The Last Mrs Parrish – Liv Constantine

34043643  4 Stars

This was an easy and quick read and a real page-turner. I would not call it a psychological thriller. It is more a dark and twisted domestic drama and a romance gone wrong. There are a lot of psychological manipulations going on which made the read so entertaining.

 

I think I should not say too much about the story. I jumped into the book with not much of an idea of it and I that was good. At first I thought everything was going too smoothly for Amber and her aim to get between the married couple. But soon I sensed there was something else going on.

 

Envy, greed, betrayal, abuse, psychopaths – name it, you have it here in this book. It is a dark, twisted and disturbing story. I enjoyed reading it.

Advertisements

M. L. Rio – Das verborgene Spiel

34752890  4 Sterne

German book – German review

 

 

Als großer Fan von Donna Tarts „Die Geheime Geschichte“ musste ich dieses Buch natürlich lesen.

 

Eine Gruppe von 7 jungen Leuten ist auf einer Kunst-Universität im 4. und letzten Jahr. Ihre Schauspielabteilung ist auf Shakespeare spezialisiert. Es werden nur seine Stücke gespielt. Die Schüler leben und atmen Shakespeare. In jeder Unterhaltung fließen Zitate ein. Ganze Unterhaltungen können sie mit Zitaten aus seinen Stücken führen.

 

Das Buch beginnt damit, dass einer von ihnen, Oliver, aus dem Gefängnis entlassen wird. Er hat 10 Jahre gesessen für ein noch ungenanntes Verbrechen, das er vielleicht aber nicht begangen hat. Das jedenfalls glaubt der damals ermittelnde Polizist, der ihn immer noch besucht. Jetzt, wo Oliver endlich entlassen wird und er selber den Polizeidienst an den Nagel gehangen hat, will er endlich die Wahrheit wissen. Und Oliver ist endlich bereit, sie ihm zu erzählen.

 

Oliver ist also unser Erzähler. Aber er erzählt nicht alles, jedenfalls nicht sofort und nur nach seinem eigenen Tempo. Die 7 Schüler verkörpern das klassische Ensemble. Es gibt den Held, den Bösewicht, die Verführerin, die Naive, den Mitläufer. Wie in den Stücken von Shakespeare nimmt langsam ein Drama seinen Lauf. Plötzlich liegt jemand tot im See.

 

Das Buch ist clever konstruiert. Nicht nur nimmt Shakespeares Werk einen großen Platz ein. Auch sind einige Dialoge angelegt wie ein Theaterstück. Die Story selbst entwickelt sich nach einem klassischen Drama. Jemand kommt zu Tode. Die Schuld, die danach an allen frisst, führt zu weiteren Komplikationen und noch mehr Leid. Die Story hält die Balance zwischen einem shakespeareschen Drama und einem modernen Stück. Die Charaktere haben alle Tiefe. Sie konkurrieren miteinander um Rollen und um Aufmerksamkeit .Sie sind prätentiös und anstrengend und neigen zum Drama. Eine Reihe von Meinungsverschiedenheiten, Eifersüchteleien und Missverständnissen, oft von Alkohol angefeuert, führt nach und nach zu einer düsteren Entwicklung der Gruppe. Es ist eine düstere Geschichte um Freundschaft, Liebe und Eifersucht. In ihrer Schule führen sie ein Inseldasein und leben in ihrer eigenen Welt. Die Linie zwischen den Figuren, die sie auf der Bühne darstellen und ihrem realen Dasein verschwimmt und führt letztendlich zu diesem tragischen Tod.

 

Das Buch erinnert ein wenig an Donna Tarts Buch. Es hat aber nicht dessen Komplexität und vor allem nicht die stilistische Größe des Vorbildes. Es ist doch deutlich schlichter und einfacher angelegt als „Die Geheime Geschichte“. Trotzdem habe ich es sehr gerne gelesen. Ich mag einfach Bücher, die in diesen kleinen, elitären und exklusiven Unizirkeln spielen. Dazu gibt es hier noch jede Menge Shakespeare-Zitate und Anspielungen auf seine Stücke. Das hat mir sehr gefallen. Es ist ein leichteres Buch als das von Tart. Es liest sich locker weg und bietet kurzweilige Unterhaltung. Man sollte vielleicht Shakespeares Stücken nicht ganz abgeneigt sein, wenn man dieses Buch liest. Mir hat es gefallen.

 

Das Buch wurde mir vom Penguin Verlag zur Verfügung gestellt und ich möchte mich hiermit herzlich dafür bedanken.

The Devil Crept In – Ania Ahlborn

29430798   1 Star

I struggled with this book almost immediately. I thought about stop reading for the first 20% . Now I wish I had stopped. But somehow I kept reading. Then Rosie appeared and at first I was interested in her story. But that did not last long.

 

I will not go into too many details although I would probably enjoy savaging this book. I just disliked everything about it. The story is absolutely nonsense. The ending is a joke. The writing is horrible. I was absolutely unnerved by Stevie and Jude. Every character acts just randomly. The author’s babblings about running through the woods was just exhausting. I skipped a lot of pages right from the start. She explains and explains and there were just too many words.

