Category Archives: JP Pomare

Review: The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare

Title: The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A wife finds herself racing for answers when the decision to rent out her family vacation home takes a deadly turn in this “twisty thriller” perfect for fans of Megan Miranda (Megan Goldin, author of The Escape Room).

Ever have the feeling you’re being watched?

Newlyweds Lina and Cain don’t make it out to their property on gorgeous Lake Tarawera as often as they’d like, so when Cain suggests they rent the house out to vacationers, Lina reluctantly agrees. While the home has been in her family for generations, they could use the extra money. And at first, Lina is amazed at how quickly guests line up, and at how much they’re willing to pay.

But both Lina and Cain have been keeping secrets, secrets that won’t be put off by fresh paint or a new alarm system. And someone has been watching them—their mundane tasks, their intimate moments. When a visit takes a deadly turn, Lina realizes someone out there knows something they shouldn’t…and that welcoming strangers into your home is playing a dangerous game.


The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare is a suspenseful domestic thriller with a unique plot.

Lina Phillips and her husband Cain have weathered their fair share of storms throughout their relationship. Lina is a paramedic who is supporting the family since Cain’s personal trainer business has yet to turn a profit. Cain is a former New Zealand SAS veteran who was injured in his last deployment to Afghanistan. He continues to suffer from physical problems from his injuries and he also battles nightmares related to his final deployment. Lina and Cain are finally at a good place in their marriage which is why a decision she makes is inexplicable. Now keeping a huge secret from her husband, she has no one to turn to when she begins receiving vaguely threatening text messages. Feeling guilty, Lina gives in to Cain’s to rent her family home in Lake Tarawera on WeStay. All goes well with their first sets of guests, but Lina cannot shake her suspicions that something is off with one of the couples who recently stayed in the house.

Lina has nothing but happy memories of the lakeside home where she lived with her grandparents. They provided her with a wonderful childhood that was only marred by infrequent but memorable visits from her mother. Lina’s world was completely upended when they passed away just a few years apart. Her chance meeting with Cain turned her life around and her love for him has never waned. Lina worries he will revert to hold habits, but they have a “no secrets” agreement. Which is why she feels so guilty and scared he will uncover hers.  As events continue to spiral out of control, Lina cannot help but wonder what Cain might be hiding from her.

The Last Guests is a menacing domestic thriller that is very fast-paced. Lina and Cain are well-developed characters who are secretive yet mostly appealing. Auckland and Lake Tarawera are beautiful locales that spring vividly to life. The storyline is absolutely fascinating and takes unanticipated twists and turns.  With a final, shocking revelation, J.P. Pomare brings this devious domestic thriller to a jaw-dropping conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Contest, Domestic Thriller, JP Pomare, Mulholland Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, The Last Guests

Review: In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare

Title: In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Suspense
Length: 353 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Set against a ticking clock, this “taut and unpredictable” thriller pits a ruthless cult against a mother’s love, revealing that our darkest secrets are the hardest ones to leave behind (Chris Hammer).

Four days to go

Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing, amidst her brothers and sisters–until a newcomer, a younger girl, joins the “family” and offers a glimpse of the outside world.

Three days to go

Freya is going to great lengths to seem like an “everyday mum,” even as she maintains her isolated lifestyle, hoping to protect her young son and her dog.

Two days to go

When news breaks of a missing girl–a child the same age as Freya’s son, Billy–Amy and Freya find themselves headed for a shocking collision.

One day to go


In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare is a pulse-pounding domestic mystery that is also quite poignant.

Amy is a teenager who belongs to the Clearing which is a cult run by Queen Adrienne and Adam. She is the next to the oldest child so she is now included in activities that become increasingly horrifying.  Adrienne demands complete loyalty and no one is allowed question her authority. Amy follows unquestioningly until they bring Asha into the fold. The seven year old’s actions and words raise doubts and Amy soon makes a shocking decision.

Freya Heyward lives with her seven year old son Billy in a small town about an hour from Melbourne.  Their home is close to a river, well-fortified and guarded by a well trained dog. Freya’s security is first rattled by the sudden appearance of a young couple on the edge of her property. Then she begins experiencing the unnerving sensation she is being watched. Odd occurrences shake her even further and Freya reaches out to old friend Corazzo for some much needed help. With the days and hours counting down, Freya’s past and present are about to collide in a terrifying way that shakes her to the core.

In the Clearing is a nerve-wracking, suspenseful domestic mystery. Amy and Freya are interesting characters that are vibrantly developed and deeply flawed.  The remote setting and  Freya’s hyper vigilance add tension with each chapter. The storyline is well-written and grabs hold of the readers’ attention from the very first page. With shocking twists and unpredictable turns, J.P. Pomare brings this riveting mystery to an edge of the seat, unpredictable conclusion. An electrifying read that I absolutely love and HIGHLY recommend to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, In the Clearing, JP Pomare, Mulholland Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare

Title: Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In this propulsive, twist-filled, and haunting psychological suspense debut perfect for fans of Sharp Objects and Room, a seventeen-year-old girl struggles to remember the role she played on the night her life changed forever.

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town–brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he’s hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne–something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can’t remember the night in question.

The fragments of Kate’s shattered memories of her old life seem happy: good friends, a big house in the suburbs, a devoted boyfriend. Bill says he’ll help her fill in the blanks–but his story isn’t adding up. And as she tries to reconcile the girl she thought she’d been with the devastating consequences Bill claims she’s responsible for, Kate will unearth secrets about herself and those closest to her that could change everything.

A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth, even from ourselves.


Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare is an intriguing mystery with plenty of suspense.

Seventeen year old Kate Bennet is being held against her will in a cabin in an isolated part of New Zealand.  Her captor is an older man whom she calls Jim, and he watches her every move. He also changes her appearance and begins calling her Evie. Jim does allow Kate small freedoms but he is quick to rein her in when he grows suspicious of her actions.  He also takes her on quick trips into town but he easily thwarts any effort she makes to convince anyone to help her. At the same time, Kate is troubled by fragments of  memories that contradict what Jim is telling her. Equally confusing are the messages she finds hidden in a book she has in her possession. Why is Jim holding her prisoner?  Will Kate remember what happened the terrible night that precipitated their flight from Melbourne to New Zealand?

Kate’s mom passed away many years earlier and her father is quite strict with her. He closely monitors her mobile phone usage and who she hangs out with. Kate eventually enters into a secret romance with Thom Moreau that is initially quite happy. However, little things begin to mar the relationship then Kate makes an ill-thought out decision and their romance begins a downward spiral. After Thom betrays her, Kate continues making horrible choices that destroy several lives. But what does any of these events have to do with why Jim is holding her captive in New Zealand?

Call Me Evie is an engrossing mystery despite being a little slow paced. Kate and Jim are interesting characters who are keeping some very dark secrets. The plot is engaging but the story drags a bit in the middle. With a few unexpected twists and turns, J.P. Pomare brings this suspense-laden novel to a shocking, unexpected conclusion. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this clever debut.

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Filed under Call Me Evie, Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, JP Pomare, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense