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Books by Barbara Freethy

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for books and review posts. This is a review of suspenseful thriller books by Barbara Freethy.
Suspense by Barbara Freethy

Last One to Know

I loved it

Publication Date: November 2022

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It was an ordinary day when I got the call from the hospital. I was working at the clothing boutique I ran with my sister. I was contemplating making a major change in my life, but I wasn’t sure if I had the courage to risk what was safe and comfortable for something completely unpredictable. I thought I might be making the biggest decision of my life, but then my phone rang…

A nurse told me that my mother had been shot, that she might be dying. This could be my last chance to see her, to say goodbye. I needed to go to San Francisco immediately.

I was stunned by the news. It had to be a terrible mistake. My mother had died twenty years ago. I knew the truth. Didn’t I?

My Review

What was it all about

Got my hands on two thrillers by author Barbara Freethy in the last week of the year 2022. Both were exciting books that kept calling my name, even when I had work and chores pending. 

Last One to Know was all about how life came crashing down with one phone call. It was a normal day in Brynn’s life, working in her sister’s boutique, when a call from the hospital, asking her to come down to say goodbye to her mother who might be dying after being shot. But her mother had died twenty years ago. Then who was this woman?

The Characters

An exciting blurb was this which had two twin sisters at the helm where Brynn seemed to be the one who was caught on the backfoot. Still at the edge of wanting to live her dreams, this call was a shocker to her. I liked how her character was carefully etched by the author as she unfurled the life of the woman who was supposedly her mother. 

I loved her newly found determination as she not only discovers the truth about their past with each chapter, but also manages to stand up for herself, confident and strong. I loved strong characters, don’t ya?

She was ably supported by the male lead Kade, the downstairs neighbor, who provided a gentle support when she needed one, without being overbearing or taking charge of her life. There were hints of romance, and I liked that the auhtor did not got into details about it. 

Both these characters had enough complexities that kept me hooked to the story. There were other supporting characters who formed Brynn’s family, and I liked how the author gave me a plethora of suspects in them. 


The Intricacies

Oh my! This one had so many plot twists that I soon lost count as the pages turned. Every time I thought I knew where the book was going, the author added a wicked twist that threw a spanner in my suppositions. 

There was a whole set of solid suspects who could have been the shooter along with an added subplot of Kade’s father’s death. And I liked how the stories seemed to intersect at many points, but it actually weaved in well together in the last few pages.

Stray thoughts of wild theories did come to mind, and I wished I had grasped them. Then perhaps I would have guessed the true story. But alas, that never happened.

The author Barbara Freethy truly kept me on my toes, and I thought that made me truly come alive and made this book a fun thriller. 

The Setting

I didn’t want a vividly descriptive story, but something that helped me anchor myself to the story. And the book had enough of such lines. 

The style of writing - The Prose

The style of prose was absolutely intelligent where there was enough crumbs given for me to go on a wrong trails. 

The emotions were well seeped into the words, Brynn surely impacted the story and brought out an additional layer of visual imagery with her depth of feelings. 

The pace was spot on. Fast and furious was how I would describe it. Pages turned automatically along with my heart rate. I liked that. Didn’t I tell ya the book made me feel alive?

How it made me feel - The Good

Excited. Excited. Excited. I rushed through this book, wanting to get to the end, to know the truth. So many times I was tempted to read the last chapter of reveals. And it took a helluva lot control to restrain myself. Whew. That was some act of will. 

Not a single moment where my concentration drifted away or where I felt the book dragged. Each chapter made me get to the next one. 

I wished there were more books like these, where every word gave me a good cardiac workout. 

What I didn't like - The Bad

Hmmm… I don’t know. I was so immersed in this story that I never found the time to analyze anything. 

The Summary

A brilliant thriller that made me forget the real world and dive deep into the secrets of Brynn’s past. 

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely. One of my best reads of 2022. In fact, I am hoping to add more of her books to my wishlist. 

All the Pretty People

I loved it

Publication Date: February 2022

Book Links

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through this link at no extra cost to you at the Kindle and Audible store.


Ten years ago, I was seventeen, spending summers with my wealthy family and friends on Hawk Island. One terrible night, I blacked out. The next morning, my best friend, Melanie, was gone—vanished without a trace.

Today, I go back. To the island. To my sister’s wedding. To a group of privileged people with whom I’ve never belonged. To my best friend’s brother, a man who hates us all. To secrets that someone will kill to keep.

A storm is coming. A storm that will cut off the island from all hope of help. A storm that could allow a kidnapper to escape or a killer to murder again. A storm that will wash away all the lies and deception and reveal the true faces of All the Pretty People.

Will I be the next one to disappear?

My Review

What was it all about

All the Pretty People was another bang-on thriller by Barbara Freethy. 

Willow was forced to return to Hawk Island, where a decade ago, her best friend Melanie had disappeared. And Willow could remember nothing of that night. Total blackout. 

Now her sister Kelsey wanted her wedding on that island where Melanie’s brother was waiting to know the truth. They said the truth would set you free. But before that could happen, Kelsey too disappeared. 

Who was next? And would they ever get Kelsey back, especially when there was an impeding storm. 

The Characters

So many of them. At first, I was completely overwhelmed. I didn’t remember their interpersonal relationships, but thanks to the author, she slowly made them distinctive by portraying their different characteristics. And of course, by their secrets.

Willow was developed down the pages as someone who was a wallflower and in the background slowly found her confidence and determination. I liked how she stood tall by the end of the book. 

There was a twinge of romance, but nothing that took away the spotlight from the main plotline. Both Willow and Drake made a good pair, both determined to know what happened to their sisters in the present timeline and the past.  

The Intricacies

With dual disappearances, there were all the alibis of the guests to the wedding, all those pretty, rich people that had to be analyzed. I liked how the author managed to hoodwink me completely. 

Nope, I couldn’t even begin to guess the perpetrator. The twin stories were filled with multiple twists.

The Setting

I would have liked more descriptions of the island, as there were times I couldn’t visualize it. 

Also, I was told they had searched the entire island since it was small, but apparently not. 

The style of writing - The Prose

Quite exciting. I had a great time, trying to analyze the words spoken by the various characters. 

The book was extremely fast-paced that had me flipping through the pages freaking fast. Loved finishing the book at one-go.

How it made me feel - The Good

The lies that were stated as the statement of truths by all the characters, both in the past and present. The twin timelines made it exciting because they were the same set of people who were present in both the disappearances. 

There were some whoppers uttered by some of the characters that made this book an absolute fun. 

What I didn't like - The Bad

Nothing really niggled me about this book. But I would have liked more emotions from the characters. Even by the end of the book, there was no warmth between the members of Willow’s family.

Maybe all the characters were rich and quite fake in their dealings with each other, so I couldn’t feel the warmth in their emotions, even when they were being genuine. 

But this didn’t make the book less of a thriller.  

The Summary

A suspenseful thriller about missing women in dual timelines that read super-fast.

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely would recommend this book as who wouldn’t like to read a fast-paced, well written, thrilling story about a missing sister. 

I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

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