Thursday, March 21, 2024

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher

 

GOOD HALF GONE
Author: Tarryn Fisher

ISBN: 9781525804885
Publication Date: March 19, 2024
Publisher: Graydon House
18.99 US | 23.99 CAN

Book Summary:

Iris Walsh saw her twin sister Piper get kidnapped—so why does no one believe her?

Iris narrowly escaped her pretty, popular twin sister’s fate as a teen—kidnapped and trafficked and long gone before the cops agreed to investigate. Months later, Piper’s newborn son Callum was dropped on their estranged mother’s doorstep in the dead of night, with a note in Piper’s handwriting signed simply, Twin.

As an adult, Iris wants one thing—proof. Because she knows exactly who took Piper all those years ago, and she has a pretty good idea of who Callum’s father is. She just has to get close enough to prove it. And if the police won’t help, she’ll just have to do it her own way--by interning at the isolated Shoal Island Hospital for the criminally insane, where her target is kept under lock and key. Iris soon realizes that something sinister is bubbling beneath the surface of the Shoal, and that the patients aren’t the only ones being observed…

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Excerpt

1

 911, WHAT IS your emergency?”

“Hello? Help me, please! They took my sister! Please hurry, I don’t know where they are. I can’t find them.” *rustling noise* *yells something* “Oh my god—oh my god. Piper!”

“Ma’am, I need you to calm down so that I can understand you.”

“Okay…” *crying*

“Who took your sister?”

“I don’t know! I don’t know them. Two guys. Dupont knows them, I—”

“Miss, what is the address? Where are you?”

“The theater on Pike, the Five Dollar…” *crying* “They took my phone, I’m calling from inside the theater.”

“Wait right where you are, someone is going to be there to help shortly. Can you tell me what your name is?”

*crying*

“What is your name? Hello…?”

*crying, indecipherable noises*

“Can you tell me your name?”

“Iris…”

“What is your sister’s name, Iris? And how old is she?”

“Piper. She’s fifteen.”

“Is she your older sister or younger sister… Iris, can you hear me?”

“We’re twins. They just put her in a car and drove away. Please hurry.”

“Can you tell me what kind of vehicle they were driving?”

“I don’t know…”

“—a van, or a sedan—?”

“It was blue and long. I can’t remember.”

“Did it have four doors or two… Iris?”

“Four.”

“And how many men were there?”

“Three.”

“I’m going to stay on the line with you until the officers get there.”

He leans forward, rouses the mouse, and turns off the audio on his computer. Click click clack. I was referred to Dr. Stanford a year ago when my long-term therapist retired. I had the option of finding a new therapist on my own or being assigned someone in the practice. Of course I considered breaking up with therapy all together, but after eight years it felt unnatural not to go. But I was a drinker of therapy sauce: a true believer in the art of feelings. I imagined people felt that way about church. At the end of the day, I told myself that a weird therapist was better than no therapist.

I disliked Allen Stanford on sight. Grubby. He is the grownup version of the kindergarten booger eater. A mouth breather with a slow, stiff smile. I was hoping he’d grow on me.

Dr. Stanford clears his throat.

“That’s hard to listen to for me, so I can only imagine how you must feel.”

Every year, on the anniversary of Piper’s kidnapping, I listen to the recording of the 911 call I made from the lobby of the Five Dollar. When I close my eyes, I can still see the blue diamond carpet and the blinking neon popcorn sign.

“Do you want to take a break?”

“A break from what?”

“It must be hard for you to hear that even now…”

That is true, reliving the worst day of my life never gets easier. The smell of popcorn is attached to the memory, and I feel nauseated. A cold chill sweeps over me. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I nod once.

“What happened after you hung up the phone?”

“I waited…what else could I do? I was afraid they were outside waiting to take me too. My brain hadn’t fully caught up to what was happening. I felt like I was dreaming.”

My voice is weighed down with shame; in the moments after my twin was taken, I was thinking of my own safety, worried that her kidnappers would come back. Why hadn’t I chased the car down the street, or at least paid attention to the license plate so I could give it to the cops? Hindsight was a sore throat.

“I wanted to call Gran.” I shake my head. “I thought I was crazy because I’d dialed her number hundreds of times and I just… I forgot. I had to wait for the cops.”

My lungs feel like they’re compressing. I force a deep breath.

“I guess it took five minutes for the cops to get there, but if you asked me that day, I would have said it took an hour.”

When I close my eyes, I can still see the city block in detail— smell the fry oil drifting across the street from the McDonald’s.

“The cops parked their cruiser on the street in front of the theater,” I continue. “I was afraid of them. My mother was an addict—she hated cops. To certain people, cops only show up to take things away, you know?”

He nods like he knows, and maybe he does, maybe he had a mom like mine, but for the last twenty years, he’s been going to Disney World—according to the photos on his desk—and that somehow disqualifies him in my mind as a person who’s had things taken away from him.

I take another sip of water, the memories rushing back. I close my eyes, wanting to remember, but not wanting to feel— a fine line.

I was shaking when I stumbled out of the theater and ran toward the cop car, drunk with shock, the syrupy soda pooling in my belly. My toe hit a crack in the asphalt and I rolled my ankle, scraping it along the side of the curb. I made it to them, staggering and crying, scared out of my mind—and that’s when things had gone from bad to worse.

“Tell me about your exchange with the police,” he prompts. “What, if anything, did they do to help you in that moment?”

The antiquated anger begins festering now, my hands fisting into rocks. “Nothing. They arrived already not believing me. The first thing they asked was if I had taken any drugs. Then they wanted to know if Piper did drugs.”

