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

The Witness – Simon Kernick

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Goodreads synopsis: ‘I had a simple choice. Stay here, and almost certainly be discovered. Or get up and run.’

THE WITNESS
When Jane Kinnear sees her lover being murdered, she suddenly finds herself in danger. Taken to an anonymous police safe-house, it soon becomes clear that her lover was an MI5 informant with important information about an imminent terrorist attack.

THE DETECTIVE
DI Ray Mason of Counter Terrorism Command is a man with a controversial past, but his effectiveness at getting results means that he’s now been given the task of preventing the attack from taking place. But can he be trusted, and does he know more about the attack than he’s letting on?

THE KILLER
In the safe-house, Jane is trying to piece together a description of her lover’s killer. But what she doesn’t know is that the killer has already found out who she is, and where she is hiding.

And now he’s coming for her.

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My thoughts: This was not what I had expected. I thought the book was more about the witness. But in reality you follow Mason most of the book. It started off fast and good with some intense chapter and great build up. Unfortunate that didn’t hold and I lost interest some 100 pages in.

Mason sure is an interesting character with an interesting past. You do get to know a lot about him but you do feel that there is so much more and stuff like that will probably be relived later on in the series. According to GoodReads there is one more book about Ray Mason so far. I will probably not read it though. The witness character was also interesting. With a background where she grew up in South Africa and escaped to the other side of the world and then a lot happened. You don’t get to know everything in one go either and it makes you curious of her past. She is an enigma and great to get to know more about. Certainly fit well with the main character and his own dark secrets.

I am however not fond of terrorists plots. I often find them childish. But I guess it is childish in reality to. To take out your own thoughts and views on other innocent people, just because others are not thinking the same way, is just making you a coward. It is like the bully in school who need to hurt others to feel better him self. Unfortunately terrorist are so much bigger and causes so much more destruction. So since the books plot is more about terrorist than anything else, this was not a book for me.

However, there is a MAJOR plot twist in the end that totally threw me. It was so far from what I expected and it was a great way to heat up the plot again and make it interesting. It was so good that it earned its own star and went from one to two stars in rating. The ending was not 100% completely satisfying but I do understand the reasons for it.

Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The murder bag – Tony Parsons

18332155| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.

Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.

As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves.

Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life …

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My thoughts: Never read anything by Parsons before and I’m pleasantly surprised. I like the book, unfortunately I didn’t love it. Probably because of the slightly diluted plot and the typical English settings. And I don’t mean typical in a good way. This book has a somewhat tame and watered topic, which I have read over and over again before. Why do you have to have that slanted balance of power in crime thrillers, specially English crime? I’m getting tired of it and quite frankly, is the genre done? Is there nothing more to write about? I feel English crime books are a complete genre by itself since they often are the same specially with the work relationships in the police house. Still I do love English Crime.

This gritty thriller is about a rebel cop (Max Wolfe) who’s only goal in his job, is to do the right thing and find out the truth. Perhaps even save a couple of lives along the way. He is following the questions and evidence no matter where it will lead and even if his bosses are against it or try to stop him. Wolfe is a great character to follow. He is a rebel yes, but he is not that typical kick ass cop you often read about. He feels more human, can get hurt as easily as anyone else, struggles with stuff and I love how real he feels. He is a single dad with a daughter and a dog. This little family is the center of the book and makes it warm and real in the chill of the crimes.

The plot was interesting and the mystery wasn’t that predictable. I do want to try the next book in the series. Book two actually have a higher rating on GoodReads and the first book so I’m kind of curios.

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

Finders keepers – Stephen King

23492589.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Wake up, genius.

The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

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My thoughts: “Shit don’t mean shit” – Jimmy Gold. The main character in the trilogy series written by John Rothstein (who after some Googling I believe is a alter ego to King himself). It is inception. This book is a book about a book. King certainly understands how us readers work and all the feelings we can experience while reading. He understands that in some degree we actually can get a little obsessed and there is probably a few people out there who have or could kill for their obsession. Who knows. We are 7 billion people on this planet so it is not that unlikely.

Anyway, I did not find this one as good and well done as the first in the series. The story was intriguing but the main character (Bill) didn’t have a big part at all. He was the side character who is coming in to “solve” everything in the last 50 pages. And I’m a little sad about that. I was looking forward to follow Bill and Holly for another book but instead I’m quite disappointed. My main thought about the book is that it probably would stand strongest on its own, like an stand alone. It does connect with the first book but everything is so well explained that you hardly notice.

I have read some reviews where it talks about how Finders Keepers is a recycled Misery (also written by Stephen King) and that they are disappointed on King who wrote about the reader/fan idea once again. I however have not read Misery but judged by the synopsis, I do not feel that way at all. I find this plot to be completely different. Specially since Rothstein don’t have a living part in the book.

