Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Stalker – Lars Kepler

22554261| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The police receive a video clip of a woman in a window and reason that someone must have been standing in the garden just outside her house to be able to film her. The next day the woman is found dead in her home, the vicious violence of the scene shocks even the most seasoned investigators. A few days later, another clip is sent anonymously to the police, but there’s no way of identifying the woman before she too falls victim to a brutal attack. When he finds her, the woman’s husband is so traumatized by the violent scene that, in a state of panic, he starts cleaning the house. He even washes the blood from his wife’s body and puts her to bed, as if nothing is the matter. He may have seen a vital clue but is in such an extreme state of shock, and seems to be suffering from short-term memory loss that the police cannot usefully question him. Criminal psychiatrist and hypnotist Erik Maria Bark is called in hypnotize the man in order to unlock his memories of the murder scene. But what Dr Bark uncovers in his sessions with the dead woman’s husband make him decide to lie to the police.

It becomes clear that the case cannot be solved without the help of Detective Joona Linna, the man who’s been missing for more than a year and has been presumed dead.

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My thoughts: Lars Kepler, the married duo who writes under that name, has done it again. With Stalker we yet again meet Joona Linna and all the loose threads from the earlier books are finally tied together. Even though the series is about Joona Linna, he has a lot smaller part in this book than usual. Here it is Erik Maria Bark who stands in the headlight and the character you get to follow the most. He is awesome and I have always liked him so it was great to get to know him even more.

I really like the stalker plot where as a woman, it even was a little frighting for me and with its graphic content, gave me the chills.  I found it somewhat of a paranoid thriller and I’m happy that I don’t live on the first floor (even though I curse those stairs everyday). And I Still checked my windows and doors a little extra, just in case. Not that I’m in any danger of being stalked, but it just felt better you know. Funny how books can have such  big impact on the everyday life. Anyway, I liked the plot and it is well written as always. I wouldn’t say that Stalker is my favorite in the series but it isn’t the worst either.

There is a lot of plot twists and one was really surprising and I did not see that coming. I should have and I kick myself for not doing that and it is great work by Kepler to fool me. I’m not easily fooled. Just saying! And this series is not a stand alone and you should read them in order, just to really understand some huge things that are not deeply explained.

A solid thriller with a solid and somewhat frightening plot and I give it four stars. Loses a star because it is a little too long. With almost 700 pages I felt somethings could have been edited out to make the flow more smoothly. And there is a lot of characters and even though I’m Swedish and doesn’t have a problem with the names, I still forgot sometime who was who.

 

22554261

Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Shiver – Karen Robards

13547386.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Samantha Jones is the best damn repo woman on the books. The streetwalkers, the drug pushers, the bands of looking-for-trouble punks haunting the mean streets at midnight don’t intimidate her. These are her people. The guy she finds bound and bloodied in the trunk of a flashy new BMW is a different breed entirely.

Daniel Panterro knows he hasn’t seen the last of the vicious drug runners who kidnapped him from protective custody and left him for dead. His only recourse is to take his pretty savior and her four-year-old son hostage and force her to help him. With ruthless killers stalking their trail, Sam must trust this handsome, menacing stranger. But as she relinquishes control, she feels an unmistakable desire. What is the price of falling in love with a man who operates on the edge of danger—her heart, her life . . . or both?

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My thoughts: It took me a really long time to start reading this one. I kept seeing reviews where other “complained” about how bad the characters were and how Robards don’t have diversity in her way of building characters and plots. But I must say, I think this is one of my favorites so far.

I often find that a romantic suspense is to unrealistic for my taste. Either the plot is not believable and quite thin or the whole romantic part of it is forced and hard to not cringe or laugh at since it so often not realistic. I know it is fiction and often it is not supposed to be realistic, but that is just not the way I like it. Personally. But this book is great.

The plot seems realistic. I really like Samantha. You can really feel how much she hates her life and how she struggles and fights for her son. And when it all happen, the bad guys, the running and the fighting, it is just great. Believable, true and exciting. (Except the end part.) I fell and it captivated me, and that is just the way I like it. I love that the romantic part took some time, some build up and it was hot, hot and hot. I really liked the dynamic between the characters and how diverse they were. I do not feel at all that it is the same thing with a different plot.

Now I do not read a lot of Robards. I do believe that, if I had read several after each other, I would probably feel the same way as many of the other reviews.

If I’m going to complain I do have a couple of things to mention and they are the reason to why I did not give the book five stars. First of is Tyler. He is supposed to be four, soon five years old, but he is written so much older. More like seven or eight. It kept messing with my head and I actually had to remind myself all the time that he is only four. The other thing is how shallow Marco/Trey/Danny is. He is so focus on Sam’s “beauty” and thin body, and it gets tiresome in the end. And the third is that when they crash in the mountains, it is just too easy. It is snow, cold and they have freaking crashed, but no, they just stomp back down without a word of pain or cold. Miner details but stuff like that can drive me crazy.

Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

A merciful truth – Kendra Elliot

32885178.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?

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My thoughts: I found Kendra Elliot through recommendations on GoodReads and her Bone Secret series (which I only have one book left to read in) is the first I read and I really liked her books. Some was better than other and I do find Elliot to be somewhat of an unstable writer but I still felt sure on starting one of her other series. You never know what you will get, you know. Well, after this second book in the Mercy Kilpatrick series, I will probably not continue it.

I like the story line and the (for me) mostly unknown topic. I don’t know a lot of preppers, government haters and people trying to survive on what nature has to give. Now I can’t say that the information in the book is 100% true but I do hope that Elliot is that kind of author who research or has personal knowledge to putt in her book.

I started the second book with the thought that I wanted to know what will happen Mercy next and how the relationship with Truman turned out. Quickly discovered that there is A LOT from the first book I have forgotten. And that is certainly not good in any way. I gave the first book three stars so I did like it, but not apparently enough to remember it. So that was kind of an bummer. Elliot do explain some of the stuff that happened in the first book so it did refresh my memory. But the most vital information (can’t say due to spoiler) they never talked about in the book. And I didn’t quite remembered the details from the first book. So I had to look it up. Not a good thing.

So to sum it up, the book was okay. It’s easy to read and it was somewhat exciting. But the plot felt forced and I was not really surprised when most of it came into the light. There was some tries to cast fake blame on other characters but I did not fell for it and my suspicions on how it all hanged together from the start. Even though the reasons was not that clear.

I seriously need to stop wasting time on series where I didn’t fell for the first book. More often than not, I do not like it and end up not finish the series.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Nemesis – Jo Nesbø

3522419.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: How do you catch a killer when you’re the number one suspect?

A man is caught on CCTV, shooting dead a cashier at a bank. Detective Harry Hole begins his investigation, but after dinner with an old flame wakes up with no memory of the past 12 hours. Then the girl is found dead in mysterious circumstances and he beings to receive threatening emails: is someone trying to frame him for her death?

As Harry fights to clear his name, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery…

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My thoughts: I’m not a big fan of this “someone is trying to frame someone, fight against the clock” type of plots. I find them long, irritating and exhausting. There is always some idiot who do not believe the truth even if it knocks you on the head and they are always so close to capture or kill the main character (who is getting framed) and if he gets captured, he is so wrongfully treated and when the truth comes out, they are all friends and happy family again. It is just so predictable and cliche. That’s why, at first, I didn’t want to read the book. I know that I usually don’t like that kind of plots and I get more irritated, than enjoy it. But I had to! The book is fourth in a series that cannot be read as standalone’s and I did want to know what would happen after that “cliffhanger” from the third book.

So in this book we get to follow when someone is trying to frame Harry for the murder of an old girlfriend to him. He had dinner with her the night before she was discovered dead and he can’t remember what happened or how he got home. At the same time he works a case where a robber is active and is responsible for at least one death. Together with the wonder child Beate Lønn, they try to find the truth. And all Harry actually want to do, is working on that case he can’t let go.

The book is dark and I feel that Harry is a little darker this time, than earlier books. But at the same time he is really trying to take control of his life and make things right. And it is hard for me not to feel for him, even though I do not like him that much. He is a hard character to like. I do love this new character Beate and hope that I will be meeting her again. There is a lot of male characters and we do need more women I think. Specially since Harry seems prefer working with female colleagues, than male ones.

Had some small issues with the writing this time to. Jo have written it with brakes in the stories that makes me a little confused if it is memories, dreams, does it happen real time or not happening at all.

I‘m glad to be done with the book. It was not my favorite but also not the worst of those I have read.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Deadly Harvest – Heather Graham

3643502.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn’t have time for ghost stories. He’s in town on another investigation, looking for a friend’s wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.

Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man’s dark seduction.

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My thoughts: This is like the third book I have read by Heather Graham and still after I’m done with the book I have this feeling “thank you that it is finally over!”. That is not a good feeling to be left with. Almost all her books have a average 4+ star ratings and it is weird that non of those I have read, has appealed to me, at all. And I don’t really know why either. I think it is the writing that I can’t connect with. I feel bored and already at 20% of the book I wanted to DNF it, but didn’t since the story was a little interesting.

