Book Review: The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Author: Sandie Jones
Release Date: 
11th June 2019
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 304
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Blurb:

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: When Alice met Beth, her best friend, it was the icing on the cake. A friend without judgement, to celebrate with, commiserate with, Beth is the most trustworthy and loyal person that Alice knows. So when Nathan starts disappearing for stretches of time, Alice turns to Beth. But soon, she begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced…

REVIEW

★★

I have absolutely no idea what the hype about this book phenomenal is all about! Because of the rave reviews, I was expecting a spectacular thriller when I decided to read this book but when I started reading it, I kind of started to get the feel of an okay-ish book right from the beginning. But I continued on because in one of the many praising reviews I read that the book’s 2nd part is better than the 1st and that in the 3rd part everything comes together, so I ploughed on despite not liking the main character one A very predictable read. The writing was okay but the characterization was poorly done.

Though one thing I can say for sure is that the 2nd part of this book was way, way, way better than the 1st part which is a shame because the 2nd part is all about the secondary character, who BTW, came across more real than everyone else in the book. So the characterization was poor so was the originality. Even though I enjoyed one of the twists, the overall story was still below average.

The writing seemed immature and felt like it was someone’s debut novel rather than having been written by a bestselling and well-established author. Most of the scenes were either too cheesy or outright cringe-worthy. And there was no sense of structure to the plot.

Now, you might find this book an absolute hit if you read thrillers rarely, but if you’ve been an ardent thriller lover, you’d know the book for what it really is in the first couple of pages.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Netgalley
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Book Review: Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

Author: Lucinda Berry
Release Date: 1st March 2019
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Dark Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 364
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Blurb:
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

REVIEW

★★★★★

HOLY–F**k!!! THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE

When I started reading this book it gave me an intense “Orphan” (movie) vibe, but then the plot started to change its track and I was like, “Okay… well, this is different, but nothing new.” But then somewhere around the last third of the book, I was completely and irrevocably mind-blown!

This book is AMAZING!!!

And the reality of how the author played with the reader’s mind using seemingly-normal characters and a seemingly-normal plot still continues to mesmerize me…

And I did NOT see that coming!!!

And that one line in the last pages of the book (where a man’s voice is mentioned) is still driving me insane! Was there really someone? Was it a supernatural presence? Was it just the broken psyche of the child? Or was it something else entirely?

OMG, I guess I have fallen in love with Dr Lucinda Berry’s intelligence and cannot stop thinking about how brilliant she is! For once, someone has dared to write about how complicated human psyche is and that some people are damaged forever and that there is absolutely nothing that can be done.

This book is full of triggers and can be dangerous if you are sensitive towards more than half of the things that is wrong with this world. But if you want to read a truly chilling work, then go for it.

Prose-wise, the author had completely re-defined the meaning of unreliable narrator for me. And it has completely changed my perspective on the subject.

This book is a gem for anyone who loves reading about sociopaths, people with psychosis and other troubled souls. This book is intense, dark and unforgivingly chilling. I loved every bit of it!

You can also read my review on Goodreads

Book Review: Why She Lied by Julie Coons

Author: Julie Coons
Release Date: 3rd March 2019
Genre: Psychological thriller, Dark Fiction, Crime, Adult, Suspense, Mystery
Series: 
Edition: E-book
Pages: 183
Publisher: Self-Published
Blurb:
Will she have to lose her child to save her child?
The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.
She needs answers…
To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.
To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.
FIVE YEARS LATER and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.
Someone from her past is watching…
Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.
Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?

WHY SHE LIED is a gripping psychological thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and buried secrets.

REVIEW

★★★★

Why She Lied by Julie Coons is a refreshing new dark psychological thriller with a great concept, a nicely executed plot and decent characterization. This book had just the right amount of complexity to make it an engaging read without being too overly complex.

Overall, this book was a gripping thriller. The characterization wasn’t exactly spot on, but I cared for the main character, Julie, enough to read through the entire book with interest. The layers of background made her a likeable lead and, although the flashbacks and some character traits felt redundant, I felt she was a decent protagonist. Though, again, I wasn’t able to connect or relate to her entirely for some reason.

The writing was good for most parts, though at times the narration felt redundant and there was more of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing.’ As it was on the simpler side, the reading was easy and the book, because of the tight pacing, turned out to be a surprisingly quick read even for a less-than-200-pages-book.

I liked this book and would recommend to all thriller lovers, especially the ones who love reading dark thrillers with layered and complex characters.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani

Author: Vahid Imani
Release Date: 9th February 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 300
Publisher: Stormtop Publishing
Blurb:
The shadows were closer than he thought …
Tehran in 1924 is the stage for a daring international showdown over the control of Persian oil fields. James Malcolm, a British operative stationed in Tehran weaves an intricate plot in hopes of installing a new loyal Persian king. A teenage boy’s accidental involvement becomes a distraction. When his plot is sabotaged, the fragile peace in Persia is threatened along with the boy’s life. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies, all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British.

REVIEW

★★★★

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani is an immersive historical suspense thriller that pulled me in right from the start to the very end. I really liked it because of the complexity of the plot and the ease with which it was laid by the author for the reader to read.

The writing is really good and the book is easy to follow, making it a relatively quick read. The characterization was also good and I was able to feel a connection to the protagonist, James, and was rooting for him throughout the book. The plot was the hero for me and the story felt very well fleshed out, especially the cultural details and the rich exposition.

