Cover Image: The Hook

The Hook

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Member Reviews

This was a huge letdown since I really enjoyed this writer's "Jane Doe". But the 3 POVs didn't work for me. It was very slow paced and lost my interest. I scammed it until the last 30 pages and I thought the resolution was not well executed. Wouldn't recommend this one.

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Victoria Helen Stone never disappoints! This was a great thriller, and I enjoyed following the perspectives of other women in the story. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who’s looking to be taken out a little bit of a ride and won’t be able to put the book down

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Honestly, this felt like what The Collective could have been, so if you liked The Collective, you will love this. I wanted to give everyone a good smackaroo on the back of the head once or twice, but also, this was delightful female rage.

When three women from three vastly different lives all join the same boxing class, nothing will ever be the same.

Katherine has the dream life, except for the fact that her husband is a serial cheater and her mother has chosen him over her.

Geneva is barely scraping by (financially or mentally) after her teaching career and reputation were destroyed by an ex.

And Luz has worked tirelessly all her life, only to lose her love to an unjust system at the hands of a jealous coworker.

All three women have something to fight, and their warm and friendly boxing instructor, Maggie, has ideas for how they can help each other.

As long as they follow Maggie’s instructions to the letter, nothing can go wrong. Each woman can help the others to get revenge - or justice, if that makes it go down better.

But humans are fallible, especially when rage is involved. And one misstep each will throw everyone’s fragile house of cards into disarray - and may have more dire consequences than any of them could ever have imagined.

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What do you do when you feel you don't get the justice you deserve? You team up with other women make your own justice. It seems like a good idea until Katherine goes off script and a prominent politician winds up dead.

I knew who committed the murder, but none of the characters realized the identity of the culprit until the end. It was a very satisfying end.

Started out a little slow, but stick with it. I was hooked :-)

4 Stars

ARC review copy via NetGalley

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3.5 stars. Overall I enjoyed this book and didn't struggle to get through the ending.
However, the physical descriptions of random characters was a little annoying. I imagine the author was trying to be descriptive of looks in order to give the reader a visual, but it was not well executed. The only time race was relevant to the story was pertaining to the storyline of Luz and Sveta. Otherwise the character being white, black, having a brown bob haircut, large brown eyes, etc just wasn't relevant. I'm not sure the authors obsession on continuing to add those defining characteristics all throughout the book.

The book is read from three point of views. Katherine whose husband isn't faithful, Luz whose partner got deployed by ICE, and Geneva whose career was ruined by a single incident. Katherine's story was the most developed and entertaining. Eventually the stories collide and the three women beginning working together. This is a story of revenge and whodunit.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a digital ARC.

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My Rating: 1.5 rounded down to 1⭐️⭐️ difficult to rate but I think I gotta go a 1!!

Three women who have been wronged, where better to get revenge than an all women’s boxing club with a strong female mentor who only has their best interests at heart… right??

Katherine’s husband has been cheating on her for as long as she can remember - never mind he is a devout catholic and upstanding member of the church. That doesn’t stop his dog behaviour and gaslighting tactics at home.

Geneva, teaching has been her life goal… just when it was in her grasp a silly mistake and a vengeful ex ruins her chances and her reputation with a saucy video.

Luz, a super smart software engineer who’s only fault was getting the promotion over her co-worker - who happens to have a brother in I.C.E and suddenly her girlfriend is sent packing back to Russia.

Everyone has someone to hate and everyone has secrets to keep… Maggie is there to help them each get revenge for one another but they have to follow the system - do not talk or meet each other, carry out your task exactly as instructed and definitely don’t commit murder…

Someone winds up dead and each of the women swear it wasn’t them.

Now… I’ll admit from the get go I like this author and I really enjoyed the Jane Doe books (lets get some more of those out please). However this one just did not hit it for me at all- I thought it sort of started out ok albeit a bit slow… but I was wrong… it was all over the place.

When it wasn’t slow and boring, it was jumping around like a jack in the box. Everyone had their POV which was good as I do enjoy a multiple POV storyline… but I was disappointed at most of the turns. I started out enjoying the character development of each of the ladies but there are so many references to women’s looks, their race (for no real reason just a throw away statement like - “a good looking black woman strides into the room” type comments) and also a lot of references to people’s size (big, chubby, skinny, trim, large etc.) I just didn’t think those comments added to the overall story. It certainly had no bearing on the three women’s storyline.

