Thursday, 13 December 2018

#BookReview The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone @emilybestler @AtriaBooks @FreshFiction

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.


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THE MANSION is Ezekiel Boone's new book after fabulous The Hatching trilogy. This book is something else completely. It's a story about an old crumbling mansion and a love story that will destroy a friendship and turn two men into bitter enemies.

Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford were once a great team, but Shawn's girlfriend Emily left him for Billy. Shawn, however, ended up with the innovative computer Eagle Logic that he and Billy had created together. So, while Billy and Emily had each other, Shawn ends up one of the richest men on the planet.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush @crookedlanebks

The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summoned from her promising surgical career first to her estranged father's bedside, and then his post as medical examiner when his small town needs urgent help with a suspicious death, Emily Hartford discovers home is where the bodies are in this pitch perfect mystery debut.

Recently engaged and deeply ensconced in her third year of surgical residency in Chicago, Emily Hartford gets a shock when she’s called home to Freeport, MI, the small town she fled a decade ago after the death of her mother. Her estranged father, the local medical examiner, has had a massive heart attack and Emily is needed urgently to help with his recovery.

Not sure what to expect, Emily races home, blowing the only stoplight at the center of town and getting pulled over by her former high school love, now Sheriff, Nick Larson. At the hospital, she finds her father in near total denial of the seriousness of his condition. He insists that the best thing Emily can do to help him is to take on the autopsy of a Senator’s teen daughter whose sudden, unexplained death has just rocked the sleepy town.

Reluctantly agreeing to help her father and Nick, Emily gets down to work, only to discover that the girl was murdered. The autopsy reminds her of her many hours in the morgue with her father when she was a young teen—a time which inspired her love of medicine. Before she knows it, she’s pulled deeper into the case and closer to her father and to Nick—much to the dismay of her big city fiance. When a threat is made to Emily herself, she must race to catch the killer before he strikes again in The Coroner, expertly written and sharply plotted, perfect for fans of Patricia Cornwell and Julia 
Spencer Fleming.

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This book was pleasant. Yup, like watching a Hallmark movie. If that's your thing. I'm a bit on the fence, however, since I love my crime novels to be a bit darker, more surprising and let's face it less romantic. I saw the plot, what would happen in Emily Hartford's life right from the start. Or, rather from the moment, she met her ex-boyfriend when Emily came back to the town. Her perfect life in Chicago suddenly didn't seem to be so great when her fiance kept surprising her with news about the wedding that his mother is now organizing. This romantic side story is so unoriginal. And, yet I kind of liked the book. I liked the little city, the characters and yes the crime mystery was good. So, it was a pleasant book.

Would I read a sequel? Yes, I would. Not least because the book ended with some loose threads that I want answers to. So, like crime novels with a romantic triangle drama? The go for this book!  

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

#BookReview A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham @AvonBooksUK

A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Kate Furnivall comes a gritty tale of courage, betrayal and love in the most unlikely of places.

Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die.

Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known – and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. And soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still…

Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice – and the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war? And, more importantly, will they?


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Don't read this review if you are worried about spoilers. It's hard to write about this book without addressing the main event in this book and I was spoiled myself before I started this book. Although that just intrigued me...

Anka Hoff, a midwife sent to a camp is the "lucky" one to be selected to help a woman through her pregnancy and upcoming delivery. The woman is Eva Braun. Yup, she's expecting Adolf Hitler's love child. But, what you think now. Eva and Adolf did not have any children. Right, this is a "what if" story. Totally fiction. However, it's so very well written that you for the moment you read this book actually starts to think about what would have happened if this would have been the truth. An heir to Hitler. But, also an innocent child. This story is interwoven with flashbacks to Anka's time at Ravensbrück. How she came to be there and what she experiences there. It's a very strong story, with some tough moments. Anka herself falls in love with someone, but can their love last?

A Woman of War is a tough book to read, but well worth it. If you enjoy "what if stories" or like to read WW2 novels than I recommend this book warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

#BookReview Kiss of Death by Paul Finch @paulfinchauthor @AvonBooksUK

Kiss of Death by Paul Finch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Could this be the end for Heck?

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with an unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.

Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt

DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game

Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay.

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I have a tendency to let the books I need to review pile up a bit. So, when I sat down to write reviews today and it was this book turn did the remembrance of the books godawful ending hit me again. And, I had managed to move on. And, now it all comes back to me...