The ending is a lot more in King’s style and it does end one a little cliffhanger. I will read the third book someday. I have to. Because I believe that it is in that book the real stuff is gonna happen. And it is gonna be great.

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

The Child – Fiona Barton

35535454.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

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My thoughts: I have seen this book pop up a lot lately both on GoodReads and in the book clubs i’m following on Facebook. The synopsis did intrigue me so bought myself a copy. Didn’t know exactly what to expect and now i’m left with some mixed feelings.

In one way I did like the “mystery” and the history. Barton did however leave a lot of clues so I pretty much knew right from the start how everything was connected. She did throw me of there in the middle but in the end my suspicions was correct. That the book was predictable did not bother me in the end due to the really skilled way of writing it.

Other readers have reviewed it as a fast paced and an easy read. I however do not have the same feelings. There was nothing in this book that I would call fast paced and that made it pretty boring big parts of it. It is easy written yes, but it was not an easy read for me. I think due to the boring pace and the repetitive information from the different characters you get to follow made it that way for me. It doesn’t necessary have to mean that a book is boring if it is written that way, but in this one I found that it didn’t work.

In the end I do find the book likable. The story was intriguing even though predictable and it was somewhat of an easy read. It is a highly popular type of English crime right now and I do feel that it was no waste of time reading it.

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

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King

18775247| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

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My thoughts: In this rich, high-suspense race against time, written by the King of horror himself, you will find the most unexpected heroes and the most expected and unpleasant evil. Is the book perfect? Oh no. Far from it. Did I go all fan-girl over it? Yepp, totally did!

As usual you find a book with deep characters, complex story and layer on layer of that deep chill, mind-blowing mystery not that many authors (I have read) manage to create. I’m somewhat hard to impress when it comes to the horror genre. And even tough I would categorize this one more of a crime mystery than horror, i’m totally impressed. I got what I came for.

As an avid reader in the crime mystery genre I do often feel i’m hard to surprise and story’s often are predictable to me. I don’t have a problem with predictability per say, if it is done well. And as usual I would not have to expect anything less than well from King. There is some real unexpected twists and a ending I really cant get mad over. I liked the cat and mouse play they had going on. The communication, the inspiration and the war. Who shall win in the end?

The only thing I did not like with the book however, is that some part of it, it was to slow. Specially in the ending where you pretty much goes around waiting for something to happen. I get that King probably wrote it that way to make it more realistic. But it kind of bored me a little. However, King saved it with the end.

There is two other books in the series about Bill Hodges and I certainly need to read those two. And there is a TV-series on this first book, en I certainly need to see that one to. Yeah, i’m totally star-struck by this book. That is how good it is.

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

The Silent Corner – Dean Koontz

32148091| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:  very much need to be dead. 

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

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My thoughts: Koontz is and will for always be, a horror author for me. He is the first author I read in the genre horror. Not Stephen King as so many others. No I read Koontz and have for the most time loved his books. But sometime it is refreshing to read something new from your favorite author. Because Koontz is one of my few male favorites that I still read to this day. I love his way of writing and his immense imagination. I was intrigued to try this one, the first book in his new (well it isn’t that new anymore :P) series, where a female is the lead protagonist in the fight against a corrupt government and crazy scientist men.

I really liked the idea. The idea of a modern way of brainwashing. Totally frightening of course but still interesting. A lonely, strong female hero on the verge to declare war on the USA government. A female character who is smart, strong and immensely intuitive. I like the bad guys and I like the way of the plots development and the writing style. Even though Koontz could have avoided the huge amount of chapters. They were ridicules. I like to read by chapter (as so many other readers) but some were so short that they didn’t even take up half a page and then the next chapter just kept on going where the first one ended. Did not understand the reason for it, and I did not like the small brake in my reading speed it created.

Even though I liked the book, I have a huge problem with it. Not the chapter thing, no. What I did not like is how slow it got. It started so good and I couldn’t stop reading. Then something happened and I lost interest. It started to slow down and drag. Not even in the end did it pick up enough for me to feel that strong connection that I did in the beginning. I would however love to see this plot with characters as a movie or an series since it did intrigued me. It is just the execution of it that bothers me.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Force of nature – Jane Harper

34275222| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

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My thoughts: I was under the impression that this wasn’t supposed to be a series. That the first book (The Dry) was going to be the only one. I don’t know why I thought that since everything nowadays is either a trilogy going on five books, a long series or god first book with a number two flopper. I should have been smart enough to foresee that it would be written a second book. Still I was quite happy when I found out that a new one about Aaron Falk was to be released. I do however feel a little let down. I do not find this one as strong as the first and maybe I’m too critical but I don’t feel it quite meet the expectations I had for it. It is not a flopper, just let me state that, but it is not a success either.

It was pretty good. I did like it but I did not love it. Nothing terrible but it was nothing groundbreaking either. A quick but not a deep read and I’m quite satisfied after all. Had trouble with connecting and Falk felt a little slow, grey and boring this time around. There was no real suspense but a good description of a reality so true in this day and age.

