Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The girl with a clock for a heart – Peter Swanson

17841564| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern.

When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past.

Now, twenty years later, she’s back, and she’s telling George that he’s the only one who can help her…

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My thoughts:

“It has not put me off reading more written by Swanson but this is not the one I would recommend to my fellow readers.”

This is the second book by Peter Swanson I have read. The first one “The kind worth killing” totally blew me away with both story, plot and writing. It is one of my top five read so far this year and it was great. This one however was not as great in my opinion.

The writing is still as good and capturing as I found it from TKWK. It was the story and main plot I had issues with this time. Even the ending is terrible, just terrible in comparison with the line of the story. The first half of the book was fascinating, where we jump back and forth between today George and George 20 years ago at college. The history with him and Liana is a sticky web of love, lies and secrets which was really captivating at first.

The other half however just got to be too much for me. I started to annoy me on how stupid George was and how an unbelievable turn the story took. It got repetitive, the pace slowed down and I started to lose interest and it made me detached from the story.

It is a decent story overall and I did like it. It has not put me off reading more written by Swanson but this is not the one I would recommend to my fellow readers.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

51YOjBvyolL| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:

The house looked right, felt right, to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago. Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat.
But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial. A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding…

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My thoughts:

“This was actually a lot better than I expected but that ending though. Come on!!”

I’m not easily frightened! Specially not by books but this was really one of those few who made my skin crawl right from the beginning. And it is all due to this skill with taking something real, something you know or could imagine experience and twist it to this ugly, supernatural, frightening thing of reality that just hooks you deep in your soul. And Stephen King has that skill and in The Pet Sematary he excelled.

But however, I have said it before and will say it again, that ramble is my biggest problem with books written by King. He can go on and on about a thing in a middle of a conversation or a suspense filled moment and sometimes it is so extensive that I loose where in the conversation I was or what was happening. It made the suspense simmer down and me come back to reality, which changed the amount of impact it had on me. It doesn’t defined the book and make it a bad one per say and I can honestly say that this is one of the best I have read so far this year. That is just one of the things with King I have a problem with and it takes some of the experience away and in this case, also one star.

Other than that, I enjoyed this immensely and I’m now looking forward to see the new movie who had premier now in April. This was actually a lot better than I expected but that ending though. Come on!!

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

The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

41807223| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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My thoughts: Oh, so many feelings. I was looking forward to be reading this. It intrigued me and when I started, it felt like a mix between a classic Agatha Christie, dinner murder mystery and the movies like groundhog day and the cube. This is one of those books that seem to be impossible to give a deserving rating to. It all depends on what I’m focusing on.

If I would rate the concept, writing skill and character build-up it would be a solid 5 stars. It is just perfect and such a joy reading. Even though we are talking about a lot of characters and a lot of details, it was still fully possible to keep track of them all. At some points I was a little confused to be honest, but Turton skillfully included small details here and there to remind us readers where we were and what it was about.

If I would rate the general plot and ending I would give it a two star. The build-up of the story was so big and thrilling that the ending was just an anticlimactic balloon, losing all its air. Not at all what I had expected and quite frankly a little tame when compared to the rest of the book. And in the middle I found myself stagnant due to that the story didn’t progressed forward. And I didn’t find myself that into it to be honest. Specially since you never really get to know the whole truth outside of Blackheath. I would have liked that.

Then that I also had such problem focusing can also be a reason for my conflicted feelings and low rating. I have had a couple of bad weeks but that is not unusual for me and if a book is good it will keep me captured either way. Anyway, after a lot of thinking and sorting my feelings I land on a solid 3 stars. If possible I would give it 3.5. I did like it overall, but I didn’t love it and it certainly was not amazing in my opinion.

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

Ragdoll – Daniel Cole

30259893| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: William Fawkes, a controversial detective known as The Wolf, has just been reinstated to his post after he was suspended for assaulting a vindicated suspect. Still under psychological evaluation, Fawkes returns to the force eager for a big case. When his former partner and friend, Detective Emily Baxter, calls him to a crime scene, he’s sure this is it: the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together like a puppet–a corpse that becomes known as “The Ragdoll.”

Fawkes is tasked with identifying the six victims, but that gets dicey when his reporter ex-wife anonymously receives photographs from the crime scene, along with a list of six names, and the dates on which the Ragdoll Killer plans to murder them.

The final name on the list is Fawkes.

