I have to admit, I accepted Spinner for review because the main character has a disability, and we don’t see that often in YA, especially not in a YA thriller. But I also liked the idea of spinners, the ancient evil, humans out stalking him for his powers, and basically, everything about the book sounded great. I was a little nervous to read it because I had high expectations, but boy, I certainly wasn’t dissapointed.
A spinner is a person with a healing ability. Unfortunately Alex can’t use that to heal himself. He’s stuck to a wheelchair and has been since birth. On top of that he’s in the foster system, and his current foster parent is a sadistic woman who physically abuses the kids in her care. But unfortunately that’s not the end of Alex’s troubles yet. His teacher is murdered, an ancient evil is unleashed, and it’s up to Alex and his classmates, a self-proclaimed group of misfits to find out who is behind the murder and how to stop the unleashed evil before it’s too late.
From the start, this was an amazing story, and it never becomes anything less than amazing. The cast of characters is great, the plot is enthralling, there were so many twists and turns that I had no idea whatsoever as to what would happen next, and the action never slows down. Despite everything that’s happening, there were some hilarious bits too where I even laughed out loud.
If you enjoy YA thrillers with a supernatural edge, then I highly recommend this book....more
I’m amazed I haven’t heard more about this author before because her book is pretty amazing.The Winter Foundling offers an interesting setting (a psychiatric hospital), where Britian’s most prolific child killer is locked up, an engaging main character who is a psychologist (rather than the usual detective) and a plot that is fast-paced and ruthless. A gripping thriller that I’d recommend to all thriller fans....more
In Follow You Home, Daniel and Laura are travelling to Europe when they get their passports stolen on board a night train in Romania, square in the middle of nowhere. Security throws them off the train, along with a local girl they met on board the train, and they’re forced to walk back to the nearest visit. But then something happens, and the couple finds themselves in the nightmare of a lifetime. Narrowly escaping from this terror, it haunts them long afterward, een when they make it back to London.
The two of them vow to never talk about it, but that fateful night has driven a wedge between them. They seperate, but Daniel is still in love with Laura and wants her back, no matter what. But Laura is too traumatized to even think about a relationship…And when the events of what happened that night start having consequences for the present, the two of them will have to face their demons.
This book has a lot of five star reviews, and overall, it is quite enjoyable. There is suspense, the characters (especially Daniel) are fleshed out and interesting, and the plot has good pacing, but still, I felt like it lacked some suspense. I was curious about what happened for the first part of the book but had lost interest by the time it was revealed. The plot was also far-fetched, especially with the two subplots colliding, it sounded all a little too unbelievable for my tastes. I can’t really justify giving it more than three stars based on that, although I did enjoy reading it.
The author obviously knows how to write and often crafts delicious prose. The characters are intriguing, and the plot works well, and if it hadn’t all turned so unbelievable at the end, I would’ve given it a higher rating....more
In The Color of Clouds, Pedro is a spirit guide who helps conveys messages from the deceased to the living through a psychic named Gwen. Pedro usually doesn’t interfere much in the affairs of either the living or the deceased (besides conveying the messages) but that changes when he meets a young boy who passed away just recently and is very troubled, and Pedro decided to help him. His psychic friend, Gwen, agrees to go on a cruise that could help Pedro with his quest to aid the boy.
Deanna and her husband Paul are on a relaxing cruise trip together. Or at least, “relaxing” was the point, but now they’re seated with an elderly couple and a table, Ernst and Sylvie (who keeps on calling him Ernie) and Gwen (aforementioned psychic) and her sister Jo. The six of them quickly become acquainted and realize they might have more in common than they at first thought. But when Gwen gets a message about “danger” ahead, a strange light slips past the ship, and two passangers fall into a coma, the six of them soon find themselves in danger.
As a fan of everything related to ghosts, I enjoyed The Color of Clouds. The book focuses on the six characters: Gwen and Jo, Ernst and Sylvia, and Paul and Deanna. They all have a different personality and are unique enough to merit a POV of their own. The POV sometimes shifts to other characters to, like Herman Lunz, head of security on board of the ship. All the POVs blend nicely, providing a few plot twists I did not see coming.
