if he never existed. The worst thing, however, is that she cannot discuss her uncle or her attempts to find him with anyone, not even her best friends. There are government spies everywhere. But Lena is unafraid and refuses to give up her search, regardless of the consequences. This searing novel about defiance, courage, and determination takes readers into the chilling world of a society ruled by autocratic despots, where nothing is what it seems.
Michelle Barker’s gripping new novel The House of One Thousand Eyes is set in the early 1980’s, a few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The novel follows Lena, an orphan whose parents were killed in a factory explosion, thus leaving her to be raised by her aunt, who is a devout member of the Communist ruling party. The bright spot in Lena’s weeks are when she gets to visit her uncle Erich, who is a famous author and who is NOT a devout member of the Communist Party.
In this novel, Barker graphically portrays what it’s like to live under a government that rules with an iron fist. If the Communist leaders don’t like what they think you’re up to, they have ways of making you disappear so as to quash down any signs of resistance. Lena learns this lesson the hard way when her Uncle Erich suddenly goes missing and all traces of his existence disappear along with him. She does everything she can to try to find him or find out what happened to him, but has to do so carefully so as not to put herself on the government’s radar. Barker increasingly builds up suspense as Lena becomes more and more distraught. Everyone she talks to denies her Uncle’s existence, even her aunt who is Erich’s own sister. I found the story absolutely riveting as Lena refuses to give up even though there are spies and informers everywhere who would love nothing more than to turn her in and score some points with the Stasi/German secret police.
The House of One Thousand Eyes is a novel about courage, strength, and determination. The world that Barker paints is often brutal and terrifying and so it becomes very easy to cheer Lena on as she risks everything to resist the East German’s efforts to snuff out both her uncle and free speech. If you’re interested in seeing what life was like in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down, I would highly recommend this book. 4 STARS
Lies by T.M. Logan
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 11, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.
It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?
Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.
T.M. Logan’s Lies is an exciting psychological thriller that will take you on the ride of your life. It follows English teacher Joe Lynch, a loving father and devoted husband who makes what turns out to be a life altering decision – to follow his wife’s car when he happens to see her pulling into a hotel parking garage. That one decision sets off a chain reaction of events, including a fight with a family friend named Ben who subsequently goes missing, that turns Joe’s entire life upside down and threatens his career, his family, and even his freedom.
Joe was a pretty likeable protagonist. He’s a bit naïve at times, but I could easily see myself falling for some of the same things he did so, in that sense, I found him easy to relate to. He’s also a great dad. Watching him interact with his young son really made me all the more sympathetic to him. He’s a man who definitely cares about his family above all else.
Lies is an easy read that I binge read in a couple of sittings. It’s fast-paced and filled with plenty of twists and turns both for Joe and the reader. The author also effectively builds up suspense with the missing family friend, by way of an active police investigation and also with mysterious messages that Joe starts receiving – messages that threaten to take everything away from him. Lies also features a messy, and at least for me, totally unexpected, jaw dropping ending. Kudos to T.M. Logan for keeping me guessing all the way to the end. 4 STARS