I read the first of these and wasn't overly impressed (review here) but others may like it, so I thought I'd offer the link since all three are free today, at least in the U.S.
Absorbing and sickening in equal amounts this biography and evaluation of the life of notorious killer Rose West is essential reading for anyone interested into the thinking and deranged mind of serial killers. The early years of Fred and Rose is a harrowing tale of constant physical and sexual abuse in a world where there were few if any boundaries. What goes around comes around is the central theme and children will often imitate the teachings of parents whether that be good or bad. If the young are witness to and the object of incest, beatings, and even murder it is not surprising that they may choose to adopt this way of life as some code of practice. However no amount of bad upbringing can excuse the crimes committed by Fred West and Rose Letts. Crimes that spanned a period of some 25 years and never once did anyone suspect what this lovely chatty couple at 25 Cromwell Street were involved in behind closed doors. It was only after a flippant remark made by the younger West children when in care..."their father had joked that he'd put them under the patio like their big sister"...that social workers and finally the police in the guise of DC Hazel Savage demanded entry to Cromwell Street where the lives, deaths and torture of so many innocents was soon to be discovered under the patio.
This was never an easy read and yet once started I found it impossible not to finish so fascinated and shocked was I by the content, simply astounded by the evil that man or woman can perform and see as normal or accepted. The whole experience is best summed up in a quote from the early chapters...."I think the human race is pretty rotten. The more I see of it, the more rotten it becomes."...
I picked up the book for Milan, but also, Hamilton! Three charming stories that explore three different couples with different connections to the the war. All three of these do what I love most in an historic setting: create a realistic scenario, but focus on characters who are traditionally overlooked: Jews in the Revolutionary war, slaves and freedmen of color, and the ways in which women serve both in uniform and not during wartime. And also, three different but concordant pictures of Eliza Hamilton and her great work.
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]
When I requested this novel, I hadn’t realised it was the third instalment in a series; however, it turned out you can read it even without having read the previous ones, since the narrator does summarise well enough what her family is about, and that’s what you mostly need to know as far as background is concerned.
I liked the premise—Delphine’s gift and how it can turn out badly, the family with witchcraft gifts... I also liked how most characters felt like they had a life of their own: they definitely weren’t just plot devices, but had relationships, past experiences (sometimes together, sometimes not), and generally breathed and lived.
A lot of descriptions, too, were vivid, and allowed me to picture the places and scenes quite clearly. I’m definitely not sure about all of the fine details, though (avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt in Paris in 1920... uhm, it was avenue Victor-Emmanuel III, but even without knowing that it doesn’t make sense), so I advise not getting into that with a historian’s mind. Unless those were corrected in the final copy, that is. Anyway, the prose does have its charm, and whether New York, Paris or Southern France in the mid-twentied, it conjures the needed images easily.
I had more trouble with the pacing. For a good half, Delphine doesn’t do that much, to be honest, apart from being depressed because of her gift (which she probably wouldn’t have been if she hadn’t been such a doormat to her brother) and remembering her love story. I don’t know about the format it was told in (a diary), background info was needed here, yet on the other hand, it felt disjointed from the story. Moreover, while in terms of relationships the characters had a life, indeed, their actions and decisions were at times... silly. I could guess the turns and twists, and seriously, Delphine, that vision you had, that made you run away to the other side of the world... it was so obviously opened to many interpretations that it being a misunderstanding was a given here.
The story picked up after the characters arrived at the castle, but at that point I wasn’t ‘in’ it anymore.
Still, I may try the first book, because the parents’ story could be interesting (there’s a duel and a bargain with the spirit of a dead witch, apparently?).
This is my book for Calan Gaeaf
This is a Romantic Suspense Novel and that is really important to keep in mind in case you listen to the audiobook like I did. I would have thought it was a book about the Holocaust with all the times it said ¨Genocide¨. Turns out they meant ¨Jenna sighed.¨ And, Jenna sighed a lot...
I´m not much into romance but these books by Karen Rose are pretty dang good. Talk about hot for teacher! The suspense is really well done and the romance is.... well, it´s not the corny kind. Some people may want to keep a towel or tissues handy. It is definitely a book to keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end.
This is the second book in Karen Rose´s Romantic Suspense series and continues to follow Steven Thatcher, a detective with the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation in Raleigh, NC). In this story, Steven is investigating the disappearance of a young girl who is later found murdered. Then, it happens again and again and then they knew they were dealing with a serial killer who was targeting cheerleaders from local area schools. While Steven is already under enough pressure to find the killer and the 16 year old girl who is currently missing but hopefully still alive, Steven is also dealing with family trouble. His oldest son has been acting out lately and is flunking chemistry. Steven has to make time in the middle of this murder investigation to meet with his son´s teacher. He doesn´t just meet her though, he literally takes her down when they collide in the school lobby. Sparks fly immediately but he tries to keep himself under control because he can´t risk his kids getting attached to someone who might leave them like his wife did.