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RMFAO October’20 Buddy Read Book Selection

So we are planning to have a buddy-read over at RMFAO, my Goodreads Book Club.

It will be a month-long buddy read and we have some really great book options to select from. For the month of October, we’ve picked books released in 2020 that’ve been garnering the attention of the online book community. For this list of books, please see below. We have a poll on RMFAO’s homepage and anyone who is a member fo the group can vote there.

We will select the book with maximum votes and in case of a tie, we will have both the books with maximum votes as our BOOK OF THE MONTH and will read it (or them) in the month of October. As it is a month-long buddy read, you can join us anytime throughout October, the only requirement is to finish the book before the end of October.

We will be discussing the Book Of The Month throughout the month of October on a separate dedicated thread in the group itself but will be maintaining a spoiler-free policy till at least we reach the ‘more than half the month’ mark. After that even spoilers would be welcome as most of the readers tend to finish the book by then.

Here are the options to choose from:

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
  2. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
  3. Sisters by Daisy Johnson
  4. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  5. A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende
  6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. Things In Jars by Jess Kidd
  8. If It Bleeds by Stephen King
  9. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

And here’s the RMFAO Goodreads Poll:

Poll
Which book would you like to read for the month of October?
(Please vote only if you plan to join the Buddy Read. Don’t worry about the book, we’ll be more than happy to provide you the ebook if you really want to participate in the read with us.)
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/widget/207332-which-book-would-you-like-to-read-for-the-month-of-october-please-vot

Everyone is welcome to join and anyone can participate at any time during the month of October.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews

Author: John Mathews
Release Date: 25th January 2015
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 72 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Blurb:
Two criminals are responsible for an innocent man getting sentenced to life for murder. An inept defense attorney and a crooked prosecutor are the other players in this case of egregious American corruption. 
The four of them have been lured into a trap in an abandoned warehouse. Someone wants vengeance. This is a story of vigilante justice for the wrongfully convicted. Marked doors lead to four locked rooms, one where each of them will have to pay a price for what they have done. What will they be required to do in order to survive? 
This riveting crime thriller puts the American justice system in public view and will keep you guessing until the very last scene. A dark masked figure watches…waits…and wants revenge.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews is a surprisingly amazing read! I usually don’t expect much from a novella unless of course it is written by authors like Stephen King, but this book turned out to be an absolute delight.

This novella is jam-packed with high tension scenes, mind-boggling manipulative games, fast-paced action and clever twists and turns – all this in just 72 pages! And for me that itself was the best part. This book was an intense yet quick read and kept me on the edge the entire time.

This book was able to accomplish what a lot of lengthy mystery and thriller novels fail to achieve and so I would definitely recommend this book to all thriller lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads & Amazon

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

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 22nd May 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 170
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications
Blurb: Serena Aisling has made it to the top as a high-powered executive all on her own merit. No thanks to her millionaire father who’d abandoned her at birth to be raised single-handedly by her mother. She has come a long way, so she’ll be damned if she allows him to have a hand in her career by dangling the CEO position of the Mäkelä Group in her face.

When Serena’s company coincidentally assigns her to spearhead a revolutionizing project run by the same corporation, she ends up working alongside the innovator himself—tech guru, Matias Mäkelä. The savvy, self-made millionaire is moody, ill-tempered, arrogant, and a giant thorn in her side, yet she can’t deny that he’s irresistibly handsome and stunningly
delicious.
A malicious traitor very close to Matias is divulging company secrets, and they must work together to uncover and shut them down before it’s too late.
When Serena uncovers the culprit, fearing Matias will not believe her, she keeps the discovery to herself and acts on her own, landing herself in hot waters with Matias. Waters so hot and flaming that she ends up tangled in his sheets, intoxicated with a desire that threatens to engulf her in an uncontrollable fireball of ecstatic delights.
As untold discoveries, secrets, and schemes unravel, Serena and Matias find themselves on a wild and unending tide of colliding together before being ripped apart again.
Will their feelings for each other be enough to survive the diabolical intrigue that threatens their very lives? Or will they crash and burn?