The writing is fast-paced, and once you start reading, it’s hard to stop. The book manages to blend science-fictoin and paranormal in a story that kept me on the edge of my seat....more
In Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, Kit Cabot is a young boy in the early nineteenth century. An injury he suffered as a child left him with a leg that hurts day in day out. Despite that, he finds family business tedious and boring, and he wants nothing more than to join his uncle John on his ship. Life on board of the ship turns out to be unlike anything Kit expected though: his uncle guards a mysterious red pearl, and is jealous whenever someone even comes near it. The pearl has an eerie attraction to everyone who comes too close. Kit, along with several members of the crew, tries to help uncle John get rid of it. However, the entity living inside the pearl has other plans and will stop at nothing to get what it wants, and soon, everyone on board the ship, including Kit, is in mortal peril.
Kit is an enjoyable character, and despite having a personality suitable for nineteenth century life, he is easy to sympathize with. Sometimes when reading historical fiction, history and time seems to add so many layers between the reader and the characters that they’re impossible to relate to, but Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, doesn’t suffer from that. If anything, the setting is a blessing. Demonic possession is used in literature every now and then, but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on board of a ship in the 1800s.
Mix in an unique setting with good writing, and you get a 110-page long (in my pdf version at least) story that will scare you and entertain you at the same time....more
I’m a huge fan of thrillers, but I don’t always enjoy espionage thrillers for one reason: sometimes authors overcomplicate matters, crafting plots so complex they have loopholes the size of Pluto. But not Erika Mitchell. In Bai Tide, she crafts a story that is entertaining without losing itself in complex explanations and reasoning, or without looking for far-fetched solutions.
Bai Hsu is an intriguing main character, kind of like a newbie James Bond with a mix of Robin (from Batman) thrown in. In this book (it’s part of a series, but I did not read the first book and it wasn’t really necessary to understand the story either) he infiltrates in a high-security private school, and soon has to stop a plot that could result in tens of millions of people dying. What’s supposed to be an easy assignment turns out to be anything but, and the CIA officer has to use all his wits and intelligence to get out of it alive.
The action is non-stop, picking up from page one and running on until the end. The secondary characters are interesting too, and the book has a few subplots that manage to be both entertaining and crucial for the main plot. The author also manages to mix action with some much-needed humor every now and then.
A great addition to the spy thriller genre, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series....more
House of Echoes reads like your classic gothic horror novel: a gigantic mansion, a family moving in who already suffered through depression and trauma. I expected the mansion to be haunted but that’s not really the case – apart from some animal carcasses left on the new owner’s front porch, nothing really spooky is going on in relation to the mansion itself. Ben and Caroline and their two young boys move to a small, close-knit community to try and start over, running away from their dark and depressing past. But not all is as it seems in town, and their fresh start might turn into a nightmare.
Ben is an author struggling to come up with a concept for his new book. Caroline lost her banking job and wants to renovate the mansion into a proper B&B. Charlie, their oldest son, is barely eight years old and struggled at his last school, since he was being bullied. They all want to make a fresh start, and at first, it seems to work. But then Caroline’s paranoia sets in, Ben is too focused on his book rather than on his family, and Charlie starts spending hours and hours in the woods. At the same time, the reader senses something is going on, and that something bad will happen soon, but the suspense keeps on lingering for several chapters until the big mystery is finally revealed.
The book also has some letters dating from 1777 and detailing the horrors the ancestors of the town’s families went through. It’s a nice touch to combine past and present since the two are overwhelmingly interlinked throughout the book.
It’s more of a paranormal mystery than a horror book though, and even after the big reveal, the book isn’t really scary. There are some build-ups throughout but most of them end up going nowhere. I’d expected the house to turn against them, but that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, while the story isn’t bad, it isn’t very original either. The writing is okay, but tends to take a while to get its point across, dragging out the narrative. And the characters, with the exception of Ben, are hard to relate to. The whole family lives seperate lives almost, and that would be all right if it didn’t cause the reader not to relate to any of them except Ben.
Overall, it has an interesting premise but because it takes too long for anything spooky to happen, the reader feels more like they’re stuck reading Caroline’s diary of how she renovates this part of the house, decides to try out this recipe, and then repeats everything the next day. The pacing is simply too slow and the suspense isn’t high enough to warrant that. Most suspense build-ups end up going nowhere, and the end is a little anti-climatic at that point. Not bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it either....more
In Twisted, Dr. Christopher Kellan is devoted to helping his patients at Loveland Psychiatric Hospital, while trying to be a good family man. He oversees a unit known as Alpha Twelve, home to some of the most deranged killers. When his newest patient, Donny Ray Smith, accused of murdering at least ten young girls, appears, Christopher finds he looks startingly familiar. But how is that possible? He’s certain he never saw the man before. And then Donny starts talking to him, and not always the way a patient should. The serial killers knows Christopher’s secrets, and while the doctor’s life spirals out of control, Donny Ray grows more and more in control of the hospital. Unable to keep professional life and home life seperated any longer, Christopher finds his world unraveling, and soon grows wary of what’s real and what isn’t.
