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

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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!

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 Crying Boy – Jane E. James

34738926  1 Star

Almost all of the books I got from NetGalley are due not until next year. So I thought this would be a good time to read some books I bought myself. But apparently I am better at choosing books from NetGalley than find some of my own on amazon. This book is the third or even fourth in a row of books I bought which I really disliked.

 

The blurb sounds promising and I heard about the cursed paintings many years ago. And I am always looking for a good horror book (which is hard to find). I saw all the good reviews and I happily started reading. But this book took ages to get started. I almost gave up. But somebody wrote that the story gets better after 25% into it. I can confirm that. But it doesn’t get much better. I was so annoyed by the characters. Clifton is dumb and Avril is just horrible. She is so changeable in her feelings for her husband. One minute she despises him almost, the next minute it is quite the opposite. Each conversation between them changed everything. And I really could not understand Clifton’s urge to move on and his mixes feelings for his dead child. This whole situation was just chaotic. Maybe I would have be Ok with that if at least the story would have been good. It’s not the thing with the picture. It is more how it was developed. The story was very weird, but not in a good way. Everybody is a mess and changes their opinion all the time. The story is not gripping or even frightening. Just chaotic and nothing makes sense. And it is a loooong book. I don’t know why I did not stop reading. The end annoyed me even more when stupid and stubborn Avril makes the dumbest decision ever to go back to that house*eyeroll*.

 

This was just a waste of time.

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

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.