Book Review: Tricky by Ron Dakron

Book Details:

Author: Ron Dakron
Release Date: 
12nd March 2022
Series:
Genre: Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 152 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
A certain, um, body part runs away from his owner. Wearing a hot-dog toy disguise, he clashes with warrior pigeons, suicidal hummingbirds, and griping squirrels. He is soon imprisoned in Male Re-education Kamp, wars with cynical plums, woos amorous cardiac valves, livers, and cupcakes, joins forces with hyper-testosterone Komodo Dragons, and is shanghaied by a femme pirate crew to help harpoon Mobo, the 90-foot moray eel who is the font of worldwide testosterone. Tricky is a savagely-funny trip into male delusion, sneaky body parts, repression, amorality and – what the hey – gigantor moray eels that stream flaming jizz.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Trial Show: Resistance Rises by Konstantina P. is an engaging and heady dystopian read that will pull you in right from the very beginning and keep you guessing until the end.

This book had so many interesting and unpredictable twists and turns that it kept me engaged the entire time! I loved the story as it was weaved intricately and plotted with an exceptional deftness that is rare to find in books these days. The characterization was very well done and made this book a very complex read. I loved the characters, especially those of Trent and Ava, and wanted to know everything about them and their lives in this amazingly crafted dystopian world.

The writing style of the author was good as it had a very nice flow. It made reading this book both a pleasant as well as a very quick experience for me, as a reader, and I always appreciate it. I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian readers.


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ARC Review: The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting by Dana Hammer

Book Details:

Author: Dana Hammer
Release Date: 
6th September 2022
Series: The Resistance Rises
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 321 pages
Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC 
Blurb:
Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse?
Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus
that has ruined his life.

With Parker and Jay temporarily out of the picture, double-agent Trent Reese is left responsible for leading the Resistance. Trent is willing to adapt his moral code to any situation, but what—or whom—does he believe in? As for innocent Ava, who’s plagued by unsettling visions, it’s becoming clear that everyone she loves is in peril. Given, however, that Parker is concealing a mighty gift of his own, one that could change the entire course of the rebellion, the future of the all-seeing state is on the line too.
When the web of secrets is untangled, who will survive?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting by Dana Hammer is a new sci-fi dystopian suspense novel with high-octane action interlaced with romance and humour.

I loved the characterisation because it was very well-developed and I was able to relate to the character of Igor on such a deep level that it made reading this book an extraordinary experience. I also liked reading about the other characters such as Esteban and Dr Tran. The characterisation in this book was done so well that it took this book to an entirely different level!

I was impressed by the author’s writing. The prose was very well written and the overall concept had a surprising level of moral complexity that I had not expected. In spite of the main theme of the book being dark and ominous, the author has done a great job of interlacing it with sophisticated humour and making light of some of the situations which could have otherwise weighted too heavy on the readers.

I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian and speculative fiction readers.


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Book Review: The Trial Show: The Resistance Rises by Konstantina P.

Book Details:

Author: Konstantina P.
Release Date: 
12nd March 2022
Series: The Resistance Rises
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Suspence
Format: E-book 
Pages: 287 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Forced into the shadows while waging war on an oppressive regime intent on controlling those born with unnatural powers, the Resistance feels like a family. And although all families harbour secrets, theirs are world-shattering.
When Ava Moore foresees the death of her sister Brooklyn and Resistance leader Parker Quinn is forced to appear in a televised trial accused of murder, the web of lies begins to unravel. For not only is Resistance’s second-in-command, Jay Frazer, fighting a guerrilla battle with deadly consequences, he’s also trying to bury his deep-seated love for Parker.

With Parker and Jay temporarily out of the picture, double-agent Trent Reese is left responsible for leading the Resistance. Trent is willing to adapt his moral code to any situation, but what—or whom—does he believe in? As for innocent Ava, who’s plagued by unsettling visions, it’s becoming clear that everyone she loves is in peril. Given, however, that Parker is concealing a mighty gift of his own, one that could change the entire course of the rebellion, the future of the all-seeing state is on the line too.
When the web of secrets is untangled, who will survive?

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Trial Show: Resistance Rises by Konstantina P. is an engaging and heady dystopian read that will pull you in right from the very beginning and keep you guessing until the end.

This book had so many interesting and unpredictable twists and turns that it kept me engaged the entire time! I loved the story as it was weaved intricately and plotted with an exceptional deftness that is rare to find in books these days. The characterization was very well done and made this book a very complex read. I loved the characters, especially those of Trent and Ava, and wanted to know everything about them and their lives in this amazingly crafted dystopian world.

The writing style of the author was good as it had a very nice flow. It made reading this book both a pleasant as well as a very quick experience for me, as a reader, and I always appreciate it. I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian readers.


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Book Review: Neighborhood Watch by Kevin Patrick Kenealy

Book Details:

Author: Kevin Patrick Kenealy
Release Date: 
10th March 2022
Series:
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 415 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
When the Caseys move into affluent Ridgeport, Ill, searching for a better life for their newborn Scott, they are surprised to find a book entitled Ridgeport Welcomes You: Procedures and Guidelines for Happy Living. The book contains rules and ordinances that citizens must abide by to live in happy neighborhoods. Although mom Loretta Casey is hesitant to live by Ridgeport’s strict rules, all that changes when she meets her neighbor Sue Ellen Norris.
Sue Ellen serves on the Neighborhood Watch Committee, overseeing the town’s safety, and Loretta becomes engrossed in Sue Ellen’s addictive personality. But as Loretta’s son Scott and Sue Ellen’s son Matt grow, they discover that Ridgeport is not as perfect as their moms make it out to be. As Scott and Matt form their band of friends, their journeys into the neighborhood woods prove to be much more than just a place of refuge.

Kevin Patrick Kenealy is in his eighth year teaching AP Literature, English, and journalism high school students. Before that, he wrote for Chicagoland newspapers, where he had the privilege to interview several famous people, including Barack Obama, former Illinois governors Jim Edgar, Rod Blagojevich, and Pat Quinn. He has also published two poetry books, 20 Something and Faith Journey, and the horror novel Life and Death.

“Superb characters headline this chilling, slow-burn crime tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Thoroughly enjoyable with just the right amount of suspense.”
Readers Favorite

“This gripping story of a sinister small-town secret will keep you on the edge of your seat! It’s completely unforgettable.”
Reedsy

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Neighborhood Watch by Kevin Patrick Kenealy is a thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful new read that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat till the very last page!

I loved reading this book because it had so many dark and delicious twists and turns that it kept me guessing the entire time. the writing was good and flowed very smoothly throughout the book making it a surprisingly quick read (especially given the length of the novel.) The characterization was good too and very well developed and I was able to relate to almost all the characters, primary and secondary alike.

I’d strongly recommend this book to all suspense and thriller fiction fans as it has a lot to offer to its readers.


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Book Review: The Study of Sentient Things by Trevor McCall

Book Details:

Author: Trevor McCall
Release Date: 
30th May 2022
Series:
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Horror, Short Stories
Format: E-book 
Pages: 367 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The first four stories in this collection are adapted straight from works by EDGAR ALLAN POE. You will read updated and expanded versions of The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe’s poem The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Black Cat. They’ve each been given new twists that will intrigue your imagination while maintaining the spirit of the originals. The final story in this collection, Broken Vessels, when reviewed as a standalone novel by Kirkus, received a STARRED review:

“Powered by razor-focused writing, relentless pacing, and a masterfully intricate storyline that includes references to Freud, Descartes, and Edvard Munch, this tightly woven novel reads like a Ray Bradbury short story—especially the brass knuckle thematic impact of the conclusion.
While somewhat uncategorizable, this dark gem of a novel is supremely gratifying.”

– Kirkus Starred Review
All five stories are connected by their dark and powerful imagery, and each features an immurement motif. If you’ve ever enjoyed one of Poe’s stories, you will love these five tales.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Study Of Sentient Things And Other Stories by Trevor McCall is a collection of short stories that will definitely keep you up at night. I loved reading this book because, a) I am a Poe fan and, b) these stories were indeed very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every story and was impressed by the author’s take on some of Poe’s legendary tales. Although I love the original, these adapted stories were great too.

The writing of the author is quite impressive and I did feel like I was reading Edgar Allen Poe’s work itself. It wasn’t an imitation of writing style though, the originality of the author’s style did not fail to shine through, especially in gritty scenes. The flow of the stories was really lucid and smooth and I was able to read this book in just one sitting – I simply could not put it down!

I’d highly recommend this book to all horror readers and fans of surreal fiction. I strongly believe this book has a lot to offer to readers of dark fiction in general.


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Book Review: Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons

Book Details:

Author: Natasha Simmons
Release Date: 
7th June 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The baby is quiet. Too quiet.
When Madeline checks on her seven-month-old daughter, she discovers the reason for the baby’s silence. Abigail is dead. Madeline is soon living every mother’s worst nightmare among a cacophony of sirens and police interrogations.
Accusations and old resentments can’t stay contained under the pressure of guilt, tears, and the horror of picking out a baby-sized coffin. A line is drawn through Madeline and Brian’s marriage, and a battle begins.
But defining heroes and villains is as difficult as untangling the truth from the impossible web Madeline and Brian have created to protect themselves. Abigail’s killer isn’t the only monster hiding in the shadows. And among the dark secrets, everyone will crumble under the consequences.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons is a very well-written psychological thriller that will make it impossible for you to put down the book for even a second.

As much as this book was emotionally taxing, I loved reading it. The tension throughout the book, right from the first chapter, was wound so tight, that it was impossible to put it aside and do anything else. And that is the best way any author can write a psychological thriller novel, so I am really glad that I read this book. The writing was good, the concept was brilliant, the characterisation was very well developed and the tension and pacing were completely on point.

The story did have its dark moments, but it was to be expected given that the author had been honest about a child’s death in the blurb itself. So be prepared for some reader’s emotional damage (as I like to call it) but unless it is a trigger for you, you shouldn’t worry about it because the book after all is a dark psychological thriller.

I would strongly recommend this book to all thriller readers, especially all dark psychological thriller readers and fans of the genre.


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Book Review: Wrecked by by Nick Stephens

Book Details:

Author: Nick Stephens
Release Date: 
30th April 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 141 pages
Publisher: Reading Between the Lines pub.
Blurb:
Sam has been stuck on this deserted island for some time. How long? He has no idea. He was just about to give up on trying to survive when Desmond crashd ashore. Unfortunately, not only does Desmond not offer any hopes of rescue, he appears to be insane. Sam must survive the island and Desmond while he attempts to remember who he is and how he got there.