 

This was a chaotic book with are weird story, strange characters and it was poorly written. What a waste of precious reading time. I had two other books from Ahlborn on my wishlist, but I already removed them.

The Other Girl – Erica Spindler

DH1sxXbXYAQBKCe  3,5 stars

This was my first book from Erica Spindler. It was an easy read which I finished in one sitting. I liked the writing style. It is smoothly written and the pages just flew by. But there is nothing really new in this story. I’ve read a lot of thrillers over the last couple of years and I must admit I almost immediately figured out what was going on in this book. There are no twists or unreliable narrators. Which is a bit refreshing after the inflationary use of them in books recently. But it is also predictable and gave me the feeling I read this book before already. It was an easy read for a sunny afternoon sitting in the sun but nothing really new or spectacular.

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

Are You Sleeping – Kathleen Barber

30753570  3 Stars

„Are You Sleeping“ is a predictable psycho thriller with quite annoying main characters. Besides that, it is an easy and entertaining read.

 

Lanie and Josie are twins who estranged from each other years ago. The reason was the killing of their father. Her mother lost it after that gruesome event. She soon left and joined a cult and leaving her girls behind. Her aunt Amelia took care of them. Lanie handled this development with rebellion. She did drugs and booze. Josie wanted to be the nice girl everybody loves. But then something happened between the twins and they estranged. Josie travelled the world, never staying long at a place. Until she met Caleb. Now she has a life with him in New York. But he doesn’t know the truth about her family.

 

One day Josie learns about a podcast which is about the murder of her father. The neighbor’s son was convicted to be the killer. Lanie saw him that night shooting her Dad. But the journalist who runs the podcast says that maybe the guy was innocent. Josie goes paranoid. Then she learns about the suicide of her mother. So she returns for the first time in a century to her hometown.

 

The story is interesting and gripping. There is a family tragedy. A man was shot and one of his daughter witnesses it. His wife could not cope and went away to join a cult. She abandoned her children. Both children struggle but they get along somehow. Then this podcast happens and the mother suddenly committed suicide.  What’s this all about? What really happened?

 

I personally struggled with the main character Josie. And Lanie as well. They are both such drama queens. They make a spectacle out of themselves all the time. I know horrible things happened to them. But as a reader I think they were just annoying. All this throwing up, the ill-feeling, the not-sleeping, the drama. Josie started asking herself some questions a decade too late. There was just too much drama about the girls feeling ill and insomnia and horrible and there was too less focus of everything else and the story. That annoyed me and it affected my enjoyment of reading this book in a negative way.

This book is an easy read. Interesting story but I so disliked the main characters. Just too much drama.

The Drowning Girls – Paula Treick DeBoard

27069952  3 Stars

I am not sure if I liked this book or if I didn’t.

 

What I liked: the author did a very good job in showing who Phil managed himself into so much trouble. He makes one major misjudgment which is followed by a trail of lies. He got tangled in his lies until he finds no way to tell his side of the story any more. It is too late and to messed up. The story is told mostly by Liz but also occasionally by Phil. So we are also close to him and see how this all could happen.

 

What I did not like: the story is really predictable. As soon as I figured out where the story was leading I was almost annoyed. This again. It is no surprise that not everything in The Palms is so picture perfect when you look closer. The people who live there were all very stereotype. I just could not remember who was who. Who was which ones daughter? Or wife? I mixed them all up the whole time. Kelsey, the girl who gets obsessed with Phil, is quite cunning, maybe a little bit too much for a 15 year old girl. She is definitely troubled, but why that is so is never discussed. And Liz. She is a high school counselor. But I doubt that this is the right job for her. F.e. she gave a 14 year old girl, who came to her office for advice concerning birth control, just a leaflet. Shortly after the girl was pregnant. Well done, Liz. I also did not like a lot of things she did when she suspected Liz to be of harm to her family.

 

But the real problem is the ending. I seriously thought that there was something wrong with my ebook. I thought at least one chapter was missing. But obviously this is really the ending. The book just ends. There are still a lot of questions. I don’t have a problem with books with open endings. But this is no open ending. This is an ending in the middle of a chapter. Just a rough cut.

 

It was an easy read but I was happy when it was over. The writing is good but there is a lack of depth to the characters and the story itself. And there is this ending.

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock – Paul Tremblay

27064358  2 Stars

Almost two years ago I read „A Head Full Of Ghosts“. The Story really disturbed me. It was a haunting read and the story stays with me until today. It is one of the rare books I still remember the whole story. I read so many books, I mostly forget details about the story, the ending or twists very soon. But not with AHFOG.  I liked it even better as time went by.

 

So my expectations for “Disappearing at Devil’s Rock” were very high. But unfortunately I could never really connect to the story. I was almost bored to death until 70% into it. There was no tension, no scary moments. The thing with the diary did not work for me at all. The last 30% were a little better. But here I also did not like how it was told. The alternate POVs from the boys were really confusing.

 

I am disappointed with myself that I did not like the book. Although there are a few things I will remember. There is something about the author and his ideas I like. But this time I did not like the story itself and how it was told. There is also a lot of lying going on. Everybody is lying all the time. Especially Kate, Tommy’s sister, has a serious problem with speaking the truth. She was just an awful kid.

 

Hopefully I will like Mr. Tremblay’s next book better.