This was a fun, twisty suspense read with a lot of surprises inside. I didn't see the plot twist coming at the end, and had to flip back through the bThis was a fun, twisty suspense read with a lot of surprises inside. I didn't see the plot twist coming at the end, and had to flip back through the book to see what I missed! Wow! I was simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by all the characters in this book; despite the plot that strains credulity, the author does an amazing job at creating unforgettable characters. Even the secondary characters in the book are multi-layered and interesting, when they could have just been cardboard cutouts....more
I was white-knuckle driving the whole time I was listening to MR. MERCEDES. Stephen King really ratchets up the tension in this book, with chapters alI was white-knuckle driving the whole time I was listening to MR. MERCEDES. Stephen King really ratchets up the tension in this book, with chapters alternating between the good guys' and the villains' perspectives. Will Patton is my new favorite audiobook narrator; he changed the tone of his voice to perfectly capture the chapters narrated in the alternating perspectives. Goodreads is indicating this is the first in the trilogy, which is exciting because I really loved the detective team of Hodges, Holly & Jerome. I also think this story would make an amazing TV show!...more
What a fascinating book this was. Kepnes combines dark humor, tons of cultural references and skin-crawling chills to create something entirely uniqueWhat a fascinating book this was. Kepnes combines dark humor, tons of cultural references and skin-crawling chills to create something entirely unique. I don't think I've ever met a main character quite like Joe Goldberg before. Joe is a working-class bookstore manager who's also a psycho stalker. He becomes instantly enamored with Beck, the "YOU" of the title, when she visits the store one day. Beck is a Lena Dunham-type hipster-y short-story writer trying to get her MFA, but she's kind of a slacker, and she is a fascinating character in her own right. After just the first meeting, Joe is stalking Beck's apartment, hacking into her email, and learning everything about her. When Beck's unreliable boyfriend, Benji, and her needy girl pal Peach start taking up too much of her time, Joe has to remove them from the picture... The thrill of this book lies in waiting for the inevitable moment when Beck is going to discover Joe's true nature. The propulsive plot is liberally laced with funny pop-culture and literary references. You'll be laughing out loud at one of Joe's observations and then realizing you are being entertained by a madman. (My favorite was Benji's artisan club-soda business). I would recommend this book for DEXTER fans, it has a similar balance of wry humor, murder and mayhem....more
Want a quick, scary thrill ride that can be read in one sitting? Your should pick up BIRD BOX this summer! This post-apocalyptic adventure follows MalWant a quick, scary thrill ride that can be read in one sitting? Your should pick up BIRD BOX this summer! This post-apocalyptic adventure follows Malorie, a single mother of two children, interweaving her present and her past. It has been four years since a mysterious plague of "creatures" decimated America's population - beings that seem to make people go insane and kill themselves and others upon sight. The survivors have blocked out their windows and only go outside when blindfolded. In the months immediately following the disaster, Malorie bands together with a group of survivors. In the present day, she's undertaking a dangerous journey with the children, all while they are blindfolded. I don't want to say too much more about the book because it's so much fun to discover on your own. If you like shows like THE WALKING DEAD you will love BIRD BOX....more
This is an atmospheric read that felt very timely to me. At the same time, Abbott's teenage girl characters could have come from any era. When first oThis is an atmospheric read that felt very timely to me. At the same time, Abbott's teenage girl characters could have come from any era. When first one girl, then another, falls ill from a mysterious sickness, the small community where they lives begins to panic. Is it something toxic from the polluted lake in their town? Is it some kind of new superbug? And why is it only affecting girls? Abbott combines family secrets, gender politics, and mass hysteria for chilling and claustrophobic results in this fascinating book, told from several perspectives. I wished that there had been some more closure regarding the mystery illness at the end of the book, but other than that, it was perfect. I received a free advance copy of this eBook for review from NetGalley....more
I've been a fan of Greg Iles' pulse-pounding thrillers for a while, but the author really takes it to the next level in NATCHEZ BURNING, the first inI've been a fan of Greg Iles' pulse-pounding thrillers for a while, but the author really takes it to the next level in NATCHEZ BURNING, the first in a new trilogy. Even if you haven't read Iles' other books featuring former prosecutor, novelist and Natchez Mayor Penn Cage, you can get to know him and his family in this book.
