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review 2017-09-21 21:29
Not Very Good First Book in Oak Knoll Series
Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll) - Tami Hoag

If I had read this book first in the series, I would have never read books #2 and #3. Everyone (except for three out of the four kids) was terrible. Every adult was the worst ever. I felt like there were just too many characters for you to really focus on. I think if Hoag had either stuck with the lead detective to tell her story, or switched between him and the FBI profiler, it would have worked better. Instead we had at least 10 or more POVs I think. And we had the serial killer plot-line, the sociopath kid plot-line, the teacher and FBI agent falling in love, the detective trying to run his case, the one kid dealing with his terrible mother and absent father, another kid dealing with her parents, etc. Nothing hung together very well IMHO.

 

I can't tell you much about the characters besides what I said above. I liked the characters of Wendy and Tommy the best. Everyone else was awful.


The writing was not typical Hoag either. I feel like she was mimicking 1980s thriller/books back in the day which is the only way I can try to grasp why there was a lot of misogyny in this book. I just felt turned off by the two male leads, such as they were for this book.

 

The flow was pretty bad though. I think the main reason was that we had so many POVs and you found yourself (or excuse me, I found myself) getting impatient to get to who the serial killer was and the rest of the book felt like background noise. I get why Haog did it though, she follows up on two plot lines from this book (Wendy and her parents along with the pre-teen boy who is a bully and abusive) in book #2. 

 

I will say that though the setting is the 1980s and Hoag makes a big deal about not relying on DNA evidence, this book was pretty weak. We don't get to see how not having DNA hampers the case at all. The town brings in the FBI to profile the serial killer. He is able to put together a pretty good profile of the killer. I really did want to see more issues like the Kinsey Milhone series does with her having to go and read microfiche, she had to go and interview a ton of suspects, her having to do a lot of nitty gritty work. This whole book was the cops going around and acting like jackasses for the most part to suspects, suspects wives and to kids at some points in the book.

 

The ending was a miss for me. I don't know what big takeway I was supposed to get, but unless Hoag has another book in the series I don't see what the payoff would be. 

 

 

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review 2017-09-21 21:19
The Crime at Black Dudley
The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham

George Abbershaw is part of a group of young people, who have been invited to a house party at the remote Black Dudley mansion. During a vivid dinner conversation, the group decides to play a game, which leads to the demice of someone. But this death isn´t the only thing that is wrong at Black Dudley.

 

So, the only thing you can be sure about is that Albert Campion isn´t the murderer, simply because this is the first book in the Albert Campion series. But then you would suspect that Campion is the main character in this novel. Which he isn´t. Instead a red haired, cherubic faced pathologist named George Abbershaw is the main character of this book and I´m wondering, at what point Allingham decided to make Campion the main protagonist of her series. Did she get fan mail that everybody just loved Campion?

 

Campion is repeatedly called an idiot and a silly ass, who is constantly chatting and making inappropiate remarks. So he isn´t a very sympathetic guy in the first place, but I can see why she choose him:

 

Abbershaw nodded and stared covertly at the fresh-faced young man with the tow-coloured hair and the foolish, pale-blue eyes behind tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, and wondered where he had seen him before.

 

He is a nerd. Do I need to say more?

 

The plot is a weird one and I tried to connect the dots between the different plotlines, but I had a hard time doing it.

 

The fact that the murder was of secondary interest in the whole narrative and only happened, because Allingham needed a setup for her organized crime / kidnapping story, was a bit disappointing.

 

And what is up with golden age mystery writers and their love for organized crime stories? I don´t get it.

(spoiler show)

 

It wasn´t a bad read, but it wasn´t an exceptional read either. The plot could have been better, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless. But I´m counting on that the next book in the series is going to be better than this one.

 

I´ve read this book for the "Country House Mystery" square for the halloween bingo and it fits like perfection. Black Dudley is a country house with hidden passageways and a dark and gloomy atmosphere and anything else you can think of.

 

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review 2017-09-21 15:10
Halloween Bingo Update 5: The Virgin in the Ice
The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the Ice is set in the "dark, dark woods."  Perhaps not so surprising when it's 1139, there's a civil war on, and Brother Cadfael is on the road to another monastic house (in his capacity as healer).

 

For the Forest of Cree is full of ice and snow and wind, and murder and mayhem, as well.

 

 

It would also work for Amateur Sleuth or Murder Most Foul.

 

 

Read and Called:

 

Werewolves: Marked in Flesh, by Anne Bishop

In the Dark, Dark Woods: The Virgin in the Ice, by Ellis Peters

Locked Room Mystery: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

Ghost: The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde

 

Read, but Uncalled:

 

Supernatural: Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

 

Called, but Unread:

 

Genre: Horror

Diverse Voices

Murder Most Foul

Witches

Cozy Mystery

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text 2017-09-21 15:06
Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 387 pages.
The Sinner: A Novel (TV Tie-In) - Petra Hammesfahr,John Brownjohn

Cora just wants to confess and face the penalty, but has to deal with the fact that the police are not going to rest until they have a sense of the why of it all. meanwhile, flashbacks continue to lay out Cora's earlier, tumultuous life. in a way, I can almost see, in the general sense, why someone trampled down like Cora would snap on a beach one day--but still, her specific reason for sudden violence is still not clear. plus, she's trying to put the police off with lies.

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text 2017-09-21 14:20
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll) - Tami Hoag

I ended up only liking two characters (Wendy and Tommy) both kids. The adults in this book were terrible, and one of the kids was a sociopath. I don't think the book hung together very well and the ending was weird. 

 

I know that I read these books backwards (I started with book #3 and then read book #2 this year) but besides the books taking place in the 1980s they are nothing to write home about.


The sexism and misogyny at play with a lot of the characters was surprising. There was a stereotypical gay best friend that had me cringing inside. Also, I don't think this character (Frannie) even shows up in the second book.

 

At one point Detective Mendez asks if one of the victims is involved in risky behavior. Apparently going to bars = risky behavior.

 

I can't even get all hot and bothered about this though cause the book was boring. It was a lot of going back and forth and the FBI profiler (Vince) being a horn dog to the school teacher (Anne). And I am still baffled she was even interested in him. And we had Vince acting inappropriately towards one woman who dared to be mean to Anne. It was just gross. There's a line about him being primeval in that moment and wanting to protect his mate and I just rolled my eyes.  

 

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