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review 2017-06-22 20:04
J.D, Barker - The Fourth Monkey
The Fourth Monkey - A.J. Barker

What a twisted and creepy book. It is a fast pace thriller which is highly entertaining and scary.

For five years the 4MK keeps the Chicago Police busy now. He punishes people who did something bad by taking someone they love. First he cuts of one ear, then he takes the eyes and at least the tongue. The sends the body parts in a white box with a black ribbon. The police is still without a clue who he is. Then one day a man is killed in an accident. Obviously he jumped in front of a bus. He carried a white box with a black ribbon. Inside is an ear. So there must be another victim suffering somewhere. But the killer is dead now. But that does not keep him from playing games with the police.

There was a kind of diary found with the body. In this book the 4MK describes his unbelievable bizarre childhood. At first you think it is a normal family but soon it turns out that this is a family of a very different kind.

The story is told alternating between 4MK’s diary and the police work. This book is not for readers who are very sensitive. It is quite drastic and there is a lot of blood. If you have no problems with that you will find a highly entertaining and very unique thriller. There is a little bit of humor, despite all this gruesome things happening all around. The book is very well written. The diary and this horrible family is almost too much, like a parody. It’s unbelievable that there would be a family like that. At least I hope there is not.

All together this was a very entertaining book. It’s full of surprises and twist and it has a unique ending. This book is really different to other thrillers. I enjoyed it very much.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-06-21 01:50
Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5) (Audiobook)
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Looks like this series finally got its act together! The case/mystery here was comprehensive and engaging, and the rural setting was a nice change up from the regular London beat. Also, Peter's temporary partner Dominic is a hoot! I love him and really wish he could stick around, but I'm not counting on it. 

 

Peter gets asked to help out on a case of two missing girls in case there's something supernaturally hinky about it, and of course there is. In addition to Dominic, we get the return of Beverly - who I honestly couldn't remember why she left, whoops - and she's great. 

 

Peter's also still dealing with Leslie's betrayal from the previous book, which gets no closer to being resolved. She's still with whatshisname and whatever she's doing, she knows there's no redemption for her. :( I'm theorizing she's undercover, but that's just because I like her character and don't want her permanently on the outs of the group. 

 

The pacing here was not quite as sedate in previous books, and actually manages to get up to a brisk jog in certain places, which for this series is practically a gallop. :D It kept me engaged, at least, which I can't necessarily say for previous books. 

 

Kobna is one of the few male narrators who manages to do decent female voices, and now he's doing a pretty good job at children's voices too. That's true versatility there. 

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review 2017-06-16 11:57
Liz Fenton - The Good Widow
The Good Widow: A Novel - Liz Fenton,Lisa Steinke

3,5 Stars

I expected this book to have more thriller elements. It is more about a woman comes to terms with the fact that her husband died in a car accident in Hawaii with his mistress.

I could criticize many thinks. The characters for example. I did not like Jacks, she is weak and obviously needs always somebody to take care of her. Her annoying and dominant sister. The dead macho husband James. Mousy Dylan. The pace is quite slow. There is also a love story (I don’t like chit-lit) and twist you can see coming from afar. But somehow and to my own astonishment, I enjoyed reading it. It is well written and easy to read. Maybe it was a mixture of me sitting relaxed in the sun and be reminded how I used to read love stories when I was a teenager. I don’t know. This book just flows and does not invite you to think too much about its story. It is just an easy summer read. You don’t really have to read it but it does not hurt you if you do. I could go deeper into its flaws but I think I just don’t. It was a nice and uncomplicated read.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-14 19:54
Not on my wish list
A Gift of Ghosts - Sarah Wynde

Disclosure -- I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I do not know the author, nor have I ever had any communication with her about this book or any other matter.

