Cover Image: The Hook

The Hook

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3.5⭐️ Rounded up.

<i> A women’s boxing class is the perfect place for betrayed wife Katherine to work out her aggressions. Ideal, too, for Geneva, a teacher disgraced and ruined by a vengeful ex, and Luz, a software engineer battling an unjust system. Maggie, their instructor and mentor, guarantees she can right the wrongs they’ve endured. And if Katherine, Geneva, and Luz really want to unleash their rage, they must do what Maggie says.

Each woman’s secret task has its risks. Call it justice. Call it revenge. It’s bound to be worth it—if no missteps are made. As they take the leap to reclaim what they’re owed, their lives are turned upside down. Because no one could have guessed that it would all end in murder.

Now, coming together to harness their power, Katherine, Geneva, and Luz fear that the game they’ve been playing is playing them. </i>

I never really felt the stakes in this story. It was mildly engaging, but dragged quite a bit and never felt terribly suspenseful- nor was there any truly likable character to root for. All in all, it was an okay way to pass the time but I was a bit underwhelmed.

* I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Revenge in a unique way for sure! Maggie teaches a boxing class at a gym. Three women, each struggling with a failing relationship, have the boxing class in common. Katherine, Geneva, and Luz all attend the class but are not friends. Each women tells her story and at first they seem totally unrelated but they gradually merge together and the concept begins to make sense. I did struggle at times and felt confusion when the point of views did not seem to align.
Katherine’s dilemma was the most convincing of the three in my opinion.
Once the storylines connected I found myself avidly reading to answer my questions but one of them was never answered. I found Maggie’s involvement still a mystery.
Many thanks to Victoria Helen Stone, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to read an arc of this recently released domestic drama. I have read and greatly enjoyed False Step and look forward to reading more from this author.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Victoria Helen Stone and Lake Union publishing for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I love the characters in Stone’s books so much. It’s like give me all the despicable, downright psycho characters and I’m IN! She just writes them so very well! I love the twists in this one and even though it’s no Jane Doe, it might be one of my favourites from her.

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Thanks to Lake Union Publishing, Netgalley and the author for an ARC of this book. I am leaving this unbiased review voluntarily.

This was the first book I have read by this author. I really liked the idea of a boxing club exacting revenge on the people that had harmed then.

The characters were interesting, and their stories and backgrounds were varied. Sometimes it was hard for me to keep track of who was doing what and the story seemed to wrap up pretty quickly towards the end. I didn't really feel drawn towards to character of Maggie, but I think that was deliberate by the author.

Katherine's story was the one that interested me the most and I liked the way her character was nuanced and complicated.

While the pace was a little slow in the beginning, there were some twists that I wasn't expecting which made the read an overall enjoyable experience.

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I do think there’s a great idea hidden in the plot but dare I say the actual story lacks discipline. The women all have equally interesting tales to tell but it’s as if the author has just chosen which one is to be the favourite so the others suffer somewhat because of that.
I did still enjoy the book and loved the different pov’s especially how they were all allowed to be individuals. It could have been great but it ended up just ok for me.

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This book is fast-paced and wonderfully written! I was surprised by each twist, and there are a lot! Written in multiple points of view, each woman’s backstory is revealed with perfect timing. I felt protective of these women because of the terrible things that had happened to them and rooted for their revengeful success!

This is a story of men behaving badly but also one of women who rise from the depression of their lowest moments and take control of their situations. Badasses. All of them! I highly recommend adding this one to your list!

I received an advanced copy, all thoughts are my own.

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This is a sharp, interesting story full of thought provoking takes on revenge and justice. Excellent character development and a shocking twist.

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The Hook was an engaging read. I loved the multiple POVs. The ending was very satisfying. Highly recommend adding to your TBR.

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Thank you Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Love the concept. Seems like it would make a good movie.

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I love a good twisty story, and after reading the blurb for the The Hook, I was pretty hooked on reading this story. What person hasn't contemplated getting back at the person who wronged them -- but in this case it's complicated because The Hook is a boxing club that fronts for a secret "revenge club" led by the Maggie, the instructor. No one gets caught. Everyone has to do some task to participate. I thought this was a terrific idea for a story.

