No Way Out By Fern Michaels


    NO WAY OUT by Fern Michales

    Meh! It was a good enough read, I guess. I hung on because I kept waiting for the magic to happen, so it wasn't a thriller or a mystery. I thought it was just a drama about family or neighborhood.

    Essentially it was about neighbor women who both have safety issues in their life based on domestic violence, remembered and not remembered. The best thing about the book was the tech stuff and the dog. It is a good enough read, but you should reserve your expectations.

    3 stars

    Happy Reading Romance, Mystery Thrillers No Way Out by Fern Michaels is not what I expected. I was looking forward to a riveting, suspenseful story. Unfortunately, No Way Out is not that type of book. It is reminiscent of a light cozy mystery or a women’s fiction story. This book lacks the suspense and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Ellie moves to the small town of Hibbing, Missouri on a quiet street where there are a variety of residents. We get to meet the various residents as the book progresses. I liked the residents of the lane with their various quirks. Colleen Haywood lives with her husband, Mitchel as well as her eight-year-old son, Jackson. Mitchel drinks too much and becomes abusive. Colleen, Mitchel, and Jackson seem to take up more of the book than Ellie. I liked how we get to see the neighbors helping each other. They are supportive, kind, and accepting. They never picked on Ellie or criticized her for not leaving her home. They accepted her for who she was which I thought was wonderful. I found the ending to be anticlimactic as well as too quick and smooth. There is an epilogue, but it felt incomplete. My favorite phrase from No Way Out is, “Even when you think there is no way out, if you try hard enough, you can usually find a way.” If you are looking for a light book to read by the pool or at the beach, then No Way Out is just the ticket. Romance, Mystery Thrillers Many thanks to Kensington Press for the complimentary copy of Fern Michael’s “No Way Out”. I want to say that my response to this book would have been totally different had it not been marketed as a thriller.
    There is no way that I can spin a positive review of this book. It is a mediocre attempt for a mystery much less a thriller. Promoted as a “gripping novel of suspense” on Amazon, this story fails to connect on all levels. I am sure that I would have a different opinion of the story had it been advertised as a “feel-good” neighborhood tale but for me, there was no suspense in this story.
    We are introduced to Ellie, a reclusive, “tech geek”, “techno whiz”, gamer, and computer support person who finds companionship in her dog, Buddy, and cat, Percy. She has not been out of her house in 2 years and has created a fortress to rival Fort Knox. When the reason for her fear is disclosed, well…let us just say it is much ado about nothing. Based on the story, I felt like it was an overblown response to the situation.
    Ellie can maintain her lifestyle, thanks to the help of Hector. Hector is a high school student that Ellie met through online gaming. Because of Hector, Ellie moved to Hibbing, MO from NYC. Hector runs all Ellie’s errands, maintains the exterior of Ellie’s house, and has created and maintains a garden to rival those in “Southern Living.” His character is beyond unbelievable.
    Ellie’s neighbor is Colleen. Colleen is married to Mitchell. Mitchell has become a chain-smoking, wandering husband who comes home drunk and is borderline abusive. One night, he crosses the line and Colleen calls the police. Based on this one incident, Colleen is fearful for her life and the life of her son, Jackson. She installs a state-of-the-art security system and purchases a Taser from the too good to be true police officer who comes to her rescue.
    Colleen’s young son, Jackson, who spends hours each day playing with Ellie’s dog Buddy never misbehaves despite all the turmoil in his life. Jackson uses terms like “swell” and “yippee.” He comes across as a child of the ’50s, not the 2020s.
    We are also introduced to the rest of the neighbors as the story unfolds. One thread remains constant and that is everyone is just too good and overcomes any flaws in a short time and with minimal struggle.
    The language used is in this book is so outdated. I have listed a few examples but there are many more. The book tone is also very 1050’s. The biggest complaint is nothing exciting really happens in this book; even the scene where Mitchell is abusive is lack-luster.
    There are instances where certain phrases are used repeatedly. We read several times about how Ellie is sure that Hector has cleaned the yard so that Buddy and Jackson do not get in the dog poop.
    I have not read Fern Michael’s other works, but they must be better for her to be such a successful writer. If you are looking for a gentle mystery, then check out Rita Mae Brown or Sofie Kelly. Romance, Mystery Thrillers This is the first Fern Michaels book I have read, and it will be the last. Written at about a fourth grade reading level, the two dimensional characters are all of average or below average intelligence. Story events are rehashed in conversations in case you missed information the first, second, or third time it was conveyed. A purportedly smart woman with a magnificent backyard isn’t smart enough to teach her dog to poop in a specific place, thus effectively ruining the whole yard. The child is portrayed as a moron. The unexplainable behavior of the mother-in-law is commented on over and over. No way would Colleen ever have married her drunken, smoking, violent husband (Who is now supposedly going to change his life for the better.)I would recommend reading this book if you are feeling rather brain dead and don’t want to do much thinking. Romance, Mystery Thrillers Ellie Bowman moves to a quiet street, Birchwood Lane, in the small town of Hibbing, Missouri where there are a variety of residents. As the story progresses the reader gets to meet many of them with their various quirks and habits. Colleen Haywood lives with her drinker husband, Mitchel as well as her eight-year-old son, Jackson. Ellie, a young recluse, has lived on the street for two years but had never been seen outside by any of her neighbours, nor Hector who helps with gardening and shopping. Her story captivated me and kept me interested, wanting to know what happened to cause her reclusive behaviour. I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling tale of abuse, small-town politics and community life. Highly recommended.

