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Big Bad

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From the twisted imagination of award-winning author Christian Galacar comes a dark mystery thriller about the difference between living the stories we’re given and living the stories we dare to make for ourselves. At the height of a blizzard, Molly Rifkin goes missing in her small New England community of Rockcliffe Island. But when she is found dead of an apparent sui From the twisted imagination of award-winning author Christian Galacar comes a dark mystery thriller about the difference between living the stories we’re given and living the stories we dare to make for ourselves. At the height of a blizzard, Molly Rifkin goes missing in her small New England community of Rockcliffe Island. But when she is found dead of an apparent suicide, the story doesn’t add up. There are more questions than answers. And there are people who would like to see the whole thing just go away. But it won’t be that easy... Molly’s sister is FBI agent Emma Shane, who has been hanging on to her career by a thread, and when her sister turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, she is forced to confront the horrific past they once shared in order to discover the truth of her death—and the course of her own future. As Emma digs deeper into the mystery on Rockcliffe Island, she finds herself coming face-to-face with corruption, murder, and downright evil.


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From the twisted imagination of award-winning author Christian Galacar comes a dark mystery thriller about the difference between living the stories we’re given and living the stories we dare to make for ourselves. At the height of a blizzard, Molly Rifkin goes missing in her small New England community of Rockcliffe Island. But when she is found dead of an apparent sui From the twisted imagination of award-winning author Christian Galacar comes a dark mystery thriller about the difference between living the stories we’re given and living the stories we dare to make for ourselves. At the height of a blizzard, Molly Rifkin goes missing in her small New England community of Rockcliffe Island. But when she is found dead of an apparent suicide, the story doesn’t add up. There are more questions than answers. And there are people who would like to see the whole thing just go away. But it won’t be that easy... Molly’s sister is FBI agent Emma Shane, who has been hanging on to her career by a thread, and when her sister turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, she is forced to confront the horrific past they once shared in order to discover the truth of her death—and the course of her own future. As Emma digs deeper into the mystery on Rockcliffe Island, she finds herself coming face-to-face with corruption, murder, and downright evil.

30 review for Big Bad

  1. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    "Most things aren't black and white, good versus evil. It's never that clear a line." I'm sitting here trying to slow my pulse and relax a minute after being glued to my reading chair for a couple of hours just devouring this book. Trying to think up new superlatives to describe what a suspenseful and thrilling story this turned out to be. Simply working out a way to encourage you to read it and to describe it without giving anything important away. I can say that the main character is a former F "Most things aren't black and white, good versus evil. It's never that clear a line." I'm sitting here trying to slow my pulse and relax a minute after being glued to my reading chair for a couple of hours just devouring this book. Trying to think up new superlatives to describe what a suspenseful and thrilling story this turned out to be. Simply working out a way to encourage you to read it and to describe it without giving anything important away. I can say that the main character is a former FBI agent, Emma Shane, whose currently on an extended leave after she was shot during a case. This woman is totally kick-ass but also very complex emotionally due to her traumatic childhood. She travels to Rockcliffe, an island out in the Atlantic Ocean off the NE coast of the USA after she is notified of her sister's suicide. Molly Rifkin is a couple of years younger than Emma and was married with a 9-year-old son. Her body is found in a storage locker during a heavy winter storm and the police find no evidence of foul play. Emma really doesn't get along with Molly's husband, Jack, but she goes there anyway because she can't believe her sister would have committed suicide. What follows is a very complex plot with many fabulous characters that will be hard to forget. NO SPOILERS The writing was superb and the descriptions of Rockcliffe so vivid that I could almost imagine myself there experiencing every bit of the action. I've never read any of this author's previous books and was was a bit hesitant to try this but am so glad I did. I'll definitely be looking for more and I totally wish that Mr. Galacar would continue using Emma in another thriller. What a fabulous movie this would make. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-book ARC to read and review. Don't miss it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve Stred

    ** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! ** “The world faded around her.” Last year I finally broke down and got a Kindle. I was a die-hard, adamant physical reader through and through. But after my son arrived, I realized I just wasn’t able to read as I used too. The Kindle allowed me to read at my old pace and I was able to devour books again at my old pace. From May 1st to December 31st, 2018, I read 100 books. So far this year I’ve read 146 books (as of September 30th). When I got my ** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! ** “The world faded around her.” Last year I finally broke down and got a Kindle. I was a die-hard, adamant physical reader through and through. But after my son arrived, I realized I just wasn’t able to read as I used too. The Kindle allowed me to read at my old pace and I was able to devour books again at my old pace. From May 1st to December 31st, 2018, I read 100 books. So far this year I’ve read 146 books (as of September 30th). When I got my Kindle, it was all so foreign. So I went to Amazon and went to the free books section and the first book I ever snagged and loaded onto my Kindle was a book called ‘Gilchrist’ by an author I’d never heard of before. ‘Gilchrist’ leapt into my top books and then I checked out his two short story collection ‘Blackwater’ and loved it. Galacar has a way with words that only a few other authors have done for me. When ‘Big Bad’ was available as a review copy, I jumped on it. Typically I would have crushed through this way faster, but unfortunately, life gave me a few stumbling blocks while reading this, so my normal reading time was affected. At its core, ‘Big Bad’ is a story focused on grief. We follow Emma as she travels to the small island her sister lived on. Her sister has passed away, an incident that has left her troubled and confused. As the story unfolds, Galacar continues to introduce characters that feel like close friends. From Guppy the dependable cab driver, the only one in town, to Jim, the policeman who believes there’s more afoot with Molly’s death than it seems. Set during a snowstorm, the town becomes a remarkable backdrop as more and more elements are introduced and exposed. This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in years and the fact Galacar made the characters so believable and relatable that something as simple as Guppy finally sharing what he listens too on his headphones with Emma, will reduce you to tears. I’ll be looking at getting a physical copy of this, I’ve already snagged the Kindle version, as this book will be one that I’ll be thinking of for some time and it may even be one of the odd rereads I’ll ever do. This book slots itself alongside Andrew Pyper’s ‘The Homecoming’, JH Moncrieff’s ‘Those Who Came Before Us’, Andrew Cull’s ‘Remains’ and Greg Chapman’s ‘Netherkind’ as the best books I’ve read this year and joins that crew in my top ten of all time. If you enjoyed releases/movies such as Mystic River and The Killing, then you’ll absolutely love this. Galacar has done it again and now I’m going to be diving into his other book ‘Cicada Springs’ asap.

  3. 4 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    4,5 stars This book has almost 500 pages, but honestly, I didn't even notice it, I swallowed the whole story in a very short time (considering my very busy schedule) and can only WOWed it. What an interesting family story, what a heartbreaking family story! Wow. Intriguing, twisted, suspenseful, dark and complex. It was my first book by the author, but I am looking forward to reading more of his work. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for bringing Christian Galacar to my attention and for t 4,5 stars This book has almost 500 pages, but honestly, I didn't even notice it, I swallowed the whole story in a very short time (considering my very busy schedule) and can only WOWed it. What an interesting family story, what a heartbreaking family story! Wow. Intriguing, twisted, suspenseful, dark and complex. It was my first book by the author, but I am looking forward to reading more of his work. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for bringing Christian Galacar to my attention and for the advanced review copy of Big Bad.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Newbold

    I LOVE Galacar, but this is not my favorite. The first half of the book was pretty good, but then turned into a corny crime movie, he used the same phrases over and over "she paused for a beat". I didn't like how he would describe every character Emma was looking at. I didn't like how the taxi driver always had to say something corny when she got in the car, and at the end of the book he still calls her Ma'am. I really wanted to like this book, and I'm open for discussion. For now I'll start ove I LOVE Galacar, but this is not my favorite. The first half of the book was pretty good, but then turned into a corny crime movie, he used the same phrases over and over "she paused for a beat". I didn't like how he would describe every character Emma was looking at. I didn't like how the taxi driver always had to say something corny when she got in the car, and at the end of the book he still calls her Ma'am. I really wanted to like this book, and I'm open for discussion. For now I'll start over again with Cicada Spring or Gilchrist. Sorry Christian!

  5. 4 out of 5

    DZ

    There are only a couple of authors that it doesn’t seem to matter what they write and I will read it and really enjoy it. Galacar is one, I thought this book was killer. He is just a great writer, stories can be great but writing style and characters are what make a novel stand out. This, to me is what Christian does, great characters. I only wish he had more books, sadly (and with great pleasure) I’ve read them all. Keep going GC and I will patiently wait for your next story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    A new author for me this was a pleasant surprise. The writing was crisp and the story was fast paced. Emma, an ex FBI agent goes to a small island after her sister Molly dies. The police are determined to rule her death a suicide, but Emma doesn't believe them. As she investigates she learns secrets about her sister, and also about the people on the island. Add into this a tragic childhood and this becomes very intriguing. At the end of the book, there are some surprises that just had my jaw drop A new author for me this was a pleasant surprise. The writing was crisp and the story was fast paced. Emma, an ex FBI agent goes to a small island after her sister Molly dies. The police are determined to rule her death a suicide, but Emma doesn't believe them. As she investigates she learns secrets about her sister, and also about the people on the island. Add into this a tragic childhood and this becomes very intriguing. At the end of the book, there are some surprises that just had my jaw dropping. I wasn't expecting them. This was a really good mystery/thriller.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Candace Nola

    This was a great read. Very well written, full of suspense and intrigue. The characters were very well done and relatable. Emma’s tough exterior was easy to empathize with as you learn more about her sister, their childhood and the past that ties them together. I did not see the ending coming in this book which is a great bonus for me as I am able to predict many endings which leaves me disappointed to say the least. This book is not a cookie cutter mystery, thriller or horror book but very neat This was a great read. Very well written, full of suspense and intrigue. The characters were very well done and relatable. Emma’s tough exterior was easy to empathize with as you learn more about her sister, their childhood and the past that ties them together. I did not see the ending coming in this book which is a great bonus for me as I am able to predict many endings which leaves me disappointed to say the least. This book is not a cookie cutter mystery, thriller or horror book but very neatly combines elements of all three to give the reader something more genuine and shocking. This is my second novel that I have read by this author and I remain captivated by his writing style and storytelling ability. He will be one to keep an eye out for as his career progresses. Happy to give five stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Christy

    I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am a big fan of Cicada Spring and was excited to get started with this one. The pacing throughout was even and quick and always left me looking forward to the next chance I could get to keep reading. I enjoyed the way the characters were developed, especially the main character Emma who's own personal flaws humanized her and made her easier to relate to. I also enjoyed how interludes were evenly placed throughout I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am a big fan of Cicada Spring and was excited to get started with this one. The pacing throughout was even and quick and always left me looking forward to the next chance I could get to keep reading. I enjoyed the way the characters were developed, especially the main character Emma who's own personal flaws humanized her and made her easier to relate to. I also enjoyed how interludes were evenly placed throughout to provide some historical context to the overall story. Lastly I would point out and laud the detail that Christian used throughout the book. It made interactions between characters that much easier to envision and added an element I'm not used to seeing often. If you're a fan of a fast paced mystery/thriller you will enjoy Big Bad!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Big Bad is a dark Thriller that captivates you right from the beginning. Emma is an FBI agent who has been on extended leave when she hears her sister Molly has been killed. Emma goes to the small town of Rockliffe Island to investigate Molly’s death. Despite pushback from the Chief of Police and other town figures, as well as demons from her own past, Emma searches for truth for Molly and herself. The characters are well writ I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Big Bad is a dark Thriller that captivates you right from the beginning. Emma is an FBI agent who has been on extended leave when she hears her sister Molly has been killed. Emma goes to the small town of Rockliffe Island to investigate Molly’s death. Despite pushback from the Chief of Police and other town figures, as well as demons from her own past, Emma searches for truth for Molly and herself. The characters are well written and jump off the page. Emma’s father is truly frightening and Guppy the taxi driver is solid and dependable. The book is a little long but is well written and takes the reader on a journey that is thrilling, but also touching and horrifying at the same time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard Jackson