Desmond found himself stranded after his plan for murder goes awry. Perhaps Sam will learn more about himself as he uncovers the truth about Desmond. Perhaps he will find himself descending into madness. Wrecked is a thrilling novel full of suspense, twisting and churning like the rough tides of the open ocean.
Will Sam survive long enough to piece together his past, or will the island, and Desmond, destroy any shred of hope he has left?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wrecked by Nick Stephens is a brilliantly written psychological thriller novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading right from the very beginning until the last page!

This book had a really good concept and the execution was spot on. The characterisation was great and I was able to feel a connection with Sam, the main character, and wanted to see how things would turn out for him. And boy, I was not expecting the end to be the way it turned out to be! Absolutely loved the way the book ended. The tension and suspense ran tight and high throughout the book and I really appreciated it as it made the book an un-put-down-able read!

I would strongly recommend this book to all psychological thriller readers. This book has a great premise and an amazingly written plot that’ll blow your mind!


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ARC Review: A Disappearance at the Bonne Nuit Hotel by Dominique Daoust

Book Details:

Author: Dominique Daoust
Release Date: 
31st March 2022
Series: The Deadly Exclusives Trilogy (Book #1)
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 210 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Secret sources have a whole new meaning.
Newbie reporter Rita Larose is tired of getting assigned boring stories at one of Montreal’s most popular newspapers. It’s 1930 after all, women don’t need to only write about household chores anymore! But when a high hat socialite gossips about the New Year’s Eve party at the Bonne Nuit Hotel, a riveting mystery falls right into Rita’s lap. This is her chance to prove to herself and her underestimating colleagues that she has what it takes to write the hard-hitting articles.
While going undercover as a maid to get the scoop, Rita will soon discover unexpected friendships and an unusual gift of her own to contend with. Will she be able to juggle this newfound ability while not blowing her cover and jeopardizing her career-making article?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Disappearance At The Bonne Nuit Hotel by Domonique Daoust is a cleverly plotted and well-executed cozy mystery laced with historical elements and twists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book right from the first page to the very last one and the ending, surprisingly, turned out to be satisfying. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy as there are some answers that I still seek from the sequel (which I am sure will be answered in the next part or maybe the one after that, but I am patient.)

The characterisation was really well-developed and the writing felt very smooth, which was surprising as this is the author’s debut novel. I was impressed by the number of details and their impact on the overall plot. I would highly recommend this book to cozy mystery fans and to readers of light historical fiction brimming with light suspense.


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Book Review: Villains (The Reeve #2) by Ian Lewis

Book Details:

Author: Ian Lewis 
Release Date: 
20th December 2021
Genre: Alternate History, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery, Speculative Fiction
Series: The Reeve (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 380 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Beldenridge—a city of aging grandeur adrift in complacency—is reeling in the wake of violence perpetrated by the Wojiin, a legendary foe once thought to be extinct. Now mutated horrors lurk by shadow of night, and opportunistic villains rise to fill the gap left by the perceived abandonment of Beldenridge by Logan Hale, the city’s highest peace officer. Though Logan knows the Wojiin will return, he’s beleaguered by the ignominy of failure and a loss of purpose. To recover, he must not only confront himself but the malevolence that runs like an insidious undercurrent beneath everything he fears.

Just when Lucy is feeling unworthy of happiness, a silver lining presents itself. She lands her dream job as a travel writer. Follow aspiring author Lucy as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery with her best friends by her side. Witness as she blissfully immerses herself in French culture while hitting all of Paris’ hot spots for her new job. Laugh along while she helps throw an epic murder mystery birthday bash. Most of all, join Lucy as she transforms her self-doubt to self-love, ending a tragic year with the surprise of her life.
Will Lucy finally leave David in the past or will he continue to haunt her dreams?

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Villains by Ian Lewis is the sequel to From Legend and the second book in The Reeve series. I absolutely loved this book! It was undoubtedly un-put-down-able!

I had been waiting on this book since I first read From Legends by the author and finally having read this book I am now looking forward to reading the next one! The characterisation in this book was great, and I loved Amelia, the main character. I think the settings in this book felt even better than in the last books and I loved the detailing. The monsters were big and scary and truly dreadful and I enjoyed reading every bit of this book.

I would recommend this book to all readers of Fantasy, Suspense and Alternate History mixed with Speculative Fiction, as I am sure they will definitely love this book and the series!


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Audiobook Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: 14th September 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Contemporary
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 18 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Blurb:
The Delaney family love one another dearly―it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?
This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killer on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?

The four Delaney children―Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke―were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups. Well, that depends on how you define success. No one in the family can really tell you what Troy does, but based on his fancy car and expensive apartment, he seems to do it very well, even if he blew up his perfect marriage. Logan is happy with his routine as a community college professor, but his family finds it easier to communicate with his lovely girlfriend than him. Amy, the eldest, can’t seem to hold down a job or even a lease, but leave it to Brooke, the baby of the family, to be the rock-steady one who is married with a new solo physiotherapy practice . . . which will take off any day now.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door. She says she chose their house because it looked the friendliest. And since Savannah is bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend, the Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents’ marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was so perfect… till the last 4 hours ruined it entirely!