Iles' book perfectly echoes many of the divisions among people in America today, and is a horrifying illustration of how far our nation - especially the south - still has to go in healing the terrible wounds of racism.
Mayor Cage, his fiancee Caitlin, his father Tom, and newspaper reporter Henry Sexton represent one side of an old race war that rears its ugly head in the 21st century - progressive leaders and sympathetic pillars of a community that's aching for change. Throughout the course of the novel, they find themselves increasingly in conflict with another group. The lower-class white Knox family represents the remnants of a super-secret Ku Klux Klan offshoot, the Double Eagles. One member of the family even claims to have assassinated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The Royal family - a super-wealthy businessman, his sociopathic son in law, and his drugged-up daughter - represent those among the super-rich who covertly support the continued oppression of minorities.
What sets all this off is the downfall of Tom Cage, an elderly physician who's respected by all in Natchez, black and white alike. He's accused of the murder of his former nurse, Viola. The mystery of who actually killed Viola remains unsolved as Penn races against the clock to clear his father's name. As he investigates Tom's past, he learns of all the heinous hate crimes committed by the Double Eagle group in the 1960s. Penn is soon joined in his quest by crusading newspaper reporter Henry Sexton, who's made it his life's work to bring these civil rights murders into the public eye.
As Penn and Henry continue their investigation, they attract unwanted attention and life-threatening danger from the remaining Double Eagle members and Brody Royal. Soon they are fighting to survive and bring the truth to light amongst death and destruction in their hometowns.
I was worried that this book would conclude on a cliffhanger and not answer any questions, but it very neatly wraps up one thread in this twisted story. I can't wait to read the next installment. The story is terrible and tragic, and sadly I have no doubts that some parts of NATCHEZ BURNING are rooted in truth....more
After hearing the author read the prologue of this book on the Diane Rehm Show, I had to check it out. This is one of the best books I've listened toAfter hearing the author read the prologue of this book on the Diane Rehm Show, I had to check it out. This is one of the best books I've listened to on audio for a long time. The main character, Rob Ryan, experienced a traumatic event in his childhood: two of his best friends vanished while they were playing in the woods near their neighborhood. Later, Rob becomes a detective with the Dublin Murder Squad and returns to his childhood neighborhood, and the woods, when he is assigned to investigate the murder of a young girl.
While the mystery around the teenager's murder case comes to a suspenseful and chilling conclusion, the truly enthralling part of this book is Rob's description of the downward spiral of his relationship with his partner on the squad, Cassie. There is a lot of foreshadowing so the reader knows that something terrible is going to happen to their closer-than-siblings bond, and the implosion of their relationship is even more depressing than anything you could have expected. The author is remarkable at bringing the emotions of the characters alive through her descriptions, and the expert narration by Steven Crossley made me feel like I was face to face with Rob, Cassie, Sam and all the other characters in the novel. Although I'm sad that Crossley doesn't narrate the rest of the books in the series, I'll definitely be listening to all of them. ...more
I really wanted to give this a full five stars because the premise was so cool: a serial killer finds a house that opens into different points in timeI really wanted to give this a full five stars because the premise was so cool: a serial killer finds a house that opens into different points in time, and he pursues and murders women from the different time periods. But because the house is lost in a time loop, he knows how many people he has to kill and when he will be finished because of a room full of objects from the different women's lives. He leaves the artifacts at the site of his different murders, so that a birth-control packet ends up in the early 1950s and an '80s era My Little Pony travels into two different times in the past.
The premise was so fascinating, but I feel like something got a bit lost in the execution. I finished the book feeling like I missed something major in the plot having to do with the Polish man who gets murdered inside the house. Also, I have spent a lot of time in Chicago and the book was set there. The author did a nice job of evoking the sights and sounds of a big city across different time periods, but many of the words and phrases she used stuck out as being not American. It's too bad one of the folks that showed her around the city didn't help her proofread for words like "flat" instead of apartment, etc.
I did love the relationship between Kirby, a young woman who escapes her attempted murder, and Dan, her mentor in her journalism internship who starts to feel more-than-mentorly feelings toward her. They reminded me a bit of my beloved Archie and Susan from Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell book series.
