Tuesday, 26 September 2017

#BookReview Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben @Arrowpublishing

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.

When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

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It's been years since I read my first Harlan Coben book, and every time I see that he is releasing a new book do I rejoice. He's such a fabulous writer and his books are the kinds that I often can't put down until I finished reading.

Now Don't Let Go, to be honest, isn't among the best I read, but it's still a good book, with the Coben's usual writing style. I just think that I expect too much from Coben and this book just didn't have the usual story with lots of twists and turns. I love how Coben usually pulls the rug out from beneath your feet several times during the story, but I lacked some seriously shocking twist. Now even the last twist towards the end felt really surprising. Also, Napoleon “Nap” Dumas was not a bad character, but having Myron Bolitar showing up for a short cameo just made me miss Myron (and Win) and Nap is just not as interesting to read about. His losses in life, twin brother, and Maura never really got to me and here lies one of the big problems with this book. I just didn't feel that Nap's sad story gripped me.

Don't Let Go is a book that was OK to read, not among the best Coben books I have read, but pleasant enough. A decent thriller that could have been better if it had had a more surprising storyline. 

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

#BookReview A Casualty of War by Charles Todd (@CharlesToddBks) A Casualty of War

Casualty of War by Charles Todd
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

From New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes a haunting tale that explores the impact of World War I on all who witnessed it—officers, soldiers, doctors, and battlefield nurses like Bess Crawford.

Though the Great War is nearing its end, the fighting rages on. While waiting for transport back to her post, Bess Crawford meets Captain Alan Travis from the island of Barbados. Later, when he’s brought into her forward aid station disoriented from a head wound, Bess is alarmed that he believes his distant English cousin, Lieutenant James Travis, shot him. Then the Captain is brought back to the aid station with a more severe wound, once more angrily denouncing the Lieutenant as a killer. But when it appears that James Travis couldn’t have shot him, the Captain’s sanity is questioned. Still, Bess wonders how such an experienced officer could be so wrong.

On leave in England, Bess finds the Captain strapped to his bed in a clinic for brain injuries. Horrified by his condition, Bess and Sergeant Major Simon Brandon travel to James Travis’s home in Suffolk, to learn more about the baffling relationship between these two cousins.

Her search will lead this smart, capable, and compassionate young woman into unexpected danger, and bring her face to face with the visible and invisible wounds of war that not even the much-longed for peace can heal.


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I'm a big fan of the Bess Crawford series and I have read almost all the books so far. A Casualty of War shows just what a wonderful mother and son writing team Caroline Todd and Charles Todd are when it comes to writing books.

In A Casualty of War must Bess help Captain Alan Travis who is convinced that his cousin shot him, but it's impossible since his cousin couldn't have been the one to do that so now his sanity is questioned. Bess together with Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon travels to the cousin, James Travis's hometown to try to find out more about the cousins and why their families are estranged.

Without giving too much of the plot away do I want to say that this is one of the strongest books in the series. Once again Bess is confronted with a strange mystery with a lot of suspicious and distrustful people in a small village. Bess herself is thinking about her future now that the war is going towards the end. What is she going to do next, she has been a nurse for so long that it has become her whole life, living with fear and the prospect of death any minute. If you have read any my previous review do you know that I'm a big fan of Sergeant Lassiter and I was thrilled that he showed up for ... just a small cameo. Bah! I wanted more of him, not just a small part. Although it was a sweet moment, kind of that Bess kind of destroyed (for me).

A Casualty of War is a great book. You can read this book without having read any of the previous books. It's easy to get to know the characters and the stories in the books are stand-alone.

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

Sunday, 24 September 2017

#BookReview The Good Daughter (Den goda dottern) by Karin Slaughter (@SlaughterKarin) (SWE/ENG)

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

För tjugoåtta år sedan slogs Charlotte och Samantha Quinns familj i spillror. Attacken mot deras hem dödade inte bara deras mamma, utan krossade också deras pappa - stadens ökända försvarsadvokat - och ödelade deras familj för alltid.

