I quite enjoyed Mark Edwards’ writing style in the previous book I read by him, Follow You Home. While I thought the plot in that book was slightly exaggerated, I did enjoy the author’s fluent writing style, and found his ability to craft believable, realistic characters impressive.
The Devil’s Work is another intriguing thriller in which Mark Edwards once again, proves that he knows how to write. The book reads fast, and despite being just below 400 pages, I had to finish this one in a single setting. Sophie is a realistic, easy to connect with character. She’s a Mom to four-year-old Daisy, married to Guy, a freelance writer, and she’s dreamt of working in publishing all her life.
I have to say that one of the parts I enjoyed the most about the book was no doubt the publishing angle. As an author / publicist, Sophie’s job is just about my dream job, and all the talk about children’s books, marketing plans, really made me feel at home. Sophie’s marital struggles, and her increasing anxiety as someone starts stalking her and strange accidents start happening is very believable.
The trips down memory lane to Sophie’s past at university were interesting too, and helped turn her into a more rounded, fleshed out character. I instantly had an idea who was behind it, but that didn’t make the book any less suspenseful.
So what’s keeping me from rating this a five? Again, the sheer over the top level of everything that’s happening. A stalker at work I can buy, easily. Someone from Sophie’s past coming back to haunt her, sure. But everything mixed in (I don’t want to give out spoilers, but there’s a lot more to it than that) and it just seems unrealistic. Enjoyable and engaging, sure, but not very credible.
Despite that, this is an excellent read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers....more
What a nailbiting pageturner. Aubrye Lynd’s 6-year-old nephew goes missing while under the care of his grandmother. The grandmother receives a ransom note that she chooses not to share with the FBI, with a terrifying ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know who to believe, or who to trust, and the key to solving the mystery of who is behind the abduction is buried in the past – her parents’ past. A thrilling, suspenseful, well-written book....more
The plot was decent, but I didn’t care that much about the characters. Not all of the characters were as developed as they could’ve been, the relationship between Sarah and Jack was weird, they didn’t act like a married couple at all, and Sarah’s behavior was often unrealistic. The ending was worth it, though, and it was a pleasant read nonetheless. ...more
An original, fast-paced novel about the past, the secrets of the past, and how they can come back to destroy everything else. Olivia is searching for answers, but those answers might put her life in danger. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re looking for a spine-chilling thriller, then I recommend this book....more
Gin’s little sister went missing years ago. Now she’s called back home because Lily’s body was found. She’s confronted with the past, with secrets guarded for years, and with Jake, who was the prime suspect in Lily’s disappearance. Amazing writing, and I had no trouble understanding Gin and her thoughts and actions. While some twists were predictable, overall I really enjoyed the book....more
A slow start, but gradually grows into a thrilling, suspenseful read. The character dynamics were very intriguing, and the character themselves were complex and engaging. The story had some amazing twists. Also loved the focus on the girl’s friendship rather than romance for once. However, the ending was a bit of a let down....more
A fast-paced thriller about a girl coming to terms with the death of her parents just when all hell breaks loose, and everyone in town seems to suffer from schizophrenia. Clare must make a horrible choice. Took me a while to warm up to Clare, but I enjoyed up enjoying this book, and liked her more once I got to know her better. Fast-paced and suspenseful....more
Would be an engaging novel, were it not for how the plot dragged, and the narrative was long and dull. It took forever before anything happened. The plot was extremely slow, the characters were flat, and there was not an ounce of suspense. When all was wrapped up, it was at least somewhat intriguing, so it certainly had potential. Had the sentences not been so weird, drawn out, and the author not gone to such lengths to just keep sounding poetic and lyrical, maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more....more
What would you do if your child, who went missing at only six months old, turned up on your doorstep? Simone and her husband Matt have to figure out if Grace, the woman who says she’s their long-missing daughter, is in fact telling the truth. The writing was all right, but you have to suspend credibility a bit – no one calls the cops at the appropriate times, and the characters didn’t always seem realistic....more
In The X-Cure, Dr. Alex Winter, a brilliant biomedical engineer, has teamed up with Dr. Xiu Ling, a beautiful Chinese scientist, and together they’ve discovered a revolutionary cure for cancer. Although quite a technical topic, the author did a great job of explaining it in terms regular human beings, with no medical background, can understand as well. Alex and his team have to work in secret, to prevent their cure from being discovered by Tando Pharmaceuticals, a corporate giant, and the world’s largest and richest drug producer. Tando Pharmaceuticals are ruthless, and would stop at nothing to dominate the world drug market.
