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review 2017-09-17 00:42
In the Woods
In the Woods - Tana French

This book was really long and left me feeling cheated. It is difficult to explain why without spoilers and I don´t want to do that. I was really drawn in by the initial story about the three kids that went into the woods and only one was ever found. I was intrigued by the potential for the new case to be related to the old one. I found myself wondering how anyone, especially a murder detective, could be so dumb, moody, and odd. I stayed up all night to finish the book only to be annoyed with the ending.  Will I read more in the series?  I´m still on the fence about that.  Maybe I´ll try one more, after I´ve forgiven the author......if I do.

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review 2017-09-16 04:49
Suicide Forest is real.
Suicide Forest - Jeremy Bates




It was human nature to want to know what was around the next corner, regardless of what might await you.

- Chapter 4


Death isn't picky, doesn't play favorites. It doesn't care in which country you were born or how much money you had amassed in your brief existence or how happy you are. It's supremely patient and rightly so, for it knows you can't escape its reach.

Chapter 27


An English teacher in Japan, off with his friends and his girlfriend, to climb Mt. Fuji. The weather intervenes, so as an alternative, they decide to camp overnight in Aokigahara, also known as Suicide Forest. I'm sure you're thinking, "Wow, that's a great idea!" Well, turns out that camping in Suicide Forest is not the best idea. In my opinion, Honda is the only smart one as he refused to go camping there.


How many people die, how many survive, is it really ghosts that are after them? You will have to read the book to find out. The book is creepy and suspenseful. It didn't keep me from sleeping at night, but not much does. I think reading Stephen King as a teenager made me sort of immune to scary stories...


I did enjoy the book, even though some of the decisions made by the characters were a bit suspect. But, I can't imagine what I would feel if I was lost in a dense forest (nicknamed Suicide Forest) with no way out.


I found the villians a bit unbelievable and might have preferred a different ending, but a good book anyway.


I read this for the "In the Dark, Dark Woods" square for Halloween Bingo. Since 90% of the action takes place in a very creepy forest, I think it fits.

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review 2017-09-08 16:15
The Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis
The Iron Hand Of Mars - Lindsey Davis

Series: Marcus Didius Falco #4


Falco is sent by Titus Caesar to Moguntiacum in Roman Germany to deliver an iron hand (it's a sculpture) to the Fourteenth as a sign of the emperor's favour. He's also tasked with finding Munius Lupercus who was captured and sent to the witch priestess Veleda and finding the rebel leader Julius Civilis. Veleda apparently lives in the forest in Germania Libera, so he'll be behind enemy lines, so to speak, as well.


I had a lot of fun with this one. It's basically a Roman gumshoe story through the wilds of untamed German forests although it starts out as gathering background information in Moguntiacum and its surroundings. It takes a while for the forest to feature in the story but there were some rather creepy scenes in the Teutoberg forest where Falco and his companions stumble across an abandoned Roman camp and find themselves in the middle of a sacred grove complete with human bones. A couple murders are even solved although they don't feature as a central focus of the story. I really liked Helena Justina's brother Quintus Camillus Justinus in this too. And his dog (an excitable puppy who gets taken along with them through the forest).


I read this for the "In the dark, dark woods" square of the Halloween Bingo. I've decided that it fits because of the travel through the Teutoberg forest to find Veleda and for the creepy scenes mentioned above. There's also forest around Moguntiacum although it doesn't feature in the actual plot so much. The book could also fit the "Terrifying Women" square and maybe the "Amateur Sleuth" square although as an informer Falso is basically a private detective hired by the emperor (or his son, technically).



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text 2017-09-08 02:32
Reading progress update: I've read 66%.
The Iron Hand Of Mars - Lindsey Davis

Falco has gone off into the uncivilized (non-Roman-controlled) regions of Germany to try to speak with a witch/priestess who apparently lives in a forest, as well as to try to find a German rebel leader. They're leaving marshland and heading into the forest.

Next day we began to encounter stretches of light woodland, and at nightfall we hit the real edge of the forest. From now on we would need all our skills to find paths and keep to the right direction. From here the tree cover continued unbroken across the whole of Europe.

