Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4) by Cornelia Read

Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)

Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets for the tree-lined avenues of Boulder, Colorado when her husband Dean lands a promising job. Madeline, now a full-time homemaker and mother to beautiful toddler twin girls, has achieved everything she thought she always wanted, but with her husband constantly on the road, she's fighting a losing battle against the Betty Friedan riptide of suburban/maternal exhaustion, angst, and sheer loneliness. A n...

Details Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)

TitleValley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)
Release DateAug 14th, 2012
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
GenreMystery, Fiction, Relationships, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Adult Fiction

Reviews Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)

  • Lian Tanner
    I feel as if Read started off writing edgy crime stories with a funny, foul-mouthed heroine who was pretty much unputdownable, and has veered off into personal angst with a large dash of bitterness. It was a shock to discover at the start of this book that Maddy's husband Dean, who has always been such a honey, has turned into a complaining, high-handed creep. Okay, so 18 months have passed since the end of the last book, but there was never any ...
  • Mary
    Not sure what is happening with Ms. Read these days. I do know she recently went through a divorce and the agony of conflicting emotions one experiences during that process (been there myself) is painfully clear in this novel. In fact, Valley of Ashes is less a mystery and more a raw outpouring of Maddie Dare's personal hell as she struggles to hold it together. The bloom is definitely off the rose as far as her hitherto wonderful husband Dean is...
  • Peebee
    This was my first book of Read's, and apparently I dropped in on a series. I think the book is pretty well self-contained though...while there are references to things happening earlier in Madeline Dare's life, I don't think any of them are essential to this book.So, why didn't I like this book? There are some great turns of phrase here, and I think I would like Madeline, the protagonist. But it was less of a mystery than "let me show you what a ...
  • Lora Wentzel
    I want to be Madeleine's friend. I want to help her with the twins, vacuum her floor, call her when I'm pissed at my husband and kick back beer and some soggy cheese nips with her. If you haven't read any of Cornelia Read's books, what are you waiting for? I love Read's voice in her is altogether too real.
  • Larraine
    This fourth book in the Madeline Dare series took me by surprise. I've enjoyed the three previous books. They were funny and dark and really well written. This one is funny, dark, really well written and VERY personal. It's 1995 in Boulder, CO. Madeline is living in a rental house with hideous orange everything. Dean, her husband, is immersed in a job that keeps him either working late or traveling. They now have twin daughters who are about to t...
  • judy
    I suspect this was a book she had to write but I shouldn't have read. Not a mystery and not my thing. The first part, with Maddy struggling to keep her 1 year old twins in line and do the housework too, is hilarious. The rest is meh. This is not chick-lit. It's stay-at- home-mom of young children with husband scurrying up the corporate ladder lit. Even with the laughs, it's pretty depressing.
  • Sarah Strohmeyer
    So far, fantastic like all of Cornelia's books. Edgy, real voice. Real characters with baggage. More detailed review to come.
  • Viccy
    Cornelia Read does it again. Madeline Dare has moved to Colorado with her husband after he gets a job with Ionix. She is completely bowed under with caring for twins under a year old and life in Boulder is just way too granola for an East Coast girl like Madeline. She gets a job writing restaurant reviews for a small Boulder newspaper and ends up following around an arson investigator who becomes her friend. Mimi is on the trail of a serial arson...
  • Lynn G.
    Filled with snarky attitude, sarcasm, and the overwhelming use of the "f word" Valley of Ashes was rather a disappointment. Each of the preceding characteristics might work well individually or even in combination (well, maybe not the overuse of the f word) but were not put to good use in this case. Too much of a 'good' thing.Also taxing my ability to suspend disbelief was the primary character, Madeline's, parenting role. Her children, 1-year-ol...
  • Jackie Weger
    I loved this book! Spent Labor Day in a hammock at the Lake with my Kindle. I just could not put it down to swim, cook or ride the wave runners. Every mother can relate to Madeline. I especially loved it that Cornelia Read has Madeline saying words and having thoughts I've had about a man who was and still is self-centered, but I have never been clever enough to voice so wonderfully well. She nails it.
  • Alicia
  • Any Length
    I dind't like this book. I gave it one star only, because it felt like the author was using this book as a kind of catharsis, to work through her own stuff and it appeared that a lot of her own pain went into the book. However, from a literary point of view, the book missed the topic entirely. I started off as a crime novel, which took such second place to mundaine life stuff that it was no longer funny. The end was strange, unexpected, but not p...
  • Cathy Cole
    First Line: When we first moved to Boulder, I was entirely too happy-- a state of being so rare in my experience that I found it rather terrifying.Madeline's husband Dean found a job in Boulder, Colorado, and while he spends a lot of his time on the road as a salesman, Madeline is a stay-at-home mother of two toddler twin girls, India and Parrish. Her world couldn't be any more different from the life she knew in New York City.At first Madeline i...