    I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the third novel I have read by Christian Galacar, and it is my favorite of the three. Once I started this book, it was difficult to put down. I finished it in two days. This book is suspenseful with a slow build, driven by Emma, a strong former FBI agent looking into the alleged suicide of her sister. Emma is smart, determined and unrelenting. Layer by layer, she uncovers the truth behind her sister's death while contend I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the third novel I have read by Christian Galacar, and it is my favorite of the three. Once I started this book, it was difficult to put down. I finished it in two days. This book is suspenseful with a slow build, driven by Emma, a strong former FBI agent looking into the alleged suicide of her sister. Emma is smart, determined and unrelenting. Layer by layer, she uncovers the truth behind her sister's death while contending with ghosts from the past. If you are a thriller fan, I highly recommend this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rasana Atreya

    I wrote to the author after reading Cicada Spring because I loved it. When he asked if I would do an honest review for Big Bad, I agreed. This new book did not letdown, either - it had a great storyline, well-paced storytelling, very skilful weaving of the past and the present, and, last but not the least, a kickass main character. I highly recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    A_Place_In The_Orchard

    The kind of book you wish you'd read when the weather was cold, the wind was howling, the snow was heaping up around you... or, at least, I did. A deeply, darkly, enthralling book, one that wraps you in darkness and mystery, and packs sufficient shocks to keep you constantly guessing how the whole thing will wind up. Not sure that it would lend itself to a second reading... some horror tales do, some don't... but once might be enough. It's that good. The kind of book you wish you'd read when the weather was cold, the wind was howling, the snow was heaping up around you... or, at least, I did. A deeply, darkly, enthralling book, one that wraps you in darkness and mystery, and packs sufficient shocks to keep you constantly guessing how the whole thing will wind up. Not sure that it would lend itself to a second reading... some horror tales do, some don't... but once might be enough. It's that good.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Steidley

    That ending. WOW.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elke

    I can't believe this is only the third novel by the author, he writes like an old-timer and just like his previous novel 'Cicada Spring', I got immersed in the book right from the start. The plot is original and gripping, with well-drawn characters of impressive complexity. My favorite was Guppy, the wise old taxi-driver hired by Emma Shane to drive her around on Rockcliffe Island. Emma came here for the funeral of her sister Molly, whose death was declared suicide. Only Emma doesn't buy it at a I can't believe this is only the third novel by the author, he writes like an old-timer and just like his previous novel 'Cicada Spring', I got immersed in the book right from the start. The plot is original and gripping, with well-drawn characters of impressive complexity. My favorite was Guppy, the wise old taxi-driver hired by Emma Shane to drive her around on Rockcliffe Island. Emma came here for the funeral of her sister Molly, whose death was declared suicide. Only Emma doesn't buy it at all and, as a former FBI agent, she starts digging around. By doing so, she stirs up a lot of dust, and that's not taken kindly by the inhabitants of the island, who like things easy, as Guppy explains. Soon, more bodies start showing up, and Emma herself becomes a target. Add to that a deeply disturbing childhood trauma of the two sisters, which intermingles with the present, and you got one hell of a thriller to keep you going. There was very much going on here, but it never felt like too much or confusing. All pieces were put together in perfect balance to form a stunning, impressive whole. If Mr Galacar hadn't already earned a place among my favorite authors, this one would have easily sealed the deal. (thanks to netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book, all opinions are my own)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Teresa M. Walls

