Dead Woman Walking – Sharon Bolton

32618153  2 Stars

I think there is something terrible wrong with me because I disliked a book written by Sharon Bolton. She is one of my favorite authors for many years now. I loved all her books, especially the stand-alones. But this time I could not connect to the story. When I read the blurb for the first time I thought that I probably would not go for it if it would not have been written by Sharon Bolton. I just trusted her ability to amaze me. But this time it did not happen.

 

The blurb says that there is a murder happening and it is watched by people passing by in a hot-air balloon. I thought that it was a weird idea. And it really did not work for me. It was over the top. A good mystery story keeps you guessing. And I was guessing all the time but it was a frustrating guessing because we really get almost no information what is going on and what the thing is with the main character. I struggled through half of the book and I was seriously considering to put it aside. I just could not get into the story and I absolutely could not understand any of the characters. However, I finished it and now I know why I did not understand what was going on. But that is exactly the problem.  Bolton kept me too long in the dark. The whole story felt forced. I lost track and interest. Even the twists felt forced.

 

I am disappointed. I loved her last books “Daisy in Chains” and “Little Black Lies” immensely so I know she can do better. She can be so much better in telling a story, and making me care for the characters. The topic itself was also not my cup of tea (okay, that’s my problem) and it felt more like a story for Lacey Flint (whom I am  not so fond of but I always liked the stories) than a stand-alone.

 

I am very curious about her next book. But maybe I should trust the feeling in my guts when it tells me a book may not be the right one for me. Even it is written by one of my favorite authors.

 

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The Ending – Du wirst dich fürchten – Iain Reed

36602864  4 Stars

German Book – German review

Ich habe das Buch im Rahmen einer Leserunde lesen dürfen. Die Meinungen zu dem Buch waren sehr gespalten.

 

Normalerweise bin ich eher in der Ecke der Mäkler zu finden. Ich lese meist ein anderes Buch als alle anderen. Das habe ich wohl auch hier, aber diesmal finde ich mich in der Ecke der Begeisterten wieder.

 

Obwohl, Begeistert ist vielleicht etwas übertrieben, aber mir hat das Buch gut gefallen. Es ist sehr düster, sehr surreal, sparsam in seinen Stilmitteln und es erschließt sich nur langsam. Es wird als Psychothriller beworben. Aber das ist es definitiv nicht. Was es ist, weiss ich nicht. Psycho passt, aber Thriller weniger. Es ist ein deprimierendes Psychogramm. Eine verwirrende Charakterstudie. Ein trauriges Buch. Ich weiss es nicht. Ich will auch nicht zu viel verraten.

 

Mich hat es sofort an den Filmemmacher David Lynch erinnert. Twin Peaks. Mullholland Drive. Wer diese Filme mochte, der ist hier richtig.

 

Ich fand es auf jeden Fall eine interessante Leseerfahrung. Das Buch ist kurz und man kann es schnell durchlesen. Der Schreibstil ist minimalistisch. Aber für mich kam schon sehr schnell eine sehr düstere Stimmung auf. Die Handlung ist sehr bizarr und doch faszinierend. Mir hat es gefallen. Es war irgendwie anders. Ich würde auch gerne wieder etwas von dem Autor lesen.

 

Rattle – Fiona Cummins

27968809  1 Star

Did I read the wrong book? Where do all the good reviews come from? This book was just …bad. The story is ridiculous, absolutely unrealistic. The characters are poorly developed, the dialogs are so bad and the ending is just….I have no words. I also did not like the writing style. It was so pretentious in a very forced way.

I really disliked this book I can’t understand the good reviews. To me it was just awful and I certainly will never ever again read a book from this author or follow the bone collecter in a next book. There are too many other good books out there worth my time.

I read the german edtion „Der Knochensammler“

Beneath The Surface – Sibel Hodge

516pV7uAdKL 3,5 Stars

3,5 Stars

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the first half very much. But as soon as the main topic began to unfold I lost interest. I don’t like kiss-and-tell-stories. And I was not aware that this book was that kind of book. I expected something else or maybe a different handling of the topic.

 

In the first half we meet Holly. We get to know her and learn about her problems.  I liked reading the book although I was a bit annoyed by everybody telling her she was paranoid and a crazy drunk. But then the story turns into an action thriller. The exposure of the criminal doings of pharmaceutical companies became more important than telling a story. The author did a great job with her research and the topic is shocking and has to be revealed. But it did not work in this book for me. I don’t know how I can explain it. But I think telling this story, revealing everything, became so important for the author that she missed to form it into a harmonic story.

