Monday, 24 September 2018

#BookReview Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall @GrandCentralPub

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. Then long-buried secrets resurface, Ellen realizes she may not know Sasha -- or what she's capable of -- at all.

2005: 17 year old Ellen falls under the spell of glamorous newcomer, Sasha. As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha's family, she doesn't see the darkness that lies beneath their musical, bohemian lifestyle. At a New Year's Eve party, events come to a dramatic head, resulting in a court case (in which Ellen is a key witness) that means family life at the Corner House will never be the same again.

2018: Now 30, Ellen and Sasha are still entwined in each other's lives and sharing a flat in London. When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. She has gone missing like this before and the police won't take it seriously, but long-buried events in their shared past mean that Ellen has good reason to be frightened - not only for Sasha, but also for herself. Finding out the truth about what really happened on New Year's Eve twelve years ago puts Ellen in terrible danger, and forces her to confront not only the past, but how well she really knows her best frien
d.

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I read FREIND REQUEST by Laura Marshall last year and it was a smashing thriller. Would Marshall be able to repeat this achievement? Is THREE LITTLE LIES just as good? To be frank, not quite. It's still a good book. However, storywise didn't it capture my interest in the same way and the ending felt a bit too expected.

Still, the writing is good, there is a flow to the story that I love and the story never bores me. The change between different characters was a great move especially since I found Ellen to be a bit too naive for my taste. The story is set both in 2005 (and forward) and 2017 (the blurb says 2018, but the book says 2017). However, Ellen never felt like a grown-up to me in 2017. Like she never truly grew up. Also, that she was so blind when it came to Sasha made me a bit annoyed. They even lived together and still, she seemed so clueless.

What I found most interesting with the story was just the mystery of what really happened in 2006. I wanted to know the truth. And, even though I never truly felt connected to Ellen and the rest of the characters so did I feel that my curiosity kept me going. I just wished the ending had been a bit more of a surprise. It felt a bit flat, to be honest. Too predictable.

THREE LITTLE LIES is a book that just didn't rock my socks. It fails to be truly thrilling, however, the writing is good. It's the story that just fails to grab me, which is a bummer because I really liked FRIEND REQUEST. I hope the next Laura Marshall book will appeal more to me.

I want to thank Grant Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall

Saturday, 22 September 2018

#BookReview A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd @CharlesToddBks @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction

A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though the Great War has ended, Bess Crawford finds herself caught in deadly circumstances on a remote Welsh headland in this tenth entry from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author.

The fighting has ended, the Armistice signed, but the war has left wounds that are still agonizingly raw. Battlefield Nurse Bess Crawford has been assigned to a clinic for amputees, and the Welsh patients worry her. She does her best to help them, but it’s clear that they have nothing to go home to, in a valley where only the fit can work in the coal pits. When they are released, she fears that peace will do what war couldn’t—take their lives.

Their officer, Captain Williams, writes to describe their despair, and his own at trying to save his men. Bess feels compelled to look into their situation, but the Army and the clinic can do nothing. Requesting leave, she quietly travels to Wales, and that bleak coal mining village, but she is too late.

Captain Williams’ sister tells Bess he has left the valley. Bess is afraid he intends to kill himself. She follows him to an isolated, storm-battered peninsula—a harsh and forgotten place where secrets and death go hand in hand. Deserted by her frightened driver, Bess is stranded among strangers suspicious of outsiders. She quickly discovers these villagers are hiding something, and she’s learned too much to be allowed to leave. What’s more, no one in England knows where she is.

Why is there no Constable out here? And who is the mysterious Ellen? Captain Williams and his brother’s widow are her only allies, and Bess must take care not to put them at risk as she tries to find answers. But there is a murderer here who is driven to kill again and again. And the next person in his sights is Simon Brandon, searching for Bess and unaware of his danger...