This counts as a forest for the "In the dark, dark woods" square, right?

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review 2017-09-07 22:55
Intense ride
In the Woods - Tana French

I have to say, this one really swept me on the undertow. My brain is a bit fuzzy after all those hours of intense reading. Classic book hangover.


The next thing I have to say, is that the prot is a huge egotistical dick. Funny, charming, engaging, likely quite intelligent, given his job. And in this cluster-F of a case for all around, the most fucked up person of all.


Which is a bit funny, given that his issues are the only ones that are not relevant to the case in the end.

(spoiler show)


I also though a lot about what I remember from my childhood, and how much gets lost in the years. I get this anxiety to start keeping a diary.


And kept sounding that King's quote in my head


I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 - Jesus, did you?


There is a lot I'd like to comment on, but it'll be spoilers all around, so really, really, REALLY don't click if you have not read the book.


Going on what I was marking as I was reading:


- That first transition from third person to first was a wowzer. It's jarring because it's detached, and it implies a certain level of fucked up. And it aligns with the dancing around that he does throughout the case.


- Ryan about his college-mates, on his diary. Not a people person, huh?


“a herd of mouth-breathing fucktard yokels who wade around in a miasma of cliché so thick you can practically smell the bacon and cabbage and cow shite and altar candles.” Even assuming I was having a bad day, I think this shows a certain lack of respect for cultural differences."


- On regulation having excavations reporting human remains over the nine feet line, just because it still cracks me up:


"I suppose they figure that anyone who has the enterprise to dig down more than nine feet without getting spotted deserves a little leeway for sheer dedication."


- Fast tracking through the archaeological site:


“Fair enough,” he said, and started pointing. “Neolithic settlement, Bronze Age ceremonial stone, Iron Age roundhouse, Viking dwellings, fourteenth-century keep, sixteenth-century castle, eighteenth-century cottage.”


*snort* Your run of the mill little town, then? And of course, the shitty politic-economical reality


"the fucking government is going to bulldoze this whole site and build a fucking motorway over it."


- Sam's toast. I was snickering over the part he didn't know. It's magnitudes grimmer humor after all is done.


- Ryan has this moment (over Rosalind, of course)


"I wanted this girl who was like no girl I had ever known,"


I'm really starting to HATE that line. WHAT are all the girls like? How is any girl DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER GIRLS? WHY should being different make you BETTER. It implies that a woman, a common woman, a normal woman (whatever that means) is NOT good enough. AND FUCK THAT!!


At any rate, by this point, I didn't know whether to tear my hair out, shout, or thump him with his own book. Cassie warned him. He was so concentrated on his own, he did not realize she was not showing him her soul scars just for a lark.


- As we wrap up:


"I am intensely aware, by the way, that this story does not show me in a particularly flattering light."


Ya think?


But before you decide to despise me too thoroughly, consider this: she fooled you, too. You had as good a chance as I did. I told you everything I saw, as I saw it at the time.


Nice try Ryan. No dice. Maybe I'm too jaded. I pray I'm never played by psychopath (I confess over the years I've had some serious doubts about one woman I was casual friends with, the memories still make me fidget sometimes) graduated to the homicide leagues, and his pile of reasons are neat, weighty and high. And still. Man, you blew up you life yourself. Systematically.


This was, in the end, the most hideous realization of all: Rosalind had not, after all, implanted a microchip behind my ear or drugged me into submission. I had broken every vow myself and steered every boat to shipwreck with my own hand. She had simply, like any good craftswoman, used what came her way.


- The two trio parallels, of course.


- Sophie's verdict (I cackled)


After a few dates, though, and before the relationship had really progressed enough to merit the name, she dumped me. She informed me, matter-of-factly, that she was old enough to know the difference between intriguing and fucked up. “You should go for younger women,” she advised me. “They can’t always tell.”

(spoiler show)


The thing is, for all the personal vs character stuff (which sounds ranty but actually enriched the experience for me, lol), I had a grand time. I could not put it down. It is strong in voice. It has hilarious passages, and lovely ones (specially on friendship, as adults and as children), and of course, disturbing ones. And it is absolutely gripping.


Whew! Done. Sleep now.



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