Book Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard is a contemporary romance thriller with good action, nice plot and some decent steamy bits.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the romance genre a bit, aside from my usual gothic dark reads and the contrast is refreshing to me as a reader as well as a writer. This book had good writing and that was the main reason I was drawn to it. The plot is a bit full of cliches and common tropes of the genre, but as I always say, when done well, even the common tropes become interesting.

I liked the cast of characters in this book. I rooted for both, Serena as well as Matias, and was glad that I read this book. I’d definitely recommend it to romance readers and to those people who like to read lighter thrillers.

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: Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff

Author: Kyra Radcliff
Release Date: 17th March 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 178
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Susan Johansen is efficient, ambitious and cool-headed in a crisis, which is exactly why her boss, Charles Dunlap, needs her. As the successful owner of one of the richest old money industrialist conglomerates in the world, he is under pressure of a different kind when his daughter Alicia becomes involved with internet entrepreneur Miles Middleton. 

With an ego as big as his bank balance, Miles has a reputation for a string of affairs and Charles doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near him. And so he enlists Susan, as a Trojan Horse, burying her deep within Miles’ business interests in the hope that she can sabotage his relationship with Alicia.

It isn’t long before the plan seems to be working and Miles is missing lunches, dinners and other dates with Alicia in favour of making money and sealing deals. But it’s when he takes Susan away on a business trip and tries to seduce her that she sees him for what he really is. But now that she is close to her goal, Susan suddenly has a crisis of confidence? Is she really still working for Charles or is she now pursuing her own agenda with Miles?

As he continues to get under her skin with his continuous attempts at seduction, Susan finds that she is more conflicted than ever. And the closer she gets to completing the assignment, the greater the chances are that Miles will discover her secret.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff was a heady romantic-thriller that successfully delivered what it promises – good romance and decent thrills.

The story had a lot of cliches, but overall the book was entertaining and purely for that, I liked it as I had been busy reading so many intense reads that I needed a breather and a break from my normal choice of dark fiction books. I was looking for something light and good and this book was exactly it.

I didn’t exactly fall in love with the character tees, but I ended up liking Susan, the female lead, who drove the story well and made the book worth reading. The writing was good and the plot very interesting.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and 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: Transference by B.T. Keaton

Author: B.T. Keaton
Release Date: 13th January 2020
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 394
Publisher: Ingleside Avenue Press
Blurb:
When everything you believe about civilization is a lie, the ultimate power is truth.
Eighty years from now mankind has discovered the secret of eternal life. Human souls can be moved from one body to another through the process known as transference. Control of this new technology has fallen under the dominion of Jovian, a powerful prophet and head of the Church which governs every aspect of existence.
Banished to a mining colony on a distant planet for lawlessness is Barrabas Madzimure, the king of thieves. Only when Barrabas faces execution does he claim that another man committed his infamous crimes decades earlier. The authorities are suspicious. Is he the Madzimure of legend and a potential threat to Jovian’s new world order, or just another victim of transference?
The story of a grim personal mission, Transference takes the reader on a heart-racing journey through rebellion, revenge, self-sacrifice, and the soul’s search for identity.

REVIEW

★★★★

Transference by B.T. Keaton made for a very thrilling story, with an unpredictable protagonist with a complex personality, coupled with a fast-paced plot-line made for a really compelling read. I was looking forward to reading this book right since the time I had a look at its blurb and to my great relief, the book was every bit as good as I had expected it to be.

The writing was really good and this book a very smooth and quick read. After reading this thrilling sci-fi, I am looking forward to reading more book by the author, hopefully soon!

If you like suspenseful and fast-paced sci-fi adventure stories then this book is definitely for you! It is totally worth it so do give it 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

