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text 2018-05-31 11:52
May Wrap Up
Snap - Belinda Bauer
Her Name Was Rose - Claire Allan
Fire Court - Andrew Taylor
A Grand Old Time - Judy Leigh

Four Books finished this month, all NetGalley and all good! I've got 3 more from Netgalley in progress as well as a couple of other choices, so there should be a few more done by the end of June.

 

I think I've refined by choosing criteria for Netgalley pretty well now. I'm finding the good stuff and skipping past the maybes.

 

I'm slowly making my way through my samples as well but I keep getting more!

 

Still got loads on my A-list to read so I'm trying not to prioritize Netgalley too much. Having a great run of really enjoyable reading!

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review 2018-05-31 11:29
Snap
Snap - Belinda Bauer

by Belinda Bauer

 

This was an entertaining story. It starts with three children left in their mother's car broken down on the roadside while she goes to make a phone call, promising to be only ten minutes. However, she doesn't return at all. The author does a brilliant job of taking us through the thoughts and emotions of the eldest, Jack, who has been left in charge though he's only eleven. With a snappy sister and a baby that probably needs changing, he suddenly has far too much responsibility.

 

The chapters alternate between the story of the children and another character, Catherine, who is a pregnant woman from a few years later and who also faces a difficult and frightening situation. The connection isn't immediately obvious.

 

When the connection gets made, things get a lot more fast paced. Even before then, the idiosyncrasies of the various characters keep the story interesting. I liked Jack. The mystery of their mother's disappearance dominates much of the story and there are some flashbacks, especially in Jack's dreams. It's all done very smoothly so that I never felt confused about time periods or when Jack was dreaming again.

 

In some ways, some of the characters weren't quite believable and bordered on a few clichés. The police procedures definitely wandered into the highly unlikely. However, I didn't care. It was a good story and I enjoyed the read, even anticipating some of the unlikely directions it was heading towards near the end.

 

The only thing I didn't like about the end is that Catherine's story was left partially unresolved. I'd like to have known what happened next. Jack on the other hand I felt satisfied about.

 

There were some interesting psychological aspects of the story throughout. Jack's motivations were clear and his cleverness in tight situations is what made me feel sympathetic towards him.

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review 2018-05-23 14:44
The Shadow Throne (The Ice Queen #3) by Rebecca Bauer
The Shadow Throne (The Ice Queen #3) - Rebecca Bauer

The Shadow Throne is the third and final instalment of The Ice Queen trilogy. I loved meeting back up with Cas and Aria, and finding out just what they had been up to. You can expect the same sarcasm that has been so prevalent in the previous two books, as well as more political machinations. However, this time, you will also have more emotions running through you than you will know what to do with them. There are not many books that have me crying by 25%, but this one managed it.

 

These characters are so well developed, so well rounded, it is a delight to read. Every situation seems thought about, from numerous angles, just to ensure it reads correctly. And situations that might have a warp on them, somehow seem to be right when done for these characters.

 

If there were any editing or grammatical errors, then I missed them. I don't think there were, but I honestly don't really care. I was that engrossed with the story, I was completely unable to put it down. So sad to finish this trilogy, but at least I can re-read them from the beginning now.

 

Absolutely and utterly recommended by me.

 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

 

Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/05/23/The-Shadow-Throne-The-Ice-Queen-3-by-Rebecca-Bauer
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review 2018-04-13 16:23
The Beautiful Dead - Belinda Bauer

Eve Singer is desperate for the story to save her career. A presenter on the crime beat, she spends her days attending murder scenes. Aware of the competition, from other news channels and from younger presenters, she knows she may soon have to fight to keep her job. Spending her working days at crime scenes and evenings looking after a father hit with early dementia, Eve is running on empty. Little does she realise that a late night encounter will lead her to her biggest story, but one which may also see her loose something even more costly than her job. She may just loose her life.

 

I’ll admit it took me a little while to get into the story. This partly was due to me not being in the mood for reading, so was not a reflection on the book. Part of the reason was also because I wasn’t particularly taken with Eve. She seemed too selfish and distant, one of the macabre press who inappropriately stalk victims of crimes and their families. Slowly though I got used to her. She still had flashes of that selfishness that first appeared, but other facets of her character emerged to counteract this initial impression.

 

The killer plays an integral role in the novel. This may sound obvious but what I mean is that he is present from the opening pages. Belinda Bauer makes him a main character. He has his own chapters, narrating to provide an glimpse into the tormented psyche that has created the monster he has become. Driven by a desire to create true art, art that is only expressed through death, he sees himself as an artist, desperate for an audience. It is this which attracts him to Eve. Eve is his curator, framing his art perfectly through her camera lens, commentating to provide the true interpretation of his vision.

The other characters that emerge from the pages are all vivid and fit perfectly into the story. From Guy, the slimy journalist, to Duncan, Eve’s ill father, each add a dimension to the storyline and make the story what it is. The police in the case are not the driving force of the story, but Huw and Emily who appear later in the story are great characters, adding the necessary presence and skill that makes the story more realistic.

 

There are parts of the story that can be read as commentary on the nature of people’s engagement with each other and the social media age. There are scenes where people film and share gruesome images on social media, where they would rather take images than take steps to help another person and it’s unclear if that failure is due to fear, or the fear of missing out on a story to dine out on.

 

If you like your psychological thrillers with gruesome murders and a chilling psychopath then this story is for you. The mania that drives the killer is interesting and makes the story seem more real, for whilst not justifying the deaths, it makes them easier to understand. The story is well written, action packed and engaging, particularly the last hundred pages which I found myself racing through.

 

This is the story of a deadly artist and his muse. It is fast paced, inventive and highly entertaining. It may have been the first book of Belinda Bauer’s I have read, but it won’t be the last. Recommended.

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review 2018-03-24 01:14
The Beautiful Dead - Belinda Bauer

Started off super good but the ending felt rushed and lack-luster . Thought it was going to have more interactions of the main character with the killer since that was what was advertised on the tin, but sadly no. Glad got it out of the library and didn't buy because seriously  was underwhelmed for the last 100 pages or so.

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