    The story revolves around two sisters Molly & Emma. Emma is an FBI agent who is informed that her sister has committed suicide. Although they have been estranged for a while, Emma knows her sister would never do that. She begins an investigation to uncover who would want her sister dead and why. I do not want to say much more than that because I do not want to give anything away! It is a great mystery thriller and had me guessing to the very end. A brilliant plot with all the right twists and tu The story revolves around two sisters Molly & Emma. Emma is an FBI agent who is informed that her sister has committed suicide. Although they have been estranged for a while, Emma knows her sister would never do that. She begins an investigation to uncover who would want her sister dead and why. I do not want to say much more than that because I do not want to give anything away! It is a great mystery thriller and had me guessing to the very end. A brilliant plot with all the right twists and turns. Christian Galacar is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I have read two of his previous books, Cicada Springs & Gilchrist and thoroughly enjoyed those as well. His writing is so descriptive that you can envision what each character is feeling and experiencing right down to their facial expressions. For instance, the beginning of this book begins with a Nor’easter blowing into town. I could feel, see and smell every element of that storm having experienced them myself and was very impressed at how realistic it was. That’s just one example of what I think makes him such a great writer. I highly recommend you read this book. You will not be disappointed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    Picked up BIG BAD on Netgalley for some travel reading and before I knew what was happening I was almost done with the book! The story starts off boringly enough with a small New England island town prepping for a snowstorm. Ben's mom, Molly is acting weird as they go about their errands and he's confused. Then she dies...is found in a storage unit with a gun and a hole in her head. It's ruled a suicide, but then her sister Emma (a semi retired FBI agent) appears on the scene and it all feels wei Picked up BIG BAD on Netgalley for some travel reading and before I knew what was happening I was almost done with the book! The story starts off boringly enough with a small New England island town prepping for a snowstorm. Ben's mom, Molly is acting weird as they go about their errands and he's confused. Then she dies...is found in a storage unit with a gun and a hole in her head. It's ruled a suicide, but then her sister Emma (a semi retired FBI agent) appears on the scene and it all feels weird. The story shifts gear to Emma and I loved that. She's an unlikable female protagonist who takes no bullshit and is determined to discover what really happened to her sister. Along the way bits about her past is revealed and oh man did she have an unconventional upbringing! (Death, blood and gore with a side of child abuse, but nothing sexual!) This book had more twists that I saw coming and by the end I was like "WTF IS GOING ON IN THIS TOWN?!!" If you want a dark twisty thriller with a side of mystery and an ending you won't see coming this is the book for you. I'll be exploring more from this author for sure!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    First off: "This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review." I didn't have high expectations for this thriller, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was a little amateurish, but it didn't take away from a pretty solid plot, solid characters, and enough twisting and turning to keep things interesting. The audiobook production quality was not top-notch, but pretty good nonetheless. The narrator was unobjectionable. Probably my biggest pet First off: "This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review." I didn't have high expectations for this thriller, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was a little amateurish, but it didn't take away from a pretty solid plot, solid characters, and enough twisting and turning to keep things interesting. The audiobook production quality was not top-notch, but pretty good nonetheless. The narrator was unobjectionable. Probably my biggest pet peeve related to the numbering of the sections (chapters? parts?) - it was quite confusing for a new section to start up and have it announced as "Chapter Seven, Part Three, continued, Five" or something like that. Less would be more in this situation. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is a pretty powerful novel! I had never read Galacar before but now I'll definitely go back and read his other works! When Molly goes missing after checking on her young son in a snowstorm, her husband is shocked when she is found dead of an apparent suicide. Her estranged sister Emma comes and immediately starts to investigate as things just don't add up and she fears shady dealings. But this is a small town and there is buried history and secrets that are deep-seated. Alternating between This is a pretty powerful novel! I had never read Galacar before but now I'll definitely go back and read his other works! When Molly goes missing after checking on her young son in a snowstorm, her husband is shocked when she is found dead of an apparent suicide. Her estranged sister Emma comes and immediately starts to investigate as things just don't add up and she fears shady dealings. But this is a small town and there is buried history and secrets that are deep-seated. Alternating between the present and the past with the two sisters and their "unconventional" upbringing, the novel will have you gasping in surprise at what is eventually unearthed. Yes, it's a long novel but SO worth it! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Arnold

    Looking for the next great book and great new writer? Big Bad and Christian Galacar are it. Mr. Galacar’s third book takes his wonderful, creative writing to even greater depths. A fascinating combination of mystery, murder, psychology and family histories. The book moves at a perfect pace, brisk enough to keep you captivated but a pace that allows the characters to breathe and develop. Some great twists to the story just when you think the procession will be predicable. Christian Galacar has ta Looking for the next great book and great new writer? Big Bad and Christian Galacar are it. Mr. Galacar’s third book takes his wonderful, creative writing to even greater depths. A fascinating combination of mystery, murder, psychology and family histories. The book moves at a perfect pace, brisk enough to keep you captivated but a pace that allows the characters to breathe and develop. Some great twists to the story just when you think the procession will be predicable. Christian Galacar has taken my interest by storm and he is an oasis for the avid reader in today’s literary desert.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tanya Riley