The ending was apt and it made a lot of sense. I enjoyed this book through and through and would recommend it to all historical fiction fans and readers of mystery and thriller genre.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Sicilian Woman’s Daughter by Linda Lo Scuro

Author: Linda Lo Scuro
Release Date: 22nd October 2018
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Suspense
Series: 
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 296
Publisher: Sparkling Books
Blurb:
Most victims of the mafia are the Sicilians themselves. The role of women both as perpetrators and victims has been grossly overlooked. Until now.

As the daughter of Sicilian immigrants, in her teens Maria turns her back on her origins and fully embraces the English way of life. Notwithstanding her troubled and humble childhood in London, and backed up by her intelligence, beauty and sheer determination, she triumphantly works her way up to join the upper middle-class of British society.

Maria delves deeper into her mother’s family history and a murky past unravels, drawing her more and more into a mire of vendetta.

REVIEW

★★★★

The Sicilian Woman’s Daughter by Linda Lo Scuro is a very gripping book with a well-written plot and a beautiful cast of strong characters. This book was a very quick read and had a lot more to offer to its reader that one can imagine. This book is very culturally rich and it was great to get a detailed glimpse into the family of mobs and also witnessing the repercussions of belonging to such a family.

I enjoyed reading this book from start to end, mainly because the writing was good and had a very easy flow to it. The plot-progression was good and so was the pacing and tension and they all complimented and went along the story very well.

I’d recommend this book to all crime and suspense readers who enjoy reading culturally rich books.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter

Author: Alistair Potter
Release Date: 27th April 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action, Mystery
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 214
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Perax Frontier, a place like no other! Bathed in the constant glow of the Interface connecting two Universes, the frontier townships of Praxton, and Millaki on the Atlathian side, function without any electrically based technologies. Set against this unusual background, and fighting the hierarchal restrictions of Imperial society, Sheriff Artur Perax investigates the murder of Imperial Ambassador, Madam Lintsa Kroft. And all the time still keeping order among the visitors, frustrated scientists, religious fanatics, misfits, reformed felons and plain good folks who keep the flow of trade goods moving across the Interface.

Book Review

★★★★+1/2

A well-written hardcore sci-fi mystery which will keep you engaged from the start right till the very last page. An intricately woven mystery, expertly punctuated with intense action scenes, underlined with enough drama to make you want to keep reading further, highlighted by believable characters – this book was a complete rollercoaster ride!

The ending was good and very fitting. The pacing was really good and the tension was at an all-time high. The prose was tight and easy to read and overall it was a complete package. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to all hardcore sci-fi lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

ARC Review: Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

Author: Minka Kent
Release Date: 9th April 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 256
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Blurb:
Two sisters raised in fear are about to find out why in a chilling novel of psychological suspense from the author of The Thinnest Air.
Ignorant of civilization and cautioned against its evils, nineteen-year-old Wren and her two sisters, Sage and Evie, were raised in off-the-grid isolation in a primitive cabin in upstate New York. When the youngest grows gravely ill, their mother leaves with the child to get help from a nearby town. And they never return.
As months pass, hope vanishes. Supplies are low. Livestock are dying. A brutal winter is bearing down. Then comes the stranger. He claims to be looking for the girls’ mother, and he’s not leaving without them.
To escape, Wren and her sister must break the rule they’ve grown up with: never go beyond the forest.
Past the thicket of dread, they come upon a house on the other side of the pines. This is where Wren and Sage must confront something more chilling than the unknowable. They’ll discover what’s been hidden from them, what they’re running from, and the secrets that have left them in the dark their entire lives.

REVIEW

★★★★

The Stillwater Girlsby Minka Kent is one of those few books that managed to grab my attention on NetGalley with a beautiful blurb and cover image when I was trying hard not to request any new titles at all. I was very excited to read this book and finally when I dove in expecting a mind-blowing thriller, I ended up marking it as another disappointing DNF read.

For some reason, I was not able to get past the first 8% of the book. Even though I really wanted to read this book, a couple of intolerable things led me to abandon this book even though when I almost made up my mind to simply skim over the pages in order to at least find out the mystery:

  1. Chapters full of fragmented sentences for exposition which led to overtreatment of a technique I otherwise love and use in my own works.
  2. Excessive foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is good, necessary even in thrillers for building suspense, but here it was too much.
  3. I felt forced by the author to feel sympathetic to the girls living alone. It felt like the girls themselves (or at least the POV one) were screaming at the readers to feel sorry for them and their conditions. As a result, I simply felt irritation and nothing more.
  4. focus on the unnecessary details and overall, the writing felt immature; it felt like the author wanted to go for Gillian Flynn’s writing style but ended up totally botching it up.

All in all, I think this book has a lot of potential in terms of the plot, or so the blurb has led me to believe but failed miserably.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and NetGalley

ARC Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Author: Melanie Golding
Release Date: 30th April 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult Fiction, Horro, Supernatural, Suspense
Series: 
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 304
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Blurb:
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

REVIEW

Let me begin by saying that when I first saw this book’s listing on NetGalley, I was totally in awe! It had the most amazing cover, an incredible blurb and (upon further research) some really good reviews in the book’s favour. So basically it had it all and I was positive that this will be one heck of a read.
To be honest, I couldn’t start reading this book fast enough and I felt like this right till the moment I started reading this book:

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But when I started reading this book, say about 20-25 pages in, I was really not sure if I was reading the right book because the writing felt very forceful and unnecessarily dramatic. For one, the author kept going on and on about how the main character (don’t even remember the name) did not feel “the rush of love” for her newborn twins. I am all for complex and grey characters, but after a while, it did start to feel like the author was unnecessarily pressing the point on the readers in order to make them hate the MC (or maybe they just wanted to make the readers feel that the character was very complex) either way, it felt too forced and outright fake. Still, I kept on reading in the hopes that maybe once this part gets over the good part would begin.

