Immediate response notes - Review proper to follow:
I cannot remember the last time I cried whilst reading a book. I've cried watching films and documeImmediate response notes - Review proper to follow:
I cannot remember the last time I cried whilst reading a book. I've cried watching films and documentaries because they present animated imagery to see. Books are but words only...unless they are so powerful that they embed themselves into your being and you cannot stop the emotions overflowing, nor the horror of imagining what must have befell the poor unfortunates.
This account is written with compassion and without self pity or sentimentally and is a tribute to all the victims in this case. ...more
There are several interconnecting threads running through the storyline of The Ghosts of Altona and a plethora of characters. Following the discoveryThere are several interconnecting threads running through the storyline of The Ghosts of Altona and a plethora of characters. Following the discovery of a woman's remains Jan Fabel the central character reopens one of his first cases, an unsolved disappearance from 15 years ago. The discovery triggers a series of new murders. As the story unfolds we meet some odd seemingly unrelated individuals, including Zombie and Frankenstein, and we drop in on a group of people who regularly meet to talk about their near death experiences (NDE).
Craig Russell's characters in The Ghosts of Altona are not stereotypical but complex individuals neither entirely good, or evil. They are flawed, depraved, sociopathic, psychopathic, innocent, naive, and charming. Traumatic experiences have shaped them into what they have become or maybe they're just unfortunate to have inherited some very bad genes.
Craig Russell writes intelligently and with sensitivity about a key characters mental illness, and of another's medical condition which has resulted in horrendous physical abnormalities. Incredibly powerful and thoughtful stuff! It was difficult to truly hate the 'the bad guys' even though I still wanted to see them get their just deserts.
Initially I thought the ending rather abrupt but after mulling it over actually appreciated the opportunity to draw my own conclusion as to what I wanted to happen between the characters. Maybe there's more to come in a follow up as an opening is certainly there.
The Ghosts of Altona is an absorbing above average crime thriller which weaves into the storyline the fascinating history of the Gothic origins and traditions.
The Ghosts of Altona is absolutely not one to miss.
I discovered Craig Russell writing as Christopher Galt last year with, in my opinion the totally underrated, Biblical. An intelligent, compulsive, sci-fi read and I really wanted to read more from him.
* Biblical is out now (April 2015) in paperback with a new title, The Third Testament.
Disclaimer: A complimentary digital copy of The Ghosts of Altona was provided by Quercus via NetGalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review....more
'Ruby' has all the elements a Southern Gothic tale should have: It has dark, disturbing racial themes with a supernatural,2.5 star review
'Ruby' has all the elements a Southern Gothic tale should have: It has dark, disturbing racial themes with a supernatural, fantastical edginess; It focuses on damaged, complex and flawed characters; There are a multitude of disturbing acts of violence, cruelty and rape committed by members of the town's community; And an all too willing blindness and indifference from the rest of the townsfolk towards the suffering victim. So why was I not enamoured as the majority of readers were with 'Ruby'?
'Ruby' is the debut offering of Cynthia Bond is set in an all-black hamlet called Liberty Township, in East Texas. It is the first of a planned trilogy. I'm not sure at this juncture whether I'll read any more or not. I didn't feel connected enough to the characters, well maybe with the exception of Ephram Jennings an innocent sweet, bumbling character of a man who is besotted with the stunningly beautiful Ruby Bell. However I couldn't bare to read anymore about Ruby's 'haints', or the spirits that burrowed inside her until she gave birth (or death, whatever it was) to them. It all just seemed so fantastically over the top, and took an age to move along with the story line.
I'm still wondering why I didn't enjoy it more. I didn't hate it I just felt indifferent. I found the dialect difficult to understand and felt that perhaps the author was trying too hard to impress and write a prize winning novel that she lost her true direction and concentrated too much on being overly descriptive. I just know that I didn't connect with any of the characters nor care enough to want to continue reading about them.
Maybe it's just 'wrong timing' so maybe I'll try again sometime, so please do not let me dissuade you from reading 'Ruby' as I'm certainly in the minority with my views and it has received a staggering amount of rave reviews. Even 'Oprah' is championing this one. It just wasn't for me.
Book clubs would certainly have some interesting and diverse discussion over Ruby.
Disclosure: I received a complementary digital copy from 'bloggingforbooks' for an honest, unbiased review. I initially decided to stop reading at 40% but continued after a day's break. Unfortunately I didn't feel any better about it and DNF'd at 60%....more
If you're a fan of the awesome, Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, Joe McKinney or Brian Keen, you may like this one, bActual rating 2.5 but rounded up.
If you're a fan of the awesome, Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, Joe McKinney or Brian Keen, you may like this one, but only if you're not bothered about plot or getting answers.
The opening chapter of Mercy House by Adam Cesare introduces the main characters and is written stylishly well and gives enough character development to care and want to know what happens to them. Nikki and her husband Don are taking her mother-law, Harriet to reside at Mercy House an old people's residential home. Mercy House is a creepy gothic building from the outside but that's nothing compared to what's to come from the inside. Things go according to plan, albeit with some antagonism from Harriet towards Nikki as their relationship has a few snags so to speak but then all hell breaks loose when the crazy 'old folk' start causing mayhem.
Chaos enshrues as things take a downward spiral as the rejuvenated, extremely virile and now much stronger 'oldies' take over the home and conduct their rampage with a huge amount of overaged sex, elderly orgies, extreme sadistic violence, culminating in death for everyone else not in their older years.
The OAP's have an insatiable appetite for violence, sex, violent sex, rape, torture, killing in the most gory manner and displaying the corpses in the most grotesque scenarios, and cannibalism ... that's pretty much it !
Over the years I've read a fair amount of this style of horror from the likes of Joe McKinney, Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, and Brian Keen all of whom I enjoyed very much. They're certainly different from the mainstream. I hoped I would feel the same about Adam Cesare, but I didn't, not with Mercy House anyway. Maybe I've overdosed, maybe I've just moved on, but there is very little plot to speak of, and no explanation is even hinted at as to what may have caused the complete rejuvenation and the psychotic behaviour of the 'old fogeys' so I think that may have contributed to my complacency towards Mercy House. It was just 'gore' for 'gore's sake' and I quickly became bored and wanted it to end.
Don't just take my word for it though. See what others have to say about Adam Cesare's Mercy House on Amazon and GoodReads and in the TLC Book Tour.
Enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to win $25 e-gift card and a copy of Mercy House and judge for yourself at my blog SJ2B House of Books and see what other readers thought in the TLC Book Tour.
Disclaimer: A complimentary digital copy of Mercy House was provided by Hydra via NetGalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review...more