ARC REVIEW: The Good Sisters – by Helen Phifer

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Title: The Good Sisters
Author: Helen Phifer

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Thriller
First published: October 31st 2016
Publisher: Carina UK
Finished reading: October 26th 2016
Pages: ?
Rating 4,5qqq

“It was once a house of God, but not after  that terrible night. It changed; they let that woman in and it changed their lives for ever.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Carina UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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During my hunt for creepy Halloween read last year I came across The Good Sisters at Netgalley. The cover looked perfectly spooky and after reading the blurb I was convinced this one would be just right to get into the Halloween mood. And I was right. I’m not saying it’s a full-blown horror read and part of the plot was a bit predictable, but I personally had a blast reading this story by Helen Phifer. The Good Sisters has just the right dose of creepy and mixes historical chapters and horror with romance scenes to lighten up the mood. Perfect for those who don’t like heartstopping and bloodchilling horror! This novel is well written with great descriptions that set the right creepy atmosphere, complete with haunted convent and everything. My favorite chapters would be those set in the past; it was great learning more about what happened when things first started to go wrong. The chapters switch between past and present, but it is done in a way that doesn’t slow down the pace and it’s without doubt an excellent read. Recommended!

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In 1931, Mother Superior Agnes offers sanctuary to a desperate young woman fleeing for her life. They take her in, but there seems to be more to her than meets the eye. The next morning, one of the Sisters is found dead under brutal circumstances in a room locked from the inside. Nobody understands what happened, but Agnes has a feeling she did wrong when she let the woman enter the convent… And she has no idea how far the consequences will reach. Over 80 years later, Kate Parker moves into the old convent with the dream of turning it into a bed and breakfast after renovation. She just came out of a bad marriage and is looking to change her life. She doesn’t know about the convent’s dark history and is determined to stay while the renovations take place, but she soon starts to suspect she is not entirely alone in her new home.

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Sure, the plot is a bit predictable at times and the ending isn’t really a surprise, but personally it didn’t bother me it all. It’s a fast-paced, well written and delightfully creepy story with great descriptions that set the right atmosphere from the beginning. I personally wasn’t blown away by the romantic elements, but they do create a balance with the horror that people who don’t like ‘too creepy’ reads will appreciate. The Good Sisters is without doubt a very entertaining read and and excellent choice if you are looking for your next paranormal horror story.

WWW Wednesdays #109 – November 2nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m finally continuing with my last TBR jar pick The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and I’m definitely enjoying it a lot better than the first time I tried to start reading it. I’ve also picked up my Netgalley copy of No Excuses Detox by Megan Gilmore, which is turning out to be a really interesting read so far and I can’t wait to start trying out the recipes.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer, which turned out to be such a great and creepy read! Definitely on the top of this year’s Halloween list; if you like a well written story with great descriptions and the right creepy atmosphere (complete with haunted convent), defiintely give this one a go. It’s brilliant!
* I then read The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang, which is a true crime read about the Scholl Case where a former German mayor killed his wife. It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, as it focused more on the history of both the mayor and his wife and the murder case was forced into the background. The whole thing read more like a historical fiction story, and I’m not sure to what level this story can actually be called ‘non fiction’. The pace was pretty slow as well…
* I then picked up Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, mostly because I wanted to read more Halloween related books. And I really enjoyed this one! Fast-paced and just the right dose of creepy; the perfect and entertaining read for the October month. I will definitely be continuing this series soon.
* I also decided to read Sanctum by Madeleine Roux for the same reason. I had completely forgotten how good this series was! Almost no romance, a fast pace, lots of creepy scenes and the photos are a nice touch. I really enjoyed this one and I’ve moved the third book right to the top of my TBR pile as well.
* The last book I finished was Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell, a Netgalley read that didn’t turn out to be as good as I hoped it would be. I had a hard time getting a proper feel for the story and I wasn’t really convinced by the characters in general… Lucy (killer) had a lot of potential, but Ruby (detective) felt weak as a main character and I didn’t appreciate the romance or love triangle either.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two of my pending Netgalley ARCs: The Power by Naomi Alderman and Anything For Her by Jack Jordan. I’m especially excited about the first title after I read Claire‘s review not that long ago and I can’t wait to start reading it. I also want to read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, but I need to reread Six Of Crows first so I might wait a little while longer. And my next TBR jar pick is still A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

