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review 2017-10-23 08:43
Thoughts: Deep As The Dead
Deep as the Dead (The Mindhunters Book 9) - Kylie Brant

Deep As The Dead
by Kylie Brant
Book 9 of Mindhunters


First of all, warning for some gruesome murders.  But this is par for Kylie Brant anyway, as her Mindhunters series has always leaned more towards the dark and gritty.  You don't actually see the murder happen, but the victims' bodies DO get described in a bit of detail.

Secondly, I would love to believe that the reason why I enjoyed this book slightly more so than I did the previous two Mindhunters installments, was because Kylie Brant read my reviews and tweaked the few things I'd mentioned as little quibbles from said previous two installments.  One book I mentioned had excellent chemistry between the main couple, but an extremely scattered outline and a chaotic second half; the other book had a well written progression and murder investigation, but the couple held little chemistry.

Deep As The Dead brings the best of both worlds that I've always recalled loving about the Mindhunters series together; and that makes me intensely happy.

Nonetheless, I've yet to be completely disappointed in any of the works I've read by Brant, so really, she's just good at what she does in this genre--telling an exciting romantic suspense, with just the right amount of everything I've always enjoyed in this series.


The Story:
A serial killer at large has been absent for about three years, but recently makes his reappearance with a few brutal killings within a short period of time.  He leaves a calling card--the victims' mouths are sewn together, hiding within the body of a dead dragonfly and second, unique insect within a small glassine bag.  The dragonfly represents the serial killer, the other insect hints at the victims' sins.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Ethan Manning has been assigned to the newly formed task force to capture this serial killer, dubbed by the media as The Tailor because of his sewing his victims' mouths shut.  The Tailor has eluded law enforcement across Canada for years, several investigators and task forces having been unsuccessful at apprehending him; and Ethan has no qualms about asking for whatever resources he can get in order to bring this monster to justice.  What he hadn't expected was to see Alexa Hayden again, so many years after the two of them parted under tragic circumstances.

Alexa is a consultant with Raiker Forensics, specializing in forensic entomology, which proves useful in figuring out what the serial killer's obsession with insects could lead to.  She's the one who makes the connection between the meaning behind the dragonfly and the second bug, and begins formulating a profile, figuring out what this killer is after, and who the next victim could possibly be.  By chance, The Tailor notices Alexa, learns of her specialty, somehow feels with her some sort of kinship.  And eventually, she has become his next obsession.


My Thoughts:
Of course, a romantic suspense is never short on psychotic serial killers who sight in on our main heroine because of some sort of trait she exhibits.  I'm not entirely sure that I've actually seen this particular device employed in any of the Kylie Brant Mindhunters books, except maybe two.  But this is a device we see in a lot of romantic suspense, nonetheless.  I suspect it's a means of making our main heroine "a special someone" in the story, without really hammering in the fact that she's "a special someone."

While I've never been entirely too thrilled about the main heroine being "special," in such a way, I think that this characteristic actually plays to Alexa's benefit.  Because, despite what Ethan thinks, I think she kind of knows that she's good at getting people to open up to her and let down their guards; and I think she knows that if she uses the right amount of charm, she could get any witness or interviewee to talk freely and comfortably.

And, of course, it's her being "a special someone" that will get our elusive serial killer to finally break his patterns and screw up enough to get caught... obviously.

Anyway...

Deep As The Dead encompasses one of the devices I love most about crime thrillers--a feeling of police procedural and togetherness on the force, where all of our players work together to find the killer and bring him to justice.  It's always intriguing to me, watching our main task force working together in this way, and also kind of bonding over their shared need to stop a monstrous killer.  There were amusing little asides and quips among the task force members, and great interactions.

The investigation was interesting enough to keep me hooked.  The little insights about the use of the insects was interesting.  Now, the whole thing about the killer seeing himself as "doing God's work," is probably an overused trope in crime thrillers, as it's a pretty common one employed.  Of course, it's often commonly used if only because it credible.

The romance between Alexa and Ethan was mature and sweet, tinged with the underlying pain of their history.  To be honest, there were all sorts of signs that an angsty love story was probably going to play out, but I'm actually kind of happy that the two were able to compartmentalize, set aside their feelings about the past, and work with each other.  Even when a few tidbits about their history surfaced, it didn't stop them from being professional; it didn't keep them from being mature about their situation.  It didn't keep the two of them from caring about each other as colleagues, or on a personal level.

