2.5 Stars. Not a good sign for that I wanted to finish the rest of the series before the year ends. I started reading Kay Scarpetta when I was single,2.5 Stars. Not a good sign for that I wanted to finish the rest of the series before the year ends. I started reading Kay Scarpetta when I was single, now my eldest is 18. I truly loved her character with all the intelligence and wit, but I was turned off a bit when Lucy grew up and made constant appearance in the series. I was hoping that I was biased, and hopefully a calmer mind would reconnect me with this series. It's not working. Everything is wrong. I've lost the connection with the characters. I think they and I have all changed. I hope this is not going to be another series/author that I might need to abandon. I don't do goodbyes well and I'm still coping with the loss of Sweets and Dr. Yang. ;)...more
I read this books straight through without stopping, so...literally, I couldn't put this book down. However, It wasn't that this book was extremely weI read this books straight through without stopping, so...literally, I couldn't put this book down. However, It wasn't that this book was extremely well written, but the plot was definitely above average, and the topic engaging.
I've noticed that some readers gave this book a low rating since all the characters were unlikeable. I totally agree with the unlikeable characters part. Everyone in the books seemed to be a liar, a cheater, influenced greatly by how others view them, and weak at making the right decisions. However, I still think the author should still receive credit for creating such terrible characters. They are annoying yet believable; unlikeable yet memorable. A few years from now, I could probably still remember some of the characters in this book. They reminded me of some unpleasant people in real life.
The book begins with Kate Baron, a successful lawyer and single Mother, receiving a call from her daughter's private school notifying her of her daughter Amelia's suspension, and asking her to pick up her daughter. It came as a surprise for her since Amelia is an achiever and well behave student. If not counting all the extra hours she spends work, Kate also have a very close relationship with Amelia and spends enough time together. However, when Kate arrived at the high school, Amelia was dead. Knowing how she mostly put her work before her only daughter’s needs, Kate was heartbroken.
A few months after the incident, Kate received an anonymous text telling her that Amelia did not kill herself. She embarked on a journey to find the truth for herself and her daughter. The things that she discovered were all unpleasant with lots and lots of betrayal and lies. The discoveries did not only involve secrets of Amelia, but also those of Amelia's best friend, classmates, teachers, and even long buried secrets of Kate herself. Having a teenage daughter myself made me broke out in cold sweats a few times, and wanted to grab a brick and kill someone at other times during the reading of this story. High school is way too cruel for teenagers to handle alone.
The organization of this book needs a little getting used to, especially for "older" readers like myself. The chapters include texts, Facebook posts, letters, a blog called Gracefully, entries from Kate’s old journals, and two POVs: Kate and Amelia. The chapters also jump back and forth in time from before to after Amelia’s death, and from Kate’s journal. It was particularly difficult to tell which time of her life Kate was talking about. I learned to differentiate her POV by looking at the year on the first page of her chapters. Once we get over this hurdle, the story will become so much easier to read.
Although some of the pranks were quite impossible to be planned by 15 year-olds girls but more of the style of a professional criminal, and the logic of the story left me with a quite few questions (For example: Amelia was narrating up to the last minute of her life), this book was quite an fast and enjoyable read. ...more
"I have told stories, in fact, that were elaborate-you could say-fictions, and although these fictions were not meant to defraud or to injure, I alway"I have told stories, in fact, that were elaborate-you could say-fictions, and although these fictions were not meant to defraud or to injure, I always knew-I knew in fact-that they would."
The book is narrated by Eric Kennedy as an apology letter to his estranged wife Laura, after being put in jail for abducting their daughter Meadow during a regular supervised parental visit. They were deeply in love before, but sometime during their marriage, like 50% of other marriages in the US, it fell apart. He then lost custody of the person he loves most. During that particular visit, Eric suddenly had a spontaneous urge to spend more time with Meadow, whom he deeply loves. He decided to take her for a prolonged trip, without consulting his wife Laura, who would have just said no to the request anyway. The complicated part is, Eric Kennedy was not a man he claimed he was, so the deceit was much more than a simple prolonged visit.
Eric's real name was Eric Schroder. He emigrated from East Germany with his Father when young. He had a harsh childhood that he has been trying desperately to forget. During a summer when he was applying for a prestige summer camp, he changed his last name to Kennedy. He got in. The name also got him into college with scholarship. When he met Laura, he was still a Kennedy who grew up somewhere near Hyannis Port. After marrying Laura, to protect his identity that he loved so much, he decided to stop visiting his Father.
From the first few pages of the book, we knew all about Eric and everything I mentioned above. We knew how the book was going to end and how unlikable Eric is. We knew that he was caught, thus the apology letter. We also knew that Eric was an emotionally non-existent husband, an unreliable Father, a pathological liar. He leaps before he thinks; he had no concern about anybody else but himself. Knowing the plot ahead of time, the fact that I actually finished the book, and gave it 5-stars, indicates how brilliantly this book was written.
