AP McGrath · crime · Mystery · Romance · Thriller

Book Review: A Burning In The Darkness by A.P. McGrath

Author: A P McGrath
Release Date: 12th April 2017
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Romance, Spiritual
Edition: E-book
Pages: 253
Publisher: Troubador

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A murder at one of the world’s busiest airports opens this simmering crime story where a good man’s loyalty is tested to its limits. Michael Kieh is a full time faith representative serving the needs of some of the 80 million passengers, but circumstance and evidence point to his guilt. His struggle to prove his innocence leads him on a charged journey that pitches love against revenge.
Michael’s loneliness was eased by a series of brief encounters with a soul mate. When she confides a dark secret, he is motivated to redress a heart-breaking injustice. Together they must battle against powerful forces as they edge dangerously close to unmasking a past crime. But Michael faces defeat when he chooses to protect a young witness, leaving him a burning spirit in the darkness.
Michael’s commitment to helping those in need was forged in the brutality of the Liberian civil war. Protected by a kind guardian, he too was a young witness to an atrocity that has left a haunting legacy of stolen justice and a lingering need for revenge. More poignantly there is a first love cruelly left behind in Africa because of the impossible choices of war. When Michael and his former lover find each other once again they become formidable allies in proving his innocence and rediscovering their lost love.

Review

A Burning In The Darkness by A.P. McGrath is an exciting crime mystery with an intelligent plot and a cast of life-like characters.

This book is an electric mix of mystery, romance, and spiritual fiction. The plot was fresh, well-built and very engaging. I was pulled into the story right from the first chapter till the very end.

The writing was good considering the fact that the prose was written phonetically from the point of view of the lead, Michael Kieh who was born and spent a considerable time of his childhood in Liberia. It added a realistic touch to the story bringing the readers closer to the protagonist in a very clever way.

The characters were all carefully constructed and relatable. I liked the character of Miachel Kieh, the protagonist and found his background very, very interesting. Even though Michael was too good to be real, the internal conflicts coupled with his personality made him a compelling lead.
I was able to relate to almost every other secondary character as well, which was a bonus.

The mystery itself was well thought out and carefully plotted. I must admit that I wasn’t able to put together all the pieces (though, I came quite close.) The author has done a good job at creating an intricate web of various twists and turns, making the ending unpredictable.

I’d recommend this book to crime and mystery lovers and to anyone who doesn’t mind reading spiritual fiction intelligently weaved into a mystery read.

More from the author: 
Author Interview: A.P. McGrath
Book Excerpt: A Burning In The Darkness by A.P. McGrath
Guest Post: A Sense of Place by A.P. McGrath

Instagram


Goodreads and Amazon

Advertisements
Alretha Thomas · Book Reviews (by Genre) · crime · Detective Fiction · Mystery

Book Review: Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas

32575253Author: Alretha Thomas
Release Date: 7th September 2016
Series: Detective Rachel Storme (Book #2)
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Detective-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense.
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 358
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Alexandra Winifred has played a supporting role in her cousin’s life since they were children. When Lauren Water’s parents are killed in a plane crash, Alexandra becomes her protector, and together they navigate their way through childhood and college. They’re both overachievers, but it’s Lauren who steals the spotlight when she’s discovered by a notable agent and goes on to become an award-winning actress, leaving Alexandra in her shadow as her fledgling publicist. Now Hollywood royalty, Lauren starts to cut those people out of her life who were responsible for her success. Alexandra fears she will be next on the chopping block. But her trepidation about her failing relationship with her cousin becomes her least concern when she’s identified as a prime suspect in Lauren’s subsequent disappearance. Detective Rachel Storme, who has a full plate taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s and supervising a meth-addicted aunt, is eager to get her hands on a challenging case, but nothing could prepare her for the dark secrets and lies that she uncovers while she does everything in her power to find out what happened to Lauren.

Review

Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas is an exceptionally brilliant book. So much so that I enjoyed it even more than the first book in this series (which, by the way, I absolutely loved!)

This book is intense, gripping, complex and officially un-put-down-able!

I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. The plot was amazing and had a depth that I found very satisfying considering that it is a crime novel. The level of intrigue, suspense and thrilling action was perfectly balanced. I enjoyed all the twists and turns that kept me guessing and I am not at all ashamed to say that at some point or the other I doubted each and every single character.