The book is scary because it’s realistic. Christopher’s fears of his mind unraveling, mixed with fears of his past, all sound genuine and realistic, and as a reader, you can’t help but feel sorry for them. And the way this world twists and turns, it’s no wonder Christopher grows paranoid. Before long, I couldn’t figure what was real and what wasn’t, anymore either. The book is weird like that, twisted like the title suggests, and for the most part, I had no clue what was going on, what was in the Dr.’s mind, and what wasn’t, and I too started to struggle with the boundaries of reality.
That’s what I enjoyed the most about the book. It kept me guessing for a while. I did predict the ending, but it was still pretty amazing. The characters are intriguing too, in particular Christopher, and the writing is haunting and compelling. Fans of psychological thrillers will devour this one....more
Amongst the Killing is an interesting book offering two perspectives, that of Detective Charles Street, and that of Jack Casey. Both men couldn’t be more different, yet in some aspects, they’re eerily similar. Jack Casey is a serial killer, a man who longs to be free, free of the rules society pushes upon all of us, free to do what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. Detective Street is the man hunting him, the man who always wanted to be a detective and saw his dream job turn into a nightmare after meeting Casey, after doing everything he could to catch him.
The book starts out promising, with a first chapter that opens up straight into the action. Then the book races on, and in the next chapter we first meet Jack Casey. I found him the most interesting of both characters, especially since he acts unlike other human beings, yet one can relate to him sometimes as well. Detective Street was interesting too. The chapters switch from one character’s POV to the other, but I didn’t mind – it felt that, if anything, it made the book even more suspenseful.
Thriller fans will love this book. I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, and the plot....more
I’ll be honest. I’m not sure what to think of Normal. Usually, when that happens, I browse through other reviews to find points I can relate to, and things I see differently. But with this book, the opinions are so divided I still don’t know whether I like it, or I hate it.
At its core, Normal is a book about a serial killer who blends in completely with his surroundings. However, he’s adept at kidnapping young girls, putting them in a cage and eventually killing him. So he’s a monster, in a way. But when this serial killer, who doesn’t get a name during the book – which works surprisingly well – meets a girl at the checkout from the 24-hour grocery and falls in love with her. He doesn’t want to kill anymore, he doesn’t want to hunt people anymore, all he wants to do is love this girl. But he has a few problems. Like the girl he has hidden in his basement. The girl he just killed. The police right on his heels.
So, I like the premise. A serial killer who suddenly doesn’t want to kill anymore. I like it, but I’m not buying it. Especially not the way it’s written here, with the whole falling in love thing (which happens way too fast, and is unrealistic). The book reminded me of the final seasons of Dexter, when he falls in love with this female murderer. Things went downhill fast after that storyline was introduced, and the same thing happens in this book. The plot sets out for an excellent psychological thriller on the first few pages, but then turns into a laughable chase between the killer and the police, and him suddenly befriending not one but two women, and then having a third seemingly attracted to him as well. I’m sorry, but finding so many people attracted to a serial killer is almost impossible. And then the way the police handles things? That was laugh out loud hilarious. I’m all for dark humor, but it needs to be realistic, and that’s what this book is lacking.
We also never get a back story into the killer’s mind. Why does he kill these women? Why hold them in a cage for so long? Nothing is ever explained, and since we spent the entire book firmly in the killer’s mind, we should get an explanation as to why he does the things he does.
The characters are dull. Their behavior is erratic. The women never reach beyond the personality of a cardboard figure, especially not the love interest. The behavior of the characters kept contradicting itself, which was just plain annoying.
On the other hand, I did enjoy the writing style, and I felt like, although we got no back story, I got a good impression of what went on in the killer’s mind. However, the story was just too unrealistic and the characters’ behavior too out of place for me to truly enjoy it....more
Damnatio Memoriae is a thrilling read from start to end, and even though it’s over 500 pages, it doesn’t feel like it’s that long. The plot goes fast, the characters are well fleshed-out and feel like real people, and the setting is sufficiently depressing and chilling to make for a suspenseful read.