    This is a great mystery thriller, that keeps you on edge and guessing until the vary end. I loved the main character, Emma. Dispute being troubled by her past and current grief of losing her sister, she proves to be a skilled investigator driven to solve the mystery of her sister’s death. The book’s setting of Rockcliffe Island gives a sense of dread throughout with so many secrets and shady characters. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a suspenseful read filled with twists along the This is a great mystery thriller, that keeps you on edge and guessing until the vary end. I loved the main character, Emma. Dispute being troubled by her past and current grief of losing her sister, she proves to be a skilled investigator driven to solve the mystery of her sister’s death. The book’s setting of Rockcliffe Island gives a sense of dread throughout with so many secrets and shady characters. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a suspenseful read filled with twists along the way. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced review copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A satisfying dark mystery/thriller. Galacar certainly isn't afraid to push boundaries when it comes to violence and other disturbing content. The story weaves together two the part and present perfectly, slowly revealing dark and brutal childhood of Emma, a former FBI agent, as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind her sister's recent death. I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A satisfying dark mystery/thriller. Galacar certainly isn't afraid to push boundaries when it comes to violence and other disturbing content. The story weaves together two the part and present perfectly, slowly revealing dark and brutal childhood of Emma, a former FBI agent, as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind her sister's recent death.

  22. 4 out of 5

    spooky johnson

    Should have been 100 pages shorter and executed any of the plots that were started with any sort of skill lol

  23. 5 out of 5

    ❤ArtfullySinful❤

    “I think we don’t always want the stories we’re given.” Emma said. “All you can do is try to find another one. And that doesn’t make you crazy.” Emma Shane has been living in sorrows that took root and spread deep into her subconscious And branched out into her relationships. Formerly an FBI agent, she poured herself as deep as she could into her work, all the while battling an addiction to keep the demons that lurked buried away. Addicted to the numbing, tantalized by the illusions that dreary “I think we don’t always want the stories we’re given.” Emma said. “All you can do is try to find another one. And that doesn’t make you crazy.” Emma Shane has been living in sorrows that took root and spread deep into her subconscious And branched out into her relationships. Formerly an FBI agent, she poured herself as deep as she could into her work, all the while battling an addiction to keep the demons that lurked buried away. Addicted to the numbing, tantalized by the illusions that dreary haze could provide, Emma turned and enveloped the pills as a retreat to get as far away as possible and for many years it was just the solution she desired and craved. Her family was swept beside her, and those dreaming of being close in her heart were shoved to the outskirts, unable to find a place in her brokenness. Shaken to the core after an incident revolving around a young boy placed as an obstacle by his cruel father, she was shot in the chest leaving dozens of smaller scars and an accidental death lingering within her. Taking first a medical leave before joining it into an indefinite one, Emma was a year into the solitude of being out of the FBI before a sinister calling would bring her from her shell once again forcing her hand like never before. Time: the ultimate decider. In the end it cared nothing for what worried minds wondered. Molly Rifkin is a mother finding herself in a marriage that is far from fairy tales, and affairs that could shock the small town of Rockcliffe New England. She lead a troubled life from the moment of their mother’s passing as children, and her alongside her sister Emma witnessed the downward spiral which was their father. Strange rituals at the oddest of hours, to smearing their mother’s ashes on their faces, with the animal sacrifices hanging in the Willow Tree buried deep into the woods. A childhood filled with strange fantasies and darker realties, the two sisters for years endured their father and the trauma he created. Because desperate people are dangerous people. He didn’t know this as knowledge, but he felt it as truth. As time would drag forward, a shocking development would send sister’s together but with a

