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.

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The Fourth Monkey – J.D. Barker

31125554  5 Stars

What a twisted and creepy book. It is a fast pace thriller which is highly entertaining and scary.

For five years the 4MK keeps the Chicago Police busy now. He punishes people who did something bad by taking someone they love. First he cuts of one ear, then he takes the eyes and at least the tongue. The sends the body parts in a white box with a black ribbon. The police is still without a clue who he is. Then one day a man is killed in an accident. Obviously he jumped in front of a bus. He carried a white box with a black ribbon. Inside is an ear. So there must be another victim suffering somewhere. But the killer is dead now. But that does not keep him from playing games with the police.

There was a kind of diary found with the body. In this book the 4MK describes his unbelievable bizarre childhood. At first you think it is a normal family but soon it turns out that this is a family of a very different kind.

The story is told alternating between 4MK’s diary and the police work. This book is not for readers who are very sensitive. It is quite drastic and there is a lot of blood. If you have no problems with that you will find a highly entertaining and very unique thriller. There is a little bit of humor, despite all this gruesome things happening all around. The book is very well written. The diary and this horrible family is almost too much, like a parody. It’s unbelievable that there would be a family like that. At least I hope there is not.

All together this was a very entertaining book. It’s full of surprises and twist and it has a unique ending. This book is really different to other thrillers. I enjoyed it very much.

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

Frances Vick – Bad Little Girl

Bad Little GirlBad Little Girl by Frances Vick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title „Bad Little Girl“ is very suitable for this book. But it also tells you too much about the story.

Claire is a teacher and Lorna is one of the pupils. Not her pupil, but she knows her. Lorna is an outsider and very shy. Somehow Claire keeps an eye on Lorna, even start to really care. She is afraid, that Lorna’s strange behavior comes from some kind of abuse. Claire lives a very quiet life, visiting her mother and doing her job. Claire talks to Lorna’s mother but she denies any abuse and tells her that Lorna makes things up. Of course Claire is sure, that that could not be true. After her mother dies, she somehow got closes to Lorna. One night Lorna is knocking on her door, telling her she has to take now to her cottage in Cornwall because she needs to be safe. Claire, confused, agrees. She is a good person and wants to do the right thing. It never occurs to her, that she is manipulated. For a short time, they both play mother and daughter in this remote cottage. But then Lorna gets bored.

The story is very predictable. I disliked Lorna immediately. She acted strange and I never saw the charms she obviously must have. The story also took very long to get going. Half of the book we see Claire living her life, caring for her mother and watching Lorna. It took a little bit too long until it got moving and something finally happened. A child being a sociopath is unusual but not unlikely. It is indeed quite an interesting subject. But the author failed to make Lorna interesting for me. I found it hard to believe that she charmed to adult women into taking care of her and doing almost everything for her. She was quite lucky to find not one but two women who were more than happy to play her mother because of their personal circumstances.

Well, it was an interesting story. But the pace was very slow and there weren’t many surprises. I liked the idea but I found it also quite unrealistic.

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

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Sarah Pinborough – Behind her eyes

Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book this year which I wanted eagerly to read for a long time and then failed to live up to my expectations.

It is right, you should not know too much about the story. It is a kind of love triangle. There was so much raving about the ending. Seriously? You can see where it is heading too almost as soon as Adele and Louise become friends. Maybe the ultimate twist is something you would not expect. But at this time I already did not care anymore because logic and realistic behavior was long gone until then. The story itself was very unrealistic.

Mostly, I have to say, I disliked the writing style. You can clearly see that the author usually writes YA-books. The writing is quite simple and uncomplex. There is much talking about the affair and Louise feeling great about here wickedness. I read this book in German and there is a very childish expression for sleeping with someone. I don’t know what word was used in English, but in German it sounded very strange. Like teenagers would say it. But besides that, the story unfolds too smoothly, the perfidious plan plays out exactly as it should, everybody plays his/her part as he/she should. It’s all too simple But that’s my problem with YA-books. For me the author did not manage to alter her writing to a more mature style..

This was my second book from Sarah Pinborough after “13 Minutes”. I did not like this book neither because it was definitely a YA-book and way to long and boring. So I think I just delete this author from my reading list

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Lying in Wait – Liz Nugent

Lying in WaitLying in Wait by Liz Nugent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

„My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.“
This is the opening line of this book and it introduces us to Lydia Fitzsimmons. You better not mess up with her. Then Lydia, the fragile and protected wife of judge Andrew Fitzsimmons, mother of a little boy, is a psychopath.

Lydia comes from a wealthy family. There was always money and she was raised to do nothing except being a wife and a mother. She lives in a big mansion which she inherited and she does not like to socialize. She just needs her husband and her son. But now their money is gone, and somehow they got into a stupid deal with Annie. But Annie did not intent to keep to their deal, she took the money and threatened to blackmail them. Andrew got angry and tried to strangle her. But the final blow came from Lydia who could not stand that Andrew just was not able to do the job properly. She also had the idea to bury Annie in the garden. They could not go to prison, they have their son to care about. Lydia is going back to normal but Andrew is feeling guilty and is in constant fear of being arrested. His conditions and health are rapidly declining and he soon dies. Lydia is perplex and has a breakdown. There was always somebody to take care of her. Laurence decides to start working instead of going to college. So he can support his mother and take care of her now. Lydia likes that very much and she wants to have it like that forever. And she is willing to do everything to keep Laurence with her in the mansion.