First, I want to say that this is the first book I have read in the DS Heckenburg series, and I didn't know until I had started to read it that it was book seven. That didn't bother me much, just meant I have six books more to read. I had previously read the novella Death’s Door so I was a bit familiar with Heck.

As for this story, it was interesting especially when it all started to make sense, you know why all those dangerous men could have disappeared from the face of the earth. And I loved the fact that a short conversation at the beginning of the book where Heck learns some interesting, but at the time relevant, facts would, later on, be important to the case. Now, the story is good, I felt that this is a perfectly alright crime novel. And, then BAM Paul Finch decided to end the book with a twist so big that I mentally felt my jaw drop. Now, these are all pretty new characters for me, but that ending hit me so hard. I never ever expected that ending. I did feel before that godawful ending that the story had its ups and downs, you know a good crime novel. Some slow parts and some really good parts. However, Paul Finch saved the best (or the worts?) until the last minute...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!   

Monday, 10 December 2018

#BookReview The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash @TomBarbash @simonschusterUK @ScribnerUK

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A charming and wildly absorbing novel about the Winters, a family living in New York City’s famed Dakota apartment building in the year leading up to John Lennon’s assassination.

It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when 23-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.

But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

The epic and intimate story of a family living in the famed Upper West Side apartment building, The Dakota, in the year leading up to the John Lennon assassination, a moment that shaped a generation.


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I was just little over a year old when John Lennon was killed, and writing this review is it just days after the 38 anniversary of his death. And, this story was extra poignant when you think about how much John Lennon had left to give when his life was cut short. This is a fictional story, but Tom Barbash writes in a way that makes it all feel real. Like Anton, his father Buddy and the rest of the family really existed. Cudos to Barbash to make fictional characters come to life.

I loved reading a story set in New York 79/80. I'm too young to remember those years, but nevertheless, it made me nostalgic. And, letting Dakota, one of the most iconic buildings in the city be the central point was a great move. I loved getting to know Anton and Buddy. To follow them as Anton tries to help his father return to the limelight as well as trying to find his own place outside his father's shadow. There is so much going on the world, the Olympics, Ted Kennedy's campaign. I really, really loved Joan Kennedy part in this story. As the saying goes, "behind every successful man there's a woman". And, Joan really showed in this story how to rise above Ted's infidelities. Not to mention standing by Ted, despite the Chappaquiddick incident that in the end ruined his political ambitions.

There is so much going in this book. I first gave the book four stars. However, when I started to write this review did I start to think about how much I enjoyed this story. And, how sad I was to have to say goodbye to Anton and the rest of the characters at the end of the book. So, I raised the rating to five stars. I warmly recommend this book!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @groveatlantic

Broken Ground by Val McDermid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville's inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise--a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

An engrossing, twisty thriller, Broken Ground reaffirms Val McDermid's place as one of the best crime writers of her generation.


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I had the great joy of reading OUT OF BOUNDS and BROKEN GROUNDS back-to-back. Both books are really good. I quite like that in this book Karen Pirie seems to be on the brink of happiness after the loss of Phil a year before. Also, the case is really interesting. A body is found in with a treasure from WW2, however, the body is more recent than so. So, the question is, who is this man and who killed him?

If there is one thing I love is it cold cases and that's why I enjoy this series so much. I especially liked that the case in question dates back all the way to the WW2 Now it's up to Karen and her team to try to figure out who the dead man is and who was it that killed him. But, it's not an easy case to solve, a great deal of digging must be done. Meanwhile, while Karen is working this case does she also overhear a heated discussion in a café and she can't resist butting in. This will have some consequences...

BROKEN GROUND is an excellent crime novel. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

#BookReview Judaskyssen (Judas Kiss) by Kristina Tilvemo & Michael Wainwright @HoiForlag

Judaskyssen by Kristina Tilvemo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Oavsett om en människa avrättas med en kula i huvudet i ett mörkt gathörn, hittas livlös efter elva timmar i en städskrubb utan övervakning på akuten, eller dör ensam med liggsår på ett underbemannat äldrevårdshem, finns det någon som ligger bakom. Någon som gett en order. Någon som bär ett ansvar.

New York, sommaren 2013. Med ett djärvt ingrepp räddar den unga svenska läkaren Peter Larsson livet på en svårt skadad bilförare.