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I've read almost all the books in the Bess Crawford series and it's always with nice to get a new book in my hands. In A FORGOTTEN PLACE by Charles Todd, one would think now that the Great War is over that life would be easier for Bess. That her work as a nurse would be less demanding. However, there are still a lot of wounded soldiers, many of whom have lost limbs. In this book, Bess is worried about her Welsh patients. Their spirits seem to be broken. With the loss of limbs, they have no job to go back to home. Bess receives a letter from their officer, Captain Williams, who writes about the soldier's despair after they have left the hospital. Bess worries so much that she decides to travel to Wales during her leave and she doesn't tell anyone about her plans. At the village, she learns the captain has moved on and is now living with his brother's widow. Afraid that he will kill himself, Bess makes the decision to follow him to the isolated peninsula where he has settled. However, soon she finds herself stranded there...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

#CoverCrush Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Historical Fiction Reader came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian émigrés who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.

Thoughts:

I love the bright colors from the red umbrella that matches the font to the red and green coats that the women wear. That the background is a bit muted, a bit faded also makes the women walking more in focus and that works so well when it comes to this cover. 

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Wednesday, 19 September 2018

#BookReview The Other Sister by Sarah Zettel @GrandCentralPub

The Other Sister by Sarah Zettel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two sisters. One murder plan.
Geraldine Monroe is the bad sister. Reckless and troubled, she ran away shortly after the mysterious death of their mother twenty years ago.

Marie, on the other hand, has always been the good sister. She is the obedient daughter and a loving mother to her son.

Now Geraldine has come home, for good it seems, and no one--not the aunts or uncles or cousins--really knows why. The most suspicious of all is Martin Monroe, the father who rules the extended family and their small town with a poisonous combination of money and coldheartedness. But even he doesn't realize what the truth is: that the sisters have become allies in a plot to kill him.

Bound by blood and a need to right the past, Geraldine and Marie set their plan in motion. When old secrets and new fears clash, everyone is pushed to the breaking point . . . and the sisters will learn that they can't trust anyone, not even each other.


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One thing is sure, nothing is at it seems in this book. As the story progresses do we learn more about Geraldine and Marie's childhood. About how their father poisoned their life, not to mention their mother's life. We also learn that not everything is what it seems that the characters in this book have deep dark secrets. THE OTHER SISTER is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Martin Monroe is not a man you feel a bit sympathy for, vice versa actually. He's rotten to the core. And, his daughters are planning his downfall. Will they succeed? Or are the secrets they keep from each other to great for them to work together?

THE OTHER SISTER was an interesting book, although I felt it was a bit uneven. Sometimes it captured my attention and other times I felt that it dragged on a bit and I wished I had connected much more with the sisters. I feel that it was good enough to read and I wanted the ending, wanted to know how it all would end. And, yet I felt a bit disconnected with it, the story never really took flight. I wanted to feel more for Geraldine and Marie. It's a good book. Just not really thrilling.

THE OTHER SISTER is a book that I felt worked on some levels for me. I liked the last part the most when the big confrontation between the sisters and their father occurs. The story had its ups and downs, and ultimately I felt that it's an OK book. I have to admit that there were moments at first when I doubt that I would finish the book, but it got better as the story progressed. So, I'm glad that I did not give up because I did end up enjoying the book, despite all the ups and downs.

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

The Other Sister by Sarah Zettel

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

#BookReview Creature by Hunter Shea @flametreepress

Creature by Hunter Shea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal. But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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This is actually a love story. Yup, a Hunter Shea love story. So, of course, that means that something will go absolutely wrong. Not in the usual kind of love story way, in a more bloody way. This is also a book that demands patience. Pretty much all the action, all the carnage happens at the end. But, there are, of course, hints along the way that something is wrong that something WILL GO wrong.

The star of the book is for me, is not any human, it's Buttons or But-But that he's so lovey called by his humans. This adorable old beagle is the one that I worried most about while reading the book. It is a horror book, and God knows that no one is safe, especially not pets when it comes to horror books. So, I had some moments of angst for poor But-But...

As a horror book is this not as scary as THE JERSEY DEVIL, my favorite Hunter Shea book. However, the author's note after the book explains why this is such a personal book for Shea. The knowledge that the theme of this book is very personal for the author made me look back at the story with much more understanding. That is why I wrote that this is a love story. The heart of the story is the love between two humans (and a dog) and the knowledge that time is limited for their love.