Audiobook Review: Recursion by Blake Crouch

Author: Blake Crouch
Narrator(s): Jon Lindstrom and Abby Craden
Date Of Publication: 11th June 2019
Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller
Series:
Duration: 11 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Blurb: A mind-bending new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and The Wayward Pines trilogy.
Barry Sutton is driving home from another long shift as an NYPD detective when the call comes in. A woman is threatening to commit suicide, and someone’s got to try to talk her down. Only as he stands on the rooftop, mere inches away from her, does he realize that the woman is infected with False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious disease that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. When Barry is unable to save her, he’s rocked to his core–not only by her death but the fear that he’s been exposed to this devastating illness.
Helena Smith is a brilliant but frustrated neuroscientist. If she could only get the funding, she’s sure she could build the ambitious device she’s long imagined–one that would allow people to preserve their most intense memories and relive them whenever they want. So when a billionaire entrepreneur offers to bankroll her project, she jumps at the opportunity–even if there are some strange conditions attached.
As Helena’s efforts yield stunning results, Barry investigates the mystery behind the woman he failed to save. He finds himself on a journey as astonishing as it is terrifying, ultimately revealing the true danger posed by Helena’s invention–and a plot that could bring about the end of reality as we know it.
Weaving together Barry’s story and Helena’s in ways even the savviest reader will never guess, Recurson is a brilliant science fiction thriller about time, memory, and the illusion of the present, built on our inability to escape the flashbulb moments that define us.

REVIEW

This is my 5th book by Blake Crouch and I loved all the four previous books and so obviously I expected a LOT from this one. So the moment I was able to I bought the audiobook and dove right in. But then the reality hit me hard like a patch of a dry concrete wall in the face…

What the actual f**k?!

I wanted to LOVE this book and I was so sure about it being good that the thought that it might not be good never even crosse my mind for a second. But as I started this book, it felt like slow torture and I lost interest in it in only about 2 hours.

Not sure if I’ll even try to listen to this one again as the lead characters were very, very bland and kind of felt like a poor replica of the other characters in Blake Crouches previous books. The concept, although felt like had a lot of potential initially, started to feel too abstract and I wasn’t able to go any further. I am a very impulsive person and that reflects in my reading tastes so if I have to commit to a book I better like it in the first hour of reading or listening otherwise I abandon it no matter how many good reviews it has because I hate wasting my reading time (as little as I have because of my writing) on trying to like books that my heart and mind seem to dislike. SO basically if a book fails to grab my attention within an hour or the first 50 pages then I don’t bother with it. And unfortunately, this was one of those reads.

You can also read this 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 Last Trollid (The Sunset Of Magic #1) by Alistair Potter

Author: Alistair Potter
Release Date: 13th May 2014
Genre: Science-Fiction-Fantasy, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Magic-Elementals
SeriesThe Sunset Of Magic (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 272
Publisher: 
Blurb:
There’s; world jumping magic, Dragons, ruthless invaders, epic battles, unlikely heroes, bravery, sacrifice, and a steam cannon worthy of Archimedes! And yes it does have wizards, both good and very bad. Romance? Yes, a little of that too! What more do you want in an adventure story?

A disparate band: fussy spinster, Ida Fairweather; crusty old soldier, Endor Caffri; dishonest manservant, Moleskin; King’s guard, Lineth, and Last of the Trollid, Bort, engage in a desperate struggle against the Harrowen invaders.

 

REVIEW

★★★+1/2

The Last Trollid by Allistair Potter is the start to a new series The Sunset Of Magic. After having read three other books by the author, I was confident that this book is going to be a smashing read, and, thankfully, to a great extent, it was. Just like his previous books, this book had a brilliant premise and an amazingly awesome world built with a great deal of detailing. The pacing and tension were good as they both had good highs and lows and the overall progression of the plot can’t be faulted. So all in all, it was a good read.

My only problem was with the characterization, somehow, unlike in the previous instances, I was not able to feel a connection to either of the characters. I liked Bort and even Ida and Moleskin to some extent, but that was all, I just liked them enough to be able to read the book without wanting to stop, but not more than that. Still, I enjoyed the book, if for nothing than for the plot and some of the high-tension battle scenes and the ending, which was really well written.

I’d recommend this book to all science-fiction readers, especially who prefer plot over characters.

