Cover Image: The Hook

The Hook

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Member Reviews

I LOVED Jane Doe & Problem Child by this author, so I was happy to read The Hook.
However, the plot seemed too similar to Fern Michael's popular "Sisterhood" female vigilante series, which I am not fond of, so perhaps I am not the best person to rate this book.
I found the 3 points of view confusing at first. I feel as if I didn't know enough about the first characters when the chapter switched to the next one. I did not really connect with any of the characters, least of all Maggie, and I missed the dark sarcastic humor of Jane Doe and Problem Child.

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Victoria Helen Stone (fav author) returns following At the Quiet Edge with THE HOOK— Three betrayed women seeking revenge in this twisty knockout thriller!

Justice. Revenge. Vengeance. Murder.

The setting for the revenge plan is a boxing class, THE HOOK.

~Maggie: Instructor and mentor. Guarantees she can right the wrongs. She could get payback, especially if she orchestrated it herself. A former cop married a cop who cheated. Then she lost out on friends and promotions. She could not fight back. She moved.

Then she started giving classes at THE HOOK, hoping to help a few women along the way.

~Katherine Rye: Husband Peter is a serial cheater and gaslighter. He is a devout catholic and an upstanding member of the church. Her mom even takes his side.

~Geneva Worther: A teacher. Disgraced and ruined by a vengeful evil ex. He destroyed her position and reputation with a saucy video.

~Luz Molina: Smart software engineer battling an unjust system. She received a promotion over a co-worker with a brother in I.C.E—suddenly, her girlfriend is sent back to Russia.

Three scorned women out for revenge. To unleash their rage, they must follow Maggie’s lead. Told from the following POV: Katherine, Geneva, and Luz, with a last chapter from Maggie.

Led by their instructor, Maggie, these women have their targets and must complete their assignments. However, they are tested when one target winds up dead and one of the women is a suspect.

The multiple POVs keep this pace moving as the women must follow the plan, but are they exacting revenge for someone else? Why did Maggie set up this plan? Who's Zoomin' Who?

Highly addictive and entertaining! A tense and engaging woman-revenge-centric thriller.

A huge fan and have read all her books; Stone never disappoints—a pro at revenge stories. VHS fans will enjoy this one! Also, for fans of The Collective and those readers who enjoy seeing women get justice. A perfect summer read.

Thanks to #LakeUnion for a gifted e-ARC via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blog review posted @
JudithDCollins.com
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: May 20, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
May 2023 Must-Read Books

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I first was introduced to this author when I read <i>Jane Doe</i> and I feel like I've been chasing that <i>Jane Doe</i> high ever since. Her last few books have been a bit meh for me, but I really enjoyed this one. Not quite as much as <i>Jane Doe</i> but still a solid novel.

The story is told from 3 alternating perspectives - Katherine, Geneva, and Luz. All 3 women were wronged by someone and want to get revenge. They're helped by their teacher, Maggie, at The Hook's boxing class. But then (unsurprisingly) things start to go wrong - one of the revenge targets winds up dead.

The story was interesting and moved at a decent pace. The voices of the women were mostly distinguishable but sometimes I forgot who I was reading. The killer/reveal was really obvious - while they were trying to figure it out, I was screaming at the book about who it was.

My biggest complaint is how the author hyperfocused on describing race in an awkward, forced, in your face way. I really wanted to like how she's including a diverse cast, but some parts felt forced. For example, we kept hearing about how Maggie was a strong, Black woman - it's so great to have a strong Black woman as a character, but oof, I don't need to read the sentence "Maggie was a strong, Black woman" 10 times.

Other times, it was done well. There was another part where Katherine (white) said that she would take possession of the drugs because if the cops caught her, she was just a silly white woman who didn't realize they were drugs, vs her Black and Latin counterparts. That fit in the story. Or one of the characters (Geneva) is bisexual - great, I love the representation. Part of why she wants revenge is that she had a threesome with a man and woman, which Geneva recorded, and then the man posted online. Geneva was a teacher but was forced out when everyone heard about the video - that was an interesting plot point about women's sexuality.

Overall, it's a decent story with an interesting plot. It's not super innovative but was a fun, quick read.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this advance review copy

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Women done wrong. It's a common theme in books. But at the Hook, a boxing club, Maggie may just be able to assist them in the revenge they seek!

You get the feeling Maggie herself is a woman scorned in the past. She brings together women who help each other, secretly - no one knows who is assisting, and they get revenge on the men who did them wrong.

We get the POV of Katherine, Luz and Geneva, all done wrong in different ways.