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Then came the part where the MC was being checked by the doctor in order to see if her womb (?) was okay (not even sure if I even understood that part) and then everything went to hell because the descriptions got so crazily gross that it’s going to take me a long time to get over it. I mean, if you haven’t been pregnant ever, then I recommend not to read this part as it sure as hell scared the shit out of me!!

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AND THAT WAS IT FOR ME!
I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!

If you’ve read this book and liked it, then hats off to you! But you haven’t yet read this book and are planning to read it, then I’d suggest to check out some other book on twins and/or pregnant-female-horror fiction like Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers or stick to the plain ol’ decent thrillers like Sister Sister by Sue Fortin or The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: Origin by Dan Brown

Author: Dan Brown
Narrator: Paul Michael
Release Date: 3rd October 2017
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Series: Robert Langdon Book #5
Edition: Audiobook
Length: 19 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Blurb:
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Review

★★★★

Origin by none other than Dan Brown is a gripping thriller which was both enjoyable and gripping. This book is the 5t instalment in the Robert Langdon series and, unlike lost key, was more in sync with the author’s impeccable sense of modern-day controversies. I enjoyed it a lot and was happy to note that this book differed from the last one (which is one of my favourites in this series, Inferno) greatly.

The characterisation was spot on, the twists and turns were really good and made the mystery more interesting (though it was a bit predictable, maybe that was because of the fact that by the 5th book you generally know what the author is capable of doing) and the plot-line was excellent. The only complain I had from this book is that it had hours of exhaustive descriptions and backstories and crazily lengthy dramatics. This has been my problem since the first book, Angels & Demons, but this book took it all to another level entirely. Now it might be because this is the only book I have read (listened to) as an audiobook, but the descriptions felt too long even for Dan Brown’s standards – out of 19 hours more than 9 might have been the descriptions, so that is a LOT! Because of that, I zoned out a lot while listening to it and even fell asleep.

Still, overall it is worth a read if for nothing else than for the story itself and I’d recommend it to all Dan Brown readers and to those who are interested in conspiracy theories and such.

Read this book for RMFAO

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Author: Margaret Mizushima
Release Date: 11th September 2018
Genre: Suspence, Mystery, Thriller
Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #4
Edition: e-book
Pages: 280
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Blurb:
Featuring Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo, Burning Ridge by critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima is just the treat for fans of Alex Kava.On a rugged Colorado mountain ridge, Mattie Cobb and her police dog partner Robo make a grisly discovery—and become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Colorado’s Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime—and it soon becomes clear that Mattie has a close personal connection to the dead man.

Joined by local veterinarian Cole Walker, the pair scours the mountaintop for evidence and makes another gruesome discovery: the skeletonized remains of two adults and a child. And then, the unthinkable happens. Could Mattie become the next victim in the murderer’s deadly game?

A deranged killer torments Mattie with a litany of dark secrets that call into question her very identity. As a towering blaze races across the ridge, Cole and Robo search desperately for her—but time is running out in Margaret Mizushima’s fourth spine-tingling Timber Creek K-9 mystery, Burning Ridge.

Review

★★★★

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima is the 4th instalment in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery but can be totally read as a standalone. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to read this book as it was a really good read with a nice plotline and honest characterization. I enjoyed the story on the whole and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything significantly even though I’m new to this series, and now I’m looking forward to exploring the prequels and the sequels to this part.

The two things that I liked best in this book were the plot and the characterization – the plot was intense, yet not over-the-top complex and the characterization was simply but realistic and I was able to feel a connection to both the story as well as all the main characters, especially the leading lady Mattie and her GSD, Robo.

The writing was simple and clean and the book had a moderate pacing which complimented the story well. The tension was also moderate, though it spiked up enough wherever needed to make it a very engaging read. Overall, I felt that this book is a complete package and I think that based on this book I can already see this series becoming a nice thirst quencher for mystery-ravenous readers.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of mystery, suspense and light thriller genres, especially those who are looking for a new detective series to explore.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: On The Devil’s Side Of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn

Author: Roger Peppercorn
Release Date: 9th January 2018
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Suspense
Series:
Edition: E-Book
Pages: 583
Publisher: Wallace Publishing
Blurb:
With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.
Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he’s retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.
Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.
Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.

Review

★★★+1/2

On The Devil’s Side Of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn is a hard-boiled crime thriller packed with lots of action and suspense.

This book proved to be a decent crime thriller and delivered what it promised – lots of suspense and thriller laced with tons of action and drama. The mystery was good, the characterization decent (though not overly powerful) and the pacing good. The writing was good and consisted of various POVs which turned out to be very interesting and engaging. There were several excellent twists and turns that kept me hooked to the book and the ending paid off well.

The only complain I have about the book is that it was too long. Maybe if some of the cliched scenes weren’t there then it might not feel a bit of a drag at some places, but otherwise, it was a good book. I’d recommend it to all crime, mystery and thriller readers.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Purgatorium by J.H. Carnathan

Author: J.H. Carnathan
Release Date: 27th May 2016
Genre: Dark Mystery, Thriller
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 430
Publisher: J.H. Carnathan
Blurb:
When his watch resets to zero, his morning starts again. Everyday his time always ends right at 60 Minutes, giving him only 5 minutes to stay at one particular place in his normal routine. The empty streets and familiar places are strange facsimiles of his previous life. He keeps reliving these same events over and over, barely able to remember anything and unable to maintain mental order as he stumbles through a strange existence. He soon learns that his physical body is in a coma and his consciousness is currently in a purgatory-like realm. As his body lies in a coma, his mind has been living a lavish lifestyle at a price: his sinful memories and his autonomy. After finding out his life support is coming to an end he must now run the last race for his life to decide if he is a “soul survivor” ready for a second chance at life or a lost soul willing to give it all up. He needs to outrun reapers, outthink the clock, and chase down his inner demons if he is ever going to get free. The race is on, and if he is going to survive, he’ll have to confront the world he’s always been so desperate to escape from.

