This brilliantly written (seriously, it's fantastic!) book is one of those that make you think that just about anyone might bMindfuckery at its best.
This brilliantly written (seriously, it's fantastic!) book is one of those that make you think that just about anyone might be the murderer, and even though you will have probably guessed who at some point, you'll never really be sure until the end.
And speaking of the end, it brings us to the point why I gave it only 4 stars instead of 5 - (view spoiler)[The scene at the end with Anna at Elise's grave, whispering "I win."? Contrived, out of place, jarring, did not fit the tone of the book. After reading 400+ pages of Anna's mental anguish and the narrative's brilliant deflection of suspicion over every character but her, we get that one line of utterly cliched, and, dare I say, trashy writing that has no place in this book. (hide spoiler)]
Recommended for fans of Gone Girl, who will lap up this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm going to be honest here - I hadn't even heard of this book until the Internet went crazy over the reveal that Jo wrote it.
Two things - a) Jo wroteI'm going to be honest here - I hadn't even heard of this book until the Internet went crazy over the reveal that Jo wrote it.
Two things - a) Jo wrote this. b) It's a whodunit involving a private eye. So, naturally, I simply HAD to read it.
Somehow, branching out (again) and writing a crime-mystery novel seems natural for Jo (because, come on, who saw that Peter Pettigrew plot twist in PoA coming, amirite?). Not surprisingly, she manages to pull it off with panache. For those of you who have read The Casual Vacancy, after the bleak world of Pagford, it is a pleasure to see Jo's dry wit on paper again. While it is certainly less "adult" than TCV, fair warning - there is still a healthy sprinkling of f-bombs throughout the book (but, honestly, that should hardly matter at this point)
Imposing and, yet, vulnerable at the same time, the bear-like protagonist of the novel, Cormoran Strike, private eye, is immediately likeable. He is exactly opposite to Poirot in appearance but just as sharp when it comes to details. It is such fun to watch him piece together the clues to the murder of one Lula Landry, along with the help of his personal assistant, Robin, who, I might add, is perfectly adorable. The relationship between Strike and Robin is extremely endearing, and can I just say, I ship them SO HARD!
While the plot of the book is not exactly fast-paced, it has enough things happening to keep the reader from getting bored. Fans of Agatha Christie will find nothing new in this novel and, indeed, will have guessed the killer(s) way before the big reveal, but Jo has taken a tried and tested story and turned it into a refreshing read nonetheless, with her trademark writing. The level of detail in each description is amazing and her gift of creating solid, complex characters - as always - astounds. Observe -
“Another minute passed, and then a small black man was suddenly crossing the floor towards Strike, catlike and silent on rubber soles. He walked with an exaggerated swing of his hips, his upper body quite still except for a little counterbalancing sway of the shoulders, his arms almost rigid.
Guy Somé was nearly a foot shorter than Strike and had perhaps a hundredth of his body fat. The front of the designer’s tight black T-shirt was decorated with hundreds of tiny silver studs which formed an apparently three-dimensional image of Elvis’s face, as though his chest were a Pin Art toy. The eye was further confused by the fact that a well-defined six-pack moved underneath the tight Lycra. Somé’s snug gray jeans bore a faint dark pinstripe, and his trainers seemed to be made out of black suede and patent leather.
His face contrasted strangely with his taut, lean body, for it abounded in exaggerated curves: the eyes exophthalmic so that they appeared fishlike, looking out of the sides of his head. The cheeks were round, shining apples and the full-lipped mouth was a wide oval: his small head was almost perfectly spherical. Somé looked as though he had been carved out of soft ebony by a master hand that had grown bored with its own expertise, and started to veer towards the grotesque.
