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

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

Disturbed – Jennifer Jaynes

34884860  4 Stars

This was an easy and pleasant read. I did not find it very creepy, although there are gruesome murders and something sinister is going on. But from page 1 I was hooked. I don’t want to get into the story itself. Maybe it is better, when you just jump into this book.

 

As I said, it is an easy read. The pages just flew as I began to wonder what was going on. I figured the main twist out quite early because there were one or two clues which really pointed in that direction. But there was enough other things going on and I enjoyed it very much.

Artemis – Andy Weir

35097384  4 Stars

This book is hard to review for me. Like many other readers I loved “The Martian”. It was fun to read. It had a likable main character and an interesting and gripping story. For me it was something new.

 

For an author, it is always difficult to reach or even top such a huge success. I was really looking forward to read “Artemis”. Weir sticks to his writing style but he also managed not just to rewrite “The Martian”. He came up with a new and different story. It is almost a thriller. But it is not as gripping as it should be.

 

What I liked about the book:

Artemis. The first city on the moon. It was very interesting to read about how it would be to live on the moon. Less gravity, a different currency, a cruel surrounding. Andy Weir did a fantastic job by creating this city. It all came to life and I enjoyed every fact about it. Artemis is the main reason I give 5 stars.

The author also managed to write again a innovative story. He did not make the mistake by writing something similar like “The Martian” although many stylistic elements reminded me of it.

I also like his writing style. I like his humor.

 

What I did not like:

In “The Martian” the main character was funny and witty. Maybe a little bit over the top but I liked him. Jazz is somehow a twin sister of Mark Watney. But she is more annoying and seems often very immature.

 

As I said before, I am very happy that this story is different than Weir’s first book. It is almost a thriller and it developed in a different direction than I expected. But all that science talk slows it down. Much of it I found very interesting. But sometimes it is a bit much and I could have definitely done without so much information about welding.

 

For me the great thing about this book is the city of Artemis. Everything about it was just amazing. The book has definitely some issues when it comes to its characters and keeping the balance between science and story development. If you read both books you can see Weir’s writing style and how he puts his story together. The conversations are often a bit comic-like and he tends to explains too much. I still liked it here, but I think it can get a little bit boring when he continues to write in that way.

The Last Mrs Parrish – Liv Constantine

34043643  4 Stars

This was an easy and quick read and a real page-turner. I would not call it a psychological thriller. It is more a dark and twisted domestic drama and a romance gone wrong. There are a lot of psychological manipulations going on which made the read so entertaining.

 

I think I should not say too much about the story. I jumped into the book with not much of an idea of it and I that was good. At first I thought everything was going too smoothly for Amber and her aim to get between the married couple. But soon I sensed there was something else going on.

 

Envy, greed, betrayal, abuse, psychopaths – name it, you have it here in this book. It is a dark, twisted and disturbing story. I enjoyed reading it.

J.T. Ellison – Lie To Me

33258453  4,5 Stars

So this is indeed the closest thing to „Gone Girl“ I’ve read so far. Two twisted people fell in love and got married. They both tell us their side of the story. Ethan is first. Then, later Sutton tells us her side. But immediately you can sense that there is something else going on. Ethan sometimes hints at us that he is not telling everything. I must admit I somehow liked him. Then later, there is Sutton’s story. This reminded me very much of Gone Girl. But this book is different. It may have a similar kind of telling the story. But the story itself is different.

Ethan’s POV has the advantage that we learn through him what is going on. Sutton is missing. But why? What happened? Did she just leave, fleeing their marriage? Or did something happen to her? Sutton’s story is a bit flat. Her part lacked the tension and it was almost a bit boring. I will not give away too much of the story because I think it is better not to know too much about it. It is a very twisted story. At the end there are twists galore.

I had very soon an idea what was going on. It turns out I was right. But there is a lot more going on. As I said, there are many twists and developments. The story is very clever and complex. It lacks just a bit of tension. It is more of a slow burner. It would have been a great read if it would have been more gripping. But so it is “just” a twisted and clever plotted book which is highly entertaining.

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