Review

★★★+1/2

Purgatorium by J.H. Carnathan is a unique book with a story so intricate you wouldn’t mind being lost in it for hours.

When I first read the summary of the book, I was very intrigued and that was the main reason I picked it to read. Initially, it took me some time to get a hold of the theme of the story (obviously I knew it, but it took some getting used to) and once I got into the rhythm of the story flow, it only got more and more interesting.

Without giving away much, I’d just say that this book is more like a puzzle than a story; it has lots of clues and red-herrings and takes you on a mind-bending journey only to leave you baffled at the end. This is the first book of this kind that I’ve read and I did enjoy it. Though, my only problem was that I wasn’t able to feel a connection with the main character. I do get the abstractness of his identity, still, I wasn’t able to root for him to find himself amidst all the chaos.

I’d recommend this book to dark fiction lovers and to anyone who loves solving peculiar puzzles.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Desert Kill Switch by Mark S. Bacon

Author: Mark S. Bacon
Release Date: 30th September 2017
Genre: Mystery
Series:  A Nostalgia City Mystery – Book #2
Edition: Paperback
Pages:
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Blurb:
A Deadly Vegas Pursuit—with a Twist…
On an empty desert road, stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming finds a bullet-riddled body next to a vintage mint-condition 1970s Pontiac Firebird. When he returns to the scene with sheriff’s deputies: no car, no body. Does the answer lie in Nostalgia City, the retro theme park where Lyle works?
Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Reno, Nevada, on park business when she gets mixed up with a sleazy Las Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden “kill switches” and GPS trackers into the cars he sells to low-income buyers. Miss a payment—sometimes by as little as a few days—and your car is dead. Maybe you are, too.
When Kate’s accused of murder in Reno, Lyle rushes to help his blonde not-quite-girlfriend. Kate and Lyle plow through a deadly tangle of suspects and motives, hitting one dead end after another, as they struggle to exonerate Kate, catch a blackmailer, save a witness’s life, and find the missing car and corpse.
Desert Kill Switch is the second novel in this mystery series set in Nostalgia City, an Arizona theme park that re-creates—in every detail—a small town as it would have appeared in the mid-1970s.

Review

★★★★

Desert Kill Switch by Mark S. Bacon is a unique mystery novel with a nice plot and exceptional settings.

It is a really good book – great pacing, good writing, nice plot twists, decent mystery. But what I enjoyed the most was the setting – Nostalgia City – a theme-park kind of a replica-town in the 1970’s; it was unique, thrilling and very exciting to read about such an unusual location.

The characterization was good and overall I enjoyed the book and like the ending too.

If you love reading mysteries with different and exotic kind of settings, then you really need to give this book a read!

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Prom Dress Killer by George A. Bernstein

Author: George A. Bernstein
Release Date: 18th July 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Crime, Detective Fiction
Series: 
Detective Al Warner Suspense – #3
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 336
Publisher: GnD Publishing LLC
Blurb:
A psychopathic killer lurks in Miami’s shadows, snatching and murdering young auburn-haired women. Strangely, they are killed without trauma and left clad in frilly prom-style dresses.
Miami’s crack homicide detective, Al Warner, is on the case, but the killer has left few clues. Why were these girls taken and then executed? Was he intent on killing redheads, or was there some other connection? And why were their bodies so carefully arranged in peaceful repose, wearing prom dresses?
Warner’s hunt for this clever psycho is stymied by a lack of clues as he desperately searches for the latest victim. The suspense ramps up when the murderer finally makes one tiny error.
As Warner and the FBI doggedly zero in on their fleeing prey and his newest captive, the action escalates. Unlikely players are drawn into a tense, deadly game. As the stunning climax plays out, Warner is trapped in a classic Catch-22. In order to snare this lethal psycho, he must make a decision that may haunt him forever.

Review

★★★+1/2

The Prom Dress Killer by George A. Bernstein is a psychological thriller-suspense, full of engaging twists and turns and a strong storyline.

This book had an engaging storyline, a good enough psychopath and a neat flow to it overall. I liked the writing of the author as it was simple and straightforward, just the way I like while reading thrillers. Overall it was a good book, though I felt distant towards the characters, so characterization is the only downside for me in this book. If the characters would have been relatable and the victims a bit more real, then I would have, straight away, given this book a full extra star, but sadly that was not the case.

Still, it is a decent read if you don’t have a strong character-over-plot liking. If you’re okay with a strong plot, then go ahead and check this one out.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

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Book Review: Memory Man by David Baldacci

Author: David Baldacci
Release Date: 21st April 2015
Genre: Mystery, Crime-Thriller, Suspense
Series: 
Amos Decker
Edition: ebook (MOBI)
Pages: 416
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Blurb:
Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.
The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.
The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Memory Man will stay with you long after the turn of the final page.

Review

★★★★+1/2

Memory Man by David Baldacci is nothing short of a complete crime-thriller package – entertaining plot, engaging storyline, brilliant writing, the perfect hook and a unique inner conflict that makes for a strong base of this awesome new series.

