A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier- Feature and Review


This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? 

How long can you live with it?



Jar of Hearts

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier is a 2018 Minotaur Books publication.

Electrifying Suspense!

Georgina Shaw’s past finally caught up with her. She had made a pretty nice life for herself, until the body of Angela Wong, her best friend in high school, is found fourteen years after she went missing.

For her role in the crime, and her connection to the infamous serial killer, Calvin James, Geo is rewarded with a five -year stint in prison. But, once her time is up, Geo's attempts to rebuild her life hits one snag after another as Calvin’s shadow still looms large over her life, and more buried secrets bubble to the surface. But, when a new string of murders, bearing Calvin’s MO, takes place, law enforcement is sure Geo knows more than she’s telling…

The story flips back and forth between the past and the present, as Geo recounts her high school days and what eventually led to Angela’s demise. The tension during these flashbacks is very intense, so much so, I squirmed in my seat, dreading the inevitable. But I never would have guessed the way it all played out. The teenage angst morphing into full blown obsession is riveting.

The present -day segments are also very suspenseful as Geo still harbors a few shocking secrets, and the reader is not sure if she can be fully trusted. The tension mounts as more bodies turn up and Geo could very well be the killer’s next target.

This is one of those books everyone was reading back in 2018. I wanted to read it while it was hot and trendy, but I was also starting to burn out on this genre, so I put it on the back burner for a while.

I never completely lost sight of it though, because I had a feeling that when the time was right, I would really like this one. I’m glad I followed my instincts. I had such a bad attitude towards serial killer tropes and psychological thrillers when this book was released, I’m not sure it would have had the same impact on me back then. Now that my attitude has been adjusted- somewhat- the book really packed an enormous punch!

This is a very taut, atmospheric novel, not only chock full of suspense, but also a compelling drama, which toys with one’s emotions. As a prolific reader of suspense novels, I had an inkling where the story was headed before the ‘big reveal’, but it didn’t lessen the jolt once it hit me.

I thought the book was well constructed and unique, with just the right amount of twists, revealed at just the right time and place. It was hard to put down, and I found myself thinking about the characters long after I finished the book.

Overall, this is a superb thriller worth waiting for!






Jennifer Hillier writes about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. Born and raised in Toronto and a proud Canadian, she spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all her books are set.

She loves her son, her husband, the Seahawks, and Stephen King. Not equally, but close. She's the author of five novels. Her newest psychological thriller JAR OF HEARTS, is available now from Minotaur Books. 

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