I felt for Katherine because not only did her slimy ex do her wrong, her mother sided with him, and her daughter was wanting them to work it out. She married him young and somewhat innocent and never had a chance to figure out who SHE was.

All is going well until it isn't. A very well known man ends up murdered and Katherine is a suspect. She starts to investigage on her own, bringing in Geneva and Luz as well. And things go off the rails a bit.

I found this book very engaging and different, and the ending was satisfying!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Thriller Book Lovers Promo for an ARC and allowing me to take part in this book tour!

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Thank you to @netgalley for my advance copy! I was instantly pulled into this one by the premise and the fact it starts in a women’s boxing class. I mean-bad ass!

This kinda reminded me of Strangers On a Train in the sense that one woman took revenge for another she did not know and so on. Each woman has a unique issue and has been wronged by a man. They are all sympathetic and you really feel for them. Each bit of “revenge” was different too which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed that as the story progressed each woman got their own voice and sense of power back. It was the ultimate revenge novel and tons of fun.
I also enjoy multiple POVs in thrillers and this one delivered by giving the three women their own. It’s really easy to read and pulls you in from the beginning. I will have to watch out for more from this author!

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This one really surprised me. I’m a huge fan of this author and read everything that she writes. She writes with the edge, her characters are smart, intelligent women, and the stories can be intense. This has an interesting twist to it. Women go to a boxing club and get involved with a different kind of secret club. There’s definitely an air of mystery and intrigue about this group of women that are helping each other. We follow three different women and try to understand who they are and their position in this club. I basically zipped through this book even though I was trying to hold off and go a little slower. I received an early copy and was excited to leave my review, because I really enjoyed this book.

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The Hook is a gripping revenge thriller that keeps you turning pages! Loved the premise and this book certainly delivered. Excellent read! 5 stars

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I admit I do love a good revenge thriller, so it's easy to understand why the premise of The Hook immediately called to me. I was intrigued by the sound of the boxing class bringing the women together, and how their instructor helps getting them revenge. I fully expected to have a fantastic time with this story... But I guess it just wasn't ment to be in the end, and I ended up having mixed thoughts instead.

I have to say that I still love the premise of The Hook, and I kind of wish there would have been more focus on the actual boxing class and how the women first came in contact with its instructor Maggie. In fact, I think that adding Maggie's POV would have really taken this story to the next level. Sure, we do have the POVs of the three women looking for revenge (Katherine, Luz and Geneva), but I felt that there was something missing that would have helped balance the story out. As it is, we don't get a lot of background on how Maggie started things, how she is able to convince the women to join nor why she does what she does. Having no motivation or clear beginning started to get quite frustrating to be honest.

There was also something about the pace that felt really off to me. It was a bit all over the place, and there were parts that dragged for me. The Hook is without doubt a slower psychological thriller despite everything that happens; I expected more focus on the revenge itself or at least more suspense. I really struggled to keep attention and find the motivation to keep reading... The writing style and tone didn't really help either. What I found particularly frustrating and even bordering on the offensive was how every character was described by their race first, and then their body type second. Like those two facts are defining parts of their personality, instead of rather useless information (except for maybe Luz's situation).

I confess that I never warmed up to any of the characters either. The main focus seems to be on Katherine, and I found her character to be particularly infuriating. I get her religious background and why she didn't stand up for herself before, but even after her 'revenge' she keeps letting people walk all over her anyway. It was SO frustrating having to spend time with her, and wasn't a fan of her character development either. Luz has a more interesting POV, although everything is quite cliche and there were some issues as well. Geneva... Well, the constant race and sexuality comments really annoyed me, and her behavior after what happened as well. All in all I can't say I was a fan.

The ending itself kind of came as an anti-climax for me, and I guessed the truth about things early on. The fact that the plot tries to hide certain facts (for example about Maggie's real job) didn't add tension for me personally, but only made me feel more frustrated with the whole situation. In short, unfortunately I didn't exactly have a positive experience reading The Hook. The premise was without doubt very promising, but there was just something about the execution that ended up lacking for me. Most people do seem to be enjoying this story a lot better, so it might just be my fickle reading mood acting up yet again.

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Victoria Helen Stone never disappoints. Her eclectic prose always shocks and fascinates me and this was no different.

It wasn't Jane Doe(more please!) but this tale of feminine revenge will keep you turning pages late into the night.