Enim is one year away from graduating from Bickerby, a boarding school his father forces him to attend. Enim barely talks to his dad, who seems more than happy to let his younger brother deal with his teenage son instead. Enim tries to make the best of it, but he always ends up in trouble somehow, mot of that courtesy of his best friend.
But now, things have gone above and beyond ‘trouble’. A body washed up on the school’s shore, a teacher vanished, and Enim’s best friend ends up in the middle of the crime. And on top of that, a secret from Enim’s past threatens to be revealed. The more Enim is being pulled into the crimes, the more his mind starts to unravel, and his grip on reality starts to fade. Who is committing these crimes? And when he finds out – how can Enim convince people to believe him?
Enim is an interesting character, an enigma of sorts, and I enjoyed finding out more about him and his past and the events that shaped him. The ending comes not totally unexpected, but still is surprising enough to leave me impressed. The characters carry this novel, as much of it is about Enim’s internal struggle.
River Card is a combination of two different stories. On the one hand, we have the story of Georgia Kassov Cates, who is a businesswoman, wife, mother, and also a gambler. She’s gone through a string of losses revolved to gambling and vows to play one more game, and risk everything for it. She heads to the Las Vegas casino to play her final game, when all the lights fall out during a mysterious blackout. She meets the other people present in the casino, each of them with an intriguing back story, like Melanie Nallis, a wealthy woman who is haunted by a terrible childhood, and like Zivah Koski, an elderly holocaust survivor.
As they connect with each other and get to know one another, a connection is revealed to postwar Germany. That’s when the other story happens, in a novel-within-a-novel (think Canterbury Tales), named “Alexandra”. Surprisingly, this was my favorite part of the book. The writing worked great here, and the voice seemed suitable for the era.
The book focuses on a lot of different themes and does so masterfully. I enjoyed getting to know Georgia, a complex, but intriguing character, and the world around her....more
In The Schwarzschild Radius, Rachel, an 18-year-old university student wants to find her sister Olivia. Olivia disappeared suddenly after working in a strip joint, and Rachel fears the worst. She goes undercover in the world Olivia once belonged to. She gets a job in the strip joint she once worked, and discovers that Olivia was abducted by a killer who auctions murders on eBay. But closing in on the killer means she may become his next target…
This is a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller, and definitely not for the faint of heart. The world Rachel descends into is filled with mayhem and madness and people so wicked they made me nauseous. But the writing is excellent, the characters shine, in particular Rachel. She’s one of the most resourceful heroines I’ve ever read about, determined to find her sister against all cost, no matter what it takes.
The stakes are very high – Rachel’s own life is at stake – and the book is relentless in that the suspense never slows down. Simply amazing, and recommended to all thriller fans....more
How far would you go for your child? That’s the question protagonist Victoria needs to answer in this heart-stopping thriller, An Impossible Dilemma. The novel has a promising start with two vets, Victoria and Jonathan, who have the seemingly perfect life. A good marriage, a beautiful five-year-old daughter, a successful business. But then they find out their daughter has a terminal illness. The news wrecks them, but they’re not about to give up yet. Then Jonathan passes away too, in an accident, and Victoria is left alone to care for her baby girl. Shaken to the core over what happened to her husband, and worried about her daughter, Victoria has to take measures into her own hands if she wants to save Emily. And those measures might be rather drastic.
I don’t want to spoil things by telling you more about the situation Victoria finds herself in, but I can tell you that it’s quite a dilemma, as the title suggests. The book was a rollercoaster of suspense, with a relentless, fast pace. I couldn’t put it down. The characters are lively and realistic, in particular Victoria. The writing is sublime, and keeps you engrossed in the story. An excellent book, recommended to all thriller fans....more
In Godwin’s Law, Gwen Kane barely manages to escape the clutches of a cult, when Alex Kirwan and Ted Reagan, rescue team extraordinary, turn up to rescue her. And thank God they do, because these cult members are ferocious, and won’t stop at nothing to get Gwen back. In total James Bond movie style, the three of them escape through the streets of Berlin, using their environment to their advantage. Luckily an ex-commando and a computer hacker form a great duo, because they manage to escape – at least for the time being. But when it becomes clear the cult isn’t ready to give up yet, and they use any resource to their disposal to stop Gwen from getting away, Alex and Ted begin to wonder why the cult is so anxious to get her back.
