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review 2018-11-03 13:32
In the Miso Soup (book) by Ryu Murakami, translated by Ralph McCarthy
In the Miso Soup - Ralph McCarthy,Ryū Murakami

Kenji is a "nightlife guide" for English-speaking tourists in Japan. Basically, he takes guys on tours of what the Japanese sex industry has to offer. Although Kenji gets quite a few customers via his little ad in Tokyo Pink Guide (a magazine about the sex industry in Tokyo), the work isn't as good as he expected it to be. He can never seem to save up enough for that trip to America he wants.

Kenji has seen a lot of foreigners, but his latest client, Frank, is different. On the surface, he's a loud and friendly New Yorker who wants to go everywhere and have some sex along the way. There are moments, however, when something dark and ugly peers out of Frank's eyes. Frank hired him for three nights, right up until New Year's Eve, and by the end of their first night together, Kenji becomes convinced that Frank is the serial killer who's been raping girls involved in compensated dating, killing them, and dismembering their bodies (not necessarily in this order).

This book could be divided into three parts. In the first part, Kenji is a guide and translator working with a strange and vaguely disturbing client. This section has a large amount of detail about how the various places Kenji and Frank visit work and takes place mostly during their first night together. I recall them going to a peep show, a lingerie bar (sounded a bit like a hostess club, only with the women dressed in nothing but lingerie), and some kind of club where they ended up going on a paid date that Frank had hoped would end with sex. They also spent some time at a batting cage, of all things. Considering what just the time with Kenji cost, it was a little surprising that Frank wanted to spend it just watching Kenji try to hit some baseballs. But Frank was weird, even at the very beginning.

The first part is surprisingly tame. No sex, on-page or otherwise. The closest Frank gets to having sex is a handjob at the peep show, which isn't on-page. Kenji asks the woman who did it for a few details, hoping for something that might tell him, one way or the other, whether Frank was the murderer. Some aspects of this part of the book could almost be viewed as darkly comedic. Even as Kenji worries that Frank might be a murderer, there are moments when Frank seems clownish and ridiculous.

In the second part, which occurs a little over halfway through, the violence and gore is cranked WAY up. It's basically just one scene, but it is not for the faint of heart. I didn't expect this level of nastiness and ended up skimming it for my own peace of mind. Even then, way more of this scene is burned into my brain than I'd like. There is

on-page torture, as well as a character who is almost forced into necrophilia.

(spoiler show)


The third part returns to the pacing and overall content of the first part. Kenji continues to act as Frank's guide, although Frank is no longer interested in finding someone to have sex with. However, whereas the first part was filled with Kenji's suspicions, more a fear of what his gut told him Frank might be capable of that anything, in the second part Kenji is

so far past fear that he's numb.

(spoiler show)


The last part also had a sharp increase in Frank's level of self-reflection, philosophizing, and societal analysis. Kenji, too, found himself thinking about what it is to be Japanese. And, to be honest, I really didn't care what sorts of insights Frank had or inspired in Kenji.

I don't know if his explanation of his childhood was supposed to awaken in readers some sort of empathy or understanding for him, but I, personally, just kept coming back to the utter horror of what happened at the book's midway point. Several of those people were annoying, or liars, or scammers, but none of them deserved what happened to them, and Frank made it pretty clear that he planned to continue on as he had been, after he and Kenji parted ways.

(spoiler show)


I didn't like this book. I suppose it was intense and focused look at the emotional impact of three nights with a guy like Frank, but I don't know that that time was worthwhile.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2018-10-31 22:20
October Re-Cap
Alice - Christina Henry
Evertrue - Brodi Ashton
An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen
Winterblaze - Kristen Callihan
Archangel's Consort - Nalini Singh
Wayward - Blake Crouch
Pack - Mike Bockoven
The Last Town - Blake Crouch
When We Caught Fire - Anna Godbersen
I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

 

Happy Halloween, sitting here...and not getting a single trick or treater, we never have since I lived here (busy road). 

 

I finished fewer books this month than I have with previous months, but I didn't too bad with 13.  I also managed to pull off a black-out on Halloween Bingo.  So yay me.  Again, most of my read books are technically Audiobooks, so hey, what can I say?  I really like them.  I had some decent books for the month, but I'm still feeling disappointed by The Darkest Star...I was really excited about it when I got approved for it on Netgalley.

 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) Alice by Christina Henry

Finish Date:  10/01/18

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Finish Date:  10/04

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Netgalley eARC) An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Finish Date:  10/08

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan

Finish Date:  10/09

4STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

Finish Date:  10/11

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Wayward by Blake Crouch

Finish Date:  10/13

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Pack by Mike Bockoven

Finish Date:  10/15

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) The Last Town by Blake Crouch

Finish Date:  10/16

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen

Finish Date:  10/19

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Finish Date:  10/22

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Seeds of Iniquity by JA Redmerski

Finish Date:  10/23

4STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Darkest Star by Jennifer L Armentrout

Finish Date:  10/27

2.7STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

Finish Date:  10/29

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

 

11 Audiobooks and 2 eARC's and I also, unfortunately, had one DNF...

 

 

 

My choice for the best cover of the month is...a tie between these two covers:

 

 

and...