This book falls into the strange book category that I can't classify simply, which includes The Death of Bees, Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, and Where'd You Go, Bernadette: brilliant writing, unforgettable characters and even thought-provoking questions. Since this whole book is narrated in Eric’s voice, one could only understand the other characters from glimpses in his narration, which is unreliable since he’s a liar. However, we did understand Laura’s frustration when he described his life with her. We knew Meadow is exceptionally intelligent from his conversations with his daughter. We got how irresponsible, unreliable, lack of common sense, extremely self-absorbed, spontaneous, unpredictable Eric is. The strange part is, due to the talented writing, we somehow started rooting for him or rather, his voice, regardless of all his faults. We found his love for his wife and daughter genuine, his pain substantial, his lies…somewhat understandable. His narration was so powerful that sometimes the readers need a break to recuperate from their emotions. We even found him brilliant in his study of “pauses.”
”I’ve always been fascinated by – and uncomfortable with – pauses. My research forced me to see that short pockets of silence were everywhere and that even sound needs silence in order to be sound. There are tiny silences all over this page. Between paragraphs. Between these very words. Still, they can be lonesome. So for all my project’s shortcomings, I’d say the worst is that I haven’t shaken the lonesome feeling that pauses give me. Sometimes I still wish there weren’t any silences at all. And so it is with some reluctance that I give you this one.”
The author did an awesome job on this wonderfully and beautifully written book. I don’t normally re-read books, but I might re-read this one just to roll those words and phrases on my tongue again.
My review came wait too late, since this is one of those “must read” books, as The DaVinci Code, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and The Kite Runner… I usuMy review came wait too late, since this is one of those “must read” books, as The DaVinci Code, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and The Kite Runner… I usually stay away from books with a lot of hype, so I was one of the last of my friends to read it.
This book could have been a 5-star book; too bad the last few chapters ruined it.
Gone Girl has two narrative voices, the husband’s, and the wife’s. Nick and Amy, supposedly a perfect couple, have been married for 5 years, and on their 5th anniversary, Amy disappeared. Over the next few days and chapters, clues were discovered, witnesses interviewed, and Nick became the prime suspect from the loving husband overnight. Adding to the complexity, Amy is also the one with the money. It’s always the husband, right? You have no idea.
The chapters alternated between Nick’s voice narrating the present situation, explaining how he thinks he was set up by his wife, since Amy has been unhappy about their marriage and “something else;” and the voice of Amy in some prior diary entries in the last 5 years leading up to the day of the disappearance. The chapters contradicted each other. At a few times I thought I have an idea what has happened or who’s guilty, the next chapter changed my mind. This happened quite a few times in the book. The author was great with plot planning, human characteristics and twisted/evil minds. The book was still a roller-coaster ride for me, although I’m the kind of people who is extremely logical and takes every evidence and clue with a grain of salt. I’m also good at predicting plot twists and this story line took me by surprise a few times.
The last few chapters were the breaking point of the whole well planned story. Both Amy and Nick were quite good in their monologues, self-reflections and thoughts; their conversations with each other were pale and stiff in comparison. It almost seemed putting the two main characters together dampened their sparks while alone. Amy’s last move was quite unbelievable and predictable as well (at least for me). It also contradicted to what she has planned in the whole marriage, her whole life, or the whole book.
Overall, I think it’s quite a great thriller and an entertaining read. ...more
This series came highly recommended by a few of my reader friends. I have to say, this story started out great, moving from past to present, introduciThis series came highly recommended by a few of my reader friends. I have to say, this story started out great, moving from past to present, introducing interesting characters on the way. The beginning chapters were great and held my interest, but the middle chapters were a bit long and the author took forever to wrap up the story. Harry Hole is a lovable character, but not the best or the most intelligent or witty; Even weak and lack self control in a lot of aspects, if you ask me. I like his short-term partner, Ellen, much better; although she was killed off right after she appeared. Her chemistry with Harry would have much potential.
I found that The Redbreast is not the first Harry Hole book, but was the first to be available in the US. I wonder if I would have loved his character a bit more if I started reading from the first of the story or reading the original version without translation. I did purchased the rest of the series up to The Snowman. I will probably finish the series in the future, but it definitely will not be on the top of my list....more
This book was recommended to me by someone who's family is in law enforcement, after she found out how much I love reading books about serial murdererThis book was recommended to me by someone who's family is in law enforcement, after she found out how much I love reading books about serial murderers and profiling. She indicated that this one was not the best from this author, since his first, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, was well received. Unfortunately, Mindhunter was not available on Kindle, so I bought this one to read on Kindle while waiting for Mindhunter DTB to arrive.
The beginning of the book was quite interesting, since it gave me some background about the author's education and past experience. He was the first to implement profiling into the US FBI unit. He examined crime scenes and created profiles of the criminals. He studied their work and kill patterns and habitats; predicted their next moves..then built strategies to capture and prosecute them.
Several real and high profile criminal cases were used and explained in detailed in the book, including the Unabomber, the Tylenol Murders and the Green River Killer. They were fascinating to read in the beginning, with one case per chapter. I also learned about some very similar childhood and growing up experiences of those criminals.
However, by the middle of the books, I got tired of the same way the the author kept mentioning about his knowledge, his work and his team, quite repetitive and superficial...I also find the analyses of the motives, the psychological mind and the crimes not deep enough for my background. However, this is a great introductory book for newbies who want to learn about profiling and murdering motives....more