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

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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.

Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Lazarus – Lars Kepler

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Goodreads synopsis: A dead man is found in an apartment in Oslo. The victim transpires to be an unknown grave defiler and trophy collector, and when the police open his kitchen freezer, they make a terrible discovery. A few days later, Joona Linna is contacted by a German police detective who asks for his help with a murder outside Rostock. Joona understands that the pattern he’s starting to see is insane, but at the same time it’s impossible to ignore.

Some would call it a miracle if someone returned from the dead – others would call it a nightmare.

The master of thrillers, Lars Kepler, is back with the seventh installment in the Joona Linna series.

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My thoughts: Lazarus has not yet been translated to English but Lars Kepler and the series about Joona Linna is highly popular. That’s why I do not think it will be long before it have been translated. Just be patience. 🙂

The 7th book about the Swedish/Finish cop Joona Linna is finally here. I have been waiting for this one since June. Joona is finally back and trying to take control over his life. There is finally some good things happening when it all comes crashing down and burns. Surprised? No. Did I foresee it? Yes. Was it in the way I though? Well, pretty much. It is bloody and violent, certainly not a book for sensitive readers and highly predictable. At least in my opinion. I feel that Kepler did not take the story where it should have gone. Just chewed on what they already have and spit it out. The same but in a new form. Highly disappointing.

I found it quite boring that Kepler still going on with the same plot-line. It’s mediocre, overrated and even flamboyant at times. The Ahndorils aka Keplers need to learn when to stop. And that time was two books ago. Don’t do what I’m thinking you will do with that end you left us with. It is not interesting and I do not want it. Try something new. We are soon in 2019 you know. Not 2011.

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

The Devil’s star – Jo Nesbø

25214258.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil’s star.

Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.

A wave of similar murders is on the horizon. An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, and the five-pointed devil’s star is key to solving the riddle.

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My thoughts: Another excellent, complex thriller from the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. As I probably said before, I was not a big fan of his two first books about Harry Hole. I absolutely loved the third and the fourth was a little mediocre. Now this. This is the book I would refer to when talking about Jo finding his “sound”, his writing style. I found it meticulously and selective in its plot, yet exciting and full of suspense. The alcoholism story is a lot bigger than in the earlier books. A lot more raw, emotional and there is sometimes you wonder if Jo is writing from a personal experience. That is how vivid and sentimental I found it.

Harry Hole is an character I can’t decide if I love or hate. He’s a loner, he’s prickly, he drinks. He does not like authority, yet he is a cop. He’s a broken man who for some reason never gives up even though he certainly tries. He can’t keep a normal relationship with anyone, he has almost no friends and he is down in the deep, trying to drink his sorrows away that you can’t help but wonder, where is this going to end.

Besides all that, it is a good book. I do love a good serial-killer plot even though I did find it was more of a side plot to the story than the actual main story-line. In fact in the mist of it all, there is dark secrets finally surfacing to the light. Even though I did not find the end as satisfying as I would like, it is certainly the perfect end if the series would stop here. I do however know that there is 6 more books about Harry Hole and the great thing is that you do not know where Jo will take us. It is impossible to foresee and he is that unpredictable.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Graphic Novels/Comics · Thriller/Horror

Uzumaki – Junji Ito

17837762| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people’s bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi’s father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is no return!

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My thoughts: It was okay. Somewhat confusing and I do not know if it is due to my inexperience or what. But I often felt like I missed something. The settings kept switching so fast and I often thought that I had skipped pages. I also had some problem with getting used to reading it in reverse. But in entirety I did like it. It was horrific and the drawings was certainly disgusting. Didn’t cause any nightmares but still it was great. Would certainly recommend it to those who read more graphic novels, comics than I do.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · Thriller/Horror · War/Military

The woman left behind – Linda Howard

34747260| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of “Babe,” the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a “Babe,” especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion-leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.

Levi would never willingly leave a soldier behind, especially a brave woman whose sweet voice haunts his every thought. Once he discovers Jina is alive, the tenacious warrior will walk into fire to save this intriguing woman who has captured his heart.

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My thoughts: The woman left behind is simply Linda Howard at her best. It is deep, complex and captivating. I love all the characters. I love Jina and how strong she is and I love pretty much everything about it. I do missed some small things which is the reason for not giving it a five star rating. But it is a great story with an exciting plot and I can definitely see myself rereading this one in the future.