 

I am sorry to say that the book did not work for me. It felt like something was missing. I liked the writing and the first half was very well composed. But then it turned into a kind of story I don’t like to read. If I had known that I would not have requested it from NetGalley. But because this is just me and my personal taste I round it up to 4 stars.

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

They All Fall Down – Tammy Cohen

31551215  3 Stars

“They All Fall Down” promises to be a psychological thriller. But soon it turns into a domestic drama.

 

Hannah finds herself in a psychiatric clinic. The reason why she is there remains a secret to us for a while. Hannah was pregnant and something happened to the baby. It couldn’t be so bad because otherwise she would be in prison. Unfortunately the last book I read had exactly the same topic. So I figured out almost immediately what happened. But all this talking around Hannah’s problem and leaving out what she did felt quite forced.

 

Two other patients of the clinic killed themselves. Hannah somehow suspects that they were murdered. But the story is not turning into a thriller. Hannah and her problems with her marriage and her desperate wish for a baby are the main thing here. Her mother is also a main character. She turns into a kind of detective and investigates some of Hannah’s suspicions and a few things of her own.

 

For my taste the whole story was told too slow. There was almost too much in it. Mental problems, a failing marriage, the drama with the baby, murder,. I would have wished for a thriller but it was more of a domestic drama. The setting in the clinic is a great idea and there is a lot going on. But there is too much crammed into the story so that many things just fell flat. I could not feel for Hannah. I think it was a bit extreme to put her in the clinic for what she did. She is free to go but she is talked into staying by her husband and her mother. She wants to leave one minute but the next she stays because of the women who killed themselves. But this all did not work out for me. It was back and forth all the time. And I failed to see how they helped her in the clinic.

 

This was my third book from Tammy Cohen. I liked “When She Was Bad” very much. “First One Missing” was an OK-read. Unfortunately “They All Fall Down” was also only an OK-read for me. It was not a fast paced thriller and definitely no pageturner for me. There was too much so that most of the topics just got scratched on the surface. The twist at the end was a surprise. I have to give that to the author. That I just read another book about a woman desperately wishing for a baby is not Tammy Cohen’s fault. There are so many books about babies and missing children at the moment. It was just too much domestic drama for me.

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

The Dark Room – Jonathan Moore

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I am not sure how to rate this book.  I liked reading it and it was entertaining. But there are also some things I did not like.

 

A few months ago I read “The Poison Artist”. Somehow I forgot to review it. I can’t explain why. I think I read it during our vacation and I tend to read books I do not necessarily have to review because I bought them myself. I liked “The Poison Artist”, it was unusual in many ways. The story was quite unique and dark. “The Dark Room” also has also a very dark story even it is not as unique. A beautiful young girl was murdered by bad men after they abused her. Nothing new here. An unexpected confession brings this cold case murder to Inspector Cain’s knowledge. He begins to investigate and slowly the background story reveals itself.

 

The book is more of a slow burner. But the author managed to keep me interested even not much is happening. There is a lot of talking and police work. He is very precise when it is about describing surroundings and other details. But the dialogs are something different. There is a lot of talking but some things stay unsaid. Cain is the main character but we don’t know what he is really thinking.  I felt excluded from some things or even from the story itself. Cain has a girlfriend. She experienced obviously some kind of trauma in her past because she can’t leave the house. This is irritating at first. I felt as if there was something I missed or there was another book I should have read so that I would know about the girlfriend’s problems. We learn later in the book a bit about it. But to me it seemed as if all the characters are only there because otherwise the story would not work. The author seemed not very interested in them. He writes precisely about the crime scenes, the autopsies. Every movement is worth some words, but there is almost nothing about how the characters look or at least what their problem is. Why, for example, is one of the female characters always stripping herself naked in front of Cain? She is troubled, obviously. But why is that so? Ok, at the end I got it. But there was a lack of depth to all the characters. I did not get them, really. You can see how everything happened, how one thing leads to another. But why – the motivation is not that important to the author.

This book is very atmospheric, very dark and sinister. The writing is a mix of precise and imprecise. The main point here is the story and how Cain comes to the conclusion. I considered giving 4 stars because it was a quick read and entertaining on some level. But I had too much problems with the neglected character development. But I must also admit that this book is different. Maybe just because of its flaws. It is weird and strange and worth a look. I liked “The Poison Artist” better. It is similar atmospheric and dark but the story was more unique.

 

3 Stars