The ending completely baffled me! The whole woman thing literally caught me off guard and I ended up mentally kicking myself for doubting all the wrong people.

One thing I noticed in this book (and the last book too) was that author Alretha Thomas has a unique way of creating characters that have so many layers of complexity that you end up doubting the main POV character more than twice and start wondering “is she the murderer? Is she even aware that she killed another person.” And that is why I enjoy reading her books so much!

The characters, as usual, were well-crafted and relatable. I loved Detective Rachel Storme already, but this part made me love her even more and I guess she is actually in line for becoming one of my favorite fiction detectives of all time.
All the other characters were also very well-developed and I was able to connect to them all. I loved reading about the rich backgrounds of each and every character, more so because they belonged to the Hollywood and their lives were shown beautifully and in a very realistic way.

As usual, this book was written brilliantly with the use of simple language and in relatable POVs which made this book a complete package for me.
I’d recommend this book to all the crime-mystery and detective fiction lovers. This is one series you can’t afford to miss.


Goodreads and Amazon

adult · crime · Mystery · Romance · Sandra Brown · Suspense · Thriller

Book Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

25114548Author: Sandra Brown
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Series:
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Adult
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 416
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Review

This book is a wonderful read and a true page turner. I was in it from the moment I picked it up as I found the blurb quite intriguing. I enjoyed the lucid flow of the story and the pace with which the events unfolded. I know there are a few negative reviews for this book, but I actually enjoyed reading this one a lot! Though I did find the love making scenes a little cheesy, still it was a nice break from all the fast-paced action.

This book began with an excellent an extremely captivating opening and the clock that was set ticking by the end of the prologue really got me going. What really made this book a compelling read was that ticking clock itself. It kept the story tense and on track throughout. The ending was also perfect and made complete sense.

The characterization is brilliant and the characters had so many layers of complexities that it was difficult not to take them as real people. I was able to connect with all the characters, including the secondary ones. If there’ll be a sequel to this book (?) then I’ll definitely read it as I’d love to read more about the main characters.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery-thrillers and don’t mind a slight overdose of steamy make-out scenes.

 

Bookstagram

Instagram

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The two stalwart highway patrolmen guarding the barricade stared at her without registering any emotion, but because of the media blitz of the past few days she knew they recognized her and that, in spite of their implacable demeanor, they were curious to know why Judge Holly Spencer was angling to get closer to the scene of a bloodbath.

Highlights: Storyline and pacing.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

“You pick a guy who everyone sees, but no one is looking at.”

“He’s made a bargain with the devil, and he hadn’t held up his end.”

Final Thoughts: A wonderful book packed with lots of action and suspense.


You can also read this review at GoodreadsNetGalleyand Amazon.

crime · Mystery · Rosie Claverton · Suspense · Thriller

Book Review: Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton

25263097

Author: Rosie Claverton 

Release Date: February 29, 2016
Series: The Amy Lane Mysteries (#3)
Genre: Mystery | Suspense | Crime | Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 293
Publisher: Crime Scene Books

 

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Blurb:

Agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane and her sidekick ex-con Jason Carr are caught in a tortuous and increasingly dangerous adventure as Amy seeks to help track an art thief and Jason seeks to impress the National Crime Agency investigator Frieda Haas sent to recover the missing painting – and its abductor.
As the evidence leads Amy and the police in circles, Jason finds himself taking more and more risks in his hunt for the thief. Nothing is as it seems. Are Amy and Jason merely playthings for a vicious murderer? Can they survive the game?

Review

Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton is a brilliantly thought-out and a cleverly written book.

It has a great pace which edges towards fast, yet at the same time being subtle. I felt compelled to read this book in one sitting, but in spite of being terribly busy,  I managed to read it in three.

The suspense and story build-up is truly magical and I was left longing for more when it came to the backgrounds of the lead characters.

The characterization is truly stunning. I felt a really strong connection with Amy in spite of her being too socially awkward for my taste. There were moments when I felt emotions well up inside of me so strong that I literally had to stop myself from screaming at the book.

On the other hand, the character of Jason is so darn unique and good that I developed an instant liking for him. He’s this strong yet sensitive guy who’s always misunderstood in spite of being a really kind person.

