Cover Image: Up the Creek

Up the Creek

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Member Reviews

A very interesting plot. When nightmares become real events, and the people involved all have become a family because of the past. This was an absolute mystifying tale to read.
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Although this book was a very easy, fun read, without any awkward wording or misspellings or mistakes, it was also very predictable. I had a feeling that I had the end figured out about a quarter of the way through the book. The rest of the book was still enjoyable, though and although I do feel that the storyline giving this book a sequel was kind of half-ass thrown into the mix and almost seems like a completely different book crammed into this one, I would still enjoy reading said sequel, especially now that I have finished this story.
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Right from the very start it had me hooked and wanting to know all of the secrets that everyone seemed to be keeping and what really happened to the young girl and who killed her and why, other thing I loved was how complex the characters was and how the plot seemed to flow with the story and made it easy to get lost in, and the pace also help it wasn't to fast or slow it was just right. But the biggest win for me was how it was a murder mystery, a thriller and suspense all wrapped up into  one exciting book that kept me setting on the edge of my set.
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Detective Sage Dorian is trying to solve a nineteen-year-old cold case murder of a young girl. The characters are a young boy with nightmares about a murder, his mother who used to have nightmares, his father who we learn had issues as a child with sleep walking, and the psychic whose sister was murdered. I was unable to ever get invested in this story or characters. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
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4.5 Stars

Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary copy of Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this book prior to publication. My opinions are my own, and no one has influenced them.

Up the Creek is an exciting mystery with complex characters and a gripping plot. The pacing pulled me in from the first page and kept me enthralled until the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and trying to discover how it was all connected.

Caitlin Walker is the main character in this book, and she is married to Lance. She was plagued by horrific nightmares as a child, and when in college, found a way to silence them. Now her young son is having similar gruesome nightmares. I enjoyed her character a lot and loved her determination to protect her young son. 

Lance has several unexplained idiosyncrasies, such as insisting they keep the bedroom locked while they sleep. He never has explained why he needs this to Caitlin. He makes light of their son’s nightmares, but he is actually deeply concerned and takes Adam to a woman who is supposed to be able to end his nightmares. His secrets are eating him alive, but fear keeps him silent. I felt so sorry for his troubled soul as the story plays out and shed a few tears for him, especially at the end.

This is a true phycological thriller that kept me reading as fast as possible, so I could find out how or if they could overcome their issues. This book is far from the light-hearted books I normally read, and I loved it. 

If you enjoy thrillers with complex relationships, and a plot that pulls you into the story, then you will love Up the Creek as much as I did. Upon finishing the novel I rated it with 4 Gold Crowns, but as I wrote this review, I decided to give it 4.5 Gold Crowns instead and will round it up to Five stars on the sites where I place my review. Happy reading!
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Slow start, with a can’t put down middle to the end.

Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso was a very good thriller with engrossing characters and an unusual plot.  The book starts out a bit slow, and I’ll admit, I almost gave up on it, but then took off, and I had a hard time putting it down.  The story had several twist and turns, as the author built up to a satisfying ending.  I would definitely read another book by Alissa Grosso.
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Bottom line: couples should not keep secrets from each other.
Bottom line two: this was a great introduction to a new series! But with such an emphasis on the Walker family, it was hard to see that Detective Sage Dorian will be the going forward center of the series.

Caitlin had prophetic dreams/nightmares as a child. When her son starts to express his, Caitlin is startled and worried. Her husband, Lance, is worried but for a different reason. It is the combination of these worries that propels them in various directions that ultimately bring their family into a decade’s old murder. Ms. Grosso did a terrific job of developing these incredibly flawed characters! If only they had talked to each other! The story line was solidly built, a tad predictable, but sometimes that is okay when you have a good plot coming to fruition. I look forward to learning more about Detective Dorian and hope Culver Creek can keep him busy!
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Secrets, lies and murder. What role do dreams play in solving the nineteen year old unsolved murder of  Lily Esposito? Caitlin drugs herself to prevent herself from dreaming, Lance wonders what he’s done during the night that he can’t remember and their son Adam wakes screaming from the nightmares he’s having. 