So, this book is about Jeremy Flynn. The second of the three brothers this series is about. He is in Salem, Massachusetts to help out a friend, who’s wife is missing. Roweena, who are from Salem is trying to help out. Jeremy met her through his brothers wife down in New Orleans and for weeks he have tried to stay clear of her but his feelings  is to strong and in Salem there relationship takes a big turn. She tries to help him but there is a lot of stuff happening and on top of that, she has terrible dreams, she doesn’t know what to do with. Jeremy is a down to earth, facts and logic kind of guy who do not believe in stuff he can’t see. Together they need to work together to find Mary, the missing wife, and later on, find a killer.

Okay story, a little predictable and boring but still well described. Missed some hot and steamy feelings and scene between Jeremy and Roweena, which I think would have made the book better. And the rest are a little flat. Still I think it all is because of the writing and that it doesn’t captures me.

I do not think I will read more by Graham for now, I just think that she maybe not is an author for me.

 

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Sandman – Lars Kepler

35805854| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman. Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek’s capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it’s too late–and before he gets inside her head.

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My thoughts: Oh the plot thickens around Joona Linna. The ruggish, Finland/Swedish cop in a Harry Bosch, Harry Hole and Jack Reacher spirit.

The Lars Kepler couple (they are a married couple who writhes under that name, if you did’t know that) are geniuses. This is dark and twisted. It gives you the creeps and nothing feels okay. It seeps into your dreams at night and until you have read that one last page, you have this bad, tingling feeling. That is how well written these books really are. They embraces you, hides you and sucks you in and won’t let you go.

If you like authors like Jo Nesbø, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci,  Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell and so on, you will probably love Lars Kepler. Their story about Joona Linna is just so great and vivid and this series is always one I recommend when people asks.

This is the fourth book about Joona. Dark secrets from the past is revealed, Saga is getting a bigger part and really bad stuff is happening. It is sad, terrifying and oh, I cried at the end. The plot is really good and well thought out. It all feels realistic and true.

I will definitely continue this series.- That is how good it is.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime

The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

18709559| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

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My thoughts: If you are looking for a fast paced book with an easy mystery and exciting suspense, this is not the book for you. But if you are looking for a slow burn, with a complex mystery, a lot of characters and fates, this is a choice for you. It is slow, but still in a good slow kind of way. There is a lot of characters to keep track on but Catton have written it really well so that it is not that confusing when you get into it. There is a lot of information and counter information so it can be hard at some points to remember who of the characters know who and what. Who did what, when, where and who knew about it? I would not say that the book is hard to understand, your mind just needs to be a 100% awake so you won’t miss some details. This is a lot of book and many pages but it is affordable and don’t let the many pages scare you off.

My biggest problem with it, however, is still that it is so slow, even tough it is a good kind of slow, and it didn’t really grab me. I have told you before that I have no patience when it comes to slow books. And I didn’t really feel anything for the book. It was the reason that my goal was to read this before I turn 30, that got me through it. And I feel like I missed something big. Maybe it was about the stars angle. Because all that did not quite make sense to me. And I really did not understand why the book is named Luminaries. I believe I missed something, but I’m not curious enough to find out what. My favorite thing about the book is all the characters and their fates. There is a lot of sad and happy events and a lot of history about how they came to New Zealand and all. And it is interesting how their lives changed and connects to each other in ways that I don’t think many of them understood. And how their lives changes just because of some stuff that’s happened to one character affects another character and then it just goes on and on in a kind of domino effect. I loved some characters and hated others. Some of them I did not understand and some of them felt overrated.

But all in all it was an great story to follow. I do believe that this book, with the right director, would be great as an movie. It is an mystery and quite well one to. Hard to anticipate how it all hangs together until the end. And quite confusing. I don’t feel that my review is any less confusing, this is an hard book to put in words.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Beating Ruby – Camilla Monk

30212829| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Life hasn’t been quite the same for computer engineer Island Chaptal since March, an OCD-ridden professional killer, burst into her life to clean her bedroom and take her on a global chase for a legendary diamond. Sadly, the (hit) man doesn’t just break bones; he breaks hearts, too.

Since then, Island has found solace in Alex—the perfect boyfriend—and Ruby, a software project about to revolutionize online banking security…for the worse. When Island’s boss is found dead after allegedly using Ruby to steal a vast fortune, it’s up to her to clear his name and recover the money. Someone else wants answers, though, and this time, Island might be in over her head.

From New York to Zürich, it’s going to take the return of a cleaning expert, a mini-octopus, and Island’s wits to beat Ruby. All while deciding whether to trust a man who already jilted her, or one who may have his own deadly secrets…

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My thoughts: This is the second book in the Spotless series. It is not a standalone and you will have to read the first book before this one to really understand some of the references. I would recommend that you do not read this review either if you haven’t read the first one, since it will be a little “spoilerish”. There are things I can’t discuss without referring to the first book. You do not have to worry if you already have read the first book.

You have been warned!

