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review 2018-10-16 10:45
Tolle Grundidee, aber da geht mehr
Die Party: Thriller. Wer Glück hat, stirbt als Erster - Jonas Winner

Inhaltsangabe

Es ist der 31. Oktober – Halloween: Zehn Jugendfreunde freuen sich auf ein Wiedersehen nach vielen Jahren. Brandon, der elfte im Bund, hat sie alle in einen Glasbungalow geladen, der sich auf einem Felsplateau hoch über dunklen Wäldern erhebt. Auf dieser Party will Brandon die Zeit der achtziger Jahre aufleben lassen – was damit beginnt, dass alle ihre Handys abgeben müssen. Doch als die Freunde begrüßt werden, überschlagen sich die Ereignisse. Aus einem vermeintlichen Schockeffekt wird tödlicher Ernst: Ein Kronleuchter löst sich von der Decke und begräbt den Gastgeber unter sich. Ein tragischer Unfall. Oder? In diesem Moment wird der Gesellschaft klar: Unter ihnen ist ein Killer. Die Party beginnt…ihre letzte Party! 

 

Meine Meinung 

Das diesem Klappentext ein düsteres Geheimnis zu Grunde liegt, das wird allen Lesern von Anfang an klar sein.

 

Brandon veranstaltete im Jahre 1986 eine Halloweenparty und viele seiner Schulfreunde feierten verkleidet mit ihm. In dieser Nacht passierte jedoch etwas. Nach dieser Party haben sich die Schulkameraden so gut wie nicht mehr gesehen.

30 Jahre später erhalten zehn seiner damaligen Schulfreunde eine Einladung von Brandon. Wieder möchte er mit ihnen eine Halloweenparty veranstalten.

 

Zu Beginn des Buches bekommt man einen knappen, aber ausreichenden Einblick in die Persönlichkeiten der Gäste. Unter den Gästen sind alte beste Kumpels, aber auch ein Pärchen, welches nach der Halloweennacht des Jahres 1986 getrennte Wege ging. Für mich steckte in den vielen, sehr unterschiedlichen Figuren auf jeden Fall Potenzial. Auf den ersten Seiten verbarg Brandon selbst natürlich das größte Geheimnis.

Wie im Klappentext allerdings bereits nachlesbar, erfährt man aus seiner Sicht zu wenig, da es bei der Begrüßung einen fatalen Unfall gibt. Hier wird mir persönlich schon wieder zu viel in der Inhaltsangabe verraten, denn dieser Punkt wäre es toller Überraschungsmoment beim Lesen gewesen.

 

Als sich alle Gäste auf zu Brandons Party machen und schließlich am Fuße des Berges ankommen, auf dessen Spitze sich das fulminante Glashaus befindet, beginnt der unabwendbare Schrecken für die Freunde.

Brandon plant eine 80er Revival-Party und vor 30 Jahren gab es keine Handys.

Diese sollen die geladenen Gäste abgeben.

Neben dem Glashaus, war dies für mich ein weiterer Punkt, der das typische Thrillerszenario andeutete. Abgeschiedenheit, kein Telefon und zum Schluss konnte der Weg zum Haus nur mit einer Fähre, welche einen Fluss überquert, passiert werden. Bis hier hin war ich sehr neugierig, was im Haus auf mich und die Gäste wartet. Im Haus angekommen geht es nach Brandons Unfall Knall auf Fall weiter.

Die Gäste werden mit einer erschreckenden Videobotschaft konfrontiert und die Party nimmt seinen Lauf.

 

Zu diesem Zeitpunkt erinnerte mich die Story zum Teil an einen klassischen amerikanischen Horror-Streifen, gepaart mit gut gewählten Sequenzen ähnlich der Filmreihe SAW. Damit konnte mich der Autor bis zur Hälfte des Buches auf jeden Fall sehr gut unterhalten. Ich konnte rätseln, lachen und es gab immer wieder Überraschungen.

 

Im zweiten Teil des Buches baut der Autor Rückblicke in die Vergangenheit ein. Passte gut, da man so mehr über Brandons Geschichte erfahren konnte.