The story is told from alternating perspectives, Caitlin’s, Lance’s and Sage Driscoll, the detective investigating the unsolved murder. Each of them experience flashbacks of events that occurred years ago. These flashbacks give clues to how they became the people they currently are and the fears they deal with. This book is a well written interesting read..Not all story threads are resolved and we’re left with some unanswered questions that are teasers for the next installment.
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I received a free electronic copy of this novel on December 9, 2020, from Netgalley, Alissa Grosso, and Glitter Pigeon Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Alissa Grosso writes a tight, compelling story that grabs hold early and doesn't let go. I am pleased to recommend this author to friends and family.

In her youth Caitlin was traumatized again and again by nightmares of horrific murders, making her fearful to go to sleep to the point that she would do anything to avoid it. Her mother, a tired, depressed, and bored woman chooses, once it is obvious that these are precognitions of actual murders, of exploiting her daughter's curse for attention and coin. Once grown, Caitlin works her way through sleeping aids, both prescription and over-the-counter, until she finds one that will give her 8 hours of guaranteed dreamless sleep. And years later, that company has gone out of business, encasing Caitlin in anxiety and a neverending search for outdated pills from any source, measuring her life in the nights of a peaceful sleep she can count on in the future.

She has never talked of that time in her youth with her husband Lance - until their son, Adam begins having horrific nightmares, waking Lance almost nightly with screams and crying. Not aware of Caitlin's history, Lance is of the opinion that these episodes should be ignored. Lance has his own problems that take his focus off of the family, and the sleeping pills put Caitlin too deeply asleep to respond to Adam's cries. While talking Adam through the trauma of another nightmare over breakfast, Caitlin is stunned to realize that some of his dreams are an echo of ones she suffered in her own youth, a series of murders that were never solved despite her assistance to the police. She cannot let her son Adam go through the same torture she suffered in her youth. It becomes obvious that Lance is not going to be able to help them. He has too many problems of his own to work through. But what can she do? Who can she turn to for help?
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This book is a murder mystery, a thriller and suspense all wrapped up in one exciting book.  As you read you find connections with various characters that weren’t obvious in the beginning.  I don’t want to spoil the book so I can’t get into what parts I liked or didn’t like without ruining it for you.  

The characters were well developed and it was easy to feel what they were experiencing.  The story was told through various characters eyes so you get to see different perspectives of the situation which helped me figure things out quickly. 

I will say the ending disappointed me because it have the startling climax that most suspense novels have.  To me it seemed predictable and I thought that the ending could have been different.  A lot of storylines were left without closure.  The married couple seemed unbelievable as a couple because they didn’t share anything  and there were obvious things that they should have noticed about each other. 

Overall it’s an exciting book with lots of twists and I didn’t want to put it down.  I needed to know what the truth was, even if I didn’t like the way it ended.
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Full of secrets and lies, this one will keep you guessing until the end. It's a bit confusing at the beginning trying to keep all the characters and timelines straight. Keep with it though because about a third of the way through it turns into a page-turner. 
This is the first in a new series. While the case revolving around the past and the current case are resolved, there are a few threads left undone. While we will definitely be seeing more of Sage it's unclear if we will see the other characters as well. I hope so because there are definitely some interesting turns that could take.
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Up the Creek by Alissa C. Grosso is an interesting thriller that left me with mixed feelings. Overall, the concept is particularly good because frightening dreams can be a problem that is not easily solved. All three of the main characters, Caitlin, Lance, and Adam., have night terrors or active dreams. 
Caitlin Walker thinks she has found a solution to avoiding her physic dreams. She drugs herself each night with an over-the-counter sleep aid that has recently been discontinued. As I read how desperate she became to get the expired Pacifcleon, I wanted to shake her. She was putting her health and the safety of her child at risk without seeking professional help. 
  Lance thinks if he keeps the bedroom door locked at night, he will be safe from wandering and acting out his dreams. He acts out aggressive behavior towards others as he sleepwalks away from home in the night. Little Adam finds solace in drawing scenes of the dreams that scare him in the night. Adam is the only one in the family who is honest about the scary dreams. 
The story interweaves the past and the present as old and new mysteries are linked together.
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Thank you Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me to read this ARC. This book started off great!Right away I started caring about Adam, poor kid. As the book went on, I got confused because there was so much going on and it was frustrating that so many people had secrets and stories, many of which did not seem to be resolved. I guess that's why this is only book one. However, I think the other stories distracted from the main story that was actually great. I would have enjoyed it more if the whole thing had been more streamlined because at some points I could not keep track of who was who. And other than Adam, I did not like any of the characters. The ending was really good. I will check out the  subsequent books in the series for sure!
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Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso a five-star read that will grip you and never let you go. This is number one on the Culver Creek series and I am excited to read number two as well as more by this author, I don’t know what to write to tell you to read this story as I am terrified that I may give you a tiny hint that as you read may reveal something to you. All I will say is if you are looking for a gripping mystery with characters that will keep you guessing as well as make you care then this is a story for you.
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(This review is scheduled to post 1/20/21 at

