Miracle Creek – Blog Tour


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Blurb:
My husband asked me to lie.
Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first…
Miracle Creek is a gripping debut for fans of Celeste Ng, Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult, and about how far we’ll go to protect our families… and our deepest secrets.
In rural Virginia, Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine: a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that patients enter for ‘dives’, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was seen smoking down by the creek? Was it a group of protestors agaist HBOT therapy, who were at the site that morning? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on the generous insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets in Miracle Creek – trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child abuse charges – as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people drive to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Book Information:
Title: Miracle Creek
By: Anige Kim
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
Price: £16.99

 

My Review

This book was unlike any other I’ve read. I’m a huge mystery/thriller fan but I’d yet to read a courtroom drama and this sets the bar exceptionally high now for the genre. Angie Kim throws a story at you where you’re forced to look at the darker side of people, but, not because they’re evil but because they are simply human. There are tough decisions to face, and even tougher consequences as ever action echoes a ‘what could have been’ had the person not made that choice. And that’s the best part, each character is held accountable to their thoughts and actions. You also face a harsher reality of what families/people face when they choose to try and better their families lives by moving to America.

There is the story of a Korean family and its choice to move to the USA and how it affects them, there are the choices of a husband and wife pushed to the point of breaking over cultural (in-laws) and lifestyle differences and what they do to ease the tension, for better or extremely worse, and there are the choices of women with children all different in their own way, and the difficulties that come from their parenting choices, their children and their needs, and outside pressure. Honestly, this book was superb in every way. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone wanting to read a gripping and dramatic contemporary work of fiction.

^^^ This was my original review on GoodReads, and you know what, reading it again in its beautiful hardcover format simply solidified just how much I LOVE this book.

Even the way it’s divided, by what day of the trial and the flashes of the past are tastefully done.

Angie Kim is not afraid to show the utter darkness that we all are capable of carrying, and how sometimes not even good intentions are enough to justify acts. There’s so much love, and heartache, and all in different ways, romantic, friendship, familial, and it’s important to recognize all of these in the larger scheme of this book.

This really has set such a high bar not just for courtroom thrillers, or even thrillers in general, but for all books that come out this year. It’s so far managed to stay at the top of my list for best reads of 2019.

Angie Kim has used her own experiences and her own education to craft a contemporary masterpiece. I know I’m gushing but I can’t help it.

The first time I read this, my notes said ‘gripping from the first page’ and it was still just as intense the second time.

Don’t believe me on how much I straight up adore this book? I also bought a copy for my sister for her birthday. This book impacted me, and all my casual lingo aside, it is a true work of art as far as novels go, like I said, a masterpiece in its own right. Why? Because it’s so honest in the way Angie Kim wrote it, it’s a true thriller and in-depth look at the flaws of humanity.

If you’ve never read a courtroom thriller or don’t typically read thrillers but find the blurb fascinating, please, please give it a read.

I expect Angie Kim to go far in her writing.

Content warning: Sexual assault, death, death of children, abuse, suicide

Thanks to Kate and Hodder Books for a chance to be part of this tour and a chance to gush about this book again. [My review has been given honestly and was given before taking part in the tour]

 

That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story.

About the Author

Angie Kim credit Tim Coburn

Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the subrubs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then parcticed as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numberous publications including the New York Times, Salon, Slate, the Souther Review, Sycamore Review, the Asian American Literary Review, and PANK.

She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. Miracle Creek is her first novel, inspired by her own experiences as a Korean immigrat, a trial lawyer, and mother of a HBOT patient. 

 

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Life Ruins – Blog Tour

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Blurb:

A body, briefly glimpsed at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft, vanishes when the police investigate. Jared, recovering from an almost fatal injury and addicted to painkillers, knows he saw something terrible in that mine… but he has no evidence, and fears he’s losing his grip on reality.

A girl is attacked so savagely she can’t be identified, and dumped late at night in an isolate campgroud. She’s alive, but only just. Becca, tossed out of university and just let go from her dead-end job, is certain she knows who the victim is. But no one will believe her, and she can hardly even trust herself.

Kay, recently widowed and coming to terms with life on her own, suddenly finds herself forced to get involved. For years she and her husband fostered diccicult children – including Becca, whom trouble follows like a stray puppy. Now Becca seems to be in the worst trouble of her life.

And then Jared and Becca meet. Becca, strong-minded and fiercely independent, is confident they can figure out what’s going on. She pulls Kay into the mix, knowing they’ll need all the help they can get… because the police don’t believe them. And more girls are vanishing.

Book Information:
Publishing Date: July 25, 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471175930
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

A lot of times a thriller needs to be shorter on the page count for me, there are exceptions of course and Life Ruins is one of them because it’s not just a thriller, it’s about the three characters, their lives, the towns, the corruption flowing underneath everything. So, Danuta Kot has successfully written a slow burning thriller which I particularly enjoyed.

It’s a great variety when it comes to the three MCs, we have Becca the girl who had been fostered by Kay and her now-deceased husband. She appears to be a success story until things start to unravel for her and it harkens back to her troubled youth but is she still troubled or is it more than that?

Then you have Jared who has been through his own rough times but as a young adult instead. And after a terrible accident, his way of life just can’t continue but he struggles to and the painkillers help. In a way. He’s not beholden to anyone but he after the strange happenings lately he finds himself entangled in something greater than himself and there are lives at stake.

Lastly, we have Kay, she’s the widowed ex-foster mum who always worked alongside her husband to help the children. They had to ‘retire’ and now she’s left in the house they bought while Matt, her husband, is no longer there to fill in the silence of the countryside.

They were all unique in personalities and quirks, I have to say, I loved how patient Jared was and how caring and protective Kay was while not being overbearing to Becca. Then there is Becca and she is the most unique of the three in my opinion. She’s just gone through so much and there’s a reason for her temper, for her ‘troubles.’ Becca is just a young girl who has gone through too much and did what all of us do, she made a mistake.

The corruption of the crimes and assaults were fascinating to unearth and I didn’t want to put the book down after about page 230. I thought it really was unique with its use of the abandoned mining shaft, Jared and Becca’s pasts and the way things were connected. Still, though there was so much in the book that spoke of the truth about the situation for fostered kids, or kids who hare underprivileged in general and you can tell that Kot knows what she’s talking about and it’s appreciated in this day and age. So while the book was great and fun, it also made you remember how things still need improving in society.

As far as issues go, I think I was only bothered by what I perceived to be loose threads at the end, I wanted a couple of things to be tied up, it almost felt anticlimactic.

However, there were other aspects of the ending I really appreciated, such as Becca’s life where it stands at the end of the book, and obviously I can’t go into more because you know, spoilers, but suffice to say I thought a lot of things were realistic instead of being magically fixed and I really liked and appreciated that.

Overall 3.5 huge cups of coffee from me, I plan on lending this one out to all my friends. Definitely a great summer thriller read.

Thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours and Simon & Schuster for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Danuta Kot Author Picture

Danuta Kot grew up with stories. For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront moder, urban society: poverty, alienation and social break down, using the contexts of the modern crime novel. She had previously written under the names, Danuta Reah and Carla Banks. Danute was also a former char of the Crimer Writers’ Association.

 

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