Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Blood Harvest

Blood Harvest
Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wall comes tumbling down on a dark graveyard.
Feels like a perfect counterpart to a standalone by Val McDermid: A Place of Execution [b:A Place of Execution|91487|A Place of Execution|Val McDermid||1179513]. Dark book about dead children.
Long buildup - 50% of the book after the prologue of finding 3 female children dead in one grave, set free after the wall near the grave came tumbling down.

Full of twists and while all the people are known to the reader I did not guess the killer.
A bit of bitter romance, love not fulfilled and an unnecessary twist in the end.
While I can understand the reviews lamenting the reveal of the killer or the epilogue, I still think this is a book that is pure genius.
It could have been written by Val McDermid, and that is no small praise from me. The setting is near lancashire, and who has never been there (I have not), should look it up on Google Earth. Beautiful scenery and I can just imagine the fog and rain.

The killing scenes where bloody and cruel, but not overly graphic, as least not disturbing.

Highly recommended! Also for Fans of Val McDermid and Mo Hayder.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Fresh Doubt - Episode One: An Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thriller

Fresh Doubt - Episode One: An Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thriller
Fresh Doubt - Episode One: An Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thriller by Eva Hudson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a bookbub freebie, I feel a little bad giving only 3 stars for a book I did not pay for.
It may still be free and if not, sometimes the same books get the Promo Bookbub/Freebie treatment again.

Bookbub for recommendations
Not very solid first book in a series, but I will surely read the second to see how the heroine and the series develops.
A female FBI-Agent posted in the US-Embassy in London.
Interesting and I like the US-UK comparisons.
Romance is only hinted at, a fiancé in the US with a decision still open at the end of the book, wether to break-up and stay in the UK, with a possible love-interest in a cop, also not solved or even clear at the end of the book. That was ok with me, I do not like too much romance, but leaving all this unsolved for the next book to hopefully go one way or the other? Feels wrong.

There are two cases, one lesser handled totally unprofessional and not solved, the other one solved with a totally unsatisfying action from Ingrid.
Thrown in to the mix are an interesting female cop and a female reporter with whom she works a solution I really do not like, while the female cop only suspects what happened, she does nothing to put it right. While this is also the case with other cops in other books and sometimes even in RL, it is nothing I can accept, or understand. And for once I would like to read more books with agents playing it by the book (Twin Peaks Dale Cooper comes to mind).

Also the baddie in this book was obvious to me after a third of the book or earlier, in the beginning there are a few scenes to point in a different direction, but it just got too much.
This could have been a solid 4 star book with a solution by the FBI-playbook or both cases connected through a twist, or more twists, both cases solved or whatever.

This is comparable to the Maeve Kerrigan-Books by Jane Casey, and there it is now obvious to me, where this book fails for me:
while the amount of romance (and sex) is a little higher in the Casey-Books, Maeve plays by the rules, and also has partner some (most) of the time.
While I like Ingrid acting alone, I do not think the FBI (or every other agency) would let an agent act alone most of the time.
Given the high risks she takes, and her being just lucky to escape a few accidents, she is more like a female Rambo.

As it is, without reading the next book I cannot safely recommend this. Probably this review will get changed if and when I read the next book in the series.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: A is for Alibi

A is for Alibi
A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Was mentioned somewhere on Goodreads and sounded interesting and was very cheap (unlike the others in the series), like a promo or maybe as it is the first book in the series.
The heroine is great, being single and stubborn.
Little romance, even less sex (and the sex scenes only hinted at, not very interesting), so that was ok.
The case meanders through the story-line and the book was very dated, with no cell-phones and computers only used by accountants for book-keeping and finance, and a side story based on the switch, putting data from paper into computers.
A few twists with a nice showdown, but no real hard to guess whodunit.
Still, a solid and well deserved 3stars and a recommendation for a female P.I. .

As there are a lot of books in the Alphabet-Series, I will probably skip the next 10 and look into those which are newer and may feature more up-to-date technology, but will also check reviews first before buying.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Jung, blond, tot

Jung, blond, tot
Jung, blond, tot by Andreas Franz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read in German, so far not translated to english, I think.
For a start of a series, "Julia Durant", 4 stars, it may be too much (1 too much), as it is too long and all major characters have some private problems.
Then again, it is very realistic even in the description and the problems (yeah, again) of minor characters.
Gruesome, very detailed mutilations and killings. A second storyline about power and teenage/child abuse, also very detailed.
Both could be disturbing for squeamish readers.
Book is a bit dated, with most people smoking heavily and mobile phones (just emerging then) only owned and used by rich people.
Also computers are only used by experts, giving the task of searching to people outside the main group of police.
The book takes place in Frankfurt, as I do not know that town personally, I cannot say how accurate it is, but the description of traffic jams etc. feels real even and might even be the same today as then it was written.