It was a subtle, yet wonderfully handled second-chance romance; and the way it played out made me think that their parting really wasn't as angry as they had made it out to be, even if the circumstances were still heartbreaking.

Deep As The Dead is an excellently enjoyable new installment to the Mindhunters series.  And even while there are rather noticeable flaws in editing--typos, missing pronouns, missing words here and there, missing verbs--I found myself just moving on and disregarding those errors.  It's a little jarring at times, truth be told, to see an editing error, because I find myself backtracking at points to try to figure out what the sentence was trying to convey.  But it wasn't bad enough to make me truly upset with the book or it's unpolished publication.

This was a good romantic suspense.  And I look forward to Kylie Brant's next installation... or, in fact, her next book release, which I suspect isn't related to the Mindhunters series.


***

 

Halloween Bingo


This book could also count for:

  • Murder Most Foul
  • Serial Killer
  • Terrifying Women

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/10/thoughts-deep-as-dead.html
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review 2017-10-20 11:49
Thoughts: The Decagon House Murders
The Decagon House Murders - Yukito Ayatsuji,Ho-Ling Wong,Soji Shimada

The Decagon House Murders
by Yukito Ayatsuji

 

 

Students from a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly multiple murder the year before.  Predictably, they get picked off one by one by an unseen murderer.  Is there a madman on the loose?  What connection is there to the earlier murders?  The answer is a bombshell revelation which few readers will see coming.



First of all, I don't claim to be an expert on the Golden Age of murder mysteries, nor have I religiously read works by the well-known writers of mystery either.  In fact, I just last year read my first Agatha Christie book.

So, my thoughts are simply that.

To be honest, it was hard not to make references to Dame Agatha's And Then There Were None while reading this book, considering the setting and the circumstances.  The only difference was a different kind of emotional impact that I felt throughout both books.

And Then There Were None gave a strangely cozy feel, with an urgent, "Who's Next?" factor. The players were all strangers, but the dramatics where high and I couldn't help but feel anxious to know who would die next, and how.  There were scenes that kind of startled me.

With The Decagon House Murders, the narrative was extremely methodical, almost to a point of detachment.  The players were all friends from a Mystery Club at university--they all knew each other and hung out together.  There should have been a certain amount of high emotion attached to this premise as well, and for a moment at the beginning, there was.  But it was brief, and then the rest of the story panned out in a very "game play" type of way.  It was like our characters were acting like they were just indulging in a game of Clue, and aside from some of the over-the-top hysterics that one or two of the characters displayed, the truth is, this book was very textbook, very apathetic.

I won't deny that The Decagon House Murders had an extremely cleverly outlined progression for each of the murders, and for our amateur sleuths in their attempts to analyze the killings and the circumstances.  I loved how the titular decagon house that our players were staying in played a crucial part in the murder mystery itself.  This made the book easy to fall into, and while the beginning was pretty slow to build up, I DID finally come to a point (probably the second or third day on the island), where I couldn't make myself put the book down.

While I found myself more anxious to find out who would be killed next in And Then There Where None, I found myself more inclined towards wanting to know how the murders were committed, and who the ultimate Murderer was.  I found myself trying to analyze the events, much like the amateur sleuths on the island were trying to do, and even almost bought into one or two of the theories being thrown out there.  And it was also hard not to wonder if a similar conclusion to Dame Agatha's masterpiece would reveal itself as well.

I'll admit, the whole thing with the seven plates--each proclaiming "The First Victim," "The Second Victim," "The Third Victim," "The Fourth Victim," "The Last Victim," "The Detective," and "The Murderer"--was a nice touch to create a sense of panic in our players.

did, however, question the intentional use of only the Mystery Club members' nicknames throughout the book, and found that I'm not sure how I felt about how this part played into the story's closed circle murders.  It's an interesting twist when you realize that not once does the book mention the real names of anyone on the island, even though the fact the characters introduced on the mainland had mentioned once or twice about the nicknames.

Speaking of which, the tangential investigation on the mainland by related players was also a welcome side dish.