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-10-24 22:23
All these voices in my head get loud, I wish that I could shut them out...
I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

I Hunt Killers

Barry Lyga

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

 

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

 

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

 

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

 

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The narration for this Audio was phenomenal, Charlie Thurston can tell a story, and what a compelling story it is.  I was honestly reminded of The Naturals, because of the whole son of a serial killer, using profiling to solve serial crimes, is also done in that series (but differently)…but this actually came out before that Series did.  I'm glad I didn't read this before The Naturals, though, because it might have ruined one of my fav series for me.  

 

With perfect plotting, that's executed in a believable way…this is one of the better YA Crime/Mysteries that I've read.  Jasper, Connie, and Howie were exceptional characters.  The kind you can root for, especially Jasper, who never really knows if he's going to end up being like his father.  His inner demons, aka the voices in his head, aka his Dad, will kind of creep you out, and maybe, it will also make you feel for him.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ Perfect

Narration~5 for Charlie Thurston

Series~ Jasper Dent #1

Setting~ Lobo's Nod

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

I used this for Amateur Sleuth Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-10-12 06:41
Going Underground in Eleven by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold
Eleven - Carolyn Arnold

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Arnold is a prolific writer and I have been reading her work for a while now. Her thrillers are to die for and I am excited when I have another one of her books in my hand.

 

Eleven was FREE at the time of posting and if you are a thriller lover, this is a must read.

 

Publisher:  Hibbert & Stiles Publishing 

 

Eleven (Brandon Fisher FBI series, #1)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

First, I would grab this book because it was written by Carolyn Arnold. Second, I have been reading her work for a while now, and I now she won’t disappoint my, but she may blow my mind. Third, SHE DID!

 

Carolyn Arnold’s novels read like Criminal Minds episodes. I love how she breaks down the crimes and the criminals, taking us through the process, step by step, clue by clue. And this is one mystery that keeps on giving. I was super creeped out early and it never stopped. I wonder where Carolyn came up with the idea for Eleven. Is she smoking something?

 

Salt Lick. Kentucky. Underground. Creepaliciously gruesome and I feel chills running up and down my spine just writing this.

 

Eleven, the symbol of purity, but I sure don’t see it here.

 

Focus, analyze, and be objective is what is required and Brandon is thankful for the training that allowed him to do exactly that, especially in the current circumstances. This is Brandon’s first case with the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. His coworkers ride him, calling him Kid, Pending and Slingshot.

 

We watch Brandon grow and learn as he works under Jack, a Supervisory Special Agent. Danger strikes too close for comfort, but he slowly learns to keep control of his emotions, or he would be useless to the investigation. His first case, and it is a horrific one.

 

WOW…I am only at 28% and the story is so intense, I wonder how I will make it to the end. Do I cheat and peak? NO! Don’t do it. It would ruin everything. It is the anticipation, the awful, sickening journey that makes it all worthwhile. I will savor the threats and danger. I will crawl around underground with them…there go those shivers again.

 

There is so much more of the story to come, I can’t imagine what surprises are in store for me, but Carolyn’s ability to write with suspense and make her characters seem so real that at times I forget this isn’t a true story, is one journey I know I won’t regret..

 

The killer they are looking for is just out of reach. They will get there, but will it be in time? There is more than one life at stake.

 

Stories and scenes that happen underground really freak me out. I shivered and cringed my way to the end and loved every minute of it! If you love mystery, thrills and suspense of the highest caliber, this is a must read and Carolyn Arnold is an author you want to follow. I anticipate many more horrific stories to come. Bring it on, Carolyn!

“You have one great weakness.”

“You’re too positive.”

“You think we catch all the bad guys, that we can stop the evil in the world.”

“You believe in hope even when there is none.”

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY REVIEWS FOR CAROLYN ARNOLD

 

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/going-underground-in-eleven-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold
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review 2018-10-10 21:52
Into the Black Nowhere / Meg Gardiner
Into the Black Nowhere: An UNSUB Novel - Meg Gardiner

In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.

Caitlin and the FBI's serial crime unit discover the first victim's body in the woods. She's laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest's darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style--posed like Snow White awaiting her prince's kiss.

 

I read this book to fill the New Releases square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I read the first book in this series (UNSUB) last summer—it was an excellent summer book and I have been looking forward to this next step in the story. However, I’ve found myself a bit jaded with the mystery/thriller genre recently, so bear that in mind with my star rating of this book. For me, the stars reflect my personal reading experience, not an objective quality measurement and, as I say, I’m a bit off when it comes to this genre right now.

I was unsurprised to read on the dust jacket that this series is being made into a TV series. All the while I was reading, I was staging it in my mind’s eye to look like Criminal Minds! It reads like it is prepared to become a script. Looking at the GR description now, I see that this plot was based on Ted Bundy’s life of crime and I certainly notice the parallels now that I know to look for them. Using real-life details makes for a haunting plot.

So I was not at all startled when the book ended on a cliffhanger, obviously setting us up for the third book, due next year. I think I’ll be taking a hiatus from the thriller/serial killer category for a while, but I could see myself reading The Dark Corners of the Night eventually.

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