At some places, the main plot gets a little overshadowed by the sub-plots, but the author’s clever writing and pacing manage to make the reader feel the urge to know more about the sub-plotline in order to see what’s happening in the character’s lives.

The random sprinkling of chapters of the murderer throughout the book took the story to a whole new level. Also, the use of new hacking techniques made it a really interesting book for me.

The beginning was really good because the murder pulled me into the story right from the first page. It took me only a few chapters to get the flow of the various POVs and after that, the story kept on getting better and better.

The ending is great. It’s not the typical mystery sort of ending where the killer is revealed and such, but it ends taking the main character’s story into focus. I am eagerly waiting for the next part in this series, and meanwhile, I’m considering buying the first two parts just to get to know Any and Jason better.

I loved this book and I cannot recommend it enough to everyone who loves mystery.

Bookstagram

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 11.37.45 pm

Instagram

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Night after night, he returned to that one place.

Highlights: Excellent pacing and brilliant storytelling.

Lowlights: Nothing.

Memorable Quote:

… this time, it wasn’t the dead man’s face that haunted her, but the delicate features of a woman who’d died a century earlier.

The second time was easier, killing someone.

Final Thoughts: An outstanding mystery read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · crime · Mystery · Sara Blaedel · Suspense · Thriller

Book Review: The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

25878273

Author: Sara Blaedel 
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Series: Louise Rick Series
Genre: Crime | Thriller | Mystery | Suspense
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She’s assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago death . . .
Louise’s investigation takes her on a journey back through time. She reconnects with figures from her past, including Kim, the principal investigator at the Holbaek Police Department, her former in-laws, fanatic ancient religion believers, and her longtime close friend, journalist Camilla Lind. As she moves through the small town’s cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.

Review

I read The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel, not so long ago, and quite liked it. I was able to connect to the author’s writing and the story was interesting, to say the least, so when I was contacted for this book, I immediately accepted.

The Killing Forest is the kind of novel that’ll keep you up at night and would pull you into the story making you forget about the world outside. I really liked this book as it kept me intrigued. Like the previous book by author Sara Blaedel, there was not a lot to guess in this book, but the pacing was good enough to keep things interesting throughout. The author again shocked me towards the end with a smart plot twist.

The premise of the story was great and pacing was also good. The suspense was mild but I was able to feel a sense of urgency throughout the book (which is a big plus.)

The characterisation was good and I was happy to read about all the characters from the previous book in detail. I felt a connection with the main lead of the book,  detective Louise, though it was not as strong as it felt in the previous book. Still, the story being the hero in this book, I enjoyed reading it.

The writing was good but I did notice 2 major flaws that made it difficult for me to come up with a proper rating for this book when I was done with it.

Firstly, there are a lot of places in this book where the translation played tricks and hindered the flow of the book. This issue wasn’t there in the previous book so I was a little displeased this time around. The dialogues didn’t feel real and, at more than a couple of places, I was left wondering what the hell was the original dialogue anyway.

And the second thing that bugged me was that there was more ‘telling’ than ‘showing.’ It happened in more than a dozen places and it really affected the entire reading process altogether.

But, in spite of these two flaws, I still enjoyed the book and would love to read the next parts in Louise Rick series. I’d recommend this book to crime and mystery lovers.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: He hesitated before grabbing the dead chicken his father held out to him, its white feathers peppered with blood close to where its head had been chopped off.

Highlights: Story and ending.

Lowlights: Translation.

Memorable Quotes:

“…This is hell. No one gets out.”

Final Thoughts: A nice mystery read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Netgalley, and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · cozy mystery · crime · Detective Fiction · Mystery · Paranormal · T.J. O'Connor

Book Review: Dying To Tell by T.J. O’Conner (Gumshoe Ghost Mystery #3)

26171321

Author: TJ O’Connor 
Release Date: January 8, 2016
Series: Gumshoe Ghost Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Paranormal, Detective Series
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 384
Publisher: Duvinchi Media Group
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Detective Oliver Tucker never knew how perilous the past was until his wife, Angel, is nearly killed and the reclusive banker, William Mendelson, is found murdered in a hidden vault where ancient Egyptian relics and World War II secrets are stashed.
Now those relics are missing. The secrets are coming out. The dead are talking.
Tuck, the detective for the dead, knows there’s more to Mendelson’s murder than haunting family secrets and decades-old skullduggery. With Angel and his detective partners, Tuck’s guided by his long-dead grandfather, World War II OSS Captain Oliver Tucker I. Ollie is still on a mission from 1942 as murderers, thieves, and spies descend on small-town Winchester.
As the case unfolds, Tuck must also confront the growing distance between his death and Angel’s life–and the outcome is a killer of its own.

