One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus

41P+Ljo-zJL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ 5 Stars

 

Wow, this was a surprise. I did not expect that I would enjoy this book so much.

 

I am not a fan of YA books. Usually I am not interested in kid’s problems and teenage stuff. When I found this book on NetGalley I was intrigued by the blurb and hit the Request button. I just did not think about the fact that students having detention means they would be quite young. Stupid me. But I am glad now that I requested it because I really enjoyed it. I was into the story from page one. The mystery about the sudden death of one of their friends is a classical whodunit. It is hard to guess what happened and the revelation at the end was a surprise for me.

 

It is really funny that I liked this book so much. It has a lot of high school stereotypes and the typical teenage love mess. But somehow it worked. I liked the characters and how they changed during the investigation. The story is only told through the 4 students who were in detention when Simon died. There is no insight into the police work. But the whole thing stays a mystery until the end. I could see some things coming but I did not guess the end. It is an easy read and a very likable book. I enjoyed reading it and because I am so surprised that I liked it so much I give it 5 stars.

I would llke to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories

32188043  5 Stars

 

I really enjoyed this book. It is unique and it is like a transcript from a podcast.  There is an eerie and creepy atmosphere and a nice twist at the end. I liked the idea to make it as a podcast. I think you should dive in into this book without too much information.  Another author to watch out for.

Charlie Donlea – The Girl Who Was Taken

51hMmkODNsL._SY346_  5 Stars

Yay, finally I got my first 5 star review for 2017! I began to ask myself if I choose the wrong books or if I became over-critical. I read a lot of books which everybody was raving about and I felt like “meh, what’s that fuss about”. I really feared that I would not like this book as well. But it was quite the contrary. I really enjoyed this one.

The story is about two young girls who disappeared a year ago during a beach party. Megan was found two weeks later. She has almost no memory of the time she was held captive in a bunker because of heavy drugging. Nicole, the other girl, is still missing. Megan wrote a book and became a little bit of a celebrity. But nobody speaks about Nicole.

Nicole’s sister Livia is a forensic intern. She fears the day her sister may show up on her table. But instead the body of a young man comes onto her table. His case is a bit complicated. And it gets even more complicated when she learns that he knew her sister. Livia starts her own investigation and slowly she begins to unravel the mystery about the abductions.

I don’t want to say too much about the story. At first it was a bit slow but you can see how thoroughly the author builds his story and the characters. With every page it gets more fascinating and unputdownable. It is a dark and disturbing story. There are a lot of strong characters. The author does a terrific job developing the complex story and bringing in a lot of details and information. I liked the insight of the forensics; that was quite interesting. I also liked the ending, as sad and sudden as it is.

This was my second book from Charlie Donlea but certainly not my last one. I liked “Summit Lake” but I loved this one. It’s a terrific and mind-bending read and would highly recommend it

I’d like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for giving me an advanced ARC in exchange for an honest review

What You Don’t Know – JoAnn Chaney

What You Don't KnowWhat You Don’t Know by JoAnn Chaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3,5 stars

„What you don’t know“ starts at a point where other books are ending. The killer is arrested and is in prison for 7 years now. We learn in flashbacks how this happened.

This book tells its crime story from a new perspective. It’s a character study of the people Seever left behind.

Jacky Seever killed 31 people and buried them in his crawl space. He seemed to be a nice and normal guy but he was capable of unbelievable cruelness.

The two detectives who caught Seever and questioned him afterwards are still haunted by Seever. Hoskins has some anger issues and almost lost his job. His former partner Loren has his own way to deal with emotional distress in a very creepy way. He really is the weirdest character. The author does a very good job in showing the mental strain of the men who have to deal with horrible things every day. What happens to you when you meet a monster like Seever and be in a room with him for days and listen to his confession? How do you live on when the hunt is over and the memories won’t fade?