I love Liane Moriarty’s books because she is an excellent writer who can create genre-defying plots and build super amazing and realistic as hell characters. In fact, whenever I take a fiction writing class, I always ask my students to read any of her books to study her characteristics and notice the techniques she uses. And this book was no different, at least on the character front. 

The characters in this book are near perfect and they are what brings so much life into this (almost) amazing story. The only thing that totally ruined it was the ending… and the flimsy motivations… and the superficial stakes. 

Why, Liane? Why?

I feel so outrageously angry that the author botched up the ending for no more reason than a stupid girl’s hunger. I mean WTAF!! I get it she was being starved, but shouldn’t Savannah take revenge from her mother who starved her? Or her father who was partially responsible? Or her big-time brother who never took her seriously? 

Why the hell does a person take such a meticulously planned revenge on someone whom she visited only for a brief period in a day 20 years ago? I mean… seriously????

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

Author: Teresa Driscoll
Release Date: 7th February 2019
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Series: 
Edition: E-book
Pages: 309
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Blurb:
The chilling new psychological thriller from the #1 bestselling author of I Am Watching You.
It was their darkest secret. Three schoolgirls made a promise – to take the horrible truth of what they did to the grave.
Thirty years later, Beth and Sally have tried to put the trauma behind them. Though Carol has distanced herself from her former friends, the three are adamant that the truth must never come to light, even if the memory still haunts them.
But when some shocking news threatens to unearth their dark secret, Beth enlists the help of private investigator Matthew Hill to help her and Sally reconnect with estranged Carol – before the terrible act they committed as teenagers is revealed.
Beth wishes she could take back the vow they made.
But somebody is watching and will stop at nothing to ensure the secret stays buried. Now, with her beloved family in peril, can Beth still keep the promise?

REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is one of those books which has a great concept and plot, but poor execution and unreliable and flat characterisation take away from it so much that there is nothing really left to like. The only reason why I even completed this book is because of the compelling plot, but the ending was predictable and you could see it from the start of the 3rd act.

This plot could have been so much better had the ending was revised and the characters were built better, but that was not the case and therefore I will not be recommending it to thriller fans. Although, I do have a feeling that if you are new to the thriller genre, then you might like this book (seeing as it did have a good plot.)

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks And Sarah Pekkanen

Author: Greer Hendricks  and Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: 9th January 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio 
Blurb:
When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing. 
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Listen for the truth between the lies.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Woah! You will not know what hit you in the face when the big reveal is unravelled!

The book begins with a run-of-the-mill plot where you assume that a good chunk of the book is going to be about stalking in a revenge drama, but then the author leaves and omits certain details that make you question whether that is the case or not because you cannot be certain!

And then, after many twists and turns you realise that you have been wrong, or more likely mislead, but who cares! Because by then you are so taken aback that the entire plot was a set-up – for the readers! I know I shouldn’t be liking it as much because it is borderline wrong to mislead readers to this extent, but what the hell, Riley Sager and Alex Michaelidis use it all the time – and not quite this effectively I must add. I applaud Hendricks for plotting such a clever book because this kind of thriller cannot be written, it can only be plotted and I respect the author for it!

I’d recommend this book to all thriller buffs!

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Trigger Point by Douglas Misquita

Author: Douglas Misquita 
Release Date: 14th January 2021
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Suspense
Series:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 401 pages
Publisher: Pencil
Blurb:
Smuggling himself into Europe despite an Interpol Red Notice? Possible. Avenging a German BKA officer? Easy. Evading special ops teams hunting him for the secrets he possesses? Impossible. 
Things are about to get more… interesting for Luc Fortesque.
An escaped terrorist threatens a landmark dialogue between Muslims and Christians. More terrifying is the theft of a bioweapon from a secret vault operated by the Holy See. That the damaging news is not public hints the weapon will be detonated. 
With cataclysm imminent, the world’s oldest espionage agency – the Vatican’s L’ Entity – must get to Luc Fortesque first, hoping he might possess the cure.

Accepting an off-the-books mission, former DEA agent, Raymond Garrett, intends to put an end Colombian drug lord, El Fantasma. But El Fantasma has a mission of his own for Garrett.
Treachery and corruption infect the highest reaches of religion and government, and Fortesque and Garrett must confront their past to be truly free of it.
If they survive the confrontation.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Trigger Point: A Luc Fortesque adventure thriller by Douglas Misquita is a heart-pumping rush of adrenaline that will definitely leave you asking for more.

I have one word for this book, and that is – Wow. I am not a huge fan of Indian authors but author Douglas’ book totally blew my mind. It was jam-packed with high octane action taking place in beautiful and exotic settings and well-built characters. And to top it all off, the writing was simply amazing! This is a well-written book, with strong characterisation, great pacing, high tension and brilliant concept. This book had so much going on that I simply couldn’t put it down even for an hour!

If you’re looking for a fast-paced and action-packed book with amazing locations or settings this you should definitely read this book! I’d highly recommend it to all readers.

