More great releases today! June 13th is on fire for new books. So many anticipated releases for this summer. MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE by Matthew J. Sullivan (out today!) is definitely one of them.
A book about a bookstore AND it has murder and suspense? How could I pass that up? And I’m pretty sure that Lydia would refer to me as a BookFrog as well…so much time spent in the same bookstores! It’s a good problem 🙂
My Thoughts: 4.5/5 stars!
The cover and the brief synopsis I had heard were enough to intrigue me! So when I got the opportunity to read it, I didn’t pass that up. MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE by Matthew Sullivan is more of a fiction novel with some added suspense. I loved Sullivan’s writing style, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of his books.
We begin the story with Lydia Smith, she’s a clerk at Bright Ideas Bookstore, as she’s closing up the shop for the night. Upon investigating some strange noises in the shop, she finds Joey McGinty – a BookFrog, as she calls the bookstore regulars – has hung himself in the back room. The strange part is that he has something in his pocket that he couldn’t possibly have had- a photo of her from her childhood.
Lydia learns that Joey has left her all of his worldly possessions – trinkets and books alike. As she sifts through all of his things, she begins flipping through books and discovers that they’re all disturbingly defaced. All containing hidden messages for her – what did he know and what did it have to do with Lydia?
On her path to solve the mystery of Joey’s suicide she comes across deep buried memories from her own violent childhood. Her life is flipped upside down when her estranged father, an obsessive cop, and the Hammerman (a murderer from her past) all come back into her life.
Sullivan did a great job developing the characters. You really connected with Lydia. I did enjoy the bouncing back and forth from her present day search and then her childhood flashbacks. I really enjoyed his writing style and how he was able to create a bond between the reader and Lydia.
Even though this is advertised as a “heart pounding mystery”, I’d say it falls more into the category of fiction with some suspense thrown in. More of a slow build with a great final twist! So, if you’re looking for that fast-paced thriller, then this might not be what you’re searching for. However, if you want a character driven story with some murder and suspense, then I’d highly recommend this one.
A big thanks to Scribner for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!