With excellently written, fast-paced action scenes, author Bernard Maestas describes everything from vivid chases on the streets to fight scenes. The book is a non-stop rollercoaster of events, a freight train going at almost incromprehensible speed. Although going fast, the story is easy to follow, and the characters are laid back and relaxed, and easy to connect with as a reader.
I could easily see this book being turned into a movie. An extraordinary thriller, highly recommended to all fans of the genre....more
When I read the synopsis for Creed, I thought the book would be reminiscent of Silent Hill – a creepy town, mist crawling through the streets, and something wicked lingering deep inside the abandoned town. Unfortunately, Purity Springs, the town in question, is not tormented by anything supernatural as I hoped at first, but instead by regular, albeit slightly crazy, people. The town is overrun by a cult, led by charismatic leader Elijah Hawkins.
The book starts out promising with Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike on their way to a concert, traveling through the middle of nowhere when their car breaks down. They walk to the nearest village to get some gas and maybe some help, but the town is seemingly abandoned. With night setting in, they find cover in one of the abandoned homes – which is an exact replica of every house in the street, even inside. In a drawer, they find a strange book that puts them all on edge, but it isn’t until morning that they they find out what messed up situation they ended up in.
Connecting with the characters proved almost impossible. Even Dee, our main character, seems to have a chaotic personality that jumps from one conclusion to the next. The plot is so over the top it’s ridiculous. Dee is incapable of acting on her own, of fighting off any evil without being saved by someone else. She has no backbone, and is all too willing to comply even to things that sound insane. She goes on and on about why Luke is amazing, but we never get any reason why Dee would be amazing, or even interesting.
The ending is implausible as well, and leaves too many open questions. It almost sounds like the author wanted to make room for a sequel – I hope that’s not the case though. The material is already paper-thin, and I doubt that’ll get any better if the plot is stretched even thinner.
This book has great potential, but overall, fails to deliver. ...more
The moment I read the synopsis for Slide, I knew I had to read this book. Everyone belives Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep: when she passes out, she slides into someone else’s mind and experiences the world thorugh their eyes. That’s how she’s certain that her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself, but was murdered. Now it’s up to Vee to unmask the killer before he strikes again. There were quite a few twists and surprises, and the book definitely has a high creepy factor. ...more
Black Ice is one of the toughest books I’ve had to review. While I enjoyed the plot, and though parts of it were completely unpredictable and suspenseful, I absolutely loathed the characters, especially our MC, Britt. I kept on reading till the end because I just had to know how it finished, but still I couldn’t feel anything except disgust fo Britt. Although, I’m starting to wonder if maybe that’s how the author intended it. Let me explain.
Britt is everything you don’t expect a YA heroine to be. She’s highly dependent on the men in her life, previously her boyfriend (now ex) Calvin, who happened to be her best friend’s brother. We see flashbacks of their relationships every now and then, and while there’s no actual abuse, Calvin certainly doesn’t treat her very nicely. He cheats on her, he pretends she means nothing to him, and so on. Even though they broke up and it’s been months since she heard from him, all Britt can think about when she talks about her camping trip with her bet friend, is…you guessed it, Calvin. Even though he gives an entirely new meaning to the word ‘jackass’, she’s still infatuated with him and thinks of him as some freaking saint.
Then there’s her BFF, Korbie, who is even dumber than Britt, and even more dependent. Korbie flirts with every boy she sees – not even recognizing if one of them is potentially dangerous. She’s a whiny brat with zero survival skills or survival instinct. But heck, I would’ve been able to look past that if she was a supportive friend who had Britt’s back. Guess what? She’s not. She puts Britt down at every chance she gts, she didn’t even tell her that Calvin cheated on her, and so on. Friend? I think not.
Anyway, the two girls head up to a mountain for a camping trip, which they’re going to spend in a cabin belonging to Korbie’s parents. Calvin will be there too, to keep an eye out for them. But when the girls drive to the cabin, they get hit by an unexpected snow storm and their car breaks down. They stumble to the nearest cabin which is inhabited by two strange young men. They’re hot, so of course the girls immediately call dibs on each one, although by now the “these are bad people with bad intentions” vibe is so high any sane person would’ve run out of there screaming. But of course they have to wait until Shawn, one of these guys, decides to reveal his utter evilness by pointing a gun in their direction before they decide maybe trying to hook up with them wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Let’s jump forward in the story, to the moment where Britt and Mason (the buddy of gun man) are travelling down the mountain, and Britt…falls head over heels for him. Because one semi-abusive relationship wasn’t enough, now she’ll hang out with someone who threatened to kill her as well. Yeah….And then that entire romance/kidnapping/Stockholm Syndrome story is connected to a bunch of unexplained murders taking place on the mountain during the last few years, which was easily the most intriguing part of the book.