You can watch the video for the review of this book on my IGTV channel here:

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Book Review: From Legend (The Reeve #1) by Ian Lewis

Author: Ian Lewis
Release Date: 8th April 2019
Genre: Alternate history fiction, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery
Series: The Reeve (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 252 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Sober, serious, and driven, Logan Hale is the highest peace officer in Beldenridge, and he knows his city better than anyone: the labyrinthine streets, the vaulted architecture, and all the dark corners where tales of mutations and a vicious enemy still linger like hushed secrets. Logan is quick to dismiss these accounts as part of a storied past with which he’d rather not contend, but when a suicide investigation leads him to believe there’s something more sinister at hand, he questions whether that near-forgotten lore isn’t the stuff of legend after all. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From Legend by Ian Lewis is the first book in the alternate historical series The Reeve.

The first thing I loved about this book is the cover art! I absolutely loved it and once done with the book I was really happy (and grateful) that the high expectations set by the cover were fully delivered by the author in this book. I enjoyed this book tremendously and the many elements it had to offer to a speculative fiction lover like myself. I loved the writing, the world-building, the characterisation as well as the fast pacing and high tension throughout the story.

I liked how the author interweaved the alternate historical settings with fantastical elements and used old lores, legends and fables to build intrigue as well as the perfect atmosphere for keeping the reader on edge. I would highly recommend this book to all readers who like reading speculative fiction, fantasy as well as alternate history and also to those who are looking to explore a new author or a new series. This book would be a really good pick for most readers.

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Book Review: The Marring by Ben Hoene

Author: Ben Hoene 
Release Date: 31st October 2020
Genre: Crime, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 96 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:

Natasha Cole was an angelic thirteen-year-old girl. She grew up in a fatherless home in the ghetto of Clever Rock; the murder capital of the country. Despite her bleak upbringing, she was a light in darkness with her uplifting and whimsical personality. All of that changed when she fell victim to rape. She was forced under the threat of death by her rapist to never tell a soul what he did.

Thirty years have passed since that incident. Natasha is now a mentally ill drug addict in her forties. After thirty years of silence, she reveals the identity of her rapist. Almost immediately after this confession, a mysterious stalker murderously pursues her. Who’s after her? Natasha must maintain what little sanity she has left to solve this mystery and stop the attacker; while trying to stop her own demons in the process.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Marring by Ben Hoene is a psychological crime thriller that addresses the issue of rape and its consequences.

I love psychological thrillers as much as I love writing them. So when I was approached for this book, I was really curious to read this book. I liked the overall story of the book, but I felt that this book was on the heavier side and leaned more towards the dark side of the internal conflict of the character than I would have preferred. Make no mistake, I am a dark fiction writer myself and prefer dark works over the lighter ones, but in this book, the suspense and mystery were completely overshadowed by the internal conflict and the crime and therefore I wasn’t sure about how the book is listed as a psychological thriller. It is more about the consequences of rape and the character dealing with it than about the stalker, who feels like a sub-plot and not the main conflict.

As I said, I liked the overall story. I wasn’t overly in love with the main character but I was intrigued enough to want to know how the story ends. Also, the writing was okay for most parts, but at some places, the prose felt choppy and full of adverbs. But it was a quick read, so it has that going for it.

Again as I said, I felt the element of suspense and mystery felt overshadowed by the character’s past which, in my humble opinion, drowned out the plot. With better editing, these issues could have been easily worked on, but the copy I received had these issues.

I would recommend it to all thriller readers who don’t have a problem of trigger with rape and abuse related themes.

You can also read this review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Book Review: First Gear (Sadie Hawkins Mystery #1) by Patricia C. Lee

Author: Patricia C. Lee 
Release Date: 4th August 2020
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Detective Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 374 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Recently divorced, petite and feisty Texan, Sadie Hawkins, struggles to get her newly established logistics business off the ground. When the opportunity to haul antiquities, including a mummy, drops into her lap, she jumps at the chance, despite the tight timeline. But when her cargo gets stolen and a fresh corpse mysteriously replaces the mummy, Sadie is arrested for theft and suspicion of murder.

Out on recognizance thanks to her lawyer ex-husband, and not willing to watch her business sink farther in debt while the police search for clues, Sadie yanks up her Dan Post boots and does some investigative work on her own. Stymied by her lack of success, she reluctantly enlists a few members with specific skills from Streetsmart, an organization made up of rehabilitated young adult offenders and managed by her best friend Tanya.

While trying to maintain her business from going under and making sure Tanya never learns of her collaboration with Streetsmart, Sadie endeavors to uncover the truth, the whole time wondering if this crime is some form of retribution to an event in her past. However, when she is framed for the real thief’s murder, it appears not even her accomplices in Streetsmart will be able to save her now.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First Gear by Patricia C. Lee is a start to a new detective fiction series that revolves around the female protagonist, Sadie Hawkins.

I’m generally not a huge fan of detective fiction genre, but I like a good detective mystery and given that this was the first book in the series, I had no inhibitions to dive right in. The story was good, the characterisation was okay – the characters were likeable, though not overly relatable, the narration was decent and the ending was good.

The best thing about this book was that it was a surprisingly quick read, which says a lot about the writing style of the author.

Knowing that first book in any series is generally meant to set things up for the next books, I’m willing to cut this one some slack and recommend it to mystery lovers, especially those who like reading detective fiction.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Author: by Louise Candlish
NarratorKatharine McEwanJonathan CowleyJayne EntwistleAndrew FallaisePaul FoxBillie JD PorterMoira Quirk
Release Date: 11th June 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 24 hrs and 32 minutes
Publisher: Penguine Audio 
Blurb:
From the internationally bestselling author of Our House, a new addictive novel of domestic suspense that dives into the world of suburban neighborhood drama and asks, “Could your neighbor make you angry enough to kill?”

