In A Cottage In A Wood

34605390  4 Stars

I absolutely loved this one! I fell for it immediately. I was intrigued by the blurb but also wondered how this situation on the bridge was working. You just meet a woman who wants to commit suicide and she hands you over her cottage? But it did, actually.

So, one night after partying and an unpleasant one night stand Neve wanders the streets of London to find her way home. Home means her sister’s house, because Neve crashed there after she splits up from her boyfriend. She has a lousy job which she doesn’t like and which earns her not enough money to get her own place to live. So she is not in the mood to talk to a young woman she sees standing on Waterloo Bridge just in a dress in the freezing night. But somehow she does and so she witnesses her jumping into the Thames. Weeks later she learns from a lawyer that the dead woman gave her her cottage in Cornwall. And as it is, with a job she is going to lose, her sister and brother-in-law bugged by her and no place to live she decides to have a look at that cottage.

The cottage indeed is not what she expected. It is not very nice to look at, filthy and a bit creepy. So Neve finds herself stranded in this cottage in the woods and somehow the creepy atmosphere is getting her.

The book has its flaws. It is all a bit unrealistic and Neve is sometimes a pain in the a**. She is so chaotic and unfocussed. She acts without thinking things through. Everybody would consider that arriving in a cottage in rural Cornwall late in the evening without being able to drive a car would be not a good idea. But not Neve. She just jumps in. All the time.

The book is not a fast paced one. But it is an easy read and the pages just flow. It is a bit creepy but not in a supernatural way. There is definitive something going on and I would have freaked out much earlier and take the next train back to London. Strange things happen and because Neve is so chaotic she always things that maybe it was her own fault. There are a few things I would have done, like f.e. change the door locks. But I really liked the book. I enjoyed reading it. I figured out who was behind all this spooky things quite early but the author had still a surprise for me at the end. The writing is very pleasant and I think that was the main reason I enjoyed that book so much. There are some weird things happening in the story but the author managed it to sell it to me with her nice and convincing writing.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Das Mädchen im Eis – Robert Bryndza

9783328100973_1479620158000_xl  3,5 Stars

German book – German review

Der erste Band der Reihe um DCI Erika Foster ist ein solider Whodunit. Er führt seine Hauptfigur Erika ein. Nach einem sehr unglücklich verlaufenen Einsatz, bei dem auch ihr Mann ums Leben kam, fühlt sich Erika endlich wieder in der Lage, zu Arbeiten. Sie wird in London um Hilfe gebeten. Sie soll den Mord an einer jungen Frau aufklären. Ihr Vater ist ein geadelter Unternehmer und die Tat hat großes Aufsehen erregt.

 

Der Mordfall ist vertrackt genug und wir sind immer nah bei Erika und ihrer Arbeit als Polizistin. Erika reiht sich ein in die Riege der privat gebeutelten Ermittler. Der Tod ihres Mannes hat sie schwer getroffen, sie fühlt sich auch schuldig an seinem Tod und macht sich Vorwürfe, da sie den Einsatz geplant hat. Ihr Chef ist ihr zwar wohlgesonnen, aber schon gleich am ersten Arbeitstag hat sie sich nicht im Griff und so ist sie den Fall schon bald wieder los. Aber natürlich hat sie den richtigen Riecher und ermittelt mit Hilfe ihrer Kollegen auch nach ihrer Suspendierung weiter.

 

Die Figur der Erika hat mir einige Schwierigkeiten bereitet. Von Anfang an eckt sie an und auf mich wirkte sie in keiner Weise arbeitsfähig. Sie tut immer das, was sie nicht soll, sie ist unbeherrscht und impulsiv. Außerdem scheint sie mir ein großes Problem mit Arbeitsanweisungen zu haben. Befehlen liegt ihr eindeutig mehr als welche zu befolgen. Auch gut gemeinten Ratschlägen gegenüber ist sie immun. Ihre eigene Gesundheit interessiert sie sowieso nicht. Ich muss gestehen, dass ich sie extrem unsympathisch fand und ich fast hoffte, dass ihr gehässiger Kollege Recht behalten würde. Aber natürlich passiert das nicht.

 

„Das Mädchen im Eis“ ist ein solider Krimi. Die Spannung ist nicht übermässig, aber die kurzen Kapitel haben mich dazu verführt, immer noch ein Kapitel mehr zu lesen. Das Buch liest sich locker weg. Am Schluss überschlagen sich die Dinge dann ein wenig und es kommt zu einem sehr rasch abgehandelten Ende. Wer der Täter war, konnte man im letzten Drittel schon erahnen.

 

Wer gerne Krimis über Ermittler und Polizeiarbeit liest, wird hier gut bedient. Die Serie um Erika Foster ist in England ja sehr beliebt. Ich persönlich bin kein Freund von Serienermittlern. Ich lese lieber Stand-Alones. Zudem war mir Erika nicht sehr sympathisch. Aber das ist mein persönlicher Geschmack, denn im Grunde ist an diesem Buch nichts verkehrt.

House. Tree. Person – Catriona McPherson

34506389  3,5 Stars

„House. Tree. Person“ is a dark psychological thriller. It is a bit of a slow burner and I would have wished for a little bit more tension.

The title was the thing that got me first. I never heard of that term but when you read the book you will understand. The story is told from Ali’s POV. I had some difficulties finding into the book. Ali obviously had some kind of trauma but we learn about what happened 10 years ago later in the book. But Ali and her husband Marco are referring to it all the time. Sometimes I had the feeling I missed something. And it was the reason I could not bond with her. She often reacted irrational and hysterical and I could not understand why.