When it turns out the treatment is flawed as patients start dying after four months, Tando Pharmaceuticals enlist their ‘Mercenary Soldiers of Medicine’, putting the lives of Alex and his team in severe danger.
While the idea of a pharmaceutical company employing hit men might seem farfetched, it actually works under the circumstances set out in this book, and it’s not all that unbelievable once you start diving into the story.
This is a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller with just the right balance between story and characterization....more
I’m not quite sure where Hannah Holborn gets her inspiration from for her books, but it’s a dark, menacing and utterly fascinating place that I want to visit too. Last week, I read and reviewed All That Remains, and mentioned how much I enjoyed the book. I was eager to get started on the sequel, Strange Lineup, and well… I liked the first book. I enjoyed it a lot. But book two? That book totally blew me away.
Harvey Sam, our detective in charge, is back to solve another case. Well, hopefully solve another case, because this case is complicated, filled with twists and surprises, and he’ll need all his wit and intelligence to figure this one out, and get everyone out alvie.
We also get some scenes from Harvey’s personal life, with his wife Romy and stepdaughter Helena, and I really enjoyed those scenes. They show a softer side to detective Sam, a loving, caring side, which is a stark contrast to the gruesome reality he often finds himself in while working.
The case at hand isn’t straightforward at all. A woman, Gillian, mother and wife, commits suicide on the operating table, a plan long hatched in her mind. While her plan is for this to provide for her husband, Frank, and son, Anatole, reality is quite different. Frank and Anatole have to run for their lives, pursued by the lover who drove Gillian to her death.
The writing is fast-paced, throwing us from one scene into another flawlessly. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. A truly enjoyable mystery / thriller....more
All That Remains is the first book in the Missing & Exploited Series by Hannah Holborn, and it’s a strong introduction to this series. Gabriel, age eight, is abducted from school. On top of that, his mother prefers to shoot up some drugs rather than alert the police about the boy’s disappearance. Harvey Sam is the detective on the case, and although he wants to solve the case more than anything else, he’s dealing with some personal troubles too – his girlfriend left him, and took her daughter with her, knowing how much Harvey adores the little girl.
Harvey’s own emotional heartbreak causes him to miss some clues that could help find Gabriel, and Gabriel’s only chance to escape from the man holding him captive comes from an unlikely source.
The characters, especially Harvey, are quite interesting. Harvey is a flawed but realistic character, and the turmoil he goes through in his own life adds an extra layer to his personality. Gabriel too was an interesting character, and the book does a good job portraying his resilience and strength, even as such a young boy.
The book is fast-paced, but never feels rushed. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a solid suspense story....more
In Mercy Row Retribution, Gerry Amota is the grandson of Jacob Byrne, head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family. Some of the family businesses are legitimate, others not so much. While serving the airforce during the Vietnam war, Gerry sees a way of making money by creating a marijuana smuggling cooperation. His organization soon sends ten of thousands of pounds of marijuana to Philadelphia a month. When a rival Paris gang tries to force Gerry to buy their product, this triggers a war between the Byrne family and the Paris mob.
I quite enjoyed reading about the exploits of the Byrne family. It surprised me how they could be so “good” on the one hand, and still be quite evil on the other, running orphanages while at the same time not hesitating to kill people. It was quite the contradiction, and you’d think it wouldn’t work well, but it did. The crooked standards made for an interesting read, and it was very engaging to dive into the minds of people like Gerry Amota, who have their own, although slightly off, code of moral conduct.
The book reads like an action movie. Gun fights, kidnapping, the mob, violence, and most of all revenge. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling read and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys action movies, thrillers and crime fiction....more
In Genesis, tech icon Aiden Markusson has the seemingly perfect life. He’s wealthy, he’s engaged to the love of his life, his company is growing extremely fast. But then, his perfect life starts to unravel when he begins to experience terrible headaches, that come with sensory distortions and strange bursts of strengths. As he grows more worried about what is going on, and who or what is behind it, he is plunged nito a world of mercenaries, body modification and bio-engineering, hackers, and conspiracies.