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

Book Review: Written By Blood – Conviction by Dwayne gill

Author: Dwayne Gill
Release Date: 28th November 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 238
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Abandoned to a secret government program at birth, Cane was trained to be the world’s most skilled assassin. For years he excelled in the field, bringing dangerous terrorists all over the world to justice and making even the most protected villains lose sleep. But since the program was shut down four years ago, he’s been forced into hiding, doing odd jobs to keep himself busy, and struggling to find a place for himself in society. The years of social isolation and, seemingly, his own brutal nature, have made him question whether or not he possesses the ability to feel certain emotions that most others exhibit effortlessly.Cane’s only hope of normality in a lonely life rests in the warmth of his friendship with Helen and her daughter Kristy, the latter of whom he rescued five years earlier, from the clutches of the evil Blue Rose serial-killer. Cane lives with his friend Lynks, with whom he served in the disbanded “Red Delta” assassin program.Cane finds a cryptic message from Marcene, a mysterious lady who knows more about him than she should. He soon finds himself thrust into the middle of a mystery that’s been at the center of the country’s attention for the past several years: ordinary men around the United States have been disappearing by the thousands, leaving their families and careers behind, only to turn up elsewhere in the country. Even more curious are the markings, which look like tattoos, that each bear upon their return. Conspiracy theories have abounded for years, but little has ever been known about these men, until now. Marcene claims the missing men are not only dangerous terrorists plotting a major attack on U.S. soil, but that they’re also genetically enhanced, and she aims to prove it to Cane through a series of instructions.

First, Cane is to save a college girl named Natalie, who, without her knowledge, is being targeted by the marked men. Guided more by curiosity than information, Cane and Lynks agree to help the girl, but after succeeding, they find only a new web of mysteries to unravel. The marked men are receiving their orders from seven dangerous men, and Cane remembers one of them by name: Amos. He’d been on Cane’s radar in the past, though he remained out of reach. Amos’s re-emergence gives Cane added motivation, so he looks to Marcene to continue pointing him in the right direction…

She leads them to the next, and most important step: find and recruit Daniel, a mountain of a man with a long history of violence.

There’s only one problem: he’s a convicted murderer in a super-max prison.

Cane and Lynks enlist Calvin, Daniel’s old friend, and Bowman, the man who trained Cane, to help orchestrate a plan for extracting Daniel. But Amos and the marked men are watching and making plans of their own, and they’ll use any tactic available in order to ensure their sinister plans remain in place, including hurting the few people Cane cares about.

It’s not only the marked men hot on their trail; FBI Agents Hart and Barkley, who’ve been hunting Cane and Lynks since the dissolution of Red Delta, are getting closer as well. But the nearer they draw to Cane, the more they learn about Amos, the other six terrorist leaders, and the marked men. And what they discover leads to even more terrifying scenarios and a deeper web of corruption than anyone expected, including a conspiracy involving high-ranking U.S. officials and the Russian government.

If Cane can just save Daniel and set him free, he’ll have a valuable ally: Daniel stands over seven feet tall and weighs over four hundred pounds, and he has his own bitter history with the marked men.

What started as curiosity for Cane quickly turns into something personal when Amos targets Helen and Kristy, sending him on a frantic race against time, pitted against enemies that far outnumber him and his friends. It’ll be a struggle to balance saving Kristy, rescuing Daniel, all while battling his own demons and self-doubt.

To succeed, it’ll take determination.

It’ll take focus.

It’ll take CONVICTION.

Review

★★★★

Written By Blood: Conviction by Dwayne Gill is an action-packed techno-thriller that is sure to keep you entertained right from the start to the very end. This book is jam-packed with high octane thrilling action and masculine drama like there’s no tomorrow. The storyline was good and the thing I liked best about this books is that it revolved around male characters, something rare to find in today’s books where the leading lady always steals the show, so for me, this book was a real treat.

I liked the writing style as the simplicity of it greatly complimented the plot, though at times it did feel a little rough around the edges, it did not get in the way of reading. The characterization was good and I was able to relate to almost all the characters, primary or secondary. The plot progression was really, really good and the pacing was great too.

Overall, it was a really new engaging read which proved to be a quick read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a book with strong male characters and don’t mind gritty action and rustic tones.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Cane’s Detour & Daniel’s Darkness by Dwayne gill

Author: Dwayne Gill
Release Date: 7th October 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 82
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Not all monsters are created equal…Cane is the world’s most feared assassin.
Daniel is possibly the most dangerous man alive, and he’s definitely the largest.
When you think hero, neither one should come to mind.
Find out how each man stumbles upon a person in dire need and how they respond.

