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Monthly "Reads" > feb 2016 - sandi

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message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1185 comments Hi everyone. Here are my February reads:

Top Reads

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood The Wicked Girls
Alex Marwood
Very good in a dark and depressing way. I had some trepidation about reading this since there was a serial killer theme but luckily that was just used as catalyst to delve into the real focus of the book. The characters were all too real and the writing was briskly done which kept the suspense level high. Listened to the audio version which was narrated by Anna Bentinck who was fine except for a rather glaring weakness with male characters.

Darkside by Belinda Bauer Darkside
Belinda Bauer
This book had everything that I look for in a work of psychological suspense: great writing, memorable characters, a dark atmospheric setting, and a plot with lots of twists and turns. I thought her first book Blacklands was excellent but this was even better.

Good Reads

After the Crash by Michel Bussi After the Crash
Michel Bussi
I'll go ahead and round up to three stars for this book because I thought the premise was interesting and did find the plot pretty compelling. I had some problems with the characterizations, dialogue and the overall execution at times though.

Black Sunday by Thomas Harris Black Sunday
Thomas Harris
Lots of tension and suspense in this debut by the author which was published back in 1975. The terrorism plot was realistic, though sometimes it did becomes mired down in the technical details of the plan, and the characters and their motivations were well drawn. A good first effort though his later works were much more polished.

The Room Upstairs by Mildred Davis The Room Upstairs
Mildred Davis
I am trying to read all the Edgar Best First winners and this book won in 1949. The descriptions made it look like a gothic type romantic suspense and while it had those elements it was much darker and sharply written than I expected and I really ended up enjoying it though there was perhaps a bit too much melodrama at times.

As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire, #8) by Craig Johnson As The Crow Flies
Craig Johnson
An entertaining entry in this series which is one of my favorites on audio. I was glad that most of the regular cast were present, liked the new characters, and found all the goings on at the Cheyenne Reservation quite interesting. Listened to the audio version narrated by George Guidall who is perfectly cast as Walt Longmire.

The Skeleton's Knee (Joe Gunther #4) by Archer Mayor The Skeleton's Knee
Archer Mayor
A good solid entry in this long running police procedural series. More action than I expected but I enjoyed Joe's trip out of Vermont to big city Chicago on the trail for clues.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Katarina Bivald
This book definitely lived up to the "heartwarming and charming" descriptions on the cover. I enjoyed the story, all the rather unique characters, and the small town setting.

OK Read

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke Black Water Rising
Attica Locke
This debut was critically lauded and nominated for many awards including The Edgar and the Orange Prize but I was underwhelmed. The writing was fine, very atmospheric and there were many interesting sections especially the flashbacks to the civil rights struggle. The main problems I had though were the pacing (and I usually love deliberately paced works) and the main character, Jay Porter. I don't have to like fictional characters but I do want to read about smart and capable types (unless they are supposed to be funny) and after about the 3rd time another character had to clue Jay in about something seemingly obvious I had pretty much had it. The ending was a bit tepid too though probably realistic. Listened to the audio version read by the usually excellent Dion Graham but he definitely had a case of the slows during this performance.


message 2: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3589 comments Good month!! Always enjoy seeing what you've read.


message 3: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2614 comments Some good ones in there, Sandi.


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1342 comments Good month Sandi


message 5: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1248 comments Great month Sandi! I haven't read any of these but you've intrigued me with a couple, especially Dark Side and The Room Upstairs.


message 6: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7794 comments Hmm. I'm going to have to look into Belinda Bauer; she sounds like a keeper!

Love reading your descriptions and I always find something I have to reserve at the library. Darn you! ;-)


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14214 comments Thanks for the tips in your reviews that are so tempting! I have the audio of The Wicked Girls lined up on Overdrive audio soon so am thrilled to see you liked it.
Like Carol, the Belinda Bauer books sound interesting and like you there were parts of After the Crash that I didn't love, but the group discussion was quite enjoyable.
Reading a book published in 1949 is going above and beyond to catch up on the Edgars nominated books, I imagine finding some of the books published so long ago could be a challenge if some are out of print.
Great month!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Great month! :)


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