THE SHINING GIRLS is a great summer read, but pay close attention to the time periods noted in each chapter or you might end up feeling like you missed something big, as I did. No spoilers, I did like the ending, but some of the events leading up to it got repetitive and confusing because of the "time loop" folding in on itself......more
A thriller that will keep you turning pages, with a most unusual serial "killer" and his work at its heart. Annabel, a mousy police analyst, is the prA thriller that will keep you turning pages, with a most unusual serial "killer" and his work at its heart. Annabel, a mousy police analyst, is the primary narrator of HUMAN REMAINS, but chapters written from her perspective are interspersed with those in the voice of Colin, who's an office drudge by day and a total freak by night.
After Annabel finds her neighbor's long-dead body, she begins digging into the data at work and finds that an alarming number of shut-ins have died in her town in the past year. As she struggles to get her work noticed by the higher-ups in the police department, Annabel is forced to deal with personal trauma when her mother suffers a life-threatening stroke.
Readers learn that Colin, who has mastered a special type of hypnosis, can convince depressed people to lock themselves away and commit slow suicide. When Annabel, bereaved over her mother, stumbles into Colin's path, he targets her as his next victim. Will she succumb to his creepy methods and lock herself away, or will she be able to help bring him to justice?
This was a fascinating and suspenseful book that takes the idea of a serial killer to a very strange place. Colin is a skin-crawlingly awful villain and some of the descriptions of the "human remains" were stomach-turning, but these factors only added to the suspense of the plot. Five stars for this quick and scary read!...more
An exciting and unique thriller debut featuring an unconventional main character, Becky Masterman's "Rage Against the Dying" will captivate anyone whoAn exciting and unique thriller debut featuring an unconventional main character, Becky Masterman's "Rage Against the Dying" will captivate anyone who loves creepy thrillers featuring a strong woman tracking a terrifying serial killer. Ex-FBI Agent Brigid Quinn is committed to settling down and living the peaceful life of a retiree with her new husband, Carlo, in Arizona. She's succeeding fairly well until a killer attempts to capture her one morning while she's out rock hunting.
She learns that the attacker may be connected to one of her biggest cases, the Route 66 killer. Her beloved protege was one of this killer's victims, and the unsolved case has always haunted her. When a truck driver comes forward to confess to the Route 66 killings, she must work with a much younger FBI agent, Laura Coleman, to find out if he's really guilty.
Brigid is a truly unique character in thriller-world as she is a Baby Boomer age retiree dealing with creating a life outside the career that previously consumed all her time, and she doesn't want to expose her husband to all the horrors she has seen. She's gritty and realistic and will stay with you long after you put down the book. I love Arizona, so the desert setting was also an enjoyable feature of the book for me. I hope we get to read more books about her adventures!...more
"Odd Thomas" was going to be a three-star book for me; four-star at the most, until I got to the last few chapters. Then the ending COMPLETELY blew me"Odd Thomas" was going to be a three-star book for me; four-star at the most, until I got to the last few chapters. Then the ending COMPLETELY blew me away.
At first I was turned off because the narrative tone of the book mixed a lot of random, goofy observations with disturbing images of horror & crime. I haven't read that many Dean Koontz books before so I thought maybe that was just his writing style.
Well, duh... Odd, the main character, tells readers RIGHT at the beginning that he is writing this story as a memoir and his mentor has told him to "keep it light." It's only until the last chapter that the reader really grasps the true extent of everything has happened to Odd and his fiancee, Stormy. The goofy observations are there because that's Odd's nature, he's kind of a goofball - who can also see the dead and feels compelled to help them as his life mission. Because of his unique talent, he has to keep his life simple, so he's fascinated by all the random little details of his life and he never leaves his mid-size hometown of Pico Mundo. I went from finding this character quite annoying to deciding he was sweet and compelling at the conclusion of the book.
I still felt that there was an excessive amount of description of EVERY scene and situation, but maybe it's because I listened to Odd Thomas on audiobook; if I had read it in print I would have skimmed over those details more. I'll definitely be checking out the next book in the series though.
On a topical note (and possible spoiler alert) the plot of this book deals with a horrific mass shooting. It was especially chilling to listen to this in the month following the tragedy in Newtown. ...more