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.

The French Girl – Lexie Elliott

35235624  4 Stars

The French Girl is a slow burner. Be aware of that when you start reading it. Sometimes it is almost a bit dragging. The things concerning Kate’s job are somehow irrelevant to the story. But at the same time they fill out the lives of the characters and make them so lifelike. Something in the book caught my attention the whole time. The dynamics within the circle of friends is interesting. I also liked that the story was told only from one point of view, Kate’s. The story would be perfect for two narrative levels, today and the past. But the author does without it and there are no direct flashbacks but only Kate’s memories. I thought that was pleasant, because the narration on second time levels is a bit overused lately.


The story is told quickly. 6 friends spent a holiday in France 10 years ago. The enigmatic neighbor, Serverine, disappeared at the same time as they left. Now her body has appeared on the property and a French policeman is traveling to London to interrogate the friends again. Kate’s life gets completely out of balance. The relationship between friends also changes.


Despite some lengths, I found the book very entertaining. The characters are very lifelike and all the details make them very real. I felt well entertained. I can understand when other readers find the book boring. But for me it had something that kept my interest alive. The end is a bit unusual and maybe a bit unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, one expects almost naturally a spectacular twist or a showdown. But the author also refrains from this and I also found that to be pleasantly different. The French Girl does not differ at first glance from other books, but in such trifles it shows that it is different, something special.


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

Michael J. Malone – A Suitable Lie

29501958  2,5 Stars

This is a story about abuse in a marriage. Very well it is shown how Andy is more and more broken by his unpredictable and violent wife Anna almost in his personality. He unites into a vortex of shame and concern for his children. More and more lies are needed to hide his domestic situation from others.

Nevertheless, I did not like the book. The problem is the charactere of Andy. As an early widowed single parent, he had neither the desire nor the time to go back to dating. But then he meets Anna. Everything seems perfect. But after the long time beeing single probably another body part than his brain has taken over the thinking. After 2 months of dating, he asks Anna to marry him. He introduces a little-known woman to his little son as a new mother. Anna is very pretty and cuddly and he prefers to overlook her sometimes strange behaviour. But Anna has a problem controlling her anger. That he, tall, sporty and broad-shouldered is scared of his wife has filled him with shame. And to save his sons a divorce, he takes the humiliation. From his family and friends he alienates himself

For me Andy just behaved stupidly. He considers himself a good guy but by his behavior he traumatizes his children. I also do not want to doubt that real victims of abuse do not behave the same way and find themselves trapped in a cycle of violence and protestations. But as a reader Andy annoyed me incredibly. He makes so many incredibly stupid decisions and acts against better knowledge.

There are a few side-scenes on Andy’s work and a colleague that I found to be completely unnecessary and dragged the book out. Also, the author is too moralizing, for example, if he points out the situation of a homosexual friend. That prejudice is evil are understood then even the by the most stupid reader.

The end is just ridiculous and I just flipped throug the last pages. I could not stand the testosterone dropping from the pages. Until then i would have given 3 stars but I cut it down to 2,5

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.

Antony Horowith – Magpie Murders

32075854  4 Stars

Magpie murders is a cleverly constructed thriller and a book within a book.

Susan is editor in a small publishing house. Actually, they only have one selling author. Alan Conway is the author of the popular crime series around the investigator Atticus Pünd. Susan holds the ninth volume in her hands and stars to read. And so do we. It is a classic and somewhat old-fashioned whodunit. So we read this story with Susan for half of the book. But the end is missing. Susan is surprised and even more so when she learns that Alan Conway committed suicide. We are now in the second story of this book where Susan is looking for the missing chapters and is soon even a murder on the track.

I must confess that I did not like the first part, that is the manuscript. I found the story a bit sluggish and not very exciting. I would not be a fan of Atticus Pünd. Only in hindsight the story becomes more important and becomes very interesting and enlightening due to the further events in the book. I was rewarded with an unusual story. The tension remains a bit sparing but the whole thing is so interesting that I liked to read the book quickly. I especially like the writing style of the author. I already noticed his styke in another book. I also find his unusual ideas for plots very refreshing.

From me there is a clear reading recommendation for anyone who does not necessarily need breathless tension and classic whodunit likes. There are also interesting insights into the publishing industry

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