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

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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

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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.

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

The Apprentice – Tess Gerritsen

715834| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death.

The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her – literally and figuratively – she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.

But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta. . . .

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My thoughts: I enjoy Tess Gerritsens writing and find her a terrific storyteller. That Jane Rizzoli gets on my nerves all the time and that I sometimes just want to scream, is a testimony for how great her writing really is. I had no trouble with keeping the speed up and there were few slow parts. It is action packed and suspense filled all the way from the first page to the last. Such a great ride. We did pick it up more or less from the end of the first book and we are following the same track with Hoyt and all that, just several months later. I thought it would be excessive and underwhelming, maybe even a little boring to go with the same story plot once again but it was never anything like that and I loved it.

Another thing I love is how great Gerritsen are with the medical explanations. They are never tedious or hard to understand for someone like me who is not that knowledgeable in those subjects. And even though I have seen the TV series several times over and there is not that many differences between the book and the series, I was never bored. I did know the ending before starting the book and I thought that was going to be hard for me but it never was. It was nice to meet some of the other characters that has a big part in the TV series and I was a little surprised because they are a little different. But I do think it will be some changes further on in the book series that I’m exciting to follow.

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

Liar Liar – M.J. Arlidge

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Goodreads synopsis: Detective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It’s as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground…

With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire—and control—is reducing entire lives to ashes.

One misstep could mean Helen’s career—and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen’s own dark impulses threaten to consume her…

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My thoughts: I’m thinking I’m done with this series. I do not feel the enthusiasm anymore and I’m quite sick of the whole “all against Helen” mentality that have such a big part in the books. And there is something suspect with the a new character since him/her (not going to tell you) are not on the “I hate Helen Grace” bandwagon. It is just starting to get to much and nothing of it is intriguing or challenging. I do see how Arlidge is building up to this huge explosion of happenings in a future book but the road forward is just boring me out.

The crime story however is fascinating as always and especially disturbing this time around. I felt it more authentic than usual which left me with a sense of unease and discomfort in my own home. Fire is so destructive and I think it is easy to forget how fire shows nothing or no one mercy while it ravaging over everything you hold dear. There is a high pace and small development in the story with some neat twists and a satisfying ending and if you are looking for something easy for the brain, this is a good alternative for you.

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

The surgeon – Tess Gerritsen

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Goodreads synopsis: IN BOSTON, THERE’S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE…

A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead.

Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…

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My thoughts:This is a reread and I read this book for the first time back in 2002 (somewhere) and remembered it as one of my favourites back then. So of course I had to read it again when I got the chance. Now as an adult I did actually find it as good as I remembered. I did not however remembered it to be as disgusting and graphic as it was, especially when they were talking about the rapes. Or maybe I’m more sensitive to those things now as an adult woman than  I was as a young teenager.

Anyhow, it was really good. I liked the suspense and the story’s development, the characters and the writing. I did however missed Isles. I have of course seen the TV-series based on the book series and I actually thought Maura Isles was in the book series from the start. But she is not in this one. And according to my survey, she doesn’t  appear until book three (except for a small sneak peek in book two). And then it seems like she doesn’t have a roll in every book. How can you then call this A Rizzoli and Isles series when Isles not even makes an appearance in every book. Maybe I’m overreacting but she is my favourite character and I would like to know if she is as funny and lovable as she is in the TV series. Did get an awakening when it comes to Rizzoli to be honest. Did not like her as much but I do think there is more to the character that will be revealed later on in the series. I have not read more than this first book. But I certainly plan to.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Extinction machine – Jonathan Maberry

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Goodreads synopsis: The President of the United States vanishes from the White House.

A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds.

All over the world reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate.

And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth. There are rumors of alien-human hybrids living among us.

Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences rush headlong into the heat of the world’s strangest and deadliest arms race, because the global race to recover and retro-engineer alien technologies has just hit a snag. Someone—or something–wants that technology back.

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My thoughts: This is probably the book I like least of the five in the series I have read so far. I love the Joe Ledger character and I love how action packed the books usually are  and I love Maberrys talent with building characters and plots. This time however it just didn’t work for me. There was no less action and I did really like the UFO and Alien twist, but there was so much talk and explanations and scientific facts that it totally lost me. I got bored to put it simple and then it was hard for me to come back.  If this not was a Ledger book, written by one of my favourite authors, I would probably have ended it long before the last page. It was dull between the fights and no real suspense. The Alien twist was accepted to easy and made the story seem unreal. Almost like a dream and I felt detached from the characters and the story itself.

One of the things I did like is how more “mushy” it is than normal. If you have read this far in the series you know of all the bad sh*t that has happened to Joe, his team, his family and all of DMS. After book two I actually thought that there never would be more happiness. And quite happy with that thought since Maberry totally crushed my heart in the end of book two. And beware, Maberry can do it again. Please don’t. But now it feels lighter and even a little funny and I did like it. I hope it stays in the series.

So over all I give this a week three star rating. Probably deserves two due to my lack of interest in the science mumble jumble, but I give it a three since it is Ledger and Maberry and I did like some of it.