The one with the watery eyes—I remember him having a lot of hair. It poked out the top of his shirt, tufted out of his ears. The guy whose glasses I could see my face in—he had no hair. But what they had both worn that day was the same bored, cynical expression. I sigh. “To them, teenagers who looked like me did drugs. They saw a tweaker, not a panicked, traumatized, teenage girl.”

“What was your response?”

“I denied it—said no way. For the last six months, my sister had been hanging with a church crowd. She spent weekends going to youth group and Bible study. If anyone was going to do drugs at that point, it would have been me.”

He writes something down on his notepad. Later I’ll try to imagine what it was, but for now I am focused.

“They thought I was lying—I don’t even know about what, just lying. The manager of the theater came outside to see what was going on, and he brought one of his employees out to confirm to the police that I had indeed come in with a girl who looked just like me, and three men. I asked if I could call my gran, who had custody of us.”

“Did they let you?”

“Not at first. They ignored me and just kept asking questions. The bald one asked if I lived with her, but before I could answer his question, the other one was asking me which way the car went. It was like being shot at from two different directions.” I lean forward in my seat to stretch my back. I’m so emotionally spiked, both of my legs are bouncing. I can’t make eye contact with him; I’m trapped in my own story—helpless and fifteen.

“The men who took my sister—they took my phone. The cops wanted to know how I called 911. I told them the manager let me use the phone inside the theater. They were stuck on the phone thing. They wanted to know why the men would take my phone. I screamed, ‘I have no idea. Why would they take my sister?’”

“They weren’t hearing you,” he interjects.

I stare at him. I want to say No shit, Sherlock, but I don’t. Shrinks are here to edit your emotions with adjectives in order to create a TV Guide synopsis of your issues. Today on an episode of Iris in Therapy, we discover she has never felt heard!

“I was hysterical by the time they put me in the cruiser to take me to the station. Being in the back of that car after just seeing Piper get kidnapped—it was like I could feel her panic. Her need to get away. They drove me to the station…” I pause to remember the order of how things happened.

“They let me call my grandmother, and then they put me in a room alone to wait. It was horrible—all the waiting. Every minute of that day felt like ten hours.”

“Trauma often feels that way.”

“It certainly does,” I say. “Have you ever been in a situation that makes you feel that way—like every minute is an hour?” I lean forward, wanting a real answer. Seconds tick by as he considers me from behind his desk. Therapists don’t like to answer questions. I find it hypocritical. I try to ask as many as I can just to make it fair.

Excerpt from Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher. Copyright © 2024 by Tarryn Fisher. Published by Graydon House.

 What I thought about Good Half Gone

This book starts out with a bang with one twin reporting that her sister has been abducted.  Only no one believes her. It's a difficult situation, one that Iris, the remaining sister will never forget.  She focuses her life on revenge and finding out what happened to her sister Piper. Iris does know a few things about what may have happened to her sister, and she is determined to uncover the details -- a move that lands her on a internship in the Shoal Island Hospital for the criminally insane.

As with murder mysteries and thrillers, I don't want to get into details because I don't want to spoil all the fun of reading this engaging story.  I was hooked right from the start -- and just as interested as Iris to find out what happened to Piper.  Was it an abduction? Or something else?  And what about Piper's son who just happens to find his way to Iris?  What is going on here?  There's plenty at the start of this to get you invested in reading more.The story is told in dual timeline of past and present so that fills in a lot of the blanks.

The middle of this was a little flat and slow, but the ending makes up for that with the last quarter of the book really picking things up to a great pace and providing the twists and turns and reveals that make for great suspense. Iris also gets into a romantic encounter with one of the doctors at the hospital and that threatens her plan to find out just what happened to her sister.  I have mixed feelings about this romantic bit in here, because it seemed a bit out of place for Iris to fall into feelings while she is so focused on finally finding out what happened to her sister. 

The ending picks up the pace and delivers while feeling a bit rushed.  There are some "what just happened there?" moments. There's a great atmosphere here as things wrap up.  Overall, I liked how Iris's relationship which was a bit love/hate with her sister drove her in so many ways. Be sure to keep reading to the end to find out the truth which did seem a bit out there for me, but what I really liked Iris in this and wanted her to get the closure she needed. 

 


About the Author

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington, with her children, husband, and psychotic husky. She loves connecting with her readers on Instagram.

Social Links:

Author Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Blog Tour Review: Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3) by Penelope Douglas

 

What I thought about Kill Switch

In this third installment of the Devil's Night series from Penelope Douglas, Damon returns from prison and is left to deal with all the fall out of his incarceration.  Damon is most certainly anti-hero material, as he has done some terrible things.  He's not a sympathetic character, but Penelope Douglas does a great job of taking him from criminal to someone that can be redeemed and loved.

I don't want to spoil anything with this review, so I'm not going to say much about the interesting reveals and surprises found in this story.  What I can say is that this dark romance does a great job of exposing Damon's often hidden characteristics that explain just why he's the way he is.  He's not a nice guy by any means. He might just be the poster boy for real bad boys. His revenge plot seeking to ruin the person who put him in prison is front and center.

I will warn readers that this is a long book, and even more so with the bonus content. There are plenty of flashbacks to fill in the story.  There are times when the story is slow and sometimes repeats stuff.  It is a very dark tale of revenge and romance, so a reader should expect dark content in a dark romance.

As far as Winter goes, I found her to be a very interesting character as well.  She is strong and hopeful and just what Damon needs in his life. What I've liked about this series is that the characters grow (up) and change quite a bit over the course of the story, which makes it very interesting. There is also a high level of entitlement for these characters as they are raised with privilege, bringing a certain edge to the story that fits well.

Overall, I enjoyed Kill Switch, especially the second half which is paced more to my liking and where things really get moving.  If you are a dark romance fan, I'd recommend this series to you with the recommendation to read from the beginning to get the whole story.

 


 

 

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