 

Trigger warnings, just in case:

Deaths of children, child abuse, suicide, abortion

(spoiler show)

 

The book started out fine.  Akira Malone, physics professor, has jeopardized her academic standing with a paragraph in a research paper, in which she suggests ghosts may be a form of energy.  She's now looking for another job, and lands one with a bizarre research facility, General Directions, in the small town of Tassamara, Florida.

 

Tassamara is a "quirky" little town, where most of the residents are "quirky," too.

 

Akira's quirk is that she can see ghosts.  And there seem to be a lot of them in Tassamara.  There's one in the rental car, for crying out loud!

 

I thought this was going to be a light, fun read.  The writing was competent, if sometimes a little heavy on the telling and light on the showing, but it wasn't horrible.  Akira was a likable character, and she didn't do stupid things just for the sake of the story.

 

Her boss at GD is Zane Latimer, the usual gorgeous hunk.  He didn't seem quite as well developed at Akira, but I could live with that in a fluff book.

 

Unfortunately, A Gift of Ghosts didn't stay fluffy.

 

The ghost haunting Akira's rental car -- which she ends up leasing when she moves to Florida to take the job -- is of a 15-year-old boy.  I had a bad feeling about that right away. 

 

There are four more ghosts at the house she rents: an older man, a young woman who loves television and parties, and two little boys who play in the back yard.  I had more bad feelings about the boys.

 

General Directions is owned by Zane and his siblings and his father, Max.  Each of them has a "gift," too.  Akira sees ghosts, but Zane can find things; his older brother Lucas reads minds; one of his sisters can see the future; and so on.  Zane is frequently contacted by police and other investigative bodies to find missing things, like stolen property.  Sometimes he's asked to find missing people.

 

The whole book took a very dark turn when Zane takes on a case of a missing toddler and his father. 

Instead of his "gift" helping to resolve the mystery and return the boy to his grieving mother, Zane's inability to locate the boy suggests that the boy is dead, and points to the father as the killer.  Akira steps in because she can see the boy's ghost.  Well, at least it wasn't murder, but the father's death is suicide and the whole episode altered my whole attitude toward the book.

(spoiler show)

Of course the relationship between Akira and Zane becomes insta-lust, which didn't add anything to the story because there was no tension in the relationship.  No complications, no nothing.

 

About the time they started having super-duper sex, I realized there wasn't a whole lot of emotional development in the book.  There were plenty of opportunities for it, but the characters didn't seem to react appropriately to what seemed to be highly charged situations. 

For example, the ghost in the car, Dillon, is Zane's nephew, who died of a drug overdose, apparently.  But there doesn't seem to be much grieving or reaction, or even soul-searching about what went wrong.

(spoiler show)

  So when another of the many ghosts in the book --

Zane's mother, Dillon's grandmother, who died of a stroke after Dillon's death

(spoiler show)

-- went into emotional overdrive and threatened Akira's life, I went into eye-roll overdrive.

 

I also found the ghostly debate over whether or not someone who had aborted -- or at least tried to abort -- an unwanted pregnancy could be forgiven by God and go to heaven rather than burn in hell to be a completely unnecessary distraction.

 

So it was a good start that kind of went in a lot of wrong directions, at least for me.  I finished it, but I did skim quite a bit through about the last 20%.

 

BL-opoly Small town setting, 211 pages.  $3.00

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review 2017-06-14 05:11
Broken Homes (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #4) (Audiobook)
Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Cliffhanger! NOOOOOOOooooooo!

 

Man! Just when it was finally getting good too!

 

I've been lukewarm on this series at best. The first book was great, and the others since have been good, but where I was expecting something akin to Harry Dresden, what I actually got was more along the lines of Angela Lansbury with ghosts and wizards. I haven't really been able to quite let go of that initial expectation, which hasn't helped. 

 

This book starts off slow and sedate, as all the others, but then it really ramps up in the last 20% or so and I was really getting into it when IT ENDED. Boo! Now I have to start the next one because I need to know what happens next. :D

 

Toby is still the best doggie ever. :)

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