Nu är systrarna vuxna, och Charlie är den perfekta dottern som har gått i sin pappas fotspår. När det brutala våldet återigen drabbar staden, kastas Charlie rakt in i en mardröm. Hon är inte bara det första vittnet på plats. Dessutom märker hon snart att fallet mot hennes vilja lockar fram de mörka minnen som hon har lyckats förtränga i så många år. Och sanningen om det som hände för tjugoåtta år sedan går inte längre att dölja.


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Den goda dottern börjar spännande med en flashback till Charlie och Samantha när de var unga och deras sista stund med deras mamma. Sedan förflyttas handlingen 28 år framåt i tiden till Charlie som bevittnar ett brott som kommer att få  henne att minnas saker från det förflutna hon helst hade fortsatt att glömma. 

Karin Slaughter är en lysnade författare och jag såg verkligen fram emot att läsa denna bok. Det finns en kort novel man kan läsa (ej översatt till svenska) som heter The Last Breath där man för första gången möter Charlie, flera år innan denna bok, när hon är nygift. Det kan vara värt att läsa den innan man läser Den goda dottern, men det är inte nödvändigt. Boken är mycket bra och jag gillar verkligen karaktärerna från de olika systrarna, deras pappa och Charlies man Ben som älskar Star Trek. Charlie var den av systrarna jag gillade bäst, men så hade jag redan läst om henne i novellen samt att det dröjde ett tag innan den vuxna Samantha kom in i handlingen. Handlingen är spännnade och även om jag misstänkte vissa saker så fanns det överraskande ögonblick, speciallt mot slutet av boken.

Jag älskar thrillers som utspelas i småstäder, med bitterhet, motsättningar och hemligheter. Denna bok har verkligen det. En sak som verkligen gjorde intryck på mig var hur levande karaktärerna blev i denna bok, jag brydde mig verkligen om deras liv och öden. Den goda dottern är gripande, tragiskt och fängslande att läsa. Det är synd att det är en fristående bok då jag gärna hade läst mer om systrarna.  

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…

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The Good Daughter begins with a flashback to Charlie and Samantha when they were young and their last moments with their mom. Then, the story moves 28 years ahead in time to Charlie who witnesses a crime that will make her remember things from the past she rather forgets.

Karin Slaughter is a fabulous author and I really looked forward to reading this book. There is a short novella that you can read (not translated into Swedish) called Last Breath, where you first meet Charlie, several years before this book when she is newly married. It may be worth reading it before reading The Good Daughter, but it is not necessary. The book is very good and I really like the characters, from the very different sisters, their dad and Charlie's husband Ben who loves Star Trek. Charlie was the sister I liked best, but I'd already read about her in the short story and it took a while before the adult Samantha to be introduced in the book. The action is tight and although I suspected some things, there were surprising moments, especially towards the end of the book.

I love thrillers set in small towns, with resentments, disagreements, and secrets. This book really has it all. One thing that really impressed me was how the characters came to life in this book, I really cared about their lives and fate. The Good Daughter is engaging, tragic and captivating to read. It's a shame that it's a stand-alone book since I'd love to read more about the sisters.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

#BookReview Harley Quinn, Volume 3: Red Meat by Amanda Conner @DCComics

Harley Quinn, Volume 3: Red Meat by Jimmy Palmiotti
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Suicide Squad's deadliest member continues to wreak havoc all across the DC Universe in the latest installment of her best-selling graphic novel series in HARLEY QUINN VOL. 3!

Harley's managed to carve out a kind of peace with New York's corrupt mayor...but once she gets wind of his plans for the city's homeless population, the deal is most definitely off! She'll have to take the fight to City Hall--but who will be her ally in her most desperate hour?

The writing team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti join artists Chad Hardin and John Timms in their New York Times best-selling run with HARLEY QUINN VOL. 3! Collects HARLEY QUINN #14-16 Full issues, and issues #17-21 (main story only).


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Harley Quinn is BACK! And, this time she has to deal with a megalomaniac alien that she set free after opening a door underground (see the previous volume), cannibals, a bat-fan from the future, and old foe, and her parents! Well, the parents not so much, she was busy trying to keep bat-fan off her back.

Anyway, it's a lot of things going on in this graphic novel. I was a bit doubtful at the beginning when the alien got free, but the story turned out to be better than I had anticipated. Still, I found this volume to just above-average, with now and then some funny bits. The action sequences were good and as usual is my favorite crazy chick wreaking havoc wherever she goes. On the plus side is the art straight through lovely! Favorite part? Hm, nothing really comes to mind, no story that really shined more than the others. Perhaps Red Tools part in the bat-fan story, it was a good twist.





