Losing Leah – Sue Welfare

35145749  4 Stars

„Loosing Leah“ starts very slowly and not very unusual. A couple stops at a rest stop on their way to their holiday home in Wales. The woman, Leah, goes to the bathroom. But she does not return. Her husband is completely dissolved and calls the police. Leah just disappeared. The whole story becomes more mysterious with every page and inconsistencies arise.

The book is a slow burner. The writing style is calm and unspectacular. At first I really had to concentrate to focus on the story. But gradually the whole thing became more interesting. The many little things that did not fit together and the mystery of Leah’s disappearance made me curious. I soon had an idea how it could have been. I was right with my assumption. However, the book ends a bit abruptly.

„Loosing Leah“ is a slowly increasing subtle drama. Leah remains an enigmatic figure all the time, and one can understand why the investigating officer Mel Delany gets so into it. I especially liked the gloomy atmosphere and how slowly more and more abysses are opening up. I can understand when some readers classify the book as too lengthy. It took me a while to get into it. But then I would have liked to read it in one sitting. I found the private problems of Mel Delany a bit unneseccessary. The character drawing is a bit superficial on all characters and maybe this storyline should give Mel some depth. I could have done without it. But the story about the disappearance of Leah and the police work around it convinced me. I really enjoyed this book.


The Liar’s Girl – Catherine Ryan Howard

35687820  2,5 Stars

„The Liar’s Girl“ is definitely a slow burner. I had some problems to find my way into the story and unfortunately I never connected with the main character, Alison. I found her extremely immature and stupid. As a girl she was naive but as an adult she is very stubborn and never moved on with her life. As her mother tells her later in the book she somehow never got beyond the 19year old version of herself.

The book itself is a solid and not very twisted psychological thriller. The story headed in a different direction as I expected and I was pleased with that.Unfortunately I cannot add more on the plus site. I must admit that I expected the final “twist”. It was quite obvious. I am not sure if I am just that good or the plot was just not constructed properly and clever enough. I am afraid it is the second.

I really loved the author’s first novel “Distress Signals” so I was really looking forward to “The Liar’s Girl”. But it did not meet my expectations. The pace was very much on the slow side and I constantly rolled my eyes because of Alison. There are a few things I don’t think fit very well together. Also the way the Irish police works seemed to me quite strange. Alison solves the case by herself easily because she has access to all the files and Malone takes her with him to investigate witnesses. Seriously?? There are also some things regarding Liz or Alison’s parents that are not really deepened. Towards the end I got annoyed by Ali’s constantly self-talking. The story is a bit of a mess. Overall I must say I am a bit disappointed. But I am glad I had to change to read this book and would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy.

Mark Wesolowski – Hydra

35960886  3 Stars

I am a bit torn with this book.

I just start with what I liked:
This book is creepy as hell. I liked the dark atmosphere and all that stuff about ghost rituals. I also enjoyed again the structure of the book. It is told like a podcast which was already the case in his first book.

What I did not like:
As much as I think this kind of written podcast is a nice idea but for me this time it did not work. I did not get the point of the story. Listening to a podcast while I was on holiday I found this written one comparing to the real one quite boring. The people Scott King interviews are chatty until they should get to the point about Arla. Then they stop talking. It gets only interesting when they talk about this dark online stuff. But to my great disappointment this stories felt just like filling material, to make the story more interesting as it is. It all stayed at the surface. Ghost rituals are mentioned but I never got anywhere.

Maybe my expectations were too high but I never really got into the story. For me it wasn’t a rounded story. We never got to the point who Arla was and why she did what she did. Well, I think we actually do know but Scott King makes a fuss about it and wants it to be more. The story also dragged a bit. There were parts when it was really gripping but most of the time the author took the tension out of the story. The story just went on in circles.
Maybe I missed something because I am clearly in the minority here. I liked the dark things that were mentioned and what it can do to people. But they did not really fit smoothly into the story. They felt forced for me and sometimes just like a list of urban legends and not very well woven into the story.

Sarah Stovell – Exquisite

34735173  4 Stars

Gloomy drama about two women who are obsessed by each other. The story is portrayed from the point of view of both women. There are also slots from someone in prison. We do not know for a long time which one of them is. The author knows how to keep the story open. I especially liked the writing style. The language is very nice. An unusual and disturbing book

Force of Nature – Jane Harper

34275222  4,5 Stars

I wasn’t as enchanted as many other readers by Jane Harper’s „The Dry“. It was just a nice but average suspense novel for me and I still don’t get all the excitement about it. But I enjoyed it enough to give the author another try. The blurb of “Force of Nature” sounded just like my kind of thing.

Last time we met Aaron Falk it was in a claustrophobic small town in the middle of nowhere in Australia while the land suffers heat and dryness. This time we are out in the open and it is cold and raining all the time. I was hooked almost immediately. There is a dark atmosphere surrounding this hike and the five women. You don’t know what happened to Alice. Did she just wander off on her own or happened something during their hike? Or is there a killer on the loose?

I enjoyed the different point of views and the two timelines. I found the past timeline where we see how this hike went so terribly wrong a bit more gripping. I am still not so much into Aaron Falk. His struggle with his relationship with his father felt very realistic. But I am happy that this book was not so much about him. I am not a huge fan of recurring characters and their personal development during several books. Usually I get bored with them or they start to annoy me. That’s the reason I avoid series. I am a junkie for good stories and that’s exactly what I got here.

I enjoyed this book very much. It is gripping and there are a lot of red herrings. Jane Harper has a very special prose and I am looking forward to read more from her.