This is my first book by David Baldacci and I am so glad that I read it. It is an amazing book and I’m very happy to have read it. Lately, I’d been fed up with detective stories because more or less all of them are the same (no matter if the protagonist is a female or a male.) So I had almost abandoned this genre of mystery thrillers when I was asked to review this book. Fortunately, I accepted it because I had heard a lot of praise for David Baldacci’s storytelling and didn’t want to miss out a chance on reading his current sensation back in 2015. However, due to my scepticism, it took me a better part of  2.5 years to even consider reading it ditching the other books I had. And now that I’ve read it, I’m glad that I finally took the step and read it!

This book was so much better than I was expecting it to be. It had life-like characters that were highly relatable, especially the lead, and a plot that had so many twists and turns that I was literally biting my nails because of all the tension and suspense. The mystery was out of the world and I really, really enjoyed the ending.

If you are a mystery buff and love high-tension thrillers, then READ THIS BOOK! It’s really, really good!

this review is also posted on:
goodreads, netgalley, and amazon

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Book Review: Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
Release Date: 1st February 2017
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series: 

Edition:
 ebook (MOBI)
Pages: 432
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Blurb:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers her trademark nonstop suspense and supercharged sexual tension in this thriller about tainted heroism, cold fury, and vengeance without mercy.
Kerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she’s hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, the Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews–until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to the Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.
Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra’s sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing.
Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

Review

★★+1/2

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown is yet another typical contemporary thriller by author Brown that has an uber handsome and dangerous hero, a very modern damsel in distress and some racy thrills and chills.

I didn’t like this book a lot so I’m going to keep my review very short and to the point – I found it a bit too cliched. The plot felt unrealistic and the characters very unrelatable and somewhat annoying. In short, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

If you haven’t read a fast-paced thriller in a while or if you’re craving for one badly, you might want to check this one out as it’ll definitely quench your thirst for a suspense thriller, if nothing else.

this review is also posted on goodreads, netgalley and amazon

Book Review: Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

Author: Jenny Morton Potts
Release Date: 1st February 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series: 

Edition:
 ebook (MOBI)
Pages: 258
Publisher: Cahoots Publishing
Blurb:
A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice.
Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.
This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

Review

★★★★+1/2

Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts is a fast-paced new psychological thriller that will keep you hooked right until the very end.

I enjoyed every bit of reading this book! The writing was one of the best parts of this book; it was very fluid, smooth and engaging. The next best thing for me was the mind-blowing plot; it was so interesting that it was hard for me to stop myself from reading the next chapter every time I finished one. The plot unravels beautifully and the reveals were rewarding. Once I started the book, it was literally unputdownable! The chapters are paced brilliantly and the changing timelines of the two different POV characters made this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The characters were so good and full of life – I loved Rebecca, and though I wasn’t able to overly connect to Keller, I did get the motivation behind his actions. The secondary characters were also well constructed and very relatable.

This is my first book by this author and I’m looking forward to reading more by her in the near future. I’d recommend this book to thriller/psychological thriller lovers.

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this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

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Graphic Novel Review: Manga Classics – The Stories Of Edgar Allen Poe

Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Adapted By: Stacy King
Illustrator: 
Several
Release Date: 17th October 2017
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Short-Story Collection, Graphic Novel
Series: 

Edition:
 PDF
Pages: 308
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Blurb:
The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe is a brilliant collection of some of his best-known stories: The Tell Tale Heart (a murder s haunting guilt), The Cask of Amontillado (a story of brilliant revenge), and The Fall of the House of Usher (an ancient house full of very dark secrets). Also included in this collection are The Mask of the Red Death (horrors of ‘the Plague’), and the most famous of all his poems: The Raven (a lover s decline into madness). Best read in a dimly-lit room with the curtains drawn, Poe s brilliant works come to life in darkly thrilling ways in this Manga Classic adaptation.”

Review

★★★

The Stories Of Edgar Allen Poe is another adaptation by Stacy King, who has adapted several other Manga Classics including Sense And Sensibility. This was my first encounter with any of Edgar Allen Poe’s works, and to say that the stories creeped me out would be an understatement considering that I write horror and creep-worthy fiction myself.

To be honest, this book did not please me like some of the other Manga Classics did; maybe it was because I wasn’t able to connect with Poe’s writing, or maybe because there were only a couple of stories. Either way, I didn’t like this book enough to get and read other works by Mr Poe because having previously read Stacy King’s other adaptations, I know that that it wasn’t because of her or the illustrations, which were beautifully done, to say the least.

The illustrations, as mentioned above, were awesome and spell-binding (literally!) They felt eerie and many times I stopped reading only to examine the illustrations more closely as they had such amazing details. Unfortunately, I received a very early ARC edition of this particular book, so some of the illustrations were only in black and white. Nonetheless, the illustrations were remarkable.

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If you’re anything like me and dread reading most fo the classics, then go ahead and give this one a read. It never hurts to have read the condensed and illustrated version of the most famous works of one of the greatest authors of their time.

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Review also posted on: Goodreads and NetGalley

Book Review: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) by John A. Heldt

Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: 7th February 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance, Historical
Series: 
Carson Chronicles
Edition:
 e-book
Pages: 661
Publisher:
Blurb:
Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.
While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.
In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

REVIEW

★★★★★

River Rising by John A. Heldt is an engaging sci-fi historical book that’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I’ve always loved author Heldt’s books because of the beautiful storylines and his exceptional storytelling skills, and this book is no different and had the same charm that I find nothing short of magic. In fact, this book was all this and so much more; it had elements of mystery and something very different from the author’s previous books – this book is a series based around the same family. This made me look at the characters, the main ones as well as the secondary ones, in a very different light.

Overall it was a very good read and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, science-fiction – time travel, simple romance, family drama and easy mystery.

Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: A Measure Of Murder by Leslie Karst

Author: Leslie Karst
Release Date: 7th February 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Edition:
 Hardcover
Pages: 336
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Blurb:
Sally Solari is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping Javier plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, Sally joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard–and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.
Now Sally’s back on another murder case mixed in with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin–set aflame right as Sally starts getting too close to the truth. Can Sally catch the killer before she’s burnt to a crisp, or will the case grow as cold as yesterday’s leftovers?
In a stew of suspects and restaurateurs, trouble boils over in the second in Leslie Karst’s tasty and tantalizing Sally Solari mystery series, A Measure of Murder.

REVIEW

★★★★

A Measure Of Murder by Leslie Karst is an engaging cosy mystery that is sure to keep you busy trying to figure out the culprit. I liked the book, it was different from what I usually read and it was really entertaining. The pace was set nicely and was kept constant, one of the reasons I really liked the book. As far as cosy mysteries go, this one proved to be a really good one. The mystery was good and was really brought out by some good twists and turns that kept me guessing the entire time.

I liked the characters and enjoyed reading about them. The writing is good too, so, all in all, it was a nice cosy mystery. I’d recommend it to all mystery lovers, especially who like low-key ones.

I’d like to make a note here that I have not read the first part of this series, though it hardly felt like it because the story read like a stand-alone.

Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: How Will I Know You by Jessica Treadway

32489596Author: Jessica Treadway 
Release Date: 6th December 2016
Series: –
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Edition: E-book
Pages: 416
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A page-turner about the murder of a teenage girl, from the author of Lacy Eye.

On a cold December day in northern upstate New York, the body of high school senior Joy Enright is discovered in the woods at the edge of a pond. She had been presumed drowned, but an autopsy shows that she was, in fact, strangled. As the investigation unfolds, four characters tell the story from widely divergent perspectives: Susanne, Joy’s mother and a professor at the local art college; Martin, a black graduate student suspected of the murder; Harper, Joy’s best friend and a potential eyewitness; and Tom, a rescue diver and son-in-law of the town’s police chief. As a web of small-town secrets comes to light, a dramatic conclusion reveals the truth about Joy’s death.

Review

How Will I Know You by Jessica Treadway is a compelling read that will leave you with so many thoughts that you’d be thinking about this book for days even after it is over.

When I started reading this book I had this idea that this book will revolve around a murder and then it’ll turn out to be a fast-paced who-dun-it kind, but as I got into the book I realized that I completely started forgetting about the actual murder as the story focused on the people and the relations Joy was surrounded with when she was alive. This book shows so transparently the truth about how exactly the things would be like if a murder of this kind happens in real life of a normal teenager.

This book shouldn’t be misinterpreted as a Thriller, but it is a realistic approach of the author towards the situation on the whole. After reading this book (actually, while reading this book) I realized how easily we form an opinion about someone whom we’ve never really known. How easy it is for everyone, including the parents and the best of friends, to misinterpret the actions of someone and come up with their own theories about how things would have played out and what might have happened and how they start believing and, in a way, living in those theories. Human nature is such a tricky and immensely complex thing that you never know what might happen in the next few minutes.

The writing was really good and had an easy flow to it that made reading this book a good experience and the slow-to-medium pace of the story was completely in sync with the story itself.

The characters were so real and full of life that I was able to connect with each and every single one of them. And I’m really thankful for it because this book is, in all respects, a character-driven story and these strong characters served the purpose perfectly well.

The beginning was great and I was pulled into the story right from the first chapter. The ending doesn’t fail to tell the readers about what really happened on the day of the murder and who did it, so in a way it served as a beautiful closure because otherwise, I’m sure it would have been a really gut-wrenching read.

I’d recommend this book to all the mystery and suspense lovers and also to all those readers who don’t mind reading about dark subjects such as depression and coping with the loss of a loved one.


Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon

Book Review: Climatized by Sally Fernandez

32511383Author: Sally Fernandez
Release Date: 4th October 2016
Series: Max Ford (Book #1)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Detective Fiction, Conspiracy
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publisher: Dunham Books

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Maxine Ford, having resigned as deputy director of the States intelligence Agency, soon needed an outlet for her innate sleuthing capabilities. It only made sense that she would be destined to establish her own investigative firm. Naturally, her stellar clients would be among the Washington elite, including senators, members of the various congressional committees, along with other high profilers inside the beltway.

In the first novel in the series, Climatized, Max is hired by the wife of a prominent Senator to determine the cause of his untimely death. It leads her to discover that three world-renowned scientists had been killed days before they were scheduled to testify before the late Senator’s investigative committee. Meanwhile, a fourth scientist has gone missing. Max determines he is the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Following the many twists and turns, Max and her associate, Jackson Monroe uncover a powerful organization responsible for the killings. The challenges to the global warming “cottage industry” heats up putting into question the alleged science behind the widely accepted climate change dogma. Cogent evidence is provided to the president, forcing him to make a crucial decision-to cover up a diabolical plot-or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar world-wide economy.

Review

Climatized by Sally Fernandez is a mystery thriller that is centered around a huge political conspiracy involving the climate change.

I liked the book as I started reading it, but after around 100 pages the book started to get a bit flat for my taste. The main problem was that there was a lot of telling when it came to the main character Maxine Ford. At places, it felt like the author was forcing the reader to like her and to “get” how stud Maxine is. Plus, there was a lot of background info that was packed in the midst of scenes and situations that made the experience a bit overwhelming. I understand that background is necessary, but in this case, it was too much.

And for some unknown reason, I was not able to connect to the main character, Max, at all and hence, I lost interest in reading this book by the 50% mark. I still kept on going, but it was a real slog and I skimmed over pages just to be done with it. The descriptions of the climate stuff were too taxing and were impossible to keep up with, especially for a layman like me who has no idea about the technical stuff related to any of the climatic situations or the measures taken to avoid/stop them.