Lowland Way is the epitome of the suburban dream. Every house and yard is carefully maintained for maximum curb appeal, and everyone knows one another and gets along. One homeowner, Sissy Watkins, runs a successful B and B from her house. Two brothers and their families live next door to each other. It’s the picture-perfect neighborhood.
When Darren Booth and his girlfriend, Jodie, move in across from Sissy, it doesn’t take long for them to begin making trouble. They’re loud, rude, messy, and don’t play by the community rules. They blast music at all hours and have started an unsightly renovation on their house. Before long, guests don’t want to stay at Sissy’s B and B, and everyone is fed up with the new neighbors.
An all-out war is brewing on Lowland Way. When a person is killed, accusations start flying. Someone is dead, and everyone has something to hide….

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was a legit BOMB
that…
is…
until…
the…. 
………. END!

I mean WTF happened there???

I had to read the last 3-4 chapters THRICE to be sure that I listened to it correctly and didn’t actually miss out a chapter or two!!!

The book just ended abruptly! The saddest part is that is was such a delicious and sensational story right until the last third of the book and then god knows what happened!

I am so effing disappointed!! 😦

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Author: Riley Sager 
Release Date: 3rd July 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Books 
Blurb:
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings—massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my 2nd book by Riley Sager. I can imagine why my big expectations weren’t met by this book – because I read the 3rd book by him before this one and now reading a previous work feels like reading a weaker book so I only ended up liking this book. It was a great read though, entertaining for sure and fast-paced. I enjoyed the entire bit about camping as I’ve never been to a camp so it was a welcome side-plot.

I think I am only disappointed with the ending – I was hoping for a scandalous reveal or bomb-shell climax (which I was blind-sided by in Lock Every Door.) That was what was missing in this book. The entire thing about the asylum was really, really good and by that point, I was sure that the author is going to pull out something big in the end, but sadly it was an okay-ish ending. I’m sure a lot of people will love the ending as it was good from a thriller book’s perspective, but I guess in my case the author penned the 3rd book so well the 2nd one seems a bit bland in front of it. So I am not sure now if I should read Final Girls, their first book. Though I am sure as hell going to be reading the next one by Sager as I’m sure it is going to be good!

If you haven’t read anything by Riley Sager yet, then follow the chronological order of the books. That way you can enjoy the building momentum in each book and will be blown away by their awesomeness individually rather than comparing their best work to the previous ones.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Earth Angel: : Hell Hath No Fury When an Angel Gets Mad By Chris H. Stevenson

Author: Chris H. Stevenson 
Release Date: 23rd April 2020
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 229
Publisher: Aisling Books 
Blurb:
Angels…
Death Stalkers…
Real or imagined…
Twenty-one-year-old Daryl Victoria and her fiancé, Dean Fowler, a rookie detective who has been working on a serial killer case that involves the murder of five high school girls, are parked in their car for some frolicking when a carjacking goes wrong. Both are gunned down.

Daryl takes a bullet in the face, and as a result of the damage, needs a corneal transplant. Dean has been shot through the lungs. They’ve been ordered to quit work, heal, and recoup. Dean suffers a nervous breakdown as the murders increase and he is powerless to help, coupled with his guilt of having placed his bride-to-be, Daryl, in harm’s way in a seedy little lovers’ lane.
Daryl finds out that her transplanted eye is causing what she thinks are hallucinations. She begins to see what she believes are glowing angelic escorts and rancid death stalkers who are following persons of the general populace. When these supernatural beings get too close, the person they’re following dies within a short period of time. She discovers there’s a mysterious formula to the manner and timing of the deaths. 
Daryl discovers that the donor for her new cornea was a 14-year-old gifted medium with some heavy duty clairvoyant powers. Only sparse information can be gleaned from the young girl’s mother since the daughter has died in her own mysterious way.Daryl’s good eye sees the normal world. The donor eye sees a totally different realm with its own rules. With the help of Daryl’s best friend, Abbey, they embark on a mission to use the gift and try and save lives. But Daryl has a better plan—she can stop the serial killer by using her, gift, brains and looks. All it will take is an ingenious trap. First, she has to find out how the killer is gaining access into the homes. Then she has to use herself as bait and stop this madman at any cost. WARNING: Contains cussing and adult situations

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Earth Angel by Chris H. Stevenson is an engaging supernatural mystery novel complete with an interesting concept and a well-written plot.

I liked reading this book more than I was expecting as I am not a huge fan of angels trope used in thriller stories, but this book was done well. The characters were good, though a couple of times I did think I wasn’t too invested in them, though in the end, I liked them just enough to see the book through. What appealed most to me was the concept itself and, thankfully, the book ended on a good note.

There are a couple of twists and turns sprinkled throughout he story and an emotional angle too that septs things exciting so over all it was a decent read.

I’d recommend it to all the mystery lovers who don’t mind the presence of supernatural element.

You can also read this review on Amazon

Book Review: The Tech by Mark Ravine

Author: Mark Ravine
Release Date: 3rd February 2020
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Futuristic
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 463 
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Alexandra has just taken charge of her new team, a motley crew of screw-ups at the Arizona Field Office, the latest in a series of forgettable assignments. With a history of rebelling against authority and blunt speaking, she vows to change her ways and make this assignment work. 