Lydia is narcissistic and manipulative. She keeps saying that everything she is doing is out of mother’s love and for Laurence wellbeing. But instead it is egoism. It is a miracle that Laurence turned out so well as an adult. Of course he does not see the real Lydia, she can hide her inner psychopath very well. She knows exactly how to manipulate her son. It is easy to hate Lydia. Laurence is a bit tiring with his efforts to please everybody and he is very lenient towards his mother. Karen, Annie’s Sister, is the third narrator. Her loss and her struggle to be an independent woman in Ireland in the 1980s is very realistic.

This book is a dark psychological thriller with difficult characters and a tragic story. It tells the story of an obsessive mother who is also a psychopath without empathy. Annie’s death starts a series of events which leads to a downward spiral which neither Laurence nor Karen could escape. The book is well written, maybe a little bit aloof; the story multi layered and gripping. I would highly recommend it.

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

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Jennifer Jaynes – Ugly Young Thing

51ScH+Y5NIL

Sixteen-year-old Allie has already experienced a lifetime of horror, having lost her mother and serial killer brother to mental illness.

Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana, Allie ends up in foster care and is placed with Miss Bitty, an eccentric but kindly older woman who shows her a new direction and brighter future.

But Allie’s new life takes a devastating turn when young women in the area start turning up dead, and she discovers someone lurking outside her bedroom. As Miss Bitty grows inexplicably distant, Allie begins to wonder if death has found her yet again…or if it never really left her at all.

Vielen Dank an Netgalley für das kostenlose Kindle-ebook.

Die 16-jährige Alllie kommt geradewegs aus einer Familie aus der Hölle. Der Vater hat sich schon früh davon gemacht, die Mutter arbeitet als Prostituierte, missbraucht ihren Sohn und richtet mit ihrer gehässigen Art großen Schaden in Allies Seele an. Aber als wäre das noch nicht genug, ist sie auch eine Mörderin. Ebenso wie ihr Sohn, der zuerst sie und dann noch zwei weitere junge Frauen umbringt, bevor er sich vor Allies Augen in den Kopf schießt. Allie verschwindet nach diesen traumatischen Erlebnissen. Und es bleibt ihr nichts anders übrig, als sich selber an Männer zu verkaufen, damit sie überleben kann. So zieht sie durch die Lande, meist mit Fernfahrern, Dabei lernt sie jemanden kennen, den sie mögen könnte. Als er sie aber auch verlässt, geht Allie, die trotz aller grauenvoller Erlebnisse noch nicht ganz am Ende ist, zurück in ihre Heimatstadt. Aber dort wartet nichts auf sie. Ihr Elternhaus ist als Mörderhaus bekannt, mit Graffitis überzogen und alle Fenster eingeschlagen. Dort wird sie vn der Polizei aufgegriffen und zu Miss Bitty gebracht. Sie ist ab nun ihre Pflegemutter.

Allie hat von ihrer Mutter nur Ablehnung erfahren, empfindet sich selbst als häßlich, monströs, nicht liebenswert. So sehr sie sich auch nach Zuwendung, Freundschaft und Schutz sehnt, so sehr hat sie doch von ihrer Mutter eingepflanzt bekommen, das sie nichts wert ist und niemandem trauen kann. So dauert es einige Zeit, bis sie sich langsam Miss Bitty Zuwendung und Fürsorge öffnen kann. Doch dann wird eine junge Frau in der Nachbarschaft ermordet. Und Allie sieht und hört Dinge. Sie weiß nicht, ob sie ebenfalls verrückt wird wie ihre Mutter und ihr Bruder oder ob sie wirklich von einem Mann beobachtet wird. Und auch Miss Bitty hat ein dunkles Geheimnis.

Zwischendurch gibt es immer mal Kapitel, die aus der Sicht des Täters geschrieben sind. Man erfährt von seinem Jucken, das ihn verrückt macht und das nur durch die Jagd auf Frauen befriedigt werden kann. Er hofft, das Stalken ihm reicht, er versucht es, aber das Jucken unter seiner Haut wird immer schlimmer.

„Ugly Young Thing“ ist leicht und flüssig geschrieben und die Seiten fliegen nur so dahin. Es ist zugleich aber auch ein düsteres Buch voller kaputte Charaktere. Man fragt sich, wie Allie diese Horrorfamilie so einigermaßen normal überleben konnte. Die Entwicklung, die Allie durchmacht, ist durchaus nachvollziehbar. Auch die Kapitel aus der Sicht des Mörders sind spannend. Man fragt sie, ob er es beim Stalken belassen kann oder ob er töten wird. Und man fürchtet um Allie und weiß nicht genau, wird sie beobatet oder nicht und wenn ja, von wem. Die Autorin spielt geschickt mit der Frage, wer er der Täter ist. Das Ende bietet dann nochmal einen kleinen Twist und bleibt offen für eine Fortsetzung.

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