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trix

    I didn't really connect with Emma. Nor did any of the action really suck me in. (view spoiler)[Sure, it was horrible what happened to Emma and Molly when they were kids. How their father forced them to visit that makeshift altar surrounded by carcasses and even kill someone just so he could 'talk' to his dead wife. But both Molly and Emma had a strange life, too strange for me to sympathise, relate or even begin to understand. Molly was married for quite a number of years and had a boy but still I didn't really connect with Emma. Nor did any of the action really suck me in. (view spoiler)[Sure, it was horrible what happened to Emma and Molly when they were kids. How their father forced them to visit that makeshift altar surrounded by carcasses and even kill someone just so he could 'talk' to his dead wife. But both Molly and Emma had a strange life, too strange for me to sympathise, relate or even begin to understand. Molly was married for quite a number of years and had a boy but still she had several affairs with a couple of the island residents. I guess she was a painter by profession? Can't say if the book said what she did for a living and I forgot or was just implied. Emma was still recovering from getting shot in the neck by a teenager and was becoming addicted to Oxycontin. She had quit the FBI, was trying to become a sculptor and had occasional sex with a fellow colleague, Malcolm. Then there was the speed with which everything unraveled. It took Emma 3 days to arrive on the island and ferret out all its secrets and intrigues, uncover a human trafficking ring, reveal the sheriff was being paid to pronounce Molly's death as suicide, discover that Molly's killer was in fact the son of a man Molly had shot when she was a child. Add in the killing of a homeless man and make it seem like overdose, killing a ministorage owner and make it seem like drowning, Emma's kidnapping by Molly's killer, mad rescue of a container filled with Chinese teenagers from being thrown overboard during a snow storm. In that regards, (hide spoiler)] there was plenty of action to keep you to the book. But alas, I was not hooked.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Szabó

    Big Bad by Christian Galacar left me drained. Emotionally. This was my first book by him but if his other books are half this great than I will have to read them too. We follow Emma Shane's investigation into her sister's death. Emma is an FBI agent but she is currently on extended leave. She just wants to sculpt and do nothing else. When she finds out her sister Molly committed suicide, Emma goes to Rockcliff Island because she doesn't believe the cause of Molly's death. What she finds on Rockcl Big Bad by Christian Galacar left me drained. Emotionally. This was my first book by him but if his other books are half this great than I will have to read them too. We follow Emma Shane's investigation into her sister's death. Emma is an FBI agent but she is currently on extended leave. She just wants to sculpt and do nothing else. When she finds out her sister Molly committed suicide, Emma goes to Rockcliff Island because she doesn't believe the cause of Molly's death. What she finds on Rockcliff Island is not just a grieving husband and son but also murder and corruption and deception. Emma has to confront her and Molly's past too if she wants to find out what really happened ton Hern sister. I cannot say I liked Emma much but her persistence amazed me. She is determined and willing to do anything, to go after anyone to get to the truth. She is lonely really but as her past is revealed I felt myself coming closer to her. Her biggest helper in the book is Guppy. He is na taxi driver but he so much more. He is smart and wise and has a really big heart. I loved his and Emma's conversations. The writing is emotionally charged and just amazing. I always read more then just one book at the same time and I caught myself returning to Big Bad. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Pham

    A who-done-it?! Woman found dead in a storage unit after a big snow storm from a supposed suicide. The police investigation seems underwhelming. Big sister comes down to the Northeast and uncovers a huge illicit scheme fraught with corruption and depravity. Themes explored are serendipitous chances, the unending love for kin (alive or gone), and the metaphysical aspects of worship and fixations. The usual insidious ulterior backdrop is here in the small close-knit town, per Galacar’s universe. T A who-done-it?! Woman found dead in a storage unit after a big snow storm from a supposed suicide. The police investigation seems underwhelming. Big sister comes down to the Northeast and uncovers a huge illicit scheme fraught with corruption and depravity. Themes explored are serendipitous chances, the unending love for kin (alive or gone), and the metaphysical aspects of worship and fixations. The usual insidious ulterior backdrop is here in the small close-knit town, per Galacar’s universe. This book does contain possibly inciting depictions of violence. I was taken back a bit but enjoyed it nonetheless. The book is paced as so. A bang! Then a slow burn to about 80% and the plot jets off from then on. It’s a slow exhale after many chapters of plot paced like molasses. If you like non-stop action, this isn’t for you. What this is though, is a nice departure from the spooky, lethal, or grotesquely demonic styles that Galacar has been trademarked for. It is a murder mystery, an slow burning investigation by one tenacious, tough-as-nails ex agent and grieving sister. Small towns hide big secrets and the death of a supposed nobody foiled the evil lying underneath. I am excited to see more from C. Galacar as this was a satisfying read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Szabó

