Lavender (2016)

lavWritten by: Colin Frizzell and Ed Gass-Donnelly

Directed by: Ed Gass-Donnelly

When she was a little girl, Jane (Abbie Cornish) was the only survivor of a massacre that took the lives of her parents and sister. Their deaths are a lingering unsolved mystery, and it appears that Jane might have been responsible. Now she and her husband (Diego Klattenhoff ) are trying to save their foundering marriage while raising their smart, spunky daughter, Alice (Lola Flanery). Jane struggles with memory lapses and doesn’t remember the night of the murders — and she has to confront the possibility that she might be the killer.

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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

iWritten & Directed by: Macon Blair

Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) is disenchanted with humanity. Snippets of newscasts, in the background, paint a disheartening picture of the world. And in her role as a nurse’s aide, Ruth finds herself at the bedside of a dying woman who is a hateful racist; her last words don’t bear repeating to the family.

Then, to cap it off, someone breaks into Ruth’s house, stealing her legacy from her grandmother and leaving her feeling angry and violated.

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Indie Spotlight: The Tide by Anthony J. Melchiorri

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The Tide

Series: The Tide #1

Kindle Edition, 393 pages

Published: October 11, 2015 by Thunderbird Media (1st published September 2, 2015)

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Captain Dominic Holland, seasoned covert operative and father of two girls, is sent on an unusual mission by his CIA handler, Meredith Webb. With his crew of skilled warriors and brilliant scientists, he investigates a lead into a secret laboratory on an abandoned oil rig. Nothing in his background, a lifetime of international missions to protect the United States from biological and chemical warfare, has prepared him for what they encounter.

(Warning: Mild spoilers in the rest of the review. So I’ll cut to the chase — this book is terrific :-)…Proceed at your own risk.)

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Wish You Were Here (2012)

Wish_You_Were_Here_filmWritten by: Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price

Directed by: Kieran Darcy-Smith

Setting: Australia and Cambodia

Dave Flannery (Joel Edgerton) and his pregnant wife, Alice (Felicity Price), have taken a spontaneous vacation to Cambodia with Alice’s sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) and her new boyfriend Jeremy (Antony Starr).

Alice and Dave return home to Australia and resume life with their two young children. However, we quickly sense that something is very wrong. Somewhere between lounging beside the ocean and moonlit parties, Jeremy went missing. As his three friends try to figure out what happened to him, the tension escalates and painful secrets are revealed.

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The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

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Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #10

Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Published: August 26, 2014 by Minotaur Books

Setting: Québec

Literary Awards: Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel (2015), Agatha Award Nominee for Best Contemporary Novel (2014), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Mystery & Thriller (2014)

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Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are happily retired, with their dog Henri, to the village of Three Pines, Québec. Armand is on a gradual journey toward healing after the violent events he has survived. His longtime friend Clara Morrow is puzzled by his habit of sitting each morning, on the same bench, studying a particular book — he is always on the same page.

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What I’ve Been Reading & Blogger Links

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and, as is usual in Western Virginia, the weather is capricious. One day everyone is out in shorts, and the next we’re preparing for a blizzard. Good times.

I haven’t written any new book reviews in a while, but I’d like to talk about the novels I’ve been reading, many of which were recommended by fellow bloggers.

Currently Reading:
CloserCloser Than You Think by S.A. Barton
Ebook
Published December 24, 2016 by Smashwords Edition

This will probably be my next Indie Spotlight. I happened upon the author in the strange, labyrinthine realm that is Twitter, and his tweets caught my attention. He revealed enough in 140 characters to convince me that I’d enjoy his authorial voice, and I haven’t been disappointed. I liked some of these stories and loved others and — in every one, so far — the writing style and narrative voice have thoroughly grabbed me.

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In the Electric Mist (2009)

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Written by: Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson-Kromolowski, based on In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke

Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier

My mom was a fan of James Lee Burke’s murder mysteries — which are still on my shelves, unread, and I was intrigued by this adaptation of his novel In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead. Let’s face it: Tommy Lee Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, John Goodman, Kelly Macdonald, Mary Steenburgen — what a kick-ass cast! Sarsgaard alone is enough to sell me on just about any movie.

This beautifully shot, atmospheric thriller — rich in history and Southern culture — offers excellent acting and some suspenseful moments. It has some wonderful elements. An intriguing mystery and interesting characters.

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