Cane and Daniel are the two main characters in Written By Blood Part One: Cane. The following two short stories are prequels of the novel.

CANE’S DETOUR

Kristy escaped a dangerous serial killer.
Can she escape Cane?

Cane was trained from birth by the U.S. government to be the world’s most feared assassin. Often sent to eliminate difficult targets quietly, his anonymity is his most important asset. In fact, very few people have seen Cane and lived afterward.

Kristy is abducted by an infamous serial killer and held captive in a remote barn filled with many other victims. While she watches the other women’s grisly fates unfold before her, can Kristy escape before she meets the same destiny?

When Kristy and Cane’s paths cross, they’re on very different routes. Cane is on his way to complete an urgent mission and can’t be late. Kristy is running for her life.
She just didn’t know she’d run into an even worse monster.
For Kristy to live, Cane must make a detour. Will he consider it? After all, he’s on a tight schedule, and she’s seen his face.

DANIEL’S DARKNESS

Taryn is a happy, outdoor-loving thirteen-year-old with a gentle, loving father. But her tranquil life is turned upside down when her father dies, leaving her alone with her drug-dependent mother, who squanders the little that they have and moves them to a rough neighborhood outside of Chicago. To make matters worse, Taryn’s mom hooks up with her drug dealer, who moves right in and begins abusing Taryn. Things can’t get much worse for her. Or can they?

When Taryn meets Daniel, her new neighbor that moved in across the street, his enormous body is bandaged from head to toe and he’s recovering from an ambush that nearly killed him. Taryn should probably stay away, but she’s drawn to the qualities of him that remind her of her father. But the better she gets to know Daniel, the more she sees that he’s not only very different from her loving father, he’s also carrying a terrifying darkness inside of him.

Review

★★★★

Cane’s Detour & Daniel’s Darkness by Dwayne Gill is a collection of two short novellas which serve as a prequel to and marks the beginning of a new technothriller series, Written By Blood.

Cane’s Detour: 4/5: The story started with an action-packed and super fast paced scenario which set the tone of the story (and the series) pretty well. As soon as I started reading, I knew I was in for some gritty action and some serious thrills. And this story did not disappoint. I was pretty amazed at how much the author managed to pack up in such a short story. A must read if you like action-packed narration and raw characters with dangerous edges.

Daniel’s Darkness: 3.5/5: This story was an entirely different cup of tea than the first one in terms of storyline, while at the same time, packing qual amount of rawness to characterization. Though this one had less action and more emotions and explored different themes while staying true to the main conflict of the series (as far as I can tell up to this point in the series.)

Overall: 4/5: I enjoyed both the books and can’t wait to read the main book in the series, Written In Blood: Conviction. The mood of the series is already set and I know one thing for sure that this book is going to be one hell of an exciting ride. Plus, being so intimately acquainted with the characters, it is difficult not to feel so excited to actually begin with this series.

I’d recommend this to all the readers who’ve been dying to read a series with raw and truly masculine male heroes who throw heavy punches before taking bullshit from anyone.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

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: One Night’s Stay by C.B. Collins

Author: C. B. Collins
Release Date: 9th September 2018
Genre: Supernatural, Thriller
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 476
Publisher: C.B.C. Publishing
Blurb:
Thirteen strangers check into the Sunset Inn hoping to find rest. When one of them is murdered in the middle of the night, the survivors realize they’ve found something else entirely; an ancient evil looking to satisfy an undying hunger. If the guests want to make it through the night, they’ll have to discover the secret behind the motel and the mysterious town it serves. However, in uncovering the truth, they might find that the town’s past is nowhere near as dark as their own.

Review

★★★

One Night’s Stay by C.B. Collins is a new supernatural thriller with a lot of potentials that serves as a perfect Halloween read.

When I started reading this book I was pulled into it so fiercely that for the first 30% of the story I was not at all ready to put it down! But, much to my dismay, as the story progressed, I started to feel a little distant as the plot began to drag and the characterization started to falter. It began to get more and more difficult for me to feel a connection with the characters that started to emerge as the main ones as the story progressed. And by the time I finished 80% of the book I wasn’t sure if it was the same book that I had started. Maybe it’s simply my monumental expectations from the story or maybe the story was that way, but I feel that overall the story progression suffered heavily after the first 30-40% of the story. The second half of the story was totally dominated by the first half and wasn’t able to live up to the expectations that were set in the brilliant first half of the story.