I will end this review by saying that I have had a couple of days to reflect on the book and I've come to the conclusion that had I read it with little less hope of being really horrified or creeped out had I perhaps liked the story a bit more. Part of what made me a bit disappointed was that I figured out the twist quite early on. And, that just took away part of the enjoyment for me. The horror part did just not rock my boat.

I want to thank Flame Tree Press for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 17 September 2018

#BlogTour The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood @MichaelHWood @KillerReads

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness of your living room. As soon as you get home, he will kill you – hang you by the neck – and make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

He knows your darkest secrets.
The police are running out of time. DCI Matilda Darke is facing her worst nightmare: a serial killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice, whose campaign of violence is spreading fear throughout the city.

And he is closer than you think.
As the body count rises, Matilda is personally targeted and even her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?


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I read last year A ROOM FULL OF KILLERS, book three in the DCI Matilda Darke Series. And I loved it and I have since then been looking forward to reading the next book. So, I was thrilled when I finally got a copy of THE HANGMAN'S HOLD. I have yet read the first two books, but I hope to remedy that one day.

THE HANGMAN'S HOLD is a thrilling new book, where Matilda and her team has to catch a murderer that is going after people that have previously done something criminal. The case will become very personal for Matilda when she discovers that a close friend knows one of the victims. Matilda has to face the fact that the killer is out to set a score, but who is this person? How do you catch a killer that does seem to be one step ahead all the time and doesn't leave a trace? It will be a hard case to solve.

I'm a latecomer to this series, but one thing I like about the books (that I have read) is how easy it is to get to know the characters. It's been a while since I read A ROOM FULL OF KILLERS and it's not always easy to remember all the characters and past events when you read a lot of books. However, I did feel that the more I read in this book, the more I started to remember. It helps a lot that the characters are so fleshed out and likable.

As for the case. It's a tricky one. Sometimes you have a lot of suspects, but in this case, did it feel like the police had a hard time finding out the identity of the killer. It was a bit of an "oh" moment for me when I started to realize where the story was going when it came to the identity of the killer. I love moments like that.

THE HANGMAN'S HOLD can be read as a stand-alone, however, the risk is that you will feel the need to get the previous books and marathon read them...

Thursday, 13 September 2018

#CoverCrush More Deadly than the Male by Graeme Davis

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Historical Fiction Reader came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



A darkly luminous new anthology collecting the most terrifying horror stories by renowned female authors, presenting anew these forgotten classics to the modern reader.

Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothic and horror fiction, women were exploring the frontiers of fear, dreaming dark dreams that will still keep you up at night.

More Deadly than the Male includes unexpected horror tales by Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and forgotten writers like Mary Cholmondely and Charlotte Riddell, whose work deserves a modern audience. Readers will be drawn in by the familiar names and intrigued by their rare stories.

In The Beckside Boggle, Alice Rea brings a common piece of English folklore to hair-raising life, while Helene Blavatsky, best known as the founder of the spiritualist Theosophical Society, paints a picture of A Witch’s Den as vivid as any vision conjured up by the great pulp writers. Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence won her the Pulitzer prize, yet her horror stories are known only to a comparative few.

Readers will discover lost and forgotten women who wrote horror every bit as effectively as their male contemporaries. They will learn about their lives and careers, the challenges they faced as women working in a male-dominated field, the way they overcame those challenges, and the way they approached the genre—which was often subtler, more psychological, and more disturbing.

Thoughts:
Instantly eye-catching! The red color really draws your eyes and the woman on the cover really suits the book's theme: An anthology of horror stories by female authors. Love the little details, from the houses behind the woman to how the bottom half of the woman dissolves into a dark cloud (or smoke oh or perhaps fog)...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Wednesday, 12 September 2018

#BookReview Annars skjuter jägaren mig (I Am Your Judge) by Nele Neuhaus @NeleNeuhaus @albertbonniers (SWE/ENG)

Annars skjuter jägaren mig by Nele Neuhaus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Bröllopsresan är planerad över jul och nyår. Äntligen ska kriminalinspektör Pia Kirchhoff, hemligt nygift, få sin välförtjänta semester. Men dagarna innan resan nås hon av ett telefonsamtal som får planerna att gå om intet. I det lilla samhället Eschborn utanför Frankfurt har en äldre kvinna skjutits ihjäl av en okänd gärningsman. Kort därpå inträffar ytterligare ett liknande mord: en kvinna skjuts ihjäl genom köksfönstret. Inget av offren hade några fiender. Varför måste just de dö? Trycket på utredningen ökar snabbt. Pia Kirchhoff och hennes chef Oliver von Bodenstein söker efter en mördare som tycks välja sina offer godtyckligt – och de kommer en mänsklig tragedi på spåren.