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

The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks

34189556  4 Stars

This was one of my most anticipated books from last year. I received it from NetGalley months ago but I wanted to read it closer to its publishing date and because I had so much other books to read. I’ve read so many raving reviews about it and its twists. So my expectations were high and that is not always a good thing.


Sometimes it is good to read reviews and know what you are expecting and sometimes you better avoid knowing too much about a book. Both apply to this book. I was glad that I read so many reviews which praised it twistiness because for the first 40% into it I was a bit disappointed. The pace was extremely slow and it felt like a mediocre psychological thriller. I must admit that I guessed the first twist. I can’t say why because that would be a spoiler. After that the story moved on faster and finally it griped me.


So, if I had not read all the frantic reviews, I maybe would have stopped reading. That was the good thing about knowing something about the book: that there was something going to happen. The other good thing is that I did not know much about the story itself and I will not tell anything about it neither. So I kept reading. I desperately wanted to know what the fuss was all about.


After finishing the book I understand why the first part was so slow. Everything was built up and we get to know the characters and what is going on, at least you think you know what’s going on.  You think you know the story already: wife, cheating husband, mistress and drama. So the twist will come like a blow into your face. It is kind of a cheap trick how the author built this first part of the book. But it worked. So if you don’t see what the author has in stock for you it is a major surprise. And there are more surprises on the way.


What you get here is a well-crafted and twisted domestic drama. My only problems with it were that it started very slow and a bit dragging. I could also not connect to the female main character. I just think she was stupid. All the time until the end even all she went through. But as I said, after struggling my way through half of it I suddenly found it extremely gripping and could not stop reading.

Although I guessed the major twist and being only mildly surprised about the other turns I can say I enjoyed it. It held my attention not right from the beginning but it got better. The story was not as shocking or inventive as I expected but it was a fun read. I would recommend it to anybody who loves a twisted psychological thriller.

The Ascent – Der Aufstieg – Ronald Malfi

34388332  4 Sterne

Ich bin ein großer Fan von Büchern, die sich mit Bergsteigen beschäftigen. Ganz besonders, wenn es um die Gegend rund um den Mt. Everest geht. Dieses Buch passte somit genau in mein Beuteschema.

Zuerst geht es ganz geruhsam zu. Wir lernen Tim kennen. Er ist – oder war – Bildhauer. Seine Frau hat ihn vor einiger Zeit verlassen, weil er seiner Arbeit immer den Vorzug gab. Kurz nach ihrer Trennung kam Hannah mit ihrem neuen Partner bei einem Unfall ums Leben. Die Trennung und besonders Hannahs Tod haben Tim völlig aus der Bahn geworfen. Er verliert sich in Extremsportarten und trinkt exzessiv. Bei einer leichtsinnigen Höhlenkletterei kommt er beinahe ums Leben. Als er so in dieser Höhle lag und dachte, er müsste sterben, glaubte er, Hannahs Geist zu sehen. Sie gab ihm Kraft in dieser Situation und half ihm, zu überleben. Zumindest glaubte er das in dem Moment. Während er seine Verletzung auskuriert und säuft, glaubt er immer wieder Hannahs Geist aus den Augenwinkeln zu sehen. Tim fürchtet, dass er seinen Verstand verliert. Da kommt ihm das Angebot eines alten Freundes von Hannah gerade recht. Andrew stellt gerade eine kleine Truppe Kletterer zusammen, mit denen er das geheimnisvolle Tal der Seelen in Nepal aufsuchen will, das noch keiner außer den Einheimischen betreten haben soll.

Die Stimmung des Buches ist von vorne herein sehr düster. Tim suhlt sich in Selbstmitleid und Alkohol. Nach und nach in Rückblenden erfahren wir, wie er Hannah kennenlernte und wie sie sich auseinanderlebten. Die Hauptstory ist aber der Trip zum sagenumwobenen Tal der Seelen. Die Tour steht unter keinem guten Stern. Die Truppe besteht aus lauter Alphamännchen und muss sich erst zusammenraufen. Schon bald stoßen sie auf Schwierigkeiten, der Aufstieg ist gefährlich und dann gibt es den ersten Toten.

Das Buch wird vom Verlag als Thriller beworben. Das war mir vor dem Lesen gar nicht bewusst. Für mich war es über weite Teile aber eher eine Abenteuergeschichte mit düsterem Hintergrund und leicht paranormalen Anklängen, die aber auch dem Zustand der Hauptfigur zugeschrieben werden können. Die Thrillerelemente kommen erst zum Schluss zum Vorschein. Da wird es dann sogar sehr spannend. Da ich zu Beginn nicht wusste, dass es ein Thriller sein sollte, habe ich auch nichts vermisst. Für mich war es aber auch so sehr spannend. Mir hat der Schreibstil sehr gut gefallen. Das Buch liest sich flüssig und die Seiten flogen nur so dahin. Ich bin, wie ich schon sagte, ein williges Opfer für derartige Storys um masochistische Bergsteiger. Der leicht mystisch-mysteriöse Touch hat mir auch sehr gut gefallen. Er ist gut eingebettet in die Story.

Dem Autor ist ein homogener Mix aus Mystery, Thriller und psychologischer Horrorstory gelungen. Für mich war „Der Aufstieg“ kurzweilige und spannende Unterhaltung.

Ich habe das Buch von Netgalley.de und dem Luzifer-Verlag zur Verfügung gestellt bekommen. Dafür möchte ich mich ganz herzlich bedanken.