What Happened That Night


A NetGalley Book Review

Author: Deanna Cameron

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Date of Publication: September 2019              

Number of Pages: 328

My Rating: 4 out of 5

When Griffin Tomlin is found dead in his parent’s swimming pool, the Porterfields’ lives are irreversibly changed. Shortly thereafter, Emily Porterfield is arrested and charged with his murder.

Her sister Clara, who has had a crush on Griffin for a long time, knows more about the murder than she is saying. The family is torn apart, with Emily in jail and her parents unable to reconcile their reactions to the news.

It turns out that Griffin was not as perfect as previously thought by all. Clara told her sister about a traumatic event and believes this to be the reason that led to Emily’s act. With the aid of her new friend, Aniston, who is a writer for the school paper and amateur sleuth, she begins to see that there may be more to Emily’s act than she initially believed.

What they uncover is as shocking as it is unexpected. Clara is tormented by what she knows and its aftermath. She also finds herself drawn to Griffin’s best friend, Kolby further complicating her feelings.

This is book addresses the deep themes of sexual assault, torture, and murder. Clara narrates the story vividly. Her complex emotions are extensively explored and prominently displayed.

We equally see the reactions of those around her and how they impact her. The considerable pain and social isolation of sexual abuse victims is evident throughout the book.

The author seamlessly moves from the present to the past as she develops the plot. I found this book interesting and engaging, although it was not an easy read because of the subject.

I was drawn to Clara’s character and acutely felt her pain. I felt like Emily’s character could have been better thrashed out to help us make more sense of her behavior.

I am absolutely going to look out for more of Deanna Cameron’s work, as I love her writing style.

I rate it 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading mysteries and does not mind delving into deep heavy themes.

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Murder in Venice


Book Review

Title : Murder in Venice

Author: Maria Luisa Minarelli

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Genre : Historical Fiction/Mystery

Date of Publication: August 2019

Number of Pages: 294

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Murder in Venice is a historical fiction novel set in picturesque Venice in the 1750s. It revolves around a murder investigation carried out by Marco Pisani, who is an avagadore (high magistrate of Venice).

When an apprentice stumbles upon a dead body on the streets on his way to work early one morning, Marco is called in to prepare the trial and prosecution charges. The dead man, Barbaro is an impoverished noble.

What at first seems to be an open and shut case of a robbery that has gone badly turns into something else when two more bodies are found. With the invaluable aid of his lawyer friend Zen, his resourceful gondolier, Nani and the beautiful Chiara, Marco sets out to uncover the truth.

As Marco works to solve the mystery, we are able to see his exceptional thoroughness and his remarkable dedication to his job. What he discovers challenges the very core of his beliefs and eventually he finds himself torn between his duties as an avagadore and his sense of morality.

This book is the first in a series. It was originally written in Italian. The author gives us a glimpse into the lives of the Venetian people during the 1750s. Venice is no longer the center of commerce that it used to be. As a result, many nobles who relied on trade with the Orient for their livelihood find themselves without the trade interests that sustained them.

The author develops the story against this background. She demonstrates to us how the fortunes of the people have declined. Venice is a city that was once a ‘world leader in civilization and wealth’ but whose citizens now live in abject poverty.

I liked the vivid description of Venice at the time. I was transported into the lives of the people and got a good understanding of issues like the place of women in society and the power of the noble families.

The story is well-paced and interesting and kept me engaged until the end. It was easy to read and follow, and I loved the ending. I rate it 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries and historical fiction.

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.