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review 2017-03-29 21:30
"Summit Lake" by Charlie Donlea - gnarly plot and clever structure kept me turning the pages.
Summit Lake - Charlie Donlea

I read "Summit Lake" in two days. It's a page-turner book with a plot that starts off as clever and ends up as deeply cunning.  I didn't see the ending coming and I enjoyed being constantly offered the chance to guess who the bad guy was and never quite finding out.

 

"Summit Lake" is two stories intertwined: the story of Becca Eckersley, a student in her first year at Law School, comes to be raped and murdered in her parents' vacation home on the shores of the picturesque Summit Lake and the story of Kelsey Castle, a crime reporter recovering from her own trauma, who is sent to investigate Becca's death.

 

The novel is cleverly structured. It starts with the hook of Becca's brutally violent death and then alternates between following Becca's path to her death and following Kelsey's attempts to uncover that path despite an attempted cover up. Charlie Donlea uses the intertwining of the two tales skillfully, sharing and withholding  information to maximise the tension in both time lines.

 

The strength of the novel lies in the puzzle it sets and the skill with which the layers of the puzzle are unwound. This kept me turning the pages and wanting to know what happened next.

 

The dialogue in the book works well but the prose plods and occasionally falls over itself. If the plot had been even slightly less interesting, this would have put me off enough not to have read to the end. 

 

The worst of the distractions could have been fixed by a diligent editor, which somehow made them more annoying. 

 

At the least irritating end of the distractions was the habit of regularising irregular verbs: shone becomes shined, knelt becomes knealed and so on. At the most irritating end the distractions came from the misuse of language:

 

"All of this transcended on her in the seconds it took to fight the door open"

 

"She was tapping the MacBook with efficiency"

 

"She never heard the front door as the knob was tried from outside. The deadbolt held and after three attempts, the door went quiet."

If things like this flow over you unnoticed, you're in for a great read.

 

If not, enjoy the plot and read faster.

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review 2017-03-29 19:42
creeping up!
An Imperfect Engagement - Alyssa Drake
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book two in the Wiltshire Chronicles, and you really SHOULD read book one before this, A Perfect Plan. This one follows immediately on from that and not all is recapped here. And AGAIN we're left hanging! Not quite as badly as book one, granted but still. Thing are not resolved, the murderer from book one is still at large, as is his recently revealed accomplice (not WHO said accomplice is, mind, just that there is one!) There are some developments in the genral plot line, a twist that literally smacked me upside the head because I did NOT see that coming, ideas, ideas, ideas as to who wrote that little missive to previously aforementioned murderer!! I love how Samantha and Benjamin's relationship continues to grow, within the confines of "proper" behaviour of their time. Love that both of them push those confines far more than anyone should. LOVE that while Edward, Sam's brother, knows full well of that pushing, he doesn't restrict it. Almost encourages it, to be honest! Thomas, Benjamin's twin, seems to be spreading his wings, with ladies, quite literally, swooning at his feet BUT one particular lady has him running for the hills and I can't wait to get that full story! OH!! I and LOVED that while Samantha was often and frequently shortened to Sam, Benjamin was not once shortened to Ben. I need to say that. Its a bugbare of mine, and I loved that Benjamin was given his full name every time. Not even Thomas shortened it! Wonder how long I'm gonna have to wait for book three!! Still can't quite stretch to five full stars, however, I'm rounding this one UP to 5 stars for the blog/amazon purposes. But getting there, creeping up each time. So... 4.5 stars (rounded up to 5) **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-03-29 19:34
painful but brilliant!
There's This Guy - Rhys Ford
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Jumping straight in, just as the book does. Not writing a blurby bit, because I simply can't. Chapter one. Page one. And I'm crying. I'm thinking that this is gonna be a much darker read for me than of late and I was not disappointed! Ford pulls you, kicking and screaming into Jake's world and you FEEL it, right here, *touches chest, repeatedly* right there, you FEEL for Jake, you really do. And when it is all laid out for you, oh God, more tears!! Come to think of it, I spent much of this book in tears!! But trust me, there are happy ones at the end! Because Dallas does love Jake, right from that meeting of eyes across the street. He knows that Jake needs gentle handling, needs time to process everything. And Dallas will take Jake, as his friend, if that's what Jake needs. Jake doesn't, to be fair, know exactly what he needs but he KNOWS he needs Dallas in his life. And Celeste. Oh she is funny. But she had Jake's number way before Dallas did. And she made Dallas see. not as explicit as some of Ford's books, but that's not what this book is about. Its about seeing that, actually, you are a NOT bad person, and you really do deserve someone to love you. I love Rhys Ford's work, you know I do. I fell in love with The Sinners Gin guys, and for a very long time, they were my favourites. But this book?? Way WAY surpasses those books. I can't express, not properly, how this book affected me today. I read it in one sitting. The cat was pleased I did not more for better part of the morning. I could not find a way to stop reading. I needed to know that Jake and Dallas have their happy ending. Cannot give it anything other than... 5 full and painful, but brilliant stars ** same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-03-29 19:15
not as good as book one.
Lover Claimed - A.M. Griffin
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book two in the Dark Wolf Enterprises series and runs almost parallel to book one, so you don't need to have read that one before this. But you should, not least because I said so, but THAT book is a five star read. This one, not so much. Oh, don't get me wrong, this is still a solid 4 star read. But we don't learn anything new about who is stealing from Dark Wolf, or more importantly, WHY. And Lajos' imprinting on Meisha isn't immediate, like Kristof and Trudy's is. It kinda creeps up on him. And I found myself missing that sucker-punch to the solar plexus feeling. I did enjoy Meisha's back story, her history. When it all becomes, why she breaks Lajos' nose, finding him in her kitchen, it makes total sense. And you do feel her frustration when Lajos leaves her behind. I'm assuming the elder brother will have a story, because you can't have his two baby brothers mated and the Alpha not. But you just know he's gonna fall hard, and fall fast. And his brothers will make sure they dish it out good and proper! Whether he is NEXT though, I don't know. I'd love to read whoever is next, and any other books, because I have an inkling as to the WHY and I think the clues are starting to come through. I wanna see if I'm right! A solid, four star read, just not as good as book one. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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text 2017-03-29 14:53
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 185 pages.
The Golden Door - Bart Spicer

almost done this slick little limbo-lost romp I rescued--stopped just long enough to add to BookLikes the edition I actually own. nonfiction pick, later today.

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