Ett halvår senare ser Peter – som nu tjänstgör på Malmö sjukhus – en gymnasieelev brutalt skjutas ned på gatan. Än en gång försökerhan rädda ett människoliv.

De två händelserna bildar upptakten till ett rafflande kriminaldrama där Peter och flickvännen Erika dras in i en våldsam värld präglad av oväntade vändningar, stark psykisk påfrestning och tvära kast mellan Malmös hårda gatuliv och Lunds akademiska elegans.

Hoten mot Peter och Erika kommer snart från flera håll. När en ny mordvåg sveper in över Malmös mörka gator handlar det bara om att överleva. Frågan är hur mycket – och vem – man är beredd att offra.

Judaskyssen bygger vidare på den starka traditionen av politiskt engagerad skandinavisk kriminallitteratur som bär en tydlig social och politisk agenda. Alla patientfall bygger på verkliga händelser.


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JUDASKYSSEN är en intressant bok. Jag tyckte speciellt mycket om att boken hade med riktiga patientfall i handlingen. Det stärkte verkligen handlingen och man fick en inblick i den obehagliga verkligheten när det gäller svenska sjukhus. Att tjäna pengar och att inte bry sig om patienterna bästa verkar vara normen nuförtiden.

Sedan har vi kriminalfallet. Peter Larsson är en vanlig man som blir inblandad i två händelser som kommer förändra hans liv. Att läsa denna bok kändes som att se en tåg krasch i slowmotion. Många dumma beslut fattas av speciellt Peter och Erika och flertalet gånger ville jag bara säg åt dem att växa upp upp och inse att de gör bara saken värre. Sedan kommer en totalt chockerande vändning...

JUDASKYSSEN är en kriminalnovell som även tar upp social orättvisa. Jag tyckte om den kombinationen och vill gärna läsa fler böcker som denna.

Tack till Hoi förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Whether a man is executed with a bullet in his head in a dark street corner or found lifeless after eleven hours in a broom cupboard without supervision in the ER or dying alone in an underprivileged retirement home, there is someone behind it. Anyone who gave an order. Someone who has a responsibility.

New York, Summer 2013. With a bold intervention, the young Swedish physician, Peter Larsson, saves the life of a seriously injured driver.

Half a year later, Peter - now serving at Malmö Hospital - sees a high school pupil brutally shot down the street. Once again, he's trying to save a human life.

The two events form the origin of a thrilling crime drama where Peter and his girlfriend Erika are drawn into a violent world characterized by unexpected twists and turns, strong psychological stress and a sharp throw between Malmö's hard street life and Lund's academic elegance.

The threats to Peter and Erika are coming soon from several directions. When a new murder wave sweeps across Malmo's dark streets, it's just about survival. The question is how much - and who - you are prepared to sacrifice.

JUDAS KISS continues to build on the strong tradition of politically committed Scandinavian crime literature that has a clear social and political agenda. All patient cases are based on real events.

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I found this book to be very interesting, especially all the patient cases one reads about. Why? Because they are all true, and they show just how bad the situations are in the hospitals here in Sweden. Saving money and not caring about the patients seems to be the norm nowadays. 

Then there is the crime story part. Peter Larsson, an ordinary man that happens to be involved in two events that will change his world. Reading this book felt very much like watching a train crash in slow motion. Lots of stupid decisions and you just want to tell the characters in this book, especially Peter and Erika to wise up. Then comes a shocking twist to the story that I never expected...

JUDAS KISS is a book that deals with social injustice as well as being a crime novel. I liked this setup and I want to read more books like this.

Thanks to Hoi förlag for the review copy!

Friday, 7 December 2018

#BookReview Out of Bounds by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @groveatlantic

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds, she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.


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OUT OF BOUNDS is the fourth book in the Inspector Karen Pirie series and I have previously read book two and three in this series. This is a series that is growing on me. I still prefer the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series by the author, but this one and the one that comes after (that I picked up straight after I finished this one) are really good and I now want to read the first book that I haven't yet read.

Karen Pirie lost the love of her life recently and she spends her nights walking around in the city trying to come to grips with her loss. That doesn't mean that she isn't doing her damn best to solve cold cases. A joyride crash has given new life to an old rape and murder case. However, finding the answers will not be that easy. Karen is also drawn to a recent murder case that is linked to a terrorist bombing that happened twenty years ago. Could there be a link between the two deeds?

OUT OF BOUNDS is a really good book and it's not necessarily to read the books in the right order since each book has new cases.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!