Brilliant. I loved it. Looking forward to the sequel!...more
(Apart from the slightly contrived ending here (view spoiler)[I mean, come on, the mother, the god-mother, the husband's best friend, the husband's ba(Apart from the slightly contrived ending here (view spoiler)[I mean, come on, the mother, the god-mother, the husband's best friend, the husband's batman/valet, the sister's husband, the driver, the cook, the nurse, the governess, the dead nursemaid's lover, the dead nursemaid's father, the DA's son - this particular eclectic group of people just decided to sit down one day and plot murder and managed to carry it out nearly flawlessly? I find it a tad unbelievable... (hide spoiler)]) Agatha Christie can do no wrong in my books....more
As unfair as comparison is, I didn't like this one quite as much as Gone Girl. Perhaps it was because it's pretty easy to figure out the killer(s) quiAs unfair as comparison is, I didn't like this one quite as much as Gone Girl. Perhaps it was because it's pretty easy to figure out the killer(s) quite early in the book. Or maybe it was because while Gone Girl evoked a wide range of emotions in me - made me feel sorry for the characters and root for them (except at the end) - all Sharp objects managed to make me feel was a deep, horrifying disgust. I quite loathed all the characters, MC included.
One of the reasons I enjoy Flynn's works is that she brings out the (absolute) worst in the female half of the population, which, in my opinion, is not covered enough in today's literature. The other reason happens to be her beautiful, descriptive writing (she can even have a simple scene of someone taking a bath make your skin crawl).
If reading about the worst of human psyche is your thing, give this a whirl.
If Sherlock Holmes were a teenage girl, he'd probably be like Bee Ross. Bee likes to observe things and break them down into bullet points. She also lIf Sherlock Holmes were a teenage girl, he'd probably be like Bee Ross. Bee likes to observe things and break them down into bullet points. She also likes mysteries and can list all of the original Nancy Drew book titles from memory (that won me over, that did). She works in the taxidermy department (when was that seen last time in YA?!) of a Museum - where she stuffs dead animals - alongside a cute nerd, who seems to know the ins and outs of the mating rituals of all the animals ever, AND her mom is a sixteen-year old D&D/Star Wars fanatic living in a grown woman's body.
(If all those tidbits didn't make you click the green "want-to-read" button, then what the hell are you doing on Goodreads?!)
Bee is one of the most unique and deliciously eccentric characters I've come across in YA in recent times ever! Half of me is desperately craving a sequel but the other half knows that anything more will simply ruin the perfection that is Bee and her story. I shall just have to comfort myself with more of Wilkinson's brilliant writings *sigh*
P.S - Just a heads-up : The tiger mentioned in the blurb has nothing to do with the plot....more
I made the mistake of reading this late into the night and ended up sleeping with my door locked tight.
Ten is a retelling of Agatha Christie's famousI made the mistake of reading this late into the night and ended up sleeping with my door locked tight.
Ten is a retelling of Agatha Christie's famous 'And then there were none' with a YA spin on it (That should make you want to read this book, right there!).
If you haven't read Christie's version (and you really, REALLY should), ten random strangers end up on an island, each of them having been called there by a friend/acquaintance they haven't heard from, in a long time and find themselves mysteriously cut off from the mainland with no way to contact anybody outside the island. To make things much, much worse, someone is killing all of them off, one by one, and since there is no way in or out of the island, it has got to be one of their own. And no one can be trusted. Christie's book, in my opinion, is a masterpiece in the Crime/Mystery literature genre.
McNeil tries to stay as true to the original story as possible. Ten teens end up on an island for a party after they all receive a Facebook invite from someone they all know. Once there, they watch a video which has a creepy message in it for all of them, assuring them of their imminent doom. And before they know it, the power's gone, the telephone's out and one of them is hanging from a noose, dead.
Although the book started off on a very, very shaky start (I almost put down the book after the first couple of chapters), the plot and the writing is deliciously eerie. It creeps up on you much like the mysterious killer in the book and scares the bejesus out of you when you are least expecting it.
BUT, having said that, Ten falls short of the mark because of the poor characterization. The female lead is your typical Mary Sue - shy, whines a lot, completely ordinary with no likeable character traits but still SOMEHOW, inexplicably, manages to grab the attention of the cutest guy in her class, shows spontaneous life-saving skills, out of the blue, when needed the most, etc. etc. McNeil needs to work on her "showing" skills a bit more. She's done a LOT of "telling" in this one.
