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review 2017-11-13 15:57
Monday Mini – Not So Sweet – Strawberries by Casey Bartsch @ecclectic22
Strawberries - Casey Bartsch

I love the fabulous cover of Strawberries by Casey Bartsch, that was done by Jennifer Chang. Great job. So simple, yet it says so much. Made me want it. Then I read…serial killers. Oh yeah!

 

Strawberries

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

 

MY REVIEW

 

Strawberry is a serial killer that loves coming up with new and creative ways to murder someone. He is a psycho, even doing himself harm, while murdering at random. His signature mark…a strawberry.

 

He dodges capture, leaving a trail of bodies in a zig zag path he travels, striking when the moment hits him.

 

The characters are…unusual. At times I felt sorry for them, other times I couldn’t help but smile.

 

Forces draw them together in a frenzied ending, bodies dropping, blood flowing and some people I like…well, you’ll need to read about it for yourself. I like authors who do the unexpected, regardless of how I might feel about it.

 

I had made a comment on fuonlyknew’s blog about how much I wanted to read this, and, voila, Casey Bartsch sent me a copy. Thanks so much, Casey.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 
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review 2017-10-22 17:32
A Room Full of Killers by Michael Wood
A Room Full of Killers: A gripping crime thriller with twists you won’t see coming (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 3) - Michael Wood

The third book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

Eight killers. One house. And the almost perfect murder…

Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison. Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood.

When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted.

There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

 
**********
 

I thought before I read this book that I was quite hardened when it came to crime novel that I could deal with quite a lot (except harming of animals and children), but there were really tough parts in this book that was hard for me to get through and that were the chapters that were the POV of the children, the murderers.

A Room Full of Killers is a dark and tragic book that I devoured. It's engrossing, but at the same time is it not an easy book to get through. DCI Matilda Darke has a lot on her plate, with the release of a book concerning a kidnap case that she was in charge of that went wrong. Also, she is still not completely over her husband's death 18 months earlier. And, now this case at the Starling House. A teenager is dead, and who could have done it? The question of why someone murdered him is perhaps not hard to understand since Ryan Asher is a convicted murderer, but someone got him out of a locked room. Matilda then meets one of the inmates, Thomas, and Matilda is convinced that the young boy is innocent of the crime he is said to have done. Now she wants to find Ryan's murdered and at the same time is she trying to get Thomas free.

I found the book thrilling and intense and the last part of the book had some really great twist to the story. I was a bit surprised on how Matilda could believe someone to be innocent by just looking at him. I mean quite literary just instantly believe his innocent without knowing much about the case. I'm not a police, but appearance can be deceiving, but I guess I much more cynical. Still, it added drama to the story. The side story with the kidnap case was also interesting and I'm really curious to see the impact it will have in the next book. If the kidnapping will be solved. I'm also quite eager to get the two previous books to read!

A Room Full of Killers is an excellent thriller. The characters are well-developed and interesting to follow and the case is interesting and I love the ending!

 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! 
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review 2017-10-11 00:00
Killers of the Flower Moon
Killers of the Flower Moon - David Grann This has been the hot book of Tulsa this summer. Probably the most butchered title also. As a librarian, I have gotten really good at figuring out that our customers wanted this book when they ask for "Flower Killers," "Moon Flowers," or "Flower Killer Moon."

"Killers of the Flower Moon" is the story of Osage Indians being murdered for mineral rights or headrights in Oklahoma. However, the story is deeper and darker then that. It's about white man's greed, systematic injustice towards the Osage, and the lack of justice. It's also about the beginning of the FBI and how Hoover parlayed the agents' case into a national spotlight on the burgeoning FBI.

This was right in my wheelhouse as it was a great combination of true crime and history. Add to that description it happened not far from where I currently live and it definitely felt like history was close enough to touch.

Recommended if you enjoy true crime, history...I would recommend this to anyone. Toss it in their hand and say, "You must read this. We must do better than our history."
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review 2017-10-10 19:30
I Will Find You
I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime - Joe Kenda

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

I never watched the show, so I won’t be able to compare for now (I may watch some episodes later if I can find some episodes that aren’t available for US only or through shady websites); actually, I hadn’t even known about Joe Kenda before requesting this book. The book itself, when I read its blurb, looked interesting, and I was in the mood for crime-related non fiction, so here I am now.

Interesting it was, indeed. I learnt quite a few things about police procedures, all the more because I don’t live in the USA, and basically all I know is what I’ve seen in TV series (no worries, I was kind of already suspecting that TV =/= truth ;)). Not that it surprised me, but it’s always good to see that, well, one was right in wondering ‘do these things really happen like that?’

What also really happens like that is crime itself, and sadly, what Kenda described in the book didn’t surprise me either (I don’t have a very good opinion of man as a species). Again, I can’t compare with the series, and I don’t know if what he writes about here is something watchers already know, or grittier/less gritty than what has been aired. It did seem gruesome enough to me. I’m not easily disgusted to the point of physically having to stop reading, but I can envision this being a turnoff, at least at times, as a reminder that people can do horrible things, including to their kids, innocent bystanders, for the stupidest reasons, for something as trivial as 20 quid, etc.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the tone/style. Not sure how Joe Kenda fares in the show, but here there were some turns of phrase, some vocabulary, that I felt was... not sure how to explain it, too demeaning or for shock value? I would probably have such words about criminals myself, so it’s nothing like ‘oh noes, swearing is bad’, and more like ‘the stronger the vocabulary/opinion, the lesser the impact’? Yes, I think that’s it: the grit and dark side can very well stand on their own, and they would have more impact if presented in a more ‘neutral’ tone. It may just be me, though.

(On the other hand, of course, you can tell that the author feels very strongly about this, and it's completely understandable!)

Apart from this, I definitely found this book interesting, both for the police work it presented, and for the other aspect of Kenda’s life (his family, how they too had to cope with his career, how the horrors he’s seen affected his whole home, etc.).

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review 2017-09-21 19:06
Good Me, Bad Me / Ali Land
Good Me Bad Me - Ali Land

Not recommended for those who have children and/or are sensitive to violence against children.

Milly knows she is different from other children. From other people. But she maybe doesn’t realize just how different. You see, Molly’s mother is a serial killer and she has forced Milly to be Satan’s little helper. It’s much easier to snatch a child if you have one of your own in tow.

What conscience Milly has left has sent her to the police. Yes, she felt bad for the children lying dead in their basement, but what she was truly dreading was the “birthday party” that her mother was planning when she turned “sweet sixteen.” So before the invitations go out to people to come & brutalize her, Milly turns her mother in.

But she had no idea how hard it was going to be to leave her mother behind. Or how difficult it will be to act like she is “normal,” especially when she has been taught by an expert how to read body language, how to manipulate people, how to tell them what they want to hear. She can’t seem to fit in to her foster situation, because she can see altogether too clearly what is going on in their home—and how can she trust a social worker who can’t see that his wife is an addict and his daughter is well on her way to the same state.

If you like this book, I would recommend I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. It is a young adult work, but really well done in my opinion. Another child struggling to right himself after being raised by a serial killer dad.

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