In the end, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book.  The conclusion was definitely NOT what I expected, while at the same time, it fell together quite well.  And even after that ending... I still found myself a bit confused, because the very last scene was pretty open-ended.

You know, it's hard to write a review piece for a book about such an intricately thought out murder mystery without giving anything away.  And so, with hopes that I didn't include anything I shouldn't have, I might just leave my thoughts at that.

This book was a nice tribute to Dame Agatha's And Then There Were None, though her book was only referenced once in this book itself.  But being that our players were all Mystery Club members, all sporting nicknames of famous master murder mystery writers (such as Ellery Queen, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Dame Agatha herself), I didn't find it strange for references to popular murder mystery devices to be brought up.  I thought it was a nice touch, as well, for our players to examine the murders with a mind to compare them to similar popular mystery fiction devices.


***

 

Halloween Bingo 2017

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/10/thoughts-decagon-house-murders.html
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review 2017-10-19 02:55
Brief Thoughts: Her Fierce Warrior
Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops) - Paige Tyler

Her Fierce Warrior
by Paige Tyler
Book 4 of X-Ops

 

 

Minka isn't sure she should trust the sexy Special Forces soldier who found her.  Subjected to horrors, on the run from scientists set on locking her in a cage, Minka is terrified of the monster she's becoming... and somehow, Angelo is the only one who can calm the beast inside her and make her feel safe.

But can she trust the way he makes her feel when she's not even sure she can trust herself?



Aside from the main couple, and certain events, I can't say that this installment book of the X-Ops series is any more different than the previous installments.  Well, except for the second book which involved a serial killer instead of government conspiracies and shifter/hybrid experimentation, and lots of covert ops attacks and lots of explosions.

Because, to be totally honest, Her Fierce Warrior was not much different than the previous book, Her Wild Hero, (or even the first book, Her Perfect Mate), as we continue to follow the vein of the aforementioned government conspiracies, shifter/hybrid experimentation, and covert ops missions, and lots of explosions.

But I DID enjoy Her Fierce Warrior a little bit better if only because Minka and Angelo make a sweet couple, and their dialogue isn't quite as mushy and cheesy as the dialogue between Declan and Kendra had been.  And I also enjoyed Minka's revelations as she learned more about what happened to her, as well as how best to control the beast within her.  I liked the little sessions (what few brief ones we saw) between her, Layla, Ivy, and Tanner.  I liked that Ivy and Layla were able to embrace her as a sister--since she had been experimented on using Ivy's DNA, and I liked that Tanner, another human-turned-hybrid, was able to teach her how to take control of her beast rages and anger.

The "slow" romantic development between Angelo and Minka felt a bit awkward and deliberate, considering the fact that you know they're going to end up having sex at some point.  The fact that Angelo kept putting it off to be honorable or something like that felt a bit fake, but his efforts are appreciated, I suppose.

There's not a whole lot else to say about this book.

And to be honest, while I really DID enjoy reading Her Fierce Warrior, and found it easy to hook into, I would like to have a different kind of story line next book.  We don't have to completely abolish the whole government conspiracy and shifter/hybrid experimentation angle... but something with a different formula might be more to my liking.

But we'll see what the next book brings.


***

 

Halloween Bingo 2017

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/10/brief-thoughts-her-fierce-warrior.html
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review 2017-10-13 10:52
Brief Rambles: The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Murders in the Rue Morgue, The: The Dupin Tales - Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

by Edgar Allan Poe
C. Auguste Dupin, #1 (short story)

 

 

**I read this short story as part of a collection, The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, that I picked up at a library sale months ago.  I'm kind of glad that I remembered I had it, because I couldn't quite figure out what to read for the 'Genre: Horror' square--although, I'm not entirely sure The Murders in the Rue Morgue seems very horror-like, even though it is tagged as such on Goodreads.

 

I might read another couple Poe short stories from this volume to make up for it if this particular one doesn't really ring as horror.

 

 

As for the story...


I'm going to be honest, I totally didn't see that one coming.

I have to admit, this is my first actual reading of a story by Poe, though I have read some of his poems.  Being that poems aren't really my thing, I'm ashamed to say that I never truly comprehended his work and kind of wrote him off as over-hyped, classical, high school required reading.