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ANNARS SKJUTER JÄGAREN MIG är den senaste boken utgiven i Nele Neuhaus serie om poliserna Oliver von Bodenstein och Pia Kirchhoff. Innan jag började läsa denna bok så tog jag mig an de två tidigare publicerade böckerna och de var fantastiska. Först var jag lite förbryllad över vissa saker när jag läste SNÖVIT MÅSTE DÖ. Men så kollade jag upp boken och såg att de första böckerna har inte publicerats på svenska och att SNÖVIT MÅSTE DÖ är bok nummer fyra i serien. Det förklarade så mycket. Nu hoppas jag att de tidigare böckerna kommer på svenska en vacker dag.

ANNARS SKJUTER JÄGAREN MIG är en grymt bra kriminalare. Skytten verkar inte ha något som helst motiv när han skjuter människor och det lamslår hela staden. Oliver von Bodenstein och Pia Kirchhoff försöker få fram något som binder offren tillsammans samtidigt som pressen att lösa fallet ökar varje dag. När som helst kan någon ny människa falla offer.

Nele Neuhaus har klivit rakt in i min lista på favoritförfattare. Jag bara älskar hennes böcker. De tre jag har läst har alla hållit samma höga kvalité och jag är imponerade över hur hon lyckas få till berättelserna varje gång på ett så sätt att man misstänker ett flertal personer. Jag blev så förtjust i serien att jag beställde den enda bok jag kunde få tag på på Engelska, The Ice Queen, bok tre i serien. Nu hoppas jag bara att fler böcker i Bodenstein & Kirchhoff serien kommer att översättas till svenska eller engelska. Skulle inte heller ha något emot att se böckerna som film.

Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Police Detective Pia Kirchhoff is about to leave on her long-delayed honeymoon when she receives a phone call. An elderly woman has been shot and killed while walking her dog. A short while later another murder is committed and the modus operandi is eerily similar - a woman is killed by a bullet that smashes through her kitchen window ... and in both cases the same weapon fired the shot. Two more murders follow in short order. None of the victims had enemies and no one knows why they were singled out. As fear of the Taunus Sniper grows among the local residents, the pressure rises on Detective Kirchhoff. She and her partner, Oliver von Bodenstein, search for a suspect who appears to murder at will, but as the investigation progresses, the police officers uncover a human tragedy.

I am Your Judge is tightly plotted, and delivers surprise twists at every turn with a story that is ripped from the headlines.

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I AM YOUR JUDGE is the latest book published here in Sweden. It's the seventh book in the Bodenstein & Kirchhoff series. Before I started to read this book, did I take on the two previously published (Swedish) books and they were fabulous. I was at first a bit confused when I read SNOW WHITE MUST DIE. It felt like I started to read a story in the middle, liked I had missed the beginning. However, I learned that this was because SNOW WHITE MUST DIE is book four. The first three books haven't been published in Sweden. It explained a lot. I hope to see them published in Swedish some day.

I AM YOUR JUDGE is a fantastic crime novel. We have lone gunman that seems to kill people without any rhyme or reason. He just shoots people and the citizens in the city are afraid to go out. Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchhoff are working hard to find something that binds the people killed together. They are under a lot of stress. Any day can someone new be shot.

Nele Neuhaus has stepped right into my list of favorite authors. I just love her books. All the books I have read so far (three) has held the same high standard and I'm impressed how she managed to write the stories in such a way that I always suspect a lot of people. I was so thrilled with the books that I ordered the only book I could find translated into English that I had yet to read. And that's THE ICE QUEEN, book three in the series. I hope more books will be translated into Swedish or English. I wouldn't mind either to see the books turned into movies or mini-series.

Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!