Now having said that, it was important to note Luz’s race and that of her girlfriend due to her storyline. But we didn’t need to read over and over that she had black braided hair (which I can only assume was a reference to her heritage). It is good to include different race’s, genders and relationship types and I am all for that but I don’t think unnecessary references to these things that actually don’t link to what we are reading about are helpful to the story. If you are going to mention them make them relevant. Just like mentioning someone is white or straight… we don’t need to know that specifically unless there is relevance so while I think it was great there was a mixture of characters I don’t think the execution hit the mark on how we found out about each person and their uniqueness.

The Hook, is the all women’s boxing club that these women meet Maggie at for the first time. However there are no flashbacks to those meetings, there is little mention of the Hook in general and there is also I think only one singular scene in which anyone is actually boxing in this book. That seems a little weird to me since this is the actual meeting place of these revenge getters. I would have thought there would be a clubhouse style scenario or meeting place for Maggie and the ladies (separately because they weren’t supposed to meet each other directly… fine but still isn’t this the pivotal place where we meet all the characters).

I also found that the story dragged for me it wasn’t particularly engaging and it didn’t actually make me want to WANT revenge for any of them very much. They were going through it no doubt… but there had to be a moment of I AM WOMAN HERE ME ROAR… well that was what I was hoping for but there was barely a meow before they scattered away.

I think the writing was good but it was the humour from the Jane Doe series wasn’t present and I think this could have done with some dark sarcasm because the dialogue was a bit iffy a lot of the time. A lot of secondary characters were introduced but never heard from again… and there was a fair bit of fluff (for a fairly short book).

Overall: this didn’t meet the expectations of the badass female revenge story I thought I was going to read. Would I recommend it… look some of you are going to love this and I hope you do this author is good value… but to those of you that I connect with regularly (you know who you are 😉) this one won’t be for you 💖

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing, the author and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for a review that is honest and entirely my own opinion.

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Another well-written book by Victoria Helen Stone. The book centers around Katherine, Luz and Geneva, who all attend a boxing class at a gym called Hook. We learn that the gym is more than a just boxing gym, it is also a way for a women seek revenge on the ones who have destroyed their lives. One by one, they commit revenge acts, until something goes wrong, and the race begins to cover all their tracks. Overall this was a great read with an ending that leaves you wanting more. Thank you to @netgalley and @lakeunionpublishing for this ARC.

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The Hook by Victoria Helen Stone is an exciting and thrilling read about three women whose lives have been affected by betrayal and injustice. Katherine, Geneva, and Luz find support in the form of Maggie, their boxing instructor and mentor, who encourages them to find justice for themselves through a secret mission. However, when someone ends up dead, they discover a strength they never knew they had as they learn to harness their power together.

The novel is full of suspense, with each woman having her own struggles that she must face. Victoria Helen Stone creates vivid characters and a gripping story with powerful themes of justice, revenge, and resilience. The plot keeps you guessing until the very end as the three women navigate unexpected turns while learning how to take control of their lives.

The Hook is an engaging read that will keep readers riveted from start to finish. With its action-packed plot and strong female characters, it’s sure to be a hit with readers looking for an entertaining thriller with a unique female perspective.

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The Hook by Victoria Helen Stone is one intriguing story.

I was hooked from the first chapter and I was very pleased with its development.
Well executed and visually descriptive… the story moves quickly from chapter to chapter.
This is one of those stories that hook you quick and keep you hooked.
A well thought out story that has plenty of twists and turns. I found myself getting involved in the characters and flipping the pages quickly to see how this book ended.
The characters are well rounded and come across as believable, whether you love them or hate them.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC.

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In the hook we meet three woman who have all experienced being hurt and wanting revenge. They all join a boxing club where they meet a charismatic woman who knows how they can get the revenge they need.