However Harper is a great author of the contemporary crime genre with her way of natural, soft flowing and easy rhythmic way of writing. I did enjoy it, but I don’t feel a wow factor in it. I would probably read the next one to if there will be one, but that time I will try not to have high hopes for it. Even though I know that Harper has the ability to write something really good, based on the first book, I have certainly learned I can’t expect the same each time.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The Boat man – Dustin Stevens

26495964| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Detective Reed Mattox, just three months removed from the death of his partner, has turned invisibility into an art form. Switching to the K-9, taking over the graveyard shift, moving to a farmhouse miles outside of Columbus, his every move has become predicated on putting as much distance between himself and the outside world as possible.

That distance is shattered though when bodies begin turning up in The Bottoms, the poverty-stricken section of town he is assigned to patrol. Grisly, horrific scenes start to pop up in the middle of the night and the overburdened precinct has no choice but to put Reed on it.

Now operating far outside of his comfort zone with a Belgian Malinois for a partner that attracts attention wherever they go, Reed is forced to unravel the murders, taking him clear across the city and back years in time, to an event that some very influential people will do anything to keep buried…

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My thoughts: Flat revenge story in a mediocre beginning on a new series, more suitable for TV. That is how I would, in few words, describe The Boat man by Dustin Stevens. It is in no way a bad book really. But I cant say that it is overly good either. It is in between good and bad. An okay story with some issues when it comes to the writing but still okay. I did like it. But I have to many issues to love it or to feel the desire to continue.

First of I did feel that the beginning was pretty strong. Reed is more or less a depressed character, working with a dog because he cant stomach to have a human partner again. You do not get to know exactly what happened but you get enough clues to pretty much piece it together yourself. Mistake number one. I don’t like that kind of mystery and secrecy where you have to figure it out on your own kind of way, when it is such a huge part of the history and the future of the characters. And then in the end you do not know more than you did in the beginning. But perhaps Stevens has a ulterior motive with it, what do I know. I’m just a reader. Mistake number two I feel is how flat the book is. I’m not kidding when I say that I actually fell asleep 8 o’clock one evening (usually fall asleep around 11 – 12) because of the writing. It is quite flat and boring. And he keep repeating the names. Reed did that, then Reed went there so Reed could do that while Reed felt that and knew Reed had to get home so Reed could do that later. Then there was the boat man went there, the boat man did that, the boat man felt that, the boat man run away. Goddammit it drove me nuts.

But other than that, it is a good book. The plot is interesting, believable and has a little suspense and depth. It is probably me who is to sensitive and keep finding stuff to complain about. He has a lot of books and most of them has really high ratings, so apparently there are people who like it more than I do. Unfortunately, I just don’t feel Stevens is the author for me. A three star rating yes, but not strong enough to make me want to continue the series.

Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The rabbit hunter – Lars Kepler

36448430.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: It begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later you die…

The sixth gripping thriller in Lars Kepler’s bestselling series featuring Joona Linna. Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

There’s a face at the window.
A stranger wearing a mask stands in the shadow of a garden. He’s watching his first victim through the window. He will kill him slowly, make it last – play him a nursery rhyme – make him pay.

A killer in your house.
There’s only one person the police can turn to – ex-Detective Joona Linna – but he’s serving time in a high-security prison. So they offer him a chance to secure his freedom: help superintendent Saga Bauer track down the vicious killer known as The Rabbit Hunter, before he strikes again.

Only one man can stop him.
Soon another three victims have been murdered and Stockholm is in the grip of terror. Joona Linna must catch a disturbed predator, whose trail of destruction leads back to one horrific night of violence – with consequences more terrifying than anyone could have imagined…

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My thoughts: Joona Linna is back in one more of those intense and thrilling books where he is hunting a cold blooded killer out of the ordinary! Old secrets, new promises and a rabbit hunter is what he tries to unravel. And even though I really liked it and I like all the characters, I find that I don’t like this book as much as the others. The reason for that is probably that the whole police investigation alignment is not as prominent as usual and the side characters in the mystery has a much bigger part. It made the old characters fall a little flat and I missed them.

I wouldn’t say that it is a bad book but it is the weakest one in the series in my opinion. It is a little too long and slow in the middle. Some stuff didn’t make sense since the details were not fulfilling but I don’t think they were important for the plot itself so I can ignore it. It still has the same psychological depth, uncomfortable detailed descriptions as always which makes it easy to imagine what is happening and it is certainly terrifying. I did like the history and the old secrets twist but however I did not like the ending. It was a bit confusing but I hope I will get my answers in October when the 7th book in the series has release in Sweden. Will probably be some months before it has a release on English though.

This is the 6th one in the series and they really should be read in order. So you know. I think I have told you that before but one time to many can’t hurt.

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.