Then there is Gloria, Seever’s wife. She claims that she knew nothing about her husband’s doing. She still visits him every week in prison. Is it really possible to life in a house where your husband tortured and killed people and even buried them and you hear and see nothing? Gloria just wants and always wanted to live her quiet and comfortable life.

What do you do as a reporter when the best story you ever had is now old news. Sammie was the main reporter in Seever’s case. She even wrote a book about it. But everything is told now and new things happen. Somehow her career is bound to Seever. When a copycat killer shows up and begins to murder people who were connected to Seever she sees her chance to get successful again. And she is literally willing to do everything to get a good story.

The characters are all very unlikable and flawed. They are all victims of Seever’s. When the new murders happen the hunt for a killer starts again. Hoskins got his job back and works again with his partner Loren. Sammie also gets a call from her former boss and begins to write again. All their lives revolve around Seever again.

This character driven story is very unique. It has a lot of interesting characters, even if none of them is likable. The copycat killer was a surprise for me, I had some ideas but there were a lot of red herrings. But it was a bit slow going. I really liked the unusual approach and the character studies. Seever is a very impressive killer, whose greasy presence lingers throughout the whole book. It was a solid read, unusual, but also very dark, depressing and vulgar.

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

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Peter Swanson – Her Every Fear

Her Every FearHer Every Fear by Peter Swanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3,5 Stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. I love Peter Swanson’s writing. He really must have a weird mind. He is just too good looking into the minds of psychopaths. I really admire that. I loved “The Kind Worth Killing”. It is one of my favorite books. And I can see his style in this book, too. But still it is different. But unfortunately not as good. This book does a lot of telling, repetitive telling. This took away the suspense.

Kate is a troubled young woman. Her mind turns every situation into the worst case scenario. He has a reason to be so anxious but she tries her best to overcome it. So when her mother tells her about a cousin she never met who wants to swap houses with her for 6 month her first intention is to say no. Even her mother does not expect her to go to a foreign country and live there on her own. But exactly that’s the reason she agrees to this arrangement. So she flies to Boston and moves into her cousin Corbin’s luxury apartment. She soon learns that Corbin’s neighbor was murdered on the day of her arrival and Corbin’s departure.

The author looks deeply into the minds of his characters. The story is told from different angles and here the problems started. There is a lot of telling and re-telling. Things are being explained which I already figured out without the character telling me exactly everything again and again. This got a bit dull, especially in the second half of the book. There is also not much action; there is a lot of telling and thinking. I also did not like the end. I wished there would have been more to it.

So it was a mixed pack for me. I love the writing and the idea of the story. I think the author is great with psychopaths and serial killers hiding in plain sight. The plot itself is unusual. There is just something I really like about his style. I will watch out his next book.

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

View all my reviews

Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley

Subtiles Unbehagen

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Gleich zu Beginn wird eine Leiche gefunden. Beziehungsweise das Skelett eines Babys. Unser namenloser Ich-Erzähler (wir erfahren nur seinen Spitznamen Tonto, den der neue Pfarrer im gegeben hat) berichtet von dem Fund. Es wurde an dem Strand gefunden wurde, an den er mit seiner Familie vor 40 Jahren hin pilgerte. The Loney heißt dieser Küstenabschnitt, irgendwo im Nordwesten Englands. Dort gibt es einen Schrein mit einer heiligen Quelle. Tontos Bruder ist geistig etwas zurückgeblieben und spricht nicht. Er kommuniziert mit Tonto indem er ihm gewisse Gegenstände zeigt, die eine Bedeutung beinhalten. Z.B. steht ein kleiner Plastikdinosaurier für eine Entschuldigung und ein Glas mit Nägeln bedeutet, dass er Kopfschmerzen hat. Die Eltern der beiden sind extrem religiös. Ihre Mutter ist überzeugt, dass durch Beten und festen Glauben Hannys Krankheit von Gott geheilt werden wird.

