Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just stumbled over this again (tangent: link to the shortlist Dead Good Books, read the comment, do not like Patterson too much, read most/all of Reichs and Gerritsen, so I looked up Griffiths and wanted to buy the first book in the Galloways series for Kindle, only Amazon informed I already bought it. Lucky me, would not have been the first time I bought something again.
Currently (July 23d, 2016) reading The Girl on the Train.
Hopefully I can finish "Girl ...", my habit of starting yet another book while not totally abandoning others is starting to hurt continuity, there I have to read parts again to get into a story I started reading too long ago. Arghh, too late, started it ...
A bit long, interesting scenery. Just not enough in the end for 5 stars.
Still, recommended fast read of not entirely a page-turner for me. Will certainly buy and read the other books in the series sometimes.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: Follow Me

Follow Me Follow Me by Angela Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like the book I read before this, Taylor: The Missing - my review, I found this through Dead Good books and again read Malia's Review and mostly agree, the MC Freddie and her former childhood friend Nas are not really likeable and Freddie is crass, too much swearing and anger, although I realize that is probably realistic, only I do not like that and therefore not her. Still, she is a strong MC.
This is on the shortlist of Dead Good Books - The Papercut Award for Best Page Turner. As I was waiting for a delivery this morning, I managed to read 40% today, hoping to finish it today or tomorrow.
While the story is mostly gripping and I cannot guess edited: a few pages later I realize where the killer/killers is. While not exactly who, or what will be revealed. But the main drift is announced and then with a nice turn before the real killer or killers is (are) seen.
Through the book the police is clueless, not pro-active, although in part I can understand them, and the hiring for cheap of Freddie as a social media-advisor - I can really see this happening due to budget-cuts. But Freddie is naive and even for a reporter not very strong, every time she sees blood she faints. Also I really really dislike (hate) then people state the obvious, even in form of the question -
for example "Freddie looked from Moast to Nas to Tibbsy and back again. ‘Can she do that?’ - ‘She can and she did,’ said Nas.". Duh!
For a reporter she should be used to noticing the obvious and not question it. With the reaction to bloody murder scenes and even by her own admission when she thinks about it, she is not fit for the jobs given to her or chosen by her (both reporter and police advisor). She knows a lot about social media and the technology involved, and I can understand that the police does not - in fact from everything I see here in Germany, they are even more dumbfounded than the police force in the book, with outsourcing too much.
Also I still cannot stand Freddie, and Nas (her old former ex-friend/school-BFF) is too bland for me, although some parts of and with her are interesting. The main parts of the story would get 4 stars, without the two female MC's, but given that they are there, at this point (84%), they would get 2 stars, giving 3 with barely a recommendation.
Recommended if you can stand the two MC's, 3 solid stars for the use of social media and up-to-date technology without mistakes and not exaggerated or doing thing that are not possible.
Being a former Helpdesk Slave and using VPN and other things on a daily basis, and even TOR sometimes, this is all entirely correct. Reading the material after the end of the story, I might buy the next book and read it, although I am not sure I want to meet Freddie again (which is more or less mentioned in the description).

(Edit a few minutes later...) Forgot to mention, as with the book before, this one takes place in the UK, although some US-expressions are used ("fuck" too often, but not as often as in some US books), some UK (pre-BREXIT) flair is there, but not too much, also, London? Again?

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: The Missing

The Missing The Missing by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bought this very cheap the same day as I started it, currently not sure, wether it was a promotional price or wether it always is this cheap (1,39 Eur).
Stumbled on this book on The Dead Good Books Award for Most Recommended Book, this is one of 6 on the shortlist. Description from blurb and Dead Good Books sounded interesting.
Beginning is a chat protocol so this should be my kind of book.
Wow! Quite a page-turner, as I could not guess who was responsible (and what really happened).
A few red herrings where masterly laid, cannot go into details (even negative ones) without spoiling it. Very up-to-date with chat logs (later explained to be WhatsApp, but could also have been iMessage or whatever) and computer usage, also no mistakes, very well done.
So why only 4 stars? MC was a bit much, and the use of mental blackouts as a deux-ex-machina-like plot device just a tad too convenient.
Takes place in the UK (Bristol), so slightly different English, and I like it better, than some of the US counterparts.
Looked this up after seeing it on "Dead Good Books" mentioned above and then reading the 3 star review from Malia, and after finishing this, I started with another one Malia reviewed and rated even higher, also taking place in the UK (pre-Brexit, sniff, they are leaving our union, so sad) Follow Me
Highly recommended. Will certainly read other books by this author!