An intriguing and different plot for sure! It’s like Helen stone chose a fantasy many have when they been wrong. What if the person hurting got a taste of how it feels to lose everything without you having to do the dirty work? Maggie is the leader of the club, and makes sure that every scorned woman gets a task to help someone they don’t know. She’s mysterious and from the get-go you’re wondering why she’s doing it and if her intentions are as good as they seem. The three POVs confused me in the beginning as it was a lot to remember. But I soon figured out who had experienced what. I think I liked Katherine’s story the most, probably since most of the focus was on her. She came across as a complex character with vulnerabilities that she worked hard to overcome. Her life pulled at my heartstrings and I desperately wanted her to find piece.

When it all starts to go wrong, I wanted to hide under the duvet. A man is killed and Katherine is a suspect. She is determined to find out what really happened. The suspense is there and the other two woman soon get drawn into it as well.

The ending was satisfying, but I struggled a bit with why the other two woman had to be drawn into it.

If you’re looking for a different plot that is engaging and original, the hook is perfect.

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Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC!

I really enjoyed reading The Hook - an engaging storyline following the lives of three women who take a risk to get revenge against those who've wronged them. I particularly enjoyed the character development of Katherine, our primary narrator, and the way the story races towards the end as we begin to unravel the many mysteries that have built up. Would recommend!

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Unexpected, Tense..
Revenge - it’s a strange thing but, perhaps, not such a strange concept. It exists and it’s always best served very cold indeed. Three women, three betrayals, three hefty doses of revenge and a boxing class where they can work out their anger and, perhaps, plot their revenge. But, who exactly is playing who here and where will it all end? A deftly drawn and credible cast populate a pacy and well written plot in this psychologically suspenseful drama where anything can happen and probably will. Unexpected and tense.

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Thank you to @netgalley and @lakeunionpublishing for this ARC. Katherine, Luz and Geneva all found their way to a boxing class at the gym called Hook. Little did they know that the gym was also a way for a network of women seek revenge on the men on their life. One by one, they somehow commit an act that make the men in the other women's live guilty of a crime. Good read with a "hook" at the end. #TheHook #VictoriaHelenStone #LakeUnionPublishing #May2023

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Another terrific suspense from this author, who does a great job of not only surprising you, but putting you in the mind and heart of the characters. And to me, that is what psychological suspense is all about. A sharp, twisted read. Five stars.

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I love a good revenge plot, but I struggled to connect with the writing in The Hook. The dialogue came off as a bit stiff and overall the story just fell flat for me

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this was such a great psychological suspense novel, it does what I was hoping for from the description. The characters were what I was looking for and I believed that their motivation for revenge. Victoria Helen Stone does a great job in writing this and I was invested in the story.

"She pictured herself in the wig and makeup, her skin bared in an off-the-shoulder sweater. What would Katy say to him? Something that plain old Katherine would never dare. She glanced at the time of his message and grinned. It had arrived only twenty minutes earlier. Hmm, she typed back. I guess it depends."

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Three women will an ax to grind all with similarities from the life of hard knocks.
This situation was quite unique in that The Hook involved a boxing class which seemed fitting for a boxing class lead by Maggie.
Each lady battling demons from failed relationships to unjust systems.
What's a gal to do other than listen to the leader and do as told, right?
Well, turns out someone is dead and each one has a wild secret.
Road trippin'.... Yes, indeed.
It's almost like a real Bonnie and Clyde in which if one falls they all fall.
Friends till the end. Do or die!
One's pregnancy raises questions, the next is a suspect in murder, the other gal is investigating a suicide that might be staged, while some are just plain drunk and having affairs.
Everything is up in arms with no end in sight.
However, in this day and age you know there's always a Ring doorbell or some perv watching somewhere.
Hold up- Peter was Katherine's husband and something strange has just gone down>Could this be do to her relationship with Brad?
It's anyone's guess because Maggie has uncovered her own treasure trove of B.S. and it involves another partner's trainee.
My word, these ladies are in it knee deep and I can only hope they exit stage right!
Thank you to Victoria Helen Stone, Lake Union Publishing, and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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I love a good revenge plot, but I struggled to connect with the writing in The Hook. The dialogue came off as a bit stiff, and so much of the narrative was exposition or the characters' thoughts, versus action that would keep things moving forward. While this book wasn't a fit for me, hopefully it will resonate more with someone else.

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Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.

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