    Big Bad by Christian Galacar left me drained. Emotionally. This was my first book by him but if his other books are half this great than I will have to read them too. We follow Emma Shane's investigation into her sister's death. Emma is an FBI agent but she is currently on extended leave. She just wants to sculpt and do nothing else. When she finds out her sister Molly committed suicide, Emma goes to Rockcliff Island because she doesn't believe the cause of Molly's death. What she finds on Rockcl Big Bad by Christian Galacar left me drained. Emotionally. This was my first book by him but if his other books are half this great than I will have to read them too. We follow Emma Shane's investigation into her sister's death. Emma is an FBI agent but she is currently on extended leave. She just wants to sculpt and do nothing else. When she finds out her sister Molly committed suicide, Emma goes to Rockcliff Island because she doesn't believe the cause of Molly's death. What she finds on Rockcliff Island is not just a grieving husband and son but also murder and corruption and deception. Emma has to confront her and Molly's past too if she wants to find out what really happened to her sister. I cannot say I liked Emma much but her persistence amazed me. She is determined and willing to do anything, to go after anyone to get to the truth. She is lonely really but as her past is revealed I felt myself coming closer to her. Her biggest helper in the book is Guppy. He is na taxi driver but he so much more. He is smart and wise and has a really big heart. I loved his and Emma's conversations. The writing is emotionally charged and just amazing. I always read more then just one book at the same time and I caught myself returning to Big Bad. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ivory Castle

    Married with a young son Molly disappears in a snowstorm. The last person to see her alive is a homeless man as she flees from an unseen threat. When her body is found, police deem it suicide with seemingly little investigation into her death. Molly’s sister Emma has an FBI background and an addiction to painkillers. She sets out to find the truth about her sisters death and uncovers a network of lies and deceit. She finds an unusual ally in Guppy the local taxi driver who helps her discover the Married with a young son Molly disappears in a snowstorm. The last person to see her alive is a homeless man as she flees from an unseen threat. When her body is found, police deem it suicide with seemingly little investigation into her death. Molly’s sister Emma has an FBI background and an addiction to painkillers. She sets out to find the truth about her sisters death and uncovers a network of lies and deceit. She finds an unusual ally in Guppy the local taxi driver who helps her discover the truth. The two sisters shared a bizarre and traumatic childhood and a horrifying secret. I felt compelled to read of their experiences and how they became the people they were. At the same time I felt compassion for their father driven insane by loss and his war related experiences. Sadly even in real life people like this slip though the loop. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked to the last page. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free digital copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jean

    Great setting ✔ Great character development ✔ Enaging dilagoue ✔ Keep readers attention ✔ Ok, what's not to like about this one? The only thing I wish I had done different was read it during a snowstorm as someone mentioned. What are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this book, all you suspense lovers. You'll thank yourself, me and maybe the author :) Thank you Netgalley, Christian Galacar and the publisher for the ARC. My above review is my own and unbiased. Great setting ✔ Great character development ✔ Enaging dilagoue ✔ Keep readers attention ✔ Ok, what's not to like about this one? The only thing I wish I had done different was read it during a snowstorm as someone mentioned. What are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this book, all you suspense lovers. You'll thank yourself, me and maybe the author :) Thank you Netgalley, Christian Galacar and the publisher for the ARC. My above review is my own and unbiased.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charley Blunt

    Great Read! I really enjoyed this book. Honestly it pissed me off at first, but the rest made up for it. I loved the characters and their humanity. I read at night before I go to bed, so many times I'll stay with a book for a month or so. This one lasted a week. I'd love to learn what happens next in Emma's life, but sometimes it's best just to let those characters live on in private. I'll definitely be reading more of Christian Galacar. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Great Read! I really enjoyed this book. Honestly it pissed me off at first, but the rest made up for it. I loved the characters and their humanity. I read at night before I go to bed, so many times I'll stay with a book for a month or so. This one lasted a week. I'd love to learn what happens next in Emma's life, but sometimes it's best just to let those characters live on in private. I'll definitely be reading more of Christian Galacar. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

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