Within minutes of her taking charge, she is drawn into a bank robbery case. She leads her new team to catch the robbers but discovers that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. The very next day three girls go missing. Before they could be trafficked out of the country, she races against time to rescue them. Soon, she begins to realize that all the cases coming her way are mysteriously connected. As she unravels the threads of a massive conspiracy, she discovers that a secret organization with immense power and authority is behind these horrific crimes. Forces within the FBI thwart her every move to discover the truth. Helping her navigate this maze is the shadowy Michael Patterson. But can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? Soon, witnesses disappear, suspects are killed, with her life and the lives of her team in lethal danger. Will she come out of this alive? Will she uncover and expose this cabal? As time starts running out, Alexandra Cassidy has to evade indictment and defy death in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Tech by Mark Ravine is a surprisingly good crime which kept me hooked with the several cases the main characters solved throughout the book.

This book was really engaging and had a lot of action, drama and situations going on that it was hard to put it down! This is my first book by the author, and seeing that there are a lot of detective fiction novels, I was a bit sceptical about it when I started reading the book but in no time the plot hooked me and then I was in for good.

The book is well-written, nicely structured and has good characterisation. I loved the female lead, Alexandra, and rooted for her in all the situations, right till the end. The secondary characters were good too and the elements of futuristic technology kept things very interesting.

I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy detective mysteries and crime thrillers and won’t mind the presence of unbelievable futuristic technologies.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: 22 Dutch Road by T. C. Schueler

Author: T.C. Schueler
Release Date: 13th January 2020
Genre: Speculative Fiction Fantasy, Psychological Thriller, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 492
Publisher: 
Blurb:
An estranged son drives twelve hours to collect badly needed money from his father’s estate. The same ugly McMansion still sits behind a security wall, but there are new features: a gaudy slate roof, a 70s-style conversation pit, and nearly two dozen statues posted along the wall like sentinels. It makes no sense: Billy Buchanan’s scheming father was broke; where had these fierce, obviously valuable sculptures come from?  Forced to spend the week at 22 Dutch Road, Billy begins believing these samurai-styled carvings can talk to him by day, and worse, move at night—his father might not be so dead after all.

REVIEW

★★★★

22 Dutch Road by T.C. Schueler is a very unique blend of and a cross-over of a lot of interesting genres such as Paranormal horror thriller with elements of sci-fi fantasy and speculative fiction but still giving off the overall vibe of a fantasy read. So many things happen in this book that it is hard to get bored while reading it so it definitely made for an entertaining read.

When I started reading the book, I was instantly pulled into the plot with a great opening and thankfully found myself involved and engaged with the story throughout till then end. The characterisation was okay but the writing was good along with the overall story-line.

It was a surreal read if I have to describe it in one word, and I really think that it is worth a read, so I’d recommend it to all the readers of sci-fi fiction-fantasy and paranormal and horror fantasy fans (well, that was quite a handful, innit?!)

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 5th February 2020
Genre: Sci-Fi, Suspense, Speculative Fiction
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 121
Publisher: Self-Published
Blurb:
In the near future, humans have gone beyond simple space travel. By the year 4054, multiple solar systems are inhabited, and taking a spaceship is as commonplace as taking an aeroplane.

Unfortunately, not everything about the future is so advanced. The central planets, led by Earth, have risen high at the expense of cheap labour on distant worlds. Dissent is widespread and arrests are common. Sometimes prisoners are released; sometimes they disappear without a trace, sent to labour camps in other solar systems.

When Ames Emerys receives a letter telling him that his brother Callum has died en route to the remote planet of Kilnin, he takes the first ship he can off Earth, desperate for answers. But the secrets Ames uncovers prove far more dangerous than he could have imagined.

REVIEW

★★★★

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden is a smashing sci-fi novella that combines elements of suspense, mystery, adventure and action, making it a complete package deal for all sci-fi lovers. This is my 6th book by the author and by now I have become so familiar with author Rebecca’s writing that it feels like visiting an old friend to read her books. I don’t usually go for the same authors unless I like their work which only goes on to say that Rebecca’s stories are always worth it. This one is a novella and very different from the other books I read by her as they were a part of the same series. Though, I hope that this one is the first in a long line of series!

Coming back to the review, I found the futuristic world in this novella very immersive and quite realistic. If I had to think about the future with space travel, this is how I would envision it – ultra-modern and highly advanced technologies in every way imaginable but equally low standards of humanity, therefore, this book felt very engaging!

The characters were well-built and very relatable, especially the main character, Ames. He was likely in a very unlikely way and I loved following him on his tumultuous journey. The writing was good and had a smooth and natural flow. The pacing was good and suited the story well. I liked the ending though I hope it is a series and we get to see more of this amazing world.

I’d highly recommend this book to all sci-fi and speculative fiction lovers and to those who haven’t yet read any books by the author (it’s worth a read!)