Truthfully, I found The Murders of the Rue Morgue extremely engaging.  The beginning was a bit slow to build up, but once Dupin began his deductions and analysis of the murders, I couldn't stop reading.  It was easy to follow where his deductions were heading, and when it "dinged" in my head, at the same time as it did for the unnamed narrator, I was, at first a bit taken aback... and then I didn't know what to think.

To be honest, the conclusion that Dupin comes to, as well as the final reveal, kind of requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief.  It was a little over the top.

This short detective story was quite the experience and a nice read for Halloween Bingo.  I'd admit though, even though this book is tagged as horror, I don't know if it really feels like horror--though the murders were pretty gruesome.  There was quite a bit of detail and I might of made a face at the description of Madame L'Espanaye's... mutilated body.

On a side note, Dupin kind of reminds me of Sherlock Holmes (what little I've read of the famous detective), both in demeanor and arrogance.


***

 

Halloween Bingo 2017


This book would also count for:

  • Locked Room Mystery
  • Murder Most Foul
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Classic Horror

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/10/brief-ramble-murders-in-rue-morgue.html
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review 2017-10-13 02:42
Series Review: In the Garden
Blue Dahlia (In The Garden #1) - Nora Roberts
Black Rose - Nora Roberts
Red Lily - Nora Roberts

In the Garden
by Nora Roberts
Book #1: Blue Dahlia | Rating:  4.0 Stars
Book #2: Black Rose | Rating:  4.0 Stars
Book #3: Red Lily | Rating:  3.5 Stars

Average Series Rating:  3.83 Stars


If I had to choose a favorite Nora Roberts book, based on all the books I've read of hers so far, I think I would choose the second book in this trilogy.  Truly, Rosalind Harper stands out as an amazing heroine, both wise, strong, and flawed in her own ways.

In comparison to the very first Nora Roberts book I read for Halloween Bingo of last year (2016), this is definitely a step up; though I know these were written before The Dark Witch trilogy.  They've both got the same kind of set up for the romance, and a lovely, supernatural premise, but I feel this In the Garden trilogy is superior to the latter series, with an interesting mystery to boot.  The writing is wonderful, and the characters are real, even in spite of the sometimes awkward dialogue, and the "made to be perfect" personalities they seem to present.

I especially love the friendships and the bonds that form throughout this series, especially between the women--you don't get to see those too often in any kind of media, literature or not, so I'm extra appreciative of it.

 

 

And yeah... this review took me way too long to get posted.  It's actually been written for a week now, but my motivation had been zero in the blogging front...  Hopefully that changes in the coming weeks.

 

 


 

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis.  And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night…

Trying to escape the ghosts of the past, young widow Stella Rothchild, along with her two energetic little boys, has moved back to her roots in southern Tennessee—and into her new life at Harper House and the In the Garden nursery.  She isn’t intimidated by the house—nor by its mistress, local legend Roz Harper.  Despite a reputation for being difficult, Roz has been nothing but kind to Stella, offering her a comfortable new place to live and a challenging new job as manager of the flourishing nursery.

As Stella settles comfortably into her new life, she finds a nurturing friendship with Roz and with expectant mother Hayley.  And she discovers a fierce attraction to ruggedly handsome landscaper Logan Kitridge.  He’s difficult but honest, brash but considerate—and undeniably sexy.  And for a sensible woman like Stella, he may be just what she needs…



I'm sure if I'd read Blue Dahlia during a specific time of day, like maybe late at night in a quite house, I might have felt a chill from the ghostly happenings.  But I didn't really feel a chill, and the main focus of this book isn't even really on the mentioned "Harper Bride" who haunts Harper House.

Still, this book was extremely enjoyable, if only because I loved all the character interactions.  Nora Roberts undoubtedly has a way with her writing, with her characters, and with the atmosphere of her books, that makes it feel so down-to-earth, even when her characters are too pitch perfect to be true, and we're settled in a supernatural ghost story.

There's no argument from me that the characters are all readily likable and good, and whom all have their unique personalities, even when they don't stray far from the standard romance novel characterizations.  But I won't deny that I DID enjoy all the interaction between each and every character present.  I loved the sisterly affection between Roz, Stella, and Hayley.  I loved the mother-son bonding between Stella and her two boys, Gavin and Luke.  I loved the strange hero worship between the boys and Roz's housekeeper/cook David, as well as between the boys and our main hero, Logan.