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

Friday, 22 September 2017

#BookReview Gone (Försvunnen) by Mo Hayder (SWE/ENG) @ModernistaRed

Gone by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Mörkret sänker sig över West Country när kriminalinspektör Jack Caffery anländer för att intervjua offret för en bilstöld. Han har utrett bilstölder tidigare, men det här är annorlunda. I det här fallet har bilen tagits med våld. Och i baksätet fanns en passagerare - en elvaårig flicka - som fortfarande saknas.

Snart börjar förövaren kommunicera med polisen: "Det har börjat", säger han. "Och det kommer inte bara plötsligt att ta slut, eller hur?" Caffery vet att det kommer att hända igen. Kidnapparen kommer att välja ut en annan bil, med ett annat barn i baksätet.

Jack Caffery är en skicklig polis med skarpa instinkter; den bästa, enligt vissa. Men den här gången inser han att något är allvarligt fel: Kidnapparen verkar hela tiden vara precis ett steg före polisen...


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Om det är något Mo Hayder kan så är det att skriva böcker som går under skinnet på en. Precis som Dennis Lehane så vågar hon ta ut svängarna och det är med isande fasa man läser varje sida.

Försvunnen är inget undantag. Att läsa om kidnappade barn är hemskt och man vet inte om Jack Caffery kommer att lyckas rädda situationen. Caffery är en lysande polis, men i denna bok så verkar det som om kidnapparen kan förutse polisen nästa drag och ju mer tiden går desto mer lutar det åt att det är försent, att flickan inte kommer att räddas.

Sedan har vi polisdykaren Flea Marley, som lever med konsekvenserna från föregående bok, vilket stör henne i jobbet. Hon vet inte om att Jack misstänker henne för ett brott som hon faktiskt är oskyldig till men som i och med det Jack vet om det ter sig logiskt att han misstänker henne. Nu ger hon sig in kampen för att rädda den kidnappade flickan. Men är hon verkligen i form att ta sig an fallet? Kommer hon istället bara att riskera sitt eget liv?

Försvunnen är en ruggig thriller där den okände förövaren hela tiden lurar i bakgrunden och man sitter på helspänd på slutet när Caffery konfronterar förövaren. Frågan är kommer allting att sluta lyckligt?


Tack till Modernista för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

November in the West Country.

Evening is closing in as murder detective Jack Caffery arrives to interview the victim of a car-jacking.

He's dealt with routine car-thefts before, but this one is different. This car was taken by force. And on the back seat was a passenger. An eleven-year-old girl. Who is still missing.

Before long the jacker starts to communicate with the police: 'It's started,' he tells them. 'And it ain't going to stop just sudden, is it?'

And Caffery knows that he's going to do it again. Soon the jacker will choose another car with another child on the back seat.

Caffery's a good and instinctive cop; the best in the business, some say. But this time he knows something's badly wrong. Because the jacker seems to be ahead of the police - every step of the way...

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If there is one thing Mo Hayder knows is it to write a book that crawls under your skin. She dares, just like Dennis Lehane can she write in such a way that it's with terror you turn each page.

Gone is no exception. Reading about kidnapped children is always terrible and you do not know if Jack Caffery will be able to save the kidnapped girl. Caffery is a brilliant police, but in this book, the kidnapper seems to anticipate every single move the police do, and as more time goes by, the fear grows that they will be too late.

Then we have police diver Flea Marley, who lives with the consequences from the previous book, which has consequences for her at work. She does not know that Jack suspects her for a crime she's actually innocent of. Although it's quite logical that he suspects her since he doesn't have the whole picture. Now she decides to search for the kidnapped girl. But, is she really in shape to help out? Or will she only risk her own life?

Gone is a tough thriller where the unidentified perpetrator always lurks in the background, and at the end, when Caffery confronts the perpetrator will you still question if everything will end happily...

Thanks to Modernista for the review copy!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

#CoverCrush The Little Angel by Rosie Goodwin

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary 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!