    I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion. Romance, Mystery Thrillers

    I've never read Fern Michaels before, but I'd classify No Way Out as a cozy. It started out very interesting with a young woman who never left her house. I wanted to know why and what she was afraid of.
    A second thread involves a case of domestic abuse in the neighborhood.

    What could have been a really suspenseful read turned into a everything works out in the end sort of book. That's fine, but building so much suspense and curiosity and then having half the characters reform completely--makes the original suspense feel false.

    I didn't hate it, but it isn't really a genre I enjoy; however, it should appeal to those who are already fans of Fern Michaels.

    NetGalley/Kensington Books

    Cozy. March 30, 2021. Print length: 322 pages. Romance, Mystery Thrillers Really enjoyed this one... the ending was so quick and rather anti climactic. Romance, Mystery Thrillers No suspence. No thrill.
    I expected better from this author after having read many, many of her books. This bordered on boring and was one of those books that while I'm reading it my mind wanders and when I focus I noticed that I read a couple pages and have no idea what I read. It tries to build you up for this big ending and when you get to it the boyfriend gets to the front of her house, starts yelling, and then is taken away by the cops. That's it. I don't know why I finished this book to begin with other than the anticipation that maybe the ending would save the story...but no. Romance, Mystery Thrillers I was looking forward to a “gripping novel of suspense” but I soon found out that this book was more like a cozy mystery that I never really got into. It didn’t grip me.
    The story started out interesting enough with Ellie, a woman who doesn’t leave her home. I wanted to know why and what the event was that caused this. This kept me reading, in hopes of finding out soon. Then Colleen and Jackson were introduced to the story with Mitchel, the husband/father. This was a domestic abuse situation that escalated quickly in the chapter.

    As I was reading, waiting for some information to why Ellie was almost a recluse, it began to appear that the main character was really Colleen, not Ellie as the book's summary suggests. There wasn’t enough in the story about Ellie and her memory loss and what happened with her boyfriend.

    In addition, I found it hard to believe too many details about the characters and setting. The small town as described was just a bit too idyllic... it was too much like Mayberry. Mitchel's reform happened too quick for it to be realistic. Colleen’s new romance was too fast. Hector, as a teenager, wouldn’t have time to do the amount of work that he is given credit for.

    The plot came to an end pretty quick and was anticlimactic with many situations working out for the positive so easily. No cliffhanger, no “wow” moment. I didn’t hate the book, I did finish it, but I felt like there was too much that was lacking.

    Thanks the NetGalley and Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Romance, Mystery Thrillers I'm at a loss for words, No Way Out by Fern Michaels was so good! Fern Michaels has been on my author radar for a while now, and I will continue to read her books. No Way Out is a gripping suspense novel, and gave me the chills, I love when a book does that to me! My only disappointment was the ending happened so quick and nothing was explained as to what happened to the other families, but all in all I loved this story. I was hooked from the very beginning. This story truly touched my heart, and it will be a long time before I forget this story.

    Ellie Bowman barely remembers the incident that put her into a coma. When Ellie awoke at the hospital she was so confused as to what happened and why she was there. Ellie woke up with bruises all over her face. Ellie knew she needed to get away from her old life and recover in safety. Ellie moves to a rural town in Missouri where no body knows her, all her neighbors know her as the lady who never leaves her house. Ellie trusts no one except her business partner. Ellie's neighbor Colleen keeps trying to invite Ellie over for tea, but Ellie won't budge.

    Colleen Haywood, Ellie's neighbor gets into a domestic dispute with her drunk husband Mitchel one night, that one night Colleen decides she's had enough of Mitchel's behavior, Colleen wants to protect her son Jackson. Ellie has a dog named Buddy, who Jackson has quite adored and always pets him through the fence. I often found myself cheering on Ellie, Colleen, and Jackson. One day Ellie gets a call from her best friend Kara that Ellie's boyfriend Rick is back in town. No one has heard from Rick since before the incident, so why is he back now?

    Ellie has severe nightmares that play back to the night of the incident. Ellie wants to move forward with her life, but first she must find the courage to look into her past, no matter what she finds. Ellie and Colleen develop a friendship over the phone because Ellie won't go outside, Ellie has a high school student who gets her mail, does her shopping for her, and does all her gardening for her. My heart broke for Ellie and Colleen as well for everything they both have been through. Romance, Mystery Thrillers

    A Gripping Novel of Suspense

    Ellie Bowman barely remembers the incident that put her into a coma. When she awoke, filled with unease, all she knew for certain was that her boyfriend, Rick, was missing. She knew she needed to get away from her old life and recover in safety. With the proceeds of a video game she helped develop, Ellie starts over in rural Missouri, working from her cottage and trusting no one except her friend and business partner.

    Yet even in this quiet small town, it’s impossible to completely isolate herself. Especially when a curious eight-year-old boy, smitten with Ellie’s pup, stops by every day to talk to him over the fence. Little by little, Ellie is being drawn back into the world through the neighbors and community around her, realizing that everyone has their own fears and obstacles to contend with.

    But when Ellie hears that Rick has resurfaced, her nightmares return, and with them, small snippets of memory. No one has heard from Rick since before the incident, so why is he back now? Ellie wants to move forward with her life, but first she must find the courage to look into her past, no matter what she finds there . . . No Way Out

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