This book is not for me, but if you like science (or medical) and conspiracy thrillers then this book might impress you because there are a lot of raving reviews and testimonies for this book by a lot of big people (there are a few testimonies by professionals from NASA.) So I’m pretty sure that this book would be a huge hit in the right hands.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

30169765Author: Douglas Preston Lincoln Child
Release Date: 18th October 2016
Series: Pendergast Series (Book #16)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Edition: E-book
Pages: 560
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A TRAGIC DISAPPEARANCE
After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead.
A SHOCKING RETURN
Sick with grief, Pendergast’s ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive–only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past.
AN INTERNATIONAL MANHUNT
Proctor, Pendergast’s longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance’s kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.
BUT IN A WORLD OF BLACK AND WHITE, NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred-and it may already be too late.

Review

The Obsidian Chamber by Preston and Child is the 16th book in the Pendergast series.

Before I begin the review, I’d like to mention that this is the first book in this series that I’ve read and although that is almost never a good idea, I wasn’t able to resist accepting this title when it was offered to me.

I absolutely loved reading this book. It was equal parts clever, suspenseful, full of unforeseeable twists and chilling and extremely interesting characters. I enjoyed the premise of the plot and I loved the fact that things were told in such a way that as a new reader to the series, I was able to get an idea about what might have happened in the earlier parts. I even got a decent idea as to how the chemistry between the characters worked up until this part. So I was really happy to get all the important background information that the authors cleverly infused without affecting the present narration.

This book had really strong characters and even though I did not fall in love with the main guy, AXL Pendergast (mainly because he wasn’t the main character in this particular story) I was really drawn towards the other main characters in this book. I’m pretty sure that Diogenes might have been the crazy serial killer in the parts before this one, but in this part, I loved him as he was a completely changed man standing right on the turning point in his life. And it makes me wonder that now that I actually like the villain of the story, how could I possibly read the previous parts. Anyway, back to the character dissection, I did not much like the character of Constance. She was too “ancient” for me to feel connected to her. I did love Proctor, he is this smart, intelligent and stud guy who’d do anything to protect his people. So yeah, this is one of those books that’ll make you fall in love with more than half of the characters.

The storyline was strong and so were the characters and the writing, so there was actually nothing that  I, as a reader, couldn’t have liked. The book started with one hell of a fast paced beginning with Proctor running around the world changing plane after plane chasing the kidnapper and I was hooked right from the start. But then a really mind-bending twist followed and I was like, “What the hell?” and then things started to get really interesting, to say the least.

The ending was a bit slow, but that could be overlooked considering that it is an ongoing series, so a mild closure for all the characters is needed. Though I would have loved to read more about proctor towards the end, considering that the book started with him. Also, a few scenes between Constance and Diogenes felt like a slog, especially when they both started talking about the ancient aristocratic stuff, but maybe that’s just me.

Other than these minor issues, I loved the book, so much that I’m planning to read this entire series from beginning in the coming days. If you like reading nice suspenseful stories rich with strong characters and storylines then this book (or rather series) is for you.


Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon

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.

 

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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.

Graphic Novel Review: Warren The 13th And The All-Seeing Eye

27888214

Author: Tania del Rio
Illustrator: Will Staehle 

Release Date: November 24, 2015
Series: 
Genre:  Fantasy | Mystery | Paranormal | Children’s Fiction | Adventure | Sequential Arts > Graphic Novel
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 113
Publisher: Quirk Books
Distributer: –
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

Review

Warren the 13th And The All-Seeing Eye is a delightful read not only for children but for adults as well (at least I enjoyed reading it and would love to read it again!)

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.05.24 pm

WT13ATASE is about Warren (the 13th), a toad-faced and unlucky 12-year-old orphan who stays with his uncle Rupert – a lazy dumb chap – and his wife, Annaconda – a clever witch who continuously troubles Warren to search The All-Seeing Eye (a legendary treasure about which no one seems to know.) Warren is a bright kid who tries to see the good in every situation and who dreams about growing up and restoring his forefather’s hotel to its full glory someday. He’s a good lad who tries to do everything at the same time and wanting nothing in return.

Paleface

Warren stole my heart in the first few pages of the book and, as I read ahead, I was totally spellbound by his cuteness and willingness to help everyone. It really broke my heart to see him trying to be the bellhop of the hotel, carrying all those heavy luggage alone, with no help from his lazy uncle. I also loved chef Bunion, and Mr. Friggs, Petulia and Paleface, but I hated aunt Annaconda and despised uncle Rupert, all to say that the characterization is terrific! The author made me feel like I know all these characters well enough to have such strong emotions and that’s where this book earned all the raves from me.

The illustrations are truly magical. I loved them and they managed to take the story to a whole new level.

This book is simply outstanding and I’d recommend it to all the children, and even to their parents and brothers and sisters. Everyone needs to read such an amazing book!

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Novella Review: Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island

18106337

Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Release Date:  2013 
Series: None 
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Suspense 
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 137
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Source: NetGalley 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

Rating

4-stars

Review

 

Story/Plot:

This book has a really unique plot-line and I enjoyed it pretty well. It was a mild read but at times it really gave me the creeps. The concept was really good but I feel that the story could have a little ore better towards the end. Still, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent suspense or horror read.

Though I felt that despite of having a great start to the book, the ending was a little week.

Characters:

It took a few chapters to establish a connection with the protagonist, Paul, but once it was done, I was able to enjoy the book without any difficulty. I really felt sorry for the situation he was in – dead wife and three children to care of and then dead wife coming back to ask for help. The other characters were also good but I wasn’t able to connection with anyone else.

