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

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

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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.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

The ghost – Jessica Gadziala

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Goodreads synopsis: Sloane has everything she thought she ever wanted- a great career, a great apartment, great clothes, a life she had worked hard for.

Until one night, one chance encounter, one decision that changed everything.

With no options left, she enlists the help of Quinton Baird & Associates, who promptly inform her that she has to leave it all – the career, the apartment, the life she had worked so hard to build for herself – behind.

If all that wasn’t enough, her entire future – and life in general – was in the hands of a man whose coworkers called ‘The Ghost.’ Because that was what he did; he ghosted people, hid them, gave them new lives, made them impossible to find.

With no other choice, she agrees to his terms, climbs in a car with him, and travels almost clear across the country toward her new life. But the long hours on the road – and even longer hours in cabins and hotel rooms – together start to show her things. Like how unhappy she had actually been, how hollow her life was, how much she had denied herself in the name of superficial success.

And maybe, just maybe, how much she was starting to see how wrong first impressions can be, and how much a person can begin to mean to you when you decided to let them in…

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My thoughts: Such a sweet story. You mostly knows what to expect while starting a Jessica Gadziala book. Sweet, funny, sexy, sometimes a little angst filled, exciting and a lot of hot. And this is certainly not an exception. But I did miss a little more suspense. I know I’m always say that about her books and I do know she is not that type of author. But I’m that type of reader and little more suspense either in the case or in the relationship would have done it for me. But it is still not in any way a bad book. I really loved it. I loved Gunner and Sloane. How due to preconceptions, their relationship started off on the wrong foot and when they finally realized that not everything i s what it seems, it really started to hit it off.

There is a lot of tension in this one. Tension in the case, the situations and between the characters. But still it is easy and fun to read. Maybe because you already know how it will end but that doesn’t bother me. You get to know some of the other characters and oh my, my heart is breaking for Kai. He has his own book next in line in the series so I do someday in the near future get to know what will happen.

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

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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.

Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Beard in mind – Penny Reid

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Goodreads synopsis: All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

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My thoughts: Penny Reid is still in the top five, favorite female authors, after this wonderful gem of a book. God damn she is a good writer! She writes such funny, heart-warming, sad, happy and lovable stories that I have no words left to describe it. It is just pure enjoyment to read her books.

The series about the Winston brothers is funny and light but often has one thing that is more of a serious note in it. Reid mix it well and makes it such a part of the story that it is so significant to the whole of the plot. One book has more focus on oppression, another has on hate and malice and this one has sickness and unprocessed feelings. It makes you think and for me personally I do recognize myself so much in Shelly. And Reid has done a wonderful job with writing about something as hard as OCD. Shelly is such a unique person and I love the way she has been written. It is in a way that you do not like her at first but love her at the end.

Beau is just beautiful. I love how the most of the book is from Beau’s point of view and about his feelings. It is like he is the girl but it is so much more rational but still not. It is wonderfully refreshing to read a book mostly from a guy’s point of view and the small chapters from Shelly was enough for me.

However I do have one small problem with the book. And that is that somethings do not feel finished or has a satisfying ending. Maybe there will be more about the situation in the coming books but other things went so fast and suddenly the book was over. Some serious happenings and discussions was never written, only explained after it had taken place. Like a side-note. I was just left hanging, wondering and feeling that it was not done. There is no cliffhanger to explain my feelings. But still it just felt incomplete.

Mystery/Crime · Non-fiction

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.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

At Peace – Kristen Ashley

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Goodreads synopsis: Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.

She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.

Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.

Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.

Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?

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My thoughts:What a piece of crap. Utterly worthless and I’m so disappointed. But I guess it was about time I read a book by KA that I did not like. She is such an awesome author but even the best can’t be best all the time. So far I have read 14 books written by her and this is the first time I read one that I can’t stand. Not even a little bit. I hate the characters. I hate the story. I literally hate everything about it. It bored me to hell and Violet kept driving me nuts. Come on, you are a grown woman, stop acting worse than your own 14 year old daughter. Honest to god I think her 16 year old daughter was more of an adult than her. And to think about all the shit she has been through. No. Just No!

And Cal or Joe or what the hell everyone is calling him. Yeah I understand his situation and I do think, most of the time he was the grown up in the situations. But still, when a woman says no, it means no. He was constantly on the border between okay and not okay and if this was true and real it would have been a very unhealthy relationship. I’m open for a lot in this world but one girl playing two guys and one guy acting like he can take what he want and be a douche and suddenly not be a douche anymore just makes me cringe. Especially when the other guy is so nice and wonderful. Talk about playing the stereotypes. I have had enough and I will not spend more time ranting over this book. I know KA is a great author and I know she can do better than this. Like everyone you sometimes have a bad day. Well this time she just had a bad book.

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

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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.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of frost and starlight – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

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My thoughts: Can you love a couple of characters as much as I love Feyre and Rhysand? O my god how wonderful they are. This is the book about just after the war. Wounds need to heal and order need to be restored. It is powerful, wonderful, happy yet so sad that it breaks your heart. And it gives you a sneak peek on what will come in the future. Because yes, there will be more books in the Court of Thorns and Roses series and o my, I can hardly wait.

It is as good as you would expect. The writing is still the same and Maas is still the queen. I wouldn’t say that the book is especially exciting or anything like that. Not really that much happen, but it is a closure for the old and a beginning for something new. Perfect little middle book while you are waiting for the next one. Oh I hope it comes soon.

This is so far the best series I have read this year. Yes it is that good. All of the books. Two received five star and two received four star. Wish to read more? Her you have my other review.

A court of thorns and roses
A court of mist and fury
A court of wings and ruin