Dakota Diva Book Reviews

  • Once Upon A River  by Diane Setterfield
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / January 14, 2019

    This book is fascinating. The type of book that you want to read a second time. Like a river there are so many bends and runs, so many facets. This is a "story of stories" with family love at the center of three distinct families and their potential relationship with a mute girl who turns up in a small town. The characters of the novel are somewhat simple people. Some more or less educated than ot....

  • The Boy  by Tami Hoag
    FICTION , ADVANCE READING COPY / January 12, 2019

    The Boy is Tami Hoag's latest crime novel. In it a little boy has been brutally stabbed to death and it's up to Louisiana dectectives Nick and Annie to find the killer. It has been awhile since I have read anything by Hoag, but when I saw this on NetGalley I decided to request it. (Many thanks to Hoag, Dutton, and NetGalley for the ARC.) Some crime novels are hard to follow but Hoag's writing and ....

  • Christmas at Strand House,  by Linda Mitchelmore

    Lissy has inherited Strand House and plans to spend Christmas there.  A few friends will join her. So begins a sweet story that revolves around each person's unique situation in life.  Nothing too gripping, but really a story of how we move forward in our imperfect lives. I received a copy from NetGalley. Thanks to author Linda Mitchelmore.

  • Unraveling Oliver  by Liz Nugent
    FICTION / August 30, 2018

    I couldn't stop reading Unraveling Oliver. This book grabbed my attention with exceptionally vivid characters and a fast twisting plot. We start with Oliver, who has just beaten his wife Alice into a coma. Yes, that is the start of the story!! The format of the novel goes from past to present and into multiple points of view, but I had no problem following along. We live and learn about the charac....

  • Broken River  by J. Robert Lennon
    FICTION , MYSTERY / May 01, 2018

    I just finished Broken River by J. Robert Lennon. The author uses a "POV" called the Observer throughout the novel. Some readers may have a problem with this as the Observer is not human, but instead it is a presence; a watching, moving, learning presence.  Otherwise the book is basically a fast moving, short, well-written crime novel. I liked the insights into human nature and relationships, whil....

  • The Best of Adam Sharp  by Graeme Simsion
    FICTION / March 28, 2018

    This author has stories and a writing style that speak to me. Graeme Simsion's The Best of Adam Sharp kept me turning page after page. I am still reflecting on it now. There are questions posed and insight given- i.e. how significant others interact, or don't, whether marriages are able to withstand infidelity, whether lost love should stay lost, and will one person sacrifice for another? All of t....

  • The Chalk Man  by C.J. Tudor
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 21, 2018

    Years ago a girl was brutally murdered, dismembered, and her head placed in a backpack for unknown reasons. What the reader does know, is that the crime, although solved, is really probably unsolved. That is the beginning of The Chalk Man by new author C.J. Tudor. The novel uses a familiar pattern of past and present to engross the reader in the youth of Ed and his childhood buddies and Ed as a mi....

  • After Anna  by Lisa Scottoline

    After Anna is the latest novel from Lisa Scottoline.  The story is about how Maggie is suddenly reunited with her daughter, Anna. It was years before that Maggie was declared an unfit mother, but now Maggie has the chance to be in the life of the daughter she has always loved. Things go bad almost immediately, and Anna is murdered. Wow, right? Maggie is crushed, no, she's beyond crushed, when her ....

  • What the Dead Leave Behind  by David Housewright
    FICTION , NON-FICTION / February 09, 2018

    The fact that author David Housewright is living somewhat locally, in relation to me, is what originally caught my eye about this novel. In fact, the cover art of What the Dead Leave Behind depicts a park that is somewhat of a local landmark.  The book starts off quick, with retired police officer McKenzie being asked to investigate an unsolved murder.  Which, of course, he does. As readers we fol....

  • The Jane Austen Project  by Kathleen A. Flynn

    This book started slow, but ended up being both sweet and philosophical. A team of time travelers are sent to see if they can meet Jane Austen. They are assigned to befriend her and to locate a manuscript that is thought to be lost.  Of course the directive to alter history as little as possible and the social customs of 19th century England made this somewhat difficult.  Overall I am glad I stuck....