Facing the truth might be tougher than Aiden ever imagined, as he’s faced with the possibility that perhaps he isn’t entirely human. While strugglign with that, he also has to race against time to learn to control his newfound abilities, for the future of humanity depends on him.
I really liked the slow set up, where we’re introduced to Aiden and spend some time in his mind before the story really takes off. Genesis was very suspenseful, and after the first few slower chapters, I found myself engaged in the story, and I couldn’t stop reading. Despite focusing on some complicated matters, the book never trailed off into difficult scientific explanations (as I’ve found is often the case in scifi) and instead offers an enjoyable, suspenseful rollercoaster of a plot with realistic characters and a few very surprising twists....more
In The Girl in the Road Coat, while at a storytelling festival, Beth loses her daughter, Carmel Wakeford. Carmel soon finds herself living with strangers in a foreign country, with a man who claims to be her “grandfather”, while Beth desperately keeps looking for her daughter.
I thought the book would be a rather intense thriller – it isn’t, but it’s an equally interesting book all the same. Eight-year-old Carmel is anything but ordinary, and the chapters from her POV are really the most interesting ones. She’s highly intelligent especiallly for her age, and she’s one of the most unique characters I’ve ever read about.
More than about Carmel’s disappearance, it’s really about her connection with her mother. I found that a tad dissapointing – there is no real struggle in the book. Sure, Carmel is away from home, but no one is threatening her life, or even her well being. And it’s horrible for Beth, but I felt too distanced from her to really “get” how she felt. There’s no tension, as it’s pretty obvious what will happen to Carmel once she’s abducted.
Without tension, the book is an okay read at best. The writing is haunting and lyrical, which ups the rating from 3 to 3,5 stars, but I didn’t feel as engrossed inthe sotry as I could’ve been had the book been more tense....more
When I saw White Bones for only 2 euros at a book fair, I couldn’t say no to it. First of all, I usually enjoy Graham Masterton’s writing style, and secondly, the plot sounded great. Well, the book definitely was no dissapointment, even if the plot was a little too over the top toward the end.
Katie Maguire is Irelan’s first female detective of her rank, so she needs to overcome a lot of prejudices. When a farmer on Meagher’s Farm discovers the dismembered bones of 11 women, all of them dating back to around 1915, the case is breaking news. The pathologist is clear: the victims were strippe off their flesh, skinned alive, before dying. Katie wants to solve the murders, but the matter becomes even more pressing when a young American tourist goes missing, and her bones are discovered, stripped of flesh, on the same farm.
A thorough investigation occurs. Anyone could’ve done it, and the murders are ritualistic and seem to be connected to an ancient ritual to raise a fairy witch who could grant a wish. The murderer is intent of making the thirteenth and final sacrifice, and won’t be stopped by some meddling detectives. Meanwhile, Katie has to deal with trouble in her personal life too, and when the case becomes a little too personal, she has to figure out who, if anyone, she can trust.
Bonus points to the author for the clever use of Irish folklore and adding it into the story. The police talk was also spot on, and Katie Maguire is a complex albeit likeable character. Her personal troubles added extra depth to her as a character. The whole mystery part was done really well, and it took a while for me to figure out who was involved, but even then, I enjoyed the rest of the book still, and it didn’t bother me.
The gruesome parts were done really well – I almost got physically sick thinking about what those poor women were put through – and the author did a tremendous job establishing the setting and characters. The writing was excellent, and I also enjoyed the supernatural parts.
The only part that didn’t work for me was the big reveal. Spoilers ahead, by the way, but the reveal annoyed me. I had a feeling this person was involved, but I didn’t buy it, not the way it was presented here. I don’t want to spoil it, but it just seemed too random for me.
Nevertheless, this was a very intriguing read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it....more
All right, so first, everyone on Goodreads seems to love The Silent Twin. It has five and four stars reviews, and at the time of my review, not a single three star or lower. Ehm, well, I struggled to rate it. Basically, I’m the exception, and since everyone else seems to like it, don’t write it off just because I didn’t.
Jennifer, DCI Knight, is the family liaison for a distraught family whose daughter, Abigail, has gone missing. Abigail has a twin sister, Olivia, and the family lives on a farm that is supposedly haunted. The investigation starts, family secrets are uncovered, and some ghosts come into play.