But all in all, a good, scary novel (it's based on a Christie book, for crying out loud!) Recommended....more
I've been sitting here for the past half hour wondering if there's something wrong with me because, clearly, the multitude of reviewers of this book mI've been sitting here for the past half hour wondering if there's something wrong with me because, clearly, the multitude of reviewers of this book must have seen something that I obviously missed.
Ok. Let me just get this out quickly out of the way : Rebecca didn't blow me away.
Maybe I've become jaded from reading too many whodunits or maybe I should have read this book when I was much younger and more naive so that I could have appreciated it better, either way I confess myself a wee bit disappointed.
But that is not to say I wasn't impressed! While the plot may have been hackneyed with the twist obvious from a mile away (to me, at least!), the writing was, to put it simply, superb. Daphne du Maurier possessed a rare skill to evoke vivid images from just her words. Never, not once, in the entire book was I ever bored - even when, at one point, she was describing a lunch scene where the characters just sit at a table, eat and talk about the weather (the scene is 3 pages long in the book!).
The characters were deliciously twisted, with the main character being a naive, spineless, sorry figure that made me despise her half the time and emphathise with her the rest. Mrs. Danvers was a delight to hate - the creepy scene where she shows the second Mrs. de Winter around Rebecca's room brought me out in goosebumps! Ah, and Rebecca! She, whose presence lurks like a menacing shadow throughout the book, sadly, turned out to be bit of a damp squib in the end. Maybe I might have been more repulsed if her nature had been shown instead of being merely described by the other characters. Just, maybe.
Do read, if just to see an example of some terrific writing. They don't make authors like these anymore....more
This was a slightly unbelievable (the story begins with a twelve year old girl being sentenced to death by hanging for breaking and3.5 stars out of 5
This was a slightly unbelievable (the story begins with a twelve year old girl being sentenced to death by hanging for breaking and entering. TWELVE!) but a refreshing read, nonetheless.
The book was really good till about three-fourths in. Then, suddenly, the lead protagonist's, Mary's, unknown, dead father popped back into the story from beyond the grave, with a wooden box filled with some documents and a mysterious pendant, thus setting the ground for a sequel; the story arc of Angelica and Micheal was haphazardly thrown in, and... the plot lost its threading after that.
The scenes between the Mary and James are very well-written and their chemistry is crackling! Half the time I was going -
(view spoiler)[Then they do. Only to go their separate ways in the next chapter. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! JAMES HAD BETTER BE BACK IN THE SEQUEL, LEE!
Also, I really wanted to know who that primary agent spying after the Thorolds was, but, spoiler alert, it is never revealed. Hmpf.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Narrated alternatively by the two protagonists, Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and, his wife, Amy. Got to give it to thThis was one messed up book.
Narrated alternatively by the two protagonists, Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and, his wife, Amy. Got to give it to the author, the writing pulls you into the book. Each chapter reveals a new facet of Nick and Amy, how damaged each are, and shows just how skewed a person's point of view can be.
We begin with Nick - a down-on-his-luck, small town guy who has married a wealthy, pretty, big city girl. From Nick, we learn that though they were pretty happy in the first few years of their marriage, things have begun to fall apart now that both of them have lost their jobs and moved back to Nick's hometown. Always used to the best in life, Amy slowly changes and turns into a bitter, cold woman who looks down on her husband and never misses an opportunity to let him know that.
But don't go feeling sorry for Nick yet. Amy has her turn next. Written in the form of diary entries, we learn about Nick and Amy's life through her eyes and see that all she has done so far is love and support her husband while he has slowly been retreating into a shell, shutting her out completely and taking all his frustrations out on her. Amy feels alone and is at a loss as to what to do fix her marriage.
Then, one day, Amy disappears into the blue.
Nick comes home to a clearly staged "crime scene" and the police quickly catch on to that fact, and he becomes the main suspect in Amy's disappearance. Clues begin to pop up everywhere and they ALL seem to point to Nick. A treasure hunt, designed for Nick by Amy - a yearly anniversary tradition - finally leads Nick to believe that nothing is as it seems.
