The French Girl is a slow burner. Be aware of that when you start reading it. Sometimes it is almost a bit dragging. The things concerning Kate’s job are somehow irrelevant to the story. But at the same time they fill out the lives of the characters and make them so lifelike. Something in the book caught my attention the whole time. The dynamics within the circle of friends is interesting. I also liked that the story was told only from one point of view, Kate’s. The story would be perfect for two narrative levels, today and the past. But the author does without it and there are no direct flashbacks but only Kate’s memories. I thought that was pleasant, because the narration on second time levels is a bit overused lately.
The story is told quickly. 6 friends spent a holiday in France 10 years ago. The enigmatic neighbor, Serverine, disappeared at the same time as they left. Now her body has appeared on the property and a French policeman is traveling to London to interrogate the friends again. Kate’s life gets completely out of balance. The relationship between friends also changes.
Despite some lengths, I found the book very entertaining. The characters are very lifelike and all the details make them very real. I felt well entertained. I can understand when other readers find the book boring. But for me it had something that kept my interest alive. The end is a bit unusual and maybe a bit unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, one expects almost naturally a spectacular twist or a showdown. But the author also refrains from this and I also found that to be pleasantly different. The French Girl does not differ at first glance from other books, but in such trifles it shows that it is different, something special.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
„Hangman“ ist der Folgeband zu „Ragdoll“. Man kann dieses Buch lesen, ohne „Ragdoll“ zu kennen. Es ist aber sehr hilfreich, wenn man es kennt.
„Ragdoll“ war ein unterhaltsamer und rasanter Thriller. Er war aber auch recht oberflächlich und eindeutig auf einfache Unterhaltung aus. Er hatte einen ungewöhnlichen Plot und setzte auf Schockmomente. Genau das ist „Hangman“ auch. Für mich war dieses Buch „Ragdoll“ reloaded, sozusagen. Im Grunde passiert nicht viel anderes als im ersten Buch. Stil und Ablauf sind gleich. Der Charakter der Ermittlerin Emily Baxter wird vertieft. Sie bekommt einen neuen Sidekick. Wolf wird durch Damien Rouche ersetzt.
Als ich das Buch begann, musste ich erkennen, wie viel ich von „Ragdoll“ bereits wieder vergessen hatte. Weder konnte ich mich gut an Emily Baxter erinnern noch hätte ich das Ende des Buches noch gewusst. Zwar habe ich das Buch bereits im März gelesen aber ich war doch überrascht, wie wenig mir von der Handlung in Erinnerung geblieben war. Es bestätigt mein Urteil von damals, das es ein netter Thriller war ohne großen Tiefgang. Ex und hopp. Und so ist es auch mit „Hangman“. Auch hier geht es rasant voran, obwohl in der Mitte dann doch recht wenig passiert. Die Protagonisten hetzten durch die Handlung und rennen herum. Dabei treten sie ermittlungstechnisch lange auf der Stelle und haben keine Ahnung, was eigentlich los ist. Die Storyline selber ist komplex, wird aber leider wieder einmal nicht gründlich durchleuchtet. Ich fand sie, um ehrlich zu sein, etwas wirr. Ebenso hatte ich wieder das Gefühl, immer irgendetwas überlesen zu haben. Der Autor hat eine Art, durch seine Handlung und Dialoge zu hetzten, das ich oft das Gefühl hatte, etwas verpasst zu haben.
„Hangman“ ist solide Thrillerkost. Es hat Tempo und ist relativ blutig. Mit Damien Roche hat die sperrige Emily Baxter einen interessanten Kollegen bekommen, der aber zum Schluss doch etwas zu sehr als tragische Figur herhalten muss. Auch hier merkt man, dass dieses Buch seinen Vorgängerband stark kopiert. Man erkennt das Muster, nachdem der Autor seine beiden Bücher aufgebaut hat.
„Hangman“ macht nicht viel falsch, es ist ein rasanter Thriller. Für mich persönlich leider ist er nur eine Neuauflage von „Ragdoll“. Und genau wie dieses Buch krankt es an zu wenig Tiefgang bei Handlung und Charakteren.
„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.
I am not sure if I liked this book or if I didn’t.
What I liked: the author did a very good job in showing who Phil managed himself into so much trouble. He makes one major misjudgment which is followed by a trail of lies. He got tangled in his lies until he finds no way to tell his side of the story any more. It is too late and to messed up. The story is told mostly by Liz but also occasionally by Phil. So we are also close to him and see how this all could happen.
