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

The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

41807223| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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My thoughts: Oh, so many feelings. I was looking forward to be reading this. It intrigued me and when I started, it felt like a mix between a classic Agatha Christie, dinner murder mystery and the movies like groundhog day and the cube. This is one of those books that seem to be impossible to give a deserving rating to. It all depends on what I’m focusing on.

If I would rate the concept, writing skill and character build-up it would be a solid 5 stars. It is just perfect and such a joy reading. Even though we are talking about a lot of characters and a lot of details, it was still fully possible to keep track of them all. At some points I was a little confused to be honest, but Turton skillfully included small details here and there to remind us readers where we were and what it was about.

If I would rate the general plot and ending I would give it a two star. The build-up of the story was so big and thrilling that the ending was just an anticlimactic balloon, losing all its air. Not at all what I had expected and quite frankly a little tame when compared to the rest of the book. And in the middle I found myself stagnant due to that the story didn’t progressed forward. And I didn’t find myself that into it to be honest. Specially since you never really get to know the whole truth outside of Blackheath. I would have liked that.

Then that I also had such problem focusing can also be a reason for my conflicted feelings and low rating. I have had a couple of bad weeks but that is not unusual for me and if a book is good it will keep me captured either way. Anyway, after a lot of thinking and sorting my feelings I land on a solid 3 stars. If possible I would give it 3.5. I did like it overall, but I didn’t love it and it certainly was not amazing in my opinion.

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

Ragdoll – Daniel Cole

30259893| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: William Fawkes, a controversial detective known as The Wolf, has just been reinstated to his post after he was suspended for assaulting a vindicated suspect. Still under psychological evaluation, Fawkes returns to the force eager for a big case. When his former partner and friend, Detective Emily Baxter, calls him to a crime scene, he’s sure this is it: the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together like a puppet–a corpse that becomes known as “The Ragdoll.”

Fawkes is tasked with identifying the six victims, but that gets dicey when his reporter ex-wife anonymously receives photographs from the crime scene, along with a list of six names, and the dates on which the Ragdoll Killer plans to murder them.

The final name on the list is Fawkes.

Baxter and her trainee partner, Alex Edmunds, hone in on figuring out what links the victims together before the killer strikes again. But for Fawkes, seeing his name on the list sparks a dark memory, and he fears that the catalyst for these killings has more to do with him–and his past–than anyone realizes.

With a breakneck pace, a twisty plot, and a wicked sense of humor, Ragdoll announces the arrival of the hottest new brand in crime fiction.

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My thoughts: I’m so freaking tired of the same crap over and over again when reading crime/thriller books. Is that genre so used up and impossible to create something new with? Why do you always have to go in the same track over and over again? This one was so hyped up and I saw so much good about it that I’m actually surprised that people have not reacted over how bland and badly written it is.

Here we have all the clichés, crammed onto 380 pages, which may I say, trees gave there life for. We have the unjust system of the government, politically large characters you hate, that dead beat cop who is an alcoholic and breaks every rule in the book. The falsely accused, the skeptical colleges, the ex-wife, the career driven people and off course in the middle, there is that one serial killer with a “personal” vendetta.

I’m so frustrated. All I wanted was a good crime book, that was not predictable and used up. I wanted something exciting with deep and interesting characters without all those stupid clichés you have literally read a couple of hundred times by now.

The story, plot and characters are just unpleasant and unlikable. There is nothing there for a crime lover like me. It is messy with too many POV and a cold, unimaginative setting. There was nothing warm. Nothing that I liked, could connect to or feel that it will get better. It is certainly not worth the hype.

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

The kind worth killing – Peter Swanson

21936809| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

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My thoughts: Wow what a great book. Captivating, exciting, emotionally unstable, unpredictable and mayhem. It brought up the same feelings that YOU also did. Where you know you should not root for the killer/s but in the same time, in your heart, you kind of are. It totally messes with your mind and makes you question your own moral compass. And I LOVED IT. What a ride. Never read anything by Peter Swanson before and now after this, I certainly need to look into some of his other books.

The story is fascinating, the plot engrossing and that ending was excellent. This is one of those books that deserves to be discussed, broken down and discussed so more. There is four main characters and it gives the story several point of views which will be interpreted on so many different levels that it would be pure fun to debate it.

I loved the characters and the settings. The writing is high class and it truly was a great read.

“Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Mallicks: Back to the Beginning – Jessica Gadziala

40360105.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A girl raised by monsters.
A man who helped get her free.
A love that spans decades.
Let’s go back to the 80s to see how Charlie and Helen Mallick fell in love.

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My thoughts: Fantastic! Pure perfection. Perfect ending (maybe) on a perfect series. The story about how the Mallicks family started. This is seriously the best one I have ever read by Gadziala. Utter flawlessness! And I loved it all. I loved the history, how they met, follow their life and how they build their company. Follow the growth of their five sons, Ryan, Shane, Hunter, Mark and Eli. I already knew them from their own books but it was satisfying to get all the history. And we did get some deeper explanations on some stuff that just wraps the whole series in a big nice bow. It all makes sense now. There is no words to explain how perfect and wonderful this was. It certainly played on all my strings and emotions. And it left me with a major hangover and wonderful feelings of feel good.

I have nothing bad to say. I wish I could erase everything I read, just so that I had the ability to read it again, for the first time.

Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Did you miss me? – Karen Rose

15697889.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Best be nimble, best be quick, I’m right here and you’re my pick…

The last thing Ford Elkhart remembers is walking his girlfriend back to her university dormitory. Now he’s lying tied and gagged on a cold, dark floor, with only one chance to escape before he ends up like the bones surrounding him…

Assistant State’s Attorney Daphne Montgomery is devastated by her son’s disappearance, and is immediately convinced that his kidnapping is connected to the white supremacist she’s just had jailed for murder.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter isn’t so sure – especially when he learns that Ford’s girlfriend is also missing. Is Ford’s abduction payback for Daphne’s courtroom victory? Or is he a pawn in an even more dangerous game?

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My thoughts: I actually gave this a four star rating at first but after I slept on it for a night I found out that it certainly did not deserve that. It is not a bad book really. It is quite complex with a lot of characters and histories, that are woven together until the truth and nothing but the truth is finally out. There are some tears and a lot of speculation on how it really is. Some I did have right and some I did not. What bugs me however is how long it was. It was longer than I remember Rose’s books to be and there was a lot that happened but now after one night, I only really remembers the biggest highlights. Which in my opinion makes this book not as memorable as it should be to receive a four star rating.

Even though this is the book about Daphne and Joseph it was Clay and Steevie who were the most interesting characters. Rose have written a lot of books and I do hope Clay and Steevie got their own. I need to know how that will end.

The plot of the book is quite well done in my opinion. There is some 30 year old secrets, more newer secrets, blackmailing, misunderstandings, kidnappings, hunting and the focus on the strengths of a mother. Never mess with mama bear. I liked it. Some stuff didn’t make sense but regarding how detailed it is, it was quite expected.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

The Liar – Nora Roberts

30762017.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When her husband Richard is killed in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But she soon learns a horrible truth – Richard was a conman and a cheat, and their life together was a lie.

Returning home to Tennessee, Shelby discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the form of handsome carpenter Griffin Lott.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, Shelby realises she is still not safe from his lies…

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My thoughts: I’m done with the year 2019’s first book. Well to be honest I have been done with it for several days now, but I have just not had the time to write a review. The new year started of with a bang and my to do list have been huge. But anyway, lets talk about the book instead.

Roberts is a very up and down author for me. I often find her to slow, dragging things out and use way to much details in both appearance, environment and dialog. But this one certainly was a pleasant surprise. It is probably one of the most heavy in the dialog details that I have ever read by her, it is huge and at a few moments it is quote boring. But it still works. She have made such a great job with all the characters that after a while you do not think about it anymore.

The characters are so deep and diverse that it feels real through and through. I did not like Shelby in the beginning but she did grow on me when her true self came forward. The relationships are so deep and interesting that it was capturing me in a way that it is hard to explain.

Other than that it was as predictable as you would expect. But I didn’t mind it this time. I would certainly recommend it to a friend. But do not expect anything new, diverse and exploding. Because this is nothing like that. This is one of those feel good books you read with a cup of tea, some lighted candles and just enjoys.

Contemporary · Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Shadow dance – Julie Garwood

51J31JlyR4L.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.

A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.

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My thoughts: This was so good. So, so good! I absolutely love Noah and Jordan. I love how different they are and even though their long history as friends, they never were any romantically inclined to each other. Their feelings never just appeared but slowly grew, together with their personality and everyday life, is just such a great line to follow. It is a deep, connectable story with an interesting side plot that to be quite frank, I never really needed. It was the cherry on the ice cream but oh, what a ice cream.