No real twists, and the killer is named at ca. 80-85% in the book, with the main killings solved and the killer in jail two or three chapters before the end. All problems are solved and most concluded, but some in a disturbing way (how to put it without spoiling it?), not neat but a bit much, this, together with no twists and being too long fails to get the 5th star in the rating.

As German ebooks are sometimes rather expensive, I am glad I got this cheap.
I just checked, it is as of this date even cheaper, but most other books in the series are 9,99 Eur, which is too much.
Recommended if you can read German and want a book about a serial killer.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Let Me Go

Let Me Go
Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gretchen is back!
And helps Archie celebrate his birthday and then Halloween - Gretchen-style.
A party by Leo's father, Jack the Mobster, on his private island in Lake Oswego, attended by Archie to gather information about Jack's Russian friends ends with a body washed to the shore near the island. The events on the party are scattered in the story, to be revealed piece-by-piece, as Archie missed some of the fun and the killing. One revelation I guessed, it was obvious even in the last book, that Archie was fooled. Or as someone in this book put it so right "Men are ruled by their dicks" (Claire, Henry's pregnant cop-girlfriend).
A nice scene with a pole-dancer leads to unwarranted jealousy.
A few kinky (or sick?) sex-scenes, one of them of the "kids, don't try this at home"-type, dangerous and going into s/m-territory show how inventive Gretchen is, wow, that was a new one, have not thought someone would try this. And also by hacking some computers Gretchen forces Archie to come clean to a few people, most have known about his affair anyway.
While end is just too neat, all other parts fit nicely together, lots of death, torture hinted at, only little romance, a break-up, perfect book, way above 5 stars, probably the best book yet in the series so far.
Although long, it did not feel that way, fast paced page-turner, which made me read the whole book in just little more than two days - the first few pages late in the evening to get into it, the last (hospital) after midnight as I had other things to do and two days in between.

Highly recommended, female-serial-killer, page-turner.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: The Stranger You Know

The Stranger You Know
The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Started this and the first chapter reads familiar, like I have already read it sometime ago. Looking at the previous read books by Jane Casey wether I read a preview, I did not find any for this book, strange feeling, or Casey is copying her own work somewhere... .
Reading on, no, after the first chapter or a few pages it is new to me.

Excellent twists, keept me guessing till near the end who would the killer. Although there is a bit of deux-ex-machina there in the final conclusions when all is explained. Could warrant a star less for some, a touch too neatly solved everything and they had no real evidence for some things, only guesses and unsolved cases with suspects.
Just a few romance-scenes, exactly measured, not too much, nothing distracing from the crimes and a side-story (beginning in the last books) is integrated with the romance and leads to some unexpected scenes and again ends with a nice, unexpected twist.
Real page-turner, highly recommended. Could just stop myself from buying and reading the next book in the series.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Bet Your Life

Bet Your Life
Bet Your Life by Jane Casey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite as good as the first one, too little action and too much romance, but still very good.
The (romance) problems with Dan, Will and her mother are too much and not solved, rather getting more complicated, making me fear for the next book.
The YA-Theme with bullying, pranks and lots of badly behaving teens are spot on and very good.
Highly recommended, but only gets four stars from me.

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Review: Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Preordered this one February 1st 2014 and looked forward to reading it.
So much so, I nearly abandoned all other books and activities when it arrived on my Kindle.
Wow! Did not see the twist coming, although it was a logical decision, and one with big repercussions on the life and interactions in the book(s) to come.
While not planned to be that way, this twist will even influence the political realities in the series, the fallout me be difficult to guess, but it could be a split between factions.
Just the perfect mix of action and romance for me.
Sydney is my favorite person in this series, headstrong and intelligent.
The book is rather short, but as I think a lot of books could be shorter, this was ok for me, here I found nothing to cut away.
The next one is preordered already, supposed to be published February 2015: [b:The Ruby Circle|8709528|The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)|Richelle Mead||18752344].
Highly recommended.

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