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

Emily Carpenter – The Weight Of Lies

32195204  2 Stars

There are so many raving reviews about this book. I wonder if I read a different book. I really struggled finishing it because I found it so horrible.

There is enough said about the plot in other reviews. I just keep it short. The book begins strong. Although I disliked whiny Megan immediately I enjoyed reading it for the first chapters. But as soon Megan arrives on Bonny Island the story goes south. I got the feeling I was reading a YA book. The story was so unpretentious. Megan got to the Island to learn more about her mother and the story behind the real Kitten. She meets Dorothy, the role model for Kitten. But instead of talking they do nothing. Strolling around the island and eyeballing Koa, the handsome native guy who is working for Dorothy, that’s all she is doing. She is running in circles from each person to the next Dorothy doesn’t want to talk, Koa got his secrets, her mother Frances is not very talkative. But they all keep telling they have to talk. So just please do it! But no, not really. And Megan changes her opinion multiple times a day. The plot became extremely chaotic.

I also disliked the obvious love story. This was so YA book-like. Just awful.

The alternating chapters from the real Kitten book were way too short. I did not know what to make of them. I did not think they were necessary.

I must admit I somehow did not get this book. Knowing the end I just can’t see why Frances acted as a mother as she did. But then I did not bother to think about it all properly. I was just glad I finished it and I don’t have to deal anymore with the whiny and spoilt Megan, who acted defiant as a teenager and not as the 24 year old woman she was supposed to be.

I am disappointed by this book. I have no idea where all those good reviews come from. For me it was a totally chaotic story, very simple in its writing and more like a YA book than one for adults. I could go on for a while ranting about this book and chew on details I did not like. But I leave it at that. I am just sorry for the wasted time reading it.

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

The Roses Of May – Dot Hutchison

30109999  2 Stars

 

I really had a hard time reading this book.

A lot of reviewers were disappointed that this book was so different to “The Butterfly Garden”. I must admit that I read it exactly because of that. I was not a huge fan of the Butterfly book. It was a very creepy read with a lot of weird characters and a very unrealistic story. But at least it was entertaining. This one here was such a slow burner. I thought about quitting multiple times. It was just so boring. Nothing really happens. It is all repetition. Flower deliveries. Agents traveling back and forth. All the same over and over. And you can easily figure out who the killer is. The characters are also again very weird. I disliked them all and none of them felt actually natural. I never felt “the force of nature” Prya’s mum allegedly should be. I also disliked Prya herself. And I could have done without the “butterflies”.

It a very slowly developing book with a boring story. The characters were all too edgy and creepy. I am very sorry because NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a copy but I must honestly admit that I did not enjoy it. I think I will not read another book from this author. Her idea a good story is not my cup of tea.

One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus

41P+Ljo-zJL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ 5 Stars

 

Wow, this was a surprise. I did not expect that I would enjoy this book so much.

 

I am not a fan of YA books. Usually I am not interested in kid’s problems and teenage stuff. When I found this book on NetGalley I was intrigued by the blurb and hit the Request button. I just did not think about the fact that students having detention means they would be quite young. Stupid me. But I am glad now that I requested it because I really enjoyed it. I was into the story from page one. The mystery about the sudden death of one of their friends is a classical whodunit. It is hard to guess what happened and the revelation at the end was a surprise for me.

 

It is really funny that I liked this book so much. It has a lot of high school stereotypes and the typical teenage love mess. But somehow it worked. I liked the characters and how they changed during the investigation. The story is only told through the 4 students who were in detention when Simon died. There is no insight into the police work. But the whole thing stays a mystery until the end. I could see some things coming but I did not guess the end. It is an easy read and a very likable book. I enjoyed reading it and because I am so surprised that I liked it so much I give it 5 stars.

I would llke to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Charlie Donlea – The Girl Who Was Taken

51hMmkODNsL._SY346_  5 Stars

Yay, finally I got my first 5 star review for 2017! I began to ask myself if I choose the wrong books or if I became over-critical. I read a lot of books which everybody was raving about and I felt like “meh, what’s that fuss about”. I really feared that I would not like this book as well. But it was quite the contrary. I really enjoyed this one.

The story is about two young girls who disappeared a year ago during a beach party. Megan was found two weeks later. She has almost no memory of the time she was held captive in a bunker because of heavy drugging. Nicole, the other girl, is still missing. Megan wrote a book and became a little bit of a celebrity. But nobody speaks about Nicole.

Nicole’s sister Livia is a forensic intern. She fears the day her sister may show up on her table. But instead the body of a young man comes onto her table. His case is a bit complicated. And it gets even more complicated when she learns that he knew her sister. Livia starts her own investigation and slowly she begins to unravel the mystery about the abductions.

I don’t want to say too much about the story. At first it was a bit slow but you can see how thoroughly the author builds his story and the characters. With every page it gets more fascinating and unputdownable. It is a dark and disturbing story. There are a lot of strong characters. The author does a terrific job developing the complex story and bringing in a lot of details and information. I liked the insight of the forensics; that was quite interesting. I also liked the ending, as sad and sudden as it is.

This was my second book from Charlie Donlea but certainly not my last one. I liked “Summit Lake” but I loved this one. It’s a terrific and mind-bending read and would highly recommend it

I’d like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for giving me an advanced ARC in exchange for an honest review

Megan Miranda – The Perfect Stranger

31443398   4,5 Stars

This is the second book from Megan Miranda. I really enjoyed “All the Missing Girls”. It was one of the most unusual books I have ever read. This book is different although you can recognize the unique writhing style. I really liked this one, too.

 

Former reporter Leah has lost her job. She just wants to leave her mistakes and misjudgments behind. When she ran into an old friend one night which offers hers spontaneously to move into rural Pennsylvania with her she is happy to agree. Leah and Emmy used to live together for a few months after college. Then the lost contact for 8 years but Leah always felt deeply connected to Emmy.

 

In this little town in Pennsylvania Leah does her best to blend in. But she has the feeling that somebody is stalking her. Then a young woman is found almost beaten to dead and soon afterwards a second body turns up in a nearby lake. Then Leah realized that she has not seen Emmy for days and can’t track her whereabouts. She reports her missing and suddenly has to face the fact that she knows literally nothing about her friend.

 

The author weaves a dark and complex story. There are a lot of flashbacks which explains what happened back in Boston with the story Leah wrote and what went wrong. Her characters are not very likable, especially Leah. She is sullen and secretive. But that did not bother me. I don’t have to connect or like the characters in a book. I enjoyed the slow building tension, how with every new piece of information the story became more and more mysterious and that everybody was so unreliable. And I also liked the ending.

 

I will definitely look out for Megan Miranda’s next book.

 

I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Merken

The Dark Room – Jonathan Moore

28114424

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