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review: Mord Nach Gebot

Mord Nach Gebot Mord Nach Gebot by Dietrich Novak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Snatched this and the second book in the series for free as an ebook, from an email from (ebook/kindle not listed on Goodreads yet).
Ok read, the main twist I guessed early on, the two twists which ended the main story, not, good idea. Free spirited sex mentioned, but mostly happening of page.
Recommended, will certainly read the next one as I already own it. Cannot really say how much I would pay for it (less than 5 Eur / 5 Us$ certainly). Solid 3 stars, not less, not more.
Read this in German, probably not available in English translation.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread Man Gingerbread Man by Lee Strauss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded to 3 - not 4, as I think, it could have been more suspenseful and not as much convenient deux ex machina's (or coincidences).
Also, it had a love triangle, more or less.
Alternating POV between chapters, which where very well done, if you like such things.
The one major twist in this book I did not see coming, not having read any spoilers or reviews.
As usual I will not mention it, so as not to spoil it for others.
The main situation and people are very well written, and I liked them a lot, with the conflicts of who to like, love, dislike and who to suspect as a villain. Setting is the University of Detroit, with a serial rapist / killer. You have been warned, but is not very graphic, nor bloody.
Also good use of technology: Computers, mobile phones (ok could have been more).
Recommended as a fast read, and do not pay too much for it, it was a serial (3 parts?), and I snatched it for free, as a short novel-omnibus-of-the first 1-3 series. Will certainly read the next books sometimes.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: Verlockende Opfer (Sex & Crime 4)

Verlockende Opfer (Sex & Crime 4) Verlockende Opfer (Sex & Crime 4) by Harry Hold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read this in German (my first language), this is not translated into English.
Good short read. Is Number one in a series. No obvious errors, and the title says all.

Recommended for a sexy crime read on a rainy day instead of a boring romance.

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Review: Willige Opfer: Sex & Crime 1

Willige Opfer: Sex & Crime 1 Willige Opfer: Sex & Crime 1 by Harry Hold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read this in German (my first language), this is not translated into English.
Good short read. Is Number one in a series. No obvious errors, and the title says all.

Recommended for a sexy crime read on a rainy day instead of a boring romance.

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Review: Berauschende Opfer: Sex & Crime 5

Berauschende Opfer: Sex & Crime 5 Berauschende Opfer: Sex & Crime 5 by Harry Hold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read this in German (my first language), this is not translated into English.
As the title says, Sex & Crime, got an email from as this was a free promo that day. Nice cime story, nothing too fancy, but ok, with sex thrown in. Also no obvious errors, style, reasoning and story where ok. Main good characters nicely done, but could have used more common sense, like sending an SMS to some other where they where going.

The being at the right place at the right time (Rock, I am looking at you) was a bit much.

The real price, if you pay for it, feels too much, for such a fast read (just under 5 Eur, as much as you pay for the other books). While part of series, I read it out of order, not realizing that I had ebook 1 and 4 already bought (for free, there is a cheap omnibus 1-4 Kindle-Edition, if you want to save some money).

Recommended for a sexy crime read on a rainy day instead of a boring romance.

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Review: Being Jamie Baker

Being Jamie Baker Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just barely 3 stars: not enough action, nearly no suspense, thought about 2.5 stars, hm, not sure wether to round up or down.
No sex, (attempted) rape is mentioned, and the setting and integration in the story sadly feels all too real.
MC is ok, but cries way too often and there are hugs galore, cannot really stand them in such numbers.
Actually I liked the MC more than she was still in ice-queen-mode, but the change to normal person was very believeable and well written. Should have been read faster than I did. Not really my kind of book, so I suggest 3 stars, as it was readable, and I could have DNF'ed it, and did not. As with drugs, the first one was free, to get hooked, but I am not hooked. So I am not too sure I will read the other books in the series. In the back the first 3 chapters of next book are there as a teaser, that might be enough.
Also, looking back on it, checking when it was published (2012), there should have been way more tech integrated, like mobile phones, smartphones, etc. Computers play a little role, just not enough for me.
Recommended as a fluffy romance read with a little X-Men-style paranormal added, for a rainy weekend and not enough technology.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Breaking Cover

Breaking Cover Breaking Cover by Stella Rimington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the latest book in this excellent series, I had it pre-ordered and started this on the day I received it.
Fast paced page-turner, a little romance, could not put it down.
Computers and iPhones used here and in a way that was described realistic and the tech worked for me, no mistakes, very well handled.
Most I wrote about the books in the series applies here also, so I will not repeat it.
First mentions of the looming Brexit, which happened for the UK and the rest of the world before the book was published (Brexit: 23-Jun-2016, eBook was published 30-Jun-2016).
As at this point it is not clear wether another book will be published, I wonder how that will change the story and the world of spooks.
Highly recommended with a bitter ending.

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