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review 2018-10-20 08:37
Hängt alle anderen 50er ab
50 Pieces for Grey - A.M. Arimont

Inhaltsangabe

Die junge Prostituierte Ann schlägt sich auf der Straße durch, als sich ihr die Chance eröffnet, für eine Callgirl-Agentur zu arbeiten. Unerwartet wird sie nach kurzer Zeit von deren wichtigstem Kunden angefordert – Alex Cotrell, ein reicher und mächtiger Geschäftsmann. Ann kann nicht glauben, dass er ausgerechnet sie ausgewählt hat und fühlt sich geschmeichelt, ahnt jedoch nicht, dass Alex spezielle Vorlieben und ein düsteres, blutiges Geheimnis hat. Für Ann hat Alex sich einen ganz besonderen Verwendungszweck überlegt, doch alles kommt anders.

 

Achtung: enthält drastische Gewaltszenen und sexuelle Inhalte. 

 

Meine Meinung

Wer sich nach der Warnung hinsichtlich der sexuellen Gewaltszenen anfänglich noch nicht sicher ist, sollte dies sehr schnell nach dem Prolog entscheiden können.

Mein absoluter Makel beim Lesen fast aller Bücher ist es allerdings, jegliche Inhalte eines Prologs zu verdrängen. So war es auch hier. Los ging es für mich, als das erste Mal der Name Ann erschien.

 

Ann lebt das abgefuckte Leben einer Prostituierten. Kennenlernen tun wir sie an ihrem Blowjob- Day. In Bahnhofnähe gibt sie alles für Lau, um sich ein einigermaßen erträgliches Leben leisten zu können.

Der einzige Lichtblick in ihrem Leben wird sehr schnell klar.

Ihre Freundin, Kollegin und WG-Partnerin Jessy.

Trotz der kurzen Sequenzen, welche das Miteinander der beiden beleuchtet, kann der Autor die zwischenmenschliche Beziehung sehr gut in Szene setzen.

Ein großer Freundschaftsbeweis zeigt sich, als es eine lautstarke Ankündigung ihres Zuhälters gibt. Auf wenigen Seiten überschlagen sich die Vorfälle in der Mädelswohnung nur so. Um Schlimmeres zu vermeiden, verschafft Jessy ihrer Freundin eine Möglichkeit zu fliehen. Ann schließt die Tür hinter sich und weiß nicht, ob sie ihre beste Freundin jemals wiedersehen wird.

 

Den Zeitsprung, den der Autor dann ansetzt, war optimal.

11 Monate später

Ann hat den Absprung geschafft. Vom Bahnhofsviertel in eine schicke Callgirl- Agentur. Verdutzt wirkt Ann, als ihre Chefin ihr den neuen Job beziehungsweise ihren neuen Kunden vorstellt. Alex Cotrell!

Der Geschäftsmann lädt Ann zu sich ein. Ann wird konfrontiert mit einer Welt, die ihr bisher nicht zugänglich war.

 

Klar ist Cotrell ist speziell!

Ungern möchte ich auf eine euch eventuell bekannte Reihe zurückgreifen, aber auch in diesem Buch betreten wir ein Spielzimmer.

Alex bringt Ann seine spezielle Vorliebe näher und zack nur eine Seite weiter und der Autor hat mich fast vom Hocker gerissen. Bei dieser ganz besonderen und wegweisenden Szene wusste ich nicht, welche Emotion ich zuerst zulassen soll.

Ich war schockiert, gespannt und musste auch ein wenig schmunzeln.

 

Denn diese junge Frau durchkreuzt den Plan des erfolgreichen, geheimnisvollen Mannes. Er will Ann plötzlich für längere Zeit buchen und dieser seltsamen Situation auf den Grund gehen.

 

Da dieser Redrum Cuts Band lediglich 127 Seiten besitzt, möchte ich nicht zu viel vorweggreifen. Daher nur noch kurz etwas zum Ende.

Ein Buch aus dem Genre brauch ein Finale.

Dieses Werk bot mir persönlich zwei actionreihe und überraschende Showdowns.

 

Mein Fazit

Eine scheinbar bekannte Story ganz neu und besser!

A.M. Arimont konnte mich von Anfang an abholen.

Ich saß mit Ann in der Limousine und war gespannt auf das, was auf uns wartet, sobald der Wagen hielt. Lesetechnisch habe ich absolut nichts zu meckern. Beim Lesen spürt man, wie rasant der Autor den Spannungsbogen aufgebaut hat.

Das Ende konnte mich überraschen, nahezu begeistert zurücklassen.

 

Aber tatsächlich stand meine Bewertung erst nach dem Lesen des Nachwortes fest.