I did not expect the book to be as slow as it was however. Not a bad slowness per say but half the book is mostly about all the training and growing attraction between Jina and Levi. I would have liked to have the whole “left behind” part to come in a lot earlier and that it was maybe a bit longer. It was over so fast and then we were back to the “slowness” again. However Howard won some points with keeping the plot interesting and the depth was always there which made it feel like you fell deeper and deeper into it all. And I did really love the way it made me feel.

Simply the best.

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

End of watch – Stephen King

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Goodreads synopsis: In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

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My thoughts: Naah! In my opinion I could have skipped this book. Make my own ending and be good with it. Because this was boring. I think the idea was great and the plot was sufficient, but it was never captivating, interesting or exciting. Halfway through I wanted to DNF but I made a commitment to finish the series. (I’m horrible bad on finish series.) Besides, I do like the characters Bill and Holly so it was nice to follow them for a while more.

This one in the series is absolutely a lot more like the Stephen King we know and love. And I think it is that who wrecked it for me. The first two books are so painstakingly normal that going in the third book with that type of fantasy twist, made it disconnect from the first two books. It was only the characters who made it clear it still was the same series since it was so, so different. Others probably loves that type of thing. I however do not.

King is such a hit and miss type of author for me. Some books I love, others I don’t. It is funny how similar it can be even in a series. I loved the first book, the second was okay and the third I could have done without.

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

Färjan / Blood Cruise – Mats Strandberg

25445622| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: On the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream.

Tonight, twelve hundred expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year.

But this trip is going to be different.

In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust.

Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.

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My thoughts: Blood Cruise (god I hate that title) or Färjan (ferry) in Swedish is a horror story in Stephen King standard, taking place on a big boat that travels between Sweden and Finland. I did know that this was a horror before starting and I have read one book by Strandberg before this, but that was not a horror and I did not know what to expect this time. Well I did certainly not expect it to be as nasty, horrific, bloody and foul as it is. Wow it certainly made my stomach turn a couple of times and it is not a book to read while eating. Just saying.

When starting the book, I did not have high expectations and in the end I was actually was pleasantly surprised. Don’t know why that surprises me but there it is. We get to follow a lot of characters but Strandberg keeps it clear and easy. There is never any confusions even though the heavy load of information at times. The chapters are pleasantly short and you do get to know a group of characters deep enough to make connections.  But god damn you Mats are an evil person. And what you have created here is ingenious.

After the whole vampire hysteria that was several years ago, I’m not a big fan of vampires but this, this I can stand behind. It is dark and there is no lovey dovey or glitter in sight. It is true and realistic and shows all the good and bad sides of the modern human being. It even ends a little on the edge. Don’t know if I like it or not but it fit. If Strandberg writhes his horrors like this, I can certainly see myself reading more of his books.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Thriller/Horror

Sleeping Beauties – S. King and O. King

34466922| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

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My thoughts: I don’t know how to sum up my thoughts and feelings regarding this one. The thing with Stephen Kings books (in my opinion) is that almost every time it gets too much. To excessive and it’s easy to lose focus. Apparently it is still the same even if he co-writhes with his son Owen King.

It is a good book though. When sum it up as a whole it is a great book. It captivated me right from the start and it has a horrifying yet believable plot which is easy to connect with. It stayed that way for at least 400 pages and I just could not put it down. Then it slipped over to the typical King trait. Nothing happened, it started to be repeatable, slow and all you did was just wait for it to start up again. When it finally did, they had lost me. I did never get my 100% focus and attention back into the book. At the last 100 pages I just wanted to be done. I find this happening often with Kings books and it is too bad because I do really like his storytelling, imagination and writing in general. Perhaps it is my fault for not being able to stay focused throughout his 700 + page books, but there are books much longer than that, that I have read without a problem. So I can’t accept that it is totally my fault.

Anyhow, despite that, I really love the book. It was a perfect start on the horror month of 2018. The topic with the men who are the destroyers and women are the healers is put in a interesting way that makes you think. Would the world be better or worst without women. There is some philosophical thoughts and I do wish there were a book club in town where we could read and discuss. Specially this one.