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

B A Paris – The Breakdown

The BreakdownThe Breakdown by B.A. Paris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the third book within a couple of weeks which I anticipated for quite a while and got disappointed after reading them finally. What’s wrong with me?

I really liked “Saving Grace” from the author. It was not flawless but I enjoyed reading it very much. So was very much looking forward to this book. But my problems with the story started right after the first few pages. Cass drives home late in the evening from a pub during a heavy rain storm. She takes a shortcut through a little forest which her husband begs her not to take so late in the evening in this weather. She regrets her decision after a few minutes but then she sees a car standing on the road. She drives past it and stops. She can see a blurred woman’s face but nothing happens. Cass considers leaving her car and walk over but she is afraid it might be some kind of trick or a trap. Remember, it is late in the evening, it rains, she is alone in her car, no mobile reception and she is on a remoted street. So when the woman in the car does react to her Cass drives on. The next morning she learns that the woman in that car was murdered. She is ashamed to tell anybody that she took the shortcut and saw the car. But she feels awful about it. When she hears that the victim is her friend of hers her guilt grows worse. And that is the problem. Would it really be so bad if she admits that she saw the car? She was alone in the dark on a road in the forest. She stopped and waited. This guilt she nursed during the book is important because it leads to her ongoing mental meltdown. But this initial situation did not work for me. It felt too made up. It just started implausible.

Unfortunately it does not get better. Cass slides too smoothly into her mental disorientation. She even makes it worse because she makes a lot of stupid things like lying when it is absolute unnecessary. But what ruined it for me is that I figured out who was behind everything after a few chapters. I was hoping for a surprise but it turned out exactly like I suspected. Only the murder thing was a bit of a surprise but somehow it was not that important.

The book is well writing and reasonable entertaining. I read it in two sittings. But it is very predictable and Cass is a very annoying character. She is whiny and needy and unable to cope with her daily routine. There are a lot of unlikely things in this book but I will not spoil it for you. There were a lot of negative reviews about “Saving Grace” which I could all understand but I really liked it. Now it seems that everything negative I read about that book fits twice as much for “The Breakdown”. The story seems not genuine, not natural. It is a readable book and entertaining enough but also very predictable and the main character is very annoying. So I am a little bit disappointed.

I recieved an ARC from NetGalley and the Publisher in return for an honest review

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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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Nuala Ellwood – My Sisters’s Bones

My Sister's BonesMy Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow this was an intense read. I don’t know what I expected but I did not expect THAT.

There is much going on in this book. I struggled a bit to get into the story. I was confused about the chapters about Kate being interviewed by a doctor. Something happened and we don’t know what for quite a long time. Kate is a war reporter and she has seen a lot of horrible things. She is haunted by the vision of a boy who was killed in Aleppo. She has a massive PTSD problem which she somehow denies. I was a bit annoyed by her stubbornness. There was clearly something wrong with her but she refused to see help. But after a while you see there is much more going one.

The second part is from her sister’s view. Sally deals in a different way with her demons. While Kate depends on her pills, Sally numbs herself with wine. So we have two unreliable narrators and a story I did not know where it is leading to. My first bad apprehension I would not like the book soon vanished. At least when Sally is the narrator the book gets almost unputdownable .I really enjoyed the last half immensely. The book turned out to be something completely different than I expected even after starting reading it. The way the story turns is completely different than I thought it would be after I learned about Kate and her PTSD and her hallucinations. Which is a really good thing.

After all it is a sad and disturbing and tragic story. The author did a great job, the writing and structure is superb. I enjoyed it not from the beginning but I got more captivated the further I read. This book is definitely different to other thrillers and I highly recommend it.

4,5 Stars

I received an ARC from Netgalley and Penguin Books UK 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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Watching Edie – Camilly Way

Watching EdieWatching Edie by Camilla Way
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was on my wishlist as soon as I heard about it. Unfortunately my wish for an ARC from NetGalley was declined so I had to wait until it was released. Then I thought it to be quite expensive. So I waited and waited with the purchase. But recently I got an amazon gift voucher and so I finally got it. And read it immediately.

I read “The Dead of Summer” from Camilla Way years ago and I absolutely loved it. I recommended it to everyone I know. But obviously my expectations for this book were too high. I have read so many reviews about it from bloggers I follow and rely on for their opinion. Unfortunately this book turned out to be a disappointment to me. Almost immediately I was bored. I missed the pace. I was annoyed by Edie’s depression after giving birth to her daughter. I know that is not fair, but I just could not stand reading about it for pages and pages. I found it quite boring. I was waiting for the twists and turns everybody raved about. But I could not find them. The end was exactly as I thought it would be. I think it is very easy to see who the victim here is. One of the girls is so different in the “Before” and “After” that it was really no surprise how everything turned out.

Maybe I read too much psychological thrillers which promise twists and turns. Or maybe I just was expecting too much. Maybe it’s both. So it was just an average book for me and I can only give 3 stars.

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Sibel Hodge – Duplicity

DuplicityDuplicity by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4,5 Stars

This is one of those books you should not know too much about before you start reading. The blurb says enough about the story. There are Max and Alissa, newlyweds for 4 weeks. Then Max gets stapped one night and Alissa is able to escape. Alissa is stunning beautiful and charming, everybody falls for her and is charmed by her. The Detective Inspector on this case is charmed by her as well. His subordinate Inspector does not feel that way. He mistrusts Alissa. And he reveals the secret about the murder.

I stumbled into this book without knowing very much. Luckily. There are two narratives. One is The Detective and the other one is “The Other One”. Who that is stays a secret for quite a while. As I said you better do not know too much about the story. There are a lot of twists and turns. In the first half there is a lot of police work and some repetitive explaining about what happened that night Max was murdered. But in the second half things start to get exciting. Then the fun begins. I have to admit there are some unlikely things happening. And some things are really too convenient. But this does not belittle the entertainment value. It is just fun to read. I must admit I get bored with all those bosses who are ignorant and hostile to their detectives which are the only ones who get the right conclusion. There are a lot of implausible things in this story. But it is entertaining and fun to read. So if you like a twisted psychological thriller which is a page turner and you don’t need everything to over realistic, then get this book.

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

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