WWW Wednesdays #108 – October 26th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer and I’m loving every minute of it so far. It’s without doubt a proper Halloween read complete with haunted house and everything! I can’t wait to continue reading it later today to find out what happens next… I’ve also started The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, but I couldn’t really get into it. I’m only a few pages into the story so far, but I’ve decided to keep it on hold until I’m in the mood for it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Faithful by Alice Hoffman, which turned out to be a really interesting read despite my initial doubts. I know this book has mixed reviews, but I found it both well written and intriguing. The characters are well developed and feel real, and even though Shelby is not exactly likeable, you grow to love her anyway. Interesting story on how grief and guilt can change a person and how hard it is to move on.
* I then read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and I can’t say I fell in love with this classic. I already knew the basic story and I’m not saying it’s a bad read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Too many religious references and I just couldn’t get a proper feeling for the story.
* The last book I finished since last week is Worth Killing For by Ed James, and I think I enjoyed this sequel even better than the first book. Fast-paced and packed with action scenes; this crime thriller is definitely a great choice for any fan of the genre. And that ending! I will be waiting for the third book to come out to find out more…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang has been on my Netgalley list for a while now, so I should really read that title next… Although I might read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender first since I have been neglecting my Halloween TBR way too much this month. Anything For Her by Jack Jordan is also on my to-do list, and my nex TBR jar pick will be A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

Teaser Tuesdays #111 – October 25th: The Good Sisters

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Books And A Beat. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve only just started reading one of my ARCs The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer, but so far it has all the signs that it is going to be a proper Halloween read. Fingers crossed!

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My teaser (3%):

“They were so busy looking down at the floor, making sure it was safe to walk on, that neither of them saw the faceless, black, hooded figure hovering at the top of the stairs watching them. Kate’s torchlight caught the corner of the thick, silver, crucifix that hung around its neck, making the light reflect a little. ”

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #107 – October 19th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I still haven’t finished The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and that’s mostly because I’ve been wanting to finish a few ARCs first. I’m going to try and finish it before I continue with Faithful by Alice Hoffman though… I’m only a few pages into that one so far, but it sounds really promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I guess this is one of those books that just isn’t for me, because the other reviews are really positive. There was just too much explicit sex talk, romance and colorful language to my taste… I liked the general plot and the geocaching though.
* I then read The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, which turned out to be another brilliant psychological thriller. Fast-paced, many many plot twists and characters that might be unlikeable but work perfectly with the plot, suspense… This story has it all and more.
* I was finally able to read a Halloween themed book as well: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I was surprised to find out that I enjoyed this story that much, because I normally don’t like vampire stories. This one is an exception though; well written, not too many romance scenes and the right dose of creepy.
* I also finished Dark Water by Robert Bryndza, the third book in a new detective series that is without doubt entertaining. I would have liked to see less romance and I thought the spark of especially the second book was missing, but it was still a solid thriller read with quite a few plot twists and action scenes. I kind of already saw the ending coming though…
* Finally, I was able to read Trow-Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt yesterday. The Dutch version (and the rest of her work for that matter) was one of my favorite childhood books and probably one of the first stories I read by myself… It was so good to revisit that world with this English translation that was provided by me by Netgalley and the publisher. It has the perfect bedtime stories to read to the little ones.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two pending thriller ARCs: Worth Killing For by Ed James and The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer. The first is a sequel (review of the first book will be posted tomorrow) and the other sounds like a great Halloween read. I also want to read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender for the same reason… And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

Friday Finds #103 – October 14th

fridayfindsmemeFRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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