Imatge de l'autor

Rachel Howzell Hall

Autor/a de These Toxic Things

18+ obres 1,382 Membres 84 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Rachel Howzell Hall is the assistant director of development for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and has written articles for Black Radio Entertainment magazine. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Crèdit de la imatge: Photograph by David W. Hall


Obres de Rachel Howzell Hall

These Toxic Things (2021) 230 exemplars
Land of Shadows (2014) 200 exemplars
They All Fall Down (2019) 178 exemplars
And Now She's Gone (2020) 174 exemplars
What Never Happened: A Thriller (2023) 122 exemplars
A Quiet Storm (2002) 101 exemplars
Skies of Ash (2015) 87 exemplars
We Lie Here (2022) 83 exemplars
Trail of Echoes (2016) 56 exemplars
The View from Here (2010) 55 exemplars
City of Saviors (2017) 49 exemplars
No One Knows You're Here (2011) 20 exemplars
The Last One (2023) 9 exemplars
See How They Run: A Novella (2022) 7 exemplars
How It Ends: A Novella (2021) 6 exemplars
The Family Lawyer 3 exemplars
Windmills of Wonder (2003) 1 exemplars

Obres associades

The Perfect Crime (2022) — Col·laborador — 36 exemplars
Shattering Glass: A Nasty Woman Press Anthology (2020) — Col·laborador — 7 exemplars


Coneixement comú



I picked this as my Kindle FirstReads book for August. It has a very unique concept and I was looking forward to digging in! It tells the story of Mickie Lambert, a 24-year old memory maker, who is hired to curate a collection of 12 items from a store owner, Nadia Denham. But she isn’t the only one who’s lurking around - Someone is sending her threatening messages and killing young women in the area. Mickie’s family is also hiding something, and it seems, so is everyone else in the area where Nadia works, and then her strange family starts showing up. And they have secrets, too.

This book has a lot of twists and almost everyone has a secret. The ending was a shocker, one I did not see coming. I did want to know what happened, what everyone’s secret was, and who the killer is. The family subplot was an interesting addition. And the stories behind each of Nadia’s 12 items were super interesting to read about.

I did find it a little hard to make it through to the end, for the reasons below, but I pushed through anyway.

However…I had a number of problems with the book. I wasn’t a fan of all the racist undertones. The author focused on people’s skin color an awful lot, and it almost came off as “Black = good” and “White = bad” (with a couple exceptions, of course). And why, when describing someone, was Black capitalized but white was not? And there were a lot of stereotypes surrounding both ethnic groups. I normally don’t pay attention to these things and instead choose to focus on the story, but here, it felt like it was shoved in my face repeatedly. The whole coronavirus mention felt randomly tacked in and caught me off guard. There are enough books referencing the pandemic and the virus, I didn’t want to read about it in a story where I read to escape reality for awhile. And, too many woke narratives for my liking (and I’m liberal leaning).

The main character, Mickie, was very unlikeable and annoying. She is 24 years old but acts like a spoiled, melodramatic, bratty teenager. Her friends weren’t much better, either, and I’m still not sure what their purpose was in the story. I didn’t find them likeable or relateable, either. Unfortunately the book is told in Mickie’s 1st person POV for 90% of it (and some chapters from the killer’s POV), so you’re spending the majority of time with this character. I didn’t agree with her motivations, either - she brought herself into this whole mess simply because she’s nosy.

Lastly, the writing style. I loved the author’s descriptions of places and things. But the writing style overall is very abrupt and disjointed and felt like reading the thoughts of a distracted person. The story didn’t flow well in some parts and I had to go back a few pages to see what I missed.

And the genre labels it as a thriller, but I found it to be more mystery with thriller elements. It was very slow and didn’t pick up until the last 1/4 of the book. So those who come in expecting a fast paced, exciting read will be disappointed. The first chapter and last 2-3 were the most exciting, IMO.

I hate giving any book lower than 4 or 5 stars because as a writer myself, I know books are a labor of love. Except this book just wasn’t for me and I’m not sure I’ll be reading any further works from this author.
… (més)
galian84 | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Dec 1, 2023 |
Collette Weber sneaked out of her house one night. When she found her way back, her mother, father, and brother had been brutally murdered. They had just moved to Catalina Island, where her father was a teacher. At 16 she went to live with her aunt Gwen, her father's sister in LA. At the age of 35 she returns to Catalina Island after a break up with her husband, Micah. Collette is an award winning obituary writer for the Los Angeles Times. She is hired by the local newspaper as a journalist. The newspaper owner was her college roommate. The house her parents bought in 2001 was being lived in by Gwen, her aunt, although the house belongs to Collette. It has fallen on hard times and needs a lot of work. After being on Catalina Island only a short time, Collette feels like she is being watched and vandalism happens to her house several times. Then she discovers that older women are being murdered and their houses put on the real estate market. A man tries to kill her, but he leaves a fingerprint on her cheek along with DNA under her fingernails.… (més)
baughga | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Sep 7, 2023 |
What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall is a highly recommended investigative mystery.

Twenty years before, Colette “Coco” Weber was the only survivor of a deadly home invasion the took the life of her parents and brother. She was more than willing to leave the Catalina Island home she inherited with her Aunt Gwen in residence and make a career on the mainland. She does well and finds success as an award winning obituary writer. Later, when her relationship breaks up and she learns Aunt Gwen may need some assistance, she accepts a job with the local paper and moves back to Catalina. Once she returns, strange and ominous things begin to happen.

Both Coco and Gwen are fully realized characters while the rest of the characters simply fulfill various roles in the plot. Coco has a prickly personality which may be off-putting, however she also has perfectly legitimate reasons for her attitude. The island and the inhabitants in general also become characters in the novel.

What Never Happened is plot driven by two different mysteries that beg to be solved. The first is who murdered Coco's family as new evidence exonerated the man convicted years earlier. The second mystery that officials seem unconcerned with involves the large number of elderly women who have recently been found dead on the island.

The pace of the novel is uneven. There were sections were I was fully engaged with the plot and immersed in the action. There were other times my interest in the narrative waned. Even with the murder mysteries I had to force myself to keep reading. At over 400 pages perhaps a bit more editing could have tightened up the narrative to keep the action moving along smoothly. Still, this is a very entertaining mystery.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.
… (més)
SheTreadsSoftly | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 4, 2023 |
Started out really good and interesting, and then just dragged on and on and on. Mickie is a classic mystery-thriller dumb bitch, but at least the author wrote that into the plot fairly early. Also, Mickie's reaction to her "family secret" was ridiculously overdramatic. The plot was predictable, but I did enjoy it for what it is-which is a pretty basic thriller, though it could've definitely been shorter (specifically all of Mickie's personal/family drama could have been removed or cut down significantly. I feel like it didn't add anything to the story).… (més)
LynnMPK | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Jun 28, 2023 |



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