Basically, I should love this book. This kind of plot, a missing child / possible murder mixed with ghosts? That’s heaven for me. That is my absolutely favorite kind of book.
Except… I didn’t like this one.
Now maybe it’s because I didn’t read parts one and two, but I struggled to connect with Jennifer. She seemed a bit too logical, too cold and distant for me. Even worse were the other characters – the only one really relatable would have been Joanna. At least once could understand the struggle she went through. Maybe Nick too.
But the main problem I had was not the inability to connect with the characters. It was the plot. Which was basically one over-the-top thing on top of the other. First she’s there, then she’s not, then this secret is revealed, then this other secret… How much bad luck can a family have? The plot was basically waaaaaaay over the top for me. I don’t want to hand out any spoilers, but especially the Nick secret mixed with the Joanna secret and then the meditation thing? Yeah, I couldn’t buy all that, not when put in one single book.
Also, I knew who the culprit was from the first time that character was introduced. It was obvious. A lot of people didn’t think so, but I certainly thought so. I even figured out how everything was related before the book even reached the mid-point, which completely ruined the experience.
On top of that, the ghosts. Now I love love LOVE ghosts. But they’re not used here. The farm is supposedly haunted but we don’t get more than a few “bad feelings” and objects moving on their own. Why throw in the history of a haunted farm if you’re not going to utilize it properly? I at least expected the ghosts to play some role in the story but instead it focused more on the telepathic connection between the twins – slightly dissapointing too.
The writing was all right, but not great. I did read the book to the end, but I took frequent breaks and it didn’t really engage me. Paranormal mystery is usually my favorite genre, so I had high hopes for this one. Alas, it didn’t deliver....more
Elysium Dreams is the second book in a series, but I read it as a stand-alone and it worked just fine as such. Aislinn Cain and the rest of her team at the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit haven’t been home for more than two days when they get a call. They need to head to Alaska to capture a serial killer who stalks skins his victims. Yes, yikes. On top of that, Aislinn isn’t fond of cold since she suffered hypothermia once, and ALaska is just about the last place she wants to be.
Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Not only does the author have an engaging writing style that truly pulls the reader in, the story is just that good too. The pacing was very fast, with the killer taking a new victim the same day a previous one was found. The investigation is puzzling, and there’s a continuous sense of suspense and foreboding, making it impossible to stop reading once you get started.
I also really enjoyed the characters, in partiuclar Aislinn. She has a lot of baggage, and she’s a high-functioning sociopath, which sort of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. She sometimes has to force herself to feel. Her flawed personality makes her intriguing, though, and stand out from other detectives.
If you love thrillers, or serial killer horror, I would highly recommend this book....more
In Cold Blooded, fourteen years ago, high school track star Sydney Adams was gunned down in Fairmount Park. The clues were usless, the investigation went cold. But Augustus Knox never gave up on finding Sydney’s killer. Now he’s retired and only has a few months to live, and enlists the help of Jocelyn Rush to clear the case. Jocelyn only has a theory and tries to lure the killer into the open. But he’s a cunning psychopath, not an easy match, and Jocelyn has to decide how far she’s willing to go.
Once I started reading, I really didn’t want to put it down. From the start, it was fast-paced and had so many twists and turns I couldn’t put it down. The villain, the killer, was creative and sick, and deliciously evil, and you never knew what would happen next. All characters were flawed, and felt real, relatable, in particular Jocelyn. She still struggled with what happened to her in the past, and she came across as three-dimensional, almost as a real person.
The writing was excellent and really immersed the reader into the story. An excellent read, recommended to all thriller / mystery fans....more
After The Woods received some killer reviews on Goodreads. At first, that surprised me a little, because honestly, I didn’t like it that much. So maybe I just didn’t get it, or maybe I’m not the intended audience for this book – I have to admit I read a lot of thrillers, so I don’t get scared easily, and this book certainly didn’t succeed in doing that. Given that most people do seem to like it, don’t be put off by my review. Tastes differ, and maybe I just have peculiar taste.