Still, it made for a good Halloween read with an engaging plot. If the characterization would have been better, I would have given this story another star, but it wasn’t. So if you like stories with a decent plot and can do with not-very-strong characterization in a supernatural setting then do give this book a try, you might enjoy it more than I did.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers

Author: Chauncey Rogers
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Suspense
Series:
Edition: E-Book
Pages: 225
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Some dangers you cannot outrun. Some nightmares do not end when you wake.
Something is watching Katherine Harris. She can feel it when she goes out. She can feel it inside her home. She feels it in her bed. Her husband, Alex, wants to blame her anxiety on her pregnancy, but he’s often away for work. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be stuck in a small town, to be trapped in a tiny house on a run-down street, to be alone. Kat does, and the feeling only grows worse.
Whatever is going on, Kat’s certain that it’s far more serious than pregnancy jitters. When Alex takes Kat on a second honeymoon to get her mind off things, it becomes far more dangerous as well.

Review

★★★★+1/2

Cleaving Souls by Chancey Rogers is a super fast-paced supernatural read that is literally un-put-down-able.

Wow, what a suspenseful and goosebumps-inducing ride! The first part (out of all 3) was my favourite as the suspense built up was so perfect that it was literally impossible to put down the book! The characterization wasn’t overly relatable for me, but it felt very realistic and seemed apt for the story, so it served the purpose well.

A very well-written book with simple and smooth writing which made for a very quick read. The flow of the writing was so good that I finished this book in less than 48 hrs when I wasn’t even planning on reading it and happened to pick it up randomly on a whim, earlier than I had planned.

My only complaints are the slight slack in pacing around the 70-90% mark in the ebook and a somewhat down-played climax-built up. Just before the end, the plot progression suffered because of downplaying the main conflict of the story. It wasn’t bad as suck, but I feel that given the thrilling Act I and the sensational Act II, this part, Act III of the story could have been so much better in terms of tension, pacing and overall progression of that bit. Thankfully, the ending made up for this little negative, the only negative in the book.

I’m sure as hell looking forward to reading other books by the author! And I’d recommend this one to all supernatural and horror fiction fans and to those who won’t mind reading an unsettling or pregnancy-related story.

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: Layers Of Deceit by Robert Stephen

Author: Robert Stephen
Release Date:
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 240
Publisher: Self-published
Blurb:
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO GET BACK SOMEONE YOU LOVEFive years have passed since Jonathan Dunsmore’s last and only best seller. Forgotten, he’s lost everything including beautiful Nisha, the only woman he loved. Dangling on the brink of insanity a stranger appears in the author’s life. A person who knows Jonathan will do anything to get Nisha back.”Do you want to write another best seller,” says Beckett Reed. “To write about a killer you must become a killer.”

Torn between his fear of Beckett Reed and his desire to hold Nisha again in his arms Jonathan must become a character in his next book. Jonathan randomly stalks and kills a man. He makes it look like a robbery-homicide. However, hidden in the dead man’s wallet is a piece of paper, which his brother, the leader of a Russian gang, will do anything and kill anyone to get it back.

Jonathan’s old college roommate and friend, Glen Barton, is a homicide detective. He discovers Jonathan is a murderer, but it’s too late. Glen must choose between upholding the law or breaking it.

Review

★★★★

Layers Of Deceit by Robert Stephen is a very interesting and engaging new psychological thriller.

Being a writer, it always fascinates me to read about writers as characters in books, and this one was no different. I enjoyed the book, and without a doubt was able to connect to the main characters, so I was happy with the characterization as well (not overly impressed, but it were good enough.)

The story was good, writing decent and overall an enjoyable thriller full of some good, some okay twists and turns. The theme was different and good and the plot-progression was nicely done.

I’d recommend this book to the readers of psychological thriller and to anyone who’s looking for a book by a new author (and won’t mind the dark theme.)

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: 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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