The romance felt a little awkward, to be honest, and Logan was the usual pushy alpha hero who makes a point to prove that he knows exactly what his heroine wants with her life.  I'm not fond of the pushiness, and could have done without, but since Stella was rolling with it, I suppose there was little I could complain about--after all, she tried to put up her fights and her resistance, but apparently Logan is too irresistible for that... *cue melodramatic eye roll and sigh*

At least we can give him props for bonding with the kids.

I love the southern setting, and all the descriptions of the garden nursery, the landscaping projects, the plants that are being grown and sold through In the Garden nursery.

Really, there wasn't a whole lot to complain about with this book.  I might have wanted more about the ghostly hauntings and happenings.  I might have liked a little less pushy alpha male.

But otherwise, I liked the book overall; and I especially loved the scenes where our main characters are all crowded in the mansion's library doing historical research on the house's resident Harper Bride ghost, whilst nibbling on cheeses, crackers, various other snack foods, and enjoying glasses of bubbly wine!  It makes me want to curl up with the next book and join them in that setting, with my own cheeses and crackers and various snack foods and bubbly wine.

 


 

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries--old mansion just outside of Memphis.  And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...

At forty-seven, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking--and weather any storm.  A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage and built her In The Garden nursery from the ground up.  Through the years, In The Garden has become more than just a thriving business--it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with.  Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together the three of them are the future of In The Garden.

But now the future is under attack, and Roz knows they can't fight this battle alone.  Hired to investigate Roz's Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued with Roz herself.  And as they begin to unravel the puzzle of the Harper Bride's identity, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist.  Now it is a desperate race to discover the truth before the unpredictable apparition lashes out at the one woman who can help her rest in peace...



I think that I liked this second In the Garden book more than the first... except I couldn't quite pinpoint why.  It could be that Rosalind Harper is such an intriguing, kick-butt main heroine.  It could be that Dr. Mitchell Carnegie is such a perfect, yet perfectly flawed beta hero.  It could just be that I had already fallen for the setting and the characters of this series and am simply basking in the continuation of light, docile ghostly mystery.

It could be the setting, it could be the writing...  It could be a whole number of things, really!  It could just be that Nora Roberts just has a way with her characters, her writing, and her story.

I don't really know.

But the story line in this second book is not entirely different from the first, with similar elements pertaining to the Harper Bride's hauntings, as well as her tantrums, and our characters' need to investigate her identity as well as what might have happened to her.  Obviously, the readers already know who the Harper Bride is, since each book gives a prologue that takes place in a time three generations previous to the series' time frame.  But we still never really find out what happened to cause the Harper Bride to become so furious, so sad, so vengeful, and make her linger for over a century in Harper House.

Black Rose is simply a continuation of this ghostly mystery--very light-hearted, with a few phantasmic happenings that don't really amount to much of scary or eerie.  I admit, while this book is about a ghostly haunting, it doesn't in the least give me goosebumps.

What makes these books so enjoyable, I believe, really has to do with the characters and how readily likable they are, despite being a set of perfect, good people.  Still, I enjoy the interactions, and the little nuances in each and every individual character that DOES make them differ from one another.  I enjoy the descriptions of the gardens, of Rosalind's business, of the Harper House mansion...

What else is there to say about Black Rose, except that it's a very enjoyable read, probably one of my more favorite Nora Roberts reads so far, even despite not really being able to give much else in terms of thoughts on this book.

While I have a few quibbles about the first book, Blue Dahlia, and while I'm sure I had a few regarding Black Rose while I was reading it... the truth is, I can't seem to readily conjure up anything I disliked, or would have liked to change.  I can't really think of a whole lot at all to complain about.

This was an excellent reading experience!

 


 

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis.  And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...

Hayley Phillips came to Memphis hoping for a new start, for herself and her unborn child.  She wasn't looking for a handout from her distant cousin Roz, just a job at her thriving In the Garden nursery.  What she found was a home surrounded by beauty and the best friends she's ever had--including Roz's son Harper.  To Hayley's delight, her new daughter Lily has really taken to him.  To Hayley's chagrin, she has begun to dream about Harper--as much more than a friend...

