24 September, 2020

Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title : Hawthorn Woods

Author: Patrick Canning

 ISBN: 979-8-663-48797-9 (pb) 978-0-578-72823-0 (ebook) 

Publication Date: Aug. 4, 2020 

Formats: Paperback, ebook 

Available On: Amazon,

major online retailers Price: $15.95 paperback $9.99 ebook

 Page Count: 300 

Genres: Domestic Suspense, Thriller, Mystery 

Source: A free review copy from the author


Seeking to rediscover herself after a divorce, a detective-minded woman embarks on solving the small mysteries of a Midwest neighborhood, only to learn the secrets hidden there are more horrifying than she could have ever imagined.


Summer, 1989.

 Reeling from a catastrophic divorce she just can’t seem to leave behind, Francine Haddix flees San Francisco for a two week stay at her sister’s house in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. 

The quaint neighborhood of shady trees and friendly neighbors seems like the perfect place to sort through her pain and finally move on with her life—but the tranquility doesn’t last long. Beginning with a complete stranger throwing a drink in her face at her own welcome party, Francine soon discovers the supposedly idyllic suburb is hiding a disturbing number of mysteries. 

Why is the handsome-ish guy next door lying about who he is? What’s hidden in the back of the teenage troublemaker’s shed? Who wrote a threatening message in blood? Which of the smiling neighbors has a secret they’d kill to keep?

Seeking to reclaim a natural passion for sleuthing numbed by her divorce, Francine rewrites her prescription from one of relaxation to one of investigation. If she can detect the lies, follow the clues, and remember how to trust herself, she might get to the bottom of what’s so very wrong in Hawthorn Woods. She might even be able to believe the future can be good again—assuming she lives long enough to be in it. 

My Review:

When I started reading the first few chapters, I got a feeling of reading a chick-lit. But, the story slowly transforms into a mystery as well. 

Hawthorn woods is just like any other neighborhood with different types of people and gossips around. Laura Jean is my favorite actor and I can relate to those kinds of people in real life. They are great friends and fun to share our lives with.

Francine is depressed by her divorce and still cannot come out of those memories yet. She seeks comfort in using her detective skills for an investigation along with Bruno and finally falls in love with him.

Until the truth is found, Ronald is my second most favorite character. Calm and sensitive individual looking for a relaxing retirement life. 

The characterization is great. I loved the portrayal of Charlie, Bruno, Eric, and Lori. The narrative is interesting. It's basically a cool read, unlike a suspense thriller. There are one or more great twists in the story and unexpected turns, but till the last few pages, it's smooth and predictable.

The pace is just right to me. The title and the book cover are appropriate. I loved the tag line of the book and the lines from the questionnaire before each chapter. Those lines before each chapter are relevant to the story. 

I don't have anything that I disliked about the book. If you are looking for a chick-lit mixed with a little mystery, you will love this book.

My Rating : 5/5

PS: I have received this review copy from the author in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.


 PATRICK CANNING is the author of three novels, including Cryptofauna (2018), The Colonel and the Bee (2018), and his latest, Hawthorn Woods (2020). He has also published several short stories. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing beach volleyball, following space exploration, and losing at bar trivia. Patrick lives in Los Angeles with his dog Hank, who some consider to be the greatest dog of all time. 


Katie.schnack@smithpublicity.com www.patrickcanningbooks.com 


Until next time,

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