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Search tags: What-the-Dead-Know
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review 2018-09-26 03:35
From Wallflower to Most Wanted -- the Story of Jen
Ed's Dead - Russel D. McLean

Going to keep this brief -- like the book itself.


Here's the back-of-the-book blurb -- which provides a couple of details I don't think I would have, but I'm not sure how you talk about the book without giving.


<blockquote>Meet Jen, who works in a bookshop and likes the odd glass of Prosecco...oh, and she's about to be branded The Most Dangerous Woman in Scotland. Jen Carter is a failed writer with a crap boyfriend called Ed - who she accidentally kills one night. Now that Ed's dead, she has to decide what to do with his body, his drugs and a big pile of cash. And, more pressingly, how to escape the hitman who's been sent to recover Ed's stash. Soon Jen's on the run from criminals, corrupt police officers and the prying eyes of the media. Who can she trust? And how can she convince them that the trail of corpses left in her wake are just accidental deaths? A modern noir that proves, once and for all, the female of the species really is more deadly than the male.</blockquote>


Jen is a character we've all seen before -- she's not assertive (especially when it comes to this horrible boyfriend), she lets her boss push her around -- actually pretty much lets everyone push her around, actually. Until she Ed meets his untimely end. This breaks things open for her -- she has to take steps to preserve her life and freedom. This sort of carries over into other aspects of her life -- and when the criminals, corrupt cops, uncorrputed cops, school friends, and everyone else comes calling, she finds herself being assertive, daring, and even brash.


Once things get moving in this book, they don't stop -- McLean's prose is lean and gripping. It's the right match of voice, pacing and content. The characters may not be the most well-rounded, but they don't need to be for this to work. There are some more developed than most, true. But this isn't the kind of book filled with fully-developed characters, it'd just slow things down. You get enough to meet the need of the plot, and nothing else. It's all about keeping things moving at a good clip. I couldn't take a steady diet of that kind of book, but when done right (as it is here), it can make for a great ride.


I read this so quickly I couldn't believe when it was done -- the prose moves quickly, the pacing is great, it's like an out-of-control train plummeting down a grade, and all you can do is hold on and hope that safety gear works. It's violent, action-packed, and adrenaline-fueled -- most importantly, in the middle of the tumult and destruction, Jen finds a way to exercise agency, which is great to see -- and somehow throughout it all, there's a sense of fun that permeates everything without toning down the brutality.


This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea -- but if you read that blurb above and think, "that could be fun," you're right. Give it a whirl, you won't be sorry.

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review 2018-09-23 06:43
Dead Spots
Dead Spots - Rhiannon Frater

Dead Spots= places that are abandoned, but were inhabited, important, and/or loved back in their heyday. A Dead Spot can be manipulated.
Book opens with Mackenzie happily marries to Tanner and 8 months pregnant with their son, Joshua. She loses the baby. My heart broke for her as she grieves and no one really understood her grief. Tanner leaves her. She loses her job. She come to the realization that their friends were really Tanner's friends. Her best friend lives across the country.
Fast forward 6 months later and Mackenzie is freshly divorced and on her way to her mom's. Her mom happens to have OCD, but not not is spend on her mental disorder. What did come across, was her mother was a judgmental bitch. Mackenzie almost hits a deer and stops to explore an bandoned cafe and accidentally gets trapped in a Dead Spot. 
What follows is a nightmare world, fears are given free reign. Nothing and no one is as they seem or first appear. Maybe they are trustworthy.....or not.
Mackenzie was frustrating at first. She did, eventually, morph into someone who kicked ass and took names, but it took the whole book to get there. I did like that there really isn't any romance in this one- it was fitting for the character and setting. Lust yes. Love no. I did like this, I was invested.
I would have liked more at the end. It was a little too abrupt. A little more would have been nice. 

Halloween Bingo:  Modern Masters of Horror

Spoilers behind page break.

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review 2018-09-18 04:36
Mountain of the Dead
Mountain of the Dead - Jeremy Bates

An American true-crime writer has traveled across the world to follow the footsteps of the nine Russian hikers who slashed open their tent in the middle of the night to flee into a blizzard in subpolar temperatures. They all died, some of them violent deaths, but nobody knows exactly what happened.

I found this book to be as strong as the first book, The Suicide Forest, in Bates' World's Scariest Places. The Dyatlov Pass Incident happened in 1959 and of course I had to Google to find out what went on and what's true compared to what Bates has come up with himself. The author has created a great story. What's been covered up? What's really out there? The remote location, the weather, what could go wrong.. it's scary because you just never know. A few parts in this book I found the author went overboard in regards to some situations the American author, Corey, found himself in. It seemed unnecessary and took away from the flow of the story but overall this was really good and definitely interesting.

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text 2018-09-15 21:10
Reading progress update: I've read 233 out of 233 pages.
Seven Dead (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards,Eleanor Farjeon

wow. I’m in love with this book. I had finished my shark novel, which was very entertaining, and then proceeded to this neglected - previously neglected, thank goodness! - book by previously neglected J. Jefferson Farjeon. I just kept reading, from late morning into early afternoon, and then suddenly I was done. Seven Dead, and a few hours later I know why.


the book is fun in the early stages, but it was hard to tell if Farjeon could deliver something spectacular until getting deep into it. as the pieces fell into place, and the whole dreadful series of events extending from a first-time house-breaker finding seven dead bodies in the drawing room of a gloomy mansion - events extending, of course, both forwards and backwards from corpse discovery - unfolded with each exciting page, I realized I had just experienced maybe my absolute favorite British Library Crime Classic so far. can’t guarantee this will feel like a bloomin’ masterpiece to everyone who gives it a whirl, but I have no choice but to say “don’t ignore this one, don’t forget about this one”. let me finish by saying that, by the end, the book had a heavy emotional impact on my heart, as I thought about what had really happened to those seven doomed people, and why. almost shed a tear - not lying - and certainly had a lump in my throat.


a morning and an afternoon later, and I have a new/old whodunit to cherish, amongst my favourites.

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text 2018-09-14 15:01
Reading progress update: I've read 318 out of 340 pages.
Dead Ends: Stories from the Gothic South - J.T. Ellison

as I had hoped, the J T Ellison story was one of the best ones in the collection. just one more to go - 'Looking for the Lost' by Ariel Lawhon'. I like the title.

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