Allerdings kommt hier auch nach und nach ein Geheimnis an die Oberfläche, welches meiner Meinung nach die Geschichte in Zwei gerissen hat. Thematisch für mich vollkommen aus der Luft gegriffen und daher konnte mich die zweite Hälfte nicht mehr fesseln.

Ich war zwar gespannt, wie Jonas Winner den Bogen schlägt, und fand es im Endeffekt auch gut gemacht. Aber für mich sind behandeln beide Teile im Buch unterschiedliche Themen.

 

Allerdings muss ich an dieser Stelle hinzufügen, dass sich jeder Leser eine eigene Meinung bilden sollte. Dies mag Geschmackssache sein und als Horrorfilmliebhaber, habe ich mir nach dem tollen Beginn wahrscheinlich eine ganz andere Story im Kopf zusammengebaut. Zudem sollten sich Leser aufgrund der vielen Figuren auf konzentriertes Lesen einlassen können. Ich muss stellenweise auch stark überlegen, wer nun gerade von uns gegangen ist und wer noch um sein Leben kämpft.

 

Mein Fazit

Jonas Winner konnte mich nach „Murder Park“ mit gewissen stilistischen Mitteln wieder fesseln. Aber die Story verlief sich im zweiten Abschnitt für mich zu stark in eine ganz andere Richtung. Mein Lesefluss entwickelte sich von „gespannt die Seiten umblättern, was noch kommt“ in „okay, schauen wir mal, wie es endet“.

Nichtsdestotrotz freue ich mich auf mehr vom Autor.

80er Jahre Fans kommen musikalisch und filmtechnisch hier übrigens voll auf ihre Kosten.

 

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text 2018-10-15 18:35
The Shadow of Polperro - 20/235pg
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

I've never encountered a book so badly written and edited. The grammar and punctuation are insane. I keep having to re-read paragraphs to make sense of them.

 

     "Why not? But I'd be careful if I were you."

     "Careful?"

     Her monosyllabic question was answered by another. "Do you believe in psychic phenomena?"

 

* * * * * * * *

 

     "Yes, though I'm the world's worst driver."

     He cleared his throat again, realising that her present financial situation did not run to cars. 

     He held out his hand: "Now remember, come to me for any advice you need. You have enough money for the present?"

     Again the glimmer of wry mischief: "For the present. Thank you, Mr. Deoring"

 

* * * * * * * * * 

 

     Not immediately though; she decided to spend the rest of the week looking for a job. 

     Her lack of experience gave her little choice. Could she type? No. Shorthand? No. Was she good at figures? Most certainly no. She was offered , somewhat doubtfully, the post of matron at a boys' prep school, a job in an office dark and dingy, where she would have been little more than a tea-girl. She refused both and studied the "Wanted ads" in the papers. There were a great many, so many that she found herself in a kind of mental vortex, for none were suitable. Work in London, life in London, in a small bed-sitting room? The thought gave her claustrophobia. 

 

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review 2018-10-15 17:01
Review: “Gingerbread and Ghosts” (Peridale Cafe Mystery, #10) by Agatha Frost
Gingerbread and Ghosts - Agatha Frost

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2018-10-15 15:24
The Killings At Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham
The Killings At Badger's Drift - Caroline Graham

An old lady witnesses something in the woods as she's searching for an orchid. Something so terrible, someone is willing to kill her to keep it hidden. But as soon as the police is involved, thanks to the lady's nosy neighbor, more and more secrets are coming out...


An interesting murder mystery with multiple possible suspects, loads of red herrings and a surprising final reveal.

Unfortunately, it was also very slow with a quite a plodding pace and some of the filler scenes were rather boring and dull.

I much prefer the series, actually, including the characterization of Barnaby and Troy.

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review 2018-10-14 20:41
The Witch Elm
The Witch Elm - Tana French

Well first things first, don't go into this expecting the Dublin Murder Squad. This is a standalone by Tana French. We do get detectives in this one, but one wonders if the next book will follow the squad again and if this story will be discussed on the periphery. This not being a Dublin Murder squad book is not why I gave this three stars though. The story told her is disjointed (purposely due to Toby's injuries) but if it was just that it may have worked. I think the biggest issue I had was the way that Toby finds out the truth (during the world's most boring info-dump) and then the ending that made zero sense after a while.