Review

This book is a real masterpiece. I enjoyed each and every chapter thoroughly and had a great time enjoying the great narration and the amusing twists and turns throughout the story. The steady flow of twists and turns and the odd reveals are perfectly timed and make reading this book a brilliant experience.

I was really impressed with the author’s writing style. It’s fresh, engaging and has a really good flow that makes reading this book one hell of an experience. And the best part of this book was the author’s sense of humor. The witty writing is just out of the world. I was chuckling the entire time whenever Tuck made a witty remark. I even cracked up laughing hard at more than a dozen instances (and my hubby found it rather amusing.)

The characterization is AMAZing and the author has done a fabulous job in creating, what I would call EPIC characters. I’m in love with all the main characters and I feel a sense of close connection with all of them.

The mystery itself was the highlight of the book and the author nailed it right to the very minute details.

This book has everything- a fabulous mystery, perfect characterization, brilliant timings, humor, ghosts, emotional nit-picks, funny one-liners, elements from the past (WWII) and a time-travelling detective. What else can a reader want more! I LOVED this book and I’m going to read all the other parts in this series (each and everyone!)

The small chapters and the alternating POVs kept me completely glued to the book and whenever I had to keep the book aside, you know for everyday life, it really irritated me to no end. I simply wanted to sit and be lost in this amazing story where a dead detective, and that too a stud one, solves the crime with his partner and wife.

I loved the idea of involving stuff from the past in the crime of the present and the entire ghost-family-thing The concept is really unique to me and I must say that I really, really loved it!

Bookstagram:

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.12.24 pm

Instagram

Other Stuff

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.14.58 pm

Opening Line: “Dying is as perilous as secrets and lies. Depending, of course, on who is keeping the secrets and who is telling the lies.”

Highlights: Writing and author’s sense of humor.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I was alive, I was a hotshot homicide cop. Now, dead, I’m still a hotshot homicide cop- it’s just that my clients are nearly always dead or, at least, connected to someone who is dead.

Sometimes being dead is a pain in the ass.

Memorable Paragraphs:

A tall distinguished man in a heavy wool overcoat stood beside her now. He had one arm around her, speaking slowlyto her – consoling her- and his other arm hung to his side, a black, compact .45semiautomatic handgun in his grasp. He looked like a younger Clooney, but perhaps better looking. I instantly distrusted him.

Final Thoughts: A terrific cozy mystery.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

adult · Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · crime · Detective Fiction · Matt Brolly · Mystery · psychological thriller · Suspense · Thriller

Book Review: Dead Eyed (DCI Michael Lambert #1)

26162885

Author: Matt Brolly 
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Series: DCI Lambert
Genre: Crime | Detective Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Psychological Thriller | Adult
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 315
Publisher: Carina UK
Source: Publishing Push
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb:

DCI Michael Lambert thought he’d closed his last case…
Yet when he’s passed a file detailing a particularly gruesome murder, Michael knows that this is no ordinary killer at work.
The removal of the victim’s eyes and the Latin inscription carved into the chest is the chilling calling-card of the ‘soul jacker’: a cold-blooded murderer who struck close to Michael once before, twenty-five years ago.
Now the long-buried case is being re-opened, and Michael is determined to use his inside knowledge to finally bring the killer to justice. But as the body count rises, Michael realises that his own links to the victims could mean that he is next on the killer’s list…
The gripping first novel in a thrilling new crime series by Matt Brolly. Perfect for fans of Tony Parsons, Lee Child and Angela Marsons.

Review

This book started out slow and took its sweet time to pick up the pace. Initially, I had to struggle a bit to get into the book, but once I was 15% through, I was in for good. The pace picked up and the book went from slightly interesting to quite interesting and then I was on the edge of my seat almost biting my nails.