Book 1 in the Culver Creek Series follows a family, each with dark secrets, and a police detective who moved to the small town in Pennsylvania to escape his own demons. A cold case murder will bind them all together.

Lance and Caitlin struggle with the challenge of their young son Adam’s terrible dreams. He wakes the house with his screams about the things he sees there. Discussions of what to do about them are a source of conflict in their marriage. Meanwhile, police detective Sage Dorian has moved to the small Pennsylvania town of Culver Creek to put some negative parts of his life behind him. There’s not a lot to do for a detective, so the department puts a nineteen-year-old unsolved murder on his desk. Being the outsider doesn’t make him popular with his department, and second guessing their work doesn’t help.

Alissa Grosso does a nice job setting up characters we can relate to in a situation that feels familiar. She writes well, and the story had enough change of direction that I didn’t see everything coming. The biggest problem I had with the story is that there are too many mysteries here. All the major characters have some secret that requires resolution. Caitlin has dreams of her own, Lance has a dark past that he has blocked out, Adam has his own issues with the terrible dreams and Sage is driven by an event in his past. The story felt like it whipsawed from one dark secret to another without pause. That kept any of them from becoming the center of the story, which became an increasing hurdle for me as I read. By three quarters of the way through the book, it became clear to me that we needed one less dark mystery. That feeling was reinforced when Grosso chose not to resolve one of them at the end of the story. It was frustrating. Either these are important enough to include through the body of the story, at which point we need some kind of resolution, or they aren’t, which means we shouldn’t be wasting time on them.

Because of that logjam, there are fascinating questions that never get explored. What is the source of the dreams that figure in the stories of two of the characters? There’s a drug addiction story line that felt like it was never fleshed out. Lance’s mystery has deep roots in family issues that impact his own family, but that storyline gets only a light pass. There’s room for more psychological depth there that goes unexplored. If she had limited the number of problems in the story, the book would have had a better focus for me. Whose story is “Up The Creek”? I’m not sure I can answer that question.Having said that, “Up The Creek” tells an interesting story, the writing is solid and if I come across the next volume in the series, I’m likely to pick it up.

This review is based on an Advance Reader’s Copy I received from the publisher and is

consistent with our Review Policy.

Rating – *** Worth A Look
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I'd previously enjoyed Grosso's In the Bag, so I picked this one next, and I liked it for the most part. The couple at its center suffers from secretitis, that annoying affliction wherein mystery/thriller characters will not share secrets, even with their life partners, but it's tolerable in this book. And I'd like to know what happened to Sage's sister.
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Great book! It was very alert from the beginning. A little girl is found dead and even after many years they did not find the killer. Adam is a cute boy who has nightmares, and his mom can see he is like her. They can see violent acts in their dreams. I don't want to tell more because is nice to find the truth by reading the book.
Well, I knew it from the moment Adam was insisting in keeping the door closed. 🤐
Thank you Netgalley gor this Arc, definitely I am  going to read more from Alissa Grosso.
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