Thursday, 31 January 2019

#BookReview The Winter Sister by Megan Collins @TouchstoneBooks @AtriaBooks

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?


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I was looking forward to reading The Winter Sister. I love books about cold cases and this book about a young woman's unsolved murder intrigued me. I love reading thrillers and I found this book to be very easy to read. In fact, I breezed through it on a single evening, with even impressed myself. I'm a fast reader, but in this case and in other cases is it just that the story isn't overly complex so that I pretty much can skim the text quickly and still without any problem get the gist. It's probably a gift that I acquired since my days of studying. LOL

Anyhow, as I stated before isn't it an overly complex story. We have Sylvie the surviving sister, guilt-ridden who travels home to take of her sick mother. Her mother hasn't truly been the same person since Persephone was murdered and their relationship is not what it used to. Sylvie starts to unravel the mystery surrounding her sister's death. There are not many suspects, and the red herrings were pretty easy to spot and the book just doesn't have that many surprises. It's simply a decent thriller. Hence, the rating. If the story had grabbed me more, the character moved me more had I been able to give a higher rating. As it is, it's just an OK thriller, the story kept my interest up all the way to the end and I felt that the ending was if not that surprising at least satisfying.

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

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

#BookReview Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz @GreggHurwitz @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When darkness closes in―he's your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets―i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now Evan's past in the Orphan Program is reaching out to him.

Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan's mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.

But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he's decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X―the first recruit of the program, Orphan A.

With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It's Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country―even the world―on the line.


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Evan Smoak is a trained assassin known as Orphan X. He was part of the Orphan Program until he broke with it and used everything he had learned to reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. Now he helps those that are desperate and have no one else to turn to. However, now someone is killing off all the Orphans, someone very high up in the government. Evan decides to strike back to take out the man behind the killings, the man who started the program, the President of the United States.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 28 January 2019

#BookReview The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides @orionbooks

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patientis a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...


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The Silent Patient feels like a book everyone loves, expect me. Yeah, for some reason this book just didn't do the trick for. For one thing, it didn't feel like a thriller, or rather for me it lacked any thrilling moments. The story felt flat, likewise the characters, especially Theo Faber. I'm sorry, but he mostly annoyed me, his obsession with Alicia Berenson and his marriage problem. And, from the beginning is it clear that he's not that mentally sound so I wasn't surprised when "things" happened towards the end.

I felt that the story was just idling along, it never picked up the pace and neither Alicia's diary entries nor Theo's POV really grabbed my interest. At least it was pleasant enough that I could finish the book. Now, of course, there must be some twist to the story and sure enough, when the book was nearly done did it show up. And, yes I have to admit that it was a clever move, alas a bit too late for me and frankly not especially imaginative. It felt a bit like it's been done before and I just felt a bit tired and not that impressed.

Well, my review is pretty negative, but it's hard to think of anything good to write when I mostly felt like it was not the right book for me. I like my thrillers to draw me in, for the characters to be fascinating to read about. This book, nah

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

Sunday, 27 January 2019

#BookReview Crucible by James Rollins @jamesrollins @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction

Crucible by James Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the race to save one of their own, Sigma Force must wrestle with the deepest spiritual mysteries of mankind in this mind-expanding adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, told with his trademark blend of cutting edge science, historical mystery and pulse-pounding action.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history—a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?


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Commander Gray Pierce arrives home on Christmas Eve, only to find out that Seichan, his pregnant lover is gone and his best friend's wife Kat is on the brink of death. Kat is the only one that saw the attack, but how to get someone in a semi-comatose state to speak? A neurologist may have the answer to that. Meanwhile, a terrified young woman witnesses a massacre by a video link and realizes that her invention is the reason for this and now she has to run. These two events will link together and once again Sigma must stop evil people out for destruction.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones @HarperCollins @FreshFiction

The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Inspired by real characters, this transporting historical fiction debut spins the fascinating story of two princesses in the Romanov court who practiced black magic, befriended the Tsarina, and invited Rasputin into their lives—forever changing the course of Russian history.

As daughters of the impoverished King of Montenegro, Militza and Stana must fulfill their duty to their father and leave their beloved home for St. Petersburg to be married into senior positions in the Romanov court. For their new alliances to the Russian nobility will help secure the future of the sisters’ native country. Immediately, Militza and Stana feel like outcasts as the aristocracy shuns them for their provincial ways and for dabbling in the occult. Undeterred, the sisters become resolved to make their mark by falling in with the lonely, depressed Tsarina Alexandra, who—as an Anglo-German—is also an outsider and is not fully accepted by members of the court. After numerous failed attempts to precipitate the birth of a son and heir, the Tsarina is desperate and decides to place her faith in the sisters’ expertise with black magic.


Promising the Tsarina that they will be able to secure an heir for the Russian dynasty, Militza and Stana hold séances and experiment with rituals and spells. Gurus, clairvoyants, holy fools, and charlatans all try their luck. The closer they become to the Tsarina and the royal family, the more their status—and power—is elevated. But when the sisters invoke a spiritual shaman, who goes by the name of Rasputin, the die is cast. For they have not only irrevocably sealed their own fates—but also that of Russia itself.