Baxter and her trainee partner, Alex Edmunds, hone in on figuring out what links the victims together before the killer strikes again. But for Fawkes, seeing his name on the list sparks a dark memory, and he fears that the catalyst for these killings has more to do with him–and his past–than anyone realizes.

With a breakneck pace, a twisty plot, and a wicked sense of humor, Ragdoll announces the arrival of the hottest new brand in crime fiction.

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My thoughts: I’m so freaking tired of the same crap over and over again when reading crime/thriller books. Is that genre so used up and impossible to create something new with? Why do you always have to go in the same track over and over again? This one was so hyped up and I saw so much good about it that I’m actually surprised that people have not reacted over how bland and badly written it is.

Here we have all the clichés, crammed onto 380 pages, which may I say, trees gave there life for. We have the unjust system of the government, politically large characters you hate, that dead beat cop who is an alcoholic and breaks every rule in the book. The falsely accused, the skeptical colleges, the ex-wife, the career driven people and off course in the middle, there is that one serial killer with a “personal” vendetta.

I’m so frustrated. All I wanted was a good crime book, that was not predictable and used up. I wanted something exciting with deep and interesting characters without all those stupid clichés you have literally read a couple of hundred times by now.

The story, plot and characters are just unpleasant and unlikable. There is nothing there for a crime lover like me. It is messy with too many POV and a cold, unimaginative setting. There was nothing warm. Nothing that I liked, could connect to or feel that it will get better. It is certainly not worth the hype.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Fire & Ash – Jonathan Maberry

13424356| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Benny Imura and his friends have found the jet and Sanctuary, but neither is what they expected. Instead of a refuge, Sanctuary is a hospice, and the soldiers who flew the plane seem to be little more than bureaucrats who have given up hope for humanity’s future. With Chong hovering between life and death, clinging to his humanity by a thread, Benny makes a startling discovery: A scientist may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Desperate to save Chong, Benny and his friends mount a search and rescue mission. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt. The reapers are after the cure too, and they want to use it turn all the zombies into superfast shock troops and wipe humanity off the face of the earth.

In this riveting conclusion to the Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is just beginning.

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My thoughts: This was supposed to be the last one in the series about Benny, Chong, Lilah, Nix and all the other characters in USA’s Zombie infested Badlands. And what an end. This is how you end a series in a satisfying manner. Now this is no longer the last book and I’m quite frankly glad for that, because I want, no I NEED to know how the story will continue. It was a perfect ending yes, but I have come to know these characters. They are my friends, my brothers and sisters and I love them. I wish to know that it will be even better for them. How can I not? I’m a reader and no others than other readers understand what I feeling right now. And I need more.

I have more or less loved the books in this series. Some more than others. This fourth book I found better than the third one. The reason for that is because all the religious jabber, was a lot less and therefore not as irritating and Maberry also moved forward from the place I felt he stood still and turned the story in a great direction. It was exiting, interesting and it was hard to put the book down. Joe Ledger (my bookish boyfriend) even got a much bigger part which I off course LOVED. For those who doesn’t know, he is a character from another series by Maberry.

The character development throughout the series has been an magnificent work of art. It happens so slowly that you do not even realize how they grow, change and evolve until the end. Overall a great book. Not a full five star rating however. I felt I missed something, maybe it is the whole deal with Chong, because that was not satisfying enough for me.

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

The kind worth killing – Peter Swanson

21936809| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

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My thoughts: Wow what a great book. Captivating, exciting, emotionally unstable, unpredictable and mayhem. It brought up the same feelings that YOU also did. Where you know you should not root for the killer/s but in the same time, in your heart, you kind of are. It totally messes with your mind and makes you question your own moral compass. And I LOVED IT. What a ride. Never read anything by Peter Swanson before and now after this, I certainly need to look into some of his other books.

The story is fascinating, the plot engrossing and that ending was excellent. This is one of those books that deserves to be discussed, broken down and discussed so more. There is four main characters and it gives the story several point of views which will be interpreted on so many different levels that it would be pure fun to debate it.

I loved the characters and the settings. The writing is high class and it truly was a great read.

“Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

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

The Fireman – Joe Hill

29875363.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

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My thoughts: This is the type of book you wished Goodreads had the ability to give half stars to. Because I do not feel the book is worth four stars, but it is not as bad as a three stars either when I think about it as a whole. However I do not feel this was a consistent read. After N0S4R2 (which I freaking LOVED) this was a major snoozefest and I’m sad to say that I was so bored some of the parts that I’m now amazed that I actually continued.