What I did not like: the story is really predictable. As soon as I figured out where the story was leading I was almost annoyed. This again. It is no surprise that not everything in The Palms is so picture perfect when you look closer. The people who live there were all very stereotype. I just could not remember who was who. Who was which ones daughter? Or wife? I mixed them all up the whole time. Kelsey, the girl who gets obsessed with Phil, is quite cunning, maybe a little bit too much for a 15 year old girl. She is definitely troubled, but why that is so is never discussed. And Liz. She is a high school counselor. But I doubt that this is the right job for her. F.e. she gave a 14 year old girl, who came to her office for advice concerning birth control, just a leaflet. Shortly after the girl was pregnant. Well done, Liz. I also did not like a lot of things she did when she suspected Liz to be of harm to her family.
But the real problem is the ending. I seriously thought that there was something wrong with my ebook. I thought at least one chapter was missing. But obviously this is really the ending. The book just ends. There are still a lot of questions. I don’t have a problem with books with open endings. But this is no open ending. This is an ending in the middle of a chapter. Just a rough cut.
It was an easy read but I was happy when it was over. The writing is good but there is a lack of depth to the characters and the story itself. And there is this ending.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the first half very much. But as soon as the main topic began to unfold I lost interest. I don’t like kiss-and-tell-stories. And I was not aware that this book was that kind of book. I expected something else or maybe a different handling of the topic.
In the first half we meet Holly. We get to know her and learn about her problems. I liked reading the book although I was a bit annoyed by everybody telling her she was paranoid and a crazy drunk. But then the story turns into an action thriller. The exposure of the criminal doings of pharmaceutical companies became more important than telling a story. The author did a great job with her research and the topic is shocking and has to be revealed. But it did not work in this book for me. I don’t know how I can explain it. But I think telling this story, revealing everything, became so important for the author that she missed to form it into a harmonic story.
I am sorry to say that the book did not work for me. It felt like something was missing. I liked the writing and the first half was very well composed. But then it turned into a kind of story I don’t like to read. If I had known that I would not have requested it from NetGalley. But because this is just me and my personal taste I round it up to 4 stars.
I recieved an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Almost two years ago I read „A Head Full Of Ghosts“. The Story really disturbed me. It was a haunting read and the story stays with me until today. It is one of the rare books I still remember the whole story. I read so many books, I mostly forget details about the story, the ending or twists very soon. But not with AHFOG. I liked it even better as time went by.
So my expectations for “Disappearing at Devil’s Rock” were very high. But unfortunately I could never really connect to the story. I was almost bored to death until 70% into it. There was no tension, no scary moments. The thing with the diary did not work for me at all. The last 30% were a little better. But here I also did not like how it was told. The alternate POVs from the boys were really confusing.
I am disappointed with myself that I did not like the book. Although there are a few things I will remember. There is something about the author and his ideas I like. But this time I did not like the story itself and how it was told. There is also a lot of lying going on. Everybody is lying all the time. Especially Kate, Tommy’s sister, has a serious problem with speaking the truth. She was just an awful kid.
Hopefully I will like Mr. Tremblay’s next book better.
What a unique idea! What if you can find your perfect match by doing a simple mouth swap? Doing this simple test and paying afterwards for the contact details and you live happily ever after?
A scientist found out that you share a special part of your DNA with just one other person on this planet. And this one is your perfect match. Almost immediately after meeting this person you feel the connection and fall in love with them. You just do this little test and the computer finds your other half. It sounds too good to be true. And actually it is. What if you perfect partner is a psychopath? Or the one is of the same sex as you although you were never attracted to the same sex before?
At first I was confused to all the characters appearing in alternating chapters. But soon you get to know them and theirs special situation. All of them were informed of their Match recently and all of them have to learn that there is not necessarily a happy ending waiting for them. They all encounter extreme situations. Especially in Jade’s case it is also quite melodramatic. Sometimes a little bit too much. It also shows how this scientific matching alters society. What if you are already in love and think you found your soulmate without taking the test? Everybody in your surrounding expects your relationship to fail because you are not proofed to be the perfect match.
There are a lot of interesting ideas in this book. As I mentioned, the situations are extreme and it is a little bit too melodramatic. But it is an easy read with a unusual story. I really enjoyed reading it.