The whole book is just so warm, fuzzy, exciting with a lot of suspense, hilarious characters, deep connections and just wonderful romantic suspense. This is what I want and hell, you did it again Garwood. You freaking did it again.

Unfortunately it do end on a cliffhanger. Not one of those bad ones but still a cliffhanger. It may be quite interesting to get to know all the answers someday, but still, at this point, I don’t feel the need for it. So on that note, I do really recommend this series and even though there is cliffhangers, there is no bad ones. And it is just so worth it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

731806.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

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My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Brimstone – Preston & Child

136637.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards.

Unable to resist a case that defies all but supernatural logic, Pendergast reunites with police officers Vincent D’Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to search for a more earthly explanation. But their investigation soon takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island and penthouses of New York City to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where thirty years ago four men conjured up something unspeakable. . .

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My thoughts: I had such problems connecting with this book. It felt like it took me forever to read it. In reality it only took me 12 days but for someone like me, it does feel like an eternity. I did like the beginning and the end, but there is all that in the middle that didn’t do it for me. It was slow, cold and to detailed to be honest. But the story is yet really interesting. The murder case is quite mysterious and the urge to get all the answers was the only thing that kept me going. I did like the ending but at the same time I did not. There is some things that you do not get the answer to and I really do not like “cliffhangers”.

But in any case, I freaking LOVE Pendergast. He is such an interesting character. After “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, where you got to know him better, he is one of the best characters I know of. He is interesting, mystic, funny, so freaking smart and with a moral compass going haywire but still points in the right direction. In this one you also get to meet D’Agosta again and some other characters you briefly meet in the earlier books. And I love it. I love how the story is weave together with the earlier books and still lay ground for the future ones. I feel that there is some details not explained or released and I do hope the answer to it will be released in the next book.

In comparison I did like the “Still Life With Crows” more than this one even though I gave that one a three star rating to. The books are so different form each other and should not really be compared. But it is hard not to.

So to summery it up, I’m happy that I finished it, even though it was not a favorite. I still love the series as an whole and I do need to read the next book in the future to see what will happen. There is some other details released in this book that I’m really looking forward to dive deeper in to.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Bird box – Josh Malerman

18498558.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

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My thoughts: I had such a bad luck with this book. Me and a friend started a BookClub since we could not find one here where we live. The first book we choosed to read was Bird Box. It was supposed to be Novembers book. But I could not get hold of a copy in a bookstore. So I ordered one online and the order was cancelled due to empty stock. I ordered from another web store, same thing there. Note that by this time, two weeks had already passed. I tried to order it to a bookstore in town, but the system was down. In a last attempt I ordered a different format from the first place I ordered from. After a couple of days I received note that the book had been shipped. Hallelujah. I may still have time to read it since this was around 15 of November. However due to Christmas, it took longer than usual for the book to arrive. I actually started to think that it had gotten lost in shipping. But on the 3 of December it finally arrived. 18 days after I ordered it, a month after I ordered the first time. But I still had time to read it. Our club meeting is on Thursday 6 of December. It gave me three days. Would I make it?

Well I did And i’m so happy that I finally received the book. It was so much better than I had predicted. Malerman did a great job writing a book, solely relaying on sensory other than image description. Sound and feel descriptions, emotion and imagination build most of the book. It creates a really spooky feeling while reading. It reminds you how vulnerable we would be without our eyes and it certainly reminds you of all your childhood fears. Remember those? The terror you as a child felt for not what you could see, but what you could not see. The monster under the bed, the beast in the closet. The creatures outside your window, just waiting to eat all the small children, not laying in bed at night. It is an emotional read where even you as an adult do feel discomfort to some degree. And I loved it.

Unfortunately I did have some problem with the writing. Malerman keep referring them by names ALL THE TIME. I’m not kidding that Malories name was mentioned on the same page at least fifteen times. If he had used words like “her”, “she”, “him”, “that”, “it” and so on, would have eased up the flow of the text considerably. After fifty pages you don’t think about it anymore, but it bugged the hell out of me in the beginning and when a book only is 250 pages, you do not want to be bugged one quarter of it. And I have thoughts about the end. I will however not discuss it here due to spoilers. But either way, the book is certainly worth reading and I’m happy that I finally got to.