 

 

"The Witch Elm" told in the first person, follows Toby who is a bright eyed and bushy tailed 28 year old guy in PR at a small art gallery. He is in a long-term happy relationship with his girlfriend Melissa and he has two best friends. Deciding to skip going to his girlfriend's house one night after being out with his two best friends causes Toby's life to twist into something new. Going home causes him to fall asleep and then wake to two men burglarizing his apartment. Toby decides to fight back and is beaten almost to death. When he wakes he finds out he is going to need time to recover. However, Toby post burglary is different. He can barely stand to be touched, he picks fights with his mother, he can barely even be around his girlfriend. When his cousin tells him that their Uncle Hugo is dying of an inoperable cancer she asks that Toby go stay with him and help him. Toby and Melissa go and stay with Hugo, and things at times seem to be getting better until a skull is found in Hugo's back garden in a witch elm tree. FYI, they spell witch wych throughout the book and it kept throwing me every time.  

 

Toby reminds me on the surface level of Rob from "Into the Woods." Two male characters who don't recollect huge pockets of their lives. Rob was left scarred by what happened to him in the woods. He never does recall what happened and French gives no hint what fate befell his two friends. Rob doesn't truly recover from his childhood and in the end because he didn't want to face things, he ruined his career and his friendship with his ex-partner Cassie. 


Toby is in PR for an art gallery and things are going okay for him, though he's quite lucky he wasn't fired from his job after his boss caught him in a lie about an artist. Going out drinking with his two friends, Sean and Dec he is giddy with relief about not being fired and getting away with what he has done. There at the beginning we are given glimpses into Toby. A 28 year old guy who doesn't seem to realize that his actions have true consequences. He sees his best friend Dec as being jealous of him and feeling terrible because of his background. He never sees that he should grow up and think about others around him. After the burglary we see Toby change, but often at times while reading this I wondered how much he truly changed. He had physical difficulties, but the same cluelessness that seemed to be in him from the time he was a kid was still there as an adult. I don't think that I liked him much in retrospect. When Toby starts playing detective it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me as a reader. And Toby doesn't find out things by investigating, he just gets people drunk or high and starts asking questions. I don't know, something was missing from this book that I get from the Dublin Murder Squad books.

 

The other characters don't really jibe that well in this one either. Melissa works better than most of the other secondary characters. I just thought Toby dismisses her throughout the story, though he's painted as being very in love with her. 

 

Toby's family felt a bit confusing to me at first. I honestly needed a chart after we do get to meet all of them. I wish that we had more details about Uncle Hugo. Considering what a huge role this character had to play due to Toby staying at this home, his parts that focused on genealogy felt a bit off at times. Susana and Leo are developed a bit more, but in the end what we know of them doesn't work the whole way when you think about the ending. 

 

As I said above we do get detectives in this one, actually two sets. The first we meet due to Toby's attack, and the next due to the police being called after the skull is found in the witch elm tree. The detectives don't work for me throughout this book. The ones investigating Toby's burglary and beating seemed like an after thought and joke The ones investigating the probable murder didn't seem very solid to me.

 

The writing was okay, I just though the story after a while started to get disjointed. Due to Toby's memory issue a lot of times things are just being told to him. I just wish that there was another way besides constant information dumps to have Toby find out something. And then in the end we do have him remember something and it absolutely didn't even make sense why he would remember this one incident after everything else was a black hole. 

 

The flow was up and down throughout the book. 

 

The setting of the book takes place at Toby's paternal family's home called "The Ivy House". Honestly I wonder why the book wasn't just called that. The home sounded very real and about 90 percent of the book takes place at this location.  

 

The ending as I already said doesn't work for me. Maybe if French had changed the ending (cannot get into it without spoilers) it would have worked for me. It just all felt a bit too far fetched to me. And as I said above, it doesn't help that Toby reminded me of Rob. 

 

 

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