All in all…meh. I liked the plot, the whole kidnapping part, the murders, definitely had some suspense. But the characters were so awful I couldn’t enjoy reading about them. I want to smack some sense into Britt, and please for the love of all that is holy, I want her to stand up for herself for once. Make a decision on her own. Anything that shows she’s not entirely dependent on any man that crosses her way. ...more
The Gift of Darkness is a thrilling crime novel about a homicide on a family of four, the connection to a kidnapping twenty-five years ago, and the detective caught in the middle of this investigation. While the plot is chilling, the characters are great and not stereotypical, it’s the writing and editing that leaves a lot to be desired here.
Anyway, let’s start with the good. The plot is solid. We have a homicide on a family (two kids, mother, husband) and there’s a possible suspect, connecting to a kidnapping of three young boys that happened decades ago. One of the boys dissapeared, the others turned up later, hurt but alive, and it’s never been clear what happened that night. The characters, especilly the main character, are flawed and intriguing. Alice Madison, our protagonist, harbors dark secrets from her past that have shaped her into the detective she is today. Her flaws may be turned against her, and that’s exactly what works great about this book.
The novel was atmospheric, but had a slow start. The plot jumped often from one character to another, which was at times, confusing. But all of that, I could live with. The thriller aspect and suspense were good, so I didn’t mind forgiving a few flaws…But the editing. God, the editing. It was so horrible at times that I almost stopped reading.
Past and present tense are used interchangeably, odd sentence structure, and the book could’ve lost at least one hundred pages. This was an ARC, so I hope it goes through another solid round of editing before being released to the general audience.
Either way, I would recommend it to fans of mystery books / thrillers, but if you’re nitpicky about grammar, then you better stay away from this one. ...more
Secret underground societies? Count me in. Cameo is an interesting novel that provides a few different elements: suspense, romance, and typical teenage problems. The book reminded me of Gossip Girl: Nia, our main character, is a mix of Selena and Blair from Gossip Girl, which makes for an interesting personality. She’s the school’s beauty queen and seemingly has it all: the popularity, the beauty, the reputation. But she also has her own struggles, like when someone from an underground society starts stalking her. She doesn’t know who to trust anymore, and who is out to hurt her.
The writing was okay, and the pacing was fast, as is required from a thriller. The stalker didn’t come across as scary up to the point of terrifying the reader, but it was certainly suspenseful enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. Nia’s trouubles, from boy troubles to issues with her girlfriends to wondering what she’d wear the next day, make her sound like a real teenager – she definitely behaves and acts like one.
Nia’s voice is down to earth and has some sarcastic jokes thrown in here and there, which I enjoyed. She’s the kind of person who I might not have gotten along with at first, but by the end of the book I was fully cheering for her. She goes through a lot of character development, even in this somewhat short book (at just above 200 pages) and is another person by the end of it.
An intriguing book, recommended to anyone who likes young adult romance and suspense. ...more
Reviewers either seemed to love or hate this book – I definitely fall in the “love” category. This book was great, dark, and gritty, and with a lot more substance than I thought at first glance. It wasn’t at all what I expected, but it had a few interesting twists and characters. A solid read....more
Shattered Secrets is a mystery/thriller set in the town of Cold Creek, Ohio. Tess Lockwood grew up in Cold Creek, where was abducted and held captive as a young girl. While she has no memories of what happened to her, saying it ruined her childhood would be a severe understatement. Now, eighteen years later, Tess is a grown woman, who has a bright future ahead of her, and who is certain she can put the past behind her. But when she inherits her old family home, and moves back to Cold Creek in an effort to sell it, all those old demons come crawling back.
Gabe McCord was the one in charge when Tess disappeared. He’d been a teenager, ordered to look out for the smaller kids. Now he’s the town’s sheriff, and when another kid goes missing, he digs back into the cold case, seeing a connection no one else though about before. But solving the case isn’t easy. There’s a cult in town, and they won’t allow anyone near, or any investigations on their property. Tess is struggling with her past, and a bit reluctant to work with Gabe. But when they start falling for each other, the past catches up with them.