Anyway, on to the review. Two girls go into the woods. Julia and Liv. But only one makes it out – Liv. Julia spends two more days in the woods with a mad man, and narrowly manages to escape. Fast-forward one year. Liv is bent on self-destruction, almost like she was the one traumatized, not Julia. A dead girl is found in the woods, and this brings back all the memories o what happened to Julia in the woods. As she starts to uncover the truth, she learns horrible secrets she never wished she knew…
At first glance, the plot sounds great. And it starts off with a bang too. Unfortunately, it quickly goes downhill from there. First of all, the book has no suspense. It was fairly obvious to me what had happened even from the start. The killer is dead too, by the way, so that’s solved already. The whole media aspect was interesting but pushed a tad too far, becoming slightly unrealistic.
I did like Julia, though. She was tenacious, intelligent, witty, and I liked her interactions with the other characters. I could’ve done without the romance. It didn’t really add to the narrative, and I thought the characters lacked chemistry.
All in all, it was enjoyable, but not entirely my cup of tea. I thought it would have more suspense and would keep me on the edge of my seat – alas, not....more
I loved how the book was based on a legend, but unfortunately I did not like the book as much as I had hoped. Despite that, a lot of people seem to like it, so please don’t let my review put you off from reading. I felt disconnected from the characters and wasn’t too fond of the writing....more
In Blood Gold Revenge, we meet with a bunch of gold diggers literally looking for gold in the vastness of the Australian outback. Maxine and Scrubber, a husband-and-wife hit team, along with Maxine’s brother Price, run interference for Mr. C, who has the biggest meth lab in the country. They often kill lone passers-by. But when a prospector gets murdered, and it turns out he wasn’t as alone as Maxine and her gang thought, you end up in a fast-paced thriller that races on until the end. With the state police called in, those who once hunted…have now become a prey.
It was a thrilling ride of a book, and had a lot of twists I ddin’t expect. The characters were well-rounded and some of the action was down-right spectacular. Would recommend to everyone who enjoys thrillers....more
I requested this one because the two kids kidnapped and only one returns plot reminded me of one of my favorite Criminal Minds episodes. Boy, I wasn’t dissapointed in the least! The writing was excellent, the plot was brilliant and put me on the edge of my seat, and raised my heart beat to at least 150 for most of the book. The characters are amazing, the plot is fast-paced, the twists are surprising and all in all, this is an AMAZING book. If you love thrillers, I suggest you go read this one RIGHT now....more
I love serial killer stories with a paranormal twist, and “Time to Die” certainly didn’t dissapoint. Jennifer Knight is one of the most intriguing detectives I’ve read about lately, and despite being strong and intelligent, I enjoyed how she also had some flaws. The serial killer in question was intriguing too, and I enjoyed how the author included tarot cards into the story. As a tarot reader, I loved seeing my two hobbies mix! The story was suspenseful from start to end, and I’m already looking forward to the next book. ...more
It seems the opinions on this book are divided, but I’m fairly in the “I love this” camp. The back and forth between past and present works surprisingly well, and I could really connect to the main character, and understand most of her motivations. The author kept me guessing until the end, and overall, this was an amazing reading experience....more
Claustrophic, small town setting, a brooding detective haunted by the past, a brutal ritualistic murder, and excellent writing. All that mixes into a chilling, tense novel with a haunting climax. One of my favorites I read this year....more
I enjoyed the first book in the series, so I picked up the second one too. It was an okay read, and it had a few surprises, but the case unfortunately wasn’t all that interesting or original. Some of the drama seemed useless and done half a million times already. It did get better toward the end, and I did still enjoy myself reading it....more
Amelia doesn’t remember anything, after she wakes up in the hospital. She barely remembers her name. But she does recall being afraid of her husband. She goes on the run while Alex hires a PI to look for her. The good: Amelia’s amnesia added an additional angle to this book, and made the story more original. Amelia’s memory slowly returning and pieces of her past being exposed was the most intense part of this book for me. I had to change my opinion about the characters a couple of times. The bad: rushed ending, and some parts of the book were unbelievable....more
I didn’t suspect a slasher book could be this good. I always thought the slasher genre would be something best kept to TV and cinemas, but I was wrong. The book is spine-chilling, and it’s so fast-paced, poor Kristine keeps on stumbling from one dreary situation into another. Loved it....more
A fast-paced read that is miles away from an actual fairytale retelling, but still somewhat intriguing. Lumikki is an engaging, complex main character and the Finnish setting offered an extra layer. However, Lumikki’s skills are over the top (James Bond can hold no match to her), and the villains are completely laughable. Everyone except Lumikki seems to miss half a brain. Interesting, but not my cup of tea....more