An dieser Quelle und diesem unwirtlichen Küstenabschnitt treffen tiefe Religiosität und heidnischer Glaube aufeinander. Von der ersten Seite an durchzieht ein ungutes Gefühl diese Geschichte. Denn das Hanny irgendwie Heilung fand, ist zu Beginn gleich klar. Der Alltag der Kinder ist düster, der Glaube und seine strikten und freudlosen Regeln, die Drohung des Fegefeuers drücken die Stimmung. Als die kleine Gruppe mit ihrem neuen geistlichen Beistand erneut zu ihrer Pilgerfahrt antreten, ist in dem Ort irgendwie alles anders. Dabei wollten sie alles so vorfinden wie früher. Das Gewohnte ist das Ziel. Und in dem Ort ist die Zeit normalerweise stehengeblieben „Ich hatte oft den Eindruck, dass es hier zu viel Zeit gab. Dass der Ort daran krankte. Davon heimgesucht wurde. De Zeit sickert nicht davon, wie sie es sollte. Sie konnte nirgendwohin verschwinden und es gab keine Moderne, die sie vorantrieb“ (S.49). Aber nun hat das gewohnte einen Riss.

Die kleine Pilgergruppe führt ihre Osterrituale auf, altchristliche und irgendwie heidnisch wirkende Handlungen, wie z.B. eine Marzipankugel, die den verräterischen Judas symbolisiert, ins Feuer zu werfen. Die Mutter hält verbissen an der Ordnung ihres Glaubens fest und an diese Rituale. In dem Cottage, in dem sie immer wohnten, entdeckt Tontos Vater einen versteckten Raum. Dort findet er ein Gefäß, das die Hexen fern halten soll. Als es zerbricht, steht auf einmal das Heidnische vor der Tür, wortwörtlich. Irgendwie baut sich da ein kleiner Machtkampf auf zwischen dem katholischen Glauben und dem heidnischen, der unwirtlichen und erbarmungslosen Natur, die die Strömung am Loney darstellt. Mittendrin sind Tonto und besonders Hanny.

Das Buch wird im englischsprachigen Raum als „Gothic Horror“ beworben. Ich kenne mich in dem Genre nicht so aus. Für richtige Horrorfans dürfte „Loney“ aber nichts sein. Der Horror ist sehr subtil. Hier geht kein Geist um und es gibt auch weder Zombies noch Vampire. Das Buch beantwortet auch nicht alle Fragen, ich selber bin am Ende immer noch etwas ratlos, was dort eigentlich passiert ist und was es mit dem Baby auf sich hat. Dieses Buch lässt viel ungesagt, erklärt nichts und nimmt unser Nichtverstehen in Kauf. Trotzdem, oder eher deswegen, habe ich das Buch sehr gerne gelesen. Es hatte mich sofort gepackt, obwohl es so düster ist und ich wieder einmal lesen musste, wie furchtbar sich Religiosität auf Menschen auswirken kann. Es ist mir ein Rätsel, wie man glücklich sein kann in diesem düstern christlichen Glauben, der einem so lebensunfroh und niederdrückend vermittelt wird. Das Leben Tontos als Kind war für mich der eigentliche Horror. Der heidnische Aspekt, der kleine Machtkampf dieser „Götter“ bzw ihrer Anhänger sind nicht minder beängstigend.

„Loney“ besticht vor allem durch seine schöne Sprache. Eigentlich passiert gar nicht so viel, es wird viel hin und her gesprungen, ein wenig vor zu der Zeit des alten Pfarrers und zurück zu den Erlebnissen mit dem neuen Pfarrer. Die Klammerhandlung um den erwachsenen Tonto nimmt nur wenig Raum ein, nur zu Beginn und dann am Ende. Aber irgendwas hat mich gefesselt an diesem düsteren Buch mit seinen Geheimnissen und seinem schönen Cover. Wahrscheinlich ist dieses Buch nicht für jeden etwas, aber mir hat es sehr gut gefallen.

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