Tag Archives: murder

Book Review: Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge

Random House
TBP Feb 25th, 2020
352 Pages

Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat. Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle taking place in the bathroom—and then the sound of silence. He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?

When Aidan’s cryptic messages finally reach them, Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens and his team take the case—and discover the body. They soon find that no one has a bad word to say about Zoe, a big hearted young artist at the center of a curious web of waifs and strays, each relying on her for support, each hiding dark secrets and buried resentments. Has one of her so-called “friends” been driven to murder? Or does Aidan have the biggest secret of them all?- Goodreads

Creepy. . . is probably the best word I can describe this book after I was finished, which was late in the evening.

It was a good read despite the creepy vibe I got from reading it. I think what made it creepy for me is the fact that it is told from alternate viewpoints including Zoe. Reading the last days of a woman you just saw murdered and reading it from her pov, was tough to read.

The pace of the novel was great. It is a classic who done it novel and there are so many options of who can do it. But here was my issue with this book, every single person (minus the detectives) were problematic, selfish and down right horrible to Zoe and she became who she was at the end by not only the killer’s action but those she held dear to her as well.

The author left a lot of openings for who could have done it and there were twists throughout the book. However, it was very clear that the author just didn’t know what to do with those characters and their development. After everything was said and done no one (but the killer) was held accountable for their any of their actions and it was disappointing to see.

This is what caused the book to go from a 5 to a 3.

Something I would like to note is that I did not read the first book and at no point did I feel I needed to. Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens and his team were fantastic detectives and it would have been nice to see the author add more development on them. Their own personal lives were mentioned but nothing too deep, which is fine as the focus was the case. I feel that if you are going to talk about it make sure you back up what you say so there could be a reason why it was mentioned.

Would I say this book is predictable? Some. The author, as I mentioned, adds a lot of different paths where the ending can go but you aren’t exactly surprised at the end but what does surprises you is the how. Seriously, there are a few wow moments and all I could think about is “its not the destination, its the journey.”

Overall, very good read.

3 Pickles

Book Review: All the Dead Girls (Graveyard Falls #3) by Rita Herron

Montlake Romance To Be Published Nov. 22, 2016
Montlake Romance
To Be Published Nov. 22, 2016

A violent storm hits Graveyard Falls lifting a burial ground of teenage girls, each dressed in white holding a candle. Although a man is in jail for the crime done against her,  FBI agent Beth Fields knows its the same person that kidnapped her and her best friend is the one responsible for the killing of these girls. 

Ian Kimball knows his step-father didn’t kidnap Beth nor commit any murder and now Graveyard Fall’s Sheriff, he is making it his mission to prove his innocence. When the teenage girls are found, he meets Beth and he is nothing of what he thought she would be but she is everything he wants.  

But in order to find a killer, Beth and Ian must put their attraction aside as well as the past they do not realize they share.

As the third book to this series, I feel that it was much better than book two. There was more going on in the sense that it wasn’t the same damage girl meets damage boy, they solve case while falling in love. Yeah that is the bare bones of this story but Ian had character, Beth had character.

My issue with Beth is despite being a FBI agent she still needed saving more than I would have liked. I understand emotional weakness but she was constantly the damsel in distress and that wasn’t my thing.

I really enjoyed the pace of the novel as I did with the other two books. The suspense lacked but I did like the lack of predictability within this book. The things I saw coming had nothing to do with the murders and I did appreciate that.

Although I like this series, I am about done for it to be finished. I feel that the author will keep this series up for a while and I am not sure if I want to continue it. Rita is a good author and I recommend her to readers. I just may have hit my limit.

 

3 Pickles

Book Review: Cover Your Eyes (Morgans of Nashville #1) by Mary Burton

Zebra Published Oct. 28, 2014 400 Pages
Zebra
Published Oct. 28, 2014
400 Pages

Public defender Rachel Wainwright is having a hard time. Still not over the death of her brother, she buries herself is old cases to provide those falsely imprisoned innocent. In her latest case, she is struggling for support in proving an innocent man guilty of Annie Dawson’s murder thirty years ago and homicide detective Deke Morgan is not making things easier.

But when Rachel’s digging reveals hidden secrets, she becomes an unwillingly target to a murder filled with jealously and rage.