  • Caitlin
    I'm very fond of Madeline Dare. She's smart, snarky, tough, and downright lovable. In her latest adventure she's moved to Boulder with husband Dean and is sorting through what it means to be a full-time mother to two twin toddlers. When I say "full-time mother" that's exactly what I mean - no working, no money of your own - in many ways blissful yet utterly dependent on the person who earns the money who may or may not deserve you and your effort...
  • Gloria Feit
    As I again entered the world of Madeline Dare, I found myself thinking I recognized this woman. Heck, I’ve been this woman! Madeline, an English major and would-be journalist and/or fiction writer, is now at 32 a full-time homemaker, the mother of gorgeous one-year-old twin girls, whose housekeeping skills could use a little work.Manhattan born and bred, she has done her penance in Syracuse, New York in the early years of her marriage, now tryi...
  • Mary Chrapliwy
    Madeline Dare is a snarky, quick-whitted heroine; a personality made real through the skilled writing of Cornelia Read. Madeline (aka "Bunny" as known by the selfish husband), has just moved to Boulder with her husband and is painfully in need of friends, while she skillfully juggles twins on the cusp of their first birthday. She's a darn-near perfect mother, but Read weaves in a bit of the failed homemaker misery without spoiling the awesome mom...
  • Vikki VanSickle
    This was the most difficult of the Madeline Dare books to get through as Madeline and Dean are going through a brutal rough patch in their marriage. The mystery takes a backseat to the emotional turmoil and struggles Madeline is having as a stay-at home mom who is alone much of the time. Their are glimpses at the snarky, very funny, powerhouse Madeline I came to know in love in earlier books, but I spent most of the read aching for her and pissed...
  • Minerva Koenig
    I think there is something unique going on in this book, but a couple of things made it difficult for me to figure out what. First, the entire book seems to be composed of one-sentence paragraphs. I don't know if this is an editing decision, or if the author intended it that way, but it was very distracting. Second, the narrative voice is extremely funny -- there are some truly hilarious lines -- but it goes way, way over the top, to the point wh...
  • Erin
    I absolutly loved this book. Madeline Dare is a tough, strong, smart, kickass chick and I wanna be just like her when I go up!! Cornelia Read's writing style is different and unique. I hope there ALOT more books from her in the future!
  • sam
    I love, love, love the Madeline Dare books. She is the quick witted, sharp tongued tough smart broad we'd all like to be. I was glad that becoming a mom didn't slow her down much but was dismayed that (SPOILER ALERT) Dean turned out to be such a turd.
  • Randy Briggs
    What can I say? I loved this book until I didn't. I gave it three average of four for the beginning and two for the end.
  • Cathy
    The writing was fine but the story was not. Way too much whining about a bad marriage and not enough of a mystery.
  • J.A. McLachlan
    The story here was pretty good, actually - maybe a four. The cursing was so bad I almost stopped reading it, though - and I mean not just as expletives, but in every single sentence. Read uses swearing as humour, but it does get too excessive. However, that's her style, and I wouldn't downgrade a book on style. No, my problem with this book is the ending, which is, without doubt, the worst ending I have ever read. After creating a character who w...
  • Arlena
    Author: Cornelia ReadPublished By: Grand Central Publishing Age Recommended: AdultReviewed By: Arlena DeanBook Blog For: GMTARating: 5Review:"Valley Of Ashes" by Cornelia Read was a really excellent mystery read. This novel had my attention from the first page and didn't lose any of it until the last word. I really enjoy this fourth book in the Madeline Dare series in that it brought the reader some fun, dark but yet a well written and even a per...
  • Emily
    Like the last Madeline Dare book, this one was kind of pieced together. But also like her last one, it had a scene that was so compelling and fantastically written that it made up for the other weaker parts of the story. For me, it was the Dean cheating scene. I knew there was something weird going on with Setsuko but I never thought she was sleeping with Dean; I liked him so much in the previous books and honestly didn't think he was capable (bu...
  • Jodi
    I had high hopes for this story. It had been showcased in Library Journal's prepub alert and I couldn't wait to read it. Or in my case listen to it. Hilary Huber reads it and she does a very credible job. I had a problem with the story or rather the characters. I didn't like them. Any of them. Starting with Madeline. Madeline is the now stay-at-home mother of year old twins. It is exhausting and she is feeling the strain. Her husband is gone cons...
  • Melissa
    This is the final book in a series about the main character-Madaline Dare. I wanted to like this book-and for awhile, I actually thought I would. Lots more descriptive language in this one and several unexpected in this one, but it still left so many unanswered questions. And the "mystery" that it alludes to in the blurb is barely even addressed. Then, to top it off-the ending was just depressing."Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets fo...
  • Janice Llewellyn
    My first book from this author; it came highly recommended so I couldn't wait to start it. I read it non-stop over two days. Enjoyed the witty dialog and the main character's home life situation of raising 1 year old twin daughters, practically on her own. I realized early on, that there were previous books involving the same characters, so I was not completely "in the loop" regarding Maddie and Dean's history. There were references to the past t...