In this book we gets to follow Island, 6 months after the Tokyo fiasco and finally in a good place again. Then her boss goes and kill himself, her big project gets stolen and there is something that doesn’t feel right to her. As a new, stronger, woman she sets out to try and find the truth about what really happened, but she finds more truth than she had barged for. Then in walk March and you could say that the whole situation gets a 100 times worse. Or better. Depends on your point of view.

I can’t say that this book is as good as the first one, but it is still good. Not as fast paced and explosive but still entertaining. It was nice to meet all the characters again. The whole March and Alex situation is certainly entertaining but still a little hard to wrap my mind around. It was not until the end that I really understood what have been going on the whole book. By then I felt some things could have been changed on, written in another way to give the story a little more depth about those three characters. There is no cliffhanger per say, but still an indication that there will be a third book. Now I know that it already exists a third, but at one point there wasn’t. You can see that in the book. I do however not like Islands passivity in this book. She stands in situations with blind eyes and takes no action until the end.

I think the third book will be really entertaining and I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to have some explosive action, quirky characters, secrets, funny humor and heartwarming love.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Diabolical – Jana Deleon

31396255| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine years ago, the police found Shaye Archer wandering in the French Quarter, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Now, at twenty-four, Shaye is a licensed private investigator, determined to get answers for her clients when the police can’t help. But her last case uncovered more than anyone anticipated, and pieces of Shaye’s missing past have surfaced with unexpected consequences.

She’s starting to remember.

Will Shaye unlock the secrets buried deep in her mind? And more importantly, can she handle the truth if she does?

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My thoughts: In this third book about Shaye Archer, the mystery is finally starting to unravel. Her memories starting to flow back and along the way discovers not only her but every one she love or has helped her, is in danger. A madman is back on the street of New Orleans and no one is safe anymore.

I do not often read series where it take several books to unravel some secret but this has certainly been a great journey. Deleon has a really unique style of writing. It is capturing and explosive. I do however feel that it was a little less this time. Both book one and two got a full five star rating. That is how good they are. This one however never reached that five star. Something was missing. I felt a little detached and the ending was somewhat weird even tough a lot surprising. I love the way the story started of several years before Shaye even was born. Deleon did do a great job with the interweaving the past with the future and the now.

I’m happy that there is more books in the series. I really want to follow Shay some more especially now that the truth is out. I would also love to see how the relationship between her and Jackson is unfolding. I have my own wishes and I really hope that they come true.

It is a great series and I recommend it to everyone who will listen. Its that good. 😀

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Pandora’s Succession – Russell Brooks

11435761.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The deadliest weapon against mankind has been Unleashed.

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, never stopped hunting his fiancée’s killers—a weapons consortium called The Arms Of Ares. When Fox follows a lead to one of their top-secret bioweapons facilities in Chechnya, he barely escapes alive. However, he’s learned that Ares has weaponized a hyper-deadly microbe called Pandora. The trail leads Fox to Tokyo, where he teams up with an old flame and fellow operative, Nita Parris. Aside from Ares, they must contend with rogue agents who’ll stop at nothing to get Pandora. This throws Fox and Parris into a deadly game of spy vs spy, as they must rely on each other to locate the microbe. For if it’s unleashed, it could mean the end of humanity.

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My thoughts: Russell Brooks contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review his book Pandora’s Succession. The first book in the series about Ridley Fox and Nita Parris. Since thriller, mystery and suspense is my favorite genres I certainly had to take the chance. And I’m happy I did because this was, overall, a good book to read.

It is action filled from the first page to the last, with a complicated suspense plot and a intriguing story. It certainly made my mind work. Unfortunately I had some issues with the first 50% of the book, but I feel that Brooks saved it in the end.

At first I had a little trouble with the writing style. It felt kind of forced and I’m wondering if this is Brooks debut book. Because later on in the book the writing started to change. Not much but enough to give me the feeling of a more relaxed author with a more loose writing. Like Brooks had found his way and style and the book grew before me. OR, it is just me who got used to it. Anyhow, the second thing I had trouble with was connecting with the characters. It took me too long to really connect with either of them. And in the beginning there is a lot of characters and it kind of overwhelmed me. I had a little trouble keeping up with who is who. I’m thinking it is because of the writing and that the characters are a little cliché and similar. Those type of characters you find everywhere, without any real depth. Also this changed later on in the book and in the end I really connected with several and even got sad when some bad stuff happened. No tears tough.

Now after I’m done with the book, I really like Fox and Parris. The twists in the end surprised me and that it ended with a “bang” certainly gave me a satisfying feeling. There is no cliffhangers but it do end in a way that lets you as a reader know, that there is more to come from Fox and Parris. And I’m actually quite excited about that.