**spoiler alert** This year I decided that in order to make my reading goal I would read whatever the free Barnes and Noble serial read was, whether I**spoiler alert** This year I decided that in order to make my reading goal I would read whatever the free Barnes and Noble serial read was, whether I wanted to read the book or not. I figured there would be some I liked, some I didn't but most somewhere in between. Well, this year started off with one of the ones I did not want to read.
At first I thought it was going to be an ok book. It's a crime novel about a smart woman detective who is heading up a new department in a police office somewhere in Denmark. I know a lot of great crime fiction comes from Denmark lately. For some reason, even though the Danes have a legendary reputation for being super nice, what with their universal health care, social programs, and beautiful scenery, not to mention the birthplace of Legos for goodness sake, apparently Denmark is also where all the bad things happen all the time.
So this woman, Louise Rick, is the detective in question. She heads a department meant to solve the more forgotten crimes and help out those people that have been kind of shuffled away in the system. She does this while raising a son and maintaining a friendship with a reporter and her old but sweet neighbor. All of this might actually make for a decent plot but the way this book was written just drove me out of my mind. I don't know if it was just the translation or poor writing but Louise would do like five things in a sentence but after she said something. I'm exaggerating a bit here but there would be sentences similar to the following -- Louise thanked the waitress after she had ordered her pie, put on her lipstick, called her son and walked through the restaurant door. I don't know about you but I kind of prefer my action to show up in chronological order for the most part.
Louise, going about her business of starting this department has to pick up this dude who will be her partner. Eik, is sitting around drunk in a bar, pretty much passed out when she finds him, but that seems to be ok because he dresses all in black all the time and listens mostly to Nick Cave songs. Apparently dressing in black and listening to Nick Cave songs all the time makes you deep, so I guess all the emo kids out there really do have it figured out (if they live in Denmark).
Well, guess what? There is a body found in the woods--because crime. Also, this body shows up near where Louise used to live--because convenient backstory. The body is conveniently easily identifiable due to the fact that there is a big scar on the face. Clearly to the reader there was some sort of foul play although that really seems to take these detectives by surprise. Unfortunately for the detectives, the woman is nowhere in the government database so they can't figure out who she is. But after some digging and other accidental circumstances they realize this woman was at a hospital for the mentally ill at some point.
The obvious thing of course is to call the place up and talk to staff and, you get the picture. Louise goes and digs around there and gets to see the sort of stereotypical horrors of an older mental hospital. They let her into back rooms to look for files (not sure that would fly so easy in the states but we'll chalk that up to cultural differences). Along the way the nurse tells her that families used to leave their kids and the staff would basically tell them not to visit because that would just upset the kids more when they left. In other words, the staff were jerks. To prove the point Louise sees an old dentist chair where they used to strap patients down and do dental stuff with no anesthetic or anything. Then the nurse tells her they haven't done that in like twenty years.
So at this point I am thinking, why the hell would they keep the chair that long? I mean it's unused medical equipment, wouldn't they sell that to a dentist maybe? That thing was just taking up space in a file room basement area? What the heck man? This makes NO sense.
Anyway, with the typical tropes of the evil mental institution, we already know that whoever murdered the woman totally came from here right? I mean come on, so obvious, and as usual so insulting to people with actual mental illness.
So Louise and her partner are basically farting around trying to figure out who did what when another body shows. Louise goes with Eik to investigate this stuff and she finds these kids lost in the woods. Like really young kids. So she figures out (to her credit) that there is something majorly wrong and promptly finds another body so that we can 1. move the story along and 2. make sure that our mental patient is a serial killer cause you know, plain murder is not enough in a crime book any more.
They get that sorted and stuff and then they go somewhere to ask someone something (I forget what exactly) but this dude looks at Louise and is like, "Aren't you the girl who lived with the guy who hung himself ten years ago?"
She totally freaks out, leaves the scene, runs into her car and pretty much doesn't go back to work for a couple days cause this guy asked her this question. Luckily, Eik, listens to Nick Cave and knows things so it's no problem.
Long story short, her fiance hung out with some bad dudes who were not very nice. Later in the story we find out that she had just moved in with this fiance, like seriously a month or less when she found him hanging from a rope. So now I am thinking, if it was that short of a time would that dude really have remembered that she lived with him?
The story goes on, more women get injured or killed. One gets raped and Louise has to go interview her about it. The whole freaking time Louise is freaking out that the woman who was raped has a husband that knew Louise and her fiance and all she can think about is whether this guy is going to recognize her. I mean it sucks that your fiance is dead, ten years ago, but I think the woman who was JUST raped gets priority. Despite this, the police department thinks Louise does a fantastic job of interviewing this woman.