Brimming with black magic, sex and intrigue, The Witches of St. Petersburg is an exquisite historical fiction debut novel filled with lush historical details from the Romanov er
a.

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THE WITCHES OF ST. PETERSBURG is the tale of two sisters that have to fend for themselves at the Romanov court, and they do so by not only befriending the Tsarina, they use black magic as well. Militza and Stana are the daughters of the King of Montenegro. They are forced to marry men with status in the Romanov court and to secure the future for their home country. However, they are shunned by the aristocracy especially the women. But, they soon find out that the lonely Tsarina desperately needs a male heir, and they decide to help her even if that means using black magic.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview No Exit by Taylor Adams @WmMorrowBooks @Tadamsauthor @FreshFiction

No Exit by Taylor Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A brilliant, edgy thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath.

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

With exquisitely controlled pacing, Taylor Adams diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page. Full of terrifying twists and hairpin turns, No Exit will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you breathless.


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What if you're stuck at a rest stop in a blizzard with strangers and discover a kidnapped child? You don't know who to trust and have no way to contact anyone. What would you do? What could you do?

That's the dilemma college student Darby Thorne is faced with in this fast-paced thriller. She's on her way home to see her dying mother when she has to stop at a remote rest stop in the mountains of Colorado. She can't get any cell phone reception, and there is no phone there. Just Darby and three strangers, and the kidnapped child she finds in an animal cage back in the van. But, who's the kidnapper? Anyone of the strangers could be the kidnapper, who to trust?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Suspect by Fiona Barton @BerkleyPub @BerkleyMystery @FreshFiction

The Suspect by Fiona Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The New York Times bestselling author of The Widow returns with a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense about every parent's worst nightmare...

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft, and frantic with worry. What were the girls up to before they disappeared?

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth--and this time is no exception. But she can't help but think of her own son, whom she hasn't seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling.

As the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think...


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THE SUSPECT is the very first book I've read by Fiona Barton. I didn't know that this book is the third in the Kate Waters series. However, I found no problems reading this one without having read the previous books. Actually, it made me more curious about the previous two books.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Murder Theory by Andrew Mayne @AndrewMayne @amazonpub

Murder Theory by Andrew Mayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The desire to kill is becoming contagious in this riveting novel of conceivable mad science by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Naturalist.

Computational biologist and serial-killer hunter Dr. Theo Cray receives an off-the-record request from the FBI to investigate an inexplicable double homicide. It happened at the excavation site where a murderer had buried his victims’ remains. In custody is a forensic technician in shock, with no history of aggression. He doesn’t remember a thing. His colleagues don’t even recognize the man they thought they knew. But an MRI reveals something peculiar. And abnormal.

What on earth made him commit murder?

After discovering that a mysterious man has been stalking crime scenes and stealing forensic data, Cray has a radical and terrifying theory. Now he must race against time to find a darker version of himself: a scientist with an obsession in pathological behavior who uses his genius not to catch serial killers—but to create them.


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I've read all the books published in the Jessica Blackwood series by Andrew Mayne. But, Murder Theory is the first I've read in The Naturalist series. And, I have to admit that at first didn't Dr. Theo Cray, a computational biologist and serial-killer hunter, rock my boat the same way that Jessica Blackwood does. Not a bad story at all, just not on the same interested level and it got a bit "scientific" now and then. Then, BAM one of the best scenes ever happened that pretty much changed how I felt for the book. And, I can't write about it since you know spoilers. However, I will just say this, this is by far the most interesting way to capture a serial killer. Seriously, totally mental and I loved it. After that, I just felt that yup this is a series for me. Any guy that can do something like this is my kind of guy to read about!

So, kudos to Andrew Mayne for the worlds greatest how-to-catch-a-serial-killer-scene!

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

#BookReview The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper @Legend_Press

The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When three women set off on a hike through the wilderness they are anticipating the adventure of a lifetime. Over the next five days, as they face up to the challenging terrain, it soon becomes clear they are not alone.

Lisa, Samantha and Nicole have known each other since school. Lisa is a fighter, Samantha a peacekeeper and Nicole a rule follower. United they bring out the best in one another.

Only once it is too late for them to turn back do they appreciate the danger they are in. Their friendship is tested, and each of them must make a choice that will change their lives forever.


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I think that The Geography of Friendship suits readers that are interested in reading a book that deals with female relationships, past experiences, reflections over what went wrong in life. If you like me are more interested in thrillers, nerve-racking and heart racing ones that leave you almost breathless, well then this is not the book to pick.

Lisa, Samantha, and Nicole experiences something that would define their lives for the next two decades. Through flashbacks do we get to know what happened and why they stopped being friends. The book is wordy, lots of reminiscing about the past, growing up not to mention their lives after they split. There is a brief event towards the end when we learn what happened and that's the only real action-filled moment. What makes it worth the while for me is that the writing is good. I was just engrossed in the story and I'm not sure if I would have finished the book if it had been longer.

So, if you are interested in reflecting books, about friendship, growing up and looking back. Then, why not go for this book. 

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

#BookReview The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley @DelacortePress @FreshFiction

The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Flavia de Luce, the twelve-year-old chemist and amateur detective "with better than an average brain," is eager to turn professional. She and her father's valet, Dogger, have founded a detective agency, Arthur Dogger & Associates, and unexpectedly cut into their first case during the revelry at her sister Ophelia's wedding reception.

After an eventful ceremony with a missing best man and spontaneous ventriloquist act, spirits are high as Feely and her new husband head for the towering and beautifully iced wedding cake. But as Feely slices into the first piece, a scream rings out--the bridal cake contains a severed human finger. Delighted, Flavia wraps the finger in a napkin and whisks it away to her chemical laboratory. By studying the embalmed skin, the indentation of a ring, and the slope of the fingernail, she'll not only be able to determine the identity of the victim--but also point a finger at a killer.


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THE GOLDEN TRESSES OF THE DEAD starts off with Flavia's sister Ophelia getting married. Flavia is delighted when Ophelia discovers a severed human finger in the cake and she rushes away to examine it...Whose finger is it to and why has it been placed in the wedding cake?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 26 January 2019

#BookReview Annelies by David R. Gillham @drgillham @VikingBooks @FreshFiction

Annelies by David R. Gillham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful and deeply humane new novel that asks the question: What if Anne Frank survived the Holocaust?

The year is 1945, and Anne Frank is sixteen years old. Having survived the concentration camps, but lost her mother and sister, she reunites with her father, Pim, in newly liberated Amsterdam. But it’s not as easy to fit the pieces of their life back together. Anne is adrift, haunted by the ghosts of the horrors they experienced, while Pim is fixated on returning to normalcy. Her beloved diary has been lost, and her dreams of becoming a writer seem distant and pointless now.

As Anne struggles to overcome the brutality of memory and build a new life for herself, she grapples with heartbreak, grief, and ultimately the freedom of forgiveness. A story of trauma and redemption, Annelies honors Anne Frank’s legacy as not only a symbol of hope and perseverance, but also a complex young woman of great ambition and heart.

Anne Frank is a cultural icon whose diary painted a vivid picture of the Holocaust and made her an image of humanity in one of history’s darkest moments. But she was also a person—a precocious young girl with a rich inner life and tremendous skill as a writer. In this masterful new novel, David R. Gillham explores with breathtaking empathy the woman—and the writer—she might have become.

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What if Anne Frank had survived? What if she never died in a concentration camp and instead was reunited with her father and had to pick up the pieces left of her life? Having to deal with a life without her mother and sister. Her life as a writer seems like a pointless dream and her diary lost forever. How can she see forward when so much in her life is bleak and she has lost so much?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 25 January 2019

#BookReview Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre @rachelcaine @MsAnnAguirre @FreshFiction

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

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HONOR AMONG THIEVES is the first book in The Honors series by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. I've previously read a book by Rachel Caine that I greatly enjoyed, SMOKE AND IRON from The Great Library series. However, this is the first time I've anything Ann Aquirre. I came to really enjoy this science fiction series.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Nowhere Child by Christian White @CWhiteAuthor @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

The Nowhere Child by Christian White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-six years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her, a loving social worker who died of cancer four years ago, crossed international lines to steal a toddler.

On April 3rd, 1990, Jack and Molly Went’s daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their Kentucky home. Already estranged since the girl’s birth, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith. Without Sammy, the Wents eventually fell apart.

Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had. And to solve the mystery of her abduction—a mystery that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism where she must fight for her life against those determined to save her soul…


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Melbourne, Australia. Photography teacher Kimberly Leamy never thought that she one day would question her identity. But, when a stranger shows up telling her that she was kidnapped as a child and she's actually named Sammy Went, she doesn't believe him at first. Could her wonderful mother, who died four years earlier, have kidnapped her in the US and traveled to Australia? However, Kimberly is proven wrong and she decided to travel to Kentucky to find out the truth about her origin. But, sometimes the past is best left in peace...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

#BookReview Learning to See by Elise Hooper @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction

Learning to See by Elise Hooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dares to be different. Now, in this riveting new novel by the author of The Other Alcott, we see the world through her eyes…

In 1918, a fearless twenty-two-year old arrives in bohemian San Francisco from the Northeast, determined to make her own way as an independent woman. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio and wife of the talented but volatile painter, Maynard Dixon.

By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera, creating images that inspire, reform, and define the era. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice—the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans.

Learning to See is a gripping account of the ambitious woman behind the camera who risked everything for art, activism, and love. But her choices came at a steep price…


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I had never heard about Dorothea Lange before I read this book, but the blurb intrigued me. I love reading about women who were brave enough to follow their dreams and LEARNING TO SEE is definitely a book that is worth reading.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

#BookReview Texas Sicario by Harry Hunsicker @amazonpub

Texas Sicario by Harry Hunsicker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Former Texas Ranger Arlo Baines knows all about pain: how to bear it, how to avenge it, and how to inflict it.

Still mourning the murders of his wife and children, former Texas Ranger Arlo Baines now works security at a bazaar in Dallas. Grief-stricken, he’s invested his heart and hope in the welfare of Miguel—a street kid who’s become his surrogate son. But the wounds of a brutal past are hard to heal, especially when a new case threatens to rip them open all over again.

Approached by a colleague now working for the DEA to investigate the seemingly random murders of prominent Latino businessmen, Arlo works to expose the common link: an ultraviolent drug cartel pushing into northern Texas. As the vicious power struggle between the gangs turns the streets of Dallas into a war zone, Arlo’s investigation threatens everything he loves.