Vielen Dank an den Autor für diesen Einblick und ein noch größeres Danke für das, was im Endeffekt im Buch gelandet ist.

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review 2018-10-19 19:04
Fog Island Horror Indeed!!!
Fog Island Horror - Marilyn Ross

Only Halloween Bingo kept this from being a DNF.  Only the cover art kept this from being half-starred.

 

If author Marilyn Ross was a popular writer of gothic romances in the 1960s and 1970s, I do not understand how, unless it was because women readers were absolutely desperate.  This had to be one of the worst written traditionally published books I have ever read.

 

The writing itself was deplorable.  Dull.  Pedestrian. Amateurish.  And all those !!!!s.  But there were other less obvious issues that just had me shaking my poor head until it was ready to fall off my shoulders.

 

Lydia Trent is the matriarch.  She is elderly and frail, sort of.  Her somewhat younger sister is Ruth Trent.  Yes, sister Ruth also married a Trent, but one of the poorer Trents.  I'm assuming this was so Ruth's son Charles Trent would also be a Trent.  This makes no sense.,

 

Lydia, of course, was not a Trent by birth, so I'm not sure why she has this proprietary air over the estate.  No mention is made of her husband or other members of the actual Trent family.

 

At any rate, Lydia married and had two sons, Tom (Thomas?) and James.  Thomas was sickly and died young.  James married a woman named Deborah and they had a daughter named Rachel.  Deborah was then foully murdered, and James disappeared with baby Rachel.

 

(In Daoma Winston's Emerald Station Gareth Kennelly was engaged to Deborah Maradine, who was foully murdered.)

 

Years pass.  Lydia mourns her missing granddaughter.  Charles, her nephew, meets young and lovely Rachel Blair, recently orphaned upon the death of her watchmaker father, Ralph Blair.   The word "lovely" is frequently used to describe Rachel and her features even when in Rachel's point of view .  Rachel bears a striking resemblance to the foully murdered Deborah Trent.  So striking that Charles proposes that Rachel Blair pose as the long-lost Rachel Trent to bring some comfort to the elderly Lydia.  Charles agrees to pay the impoverished Miss Blair a substantial sum, which will enable her to return to Boston where she has friends.

 

(In Susan Howatch's The Waiting Sands, we had heroine Rachel Lord, plus Rohan and Rebecca, plus Charles Mannering.)

 

Rachel Blair agrees, but only if it's made clear to Lydia that she is in fact not the missing Rachel Trent, but only may be.  Charles instead introduces Rachel to his aunt as almost certainly the missing . . . heiress.  Rachel labors to set things straight while being merely a paid companion to the elderly matriarch.

 

Rachel meets the elderly neighbor, Judge Edward Duncan, and his son James, who is a lawyer helping to manage Lydia Trent's business interests.  The senior partner of James's law firm is one Charles Barry.

 

Winston, in writing Emerald Station, came up with a variety of unusual names for her characters:  Avis, Brooke, Jennings, Nealanna, Faran, Storr, Dylan, and so on.  Howatch's Rohan Quist was certainly enough out of the ordinary to be memorable.

 

Ross, on the other hand, can't even give the people in one single book different names from each other!  As a Linda in the 1950s, I knew lots and lots and lots of other Lindas.  It was a very popular name at the time.  But that excuse doesn't hold for an author writing a book, for crying out loud!

 

That alone, the failure to use names to good advantage, is enough for me to knock a book's rating down one full star, and sometimes more.  In this particular case, it was worth at least a star and a half because there were so few characters! Just changing one Charles to a Phillip or one James to a Robert would have been sufficient.

 

So there's that.

 

Our heroine Rachel, while insisting that she may in fact be the missing heiress but is not claiming so, still acts with typical too stupid to live gothic heroine idiocy.  She goes into the cellars where she's been told not to go.  She goes out at night when she's told not to.  She pokes around a small cottage that she's been told to leave alone.  (By the way, the cottage is never really explained.  It's just there, she goes in, and something happens.)  (Actually, the cellars aren't explained completely either!)

 

Based on absolutely no concrete evidence, Rachel determines who Deborah's real killer was -- her husband James -- and that baby Rachel Trent died years ago.  As it turns out, none of that is correct.

 

Tom Trent didn't die young.  He more or less accidentally choked his younger brother James to death, and then Lydia, who loved Tom much more than she loved James, killed Deborah because she was the cause.  Baby Rachel was spirited away to Boston and put into the care of watchmaker Ralph Blair.  So Rachel Blair really is Rachel Trent.

(spoiler show)

But in the process of revealing all of that truth, the island doctor -- all too frequently referred to as the "ugly hatchet-faced man" -- also reveals the rest of the truth about Tom Trent.

