The Innocent Wife – Amy Lloyd

32187685  2,5 Stars

Women fascinated by men who are imprisoned for murder is a very interesting topic. When I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it. It started promising. We get to know Samantha, who gets infatuated with Dennis Danson. He is in prison for 20 years now and a lot of people fight for his release. There is no real evidence that he was involved in killing those girls. It looks like the local police was on a vendetta against him. There is also a documentary about Dennis on its way. He is getting famous through social media. It helps that he is handsome and charming. Sam starts to write to him and surprisingly he writes back. Finally, after lots and lots of letters and falling in love just by writing to each other, Sam decides to take a sabbatical and get on the next plane to meet Dennis in person. And then everything goes very quick.

The book started promising. The writing style was a bit rushed and it read more like a report than a novel. But it was interesting though. But then it somehow got boring. For some reason after Dennis’ release from prison the couple stays in Dennis’ old hometown in his father’s house. Sam does not understand why neither but somehow never questions him or make any attempts to leave or persuade Dennis to leave with her. She feels threatened by his former girlfriend and somebody is creeping around the house in the night. She is incredible passive. She is a very weird character and I got the feeling there was something wrong with her.

The story drags from this point. It started so promising but then it was all about the oh-so fascinating Dennis and the question if he is guilty or not. But the main problem is Sam. She is so whiny, so pathetic and such a drama queen. I am baffled that Dennis did not kill her on his first day out of prison.

When I started reading that book I was interested in what it was that women attracts to criminals. I think I got a hint of what it is. But it stayed at the surface. The initial crimes were just background noise and got never really explained. And I must admit I did not like where the story headed towards the end. Sam is not a very likable character and this conclusion was totally in character. But somehow I felt not comfortable with it. I don’t like that the author put her exactly in that crazy corner that most of us think those women belong.

 

I liked the idea of the story but the flat characters ruined it. The start was very good, it is decently written but failed to keep this strong storytelling all the way to the end.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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The Good Samaritan – John Marrs

35451741  5 Stars

That was a chilling read. Laura is one of the best -or better say worst- characters I have seen in a book for quite a while. As the blurb says, Laura works for a telephone helpline. But she is obsessed with dead and has her own rules to play by. But then she comes across Ryan. His wife killed herself while pregnant. In his grieve he looks for answers and soon he finds out that his wife did call the helpline quite a lot.

Ryan finds out about Laura’s role in his wife’s suicide. He begins to watch her and works out a plan. Soon they are in engaged in some kind of duel. They are trying to bring each other down and ruin their life.

This book is not a very fast paced thriller. Most of the time it is more of a slow burner. First we meet Laura and her way of handling things. Then the story is told from Ryan’s point of view. They are playing a cat and mouse game and Ryan is getting into it deeper and deeper.

This book is a dark and disturbing read. And also very sad. You will meet the most despicable character and you are watching the downfall of a man first hand. The author explains very extensive. That’s what takes a bit the pace out of it. But you are rewarded with a well crafted and very intense and complex story.

I enjoyed “The One” from John Marrs a couple of month ago and I liked it very much. This book is very different but as unique and brilliantly done as “The One”. I admire his talent to create such unusual storylines. I highly recommend this book if you love a good psychological thriller.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Dead Woman Walking – Sharon Bolton

32618153  2 Stars

I think there is something terrible wrong with me because I disliked a book written by Sharon Bolton. She is one of my favorite authors for many years now. I loved all her books, especially the stand-alones. But this time I could not connect to the story. When I read the blurb for the first time I thought that I probably would not go for it if it would not have been written by Sharon Bolton. I just trusted her ability to amaze me. But this time it did not happen.

 

The blurb says that there is a murder happening and it is watched by people passing by in a hot-air balloon. I thought that it was a weird idea. And it really did not work for me. It was over the top. A good mystery story keeps you guessing. And I was guessing all the time but it was a frustrating guessing because we really get almost no information what is going on and what the thing is with the main character. I struggled through half of the book and I was seriously considering to put it aside. I just could not get into the story and I absolutely could not understand any of the characters. However, I finished it and now I know why I did not understand what was going on. But that is exactly the problem.  Bolton kept me too long in the dark. The whole story felt forced. I lost track and interest. Even the twists felt forced.

 

I am disappointed. I loved her last books “Daisy in Chains” and “Little Black Lies” immensely so I know she can do better. She can be so much better in telling a story, and making me care for the characters. The topic itself was also not my cup of tea (okay, that’s my problem) and it felt more like a story for Lacey Flint (whom I am  not so fond of but I always liked the stories) than a stand-alone.

 

I am very curious about her next book. But maybe I should trust the feeling in my guts when it tells me a book may not be the right one for me. Even it is written by one of my favorite authors.