The beginning was so good. I loved the whole burning plague, dystopia where the earth is on the brink to unravel plot. It was well thought out, written, interesting, capturing and skillfully described. I loved the characters and the more day to day business you was a part of. Then around two, three hundred pages in, it started to fall. The characters was now even better but the day to day business certainly started to drag. And worse it got, the longer I read. There was some highlights in the middle of the book that did capture me, but mostly I was more or less waiting for stuff happening. I was bored out of my mind some times and this is a great example of the saying “Longer does not equal better” .

And the ending, how am I even going to be able to describe my thoughts and feelings about the ending. There is so much but at the same time so little happening that I can’t wrap my head around it. Not after all that I have already read. And it was by far not satisfying.

So to be honest, I loved some parts of it, others bored me. But I did love N0S4R2 so I know he will make it.

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

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

731806.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

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My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Brimstone – Preston & Child

136637.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards.

Unable to resist a case that defies all but supernatural logic, Pendergast reunites with police officers Vincent D’Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to search for a more earthly explanation. But their investigation soon takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island and penthouses of New York City to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where thirty years ago four men conjured up something unspeakable. . .

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My thoughts: I had such problems connecting with this book. It felt like it took me forever to read it. In reality it only took me 12 days but for someone like me, it does feel like an eternity. I did like the beginning and the end, but there is all that in the middle that didn’t do it for me. It was slow, cold and to detailed to be honest. But the story is yet really interesting. The murder case is quite mysterious and the urge to get all the answers was the only thing that kept me going. I did like the ending but at the same time I did not. There is some things that you do not get the answer to and I really do not like “cliffhangers”.

But in any case, I freaking LOVE Pendergast. He is such an interesting character. After “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, where you got to know him better, he is one of the best characters I know of. He is interesting, mystic, funny, so freaking smart and with a moral compass going haywire but still points in the right direction. In this one you also get to meet D’Agosta again and some other characters you briefly meet in the earlier books. And I love it. I love how the story is weave together with the earlier books and still lay ground for the future ones. I feel that there is some details not explained or released and I do hope the answer to it will be released in the next book.

In comparison I did like the “Still Life With Crows” more than this one even though I gave that one a three star rating to. The books are so different form each other and should not really be compared. But it is hard not to.

So to summery it up, I’m happy that I finished it, even though it was not a favorite. I still love the series as an whole and I do need to read the next book in the future to see what will happen. There is some other details released in this book that I’m really looking forward to dive deeper in to.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Bird box – Josh Malerman

18498558.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

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My thoughts: I had such a bad luck with this book. Me and a friend started a BookClub since we could not find one here where we live. The first book we choosed to read was Bird Box. It was supposed to be Novembers book. But I could not get hold of a copy in a bookstore. So I ordered one online and the order was cancelled due to empty stock. I ordered from another web store, same thing there. Note that by this time, two weeks had already passed. I tried to order it to a bookstore in town, but the system was down. In a last attempt I ordered a different format from the first place I ordered from. After a couple of days I received note that the book had been shipped. Hallelujah. I may still have time to read it since this was around 15 of November. However due to Christmas, it took longer than usual for the book to arrive. I actually started to think that it had gotten lost in shipping. But on the 3 of December it finally arrived. 18 days after I ordered it, a month after I ordered the first time. But I still had time to read it. Our club meeting is on Thursday 6 of December. It gave me three days. Would I make it?

Well I did And i’m so happy that I finally received the book. It was so much better than I had predicted. Malerman did a great job writing a book, solely relaying on sensory other than image description. Sound and feel descriptions, emotion and imagination build most of the book. It creates a really spooky feeling while reading. It reminds you how vulnerable we would be without our eyes and it certainly reminds you of all your childhood fears. Remember those? The terror you as a child felt for not what you could see, but what you could not see. The monster under the bed, the beast in the closet. The creatures outside your window, just waiting to eat all the small children, not laying in bed at night. It is an emotional read where even you as an adult do feel discomfort to some degree. And I loved it.

Unfortunately I did have some problem with the writing. Malerman keep referring them by names ALL THE TIME. I’m not kidding that Malories name was mentioned on the same page at least fifteen times. If he had used words like “her”, “she”, “him”, “that”, “it” and so on, would have eased up the flow of the text considerably. After fifty pages you don’t think about it anymore, but it bugged the hell out of me in the beginning and when a book only is 250 pages, you do not want to be bugged one quarter of it. And I have thoughts about the end. I will however not discuss it here due to spoilers. But either way, the book is certainly worth reading and I’m happy that I finally got to.