I struggled to finish the book. The writing was sloppy, and could use another round of edits. It’s only an ARC, I get that, but it still needs some work. The characterization was too standard as well – we have the heroine who can’t deal with her past, and the hero who tries to save her. Neither Tess nor Gabe brings anything new to the table – they’re the standard characters I’ve seen over and over again in romantic suspense.
Small towns usually bring forth a sense of claustrophia, but this one didn’t at all. Usually, that atmosphere helps set the mood, but it’s lacking here.
Overall, the book was quite boring. The mystery had its good points, I suppose, but it never really reached the complexity I was hoping for. The writing caused the suspense to disappear almost completely, unfortunately. Had the writing been slightly better, I would’ve enjoyed this one more. The mystery wasn’t that surprising, but it had me guessing for a while....more
A strong heroine in a riveting thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of the book. Stays true to teen’s voices, and has a realistic main character who struggles with real issues. Suspenseful and atmospheric....more
I haven’t read the first book in this series, Calculated Risk, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Hostile Takeover. It’s easy to pick up, even without previous knowledge, and the books is highly entertaining. I had to read this one in one sitting – staying up until two o’clock at night just to finish it.
Rafe McTarvish is a security expert and CEO of interplanetary mega-corp EcoMech, and yes, that’s just as awesome as it sounds. Rafe has a complicated personality – he’s not always straightforward, and deciphering his motives can be tricky. But that’s what adds to his mystery and makes him more interesting.
Kama Bhatia is a hacker, corporate spy, and Rafe’s undercover ally. I liked her even more than Rafe, because she proved to be even more en enigma. Tough, stubborn, but sometimes compassionate too. Caring, sometimes even too much. It made for a nice mix.
The setting and world-building were spot on. I’m not always fond of scifi because often authors oversimplify the setting, but that’s definitely not the case here. We get solid world-building, and things actually make sense.
The thriller/mystery aspect added the necessary dose of suspense, and overall, this was a highly enjoyable read....more
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Last Ancient. The book opens up with reporter Simon Stephenson investigating some bizarre crimes in the Nantucket area. Strange, ancient coines are left on each crime scene, and the search leads him on a journey through mythology, numismatics, the occult, and alchemy. Mystery and the supernatural blend and mix in this well-written novel.
Simon is an intriguing protagonist, and he’s easy to relate to as well. His struggles, especially when he discovered more about his own family’s heritage, felt very real. The plot is what was most engaging about this book though, and it kept me at the edge of my seat from start to end.
A creative, suspenseful novel that combines several genres masterfully, and provides an unique reading experience....more
Primal is dark, gritty and suspenseful. When a camping trip goes wrong, it’s up to one mother to save her family when four armed men invade their holiday home. Will she kill them, or watch her family die? The story was intense, and the characters were great, especially Alison....more
In The Hexed, a murder takes place that is an almost exact replica of another murder that took place thirteen years ago. Craig Rockwell, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, was the one who discovered the first body, a friend of his. He can hear voices of the deceased, and that’s what brings him to the Krewe of Hunters, and what got him to find his dead friend in the first place.
Devin Lyle has returned to the Salem area just when a woman gets murdered nearby the cabin she inherited from her great-aunt. She’s an author who writes about the witch trials, and witches in general. When Devin is being led to a third body, and there’s some connection to the Salem witch trials and the murders, she can’t help but get involved.
The two “detectives” unravel clues from the past. The friends of Craig’s past are questioned, and old friendships are tested. Add in ghosts, and I’m sold.
At least, I thought I’d be. And the plot is pretty decent, I’ll give you that. I liked the tie-in between the witch trials, the murders and the ghost. I wasn’t too fond of the characters though – both Craig (or Rocky, as he calls himself) and Devin are paper-thin characters, with no real personality. Whatever personality they do have, never develops throughout the book. The writing wasn’t spectacular either, but it was good enough.
All in all, I did enjoy the book, and particularly that it focused less on romance, and more on plot....more
More engaging than most crime novels, but not the very best I read. A solid 4 rating. The writing is decent, the setting is atmospheric, and the characters each bring an unique spin to the story....more
This was an intriguing debut. Fegan is haunted day andn ight by twelve ghosts, the ghosts of his innocent victims. This is a gritty, haunting novel with great prose, and a main character who gives a whole new dimension to the word ‘intriguing’. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author....more