The three women who are newbies to The Hook, Katherine, Luz and Geneva, are likeable and it helps to build the sympathy for their revenge motives. I did wish for a bit of humor to release some of the tension, but oh well. If you like getting into multiple points of view, this is a nicely done in the story, although sometimes I did have to go back and reread to keep things straight.

Of course, things don't always go as planned and there's a mess to clean up, in this case, murder. One of the women is a suspect. Things move quickly at the end with some interesting turns. It kept me reading.

If you are looking for a offbeat, suspenseful story that keeps your interest to the end, you might like The Hook. I did.

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The Hook is such a delightfully vengeful rollercoaster of karma, and I absolutely loved it.

Victoria Helen Stone never fails to serve up the exact right combo of likeable, if not morally ambiguous characters who end up in situations that are just wild and bonkers enough to be VERY fun to read, without being exceedingly unbelievable. This is an art form, and if done right, it becomes one of my favourite types of book plot.

I really deeply enjoyed all three women in the middle of this messy plot - and I am always interested in a story about women finally coming into their own power. This story reads like very intricately layered puzzle and while I kept wondering how it could all possibly tie together, it was when the twists dropped that it clicked in with satisfying perfection.

I really don't want to to say much, as this is best approached blind, but it is a must have for readers who love well crafted psychological suspense, with just enough character drama to make you want to root for women doing very bad things.

Thank you to the publisher for my copy!

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Three women who have been dealt bad hands in life and one boxing instructor who tries to help them get justice. No one thought murder would be the result.

I'm of two minds of how this story was executed: On the one hand, the premise is intriguing. Cowboy vigilantism run amok. On the other hand, if the reader is truly paying attention, there are glaring errors in the information that one character has but that another ends up having, just randomly, as the story progresses.

The background of each of the three women scorned was fairly decent, with Katherine being the MC of them all. Each chapter is in the perspective of each woman, and the last chapter was held for the boxing instructor and what her story was about. It would've been less confusing to introduce the ringleader at the beginning of the story, rather than the end, and it would've also been great if all women had equal story time, rather than just one (as each had their own valid tale to tell).

Overall, this was an adequate read that, for some reason, took me too long to consume - I'm not sure if it was a pacing issue or my lack of interest once I started guessing the trajectory the story was taking (roughly 50% onwards).

This ARC was provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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3.75🌟
Haven’t we all at sometime or another felt completely wronged by someone? But did taking revenge on them ever cross your mind? (You don’t have to answer that!)

Three women.

Three betrayals by those they trusted.

Trying to work out their frustrations in a boxing class just isn’t cutting it. If only there was a way to get even and maybe inflict some pain along the way. Enter the boxing coach…Maggie!

You know what they say, payback’s a b***h!

This was an engaging thriller told from the POV of all the characters. While I sympathized with each of them I felt a bit of a disconnect while the author wove their stories together. It was a fabulous premise that just got a bit lost in its execution. This had the potential for another five-star read which I am used to from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing

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3.75 Stars

The story follows three women and their revenge story. Katherine was trying to get back at her serial cheating husband. Geneva wanted retribution for revenge porn (leaked sex tape). Luz wanted to get even with a vengeful coworker who got her partner deported.

Maggie, one of the instructors at The Hook (a boxing gym for women), heard their story and decided to help them. Maggie created a whole system and scheme for each woman. But when one of the victims ended up dead, everything was turned upside down.

This was interesting and entertaining. There were even a couple of unexpected twists. Katherine's storyline was the best. It was the most fleshed out compared to everyone else. The biggest disappointment was Maggie's character. Even though she was a key player in the story, she was barely in it.

Although the story wasn't completely balanced, it was still captivating. I would recommend it to fans of revenge stories.

***Thank you to NetGalley, Victoria Helen Stone, and Lake Union Publishing for graciously sending me the ARC to review. As always, all thoughts are my own.***

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Is it revenge? Or is it justice? Either way they’re going to get what they deserve! Another badass, kick ass female revenge story from Victoria Helen Stone, author of the legendary Jane Doe and Problem Child books. In this one, Katherine, Geneva, and Luz all have a score to settle and they each find their way to a female boxing class led by master manipulator and the answer to their revenge wishes, Maggie. But is Maggie helping them or using them for her own sinister agenda? This was a great story, I’m never disappointed by this author. However, I could have done with a healthy dose of the snarky, sarcastic, dark comedy that made me love Jane Doe so much. Fans of The Collective by Alison Gaylin will enjoy this one. Thank you Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review. This book just released May 23,2023

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Thank you to Thriller Book Lovers Promotions and Victoria for an advance copy of The Hook.