Romance:

There was no romance as the lead’s wife dies, but there was a whole book full of love. It was really sweet to read a horror story which was completely driven by only one main emotion – love.

The author did justice to the theme.

Writing:

I’d like to commend the author on the simplicity of the book. The writing was simple yet relatable and I’d like to read more books by the author.

Beginning:

The beginning of the book was probably the best part as it drew me right in. I was able to get the feel of the whole situation and could clearly see where the story was going.

Ending:

The ending, for me, was a bit confusing and week. I felt that with such a great concept the author should have really pulled it off with a great ending (connecting the dots and all) but to my disappointment the story felt quite rushed at the end.

Cover Art:

I like the cover art and it compliments the theme of the book perfectly.

Blurb:

The blurb is quite good and summarises the story perfectly well.

You canals read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Paul turned from the dark window, twitching the drapes back in place.

Highlights: Beginning of the plot.

Lowlights: Ending.

Final Thoughts: A decent read.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Sisters Of Sorrow

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Author:  Axel Blackwell
Release Date: 24th April, 2015
Series: February 17, 2015
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Magic | Supernatural | Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Edition: mobi
Pages: 332
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Sisters Of Sorrow has an amazingly superb plot-line. It is a complete adventure-mystery package and this book is by far one of the best books I’ve read by an independent author. I enjoyed each and every chapter to the core and I literally had to drag myself away from the book to sleep at night.

This book is a masterpiece and I’ll recommend it to all the adventure and mystery fans. If you want to read a good book with an amazing story and superbly crafted characters, then this book is for YOU.

This book is about an orphan girl who tries her best to get away the cruel nuns of SFDCOA. She risks everything, even the life of her girls (sisters) and other orphans. But when she gets out, she discovers the ugly truths of the island and the asylum itself. The story shows her struggles and dilemmas beautifully and the of course highlights her choices which ultimately makes her a hero.

I enjoyed every ounce of this story and I’m going to re-read it soon, in fact I wanted to start it over again as soon as I finished it, but I have a lot of stuff to do right now to indulge in something so absorbing.

Axel Blackwell has beautifully proved that YA genre is so much more than Hunger Games, Divergent and Immortal Instruments.

Characters:

The author, Axel, did a fabulous job in creating, what I like to call as, the perfect characters. The characterisation is so strong that you’ll fall in love with each and every single character. I felt so bonded with Anna and Donny that I wanted to get in the book and help them out at tight places.

Even the characters of the evil nuns are so beautifully created that you’ll want to get stay away from McCain and Eustace.

Another character that I really enjoyed was that of Joey. The author really impressed me with such a unique character. I enjoyed having such a different being in a story like this.

Romance/Kills:

It’s a YA book and the main character is 14 years old, so there’s no romance but there’s a lot of love. Anna’s love for her girls (whom she lovingly calls her sisters of sorrow) is so heart-warming. Her attitude towards all her girls make me want to cry the tears of joy. She is such a brave little girl that I really, really love her.

Writing:

Writing style of Axel Blackwell compliments the story beautifully. He is an amazing story-teller. the writing is simple and perfect. I enjoyed reading the perfectly written third person throughout the book and based on this book I’m going to read all the books by him.

Beginning:

My heart clenched so bad when the story began. The nuns terrified me to no end and thinking about little girls and boys under their supervision gave me the willies.

The beginning was so powerful that as soon as I read the first page, I knew that I’m not going to be putting this book down anytime soon. I started to feel the bond with all the characters (that were mentioned from beginning) in the initial pages only and by the time I was half way through the book, I knew it’s going to be my new favourite.

Ending:

The ending of this book is perfect. It couldn’t have been better than what it is. I was so relieved and happy that the author maintained his level of brilliance throughout the book, till the very last word.

Blurb:

The blurb gives a fair idea about what to expect from the book. This book has so much to offer that it’s practically impossible to sum it up in a small blurb.

Cover Art:

Nice. I really like it and coupled with the blurb, it gives a really mysterious feel to the book. I love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Anna Dufresne sat on the edge of her cot in the predawn hour, staring down at her mummified pinky finger.

Highlights: Amazing plot and brilliant characterisation.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I’m dead, there’s nothing else they can take away. And that is it’s own kind of freedom.

No food and no blankets gets you dead little girls and boys.

If a child will not work, neither let him eat.

Being Anna’s friend is a bad idea.

They can only kill you once. After that, they can never hurt you again.

Memorable Quote:

A troop of broken orphans, shell shocked into doing the next thing that must be done. The only difference was that this time, the next thing that must be done involved sneaking through a storm while being chased by ax-weilding nuns and a Joseph-Thing. These girls have faced the stampers and needle machines on a daily basis, this wasn’t much worse.

“Lady!” Jane interrupted, in a voice that made Anna want to hide under a cot. “are you blind as well as stupid? Look around you. There used to be a fortress here. It stood here for a hundred years. It’s gone now. You know why? Because it made Anna it’s enemy. If anyone ought to be scared, lady, it’s you. There used to be a factory there, now it’s just a hole full of sand and seaweed, because it tried to keep Anna on this island.

“Anna fought off an entire order of evil nuns, an army of mercenary witch-hunters, a pack of wolves and a-a-a Joseph-Thing, to rescue her girls and get us off this island. And now you are going to just saunter up in your silly white dress and threaten her? I’ve seen a lot of moronic behaviour since I’ve lived here, lady, but you take the cake. You are one dumb-witch.”

Final Thoughts: You’ve GOT to read this book!!!


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.