 

 

 

 

So he's enough of a hybrid to be considered a cryptozoological specimen for Halloween Bingo!  Aha!  The gothics win another round!

 

(spoiler show)

 

Another roll of the eyes!!!

 

This resolution to the various absurd mysteries proved just how silly the back cover blurb was, silly enough to justify exploring it.

 

 

There was no labyrinth of family intrigue.  Charles was already going to inherit a substantial sum from Lydia even before he discovered Rachel.  He hoped she would  prompt Lydia to change her will and then he would marry Rachel (his first cousin, once removed) to inherit everything.

 

There was no blood curse on Rachel's true identity.  Nothing even close, not hinted at, not suggested. 

 

The monster was not faceless, it did not rule over anything, and it didn't tear anyone from a lover's arms.

 

SHEESH!

 

The box of gothics is providing a lot of fun and a lot of material for analysis.  I'm now on to A Canticle for Leibowitz, which isn't a gothic but was in the same discovery.

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review 2018-10-19 14:10
Relics and Curiosities
The Midnight Eye Files: The Skin Game - William Meikle

 

A manky old belt made of fur can change a person into a werewolf.

 

We never really find out how or why except the belt was made in the 1400's? by a magician or alchemist.

 

The story takes us from Glasgow, Scotland to a remote ranch in Novia Scotia.

 

Not too heavy, though the main character tries too hard to sound like one the famous detectives from the old black and white movies and dime store stories, like from the Maltese Falcon.  He doesn't quite pull it off.

 

 

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review 2018-10-19 03:58
The Frangipani Hotel: Or Vietnamese Ghost Stories Galore
The Frangipani Hotel: Fiction - Violet Kupersmith

I'm never quite sure how to review short story collections, so bear with me. These stories all share a sense of unease and creeping dread, which is something I enjoy in my ghost stories. There are plenty of spooky ghosts, unsettling scenarios, and narratives that leave your skin crawling. They have a feeling of tapping into urban legends and traditional folk tales (though I don't know enough about Vietnamese culture to say whether that is accurate or not). The connective tissue that holds these stories together is a different ghost though - the specter of the Vietnam War looms in the background of all of these stories, grim and devastating.

 

I enjoyed this collection, and it satisfied my spooky October itch, but it never fully blew me away. I couldn't really say why other than it's really hard to wow me with shorter fiction. I will say many of the stories share a similar structure and part of that structure includes abrupt endings. This didn't bother me, per se, but it did start to feel repetitive when reading the collection straight through. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had spaced the stories out in between other fictions. All in all this is a solid collection, and I'm glad I read it. If you're looking for ghost stories with a Vietnamese flavor these will likely satisfy.

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review 2018-10-17 22:30
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHARLES MANSON by Jeff Guinn, narrated by Jim Frangione
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson - Jeff Guinn

This is a fascinating look inside the head of a monster.

 

I especially liked the observations regarding how Charlie used a little bit of knowledge from all sorts of different subjects and wove them together to manipulate specific people. During his many prison stints, he met and listened to Black Panthers, Scientologists and he even picked up some tips from Dale Carnegie's book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. He melded TOGETHER bits from of all them, depending on his audience. The result was often striking-as a professional actor he might have done well, but as a professional musician he did not. There lies much of the frustration that ended up helping to fuel his attempt at "Helter Skelter."

 

Jeff Guinn writes excellent, detailed biographies, (I especially enjoyed his Bonnie and Clyde and Jim Jones books), which work well as audios. I'm not sure if I would have liked them all as much in print, but audio works perfectly for me. (There is so much detail included that I feel like I may have become bored in actually reading these books.) The narrator here, Jim Frangione, did an excellent job and helped keep me interested, especially when detailing the actions of various family members.

 

A warning for sensitive people-the descriptions of these brutal murders is graphic and unflinching. It's uncomfortable to listen to. Even after reading hundreds of books, (both fictional and non), about murders and horrific happenings, it never fails to bother me and I never fail to try to imagine how someone could do such things. Guinn attempts to tell us in his excellent biographies, but somehow, the answer to the question "Why?" is never fully answered in any of them. But I can't keep myself from continuing to try to understand.

 

Finally, one thing I wouldn't want to forget to mention is the ridiculously random nature and brutality of these crimes. I think that often gets lost in the mysterious aura that surrounds Manson and his "family." It would be an extreme disservice to forget: the very pregnant Sharon Tate and her friends, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and poor Steven Parent, (who was just a young man trying to sell a clock radio), the LaBiancas, Shorty Shea and Gary Hinman. May they all rest in peace.

 

Highly recommended to fans of true crime and detailed biographies.

 

*This fits the "Slasher Stories" category for Halloween Bingo 2018 here at Booklikes.*

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