 

The White Road – Sarah Lotz

51l297qngol-_sx326_bo1204203200_ 4 Stars

I absolute loved this one! It is creepy as hell and very atmospheric. I was hooked from page one. I would never ever climb into a closed cave and I would definitely never try to climb Mount Everest. But I love to read about it and it always baffles me what people are willing to suffer to do so.

I also liked the Simon who is a kind of shady character. But I liked that. I did not know about the Third Man Factor and I googled a lot about it. Very creepy.  The book dragged a bit after Simon returned from the mountain while we see his mental downfall. The end gave me goosebumps.

I enjoyed this book very much. I loved Sarah Lotz’ “The Three”. It was one of my reading highlights. “Day Four” was a bit disappointing but maybe just because “The Three” was so brilliant. There is always a supernatural effect in her books but I liked that this time she approached it in a different way and made it not so clear.

I can’t wait for her next book!

The Ending – Du wirst dich fürchten – Iain Reed

36602864  4 Stars

German Book – German review

Ich habe das Buch im Rahmen einer Leserunde lesen dürfen. Die Meinungen zu dem Buch waren sehr gespalten.

 

Normalerweise bin ich eher in der Ecke der Mäkler zu finden. Ich lese meist ein anderes Buch als alle anderen. Das habe ich wohl auch hier, aber diesmal finde ich mich in der Ecke der Begeisterten wieder.

 

Obwohl, Begeistert ist vielleicht etwas übertrieben, aber mir hat das Buch gut gefallen. Es ist sehr düster, sehr surreal, sparsam in seinen Stilmitteln und es erschließt sich nur langsam. Es wird als Psychothriller beworben. Aber das ist es definitiv nicht. Was es ist, weiss ich nicht. Psycho passt, aber Thriller weniger. Es ist ein deprimierendes Psychogramm. Eine verwirrende Charakterstudie. Ein trauriges Buch. Ich weiss es nicht. Ich will auch nicht zu viel verraten.

 

Mich hat es sofort an den Filmemmacher David Lynch erinnert. Twin Peaks. Mullholland Drive. Wer diese Filme mochte, der ist hier richtig.

 

Ich fand es auf jeden Fall eine interessante Leseerfahrung. Das Buch ist kurz und man kann es schnell durchlesen. Der Schreibstil ist minimalistisch. Aber für mich kam schon sehr schnell eine sehr düstere Stimmung auf. Die Handlung ist sehr bizarr und doch faszinierend. Mir hat es gefallen. Es war irgendwie anders. Ich würde auch gerne wieder etwas von dem Autor lesen.

 

Flowers For The Dead – Barabra Copperthwaite

26769832  4 Stars

„Flowers For The Dead“ gives us a serial killer of a different kind. Actually Adam is a serial killer. But he seems also to be a lost soul. Searching for love but unable to interact properly with people he woos the girls he falls in love with in a creepy way.

 

There are two story lines. The first one is in the present where Adam is searching for a new love which he can take care of.  The second timeline shows us Adam as a child. He has an abusive mother and he suffered a great deal during his childhood. And for me the question pops up: was he made the monster that he is by his mother or would he have turn out all the same if his childhood would have been a loving one? Then he also received love and understanding from his grandmother. She taught him to be gentle and respectful to women. So the question for me is if his mother broke him or was it always in him to kill people? I would not say I developed a soft spot for Adam although I pitied him sometimes. He is a sociopath but also has this longing to be loved and share a life with someone who understands him.

 

The author created a clever story and a sociopath to remember. But the story is a slow burner and it also takes all the time in the world to lay out Adam’s life. Only at the end the story picks up pace. That was my only problem with the book. It was a bit too slow and too long. But it is still a remarkable read.

The Foster Child – Jenny Blackhurst

34751037  3,5 Stars

„The Foster Child“ is a disturbing psychological thriller about a creepy child.

Child psychologist Imogen Reid returns to her hometown after the dead of her mother. She has to build a new life for her and her husband. Something happened in her old job in London and they have to make a new start. One of her first cases is elven year old Ellie. Something is odd about the girl. She has a reputation to cause bad things to people who get cross with her. But Imogen takes a liking to that poor girl. She defends her and crosses the lines of what she is allowed to do – again.

There are a lot of creepy thinks going on and I found myself pitying Ellie and a moment later I was scared of her. I got an idea of what was going on while I was reading. It turns out I was almost right. But not entirely.

I think it is better not to know too much about the plot. A lot of the story is transported through the characters involved. And I think it is for the best when you just get to know them yourself. I had some problems with the main character Imogen. I found her extremely unprofessional. She is a complicated character and very changeable. I understand she had a troubled childhood (I would have loved to learn more about that and the reason) but I could not connect to her. Everybody in her surrounding is revolving around her but it is obviously not enough for her. She is very self-centered. For my taste the story stays too much at the surface. A lot of things don’t get explained deeper. And some characters are really plain.

This book is an easy and creepy read although it is a bit superficially. But it is entertaining. And Ellie is a remarkable character.

I received an ARC from NetGalleyin exchange for an honest review