If Hayley gives in to her desire, she's afraid the foundation she's built with Harper will come tumbling down.  Especially since she's begun to suspect that her feelings are no longer completely her own.  Flashes of the past and erratic behavior make Hayley believe that the Harper Bride has found a way inside of her mind and body.  It's time to put the Bride to rest once and for all, so Hayley can know her own heart again--and whether she's willing to risk it...



No doubt, this is probably the weaker of the three In the Garden books, if only because, as main characters, Harper and Hayley both fade in comparison to Roz and Mitch, or even Stella and Logan.  Upfront, I'm going to be honest and say that it will be hard for me NOT to compare and contrast each couple, as well as each book, within this trilogy.  After all, the three books are connected, and I'm going to make references.

Mainly, Harper and Hayley were great characters in the previous two books.  I liked Harper's science-geek behavior when it came to his grafting house, and the business with In the Garden.  He's also a great son to Roz, protective; although, he DID start getting on my nerves in the second book when he went behind his mother's back to interrogate and make assumptions about her new love life--that was uncalled for.

Hayley was always the fun, free-spirited, random trivia geek; I loved her drive and determination to prove herself, and her weird way of spouting little known facts at all the strangest times.  I loved how she was the driving force behind both Stella's and Roz's rekindled love lives, supporting them and pushing them to take that leap.

What I DIDN'T like was the personality I got when Hayley ended up front and center, if only because I never expected her to be the cynical, naive romance heroine I love to hate.  She knows she pretty, but she keeps doubting her own allure towards Harper.  She's always encouraged Roz and Stella to have fun, have sex, be free... but she turns around and slut-shames herself, which got super annoying.  She spends a lot of this book trying to convince everyone, mainly herself, that just because she had sex and got pregnant doesn't mean that she's "that kind of girl"--the kind who would just jump into bed with anyone.

The thing is:  NO ONE had made any of that kind of comment or critique about her.  It was all Hayley, being self-conscious about being the "wrong sort of girl" or whatever she called herself.  In turn, twice over, both Stella and Roz had to berate her for even thinking that of herself, and I appreciate that the two of them were so straight and blunt with Hayley.

Harper... he was never really present in the first book, and he came off annoyingly caveman-ish in the second book.  I hate to admit that he doesn't change all that much in this third book, and his "You'll do as I say because you're my woman" behavior started rankling... a lot.  I'm not even sure Logan's broody, irrational, rude, alpha male attitude was this bad in the first book.

But outside of all of this, to be honest, Hayley and Harper have a pretty sweet romance.  I certainly DO love the relationship interactions between Hayley and Lily, Harper and Lily, and the three of them together, in general.

In fact, all the kids were great, and I'm actually quite surprised that Stella's boys took to Lily so well, especially at their age, when playing with girls was usually not cool.  But hey, Lily held onto her toy truck and toddled her way out to play with the boys and hold her own, so that's kind of cool.

The concluding story in the Harper Bride haunting, I will admit, was the creepier of the three books.  The scene in which our ghost shows up on Hayley's terrace doorway holding a rope and a scythe in her hands, with an insane smile and crazy eyes, while outside is all lightning and wind and rain... is quite vivid in my mind.  It wasn't scary, per se, but I had a hard time sleeping without seeing that image in my mind after reading the scene.

The ending was sad, that's for sure; but the truth is, you kind of saw it coming.  I DID like this new twist where the Harper Bride begins to possess Hayley in her attempts to tell her side of the story.  And again, while it's an ugly, disturbing story, with a depressing end for the Amelia Conner, pre-haunting... well, we all kind of had an idea what had happened to her that turned her into the lingering, vengeful Harper Bride, right?


All-in-all, Red Lily made for a well-rounded wrap up for In the Garden.  I wish the main characters weren't as frustrating, but I'm also wondering if that hadn't been deliberate on the author's part.  I wouldn't put it past her, since, despite my annoyance with Hayley and Harper, I can't help but see how real the characters are portrayed, and how some of Hayley's thoughts and doubts about herself might have had something to do with the ghostly possession.

Of course, that doesn't excuse Harper's neanderthal-like behavior.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/10/series-review-in-garden.html
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