1896, Nuneaton. Left on the doorstep of Treetops Children's Home, young Kitty captures the heart of her guardian, Sunday Branning, who has never been blessed with a child of her own.

Kitty brings sunshine and joy wherever she goes, and grows into a beguiling and favoured young girl. But then Kitty is summoned to live in London with her birth mother.

At first London offers Kitty excitement and adventure. With her delicate beauty and the voice of an angel, she attracts a promising singing career and the attention of a number of dashing suitors. But those now close to Kitty are not what they seem, and her comforting old home at Treetops starts to feel very far away.

If Kitty is to have any chance of happiness, this little angel must protect herself from devils in disguise . . . and before it's too late.

Some thoughts about the cover:

I get a Christmas feeling seeing this cover. The woman in bright red with the snow blowing around her and the house looming in the background. I really like this cover and this feels like the perfect book to read when winter arrives. 

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages






indieBRAG

#BlogBlitz Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (@RobertBryndza) @bookouture

Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending. 

Book review 

I've had a blast the last couple of weeks devouring 3 Erika Foster books. I jumped at the chance to participate in this blog tour, but that meant that I had to read the previous two books before reading Cold Blood. Lucky me! Finishing this book also meant that now I have to wait for the next one. Which after this Erika Foster marathon feels a bit sad...

Cold Blood is the fifth and the latest book in the Erika Foster series and this time Erika has to stop a serial killer couple. Nina and Max are a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde couple whose love story pretty much starts off with a brutal murder. Nina is blinded by love for Max and right from the start is it pretty clear that he is using her blind devotion to him to make her do what he wants her to do. Should one feel sorry for her? Well, perhaps at the start, but as the story progressed is it hard to feel that much sympathy for her. To be honest, did I not feel that much sympathy for her at all, she didn't have a bad life, and the choices she made, well she made the bed....

Erika has her own problems in this book, besides the hunt for the serial killers is she faced with a betrayal that will danger her life and her relationship with Peterson seems to have come to a stop. Marsh is back, and that thrilled me as he is a character that I like and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to save his marriage. 


Cold Blood is an excellent book, with a story that thrilled me from the start. As always do I love reading about the characters personal life as well as the crimes that they have to solve and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
     

Author Bio:


Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series. 

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood is now available to pre-order.

Robert's books have sold over 2 million copies, and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.
 


Author Social Media Links:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

#BookReview Bone Box by Faye Kellerman @FreshFiction

Bone Box by Faye Kellerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this thrilling chapter in Faye Kellerman’s bestselling series, Rina Lazarus makes a shocking discovery in the woods of her upstate New York community that leads her husband, police detective Peter Decker, through a series of gruesome, decades old, unsolved murders, pointing to a diabolical, serial killer who’s been hiding in plain sight.

On a bright and crisp September morning, while walking a bucolic woodland trail, Rina Decker stumbles upon human remains once buried deep beneath the forest grounds. Immediately, she calls her husband, Peter, a former detective lieutenant with LAPD, now working for the local Greenbury Police. Within hours, a vista of beauty and tranquility is transformed into a frenetic crime scene. The body has been interred for years and there is scant physical evidence at the gravesite: a youthful skeleton, a skull wound and long dark strands of hair surrounding the bony frame. As Decker and his partner, Tyler McAdams, further investigate, they realize that they’re most likely dealing with a missing student from the nearby Five Colleges of Upstate—a well-known and well-respected consortium of higher learning where Rina works.

And when more human remains are found in the same area, Decker and McAdams know this isn’t just a one-off murder case. Short-staffed and with no convenient entry into the colleges, Decker enlists Rina’s help to act as the eyes and ears of campus gossip. Winding their way through a dangerous labyrinth of steely suspects and untouchable academics, Decker, McAdams, and Rina race to protect their community from a psychopathic killer still in the area—and on the hunt for a fresh victim.


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The fabulous cover for BONE BOX was the first thing that caught my attention and I found the blurb fascinating. It all starts with Rina Lazarus out on a walk in the woods, taking in the scenery not at all expecting to find human remains. Someone has buried a body and her husband police detective Peter Decker, a former detective lieutenant with LAPD, now working for Greenbury Police has to figure out both the identity of the dead person and who's behind the murder. And, it gets worse another body is found. It seems that there is a serial killer loose.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION