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?


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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...


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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.


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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!

#BookReview Konstiga huset (Crooked House) by Agatha Christie (SWE/ENG)

Konstiga huset by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEWS

Tre Gavlar heter det konstiga huset i en av Londons mest fashionabla områden. Där bor tre generationer av familjen Leonides tillsammans i bästa sämja.

Men när familjens överhuvud, den ofantligt rike Aristide Leonides, dör under mystiska omständigheter förändras allt. Det står plötsligt klart att någon i familjen är en mördare, och misstankarna riktas omedelbart mot Aristides 50 år yngre änka.

Men vem är egentligen skyldig, och varför har detta mord begåtts?


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Konstiga Huset är den allra första Agatha Christie bok jag har läst. Dock har jag sett en hel del filmer och tv-serier. För det mesta brukar Poirot eller Miss Marple vara de som ska lösa brotten men i detta fall så är det en fristående bok utan dem. Men det gjorde mig ingenting alls. Visst, jag saknade Poirots excentricitet och Marples finurlighet. Men berättelsen var i sig så oerhört fängslande att jag snart fann mig totalt i bokens våld. Och WOW vilket slut, så tragiskt och så kusligt. Det var många människor att misstänka i handlingen men Christie visar sannerligen i denna bok att hon vet hur man överraskar läsarna.

Nu ser jag verkligen fram emot att läsa fler böcker av Agatha Christie.

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he's certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one's on the level...

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Crooked House is the first Agatha Christie book I've ever read. I have seen several movies and TV series adaption and usually with Poirot or Miss Marple at the helm. This time, however, it's a stand-alone kind book without them. I didn't mind much, although I kind of missed Poirots eccentricity and Marple's ingenuity. But, the story was in itself so engrossing that I found myself quite captivated. And, WOW what an ending, so tragic and creepy. There are a lot of suspects in the book, but Christie really knows how to surprise her readers.

I'm looking forward to reading more books by Agatha Christie.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

#BookReview De Aderton (The Eighteen) by Anton Berg (SWE/ENG)

De Aderton by Anton Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Radiojournalisten Axel Sköld snubblar vid efterforskningar inför en dokumentär över ett märkligt samband. En och samme man tycks vara inblandad i tre historiska dödsfall: mordet på Olof Palme, vapeninspektören Algernons påstådda självmord och journalisten Cats Falcks dödliga bilolycka.

Allt börjar som en konspirationsteori, men när Axel Sköld gräver vidare uppenbarar sig kopplingar till ett svenskt konungamord och en dold organisation med rötter i 1700-talet. Sällskapet visar sig vara aktivt än i dag – på de högsta av poster. Och dess medlemmar är beredda att göra allt, till och med mörda en minister, för att få sin vilja igenom och hindra sanningen från att komma ut.

De Aderton är en spännande konspirationsthriller om mörkermän som gör allt för att bevara sina hemligheter, och en driven journalist vars största mål blir att avslöja dem.


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De Aderton är en bok som vill fängsla läsare som älskar konspirationsteorier. Axel Sköld är en radiojournalist som arbetar på en dokumentär. Denna dokumentär kommer inte bara att innebära att hans jobb kommer ligga risigt till, utan även hans liv. Kan det vara så att samma man låg bakom mordet på Palme, Algernons självmord och Falcks dödliga bilolycka? Och om det nu är så att det finns ett hemligt sällskap, vad kommer de inte göra för att stoppa Sköld från att lista ut sanningen? Jag fann berättelsen mycket intressant speciellt när Axel Sköld började gräva ordentligt och spåren ledde hela vägen till 1700-talet och mordet på Gustav III.

De Aderton är en spännande bok och jag måste erkänna att slutet överraskande mig. Snacka om att jag inte alls förväntade mig det, men jag måste säga att jag verkligen gillade det. Nu vill jag ha en fortsättning!

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Radio journalist Axel Sköld stumbles upon strange connections when he does research before a documentary. The same man seems to be involved in three historical deaths: the murder of Olof Palme, the alleged suicide of the weapons inspector Algernon and the fatal car accident of journalist Cats Falck.

Everything begins as a conspiracy theory, but when Axel Sköld digs further, connections to a Swedish king's murder and a hidden organization with roots in the 18th century reveal themselves. The organization turns out to be active than today - at the highest of posts. And its members are prepared to do everything, even murder a minister, to get their will through and prevent the truth from coming out.


The Eighteen is an exciting conspiracy thriller about men who do everything to preserve their secrets and an ambitious journalist whose greatest goal is to reveal them.


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The Eighteen is a book that will captivate readers that love reading about conspiracy theories. Axel Sköld is a radio reporter that is working on a documentary. This documentary will not only be a risk for him to lose his job. He could also lose his life...

Could it really be that the same man was behind the murder of Olof Palme, the suicide of Algernon and the car accident that killed Cats Falck? And if it's so that there is a secret society, what wouldn't they do to stop Sköld from finding out the truth? I found the story to be very interesting, especially when Axel Sköld started to dig and found links to the death of King Gustav III back in the 18-century.

The Eighteen is a thrilling book and I have to admit that the ending truly surprised me. I did not expect the book to end that way, but I really liked it. Now I want a sequel!

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!