When grief, anger, and secrets stretch the bonds of loyalty to their breaking point, Arlo can trust no one—but must risk everything to protect what remains

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Texas Sicario is the sequel to The Devil's Country that I read two years ago. I really liked The Devil's Country and hoped that this book would be as good. Arlo Baines wife and children were murdered some time ago and even though the ones that did the deed has been punished can't Arlo move on. Now is he working with security at a bazaar in Dallas. A while back did he find a street kid Miguel that he's taken under his wings. However, a brutal killing will change everything for both Arlo and Miguel.

Texas Sicario is well written and fast-paced. I quite liked the book, the only drawback for me is that I just don't like stories about drugs and cartels. I liked reading about Arlo again, and I liked how he's protecting Miguel. As for the murders, the links they have to the cartels, well as I wrote before, I just don't find stories like that especially interesting no matter how well written the book is. I'm not saying the book is bad, the story is good. I just feel I was not as invested in this story as with the first book. Still, there are some good parts (Arlo bonding with Miguel) and I never felt the book bored me. Also, I was surprised by the identity of the killer although not at all surprised about who is behind the cartel.

This book is perfectly alright, I liked that the story was not bogged down with a lot of extra details or unnecessary side stories. Lately, I've felt that some books would have been better if they had been trimmed down. This one felt refreshingly fast-moving.

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

Friday, 18 January 2019

#BookReview The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye @putnambooks @FreshFiction

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The new and exciting historial thriller by Lyndsay Faye, author of Edgar-nominated Jane Steele and Gods of Gotham, which follows Alice “Nobody” from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland’s the Paragon Hotel.

The year is 1921, and “Nobody” Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong. Desperate to get as far away as possible from New York City and those who want her dead, she has her sights set on Oregon: a distant frontier that seems the end of the line.

She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of Harlem, who leads Alice to the Paragon Hotel upon arrival in Portland. Her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be the only all-black hotel in the city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises. But as she meets the churlish Dr. Pendleton, the stately Mavereen, and the unforgettable club chanteuse Blossom Fontaine, she begins to understand the reason for their dread. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers–burning crosses, inciting violence, electing officials, and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice, along with her new “family” of Paragon residents, are willing to search for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the Oregon woods.

Why was “Nobody” Alice James forced to escape Harlem? Why do the Paragon’s denizens live in fear–and what other sins are they hiding? Where did the orphaned child who went missing from the hotel, Davy Lee, come from in the first place? And, perhaps most important, why does Blossom DuBois seem to be at the very center of this tangled web?

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Set in 1921, Alice "Nobody" James arrives in Portland after a harrowing train ride. Not only has she fled New York, but she's also been shot and now needs a place to hide. Thanks to Max, a black Pullman porter, she finds refuge at the Paragon Hotel. The only problem? This is the only all-black hotel in the city and they are not very keen to have a white woman staying there. But with Max as well as the wonderful club singer, Blossom Fontaine, on her side, Alice stays in the hotel. However, she quickly realizes that not everything is peachy in Portland. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in the city and a child disappears from Paragon Hotel not long after Alice has arrived...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup @MichaelJBooks

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF THE KILLING

One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who's just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man - evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.

Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there's a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it's clear that the killer is on a mission that is far from over.
..

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Look at that fabulous cover! I know one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I simply love its simplicity. It's the kind of cover I'm drawn to. And, the best part is that the story is ABSOLUTELY fabulous as well! The Chestnut Man is the very first book I gave a 5-star this year (2019). The combination of a thrilling case with two great detectives, the tough Naia Thulin and burned out investigator Mark Hess who has been ordered to take a break from Europol. They make an excellent team, well not at first, it will take some time for them to get used to each other. However, I can tell you this much, the dynamic duo is now a personal favorite of mine.

As for the story, great pace, intriguing case, and what a fabulous ending! I did suspect the individual behind it all, but I did have some other suspects in mind as well. I liked how it all was resolved and I definitely loved the open ending. I ended this book both hoping for a sequel soon and a TV-series based on this book.

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

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

#BookReview Red Snow by Will Dean @OneworldNews

Red Snow by Will Dean
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV's Zoe Ball Book Club

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man's eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?


**********

I really, really wanted to like Red Snow. But, I faced the same problem with this book as I did with Dark Pines. It's too slow. It's repetitive. And, I find myself just not completely taken with Tuva Moodyson. And, it's hard to really enjoy a book when the main character just doesn't click with you.

Now, many, many love this series so I'm probably just not the right reader. It could be because I'm Swedish and I totally miss the exotic part of this book since I do shop at ICA Maxi often and yes it's cold and snowy here. However, often it felt like much of what was going on was so mundane. Tuva going on about what a shitty town it is. Everyone staring at her ear (she has a hearing aid) like they never seen anyone with one before and how bloody cold is it. Yes, it's winter. Move on, do not mention it all the time.

The book started off great. And, I thought that here we go. Wow, what an interesting start. And, somewhere along the way I just felt that my interested started to decline. The mystery really never got to me. I wanted to the family that owned Grimberg factory to be weird and creepy, but they never really got to be more than mildly odd. And, the explanation in the end? Sorry, it was a bit of a letdown.