The story is suspicious from the beginning. After a long time of struggeling to get along with jobs they suddenly are both lucky. Marco gets inventive on Ali’s CV and she get a job in the local psychiatric facility. All about that seems strange, even her ridiculous generous wage. She is not trained to work with troubled people but somehow nobody cares. All about this situation is weird. Beside that there is a lot going on in Ali’s family life as well.

The book is a mixed bag for me. I liked the plot, the mysterious things going on in this facility. Although it all was a bit chaotic. But it really was a slow burner and I had some problem with the main character Ali. I am also not sure if I liked the writing style. And the end was too rushed. Nevertheless it was a quick and entertaining read.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

The Word Is Murder – Anthony Horowitz

33797957  5 Stars

This was an extremely entertaining read form me. I really liked how Horowitz puts himself into this story and gave us an inside into the world of a famous writer.

A woman goes to an undertaker and takes care of her own funeral. This is not so unusual, but what makes it mysterious is that she is murdered just a few hours later. Did she know that she was going to die?

Anthony Horowitz is a successful writer of books and screenplays. He puts himself inside this story. There are probably other writers who did this before but I never read a story like this. And it was absolutely fun to read! Horowitz shows himself working on some projects when he is approached by an consulting detective which he met before. Hawthorne worked for TV as a consultant and Horowitz met him while working on an TV show. Hawthorne was asked by the police to look into the murder of this lady. He thinks this murder case in interesting enough and he asks Horowitz to write a book about him and this case. Horowitz is not interested at first. He has so much work to do and he is not a true crime writer. But somehow he agreed to write this book. So he has to follow Hawthorne around and is part of his investigation. He feels a bit intimidated by Hawthorne, who is a very good detective and a bit Sherlock-like. He feels always like he is one step behind the enigmatic Hawthorne.

I immensely enjoyed this book. It was less the crime story which is complex and with a satisfying solution. But I loved all that was around it. Horowitz gives us insights of how a writer works and what’s it like. There is a lot of name dropping and gossip about the theatre and film world. There is a scene were Horowitz meets Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson in a quite bizarre meeting which turns out to be not as he imagined. It was hilarious.

This was my second book from Anthony Horowitz. I only read “Moriarty” and it was just an OK read. But I liked “The Word is Murder” and his writing very much. It was very British, with a fine humor. I already got “Magpie Murders” on my list and I will watch out for Mr. Horowitz in the future.

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

The House – Simon Lelic

33794926  2 Stars

„The House“ was unfortunately a disappointing read. It is told at first in form of diaries or letters from Jack and Syd, a young couple who recently bought a house in London. I had high expectations for this book and was really looking forward reading it. But somehow I expected something else, a different story about a creepy house and maybe something with horror elements. But unfortunately none of this happened.

In the first half we read the letters or diaries Jack and Syd wrote to tell somebody what happened in the last weeks. This is not a new idea of telling a story but it is not working very well here. It is somehow a mess. It looks like they are writing to each other and read their chapters so they can respond to it. Probably the chapters were just put together so that we readers can follow it easier. But it felt strange. I did not like both of them. Jack is winy and needy and Syd is a hypocrite and very self-centered. The keep telling each other that they will be honest but they both lie to each other constantly.

The story was not bad although it has all the over-used themes a lot of thriller books have at the moment. And it was a bit of a mess. I liked it better when the letters stopped. There were the usual twists at the end which surprisingly worked well for me. But this book got me on the wrong foot. I just did not expect this kind of domestic drama and all this dysfunctional families. I expected a spooky house story. So it is probably just me that I never really warmed up to this book and its characters.

I received an ARC from NetGalleyin exchange for an honest review

Beneath The Surface – Sibel Hodge

516pV7uAdKL 3,5 Stars

3,5 Stars

 

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

They All Fall Down – Tammy Cohen

31551215  3 Stars

“They All Fall Down” promises to be a psychological thriller. But soon it turns into a domestic drama.

 

Hannah finds herself in a psychiatric clinic. The reason why she is there remains a secret to us for a while. Hannah was pregnant and something happened to the baby. It couldn’t be so bad because otherwise she would be in prison. Unfortunately the last book I read had exactly the same topic. So I figured out almost immediately what happened. But all this talking around Hannah’s problem and leaving out what she did felt quite forced.

 

Two other patients of the clinic killed themselves. Hannah somehow suspects that they were murdered. But the story is not turning into a thriller. Hannah and her problems with her marriage and her desperate wish for a baby are the main thing here. Her mother is also a main character. She turns into a kind of detective and investigates some of Hannah’s suspicions and a few things of her own.

 

For my taste the whole story was told too slow. There was almost too much in it. Mental problems, a failing marriage, the drama with the baby, murder,. I would have wished for a thriller but it was more of a domestic drama. The setting in the clinic is a great idea and there is a lot going on. But there is too much crammed into the story so that many things just fell flat. I could not feel for Hannah. I think it was a bit extreme to put her in the clinic for what she did. She is free to go but she is talked into staying by her husband and her mother. She wants to leave one minute but the next she stays because of the women who killed themselves. But this all did not work out for me. It was back and forth all the time. And I failed to see how they helped her in the clinic.

 

This was my third book from Tammy Cohen. I liked “When She Was Bad” very much. “First One Missing” was an OK-read. Unfortunately “They All Fall Down” was also only an OK-read for me. It was not a fast paced thriller and definitely no pageturner for me. There was too much so that most of the topics just got scratched on the surface. The twist at the end was a surprise. I have to give that to the author. That I just read another book about a woman desperately wishing for a baby is not Tammy Cohen’s fault. There are so many books about babies and missing children at the moment. It was just too much domestic drama for me.