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.

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.

Mystery/Crime · Non-fiction/Biography

Monster – Micael Dahlén

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My thoughts:In Monster, written by the Swedish professor Micael Dahlén, you meet five of the world’s most famous murderers. Micael has interviewed and investigated their fascination about murder, blood and horror.

I was expecting a more fact based book with the mere details of the horrors these killers has committed. More focus on the interviews and Micaels thoughts around it. But it is in reality much more philosophical than I think a true crime, nonfiction book should be. I wanted facts as we know it, based on evidence and knowledge. Maybe some theories but not chapter after chapter about murder and its effect on the normal mind, society and theoretical thoughts about it all.

It is mostly my fault really. I did not read the synopsis carefully enough. If I did I should have realized that even though it goes under the true crime banner, it is also a lot more philosophical about the world we live in. A world about blood and death, money, love and celebrity.

I cannot find that this book has been translated to English yet. And if it ever will be, I do think you will find other books out there more rewarding than this one. It was a nice break from all the other books I read lately and short enough to start again from my reading slum. So points for that.

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.

Everyday things

Faire un voyage

bonvoyageI’m going on a vacation and will not be able to write any reviews in that period. But I will still read and when I’m back, hopefully I have lots and lots of books to review. (Probably not but hey, I can dream.)

A fun thing however is that I’m going book shopping while there, so I probably will have a little book haul to share with you. Wish to follow me on my travel? Take a look at my Instagram.

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.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Crystal Whisperer – Camilla Monk

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Goodreads synopsis: Sweet Jesus, this is it! Or maybe not.

Perpetually foiled romance heroine Island Chaptal and reformed cleaning expert March —or is it Mr. November?— are enjoying a pleasant break in South-Africa, after brushing death in the inhospitable and platypus-infested mountains of Liechtenstein…

That is, until a commercial flight disintegrates over the Atlantic, killing hundreds, and Island’s supervillain dad makes the news as the mastermind behind the attack. Old Lion Dries is now on the run, and he calls upon his last ally —and favorite disciple— March.

From the streets of Venice to the turquoise waters of French Polynesia, March and Island embark on a deadly race against the clock to find out what secrets lie behind Dries’s downfall, and stop the mysterious “Crystal Whisperer” before it’s too late. This time, though, there might just be no winning against futuristic weapons, CIA agents, Roomba cats, (reluctantly) evil henchmen, and dads who won’t let you get your groove on, dammit!

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My thoughts:*Rant warning* No, no no no NO! You are not supposed to end these books on that kind of cliffhanger. NO! I’m not ready to read the forth book right away but when you end it like that I just have to. I just must! So now you, my dear readers, know that this third book in the Spotless series ends on major cliffhanger. Not a small and acceptable one no, butt pretty much mid-sentence type of cliffhanger. GAH! Okay Rant over.

This is frustrating. First of I have to say that I really didn’t need a third, yes a THIRD book with the same theme “I’m going to die a virgin.” That plot you have bled dry now Monk. It’s time to move on. Get the speed up. Especially the romantic part of the book is so slow that we are pretty much moving backwards. It starting to be excessive and I need more and I need it know.

Other than that Monk is also still playing on the same string with the action and history. There is so much going on that at the same time you feel like it never goes anywhere. To be honest I actually started skimming the few last chapters because it did not give me anything. It was just the same, again. Other aspects of the book is a lot darker than the first two books. I love to follow the struggle and emotionally development and it is that who saved it for me. It made it real, interesting and easy to connect with, but still, it could have moved on a little further than that.

I enjoy the series as a whole but this one is the least of my favorite to be honest. I do hope the fourth one is better.

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

The Apprentice – Tess Gerritsen

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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.