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Search tags: 7-mystery-thriller
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review 2018-01-14 09:33
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt

Helena Trant meets a handsome stranger on the Night of the seventh moon festival in Bavaria. She knows what he's up to, so she plays it safe, and returns home to England untouched...Only to go back to Germany wanting to meet the handsome stranger again.

She does, only to learn the stranger's name is Maximilian and he's royalty, but he's also utterly in love with her. They marry, live a week of bliss...And then she wakes up with everybody telling her her beautiful dream was all a lie, conjured up by her mind to protect it from the truth that what really happened to her was a true nightmare.


Back when I was younger, Victoria Holt was one of my favorite authors and I used to gobble up her books like they were life-sustaining. I liked the suspenseful and gothic elements, the twists and turns, the ambiguity of many of the characters (including the heroes), and I loved the stories kept me guessing what was real and what was a mere supposition on the heroine's part.
Yes, they're all written in the first-person POV, which is rather limiting, but it also serves to keep things interesting way beyond the point where we'd be bored with an omniscient narrator.

This was one of my VH favorites back in the day, but I must confess that while I still enjoyed the story, the length bothered me this time around and so many years later.
The pacing was plodding, dragging its behind in multiple places, the heroine was too gullible for my liking (and for her own good), and the whole thing was too wordy by half.

Does it deliver? Yes, it still does, pity it takes to long to get there.

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review 2018-01-09 15:10
The Child ★★★★☆
The Child - Fiona Barton,Mandy Williams,Rosalyn Landor,Jean Gilpin,Various

An infant's skeleton is found buried in the back garden of a house being demolished. The story follows several women who have an interest in the mystery of the baby's identity and the circumstances that led to its burial: A still-grieving mother whose baby was snatched from the hospital's maternity ward; a troubled woman with a history of psychiatric problems who once lived in the house where the infant was buried; her mother with whom she still has a rocky relationship; an investigative reporter who is determined to solve the mystery and break the story. 

 

The mystery is not entirely predictable, but I was really more interested in the characters as they were revealed. The only real clunker in this story is really unlikely plot twist where

a rookie reporter finds out a key piece of information about forensics on Wikipedia that neither the forensic lab nor the police had even considered.

(spoiler show)

Even I had that figured out well in advance. 

 

Still, the story was compelling, and the characters well drawn, and the writing is good enough that I didn't really notice that one character's POV was written in the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense until I was most of the way through the book. 

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, with an excellent performance by a cast of several. 

 

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review 2018-01-09 12:13
Brazen Virtue by Nora Roberts
Brazen Virtue - Nora Roberts

Mystery writer Grace McCabe, fresh from a book tour, is bunking with her sister in D.C. for a few days, alarmed at the fact that after a nasty divorce, Kathleen let her son with his father, moved across the country and makes her living as a phone-sex operator.

When she comes home one night and finds her sister murdered, Grace's first thought is, Kathleen's ex-husband did it. But then another phone-sex operator, employed by the same agency as Kathleen, turns up dead...


This book was yet another let-down. The heroine came across as too much of a self-absorbed airhead for my liking, the hero didn't get enough space to shine, the killer was once more relegated into the sidelines...

There was too much going on, mostly revolving around the heroine, instead of focusing on the suspense and in the end the one thing that was interesting about the story was brushed under the carpet, while the rest (mostly ballast) got the spotlight.

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review 2018-01-09 06:59
Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts
Sacred Sins - Nora Roberts

A killer is plaguing Washington, D.C., strangling women with a priest's amice and leaving notes about their sins being forgiven. The police is stumped, so they reluctantly engaged the help of psychiatrist Dr. Teresa Court.

As the tension over the murder case rises, sparks fly between Tess and Detective Ben Paris, but soon they're not just sparks of animosity.


I already read this one in 2011, gave it three stars without writing a review, and completely forgot about the story. On this second re-read, it loses a star, but I'm pretty sure that I'll still forget about it, since it was quite a disappointment.

I liked the premise, the suspense (what there was, that is), and I liked the killer's mind. Unfortunately, he was relegated into the background, overshadowed by the two protagonists and the drama around their budding "relationship".

I didn't like neither Tess nor Ben. He was mostly an ass with a chip on his shoulder about shrinks (rather understandable, but they cannot all be the same) and she was a bleeding heart convinced the killer needed help and healing. She seemed not to care much about the killer's victims or the fact the guy was a killer, she just wanted to help him.
So I wanted to smack them both, I didn't buy their romance because of their different opinions and stands on quite a lot of things...

The only saving grace was the aforementioned killer (pity, he didn't appear much), the final surprise when his identity was revealed, and Ben's partner Ed, the gentle giant.
I'm quite looking forward to his story.

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review 2018-01-07 17:02
Review: "Zero at the Bone" by Jane Seville
Zero at the Bone - Jane Seville

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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