Katherine, Geneva, and Luz all work out at The Hook, the local women’s boxing gym, using the exercise as a way to work through their personal issues - an affair, a career ruined by revenge porn, and trying to be a successful woman of color in a man’s industry. When their instructor Maggie takes an interest in each of the girl’s problems, she orchestrates a way for them to all get even. Each girl assigned a task to a different situation, none knowing who is involved in who or what, and each task has some risks associated with it, but it’s for the greater good of correcting an incorrect world so no sweat. Until someone ends up dead.

Who doesn’t enjoy a revenge story? I certainly do. I especially enjoy when there are multiple storylines that are all seeking revenge. I loved the idea of ‘the system doesn’t always work, so we make it work’ as the kind of motto that Maggie lived by. It also opens up the conversation of what exactly is preying on people and do we do it without intention? Maggie actively seeks out these women who have been wronged to pull them into her revenge games - not exactly morally correct in itself. That was my favorite part of this book.

There is not a purely innocent person in this book, which is just the way I like my books. Morally gray is definitely the theme. In some cases they are jilted and vengeful and in other cases they are predatory.

As seems to be the current trend in the thriller genre, this is not a fast-paced edge of your seat page turner. It’s a slow burn, plot building book with a payout in the end. That is not going to be what every thriller-lover is looking for but for the meantime, it’s really working for me and I’m glad to see more of this style popping up.

I loved the setting of the gym. Gyms are a place of both vulnerability and strength which are key characteristics of every woman in this book, so the parallel that I found was so clever.

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What a fun one to read, I loved the boxing setting as well as women coming together to right the wrongs they’ve gone through by following a series of secret tasks assigned by their instructor and mentor, Maggie. However there are some risks to this, one being the assumption that every woman will follow the rules regarding their secret tasks, which includes following Maggie’s rules to the letter in order to exact their revenge. Of course, not everyone does, and then someone ends up dead. Oopsie Doopsie. Panic and paranoia ensue, especially when Maggie ghosts the women, which causes further chaos, until the women realize they are probably better together than as individuals and decide to form their own resolution plan.

This was an entertaining read, I was curious how they would get themselves out of their situations and I also enjoyed the different POV’s from each of the women along with their backstories. I thought this all came together nicely with a satisfying ending. I related to Katherine the most given her contentious relationship with her mother and she nor any of the women disappointed. I absolutely recommend this one, it is a great premise that was executed well!

Thank you to ThrillerBookLoversPromotions and NetGalley for the digital copy to review.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this read but I did not enjoy it. I tried other books by this author that were not a hit for me and wanted to give this one a try and it still was not the best. I did not find it went anywhere. As well, I DNF because it was dry.

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I read 36% through The Hook. I can’t do it anymore. I’m bored!! I ended up DNF. The pacing was all over the place, which made the book confusing. The book had so much potential. I love a good revenge thriller that is told from different points of view. The only character I was interested in was Katherine. At 36% of reading the book, nothing exciting happened. Or worth my time to read.

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A women’s boxing class is the perfect place for betrayed wife Katherine to work out her aggressions. Ideal too for Geneva, a teacher disgraced and ruined by a vengeful ex, and Luz, a software engineer battling an unjust system. Maggie, their instructor and mentor, guarantees she can right the wrongs they’ve endured. And if Katherine, Geneva, and Luz really want to unleash their rage, they must do what Maggie says.
Each woman’s secret task has its risks. Call it justice. Call it revenge. It’s bound to be worth it—if no missteps are made. As they take the leap to reclaim what they’re owed, their lives are turned upside down. Because no one could have guessed that it would all end in murder.
Now, coming together to harness their power, Katherine, Geneva, and Luz fear that the game they’ve been playing is playing them.
Had my attention from start to finish… I couldn't put it down and finished it in a day. Can't wait for more from this amazing author What an absolute cracker of a book!!!… sucked me straight in… absolutely addictive page turner… absolutely absorbed me… compelling, page-turning… will keep you up late at night

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