 

If you never read a book about old secrets being dug up by an outsider in a small town then this would be the perfect book for you. If you have read a book in that nature, you may have a hard time with this.

So, let’s jump right into is. Predictability. The author wasn’t the most creative for most of the book. It wasn’t until the beginning of the end that things started to change and although I welcomed it, greatly, it was a bit too late for me.

The pace of the novel despite the predictability was great. The novel was detailed without being drawn out and the characters had substance to their personalities. I liked the suspense in the story and being able to see the viewpoint of the killer as well as Rachel and Deke. This book could have been much darker and the romance could have been extremely intense but as a first to this series it wasn’t bad.

I loved the complexity of family that was added to the novel. It did leave room to more details for further novels and it wasn’t done distastefully.

The predictability was my biggest and only issue. But I strongly recommend this to readers who are new to this genre or storyline.

3 Pickles

Manga Review: Boku dake ga Inai Machi 1 (Erased #1) by Kei Sanbe

Kadokawa Shoten Published Jan 26, 2013
Kadokawa Shoten
Published Jan 26, 2013

Satoru Fujinuma wants to make it as a manga artist but doesn’t know how to deal with people and relationships. So on top of his art, he works as a part-time pizza delivery boy. Looking from the outside in, Satoru is an average male but he has a special ability called “rerun” that allows him to see things before they happen and potently right a wrong. 

But when one of these incidents opens a long forgotten memory, Satoru average life takes a turn.

I sat on this review for a while. I had to sit and let everything I read process. I know what you’re thinking this must have been a terrible book. No, it wasn’t. It actually was one of the best manga’s I have read that wasn’t a high school romance.

It was complicated, emotional in a if I had a child type of way, it was a novel and I loved almost every minute of it.

I say almost because it started off pretty slow and I didn’t really like how it was ended. The issue with the ending is it didn’t provide the fulfillment that the main character had the ending he deserved. It just ended; not with questions but it simply ended. I still don’t know how I feel about that.

In between the slow beginning and the eh ending, the story was great. It had me at the edge of the seat with each page. Satoru doesn’t have much a personality; he isn’t the most depth person and if it wasn’t for his power he would just be a jerk that doesn’t know how to deal with society. But I don’t mind this because the author did an amazing job with the story. It wasn’t about him. It was about the surrounding characters and their lives. He was a feature; do not get me wrong an important feature (he being the hero and all) but a feature compared to those around him. I loved how the author did this. It focused on the story but it wasn’t short of character development.

Its a complicated story that moved fast but not too fast that you felt that something was missing. There was no predictability. When you realized what was going to happened it was already happening. Completely loved it.

The artwork was great as well because it was far from cliche. Everyone looked different, there wasn’t a subliminal sexual innuendo, and the characters had emotions; varying emotion. They felt human. The story felt real as if it happened before or it could happened.

There is an anime for this series but it isn’t complete. I recommend reading it because you will be upset with the way the anime stops.

Overall,

4 Pickles

 

Book Review: Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Thomas Nelson To Be Published April 19, 2016 336 Pages
Thomas Nelson
To Be Published April 19, 2016
336 Pages

Allie Marshall was convicted of a crime she did not commit and after years behind bars, she is finally free and back home in Brunswick, Georgia. But the welcome she was hoping for, especially from her daughter Caroline, didn’t come as expected.

Now determined to get her life back and discover the truth about what really happen that night, Allie digs into the pass of her small town, not realizing she is going to uncover the biggest secret hidden by her sister. 

Shout-out to Netgalley for recommending this amazing read. The summary doesn’t give much away and it sounds pretty cliche but I figured why not step out my YA zone and read something different. I am glad I did.

McNeill can write and this is first noticed in the pace of the novel. Although a bit slow and dull at times, she wrote in a way that keep me wanting to know what happens next. I wouldn’t exactly say this novel is suspenseful but I would say that it keeps your attention once it truly gets moving.

I enjoyed the character details. I didn’t feel that it was too much or too little. Everyone had a role to play and they played it well. Despite these two big things, I did have some qualms about this book.

