Blog Tour, Review + Photo Journal: What She Gave Away by Catharine Riggs

6:30 AM

Give me unlikable characters ALL DAY EVERYDAY.


What She Gave Away by Catharine Riggs 

• Paperback: 348 pages
• Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 4, 2018)
Revenge is anything but sweet in this twisty thriller about two women with very different lives locked in the same deadly game.
Imagining the best way to destroy a person’s happiness is Crystal Love’s favorite game. Devious and unpolished, the plus-sized loan analyst couldn’t be more out of place in her new town of Santa Barbara, where the beautifully manicured women never age and the ocean views stretch farther than the million-dollar lawns. And yet her eye for the power dynamics at play in this tony community is dead accurate.
Kathi Wright, on the other hand, has made it her life’s work to fit in with the plastic people who surround her. But when her husband—a wealthy bank president—dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing. Then the FBI shows up, asking questions she can’t answer and freezing assets she once took for granted.
While Kathi struggles to outrun the mess caused by her husband’s mysterious death, Crystal seems focused on her game. But why? And who are her targets?
Spanning two years and told in Crystal’s and Kathi’s alternating voices, this tautly plotted novel reveals the power of choice and the price of revenge.
 That Cover Art, Though: 
A brief glimpse into the photo journal.

There's nothing like a gorgeous cover for the books we love. At first glance, I noticed how saturated the cover art was in comparison to others in its genre. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that not only is the background an intense orange, the close up of the face is amplified into even creepier levels by showing cracks in the image. 
Ultimately, this really sets the tone for the book and shows off the genre beautifully. I don't normally dedicate a portion of my reviews/photo journals raving about cover art but I just felt compelled to say this. I'm obsessed. 
Not many covers match up with the story told inside as well as What She Gave Away but this one 100% does and it needs to be appreciated. 
Taking it out for a photoshoot was a really nice change of pace and a bright spot of my previously crap weekend. 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or autho in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 
Ah, one of the first good thrillers of my year. I expected to enjoy What She Gave Away but I didn't expect to feel as strongly about it as I do. One of my favourite parts about thrillers are that there are so many unreliable characters, so many unlikable traits and actions and backstories. They draw a rich image overall that leaves readers questioning all and feeling deeply unsettled. 
That is, ultimately, how describe a read like What She Gave Away. By far, one of the most riveting reads I've picked up in a long time. This is the sort of book that gets under your skin in positive and negative ways. What this book gives us is simple: scheming thrills and chills with an engrossing narration. 
Although it was released late last year, reading this novel in the dead of winter; listening to the wind whistling in the dark, was intensely enjoyable. It made the experience all the more atmospheric and startling. 
Riggs crafts characters with some serious depth and dimension. They are everything I want out of a good thriller: real and intriguing. What She Gave Away has a cast of characters that are so well developed, you'll feel they are almost unexpected. You will love to hate and hate to love these characters with every fiber of your being. 
Armed with, and tangled by, their complexities, their differences, these characters drive the story home. It wouldn't be the indulgent and suspenseful novel it is without these characters. As the narration twists and turns, so does the feeling of being on the edge of something within the reader. 
Further, What She Gave Away is impossible to put down. It is far more than your average thriller and takes familiar tropes and spins them around on the reader. Kathi and Crystal are here to draw you into the story and grip you until the very end--buckle up, readers, you're in for quite the wild ride. 
I need the sequel. NOW.
Where to Purchase What She Gave Away: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About Catharine Riggs
Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before turning to writing fiction, Riggs worked as a business banker, an adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018. Riggs is a member of the International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild, Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.
Find out more about Catharine at her website, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram

Follow the TourThrough the wonderful team at TLC Book Tours
Monday, March 18th: Booked J
Tuesday, March 19th: Instagram: @kmc_reads
Wednesday, March 20th: The Desert Bibliophile
Thursday, March 21st: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, March 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, March 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, March 26th: Instagram: @Novelmombooks
Wednesday, March 27th: Wining Wife
Thursday, March 28th: Instagram: @fortheloveofbooks85
Friday, March 29th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, April 1st: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, April 2nd: Instagram: @readingwithmere

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