The story felt a little too long but considering that it is the first book in a detective series, I’m okay with it because I know that establishing the basics and the background is really important.

I like Lambert… a lot. He’s one hell of a stud detective. One that I would love to read about. He’s all broken and stuff but, again, he is a real stud! He is everything a detective should be like- smart, intelligent, sharp and daring. And this is all to say that the author truly nailed the characterization. Even the other characters, esp. Sarah May, were quite good and totally relatable.

The writing is great and the shifting POVs keep the book interesting and intriguing. The descriptions were so good that I squirmed every time another victim turned up with either their eyes cut out or stitched shut with black thread… And, trust me, it is one of the best things about this book.

The only thing that I find a little off is that the motive of the killer wasn’t made clear. I mean after reading a seemingly lengthy book, there’s nothing that I wanted more than to know the gory and dirty details of the killer’s motives or, at least, the driving force behind them.

Still, I enjoyed the book. And for a debut novel, this book is really amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped rating books with 1/2 stars, otherwise, this book would have been 4+1/2 instead of just 4.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “The man hovered on the edge of the dance floor.”

Highlights: Characterization.

Lowlights: Ending.

Memorable Quotes:

In oculis animus habitat. The soul dwells in the eyes.

She viewed her past like a voyeur, her memories akin to a reader imagining a character from a book.

Final Thoughts: A fantastic start to a new Detective/Crime series.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · C.P. Kemabia · crime · Mystery

Book Review: Head In The Box

24900627

 

 

 

Author: C.P. Kemabia
Release Date: January 4, 2014
Series: 
Genre: Mystery | Crime
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 141
Publisher: Speedy Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads Rating: 3/5
Blog Rating: 2.5/5
Buy it here: Amazon


Blurb

Charlie and her roommates along with their friends could have never imagined that, after the birthday party of the night before, their morning would take a twisted turn with a macabre discovery: a box containing the head of a stranger.
Because of their different personalities and also because of another unfortunate event, they can’t decide on the right way to deal with it.
Their disagreement ultimately triggers heated arguments and unsuspected passions. And as the story unfolds, the strain of their situation will take their relationship with one another to the very edge.
Yet most shocking will be the answer to the main question that is on everyone’s mind: who is the man whose head ended up in the box and… who brought the box into their apartment?

Review

The Reading Bud Stars Black-2

This book started out pretty good and the mystery involved was also nice, but by the time I neared the end I started to wonder what was the point of the entire thing. I mean I get that this is more like a novella, a very quick read, but still, what was the point of it all. If you have 7 people in a story then the suspect is all too clear, because apparently everyone has read Agatha Christie’s books and, hence, everyone knows that it won’t be the guy the author clearly tries to show as the suspect. We’ve all been there where the butler or the maid turns out to be the suspect- the person who appears only twice or thrice in the entire story. So, in spite of having a good plot, I seriously thought that the story lacked when it came to execution.

One of the positives about the book is that it is a real quick read. So, if you want to try it, it won’t take long. And as you can see from my rating, it is a bearable read (if you don’t read a lot of mysteries.) But if you do then you might find it a little odd.
The characterization in this book is surprisingly good and I’ve given 3 stars for that matter alone.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: On the morning of October 22nd, 2011, something terribly shocking happened.

Highlights: Characterization.

Lowlights: Plot.

Final Thoughts: Okay-okay.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Brandy Purdy · crime · Historical · Mystery

Book Review: The Secrets Of Lizzie Borden

25590602

 

 

Author: Brandy Purdy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Historical Fiction  | Crime Fiction | Mystery
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 384
Publisher: Kensington
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads Rating: 5/5
Blog Rating: 5/5
Buy it here: Amazon


Blurb

In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.  

Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters.   Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes…   Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.

Review

5 Stars Black

This book is simply beyond words. All I can say is that I loved it and that Brandy Purdy is a BRILLIANT author. This is the first book that I’m reading by her, but it is most definitely not the last one. I loved her vivid imagination and the powerful writing which compelled me to forget all the facts and believe in the story that she crafted/weaved so artfully.

For a crime author like myself, this book is a piece of art in the most literal sense and I salute the author for pulling off this book on such a talked about crime. She recreated the entire life of Lizzie Borden in such detail that it’s crazily scary At more than a dozen places I actually wondered if the author really found some diary or a personal journal of Lizzie in her research for the book. It was that believable!