So the husband comes in and is a jerk and stuff but basically in the end, they figure out who did the murders and the rape (not the husband even though he is a jerk). Through some bit of sleuthing that involved discovering some people were selling discount meat illegally from a van, and interviewing the old head nurse of the mental hospital to find out that her husband is actually her brother and that she has been keeping these two girls who were mental patients and reported dead many years ago in a room so that her brother could essentially rape and molest them so he wouldn't do it to her. Pretty messed up but at least Louise is able to reunite one of the women with her father (the forgotten girl is no longer forgotten I guess) but before that happens, the brother who is the killer tries to rape Louise but she is saved by the asshole husband of the rape victim who then tells her that she was into the near rape. Ummm, what? Luckily again Eik with his black clothing comes in before that guy can do anything to Louise.
Oh there was also a reporter and Louise's son but they were almost incidental to the story except for the fact that the reporter basically figured out who the murderer was and the son was there to relate to Eik because he plays music on youtube. Plus at some point Louise and Eik sleep together--because sex.
Then at the end the bombshell of bombshells is that the fiance who hung himself didn't hang himself. The jerky husband who beats women but wasn't the killer tells Louise that he didn't have the guts to hang himself. So oh boy, Louise has another case for her next book! Man I hope someone wearing all black that listens to Nick Cave is there to help her cause she is going to need a LOT of time off for this one....more
This was a pretty good book. I'd put it closer to 3 1/2 stars if I could. I liked the story about Rey and the one about Poe quite a lot and felt likeThis was a pretty good book. I'd put it closer to 3 1/2 stars if I could. I liked the story about Rey and the one about Poe quite a lot and felt like we got some new insights. The one about Finn I think could have been a bit more improved and in fact contradicts some things in the Force Awakens novelization. But I still enjoyed it overall....more
I am a huge Star Wars fan and I really did enjoy The Force Awakens. What I did not enjoy? The novelization of it. I hate**spoiler alert** **Spoilers**
I am a huge Star Wars fan and I really did enjoy The Force Awakens. What I did not enjoy? The novelization of it. I hate giving a Star Wars book a low rating but it just doesn't deserve any more stars. There were several problems with this book, some the fault of the author and some the fault of how things ended up with re-shoots etc for the film.
Let me start with the things outside of the author's control. He couldn't have known at the time of writing that Han Solo's dialogue would change, that Finn would end up being more humorous than technical for a Stormtrooper. He could not have known that Finn wouldn't have had the amount of information about Starkiller base that he does in the book. I can kind of forgive some of these things and just say that perhaps the next time a movie comes out, wait for it to be released before releasing the novel adaptation rather than the other way around.
However, there are problems with this book even if you dismiss the changes, large and small between film and book. Characters that felt vibrant and exciting in the movie come off as dull and one dimensional in the book. Kylo Ren seems much less whiney and annoying in the book than he was in the film, so I guess that is a plus for Kylo, but I felt like Finn was a thin character and Rey was just kinda there.
When Han goes down (sorry if I spoiled it for you but I put spoilers at the top and hid this so that's on you) you don't feel a tenth of the emotion you do in the film.
The language overall is clunky and at times oddly worded and doesn't really work. I felt like this was a huge distraction for the whole book even though I knew what was coming for the most part (except for the parts that were utterly different due to the book/movie timing).
When I read a Star Wars book, I want to be taken to that galaxy far, far away a long time ago. This book did not accomplish that for me at all....more
I enjoyed this book and thought it was a cute atory. But all in all I think it's better for the reading public that the publisher requested a sequel tI enjoyed this book and thought it was a cute atory. But all in all I think it's better for the reading public that the publisher requested a sequel to the hobbit instead. Rover was fun to read about but it didn't quite feel finished, which I assume is due to the fact that this was published after Tolkien's death. If you have a kid who liked the hobbit but isn't ready for LOTR this is perfect....more
This is a book that I wish would have been considered cannon. We get to see Tarkin and crew operating as well as meet new characters. I really enjoyedThis is a book that I wish would have been considered cannon. We get to see Tarkin and crew operating as well as meet new characters. I really enjoyed this one and it's worth a read if you ever wondered what civilians and Empire crew did in their off time on the Death Star....more
This book takes a while to get going. I was hoping for more major recognizable characters earlier on. I was also hoping for more information about howThis book takes a while to get going. I was hoping for more major recognizable characters earlier on. I was also hoping for more information about how the First Order came to be but maybe that's something for the sequel. I enjoyed it overall but it seemed a bit bogged down with characters you haven't heard of or that are essentially minor characters in the movies. I am hoping for more out of the next one but we'll see....more