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This was a really engaging thriller, which seemed to be inspired by Strangers on a Train but with an interesting twist. Essentially a series of women whose only connection is that they work out at the same boxing gym, get involved in a revenge plot, where they help take revenge on someone they were not personally wronged by. But things ultimately go wrong, and this ends up putting all of them at risk.
 *
This started off fast, and slowed down some in the middle, but I really liked all the women who were the main POVs, so I enjoyed seeing how their own stories played out, and what they were seeking vengeance for. The twists along the way were also really fun, and while not necessarily mind-blowing, were definitely surprising, so it kept me very much engaged. I also appreciated the diversity in race and sexuality, including an asexual protagonist, which I haven't seen much in popular fiction. 
*
I do have a few questions about the gym, and the logic behind having this one connecting link between these various crimes, but very much enjoyed the book, and would recommend if you're looking for a fun, engaging revenge thriller!

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Revenge is a dish best served cold.....or is it?🥊🔪💊

Special thanks to @victoriahelenstone & @thrillerbookloverspromotions for the chance to read and review this ARC.

[SWIPE for synopsis]

MY REVIEW::
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This was definitely a slowburn novel, but it also has 3 main POVs. So it has alot of storyline to setup. This is a great book for people who loved The Collective.

I love that it encompasses women working together to show that they are not powerless or defined by unfortunate events that happen in their lives. It mimics alot of real-life issues and shows that doing the right thing over shadows revenge in the end.

It really revs up and won't let you put it down toward yhe end as your racing through the chapters to find out how these stories could be related and how it has anything to do with a boxing gym.

✨️PUB DAY IS May 23, 2023✨️

QOTD: What's your favorite way to relieve stress?

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#thrillerbooks #thrillerreads #suspensethriller #thrillerreader #thrillerlover #thrillerobsessed #suspensereads #bookrecs #bookreview #bookstagram #booklover #bookstagrammer #bookie #booklove #bookcommunity #bookobsessed #bookworm #booknerd #booksofig #booksofinstagram #bookish #bookishfeatures #tbr #tbrpile #bookbuzz #BookstaBFF23 #thrillerbooklovers #thehook #victoriahelenstone

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Devilishly Decieving! 😳😯🤯😳🤯

⊰ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐛𝐲 𝐕𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐚 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 ⊱

Revenge is served... sizzling hot! If you enjoyed The Last Invitation by Darby Kane or The Collective, this book is right up your alley!
Consider this plot to me lip-smacking, eye wateringly divine! Oh believe me when I say you are going to go gaga for this enthralling, captivating and twisted fun of revengeful thrills. Helen Stone knows how to take revenge and make it absolutely delectable and satisfying with her twisted plot. Each character will have you feeling deeply for them and rooting hard as fluff for their revenge and you can't help but get caught up and lost in it all! As the thrill and mystery amps up, you cannot turn the pages fast enough with each knot Helen Stone divvy's up. And that ending! Sweet fluffers! You won't love an antagonist more. Genius & "hooks" you in!

Katherine, Luz & Geneva are scorned women for different reasons and by joining a woman's boxing class under instructor & mentor Maggie, they're able to deliver the revenge suited for the punishment. But they each have a task they need to fulfill and when someone makes a misstep, it turns into murder. The secret system, it'll protect them... right?


Thank you to NetGalley & Lake Union Publishing for this ARC!
Release Date: May 23, 2023!

𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭: 4.5 / 5 Full Moons! 🌕

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Katharine, Geneva and Luz have all been betrayed by someone they trusted. By this betrayal, their entire worlds have been turned upside down. The boxing class offered by Maggie at a gym called The Hook is the perfect place to channel their anger. But Maggie has more to offer than boxing classes. She promises they can get revenge on the people who wronged them if they do exactly what she says. But when one of their revenge tasks ends in murder, they begin to wonder if they are all pawns in a larger game that Maggie is playing.

This was a fast-paced thriller that I had a hard time putting down! As the story unfolded from each of the woman’s perspectives, we see how they were hurt, who wronged them and see what is motivating them to keep going. I truly felt for each main character, as they were treated so unfairly and found myself cheering them on to get the justice they deserved. The twist of who the murderer was had me surprised too! Sometimes I have trouble keeping track when there are multiple main characters each with their own storyline, but I have to say this was very well done. Early on, their stories are established and the pace made it easy to follow with who was who and how their stories intersected. I loved the boxing gym setting too!

Thank you to Victoria Helen Stone, Lake Union Publishing and Thriller Lover Book Promos for the ARC! “The Hook” releases May 23rd.