Most of the characters in the book, especially Nick and Amy are extremely well fleshed out, flaws and all. It is quite easy to imagine such people living around you. The first half of the book is brilliantly written. Never, at any point, are you really sure which of the two, Nick or Amy, is telling the truth and who to root for. But, the second half didn't sit quite right with me. While it was all STILL GOOD, the plot become a little too elaborate, the crime became a little too perfect.
I was all ready to give this book a 5 star when nearly done with it, BUT, then came the ending. Which was as fucked up as they come. Not only was it not believable but there was also no proper resolution.
(view spoiler)[SERIOUSLY SPOILER-Y SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU DON'T WANT THE BOOK RUINED FOR YOU!
(view spoiler)[For, not only did the psychotic bitch get away with everything, but Nick also agreed to all her conditions and dropped all chargers against her just for the sake of the baby and CONTINUED TO STAY WITH HER AND BE MARRIED TO HER, WITH BOTH OF THEM PRETENDING TO LOVE EACH OTHER WHEN EVEN THOUGH ALL THEY WANT IS TO KILL EACH OTHER AND BE DONE WITH IT.
4 stars out of 5 just because I HATED the ending.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Better than the last book. An eccentric billionaire head of a prestigious law firm hires Shawn and Gus to ferret out a murderer amongst his lawyers. HBetter than the last book. An eccentric billionaire head of a prestigious law firm hires Shawn and Gus to ferret out a murderer amongst his lawyers. He sends his team (Shawn and Gus, included undercover) to an isolated mountain-top and leaves them there. The team has to trek all the way down by themselves. Only one among them has the map and they're not telling. Shawn and Gus have to survive the perilous descent under the watchful eye of the murderer while making sure they're all not killed off one by one.
The book had an "And then there were none" feeling to it. Enjoyable....more
Well, one can't win 'em all, I guess. I didn't like this as much as its predecessor. The voices of the characters seemed a bit off. I hon2.5 actually.
Well, one can't win 'em all, I guess. I didn't like this as much as its predecessor. The voices of the characters seemed a bit off. I honestly couldn't picture either Shawn or Gus saying some of the things they did in the book. It was a little short on laughs, as well, as compared to the prequel and the ending was just bizarre! It didn't make any sense! I never really understood who P'tol P'kah was (Was it just one person or were there two people taking turns? No idea). Shawn adamantly refusing to pronounce P'tol P'kah's name right got a bit old after a while (though some of his variations were funny - "P’teter P’karker", "P’nut P’butter", "P’Torky P’kig")
Psych, for those who have been living under a rock till now, is an American whodunit comedy series wherein the wise-cracking protagoSheer fun, people!
Psych, for those who have been living under a rock till now, is an American whodunit comedy series wherein the wise-cracking protagonist, Shawn Spencer, pretends to be a psychic (long story) and solves crimes that baffles even the police, thanks to him being hyper-observant. He is aided by his best-friend-since-kindergarten, Gus, who also works as a pharmaceutical rep when he is not being coerced by Shawn into doing things he DEFINITELY did not sign up for. The show's awesome and hilarious. You should watch it.
This book is a tie-in for the show and William Rabkin, one of the show's writers, does a brilliant job of transferring the characters beautifully onto the printed page without losing any of their essence.
When Gus' car gets impounded while he and Shawn are out wrapping up a case, our story begins. They realise something's amiss when the guy at the impound lot whips out a shotgun and shoots at them, while they are trying to get Gus' car released. Right after that, they run into a beautiful woman, Tara, who claims that Shawn is giving her instructions "psychically" which she has no choice but to obey.
It is amusing for Shawn and Gus, at first, to play along with Tara and make her do their errands, but things take a serious turn when people start turning up dead around Tara and she claims that Shawn told her to do it. Shawn has to now clear his name before anyone else gets murdered. Meanwhile, there's a billionaire benefactor in town who may not be what he seems.
The book is a HILARIOUS roller-coaster ride from start to finish! The witty banter between Shawn and Gus is a delight to read (it's even better when you imagine the actors playing the scene out!). I really enjoyed the book as the plot was more detailed and fleshed-out here.
Very enjoyable even if you aren't familiar with the TV show!...more