27609FAF00000578-3030437--m-64_1428512163455
Lizzie Borden [Image Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030437/Lizzie-Borden-gravesite-defaced-graffiti.html%5D
I wish this wasn’t a fictitious tale but an autobiography. It definitely felt like one. It seems like Lizzie is one of my old friends and that her deeds were totally justified. Not that I’m a sadist who likes to see people butchered, but I do believe that sometimes motive behind the crime does, in fact, justify it.

Image Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030437/Lizzie-Borden-gravesite-defaced-graffiti.html
Borden Residence- Crime Scene [Image Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030437/Lizzie-Borden-gravesite-defaced-graffiti.html%5D
Coming back to the book, I did find it quite lengthy which is quite surprising given that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. But I feel that the reason behind it was the fact that the much-anticipated murders are committed just after the half-way point in the book (around 55%-60%) and, at that point, I was wondering what the hell is left now. But the author smartly told the tale after the murders were committed, which for me, later proved to be the highlight of the book.newspaper

Each and every fact I read about the Borden murders (in my obsessive research of course) was beautifully weaved into the story and made me believe that this tale is not just a fragment of someone’s imagination but the real tale itself. And how I wish it were true, because after reading this book I’ve found myself sympathizing with Lizzie more than a dozen times. My heart really ached for the lost soul that she was and I kept obsessively thinking about the would haves and the could haves for days after reading this book.

Sometimes, though, the writing seemed a little complex considering the lengthy sentences which sometimes stretched as long as one entire paragraph. Especially in the starting of the book. After the first quarter of the book either the sentences got better or I got used to them and didn’t notice them again. Other than this, the writing is superb and I managed to learn a few new words from this book (which is always a plus.)

Here’s the famous rhyme that would have definitely tortured Lizzie to no end:

Lizzie Borden took an ax

And gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done,

She gave her father forty-one.

You can read all about Lizzie Borden on Wikipedia here.

If you want to read about the details of her trial then visit these awesome links:

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I awoke from the dream, wishing, as I always did, that it would vanish right away without lingering to torment me, or, better yet, never come to visit me again.

Highlights: Well crafted story.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

Sometimes it is easier to tell a lie. To say No closes the door on the conversation, whereas saying Yes flings it open wide and invites further inquiry and to slam and bar it then is to be branded rude and inhospitable.

I do not know; nor do I want to. I cherish my illusion, if illusion it was.

I won my freedom and baptized it in blood, with Death acting as midwife at the bloody birth that spawned my new life! In one blood-bathed day I was transfigured! I was set FREE! Free, rich, and orphaned all in the same bloody day.

I was sorry, and yet I wasn’t. I had done the right thing, even though it was wrong. If only things, if only we- all of us- had been different it might never have come to this. If only, if only, if only…

“If I were you, Lizzie, I wouldn’t have let anyone see me doing that. I’m afraid that burning that dress is the worst thing you could have done!” Besides killing your own parents of course! her chilly blue eyes silently finished the sentence.

If life were a theater play or a novel this is where my story would end- happily, in a spirit of jubilation, with me vindicated and set free.

But life is not like that.

Memorable Paragraph:

How very ironic that all the world sees her as the very picture of the meek as a mouse prim and pious brittle and birdlike little maiden lady in eternal mourning too afraid to ever say Boo! to a goose. They don’t know the real Emma; no one does except me.

Sometimes the sadness still steals over me and I cry for what might have been. How different my life would have been! I would have been lost to history; there would have been no murders at 92 Second Street, no immortal singsong rhyme about forty whacks; no one would have even remembered my name after I died – I would have had a different name; he would have changed that, just like he changed my life.

All I wanted to do was forget. And I wanted everyone to forget too and just leave me in peace to live my life the way I saw fit. I don’t go prying into their business and private lives! Why couldn’t they accord me the same respect? But I had traded the prison of my father’s house for actual prison bars, only to find when I was vindicated and freed from those that I had become a prisoner of my own notoriety and a higher judge had decreed that it should be a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Ostensibly, I was free to come and go and do as I pleased, but I would never be truly free.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant Crime Mystery!


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.