This review will be shared to my instagram blog (@books_by_the_bottle) shortly :)

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
The premise of the book drew me in but once I started reading it, I just couldn’t get into it at all.
I wish the author, publisher and all those promoting the book much success and connections with the right readers.

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This was a "Stranger on a Train" type story but the revenge is done by someone you don't know. Three women from a boxing club are all looking for revenge. Trainer Maggie decides she is the one that will help them do it. There's Katherine, with the cheating husband, Luz, who's girlfriend was deported thanks to a tip to ICE, and Geneva, who has had a sex tape leaked that ruined her teaching career. As each act of revenge unfolds, mistakes are made, truths are learned, and friendships are formed.
I enjoyed learning about each character because despite their need for vengeance, they are all scared and battling the inner voices making them wonder if they are doing the right thing. The twists forming toward the end will have you unable to put the book down.

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They don’t dress for women… They don’t dress for men…
Hellcat gonzo revenge is what I’ve come to expect from Victoria Helen Sloan and this is a great addition to her ouvre. This is likely her best one since her masterpiece “Jane Doe”. If you are a fan of Victoria, you must check this out, and even if not check it out anyway. My favorite pool read so far in 2023.

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Feminist Horrible Bosses. If you're familiar with the 2011 movie Horrible Bosses starring Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day... you've got a good idea of what you're getting into here. Though that movie was played for comedy, and this is much closer to suspense/ thriller here, and from a much more feminist perspective. These three ladies have been *wronged*, and the bastard that did it must *pay*. Except that there are those things that are illegal, and then there are those things that are wrong... and then there are those things that are prosecutable. And rarely do those three things intersect - and nothing any of these guys has done is technically all three. Indeed, one could argue that one of the guys was actually a moral, outstanding citizen who simply sought to have the laws enforced. Yeah, right. ;) Still, the tale ultimately becomes a cautionary one, as things begin to spiral out of control... as these things tend to do. In the end, this was a solid bit of escapism for a few hours, and really that is all that I really expect in any entertainment medium. As others have noted, Stone's Jane Doe series is genuinely superior to this particular tale, but where I disagree with some of them is that this one wasn't *bad* - it just wasn't as good as the Jane Doe series. Still, if you need some escapism and perhaps some catharsis... this book may just provide a touch of both. Recommended.

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This is one of those books where I wish it could really happen. Well I suppose it really could, but in real life everyone would get caught and charged with something. So let’s just imagine we are in this make believe world where those that have been wronged can get their own justice. Cause I bet it’s way more satisfying then having to sit in a courtroom.
The women in this book have all been wronged by the men in their life. With the help of Maggie, the owner of the gym they attend, they are working on getting their lives back and a little revenge. There are strict rules they need to follow, one of them is no one dies. Wellllll……
When you throw murder on the table, everyone panics. This is where the book gets intense. Moving at a pretty fast pace, with heightened suspicion, The Hook comes at you like an uppercut. You’re not ready for the punch, and it will knock you out!
I really liked the overall theme of women supporting women, and finding confidence. Each woman’s story is unique, but no less devastating. To watch them realize their own power, and finally stand up tall, is wonderful. They’re pretty badass.
I really recommend this book for a fast moving suspenseful thriller. I finished it in two sittings, cause I was hooked…🤪

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𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨𝐨. 𝐇𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐞 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟. 𝐃𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐞. 𝐖𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝, 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐰𝐞? 𝐖𝐞'𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐨 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞.

This was such a creative premise. Three women who have been wronged in some way by a man are all held together by the tenuous grip of their mentor Maggie.

Told through multiple points of view, the reader is drawn into each woman's story--Geneva, the teacher who lost her career when a suggestive video of her emerged; Katherine, whose husband has been cheating for years; and Luz, whose only misstep was to get promoted over her male co-worker, who promptly sent her girlfriend back to Russia through his connections with ICE.

It was easy to empathize with each of these characters, and with a trope similar to STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, punishment is meted out without each woman being aware of the other. But when a man turns up dead and Maggie ghosts the women, they begin to put some pieces together and question her motivation for helping them in the first place.

Thank you so @thrillerbookloverspromotions and NetGalley for this thrilling early read. THE HOOK will publish May 23, 2023.

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Maggie is the one thing that links Katherine, Geneva, and Luz- that and they've all been wronged and want revenge. She's their boxing instructor and she's got a plan where, like Strangers on a Train, each of them does something for another so that no one is tied too closely to the revenge and yet everyone gets what they want. This, as you might, expect, doesn't entirely work out. Who is Maggie, exactly? No spoilers from me. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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