I wish I could have liked this book better; however, it didn't rock my socks. So, sadly I can't give it more than 2-stars.

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

#BookReview Bränn alla mina brev (Burn All My Letters) by Alex Schulman @alexschulman (SWE/ENG)

Bränn alla mina brev by Alex Schulman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Tre tidsperspektiv. Två generationer. En hemlighet.

Det är 1989 och Alex är på ett ödesdigert besök hos sina morföräldrar. Det är något som inte stämmer och han kan inte förstå vad som har orsakat sprickan som ekar mellan väggarna.

Det är 2018 och Alex kommer av en slump sin mormors hemliga kärlekshistoria från 1932 på spåren. Ett brev ger honom svaren som han inte visste att han har spenderat ett helt liv att söka efter. Frågan är om han är redo att konfrontera det som kan vara roten till släktens mörker.

Med skicklig hand väver Schulman samman en berättelse som överskrider både tid och rum. Det är en gripande och djupt personlig skildring av identitet, familj och hur en händelse kan skapa svallvågor som går genom generationer.

**********

Jag älskar att läsa om förbjudna kärlekshistorier. Och de bästa är de som är sanna. Som den som Alex Schulman upptäcker när han undersökte sina rötter. Hans mormor Karin förälskade sig i en annan man och denna affär kom att prägla hela hennes liv och kommande generationer. I boken får man läsa om Alex barndom, det han minns av sina morföräldrar samt hans grubblerier som vuxen. Om vart hans vrede kommer ifrån. Vi får också en inblick i Karin Stolpes och Olof Lagercrantz kärlekshistoria.

Handlingen i Bränn alla mina brev är både sorglig och grym. Men stundtals är den också väldigt vacker som när man läser om det förälskade paret. Innan allting går fel. Jag fullständigt slukade boken och jag kan inget annat säga att den verkligen gjorde ett intryck på mig. Detta biografiska verk är ett måste att läsa och jag bara måste läsa Alex Schulmans andra böcker. 

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Three points of views. Two generations. A secret.

It is 1989 and Alex is on a fateful visit to his grandparents. It is something that is not right and he cannot understand what has caused the crack that echoes between the walls.

It is 2018 and Alex comes by chance his grandmother's secret love story from 1932. A letter gives him the answers he didn't know he has spent a whole life searching for. The question is whether he is ready to confront what may be the root of the family's darkness.

With a skillful hand, Schulman weaves together a story that transcends both time and space. It is a poignant and deeply personal portrayal of identity, family, and how an event can create waves that pass through generations.


**********

I love reading about forbidden love stories. And, the best ones are the ones that are true. Like the one Alex Schulman discovered when he examined his roots. His grandmother Karin fell in love with another man and this affair came to define her entire life and future generations. In the book, you can read about Alex's childhood, what he remembers of his grandparents as well as his pondering as an adult. About where his anger comes from. We also get an insight into Karin Stolpes and Olof Lagercrantz's love story.

The story in Burn All My Letters is both sad and cruel. But sometimes it is also very beautiful, like when one read about the two lovers. Before everything goes wrong. I completely devoured the book and it really made an impression on me. This biographical work is a must to read and I just must read Alex Schulman's other books.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

#BookReview The Flimflam Affair by Bill Pronzini @torbooks

The Flimflam Affair by Bill Pronzini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Flimflam Affair is the latest charming historical mystery in Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Bill Pronzini's detective series.

Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. While the future is unclear, Sabina and John know one thing for certain; they will protect their clients from flimflammers, thieves, and murderers, and do whatever it takes to run these dregs of society into the arms of the law.

Sometimes, that requires a subtle touch. Professor A. Vargas, self-styled medium extraordinaire, and his partner Annabelle, use guile and trickery to swindle bereaved men and women eager to contact the spirits of deceased loved ones. John and Sabina must not only unmask these charlatans, but also solve the riddle of an impossible murder in the midst of a seance.

Other cases involve brute force and personal danger. Such as the theft of a burglarproof safe mysteriously emptied of gold bullion. And John's pursuit of a ruthless gang of counterfeiters, whose leader appears to be a man from John's past in the Secret Service--a man thought long dead.

Adding spice to these exploits is Sabina and John's personal relationship, which is rapidly progressing to an exciting new level.


**********

The Flimflam Affair is the fifth book in the "A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery" series and the very first book I've read. I was drawn to the book because I like to read books set in the Wild West and I love historical mystery books. It's not a thick book, but the author managed to squeeze in three different cases. Still, the book never felt rushed and I felt that it cases dealt with and was solved with enough focus on them.

As a new reader is the main "problem" that Carpenter and Quincannon are new to me and their new romantic status is absolutely pleasant to read about. However, I do think if you have read the previous books will this new status probably feel a lot more interesting to read about. Perhaps even something that readers have felt they have looked forward to reading about. I did find Carpenter and Quincannon to be pleasant characters, I just didn't really love them. They have an interesting history together that I would like to read more about. I would very much like to read the series from the beginning.

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

#BookReview The Parisians by Marius Gabriel @amazonpub

The Parisians by Marius Gabriel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…

Within the hotel, famed designer Coco Chanel quickly learns that the new regime could work to her benefit, while Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses, shocks those around her—and herself—with a forbidden love.

But as the war reaches its terrible end, all three women learn the true price of their proximity to the enemy. For in the shadow of war, is anyone truly safe?


**********

I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kept on reading because as I wrote before there were two bright spots in this book Coco Chanel and the French actress Arletty. Personally, I wouldn't have minded that Olivia had been cut out of the picture and the book had been just about Coco Chanel and Arletty. Although I have to admit Olivia role become more interesting after the Germans occupied France and she started to help the Resistance.

At first, I gave the book 4-stars, but after some considerations did I lover the rating to 3-stars. And, that's because I've read two books previously by Marius Gabriel that I really enjoyed, The Ocean Liner and The Designer. The Parisians can't really measure up to them. It's just not as interesting, unfortunately. Still, there are some really good parts in the book, well everything concerning Coco Chanel and Arletty. I felt that Olivia personality was truly bland and I felt it the most when she interacted with them. She grew a bit better towards the end, but still, the stars of this book were Coco Chanel and Arletty!

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

#BookReview Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul @gillpaulauthor @WmMorrowBooks

Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two women who challenged the Crown. Divided by time. Bound by a secret...

1911

At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal.

1997


Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiance ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world...

Richly imagined and beautifully written, Another Woman's Husband is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.


**********

Another Woman's Husband is a dual storyline book about Rachel who witnesses the crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana. She returns home to London and is fascinated to learn that the Princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, just some hours before the crash. What was she doing that the place and Rachel can't stop herself, she starts to investigate the link between Diana and Wallis.

I found Another Woman's Husband to be a fascinating story. We get to read about Wallis through the eyes of her "best friend" as well as follow Rachel as she deals with what she witnessed. Wallis didn't really come off as a very nice person, but she seldom does in books that I've read where she has figured. Gill Paul is a very talented storyteller and I quite enjoyed reading this book, especially since I love mysteries that has to be solved. I recommend reading this book if you like reading about royalties and/or historical mysteries.

Friday, 11 January 2019

#BookReview No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.
No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.


**********

After reading the fantastic THE VANISHING SEASON, I was eager to get my hands on the sequel, NO MERCY. I was not disappointed!

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is now on involuntary leave because she shot a murderer at the end of the last book. The public also knows that she once was the single living survivor of a serial killer, which makes her something of a curiosity. Ellery hates this unwanted attention, as well as being required to attend group therapy for victims of violent crimes. All of this leads to her starting to investigate both an arsonist and a serial rapist. So she turned to her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham for help, the man who saved her all of those years ago

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke @JamesLeeBurke @simonbooks

The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director.

Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it isn’t to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who’s been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better.

As always, Clete Purcel and Davie’s daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux’s back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux’s case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it’s up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he’ll have to summon a light he’s never seen or felt to save himself, and those he loves.

**********

What I loved with The New Iberia Blues (besides the great characters and the setting of New Orleans) is the fact that I easily felt right at home, despite never having read a previous book in the series. And, this is the 22nd book in the series. So, I'm VERY late to the party. Now, I have wanted for a long time to read any of James Lee Burke's books and I'm absolutely thrilled to have finally gotten to it and also that I found the books so bloody good.

I do recognize the fact that I, as a new reader, have missed a lot of previous events. Dave Robicheaux has lived a very eventful life. In some way, as I write this book does he remind me of Walt Longmire, from the Craig Johanson series. Could be the tortured soul thing, and the widower status. And that both have experienced war. And, since I'm a BIG fan of the Longmire series is this only a plus.

As for the story. It takes a long time before the case makes sense before they finally connect the dots and that's just the way I like it. I love cases that are not easily solved. And, this one, well what connects the victims? I have to admit that I was not sure who was behind it until it was revealed.

The New Iberia Blues is an excellent crime novel and I'm happy to have so many unread Dave Robicheaux to find and read.

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

#BookReview The Man With No Face by Peter May @authorpetermay @QuercusBooks

The Man With No Face by Peter May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are two men on their way to Brussels from the UK: Neil Bannerman, an iconoclastic journalist for Scotland's Daily Standard whose irate editor wants him out of the way, and Kale--a professional assassin.

Expecting to find only a difficult, dreary political investigation in Belgium, Bannerman has barely settled in when tragedy strikes. His host, a fellow journalist, along with a British Cabinet minister, are discovered dead in the minister's elegant Brussels townhouse. It appears that they have shot each other. But the dead journalist's young autistic daughter, Tania, was hidden in a closet during the killings, and when she draws a chilling picture of a third party--a man with no face--Bannerman suddenly finds himself a reluctant participant in a desperate murder investigation.

As the facts slowly begin to emerge under Bannerman's scrutiny, he comes to suspect that the shootings may have a deep and foul link with the rotten politics that brought him to Brussels in the first place. And as Kale threatens to strike again, Bannerman begins to feel a change within himself. His jaded professionalism is transforming into a growing concern for the lonely and frightened Tania, and a strong attraction to a courageous woman named Sally--drawing him out of himself and into the very heart of a profound, cold-blooded, and infinitely dangerous conspiracy.


**********

The Man With No Face was first released around 40 years ago. This political thriller is a wonderful retrospective novel to a bygone time. Sure, 40 years ago doesn't sound that long ago, but as Peter May wrote in the intro, so much has changed. Just think about the hassle of trying to phone someone back then, no quick SMS to anyone. The political landscape is the same with backstabbing and money being the goal.

Peter May is a favorite author of mine and I'm glad to say that this book is really good! I found the story to be very interesting and really liked how Bannerman bonded with the Tania, the autistic girl of the murdered journalist. To have Kale, the killers POV especially when he started to have some doubts about his mission felt like a great addition to the story. How far would Kale go?

The Man With No Face may be 40 years old, but it has aged well. It's a strong book and I really loved reading a book set at the end of the 70s.

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

#BookReview That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron @SBarronAuthor @randomhouse @FreshFiction

That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Paris Wife meets PBS's Victoria in this enthralling novel of the life and loves of one of history's most remarkable women: Winston Churchill's scandalous American mother, Jennie Jerome.

Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie--reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire--lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph.

When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she's instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others.

Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband's rise in Parliament and her young son's difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family's influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky--diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their impossible affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill's sanity frays, and Jennie--a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged--must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything--even her son--and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Breathing new life into Jennie's legacy and the gilded world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult--and sometimes impossible--balance between love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of histor
y.

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THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN has been high on my want to read list this year. A book about Winston Churchill's notorious mother? Count me in!

Jennie Jerome was a rich, privileged, and unconventional New Yorker who married Lord Randolph Churchill and becomes the mother of Winston Churchill, one of the most prominent men of the twentieth century. Jennie hardly knew Randolph before agreeing to marry him, however, she was hellbent on marrying him despite her mother's misgivings. The marriage had its ups and downs, and Jennie had countless lovers. But, one particular will dominate her life in this book: Count Charles Kinsky. Their love affair is pretty much doomed from the start, yet they can't stay away from each other, even when Bertie, Prince of Wales, warns Jennie about the risks himself...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

#BookReview On the Same Page by N.D. Galland @nicolegalland @WmMorrowBooks

On the Same Page by N.D. Galland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A romantic comedy that tells the story of one journalist secretly juggling two bylines for competing newspapers on a small island.

Distorting the facts just a little can’t hurt—except when falling in love…

Martha’s Vineyard has two distinct “personalities”—one characterized by its tanned and polished summer people; the other represented by the small-town, salt-of-the-earth year-round residents. The island even has two newspapers, each appealing to its distinct readership. Over the years, an intense rivalry has grown between the two papers; in fact, neither paper will work with writers who have any relationship to the other paper.

Johanna Howes is a Vineyard girl who left the island at the age of eighteen and never looked back. She went to college on the mainland and moved to the Big City to start a career as a journalist. Now she’s returned to take care of her aging Uncle Hank. As neither paper can pay her enough to live on, she creates a false identity so that she can write for both papers at once. Often this means writing the same story twice, coming at it from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Before long, Johanna finds herself caught up in a messy Island political situation. A wealthy, seasonal resident is suing the town government for the right to land his private helicopter on his property. When Johanna agrees to go for a cup of coffee with the handsome man she meets at a zoning board meeting, she has no idea that she has just made a date with Orion Smith, the wealthy off-Islander who is causing all the ruckus. And what he doesn’t know is that Johanna has been assigned by both Island papers to cover the story.

Scrambling to keep her various identities straight and separate from each other, Johanna desperately tries to find a graceful way out of the mess she’s created. But doing so will likely get her into trouble or cause her to lose her writing gigs…not to mention jeopardize her chance at a budding romance with a man she’s doing her best not to fall for.

**********

On the Same Page is just the kind of contemporary romance novel that I want to read. I read mostly thrillers and crime novels. However, now and then do I like to change genre and read something less deadly. I picked this book because I thought it sounded funny and charming. I love stories with a lot of heart and funny problems like trying to write for two different newspapers without either knowing it. It would have been a lot easier for poor Joanna if she had not happened to fall in love with the worst possible candidate. The most hated man on Martha's Vineyard.

I alternated between listening to the audio version and reading the book (as usual) and I really liked the narrator. Amanda Dolan did a great job. Storywise did I feel that the author really managed to not only make lovebirds Joanne and Orion come alive. She managed to do so with the rest of the characters as well. I wouldn't mind reading more books set in this world because I came to really love the characters.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with the (eARC) copy of the book through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

#BookReview In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire @seananmcguire @torbooks

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone...


**********

In an Absent Dream is the latest novella in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. I've read every single novella and this, the fourth, is just like the previous ones fabulous. If you love reading books about children traveling to other realms then you really need to read these novellas. What I love about them is that they are so dark, so horribly cruel and also sometimes so funny. The story shows how children who travel to other worlds and come back, are so changed by their experience that they just want to go back.

In an Absent Dream, we meet a bookish girl that travels to a world of logic and reason and she feels at home. However, she is torn between two worlds, between the world she left behind and the one she found. Will she, in the end, be able to choose which one to belong to?

This story is fabulous, with a heartbreaking ending. I recommend it warmly.

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

Monday, 7 January 2019

#BookReview The Widows by Jess Montgomery @jessm_author @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

The Widows by Jess Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town’s widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.

Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter.

From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be—and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined.

Inspired by the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff, this is a powerful debut about two women’s search for justic as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community.


**********

The year is 1924, and Lilly Ross learns her husband, Kinship's sheriff was killed while transporting a prisoner. However, just after the funeral, a strange woman shows up not knowing that Daniel Ross is dead. Marvena Whitcomb has known Daniel for years, and now she's there to talk to him about her missing daughter. Her husband was a coal miner who died a while back. Both women have to deal with the loss of Daniel, and they join forces to find out the truth about his death.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

#BookReview The Boy by Tami Hoag @TamiHoag @PRHGlobal @DuttonBooks #partner

The Boy by Tami Hoag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An unfathomable loss or an unthinkable crime? #1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag keeps you guessing in her most harrowing thriller yet.

A panic-stricken woman runs in the dead of night, battered and bloodied, desperate to find help . . .

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier outside the sleepy town of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he's ever seen. Genevieve's seven-year-old son, KJ, has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. There is no evidence of forced entry, not a clue that points to a motive. Meanwhile, Nick's wife, Detective Annie Broussard, sits in the emergency room with the grieving Genevieve. A mother herself, Annie understands the emotional devastation this woman is going through, but as a detective she's troubled by a story that makes little sense. Who would murder a child and leave the only witness behind?

When the very next day KJ's sometimes babysitter, twelve-year-old Nora Florette, is reported missing, the town is up in arms, fearing a maniac is preying on their children. With pressure mounting from a tough, no-nonsense new sheriff, the media, and the parents of Bayou Breaux, Nick and Annie dig deep into the dual mysteries. But sifting through Genevieve Gauthier's tangled web of lovers and sorting through a cast of local lowlifes brings more questions than answers. Is someone from Genevieve's past or present responsible for the death of her son? Is the missing teenager, Nora, a victim, or something worse? Then everything changes when Genevieve's past as a convicted criminal comes to light.

The spotlight falls heavily on the grieving mother who is both victim and accused. Could she have killed her own child to free herself from the burden of motherhood, or is the loss of her beloved boy pushing her to the edge of insanity? Could she have something to do with the disappearance of Nora Florette, or is the troubled teenager the key to the murder? How far will Nick and Annie have to go to uncover the dark truth of the boy?

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The Boy is the very first book I've read by Tamo Hoag, but I've been wanting to read her books for a while now. I was pleased to find out that I actually own the first book in this series, A Thin Dark Line, and I hope to find to read it someday.

The Boy is the tragic story about a murdered child. Married detective Nick Fourcad and Detective Annie Broussard are tasked to find the killer and it soon turns out that not everything is at it seems. There are secrets and even the mother of the murdered child is soon a suspect.

The book is thick and engrossing to read. It'so terribly tragic to read. The murder of children is always a theme that I will find hard to read. And, Nick and Annie feel the pain quite deeply now that they have a young son. 

Storywise must I say that it didn't end the way I had expected. The last part of the book truly surprised me. It's hard to write about it without spoiling things. So, I will just say that the author really knew how to write an ending that connected all the loose threads. 

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

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

#BookReview White Stag by Kara Barbieri @StMartinsPress @WednesdayBooks

White Stag by Kara Barbieri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds rom crumbling.


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I was a bit worried about reading this book after seeing friends of mine DNF the book on Goodreads. However, I'm glad to say that the book did work for me. Up to a point. Yes, I have some issues with the book, but that has nothing to do with the rape or any abuse Janneke had to deal with. I know that it's a trigger for some readers. But, in this case (unlike some other books I've read that really got to me), did it not bother me. And, that's because the characters were not developed enough for me to feel for them. And, that is one of the big issues with the big. It has so much potential. it's such an interesting book. And yet, I just wish that we, the readers had gotten a better understanding of the world. Instead, it feels like we are dumped in the middle of a story and now we have to puzzle together where the characters are, who they are and what they are doing through snippets of information. Janneke has been held captive for 100 years? It doesn't feel like it to be honest, especially when it comes to her and Soren. Seriously they have spent 100 years together and now they go from hate to love? What have they been doing for the last 100 years? Not talking?

Anyhow, as I read the book did I reflect over the fact that if the story had begun with Janneke as a child and the events that occurred. Perhaps also from Soren's POV would it have been easier to get to know the characters. I can't even say for sure if I liked Janneke or not. One thing for sure this romance between Soren and Janneke definitely didn't help the matter. It felt so ... off. If it had been shown through the years if we had gotten glimpses of it through the years. Then, it would have been a different matter.

The story has potentials. The writing is good. However, this is a story that could have been more developed. Especially the characters. And, I wanted to know more about this world. Odin was mentioned now and then, so I guess it takes place in a parallel world or something? The interesting thing is this the first book in a new series could have easily been at last a trilogy if the history of the characters had been more explored. When I read fantasy series do I expect to get to know a whole new world and species. There is no need to rush the story.

This has turned out to be quite a long review, but I found that I have a lot of thoughts concerning the story. I liked the book, I had issues with the story. Would I read the next book? Yes, I would, despite all my issues do I want to know what happens next.

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