For starters, I felt that Allie didn’t do much to discover the truth. Her being there caused things to unravel and ultimately the truth to come out. This is not to say that detective work wasn’t done but it wasn’t done intensively, I guess I should say. I also felt that Allie wasn’t too concerned about the truth until her daughter (who I didn’t like very much) threw a challenge in her face. I had expected her to have her boots on the ground almost immediately when she got home but no; it took some time (this wasn’t too bad but it showed a lack of necessity for a woman, who lost most of her life being in prison).

Secondly, predictability was there.  You knew something from almost the beginning was weird about everyone that wasn’t family. (I’m just going to leave that there).

Lastly, Allie’s ex-fiance is a butt.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I wish for more intensity but I am not complaining at all with how the book was written.

 

4 Pickles. 

 

Book Review: All the Pretty Faces (Graveyard Falls #2) by Rita Herron

Montlake Romance To Be Published March 29, 2016 353 Pages
Montlake Romance
To Be Published March 29, 2016
353 Pages

After narrowing escaping the Bride Killer, Josie DuKane is back at Graveyard Falls to speak about a movie being made from her tell all memoir. But shortly after she arrives, she receives photographs from a killer depicting their victims to make Josie believe she may be next. 

Dealing with the guilt and death of his sister, Special Agent Dane Hamrick, will do anything to find his sister’s murderer but his growing attraction to Josie is distracting him. 

The two must put their feelings aside and find the killer among the growing number of bodies before Josie is among the dead.

Diving right in; The first book was a really good read (Click here for the review). I was sucked into it immediately and although it lost steam, I was able to hold on an enjoy myself.

However, book two is part of the shrug pile. I couldn’t get into it. From beginning to end, the book seemed like an entire stretch. Josie knows pretty well that town hates her for writing that book and bringing those memories back. She was once part of that. So her trying to convince a town and herself that she didn’t write the book or agree to a movie for profit is crap. Josie was an unconvincing character.  But she wasn’t the only one; so was Dane. They both needed some work and care.

Although this is a Graveyard Falls series, I couldn’t get over the fact that another killer was in this town. This is where it becomes unrealistic in the sense that this killer picked Graveyard Falls; granted the book explains this and among other things but I couldn’t stop myself from scratching my head thinking why.

The book was slow; even when things picked up there was still a underlining slow motion to everything that was going on. It was very frustrating to read. Compared to the first book, All The Pretty Faces seemed mediocre.

 

1 Pickle

 

NetGalley Review: The Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen

Loveswept To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015 Kindle Edition
Loveswept
      To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015
               Kindle Edition

Lady Sara Emerson has lived an isolated life since the murder of her cousin. Two years later the killer now wants Sara. So she turns to the only person she believes that can help, her cousin’s fiance, the Duke of Rossmoyne.

Ross never really noticed his fiance’s cousin but now that she has come to him he can the beautiful woman she became to be. But Ross will not let his attraction to her stop him from returning overseas away from the unforgiving society. 

But what are Sara and Ross supposed to do when their attraction turns into something deeper and Sara’s stalker gets closer to his kill?

The thing about historical romance is people are expecting a complication romance that involves either a bad boy and/or a outspoken woman. People feel that you can’t have a love at first sight romance. People forget that historical romance provide a fantasy of unfiltered passion and love. People forget to just enjoy the cuteness of it.

Okay I am off my soapbox.

I love this book. Finished it in one sitting. I loved Ross much more than I loved Sara. He wasn’t a bad boy, which I appreciated the author for not going that route. He was a grown man who knew what he wanted and was honorable. He was also a man that loved and loved fiercely. He was perfect to me. I loved reading his point of view.

Just because I loved Ross more than Sara doesn’t mean I didn’t like Sara. I enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t make her an extreme. What I mean by that is Sara wasn’t an outcast because either she was plain or because she was too modern. She was a perfect mix of what society wanted from her and being her own intelligent person. Sara was cute, shy but not stupid by any means.

The actual story was written well too. There was some slight predictability but nothing too major that made me want to roll my eyes. The pace was wonderful the downtime didn’t actually feel like downtime.

My only issue with this book is I wish there was more tension or for the lack of better term more focus on the murder and someone coming after Sara. I felt that it became too much about their relationship and less about the pending danger.

Overall I really liked this book.

4 Pickles