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Sidney Sheldon’s The Phoenix by Tilly Bragshawe

Author: Tilly Bagshawe
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Mystery
Series:
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 432
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Blurb:
Thrilling and nail-biting, The Phoenix has all the trademark glamour, suspense and unexpected twists of a classic Sidney Sheldon novel.
A deadly enemy will rise again….
Ella Praeger has always felt like an outsider. So when she is called to join the ranks of The Group, a force for good operating in the shadows, her world shifts. She is gifted a purpose – and a dangerous legacy.
Years ago, The Group rid the world of one of its most powerful criminal masterminds. Yet when a child washes up on a beach in Greece, a mysterious symbol tattooed on its heel, it is a clear warning: impossibly, Athena Petridis has returned to reclaim her empire.
Ella’s connection to Athena is deeply personal. Thrown into an underworld of treachery and corruption, and haunted by the tragedies of her own past, Ella is reborn as an agent, chasing a villain risen from the ashes. But only one of them can fulfil their destiny….

REVIEW

★★

Sidney Sheldon’s The Phoenix by Tilly Bragshawe is the latest int he long line of books that have been written by Bragshwae in the vein of Sidney Sheldon’s novels. I’ve always enjoyed reading these novels as Sidney Sheldon is one of my all-time favourite authors but this time sadly it wasn’t the case.

I tried to really enjoy this book but a lot of elements prevented me from doing so – under-developed characterisation, weak plot-line, bad pacing, the overall predictability of the plot and the bad ending. There was too much going on and the protagonist felt too weak to be able to drive the plot by herself.

Overall, this book was a miss for me and therefore I won’t be able to recommend it to anyone. Hopefully, the author’s next book would be better than this one.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: Tailspin by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
Release Date: 7th August 2018
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 432
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Blurb:
Rye Mallett, a fearless “freight dog” pilot charged with flying cargo to far-flung locations, is often rough-spoken, usually unshaven, and he never gets the regulation eight hours of shut-eye before a flight; but he does have a rock-solid reputation: he will fly in the foulest weather, day or night, and deliver the goods safely to their destination. So, when Rye is asked to fly into a completely fogbound Northern Georgia town and deliver a mysterious black box to a Dr. Lambert, he doesn’t ask why–he just ups his price.

As Rye’s plane nears the isolated landing strip, more trouble than inclement weather awaits him. He is greeted first by a sabotage attempt that causes him to crash land, and then by Dr. Brynn O’Neal, who claims she was sent for the box in Dr. Lambert’s stead. Despite Rye’s “no-involvement” policy when it comes other people’s problems, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the intrigue surrounding his cargo…and to the mysterious and attractive Brynn O’Neal.

Soon Rye and Brynn are in a treacherous 48-hour race to deliver the box before time runs out. With the hours slipping by and everyone from law enforcement officials to hired thugs hot on their heels, the two must protect their valuable cargo from those who would kill for it–that is, if they can trust each other.

REVIEW

★★★

A typical Brown book with an okay plot sprinkled with cheesy cliches, okay-ish characters, and somewhat unnecessary but totally steamy romance. I like the stories Sandra Brown creates, but the other elements kind of serve as a turn-off and often seem repetitive which kills most fo the fun. If you’re reading her book for the first time (any of her novels) then you’ll love them, just like I did, but if you continue on with other books they all will start feeling awfully predictable and repetitious.

Still, it made for a good quick read (I skimmed over a lot of romance and cheesy bits) which was nothing if not entertaining. I bummed down one star because I didn’t feel a connection to the main characters, which generally doesn’t happen in her books.

If you are new to the author, then do give any one of her other books a read. This one is not her best work, so read it only if you have already read one of her books and really like it (though it might feel repetitive, at least you won’t be judging all her books on this one alone.)

 

You can also read this review on Goodreads and NetGalley

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

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.

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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: Strange Weather by Joe Hill

AuthorJoe Hill
Release Date: 24th October 2017
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Dark, Short Stories
Series: 
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 448
Publisher: Gollancz
Blurb:
Four short novels from the author of THE FIREMAN and HORNS, ranging from creepy horror to powerful explorations of our modern society.
One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn’t safely under cover. ‘Rain’ explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries . . . apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers.
In ‘Loaded’ a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it…
‘Snapshot, 1988’ tells the story of an kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories…
And in ‘Aloft’ a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time . . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own.

REVIEW

★★★

This book turned out to be an okay read. I had a lot of expectation from this one, mostly because I had heard a lot about Joe Hill’s writing but also because he is one of the offsprings of my favourite writer. Overall, I liked the concepts of the stories, but what I did not like was the way they started to feel “lost” after a good beginning. The writing was good, no doubt, but the narration seemed to have faltered a lot as the story reached a certain point and then it went downhill from there at a fast speed.

Snapshot – 3/5 – Being a king fan, I felt this was very much like his works. I liked this story, but do feel that the ending was a slog. Hill could have totally ended the story 10-20 pages before and it would have been a great read rather than having over-stretched it.

Loaded – 1/5 – I read the first 2 pages and I left it there itself. I didn’t find the writing very appealing in this one nor did the story made any sense to me (I mean it is a short story, it has to make some sense in the first 2 pages, right?!) So… DNF

Aloft – 4/5 – A very good story. I loved the backstory more than anything else but overall, I really enjoyed this one. This book was a big relief and felt like a glass of chilled water in the desert heat as after such average stories, it was good to read something Hill is famous for – his unique imagination and style.

Rain – 3/5 – I really liked the beginning of this story and thought that this one would be my favourite one from this collection but towards the end, it started to feel like a burden and I was not sure where was it even headed to (something that I felt in the first story, Snapshot, too.)

You can also read this review on Goodreads